- where to elope in kauai-

Choosing an elopement location in Kauai can be a bit daunting- with so many epic locations to get married in you might be wondering how to choose which one would be perfect for you. The best advice I can give you is to start macro- close your eyes and envision standing in front of your beloved exchanging vows, what do you see around you? Do you hear any sounds? What does the weather feel like? Visualizing is key to letting your soul speak it’s lovely wisdom- let that wisdom guide you to pick your dream elopement location!

You can frolick with your beloved where mountains meet the sea. Run around together at a food truck park trying all the things in your wedding gear! Pop champagne after that long hike on the Kauai cliffs. Pack your day full of adventurous activities like a boat tour of the Napali Coast, a private helicopter ride to Jurassic Falls, a luxury picnic at your BNB, cliff jumping, snorkel around the coral reef, a bonfire with s’mores and finally exchange vows with your beloved during an epic sunset at the beach.

Whatever you decide on- Kauai is perfect for adventurous lovers, you’ll both have the time of your lives saying “I do!”

Want my personalized help planning your elopement in Kauai?

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North Shore (Hanalei to Anahola)

There are tons of beaches on the North shore that would make beautiful elopement locations! Hanalei and Princeville are popular tourist attractions and have really great food options and food truck parks! If you're planning on hiking the famous Kalalau Trail on the Napali Coast this is where you'd access the trail :)

All tourists are now required to reserve a parking pass/ shuttle pass to hike the Kalalau Trail/ Hanakapiai Trail, find more info on that here. Be sure to plan this hike early - as parking & shuttle passes go quick and can be booked out a month in advance at times.

Unfortunately, the Kalalau Trail is off the books are far as being legal for marriage ceremonies- but I still strongly recommend my adventurous, fit couples hike this trail while on the island! It is truly soooo magical and a once in a lifetime experience. My personal favorite for a day hike is hiking the first 2 miles of the Kalalau Trail, it'll lead you straight to Hanakapiai Beach and will be a total of 4 miles round trip.. it's not a huge commitment AND you still get to see epic coastal views!

I help my couples plan the perfect elopement day by tailoring a personalized location ideas & inspiration guide! The guide gives you access to exact locations and trails to consider for your day. So rest assured- I'll do my best to help you find your dream elopement spot.

First two miles of the Kalalau Trail

Photos by my talented cousin Monique Bianca

Eastern Shore (Kapaa to Lihue)

Kapaa has the sweetest local vibe feel! There are a couple of organic grocery stores here (my personal fave) offering local fruits and vegetables! Most importantly- one of my FAVORITE locations ever for a dreamy, classic hawaiian jungle elopement is on this side of the island!!

This side of the island (& the north shore) are very wet- so make sure you bring rain gear, you'll need it for your treks here!

Southern Shore (Poipu to Koloa)

Poipu is where most of the fancy resorts are! So if you're wanting luxury accommodations for your time in Kauai- I suggest looking in this area. Poipu is a big tourist attraction and also has a shopping mall!

To scope out local Poipu snorkeling spots, click here.

I usually steer my couples away from eloping in Poipu- just because it is so crowded with tourists- but if you decide on this area and don't mind the crowds, the sunsets here are epic!!

Western Shore (Waimea to Polihale)

This is the most remote part of the island with less lodging options available. Waimea Canyon State Park is known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" and is a MUST see! The views are STUNNING- you can't come to Kauai and not experience the magick the West side has to offer! This is one of my favorite spots to adventure with my couples on their elopement day because of the abundance of epic trails that are perfect for elopement ceremonies!

Polihale State Park is a remote beach that offers privacy and beautiful cliff views! Reaching Polihale requires a 4x4 vehicle- so keep that in mind if you're eyeing up this location for your elopement day adventures :)

Want my personalized help for eloping in Kauai?

Book your free 10 minute elopement consult!


Hawaii is one of the strictest states when it comes to commercial permitting (which you’ll need for your photos)! Your ideal elopement location might be on State Parks property but then cross into State Forestry property somewhere along the trail- In situations like this, it’s crucial that your photographer do the proper research to ensure you have the correct permits for your wedding day. If your elopement location is only in one jurisdiction (for example in Waimea Canyon State Park) then you’ll only need one permit, however; if at any point the trail crosses over into State Forestry- you’ll need two permits total. Usually it is the photographers job (I secure permits for all my couples) to get the commercial use permit- so they handle all of the applications and communication with the permitting office. Whatever location you two decide on- just make sure it’s legal. The last thing you’d want on your special day is to be questioned by a ranger on permits!


Each commercial use permit costs $110. The permitting office prefers the application be sent 30 days before you need the permit but the minimum time to apply is at least 14 days before you need the permit.

You will also need insurance with a million dollar policy and need to follow very specific instructions to fill it out for the Department of Land and Natural Resources- my best advice here is to hire a photographer that has this covered, that way you save yourself the headache and beaurocratic paperwork! (ps: shameless plug- this comes covered in my packages ;))

The tricky part..

Some locations might require a Special Use Permit. This permit gives you permission to get married at the location you are considering. The special use permit doesn’t cost anything- if you need one you must contact the Department of Natural Land and Resources (via phone- I know, old school) to apply for the permit- at least 45 days before needed. If your ideal location isn’t on this list and you really want to exchange vows with your beloved in your magical spot then you can do a commitment ceremony instead.

Special Use permittable Areas

In Kauai- special use permits are only given for these locations.

  • Kalalau Lookout
  • Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow
  • Pu'u Ka Pele Picnic Area
  • Polihale State Park
  • Fern Grotto

Click here for more special use permit info.

Commitment ceremony for non-permittable locations

If you really love a certain trail but State Parks doesn’t hand out special use permits for that area, you can always do a commitment ceremony instead. You’d basically be exchanging vows with your beloved in your favorite spot- but the paperwork & officiating part would be done elsewhere. This way all legal jurisdictions are honored but you still get to exchange vows with your beloved in that magical spot you both love. :)

Hawaiian Beaches

The easiest place(s) to get married on are Hawaiian beaches, the permitting system is a breeze and can literally be acquired the night before your wedding and only costs $20 (depending on the sq footage used)! Hawaiian beach weddings/ elopements must be low-key as no props are allowed. Flower rings and a small table are okay- as long as we practice Leave No Trace!

Pick my brain with eloping in Kauai questions,

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I am so stoked for you two!! Cheers to planning the perfect elopement! I hope this blog helped you gain some insight on eloping in Kauai.

For more info on Elopement packages in Hawaii, click here.


Want my personalized help for eloping in Kauai?

Book your free 10 minute elopement consult!