Oahu is an amazing elopement location. The vast and diverse landscape can bring you so many different things, such as the crystal clear water, jungles, waterfalls, and cliff-sides. This is one of my favorite places to shoot elopements. This guide is going to go over everything you need to consider, such as locations, crowds, seasons, and permits. Read on to find out exactly how to elope in Oahu, and see the most beautiful Oahu elopement locations.

West Side Oahu

Wes side Oahu is at the foot of the Wai’anae Mountains. You’ll get a lot of greenery from the forested cliffs, as well as beautiful sandy beaches and less tourism. I love how much more private the elopement locations on the West Side of Oahu is. Not to mention, sun sets in the West, providing you with insane and gorgeous sunset views. Amazing for viewing and of course, getting pictures here.

East Side Oahu

The east side of Oahu offers a lot of activities. There are stunning popular beaches over here, as well as a ton of amazing hikes and waterfalls. There are a ton of cliff sides and black rocks. The east side is a bit more popular because it’s so close to Honolulu. However, if you’re comfortable getting up early, this is the perfect place for a sunrise elopement. Since the sun rises in the east, the views here at sunrise are incredible with soft colorful lighting on the water. At sunrise, you can get popular locations such as Lanikai Beach, Waimanalo Bay and Kalama Beach to yourselves with very few other people.

Oahu elopement

North Shore

North Shore has the biggest waves, and is popular amongst surfers. There are tons of beautiful coral reefs, gardens, pineapple fields, and backcountry hiking to be done. If you’re looking to do some hikes without being around a ton of other people, North Shore Oahu could be an amazing elopement location for you. If you stay away from some of the popular beaches for surfing, you’ll find that there aren’t too many crowds here, and that this is an amazing place for an Oahu elopement.

Where is Oahu

Oahu is one of the islands of Hawaii. It is the most developed, generally bringing in a lot of tourism to Honolulu and Waikiki. However, don’t let that get you down, as so many people stay at their resorts and the nearby beaches. There is so much to explore here. The best way to get to Oahu is by flying into the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu.

From there, I highly recommend getting a rental car. Honolulu is quite walkable, but as previously mentioned, the best Oahu elopement locations are on other parts of the island that can be up to an hour and a half away.

Oahu elopement

When to Elope in Oahu

The best time to elope in Oahu is between February to March, as well as September and October. However, each season brings different things, different crowds, and different temps. It’s important to consider what every season is like in Oahu and make a choice that is the best for you and your partner.


Spring is a beautiful time in Oahu. Temps are within the 80’s and the summer tourism hasn’t totally picked up yet. There will be a bit more rain, especially on the North Shore. Rates slowly start going back up for flights and lodging around spring due to spring break.


Summer is peak season in Oahu. School is out for summer, and a lot of people travel here with their families. This is when lodging and flights are going to be the most expensive, and when you’re likely to deal with more crowding in Oahu. The temps are within the 90’s. The produce and flowers are plentiful. If you really want a summer elopement, you can still absolutely find less crowded spots by looking into more remote locations.


Fall is one of my favorite times of an Oahu elopement. Specifically between September to November. This is known as the shoulder season, when tourism is at a very low point. Things like flights and lodging are the cheapest during these shoulder seasons, and you’ll find a lot of space without crowds.


Winter is another incredible time for an Oahu elopement. However, I would fully avoid December and January. December is another high peak time of the year due to winter vacation, Christmas, and New Years. Some of that holiday and off time traffic still floods into the month of January. During these times, rates go back up. February through March is perfect, as the crowds are gone, and rates are again back down. It’s also a mild time of year, hanging out in the high 70’s. Perfect for couples who don’t want to deal with a ton of heat.

Oahu Wedding Permit

To elope in Oahu, you will need a permit. There is a list of pre-approved locations for weddings, and you can take a look at them here. There are other beaches and parks run by State Parks or through the BLM, so who you will contact for a permit will sometimes depend. In order to get a permit, you will need to apply to view the permits here. Once you’re approved for that, you’ll apply for a permit with your specific location, which can be done here.

Lastly, you will have to submit a Certificate of Liability Insurance. You can see that here. This might sound like a lot of steps, but the forms are easy and straightforward to fill out. Plus, I help all of my eloping couples with the entire process. The last thing to consider is that each location will have regulations. Make sure you’re prepared to follow the rules set for the location prior to applying!

How to Get a Oahu Marriage License

Getting a marriage license in Oahu is actually fairly easy. You will need to fill out the online application here, and pay the $65.00 fee. After that, you will both need to appear in person to pick up your marriage license and finish the application. This required you both brining valid forms of ID. After that, you’re set to use your marriage license right away. Make sure to use it within 30, as that’s how long it lasts for!

Oahu elopement

How to Elope in Oahu

You plan a Oahu elopement in similar ways as you’d plan any adventure elopement. There are a few major steps, and you can read about those here on my thorough guide on how to elope. For this Oahu elopement guide, I’m going over the major things you’ll need to consider!


This is an imperative part of the planning process for elopements. This is because some guests won’t have the hiking ability, some might not be able to spend much time in the sun, and most importantly, some locations have a limit on how many people you’re allowed to have. Choosing a location will be much easier once you’ve determine who you’re inviting, and how many guests total you’ll have.


This might feel early in the planning process, but bear with me. Elopements don’t have wedding planners. Most elopement photographers have taken it upon themselves to help couples with some of the planning. Many actually help you find your location! And they will think of things you might not have considered, such as: lighting, elevation, difficulty in hiking in a dress, permits, and so much more.

Each elopement photographer offers something different. Personally, I send my couples a customized list of locations based on their preferences, hiking ability, who they want to invite, and what they want to see. I also help them determine lodging options, get permits, get their marriage license, recommend vendors, and create a comprehensive day of timeline, and offer unlimited guidance calls for any questions along the way.

