How to Elope in Hawaii - Emily Choy Photography

How to Elope in Hawaii

As you start to dream up what the perfect elopement might look like, you might be considering Oahu or another island in Hawaii! I might be a little biased as a resident of Oahu, but Hawaii is truly one-of-a-kind and perfect for elopements. Not only does it provide the most breathtaking backdrops you can find on Earth, but it also makes for an excellent built-in Honeymoon. You can come for just a weekend getaway or do a full couple’s weeks in paradise!

Hawaii does not require you to be a US citizen to get married here, making it easy for couples visiting from another country to elope here! They also don’t require witnesses, which is a unique part of eloping here on Oahu. You can really just have it be the two of you, an officiant and a photographer!

As an intimate wedding and elopement photographer here on Oahu, I’m here to help you plan the perfect elopement. I’ll help you walk through the steps and help you realize your vision. Today, I wanted to share my guide for How To Elope in Hawaii! Let’s break down everything you need to know about your Oahu elopement!

The Hawaii Marriage Process

Once you’ve decided on your date, you will want to get all the documents ready to elope.

Step One: Fill out the application for a marriage license through Hawaii’s registration system. You can access that here! It costs $60, plus a $5 filing fee.

Step Two: Once you arrive on the island, present the application and your driver’s license, passport, or ID to the Department of Health or a marriage license agent in Hawaii. Make an appointment HERE. This needs to be done during a weekday during their business hours, so plan accordingly.

Step Three: You will have 30 days to elope by a state-approved officiant once the license is issued. You are even able to get married that same day! I suggest getting this done a day or two before your elopement, just in case. That way your elopement day is stress-free!

Step Four: Your officiant will file the document, and the Department of Health will mail the official marriage certificate to you. They typically will arrive in about 4-6 weeks after your ceremony date.

Oahu beach elopement at sunset Bride and groom elopement portraits at Sunset on Oahu Bride holding a dried flower bouquet for her wedding in Hawaii

Best Time Of Year To Elope on Oahu

Hawaii’s climate is pretty moderate year-round, with temperatures in the mid-70s to mid-’80s. One thing to note is that we do get rain year-round! It is what helps keep our island so beautiful and is something we can easily workaround on your elopement day.

Spring: While Spring is part of our rainy season, you will also be spoiled with lush greenery, full waterfalls, and so many flowers in bloom. If you want some colorful foliage as your backdrop, I always suggest Spring!

Summer: Summer is the peak time here on Oahu, and all over Hawaii. So keep in mind that there were be more visitors, and areas will be more crowded. The weather is hotter and slightly drier. However, we still do get tropical storms and hurricanes, which can add quite a bit of rain. This time of year is best for snorkeling and water activities, so if you dream of an underwater session, I suggest the Summer!

Fall: Fall is one of my favorite seasons! It has some of the best weather and is less crowded since it is off-season. If you are looking to avoid crowds, I recommend elopement from September to November. Once it gets into December, it becomes more crowded as people visit to escape the cold weather across the country.

Winter: The winter is rainier, but it still makes for the perfect elopement weekend getaway! The big waves are on the North Shore, so many of our surf competitions take place this time of year. The waterfalls are also even more majestic due to the extra rain.

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Where To Fly-In

The best airport to fly into is the Honolulu International Airport. This is the major airport for Hawaii and is located right on Oahu. So you don’t have to worry about another flight to get to another island! Once you arrive, you may want to rent a car when you are here. We do have taxis and rideshare services, but if you plan on visiting a few different areas, having a car will make transportation much easier.

Are you planning your trip to Oahu? Check out my guide: Where To Eat in Oahu, What To Do, And More! 

How to Elope in Hawaii Everything you need to know to plan an elopement on Oahu Oahu beach elopement at sunset Bride and groom elopement portraits at Sunset on Oahu

Where To Elope

Oahu has endless places to elope! Whether you dream of an intimate affair with just the two of you on the beach or a hike up a mountain, we have it all! As an adventure seeker who has lived on this gorgeous island for going on 20 years, I love to help my couples pick the best spots. And if you are looking for an adventure elopement, I have a list of incredible hidden gems on this island.

