Maui Elopement Guide

Maui Elopement Guide

Everything you need to know about planning your adventure elopement in Maui!

The island of Maui has everything that you can possible dream of for your elopement and honeymoon celebration! It’s the second largest Hawaiian Island and is known for its diverse landscapes and unique experiences avaiable for any type of traveler. If resort life is calling your name, Maui has the most options for luxury resort accommodations and numerous fine dining restaurants. If unique off-the-beaten-path accommodations such as camper vans, tiny homes, or boutique hotels are more your style, then there are many different options that we’ll share below! The island is known for its world class surf breaks, endless golden sand beaches, and a 10,000ft volcanic summit which rests high up above the clouds. The island of Maui is an adventure elopement haven with infinite possibilities to explore!

Your Maui Elopement Checklist

Your Maui Elopement Checklist

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  • Step Five
  • Step Six

Find Your Maui 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!

Choosing the Best Time of Year to Visit Maui

We often have couples ask us the best time of year to visit Maui. 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 Maui

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 wedding 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.

How to 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.

How to Apply for a Marriage License on Maui

Now that you’ve chosen to elope on Maui, 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:

  1. Here is the list to find a marriage agent on Maui.

  2. You  must show your driver’s license to show proof that you’re over 18 years old.

  3. Click on this link to fill out the marriage application.

  4. The application fee is $60 with a $5 administration fee.

  5. We suggest setting up an appointment a few days before your elopement date.

Best places to stay for your Maui elopement

Best places to stay for your Maui elopement

Our Top 5 Unique Accommodations on Maui

Bamboo Temple in Haiku

This unique bamboo accommodation is located in Haiku, Hawaii, which is only about 30 minutes from the cute surf town of Paia. This Airbnb offers incredible ocean views with fruit trees, waterfalls and hiking trails all surrounding the property. Think of this accommodation as your peaceful oasis during your stay on the island. The property even offers yoga class every weekday morning! We highly recommend checking out Bamboo Temple in Haiku!

Boutique Bungalow Near Lahaina

The Kulani Maui is the passion project of Heather and Pavel, who bought the property over three years ago and have been renovating ever since to welcome guests to this little piece of heaven. Although these bungalows are located in the heart of Lahaina, you will be surrounded by incredible landscaping with native plants that make you feel like you’re in the middle of the jungle. The inside boasts tropical hardwood floors, hand-poured concrete counters, and live foliage to add to the tropical feel. We highly recommend checking out Boutique Bungalow near Lahaina!

Gingerbread House in Makawao

This romantic hideaway is located in Makawao, Maui. While it has the lush beauty and privacy of Hana, it’s actually only about 20 minutes from the Kahului airport. This accommodation is a remodeled 1930’s cottage. Not to mention, Jimi Hendrix stayed here when filming Rainbow Bridge back in 1970 (how cool, right?!) This cute little cottage is lined with cedar, so it will smell incredible during your entire stay. We highly recommend checking out the Gingerbread House in Makawao! 

The Farm Cottage in Hana

Located on a five acre organic fruit farm, this cottage is everything you’re looking for while staying in Hana. You will have the most amazing views of fruit trees, flowers, and the ocean from your little home. Possibly the best highlight of this Airbnb is the fresh fruit that is provided upon arrival – straight from the farm! We highly recommend checking out the Farm Cottage in Hana!

Suite Van Maui in Makawao

If you are looking to stay in an accommodation that is more off-the-beaten path, look no further than this epic campervan company on Maui. This van is powered by solar and is equipped with everything you need for your Maui trip. They even provide a fridge, toilet, cooking supplies, beach towels, etc. The best part about your stay in this campervan is that you can take it around the entire island and stay in provide camping locations so you get a feel for every town on the island. We highly recommend checking out Suite Van Maui in Makawao!

