The moment that you step foot on the island of Kauai, it feels as if you’ve gone back in time and all of your worries have melted away. Each town around the island has a unique character and charm. There are no buildings taller than the highest coconut tree and everyone cruises around without a care in a world. We call it “Island Time”. There’s truly no other Hawaiian Island that gives you the sense of an isolated tropical paradise like Kauai. There are endless isolated hidden beaches, dramatic hiking trails throughout the mountains, tons of delicious food trucks, and cozy accommodations tucked away in the jungle. Kauai is one of the most special and enchanting places on earth!
Kauai Elopement Guide
Everything you need to know about planning your adventure elopement in Kauai!
Your Kauai Elopement Checklist
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Find Your Kauai Elopement Photographer
We highly recommend finding a photographer first to make sure that he or she is available during the timeframe that you plan to elope in Hawaii. We recommend choosing a photographer that you feel relaxed and confident that you’ll be able to be your natural selves. Every photographer has a different approach to how they capture moments throughout the day, so we think that it’s a good idea to ask how the photographer will guide you throughout the entire experience.
Our photography style is documentary focused to create a safe space for you and your other half to share authentic moments on your wedding day. We create a balance of guiding you if we have a specific vision for a shot, and allowing you both to melt into a private moment or experience. Our goal is to make you feel as if you’re adventuring with good friends that happen to take epic photos as we explore together!
Choose the Best Time of Year to Visit Kauai
We often have couples ask us the best time of year to visit Kauai. Honestly, we think that ANY month of the year is an incredible time to visit! The temperatures do not change very much through the year, and different regions of the island get slightly more rainfall in certain months.
What we love most about Hawaii are the numerous micro-climates throughout each island! There are areas that get 200 inches of rain each year and other regions that only get 10 inches of rain. We will always have a inclement weather backup plan to ensure that you’ll be able to have a smooth elopement experience!
Decide Where To Stay on Kauai
When choosing the area that you would like to stay, it’s very important to take into consideration the region that you are deciding to elope. Most of our couples do not book any accommodation until they have confirmed their elopement timeline that we have created for them. This will ensure that you will not need to drive across the island for your elopement!
We also recommend booking accommodation in two different parts of the island to experience two very unique areas. While the western side of the island has beautiful golden beaches, vibrant blue ocean conditions, and sunny weather; the eastern side of the island will have a completely different feel with towering waterfalls, tropical jungles, and dramatic coastlines.
Book other elopement services
We will provide a detailed island guide (over 100 pages!) immediately after booking with us! The elopement guide will have our recommendations from years of visiting each of the Hawaiian Islands. We’ve worked with many wedding vendors that we highly recommend, which helps speed up your research process and allows you to book whichever vendor that you connect with the most.
We do not recommend booking an all-in-one elopement package because it doesn’t allow you to have options. We’ll share recommendations for videographers, officiants, florists, hair + makeup artists, musicians, and specialty bakeries.
Find Your Wedding Attire
We love adventurous elopements because there is often a good amount of ideas to play with! Definitely keep that in mind when looking for a dress. Flowy skirts and dresses look amazing with our type of movement based photography style.
If you prefer a hiking elopement, the best idea is to pack your dress away in a backpack and change when we get to the ceremony spot. We recommend considering a lightweight gown style dress and avoid heavy materials like corsets with boning or huge amounts of tulle in a puffy skirt.
But more than anything else – it is most important that you feel absolutely beautiful, comfortable, and happy. There are no rules. Whatever you love, that best fits “you” and who you are will be perfect.
Apply for a Marriage License on Kauai
Now that you’ve chosen to elope on Kauai, you’ve found your photographer, booked your accommodation, and confirmed the place that you want to elope, it’s now time to apply for your marriage license! Below is your To-Do List:
Here is the list to find a marriage agent on Kauai.
You must show your driver’s license to show proof that you’re over 18 years old.
Click on this link to fill out the marriage application.
The application fee is $60 with a $5 administration fee.
We suggest setting up an appointment a few days before your elopement date.
Best places to stay for your Kauai elopement
Our Top 5 Unique Accommodations on Kauai
Kauai Camper Rental
For all you adventure lovers who don’t need much while traveling, this may be the best investment for your trip. Kauai Camper Rentals offers restored Volkswagen Westfalia full campers and camping supplies. The campervan sleeps two adults and is stocked with a two-burner propane stove, running water, two tables, and privacy curtains around the entire van. They hook you up with all the information you need for camping around Kauai.
Waimea Plantation Cottages
Located on the western side of Kauai, these historic, restored plantation cottages are everything you’d hope for when staying close to the beach. Each cottage includes Hawaii-style furniture, a full kitchen, and a private lanai. You even have access to over two miles of black sand beach. With limited options for accommodations on the west side, these cottages are the perfect place to stay, especially if you plan your elopement in Waimea Canyon.
