Summer is coming to a quick end, and fall is just around the corner. With that being said, it’s time to start preparing for all the fun fall festivities and activities- pumpkin patches, apple cider, weather changes, and warm undertones that radiate coziness. As an elopement photographer living in Hawai’i, I get a lot of questions around this time of year from couples wanting to elope during Oahu’s fall season. In this post, I’m sharing a few of my best tips on How to Plan for a Fall Hawaii Wedding.
Working with the weather forecast
In many states, fall is notorious for being inconsistent regarding its weather forecast- Hawaii is similar in that aspect but not in the “typical” way you may have been thinking. Yes, Hawaii does have beach-enabling weather year-round; however, mother nature still likes to surprise us here and there. Knowing what to expect with Hawaii’s climate and having a backup plan is key to planning the perfect fall wedding!
The average temperate during Hawaii’s fall months ranges from low to mid-80s. These moderate temperatures are only slightly a few degrees cooler than the tropical island’s typical climate in its summer months. For couples who may not be so accustomed to warmer weather, a fall wedding in Hawaii could likley be the perfect time!
The fall season, especially the beginning of October, is considered the beginning of Hawaii’s “rainy season” (which can last up to late April). Don’t let this be a huge determining factor, though! Rain in Hawaii can be described as a “mild rainstorm,” which usually results in light rain that lasts no longer than 30 minutes, and many times only 5-10 minutes. As time gets closer to your fall wedding, aim to check the forecast more closely and make any needed adjustments to ensure your special day goes perfect. Check with your photographer to see if they are able to photograph in rainy weather (I have photographed many weddings and couples sessions in the rain, no problem!) or if a back up location may be needed (for eloping couples), and with your venue if there is an indoor space or tents to put up.
Hawaii visitors in the fall months
With tourism being one of Hawaii’s most prominent economic sectors, like any state, it still has its “slower,” less populated months. If you are trying to avoid larger crowds, fall is an excellent time to plan your wedding! It’s the in-between period where summer has just ended and big, upcoming holidays are still far away. That’s not to say that there are no visitors, but it increases your chances of having the intimate, fall wedding you’ve been dreaming of.
Waves during the fall season
Another highly known fact is that Oahu, specifically the North Shore, is home to some of the biggest waves you can surf. With that in mind, it may be less than ideal to try and plan your fall wedding if you want to jump in the ocean on that side of the island. The fall time is a shoulder season, so the wave size can really vary day to day. During the fall, the waves can potentially reach high swells but are nothing compared to what’s to come in winter. Because the waves can be unpredictable- I suggest checking the wave forecast through the web or through apps such as Surfline.
Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities you can do on the island. There is nothing more magical than seeing all of the underwater creatures living in the Pacific. While snorkeling in the summer season is ideal because the waves aren’t as big, that’s not to say you have to avoid snorkeling during the fall!
As I mentioned, check the wave forecast in advance and plan snorkeling around that!
Favorite fall venues
Being an elopement and wedding photographer has allowed me to get to experience so many beautiful venues on the island, there really is something for everyone. Below are a few of my favorite wedding venues on Oahu that are perfect for those planning a fall wedding.
Koko Crater Botanical Garden
Located near Honolulu, Hawaii, the Koko Crater Botanical Garden is open from sunrise to sunset. This stunning garden is known for hosting rare, dryland plants you wouldn’t find anywhere else on the island- it almost looks like a piece of the Arizona desert was placed on the island! This particular venue makes for unique scenery to add to the beauty of your fall wedding.
If you desire to have a small intimate wedding/ elopement- this venue may be the one for you. Male’ana Gardens can be described as a luxurious spot for hosting magical weddings with unique beauty and a tranquil atmosphere, only offering services that cater to intimate weddings and elopements.
Hawaii Vista Weddings
A fruit and flower farm that offers up a stunning, picture-perfect backdrop for your fall wedding bridals. With the Manana Garden overlooking the forest and the Adventure Elopement Site showcasing the Waianae Mountains, Hawaii Vista Weddings does an amazing job of providing breathtaking views.
Planning your fall Hawaii wedding
As time gets closer to your fall wedding in Hawaii, remember that the most crucial thing with planning is to enjoy the process! Often couples get highly overwhelmed with ensuring that their arrangements go precisely as planned- which can lead to some high expectations that may not go exactly as you envisioned. One of the traits I love most about Hawaii’s culture is its laid-back, go-with-the-flow vibe. It’s always essential to have a solid game plan, but it’s also just as important to remember that sometimes the best things in life don’t go according to plan! Hawaii is truly a fantastic location to host a wedding centered around your love for you and your partner. There really is something for everyone here.
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