A Real Bride's Guide to Hawaii

When Michael and I began the process of choosing our honeymoon destination, we both decided to write down the top two things we wanted most from the vacation. I was looking for an oceanfront suite, where I could spend our days on the beach and listen to the ocean waves crash on the shore in the evenings. Michael's main goal was to relax and unwind, but he also wanted to visit a spot that we were unlikely to return to in the near future (an eleven-hour flight is not something we want to repeat very often!).

Once we chose Hawaii, we started to research the islands to see which suited our needs. We opted for Oahu and Kauai. Oahu was our first choice due to the rich history (it's home to Pearl Harbor) and the new addition of the Aulani Villas, a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort. Since we're already DVC members, Michael and I were able to save on our accommodations for the five nights we were spending in Oahu, while still getting the Disney hospitality that we are accustomed to. This great savings allowed us to splurge on our resort for Kauai, opting for Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort. Kauai was a no-brainer because we desperately wanted a secluded location with plenty of outdoor activities.

Photo Credit: Aulani

Photo Credit: Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort

We selected our islands and resorts and were then left with everything else. Michael and I are currently deciding on excursions and dining—it’s been extremely difficult because the options are truly endless—and have created a great Excel budget to assist with planning. Often, many honeymooners budget for the resort and airfare, but forget to think about the other costs. How much will we be spending on food every day? What do excursions like helicopter rides, historical tours, and snorkeling cost? How much is a spa day? In an effort to make your honeymoon decisions easier, please feel free to use our guide, pictured below.

Happy Planning! Check out this quiz to find the perfect Hawaiian island for your personality.

Where do you and your honey plan on visiting for your honeymoon? Tell us in the comments!


— Crista Camerlengo

crista camerlengo

Crista Camerlengo is a real bride and the co-founder of Style She Wrote, who will tie the knot in July 2012 with Michael, her fiancé of six years. This chic NYC couple describes their wedding style as “modern romance"—fitting for a pair who had their first date at a quaint seaport and became engaged in the same spot, overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. This fashion-forward blogger loves to infuse her traditional taste with unexpected contemporary accents.