8/31/21

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How to Elope in Oahu: The All-In-One Guide (2021)

elope in oahu

Imagine saying “I do” to the love of your life amidst the elegant and idyllic setting of a tropical paradise with nothing but serenity and stunning scenery surrounding you. Here’s everything you need to know about how to elope in Oahu.

hawaii elopement couple

If this dreamy scenario aligns with what you’ve envisioned for your big day, the island of Oahu is ready to bring your dreams to life! 

With its towering mountains, picturesque beaches, mesmerizing sunsets, and vibrant nightlife, Oahu forms the perfect destination for couples seeking an elopement straight out of a fairytale.

But before you get to it, here’s your ultimate guide on how to elope in Hawaii – specifically Oahu – so you have everything sorted out before celebrating your marriage in nothing short of heaven on earth!

Fun Facts About Oahu

waikiki beach elopement

Let’s start by highlighting the factors that make Oahu perfect for an elopement:

  • The third-largest and busiest island of Hawaii, Oahu, provides magnificent views – by the end of your stay, you will have heaps of high-quality content for your Instagram!
  • With fun activities, such as scenic helicopter flights, shark cage tours, cultural festivities, cocktail cruises, and ziplining, you and your partner will never run out of things to do.
  • Oahu is home to the capital and largest city of Hawaii, Honolulu.
  • There are diverse options for sightseeing, including the famous Pearl Harbor and North Shore. Plus, Oahu provides world-class shopping experiences. Fun fact: the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu is one of the world’s largest outdoor shopping malls! It also has one of the tastiest Asian food courts ever! It’s GIGANTIC!
  • Oahu is home to the most nightclubs and bars in Hawaii, so you can dance (and drink) the night away with the love of your life.
  • Hikers rejoice! The island of Oahu hosts up to 50 popular hiking trails, with each track offering something for everyone.
oahu adventure photography elopement

The list of cool things about Oahu could go on and on, but I’m sure you now have a vivid idea of why it forms an ideal elopement destination.

Let’s get things moving now.

The first step to elope in Hawaii would be to get to Oahu. As such, let’s talk about how you can travel to and within the island.

How To Travel To And Within Oahu

You can fly into Oahu directly through Hawaii’s major airport, the Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Domestic and international flights land here, making it a convenient point of entry. 

The best airlines to fly to Hawaii

Southwest! It now roundtrip flies to Hawaii from anywhere on the mainland!

Alaska Airlines. Ironically, the 49th state airline flies direct to the 50th state.

Traveling to Hawaii during COVID

As of now, Covid-19 has reared its ugly head into most of our travels. And so, it’d be helpful to remember the following:

  • Vaccinated people from across the U.S.A. can enter Hawaii without PCR testing or quarantine.
  • All other travelers have two options:
  1. Show proof of a negative PCR test from Trusted Testing Partners taken before departure.
  2. Quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

To get around Oahu, you can grab a taxi, use the shuttle service, rent a motorcycle, or use the public transportation system. To fully experience the island, however, reserving a rental car would be the best option. Prices have gone down in late 2021 so you may find some excellent options available!

The Best Places To Elope In Oahu

Oahu is easily the most versatile island of Hawaii. With its diverse landscape, it has in store something for everyone.

Whether you want to tie the knot above the lush tropical valley of Kahana Bay or on the serene beach of Makapu’u, Oahu has the perfect location for you!

So, here are some of Oahu’s most lovely and natural spots guaranteed to make your decision to elope in Hawaii all the more memorable plus serene!

lanai lookout oahu

Lanai Lookout (The Tip Of Oahu)

  • Rugged landscape of cliffs surrounded by crashing waves
  • Located near Oahu’s southeast coastline
  • Perfect for sunrise elopements, providing mesmerizing views of colorful hues
  • Fairly easy to reach but may have slippery spots along the way
  • A 20-minute drive from Waikiki, meaning easy access to Waikiki’s hotels
crouching lion elopement hawaii

Crouching Lion – Kahana Bay

  • Views of crystal-clear waters and lush tropical valleys from the top
  • With Kahana Bay Beach nearby, it can act as a two-in-one location
  • Requires a steep but short hike of moderate difficulty, so ideal for minimal guests
  • Sun rises above the ocean and sets behind the mountains, making it perfect for both sunset and sunrise ceremonies
  • Hotel nearby: Hale Maluhia, Villa Koa
ahupua'a o kahana state park

Ahupua’a ‘O Kahana State Park

  • Hidden gem of Oahu
  • Features lush greenery and wandering trails leading to stunning views of Kahana Bay
  • Requires a complete-trail hike of moderate difficulty
  • Best for evening/sunset ceremonies
  • Hotels nearby: Studio Suite, Courtyard by Marriott

Makapu’u Beach and Lookout

  • Views of green mountains against a serene coastline
  • Includes lookout area plus beach
  • Easily accessible, so great for up to 20 guests
  • Hotel nearby: Kahala Hotel & Resort
  • A 25-minute drive from Honolulu
  • Beach access below and also a trail to Pele’s Chair

Ka’ena Point State Park

  • Located on Oahu’s North Shore
  • Views of hills and mountains, greenery, coves, and beaches
  • Golden hour is the best time for ceremonies
  • Beautiful spots accessible by short and long (but relatively flat) hikes
  • Hotel nearby: Surfers Dream Studio (apartment)

Sherwood Forest Beach

  • Incredible views of Oahu’s eastern side
  • Features a flawless beach, turquoise ocean, and Hawaiian-pine forest. Fun fact: the forest has loads of newly-webs … I mean, even the spiders love it for their elopements! 
  • You’ll bump into heaps of tourists on weekends, so weekday mornings are perfect for private ceremonies
  • Hotels nearby: Muthu Clumber Park Hotel & Spa, The Crown Hotel

You definitely can’t go wrong with any of these locations – each of them has a unique aura of its own! But remember – to elope in Hawaii, you have to follow its regulations, which means no more than 20 guests at beach weddings (during Covid-19).

