Where to Elope in Hawaii

I haven’t ever encountered the type of natural beauty I had the privilege of seeing all over Hawaii. The idea of choosing a Hawaii elopement package is appealing for so many reasons but it all comes back to the gorgeous and diverse scenery each island has to offer. On my first trip, I only had the chance to visit Oahu and Kauai but was able to spend a ton of quality time on each island. Since then, I’ve been back and got to visit Big Island and Maui, giving me a fuller image of what a Hawaii elopement could really look like. To think these magical islands in the Pacific are so accessible is mind-blowing! The fact that I can step into another world and not leave my own country makes a Hawaii elopement even more special. It’s safe to say I found a spot or two that’d be perfect for a tropical Hawaii elopement package.

Where’s the Best Place to Elope in Hawaii?

You can’t really go wrong when choosing a Hawaii elopement package because of the variety of beautiful locations. What it comes down to is personal preference, because everyone has their own unique taste. Do you prefer a jungle setting, a hidden beach, or a grassy mountain that looks like a movie set? All options are great but the final choice should come down to what’s going to make you happiest in the special moment and in the long-term. Here are a handful of my favorite spots on only 2 of the 8 possible islands you have to choose from. Keep in mind I didn’t even get to explore these two islands in their entirety, so the places you may have already Googled or pinned could still add to the list of options for an Oahu or Maui elopement package.

Crouching Lion

Remember the movie set I brought up earlier? This gorgeous Oahu cliffside decorated with bright green grass reminds me of a scene from the show Lost, or even one of the Jurassic Park movies with its stark drops and grand surroundings. It was only a short 30-minute hike to get to this spot but I will give a fair warning! It had recently rained and there parts of the trek which made for less than suitable conditions i.e. slippery mud and scary places to fall. I don’t see any brides ruining their dress on the way to the location but if you’re not up for a walk, I’d cross it off the list and consider one of the next locations for your Hawaii elopement package.

Na Pali Coast

If you think you can be prepared for this jaw-dropping view by looking at photos, think again. As many times as I’d seen these incredible Kauai mountains on Instagram, I couldn’t hope to prepare for the raw beauty of these jagged cliffs. As a matter of fact, this location gets its name na pali from the translation for high cliffs being that they can jut out as far as 4000 feet from the ocean. Even from the beach, there’s a grand sense of the spectacle surrounding you, and combined with the pristine water, it makes for one of many ideal selections for anyone pursuing a Hawaii elopement package. I would also recommend taking a ride in a helicopter before or after your elopement ceremony if you have the time!

Sunset in Hanalei Bay

Not everyone is into rugged mountains or cliff-sides and luckily, a Kauai elopement still provides a ton of options for those who prefer a more traditional beach destination. If I was going for a calmer beach setting, I’d have no hesitation in choosing this famous north shore destination for my Hawaii elopement package. When the sunset hits the calm waters of Hanalei, it brings a uniquely peaceful sense of wonder and beauty which pairs perfectly with such a significant occasion. Starting a marriage on the sands of this beach is certainly an option I couldn’t imagine anyone turning down. The benefit of choosing the largest bay on the north shore of Kauai means having two miles of beach to find the perfect spot to exchange vows. For those who want to leave the States for their elopement, Oaxaca makes for a great alternative elopement destination. Plus, Hanalei is known for being a surfer town, so there’s a high chance of being able to catch some waves if you so choose!

Olokele Canyon

There’s the surreal views of the Hawaiian islands and there’s Olokele Canyon. If you’re looking for a destination that seems like it never left the cretaceous period, then this is the place to choose for your Hawaii elopement package. I will say, this is one of the more remote locations in Kauai so it’s not for the faint of heart but will definitely be a rewarding experience. It’s got limited cell service, takes time and coordination to get to, and requires some hiking but part of the nature of eloping is being adventurous! That’s what so beautiful about these Pacific islands, there’s something for couples who want to kick back on the beach and there are places like Olokele Canyon, which are daunting for the average person. Of all the locations I’ve describe, I would characterize this as those who have the biggest heart for nature and more rugged experiences.

What Makes a Good Hawaii Elopement Photographer?

With over 10 years of experience, I have developed an intuitive eye for what makes the ideal shot. Whether it’s the impressive views of Iao Valley in Maui or a jaw-dropping Kauai beach, there are objective elements that matter when you’ve taken the time to hire an elopement photographer in Hawaii. The majesty of these islands is conducive to a pretty epic story about how you and your fiance tied the knot, and, more importantly, epic photos, so make sure your special moment is properly captured! Here are the 3 most important objective factors to consider when asking what makes for a good Hawaii elopement package.

Lighting: A poorly taken photo can be redeemed with a few simple editing tools but even if the best photograph has bad lighting, there’s not much anyone can do to save it. This is why a photographer who appreciates good light is crucial when weighing your options for Hawaii elopement packages. The hour before sunset, also known as Golden Hour, is a great example of a massively valuable time for photos which I’ve heard people say isn’t that important. That’s like saying milk isn’t important to add to a latte when it’s an essential part! Golden hour makes light look, as the name suggests, golden so it’s a critical opportunity to add an ingredient into the photo that adds a sense of magic to the memory. A great photo becomes incredible when golden light is added, and the idea of missing that opportunity would make a good photographer shake their head.

Location: An essential part of any couple’s story is where they met, where they had their first date, and where they got married (or eloped). Location matters because it’s the backdrop, the decoration for your story, the place that will always be looked back on fondly for the rest of your lives. The best elopement photographers will suggest a location that looks good but it’s just as important for the spot to have meaning. For you, maybe having a Hawaiian elopement is enough, and the specific location doesn’t matter, which means the photographer has more freedom to pick a more stunning location than you could find on Instagram. Most importantly, make sure it’s a place you want to spend time in. If you wouldn’t want to spend time drinking wine before and after your Napa elopement, then maybe a Northern California destination isn’t for you. Likewise, if sand between your toes makes you squirm, I would actually advise against a Hawaii elopement, and opt for a place you would enjoy more, even if it isn’t as exciting and more untraditional.

Composition: When elopement photos are focused more on the landscape, there’s something wrong. The point of your elopement photos is you. The arrangement of visual elements within the frame do vary based on the type of session, so when considering the best way to compose a Hawaiian elopement, you want a photographer to focus on the elopement rather than Hawaii. Your location, as I previously mentioned, is absolutely an important element but I would argue it’s should never be the main element, Even in the most incredible locations if the photo isn’t composed to focus on you and your fiance, the actual subjects, then what’s the point? Maui will always be beautiful but you’ll only elope once, so make sure your photographer cares about properly capturing one of the most significant moments of your life.

Hawaii Elopement Pacakages - Final Thoughts

Whether you end up deciding on Maui or Oahu, or any other island, it’s impossible to have a bad experience when you book a Hawaii elopement package. If I hadn’t eloped in Big Sur, Hawaii would’ve been next on the list. Whether you’re a local or are down to make the trek from another spot in the world, let’s chat about what you’re looking for in your Hawaii elopement package. I love to answer questions so make sure to fill out a form submission or give me a call at 786-270-8527. I can’t wait to talk with you and your fiance and hear your story to get to know you better.  Looking forward to speaking about your Hawaii elopement photography needs soon!