Elopement: Experiencing The Great Outdoors of Maui, Hawaii

When I think of the time I spent with these two people: Karen + James and Karen’s friend Kathleen (officiant), a smile always starts.  Karen and I have met awhile back in a photo convention and workshop and became friends quite quickly, and I was very excited when she contacted me to document her elopement in Maui, Hawaii.  Maui has been one of my favorite places to go because in most cases it still has that Hawaii feeling, compared to Honolulu for example.

Karen + James met in Boston, where they both live and they decided to elope to Maui and experience the warm weather that Hawaii has to offer.  After meeting both of them on the first night upon my arrival in Maui, I quickly realize that these two are completely different people with different interests.  James for example would prefer foods that is true to their simplest forms, such as steaks that is marinated only with salt and pepper, while Karen would be excited for new styles of foods.  Karen dives but gets sea sick on the way to the dive location, while James loves to fish and not dive.  All these differences about them, but I see a very strong bond and playfulness between them two which makes them such a great couple.  It’s such a beautiful relationship to watch 🙂

Elopements are really fun to document because there are absolutely no rules and we can do whatever we want and however we want to do it. Karen has for long dreamt of getting married on a bed of volcanic rocks and she got her dreams, not once, but twice in the same day!  Karen gave me so much freedom during my stay there and just let me do whatever and in ANY condition (their second wedding ceremony was accompanied by rain and all portraits afterwards done in the rain as well).

Through the help of Karen’s best friend (who was there to become the officiant of the wedding) and also was such a great tour guide for us, we were able to visit some of the best locations in Maui and laughed, dived, and explored.  In the span of 3 days, we had all kinds of weather conditions and we just hung around as friends and simply had fun as I document their trip. There was rain, there was the hot and humid day, there was sub-freezing temperatures, cliff jumping, hot tub, and more cliff jumping.  This two really loves the freedom of being outdoors.

Long time friend / officiant Kathleen is pretty much ready for the week-long fun.

Back at the hotel, playing with more water.

The next day we woke up at 3:30am, drove an hour to meet Kathleen, then drove another 2 hours to catch the sunrise at the Haleakala Peak to do the first ceremony.  Here, James spent some time to himself, absorbing everything in as Karen changed in Kathleen’s car.

Wearing her wedding dress and her cowboy boots and trying to keep herself with a blanket and the wind wasn’t really helping either 🙂

Revealing the dress to James.

Right after the ceremony, the sun breaks and they were in awe of the view.

Later on that day, the getting ready starts again for the 2nd ceremony.

James’ getting ready ritual is as simple as the things that he likes in life: watching TV about tattoo artists, and eating yoghurt.

Seeing Karen in her makeup for the first time.

They are so playful with each other 🙂

No bouquet, no problem.  We make our own 🙂

Running back to the car, drove back to their hotel, dried up, and off to the dinner just the four of us.

The last day of my stay we traveled through the road to Hana, going through the bamboo forest, with more rain.

At the Red Sand beach

and off to a remote location to do some more cliff jumping.

One last jump before we ended the day

6 Responses "Elopement: Experiencing The Great Outdoors of Maui, Hawaii"

  1. So many beautiful photos!

  2. Caitlin

    May 11, 2017

    I love the uniqueness of your style! A Hawaii elopement would be so fun! Great job capturing the couple’s love for each other!

  3. Karen

    June 21, 2017

    AHH! We are so in love with all of these. We wanted to say thank you for being down to adventure (for climbing volcanos, jumping off cliffs, dealing with our giant rain cloud, muddy hikes, and everything else!) and simply just being the best ever. We are so grateful for everything.

    • Erwin

      June 27, 2017

      Thank you so much Karen for such a wonderful experience hanging out with you all 🙂

  4. Chris Deleon

    August 27, 2017

    Hi Erwin, I really enjoyed reading your article! It was a wonderful experience and I love your trip and all your activities.

  5. Fotobox mieten Wien

    November 6, 2017

    Nice wedding photography, very nice pictures.


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