Thinking about eloping to Hawaii? Are you wondering how to plan an elopement to gorgeous Hawaii? I have been a Hawaii wedding & elopement photographer for 17 years and I’ve been to most of the islands of Hawaii. I can help!
Maui is my favorite, and it’s where I called home for 27 years. Since moving to Oregon very recently, I have been helping couples plan their elopements in Hawaii. In this article, I’ll help share some knowledge and insider information to assist in the planning process. PS. I can also help with eloping in Oregon! Both are hugely popular destinations.
Typical weddings come with a ton of options, as do smaller ceremonies like an elopement wedding. There are numerous check-lists you can find concerning costs and lists of things you need to plan for, but the lesser of these is elopements. If you’re wanting to elope, you’re either anxiously wondering how or where to start. The first thing you need to do is decide which island you want to escape to.
From the instant you started dreaming about eloping to one of the Hawaiian islands, you most likely already knew which one, but where exactly do you begin? I think the first and hardest thing to do is choose which island. The majority of couples who get in touch with me usually have a difficult time deciding between them. Hawaii is made up of over 100 islands, and of the eight main islands that make up the Aloha State, only seven are inhabited. Once you decide what type of landscape you would like to explore plus the particular kind of activities you’re seeking, it’ll be much easier. Every island has something different to offer.
Elopements on the Island of Kauai
Does exploring the Garden Isle’s majestic red canyons, walking along the shore, or taking a boat around the Na Pali coastline appeal? Have you fantasized about images of the two of you enjoying a view so epic you will never forget the sense of sitting on a high cliff surveying the seemingly endless Pacific? Maybe you want your elopement to be on a sailboat with the coast melting into the horizon while you exchange vows. You should most certainly choose Kauai in this scenario. Kauai is definitely for the adventurous type! Kauai elopements are known to be magical, romantic and unforgettable.
Oahu Destination Elopements
Do you enjoy nature but also feel a sense of magnetism when it comes to urban surroundings? Do you want to elope with a dramatic mountain range on one side and the ocean on the other? Maybe you’re interested in going out on the town following a beautiful hike or getting married next to a waterfall? Or perhaps you’re really into surfing and feel the need to rally the famous North Shore surf. If this is the case, choose Oahu! It’s possibly the best blend of adventure and creature-comfort you’ll find in Hawaii.
Elope to the Big Island, Hawaii
Looking for some down-right crazy views from the top of Maunakea? Maybe you’re curious about volcanoes and calderas…Wild Ohia trees and Hawaiian hawks? Or if you’re interested in a secluded beach wedding in Kona, I love weddings at Airport Beach! Maybe diverse towns and a variety of beaches are your thing? Whatever your fancy, you’ll certainly want to travel to the Big Island of Hawaii to elope, where you have your choice of white, black and even green sand! Papakōlea, Green Sand Beach, is one of four places in the world where the sand is green! If you are thinking about visiting here while on the Big Island, you should have a look at our article on visiting Green Sand beach. You can go from deserted fields of hardened lava, all the way to extreme peaks, or even a treehouse (my bucket-list). You can head for the town of Volcano, a lush tropical forest, the opposite side of the island. The Big Island of Hawaii is the largest (still growing) island in the chain where you can say your marriage vows while camping along the ocean or stay in a variety of quaint towns.
Eloping to Molokai & Lanai
Molokai & Lanai are less frequented than the sister islands, but there are options for more adventurous couples who desire an experience a tad less traditional. Molokai provides a feeling of peacefulness with the Halawa Valley being quite a sight to see. Lanai is a bit ethereal, and best discovered by jeep in my experience. If you’re in search of a tropical getaway, you’ll find a certain allure and elegance about Lanai and all it has to offer with 18 miles of shoreline dotted with remote beaches. Smooth white sand and rolling blue waves abound. Lana’i looks like what most of Hawaii must have looked like before it became so developed. They both are fantastic choices if you’re looking for something a bit different!
Maui Destination Elopements
Maybe you love the idea of diversity but want a little less driving than on the Big Island. Or maybe you simply love road-tripping and hiking with your babe? Hiking the bamboo forest? Swimming with tropical fish? If funky surf towns appeal to you, but Honolulu doesn’t think Maui. Maui is home to one of the most breathtaking road journeys you can find anywhere in the world; the infamous road to Hana. I am well-versed with Maui if you’re interested in planning an elopement here! Renting a fun car or van is the way to go. Van-life is popular and most cost-efficient, especially if you want to see the whole island without spending your entire day driving back and forth from your condo or hotel. The Road to Hana has it all with the most bridges, waterfalls, and sharp curves of any road in the world. You’ll find beaches and forests to take photos along the way. This rambling adventure is a great way to explore the island and can provide an interesting range of options for your elopement. And similarly to the Big Island, Maui has a red sand beach, but be prepared for nudists.
What time of year is best to elope to Hawaii?
Now that you’ve hopefully narrowed down which island you’d like to elope to, you’ll want to consider the time of year. It’s a common misconception that Hawaii is always warm with ideal weather. Here’s an example: on Maui, you might have blue sky and sunshine on the south shore, but rain and wind on the North shore, a mere 30 minutes apart! The best advice I can offer for planning a Hawaii elopement is to embrace it all as part of the experience. It’s said that if it rains on your wedding day, it’s a blessing. And clouds can add so much richness, depth, and mood to the moment. Be ready for anything, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Typically, the summers on Maui are sunnier, however, they are very warm and humid. In the summertime, be prepared to sweat like you just stepped into a sauna. Sunrise ceremonies are my favorite during the summer, and there tend to be fewer people on the beaches early in the day. You’ll also find some of the more popular destinations less crowded. I may be biased, but winter is the best time to visit Hawaii. It will be a little cooler and way less humid. April through October are warmer months, sunnier with July and August being likely the hottest. Our rainiest months are November to March, but if you’re okay with the prospect of rain it, and it often passes quickly, your destination elopement experience will be something you’ll never forget! Just be careful in the ocean if you aren’t that great of a swimmer. Shore-break can catch you by surprise and you don’t want to spend your precious time in the ER!
With every elopement package, I offer discounts to travel fees to Maui because my family is there. I’ve also developed the best relationships with my favorite vendors to choose from. Whether it’s for lei & flowers, officiants, caterers, or ukulele musicians to serenade you along with the sound of the waves rolling in, I promise to be the expert that you need to guide you through the ins-n-outs of choosing what you want, in a place where you’ll make promises to love each other forever. Every photo I capture will take you back to that special moment, frozen in time. And don’t forget you’ll need a marriage license, $60 application fee, and a $5 administration fee.
If you should have any questions, I am happy to answer any that come my way. Many logistics need special attention when you plan an elopement to Hawaii, which is why I always include planning services in every one of my elopement or wedding packages.
Fill out my contact form and we’ll get the ball rollin’!