Maui Elopement Guide
Maui is one of the most popular islands to plan your elopement. Also known as “The Valley Isle”, it’s the second-largest Hawaiian island and a favorite among our team. From their amazing crystal clear beaches to Iao Valley, there is so much for couples to explore here. Our Maui elopement guide breaks down everything you need to know when putting your elopement package together.
Not sure you want to elope in Maui? Check out our Hawaii Elopement Packages to see what the other islands have to offer.
How to Elope in Maui
When it comes to eloping in Maui, 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.
- Where to Elope in Maui
- When to Elope in Maui
- Maui Wedding License and Permits
- Vendors For Your Maui Elopement Package
Where to Elope in Maui
Maui is Hawaii’s second-largest island and is best known for its famous beaches.
When it comes to deciding where to elope in Maui, couples should consider teaming up with an elopement vendor who specializes in Maui elopements and intimate weddings. This ensures couples pick an elopement location that suits them while also following permit guidelines and avoiding heavy crowds. For example, all beach weddings require a permit in the State of Hawaii, but there are some locations in Hawaii that no ceremony is allowed such as Kaanapali Beach.
Teaming up with an experienced Maui photographer or planner also allows you to elope in spots that are less known by the average tourist that comes to visit Maui. 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 in Maui, and then team up with a professional to start planning your wedding adventure together.
If there’s a beach that defines Maui, then Kapalua Beach is definitely one of them. Its calm waters and gorgeous views of Molokai make it an epic destination for your elopement. Besides all the amazing water activities, you can also see some pretty cool coral formations. The whole beach is protected by two reefs that extend out to both sides. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay nearby, then the Kapalua Bay Hotel is just off the beach.
There is no surprise this spot is a popular wedding destination on the West side of Maui, so expect to see multiple wedding ceremonies on the beach when planning during peak season and weekends. However, if you’re looking for a more accessible spot without the drive, then plan a sunrise ceremony during the weekday.
North of Kapalua Bay, there’s Ironwoods Beach. We LOVE this spot for its dramatic, rocky cliffs on either side of the beach. The natural lava rock formations and white sand beach is perfect for sunset elopements and is usually emptier than Kapalua. There are no restrooms here and parking is very limited, so it’s perfect for intimate elopements. The only thing to be aware of is the high winds this location gets, so definitely plan a backup location just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate with your date.
Photographers really love Maui’s north shore because the lighting is pretty amazing, so this location is perfect for sunrise and sunset ceremonies. A major plus with this location is you’re less likely to see another wedding at the same time since it’s farther away from resorts in Maui. If you’re looking for something remote, rugged, and a little windy, then this spot is for you.
If you’re looking for something tranquil and unique, then you should consider Makena Cove as your elopement destination to add to your Maui elopement package. This secret cave is also a beach that is surrounded by water and lava rock. Makena Cove is also called Secret Beach, but this beach is no secret really because this is one of the most crowded beaches to get married. Despite that, this beach is calm and pretty epic.
Napili Bay is a little more low-key if you’re looking for a resort beach that isn’t as crowded in the West of Maui. It gets a little less crowded mainly because the parking can be difficult, but it’s still a gorgeous beach close to a resort. Elope here and catch of glimpse of sea turtles in the glassy water. Be careful with rip currents and large waves here when weather conditions are poor.
If you’re looking for something a bit different in Hawaii that isn’t all about beaches, then Haleakala is a great choice. This national park is a massive shield volcano that actually forms more than 75% of the Maui itself. The other 25% is actually formed by Mauna Kahalawai (West Maui Mountains). This fact alone is pretty cool to tell your family and friends when you come back from your elopement adventure.
A special use permit ($150) is required if you want to elope at Haleakala. It’s also recommended that all ceremonies should be kept intimate (permits for groups of 25 people or more will be denied), which is perfect for elopements, and away from high visitor use areas. Check out the website to fill out the application and learn more about the regulations when planning your elopement here.
Remember that all beaches in Maui will require a permit, and you’ll also want to double-check if you can even elope on the beach you’re interested in. Koki Beach is unique for its dark red sand. This beach is actually perfect for couples who like to surf (we don’t recommend swinging here) and sunbathing together. Besides glassy waters and epic views, Koki Beach changes a lot during the year, so team up with a professional to plan the perfect adventure together.
Iao Valley State Park
In central Maui, you’ll find Iao Valley. This state park is such a gorgeous tropical oasis and it also has great historical significance. We love this spot because it’s easy to get there, but it also has dramatic views, perfect for your elopement portraits. One thing to know is this is one of the wettest places in Hawaii, so plan on getting your elopement dress dirty and wear the right shoes.
South of Maui and close to Wailea resorts is Po’olenalena Beach. We love this beach because it’s large, has two sides to it, and has some pretty epic lava rock formations. There’s also a green area with dramatic trees and beach grass, perfect for your wedding portraits. If you’re thinking about eloping here, then plan a sunset or morning ceremony.
Wai’anapanapa State Park
If you’re looking for a little bit of everything, then check out Wai’anapanapa State Park. You’ll get to enjoy rugged shorelines, black sand beaches, sea arches, and amazing views all around you. You’ll be able to take portraits of hills and valleys. The amount of beach activities here are limited, so most people don’t stay too long here. It’s actually perfect for your elopement ceremony for that reason. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, then trash your wedding dress by cliff jumping from one of the islets from the bay.
Sunset elopements are magical, so if the sunset is what you are after, then Paipu beach is your best bet! Since its stunning views are so popular, multiple people can usually be found here. However, we are sure you can find a spot to say ‘I do’!
Palauea Beach (White Rock)
This beach is quiet and lovely with secluded areas and calming waters. Be warned there are no bathrooms here, but that shouldn’t stop you from picking Palauea beach, also known as White Rock, for your elopement.
When to Elope in Maui
Deciding when to elope in Maui 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 other months. However, beach weddings in Maui will look pretty much the same whether you plan for Summer or December on a clear day.
Because of Hawaii’s warm weather, Maui’s tourist level is pretty high, especially during the summer months. The summer months in Maui are the busiest time to visit because so many families are visiting for summer vacation. Winter months can also bring more crowds because people are visiting for the warmer weather. If you want to avoid crowds, then we suggest planning your wedding in September-November or April-May.
If you’re stressing about crowds, then talk it over with your elopement team. They may suggest eloping during the weekday or planning a sunrise ceremony.
Maui 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 Maui.
If you’re trying to obtain a marriage license in Maui 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 ($70).
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.
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.
Vendors For Your Maui Elopement Package
Hiring a vendor who has experience planning Maui elopements is essential when looking for a Maui 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.