Best Activities on Maui for your elopement

Best Activities on Maui for your elopement

Best Activities on Maui for your elopement

Top 5 Activities on Maui

Whale Watching with Maui Kayak Adventures

Have you ever thought of watching whales from a kayak before?! Honestly, we love this tour option compared to searching for whales on a packed ship with 50+ guests. This experience is way more intimate and packs the ultimate adventure in one day. You can decide which tour is going to be best for you, but they do offer a whale watching kayak tour, as well as a snorkeling kayak tour! We highly recommend checking out Maui Kayak Adventures for an epic experience on your elopement day!

Horseback Riding at Mendes Ranch

Mendes Ranch is like your one stop party shop for all things adventure! They offer incredible horseback trail rides (both in the morning and afternoon) along their beautiful property with gorgeous cliffside ocean views. They also offer a 30 minute helicopter tour where they will pick you right up from the helipad on their property. Did I mention they even offer the most amazing ceremony location with the jaw-dropping Maui cliffs behind you?! I told you this ranch had practically all you need for the ultimate adventure! We highly recommend checking out Mendes Ranch if you want to ride horses to your elopement ceremony!

Private Helicopter Tour with Blue Hawaiian

If you are looking for a longer and more customized option for a helicopter ride, Blue Hawaiian offers a private charter that includes a personal island tour and an exclusive landing at a beautiful remote spot. Guests have chosen personalized experiences such as a private landing at one of Blue Hawaiian’s exclusive sites, a gourmet picnic by a waterfall, or an activity such as horseback riding or ziplining. We highly recommend checking out Blue Hawaiian Helicopters for a private elopement experience in the mountains!

Cruise Down Haleakala at Sunrise with Bike Maui

If you’re looking for an adventure that Maui is famously known for, it would be cruising down Haleakala by bike! You start at 6,500 ft. elevation and make your way down 23 miles to the town of Haiku. If you are looking to cruise down the switchbacks of the mountain, Bike Maui’s Express Tour would be perfect for you and your partner on your elopement day. Bike Maui offers self-guided tours so that you can go at your own pace!

Waterfall Rappelling with Rappel Maui

I can’t think of a more adventurous way to top off your elopement day than rappelling down a waterfall in Maui. Rappel Maui offers private tours where you can design a customized experience based on your experience and activity level. With the private tour, the departure time, return time and tour duration are all flexible to work around your elopement day timeline. Another really great aspect of this tour is that it takes place in a privately-owned waterfall valley. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about a ton of other tourists all around as you make your way down a waterfall. We highly recommend checking out Rappel Maui for an adventure elopement experience!


Best Beaches on Maui For Your Elopement Ceremony

Best Beaches on Maui For Your Elopement Ceremony

Top 5 Beaches to get married on Maui

Makena Beach State Park

Makena Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Maui. We recommend getting married at sunrise to escape the crowds of tourists. There’s also a secret cove south of the beach that is perfect for an easy access elopement ceremony. Makena is an expansive, long golden sand beach with towering cliffs and beautiful blue water. This is also a perfect location to watch the sunset during your trip to the islands!

Ka'anapali Beach

Ka’anapali Beach is a stunning beach located on the westerns side of the island north of Lahaina. There are public areas to park between the Westin Resort and Whaler’s Village, but can be challenging to find a spot to park. We recommend parking in the Whaler’s Village parking garage. You will be able to validate your ticket by spending just $10 in one of the restaurants or shops at the mall. If it’s a windy day, there is a small cove to protect yourself from the inclement weather.

Baldwin Beach Park

Baldwin Beach is a massive golden sand beach that stretches over a mile long, which is perfect if you’re interested in finding a location that is private. It’s located near the town of Paia, and is one of the main areas on the island for water sports. We recommend walking to the protected cove on the east end of the beach to escape the high wind conditions. This would be a perfect, easy access location for an elopement ceremony with your families.

Hamoa Beach

Hamoa Beach is a beautiful golden beach surrounded by cliffs. It is located near Hana and is an awesome place for bodyboarding and surfing. We love that this crescent-shaped beach is lined with Hala trees! This beach has street parking, so make sure to check the signs before parking. Also, it is a somewhat steep hike down so make sure you wear secure footwear to get down to the beach. 

