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Dreaming of a romantic, stress-free wedding in paradise? Eloping in Hawaii is the perfect way to tie the knot without all the fuss and expense of a traditional wedding. If you’re looking for a quick answer on how to elope in Hawaii, here it is: obtain your marriage license in advance, book an officiant and photographer, choose a ceremony location like a beach or scenic overlook, and end your special day with an intimate dinner for two.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to plan the Hawaiian elopement of your dreams, from obtaining paperwork to keeping your special day stress-free.

Obtaining a Marriage License in Hawaii

Residency Requirements

To get a marriage license in Hawaii, you must prove you are a resident of the state. At least one member of the couple getting married needs to show proof of legal residency in Hawaii for a minimum of 3 consecutive days. Documents like rental agreements, utility bills etc.

can be provided as address proof. If you are visiting Hawaii, you need to stay at least 3 days in the state before applying for the license. The residency requirements are more relaxed compared to other states in the US.

Age Requirements

The legal age for marriage in Hawaii without parental consent is 18 years. If you are 16-17 years old, you can get married in Hawaii with parental consent. Your parents or legal guardians need to be physically present while applying for the license.

The minimum age requirements are similar to most other states. However, Hawaii does not allow marriages below the age of 16 years, even with parental approval.

Documents You’ll Need

To apply for a marriage license, you need to provide certain important documents as proof to the agent issuing your license. Here are the major documents needed:

  • Valid photo government issued ID proof like driver’s license, passport etc. to validate your identity and age
  • Proof of residency in Hawaii as mentioned above
  • Parents’ consent letter if you are a minor between 16-17 years
  • If previously married, proper divorce documents or death certificate of ex-spouse
  • The application form needs to be signed by both partners in front of the agent

It is essential to carry proper documentation to avoid any kind of delays or legal issues in obtaining your Hawaiian marriage license.

Where to Apply for Your License

You can apply for a marriage license at any marriage license agent’s office in Hawaii. Generally the agent’s office is located in the Hawaii Department of Health in the respective county. Here are some of the popular agent office locations:

Hawaii County Hawaii Department of Health in Hilo
Honolulu County (Oahu island) Hawaii Department of Health in Honolulu
Kauai County Hawaii Department of Health in Lihue town
Maui County Hawaii Department of Health in Wailuku town

You can also apply with any licensed marriage agent like ministers, clergymen etc. who are legally certified by Hawaii to issue marriage licenses. Generally applying at the Hawaii Health Department offices is the fastest route.

Same day licenses are also issued if there are no delays due to documentation.

It is recommended to apply for the license 1 month in advance, especially if planning a destination wedding in Hawaii. You can check detailed information on applying for a Hawaii marriage license here.

Booking an Officiant

Types of Officiants Available

There are a few options when it comes to finding an officiant to perform your Hawaii elopement ceremony. Many resorts and hotels have officiants on staff who can preside over your nuptials. These are typically non-denominational officiants who will work with you to create a customized ceremony.

Popular resort chains like Four Seasons and Hilton offer officiant services.

You can also hire an independent officiant to marry you instead of using the resort’s services. These are often interfaith ministers or non-denominational officiants who specialize in island destination weddings.

Many independent Hawaii officiants get legally ordained online through the Universal Life Church so they are authorized to perform marriages.

If you want a religious ceremony, you can find Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, or other denomination-specific officiants to preside. Be aware any pre-ceremony requirements if you go this route.

Average Officiant Fees

Expect to pay an average of $200-$500 for your Hawaii elopement officiant. Resort and hotel officiants typically charge around $250-$350. Independent officiants’ rates usually start around $200 and go up to $500+ depending on experience.

Here’s a quick breakdown of average Hawaii elopement officiant fees:

Resort/Hotel Officiant $250-$350
Independent Officiant $200-$500+
Religious Officiant $300-$500+*
*May have required pre-marital classes or counseling

Officiant fees often include the creation of a customized script and rehearsal time. Some also provide services like securing the marriage license, arranging flowers, or providing a musician.

How to Find and Book Officiants

If you are working with a Hawaii elopement planner, they likely have an officiant they recommend and can book for you. If planning solo, resort officiants are easy to book directly through the venue.

For independent officiants, search sites like WeddingWire, The Knot, and Yelp to find options with great reviews. Interview a few officiants over the phone or video chat to get a sense of their personality and ceremony style before selecting one.

Book your officiant 4-6 months in advance if possible. Be sure to confirm the date, location, and time as well as any other required legal or ceremonial details.

Many officiants suggest connecting 1-2 months before the ceremony to discuss vows and create a personalized script. Building a bit of rapport can lead to a smoother, more comfortable ceremony too.

Hiring a Photographer

Benefits of Hiring a Pro

Professional wedding photographers have years of experience capturing stunning, artistic images of couples on their big day. Their expertise with lighting, posing, and framing ensures you walk away with a gorgeous collection of photos to commemorate your special elopement in paradise.

