Top 10 Destination Hawaii Wedding and Elopement Locations for Adventurous Couples
Maui Weddings | Oahu Weddings| Kauai Weddings | Hawaii Wedding and Elopement Photography
All Hawaii wedding and elopement images below are by Award-Winning, TOP 100 photographer in USA Charleton Churchill
HAWAII ISLAND PHOTOGRAPHER
ADVENTURE ELOPEMENTS AND WEDDINGS
Of all the places in the United States, no state offers more diverse opportunities for adventure weddings and elopements than Hawaii. There are eight beautiful islands that comprise the state of Hawaii. These islands are spread out with hundreds of places to have a wedding or elope. I’m going to focus on just a few islands and a few locations I think you should consider since they are the most popular.
Most importantly, if you are interested in having a wedding that will truly be an adventure of your lifetime, you’ll want to have a good photographer who can capture it all. If you’re interested and you love my adventure wedding photos here on this page, please contact me here.
Maui’s unique weather and varied topography make it a popular place to discover the islands and to get married. Here you can experience the tropical sunshine Hawaii is known for and a variety of interesting micro-climates. Volcanic rocks, craters, vast rain-forests, trails, waterfalls, and the West Maui Mountain Range summarize just some of the terrain. It means there are many interesting places to photograph in Maui that will make for beautiful wedding photography sites.
Haleakala National Park runs along the coastline of Maui. It has several unique places to have your adventure wedding ceremony or elopement. Here you will find ancient and awe-inspiring locations such as the Pa’ka’oao (White Hill) Kalahaku Overlook, which boasts sunrise views that will make you feel like you’ve seen heaven. There are other locations within the park as well, such as Pu’u’ula’ula (Red Hill), which is the highest elevation in Hawaii. However, be prepared for a long winding road that is full of switchbacks and can take several hours to access.
Also, you may need a permit from the National Park Service secured several weeks out to be married in Haleakala, depending on how many people you will be bringing. Besides the elevated mountainside views, there are areas such as Leleiwi Overlook. Here you can view ancient craters and watch the weather form below you as you exchange vows. It’s an epic place for scenic views. If you want to appear as though you are dancing on clouds, this is the epic Hawaiian destination.
Haleakal? National Park
PO Box 369
Makawao, HI 96768
If you’ve dreamed of getting married under a tropical waterfall, Twin Falls is located on the road to Hana. It’s a remote spot, but not a difficult hike. So, it’s a good choice if you are bringing along a small wedding party or family that may not be able to do more strenuous hikes.
From the trailhead to the falls is about 2.4 miles. There are several marvelous places along the trail to take photos including the beautiful Ho’olawa Stream. Often there are some “surprise” waterfalls that have popped up if the rainfall has been plentiful. It’s green and lush with tropical birdsong and flowers. It’s exactly what you picture a Hawaiian rain-forest to be like. Once at the falls, you can wade in as far as you like to get married under the rushing waterfall in this idyllic place.
Twin Falls Waterfall
6300 Hana Hwy, Haiku, HI 96708
Makena Cove (Secret Cove)
On the southern end of Maui in Kihei is a tiny little treasure known to the locals as the Secret Cove. It’s an excellent spot for an adventure wedding or elopement because it’s relatively easy to get to, secluded, and offers fantastic views for photography. It’s pretty much everything people go to Hawaii for; soft sand beaches, swaying palm trees, dramatic black volcano rocks, and with views the outer islands of Molokini and Kaha’oalawae.
The cove is accessible by a stone wall. The only downside is that it’s a public beach, so you cannot reserve it. However, the views at sunset are some of the best on the island because there are no hotels or people in sight. It’s free to get married there, quiet and remote, and suitable for weddings or elopements of 10 people or less.
6468 Makena Alanui, Kihei, HI 96753
If you’ve dreamed of Hawaii’s black beaches, this brilliant state park has the best Hawaii has to offer. Pailoa, the most popular black beach, is a strikingly beautiful basaltic rock beach that is nothing short of amazing. This location is a good few hours drive from anywhere off the Hana Road. So, if you’re planning an adventure wedding or elopement, allow at least a day. To be honest, you could spend several days here exploring the different areas for amazing photographic locations.
