Written by our rad team member, Amanda Winther
The Ultimate Hawaii Elopement Adventure
If you’re thinking about planning a Hawaii elopement, then you’ll definitely want to keep reading and scrolling for dreamy Hawaii adventure wedding inspo. I’ve been so excited to share these photos with you because they are truly some of the most stunning Hawaii elopement photos I’ve ever taken (I mean just look at this couple!!). As I sit here in Maple the van at my campsite in the Olympics surrounded by old growth pines, I’m so happy to be brought back to this magical day on the water with this adventurous elopement couple. While they definitely had sea legs… me? Maybe not so much. But you’ll have to keep reading to find out what that means. So hop aboard because I’m going to tell you about the whole oar-deal (lol). And I’ll even share my top tips for planning your own Hawaii elopement adventure, the best time of year to elope in Hawaii.. and more! And I promise to include at least a few more (only slightly cheesy) sea puns!
Meet the couple of this dreamy Hawaii elopement on Kauai
This is Audrey and Beaux, the couple from this Hawaii elopement, and I’m utt-oar-ly (oh just you wait!) excited to tell you all about them and our day together! A+B live in Texas, and are truly world travelers who have been all across the globe! They have even lived in other countries and are probably one of the most adventurous couples I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
We started their day at the coolest place to stay in all of Kauai — O’luina, an ecolodge tucked away in Kalaheo, which is one of my favorite towns in all of Kauai. You can’t really find a more gorgeous homebase in Kauai than O’luina. It’s a stunning private lodge on stilts, overlooking the mountains, surrounded by palm trees and lush green scenery. It has an incredible porch with a hammock. And it even has an infinity pool! Yes, it’s truly a dream come true.Their hair and makeup artist came to the lodge, and we did the first look at their dreamy, private, Hawaiian getaway.
After that, we headed out on their excursion for the day — a private sailing adventure with Kauai Sail! This was not Audrey and Beaux’s first time sailing. They love sailing together, and hope to live on a sailboat together one day (I can’t wait to follow along on the journey, you two!!).
As for me…well, I’d never been on a sailboat like this. So, I was definitely a bit anxious before the sail, and hoped I wouldn’t have to walk the plank for being a bad sailor (lol). But, when I met the Captain and his wife Karen, I knew pretty quickly that we were in good hands. They were so knowledgeable about everything! As we sailed around the ocean, exploring little coves, they told us all about different movies that had been filmed there, the history of the private beaches, the names, and so much more! As we sailed, we saw whales (!!) and dolphins (!!) which was so cool. They even let Beaux take over and steer the ship for a while too! How amazing is that?!
Their day was a bit rainy and overcast, so we just embraced the weather, took the sea-nic route, and let the winds take us anywhere it wanted (although not really cause they actually knew how to sail lol). We made our way to a cove and it was time for them to tide the knot (lol). A+B went out on the bow of the boat and the Captain led them through their intimate ceremony. I know I mentioned that these two sail, but they totally have their sea legs! The boat was rocking the whole time during the ceremony, and right at the moment when he said “you can kiss the bride” the boat tilted over, but Beaux caught Audrey right in time. It was such an incredible moment! (I was clutching on for dear life!)
Then we headed back to the harbor and calmer waters to enjoy the charcuterie board, cake, and champagne. I was personally excited to get back to the calmer waters, because during the ceremony I did get a little seasick looking through my viewfinder. But, A+B (and the Sail Kauai team!) were so gracious and kind, and did not make me walk the plank! I was able to eat a few crackers and keep my eyes anchored on the shore line and horizon and started feeling better.
After our epic sailing journey, we headed to Waimea Canyon for sunset. We checked out a new trail I had recently discovered on my trip and it was incredible. No one else was there and it felt like we had the entire canyon to ourselves! During most of the hike it was really cloudy and overcast, but then all of a sudden, the clouds cleared out (it seemed like it was just for us!) and you could see everything. It was an amazing sunset and day. These two inspire me to want to travel the world…but maybe I’ll stick to mostly land travel for a while until I can earn my sea legs like these two amphibious, land and sea adventurers (lol).
