Pros & Cons of Eloping Or Destination Wedding during Covid19 – Maui Wedding Photography

Pros & Cons of Eloping Or Destination Wedding during Covid19 – Maui Wedding Photography


The Pros & Cons of Eloping OR Having a desination Wedding in Hawaii during Covid19

 Congratulations on deciding to come to Hawaii for your wedding. Now comes the big decisions!  Do you just make it easy & ELOPE or make it the DESINATION WEDDING you have always dreamed about?  There certainly are lots of pros & cons to doing both. Before Covid 19 this decision was probably easier to make then it is now.

Yes, unfortunately Covid 19 has changed everything & that begins with the mandatory State of Hawaii travel restrictions. Below are some of the mandatory restrictions, but I encourage you to research for the very ;latest changes as The State of Hawaii has been known to change the rules suddenly. For more information from the State of Hawaii look at the link attached below.

These restrictions are as follows.

All travelers must have a negative test result BEFORE beginning the final leg of their trip. Anyone without a negative test                      result PRIOR to departure must quarantine upon arrival. Mandatory quarantine is ten days. 

               -The negative test result must be uploaded onto Safe Travels prior to departure or printed out prior to departure and hard                    copy in hand when arriving in Hawai‘i.

               -Once in Hawaii there are also additional mandatory restrictions including mandatory mask wearing throughout the                              entire Hawaiian Islands. 

                – Fortunately the State of Hawaii has eased up on some rules specific to weddings where the mask can be removed at                            certain times for the wedding couple, the family & wedding party. Although social distance rules are still in effect. All                              vendors, other then ministers & some musicians have to wear their mask & keep their distance throughout the entire event. 

So knowing what the basic rules are & the difficulties of having a your dream destination wedding or do you simplify it & just elope?? That is the question??

So obviously if you want to have your dream wedding it can be done. Unfortunately it is just at a greater expense then it used to be, because of all the additional protocols that need to be taken in getting to Hawaii  & once here the additional expense of the keeping the guests & vendors safe. Pretty much all the vendors I know have gone to great lengths to make sure that the weddings go off seamlessly with safety protocols in place using six feet of social distancing, hand sanitizers & wearing masks 100% of the time. Of the few big weddings I have done since Hawaii has opened up I have worn a mask for nine hours straight maintained social distancing.

One aspect of having a big destination wedding in Hawaii is not only the difficulties of your travel but also the travel of all of your guests. So in 2020 I have had two big weddings that were right at the quotas for maximum number of people. One of the weddings, all of my clients were from Iowa  where Covid19 has been especially brutal. Unfortunately because of what is happening the grandparents were not able to travel & couldn’t attend. In addition some of the wedding party, the very night before they were to fly almost didn’t get the mandatory documents to the State of Hawaii.  They were able to get it done in the nick of time, but with great stress. This added stress/anxiety definitely needs to be considered during your evaluation whether to have a big wedding or simply eloping.

So what about Eloping? Obviously it’s just the two of you so your parents & family are not going to attend & cry as they see you walk down the aisle. For some, like my wife, this was NOT an option for her parents.I totally understand the importance of this and this might be the single biggest decider on what you do and might be  the biggest detriment to eloping. BUT nowadays with technology like live streaming that can ease the parents concerns about traveling during covid and also using zoom to include people who were not able to travel.  Another thing that will make your family more content with your decision to elope is having a fantastic photographer. Having a great photographer who captures not only all the the little moments & important details, but also the great big dramatic images that will blow the socks off of all that see the images!

More benefits about eloping include making the wedding something you never dreamed it could be with a large destination wedding. Something I love doing is planning an executing an “Adventure Weddings” where you literally go on a photo adventure shooting unique images at each location that are off the beaten path & then have the nuptials maybe in a tropical forest & experience the sunset on a windy cliff with breaking waves.  Perhaps it is at sunrise on the summit of Haleakala or with your feet in the white sand of the perfect beach. Other benefits about eloping is that instead of spending money on tents & chairs & fruity drinks, you can go all out with your dream dress & deluxe accommodations/dinner at your dreamy Maui restaurant.  So these are just a few of the pro & cons about eloping or holding a destination wedding in Hawaii during Covid.


Don’t Settle For Less

“If I Know What Love is, it is because of you!” ~ Hermann Hesse

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Tad Craig Photography

P.O Box 791996 Paia Hi, 96779


Bianca & Jordan @ Sugarbeach

Bianca & Jordan @ Sugarbeach

When Bianca & Jordan first reached out to me about being part of their wedding I was so excited. Sounded like it was going to be one for the ages.  We had first talked on the phone, but as were in discussions we started texting. Although I had never met them, our texts were so fun and it was as if we were long time friends who just hadn't seen each other for a long time. Love when you connect with your clients like that!

