I’m on the Big Island as I write this blog post for you. I am absolutely FULL of gratitude that my job brings me to places like these. If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I get to travel back to Hawaii to see my favorite people often. This means I also get to photograph couples in this beautiful beautiful place when I’m here. Every single time, it’s still UNREAL to me that this is considered “work” for me! I want all my couples to feel just as full of gratitude, fulfillment, and joy on their wedding day. One guaranteed way to do that is to have a Papa Kona wedding✨
Papa Kona will forever be one of my all-time favorite Big Island wedding venues. It sits right on the breathtaking Kona coastline – it offers a long list of incredible options to its couples, & serves THE most delish food (it is a restaurant, after all!)🙌🏼 If that all sounds just as fabulous to you as it does to me, you’ll defffff want to keep on reading to find out all the deets about this incredible Kona wedding venue!😉
Table of Contents
- Where is Papa Kona?
- Why get married at Papa Kona?
- All-inclusive wedding package deets
- Where to stay nearby
- Real Papa Kona wedding inspo
Where is Papa Kona Events & Catering?
One of the reasons I fell in love with this venue: it’s riiiight on the Kona coastline! Just a 1 hour drive south of Waimea, the venue sits on Ōneo Bay + right next to Kailua Bay. This means you get STUNNING views of the blue waters we all love in Hawaii.
And because of its uber-close proximity to the coast, there are plenty of classic beachy things to do nearby. From walking through the Kona Farmers Market to stopping by shaved ice stands to grabbing breakfast at açaí food trucks (*insert chef’s kiss gesture here*). Talk about a lovelyyyy place to visit during your time on the Big Island!
Why Get Married at this Kona Wedding Venue?
I know you came here looking for me to tell you why Papa Kona might be the right venue for you & your boo. Let’s not waste any time & get right into all the top reasons I love this venue!
1. All-inclusive packages for the win
We all know I’m a huge proponent of making things easyyyy whenever possible. Whether we’re talking about business, life, or weddings – why not make things as easy as you can for yourself?! Truthfully, the BEST way to make wedding planning 10x easier is to hire a wedding coordinator to take the hardest things off your plate. You’re in luck, because Papa Kona offers an all-inclusive wedding package that automatically includes an Event Manager (a.k.a. venue coordinator) just for you!
2. Private oceanfront ceremony site
Papa Kona is popular among couples getting married in Hawaii for manyyyy reasons. One of the main draws is definitely the private oceanfront ceremony site where you’ll tie the knot. Picture you & your lovely partner holding hands – promising forever while you stand on a beautiful green, well-manicured lawn under coconut trees. Surrounded by your loved ones, overlooking the shining blue waters of Hawaii. If that doesn’t convince you to hold your dream Hawaii wedding at Papa Kona, I don’t know what will!
The ceremony site overlooking Ōneo Bay can accommodate up to 80 seated guests. You can also use the Papa Kona Café Lanai for additional seating + standing room if you’re havin’ a larger party!
3. 10/10 menu options
Because Papa Kona is originally an event & catering company with a flagship oceanfront restaurant, you can imagine the absolutely DELISH food you’ll be served at your wedding! The venue offers experienced chefs & catering staff who will cook an unforgettable meal for you & your guests. Take full advantage of their endless menu options by holding your rehearsal dinner in the beautiful restaurant the night before. Then have a fabulous cocktail hour + multi-course meal with your loved ones on the actual day of your wedding!
And don’t worry about specific dietary needs or any picky eaters your guest list might include – Papa Kona truly has options for EVERYONE. Dying to have a classic, scrumptious poke meal while you’re in Hawaii? Opt for Papa Kona’s poke bar or ahi poke shooters. Maybe you know you’ll be craving something savory once the late hours of the night hit on your wedding day. Add some Panko-breaded avocado fries or bruschetta bites to your late-night-snack menu!
Plus, with experienced bartenders and three different tiers of bar packages, you’ll be set when it comes time to celebrate with a bottle of bubbly (or something a little harder). From premium cocktails to beer & wine to custom wedding cocktails, once again, the options are endless!
4. Second-floor lanai for a fabulous reception
Papa Kona doesn’t just have a breathtaking ceremony site where you’ll make things official. It’s also got an absolutely stunning second-floor lanai for your evening celebrations! Not only have they decorated the space with the dreamist bistro lights for a warm, festive setting. You also have 270-degree views of Ōneo Bay around you. What better place for an evening celebration! Whether you’re dreaming up an elegant cocktail hour, a rockin’ dance party, or any mix of both!
5. Countless food, activity, & hotel options nearby
As I mentioned before, the location of Papa Kona is perfect for couples looking to enjoy all that the Big Island has to offer. Especially for those of you coming in from out of state! You won’t need to worry too much about transportation. With everything being so close by – I recommend looking into renting a car, taking public transportation, carpooling with a local friend if you have one, or booking shuttles for you & your guests!
Enjoy fresh seafood along the Kona coastline at nearby restaurants. Stay at a beautiful resort or a cozy Airbnb – click here for some bomb places to stay in the area! Visit Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark, or enjoy the sunny beaches – the opportunities are truly endless!
The Deets on Their All-Inclusive Hawaii Wedding Packages
Once again, I will tell you that you are allowed to make your wedding day as EASY as possible for yourselves! Wedding planning comes with plenty of stress and overwhelm. It’s important you delegate as many tasks as you can to others. That’s why I LOVE Papa Kona’s all-inclusive wedding package!
