White Orchid Beach House, Makena, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 432-new-WOW_zps2401f8b3.jpg Guests gasp as they enter this unique locale. I mean, the Pacific is right there. Although, by law, there are no private beaches in Hawaii, this is as private as it gets. When our daughter married, we chose this location because of its privacy and unparalleled view. The White Orchid staff is always attentive and courteous. Lauren and Trey are both truly great people. True beauty emanates from the inside out and both of them have qualities that are endearing. The following evening we did a "kick your shoes off" shoot at Ulua Beach in Makena. Talk about paradise! MORE PHOTOS

Gannon's Wailea, Makena, Maui, Hawaii

 photo _235Gannons-cover-photo-logo_zps4495a02e.jpg Breathtaking views, immaculate grounds and gourmet cuisine by Bev Gannon, make Gannon's an ideal location for a wedding or event of any size. Molokini Overlook, as well as the lower lawn are both wonderful venues. For beach photographs, Po'olenalea beach is less than two minutes away by car. Now that I think about, I think I'll take my wife to Gannon's for dinner tonight. Gotta score as many points as you can guys. MORE PHOTOS

Maria Lanikea Catholic Church, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 214_zps852fc3ad.jpg Maria Lanakila Catholic is located in downtown Lahaina about a three minute walk from picturesque Main Street. We stopped at Lisa and Jeff's favorite yogurt shop for a taste and just enjoyed the area for about fifteen minutes. Their reception was at the Plantation House in Kapalua. The following day they met me at Ulua beach in Wailea for beach photos. MORE PHOTOS

Grand Wailea, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 769_zps9e8faadd.jpg One of the most visually striking hotels on Maui, the Grand Wailea Resort offers wonderful options for ceremonies and receptions. The cute little chapel is the most popular, of course. Reception options are endless and the grounds and lobby are amazing. As you drive onto the property you are greeted by an enormous Niagara Falls like waterfall. The property is laden with gazebos, waterfalls, ponds, bridges and fountains. It's great to take the time to photograph at these many locations and end up on the beach at sunset. I highly recommend arranging your wedding date based on their schedule, and opt for a ceremony time an hour and a half before sunset. Noon weddings deliver very harsh light for photography. MORE PHOTOS

Haiku Mill, Haiku, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 539_zps39c90095.jpg As you enter the Haiku Mill, suddenly you are transported to a surreal fantasyland. I've photographed wedding all over the Napa Valley and nothing there can match the ambience of this unique location. Rather than removing the wedding couple from their event for beach photos, I always offer to include a beach session, gratis, while they are on island. MORE PHOTOS

Sugarman Estate, Makena, Maui, Hawaii

 photo _105_zpsed78fcc5.jpg The Sugarman estate is in Makena and is a totally private oasis of scenery. The grounds must be at least an acre, plenty of room to accommodate 250 guests and a tent big enough to hold them all easily. The beach is very small, but totally inaccessible to the public except by Kayak. The small home is very pretty and is available for dressing and primping purposes. I've photographed events there from 20 guests to 200 guests. MORE PHOTOS

Wailea Marriott, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 155_zpseb0e4371.jpg The Wailea Marriott has a lawn area that they use for weddings, but if you are looking for a private setting, there are better options. They don't have a wedding department, per se, but the planner that handles weddings for them is very good. The hotel is oceanfront but not beachfront but Mokupu beach is a five minute walk and is much less crowded than Wailea beach which fronts the Grand Wailea. The hotel has a very good luau and an excellent restaurant called Mala. Here on Maui most hotel restaurants are independently owned, so don't confuse Mala with a typical hotel restaurant. MORE PHOTOS

Po'olenalena Beach, Wailea/Makena, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 450_zpscd94e959.jpg Po'olenalena is a really pretty beach. The prime location is on the far right next to the rocks. It would be worth arriving there early to secure your spot. Otherwise, there are no foreground goodies to spice things up. I've seen four weddings occurring simultaneously probably 100 yards apart. With the boulders and palm trees in the foreground and the West Maui mountains in the background it is very photo friendly. MORE PHOTOS

Makena Surf Beach, Makena, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 145_zps7aa34546.jpg There are two beaches, equally beautiful, in front of the Makena Surf Condos. Less known about than other beaches, they are rarely crowded. If you have two million dollars lying around you could pick up one of these ocean front beauties. MORE PHOTOS

