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She goes above and beyond and is such a bright light in the world! The photos were unbelievably beautiful and she captured the day and our relationship perfectly.I could not recommend Aly enough!"
"Aly is outstanding in every sense of the word! She is the number one reason why we followed through on our wedding in Hawaii.
She's friendly, professional, and has an ability to really "see" her clients & bring to life their visions. She captured the exact essence I was envisioning & more.”
"I loved working with Aly! From beginning to end she created a magical experience.
She didn’t just take photos, she managed family members, anticipated our needs before we did, and just kept rolling with the day seamlessly. Aly, you allowed us to be fully present on one of the most important days of our lives with the certainty of knowing you’d allow us to remember it forever."
"Aly did such an insane job of capturing the essence of our wedding day that I just had to gush about the STUNNING work she did for us.
We appreciated how at ease, comfortable, and confident she made us feel when taking portraits. Not to mention the amazing and great quality photos that you get back! Aly truly takes the time to listen and hear what you want from the shoot and is really a pleasant person to work with."
"Aly is an amazing photographer who really captures the locations' & people's essence. She also brought out the key pieces of our branding which we truly appreciated.
Aly sat down with us and created the perfect timeline to make sure that we got amazing shots, she’s also amazing at location hunting if you are not from the island. She is so friendly and made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera! Everyone I have shown is amazed at the photographs because they are so beautiful. I can’t recommend her enough."
"Aly is beyond talented. Her style, work ethic and overall professionalism is outstanding. She goes the extra mile to make sure the day is perfect.
New Zealand may not be on a lot of people’s radars, but it should be. If you love the outdoors, New Zealand is a paradise for adventure lovers! From the gorgeous snow capped mountains and beautiful fjords of the South Island to the endless empty beaches of the North Island, New Zealand’s diverse landscapes provide for stunning elopement backdrops!
Let’s dive into:
Making your marriage legal in New Zealand is a big part of planning your NZ elopement! Luckily, you don’t have to be a New Zealand citizen to get married here, and same-sex marriages are legal! First, you’ll want to apply for a marriage license online for $150. You can apply for your marriage license up to three months before your elopement in New Zealand. When you fill out the form, only one of you needs to apply, but you will need information about both of you!
After you have signed your form, you can pay the fee, and next, you will need to find a celebrant (officiant) to perform your ceremony. To legalize your New Zealand elopement, you’ll also need two witnesses in addition to your marriage license.
If you don’t want to deal with paperwork during your trip to New Zealand, you can always make your New Zealand elopement a symbolic one! Simply take care of your paperwork in your home state, and use your NZ vacation to have a symbolic elopement ceremony! But where should you elope in New Zealand?
New Zealand shines at any time of year, so deciding when you’d like to have your New Zealand elopement will depend on a few things! You’ll want to take these deets into consideration when planning your adventurous NZ elopement.
New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, so their seasons are opposite of the United States and Canada.
WINTER // Dreaming of a winter wonderland wedding in New Zealand? Eloping in the winter in New Zealand means June, July, and August. New Zealand winter temperatures average from 50 – 61 degrees. During this time of year, the south island experiences more snow than the north, which gets a lot of rain.
If you love snow activities or are an avid skier, Queenstown could be the perfect place for your winter elopement! BONUS….Winter in New Zealand also means the fewest tourists, so if you want to avoid the crowds, eloping during the wintertime in New Zealand may be for you. Just remember that some popular trails may not be accessible during this time of year.
SPRING // Spring in New Zealand is a wonderful time for eloping, and for good reason! You can expect temperatures ranging from 55 – 70 degrees during the springtime months of September, October, and November. This is when you can expect stunning colors and flower blooms as the backdrop for your elopement in New Zealand. It can be windy during the spring, but I love a good dress shot with some epic movement! Outdoor activities also begin to become plentiful again after the winter. Experience the best of both winter vibes and summer energy during the spring in New Zealand.
SUMMER // What about summer in New Zealand? Summer in New Zealand is the northern hemisphere’s winter, which can mean a welcome break from cold temps if that’s what you’re used to. In fact, think temperatures ranging from 68 – 80 degrees in the summertime. Summer in New Zealand is a popular time to visit, so keep in mind that some areas may be more crowded with tourists. Pretty much everything on the New Zealand islands is accessible during the summer months of December, January, and February. By February most locals will have concluded their holiday and be back to work so you may find it easier to book accommodations.
AUTUMN // Last but definitely not least, we arrive at fall/autumn in New Zealand. Much like springtime, fall in New Zealand brings about mild temperatures and a good mix of weather. In March, April, and May, temperatures are around 62 to 70 degrees. The leaves here change into gorgeous colors, and hiking in New Zealand during early fall is something that can’t be missed. The summer crowds also begin to thin out, making an autumn elopement in New Zealand more intimate.
