Thinking of eloping in Hawai'i but not sure where to start? This post has everything you need to know from steps to eloping, to the pros and cons of different islands and things to consider before coming to Hawai'i.
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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).
Your marriage, your way
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 to lead the ceremony yourselves rather 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.
Five Things to Consider Before Eloping in Hawai'i
ENSURE YOU GET PERMITS
Be respectful. Do not travel here if you are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Period. COVID has disproportionally affected the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. You cannot come here without recognizing the impact that travel and tourism has had and acknowledging that you if unvaccinated you have a direct role in the death of these community members. As an aside, we are only working with clients that are vaccinated.
You can't just get married anywhere. Many locations are culturally significant, dangerous, or off-limits to the public. Some locations, while legal to hike or visit to not allow for wedding ceremonies or photography. We'll let you know what is and isn't allowed. Permits are required for any location that isn't private (which you'll pay a steep fee for). Remember to obtain permits and pay location fees (if applicable). If you work with us, we'll do all this for you.
Skip the luau. Luaus are culturally significant events and have been commodified and appropriated. The Hawaiian Kingdom is still fighting for its sovereignty. There is no "right way" to visit a Luau unless a Hawaiian personally invites you. The luaus you see advertised are not legitimate and very of the money goes back into the community. Opt to give back to Hawaiians instead by volunteering or donating to a social justice cause. See this list for organizations you can support.
CONSIDER THE WEATHER
LEAVE NO TRACE
Hawai'i has warm weather year-round! That means there is no "down season" in Hawai'i. There are always tourists and always crowding. If you're looking to get married in a public location (like a beach) you are guaranteed to have other people on the beach with you. October through April sees the most rain on the Islands, and it rains somewhere every day. Expect to see rain on your trip and plan accordingly. Don't worry though, rain is good luck on your wedding day, since “you can't untie a wet knot!”
Be respectful of wildlife. Hawai'i has the most endangered species in the US and many that are only found here (like Hawaiian monk seals!). Please don't feed the stray cats (they carry diseases that kill endemic species), don't harass or touch wildlife, and always wear reef-safe sunscreen! Always leave locations better than you found them. Follow leave no trace principles.
this list is not exhaustive - just a few suggestions
We'll be your
Hawai'i elopement photographer
& help in ways you might not expect
• Provide info on how to get your Hawai'i marriage license
• Give you a custom location list and day of timeline
• Provide you with exclusive 100+ page planning guide
• Help you style your elopement
• Be available for endless phone calls
• Include a beautiful album in all our packages
• We can legally officiate and sign your marriage license
• 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
• Helping you zip up your dress
• Bringing our extra headlamps and GPS so we don’t get lost if hiking out of a location in the dark
• Be your best adventure guide on your elopement day - making it an unforgettable experience