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My daughter is planning a Hawaii wedding and she’s not alone! Hawaii is number one in the nation for casual weddings, according to a story in today’s Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper. Erika Engle looks at data from The Knot, Inc. and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The statistics show:
* Half of the Hawaii weddings take place on a beach, compared with about seven percent of mainland weddings.
* Almost 40 percent of Hawaii wedding receptions are on the beach (four percent for mainland events).
* Of the married-in-Hawaii couples, about 40 percent are local residents, 60 percent came from other states.
* Perhaps because many were destination weddings, guest lists for weddings in Hawaii are smaller than events on the mainland (Hawaii average 96 guests).
But the Hawaii wedding story is even bigger than that for two reasons.
First, most of those who travel to the islands to be married are not coming from the mainland — they’re from Japan. Second, even more people come to Hawaii for a honeymoon than for the actual wedding, and they often bring along children, grandmothers or nannies. Again, Japan figures prominently. Ten percent of travelers from the mainland are newlyweds while almost 19 percent of travelers from Japan are on a honeymoon.
What this means to me is that Hawaii is not only a beautiful place for a wedding, it is also fully equipped to facilitate nuptials of all sorts. I remember being surprised to see an enormous store in the hotel lobby filled with wedding dresses the first time I visited Hawaii. Now I understand why!