Hey, I'm Codi! A western luxury wedding photographer in Northern California. Traveling near and far for love, I'm available for intimate destinations, elopements and more!
This year is all about capturing my couples in amazing destinations and I’ll be kicking off with the ultimate destination wedding and elopement location, the gorgeous islands of Hawaii. No matter how many times I visit, I’m still in awe of this magical and beautiful place. And capturing my couples here always makes for photographs they want to relive over and over again. Whether you’re planning an intimate destination wedding, a sunset Oahu elopement, romantic engagement photos or a surprise proposal, making sure these moments are captured should be at the top of your planning checklist.
In this post, I’ll be focusing on the island of Oahu and sharing all my best elopement planning tips to plan your perfect day. From finding the best vendors and the perfect location to exchange your vows, to making sure you bring everything you need to capture some unforgettable photos, I’ve got you covered. Plus, stay tuned at the end of this post to see all the photos from Mala and Christian’s sunset cliffside elopement in Oahu.
The best part about deciding to elope is you can keep the planning process fairly simple. For your Oahu elopement, you really only need your travel wedding photographer (ahem…hey there ??), your elopement outfits, an island inspired bridal bouquet, and someone to help make it official. While Hawaii does not require that you have witnesses, you still need to apply for your marriage license and hire an officiant. Additional optional extras might include a hair and makeup artist, videographer, and wedding planner to help you coordinate everything. And don’t forget about any post-elopement experiences you may want to book. Here are some of the Oahu elopement vendors I would highly recommend…
And of course, the most important detail is where the big moment will happen. In Hawaii, there’s no shortage of stellar views to serve as the backdrop for your elopement ceremony. I offer a variety of locations I have shot at and will give you the best recommendations, though I am open to plenty more ideas if you want to explore more of the island!
If you’re all about capturing those incredible elopement photos, timing is everything. For my couples planning an Oahu elopement, I always recommend exchanging vows at either sunrise or sunset. The lighting will make for gorgeous photos and also provides a dreamy and romantic atmosphere to say “I do”. The off season is a great time to plan your elopement when crowds are calmer, weather is mild and prices are more affordable during spring and fall. However, I love when couples choose to escape to this tropical paradise during the winter months outside the full swing of wedding season. With beautiful scenery and warm temperatures year round, there really isn’t a bad time to plan an Oahu elopement.
As we get ready for the big moment keep in mind there are a few things you’ll want to have with you during your elopement ceremony. Ensure you both have proper attire and footwear. If you’re planning to get married on the sand, kick off your shoes and relax. If you plan to hike to a scenic spot like Mara and Christian, make sure you wear appropriate footwear and bring those cute heels to throw on once we get to our destination. When selecting your elopement dress, you’ll want something that is easy to move in and doesn’t have intricate lace or details that might trap sand or debris.
Be sure to plan for experiences ahead of time. For example, if you want to pop some champagne to celebrate the moment, be sure to bring your beach blanket, glasses, and your favorite bottle of bubbly. It’s also fun to pack a picnic to enjoy or make a romantic reservation at a nearby restaurant. You can still have some traditional wedding moments like bringing a speaker to have a first dance or coordinating to have a small cake to cut. No matter what you have planned, having every detail coordinated ahead of time will allow you to live in the moment and soak in every second!
Now for these stunning shots from Mala and Christian’s seaside elopement. The bride looked absolutely gorgeous in a sleek and simple elopement wedding dress and rocked her natural beachy waves. We hiked to an overlook to get sweeping views of the surrounding emerald cliffs then headed down to the beach and dipped our feet in the ocean for a change of scenery. This beach had beautiful formations of lava rocks that made for a striking contrast with the turquoise waters. These two were so in the moment and just had fun together and it totally translated to their elopement photos. This sweet couple shows exactly why an Oahu elopement will give you the wedding of your dreams.
I’ll be traveling to Oahu in the coming months to capture more couples and would love to include a session with you and your partner! Whether it’s an elopement, destination wedding, or engagement photos, I can help you find all the best spots and assist with planning to ensure we make the most of your session. Looking for more inspo? Check out my post on these Sunset Beach Engagement Photos captured in another one of my favorite beaches on Oahu.
Check out my upcoming travel page to see the dates I’ll be in Hawaii during 2023. I’ll also be traveling to the Oregon Coast, the deserts of Joshua Tree, Yosemite National park and more this year. Book today to save on travel fees and capture some unforgettable memories. And don’t worry, if your location isn’t on the list, I’m never opposed to traveling ?. I can’t wait to meet you and bring your vision to life!