Everything You Need to Know About Eloping in Volcano National Park

The Big Island has no shortage of breathtaking locations you can get married at. Volcano National Park is unique not only because Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanos on Earth, but it also has diverse trails from lush rain forests to black lava calderas.

Couple running towards coast in Volcano National Park on Big Island

State of Hawaii Marriage License Laws & Volcano National Park Permits

Marriage License: Before you can get married in Volcano National Park, you’ll need to apply for a State of Hawaii marriage license.

  • Apply online and pay the $65 fee.
  • Once you arrive to the island, meet with an agent no sooner than 30 days prior to the ceremony.
  • Both applicants must be present and present a government issued ID (Drivers License, Passport, etc.)
  • Pick up your license and bring it to your ceremony.
  • Your officiant will then file your license with the State after your wedding.

    Volcano National Park Permit: Directions to legally get married in the park.
  • Weddings held in the park should be planned as small, intimate affairs and take place away high traffic visitor areas.
  • Apply online and send in the $150.00 application fee for the wedding permit.
  • Beginning May 26, 2023, Volcano National Park is now cashless. Bring a credit or debit card to buy a $30 standard entrance pass to get into the park.

    We have officiants we love to work with that travel to Volcano National Park. Want to do your own vows without an officiant? I’m ordained, and can file your paperwork for you and make it official!
Bride and groom in Volcano National Park with a bouqet of flowers

Best time of year to have your Volcano National Park elopement

Hawaii has many micro climates, from desert-like areas that get 10 inches of rain a year to Hilo which gets over 120 inches a year. Volcano National Park goes from 4000 ft. elevation down to sea level, which means weather can change quickly and be vastly different in various parts of the park! Wherever you choose to get married in Hawaii, it’s important to be flexible and embrace the elements. Although rain may happen on your big day, that means a vibrant rainbow could also appear as the sun pops through! I always travel with umbrellas for this reason, and the more couple’s go with the flow of the weather, the more fun they have and the more beautiful the experience and photos turned out! If it’s raining in one area, we can always drive a bit to see if it breaks up in another area. It is truly magical watching the different weather patterns in Hawaii!

So to answer the question, anytime of year is beautiful in Volcano National Park! In terms of crowds, there will typically be less in the spring and fall, as summer can be busy with families on summer break. If the volcano is currently erupting, that can also bring bigger crowds to the park. You can always check the Volcano NPS website for current conditions, or check in with your photographer for local insight.

Bride and groom getting married in Volcano National Park
Bridal portrait in Volcano National Park

Where To Stay For Your Volcano National Park Wedding


Nāmakanipaio and Kulanaokuaiki are the two drive-in camp grounds within the National Park. It’s $10-15/per night to camp, and can be cool and damp year round so it’s best to bring waterproof tents and jackets. Hawai’i Volcanoes Lodge Company also offers cabins that sleep 4, and must be reserved in advanced.

Volcano House:

A historical guest house located inside the park with 33 rooms, some with a few of the caldera. The Rim at Volcano House also offers dining and live music.


The town of Volcano offers a variety of unique accommodations including A-Frames, log cabins, and treehouses. Many include a hot tub to soak after a day of hiking during those cool nights at 4000 ft.

Volcano Singing Forest Cottage

Ohia Hideaway

Hale ‘Alalā

Hale Manu

Ao Lele

Forest House

Couple on Kilauea Iki Trail during their wedding

What Airport Is Best to Fly into To Elope in Volcano

You have two options, Kona or Hilo. If you fly into Hilo International Airport, and you can also set up your marriage license appointment to be there too! From both Kona International Airport you can expect a 2.5 hour drive to the park, and from Hilo International Park, you can expect a 1 hour 30 minute drive to the park.

Hilo is the biggest city on the Big Island and has a cute downtown with some of my favorite shops. Check out Hana Hou Hilo which has woven pāpale, zero waste goods, and one of a kind pieces from Hawaiian artisans. Island Nation Ma Uka Ma Kai is one of my favorite stores, as they carry a variety of books in the Hawaiian language. Pick up a copy of basic words and phrases to learn on your trip and immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture.

From ukulele shops to thrift stores to local grinds, Hilo is not to be missed. Take a walk around Liliuokalani Gardens, the largest authentic ornamental Japanese garden outside of Japan. Or head to Honoli’i Beach to watch the local surfers.

The Island of Hawaii is nicknamed the Big Island for a reason. To spend more time out of the car enjoying your trip, book a couple of different places around the island. For instance, you could spend a few days in Kona, a few days in Hilo, and a few days in Volcano.

Culture Significance of Pele and Volcano

Pele is the Hawaiian volcano deity, the creator of the volcanic landscapes and an elemental force, who traveled far and wide until she landed at Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea. There are many mo’olelo (stories) and oil (chants) about Pele. She is creative, destructive, and has a life force that is respected and honored by Hawaiians.

It’s important to come into the park with love and respect for a place that is sacred. Whether an eruption is happening or not, people may be practicing protocol, and be mindful of those in ceremony. The Kīlauea Visitor Center offers books such as Pele and Hi’iaka, ‘Ōlelo No’eau, and more. Of course, a book can only scratch the surface of the layers of gods and goddesses, the ancestry that Hawaiians trace back to kalo and to the cosmos.

How To Enjoy Hawaii After The Wedding

Volcano Village Farmers Market: Every Sunday from 6am-10am at the Cooper Center. Enjoy fresh vegetables, fruits, clothing, jewelry and more.

Volcano Art Center: Located within the park, check out the events calender for art classes and workshops, hula, cultural demonstrations and more.

Hiking: Volcano National Park offers some of the best hikes in all of Hawaii. Click here to read about 10 hikes, or pop by the visitor center for a detailed map.

Night Dive with Manta Rays: Take the boat out at night and dive with manta rays!

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach: A beautiful black sand beach in Ka’ū that often has turtles at the shoreline.

Rainbow Falls (Waiānuenue) – Located in Hilo, best right when they open before the crowds!

Mahai’ula Beach – A short hike to this beach north of Kona leads to a white sandy beach.

Wedding on Chain of Crater road in Volcano national park

Planning Your Volcano National Park Elopement

Cadencia Weddings offers all-inclusive collections for couple’s looking to get married on the Big Island of Hawaii, and beyond! We work with the very best vendors, planning your perfect day so you can relax with the one you love in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Ready to learn more? Reach out here to chat, and we’ll jump on a call to hear more about what you’re envisioning. Cadencia Weddings will bring your elopement dream to life!

Mahalo to the incredible vendors for our featured Volcano National Park elopement!

Hair and Make-Up: Beauty With Aloha
Florals: Hakus By Bunny

How To Elope in Volcano National Park


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