Wai ‘anapanapa has native hala forests, freshwater caves and lava tubes with ocean views that look like something out of a movie. If you’re looking for a place that has both beaches and trails, the Kipapa O Kihapiilani trail is it. It leads up to a sea cliff where the light at sunset is just unreal. This location is much less commercialized, and much more rugged with much to discover.
Wai’anapanapa State Park
Waianapanapa, Hana, HI 96713
Without a doubt, one of the top wedding venues in all of Maui is the Grand Wailea Resort, located in Wailea, south beach. I have stayed with my family over night at this hotel here and there is nothing negative I can say. In fact, this venue is one of my top venues in all of Hawaii to photograph couples. Not only is it family friendly with lost of pools and waterslides, but they have top service and excellent food. Getting married here is the equivalent of having a high-end wedding. Without a doubt, this is a top venue.
Grand Wailea Resort
3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753
The third largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu is home to two-thirds of the entire population of the state. This diamond-shaped island is divided mountain ranges. Locals often use these mountains as ways of describing how to get to different areas of the island. To go ‘ewa means traveling towards the western side of the island. Going mauka means going inland towards Honolulu. And makai means to go towards the sea. Oahu is nicknamed “the rainbow state” because of the frequent rainbows after the brief, but almost daily rain showers.
Only 45 minutes from the Honolulu airport is the Hawaiian treasure knowns as Kualoa Ranch. This amazingly quiet and secluded setting has been the setting for countless movies and TV shows. Probably the most famous of them being Jurassic Park and the TV series LOST. Getting married here is a dream come true for many couples, not just because of its fame, but because it is indeed loaded with different adventures to enjoy. They have everything from fine white sandy beaches to acres of lush tropical preserves and a historic ranch house.
49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744
Adventure Garden Weddings at Kualoa:
Paliku Gardens is probably the most popular spot for Kualoa’s garden weddings or elopements, because of the crazy amazing majestic views of Kane’ohe Bay and acres of vast rolling vegetation. Moli’I Gardens is another pavilion on site, overlooking an 800-year-old koi fishpond, and full use of a Dupree Cottage, a premium open-air cottage with views of the bay and the mountain range. If you want your photos to reflect a lush, tropical very Hawaiian feel, both of these locations are excellent.
Adventure Beach Weddings at Kualoa:
Secret island is Kualoa’s completely secluded beach that is only accessible by catamaran. It’s perfect for up to 50 guests, and upon disembarking, they will wind their way through native hau trees to get to the jaw-dropping ceremony site with a view of the famous Chinaman’s Hat. Palm trees, azure water, and white sands; it all makes for idyllic photos.
Adventure Ranch Weddings at Kualoa:
If you have a larger wedding, the Ranch House Terrace fits the bill perfectly, and has an open, expansive feel of being outdoors while still being sheltered. Have your ceremony right in the Kaaawa Valley and the Kanehoalani Mountain peak where dinosaurs once roamed! Steps away from the ranch are multiple locations for fantastic photos with over 4000 acres to explore.
If getting married near a volcano is high on your list, then Kauai has all you need. Kauai is the oldest of the main islands and one of the less traveled. If you love the idea of a paradise with fewer crowds, you will want to consider your special exchanging of rings here. Kauai is tropical, wild and rugged. This makes it attractive to those who are seeking a true adventure wedding. It also has the most stable climate of the islands, with temps in the 75-85-degree range most of the year.
If you didn’t know Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson married last year in August, with an early morning sunrise on…guess what Island? You’ve guessed it. The Rock married on the Island of Kauai. Miles Teller and Keleigh Sperry also married last year, but they married on Maui.
From soaring rock bluffs, to tropical forests, to rich meadows, waterfalls, lagoons, and ponds, Na ‘Ania Kai Botanical Gardens is an astounding place to get married on what locals call “The North Shore.” This location is perfect for couples who want lush scenic backdrops, but also need amenities for guests for ease of accessibility. Even though it’s a popular wedding venue, it never feels contrived. It’s not even accessible to visitors without a reservation, so you genuinely feel like you are in your own private tropical paradise.
