Maui Beach Wedding
Wedding photography is a tough job. Period. Long days, and even longer stretches of time in front of the computer editing for weeks after. However, one of the perks of being a wedding photographer is being responsible for catching the love between a bride and groom. Sounds cheesy - but it's true. Take this story from my trip to Maui, Hawaii where I was hired to be the wedding photographer for a Maui beach wedding.
When I first arrived at the venue - I was blown away. This venue was stunning. Maui is known for it's beautiful beaches and gorgeous weather...and destination weddings. Have you ever been to a typical destination beach wedding? In Hawaii it typically includes the following: the bride and groom arrive at a public beach with a handful of guests. They are greeted by the officiant (99% of the time he is local), and the wedding photographer. The officiant greets the bride and groom and their usual 5-6 guests, he blows the horn and begins the ceremony. The entire wedding usually takes about 10-15 minutes, followed by wedding pictures on the beach.
The only downside is the bride and groom don't normally pick the beach, and they are often not told they will share the beach with several other weddings - if you are getting married at sunset that may be up to 5-6 weddings at one time. On the same beach. They are usually spread out about 50 yards apart - I know this because I was there! On this trip I happened to be enjoying a casual evening on the beach with my wife - as we sat on our beach chairs a wedding occurred within 10 feet of us. I know the wedding photographer didn't include us in their photos, but the atmosphere was still -- well let's say not the most unique. I even had the chance to take pictures for a couple later in the evening as I setup my equipment for a sunset landscape picture. It turned out the officiant was also the wedding photographer. He was using a point and shoot Canon. The moral of the story - do your research with the type of beach wedding you will be getting.
For this particular wedding I met with the bride and groom several times prior to our engagement portraits. The groom specifically wanted the photo above - he requested (1) crashing waves (2) sunset (3) awesome. Seriously. Leading up to this wedding we scouted the venue to find this wedding would be held on private property. The beach itself was still public, but due to the location it rarely saw visitors passing through. When scouting we fine tuned our timing of the wedding to make sure our bride and groom had enough light for their ceremony but also could have memorable ceremony and bridal portraits. Looking above, we were able to capture the key moments that were important to the bride and groom with beautiful lighting and outstanding timing of the waves!
One difference of this wedding was the private venue had a house on site that could be used for the wedding party to get dressed, for on-site catering and on-site restrooms available. Another key piece was the venue provided start to finish services. They had seating for guests, an open bar, and a covered tent for dinner. Most beach weddings provide beautiful scenery for the ceremony but fall short offering services afterwards. For this particular wedding they did have a limit of 50 guests, no more. This posed a challenge for the bride and groom on who to invite, but it was an intimate, pleasant wedding. The positives of a beach wedding is that you normally do not need a lot of decorations - some flowers, signs and an elegant arch will normally provide more than enough decorations for a beautiful wedding ceremony.
One tip for brides planning her beach wedding is to make sure your wedding photographer has experience with beach wedding pictures. If you select a wedding photographer who is unsure of lighting or posing for a beach wedding this may create conflicts and issues later down the road. Often brides want the best deal on a photographer - but make sure to match your wedding photographer's style to your own.
My order of the wedding poses and pictures I chose will be covered in a separate article showing more from this Maui wedding.