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 Craig Photography  LLC

Extraordinary Maui Honeymoon Session

Extraordinary Maui Honeymoon Session

“In life, its not where you go, it’s who you travel with!”~ Charles Schulz •


Ok actually where you go matters too! Honeymooners Christina and Korosh never got the “wow” shot from their wedding & couldn’t wait to do a real honeymoon photo shoot when visiting @fsmaui. At first they were a bit disappointed by all the clouds and lack of sun, but I remained optimistic that something spectacular would come! Were they ever surprised when the sky literally EXPLODED in color and smiles ear to ear graced their faces. So happy for these two!

honeymoon session at four seasons maui


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YES, you should ELOPE to Maui for your wedding!

YES, you should ELOPE to Maui for your wedding!

So you are on the fence over having the big grandiose wedding your family is TELLING you to have, or running off to Hawaii, just the two of you, to run and frolic on the beach the way you have in your dreams!

Over the years, I literately have heard this SO MANY TIMES! It is just too common that the family is calling the shots and making the decisions on what your most important day should look like. Really you should listen to what your heart is telling you to do, but there are certainly some really attractive perks that come with eloping.  

So I completely understand why so many couples choose just to run off and do what they want and what they choose to do. Of course, being a professional photographer in Hawaii I prefer this as well. The benefits of going this route are numerous and make it a much more attractive way to go. Here are some tips to make your Elopement  easy and stress free. 

The very first thing to know is the sky is the limit. Literally! You could do a helicopter wedding landing in a remote location with just a pilot, a minister and a photographer. You could marry on the summit of a 10,000 foot volcano at sunrise or sunset, perhaps a jungle wedding in Hana with waterfalls or an adventure photography session before/after the wedding giving you a complete feel for true Hawaii! Let your imagination run wild as there are no limits.

Personally, I LOVE IT when the couple chooses to do an ELOPEMENT THEIR WAY. It shows not only their style, but also the unique ways they choose to celebrate and express their love for each other. Of course, doing a more adventurous elopement makes incredible photo opportunities and will make especially profound memories.   Planning a three to five hour photo session is reasonable in price and will guarantee that you get all of the great moments that tell the story of your day. This includes moments from getting ready, to exploring through the rain forest, to sharing the most amazing Hawaiian sunset documented for you to cherish for a lifetime.     

Eloping Couple kissing at their amazing wedding venue at sunset

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Tad Craig Photography  |120 Baldwin Ave, #791996 Paia, HI 96779  |  808.579.9571  |  Established in 1999  |  ©Tad Craig Photography  LLC

Dreams Coming True Right Before Our Eyes

Dreams Coming True Right Before Our Eyes


With happy tears flowing down their faces, Jennifer & Kevin celebrate the most joyous vow renewal embracing the unending love they have today as tomorrow is not certain. Jennifer surprised her husband of five years with the wedding they never had but had!

These two were absolutely overwhelmed by the love and joy they experienced all while non of us witnessing had a dry eye! Two beautifully connected souls understanding of the importance of the love they share & how fragile life can be! Hugs to these two & the beautiful spirit you both share! •

From Jennifer & Kevin

“Jen is a devoted wife and young mother to her adorable four year old daughter Ahzi. She went to culinary school and also coordinated weddings at the Ritz-Carlton for many years, although she and her husband never had a “proper wedding” of their own. Before she got sick, Jen had just started her own business making snacks for children with severe food allergies, something her own daughter suffers from. 

Jen’s biggest fear came true when she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer almost two years ago. Her own mother died when she was young from the same type of cancer. It is in her lungs, brain and bones. She now needs weekly infusions and chemo treatments. At her diagnosis, her doctor had given her a 16% chance of living 5 more years. 

She and her family have just been trying to live their best lives despite Jen’s illness. She is trying to spend as much time with her husband and young daughter as she possibly can. “

 MANY Thanks to all these vendors that made these dreams come true! Carolee, Bernie, Linda, Linda’s Sister, of White Orchid Wedding. Dellables Floral Design, Stephan Boeker Films, Peter Dagupion Minister, Kaena Music and Mama’s Fish House

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