Having an experienced photog by your side also eliminates the stress of assigning a friend or family member to document the occasion.

Types of Wedding Photo Packages

Hawaii elopement photographers typically offer a few package options to suit different needs and budgets:

  • Elopement sessions – Capture getting ready, ceremony, and post-ceremony photos for 1-2 hours.
  • Partial day coverage – Document prep, ceremony, and session afterward for 3-5 hours.
  • Full day coverage – Photograph from start to finish, including prep, ceremony, reception, and more for 8+ hours.

Many photogs include perks like printing rights or online galleries to easily share images with friends and family back home.

Average Costs

Coverage Duration Average Price Range
1-2 hours $300 – $800
3-5 hours $800 – $1,500
8+ hours $1,500 – $5,000+

Pricing depends on factors like experience, lens quality, editing process, travel fees, and album products. Hiring during peak seasons like spring or summer can come with added costs too.

How to Book

Start researching photographers in your Hawaiian elopement destination 6-12 months out. Browse online portfolios to find one whose style matches your vision. Schedule a video call to discuss packages and confirm availability for your date. Place a deposit to officially reserve their services.

Triple check travel plans closer to the wedding so you connect seamlessly on your special day. Don’t forget to finalize shot lists, timelines, locations and other details during the final planning stages.

Securing a talented elopement photographer in Hawaii is absolutely worth the investment. Not only will you walk away with professional images to cherish forever, but also have a trusting partner to capture all the special moments you don’t want to miss.

Choosing a Hawaiian Elopement Location

Popular Beaches and Resorts

Hawaii’s gorgeous beaches provide jaw-dropping backdrops for elopements. Popular spots like Waikiki Beach, Lanikai Beach, and Kapalua Bay marry postcard-perfect scenery with ease of access. Many beachfront resorts like Aulani, Disney Resort & Spa offer elopement packages that handle details like photography, flowers, and officiants.

State and National Parks

For more seclusion amid natural beauty, Hawaii’s state and national parks host countless magical elopement sites. Top parks include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, with lava flows and craters; Haleakala National Park, featuring sunrise views from a dormant volcano summit; and Waimea Canyon State Park, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Scenic Overlooks and Lookouts

Panoramic vistas abound at Hawaii’s scenic overlooks like Nu’uanu Pali Lookout on Oahu, Waipio Valley Overlook on the Big Island, and Lipoa Point on Maui. These spots let you soak up majestic island scenery as you exchange vows.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Spot

  • Research permit requirements for state/national parks and beaches.
  • Consider weather patterns and seasons – winters see bigger surf and rain.
  • Allow ample travel time to remote locations.
  • Have a backup plan for outdoor spots in case of rain.
  • Scout locations in advance if possible to visualize setup.

Keeping Your Elopement Stress-Free

Be Realistic With Your Timeline

When eloping in Hawaii, it’s important to be realistic with your timeline. Many couples underestimate how long things will take to plan and prepare for. Give yourself at least 6 months from when you start planning to your elopement date.

This will allow enough time to research locations, secure vendors, apply for your marriage license, book flights/hotels, etc. Without proper time to plan, your elopement can quickly become more stressful than it needs to be.

Keep Your Guest List Small

One of the great things about eloping is that it’s usually so much less stressful than a huge traditional wedding. You can keep things simple by limiting your guest list. For a Hawaii elopement, aim for 10 guests or less. Only have your closest family/friends attend.

Managing travel and activities for large groups can complicate the process. Plus, fewer guests means more privacy for your special moment!

Don’t Overplan – Allow for Spontaneity!

While some amount of planning is good, don’t pack your elopement schedule too tightly. Make sure to build in buffer time throughout the day to allow for transportation, getting ready photos, or anything unexpected. Overplanning causes unnecessary stress when things veer slightly off course.

Leave room for spontaneity – like stopping to watch the sunset on your way to dinner or taking a spontaneous dip in the ocean!

Focus on What’s Really Important: You Two!

At the end of the day, your elopement should be focused on celebrating your love and commitment. Don’t sweat the small details that won’t matter 5 or 10 years from now. Try not to get caught up in perfectionism. Your marriage is far more important than “Pinterest perfect” centerpieces or table decor.

Keep your focus on having a meaningful, intimate ceremony and experience with your soon-to-be spouse. This mindset shift can work wonders to eliminate elopement stress!


Eloping in paradise might sound like a dream, but with the right planning it can absolutely become your reality. By obtaining your marriage license well in advance, booking an officiant and photographer to capture your special moments, selecting a ceremony site with breathtaking island backdrops, and focusing on what matters most (your love!

), you’re setting yourself up for an unforgettable and stress-free Hawaiian elopement.

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