couple is putting wedding bands on eachothers fingers

5 Beautiful Wedding Traditions to Include in your Non-Traditional Hawaii Elopement

There’s nothing more sentimental and nostalgic than a meaningful wedding tradition that you can reflect on with your significant other. You can still include some traditional wedding day activities into your elopement day-pick and choose the ones that feel like you! As a Hawaii destination wedding and elopement photographer, I encourage my clients to include some or all of these listed ideas below; they really add some beautiful memories to your day. In this post, I list my top 5 beautiful wedding day traditions to include in your non-traditional Hawaii elopement. 

 bride is twirling around while getting ready

portraits of the bride putting her makeup on

shot of wedding dress hanging on hanger

#1. Getting Ready Photos

Getting ready for your wedding or elopement day is something I really encourage to get documented.  You and your partner are maybe a little bit anxious, but mostly really really excited! The getting ready portion of your day will be a core memory for you-whether you get ready together or separately,  start off with a slow cup of coffee or a morning beach walk. These images are more candid and documentary-style by nature because you are participating in an activity. You’re already getting married in a unique way; you deserve having candids that display the full story of your elopement day!  

groom is putting his shoes on

black and white shot of bride putting bracelet on

shot through the window of the bride putting bracelet on

black and white shot of bride putting her shoes on

 #2.Capturing The Small Details

Photographing  details of your Hawaii elopement is similar to your getting ready photos. The main difference is what the focus is directed towards. In getting ready photos, the bride and groom are the focus, whereas in detail shots, items such as the space you’re getting ready in, your vows, the wedding bands, the attire, shoes, etc., are the center of attention. These shots genuinely add to your final elopement gallery and help bring your Hawaii elopement story to life. It really is the small, simple things that can mean the most.

black and white photo of bride looking down at dress

bride is putting her shoes on

groom is having the first look

#3. The First Look

This may be one of my favorite moments to capture. The intimate and precious moments that come from the first look are all so unique and irreplaceable. Capturing the first look, whether you are having guests or not, is truly so sweet to photograph. During this time of your Hawaii elopement, seeing your partner  for the first time brings emotions to an all-time high- it’s truly unforgettable. You’ll want to bottle those sentimental feelings and moments to reflect on in the next two, five, and twenty years!

black and white portrait shot of the bride and groom

shot of the bride with her veil on and her bouquet

portraits focused on the brides dress and her bouquet

shot of the bride with her dress on getting ready

#4. The First Dance

Another classic tradition that you can’t forget to add to your Hawaii elopement! The first dance is a very close second to the first look. The emotions rise to an all-time high once again- creating memories you want to have captured to keep forever. The best part about having a first dance on your big day is that you can curate it to your personal preference. Some couples like to make it more playful and fun, whereas others lean more toward the intimate and tender style. I recommend dancing to your favorite song and choosing a spot special to you and your partner, whether during sunset on a beach, cliffside, or at your venue. Slow down during your wedding day and take it all in. Be completely present and enjoy each other at the moment. Music has a unique way of setting the mood and is perfect for slowing everything down and adding to those beautiful moments.

film shot of the bride putting her veil on with the groom

photo of the bride and groom kissing after the first look

film shot of the bride and groom kissing after the first look

film shot of the bride and groom walking towards the door

#5. A Sweet Treat

This is such a fun tradition that creates the perfect ending to any Hawaii elopement! The best part is that you can customize it to make it your own. There is a wide variety of amazing bakers on the island, and their work is nothing short of incredible. You can go with a more traditional treat such as a cake, or you can opt for something a little more unorthodox like some local malasadas, haupia, taro treats, etc. There’s nothing better than ending such a perfect and special day with a sweet treat to share with your significant other and any other loved ones.

black and white shot of the bride and groom holding hands and walking outside

bride and groom are walking outside to get married

black and white shot of the invitations and rings

black and white film photo of the bride reading her vows to the groom


Local Hawaii Bakery Recommendations

Leonards Bakery

Hipp Bakes

A cake life


Leonilda Cakes

film shot of the bride saying her vows

bride is putting wedding band on groom

film shot of bride putting ring on grooms finger

bride and groom are kissing after they say vows and put rings on

To Recap on my Top 5 Beautiful Wedding Day Traditions for your Hawaii Elopement

I can’t express enough just how much really happens during your Hawaii elopement! There is so much more to it than just the ceremony. You deserve full coverage of your elopement- start to finish. Your wedding gallery should bring you back to your Hawaii elopement, flooding your heart with all the feelings you felt on that day. Elopements are full of intentionality and meaning- there is nothing more important than remembering how special you felt in those moments. To ensure you get the most out of your wedding gallery, here are my Top 5 Wedding day traditions to include in your Hawaii elopement.

#1. Getting ready photos

#2. Capturing the small details

#3. The first look

#4. The first dance

#5. Having a sweet treat

shot of bride and groom walking away after saying vows

black and white close up portrait of bride and groom

portrait shot of the bride and groom kissing under the veil

portraits of the bride and groom kissing under the veil

film shot of the bride

film shot of the groom

portrait shots of the bride

portrait shot of the bride with looking at her bouquet

sunset shot of the bride and groomnd


Photographer: @_emilychoy
Dress: @lierreweddinggown
Florals: @sf.fleur
Cake: @hippbakes
Jewelry: @marispearlco
Veil: @bespokebridalshop
Stationary: @cestcalligraphy

film shot of the bride and groom cutting the cake

bride and groom are cutting the cake

bride and groom are holding a slice of cake they just cut

shots of the bride and groom cutting the cake

bride and groom are kissing after cutting the cake during their Hawaii elopement

Like this blog? Find more Hawaii elopement related topics here.

Making the Most of your Couples Session

How to Plan for a fall Hawaii Elopement

Oahu, Hawaii Destination Engagement Session

How to Elope in Hawaii



You’re looking to have a full experience completely customized to you and your unique story. I’m thrilled to bring an intentional, unfussy but elegant approach to your love story, capturing all of the candids and little microstories throughout your day. This way you can relax and focus on celebrating with your loved ones, with no moments missed-from pre-ceremony preparations to your last dance.