Megan Moura

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Hawaii and California wedding and portrait photographer for the heartfelt and passionate

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WEDDINGS

A Fairytale in Oahu: Kualoa Ranch Fairytale Elopement Photographer with Jennie and Patrick

January 5, 2022

Oahu Elopement is not for everyone. The weather can be bad, anything unexpected can happen, and there will be no gifts to open after the ceremony. But, for Jennie and Patrick, elopement is exactly what they were looking for to start their adventure of a lifetime. And as a Kualoa Ranch Elopement photographer, I think it was perfect!

An elopement is traditionally a ceremony that only includes the couple. No family nor friends are typically included in an elopement.  This term has evolved over the years and people sometimes invite one to three close friends to be witnesses. Jennie and Patrick made it more intimate by keeping it just between themselves – no friends, no families, no witnesses. So it was an honor that they chose me as their Kualoa Ranch Elopement photographer.

The Spectacular Paliku Gardens

Kualoa Ranch is a vast working ranch in Oahu. When Jennie and Patrick got married, the management still offered sites within the ranch that they no longer offer today. The couple had their ceremony at the Palikū Gardens. Located at the base of the sacred 1000 ft high Kānehoalani mountain peak, Palikū Gardens provides its guests with spectacular views of Kāne’ohe Bay, rolling pastures, green gardens, and iconic Mokoli’i Island. The site consists of two large lawn areas, an upper garden, as well as an open-air pavilion.

Palikū is one of the most booked wedding venues on Oahu. As an Oahu-based photographer, the reason why I love this site for elopement is that the couples are framed by coconut trees on both sides. It frames the couple so perfectly which makes the photos feel very Hawaii. Jennie and Patrick did some portraits around the ranch before the ceremony.  We took photos at a site called Low Camp and a scenic lookout that overlooks the valley.

The Magic of Two in Kualoa Ranch Elopement

There was something about Jennie and Patrick that made the spectacular venue even more magical. The love in their eyes as they look at each other and the shift of energy as they exchange laughter made it seem like I was in a Disney movie instead of an Oahu elopement. It was as if I was watching the prince and the princess as they make their way to a happily ever after – except that instead of “The End”, it was their new chapter’s “Once upon a time”.

I felt like I was a fairy godmother doing my magic with my lens instead of an Elopement photographer. Despite the celebration only having two other people for their elopement, it felt like we were surrounded by hundreds of pixies. I think it’s also because of Jennie’s flower crown and her lacy dress which made her look like she’s the queen of fairies, and Patrick’s long, golden locks which reminded me of the prince from Beauty and the Beast when he became human. This event is truly one for the books.

From Megan’s Lens

Being an Oahu-based photographer has blessed me with the chance to see the different kinds and intensities of love through my lens. Those are the moments that I choose to freeze in time by turning into beautiful photos that the couple could treasure and look back on as they grow old together.

I know that marriage is not always like a fairytale but I think we could all agree that elopements, just like grand weddings, are always magical. Jennie and Patrick’s elopement is evidence of that. The way they care and look after one another, the way they smile and laugh during the event, and the way they exchanged promises tells me that their love is going to last a lifetime and beyond.

The photos that I took hold more than just memories of the day. They are proof that celebrating love does not always have to be grand if you don’t want it to be. The common denominator of the wedding photos and elopement photos I took is love. Love is always there, no matter how big or small the crowd is. Do what you want to celebrate your special day.

From Megan: “Thank you, Jennie and Patrick, for allowing me to be a part of your magical elopement. Thank you for making me your fairy godmother who uses her camera instead of a magic wand to freeze the moment. I pray that you both grow in love and that you always find each other as magical as the day you embarked on the journey of marriage.”

Browse some of Megan's favorite weddings, portraits, engagement session, elopements and commercial branding shoots.

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