What a great venue they had chosen for their nuptials at  Sugar Beach Events in Kihei Maui! With an incredible beach & sunset just feet from the venue I knew it was going to be amazing. In addition Sugar Beach Events has a reputation for producing super high quality events with every detail taken care including the most delicious food! 

Bianca & Jordan's wedding day was finally upon on & it was everything I thought it would be.The two of them super calm getting ready with their besties & families. Especially enjoyed suave Jordan & his groomsman getting rowdy just  before the wedding.  

With about a hundred friends & family in attendance sitting facing these perfect palm trees & incredible arch adorned in huge elephant ears their wedding venue looked amazing! Wiping tears from his face as Bianca walked down the aisle with her dad, the scene was set.  They had enlisted one of their best friends to be their minister & seeing that he was out of state he had to do all of the proper paperwork to get his credentials so he could be their minister. How special is that to enlist one of your best friends  to be your minister??

Their wedding vows were beautiful & finally they said their I Do's & the crowd erupted in cheers. Love seeing all this joy! I chased after them as they hugged we did snaps around the grounds of the venue with all of their favorite people. 

Venturing in the dining room & dance floor my friend DJ Dan had taken over & got them out for a first dance. It was near the end of it that their huge wedding party crashed the dance floor & completely surrounded  them. Super fun witnessing this spontaneous joy! 

Looking outside the sun was setting & turning the sky into magic colors. Of course we chased it & got some magic shots to go with the magic colors!  



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Tad Craig Photography  | 120 Baldwin Ave. Paia, HI 96779  |  808.579.9571  |  Established in 1999

  tad@tadcraigphotography.com  |  ©Tad Craig Photography  LLC


7 Reasons to Wear Flower Crowns for Your Wedding

What is a Haku Lei?

Hawaii is home to the most beautiful flowers in the world! The Hawaiian Haku is a crown of flowers that is placed on your head as a headdress and is popular for weddings. The bride looks like royalty with this ornamenting flower headdress that compliments the dress and venue in which she is uniting with her partner! Traditionally, a white haku is worn but many brides have colorful haku’s made and look especially colorful on their special day, even color coordinated with their partner and color ensemble.  A bride will glow on her special day with these radiant flowers that will decorate her hair for her special occasion. You will adore your choice to wear a Haku lei!

1. Flowers are a woman’s best friend.

Tropical flowers are beautiful and adorned around your head makes you feel like a tropical princess. The flowers are ecstatic that they get to lay there and whisper sweet nothings in your ear before you walk down the aisle to your prince in waiting. Your sweet prince will look at your lovingly and kiss you and he will ponder how his dreams came true and how the woman of his dreams is decorated in the most beautiful flowers in the world and how you both will spend the rest of eternity together forever. He will never forget your flower crown and the memories that he will have of this unforgettable day.  Flowers are truly a woman’s best friend.  His day can’t get any better.  Neither can yours, you’re wearing a flower crown. You are the queen! The Flower Queen!

2. Crown Flowers are Elegant and Provide Gorgeous Hair in the Wind

If you have ever visited the Hawaiian Kingdom, you will know that the breeze is the ruler of the islands.  Makani is the term for wind and your hair will love to blow around in these gentle Hawaiian winds.  In case you may not indulge in the windblown look, flower crowns are for you!  By wearing a flower crown you have eliminated flyaway strands of hair just like that.  They are not only beautiful but delicately placed to keep your hair down! This is the best-kept secret on the islands of Hawai’i.  Your hair will look spectacular!

3. Your Bridesmaids will want to wear them too!

Do you and the girls get dressed up for a night on the town?  Matching lipstick, same color mini skirt?  What about matching flower crowns? This is the wonderful thing about having to decide what the bridesmaids will wear, why not include a Haku lei?  Many brides and bridesmaids have joined the fun by getting ready with champagne and flower crowns! This is one of the most enchanting ways to spruce up your Hawaiian wedding! You already had your Bachelorette party with these lovely ladies, (who know how to through a party) why not dress them up in the flowers that they deserve on your extraordinary day? Your bridesmaids will thank you and will always remember this special day!

4. Hawaii is unique that the flower crowns never go out of style!

Hawaii is known for the tropical flowers that call the islands home.  Some trends go in and out of style but here in the islands, flower crowns will be forever popular, stylish and represent royalty! Visitors from all over the world come to visit the islands and notice a style of freedom, ocean, greenery, and FLOWERS!  You will want to adorn yourself flowers especially for your wedding day!  There are many places to create your own Haku’s, our favorite place is Haku Maui in Makawao, Maui.  YOU can create your own haku with friends and family and sip on champagne with pupu’s (appetizers in Hawaiian)  and snacks on your lovely vacation or wedding.

