After much thought and intention in choosing a location, Brittany and Hunter decided on the incredible oceanside cliffs for their destination elopement in Maui, Hawaii. Ryan and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to capture such an intimate and beautiful all day elopement surrounded by the incredible landscapes that Maui has to offer — including cliffside ceremonies, rainbows along the ocean, and the stunning green valleys.
Elopement Getting Ready Photos
One of my favorite parts of an all-day elopement is being there when the couple is getting ready in their hotel or Airbnb. For Brittany and Hunter’s sunrise Maui elopement, we met them at their hotel around 4:30 am in the morning. By the time we got there, Bree Rubin was already there helping Brittany with her hair and makeup. As Brittany got ready, Ryan and I were able to capture some beautiful details that Brittany thought to bring all the way from Tennessee. I loved all the details she wanted to be apart of her day. Some of these items included a uniquely stitched jean jacket with her new last name on it, a pendant her mother-in-law gave her, crafted vow books that she and Hunter would read out of, and individual gifts and letters that both Hunter and Brittany gave to each other on their wedding day. Because Brittany and Hunter wanted their first look to be when Brittany walked down the aisle, they got a hotel suite where they could get ready in different rooms. While Brittany had everything done in the main common area, Hunter prepared with lots of coffee and chilling out in his room. Another really special part of their getting ready was when they both read the letters they had written to each other while each of them was getting ready.
Why You Should Think About Writing a Letter to Your Spouse on Your Wedding Day
One of the most emotional parts of the entire day was when Hunter read the letter that Brittany had written and opened the gift that she had given him. Ryan and I stepped into the room that Hunter was getting ready in and captured his emotions while reading and opening his gift. It was a moment that I’ve never experienced before. There was so much raw and real emotional that I almost wanted to put down my camera and give him a hug. It was that heavy. I decided, instead, to use my camera to continue to tell this story, to capture this moment so that he can someday look back on this exact moment and remember exactly how he was feeling on his wedding day. While we didn’t read what Brittany wrote, you could tell it meant so much to Hunter to have read her words comfort him and the gift was very sentimental to him to have close to him on their wedding day. It was so special to be able to capture such raw emotions in the privacy of his room so that he could be truly present in the moment. One reason I loved the idea of capturing Brittany and Hunter each reading letters to one another because it was such a powerful way to start their elopement day. Even though they planned not to see each other until Brittany walked down the “aisle” (or in this case, the dirt path to the cliffside), their letter and gift exchange was a sweet way to document their love for one another before their ceremony.
Sunrise Elopement Ceremony on Maui’s Oceanside Cliffs
How to Plan a First Look for Your Elopement
Option #1: Planning Your First Look Before Your Ceremony
Many of our brides choose to plan out the first look before their ceremony. We often choose a location on the property that will have even lighting for this beautiful exchange. It is so important to have natural shade (especially if you’re planning your first look during the middle of the day). A lot of our couples ask us how to do a first look when they’re staying in the same hotel room or Airbnb, What has happened most often for our couples is that the couple will get ready together. However, they won’t see each other in their wedding attire until the first look. The easiest way to execute this in the best way possible is to have separate rooms for getting ready. Before the bride steps into her wedding dress, we’ll take the groom to a separate location in the hotel or near the hotel to wait for the first look. After getting the groom situated, usually, I (Corinne) will go get the bride and bring her to the location where the groom is! We absolutely love this option, because it really makes this moment so special but also doesn’t make things too complicated for the bride and groom. After the bride and groom’s first look, the couple usually drives together to their ceremony location.
Option #2: Seeing Each Other for the First Time Down the Aisle
Brittany and Hunter wanted to see each other for the first time down the aisle, so we had to be a little more strategic in our planning to make this really seamless for these two. While Jon (their videographer) was filming Brittany reading her letter one more time to get audio, Ryan walked down with Hunter down to the cars. After a few minutes, Brittany, Jon, and I walked down to the hotel lobby and hopped in our car (while Hunter was out of sight in his jeep). When we arrived at the ceremony location, Ryan, Hunter, Jon, and their officiant hiked to the ceremony location while I stayed back with Brittany. We had Hunter turned around facing the ocean when Brittany finally walked down the “aisle” aka dirt trail to finally see Hunter for the first time. It was such a beautiful moment we were able to capture and such a meaningful first look because it’s what they had always imagined. Brittany even chose one of her and Hunter’s favorite songs to walk down the aisle to.
The rest of Brittany and Hunter’s ceremony was so beautiful. It was a traditional, Christian ceremony including communion and hand-written vows. It was such a sweet and moving ceremony, and we were able to capture their ceremony as the sun was rising over the ocean. This Maui cliffside location was a perfect combination of green, rolling hills, and oceanside cliffs with the waves crashing underneath us.
Elopement Bridal Portraits Near Lahaina Coast
After their beautiful ceremony, we took Brittany and Hunter to another stunning scene on Maui’s Lahaina coast for more of their bridal portraits. As we were capturing some shots of Brittany and Hunter, it started raining slightly. While we were getting ready to move on from this location because of the rain, the most incredible rainbow popped out of nowhere! Ryan and I started snapping as quickly as we could before the rainbow disappeared. Ryan and I always freak out when we see a rainbow, because DUH, who wouldn’t be stoked to see a rainbow?! Secondly, we think it’s the BEST luck when a couple sees a rainbow on their wedding day. I don’t know if it’s just a myth (and I doubt there’s any truth to this statement I’m about to say), but I absolutely think it’s super good luck if we see a rainbow on a couple’s wedding day. Plus, we just love sharing this unique experience with our couples!
Adventure Elopement surrounded by Maui Mountains
After the perfect rainbow, we headed for another Maui adventure spot surrounded by the incredible Maui mountains. Honestly, these are some of the most stunning mountain ridges in all of Maui! One aspect of Brittany and Hunter’s elopement images that meant a lot to them was having photos of them surrounded by the mountains of Hawaii. We had such a blast adventuring these two and we were more than impressed when Brittany and Hunter both decided to trek up the mountain in their wedding attire. Some of our couples prefer to change into normal hiking attire for any trekking that we do. However, Brittany and Hunter were totally down to make this adventure even more epic and hike in their wedding attire. It was really awesome to see Brittany and Hunter in their element of being outside and simply enjoying their day of adventure. What I truly love about a full day elopement with our couples is that nothing feels rushed. Ryan and I are able to craft a timeline that gives our couple precious time and space to really be in the moment and to not feel like they’re following a strict timeline. I loved being able to be so much in the moment with Brittany and Hunter because that was one of the most important parts of their day — for the day to feel so authentically them and for them truly soak up every single moment, so that they could look back on one day and share with their future children.
It was such an honor to be able to capture Brittany and Hunter’s Maui elopement, and we are so thankful for all of the awesome wedding vendors that we were able to collaborate with to make this day so incredible for these two!
Vendors for Brittany + Hunter’s Maui Elopement
Videographer: Jon Bodhi
Florist: Andrea of Petite.Maui
HMUA: Bree Rubin
Officiant: Ben Bryson