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Eloping in Hawaii: Unveiling the True Cost and Joy of Your Dream Destination Wedding

Let’s Break It Down the financial AND emotional cost involved in eloping in Hawaii.


Bride blowing a kiss at groom in between palm trees on a beach in hawaii

Introduction

Weddings are expensive - and planning your dream wedding doesn’t have to become a nightmare. Bless every bride out there who never dreamed of the big dress, hundreds of guests, and a venue that looked like a floristry exploded (in the best way). You’ve already saved yourself 80-98% of the average cost of a wedding in 2023: $29,000. While that number might send you into a panic, that isn’t even the accurate figure for what a Hawaiian Wedding will cost you: $30,000 - $50,000. The cost of eloping in Hawaii may seem high, but there are several ways to make your dream destination wedding a reality.


Take some deep breaths, if you’re reading this it’s because you are seriously considering eloping - which will knock off at least one zero to the above figures (if not a significant amount more). You are forgoing the guest list, catering, venue cost, and so much more. In this guide, we break down the costs, both financial and emotional, of eloping in the stunning destination that is Hawaii.


THE FINANCIAL BREAKDOWN

Let’s break down the Top 4 Elopement Expenses:


1. Venue: $0+

The beauty of Hawaii is that your venue can cost $0. There may be a permit involved with a beach or park - but usually your officiant or photographer will take care of that. If you have an outdoor vision in mind - start Googling ‘Oahu Beaches,’ ‘Great Oahu Views,’ ‘Best Oahu Beach Parks,’ etc! Hawaii’s natural beauty provides a stunning backdrop for your elopement at little to no cost.


If you envision a more traditional venue option - you can still do that whether it is just the two of you eloping or a small group of friends or family. A great option to consider is a cruise down Waikiki on a yacht.


I work closely with two yachts: Vida Mia Hawaii and Oahu Ocean Adventures. I can help you coordinate the elopement of your dreams aboard these gorgeous vessels.



Legalities: $65

Getting married in Hawaii is relatively easy. Follow the steps on my RESOURCES PAGE, pay the State of Hawaii $65 for the paperwork fee, make an appointment and relax.


Officiant: $300+

As your Oahu Officiant, I vow to make your vows as personal and special as possible. It is my opinion that I am crafting a ceremony that will be a CORE memory that you can remember fondly in the good times and the rocky moments. Your wedding should be a moment you remember forever.


Photographer: $550+

I have a huge respect for photographers since picking up a camera myself and starting to navigate editing. There are a lot of photographers you can choose from and you should make sure that their style coincides with yours.


wedding photographer in boho hat taking photos of a couple with the ocean in the background

After that, you should make sure that you like them personally. Getting in front of the camera can be an awkward experience - that is why you should feel comfortable with them. IT WILL SHOW IN THE PHOTOS!


I love when I get to work with my partner (in business and in life) Drake Wallace of PROposal Hawaii. After I perform my ceremony, I pick up a camera and capture all the candid and detailed moments after. The whole experience feels more like a double date than business.


Rough Total: $915

CUSTOMIZE YOUR DREAM HAWAII ELOPEMENT

The above is what I would consider the bare minimum needed for the elopement. If this number still feels very out of reach - there are always ways we can cut back - just reach out and we can discuss budget friendly options.


After taking care of the bare minimum, it is time to add in all the details to make the destination elopement feel like a dream. Here are a few ways to customize your Oahu elopement.

  • Florals: Flower Crowns, Bouquets, Lei’s, etc.

I am the owner of a flower truck and I love making Flower Crowns, Bouquets, Lei’s, and small arrangements custom to your color palette and vibe.

  • Ukulele Player

Imagine having your first dance shaded by palm trees and serenaded by a song of your choice on the ukulele - YES PLEASE! Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you have to give up your first dance dreams. Start saving “First Dance Wedding Songs” and pick your favorite.


Ukulele player on the boat Vida Mia with Diamond Head in the background in hawaii

  • Hula Dancers

Have your own private luau at your wedding with a hula dancer.

  • Cake:

…or cupcakes…or donuts…or malasadas…or WHATEVER YOU WANT!

  • Champagne Toast:

…or Kombucha Toast…or Coffee Toast…or beer toast…of WHATEVER YOU WANT!

  • Customized Signs

Announce to friends and family your wedding and anniversary for years to come. I can help you with this with a customized surfboard sign.

  • Getaway Car

Make your exit in style in a 1970s VW Truck.



THE EMOTIONAL COST


Navigating Family Expectations:

While eloping allows you to create an intimate and personal experience, it might come with the challenge of managing expectations from family and friends. This is a great opportunity to communicate openly about your decision as well as create healthy boundaries.


It is important to note that while you may be having the ceremony separately - you can still have the reception at a later date or go all out for a vow renewal down the road.


Missing Out on Shared Loved Ones:

It is a misconception that an elopement has to be just the two of you. YOU CAN HAVE SOME GUESTS! An elope is keeping the ceremony intimate - you can either have a few loved ones physically present or you can find ways to include them virtually to bridge the emotional gap.


Balancing Personal Desires and External Expectations:

The decision to elope can sometimes involve a delicate balance between your personal desires and external expectations. It’s common to grapple with the desire to have an intimate and private affair and the societal pressure of a big, conventional wedding. This will require introspection and communication with your partner to align vision and values that you share together - not what everyone else is doing or saying.


Rough Total: $Up to You

While there are emotional costs associated with choosing elopement, it’s crucial to view them as part of the journey toward creating a wedding experience that authentically reflects you and your partner. Remember, the emotional resonance of your elopement in Hawaii extends beyond the ceremony itself. It is about forging a deep connection with your partner in a setting and in a way that is reflective of the journey of marriage you are taking together. Embrace the unique emotional journey of elopement, allowing it to become a source of strength and intimacy as you embark on this new chapter of your lives together.


CONCLUSION

Eloping in Hawaii isn’t just about cutting costs; it’s about creating a unique and memorable experience. It is a core memory and life moment that you can look back on fondly in the good times, and help you get over the hurdles of the bad times. Let us help you turn your dream elopement into reality, tailored to your preferences and budget. Contact us today to start planning your magical Hawaiian elopement.

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