The Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Hawaii

bride and groom kissing while eloping in Hawaii

Thinking about eloping in Hawaii? We may be biased, but Hawaii is one of THE most insane places to elope! Eloping in Hawaii is the perfect option for those couples that love adventure and want to plan a unique day that’s all about them. If you’re ready to say “I do” on the beach, at a waterfall, or on the top of a mountain, Hawaii is the place for you!

The only hard part about eloping in Hawaii is how much information you’ll find on Google. That might even be how you found this guide. It can be difficult to narrow it all down! Rest assured, this guide is going to answer most, if not all of your questions. If you go with Wild + Free for officiating, you can think of us as your Hawaii experts: We’ve been to all of the accessible Hawaii islands and know the best secluded places for you to exchange your vows. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together the most comprehensive guide to make it even easier for you to plan the perfect elopement. 

bride and groom on a hike while eloping in Hawaii

Where to elope in Hawaii

Hawaii has four major islands, and each island offers something totally different and unique. Here is a glimpse at what each island has to offer:

  • Oahu (Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Honolulu): Oahu is the most populated island, and offers a little bit of everything. Expect white, sandy beaches, accessible lookout spots, hikes for all levels, and lots of great restaurants and shopping. 
  • Maui (Kahului Airport, Kahului): This island has more of a wild side. There are some super easily accessible waterfalls tucked away, and the island is well-known for the Road to Hana, an insanely gorgeous drive along the coastline. 
  • Kauai (Lihue International Airport, Lihue): Kauai is the least populated major island, and it’s THE spot for amazing adventures. Explore the Napali Coast or hike through Waimea Canyon. 
  • The Big Island (Kona International Airport, Kalaoa): There’s sooo much to do on the Big Island, and you won’t find this type of adventure anywhere else. Green sand beaches, epic cliffside lookouts, an active volcano… this island has EVERYTHING. 

Getting your marriage license

Getting your Hawaii marriage license is easy. You can pay the $65 application fee online, but you will both need to appear in front of a marriage license agent when you land in Hawaii. You will need to bring paperwork that includes your birth certificate or a valid ID, though you do not need to be a U.S. citizen. Once your license is approved, you have 30 days to get married.  After your ceremony, we file your license for you. You can expect to have your official marriage certificate mailed to you in 4-6 weeks.

bride and groom eloping in hawaii on a beach

Who can marry you when eloping in Hawaii?

Picking the right officiant for your Hawaii elopment is key! There are different ways to tie the knot during your elopement, and it’s important to customize your ceremony to you two and your love. Only an officiant who is registered with the state of Hawaii can make things legal. If you want to have a friend perform your ceremony but still want to make it official, we offer a “Just The Papers” service just for that purpose. And if you want to have a full ceremony on the beach, or say “I Do” at the top of a hike, we have services for that, too!

brides on the beach eloping in hawaiiWhat time of year should you elope?

Hawaii is gorgeous year-round! The most noticeable difference in our weather will be during our rainy season. So if you want *almost* guaranteed sunny skies, you should plan around our seasons. From November to March, expect rain. On the other hand, July and August are Hawaii’s peak months with the best weather. If you want to spot whales, plan to visit between November and May. 

Things to do in Hawaii

Don’t just plan an elopement – plan a whole elopement experience! Here are some of our favorite things to do in Hawaii:

  • The Nāpali Coast (Kauai)
  • Green Sand Beach (Big Island)
  • Road to Hana (Maui)
  • The Lanikai Pillbox Hike (Oahu)
  • Waimea Bay (Oahu)
  • Night diving or snorkeling with Manta Rays (Big Island)
  • Molokini Snorkel Tour (Maui)
  • Waimea Canyon (Kauai)

(Read more of our fav things to do while eloping in Hawaii here)

Which other vendors should you consider?

Are you looking for something more low-key, or do you plan to mix a traditional wedding day with elements of an elopement? Aside from your photographer, you should consider hiring a florist, hair & make-up artists, and any rentals you may need, like picnic set-ups. We are always happy to help you plan your day, and when you book with us, you get access to our list of preferred vendors who we trust! 

Need more help planning your elopement? 

Planning your elopement from thousands of miles away can be stressful! We are here to help you. If you are set on eloping in Hawaii, let’s talk details and see how we can make your dream day happen! 

(All photos in this blog were taken by Chelsea Stratso.)

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