A union made in Okinawa: 3 unforgettable places to say 'I do'

The first thing that may come to mind when picturing your dream wedding is the location of the ceremony. Are you looking to bring your loved ones together in a hotel for your big day? Or do you prefer a more casual setting in a restaurant? Perhaps you’ve been thinking of a more intimate gathering in a chapel? Or how about a destination wedding?

Planning your dream wedding will be a breeze if you hold it in Okinawa, the perfect venue for you and your partner to say “I do”. Many couples from Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong have held their weddings in the subtropical chain of islands, drawn by the picturesque landscapes and sweeping views this gem has to offer. From Changi Airport, Singaporeans can fly directly to Okinawa’s gateway that is Naha Airport in five hours.

Apart from the convenience, the couple and their guests are in for a plethora of pre- and post-wedding activities. From diving sites with crystal clear waters to historical sites waiting to be discovered, visitors will not run out of things to do and trails to uncover in the Japanese prefecture that is rich in a culture unique from the mainland.

Okinawa stands out as a wedding destination with many lovely chapels to choose from to hold your once-in-a-lifetime event. Here’s a highlight on three unique venues to fall in love with.

Grand Bleu Chapel Kanucha Bay: Be surrounded by sweeping ocean views

Have a magical backdrop at Grand Bleu Chapel Kanucha Bay. PHOTO: COUTURE NAOCO WEDDING

Sitting on the hill of the four-star hotel Kanucha Bay Hotel and Villas in the northern city of Nago is a chapel made of glass – Grand Bleu Chapel Kanucha Bay. Because of its structure, the chapel gives a 360 degree view of the blue waters by the Kanucha Beach, inclusive of a line of palm trees in the picture. The location is perfect for couples who want their ceremony to be filled with natural light in a tranquil setting. The chapel can host up to 46 people, making it a good venue to invite a handful of family members and friends.

The chapel is located in the northern city of Nago, which is known for its beach resorts and incredible nature. Kanucha Bay Hotel offers many facilities, including the Kanucha Golf Course that will impress pro golfers and leisure players. There’s even a special zone for beginners. If you feel like exploring the breathtaking nature of Okinawa, take a short drive to the mysterious Fukugi Tree Street. This attraction is also famous for wedding photo shoots.

Seragaki Island Chapel: Intimate setting for wedding

Fancy a private wedding ceremony? Head over to Seragaki Island Chapel. PHOTO: ARLUIS WEDDING

If you’re planning a more intimate wedding, Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island is your best bet. Opened in 2018, the venue is a private island which is considered the closest offshore location from the main island of Okinawa. Within the compounds is the Seragaki Island Chapel, a white dome structure with a 10m aisle directing people towards the breathtaking views of the ocean. The couple can invite up to 40 people to witness their union by the waters.

Guests can relax by taking yoga classes or enjoying Okinawan spa treatments in the hotel. They can also simply chill by an exclusive beach open only to the hotel’s guests. If you wish to adventure more in Okinawa, why not dive or snorkel in the famous Blue Cave located nearby? You will be amazed by the incredible colour. If you prefer sightseeing activities, don’t forget to visit the scenic Cape Manzamo, which is known for its beautiful rock formation.

Celeste Chapel: Immortalise your love on Love Island

Your guests can go around Love Island when you hold your wedding ceremony at Celeste Chapel. PHOTO: WATABE WEDDING

A structure you won’t miss in Kouri Island, also known as Love Island, is the Celeste Chapel because of its prominent white triangle facade. Visitors need to make a scenic two-hour drive from the Okinawan capital Naha to the island – a journey which will set the mood for love for the wedding couple and their guests, especially once they cross the 2km-long Kouri Island Bridge. For the ceremony proper, the bride can walk down the 9m-long aisle, with a cerulean ocean as the backdrop. The lush private garden surrounding it also makes Celeste Chapel the perfect wedding photo shoot location. The venue can accommodate around 40 people.

The best way to appreciate the beauty of the island is by car. While driving along the coastline of about 8km, stop over at the famous Tinu Beach where you can view its famous heart-shaped rocks — the reason for the island’s moniker. Just 30 minutes away from the chapel is Churaumi Aquarium, an attraction with the incredibly large Kuroshio Tank. It is where visitors can marvel at the wonders that can be found in the ocean of Okinawa.

From saying your marriage vows to celebrating your honeymoon and treating your guests to a vacation of a lifetime, Okinawa proves that it is the ideal wedding destination for every couple. Visit visitokinawa.jp/wedding to find out more about these wedding destinations and other romantic locations.

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