Kualoa Ranch Wedding – A Guide to Booking Your Ceremony

June 20, 2020


Last Updated on September 28, 2023 by Karma Hill

If you’re planning a wedding on Oahu, there’s no venue more intimate or more secluded than Kualoa Ranch’s Secret Island. Tucked away in the sacred valleys and bordered by a white sand beach, this Oahu wedding location is family owned and operated, which means consistent quality and a true Aloha experience. All of our Oahu wedding venues offer unique beauty and charm, but a Kualoa Ranch Wedding is unparalleled in its ability to create a once in a lifetime experience enveloped in the authentic beauty of Old Hawaii.

Set away from the world of commercialism, Kualoa Ranch is a pristine nature reserve, and as such, booking a reception here requires a few unique steps. Follow along and we’ll guide you through the process of having your dream wedding on Oahu at this gorgeous location.

Kualoa Ranch Wedding Setups

Kualoa Ranch Wedding

Kualoa Ranch’s Secret Island is one of the few privately owned beaches in Hawaii. This means the state’s beach wedding restrictions don’t apply, so there’s an abundance of flexibility, which means arches and seats are allowed on the sand. You can choose one of our gorgeous ceremony arches or simply go with the down-to-earth appeal of going arch-less.

Keep in mind at this Oahu wedding venue the direction of your ceremony is incredibly important when determining your wedding setup. With sweeping panoramic views, Kualoa Ranch’s Secret Island offers unique and breathtaking backdrops. You can choose to have your ceremony face a tropical shoreline, the rustic lush valleys, or the glistening aqua ocean. If you prefer soft greenery beneath your feet, there’s even a grassy ceremony area that overlooks the oceanfront.

kualoa ranch secret island

Custom arches add stature and grace to any ceremony, and when these beauties are placed on the shore of Secret Island, you’ll have a beach wedding that perfectly incorporates the traditional elements of a venue. Because of the remote location and the time it takes for our vendors to travel to the island for set-up and break-down, arch pricing starts at around $1,200 and goes up from there depending on the selected florals.

wedding on oahu

Traveling to the Island

Because of the vast size of the reserve, the shore of Secret Island is only accessible via boat. You’ll sail over an ancient Hawaiian fish pond and soak in the beauty as you approach the lush green valleys. This stretch of water is calm and tranquil like a lake — so it should be gentle on even the most sensitive of stomachs! When you arrive, you’ll follow a short trail through a forest to find your ceremony location: a pristine sandy shore with the breathtaking ocean in the backdrop.

You have the option to accommodate your party with separate boat rides, and we’ll help you coordinate the order of who reaches the island first. You may want to take the voyage with your entire crew, or have them sail first and reserve the second trip for just the two of you, or have the bride journey last and keep her bridal look a secret until the very last moment.

To give you an idea of how things are usually arranged, here’s an example of the timing during a Kualoa Ranch wedding on Oahu:

  • 2:30 pm Coordinator, rental company, and florist take the boat over to set up the chairs and arch 
  • 3:30 PM- Guest arrive at the fish pond and take 1st boat to Secret Island (the groom may also choose to go at this time if a “first look” during the ceremony is preferred).
  • 3:45 PM -Couple (or the bride) arrives at the fish pond to take the boat to Secret Island
  • 4:00 PM- ceremony/photography begins (30 min)
  • 4:30 PM- group portraits (20 min)
  • 4:50 PM- couple’s photos on the beach (40 min)
  • 5:30 PM- photography ends and newlyweds are ready to leave the beach!!

Kualoa Ranch Payment Details

Kualoa Ranch prefers to collect the site fee directly from the clients, so once you book our Secret Island Package, we’ll put you in contact with the ranch and help you coordinate your payment.

This site fee is calculated directly into our Secret Island Wedding Package, which means the total cost will not increase. For example, as of June 2020, our Secret Island Wedding Package costs $5,695 and the site fee for the venue is $2,095 plus the 50 chairs at $5 each. After you’ve paid these charges directly to the venue, we will deduct it from your package cost and bring the remaining price down to $3,600. 

There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you book:

  • There is a separate $1,000 damage deposit in addition to the site fee.
  • This is refundable as long as everything is in good shape after the wedding, but keep it in mind as you budget.
  • The fee is returned to you 14 days after the event.
  • You’ll be responsible for paying the site fee in time, but we’re here to help! We’ll remind you as the time gets closer, and it never hurts to set automatic reminders on your phone or calendar as well!

Kualoa Ranch Portraits

The options for family and group portraits at this venue are endless! One of the many perks of having a wedding on Oahu is the opportunity to capture unforgettable portraits with all of your closest loved ones. We work exclusively with the talented Karma Hill Photography team, so if you have any “dream shots” we’ll communicate with your photographer to turn those dreams into a reality. Family portraits on the boat, on the shore, in front of the valleys, on the dock — there’s no limit to the stunning backdrops!

kualoa ranch secret island

Of course, a wedding at Secret Island wouldn’t be complete without spectacular couples portraits! This venue is unparalleled in its beauty and is perfect for a couple who wants to surround themselves in a true tropical oasis.

wedding on oahu

Kualoa Ranch not only has glistening white sands, but this locale also has endless greenery and rustic natural backdrops to give your photos a touch of wild wonder. If you’re seeking a wedding on Oahu that captures both the forest and beach atmospheres of Hawaii, Secret Island can’t be beaten.

kualoa ranch secret island
wedding on oahu

Other Considerations

Kualoa Ranch requires that the same coordinator that plans your ceremony also plans your reception.

However, because we only plan ceremonies, hosting a reception at this venue is not an option. But this works out great for couples looking for a reception that’s special yet simple — and affordable! Save some change and plan a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant after your ceremony with us. All the restaurants we refer to have a great staff that can help you arrange your reception details, and you can reserve a private or semi-private space with them. This way you don’t have to bring an entire restaurant to a separate location, and you don’t have to pay someone to plan it for you!

wedding on oahu

If you have any questions about this venue or any of the other services we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d love to hear from you as you plan your wedding on Oahu!

Karma Hill - Hawaii
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Karma Hill is the owner of Karma Hill Photography, Simple Maui Wedding, Simple Oahu Wedding, and Simple Hawaii Wedding, marking a significant presence in the Hawaii wedding community since 2007. With a wealth of experience and a vast collection of informative posts on weddings and photography in Hawaii, Karma Hill offers unparalleled expertise. Explore the world of photography and wedding planning across Hawaii by visiting Karma's websites.

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