As passionate as we are about filming and photographing intimate weddings and elopements in the PNW, we also love to travel around the world to document marriage celebrations! Rachel and Davey’s destination wedding in Hawai’i was one that we couldn’t wait to share on our blog. O’ahu is such a beautiful place to get married, and could easily double as a honeymoon location as well, so if you’re planning a destination wedding we hope you gain inspiration from these two newlyweds!
Before we jump into their story, let’s chat about what an intimate wedding means! Typically, couples plan an intimate wedding when they want to celebrate their marriage without having a large guest count. This can be due to a number of reasons – a smaller budget, the desire for intentionality, desiring to be low waste for your event, or even just being more introverted and not wanting an extravagant “you’re-the-center-of-attention” kind of day.
At Avodah Co., our intimate wedding couples usually have around 30-40 guests in attendance, maybe one or two honorary wedding party members, and a relaxed celebration after the ceremony. And, of course, most of our couples love incorporating an adventure element into their portraits, especially when getting married at such a beautiful destination!
Rachel and Davey were truly our favorite type of couple – they embodied such a laid-back attitude (as Hawai’i typically does), danced in the rain together without a care in the world, and it was easy to see that they are truly so in love with each other. They weren’t concerned with their hair getting messed up from the rain or stressing over the sand on their clothes from the beach, which is why having an intimate, easygoing wedding was the perfect option for them. You should enjoy your wedding day to the fullest, whether it’s “picture perfect” or not!
Not only is Hawai’i a no-brainer destination wedding location (because it feels like a different country, but you’re still in the US!), but Kealohiwai at Kualoa Ranch could not be a more perfect intimate wedding venue. Kualoa Ranch has a variety of different venues across O’ahu, but Kealohiwai is their newest addition and has private access to Pahalona Beach, which is exclusive to couples getting married here! There’s even a taro farm on the ranch (which is a true Hawaiian experience) providing no shortage of locations for portraits.
For getting-ready purposes, there’s a suite that the couple has access to, making it an all-in-one location. The expansive lawn can be transformed from the ceremony space to the cocktail hour site to the reception area! We had such an amazing experience here and cannot recommend this venue enough to our destination wedding couples.
When planning your Hawai’i elopement or intimate wedding, keep in mind that the average temperature in O’ahu is around 75 degrees year-round, meaning there’s not much of a winter here. This makes your choice of wedding dates much less restrictive! The “rainy season” is typically between the months of November and March, but we had fantastic weather in February for the entire week while we were there. Typical “winter months” are especially nice to visit for a few reasons: you’re not in peak tourist season (meaning cheaper flights and accommodations), you’re likely escaping the cold weather where you live, and even if it rains while you’re in Hawai’i, chances are, you’ll get a beautiful rainbow to follow (like Rachel and Davey did!) No matter what, we encourage our couples to embrace whatever weather comes our way, rain or shine!
Here is an example timeline for what our 8-hour photo/video coverage package would look like for an intimate wedding in O’ahu in February based on sunset times!
– [ ] 1p Start
– [ ] 1-2p Getting ready, details, & candids
– [ ] 2-2:30p Everyone ready, buffer time
– [ ] 2:30-3:30p First look at venue, couple’s portraits on the private beach
– [ ] 3:30-4p Family photos + MOH and BM photos
– [ ] 4p Chill time
– [ ] 4:30p Ceremony
– [ ] 5p Ceremony end
– [ ] 5-6p Cocktail hour
– [ ] 6-6:30p Golden hour portraits
– [ ] 6:30p Sunset
– [ ] 6:30p Reception
– [ ] 6:30-6:45p Announcements/prayer/welcome
– [ ] 6:45p Dinner + Luau
– [ ] 8p Dessert
– [ ] 8-9p Documentary moments of celebrations
– [ ] 9p End
Host/Planner: Briana Willis
Venue: Kealohiwai at Kualoa Ranch (for ceremony) + Pahalona Beach (for portraits)
Hair + Makeup: REVEAL Hair & Makeup
Jewelry: Sunday Jewels
Florals: Mango House Floral
Signage/Invitation: C’est Calligraphy
After reading all about Rachel and Davey’s celebration, we hope you feel inspired to start planning your own intimate destination in Hawai’i! We would love to be there to document all of your wedding experience festivities if you’ll have us. To get in touch, you can fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours with our pricing and services information for our photography and videography for weddings in Hawai’i!