Filed in Guides — July 12, 2022

How to Elope in Kauai – Planning Guide

how to elope in Kauai

How to Elope in Kauai – a Complete Guide


Kauai is the perfect Island for an adventure elopement. I love Kauai because it is less developed than the other islands. Making Kauai the most green and lush island of them all. Kauai attracts some of the most adventurous couples because it is famous for its outdoor activities and stunning elopement locations. I created this guide to help you find all the best information on how to elope in Kauai. From the Napali Coast to Wailua Falls, Kauai has an array of beautiful scenery. This island is perfect for couples who love the outdoors, hiking, and want a more intimate elopement experience. It’s also the BEST island for helicopter tours. What could make a better elopement day then hikes, waterfalls and helicopter rides??

kauai wedding photographer

The Best Time of Year to Elope in Kauai

Deciding when to elope in Kauai is easy because Hawaii is gorgeous year-round, and the weather is always beautiful!!

A few things to note, winter months (November-February), on the islands is more rainy than in other months.

Hawaii’s warm weather, keeps tourist level high, especially during the summer months. The summer months in Kauai attract the tourist . Winter months can also bring more crowds because people are visiting for the warmer weather. If you want to avoid crowds, then I suggest planning your wedding in September-November or April-May.

If you do want to elope in the busier months then I suggest eloping during the weekday or planning a sunrise ceremony.

Kauai elopement

Best Places to Elope in Kauai

Waimea Canyon State Park

 While you can’t have a ceremony here, Waimea Canyon State Park, is a beautiful place to take your photos together. Waimea Canyon is one of Hawaii’s most popular state parks. Waimea, is stunning with colorful gorges and iconic waterfalls that can be seen around the park.

Wailua River State Park

One of my favorite places for elopements in Kauai is the Wailua River State Park . This park is full of lush greens, rushing waterfalls, and colorful flowers. Wailua only allows specific locations for ceremonies and photographers but every part is gorgeous so you can’t go wrong.

Polihale State Park

Polihale State Park is known for a remote beach surrounded by beautiful cliffs. The beach is lesser known making it a perfect location for your Hawaii elopement if you want something more secluded. This park only allows ceremonies and pictures at certain locations, so always check to make sure following the rules.

Hanalei Pier and Beach

The Hanalei Pier and Beach is a peaceful beach on the north shore of Kauai. It boast beautiful views of the nearby mountains. This is a beautiful location for pictures, as well as for watching the sunset. The pier and beach each require their own separate permits for photos.

Travel Plans For Your Kauai Elopement

The Lihue Airport is the primary airport on Kauai. You can read more information about the airport by clicking here.

Plan for a Rental Car to Explore Kauai

My go to rental car in HI is always a Jeep especially when I travel to Kauai! Renting a Jeep (or even a camper van) allows you to explore the rugged roads that lead to hidden beaches. Did you know that only most of the island is not drivable? The Napali Coast is an entire area without roads. So, you’ll be thankful you have a more rugged vehicle as you adventure on the island.

Where to Stay on Kauai

If we aren’t staying in a hotel, Drew and I love staying at an Airbnb. Keep scrolling to find my list of the best places to stay for your Kauai elopement! And, pro tip! Some hotels, Like Kauai Shores, will give you a free rental car if you book your stay for a certain amount of days!

Where to Stay in Kauai for your Elopement


This beautiful waterfront home one of top on VRBO in Hanalei Bay. Located right in the heart of Hanalei, this home puts you in the middle of everything the amazing city has to offer.

Dali Hale Estate On Secret Beach – A high end luxury villa overlooking the beach.Perfect for elopements with guest.

Romantic Garden Cottage – Located on an acre of land, this peaceful cottage will give you seclusion while you take in great views.

kauai elopement

How to get a Wedding Permit in Hawaii for your Elopement

Kauai Wedding License and Permits

There are a few things that you need to know about wedding licenses in Kauai.

If you’re trying to obtain a marriage license in Kauai 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 we help you secure as part of photography package.

