Envision a secluded tropical beach, coconut tree, the sparking glow of the ocean, and a huge golden sun setting in the background. What a scene but, that's only in Hollywood.
Late afternoon and before sunset usually has great light for photos, it's cooler, and you can go straight to dinner. Those are the best reasons to have your ceremony late in the day.
Sunset "light" is available all year but, "seeing" the sunset depends upon the time of year and location i.e. you have to be on the south/west facing shore of the island.
Sunset into the ocean is visible in the Honolulu/Waikiki area during the late Fall and Winter (late October to March). The rest of the year, it's partially to fully blocked by mountains.
We use Magic Island (preferred) and Duke Kahanomoku Beach all year round, irrespective of where the sun sets. We use Portlock Beach only in the winter. There is no sunset at Waialae/Kahala, Makapuu, or Waimanalo.
FYI: Sunset in the tropics is not like sunset at higher latitudes. Simply, there is little to no twilight. Once the sun sets, it's pretty much night time. Additionally, when the sun nears the horizon, the sunlight is already starting to fall-off pretty fast and if there's clouds on the horizon, it's done.
OK. Here's what you need to know:
- We don't photograph the ceremony with the sun setting in the background. It's just too bright (it's the sun after all) and while we only use the most scenic locations, the primary focus is on you and how you look.
- We don't include it as part of our standard ceremony packages. With that said, we can try for some sunset photos after the ceremony, if you add an extended photo session.
- We prefer ceremonies start 45 minutes before the actual sunset just to be safe but, we can start as late as 30 minutes before sunset depending upon the specifics are your event.
- We prefer the sun to be above your head and no lower than chest level for a sunset photo session (that's not sunset). We do not sit couples on the ground and we really don't like photos with the sun at people's feet, it's just not the right pose for a wedding.
- We shoot into the sunset scenics in two ways which you can see throughout our website. We use a special technique for "sunset" silhouette shots using filters where we can create our own "sunset" if there's no sunset OR if the conditions are right we use our flash and lens combination technique to get "natural" sunset shots. We may use either or both at the photographers discretion.