having all of this information at the ready will help make you feel less stressed and more focused on what really counts

How to Elope in Hawaii

4 min read Dec 20, 2019

If you’ve been dreaming of reciting your I-Do’s on a beautiful sandy beach with the waves crashing in the backdrop, then chances are, you’ve dreamt about eloping in Hawaii. And, while it’s not as easy as booking a ticket to your favorite Hawaiian island, figuring out how to elope in Hawaii isn’t all that difficult if you follow these steps. Whether you’re considering the adventurous Big Island, the iconic island of Oahu, or the ultra-romantic island of Maui, we’ll explain how to elope in Hawaii in four basic and easy steps.

How to elope in Hawaii

  1. Pick your Elopement Date and Vibe
  2. Choose Your Elopement Package
  3. Understand the Legality of Eloping in Hawaii
  4. The Day of your Ceremony

Step 1: Pick your Elopement Date and Vibe

Choosing your date is the first step to making it all happen for you and your partner. Whether you’re escaping the cold of winter or taking a stellar summer vacation, the average temperature year-round in Hawaii is 80 degrees F, so you can’t go wrong with any time of year! Even their rainy season isn’t that rainy (but if it does happen to rain on your wedding day, we’ve got you covered!). Determining the time of year can also dictate some of your expenses, as prices tend to be higher during tourist season, which lasts from mid-December to mid-April and Jun-September.

Once you choose your date, it’s time to choose your vibe! Are you seeking a private white-sand beach with only you and your honey exchanging vows, or are you seeking the top of a mountain overlooking the great Pacific? After you’ve nailed down how exactly to elope in Hawaii, you’ve got plenty of fun options ahead of you. Take your time with choosing what kind of backdrop you want to set the tone for your elopement.

Step 2: Choose Your Elopement Package

After you accomplish the crucial step of choosing your date and elopement location, finding the right fit of elopement package is the next natural step. Having an idea of the number of people and services you’re seeking will help you find the right fit for you. Keep in mind what your vision is and how a company (like Simply Eloped) can help you materialize that vision! Here are some questions to ask yourself to aid you in finding the package that is perfect for your big day:

– How many guests do I intend to invite? Is this an elopement or more of a micro wedding?
– If I have more than 15 guests, should I find a location that allows chairs?
– What kind of ceremony do I want (religious, traditional Hawaiian style or a simple exchange of vows)?
– What’s my dream location in Hawaii? Beach? Epic canyon? Near flowing lava?
– What’s my budget?
– What kinds of services am I seeking (officiation, photography, videography, help with flowers, hair & makeup, etc)?
– What is crucial to have on my big day and what is negotiable?

All of these questions will help guide you towards finding the right person to marry you, the perfect location and the ideal look for your ceremony.

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Step 3: Understand the Legality of Eloping in Hawaii

Every state has different requirements for applying for and receiving a marriage license, and the State of Hawaii is simple in some ways, but not-so-simple in others. In order to apply for your marriage license, you’ll need an ID – state issued or a passport works – and a copy of a divorce decree if either you or your partner have previously been married. You can begin this process online, but you’ll still need to make an appointment to validate your information and obtain the physical copy of your marriage license.

Luckily, the state of Hawaii does not require a waiting period nor a witness (so if you’re planning on eloping alone, you don’t have to worry about finding a kind stranger to witness your big day). The total application fee is $65.

It is crucial to receive your marriage license prior to attending your ceremony, otherwise your union will not be legally recognized as a marriage! Set an alert on your phone; write it down in your daily planner; do anything and everything you can do to remind yourself to bring your license! To make an appointment with an agent to receive your marriage license, please click here.

Step 4: The Day of your Ceremony

If you have partnered with Simply Eloped, we’ll send you an itinerary of your elopement details prior to your ceremony, which ensures everyone is one the same page for details concerning time, location and series of events. Be sure you’re clear on where you’re meeting and where you intend to hold your ceremony. Your officiant and photographer can always make suggestions if you are unsure – that’s what they’re here for! On your ceremony date, everyone from our team will show up at the designated location and the ceremony will commence at the agreed-upon time. Always ensure to bring the hard copy of your marriage license with you, as all parties present will sign.

If you’re eloping without a coordinator, a great way to make sure you’ve not forgotten anything is by creating a checklist and itinerary for yourself. Your checklist should include things like your marriage license, your vows, any additional details you want your photographer to capture, and gratuity for your vendors. Your itinerary should have all the things you need to do that day, such as hair and makeup, putting on your wedding attire, and traveling to your venue. Leave plenty of time in between each portion of the day to ensure you don’t stress about running late!

Whether you’re still figuring out the beginning stages of how to elope in Hawaii or if you’ve already got your plane tickets book, having all of this information at the ready will help make you feel less stressed and more focused on what really counts – the person you’re choosing to spend forever with.

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.