The being said, hiring your Oahu elopement photographer early is going to take a massive amount of planning stress off of your shoulders. Wanna chat? Contact me here!


This is going to help you choose a date, and sometimes location, as some locations receive more rain. Research what each season is like Oahu, and figure out what would feel the best to you and your partner. This is going to help you determine the best time of the year to get married in Oahu.


Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to hike, how many guests are coming, your ideal weather, and the landscapes you want, you’re ready to deep dive into researching Oahu elopement locations. Finding the perfect spot will be a lot simpler after considering all of your needs and logistics.

This is information I collect from my couples through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of Oahu elopement location options for them.


Once you have your location, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you need vendors for. Do you need any event rentals? Do you want a friend or family to officiate, or do you want to hire an officiant? Will you go out to eat, or do you want something catered, like a meal at an Airbnb from a private chef?

Figure out what extra services you may want, and hire your vendors in advance!


You will need to get the correct permits for your elopement. These are usually “special use” permits that you apply for on the National Parks website, or National Forest/BLM website.

Personally, I get all permit information for my eloping couples that hire me. With that, all you need to do is fill out the application when it’s sent to you and pay the fee. Fee’s vary, but are usually around $150 or less.


Activities are such a fun part of an elopement. When you choose to elope, you’re opening yourself up to having a wedding day celebration that feels unique and resonates with you. Incorporate things that will elevate your elopement day experience. Here’s just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Going on a hike
  • Having a bonfire
  • Having a picnic on the beach
  • Star-gazing or astrophotography
  • Swimming
  • Cliff jumping
  • Visiting waterfalls
  • Camping
  • Glamping
  • Hiring a private chef
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Helicopter tour (landing on glaciers, mountains, etc)
  • Kayaking
  • Surfing
  • Sightseeing
  • Scenic driving with time to stop for pictures
  • Sunset boat ride
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Reading letters from friends or family


Making a timeline is an important part of any elopement. It strings together all of your locations, activities, and lets guests know where to be and when. Creating a well thought out timeline will help you feel relaxed during the day, instead of stressed or rush. Make sure to include drive times as well as buffer times between each “event.”

Here are the things I include in the timelines I make for my couples:

  • All addresses
  • Sunrise time
  • Sunset time
  • Drive times
  • A linke to Accuweather
  • A list of all names for group shots
  • Vendor info
  • Emergency contact info
  • A packing list

Lodging in Oahu

Lodging is important when it comes to elopements. A lot of couples incorporate their lodging into aspects of their wedding day. For example, getting ready + getting ready photos, a first look, an intimate reception with friends, a dinner made by a private chef, etc. Once you’ve decided what you’ll incorporate in your day, pick a location that will allow everything you want to include.

If you want to host an intimate reception, I highly recommend a vacation rental such as a cabin or an Airbnb. You can also stay at hotels, resorts, chalets, campgrounds, etc. Here are some amazing lodging options near Oahu:

Oahu elopement

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Hawaii

A marriage license in Oahu costs $65, so technically it costs $65.00 to elope in Oahu. That being said, most couples spend an average of $5000-$20,000 on their elopement. This includes flights, lodging, permits, vendors, wedding attire, meals, and anything extra a couple might want.

Oahu Elopement Locations


This is an amazing Oahu elopement location. You’re able to get both the ocean and the cliffs in the background. Better yet, you’re able to go down to the beach and explore the shoreline filled with the black rock. I like this spot for couples who want a no-hike location. However, you are able to see some cars on the highway.

Crouching Lion

Oahu elopement locations

Crouching Lion is an insane Oahu elopement location, and it’s actually gained some popularity for ceremonies. However, there’s generally not many people here, as it’s a pretty steep hike. I would only recommend this one for couples who are okay climbing on a steep, dirt and rock path to get to the top!

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is a stunning Oahu elopement location, especially if you want to get in the water. It’s crystal clear, and popular for snorkeling. However, I really only recommend this location for a sunrise elopement. It’s pretty popular and there can be a lot of people even during the shoulder and slower seasons. Sunrise is also a great time to get beautiful lighting, so it’s a win win.

Lanikai Beach

Oahu elopement locations

One of my favorite Oahu elopement locations, Lanaikai Beach has a long stretch of shallow water before dropping off into blue turquoise calm ocean, with islands in the background. Once again, I have ONLY shot here at sunrise, and highly recommend it. Not only because it gets busy, but because this location is on the East short and gets stunning sunrises.

Kualoa Regional Park

Oahu elopement locations

There is a lot to explore in this park. Hidden docks, the Chinaman’s hat, and a ton of green rolling cliffs. This Oahu elopement location has gotten a bit more popular, and is best visited during the off season

Laie Point

Oahu elopement locations

A more rugged Oahu elopement location that features cliffs and beautiful rock formations within the turquoise water. Plus, this part of the island doesn’t attract as many crowds, so you’ll have a lot of freedom to explore without dealing with people!

Ka’ena Point

Oahu elopement locations

One of my favorite Oahu elopement locations, get a mix of sandy beach, rocky shoreline, and the green mountains in the background. Here is the link to the hike and more photos to see everything you can explore here.

Yokahama Bay

Yokahama Bay is a STUNNING Oahu elopement location. It’s incredibly secluded and tranquil. This is also an amazing time for whale watching during the fall! There’s also a few trails nearby, and you can easily get a ton of different landscapes in this beautiful location.

Oahu Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Oahu, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Oahu elopement packages starting at $6800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Oahu elopement

Ready to Elope in Oahu?

This Oahu elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your Oahu elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

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