Big Island Elopement Guide
Big Island doesn’t get its name for no reason. This is the largest island and filled with endless possibilities when it comes to planning your elopement. Covered in diverse terrains from sandy beaches to lush rainforests and epic volcanoes, there’s something for every couple on this island. Our Big Island elopement guide breaks down everything you need to know when putting your elopement package together.
Not sure you want to elope in Big Island? Check out our Hawaii Elopement Packages to see what the other islands have to offer.
How to Elope in Big Island
When it comes to eloping in Big Island, there are a few things you should consider as you plan your special day. This island is gorgeous and SO fun for elopements, but Hawaii is pretty big on permits and regulations for all wedding ceremonies. Feel free to jump to the section you’re interested in or have questions about.
- Vendors For Your Big Island Elopement Package
- Where to Elope in Big Island
- When to Elope in Big Island
- Big Island Wedding License and Permits
Vendors For Your Big Island Elopement Package
Hiring a vendor who has experience planning Big island elopements is essential when looking for a Big Island package for your adventure. Not only will these vendors be great resources for you to bounce ideas with, but they will also suggest remote ceremony locations and trails not many people know about.
Explore our featured vendors below:
Where to Elope in Big Island
Being the largest of the Hawaiian islands, Big Island has extensive options for couples who love waterfalls, tropical greenery, and active volcanoes! The largest active volcano, Kilauea, can be found on this island. If you love beaches, then you will have multiple sand beaches to visit with white, black, and even green sand!
When it comes to deciding where to elope in Big Island, couples should consider teaming up with an elopement vendor who specializes in Big Island elopements and intimate weddings. This ensures couples pick an elopement location that suits them while also following permit guidelines and avoiding heavy crowds. Big Island is one of the most populated islands, so it’s important to plan ahead.
Teaming up with an experienced Big Island photographer or planner also allows you to elope in spots that are less known by the average tourist that comes to visit Big Island. This island has a ton of private locations you can elope at, but these are often accompanied by resort and spa packages. So if you want a more adventurous experience, then ask the locals where you can say “I do”.
In order to protect our lands and leave no trace, we will not be discussing these secret locations. Our best advice is to browse through our favorite places to elope within Big Island, and then team up with a professional to start planning your wedding adventure together.
If you love surfing and quiet towns, then Hilo Bay is your destination. This location can be gorgeous and intimate on one of its many stunning beaches. Since this is a very local spot, you will have an authentic Hawaiian experience.
Pololu Valley is a great option to consider for your elopement. One of the most impressive valleys in this region, couples can enjoy the greenery all around them. There are also some amazing views from Pololu Valley’s lookout cliffs, and a gorgeous black sand beach you can lounge around at the end of your wedding day.
Pine Trees Beach
Beaches in Hawaii are beyond spectacular. If you’re looking for a beach with plenty of sand, black rocks, and scenic trees, then Pine Trees Beach is for you. You can find an intimate spot on this beach and exchange your vows with a stunning view.
While planning your Big Island elopement package, you may realize that you want something other than a beach ceremony. Hawaii also has plenty of green hills covered in misty fog. Waimea is a great option for you if you are looking for something a little different.
This black sand destination is surrounded by sea turtles and stunning blue waters. Kiholo has a little bit of everything, such as wildlife, tide pools, and rock formations. You can also find a mini-island at the heart of the bay made of lava rock, perfect for some epic pictures.
Captain Cook Bay
For adventurous and romantic couples, we suggest checking out Captain Cook Bay. There are plenty of water activities to do here to celebrate your marriage, including swimming with dolphins and kayaking!
On the Big Island’s Kohala Coast is a small oceanfront community, Pukao. This is a secluded little community known for its clear blue waters and awesome snorkeling! If rain is your concern, then this area is perfect for you since this is the driest area on the Big Island, receiving about 10 inches of rain per year.
When to Elope in Big Island
Deciding when to elope in Big Island is actually not so tricky. Hawaii is gorgeous year-round, and the weather is always nice and sunny. During the winter months (November-February), the islands do see more rain than in other months. However, beach weddings in Big island will look pretty much the same whether you plan for Summer or December on a clear day. We personally suggest April, May, August, September, and October for your Big Island Elopement.
Because of Hawaii’s warm weather, Big Island’s tourist level is pretty high, especially during the summer months. The summer months in Big Island are the busiest time to visit because so many families are visiting for summer vacation. The Winter months can also bring more crowds because people are visiting for the warmer weather.
Stressing about crowds? Talk this over with your elopement team. They may suggest eloping during the weekday or planning a sunrise ceremony.
Big Island Wedding License and Permits
Thinking about making it official at one of Hawaii’s most popular islands? Here’s what you need to know about wedding licenses in Big island.
If you’re trying to obtain a marriage license in Big Island to make it official, you don’t need to be a resident of Hawaii or a U.S. citizen to marry. All you need is a state-issued I.D and pay your license fee ($60).
To elope in Hawaii, all you need is to make sure you have your officiant, marriage license, and location permit, which is usually provided by the photographer or planner.
Does My Elopement Location Require a Permit?
Hawaii is very strict when it comes to permits for any type of ceremony. The rule of thumb to remember is anywhere you would like to elope in Hawaii, which isn’t a private venue, will most likely require a permit. You’ll also want to make sure the location you’re interested in allows both wedding ceremonies (no matter how big or small) and wedding portraits.
This shouldn’t stress you out at all though. A lot of times, your officiant, photographer, or planner will help guide you through the permit process. If you’re not sure what the right answer is regarding permits and regulations, then ask your elopement vendor.
Please note that photographers need permits for every location they go to in Hawaii. Photographers can obtain this permit through the Hawaii Film Office and/or County Film Offices. If a wedding is taking place off the beach (ex. a State Park), then in addition to commercial film permits, a Special Use Permit is also needed for the wedding ceremony.
If you don’t go with the planner, then you will need liability insurance to obtain the permit. For beach elopements, keep in mind no arches are allowed. It is illegal to get married on a beach in Hawaii or anywhere in Hawaii without a proper permit. It’s also important to double-check if the location you’re interested in is still a location you can visit to have your ceremony or take your portraits.
Hawaii, like other places to elope, is HUGE on leave no trace (LNT) when planning your wedding adventure. Leave No Trace during your wedding essentially means exactly what it sounds like, leaving the location exactly how you found it. Be considerate of regulations surrounding wedding decorations and bridal bouquets, staying on the trail, and bringing any food or champagne.