Caitlin + Mike’s Oceanfront Intimate Wedding at Papa Kona
Caitlin and Mike traveled all the way from Australia with their closest family and friends to celebrate their intimate wedding at Papa Kona in Hawaii. Caitlin and Mike met on a dating app back in Australia after Caitlin had moved back to her hometown for a new job. These two met and totally hit it off. After only a few months of dating, they booked their first international trip. Guess where they went?! They visited the Big Island of Hawaii! After hearing this, it made total sense why they would want to celebrate the start of their marriage back in Hawaii! Caitlin and Mike planned to have their wedding over Christmas so that they could combine their wedding with a vacation with both of their families. It was really important for Caitlin and Mike to feel like their wedding was not only about celebrating them but that it was a celebration of all of their family members being together. We loved how Caitlin and Mike truly incorporated the importance of family on their wedding day.
Differences between Oceanfront Venue and a Beach Ceremony
Ceremony at a Venue
You can have a flower arch
Whether you pick this venue, an Airbnb, or another venue on the island, you can have a flower arch for your wedding ceremony. You are legally not allowed to have a flower arch on the beach.
Your guests can sit on chairs
At a venue, you are allowed to set up chairs for your guests to sit on. If you are ok with your guests standing or sitting on the ground, the beach can also be an option. If you are having a longer ceremony or have older guests, a venue may be a better option.
You can guarantee more privacy
At a venue, you can guarantee a more private ceremony compared to a beach. The main reason is that your venue will block off the area where you will be having your ceremony and wedding reception. (This is why it costs more). With a beach setting, you are not guaranteed this same privacy as beaches are open to the public.
A sunset ceremony is more ideal
If you want to have your ceremony at an oceanfront venue in Kona, sunset is the most ideal for your ceremony! The sunset will be the backdrop for your ceremony or cocktail hour.
Ceremony at beach
All you need to have a beach ceremony is a legal permit, which costs on average about $20. Your wedding officiant or photographer can look into obtaining one of these for you.
Sunrise is more ideal
If you want your ceremony to be on a beach, we highly recommend asking your photographer for suggestions for the best locations for a beach ceremony. There are some beaches that are more popular than others. Sunrise is great for a beach ceremony because there are fewer people! If your guests are open to waking up for an early morning ceremony, we highly recommend this route!
Why this Wedding Venue is Perfect for a Smaller Group
Ryan and I have shot weddings at this venue before, but we absolutely loved capturing a smaller group here. There is something so special and intimate about this space. It was honestly so beautiful! Instead of having the ceremony down below near the water, Caitlin and Mike decided to have their wedding ceremony on the second story of the property. We were in total awe of the floral arch that Grace Flowers Hawaii created for Caitlin and Mike on their wedding day. After their ceremony, these two had a beautiful cocktail hour and dinner with their family all on this second-story lanai (deck) where they got to enjoy the incredible sunset and evening light. We thought it was a perfect venue for having a small wedding guest list. This venue provided everything needed to host this group of people and it was convenient that the ceremony location was right where they would have their cocktail hour and reception.
How to Make Your Oceanfront Wedding Unique with a Small Group
A way to add a colorful and beautiful piece to your wedding ceremony is by including a flower arch. Grace Flowers Hawaii created this unique and one-of-a-kind flower arch for Caitlin and Mike to get married underneath. We loved this idea for their wedding ceremony because it added such a tropical feel and added the perfect pop of color to their location.
Give Each Guest a Lei
During Hawaiian wedding ceremonies, it is common that the bride and the groom exchange leis. However, at this wedding, Caitlin and Mike presented all of their guests with a lei. This symbolizes an act of gratitude to all their guests for being there for their wedding day but also for playing a significant role in their lives. Check out this Hawaii backyard wedding to learn about other elements to include on your wedding day.
Caitlin + Mike also included a personal toast right after they got married and popped a bottle of their favorite champagne to start their cocktail hour. They poured glasses for each one of their guests, and it was such a beautiful way to start their reception. I love how they served all of their guests before making a toast.
Have a Live Musician
Another way to make a venue unique for a small group of people is to include some live music. It doesn’t have to be a full band or even a DJ, but having someone singing live music in the background of your cocktail hour and dinner is such a fun and intimate addition to your wedding celebration.
Dine at One Community Table
We loved that Caitlin and Mike’s family and friends gathered around one main community table. It gave their reception such an intimate feel, and everyone was able to join in conversation together. It also made it very easy for their guests to give speeches without needing a microphone.
Wedding Venue: Papa Kona
Hair and Makeup: Beauty Lux Salon
Officiant: Mina Ellison
Musician: Sebrina Barron
Florals: Grace Flowers Hawaii