Ten years ago, I had a fabulous honeymoon on Maui and the Big Island. And yet when my friend asked for recommendations on what to buy as a wedding gift for a couple who will be taking a Hawaiian honeymoon, all I could think of was snorkel gear. We did bring our own snorkel gear and enjoyed snorkeling on the go. But that’s an awfully presumptuous gift, plus who else really wants to schlep snorkel gear 5,000 miles (we’ve never been light packers). So when I attended a press event for Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, I decided to ask the experts and I loved all of their answers for honeymoon gift ideas. And not one of them said snorkeling gear!
“What do you suggest that a wedding guest give to a bride and groom who are going to Hawaii for their honeymoon?”
Sunset Cocktails: “A gift certificate to the Lobby Lounge at the Four Seasons Maui. It’s an incredible place to watch the sunset and there is always live entertainment. And you can get dessert too!” Kathleen Costello, Director of Marketing/Communications of Wailea Resort Association.
Local Crafts: Give the bride and groom a gift certificate to Native Intelligence, so they can pick out locally made Hawaiian arts and crafts. They can even find an authentic Kapa, which is fabric for a traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremony. — Pueo Pata, Kumu Hala and Hawaiian Cultural Adviser
Ziplining Excursion: “Have them do something adventurous together like ziplining! I recommend Pi’iholo Ranch Adventures, which has horseback riding too.” — John White of Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, which is recognized as “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel” by the Waiaha Foundation.
Snorkeling Excursion: “Give them a snorkel tour to go Molikini — it’s something special they can do together.” — Megan Hardesty of Fairmont Kea Lani
Frame Their Hawaiian Names: For a gift “that’s not too expensive but has a lot of emotional bank, you can have their Hawaiian names researched, illustrated and framed. It can be waiting in their room for when they check in.” — Clifford Nae’ole, cultural adviser to the The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
Hawaiian Music: “Give them an iPod full of Hawaiian music that they can listen to on the flight over. Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom and Jack Johnson are two of the most popular singers on the island right now.” — Yvonne Biegel of Grand Wailea
Sunset Catamaran Tour: “Watching the sun set on a catamaran out at sea is a fantastic way to enjoy it. And so romantic.” Shelley Kekuna of Kaanapali Beach Resort Association
Reefwalkers: From swimming to hiking to canoeing, they have to protect their feet with reefwalkers! — Julie Bicoy of Molokoi Visitors Bureau
Whale Watching: “As a local, watching the whales play from December to March is one of my favorite things. A private whale watching tour would be a dream come true!”— Christina Yumul of Destination Resorts Hawaii
Stand Up Paddle Lesson: “A private lesson for two on a Naish paddle board, which is the most stable one out there, will be lots of fun for the newlyweds. But we call the kayak ‘the divorcemaker’ so don’t do that one. The woman sits in the front, so she’s supposed to lead with pace and tempo but then the man usually ends up trying to tell her what to do and it doesn’t sit well for newlyweds.” — Tim Lara of Hawaiian Paddle Sports
Private Outdoor Dinner: “I treated my husband to the private Na Hoku (under the stars) five-course dinner on an oceanfront bluff for his birthday. We were both impressed!” — Candy Aluli of Napili Kai Beach Resort
No one gave us these wedding gifts, but we ended up giving some of them to ourselves. We actually did snorkel Molokini and saw an abundance of colorful fish at the sunken crater. We also went to the Lobby Lounge (very cool!) and did a private beachside dinner. All unforgettable experiences. Hawaii is a fabulous place for a honeymoon!