How to Elope in Hawaii

If you’re considering eloping in the islands of Hawaii, this blog post will help walk you through the process of how to elope in Hawaii!

Hawaii is a gorgeous and unique state, unlike anywhere else! While the state of Hawaii has eight main islands, the four most visited islands are Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.

Not sure if you’d like to elope in Hawaii? Check out this blog post with some of the reasons to consider a Hawaii elopement!

Scroll down to learn more about how to have your elopement or intimate wedding in Hawaii!

how to elope in hawaii

1. Pick your island!

Each of the Hawaiian islands is unique, and I recommend selecting your island as one of the first steps in planning your elopement or intimate wedding.

If you’re not sure which one to pick, here’s some information about the four main islands. Each of these islands have amazing beaches and epic hikes!

  • Oahu (aka “The Gathering Place”)

    • Oahu is the most populated of the Hawaiian islands, with nearly one million residents, and half of the tourists to Hawaii landing on this island during their trips.

    • The size of Oahu is 597 square miles, with approximately 1,600 people per square mile.

    • Areas such as Honolulu and Waikiki are very busy with lots of nightlife and shopping, while the windward side and North Shore are much more laid back and less busy areas of the island.

  • Maui (aka “The Valley Isle”)

    • Maui is the second largest of the islands (after The Big Island), and it is far less busy than Oahu.

    • The size of Maui is 727 square miles, with approximately 200 people per square mile.

    • Maui has much more of a small-town feel to it, and there is a wide variety of landscapes including waterfalls and a mountain that reaches above the clouds.

  • Kauai (aka “The Garden Isle”)

    • Kauai is the least developed of the four main Hawaiian islands.

    • The size of Kauai is 552 square miles, with approximately 130 people per square mile.

    • This island is very lush, and it can be easier to find a secluded spot here than some of the other islands. One of the rainiest spots in the world is on Kauai (Mount Waialeale).

  • Hawai’i (aka “The Big Island”)

    • The Big Island is large enough to fit all of the other Hawaiian islands inside of it!

    • The size of the Big Island is 4,028 square miles (and continuing to grow due to the active volcano on the island!), with approximately 45 people per square mile.

    • This island is very diverse, with one of the driest spots in all of Hawaii (Kona) and one of the rainiest (Hilo).

More information about each of the Hawaiian islands can be found here.

I provide all of my couples with custom location scouting to help them find the perfect spot for their day, and you can check out some location ideas for your Hawaii elopement or intimate wedding here.

2. Narrow down the time of year and time of day.

There is truly no bad time to visit Hawaii! During November – March, there tends to be more rain on the islands, but this is also Humpback Whale breeding season, which means you’re likely to see baby whales in the ocean!

The least expensive times of year to fly to Hawaii are typically April through May, and again in September and October. But this does vary quite a bit. I recommend checking out google flights and signing up for a service like Scott’s Cheap Flights to get alerted to the best flight deals! If you travel often, a travel card like the Capital One Venture Card (my personal favorite!) is amazing for the travel rewards.

For the time of your elopement or intimate wedding, I cannot recommend sunrise enough! It is the least crowded time of day, with slightly cooler and more comfortable weather, and the sun isn’t as intense early in the day (no one wants to get sunburnt on their wedding day!). If getting up early isn’t your thing, you can also plan your elopement or intimate wedding around sunrise, but keep in mind that there will be less secluded options at that time of day.

how to elope in hawaii

3. Marriage license and permit.

The process of getting legally married in Hawaii is relatively simple, and it is open to anyone (not only United States residents). To get started, you fill out a marriage license application here, then both of you will need to meet with a marriage license agent once you’ve arrived on the islands. The total cost is $65.

You will also need an officiant who is registered with the state of Hawaii. While I cannot perform your complete ceremony (as I’ll be busy photographing!), I am legally ordained and can sign your marriage license as an officiant in the state of Hawaii. If you’re wanting to privately exchange vows without an officiant walking you through a formal ceremony, this could be a great option for you as I don’t charge any additional fees for this service. If you’d prefer a more formal ceremony or someone to walk you through your vow exchange, I can recommend some great local officiants.

You also have the option of getting legally married at home and then having your elopement or wedding in Hawaii. The date on your marriage license does not determine your anniversary date – you do!

The other consideration is the permit required for your location. The cost varies based on the location you pick, and weddings are not permitted at every spot on the islands. It helps to hire a photographer or planner who is familiar with the area and can help you with all of the permit requirements!

how to elope in hawaii

4. Hire vendors.

I always recommend starting with hiring your photographer as many (including myself!) will also assist with location scouting, vendor recommendations, and timeline/activity suggestions.

Some other vendors to consider hiring for your elopement or intimate wedding are a planner, videographer, florist, officiant, or private chef (many couples prefer a private reception at their Airbnb opposed to a restaurant!)

how to elope in hawaii

No matter where you choose to elope in Hawaii, I’m here to help guide you through the process. There are endless amounts of epic locations in the Hawaiian islands, and I would love to help you pick the perfect location and find a unique spot for the best day of your life!

Let’s create the wedding day of your dreams!

Scroll down for more images of a gorgeous elopement on Maui!

x Brittany

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