Tips On Eloping In Hawaii

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Couple on beach in Hawaii

Wedding planning stress got you down? Is the idea of eloping in Hawaii starting to seem like a no-brainer? If you answered “yes” to both of those, then start practicing your “aloha” and read on.

couple embracing on the beach looking at the camera

Caption || Natalie Brown Photography

First off, a big congrats on your recent engagement! Your partner got down on one knee and asked you to be theirs forever. Ever since then, your world has been nothing but a blur of champagne toasts and heartfelt congratulations. It all seemed utterly blissful… that is, until you got into the planning process. All of a sudden, you’re bombarded with ideas of venues, flower choices, linen colors, cocktail hours, wedding party gifts—the list is endless. That’s enough to drive even the most laid-back couples to their breaking point.

So here’s a novel idea: why not just skip the whole wedding and opt for eloping in Hawaii? The entire day is about celebrating the love you and your fiancé(e) have for each other, so how about you forget the stress-inducing formalities, run off to Hawaii, and exchange your vows under the glow of the sunset—just you and your spouse-to-be?

The whole concept is starting to sound pretty good, right? Let us help you work out the details on eloping in Hawaii.

Bride in pink dress and groom holding hands walking on beach

Photo Credit || Mariah Milan

Bride in pink dress and groom wearing green garland kissing on beach

Photo Credit || Mariah Milan

The 411 On Eloping

An elopement is when a couple decides to forgo the traditionally large ceremony and reception and instead opt for an intimate and private vow exchange with just the two of them. There are a million reasons why couples embrace eloping in Hawaii: throwing a large wedding is stressful and, let’s not forget, incredibly expensive; you may want a more intimate celebration with your partner; this may be your second marriage or your families may not get along, etc.

Whatever the reason, the choice to elope should be yours and your fiancé(e)’s alone. Don’t let family and friends or tradition stand in the way of your dream wedding. Plus, when you elope in Hawaii, it kind of doubles as your honeymoon, which is a huge bonus in our book.

Just because you choose to elope, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t still set up a registry for your new home together. Friends and family may still want to buy you a wedding gift to celebrate your nuptials, and at Zola you can register for not only beautiful housewares but travel gift certificates (getting to an island requires an airplane, folks) and cash funds for that Hawaiian post-elopement honeymoon we’re already jealous of.

Husband and wife holding hands by a pool with a sunset beach behind them

Photo Credit || Handlebar Studios

Getting A Marriage License

We asked Hawaii wedding planner Carolee Higashino, President/Owner of White Orchid Wedding, to give us some insight into how couples can obtain a marriage license to make their elopement legal.

“Marriage licensing is easy. There are online license applications available through the State of Hawaii Department of Health. A personal meeting is required, however, with the agent on the island and the current fee is $70.00 payable in cash. You will be issued a live document good for 30 days.”

Awesome news: getting your marriage license seems like a piece of (wedding) cake. Just be sure you bring the proper legal documentation with you, including two forms of identification.

Having A Witness

Hawaii law does not require that you have any witnesses present at the time of your nuptials.  However, you will have to have a licensed Hawaiian officiant perform your ceremony.

We “witnessed” the beautiful elopement of Tracy & Elliot through the work of their fabulous Hawaiian wedding photographer, Mariah Milan. Take a peek and get inspired below.

Wedding officiant playing ukulele with bride and groom dancing nearby on beach in Hawaii

Photo Credit || Mariah Milan

Groom kissing bride's hand on rocky beach in Hawaii

Photo Credit || Mariah Milan

Groom playing ukulele to bride on Hawaiian beach

Photo Credit || Mariah Milan

Bride in pink gown and groom kissing on rocky beach in Hawaii

Photo Credit || Mariah Milan

You Don’t Have To Go It Alone

Just because you’ve chosen to make it an intimate affair with just you and your partner doesn’t mean you have to forgo all of the traditional elements of a large wedding. Hawaii wedding planners are certainly not new to the idea of elopements on the island, so of course they are going to be willing to lend their expertise to your intimate “I dos.”

Despite the small scale of your affair, you’re still going to need a venue and/or accommodations,  an officiant, and possibly transportation, florals, and most certainly a photographer. And what if you want to do some celebrating as newlyweds? Your planner will know the best local spots to toast to your new journey as a married couple.

Woman in pink gown and man kissing on rocks by the water

Photo Credit || Mariah Milan

There truly isn’t a more romantic spot for you and your fiancé to say “I do” than Hawaii. So book your flight and fill out that marriage application because at the end of the day, you’re going to be marrying your best friend, and the only two people you need to make that happen are you and your partner.

Featured Photo Credit || Mariah Milan

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