So, you’ve decided to elope! You’ve picked Hawaii as your dream adventure elopement location. Time is coming closer and you realize that you are lost on where to start packing. What do I bring? How much should I bring? Do I really need this + that? I get it! Elopement can be overwhelming, especially when it involves traveling to an island. As an elopement photographer, I get asked questions all the time regarding the do’s and what not to do’s when it comes to packing + preparation. From my years of experience I thought it would be fitting to create this 5 step packing checklist for your Hawaii adventure elopement. Here you’ll find a helpful packing list to use as a guide when deciding what to bring, making your elopement experience more organized, enjoyable, and stress free!
Table of Contents
- Step 1: Clothing Checklist
- Step 2: Wedding Essentials
- Step 3: People + Organizations Involved
- Step 4: Food + Beverages
- Step 5: Other General Items
Step 1: What to Wear to Your Hawaii Adventure Elopement- A Clothing Checklist
Below you’ll find clothing items I recommend bringing along with you. Oftentimes people overthink when it comes to packing clothes, but in reality you will be spending the majority of time in your swimming suit!
Clothes to bring
- More bathing suits than you’d think! This way you have time to rinse + dry them off- it can take a full day if you’re hanging them inside to dry! Plus they’re small + easy to fit!
- Casual + comfortable clothes mostly! We are very laid back + relaxed on the island- embrace this easy nature while you’re here! Think t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, beach dresses, a few formal clothing items but nothing over the top.
- Light rain coat (it rains here quite frequently)
- Footwear– casual slippers (sandals), active wear shoes (hiking shoes with traction if you’re planning on hiking), a nicer pair of formal shoes if attending fancier events, the longer you stay on the island the sooner you’ll realize majority of people here ditch the shoes and go barefoot- something to keep in mind.
- Sunglasses (a given)
Step 2: What not to forget for your Hawaii elopement- The Wedding Essentials!
Now it’s time for the good stuff- the critical components if you will. The dress and tux may be the most important factors when it comes to your elopement- maybe even more important than the bride + groom! (Hahaha just kidding, but seriously, these are non-negotiables that should definitely not be forgotten.) Below is a list of wedding items that should be on the top of your adventure elopement packing list.
For The Bride
- Wedding dress. If you’re having trouble deciding on which style of dress to buy for your elopement, look no further! Here is a guide to helping you pick out elopement dress of your dreams.
- Wedding Shoes
- Bouquet (or have it planned to be made accordingly). Learn how to pick out the perfect bouquet!
- The Rings
- The vows
- Hair and makeup supplies (toiletries: tweezers, deodorant, perfume)
- Viel (if you are planning on having one)
- Undergarments- Sticky boobs, spanx, slip, boob tape, a list can be found here
- Jewelry and accessories. Determine what kind of style you’re aiming for: minimal jewelry, pearls, diamonds, gold or silver. Then make sure you bring back up accessories just in case!
For the groom
- Suit (the blazer, pants, and dress shirt)
- Slacks/ shoes
- Undergarments (underwear + undershirt)
- Suit Accessories (tie, bowtie, suspenders)
- Toiletries (deodorant, cologne, gum, breathe freshener, hair gel + comb)
- Dress socks
- Boutonnière (if planning on having one)
- Your marriage license!! See how to prepare and obtain your marriage license for your big day
Step 3: Those involved in making your adventure elopement come to life!
These may not be things you pack in your suitcase to bring along for the ride, but they are definitely things and people you should have planned + coordinated with so you are ready to go when you land in Hawaii.
- Photographer is scheduled and ready. Elopement day is planned and times are booked.
- Same goes for the Videographer as well if you choose to have one. I highly recommend a videographer as they capture intimate + passionate moments on 4K so you can look back years later and feel the goosebumps you felt on your special day.
- Florist if needed. Ensure you have your bouquet, boutonniere, lei, flower crown, and all of your floral arrangements planned and taken care of.
- Officiant. You should have already met either online or in person with your officiant. Make sure you are on the same page and schedule.
- Hair and makeup artists are scheduled.
- Family if you are planning on having a few guests. Check out my post on useful tips to include family in your Hawaii adventure elopement.
Speaking of photographer- if you are in need of one for your special day, let’s connect! I’d love to capture moments + candids of your Hawaii elopement!
- Hotel accommodations are ready + booked.
- Rental car or whatever form of transportation you need is accounted for and organized.
- Venue (if needed) is or will be prepared according to schedule. For more information on picking the right venues along with elopement planning check out my blog post on how to elope in Hawaii. Boarding passes are either printed or accessible via mobile devices (something I highly recommend)
Step 4: What to eat at your adventure elopement in Hawaii- food + beverages
You may be thinking, “ Alright now all of the important stuff is taken care of…but what do I eat?”. Granted you will want to eat out a lot + try out all of the island’s exotic food choices, however, it is always nice to have easy and accessible snacks on hand. This can serve as a semi healthier option and can be more efficient in terms of finances. Still try to get out and enjoy the wide variety of food options. Listed below is a checklist of food and drink ideas to have on your Hawaii elopement.
- Water. You’d be surprised how dehydrated you can get in Hawaii. The humidity makes you sweat a lot so I suggest bringing reusable water bottles.
- Coffee (or tea, matcha, whatever caffeine substance you use to get you through the day)
- Sparkling apple juice or whatever sparkling beverage you prefer, if you aren’t into alcoholic drinks.
- Protein drinks or shakes. They are quick, easy and fill you up for when you are on the go and don’t have time to prepare a meal or snack.
- Granola bars or any sort of bar. Something that’s quick and easy for on the go.
- Protein bars
- Veggie + fruit platters. Although these aren’t quite as convenient, they are a good and light option to have with you. Fair warning though- produce in Hawaii is more expensive than mainland produce.
- Trail mix
- Crackers or any form of quick carb.
- Poke. Hawaii is known for their exceptional seafood. Soak it up while you can.
Dinner Elopement Ideas
- Charcuterie board
- Finger/ Bar food
Check out my guide for more yummy food places in Oahu: Where to eat in Oahu
Tools for picnic use
- Cooler with an ice pack
- Picnic basket
- Cutlery, plates, cups, napkins, silver ware
- Wet wipes
- Trash bags
Step 5: Other nitty gritty things you may have forgotten for your Hawaii destination elopement
Now that we have all of the important stuff packed for your Hawaii adventure elopement, let’s not forget the small things that still make our days go round! I’ve created a list of small general things that can be easily forgotten if not written down!
- Rain poncho
- Reef safe sunscreen. Regular sunscreen kills our reef, other marine life + is illegal to use in the ocean
- Windbreaker or light jacket
- Bucket hat or any form of hat you may want for sun protection
- Beach accessories. This can include: beach chair, umbrella, snorkel gear, goggles, towel. To make things easier and more efficient instead of packing all of these items, look into renting them out + saving yourself suitcase space!
- Passports or Visas
- Drivers license
- Military Id (if applicable)
- Negative Covid test. The state of Hawaii is constantly changing the rules and regulations regarding covid restrictions so I keep an updated tab on what they require for entrance.
- Safe travels Hawaii account
- Covid vaccination record
- Any other documentation needed when traveling
- Phone charger and block
- Laptop + charger
- Watch + charger if needed
- Hygiene necessities
- Film or disposable camera. (These are really cute and trendy right now. They are also the perfect sized item to capture small, intimate moments)
- Travel Pillow
Still on the fence about eloping? Here are my top 7 reasons you should elope!