Katherin & Clay’s Two Day Maui Elopement
If you’re on the fence about a multi-day elopement, let me just say—DO IT! But, if I can’t convince you, let Katherin and Clay’s Haleakala Maui adventure elopement persuade you. This couple came all the way from Chicago to experience Maui in the most beautiful way. However, their first choice was Greece and then Kauai, but they eventually settled on Haleakala with no regrets. Here’s a breakdown of their fabulous two-day adventure elopement.
On day one, we spent ten glorious hours together, which were packed full of memories. Katherin and Clay’s first look took place at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, and then they headed to the local beach to get portraits. Afterward, we traveled to Tin Roof Maui to grab some delicious to-go food, which they ate on the tailgate of the Jeep they rented.
For the ceremony, we went up to the summit of Haleakala to meet their officiant, Euta Lightsey, who did beyond a fantastic job. I witnessed one of the most fabulous, spiritual, cultural ceremonies, and the way Euta incorporated Hawaiian traditions was breathtaking. He even said a prayer and blew a conch shell.
Euta also had them kiss each other on the cheek and share aloha while explaining that aloha means love, breath, and life. Honestly, it was so emotional that I was crying within the first three minutes. It was all incredibly touching (sidebar: I’m totally rethinking my vow renewal so that Euta can perform the ceremony).
Although it was super windy—as in small craft advisory windy—we captured gorgeous sunset and blue hour photos. Then we waited until after dark to get night sky images. It was a special time of reflecting on the day and talking about Hawaii—how the crater reminded us of Mars, about what they discovered during their Molokini Crater snorkeling tour, and how the world and nature, in general, is so incredibly unique. We stayed up to see the stars even though we were freezing cold. In actuality, we all wanted Taco Bell, which made us giggle a bit.
Scroll for Day 1 images, and Day 2 below that!
Out of respect for native Hawaiians and to not contribute to overtourism, I no longer photograph in Hawaii.
If you want to do similar, I photograph in many other tropical destinations, including places like Belize.
As I reflected on the first day, I thought about how we had spanned the spectrum of weather, seasons, and temperatures the day before. We also explored various topographies by visiting beaches, soaking in views, and going through the foliage. Maui is such a beautiful location to experience so many regions in one place. We went from an incredibly upscale hotel to a tropical yellow sand beach with uber-soft sand to heading 10,000 feet above sea level with whipping winds in 47-degree weather (and that’s without the wind chill factor, folks!) on top of a volcano.
On the second day, we met in Hana to hike to a bamboo forest. Interestingly, my “celebrity” couple, Katherin and Clay, were recognized by so many people congratulating them and asking if they were the couple up on top of Haleakala during sunset the day before.
The three of us talked about funny stuff, but we also chatted about how we wanted to leave a mark in the world. It got a bit deeper when we discussed one thing we’d like to improve about our personalities. Katherin longs to be more outgoing and show her true self to people like she does when she’s with her friends. Clay wants to work on giving people the benefit of the doubt instead of making assumptions right away (I totally agreed with him on this point as I need to work on that, too).
We went to a red sand beach for some epic drone footage. Ironically, one couple that was at the bamboo trail was also at the beach. They helped me carry the drone and stayed with us for a bit—it was nice to meet new friends, even if only for a short time. We took in the sights and were awestruck by the extremely vivid blue water, which we jumped in after we finished the drone footage.
When it was all over, Katherin and Clay talked about how amazing and varied their Maui elopement experience was. They were hoping for something epic, and everything they had done exceeded their expectations—and then some. I’m just so crazy honored that they went on this journey and allowed me to tag along, capture it, and help them craft it. It was so, so good and an adventure elopement that will always stay close to my heart.