First of all, let me be the first person to congratulate you on this incredible decision! Eloping in Hawaii is one of the greatest ways to spend your special day.
Eloping on its own is such an amazing way to tie the knot. Big weddings can so easily become about everyone around you, and things that simply just don't matter! Eloping is an incredible way to bring your day back to what truly matters, the two of you, your love and your life together.
And now that you've decided to elope, your wedding day dreams can go crazy. You don't have to worry about fitting 200 people in a small space, you can get married on a cliffside or on the beach or in a jungle orrrr get all 3 in Hawaii!
Hawaii is not only beautiful and so unique in every way, but the culture of the islands is just the perfect place to tie the knot. Island culture is so laid back, and just the most relaxing and stress free environment. Throw in having the best day of your life with your most favorite person (or people) and you've got a recipe for something incredible!
Your photographer is the person that will be there for you every step of the way in your elopement! I like to be so much more than a photographer for my couples, usually it's just the three of us planning the whole day together! I'll be there for you every step of the way in your planning process, choosing other vendors and just a call away if you need any help with anything! I want to be a friend celebrating with you on your big day, not just a "vendor". So if you're looking for someone who will laugh with you, cry with you and capture every special moment, I'm your girl!
We have to chat about it at some point… so what better time than now? I know things can get pricey, trust me - I’ve been there. When you put things into perspective, however, these photos are the only way to make your elopement day last forever. They’ll provide you with years worth of memories to enjoy together. Maybe one day, your favorite elopement shot will grace the wall of your future child’s home - or even grandchild! Now that’s something worth investing in, if you ask me.
1. Choose which island fits your dreams!
2. Decide what time of year you want to plan your elopement for
3. Book your elopement photographer & videographer
4. Together, we plan
your perfect day!
5. Apply for a marriage license
6. Book your travel
7. Get a permit for your specific elopement location
8. Have the best day of your lives!
Oahu is the most popular tourist island, and has the most hustle and bustle out of the islands. But I always tell my couples if you’re able to venture out of Waikiki oh my lanta it is so gorgeous. Oahu has the lush green mountains, waterfalls, rocky cliffs as well as gold sand beaches. Being one of the oldest islands you really can’t beat the sand here, as the island ages the sand becomes more and more fine so this island is really only beat by Kauai!
Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands and the most untouched. It has the most beautiful green mountains scaling straight into bright yellow sand beaches. They also have Waimea Canyon which is one of the most gorgeous places on the islands to hike around and explore (or elope!). If you feel like going on an adventure the Na Pali Coast is also an unbeatable corner of this island, it is completely untouched and can only be reached by helicopter or hiking, but is a huge landscape of gorgeous views!
Maui is also a great option for an elopement! Maui has beautiful beaches, wide stretches of open fields and cliffs overlooking the ocean. Maui is also home to Haleakala National Park which is a mountaintop overlook on top of the clouds, and absolute must if you want to see all that Maui has to offer.
Big Island is one of my personal favorites (I may be biased since this is the island that I call home). Big Island has so much to offer, from black sand beaches to rolling green hills. Big Island is also home to Volcano National Park where you can witness actual lava flow! So cool. Big Island is also home to gorgeous beaches, volcanic rock cliffs with crashing waves, lush forests, and gorgeous mountain views!
Molokai and Lanai are the smallest and least populated of the major islands. They both have incredible adventures to embark on and lots of rich Hawaiian culture within them. They both are relatively untouched and have incredibly beautiful landscapes to offer!
This is huge!! On elopement days, your vendor team becomes your witnesses for your marriage, your bridal party, and the people that you spend the biggest day of your life with!
As an elopement photographer I love being able to connect with my couples before any official booking even happens, which is why I offer a free consultation call with all of my couple’s before sending anything official over. I love being more than just a “vendor”, I want to be a friend celebrating with you on your day! Your photographer is usually the person that you’re planning your entire day with as well, most of the time elopements don’t have coordinators or planners, so it’s just you and your photographer planning your dream day! So whether that’s me or someone else, make sure that you’re hiring photographer’s and videographers that you love and are excited to spend the day with!
