10 Apr Oh, The Places Marriage Goes
I have to admit that writing this post is difficult. With that statement, you might be asking “why?” Well, this post is about the marriage that took place in, hands down, the most beautiful place I have ever been, and also with one of the best couples I have ever met. Matt and Alice can never just settle for average. Hell, they can’t just “settle.” I swear they are wired to always think outside the box with the motto, “do it right or don’t do it” (And yes, I have heard Matt tell me this more than once). So, when it came to their wedding, of course Hawaii was the right place to go for their winter ceremony.
If you have never been to Hawaii, you better book a one-way ticket because you won’t want to leave. It was my first time and didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I knew it was warm and tropical but I didn’t realize that I would fall in love with the place. I have seen plenty of photos of the crystal clear water, perfect looking sand and the palm trees. But pictures can’t give you a sense of just how soft the sand is or the amazing smell of that crystal clear water. Just thinking about Hawaii’s beaches while sitting here behind my computer makes me feel like a child who didn’t get the awesome present he wanted for his birthday. Hence the reason why it’s a bit hard to write about Hawaii. But besides the absolutely gorgeous Islands I spent a week at, I also got to shoot a wedding…. Being in Hawaii doing something I’m passionate about? Yep, can’t ask for much more than that! Well, maybe except a great couple to shoot. But that was already taken care of.
The wedding was small. Just shy of 20 of their closest friends and family. The church they had the ceremony at was the oldest one on the Island (established in 1841, yikes!) and by far the most beautiful. The look of Alice’s dress matched the environment perfectly. It wasn’t a simple dress but the design wasn’t overdone either. As far as Matt goes, well frankly, it’s not about the men in the wedding so we don’t need to talk about the it. Moving on….
The two of them had never been to Kauai, so they did all the looking around online. Let me tell you, they either did their homework extremely well, or just straight lucked out. As the wedding party moved from the Church to the Plantation for the reception, the night just got better. Kilohana Plantation is ONLY 104 acres that you are free to roam. Oh, and it has its own Railroad and train which tours around the property. Needless to say, I was amped up to shoot at this place. Having your own railcar to yourself to shoot some wedding photos along with a bunch of land from farm to jungle… yes please.
We show up, get the gear out and as we are setting up for the first set of shots when Hawaii’s unpredictable weather comes to the party. It would rain for a few mins and then stop for one or two, then decide it wants to rain again. Normally the rain would be a nightmare for any photographer, but I think I was on too much of a photo high to let it stop us for getting the shots we needed.
The banana trees were great cover from the rain (at least for the camera gear) so we had to take advantage of that. And I mean how often does the average person really run into a Banana farm, let alone shoot wedding photos in it.
We also had the Railcar to shoot. Shooting a photographer is both one of the hardest things to do in one way and also one of the easiest in another. The easy part? They know how to pose! I didn’t need to coach at all. I just said ok and they both just did their thing.
The next night, we all headed out at sunset to a park on the beach we found near their hotel. It had some great looking lava rock so we sought out the best spot and set up camp. Dressed more casual, Matt and Alice fit the scenery and once again, pulled off the right poses, and with only a few mins of sunset to capture what we needed before it disappeared behind the horizon. Sadly, the sun setting marked the end of the shoot, along with the end of the photo expedition I was there to do.
But like I said before, Matt just doesn’t settle. He couldn’t go to Hawaii without all his gear and the video equipment for his personal journal. Myself and one of Matt’s best friends (that happens to be a director), helped film and document more than just the ceremony and reception. And on top of that, Matt naturally had to do his own bridal shoot with Alice, shot the Matty way (which I’m sure you’ll see featured on the blog here before too long).