2/19/21

education

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How to Elope in Maui, Hawaii

how to elope in maui hawaii

Aloha! Howzit, braddah? You’re here because you want to elope in Hawaii. Today, we will focus exclusively on one of the many beautiful islands, Maui.

About Maui, Hawaii.

Hawaii is a US state located in the Pacific Ocean, an archipelago composed of over 100 islets and eight main islands, one of which is Maui. Maui is the second-largest island in this territory, popularly known as the valley island. 

maui hawaii beach

Maui is diverse when it comes to nature. You will find numerous beaches on the west side of the island, a valley in the central area, and if you head east, waterfalls and plenty of green landscapes are the main attraction. 

Although Maui is world-renowned for its five stars resorts and top-notch accommodation, it has a place for everyone. If you look for a natural adventure or do not want to overspend on accommodation, you will find the right place too. 

West and South Maui offer the most popular beaches. But if you want to know a bit more about this unique island, I recommend you go on a drive-thru Hana Highway that will take you to the east side of the island, where you can find waterfalls, black sand beaches, and the dormant volcano Haleakala. Hana is an isolated community ideal for a secluded experience. 

Best seasons to Elope in Maui. 

There is no doubt Hawaii has amazing weather, with little temperature variation throughout the year, Maui is a year-round destination. There are only two seasons in Maui, winter and summer. With temperatures between 70°F and 80°F, it is an ideal place to visit anytime. 

maui beach wedding

Winter is a rainy season; from November to March, cooler temperatures and wet conditions are usual. Rain does not last more than a couple of hours, so it will not interfere much with your activities. This season is also a peak time, as many visitors escape freezing temperatures around the world and visit Maui. 

Summer is warmer and dryer, starting around April thru October. It is also peak season, expect lots of tourist on the south and west coast. During this time, rain is unlikely to appear but always be prepared for some showers. Also, consider that high terrain such as mountains will always have a couple of degrees lower temperature and higher humidity. 

To elope in Maui, I recommend you plan your visit in January, May, September, October, and November. Those are the low season months, and in addition to fewer visitors, there are some great deals on accommodation and flights.  

When you decide to elope in Maui, if you happen to make it in January or February, you’ll be graced with the beautiful breaching of hundreds of humpback whales! You’ll also be able to see and enjoy the beautiful green turtles of Maui!

How to get to Maui, Hawaii.

Since Maui is an island, you can get here by air or sea. Many cruise ships arrive in Maui, and flights come mainly from the US.

The main airport is Kahului Airport (OGG), located a couple of miles from the town of Kahului. It is the only airport that accommodates flights from the US. This is the airport that you’ll fly into from the mainland. You’ll want to rent a car that gets good gas mileage and isn’t too bulky, especially since gas in Hawaii averages around $4.00 per gallon.

There are two other airports on the island. One is Kapalua Airport (JHM) in West Maui; it hosts air taxis and commercial propeller units. There is parking available, but no public transportation or car rental companies. 

Hana Airport (HNM) in East Maui, located three miles from Hana’s town, offers commuter services, general aviation, and unscheduled air taxi. It is a rather calm airport with low interisland traffic. 

Getting married in Hawaii.

Getting legally married in Maui is possible even if you are not a resident. The other option you have is to perform a symbolic ceremony and tie the knot legally at home. 

If you want to have a Hawaii marriage license, here are the main requirements:

  • Both applicants must appear in person before a marriage license agent. 
  • Both must be 18 years or older. 
  • Show proof of age, passport, birth certificate, license, or ID. 
  • Blood tests are not necessary. 
  • Residency or citizenship is not necessary. 
  • No witness required. 
  • You need a registered officiant. 
  • No waiting period. From the moment you obtain your license, you can perform a ceremony. 

Best places to eat in Maui. 

Maui’s gastronomic scene has a flavor for everyone and all budgets too. From casual eats at a popular food truck to all-time known five stars restaurants. Flavors range from tropical with its delicious mangoes and fresh produce to Asian inspired cuisine that incorporates fresh seafood. 

These are some of our favorites of the island: 

Mama’s Fish House 

Located in Maui’s northern area, this restaurant established in 1973 has delighted visitors with its unique creations that combine fresh seafood with local produce. A must go when visiting Maui. 