Glam Beach House Near Poipu
This beach house is ideal if you are looking for a larger space to accommodate a few family or friends on your elopement day. This brand new house is absolutely gorgeous with wood finishes throughout, outdoor showers, a backyard, hot tub, and private lanai and outdoor space for your family and friends to hang. Not to mention, this house is ideal if you are looking to cliff jump at Shipwreck Beach or enjoy any of the beaches near Poipu!
Romantic Garden Cottage in Hanalei
The garden cottage is perched on a bluff so that you can see the entire Wainiha River valley. This accommodation has a private pool and spa for you to enjoy during your stay. Imagine watching the stars from your hot tub after your elopement day! You can pick fresh fruit off the trees filling the property. And, if you are feeling the need to get in the ocean, you’re only about two miles from the beach! This is an ideal place to stay if you are looking to spend the majority of your time on the north shore of Kauai.
The Lime House in Kapa’a
This house is one story with four bedrooms, a full bath with a tub and another bath with a shower. This is perfect if you have decided some friends and family to your elopement, and you are looking to elope close to Kapaa. At this accommodation, you will find an outdoor hot water shower, full kitchen, dishwasher, and a BBQ outside for grilling out! The tasteful and straightforward aesthetic of this house makes you feel right at home.
Best Activities on Kauai for your elopement
Top 5 Activities on Kauai
Book a Private Helicopter Tour
Island Helicopters Kauai offers three different types of helicopter tours. The Kauai Grand Deluxe: Circle Island Tour includes flying over scenic areas like Jurassic Falls, Olokele Canyon, Waimea Canyon, Nā Pali Coast, Mt. Waialeale Crater and much more! They also offer the Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure, which is the Grand Deluxe Circle Island tour plus 25 minutes on the ground at “Jurassic Falls,” also known as Manawaiopuna waterfall! This company also offers private charters that you can book for your elopement day.
Surf Hanalei Bay
If there ever was a time to learn how to surf, it would be on your elopement day in Kauai! Hanalei Bay is known for its smaller waves that make it really easy to learn on. Rent a board from Kauai Surfboard Rentals starting at $40 a day! This is the perfect morning activity after some adventure on your elopement day.
Sail at Sunset on a Private Catamaran
You can experience a romantic sunset sail along Na Pali Coast on a custom 65′ Star Class luxury catamaran if you book Captain Andy’s tours. This is a great evening activity to wind down your elopement day. You can enjoy freshly prepared dinner and cocktails while viewing some of Kauai’s most stunning scenery.
Ramble an ATV in the Hawaiian Jungle
Choose from three tour options that each offer a different experience. Kipu Ranch Adventures offers the Ultimate Kauai Off-Road Ranch Tour and the Waterfall Triple Trail Expedition. In either of these tours, you will be able to ride through pastures, tropical valleys, and into the Hawaiian rainforest. You will be able to explore known movie locations, waterfalls, and wildlife along the way! They even offer private tours if you decide that an ATV adventure would be fun for your guests.
Kayak the Wailua River
Rent your own kayak from Wailua River Kayak Rentals for a few hours on your elopement day. You can rent a double kayak and paddle to the Sacred Uluwehi Falls. You can pick up the kayaks between 8am and 10am and only need to return them by 4pm. Wailua River Kayak Rentals also give you the option to purchase a dry bag and cooler for an additional fee.
Best Beaches on Kauai For Your Elopement Ceremony
Top 5 Beaches to get married on Kauai
Hanalei Beach Park
Hanalei is one of the most quaint, picturesque, and beautiful towns in all of Hawaii. The beach nearby is a large crescent golden bay surrounded by dramatic green mountains. This region is one of our favorite places for capturing ceremonies where the mountains meet the ocean. It’s perfect for couples that are staying on the North Shore!
Polihale State Park
Polihale Beach has some of the most dramatic coastline on the island. It’s the beginning of the famous Napali Coast with an expansive golden sand beach over six miles long! There are many spots along this large beach to have your private ceremony and escape the crowds. One of the best things about this beach is that it’s so far from the other main tourist attractions, so this location doesn’t often get too crowded.
Kalapaki Beach is located near Lihue in a protected cove. It’s perfect for couples that want to get married nearby several accommodation options and prefer not to drive far for their elopement ceremony. This location is typically very sunny and escapes the harsh weather conditions that are usually on the northern end of the island. There’s a mountain range across the bay which adds to the dramatic backdrop for a ceremony. We recommend getting married at sunrise to have the highest chance of privacy!