Does My Elopement Location Require a Permit?

Hawaii is very strict when it comes to permits for any type of ceremony. Basically, anywhere you want to elope in Hawaii, that isn’t a private venue, will most likely require a permit.

Don’t worry I got you covered, as your elopement photographer I will help guide you through the permit process.

Photographers do need permits for every location they go to in Hawaii. A Special Use Permit is also needed for the wedding ceremony.

If you don’t go with the planner or photographer, 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 in Hawaii without a proper permit. This is why it is so important to have a wedding vendor help guide you through the process.

Hawaii, like many other places our couples love to elope, values leave no trace (LNT) when planning your elopement adventure. Leave No Trace during your wedding essentially means exactly what it sounds like, leaving the location exactly how you found it. As a LNT certified photographer I can teach you how we can make sure to do just this and still have a heart pounding adventure!

kauai elopement photographer

How to Plan the perfect Elopement Day Activities in Kauai

Kauai is the ultimate island for hiking, with so many different terrains and sights like canyons, sea cliffs, waterfalls, tropical forests and more, there is no shortage of adventure. I

Makaleha Falls

This trail ends with three waterfalls through a lush green forest. The hike is only 2.8 miles round trip, making it and easy hike to add to your wedding day activities.

Pu’u O Kila Lookout

This hike is absolutely stunning! Sweeping views of the Napali coast, wildflowers and it’s in Waimea Canyon, one of my favorite elopement spots! This trail is also dog friendly!

Kuilau Ridge Trail

If you want to adventure through lush, green rainforest, you don’t want to skip this trail!! It’s a 3.6 mile-trail, and is also dog-friendly!

Sleeping Giant

This hike is accessible year-round! According to All Trails, “Local legend tells of a giant who feasted so much at a party in his honor that he laid down for a nap and never awoke, and when you see the mountain’s resemblance to a sleeping giant from the nearby town of Kapa’a you can see why the legend persists.”

Pihea Vista Trail

Located in Waimea Canyon, this 2.3 mile trail has gorgeous views of the Napali Coast. This hike has the most incredible views. Stopping at Waimea Canyon overlook and red dirt falls on this trail is a must!!

How to Elope in Kauai – Timeline Sample

kauai elopement

You’re probably wondering how to elope in Kauai, or what an elopement day in Kauai would look like. I will help you craft the perfect elopement adventure and timeline for your day … but just to inspire you here is a sample timeline.

Full Day Elopement Timeline

  • 6am getting ready pictures in your Kauai Airbnb
  • 7am waterfalls for a private ceremony
  • 730am take a hike and couple photos
  • 9am pick up some food from a local food truck
  • 2pm helicopter tour over the beautiful island of Kauai
  • 4pm head back to the Airbnb to freshen up and prepare for your sunset session
  • 530pm – we head out to the beach for more couple photos
  • 7pm – stargazing photos

Perfect Beaches on Kauai for Your Elopement

There are so many amazing Kauai beaches to explore on your wedding day. You could have your ceremony or a luxury picnic or just cuddle up and watch the sunrise or sunset.

Shipwreck Beach 

Located on the south end of Kauai, Shipwreck Beach is a known for it’s iconic cliff wall located here, which will create various backdrop opportunities for your Kauai elopement photos. 

Located on the north end of Kauai, Hanalei Bayand is known as the iconic beach of Kauai. The historic Hanalei Pier is a landmark in this area.

Tunnels Beach

Also located on the north side of the island, is a beach that is lush, and filled with greenery. This beach makes for a dreamy elopement spot!!

kauai elopement

How to Elope in Kauai

As you begin planning your Kauai elopement, things can get overwhelming. They don’t have to be, reach out and I will be happy to help you craft the perfect adventure elopement that lets your love run wild!! I will show you how to plan your Kauai elopement and be with you every step of the way!!

As a Kauai elopement photographer, I am very passionate about honoring the locals and land. If you’re ready to start crafting your Kauai adventure, I’d love to help! You can reach out to me HERE!!


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