The Ultimate Hawaii Elopement Guide

Tempted to steal away with your loved one to tie the knot in Hawaii? We get it — big weddings are not for everyone. Whether it's preference, budget restraints, or a spontaneous decision, Hawaii elopement weddings offer intimacy, excitement, and romance. Plus, by picking the perfect destination (read: Hawaii), you can experience a beautiful start to your marriage. 

Eloping in Hawaii offers a unique and intimate way to celebrate your love amidst stunning natural beauty. From legal requirements to choosing the perfect location, this guide provides some details to plan your dream elopement in the Hawaiian islands.


Why Elope in Hawaii?

  • Breathtaking scenery: Hawaii boasts a variety of picturesque landscapes, from pristine beaches to lush jungles and dramatic volcanoes.
  • Year-round sunshine: Enjoy beautiful tropical weather throughout the year, perfect for an outdoor ceremony at one of these Instagrammable spots in Hawaii.
  • Romantic atmosphere: The islands' serene vibe provides a romantic backdrop for your special day.
  • Unique locations: Choose from beaches, waterfalls, lava tubes, and more for a truly memorable experience.
  • Unique cultural experience: Your celebration, albeit small, can contain some of the rich culture and heritage that Hawaii has to offer. Check out our events page for lessons on lei-making and hula dancing — both appropriate for your Hawaiian celebration. 
  • Delicious food: From huli-huli chicken to succulent kalua pig slow-cooked and shaved ice, each dish is fresh, seasonal, and often a celebration of local produce that's bursting with flavor.


How to Elope in Hawaii — Legally!

Marriage License

  • Complete your online marriage license application by applying online through the Hawaii State Department of Health website
  • Schedule an appointment with a marriage license agent upon arrival in Hawaii with your valid ID and application fee. 
  • The marriage license is valid for 30 days and can be used immediately after issuance. 
  • Hire an official performer, approved by the State of Hawaii. 

Did you know? Same-sex marriage is legal in Hawaii due to the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013. You may also want to explore these diverse LGBTQ+ spots in Hawaii.

Permits and Permissions

  • Beach weddings: Obtain a beach permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
  • State parks: Check with the Hawaii Division of State Parks for necessary permits.


Planning Your Hawaii Elopement

Several wedding planning companies offer Hawaii elopement packages since this is a popular destination for sneaking away to get hitched. Do your research to find the best match for your needs. 

Here are some top tips and suggestions from the experts:



  • Beaches: Waikiki Beach, Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach, North Shore of Oahu
  • Waterfalls: Manoa Falls, Wailua Falls, Akaka Falls
  • Volcanic sites: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park
  • Dramatic landscapes: Kokee State Park, Waimea Canyon State Park


Weather Considerations

The weather is often pristine all year round. In January winter, the average temperature is 64°F (18°C) with rainfall common at night. Otherwise, expect warm days with summer as the peak season, despite its storms and hurricanes. 

  • Summer: This is the busiest season, but you can always find a quiet location. It's the best time for snorkeling and diving, so why not exchange your vows underwater?
  • Fall: Low season and more affordable than others. If you love hiking, exploring, and being in nature, fall may be the perfect time for your Hawaii elopement. 
  • Winter: Best for surfer couples who want to hit some giant waves after their vows. 
  • Spring: Much like fall, spring is low season and will be less crowded. Explore hiking trails to some waterfall locations for intense greenery and beauty.


Decor and Setup

  • Minimalist approach: Utilize the natural beauty of Hawaii, adding simple touches like tropical flowers and tiki torches.
  • Support local vendors: Hire local florists, decorators, and food vendors — even if all you need is a picnic.
  • Photography and videography:
    • Hire professionals: Choose experienced photographers and videographers who know the best spots for stunning shots.
    • Golden hour: Plan your ceremony around sunrise or sunset for the most beautiful lighting.


Hoʻomaikaʻi on Your Hawaii Elopement!

Eloping in Hawaii combines romance, adventure, and breathtaking beauty, making it the perfect destination for an intimate wedding. Unique locations, tropical weather, welcoming locals, and more, make Hawaii a destination that you'll want to revisit for every anniversary to follow. 

Start planning your elopement today and let Hawaii be a part of your love story. Visit our Waikiki Resort blog for more tips to make your elopement the best vacation yet!