15 Dec 2008

Strict new rules on beach weddings in Hawaii

4:09 pm on 15 December 2008

Couples wanting to tie the knot on a beach in Hawaii will now need to apply for a permit and abide by strict new rules governing weddings.

The industry has been impacted by the shutdown of two major airlines servicing the islands, a shaky national economy and a global economic slump this year.

Photographer and president of the Oahu Wedding Association, Dave Miyamoto, says his business is down 20-percent on the same time last year.

He says new restrictions on beach weddings are also taking a toll .

"Right now we're going through this beach permitting with the Dept of Land and Natural Resources. So you know they require you to have a permit for a beach wedding, but now they are trying to put restrictions on where you can't have any chairs unless its somebody that needs assistance with that, and so now the Dept is making it just a little more challenging to do beach weddings."

Dave Miyamoto says he is optimistic the industry will pick up again in 2009.