This wedding was so unbelievably beautiful! I met Megan and Erik last year when I photographed their engagement session in Upcountry Maui. They were both so wonderful to work with and so appreciative and kind! Enjoy their story and photos below:

How the couple met “Erik and I met at Sutter, the large healthcare system we consult for in Sacramento. I was introduced to Erik on my first day of work and was immediately drawn to him. I wasn’t sure what it was that intrigued me but I wanted to find out. Whenever I saw him in the hallway, I got butterflies, which is pretty unusual for me. We worked a few weekend conversion events together and a wonderful friendship developed over the next several months. We looked forward to traveling to California to spend time together. Eventually, we confessed our feelings for one another and started dating soon after. I knew right away there was something very special about him and the connection we had. We took our first trip together to Hawaii and it’s also where I first thought “he could be the one.” Since then we’ve taken many more trips but there’s nothing like returning to Hawaii.”

The Proposal Story: “Erik and I discussed getting married so I knew he eventually wanted to propose but I thought it would be later this year. He always gave me a hard time about how he was planning an elaborate, public proposal on a stage of some sort (my nightmare)! So when he asked me to marry him along the Old Sacramento River Walk, where we had our first date, I could not have been more surprised or relieved. Afterward, we celebrated with a delicious 5 course dinner with wine pairings. It was a perfect evening.”

Approximately 90 guests traveled from the mainland to attend the couple’s special day!
The colors of the wedding were stunning shades of corals, pinks, oranges (grapefruit, peach). Bella bloom did their magic on the gorgeous centerpieces, wedding arch and bouquets.

The Dress! I loved it! Megan said “I’m wearing Devotion by Claire Pettibone: Ivory floral embroidered mermaid silhouette with ivory linen and guipure vine straps.
It has a romantic, bohemian feel.”

How they envisioned their wedding: “I hope guests will describe it as relaxed, beautiful, stylish, fun, and delicious. As for the ceremony, we’re writing our own vows and are hoping to incorporate some traditional Hawaiian touches.”

What attracted them to my photography “Great reviews – people really enjoy working with Joanna and rave about their photos. I also loved what I saw in reviewing her blog and sites like “Style Me Pretty”.

You can also see this wedding featured on Grace Ormonde Here.

Megan and Erik, Thank you so much for having us there to capture your special day!

Thank you, Shayla Collins for second shooting!

Coordinator: Lena from Belle Destination Weddings & Events
Officiant: Pia Aluli
Florist: Bella Bloom
Hair Stylist: Ebony Prentice
Makeup Artist: Jessica Waite
Caterer: Maui Executive Catering
Venue: Olowalu Plantation House
Video: Hawaii Video Memories
Wedding gown: Claire Pettibone
Getting ready location: Hyatt Regency Kaanapali
Music: Sole Tegava
DJ: Del Sol

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How to decide on your Hawaii Wedding Photographer

While there is no “best” wedding photographer in Hawaii, there is a best fit for you! In all honesty, there are many talented photographers here on the island, so here are some tips on choosing the right one for you.

Style. Style should be the first element you look at when considering a wedding photographer. There are many different styles: traditional, photo-journalistic, dark and moody, light and airy, and the list goes on. The wording description of the different styles is less important than looking through a photographer’s website and social media postings. Do you connect and resonate with the photos? Do they evoke a strong feeling? Can you picture yourself in the same type of composition  and lighting

I describe my style in the following way: use of natural light, romantic, storyteller, flattering, heartfelt. But I suggest you look through my photos for yourself and see how you connect with them.  I love to tell the story of the wedding day and capture emotions that people can then feel when they view the photos. Ideally I enjoy being there for the pre-wedding excitement all the way through the joyous dancing at the reception.

Reviews: Read through client reviews of photographers. It’s a good sign when other people had a great experience with a photographer -- but perhaps even more importantly, you can get to know specific details of how the photographer interacted with the couple and the guests, what type of photos they took, if they were professional throughout the booking process, etc.

Reputation within the wedding industry. This is a big one. It’s wonderful to read client reviews online, however something that is also important is how the photographer works alongside other vendors, especially wedding planners, hair and makeup artists, and videographers. Ask your planner or other vendors you contact if they’ve worked with the photographer you are interested in. What have their experiences been? Is the photographer professional? Are they friendly? Are they reliable? In general, are they in good standing with the majority of the wedding community on Maui? Everything goes more smoothly when the wedding vendors work well together and have a mutual respect for one another. 

Experience. Experience is an important consideration, especially on a tropical island where there are unique challenges such as strong backlight, windy days, hotel rooms with limited natural light, receptions with very dim light, etc. Ask the photographer how many years they have been photographing weddings. Experienced wedding photographers will be better prepared for unusual situations.


I hear from wedding planners about photographers coming from all over the country to photographer weddings in HawaiiPerhaps they are a friend of the bride or groom, or maybe they just want to take a vacation to Maui, Kauai, Oahu or the Big Island and combine it with a wedding to pay for their trip. Some of these photographers might be great, but I’ve heard stories of some that cancelled, sometimes at the last minute – maybe their flights were delayed – but it left the wedding party to scramble to find another photographer. These photographers might not have the necessary insurance for your venue, or they might be inexperienced in the type of intense back-lighting that happens in the late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky. Please consider a photographer who resides on Maui, – we have so many talented and professional ones!

Overall, I would say, do your research, connect via social media, email, phone calls, trust your intuition and you will find the right fit! Photography is so important because it provides the reminder of this most special day.  Your treasured photos will show your family, and perhaps someday your children and grandchildren, the love, joy and special moments of your wedding day.

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