8 Simple Ideas For Your Small Hawaii Wedding

General, Elopement Tips & Advice,
3 min read Feb 5, 2020

If you’re dreaming of having a small Hawaii wedding surrounded by a few close friends and family, you’re certainly not alone. Crystal clear waters, endless beaches, and epic views of the islands are just a few reasons why having an intimate and small Hawaii wedding might appeal to you (and, if we’re being honest, the rest of the population). And, while you can get away with the bare minimum in terms of style and decor (this is Hawaii we’re talking about!), there are some easy ideas to take your island-style wedding from good to downright gorgeous.

Ditch the veil

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a whimsical veil for your big day, but there are some lovely tropical alternatives to make your day really pop. Consider a lush floral crown with native flowers, or jewelry that complements your island attire instead.

Wear leis for your ceremony


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Leis are a ceremony staple if you’re considering a small Hawaii wedding or elopement. It not only adds to the look of your big day, but the lei ceremony is a traditional and special part of Hawaiian culture, too. And, since lei are a symbol of love and respect, it adds an additional layer of sentimental touch to your wedding day.

Incorporate tropical flowers

Lei aside, having bright, tropical floral elements at your Hawaiian ceremony adds a perfect pop of color to your beach elopement. Hues of yellows and oranges mixed with green foliage go perfectly against any backdrop — especially the bright blue colors of the ocean.

Opt for colorful suits

When you’re planning a small Hawaii wedding, choosing bold colors for your big day shouldn’t just stop at the bride’s bouquet. Grooms can get a color upgrade for their big day by buying or renting a boldly colored suit. Whether you’re going for brighter jewel tones or deeper, more saturated colors, the groom’s suit can completely elevate the look and feel of your big day.

Wear a non-traditional wedding dress

We can’t let the grooms have all the fun: brides can ditch white and ivory and instead choose from a more colorful palette. If you’re a bride who loves to play around with color, don’t feel like you have to be tied to the traditional white wedding dress. You’re already going bold with a Hawaiian wedding, why not punch up your elopement dress a bit, too? A patterned maxi dress or a colorful tulle skirt will look beyond beautiful on a sandy beach.

Go island style

If you’re wanting a small Hawaii wedding that’s even more laid-back, there’s nothing that can bring more aloha to your day than island-style attire. But trust us: this isn’t your grandma’s Tommy Bahama tee (though it can be, if you want!). There’s a huge — and we mean huge — amount of island-style shirts that are incredibly stylish, and wearing one for your wedding day shows that your day is meant to be relaxing and stress-free. Now, doesn’t that sound tempting?!

Incorporate fun and easy decor

The beauty of having a Hawaiian ceremony is that there’s virtually nothing you really need to do to make your ceremony space beautiful. But there are definitely a few easy details that can help to punch up your day. Incorporating popular tropical plants into your wedding scheme is easy and inexpensive, and are guaranteed to look perfect for your photos. Similarly, adding fun signage to your ceremony space is an affordable decor option which also doubles as a special keepsake long after your day is over.

“Trash” your dress

Look, we get it: weddings are expensive, and wedding gowns can be just as pricey. But if you’re not opposed to getting sandy or splashing in the ocean waves, consider talking to your photographer about “trashing the dress.” This means that you and your partner can have a little fun without worrying what happens to your dress. The photos always end up looking incredible, and many brides find that having photos from those moments were more important than keeping a dress that they’ll wear only once pristine. A session like this isn’t for everyone, but if you’re not opposed to it, you’ll end up with the most memorable photos from your small wedding that you can cherish for long after your gown has dried off.

General Elopement Tips & Advice
Written by Karen Norian

Karen Norian is an elopement photographer and has photographed over a hundred elopements. Karen has also worked as an elopement planner for Simply Eloped. She's been quoted in the New York Times, Brides, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Yahoo, and more.