Beach Ceremony Wedding Photo of bride and groom clasping hands during traditional Hawaiian ceremony
The bride and groom clasp hands during their traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremony, which took place on a beach in Maui. Officiant Kahu Kale Kaalekahi offers a blessing as the sun begins to set on the Pacific Ocean.
I first met Dan and Christine at a cafe in San Francisco. Sipping pour-over coffees they told me about their plans to elope on a quiet beach in Maui, Hawaii. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, Christine turned to me and explained, “We really want a photographer who can capture genuine moments so that we can remember what it felt like to be there and so we can share the photo story with our families.”
This was music to my ears. I knew right away after meeting Dan and Christine that we were a really great match both aesthetically and with our personalities. And who doesn’t love the idea of a beach wedding in Hawaii?! Over the next couple of months, we did some preplanning which included deciding on the beach location also connecting with the right officiant.
I flew from my home in Oakland, California to Maui a few days early to scout the location for the ceremony and also to scout some additional adventure portrait spots. The ceremony was very intimate. It was Dan and Christine, the officiant, and myself. That meant I also had to serve as the witness.
It was a traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremony. We gathered on the beach at Kapalua Bay in West Maui a few minutes before sunset. Kahu Kale Kaalekahi, the officiant, began by offering a blessing and the Oli Aloha Chat. This rhythmic chant was meant to prepare the space for the ceremony and to welcome us to that point in space and time. It also serves as a call to the divine to usher in “mana” or energy.
Dan and Christine also exchanged leis that were blessed by Kahu. The leis are garlands made from local Hawaiian flowers and they symbolize love and aloha. The leis also represent the intertwining of the couple’s new life together.
Following the exchange of leis and rings, Kahu finished the ceremony with the Blowing of the Pū, a musical instrument made out of a conch shell. This is a sacred tradition in Hawaiian culture that signifies the sealing of the marriage vows and coincided with the couple’s kiss.
Sunsets always seem so beautiful in Hawaii. But the sunset on this day felt especially gorgeous. I certainly felt the mana and the aloha. It was a great adventure and a real honor to document this elopement photo story on the beach in West Maui.
Maui Adventure Wedding Photo from Kapalua, Hawaii of setting sun casting a golden glow on the couple
As the setting sun casts a warm, golden glow on the couple, the officiant blesses the leis before Dan and Christine put them around each other's necks. Made from local Hawaiian flowers, the leis are a symbol of love and the spirit of aloha, and they represent the intertwining of the couple's lives together.
Kapalua Bay Beach Elopement in Maui Photo of officiant presiding over a traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremony
The bride and groom are fully immersed in the moment as their officiant presides over a traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremony on the shores of Kapalua Bay in West Maui.
Maui Wedding Photography of officiant blessing of the couples Hawaiian flower leis
The officiant, Kahu Kale Kaalekahi, completes the blessing of the leis in the moments before sunset during the oceanfront ceremony.
Maui Beach Elopement Ceremony Picture of The couple listening intently to the chants of officiant
The bride and groom soak up the beautiful panoramic views that surround them and listen intently to the melodic and rhythmic chants of their officiant.
Hawaii Destination Beach Elopement Ceremony Photos of wedding officiant Blowing the Pū
Following the exchanging of leis and rings, the officiant finished the ceremony with the Blowing of the Pū, a musical instrument made out of a conch shell. This is a sacred tradition in Hawaiian culture that signifies the sealing of the marriage vows and coincided with the couple’s kiss.
Kapalua Bay Maui Beach Wedding Ceremony Image of bride and groom Silhouetted by the setting sun
Silhouetted by the setting sun, the couple seal their new marriage with a kiss.
Maui Beach Wedding Ceremony Photo showing Blowing of Pu toward the skies above
Looking toward the skies above, the officiant completes the ceremony with the Blowing of the Pū.
Hawaii Elopement Image of newly married couple posing for a portrait near a volcanic rock on the beach
In the soft, dreamy light of the setting sun, the newly married couple poses for a portrait near a volcanic rock on the beach at Kapalua Bay. This comfortable pose combined with their confident looks highlights the fact that this couple has a strong foundation upon which to build their marriage.