If you thought the stunning venue was enough to make your moolah worth it, think again – there’s more! Here’s what comes in the venue’s all-inclusive packages:
- Waterfront ceremony site + lanai reception space
- Event Manager – this is the bomb diggity, the gold mine, the whole-ass reason you pay for this package. Papa Kona will provide you with a talented Event Manager (a.k.a. venue coordinator) who will be there for you the entire day. On hand, to help with whatever is needed. They’ll handle setup, breakdown, and coordination – so that YOU & your loved ones can handle the celebration + partyyyy!
- Wedding planning guide – Papa Kona truly takes everything into consideration, and provides SO much help + guidance to its couples. You’ll receive a detailed, month-by-month wedding planning checklist to make sure you don’t forget a single thing!
- Preferred vendor list – finding A+ vendors for your dream wedding day can be one of the hardest parts of planning. Lucky for you, Papa Kona’s got a badass list of preferred vendors AND they won’t charge you for hiring other vendors outside of their list (like many venues do), either!
- Pro sound system – you’ll get not only a professional sound system, but also a technician to run it all for you! The less work YOU and your guests have to do, the better, right?🙌🏼 (DJ upgrades are also available if you want someone to take care of the evening’s soundtrack!)
- Delicious wedding favors – ever heard of Papa Kona Coffee Farms? You guessed it – run by the same company as Papa Kona Events & Catering 😉 The venue includes 30 favors for your guests (more available for an additional cost): two ounce packages of Papa Kona roasted whole bean coffee, personalized with your names + freshly roasted legit on your wedding day.🤤
Depending on the size, vibe, and details of your wedding day Papa Kona has plenty of extras to offer you as well! You can have them create your wedding cake for you, add on bar packages, get help with your decor/rentals, & more. I don’t know about you, but if I were a bride again, I’d be ready to say a giant hell yeah to this all-inclusive package!💃🏼
Where to Stay in Kailua-Kona, Near Papa Kona
There are TONS of accommodation options near Papa Kona. Depending on the type of place you’re looking for + if you want to stay somewhere with your guests. Here are a few of the most popular hotels & resorts near Papa Kona, as well as some fun beachy Airbnb’s along the coastline!
Resorts & Hotels in Kailua-Kona
Airbnb’s & VRBO’s in Kailua-Kona
Last but definitely not least, let’s go through some frequently asked Q’s about Papa Kona weddings that every couple will want to know the answers to!
Can we have a rehearsal dinner at Papa Kona?
YES! For all my party-lovin’ peeps who want to celebrate a little extra with loved ones the night before their wedding, Papa Kona will absolutely host your rehearsal dinner. You can have it in the Papa Kona restaurant if there will be 25 people or less, and for a group of 25+ you’ll need to rent the private upstairs event space!
What’s parking like at the venue?
Fortunately, Papa Kona has access to a parking garage that fits up to 80 cars! You will have to pay a minimal fee to park in the garage, otherwise, you can find a free parking lot within walking distance. If you’d rather not have to worry about driving/parking, you can totally hire a shuttle service to transport you & your guests around instead!
What happens if it rains?!
If it starts to rain on your wedding day, you & your guests will simply be moved from the second-floor lanai downstairs to a more covered area.
Can we get ready at Papa Kona?
Papa Kona has a lot of things, but one thing it doesn’t have is a getting ready space! You & your wedding party will need to get ready offsite and arrive at the property ready to go, which is why it’s great to book a hotel/Airbnb near the venue. Don’t worry – there are plenty of restrooms for any hair/makeup touch-ups you need to do throughout the day!
What if the venue is booked on our date?
The most obvious answer is that, well, you’ve gotta either change your date or find a different venue!
OR – if your date is set in place, but Papa Kona is booked & you’re dying to hold your wedding here, why not opt for a brunch wedding?!
You can book Papa Kona for the morning and tie the knot before the afternoon even hits, & choose from their menu of delicious brunch options. Who doesn’t want to get married in front of the ocean in the fresh hours of the morning, go eat yummy brunch + drink yummy drinks, and then have the entire rest of the day to celebrate!
How can we find inspiration for our wedding at Papa Kona Events?
Papa Kona is clearly ON TOP of things, because they’ve got a whole Pinterest page for couples to look at, full of real wedding examples at the venue + tons of beautiful inspo!
How do we book the venue?
Since Papa Kona loves to provide each couple with a unique + customized experience, the first thing you’ll need to do to get more information is inquire through their website. They’ll send you their base packages and menus, which you’ll give feedback on depending on what you’re envisioning!
Then, they’ll create an estimate for you based on the info you gave them & send over the contract, which is required to be completed along with a $3,000 or 50% retainer (whichever is less) in order to secure your date.
Your final guest count + payment will be due a week before your wedding date!
Now that you’ve learned EVERYTHING there is to know about getting married at Papa Kona, I want to show you an example of a real wedding I photographed at the venue! Papa Kona featured Sam & Andrea’s Big Island Wedding on their website, a day full of love, smiles, and a touch of ✨ magic ✨ (see what I mean by “magic” below 😉 )
These two beauties shared a stunning first look on the beach of Papa Kona, made things official in front of their closest loved ones, and ended the night with shots & rainbow layered cake🔥
If you’re still considering other options for your Hawaii wedding venue, be sure to check out the blog posts below that showcase a couple of my other FAVORITE wedding venues across the islands!