Planning a Small DIY Elopement in Hawaii

Oceanfront, Backyard, Garden, or Mountain?

With Hawaii’s dynamic landscape, take your pick of which view(s) you’d like to get married by 🙂 This post is about how to plan your Hawaii wedding “DIY style”: helping you have your dream elopement on the islands while spending smartly. So we’ve listed out some tips for getting married here.

Pomelo Travel – you gotta get here, right? Unless you’re local! This guy finds insane flight deals for international trips, but since he lives in Hawaii, he also sends lots of deals for here. We signed up for the premium subscription and have already saved $1000’s – we found round trip tickets for our brother & sister-in-law for $350 from Chicago! cost = $36/yr + $500 flight deal for the two of you

-Rent out an airbnb or vrbo – a lot of the couples we photograph do this to keep their “venue” cost low and then just hold the ceremony at a nearby scenic location or get married in the backyard & setup some picnic tables for dinner. cost = $175/night for two nights

-Hire an officiant with a beach permit and get married at one of these open/accessible sites almost for free! Amanda & Josh got married at the base of the Ko’olau Mountains in Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens for $20! cost = $250 for officiant & site

-Hire a private chef to cook your fave dishes (or have a buffet style from here) and head back to your airbnb/vrbo after the ceremony for dinner & toasts or even an impromptu dance floor/photo booth like Lennie & Quentin. cost = $40/guest between 10-50 guests

-Get a beautiful bouquet from Lulu’s to add some “pop”, some Hawaiian flare, and your own unique style. cost = $250 for bouquet

-Lastly, hire a photographer you trust to document all the emotions and moments from your wedding day with your closest friends and family. Typically 6 hrs is the prime amount of time to have all the candid, in-between moments photographed along with getting ready images, driving to the ceremony, portraits of you two with & without everyone there, then head back to your airbnb for a reception and toasts like Amy & Danny did! cost = $2800 for 6hrs

Bottom line: you could plan your small Hawaii elopement “DIY style” and get married by mountains, on the beach, in a garden, or a backyard oceanfront site, by putting in a little extra work and only spend about $6000 + a dress + the man’s clothes + any other details you might want to add 🙂 You can find a great example in any of the weddings we’ve photographed or check out how this couple celebrated.

Second bottom line: photographs last. They will be the only thing you leave your wedding day with to remember it all. The venue will be cleaned, the views will be gone, the food will be eaten, the flowers will wilt, and this exact same group of people may never be together again. But you will have the images to relive the day 🙂

Invest in what lasts

There’s three things we value most: 1) telling the truth 2) thoughtful purchasing and 3) deep relationships.

It’s important for us to tell the truth from your wedding day through photographs because we believe the truth is beautiful and we believe in authenticity. This means not planning your day around photographs, but rather being fully present in the day you’ve planned while we document it and honor the moments that unfold in a real, candid way.

We’re thoughtful purchasers. We’re frugal, but we are not cheap. We spend really good money on things that are important to us (like a Vitamix, photographs, and camping stuff) and let the rest be what it is.

Lastly, we crave deep relationships. We’re not ones for surface level small talk; we want to get to know the people we’re connected to and love. If we get the opportunity to tell your story, then you’d be one of those people because the story of the day you get married is really important! So if these three things resonate with you as well, reach out and let’s get to knowing one another 🙂

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