Kukahiko Estate, Makena, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 132_zpse054622a.jpg Kukahiko Estate is a great alternative to a beach wedding. Although there is no beach at this location, it is very private and picturesque. There is a small home on the property which is available for dressing and an ocean front patio for hors d'oeuvres, champagne and cake. It is in Makena about ten minutes from Kihei. MORE PHOTOS

Royal Lahaina Resort, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 1567_zps3dc3dce5.jpg Set aside from the madness of the high rise hotels on Kaanapali Beach is the quaint Royal Lahaina. This large property has a feeling of separation and spaciousness that is very appealing. At the far end of the property is a large suite with its own pool and waterfall. Great place for everyone to dress and for a honeymoon night. Great locations for very small events as well as larger ones. Once again, however, it is illegal to photograph couples in wedding attire on Kaanapali Beach. 10,000.00 fine for doing so. I have, however, sneaked the couple onto the beach for a few minutes, carefully watching for the beach Nazis. MORE PHOTOS

Kapalua Bay, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 191_zps6aff4a64.jpg Kapalua Bay Is a large half mom shaped beach which is generally pretty crowded. There are great places to shoot with boulders and foliage for foreground interest. It is surrounded by a new condominium complex and popular Merriman's Restaurant overlooks the bay. The food there is excellent ! MORE PHOTOS

Old Lahaina Luau, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

 photo _102_zpsfaadb69c.jpg Old Lahaina Luau has an area set aside for wedding ceremonies which is very attractive and has great light for photography. It is one of the best luaus on Maui and the food is very good. Plus, the Pacific is a wonderful background for a luau. This gives you everything in one package: ceremony site, catering and entertainment, assuming you don't mind sitting with a couple of hundred strangers. But look at the bright side.......you don't have to buy them dinner. When I used to photograph huge events in San Francisco that was not the case. MORE PHOTOS

Merriman's Restaurant, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 117_zps278711f8.jpg Merriman's on Kapalua bay is perfect for small events. Everyone raves about the food and they have a very nice lawn area for weddings, which overlooks the Pacific. A great option to indoor dining are the charming cabanas on the large patio. MORE PHOTOS

Plantation House Restaurant, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 503-HEADER_zps71a79666.jpg As you can see, the views from the Plantation House are amazing and the food is excellent. Although I've mainly photographed receptions at this location, I've photographed indoor and outdoor ceremonies as well. For beach photographs, Fleming Beach Park is just a few minutes away. They offer a buy out if you would like the entire restaurant to yourself, for large events,or they have a very attractive room for smaller groups. MORE PHOTOS

Ka'anapali Shores Resort, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

 photo _104-headline_zps2f227379.jpg Gary and Ania had their wedding ceremony at Kaanapali Shores Resort. Great place for a wedding with the Gazebo and lush foliage. Between the wedding and reception we stopped off at D.T. Fleming Beach Park for photos. I love it when couples can just be themselves in front of the camera. Intricate, tedious posing sucks the life out of pictures, in my opinion. I believe that all photos should possess intimacy, excitement and believability. The shooting session should be fun, not drudgery. I believe the ingredient of enjoying each other is what makes the photos come alive. Following the beach shoot we went on to the Plantation House where everyone had a great time. MORE PHOTOS

Honua Kai Resort, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 114_zps561a9213.jpg Honua Kai Resort is on Kaanapali Beach. The ceremony and reception were held in a HUGE suite on the top floor with amazing views. We sneaked onto the beach for five minutes and returned for dinner. Wonderful space for around thirty people. MORE PHOTOS

Mama's Fish House, Paia, Maui, Hawaii

 photo _102_zpse095ecce.jpg Mama's Fish House? Wow, that sounds like a romantic spot. Guess what...it is. As far as I'm concerned, it's not only romantically unique, but it has the most appealing atmosphere some of the best food on the island. They also have quaint cottages available on the property for the couples honeymoon night. I can't guarantee a sunset. That depends on the time of the year. Well worth that small drawback, if you ask me. MORE PHOTOS

Keawala'i Church, Makena, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 101_zpsc0fb2f0a.jpg Keawala'i church is a quaint, very Hawaiian location in Makena, Maui. The grounds are tropical and the lighting is great for the obligatory family pictures following the ceremony. The minister is very accommodating and even provides me with a ladder in order to get a photograph of all guests and family members. It is located on the blue Pacific adding to the ambience. MORE WEDDINGS