I also cannot recommend enough hiring someone who's work you love! Photos and videos are the only thing that you’ll have left of your big day after the day is over, so make sure it’s coming from someone that you trust and who’s work and style you’ll love even 50 years from now!
Some other wedding vendors to consider are florals, hair and makeup, and your officiant! These things are also ones that we can work on and find together during your planning process!
One of the best things about eloping in Hawaii is the lack of seasons that happen over here! Because it’s almost just a constant summer, you really can elope at any time! The only time that I would consider avoiding is December-February, because it is technically the rainy season! But with that being said even in the “rainy season” there are parts of each island that get little to no rain year round, so no matter your date let’s start chatting about your elopement and find a date that will work for you guys and the weather!
Kualoa Regional Park has a beautiful green mountain backdrop and long fields of green grass, as well as white sand beaches along the shore! It really is the best of both worlds if you can’t decide between the lush green and the beach for your elopement!
The Waihee Ridge Trail is the most gorgeous trail, filled with lush forests and rolling hills with red dirt trails weaving in and out of tropical greenery, If you’re looking for an adventurous day filled with hiking and gorgeous views, this is the spot for you!
This beach is so unique and absolutely incredible. It’s a black sand beach lining the coast of the most blue waters, lined with greenery and palm trees. There’s so much to do and see in this area of the island!
You just can’t beat waimea canyon in Kauai, it’s the most incredible spot with gorgeous views, the colors of the mountains literally change as the sun sets and it really is just the most gorgeous place for a sunset or sunrise elopement!
A permit is basically just a piece of paper from the government telling you that you have permission to get married in a certain location. So why is this necessary? Permits are important because they are a way for the state to take care of and protect the land! When you get a permit you’re required to follow the rules of leave no trace. Leave no trace basically just means that you’re promising to leave the land the way that you found it. Some people, a lot of the time without realizing it, will trample through greenery and wildlife and completely destroy what was untouched beforehand! It also means you won’t leave anything behind after your elopement, such as flowers or confetti or anything like that. Permits just ensure that everyone is aware of the rules of the location, and that the government knows when and where you’ll be for your elopement.
Permits can also benefit the couple! A lot of the time when you get a permit the office will ask for a time that you’ll be at that location, this is so that they can ensure that you’ll be the only couple eloping there on that day! With that being said we can’t block off any trails or stop the public from entering, but it’s nice to know that no other elopements will be happening in that location!
Now that we know what permits are, how the heck do we get one? Here’s a couple ways to get permits for different locations. If you’re wanting to elope on the beach, you’ll need a wiki permit. If you’re wanting to get married at a state park you’ll need a special use permit. With all of that being said, there are some locations on the islands that don’t allow elopements. So make sure you’re communicating with your vendors and doing your research on locations!
Still feel lost? That's okay! Feel free to reach out and we can go through everything together!
Parasailing on Oahu is so cool! When you parasail from Waikiki you can see the entire coast line, diamond head and the entire city from the sky. If you’re interested in parasailing in your lifetime, this is the place to do it.
If you’re in Maui, you HAVE to do the road to Hana. It’s so beautiful and it can be a full day adventure or just be a couple hours! It’s the most beautiful drive filled with waterfalls. Hiking trails and coastal views that are 100% worth the windy roads.
Doing an atv tour through the jungle of kauai is SO FUN. So many movies have been filmed in areas on Kauai, and a lot of the time the tours take you through exact places where movies like Jurassic Park were filmed! It’s so cool to feel like you’re just in a giant green screen, and riding through the mud and forest is so fun!
I cannot recommend the manta ray dive enough, this is one of the only places in the world that you can do something like this and it’s so cool! You take a boat out just after sunset and swim in the ocean with gigantic manta rays, it’s the most incredible experience and even if you think you’re afraid of the ocean at night (like I did) just do it, trust me.
I hope you found this guide helpful in your planning process for your hawaiian adventure! This really just covers the basics, there's so many more incredible locations and activities to do and see on these amazing islands that I just didn't have room to mention but I would LOVE to talk to you and give you alllll my knowledge of this incredible place!
So let's get to chatting and create the day of your dreams!