Hawaii Elopement Guide: How to Elope in Hawaii and plan your epic elopement from start to finish.
Hawaii Elopements are nothing short of magical adventures. It’s amazing to be able to promise a lifetime of love to your person in one of the most beautiful places on earth. While serving our couples as a Hawaii-based photo and video team, we’ve learned a thing of two about the ins and outs of eloping in Hawaii. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to elope in Hawaii – from how to get your marriage certificate to the pros and cons of different islands.
We love walking with couples through every step of this process. Our goal is for there to be no confusion and for you to feel covered. This is why we offer all-inclusive elopement packages – covering everything from the officiant to permits to photo and video! You can reach out here to inquire.
How to Elope in Hawaii
- Do your research! Congratulations, you’re already on this step right now!
- Decide on what island you want to get married on and the vibe for your elopement.
- Book your Hawaii Elopement Photographer and Videographer. Reach out today for your free consultation with us and more information about our all inclusive packages.
- Book your flight and lodging reservations.
- Find your other vendors like hair and makeup or florals.
- Apply for your marriage license.
- Have the best time eloping in Hawaii!
Why You Should Elope in Hawaii
Hawaii is a freaking amazing place to elope! No matter what you are envisioning, there’s an epic adventure waiting for you. Eloping is a great option for people who want a unique experience over the hype of a big wedding. You get quality time with the love of your life and memories that’ll last a lifetime. Plus, the photos and video will be epic.
When you think of a Hawaii elopement, maybe you picture wearing leis on the beach, like a scene from a movie. If that’s your vibe, go for it! But if you want something more original, know there are endless options for unique twists you can choose for your day.
Getting married in Hawaii is like a choose your own adventure book. You really call the shots. We’ve seen couples do everything from a traditional beach wedding to a cliffside ceremony with a sailboat celebration afterwards. The options are unlimited!
Choose something that matches the energy you want to bring to the day. Do you want your elopement to be more laid back? Do you want it to involve hiking or is that not your thing? Maybe you want to stay in an airbnb or hotel? Do you want to bring witnesses or go totally solo (Hawaii doesn’t require a witness, so you’re good no matter what you do)? Ask yourselves these questions while planning your Hawaii elopement.
Picking a Location for Your Hawaii Elopement
There are 8 total islands that make up Hawaii and vistors are allowed on 6 of them. Each island has it’s own unique natural elements and reasons why it’s great for your elopement. While you’re in Hawaii, don’t be afraid of island hopping too! Flights are fairly cheap between islands and you might want to experience the variety of Hawaii while here.
Island of Hawiaii (Big Island):
It’s called The Big Island for a reason! There are so many places you can elope, from beaches with a variety of colored sands to active volcanoes like Kilauea. The downside is that this can be the most crowded island, so that’s where teaming up with an elopement specialist is important to make you find a place away from the crowds.
Oahu (where we are based):
I have a whole blog post for you on where to elope on Oahu! The island is versatile with plenty of elopement options. When helping couples plan their all-inclusive elopement, I recommend North Shore, Makapuu, and Crouching Lion. You’ve got access to cliffs, rolling hills, tide pools, large white sand beaches, and mountains.
Take a look at this Maui elopement we did on the cliffs of Kapalua with a romantic picnic afterwards. Some other locations we love for elopements are Ironwoods Beach, Makena Cove, Po‘olenalena Beach, Hamoa, Nakalele Blow Hole, and Kahakuloai. We loved this beautiful sunrise beach elopement in south Kihei too!
This is one of the most lush islands, making it another amazing place to elope. We loved this Princeville North Shore elopement we photographed. There are so many other locations as well! Hanalei Bay, Anini Beach, Puu Poa Beach, Papaloa Bay, Shipwrecks Beach, and Kalapaki Bay are all epic.
This is the least touristy island, which means there will be a little less organized things to do, but more opportunity to connect with traditional Hawaii culture. There’s still gorgeous places to elope here, including the tallest sea cliffs in the world!
This island is small but not to be overlooked! With red rocks, shipwrecks, and plenty of rugged terrain. It’s a place for adventure and privacy.
Airbnb Elopement Ideas
We encourage you to ditch the hotel and find a unique stay, no matter the island you choose! This not only gives you a fun experience, but it can make for really awesome photos and videos, especially of you getting ready for the day.
Check out this beach house on the North Shore of Oahu.
Or you could stay at a jungle treehouse on the Big Island, like this dreamy home or this one.
Hawaii Elopement Ideas that Aren’t the Beach
We love the beach, but we also want couples to know there are so many other options! Depending on your location and it’s proximity, you might even be able to pair beach photos and another epic location.
Cliffs: You can overlook the ocean with an awesome view. This is a great twist on a typical beach wedding – finding a spot that still looks out at the water, but gives a little bit more interest than just sand and surf.
Jungle + waterfalls: If you’re ready to go off into the wild and say I do in a unqiue location, think about a hike into the jungle to a waterfall. You’ll hear the sound of rushing waters, feel the spray of the falls, and maybe even see some wildlife.
Mountains + volcanos: Go somewhere with a view of the island! There are some stunning spots to hike or drive up to (with some hiking usually required) that will blow you away.
On the Water: This couple decided to celebrate their day on a sailboat and we were so here for it! They even jumped into the ocean together to end their day. Talk about an adventerous, romantic elopement!
How to Get a Hawaii Marriage License
It’s fairly easy and affordable to get your marriage license in Hawaii. It costs $60 (+ a $5 online admin fee) and you can apply online here. Don’t get your license until 30 days before your wedding, because after that time, it becomes void and null. If you need someone to help make things official and don’t want to hire a random officiant, I’m ordained and able to make things official.
Don’t worry about permits for your specific location – that is something I or the officiant will get for you! Just grab your license and sit back and relax.
How to Find an Officiant for a Hawaii Elopement
Before you hire your officiant, consider these questions:
Do you want a religious ceremony or Hawaiian ceremony or a secular ceremony?
Are you wanting to go on an adventure? Look for someone who is willing to do this.
How long of a ceremony are you desiring? Just vows and quick “I do”s or a bit more to it?
Your officiant has the power to really set the tone for your ceremony and guide you through the flow of your day. Another option if you don’t want to even bring an officiant is to get married at the courthouse beforehand and use your elopement to just read vows to each other at your desired location. There are no roles – it’s totally up to you!
Finding Your Hawaii Wedding Vendors
While you don’t really need any vendors besides a photographer (and videographer is a must too – we share all about why it’s important in this post), having some creative professionals add value to your day is a great option! Stunning florals or a talented hair and makeup artist can make your photos really pop and save you stress – which is the whole point of eloping!
We love working with a variety of vendors. From planners like Courtney Crane Events to wedding florists like J’Adore Floral. Love and Beauty Maui is one of our favorite hair and makeup artists. There are even officiants who make elopements their thing like Euta Lightsy.
Take the Stress Out of Your Hawaii Elopement with All-Inclusive Services
You’re eloping because you don’t want a stressful wedding experience. Why not book an all-inclusive wedding package and have everything taken care of for you? If you reach out here, we can talk through all your hopes and dreams for your Hawaii elopement and makes those dreams come true. We will hold your hand and make sure every step is taken care of for you.
Just show up, have fun, and enjoy your time!
You Now Know How to Elope in Hawaii!
Do you have more questions about how to elope in Hawaii? We’d love to serve you by answering any question, big or small. Whether you book with us or not, we consider ourselves Hawaii elopement experts and want to share our experiences with you.
We hope you have the best time visiting our home and making memories with your spouse! We can’t wait to show you around and give you the best photos and films along the way!
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