I help all my couples plan their Hawaii elopement day and activities, and I’ve got a lot of tricks up my sleeve there. But, because they travel so much, Audrey is really good at finding the *best* excursions and adventures. So, she actually found a few fun additions that I didn’t even know about. It was so fun to work with her and Beaux to craft this day that really represented their unique partnership and love. What I’m saying is, we really sea-sed the day!
Sailing is just one incredible way to add adventure into your Hawaii elopement. So, keep reading and I’ll share more tips and tricks to plan your own adventurous Hawaii island elopement.
How to add adventure into your own Hawaiian island elopement
There are so many amazing ways to add adventure into your Hawaii elopement (I mean… let’s be honest you’re in Hawaii!). Here are my three favorite things to think about when you’re trying to add adventures to your elopement in Hawaii:
Stay somewhere unique
Book an excursion
Hire an expert to help!
Choose a unique place to stay
First and foremost, a great way to add adventure (or… worst case detract from your experience) is to choose accommodations that excite you. A + B stayed in a dreamy, private-feeling ecolodge, which added so much adventure and fun to their day! It truly felt like they were staying in their own mini oasis. But, maybe an ecolodge isn’t your style, and that’s totally okay! Whether you’re staying in a fancy hotel, hostel, or airbnb — all can be incredible accommodations for your elopement day. A great question to think about when you’re deciding where to stay is “are those the vibes we want to be surrounded by on our day?” If your answer is “heck yes!” then you know you’ve found your perfect accommodations.
Book an excursion
Hawaii is literally a dream destination for adventure elopements! And a big reason is because there are just so many options to choose from when it comes to excursions. My recommendation is to make sure you plan at least on excursion. Not only is it fun (!!) but centering your day around an excursion also adds ease and structure to your day, too.
Here are some ideas for excursions to add into your elopement day to get you started:Hire a private chef to come cook you an incredible meal
Hike the canyon with a guide
Go for a dreamy sail around the Napali coast (like A+B did!)
Take a helicopter tour and chase waterfalls from high in the sky
If you’re into speed, go for an ATV (or jeep) tour!
Rent a campervan and tour the island (like this couple did!)
Snorkel with your best person… and sea turtles! (PS I know a girl who has underwater housing for her camera who also happens to know one of the best spots to go snorkeling and hopefully sea (pun intended lol) the turtles!)
There are guides for almost every type of excursion you can even imagine! I have about 20 more ideas (with specific recommendations for who to book with if you’re eloping on Kauai) in my Kauai Honeymoon Guide so check that out if you want even more ideas!
Hire an experienced Hawaii elopement photographer
Hint, hint. Wink, wink. (lol). Okay, I’m admittedly a little biased here, but this kind of expands on the last tip above. A major part of being able to enjoy your adventures and your day, is taking advantage of someone else’s knowledge and hiring an experienced Hawaii elopement photographer is a great way to do that! I help all of my couples figure out what trails we’re going to hike, which lesser-known beaches we are going to explore (aka the most privacy and seclusion!), how to get a Hawaii marriage license (hint: they do it a little bit differently than on the mainland!), who to book for excursions and so much more (like… I’ll even help you figure out what to do on your post-elopement Hawaii honeymoon!). Hiring people who are knowledgeable and experienced is so important to helping you have an adventurous, seamless (and ultimately stress-free!) day.
Best time of year to elope in Hawaii
One of the best things about Hawaii is that the weather is pretty consistently good all year long… so, truly ANYTIME is the best time of year to elope in Hawaii! The weather is warm in Hawaii year-round, with averages in the winter of mid 70s to 80s, and generally in the mid to high 80s in the summer months.
That said, I book my Hawaii elopements in November, mid-January, and April, and here’s why. November (and January) the weather is starting to get colder and gloomier on the mainland, especially in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s just amazing to escape to Hawaii where it’s often perfect 70s. November is probably the best month to escape crowds in Hawaii. I opt for mid-January because it’s after the peak holiday season and tends to be a little less crowded on the islands. And that’s the same with April: mid-April tends to be after most spring break so you usually have fewer crowds. I avoid the summers because it’s usually more crowded (and quite hot) in Hawaii. Plus, the summer is also the best time of year for elopements in the Pacific Northwest!
