Our Elopement Story

Our Elopement Story

“Ugh, what if we just eloped?” I said to Howard after touring another beautiful venue in Southern California that would have cost a bazillion dollars to throw a wedding at. We had been touring venues for a few weeks and were both starting to feel a little overwhelmed. If you’ve ever planned a wedding, you know how quickly the price tag rises.

Being the nomadic, adventurous couple that we are, we knew it wouldn’t come as much of a shock to anyone if we just one day announced we had tied the knot. Since we live full time on the road, we would be asking our family and friends to travel somewhere for a wedding, which we knew wouldn’t be possible for everyone. Plus, we could throw mini parties in the various locations where our family & friends are for a fraction of the cost. So it was decided that sunny March day in the car on the way back to our RV…. we would elope during an already planned trip to Hawaii!

I quickly started researching how to plan an elopement in Maui. We already had our plane tickets (thanks to Southwest, it only cost $300 round trip for BOTH of us to fly from California to Hawaii. A deal we couldn’t pass up) but we had no idea where to get married or even where to stay.

Thanks to the power of the internet, Instagram and reviews on sites like Wedding Wire and The Knot, we nailed down a planner, the location for the ceremony, an awesome photographer and an amazing videographer. We were set!

Since we were eloping without telling anyone (hardest secret to keep ever!) we knew we wanted to document the day to share with everyone later. We also knew we wanted our wedding day to be an adventure… and that it was.

Location Scouting & Marriage Licensing

Once we arrived in Maui, we wanted to check out the places we had selected for our ceremony and post-ceremony photos in person. We had only seen pictures online and while they can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true… we wanted to make sure the spot where we would be promising each other forever was as beautiful as it seemed. When planning our elopement, we were both on the same page that we didn’t want to get married on the beach. Lucky for us, Hawaii is full of alternative epic backgrounds and we decided on the Nakelele Blowhole.

Where we got married! The Nakaklele Blowhole

I’m definitely glad we scouted the site out before our ceremony, because we quickly realized how far of a trek it actually was down to the blowhole. This allowed us to pick a spot closer to the top for the actual ceremony while still maximizing the dreamy views.

Climbing down to our ceremony site

For our post-ceremony photo shoot, we had our heart set on Twin Falls, which requires a permit in order to have any sort of professional photography done on the premise. We headed to the falls and asked for the owner, who couldn’t have been nicer. She showed us aroudn and told us she would meet us on the day of our wedding to make sure we were all set. There was a $100 fee for having professional photography at the falls, but it’s used to help maintain the land. Twin Falls is set on private property, but they allow public access and free use of the land. So we felt great knowing our contribution was going towards helping this beautiful spot stay open for travelers to enjoy!

One of the many waterfalls located on the property of Twin Falls

The Friday before our wedding (we got married on a Monday) we headed to get our marriage license! This process was SO easy. We simply filled out an online application about a month prior, showed up to the licensing agent’s office, signed some paperwork… and boom, marriage license! Much easier than obtaining one stateside, which was interesting. The official completed license was mailed to us about 5 weeks later.

Getting our Marriage License

After confirming that our two locations were just as stunning in person as they appeared online and getting our license to wed, we spent the rest of the weekend leading up to our wedding sightseeing, relaxing and enjoying the unlimited beauty Maui has to offer.

Our Wedding Day

June 3, 2019. Our alarm went off at 4:15 in the morning! But when it’s your wedding day, you don’t really mind getting up that early. Howard was such a champ because he had to vacate our hotel room so that I could have my hair and makeup done. Our first look was set for 7:30 am with a ceremony start time of 9:00 am. The morning flew by and before I knew it, it was time to head downstairs to see my groom!

We had our first look in a courtyard at the hotel where we were staying. I’m so glad that we were able to have this moment because we had to drive 30 minutes to our actual ceremony location. After spending about 15 minutes on photos, it was time to go get married!

Our First Look
After our first look, heading to the Nakalele Blowhole

When we arrived to the Nakalele Blowhole, you could see the rain off in the distance. It was quickly approaching and within minutes we had all hopped back in our respective vehicles to wait out the downpour. But in true island fashion, it was over within 15 minutes and we made our way out to the cliffs. We had a traditional Hawaiian ceremony that was centered around love and partnership. It was beautifully written and couldn’t have been more perfect for the two of us. We both wrote our own vows which were the perfect representation of our love, us as individuals and as a team. It was comically windy… my dress got caught on the lava rock a few dozen times, my veil even took flight in the wind, Howard’s hair went from slicked back to wind blown. It was beautiful chaos because it was so us!

After another quick 15 minutes, and with the blow of a conch… we were husband and wife! We looked up and about 40 people had gathered to watch the ceremony and we walked down the trail to applause from strangers. Such a fun experience! We spent a bit more time here, taking pictures, popping champagne and twirling each other for the cameras before heading to Twin Falls.

We had a two hour drive to the falls, so we rocked out to music… took photos and video to later show our friends and family, and relished in our first few hours of marriage.

There was more photo taking as we headed down to the falls and posed on a tree that had so perfectly fallen, framing the flowing water. (We can’t wait to see the rest of these photos!)

And what happened next was SO. MUCH. FUN. We waded INTO the water for the most epic waterfall wedding photos! It was ice cold and we were laughing hysterically between posing for our photographers and splashing each other.

We knew all along that we wanted to do this and I’m so glad we had such an awesome team of pros who were willing to make our adventure wedding dreams come true! Sunburned, sweaty and now soaking wet… not how most people would want to spend our wedding day. But we couldn’t wait to get in that water!

Our Photographer :Jasmine. Planner: Serena. Videographer: Jordan

By this point, it was about 2:30 in the afternoon and having been awake since 4 am … we were starving. We stopped in the adorable town of Paia for fish tacos in our still-wet wedding outfits. We finished the day with an epic nap, the most amazing dinner and drinks fireside overlooking the ocean.

Our wedding day was so us… full of adventure, spontaneity, laughter and so much love. It’s hard to believe it’s already been three months… but here’s to forever as adventure partners! Now – we can’t wait to celebrate with family and friends!

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Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Howard and Katelyn Newstate have traveled over 80,000 miles in their Winnebago Navion Class C RV, exploring from Alaska to mainland Mexico since 2018. Joined by their adventure pups, Piper, Ella and Scout, they share how to “Live Like a Local” in every New State they explore. For more information on their travels or the 51 Parks in 52 Weeks tour, visit NewstateNomads.com/NationalParks

National Parks Tour

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