Things to Know About Wedding Flowers in Hawaii

Close-up of a young man wearing a Maile ti-leaf lei and white orchid boutonniere

Photo Credit: Michelle Jost Photography

Hawaii is a very special place. Because it is beautiful, geographically isolated, and has a unique culture, there are things to understand when considering your wedding flowers that may not be the case elsewhere.

  • Island ecosystems are fragile
    Because of our unique environment, there are some florals we are unable to import in order to protect the flora and fauna here in Hawaii. For example, protea must be locally grown and are only available during Hawaii’s growing season; waxflowers are unavailable unless locally grown; eucalyptus must be Hawaii-grown as well.

  • Everything is more expensive
    Hawaii is one of the most geographically isolated places in the world! We are dependent on imported goods which in turn raises our cost of living.  Flowers and floral supplies must be flown in which incurs an additional cost on our expenses.

  • Locally-grown florals are not necessarily less expensive
    Land is at a premium and farming is quite an endeavor. Many local growers are small and do not have enough to supply the entire demand of florals for the local market or have the variety the mainland is accustomed to. Tropical florals are traditionally expensive and are priced competitively here in Hawaii also.

  • Supply and demand unique to Hawaii
    Florals that are popular for weddings, and ironically, low-cost on the mainland, are priced competitively in the wholesale market in Hawaii. Depending how your floral designer sources, they may not always be able to negotiate the same cost-savings as you would on the mainland. 

  • Hawaii’s unique floral culture
    Just as florals are ingrained in the everyday culture in France, or the reverence the British have for the art of floristry, Hawaii also has a rich floral culture of its own where flowers carry much meaning and significance. They are gifted to mark milestones in life and are endeared by many. Foraging is not to be taken lightly, especially on public lands, and may be prohibited in areas of cultural significance. In addition to nationally recognized holidays, florals that are popular for lei-making, haku, and during certain times such as graduation, Lei Day and King Kamehameha day are also priced according to the market.