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Kauai is “the garden island” – the north shore is lush and romantic with incredible hiking (and snorkeling during summer months). Hanalei Bay and the “Bali Hai” peak made famous by South Pacific is a must-see, and don’t leave the North Shore without a Mai Tai from Tahiti Nui – it’s the best kept secret on the island. The South Shore is more populous, and is the better choice for swimming and snorkeling in winter. Active wedding parties or honeymooners can find ziplining, kayaking, hiking, and helicopter tours of the NaPali coast and Waimea Canyon – which is absolutely unforgettable. And, for a pre-wedding bachelorette/bachelor party, nothing beats the beer and Kahlua pork nachos at Brennecke’s Beach Broiler near Poipu.

Wedding ceremony sites are on every beach, but there are also waterfall sites, the botanic gardens, and private properties, in addition to some truly incredible resorts. We love resort weddings because they make the planning so easy. Beach weddings, on the other hand, get complicated fast thanks to the permit requirements. And this goes for all the Hawaiian islands.

The Beach Wedding Permit Rule

Just know that beach weddings, or weddings held on any State-owned land, require a permit. It’s a relatively new rule, which means outdated websites (of which there are many) still report that it’s free. Don’t be fooled! The rule states that “No person shall engage in commercial activities on any kind [on unencumbered public lands] without a written permit from the board or its authorized representative.” That means if you’re paying your officiant to marry you and/or paying someone to provide chairs and decorations, you have to have a permit for state-owned land. Oddly, photographers don’t count, so in theory you could have a friend marry you while your guests stand and not pay an extra dime. Right now, the permit cost is exactly one dime per square foot of area requested, with a $20 minimum. On top of that, you need liability insurance coverage of $300,000 per incident and $500,000 aggregate, naming the State as an additional insured.

Call 866-726-9090 and learn more about Kauai wedding and honeymoon destinations.

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