When we first started planning, there were numerous wedding venues around Aulani that I was planning to document here. Then they realized they had to overhaul a bunch of stuff at the resort to meet guests’ needs, and suddenly almost half these venues were wiped out.
The biggest shocker is that Makaloa Garden—the lawn with the gorgeous ocean view seen in all of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings’ promotional materials and the site of the “Dream Wedding” they staged live on an episode of Live with Kelly—is now a dirt patch, on its way to being consumed by the pool area expansion. This means that there are now no private venues with an ocean view, which is almost incomprehensible to me. I mean, who’s going to go all the way to Hawaii to get married and not do it someplace with an ocean view? (I dunno, maybe locals are less cracked on the idea than we are.)
When the dust clears, there will be five ceremony venues left: two for Memories events and three for Wishes. Two of those are directly on the public beach, where they’ll rope off a little area between the sunbathers; one is yards away from the diners at ‘AMA ‘AMA Restaurant; one is at the Jacuzzi in the main pool area; and one is on the lawn overlooked by the rooms of the Ewa tower. If you’re hoping for absolute privacy, Aulani is not the place for you.
In addition to the Memories venues, I’ll put in photos of the Wishes venues just so you can see all the options.
Memories Collection Venues
Alohi Point (a.k.a., The Jacuzzi)
I actually think Memories brides get the better deal here with access to Alohi Point because it is reasonably private, unlike either of the Wishes venues with ocean views. Initially I had nightmares of kids in water wings streaking between us as we tried to say our vows, while behind us lifeguards led guests in Pool Bingo as “YMCA” blared from the speakers. But if you can do your ceremony early enough in the morning (the official time is 9am, but we requested 8am), there really isn’t anyone around, and of course they rope off the Jacuzzi area for you. We ended up having only one onlooker, a nosy lady who parked herself at the bottom of the stairs next to our photographers. Patrick didn’t even notice her.
Memories Beach Location
I don’t know what they’re going to call this one when it’s ready, or why it’s different from the beach location for the Wishes Collection, which is just a few yards away. Both are spots on a public beach that Disney will clear for you, but I’d recommend doing an early-morning ceremony if you don’t want a bunch of tourists in Speedos beached on either side of you.
…And that’s it for Memories Collection ceremony locations.
Wishes Collection Ceremony Venues
Now that Makaloa Garden is gone, the next closest thing is Halawai Lawn, the site of the Starlit Hui two nights a week. It’s in a relatively private location (I mean, except for being directly underneath a bunch of hotel rooms) on the far side of the resort, between Aulani and whatever will eventually be built on the property next door. However, it does not have the ocean view one sort of expects with an Hawaiian wedding, or ANY view.
Wishes Beach Location
I’m sure they’ll come up with a fancy name for this venue once the construction’s done, but it’s basically a spot on the sand directly between the two rock piles out in the bay.
‘AMA ‘AMA Patio
For my money, this is now the best Wishes ceremony venue if you want an ocean view, but it’s not super-private. Although they will rope off the patio for you, it is directly below the open-air restaurant ‘AMA ‘AMA, so you’ll have plenty of potentially boisterous onlookers. It’s also not huge, so larger weddings won’t fit here.
Wishes Collection Reception Venues
Indoor Wishes receptions are held in the small conference center. The outdoor reception venues are the Halawai Lawn (pictured above) or the Kipuka Lawn and Courtyard, which are adjacent to the conference center and not directly accessible from the Halawai Lawn.
Disney’s website bills this as one of the Wishes ceremony locations, but my planner said nobody really uses it for that. It’s mostly for cocktail hours and receptions.
The Conference Center features two ballrooms that can be subdivided into nine small rooms, with an exterior corridor running down one side.
Ka’ala Ballroom III & IV