Weather in the Hawaiian islands has one thing in common with weather in the Pacific Northwest: microclimates! And microclimates are great for elopements in many ways because it usually means that even if it’s raining on one side of the island, it could be sunny on the other side! For example, in the winter months, the winds tend to pick up, which also means more rain and surf swells. But this is particularly strong on the north or northeast, or “windward” side of the island. And if it’s raining on the windward side, you can often go to the “leeward” side of the island and it may have sun. And… even if it does rain, it’s usually really intense but also really brief! Who doesn’t love watching and appreciating the power of mother nature like a big rainstorm once in a while?!
Inspired by this Hawaii Elopement? Check out my Kauai elopement and travel guide
Want to plan your own Hawaii elopement? Well, you’re in luck! I’ve written a Kauai elopement and travel guide that includes everything you need to know about eloping in Hawaii, including a checklist for planning your Kauai elopement, links to the best places to stay and eat, and my top recommendations for the best hikes and beaches on Kauai. So, explore through the link below, because this resource will be all you’ll need to begin planning your own Hawaiian adventure wedding! When you’re ready to start planning, reach out to me. I can’t wait to help you plan your best day ever!
Hawaii elopement packages: everything you need to know
Oh hey…I know of a pretty cool Hawaii elopement photographer who would love to document your dreamy Hawaii destination wedding day…just saying (lol). But, truly, hiring the right adventure wedding photographer is a really important step in your elopement planning process! Of course, you’ll want photos of your day to treasure for years to come. But, you also want to book a photographer with experience in adventure weddings and elopements. From day-of timelines, Hawaii weather patterns (aka microclimates!!) and uniquely scouted locations (and backup locations, and backup to the backup locations), it’s so important to work with a photographer who is well-versed in capturing elopements in Hawaii. I work really hard to care for my clients to make the planning process simple and their elopement day unforgettable.
Head to my packages page to learn more about the different Hawaii elopement packages I offer. Most of my Hawaii couples who are eloping without guests (just them!) choose the full day package. The reason being that the island is small enough that with a full day, if we make good use of our time, we can actually visit two different climates! So, we can go from the rainforest to the canyon, or the canyon to the beach in one day.
If you’re planning to have any guests with you for your destination elopement, then I recommend going with the two day package. This way, you can spend most of your first day with guests (and do things like the ceremony and a small reception). The day after (or sometimes prior), we can go out together just the three of us (and maybe a guide if we’re doing an excursion!) and do all the adventurous things. That way we aren’t leaving guests who traveled to be with you on your big day behind and it allows more time to truly soak up and enjoy the island!
Meet your Hawaii elopement photographer
I named my company Between the Pine because I am happiest when I am outside, surrounded by pine trees (or palm trees… or the ocean… or the rainforest… lol). Since I was little, I’ve always loved the outdoors. This led me to getting the nickname “granola girl” because I’m literally always excited to spend time outside (and even have an outfit and hiking boots + snacks! ready to go at all times).
So, really, it’s no surprise that I found my way to Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest (which have the most diverse National Parks, forests, beaches, and stunning mountains… in my very biased opinion lol), and to a career as an adventure elopement photographer (which is like a magical hybrid of Junior National Park Ranger, outdoor adventure hype gal, snack magician, nature lover/super nerd, and photographer).
I’ve had the honor of walking thousands of miles alongside hundreds of couples to celebrate one of their biggest life moments. And nothing lights me up like getting people outside to epic places. (And then surprising them with snacks and a dance party at the top of the summit!)
Whether you’re dreaming of tying the knot at sunset on the beach, exploring the bases of waterfalls in Kauai (yep, I’m always down to chase waterfalls!) or really have no idea where to start, I’m here to help you make your Hawaii elopement your best day yet!
Are you ready to start planning your elopement with family? Let’s do it! Reach out and let’s start planning your greatest adventure yet.
Ready to explore more elopements, weddings and adventures? Wander away below!
Between the Pine is an adventure elopement and wedding photography brand created by Mollie Adams. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Mollie travels with her camera in hand to document “I dos” in epic landscapes including Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.