Plan your dream
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Elopement Planning Guide
IT'S THIS SIMPLE
HOW TO ELOPE IN HAWAI'I
Imagine your perfect wedding day
IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
How many times have you heard the phrase “If we could do it all again…”? We've heard it ALOT and honestly wish we'd eloped for our own wedding. We want to help you create the most memorable day you can dream up, and skip the headache of planning that huge wedding? What’s your ideal day? If you could craft an entire day from sunrise to sunset what would you be doing, where would go? What would you eat? What music would you listen to? Would you skydive? Have a picnic? Hammock in the park? We want to help you create your dream day from start to finish documenting the entire thing for you to remember forever. We’ll work together to craft a timeline of your wedding day filled with your favorite things.
Choose your dream location
MOUNTAINS, BEACHES, CANYONS, OH MY!
As a destination wedding location, Hawai'i has much more to offer than simply beach-side resorts! Can’t decide between the mountains or the ocean?! Choose both! It’s relatively easy to get the best of both worlds, because no matter where you go, you’re never far from the coast! Make your plans to island hop, or spend your whole destination wedding exploring one island. We help 95% of our couples decide on the locations and secure all necessary permits.
Make it legal!
RESPECT LOCAL LAWS AND RULES
There are a few hoops you need to jump through to ensure that your marriage and ceremony are legal in Hawai'i. Marriage licenses are issued through the Hawai'i Department of Health (DOH), and both of you need to go in person to pick up your license, within 30 days of the wedding date. Licenses cost $65 dollars, including online fees. If you're planning a destination wedding we recommend arriving on the islands two days before the elopement so you have plenty of time to pick up your license.
Additionally, you can't just get married anywhere in Hawai'i and need to be respectful of local and state laws. If you are getting professional photography your photographer will also need commercial film permits, insurance, etc. We'll handle all the location permits on your behalf but make sure you're legal if not through us!
Have the best day ever!
BRING THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER MOST
Having a small group of friends or family in attendance means you don’t have to worry about all the logistical headaches associated with hosting a large number of guests. Your photos will also reflect the intimacy, since there won’t be a crowd of people getting in the way! The perks of having people close to you there? One of them can marry you! OR If you want a truly “just us” experience you can plan the day around just the two of you. Perks of working with hubby-wifey photographers? We’re not just an awkward third wheel, we’re another adventurous couple that want to capture the adventure of a lifetime for you. Plus, Kelsi is a Hawai'i officiant and can legally sign your Hawaii marriage license!
You don't need a minister
We do this, because we believe you don't need someone to tell you that you are married, you can tell each other and the world that yourselves. No one understands your promise like you and your partner do. You are married because you say you are married, not someone else.
Alternatively, if you did want a religious ceremony or more traditional officiant we can recommend some other amazing vendors. We love offering this service because it doesn't inhibit where we go on your elopement day, because the day is center entirely around what you want to do (and if that's hiking 10 miles up a mountain we're totally up for it).
You don't need someone to tell you that you are married, you can tell each other and the world that yourselves. Of course, you can have your pastor, best friend, or family member marry you too!
We specialize in helping couples create their own unique self-uniting ceremonies, rehearse them and then direct them in a minimal way, all while taking photos or video. Kelsi is ordained and licensed in Hawai'i. So, we are able to complete any documentation as your “officiant”.
Hawai’i legally requires that an ordained officiant that’s registered with the state “solemnize the marriage.” Basically, someone needs to legally pronounce you married. If you're having Kelsi marry you, this can be a super simple “congrats your married” or more elaborate ceremony (lei exchanges, ring ceremony, handfasting, etc.), depending on your wishes.
It's actually a lot easier and more relaxed than having someone that is there whose only purpose is to preside over the experience! No one understands your promise like you and your partner do. You are married because you say you are married…. not someone else.
Each island has gorgeous elopement locations to choose from – really, you can’t go wrong on picking a location. BUT, there are some locations that are more secluded than others. We see a lot of lists for the best places to elope (for example Kahala Beach Park on O'ahu is a popular spot that’s on almost every Pinterest list). When we go there to windsurf as locals we often see 3-5 weddings all happening on the beach simultaneously. When you work with us, we strive for the exact opposite of this. We bring you to secret, off the beaten path, local, epic locations. We want your wedding to be a magical, one-of-a-kind experience As such, we don’t want to give away our secrets! But, we wanted to outline the benefits of the different islands below.
HAWAII HAS GORGEOUS ELOPEMENT LOCATIONS TO CHOOSE FROM ACROSS FIVE MAIN ISLANDS
click to see!
Hawai'i Island (aka Big Island)
For a truly unique set of scenic backdrops, Hawai'i island (Big Island) offers everything from alpine mountains, amazing underwater snorkeling, cloud forests, and Hawai'i's only lava flow! Big Island has the most black (and green!) sand beaches, some really epic hikes and the nicest snorkeling of all the Hawaiian Islands. There are also unique experiences you can't find on other islands, like diving with Manta Rays or landing a helicopter at your own private waterfall.
If you typically stay at Air BnB's, Big Island offers to most bespoke and unique stays of all the islands, where you can get some awesome getting ready photos before your vows.
However, as in the name its a BIG ISLAND! So, we recommend splitting your time between Kona and Hilo to reduce your driving time and see everything this rugged landscape has to offer. Make your elopement epic with the beauty of Big Island!
O'ahu is known as the “gathering place” and is the most populated and most visited of the Hawaiian Islands. While there are plenty of great places to elope on O'ahu, many visitors do not realize just how bustling the island really is! Since finding a secluded area for a private elopement is a bit more difficult most locations on O'ahu will require a longer hike or rental of a private venue. However, O'ahu has the best nightlife, unique neighborhoods, and amazing restaurants which the other islands can't offer. O'ahu also boasts some amazing excursions from skydiving to sunset sails!
Maui is the second largest island and so much to see! A lover’s paradise, Maui is reminiscent of every other island, with high altitude craters, jungle waterfalls, windswept coastlines, and white sandy beaches. There are so many great options for a memorable elopement in Maui from Haleakala National Park (the quietest place on earth), to numerous waterfalls down the Road to Hana, or catamaran tours to Molokini.
Kauaʻi is the rainiest place in the ENTIRE WORLD! That means beautiful tropical forests, lots of waterfalls and unbelievably beautiful locations. However, that also means more brown water runoff, so (in my opinion), Kauaʻi has the worst snorkeling of all the islands since the water isn't as clear. Both the Na'Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon are must visit sites. Please keep in mind that many of these locations are sacred and protected, so research before visiting and always stay on the trail!
Molokai and Lana'i
One of the more rugged islands, Molokai is known for its dramatic cliffs and secluded beaches. If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Molokai is your island.
Lana'i is also gorgeous, and the only island you can visit via ferry (ferry from Maui to Lana'i). Both islands are more secluded with less “activities” to do, and fewer locations to visit. As with all the islands lease be respectful of locals, laws, and regulations while you visit.
We'll be your
Hawai'i elopement photographer
& HELP IN WAYS YOU MIGHT NOT EXPECT
• Provide info on how to get your Hawaii marriage license
• Give you a custom location list and day of timeline
• We can legally officiate and sign your marriage license for your private vow reading
• Helping you zip up your dress (since we might be the only ones there!)
• Bringing our extra headlamps and GPS to make sure we don’t get lost if hiking out of a location in the dark
• We’ll help you pack a bouquet securely in your backpack
• Bringing along our speakers already set up with a first dance song
• Safely take you in the water as a certified dive instructor and certified rescue diver
• Be your best adventure guide on your elopement day – making it an unforgettable experience