Both the north and south islands of New Zealand are home to many gorgeous places that are worth visiting, and places that could be the perfect backdrop for your NZ elopement!
Do you gravitate more towards epic mountain landscapes, and rugged geography? If so, you may want to consider eloping on the south island of New Zealand. If you are looking for coastline’s with rolling hills or empty beaches reminiscent of the United States Pacific Northwest, New Zealand’s north island may be the perfect place to elope.
Starting with the North Island, if you want to stay close to Auckland, Piha Beach is an incredible location! With its towering cliffs, darker black sand, and surfers in the distance, it offers incredible beauty not too far away from the city. If you head north of the city, another stunning location is Tawharanui Regional Park with it’s pristine blue water, and lush rolling hills on either side of this white sand beach.
As we continue north, you’ll enter a region of New Zealand called Northland. One of the most unique coastal locations here is Cape Reinga. This Cape is where the Tasman sea and Pacific Ocean meet at the Northernmost point in New Zealand. Here you can take a hike on the Cape Reinga Coastal Walkway and escape to one of the most remote beaches in New Zealand, 90 Mile Beach. Lastly, in the Northland of New Zealand you’ll also find Whangarei heads**. Here you’ll find beautiful coastal and harbor beaches, and you can explore volcanic peaks and lush forests with many hiking trails.
**FUN FACT: “Wh” in te reo Māori (Māori Language) is pronounced “f” so as you are driving around New Zealand practice pronouncing towns like the locals do!
Heading south of Auckland, you’ll find The Coromandel which has some incredible beaches and landscape features including Cathedral Cove and Stingray Bay. Even further south, you’ll find Bay of Islands which has incredible coastline locations such as Waihi Beach and Papamoa Beach.
Heading to the South Island, Abel Tasman National Park is one of my favorite places in New Zealand, especially for elopements. There are a ton of gorgeous elopement spots in this national park – located on the south island. And the best part you can choose to kayak, or hike or both to enjoy all this park has to offer.
Helicopters are popular for elopements in New Zealand, and heading to Fox Glacier is an elopement dream! This incredible glacier is over 13km long and can be an otherworldly backdrop for your elopement.
Milford Sound is iconic, with it’s incredible fjords! The rainy weather here provides a setting for the perfect, moody elopement, photos. To take advantage of the incredible views, a boat elopement in Milford Sound is a good choice, or even eloping on one of the many trails in the area!
Eloping on Hooker Valley Track at Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park means enjoying some of the snow capped peaks you can see, even in the middle of summer!
Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve offers breathtaking blue water and forested rocks. The Hokitika Gorge Walk is only about a half hour – the perfect hike to do in your wedding dress!
If you want privacy, there are a lot of ways to find it in NZ, especially if you want something simple! I would love to be able to help you find the perfect elopement place in New Zealand.
While you are visiting New Zealand for your elopement, there are definitely some things that should be on your to-do and to-see list!
NEW ZEALAND MUST DO’S
New Zealand has so much to offer for being a country of 103,483 mi². This beautiful place can be your one-stop-shop when it comes to planning your elopement. Elope amongst the snowy peaks during New Zealand’s winter, or have a tropical elopement on the beach during the summer. Take advantage of fun watersports on the lakes, and go backpacking, hiking, and camping in New Zealand’s stunning national parks. Don’t forget to have some uniquely New Zealand experiences when you’re here for your elopement: meat pies and a rugby game, anyone? New Zealand has some adventures that you won’t find anywhere on earth: glowworm tours and bungy jumps that set the stage for a perfect honeymoon after your elopement.
Dreaming about eloping on New Zealand’s north or south island? Let’s chat! I am here to help you determine the best time of year to elope in New Zealand, things to do on the islands, where to elope in New Zealand, and your biggest cheerleader when it comes to having the best day ever!
Courtney and Greg wanted something chill and different, because a big wedding just didn’t feel like their thing. During our call together, they began to describe where their dream elopement would be in Kauai. I asked if they were near a computer, because I had the perfect Kauai elopement spot for them! Once they saw the location, they were immediately blown away.
“As soon as you matched us with that, we felt seen and like you would be the perfect fit to capture our wedding day!” Courtney said. That is a big part of why being an elopement photographer in Hawaii is so rewarding. I love being able to match couples with locations that resonate with them. Whether you are thinking of eloping in Maui, having an elopement in Oahu, eloping on The Big Island, or a Kauai elopement like Courtney and Greg — it’s such an honor to be able to pair you two with your perfect ceremony location!
When I met Courtney and Greg on the morning of their tropical elopement, they were in their robes. They made coffee, because that’s something they love doing together every morning. The two of them also love hiking, and wanted to include that in their elopement. I felt so honored to have been able to capture every aspect of their elopement day.
