Big Island Elopement Style Guide

One of the most common questions we’re asked is “What do we wear for our Big Island elopement?”  The easiest answer is whatever suits your style.  Hawaii elopements tend to lean more more on the casual side and this offers a wide variety of choices.  Obviously the most important thing to consider is will you be comfortable. What will you be most comfortable wearing?

One of the best things about a Hawaii elopement, is that it does have the feeling of being non-traditional.  Consequentially, we love to say that we have one rule when planning your elopement – “there are no rules”.  If you prefer to go formal or beach casual, it’s all up to you.  You might even consider including elements of all styles.

Couple on a white sand beach after their Big Island elopement. Photo by Dawn Eicher Planning by Pink Pineapple Weddings

Big Island elopement guide to gowns, tuxedos and suits: 

For your Big Island elopement, some couples do opt to wear formal attire for their wedding.  Men have rocked everything from tuxedos and three-piece suits to a more easygoing coat & tie.  Keep in mind, Hawaii is warm year around and typically humid.  Formal attire always looks great! Unquestionably, you can never be overdressed for your wedding but the more layers you have may prove to be a bit more uncomfortable. Try to aim for comfort and breathable fabrics, if possible.

Couple on lava at sunset after their Big Island elopement
Couple on lava during sunset after their Big Island wedding. Photo by Dawn Eicher

Hawaii elopement semi-formal wear:  

Semi formal attire is wonderful for a Hawaii elopement! We think it’s a great option for couples who want to dress-up but might be more comfortable in khakis and casual wedding gowns.  More recently, there are so many styles, cuts, and fabrics to choose from; brides have more options that ever regarding what to wear down the aisle.  There are several choices for white and off-white dresses to choose from.  Gentleman may opt for khakis or slacks with a button-down or linen shirt and can dress up their look with a bow-tie or suspenders.  

Couple on driftwood after their Big Island elopement
Couple on the beach after their Big Island elopement. Photo by Dawn Eicher, Planning by Mike Eicher

Sundresses, shorts & khakis: 

You aren’t obligated to dress up at all, if that isn’t your vibe! Feel free to go casual for your Big Island elopement! Casual apparel typically comes in cooler fabrics and materials.  Of course, sundresses come is a variety of styles & lengths and with so many shopping opportunities, you’re bound to find something that fits your personality.  Grooms can typically find an aloha shirt to match any color scheme or perhaps all of the colors on the color spectrum.  We have had grooms wear khakis, linen pants and even shorts. 

Couple walking through a beautiful beach after their Big Island elopement
Couple on the beach after their Big Island elopement. Photo by Dawn Eicher Planning by Pink Pineapple Weddings


For your Big Island elopement it is easy to assume you will choose a pair of shoes that will match your dress and attire choice.  If you are going to wear heels or dress shoes, you may want to consider wedges.  If you are celebrating on beach, you are most likely going to be taking photos in the sand or near the water.  On the Big Island, you will most likely spend some time walking across hardened lava.  Flats and flip-flops will be more practical for the changing terrain.  Gentleman, if you are considering a shoe, keep in mind you will most likely be walking through sand and perhaps close to the water; don’t ruin your favorite pair of expensive shoes.  Some couples forgo shoes altogether and opt for toes-in-the-sand and they go barefoot. Esty has lovely “jewelry” for your feet, so you can go barefoot in style.

Big Island elopement guide to guest attire:

Our couples planning Kona elopements have used the terms “Aloha casual”, “beach formal”, “dressy, outdoor wedding”, and “dressy beach attire” on their invitations.  We suggest you guide your guests to the fashion and color of your preference.  Don’t forget to suggest footwear for them as well.  Let comfort be your guide.

Pro Tip:

For all Hawaii elopements, we encourage hats, sunscreen and even umbrella for your guests.  Even if your wedding ceremony is relatively short (15 minutes or less) that is plenty of time for your guests to overcook. 

If you look good, you feel good.  Embrace your style, remember your comfort, there are no rules.  Have fun and celebrate love!           

Wedding celebration at Kohaniki on the Big Island of Hawaii
Wedding celebration at Kohanaiki on the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo by Dawn Eicher of Planning by Pink Pineapple Weddings

Blog written by Mike Eicher, Big Island Officiant and Big Island Elopement planner here in Hawaii!

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