Mokulei’a Bay Beach

Mokulei’a Bay Beach is a hidden beach that is not visible from the road. There’s only a handful of spaces to park along the side of the road, so it is best to arrive early in the morning. This would be a perfect location for a sunrise ceremony while the wind conditions are calm and the beach is least crowded. There’s a short walk from the road down a flight of cement stairs, so it would be best for brides that are comfortable walking in their wedding attire. In the summer months, the ocean conditions are very calm and would be perfect for a trash-the-dress session!

The Best Hikes on Maui for an adventure elopement

The Best Hikes on Maui for an adventure elopement

Top 5 Hikes on Maui

Lahaina Pali Trail

The Lahaina Pali Trail is a maintained path that is easy to follow up the incredible ridge. There’s very interesting volcanic rock formations and stunning views of the ocean below. The total length of the trail is 4 miles roundtrip, but it isn’t necessary to hike all the way to the top. We recommend starting the trail early in the morning or beginning the hike afternoon. There isn’t a lot of shade during the hike, but it’s worth it!

Hoapili Trail

The Hoapili Trail is located near the town of Wailea at the far southern end of the road. It’s such a unique area because it traverses the youngest lava flows on the island! If you’re interested in having a ceremony on top of towering lava rock cliffs beside the ocean, then this wedding ceremony location is for you! It’s also a very popular location for spinner dolphins to be enjoying their morning swim! Also, there are small coves and pools to capture intimate trash-the-dress photos!

Ke Ala Loa O Maui/Piilani Trail

This trail is located near the town of Hana, which is on the eastern side of the island. The “Road To Hana” is one of the most famous drives in Hawaii! Once you park at Wai’anapanapa State Park, you will be able to hike this trail along the coast for several miles. There are incredible blow holes, stone arches, and remnants of Hawaii’s ancient past. We absolutely love watching the sunrise here because you’ll be able to see it rise above the ocean! It’s one of the most unique areas on Maui!

Sliding Sands Trail

The Sliding Sands Trail in Haleakala National Park is truly out of this world! It’s a well maintained and gradual trail with incredible views that look as if you’re walking on mars. During a clear day, you will be able to see the entire volcanic crater above the clouds! We recommend starting this hike at sunrise or finishing during the sunset golden hour timeframe. You will be able to have your elopement ceremony within one of the permitted wedding locations within Haleakala National Park, and then we can explore this trail together!

Waihe'e Ridge Trail

Waihe’e Ridge Trail is one of the most popular trails on Maui. It’s a steep climb on a maintained trail to the top of the ridge where you get to see beautiful views of the valley. There’s a small parking lot at the trailhead, which can be challenging to claim a spot if you arrive mid-day. We recommend hiking this trail while carrying your wedding attire and then changing in a private location at the top.

Best places to enjoy dinner to celebrate your elopement

Best places to enjoy dinner to celebrate your elopement

Top 5 Dining experiences to on your wedding day

Hire A Private Chef to Cook at Your Airbnb

We highly recommend hiring a private chef to prepare a meal for you at your accommodation! This is 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. The chef will be able to cater your meal to your dietary needs and meal preferences. Chef Rob Mason is an excellent chef that has previously worked at all of the best 5 star restaurants on the island of Maui!

Luxury Picnic on the Beach

We absolutely LOVE the idea of enjoying a luxury beach picnic after a full morning of adventuring! This is the perfect way to relax and sip on memosos, fresh island fruit, homemade banana bread, and all of your favorite brunch treats. Maui Lux Picnics offers a beautiful picnic setup that is tasteful, elegant, and intimate. Your picnic will be set up at one of our favorite secluded beaches so that we can end the morning session with a cool, ocean breeze and sand between your toes!

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!

Order Room Service on Your Oceanfront Balcony

Ordering room service at a resort in Maui is actually an excellent 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 Merriman’s Kapalua

Merriman’s is one of the most famous restaurants in Hawaii. It offers cuisine that supports local farmers and ranchers, with delicious meal options that are unique to the islands. The restaurant is located on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. 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.