Hawaii Elopement Planning Checklist

Updated: Aug 2

Take a moment to imagine this: standing across from your significant other on a breathtaking Hawaiian beach, looking into their eyes, the sun setting behind the ocean waves, and exchanging your vows. Hawaii is one of the world's most beautiful places to get married — it’s a tropical paradise! If you’d like to ditch the idea of a big expensive wedding and jet set to a stunning island for a Hawaii elopement instead, here’s a quick checklist to get you on the right track:

  1. Book Your Travel Accommodations

The first step toward making your Hawaii elopement happen is booking travel accommodations! One of the hardest parts is choosing the island you’d like to elope on — and where you’ll have your built-in honeymoon! Since I’m a Maui elopement photographer, I naturally recommend Maui because I’ve witnessed the most magical elopements on the island.

While you may know to book your flight, hotel, and excursions — many people tend to forget to book a rental car. Rental cars are necessary when visiting the island because they allow you to explore without limits! Since there’s currently a rental car shortage in Hawaii, you should book a reservation before your trip.

2. Pick Location and Date

Next, you’ll want to choose a date and location to have your special ceremony. You can’t really go wrong when choosing a beach to elope in Maui, but I’m happy to provide recommendations if you contact me!

3. Get a Beach Permit

This detail is one that many couples are unaware of when booking their Maui elopement — you need a permit if you’re getting married on the beach! It’s inexpensive to get married on a Maui beach (especially considering the money you’re saving by skipping the large wedding expenses). It costs $20 for 200 square feet and $0.10 per additional square foot. Most of my clients find that 200 sq ft is the perfect space for an elopement. Permits are included in most officiant or photography packages.

4. Choose an Officiant

When choosing someone to officiate your elopement ceremony in Hawaii, you’ll find that our beautiful state does things a bit differently. In Hawaii, you may only use state-approved performers to legally officiate your wedding. I understand this fact is disappointing if you wanted a family member or close friend to officiate.

Here’s the good news: the officiant will handle all the paperwork! You can find state-approved performers here.

5. Apply for a Marriage License

Luckily, applying for a marriage license in Hawaii is relatively easy. You’ll just need to fill out an online application, have a valid ID, pay a $65 fee, and present the application to a marriage license agent in Hawaii. If you were married before, you’ll also need to bring documentation to prove that you are no longer married. Hawaii makes it easy — you can get married the same day you get your marriage license!

6. Other Important Details

After you iron out the other points to make your elopement in Hawaii happen — you’ll need to remember a few more fun details! You should book a Hawaii elopement photographer to capture your special day, determine whether you’d like additional decorations for the ceremony, and make a nice dinner reservation you two lovebirds can enjoy after officially becoming spouses.

I hope to meet you and capture your special Maui elopement — wishing you the best time on our magical island!