After their hike, we got lunch in Hanapepe, which served as the town inspiration for Lilo and Stitch. Japanese Grandma’s Cafe served as the lunch spot, with tasty poke bowls and sushi – perfect for post-hike fuel and pre-wedding grub!
It was then time for Greg and Courtney to get ready for their Kauai elopement. They got ready at my favorite getting-ready location, available in my client portal (an exclusive resource for my clients filled with accommodation options, best places to dine, and activities to try when you visit Hawai’i!). Courtney had her hair and makeup done by Bridal Kauai, but she didn’t get changed into her dress until we got to the location. And getting to their Kauai elopement spot required some off-roading!
I got to work with one of my fave officiants in Hawaii, Kahu Ai, who makes it a point to really connect with his couples. He guides couples through their ceremony in a way that is respectful and honors the land, while being personable and genuinely caring about them and their story.
After their ceremony, they watched the sunset together and closed out the day with a bottle of champagne. Having an all day elopement doesn’t mean you have to be in your wedding attire for the entire day! It can be a great way to honor your favorite things to do together, and document memories of your trip to Hawaii.
Eloping in the Hawaiian Islands is such a magical experience! Whether you are thinking of having an intimate wedding in Kauai or eloping just the two of you in Oahu, you really can’t go wrong. But if you are thinking of where to elope in Hawaii and the island of Maui has caught your eye, you’re not alone. A Maui elopement can be an incredible adventure. If you find yourself wondering how to elope in Maui, or wanting some tips on planning your elopement in Maui, I’ve got you.
Tips on Eloping in Maui
The Best Time of Year to Elope in Maui
Visiting Maui for your elopement can happen during any time of the year. However, the most popular time to visit Maui is September to October. During certain parts of the summer, the island will be busy and bustling with tourists. And as a top tip, if you’re wanting to go whale watching while you’re in Maui for your elopement, you’ll want to visit the island from November to March. Maui is one of the best places to see whales during this time. This is because it has the warmest and safest waters for these sea animals!
Maui is a popular destination for weddings and vacations. There will be people year-round, so visit Maui when it feels best for you!
How to Plan a Maui Elopement
When you’re eloping in Maui, you’ll want to know how to make your marriage legal in Hawaii. After you’ve determined that your paperwork is in order, chat with me, your Maui elopement photographer! We will explore ideas and concepts on how to make your elopement Maui truly special to the two of you. This includes locations for the perfect backdrop to your elopement ceremony, dining experiences to take advantage of the delicious food that Maui has to offer, and I’ll offer my custom tips on how to incorporate things you love doing together (as well as fun adventures and activities that you can only find in the Hawaiian Islands!).
Fun Activities for Your Maui Vacation
Whale watching, exploring waterfalls, surf lessons, and hiking are just some of the adventures that you can include while you’re eloping in Maui.
Consider visiting other small islands while you’re here! Maui is a uniquely oriented island. This tropical paradise is surrounded by other islands, and has a ferry to Lanai. During your Maui elopement or wedding, you can do day trips out to Lanai, or consider honeymooning there! There are two Four Seasons Resorts, cool off-roading beaches, and a cat sanctuary (talk about a unique experience!) on the small island of Lanai.
Dreaming of other places to have some fun during your Maui elopement? Consider hanging out on Molokaʻi to see absolutely epic views. An amazing elopement activity can be to take a helicopter tour on Molokaʻi, because this island is home to the world’s highest sea cliffs. If you want to do a day trip, there is a ferry you can take from Maui to Molokaʻi.
Boat tours and snorkeling tours abound on the island of Molokini, but that’s not all! For your elopement, you can also kayak here, and take in the views on a catamaran or sailboat.
Where to Stay in Maui
When you elope in Maui, staying at an Airbnb can be a cozy option that will really transport you to island life. Here are a few of my fave places to stay in Maui, just to get you started!
Where to Stay in South Maui (Kihei and Wailea)
Where to Stay in West Maui (Lahaina, Kapalua, Napili)
Where to Stay on Maui’s North Shore (Paia, Makawao, Haiku)
Where to Stay in Upcountry Maui (Kula)
Where to Stay in East Maui (Hana and Hamoa)
If this will be your first time visiting Maui or Hawaii, check out my tips for what to bring during your trip to the Hawaiian Islands.
Enjoy The Best Maui Elopement!
Now that you’ve gotten a little peek into planning an elopement in Maui, it’s time to get excited! Learning how to elope in Maui can feel a little daunting at first, but I am here to help you plan an effortless day for you two to enjoy.
Contact me and I can assist you in planning your ultimate elopement in Maui.
Beach elopements on The Big Island of Hawaii are classic for a reason, but this doesn’t mean that they are ever ordinary. Each Hawaii beach wedding that I have the privilege of documenting is unique and beautiful, just like Anahi and Seth’s tropical Hawaiian elopement in the sand.
