The sunrise at Waimea Canyon is nothing short of incredible when you don’t have any clouds in the sky to mask your view. And that’s just what we got for this Waimea Canyon Sunrise Elopement. Gerri reached out to me with the knowledge that she and Dan wanted to elope in Hawaii, but no real plan for where and how they wanted to make it happen. With family spread out everywhere and their desire to marry surrounded by “insane natural beauty,” she told me, their vision became clear: elope in Hawaii and have a small ceremony with those who meant the most to them. But where?
Red Waterfalls at Waimea Canyon
When we talked about their vision and locations that might be a good fit, ultimately landing on Waimea Canyon. With epic, sweeping views and unique features like this red dirt falls, we just knew it was perfect for their first look and sunrise portraits. I picked up Gerri on the way to the canyon, letting Dan head out before her so he wouldn’t accidentally get a peek. When we got to the falls, we had it all to ourselves (the benefits of sunrise) and it made such a fun backdrop for the moments they shared as they saw each other for the first time that day.
Brimming with excitement from the falls, we piled back into the car to make our way up to the next spot. A small vista with panoramic views of the Na Pali Coast.
Hiking Elopement in Kauai
Gerri was quite the adventurous bride, hiking down the muddy ridges barefoot. All the sliding around was totally worth it as we came to the outlook we had in mind for their sunrise portraits. They’d gotten engaged in Yosemite, so sweeping views of mountains and cliffs were on the agenda. There are few views in Hawaii as breathtaking as those looking out over the Na Pali coast. Jagged green mountains, cerulean waters in the distance, and usually some creative clouds. Rarely though, the sun will be out in full glory and that’s just what we had for Gerri + Dan’s elopement.
Harsh light is always a gamble when you opt for a sunrise elopement, but honestly there are some serious up sides to this. I mean, just look at that water! On a cloudy day, you get less shadow and more definition in the mountains, but the water doesn’t turn out so incredibly blue either.
The Adventure Continues
After taking in the most of our views up top, we headed back down Waimea Canyon to one of my favorite little spots. You can see so many shades of red throughout the canyon, dotted with greenery and the occasional waterfall. It’s stunning!
Intimate Wedding Ceremony at Shipwreck Beach
Wanting to maximize both of the best windows for light, we decided that while first look and portraits would be great at sunrise, the ceremony would be best at sunset. So we took a little break in between and met back at the beach to get these two married. Their nearest and dearest joined us for the vows!
Sunset Photos on Kauai Cliffs
With the vows and rings exchanged, we set off for one more adventure before Gerri and Dan would join their family for a celebratory dinner.