5.  You can customize your own special look into your flower wedding crown!

Many ancient Hawaiians would make their crowns out of bird feathers.  Their haku’s were genuinely fabulous and gorgeous.  On your special day you may want to add a special touch to your flower crown, you could be like the ancient Hawaiians and add a special feather or something unique to you and your beloved!  Maybe a mini veil would look nice or a special trinket that you have saved for just this special occasion! You may want to consider something blue to perfect all of your wedding goals!! You can get as creative as you like!

6.  The type of flower you choose has meaning!

Ancient Hawaiians have meaning for everything. The beautiful plumeria flower symbolizes positivity! Sometimes arranging a wedding and your wedding day may become a little hectic.  It has been said that wearing flowers, especially plumeria flowers does sooth the soul and exude positivity. It is as if the little flower is giving you it’s blessing when you wear it around your neck and or as a crown.  It induces love, positivity, and elegance. Once you have celebrated your special day and have said, “I DO,” to the love of your life you can wear the plumeria flower behind your left ear to represent that you are married and your bridesmaids and or friends that are in search of the love of their life and are still single will wear the flower behind the right ear to show that they are available.

7. Wearing a flower crown represents ALOHA!

When you get married in Hawaii, it is different than any other place in the world!  It has its own feeling and you can’t get anywhere else in the world.  This is why so many people get married in Hawaii.  Almost 20,000 weddings were held in 2017 across this gorgeous state and every year the numbers are growing. By wearing a flower crown and getting married in Hawaii you are defining the word Aloha, it means many things, LOVE, CELEBRATION, HONOR, AFFECTION, PEACE & COMPASSION.  These are all wonderful terms and emotions that we share with our significant other and friends and family.  This is the best way to start out on your journey with the love of your life and always remember to live and practice ALOHA no matter where you are!

The earth laughs in flowers. Ralph Waldo Emerson

WRITTEN BY Teresa M 2018

@whiteorchidwedding, @dellablesfloraldesign @asaflowers, @teresasenamaui, @oldlahianaluau, @westinmauiweddings @meiliautumnbeauty

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Tad Craig Photography  |  715 Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779  |  808.579.9571  |  Established in 1999

  tad@tadcraigphotography.com  |  ©Tad Craig Photography  LLC


Wedding Day Adventures on Maui

What an extraordinary wedding day Hannah and Jonathan had with many adventures! They were married on the south side in the morning and then they were able to experience everything Maui had to offer!  They had perfect blue Makena skies, they swam in crystal emerald waters, drank champagne in an elegant limo, enjoyed the stylish amenities at The Ritz-Carlton,  explored the lush tropical rainforest and had picturesque amazing double rainbows and an unforgettable sunset that left them speechless! Their wedding day adventures started early with a wedding package that included a photographer so I didn’t get to witness their actual nuptials, but as soon as it was over we started our all day photo session!

We started at Makena Cove and we found the beach practically deserted, it was bathed in warm tropical light and they enjoyed their new status as husband and wife and laughed and kissed and frolicked in the morning beauty! They changed from their wedding clothes to beach attire and they continued their beach love as they rolled in the sand and kissed as passionately as a newly married couple can!

After a midday siesta, I met them at the marvelous Ritz Carlton Hotel on Maui’s far west side! I loved the tulip shaped flowers on the giant tree in the entrance of the hotel!  We explored different locations as we continued documenting the day.  Not far from this sensational hotel is this hidden rainforest that lends itself to the most amazing pictures! Once, a long time ago, one of my images taken in this astounding forest went viral with over 25,000 likes! We entered into this fantastic forest and it was overwhelming and by the look on their faces, I could tell they too were blown away! Oh my goodness there are so many incredible spots to choose from and it was not difficult coming up with many superb images! We continued on the journey and we made our way to another dynamite location with tall pine trees that were first brought to the Hawaiian Islands to use as masts for sailing ships and now used as a fabulous backdrop to Hannah & Jonathon’s Love!  Again they were amazed!

We then moved on to Kapalua Beach which was astonishingly deserted and they ran hand in hand down the beach, they walked in the water and took selfies. We then moved to the rocks where we again were impressed by the delightfully colorful double rainbow that formed! I mean seriously does it get any better?  Well actually it does because within minutes the rainbow disappeared and the sunset over the island of Molokai erupted in gorgeous saturated yellows & reds!

Hannah & Jonathon were truly blessed with a gorgeous wedding day anyone could ask for!

Congratulations to these two lovers! 🌴💦🌈😀😎💍👍🏼

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