Since Hawaii is a popular wedding destination, it made sense for us to get to Anahi and Seth’s ceremony site early because it can get crowded! Anahi and Seth had two of their close friends join them for their beach wedding. Making your marriage legal in Hawaii requires an officiant, and one of their friends was happy to do the honors!
Mid-ceremony, the sun began to rise: giving Anahi and Seth a moment to gaze over the ocean. Anahi held her bouquet that she made herself, using flowers from the local farmer’s market here in Hawaii. The spot these two picked out for their ceremony was adorned with gorgeous lava rock, trees, and black sand that made this feel so quintessentially Hawaiian. Anahi and Seth knew that they wanted both a Hawaii beach backdrop and jungle vibes for their elopement. After the ceremony, we adventured around the area and I showed them to all of my fave spots (including a really cool road lined with trees!). Our last spot during their Hawaii elopement? The Tin Shack Bakery, located in Pahoa. There, they enjoyed smoothies and breakfast with their two friends and celebrated their Big Island wedding day.
Want more inspiration for your elopement? Check out these elopements in Hawaii!
If you are planning an elopement in Hawaii, booking a photographer based on the islands is a great place to start. Let’s chat to see if we would be a good fit!
This was a very special intimate wedding of two friends of mine – Nicolle and Paiden. These two are a little more on the introverted side, so making sure that they felt comfortable with their photographer was important to them!
Getting along with the vendors for your wedding matters. This is because weddings are such an intimate and heartfelt event, you want to be 100% certain that you are on the same page as your photographer!
Nicolle and Paiden’s Kona wedding venue was really special to them because they were allowed to have their ceremony on the land that they used to tend to. Paiden had an amazing vision for their day! These two brought in the community they had built through all of their friends to help make their intimate Hawaii wedding vision a reality.
I arrived for getting ready photos at their venue in Kona, and definitely recommend allotting extra time for that. Taking time to have some “getting ready” photos can be an intimate part of the day before the festivities. Paiden and Nicolle got ready together, but were able to surprise each other with the finishing touches as an organic “first look”.
Imparting personal style is so much fun, and these two started by wearing vintage dresses. They both wore Doc Martens to really bring in their own flair! Paiden dabbles in macrame craft that they included during their day, along with a macrame necklace using feathers that Nicolle found. Nicolle and Paiden on the hairpiece and adornments, making these accessories even more special.
After their first look, we roamed around the gardens for fun photos, then I helped them connect for more intimate poses. Then they went to ground themselves for a few before the ceremony.
I am still blown away at the personal touches that all of their friends and loved ones were able to include to really come together for Paiden and Nicolle’s Kona elopement. From farm to table catering thanks to the land of the venue, one of their friends did a live painting of them, another friend did florals, and another friend played flute during the ceremony. So many of their friends stepped up to support them, because they are such lovely people. Even their moms did the charcuterie!
Once their romantic ceremony was finished, it was time for dinner and speeches. The speeches giving at their Hawaii wedding were some of the most incredible speeches I have ever heard, and builds on the theme that their whole community showed up for them on their wedding day!
Outfit changes came next, for fun photos in their new outfits! After Nicolle and Paiden cut their cake, they had a sound bath that included a fire lighting ceremony with sound healing – representative of their relationship because they have done a lot of growth and healing together. This was the perfect way to wind down after such a fun-filled day.
Danny and Emma had booked me for their elopement in Hawaii. I happened to be in California for a shoot, and have been dying to explore and shoot at Big Sur! Big Sur is a gorgeous coastal area near Monterey, CA. There are miles of trails and beaches to adventure around Big Sur.
Danny and Emma happen to live in Monterey, and were game to have an engagement session with me amongst the beauty of Big Sur. It worked out perfectly! I rarely get to shoot engagements, because a lot of my couples who elope in Hawaii are traveling from out of state. That being said, if you book with me and are coming to Hawaii a few days earlier than your elopement, having an additional shoot can be great to get you more comfortable in front of the camera and for us to get to know each other. You won’t be in a bad position if you aren’t able to do an engagement shoot beforehand, but it can be really helpful if you have the opportunity to!
Back in Big Sur, Emma didn’t have an engagement ring because her engagement to Danny happened pretty organically. Not a problem! Every couple’s love story takes them on a different path.
While walking alongside an amazing cliff, Emma took the lead. Danny turned around and made eye contact with me, and I could see him pull a ring box out of his pocket. Emma turned around to see Danny on one knee, and she was totally surprised. Danny said he didn’t even necessarily plan on proposing at that time, especially because I set up this engagement shoot with them just two days prior! But the ring he had ordered for Emma arrived in the mail that morning, so he just knew it was the perfect moment. Serendipity!
Head over to the blog to see helpful tips about planning your elopement along with my latest brand shoots, couple adventure sessions, and elopement galleries!