Also, now that we’re talking beach weddings, I might as well add – you don’t need to have the same wavelength as your partner to get along. You just need to ride each other’s waves!

When To Elope in Hawaii – The Island Of Oahu

Hawaii is blessed with some of the best weather of the States. Heck. It is blessed with some of the best weather of the WORLD!

With its temperatures remaining between the nice and warm range of  68°F and 87°F throughout the year,  Hawaii is great to visit during any month.

But Oahu specifically is a super busy island, so if you’re looking for a serene, less-crowdy stay, you can plan your elopement between mid-April and early June or mid-September and early December.

If you don’t mind crowds, feel free to visit whenever you wish. Keeping track of the daily weather forecast around your expected dates would be a good idea, though – I bet you don’t want to get drenched in the rain during your beach elopement!

How To Get Your Marriage License To Elope In Hawaii

To elope in Hawaii, you need a marriage license and a registered marriage performer.

  • You can apply for a marriage license online before landing in Oahu (but if you plan to apply physically, note that both you and your future spouse need to be present).
  • The only legal document you need to show is a government-issued photo ID, such as a passport. Under certain circumstances, you may also need to show proof of previously-ended marriages.
  • The marriage license fee and administrative costs sum up to $65. This amount can be paid online as well.
  • Once you’re in Hawaii, you can pick up your license from the Hawaii State Department of Health.
  • The license is valid for up to 30 days of issuance.
  • After the marriage, your officiant will take care of all legal documentation, and your marriage certificate will be mailed to the address you listed within 6 weeks. 

Also, note that you need a Wiki Permit to elope on the beaches of Oahu, while a Special Use Permit is required for State Park elopements. Be sure to confirm the permit you need for a non-venue elopement with the State of Hawaii beforehand!

Best Wedding Vendors For Oahu Elopements

Now that things are coming together, here are some of the top wedding vendors in Oahu:

Wedding Catering in Oahu


Wedding Florists in Oahu

Wedding Planners in Oahu

Wedding Officiants in Oahu:

Elope In Hawaii And Make That Stay Worthwhile!

Hawaii’s island of Oahu also makes the perfect getaway for your post-elopement honeymoon. And to make that phase of your stay worth it, I’ve put together some of the top places to eat and stay!

Great Places To Eat In Oahu

Oahu fuses together cuisines of many cultures, so you and your partner can devour delicious and diverse food while you’re there!

Great Places To Stay In Oahu

Oahu also has absolutely amazing places to stay at. Here are a few great hotels:

Additionally, here’s a list of some cool Airbnbs:

The best things to do in Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is full of adventures just waiting for you and your partner. Here are some of the best things to do in Oahu during your honeymoon!

manoa falls hawaii
  • Have a beach day! Pick a direction and walk or drive there. Each side of Oahu has amazing beaches. If you prefer hipster surfing and locals, the north shore. If you’re looking for calm seas and quiet relaxation, the east side has outstanding views. Want some quintessential touristy beach? Try Waikiki in Honolulu!
  • Take a hike! LITERALLY! There is so much hiking from places like Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail, which is paved and only at a slight incline to more adept climbs such as Diamond Head Crater. You can’t go wrong.
  • Book a luau! There’s nothing that says Hawaii like a luau with beautiful cultural dances, food, and drinks, you two will have the time of your life! While there are dozens of them available across the Hawaiian islands, here’s one of the best ones at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
  • Surfing Lessons! Surfs up, dude! Time to get up early and hit some waves! Surfing lessons made me feel like a true Hawaiian. Check out Ty Gurney Surf School
  • Get lei’d! Your hotel may offer lei making lessons but if they don’t, here’s an AirBnB excursion on how to make your favorite floral necklaces!
  • Explore the shops in Honolulu. Being that Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii means that they have shops. AND I LOVE to shop. The Ala Moana Center Mall is a gorgeous indoor/outdoor mall with a super gigantic food court with it’s own gigantic Asian foodcourt within it. FOODCOURTCEPTION! You can also find luxury shops at Luxury Row in Waikiki if you’re feeling a little Gucci or a little Fendi on your HONEYMONEYMOON.
  • Shop local! Visit the north shore, which is essentially hipster village for local Hawaiians. You’ll find plenty of local surf shops and of course, the best food trucks in Oahu. Pro-tip, skip Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck and head to Fumi’s Shrimp Truck instead. Fumi’s uses locally sourced shrimp vs Giovanni’s Costco purchased shrimp.
hawaii luau

Oahu Awaits You!

I hope you enjoyed reading this comprehensive guide on how to elope in Hawaii (Oahu) as much as I did putting it together for you. 

Oahu is totally ready to transform your dreams into a reality – pack those bags, get that license, and go live that scene straight out of a fairytale with the love of your life!

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New Adventure Productions is owned by Nate Dale, a Lafayette, Indiana wedding and elopement photographer. We travel nation and worldwide to capture beautiful and intimate weddings and elopements while providing a guidance, love, help along the way. 
He is married to the love of his life, Felicia, owner of Emerald Lotus Events, a day of wedding coordinator in Lafayette, Indiana who created the Simple Wedding Planning online wedding planning course for couples.