(Closed) Which Island, Maui, Kauai or Big Island?

posted 13 years ago in Hawaii
Post # 3
3793 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I probably don’t know all of the islands as well as you do, but I have lived in Hawaii in the past.

By your descriptions, it makes me think you are leaning either towards the Big Island or Kauai.  Hawaii has more things to do (with the volcanoes and the observatories and the many, many sights to see), and Kauai is more romantic.  I was so turned off by all the activity hawkers in Maui, that it is my least favorite island– but that is a personal bias. There are some phenomenal restaurants there, like Mama’s Fish House, although there are great restaurants on all of the islands, as you probably already know…

Keep us posted, I’m excited to hear what you decide.

Post # 4
18 posts
  • Wedding: September 2022

hi DC,

i’m getting married on the Big Island in September ’09.  i grew up there and love it and it is perfect for us.  however, i’m having a hard time finding a photographer, there’s only one REALLY good one on the island, james rubio (look for his website).  if he’s available, the big island is great because i think it is a lot cheaper than the other islands, and there are direct flights to kona.  if you do the big island, stick to the kona side to avoid rain.  however, i’m not sure there will be much surf.  

we really considered getting married on maui, mostly because of our guests.  there are direct flights to maui as well and there’s definitely more of a nightlife there.  plus, the surf is better and there’s more of your typical big white sand beaches.  i personally LOVE the small black sand beaches on the big island, but i know they aren’t what most people pick.  i’ve also found a ton of good photographers on maui and think the island is better equipped to do weddings (just because it is more popular than the big island).  there’s also definitely great hikes for a range of skills and i think the surf is better.  however, you’re planning on kind of short notice, so i’m not sure what would be available since maui is so popular.  

kauai is beautiful, but there’s definitely no nightlife and i don’t think they have direct flights.  there are amaaazing hikes & good surf though.  

good luck!  feel free to message me with  any other questions.  like i said, i grew up on the big island.  i’ve also spent a week in both maui and kauai recently.  

Post # 5
44 posts
  • Wedding: July 2009

For the criteria you listed, Maui or the Big Island sound like they would both suit you well. I agree with all the pros and cons Lilikoi already listed, so I won’t repeat those.

I grew up on the Big Island and am getting married there this July. Aside from the fact that my family lives there so it’s convenient, I thought it’d be fun for our out of town guests – there are a lot of different things to do and most haven’t ever been there (I think Maui and Oahu are more popular tourist destinations).

By The Way, I have lots of pics of some of the resorts from my "scouting visit"; if you want to see them, (or have other ??s) just send me a PM.

Photography is my priority/splurge, and I definitely had trouble finding a photographer whose style I liked… I looked at many, many photogs from Oahu and Big Island and decided to fly one in from CA.

Let us know what you choose!

Post # 6
2 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

I lived on the big island for five years and moved to maui like a year ago – and I say go with maui.  definitely better surf and more traditional beaches, plus the weather is nicer.  also, the only cheap hotels on the leeward (dry) side are in kona, and the vog there can be pretty nasty (although i might be biased because I lived on the clean windward side!).

 i also agree about the lack of photographers.  my photog is my only big splurge – i’m flying one in from the mainland, luckily she has a wedding the day before mine also, so i got to split the costs with someone else – everthing else i very diy.

Post # 7
13 posts

I attended a wedding in Kauai and it was phenom! I ended up staying for nearly 2 weeks to take it all in… there is great surf in Hanalei Bay (actually, anywhere on the island), excellent snorkeling at Ke’e and Tunnels Beaches, lots of amazing hikes on the Waimea side of the island, and the Napali coast is simply stunning (a perfect spot to host a rehearsal dinner cruise!).

One of my favorite restaurants is the Beach House in Poipu. Delicious seafood and fusion dishes. It’s situated right on the water and is known for its amazing sunset views. Perhaps a good place to check out for a reception?

I also love the fact that Kauai is such a quiet and relatively undeveloped island… it’s not as mobbed with tourists as the other islands, very romantic (especially Secret Beach, a must-do) and easy to get around. You fly into Lihue and if you prefer to explore the whole island (and not just stick to one region) I would recommend staying in nearby Kapa’a. There’s an abundance of hotels from budget to high-end.

Whichever island you choose – you can’t go wrong in Hawaii! 😉

Post # 8
3340 posts
Sugar bee

I like the multitude of things for people to do on the Big Island (check out http://www.hawaii-forest.com/)  They were featured by Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel, and they have lots of stuff to choose from.  If your family are more the party animal type and not the nature type, I would go with Kauai.  (As stated in above posts, more beaches and bars)

Post # 9
49 posts
  • Wedding: March 2009

I live on Maui, and it’s been super easy planning my wedding here because there are so many resources and so much for our guests to do.  I think Maui is a great destination for families because there is a wide range of activities from horseback riding to boat trips, and most of it is very family friendly.  The only thing that’s been an issue is finding places to stay.  We are getting married on the north shore, and there are no hotels on that side of the island.  If you are in Lahaina/Kaanapali or Kihei/Wailea, though, there are tons.  I vote for Maui!


Post # 10
47 posts
  • Wedding: July 2009

My brother had a Destination Wedding in Maui 2 years ago and it was PERFECT!  There were things to do if you wanted or you could just hang out on the beach.  We all loved it and want to take a return trip in the near future!

Post # 11
594 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2005 - Westside Loft, New York

i love maui, but have a decent number of your guests been to Maui before?  If it were me, I’d love to go to kauai since i’ve already been to maui and oahu!  but really how can you go wrong with anywhere in hawaii?

Post # 12
3 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

Wow…it’s good to know I am in the exact same boat as other gals out there.  I am just beginning all of my Hawaii wedding research and am struggling with the exact same issues you are…which island to choose (we’re deciding between kauai and maui), selecting budget-friendly lodging options for guests, etc.  I am hoping to do a scouting trip in the next month or two, so I’ll try to let you know what I am able to find out. 

Keep me posted on how your planning is going. We certinaly may be able to help each other out! 

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