Koiso Sushi Bar 

A traditional Japanese restaurant with a hint of Hawaii. You will find fresh seafood and sustainable local produce in each dish. Unique combinations with a warm atmosphere that will transport you to a sushi bar in Japan. This restaurant is essentially a Hawaiian legend if not for the food and sushi quality but at how difficult it can be to grab a table! Make sure to make reservations at least 2 weeks in advance. (Note they are closed Sunday/Monday and only open in the evenings!)

808 Grindz Cafe

If you’re looking for a real taste of local Hawaiian, look no further! This lowkey and rather understated cafe serves up a real breakfast worthy of Maui himself! A few tasty things to try when in Hawaii: The Loco Moco (a gravy covered hamburger on a bed of rice), anything lilikoi flavored (passionfruit!), and of course Kalua Pork (a tender slow marinated pork that is wrapped in banana leaves, buried in a hole, and covered with coals to slow cook to perfection!)

Gazebo Restaurant at Napili Shores

Looking for another lowkey brunch place but with a million dollar view? Look no further than Lahaina’s hidden gem, The Gazebo Restaurant at Napili Shores! Located in Northwest Maui, this location serves up more island-fare food for low prices. You may find that there’s a bit of a wait but it’s worth the wait for a view like this! (The island you’ll be greeted with every day in Lahaina is Lanai! To the north, Molokai!)

 The best places to Elope in Maui. 

Maui offers many options for you to perform your ceremony, keep in mind that there are public and private spaces. When we say public space, we are talking about a beach, state park, nature reserve, or waterfall. Those spaces require you to get a special event permit with the proper authority. 

A private space would be a resort or a wedding venue, and those options have many perks. They can solve pretty much everything for you, from the accommodation, catering, and ceremony decoration. You do not need any permit. Just ask them if they are authorized to perform a wedding ceremony.  Typically, the cost of a resort or venue wedding or elopement is higher but the appeal and ease of use may outweigh the cost savings.

Here are some of the best locations to elope in Maui, depending on the area and landscape you prefer: 

elope in maui couple running down the beach in lahaina at sunrise

West Maui Wedding Locations

The most popular side of the island for tourists, filled with many resorts and beaches. White sand, coves, and a rocky coastline characterize this area. 

Kahakuloa Bay has a beautiful backdrop for your photos, green mountains and blue waters that can be captured from a cliff. Kapalua is another great option for a beach wedding. White sand and palm trees surround your visit. 

Ka’anapali is home to many resorts. If you are looking for a relaxing stay, this is the perfect location for you. Turquoise blue waters blend with the clear skies creating a beautiful scene. 

Dragon’s Teeth is a rocky formation, where waves crash against the natural formation result of lava entering the ocean. An unconventional location for your elopement.

Central Maui Wedding Locations

Here you will find why Maui is called the Valley island, with unique natural scenery, mountains, and tropical greenery. 

Iao Valley has an abundant rain forest and spectacular waterfalls. 

Waihee Ridge Trail offers great opportunities for natural backdrops. At the highest points, you will appreciate the valley’s greatness. This trek is about a 2 mile easy hike up through some beautiful rainforests into these dreamy spots! This location is best for sunrise.

Image courtesy of MorningWild

East Maui Wedding Locations

The best option for an intimate elopement. It owns a unique beauty in its red and black sand beaches and the tranquility of a secluded area on the island. Hana, on the Southeast side of Maui is deserving of its own adventure. While Maui is not a gigantic island, the east side of Maui is very rainy and therefore has a TON of rainforests and beautiful adventure trails.

Koki Beach is known for its red rock cliffs and sand that contrast beautifully with its blue water and skies. 

Waiʻānapanapa State Park gives us a magnificent black sand beach and picture a white dress against the dark sand and blue ocean. 

The tiered pools of Oheo, a chain of seven waterfalls and swimming holes that create an astonishing effect, can also be the ideal location for a ceremony. The pools and waterfalls are a sacred area for local Hawaiians so be sure to respect the area and abide by the rules.

Haleakalā National Park, a volcano that forms more than 70% of the island, offers incredible views, sunsets, and sunrises. This location is ideal if you’re wanting something truly unique. Hosting your wedding in this location can be done anytime of the day but my suggestion is sunrise. A special sunrise permit, costing $1 will be required to enter into the park. This, accompanied by the entrance fee for the National Park, photo and wedding permits will be required for your special elopement day.