The Beaches of Oahu


One of the most popular spots for elopements is right on the beaches. We have endless stretches of white sand and the most incredible sunsets. If you love the cool blue tones of the ocean and sand between your toes, this might be the best spot for you! One thing to keep in mind is that the beaches may be bustling depending on the season. So you might want to do a sunrise elopement, or we can find a more private place.

Are you interested in getting married on the North Shore? Check out my favorite North and East Shore venues!

The Waterfalls

There is no shortage of incredible waterfalls on Oahu! A waterfall setting makes for a unique experience that you will never forget. These often involve some hiking, and some require permits to visit. So if you are dreaming of a waterfall elopement, wear comfortable hiking shoes and an outfit that can get wet if it’s misty. Many of our couples chose to do a session later in the day at a waterfall so that they can change into something else! 

The Mountains

If you’re envisioning an intimate elopement tucked away from the crowds, the Mountains might be for you! One of the most popular areas is the Kualoa Ranch and Private Nature ReserveThere are multiple areas for you to choose from, and it features some of the most dramatic and stunning views on the island.

Looking to get married on the South Shore of Oahu? Check out my favorite venues here!

 

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Vendors to Consider For Your Oahu Elopement

The first thing you need will be a photographer! This moment deserves to be captured and preserved for you to remember for years to come. I am not just an adventure wedding and elopement photographer – I am here to help guide you through the process, from timeline creation, vendor recommendations, and of course, location guidance. Throughout the process, my goal is to make you and your partner feel safe, comfortable, and confident during our time together. Your portraits will be the ones you hang on your walls, the ones you show your grandchildren, and the ones your parents will hold as keepsakes forever.

Officiant

Next, you will need an officiant! Your officiant needs to be state-approved, so you can’t bring a friend to legally officiate. You can find a list of “performers” (aka officiants), here! I can also give you a list of recommended officiants and help you pick the right one.

Elopement Planner

Having an elopement planner will make everything much more stress-free when it comes to the details. As your photographer, I can help you find the best spots for your elopement and make sure everything is a breeze! But if you are planning to have guests, and weekend activities, I suggest getting an elopement planner to help. They can make sure everything is taken care of!

Flowers

No matter what style of wedding you pick, you can still have some of those beautiful touches, like flowers! Many of my couples have gorgeous bouquets filled with their favorite flowers. Not only do these add some fun poses for your portraits, but it also adds a natural element that ties in so well with our beautiful island. If your elopement involves some hiking or long periods in the sun and heat, pick tropical flowers that will hold up. This includes protea, palm leaves, orchids, anthurium, and ginger. I have a guide on how to pick your elopement bouquet here!

Videographer

As your elopement photographer, I will capture some amazing moments between the two of you. But many of my couples want their day told in video as well. There is such a dynamic when you add in videography. They can capture those raw and intimate moments effortlessly. Video also allows you to share the day with family and friends who couldn’t be there! If you are eloping just the two of you, a video can be a beautiful way to share your day with your friends and family.

Hair And Makeup

Having your hair and makeup done can make your photography really pop! It can get warm and humid here, and a professional can make sure your makeup doesn’t just last all day but looks incredible. It also allows you to have a stress-free morning getting ready! You can sit back and relax and get pampered.

Bride and groom elopement portraits at Sunset on Oahu How to Elope in Hawaii How to Elope in Hawaii

How to Elope in Hawaii

I hope this guide helped inspire your elopement here on Oahu! Do you have more questions on eloping on Oahu? Reach out! I would love to serve you by answering any questions you have about having your elopement on this incredible island. As a resident of over 20 years, I would be honored to share my love of this island with you. Let me help you plan the best day of your lives exploring one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Vendors:

Bridal Gown: Vintage Gown from the 70’s
Florist: Bohemian Branches

 

How to Elope in Hawaii - Emily Choy Photography

Hey friend!

Hi! I’m Emily, a couples, elopement and brand photographer based on Oahu, Hawaii.
 
You want a stress free, meaningful, and inspired approach to photography-something creative but still refined. Comfortable, but still elegant. I deeply value every couple that I get to create with, and can’t wait to hear your vision and collaborate with you!