So, you have decided to elope! Yay! Hawaii is a stunning location for elopements. I could be a little biased on which island is the best as an Oahu Elopement Photographer, but really, all of the islands are amazing. I’m here to guide you to say “I Do” on the beautiful islands in Hawaii. Eloping in Hawaii is a thrilling adventure once in a lifetime. Choosing to get married in paradise will make honeymooning even more exciting. So keep reading to learn more about how to elope in Hawaii by an Oahu Elopement Photographer!
Your Ultimate Guide on How to Elope in Hawaii By Your Oahu Elopement Photographer!
When Should You Elope In Hawaii?
First things first – your date! So, when is the best time of year to elope? Well, the weather is practically beautiful all year long, and that includes winter!
Hawaii has two seasons: summer (kau) from May to October and winter (hooilo) from November to April. The average daytime temperature is 85° F (29.4° C), and during wintertime is 78° (25.6° C). Rain is different on each island, and from time to time, it will be raining on one side of the island, not the other. So you really can’t go wrong with what time of year you elope in Hawaii!
Hawaii is a popular location for year-round travel and certainly has a lot of perfect days. Weekdays will always be less crowded than weekends, for sure. But by all means, if you are in love with a weekend, go for it! Just keep in mind the crowd for the location.
I always recommend getting married with the golden light from sunrise or sunset. However, some locations may require an earlier start than a golden hour. It’s so important to have your photographer have knowledge of what locations require an earlier start and when the sunrise/sunset is each time of year.
Obtaining a Marriage License
Getting a marriage license is very easy, and Hawaii allows you to get married on the same day. You don’t need any witnesses, but only licensed agents can marry couples, so make sure to head over to an agent as soon as you reach the islands. Appointments with a licensed agent are available on weekdays, so plan accordingly. You will also need an officiant, and they will be the ones to file your documents with the state. Marriage licenses in Hawaii have a $60 application fee plus a $5 administration fee.
When you apply for your marriage license, you’ll need to have a valid ID! Passports, driver’s licenses, Birth Certificates (Birth Certificates in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified translation), and Military identification cards are all acceptable. There are no state residence or U.S. citizenship requirements! Please note that if you’ve been married before, proof of divorce is needed.
You can complete the online application here. Make sure to write or print out your authorization code!
Top Locations to Elope in Hawaii
Hawaii is made up of 8 major islands, and they all have unique features. Out of the eight islands, you can visit six of them! When you picture your wedding day, are you on the beach, on the mountainside, on the side of a cliff, or perhaps in the beautiful Hawaiian jungle? There are a lot of locations that are easily accessible and equally epic!
- Oahu Elopement: This is where the capital of Hawaii is: Honolulu. Oahu is also home to Waikiki, the North Shore, Pearl Harbor, and is most frequently known for Jurassic Park (Kualoa Ranch). This Hawaiian island is probably one of the busiest and most populated islands. Oahu offers many great hikes and food.
- Maui Elopement: Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. A fun fact is Maui only has two volcanoes. Home to Haleakalā National Park and the famous Road to Hana.
- Kauai Elopement: If I may say, Kauai is one of my favorite islands. It’s definitely a lot quieter than the other popular islands. If you’re looking for a full, adventurous elopement, this is the island for you. You could take a helicopter or boat to your wedding destination. Kauai is home to Waimea Canyon and the epic and iconic Na Pali Coast.
- Hawaii “Big Island” Elopement: The Big Island offers diversity in backdrops and weather. If you want some snow, desert, jungle, or beachside, you will find it all here. Some fun things to do on the island are seeing an active lava flow, hiking, and doing tons of snorkeling. This is also home to Hawai’i Volcano National Park and Punalu’u black sand beach.
- Molokai: This would be the most authentic Hawaiian island and, ironically, the least visited (tourist-wise). Molokai offers quiet and empty beaches—the perfect island for those who want a super down-to-earth elopement.
- Lanai Elopement: This would be one of the smallest Hawaiian islands. Lanai has red rocks like the Garden of The Gods! This island is known for its luxurious resorts. For example, some of the fun things to do here are going four-wheel-driving, watching the spinner dolphins, and even seeking out the abandoned shipwrecks.
Easiest Ways To Get To Hawaii for Your Elopement
There are six airports that are easily accessible to visitors!
- Oahu, Hawaii: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport – HNL
- Maui, Hawaii: Kahului Airport – OGG
- Kauai, Hawaii: Lihue International Airport – LIH
- Hawaii “Big” Island, Hawaii: Kona International Airport – KOA and Hilo International Airport – ITO
- Molokai, Hawaii: Molokai Airport – MKK
- Lanai, Hawaii: Lanai Airport – LNY
What Activities Should You Do When You’re In Hawaii For Your Elopement?
Eloping in Hawaii is an experience in itself. But the experiences are really endless. There are experiences for all levels of adventure!
- Hikes: The islands offer short and long hikes. Hiking early will give you the best private and secluded ceremony options. Also, your photographer can guide you on the best hikes on the island!
- Kayak: In Oahu, “Chinaman’s Hat” is a tiny island that you could kayak over to and have your ceremony.
- Yacht rental: Have a private ceremony and celebration right in the middle of the ocean! Imagine the sunset as your backdrop, and then celebrate the night over the ocean. This is a great option for privacy and intimacy. And the best part is it could be just you two or bring some family and friends with you.
- Picnic: Hawaii is known for some epic picnics. Hire a private chef or a company that offers full-service picnics. Picnics can be set up remotely anywhere, and they are catered to your liking. Lastly, it makes for beautiful photos while enjoying your meal.
- Horseback riding: Take a stroll on the beach and through some of the jungles with your significant other.
- Surfing: Lastly, consider jumping in the water after eloping. If the beach is your favorite place, why not end your elopement in the ocean?
How To Elope In Hawaii | Oahu Elopement Photographer
Congratulations! You have made it this far, and I’m sure you’re even more excited to elope in Hawaii! If you are looking for an Oahu Elopement Photographer, stop looking, and let’s chat! Helping you create the best elopement day is so fun for me. Need vendor recommendations, help to narrow down your locations, or perhaps a recommendation on activities? I’m here to help you with it all. I can’t wait to hear from you two. Let’s start the elopement booking process.
For more Hawaii wedding content, check out this blog on Top 5 Wedding Venues in Oahu!