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10 Things You Should Know about getting married on the beach in Maui, Hawaii

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Maui beach weddings are ICONIC. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical landscape, Maui is the ideal destination for couples looking for an unforgettable experience. Whether you want a small, intimate ceremony or a grand celebration with hundreds of guests, there is something for everyone when it comes to planning a Maui beach wedding. However, there are some important things to consider when planning. Here are 10 essentials you should understand in order to be prepared for your Maui beach wedding:

1. Check The Forecast

Heavy Rains and wind strong enough to ruin your special day are rare but can still happen! It is important to check the weather before you go. That being said, it rains almost every day in Hawaii, but usually only for like 10 minutes, so if the forecast calls for rain don't get discouraged!

2. What time is Sunset?

Plan to be done with any photography services at least 1 hour before sunset. In beach locations where the sunset happens behind the west maui mountains or another island you need to plan even earlier. (Example: Ironwoods Beach & DT Fleming Beach - plan to be done with photography 2 hours before sunset time).

3. It's hot and sunny on the beach.

When planning a beach wedding, it's important to keep in mind that it's almost always hot and sunny on the beach in Hawaii. Couples and wedding goers should be prepared with plenty of water and sunscreen. Guests should be warned ahead of time to dress appropriately – sundresses or light, airy clothing is best. You can also consider having umbrellas or some sort of shade available for guests during the ceremony as sun exposure can become very uncomfortable after even a few minutes. Preparing in advance will ensure that your beach wedding is an enjoyable event for everyone involved! Ask me how not to sweat through your suit.

4. The beach is public!

It is not uncommon for beachgoers to run directly behind your ceremony, chase their kids loudly during your vows, and to photobomb every photo. To minimize any potential distractions from beachgoers I strongly recommend picking a less busy time of day and to choose a more secluded beach (if possible). Additionally, some venues provide extra security guards who will help keep away any uninvited guests who may wander onto the beach during your wedding ceremony. With careful preparation, you can still enjoy an intimate Maui beach wedding without worrying about unwanted spectators or disruptions.

5. No chairs, arches, or adornments allowed

No chairs, arches, or adornments of any kind are allowed on the beach. If you truly were imagining a wedding with a ceremony arch, don't worry! There are other ocean front options we can take! It's just that we are not allowed to set anything up directly in the sand. This means that if you wish to have seating for your guests, you must provide seating arrangements such as blankets and cushions. Keep in mind that even decorations such as flower petals and aisle runners cannot be placed directly on the sand due to environmental regulations.

6. The tide can change your beach ceremony location

When planning a beach wedding, it is important to take into account the potential impact of the tide. It is not uncommon for high tide to bring in larger waves which can drastically reduce the size of your beachfront ceremony. In some cases, this could mean that your beach has reduced from 20 feet wide to just 5 feet wide and your guests may no longer have space to stand. To avoid any surprises on your wedding day, it is advisable to check the local tide times in advance and plan accordingly.

7. You can't get married on every beach

Due to environmental regulations and restricted access, not every beach in Maui is available for weddings. It is important to research the beaches available and make sure that you have permission from the county or state before proceeding with any plans (aka get a Hawaii beach permit!). If permits intimidate you, don't worry I can help!

*It is important to note that Ka'anapali Beach and Big Beach in Makena DO NOT allow photography of any kind.

8. Consider the wind

The warm ocean breeze can be both beautiful and romantic, but it can also cause havoc on your decorations and hair styles. To mitigate any potential issues, make sure to choose decorations that are heavy enough to stay put in the wind and to invest in some extra hairspray for your bridal party! Additionally, keep an eye on the weather leading up to your wedding day and be prepared for any last minute changes. If you're concerned about the wind head to south! South maui generally is less windy than the north shore.

9. Not all beaches have restrooms - or parking!

Check online and make sure you know if your beach has public restrooms / porta potty and a parking lot. Also check and see what time the gates will close on the parking lot because if your car get's locked in, it will be stuck there until the morning or you'll have to pay a hefty fine and wait for someone to come let your car out. And they won't be in a hurry. Just doesn't seem like anything I want to deal with on my wedding day.

10. Wear/Bring Sandals

Many beaches are lined in large beautiful trees, some are palm trees, others are the more dramatic Kiawe Trees. I'm not kidding when I say the thorns on these trees will mess you up. This combined with the natural lava rock formations - if you aren't used to walking on lava rock it will really hurt!

Maui Beach Weddings are truly spectacular. And with proper planning yours can go off without any stress! As someone who understands the importance of adventure and meaningful experiences, I am passionate about helping you create a wedding day that reflects your personalities and values. I will work closely with you to ensure that every detail is taken care of, from finding the perfect location to creating a timeline that allows you to fully immerse yourselves in the moment. Hiring me as your elopement photographer means that you can relax and enjoy the experience, knowing that your wedding day is in good hands. Send me a message today.

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