Sunrise permit information.

But why is it so special? Because very little hiking (if any) is required to host your elopement ceremony ABOVE THE CLOUDS. Oh yeah, this is definitely the place I would want to get married at if I had a choice.

North Maui Wedding Locations

The most secluded area of the island, many untouched beaches, and secret spots can be the ideal location for when you elope in Maui!

Baldwin Beach is one of the popular choices. White sand and crystal-clear waters will make you fall in love. 

Twin Falls are a dreamy location for an elopement. With plenty of nature around, you will have a unique ceremony. 

Another option is the Bamboo Forest located inside the Haleakala National Park, where a bamboo trail can frame your ceremony.    

Trail through the Bamboo Forest on Maui, Hawaii along the Pipiwai Trail

Wedding Permits for your Maui Elopement

If you prefer a public space, which is understandable since Maui has so many beautiful natural locations that will look breathtaking in pictures, here is a quick guide to what a permit allows you to do: 

  • You can use a determined space for up to two hours to perform your ceremony. 
  • Avoid obstruction of public areas or entrances. 
  • 10 to 25 guests allowed. 
  • No alcohol should be served. 
  • Chairs can only be used for the elderly or disabled. 
  • A small podium can be set up
  • Small decorations, a hand-held bouquet, loose flowers, camera equipment, unamplified music instruments, and other non-obtrusive hand-carried accessories are allowed. 

Direct your request to the Department of Land and Natural Resources and check for any other requirements. 

Beach Wedding Permit Information
Haleakala Wedding Permits $150 fee
Photography Permit $150 fee

Hawaii is a unique location for your elopement, Maui has an ideal space for each couple. If you are looking for a five stars getaway and do not want to worry about anything, the south and west sides of the island offer plenty of resorts for that purpose. The adventurous and unconventional couples will love east, and north Maui is the most secluded area, with less tourist and more nature. 

The Best Places to Stay in Maui!

There are countless stay options in Maui. The majority of the hotels you’ll find can range anywhere from $250-$900 a night! Whatever your budget, I put together some of the best stays together for when you elope in Maui!

If you’d like to see some of our work from Hawaii, you can check this family portrait session out in Oahu!

I hope this blog about how to elope in Maui helps you and your partner’s time of eloping just a little easier! If you’d prefer we take care of the entire planning process, just send us an email and we can create some unique and beautiful for you.

How Much Does It Cost to Elope in Maui?

I’ve been thinking about adding this part into my elopement blogs because price can be scary but it’s also super subjective to each person. Let me briefly break this down.

This price breakdown includes the following items PLUS 1 week after your ceremony and arrival for a honeymoon in Maui.

  • Airfare
  • Your Stay (typically 9-12 days)
  • Food and Drinks
  • Permits
  • Officiant
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Photography and Planning
  • Marriage License
  • Rental Car
  • Adventures and Excursions

    This all comes in at a grand total of around $15,000.

    While this is a large sum of money, remember, this is your elopement cost + honeymoon cost in one of the most expensive (and beautiful) places in the United States. A typical one day wedding with 150 people can cost around $20,000 to $50,000.

    Being able to have a wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii for less than the cost of one day of a typical wedding on the mainland. If you choose to elope in Maui, we promise you will not regret it!
couple elope in maui standing on beach elopement in lahaina

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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.

  1. Sam says:

    You’ve quickly convinced me that a Hawaii wedding is absolutely amazing! What a great guide to all things Maui! I especially love the variety of sceneries you can get all in one island!

  2. Samantha Genido says:

    Wow! This blog really covers all the bases! So helpful for brides looking to elope in Maui. Will definitely be bookmarking this one!

  3. Such an in depth guide on how to elope in Maui! Hawaii looks like a beautiful location for an elopement. I can’t wait to visit!

  4. Love how helpful this blog is! The legal requirements are especially considerate. Can I also just say that the restaurant recommendations are amazing— as a foodie I always want to know the best places to hit up when travelling!

  5. Marla says:

    I’ll never get over the beauty of Hawaii. You have such stunning photos here, and I always look forward to reading your restaurant recs to save for future reference 🙂

  6. ma love says:

    Want to go want to go want to go! So beautiful!