Westin Ka'anapali, Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 238_zpsb7fc2af4.jpg The Westin on Kaanapali beach has a lot going for it. Several great ceremony sites, waterfalls, a tropical lagoon complete with live, not plastic, flamingos, swans and a cute little cavern behind the immense waterfall. The light is always great in that area which makes me happy. Do keep in mind, however, that photographs of people in wedding attire are not allowed on this beach. We did sneak out there for five minutes but did the majority of beach photos the next morning. Ask the wedding planner at the Westin about this policy, as things do change here on Maui. MORE PHOTOS

Makena Cove, Makena, Maui, Hawaii

 photo _114_zps9d0d4dec.jpg Makena Cove, also referred to as Secret Beach, is the prettiest little beach on Maui. When planning a beach wedding, it is best to have the event on week days. Locals flock to the beaches on weekends and who can blame us. Permits are required through your wedding planner, who can also inform you if any other weddings conflict with yours. Two weddings simultaneously is not a problem, however I have been there when three are going on at the same time, which makes it difficult to use all the prime locales. The Wailea-Makena side has far more beaches than the Kaanapali side of the island. In fact, on Kaanapali beach it is illegal to photograph people in wedding attire on that beach. The best beach on the West side is Kapalua Bay beach. MORE PHOTOS

Four Seasons Resort, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 1504_zpsbbed0ceb.jpg The Four Seasons Resort, Wailea, lives up to its reputation. There are three locations available: Plumeria Point for smaller events, Plumeria Lawn which works well for fifty or so guests and Ocean Front Lawn which will accommodate a hundred or more. Of course, the food is amazing. Care for an amuse bouche, no problem, or drinks in pineapples? How about your own private luau? Events such as these would take place on Ocean Front Lawn. They allow strictly, one wedding per day, no exceptions. The Four Seasons insists that no other brides are present on the grounds when weddings are taking place. They make their own wedding cakes which are amazing. I've seen groom's cakes in the likeness of Ferraris, no joke. They routinely bring to life whatever a bride's wedding dreams may be. MORE PHOTOS

Fairmont Kea Lani, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

 photo _113-for-Fairmont_zpsef2afa8b.jpg The Fairmont Kea Lani Resort, Wailea has wonderful areas to create photographs and a very friendly staff. I believe they limit their weddings to two per day, which gives the coordinators time to give brides the personal attention that they should expect from a high end resort. The most popular site is the oceanfront terrace which sports amazing views and will comfortably seat 30 guests. The beach is wonderful for photographs and not nearly as crowded as that of the Grand or Four Seasons. They are very pet friendly as you can see. We stayed there for about two weeks, awaiting the closing of our home in Kihei. I've photographed over one hundred weddings there and really enjoy the property. What a treat it was to be a guest. All the rooms are suites and everyone treated our spoiled dog Anna like a celebrity. We thought about renaming her Princess Kea Lani, which means heavenly white in Hawaiian; very apropos. Their new restaurant, Ko has gotten rave reviews and Nick's Fish Market is great as well. MORE PHOTOS

Ritz Carlton, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

 photo _358_zps74f4e03f.jpg The Ritz Carlton resort, Kapalua, has many great sites for weddings of any size. All have sweeping views of the Pacific and many spectacular photo ops. Following the ceremony the coordinator takes the couple and photographer for a joy ride around the grounds (great fun) to the beach and to the amazing cliff overlooking the ocean. There is no sunset on Fleming beach, however, from the cliff you have sunset photo opportunities. The staff is cordial and accommodating, as you would expect. Reception options are excellent. Right next door is a beautiful little Catholic Church, if that is your preference. There is also a chapel on site. MORE PHOTOS

Olowalu Plantation House, Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii

 photo 108new-olowalu_zpse39f605b.jpg Olawalu Plantation is located between Kihei and Lahaina. It is very spacious and private and features a quaint old Hawaiian style home for dressing. It is very popular, so book it as far in advance as possible. Your coordinator can help you with the details. Wind is always a factor here on Maui, mainly in the late afternoon, but it generally subsides by sunset. It is rarely windy after dark. As you can tell from the photos, there are great places to create pictures at Olawalu. I've photographed weddings at this locale from two people to two hundred. When you enter this venue you feel extreme peace, very therapeutic for anxious brides and grooms. MORE PHOTOS