We had our destination wedding in Kauai earlier this month and I am so glad that we picked this location! We actually found and booked our Wedding Planner and Venue before doing any research on which island we wanted to stay on but it worked out perfectly, it was exactly what we were looking for!
Kauai is known as the Garden Island and it’s the more quiet island with less tourists and traffic. It made for such a relaxing and romantic trip. Planning a wedding and family vacation at the same time was a big undertaking but we learned so much about the island in the process! I’m going to share with you the wedding details, where we ate and what we did to help anyone else who might be considering this island for their big day or that just want to visit! Read on for all the deets –
Where We Stayed
Looking for the perfect Resort was tough. We wanted somewhere spacious enough to fit us and our 4 kiddos, plus we wanted to be close to the beach. We decided to stay at Whaler’s Cove Resort and it was an absolute dream. Nestled inside of a little neighborhood by the beach, it was so quiet and peaceful. We booked the two bedroom oceanfront condo which had plenty of room for the kids to play and we were able to have our privacy as well. We were right on the beach and got to fall asleep listening to the waves crash at night – so relaxing. Not to mention waking up to the incredible ocean views every morning! I loved eating breakfast out on the patio.
The resort also has a picturesque poolside view. There was an overlook where you could see the ocean and the scenery was breathtaking. The actual pool area was never crowded throughout our entire stay, we were usually either alone or there would only be a couple of other people there at one time, at most.
Our condo was fully stocked with kitchen utensils and not just forks and spoons. It had pots, pans and all of the supplies that you would ever need to prepare and serve a meal. For the meals where we didn’t eat out, we were able to cook our own food and eat in the condo which was nice because it felt like home, except you’re in paradise! The fridge also dispensed ice and water which saved us from making a few trips to the market. There were plenty of extra warm and cozy blankets and games for the kids to play. The grounds were kept so clean and I loved the tropical vibe of the entire resort. We will definitely be back!
The Wedding Planner
We had a family friend recommend us to Kauai Island Weddings and they were so easy to work with! It was a one stop shop for all things we needed for the wedding. After booking, they provided us with an online Wedding Planning Checklist that walked us through making all of the decisions that needed to be made for our big day. From help filling out our marriage license application to the location to the flowers and music, you name it. The agent that we worked with most frequently was Hans, he was incredible! He had answers to all my thousands of questions and helped us with our selections to make sure we were choosing things that made the most sense for us. This was our first time visiting Hawaii so it was also nice to talk with someone experienced that could make recommendations and guide us through the process.
The only service that we booked outside of the Wedding Planner was our hair and makeup. We used Echelon Beauty Kauai. Alana was so sweet and professional, she came to our room to get us girls ready. She made everyone feel comfortable and her work was stunning!
We got married on Shipwreck’s Beach in Poipu. This location was perfect, it was just minutes from our condo at Whaler’s Cove. The wedding ceremony was small and intimate and just a few steps from the water. We had a musician playing traditional hawaiian music on a guitar throughout the ceremony and it complimented the waves and sounds of the ocean so well.
There’s a small trail that leads to some cliffs that look out to the ocean. Our photographers walked us there to take some pretty amazing shots. Our cliff photos turned out so cool, they’re my favorite that we took.
My favorite place that we ate at was The Beach House. The property is right on the ocean and they’re known for the best sunset views on the island. We had our rehearsal dinner there and arrived early to have cocktails and watch the sunset and then stayed for the delicious dinner. Their Mai Tai was to die for and all the food was delicious . I know because I sampled some of what everyone ordered! It’s a bit pricey but worth every penny.
Some other places we ate at:
Tidepools Restaurant: Also a bit pricey but really good seafood, I got the Salmon and it was so fresh and flavorful!
Bubba’s Burgers: Such a fun burger spot. They have a house mustard relish which gives their burgers a tangy flavor – so good!
Uncle’s Shave Ice & Smoothies: When you’re in Hawaii you have to get shaved ice! The cherry flavor was so refreshing!
What We Did
Okay so this was hands down my favorite thing that we did! We boarded the catamaran and sailed through choppy waters to get to the Napali Coast. The coast is only accessible by boat so it was exciting to check it out!
The catamaran ride was exhilarating, we sat in the front and we rode quickly over the waves as they splashed over the boat in a fury. The wet ride was welcomed because the water cooled us off from the heat and we dried quickly under the warm Hawaiian sun. Once we got to the Napali Coast, we didn’t stop the catamaran but we slowed down and sailed back gently over the ocean so we could enjoy the dinner service. The food was great and we had perfect views of the sunset as we sailed back to the port. We even got to see some dolphins swimming alongside our boat as we coasted.
The kids loved this, we had a blast too! This place was rated the best luau on the island and now I know why. When you arrive you’re greeted with a hawaiian shell lei and aboard a shuttle to take a narrated tour of the garden. It’s so lush and beautiful with peacocks and birds roaming the land. When the tour ends they drop you off in front of the area where you will be eating dinner. They served refreshments and you have time to wander off to explore before the festivities begin. We walked along the waterside to take in the breathtaking views.
Dinner was delicious, the buffet had so many options to choose from. There were simple enough choices that the kids would love and they also had island favorites prepared that my husband and I could not wait to dig in to. While we ate, the hula dancers invited visitors up to learn the classic hula dance, that was fun!
After dinner ended we walked over to watch the show. The performance was interactive and entertaining for us and for the kids! We loved the fire dance the best.
This is a more popular beach in Kauai so it had a lot more people and there are lifeguards on duty. There was a cute little deli across the street where we grabbed sandwiches and had a picnic in the grass area. We also rented snorkeling gear to check out the fish in the water, this is a must do! Tip: Wear water shoes if you can, the coral on the sea floor scratched us up a little bit. Although, if you don’t like to get in the water there’s still so much to see from the sand. We even ran in to a giant turtle right on the shore!
This was a quiet, neighborhood beach tucked behind some houses. It was small and quaint, we hardly saw anyone there. It’s not a big swimming beach so there aren’t lifeguards on duty. But you can definitely dip your feet in and there’s a really cool rock area that you can walk out to and see the crabs and sea life.
Are you thinking about visiting Kauai or do you have any questions that I haven’t answered here? Leave a comment below, I’d love to help!