Poipu Beach is located on the southern tip of the island near the cute Hawaiian town called Koloa. This beach was actually ranked as one of the top ten beaches in the United States by the Travel Channel! There are several golden crescent bays lined with coconut trees and bright blue water. It’s a perfect location to capture trash-the-dress photos because the ocean conditions are often very calm!
Anini Beach is the perfect location to escape the crowds on the northern part of the island. It’s a beautiful beach with several private areas to share your vows. If you plan to stay in an Airbnb location in this region of the island, this would be the best option for a sunset ceremony. We love the slow pace of this location and would be ideal for an elopement ceremony with guests.
The Best Hikes on Kauai for an epic adventure!
Top 5 Hikes on Kauai
Okolehao Trail is one of the best trails on the northern side of the island. It has stunning views of the surrounding mountains, ocean in the distance, and Hanalei town below. The trail is best for experienced hikers who are comfortable climbing ropes and heading up steep trails. From the top of the highest viewpoint, you’re able to see 1/5 of the entire island!
Nounou Trail is located near Kapaa and is recommended for couples that want to hike a short and steep trail to stunning views above the ocean. It’s a popular hike in the area, so we recommend leaving early so that it’s not crowded at the top. The trail has a beautiful pine tree forest and there are many guavas and avocados along the path!
Queens Bath Trail
The Queens Bath Trail located near Princeville is a perfect short hike with dramatic black lava rock cliffs, a waterfall, and tide pools for swimming. This area is safest during the summer months when the trail is dry and the ocean conditions allow for swimming. We recommend wearing proper hiking shoes because the path can often be extremely muddy. It’s definitely an epic destination to add to your adventure list!
Awa’awapuhi Trail located within Waimea Canyon State Park has a once in a lifetime vista! It’s less busy than other trails in the state park, which allows you to have privacy for photos. The trail is wide and gradual for most of the hike. We recommend leaving early in the morning for a better chance of clear skies. It will take a few hours to hike, but it’s worth the effort!
The Kalalau Trail is one of the most famous hikes in the world! The views are absolutely stunning during the entire experience. There are dramatic mountains, towering waterfalls, and isolated hidden beaches. This is definitely recommend for experienced hikers because there are areas of the trail that are very thin with steep drops to the bottom of the valley. The entire trail is one of our favorite hikes in Hawaii!
Best places to enjoy dinner and celebrate your elopement
Top 5 Dining experiences on Kauai
Private Dinner at Your Airbnb
We love the idea of hiring a private chef to prepare a meal for you at your accommodation! This dinner experience is ideal for couples that absolutely love the place they booked, and would prefer to go back to their cozy Airbnb and have a private chef prepare your wedding dinner for you. Farm Cook Kauai is an amazing private chef on the island of Kauai. Their culinary creativity is inspired by our local farmers, fishermen and ranchers, and their exceptional service is inspired by aloha.
Luxury Picnic on the Beach
I can’t imagine anything more perfect than a beach picnic after a full morning of adventuring! Parma Kauai offers fun, fresh, and unique grazing that’s delivered right to you. They provide cheeses, meats, olives, fresh fruit, and sweet and savory details. This would be perfect for a picnic type of experience for lunch!
Private Beach Dinner Under the Stars
This is a popular option for couples that prefer to get married at sunset and want to enjoy a private meal beside the ocean. We have worked with restaurants and resorts that offer a “Dinner Under the Stars” private dining option with a table surrounded by tiki torches in a secluded location on the property. You will be able to discuss meal options with the restaurant manager so that you can pre-order all of the courses that you would like to enjoy for dinner! The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa have several different private dining options you can view here.
Order Room Service on Your Oceanfront Balcony
Ordering room service at a resort in Kauai is a great option for a romantic private dinner on your hotel room balcony. Many of the meal options are similar to the fine dining restaurants available at your hotel property. This is a wonderful option if you prefer to have your elopement photographer capture dinner moments in a private and comfortable location. The hotel staff will be able to set up a dinner table on your balcony with proper linens, wine or champagne, and all of the delicious courses that you decide to order!
Private Dinner at Oasis
Oasis is a full bar and restaurant right on the ocean located in Kapa’a. With outdoor and indoor seating available, you will catch some incredible ocean views. Oasis is unique in that they serve a menu that features 85 percent locally produced food. If you are looking for a quaint and charming restaurant in Hanalei, definitely take a look at Postcards Cafe. Nestled in a plantation beach house, you will find a cozy atmosphere with a delicious menu including farm vegetarian options, ocean-to-table entrees and delicious desserts.
We recommend asking the restaurant manager to set up a private dinner away from other guests in the restaurant. This will allow us the opportunity to capture the special moments of your dinner celebration, while also giving you space and privacy during your meal.