In the wake of the Maui fires, Erica and Preston chose to pivot their wedding to the Garden Isle of Kauai. We planned this wedding in under a week and I felt so fortunate to be their Hanalei wedding photographer.

Erica and Preston have this magnetism to them. It’s a quite and nuanced adoration for one another and it was so very evident that their love went beyond just an love for one another – but also for their families that also pivoted their vacation plans.

Together, we explored 1 Hanalei Bay, snuck in some time at a private waterfall, ate some really delicious shave ice, made leis with their family, and exchanged vows on the most gorgeous beach I’ve seen.

Jade Waialeale was their officiant and I’m not lying when I say it was the most beautiful ceremony I’ve witnessed. And I’ve seen a lot of ceremonies. Maybe it’s because I was emotionally raw from the fires in Maui and on day two of back-to-back weddings, but Jade has an energy about her that is unmatched. She will forever be my go-to Kauai officiant.

We had the most wicked rainstorm move through Hanalei – but within 5 minutes it cleared out and we had the beach all to ourselves!

The last photo may be my favorite of all the images, but it’s ridiculously hard to choose. Erica and Preston – thank you for being flexible and choosing me to document your day. I know that our paths will cross again one day!

Why did you choose Hawaii for your wedding?

My (now) husband & I had always discussed marriage after Preston finished his medical residency & both had a similar vision.  Being introverts at heart, we were drawn to the idea of an elopement or otherwise intimate celebration. 

We envisioned a low-key ceremony that maintained a focus on our commitment & love to one another.  I had always dreamt of a destination wedding & we both agreed we’d prefer an outdoor setting, immersed in natural beauty.  We also fully considered the unknowns & potential travel impacts of COVID as variant waves continued.  After discussing possible options, we landed on a Hawaii elopement! 

After months of researching & planning, we opted to wed in Maui on 8/15/23.  We had planned an intimate ceremony with only our parents, and a full day of photos at various island locations, ending with sunset photos atop Mount Haleakala.  Little did we know, we were about to receive a true lesson on flexibility & keeping perspective.  The Maui wildfire crisis unfolded 72 hours prior to our scheduled flight to Hawaii.  As we learned more of the scale & true devastation, we were left to consider a few options. 

We scheduled a call with Angie to discuss & ultimately opted to pivot our wedding to the island of Kauai.  We spent the next 48 hours canceling all things Maui & re-booking to Kauai.  Angie not only served as our photographer but impromptu wedding planner!  She connected with Kauai industry contacts & helped us secure a new timeline & services for our big day! 

Why They Chose Hanalei for their Hawaii Wedding

In discussing options with Angie, we felt pivoting to Kauai was best.  It did not feel appropriate to keep our original plans as the island was still in a state of crisis.  We felt Kauai offered the best avenue to honor our original vision.  We tried to keep perspective & trusted Angie with re-creating our timeline & new ceremony/photo locations.    

What was your favorite part of your Hanalei Wedding?

Reflecting, our favorite part of the day was the ceremony & photos at Hanalei Bay.  Having our family there, the officiant’s message, the ceremony location – everything felt perfect.  Following the ceremony, we drove to our last stop, Hanalei Bay for sunset photos.  As soon as we arrived to secure parking; it down-poured for about 10 minutes.  The rain literally cleared out the entire beach.  As we finished photos, on this magical & incredibly beautiful island, it again just felt perfect.

What were your favorite details of your wedding day?

My favorite detail was my dress.  I really loved the dress I found & felt truly beautiful that day.  Preston’s favorite detail was his pineapple bow tie.

Why did you choose me as your Hanalei Wedding Photographer?

Preston and I chose Angie after extensively searching online.  We were blown away by both her work & her reviews!  We absolutely LOVE our photos & would not change anything about our day!  Angie captured us so authentically & so beautifully.  We feel incredibly fortunate to have had her support in pivoting plans, helping us continue to honor our vision, & sharing her true talent.   

Advice for couples planning their Hawaii destination wedding

Keep perspective.  At the end of the day, no matter what, you will still be marrying your partner. 

Kauai Wedding Vendors

A big thank you to these folks who pulled everything together last minute for Erica and Preston. The love I felt from these people is immeasurable and I am forever grateful.

Officiant: Jade Waialeale
Hair and Makeup: Crystal’s Bridal Artistry
Florals: The Floralette
Planning, hand-holding, therapist, queen of connections, and immeasurable kindness goes to my now dear friend, Sandy Swift Photography. My friend, I could not have done this without you. Mahalo nui loa.

Looking for more Hanalei Wedding Photographer inspiration?

Then you may love these weddings and elopements!

Nate and Justine’s Kauai Aventure Elopement
Abby and Mike’s full-day adventure elopement on Maui
When is the best time of the year to get married in Hawaii?
Jenn and Tyler’s Haleakala Aventure Elopement

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