Besides the beach area, the botanical gardens have a sculpture park. Many native Hawaiian artists have contributed their talent to the vast cultivated hedgerow that snakes through the property. Na ‘Aina Kai has a commitment to preserving sustainability and conservation. Each part of this estate is meticulously cared for daily. The hardwood forest is amazing, with the light peeking down through the canopy of leaves. It’s a perfect area for photos that look less tropical, but are still compelling. The most amazing site to me is at night, as the visible stars are so distinct and alive. With no lights from the city to pollute the sky, you can literally dance under the stars at the end of the best adventure.
Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens
4101 Wailapa Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754
Secluded and breathtaking. On clear days you can see right down to the reefs below the expansive blue ocean. Anini Beach is one of the calmest beaches on the North Shore of Kauai because of the way it nestles into the island. The drive to Anini is full of spectacular views.
This beach is not very busy, despite its easy accessibility from the road and plentiful parking (another rarity on the North Shore). Black volcanic rocks appear along the shoreline and catch up tidal pools, which make for great reflections during sunset. (It’s often shallow enough in this area to venture in for photos if you wish). Further out along the break line ,you can see surfers and kite-boarders where the reef ends and the current picks up. This is a beautiful location that feels remote. Yet, it’s easy to get compared to other beach locations on Kauai.
North Shore, Kauai
Sometimes referred to as “The Grand Canyon of Hawaii,” this majestic state park is up a very long and winding road. It’s not for the faint of heart if you’re afraid of heights. If you’re interested in having an adventure wedding or elopement at Waimea Canyon State Park, then plan for a full day round trip. The canyon itself is full of colors, red rocks, green valleys, and rushing waterfalls. It’s also often filled with rainbows. There are many different lookout points in Waimea. The two most spectacular ones being Pu’u ka Pele and Pu’u Hinahina. They are both an easy hike from the main road.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to be flexible about locations in the Waimea Canyon. Clouds can move in quickly, obscuring views. It can be very windy and rainy. Allow time to scout it out a bit before deciding on a location. If you’re traveling with a group, it’s suggested to caravan together because there’s no cell service in the canyon. The Waimea Canyon is the wettest place on earth, but the lush and verdant landscapes will not disappoint you!
Waimea Canyon State Park
Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, HI 96796
Na pali means high cliffs, and this state park has some of the most impressive in Hawaii. At the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, the cliffs reach 4000 feet at some points. If you find the right overlook, you can see over the ocean into the beautiful waterfalls in the Kalalau Valley.
This is an adventure for couples who are experienced hikers and who are willing to spend several days hiking in and out. Most hikes are anywhere from 11-14 miles The rapidly changing weather patterns on Kauai mean that some of the trails can get muddy and difficult to traverse. Careful planning should be done in advance for adventure weddings at Na Pali, but the payoffs are worth the epic photography. It’s so remote that few people can claim to have their wedding photos taken there! Just throwing that out there in case any of you feels compelled to do something different.
Another option is to take a helicopter to tour Na Pali. You’ll be able to fly along the coast, taking in the views. After, you can do the relatively shorter hike to HanaKapiai Beach, which is a 4-mile hike. It ends at the beautiful white sand beach and waterfalls. Still adventurous, but a little less strenuous if you don’t want to spend several days hiking and camping.
Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
Kapa?a, HI 96746
Why Choose an Adventure Wedding Photographer to Photograph Your Hawaii Wedding?
Producing epic and amazing photos is my passion. Starting your new life together in Hawaii with those images as proof is something I take with care and anticipation. There are really not many places on earth where you can have sandy beaches, soaring cliffs, waterfalls, valleys, hiking trails, and green rolling hills all within reach.
The literal meaning of the word “aloha” is so much more than hello and goodbye. It means “the presence of breath” and is a word that symbolizes living and treating each other with respect. What a wonderful word to breathe to your loved one as you get married in Hawaii.
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If you’re considering a Hawaiian adventurous wedding or if you plan on eloping, I’d love be a part of your adventure in capturing your story. I’ll guide you and capture you together as you say “aloha” to your life together. Contact me above at the contact link and receive a $250 discount when you book. Just mention this website.
More images from Charleton Churchill Photography