Creating Brittani and Matt’s Elopement Day on Kauai’s North Shore
Brittani reached out to us about having us capture her and Matt’s elopement in Kauai, “The Garden Isle,” at the beginning of January. Brittani and Matt are true adventurers, both originally from Canada, and have explored all around Costa Rica hiking and soaking up every last bit of their time there. Back home in Canada, one of their favorite things to do is go up to the lakes where Matt has a cabin and relish in nature, as well as portaging. WHAT THE HECK is portaging, you ask?! We thought the exact same thing when we heard this new word. Portaging is the act of carrying a canoe on land over an obstacle or between two bodies of land. How cool is that? Matt explained that they do this all the time in the summer and it’s one of their favorite activities together. When thinking about eloping in Kauai, Brittani and Matt wanted to incorporate as much nature as possible into their day including their ceremony and their adventure session after their ceremony. We helped them craft an epic day full of adventure, as well as a day that included their family.
Sunrise Beach Ceremony on the North Shore of Kauai
When thinking about their ceremony location, we knew that it was super important for Brittani and Matt to have the mountains in the background. When it comes to our couples, we do our absolute best to find the locations that will fit each couple’s preferences and desires. This is one of our biggest goals as your elopement photographers and guides! We are here to help you every step of the way, especially in the planning process, as well as finding locations. We found the perfect beach on the north shore of Kauai for Brittani and Matt to have their ceremony that was surrounded by the mountains and with barely anyone around. We weren’t expecting this, but there was even a waterfall coming from off the mountains in the distance. You don’t see this waterfall all year long, so it was such a neat addition to the backdrop of their photos. We were so pumped to be able to capture this waterfall for them!
What I loved about having this ceremony on the North Shore was that Brittani, Matt, and both of their parents were able to find a great place to stay in the Princeville area. This made the early morning wake-up call super easy for the family since they weren’t far from the ceremony location.
Pro tip: Depending on where you have your elopement ceremony, it’s really wise to think about where you want to stay during that time. If you choose to have your family be a part of your big day, having your accommodation relatively close to the ceremony location makes all of the logistics just a little bit easier!
Hawaiian Elements of North Shore Kauai Elopement Ceremony
Brittani and Matt had Akua Hawaiki perform their beautiful Hawaiian ceremony for them. If you are looking for an awesome officiant that performs ceremonies with different Hawaiian elements within it, Aokai is your guy! He started the ceremony by opening up space to really be in the present moment and also acknowledge all of the people that couldn’t be with Brittani and Matt on their elopement.
He cleansed their hands with ocean water, which signifies the cleansing of their past and clears up the path to their new beginnings together. They had a lei exchange where they were able to gift each other leis made of love. They shared vows and exchanged rings. Another part of their ceremony that was definitely unique was the part where Aokai created space and time for each of their parents to come into the unique circle to celebrate and bless Brittani and Matt in their marriage with one another. It was such an emotional part of the ceremony, and it was so special being able to recognize the importance of family in their lives. After both of their parents had blessed them, they shared coconut water from a coconut that Aokai opened up. They also had a moment where they shared HA, which is the Hawaiian word for “breath of life.” He finished their ceremony by blessing their marriage and sealed their bond with sea salt signifying binding the bride and groom in loyalty and truthfulness.
Including Family in this North Shore Kauai Elopement Ceremony
Brittani and Matt ended up having just their parents join them for their elopement day. Originally when Brittani and Matt made their plans to elope in Hawaii, they were planning for it to be just the two of them. However, when Brittani and Matt told their parents that they were eloping, their parents couldn’t imagine not being there. So, Brittani and Matt totally restructured their trip so that their parents could be there. And to be totally transparent, this happens quite often with our couples. I promise we can make your day a complete adventure even if your family and close friends are there!
Sometimes, couples think that having their family or close friends means that they’re not eloping anymore. This definitely isn’t true. You can totally include your parents and close friends as a part of your day and it still is considered an elopement! Brittani and Matt had the officiant create a place in their ceremony where their families were included, and it was just so special and emotional to watch. After their elopement, their parents went and enjoyed the rest of their day while Ryan and I took Brittani and Matt on an epic adventure session. If your family and close friends want to be there on your big day, you can totally find ways to include them in your day while at the same time, we can craft your day or the day after to include an epic adventure!
North Shore Hiking Adventure Post Ceremony on Kauai
After Brittani and Matt’s elopement ceremony, the real adventure began. Brittani and Matt changed out of their wedding attire and into their hiking clothes.
Pro tip: If you decide to do an adventure session after your wedding, we highly recommend changing out of your wedding attire and into clothes that you are comfortable hiking in. If your wedding dress is too big to pack into a backpack, we recommend buying another (possibly cheaper) white wedding dress that you can easily pack up. For Brittani and Matt, their wedding attire was both light and easy to pack so they had no problem changing in and out of their wedding attire.
We hiked about two miles to get to a more isolated beach without anyone around. We had incredible views of the mountains behind us and even found an epic jungle scene to capture them in. After our hike, we were able to capture some shots of Brittani and Matt in the water as well. If you’re not wanting to get your wedding dress dirty, you can check our post here to see other options for a “trash the dress” session!