EMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-9________P I NSite ImageI spent the past week in Maui, Hawaii with the family and it was a dream vacation!  We started planning this trip almost a year ago, so the excitement and anticipation for it was high.   Maui delivered in a big way and left us with many happy memories.   The number one reason I would consider going back to Maui is for the crazy number of beautiful beaches.  We started each morning on a different beach and each one was great for swimming and completely gorgeous.

If you ever plan a trip to Maui I highly recommend the Maui Revealed Book.   We used it so many times and it never let us down.
Believe it or not, this was one of our cheaper vacations!  We used airline miles for plane tickets and booked a condo off Airbnb.  (Use that link and we will both get Airbnb credits)  We opted to save money by staying across the street from the ocean rather than right on it.   We tend to explore and drive a lot on our vacations so this worked out just fine for us.  We didn’t do any excursions or extras on this trip since there is so much to see and do on your own.  Our one splurge was spending the last night at a resort on Ka’anapali beach (which I wouldn’t recommend).   Matt and I preferred the quiet condo but the kids had fun.

We stayed in Kehei which we found to be a great choice because it was so central.  We thought nothing of driving any direction on the island from there.

I almost considered not bringing my camera along (seriously!!) because it is so heavy.  But in the end that was just crazy talk so I did bring my secondary camera body (Nikon D700) with just the Nikon 24-70 2.8 lens.   That ended up being a great choice because I never felt like I was lacking a focal length.   An alternative for a lighter carry might be a 35mm and a 50mm or 85mm.   That’s my recommendations.  I’m suggesting this because I seriously struggled with what equipment to bring.

The first day in Maui was a chill day to try to adjust to the new time zone.   I think we all woke up around 4:30am!  We hit Makena Beach the first day.   The waves were so fun to swim in and boogie board in. 🙂

EMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-2________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-10________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-8________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-7________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-11________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-6________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-4________P I NSite ImageIt was entertaining watching these guys hit the waves! EMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-3________P I NSite ImageThe second day we went to Po’olenalena Beach in Wailea.   This was one of my favorite beaches because of all of the cool lava formations down on one end.  EMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-5________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-12________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-13________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-14________P I NSite Image

This massive lava rock was so cool!

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Ho’okipa Beach is one of the few places I remember from my visit to Maui 15 years ago.   It’s a good place to catch surfers.   It was extremely windy and quite cloudy the day we were there.  I don’t think the surf was particularly high either.

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We spent an afternoon in Lahaina and ate dinner (lunch?) on the water.   It was a nice break from all of the swimming and really pretty there.   There were a lot of people but not half as many as I was expecting from everything I had read about Lahaina before going.
This Banyan tree was pretty amazing!

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Not a bad lunch view 🙂

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Of course we would get a kick out of this school sign.

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We took a day to do the road to Hana.   I vaguely remembered it from my prior trip and wasn’t overly excited about it because of the long winding narrow road.   It wasn’t as bad as I remembered, at least until Hana.   Past that point, it’s crazy narrow.   We got a little bit of a late start around 8:30am.   We didn’t stop really at all for the first hour.   I highly recommend the gypsy app for the road to Hana!   It was very informative and told you when and where to stop.

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My kids loved all of the wild cats and chickens on the island.

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I gotta be honest and say I’m not really into waterfalls.  If I see one, I’m happy.   I don’t need to see 30.  And I’m certainly not willing to deal with crowds of people to see them.   We didn’t go out of our way to see too many.

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We also got a kick out of these ferrets.. (mongooses?).

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My very favorite part of the road to Hana is the Wai’anapanapa State Park just before Hana.   This place is like something out of a fairy tale.  The colors were so incredible and didn’t even seem real.   My only complaint was the crowded beach ;).   But the waves were big so we didn’t swim much anyways.

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We stayed and swam in Hana for a few hours after eating lunch.

EMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-68________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-67________P I NSite ImageWe continued past Hana to the 7 sacred pools.   That drive was a bit sketch with a narrow almost one lane road most of the way.   The pools were pretty though and Matt and kids took a swim.  EMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-70________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-72________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-73________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-71________P I NSite ImageWe opted to not continue around the island and instead went back the way we came.   We started back kind of late and hit sunset along the way but the roads were empty at this point which we much preferred.   EMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-75________P I NSite Image

Haleakala Crater

One of my favorite things we did was the drive to the Haleakala Crater.  Instead of doing sunrise (and waking up in the middle of the night) we just went during the day.   We loved this drive during the day.   It was so pretty and way less busy and a whole lot warmer.

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At one point you actually drive through the clouds.   so cool!

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This part of the island certainly didn’t look or feel like Maui.   I think that’s what makes it so unique and cool!

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So many rainbows on the way back down the mountain.

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On one of the last days, we hit up Ka’anapali beach in west Maui.   While it was pretty crowded, it sure was a beautiful beach!   The last few days had high surf warnings pretty much everywhere so swimming was a bit risky.   The waves were scary big this day so we did very little swimming.

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  • July 15, 2016 - 2:48 pm

    Kristy - Maui looks beautiful! How fun for the kids too!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2016 - 8:39 pm

    Lori Seppanen-Valima - Love the pictures!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2016 - 8:53 pm

    Sherry Tulkki - Beautiful pictures, gorgeous scenary – absolutely loved the tree pictures and those Banyan trees you shared are outta this world cool =) Looks like you all had a great time! Sending much love and many hugs, Sherry T.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2016 - 12:21 am

    Karen Kokko-scholie - Absolutely gorgeous pics, super memorable moments captured!ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2016 - 6:23 am

    Bryana - Ahh! Emily this looks like it was amazing!
    Some of the photos from Haleakala Crater look fake because they are so perfectttt!ReplyCancel

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Danny and Gabby had a wonderful wedding last Saturday in the Pelkie area.  Despite what the weatherman said, it poured and stormed that day but thankfully it was all pretty much the ceremony.  We even had some sunshine for the portraits on Lake Superior.

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Second Photographer:   Janelle Johnson of Janelle Elaine Photography
Ceremony:  Mission United Lutheran Church, Pelkie, MI
Flowers:   Julie Angle
Cake Artist:  Huron Mountain Bakery
DJ:   DJ express
Makeup:  Giselle Ryan, Makeup by GR

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Drew and Jessica were married on one of those dreamy summer Saturday’s in the U.P. where it’s sunny and beautiful.  Not too hot, not too cool.  They could not have picked a better setting for a wedding on this type of day.   They were married at the Marsin Nature Retreat Center in Houghton, MI overlooking Lake Superior’s Portage Canal.
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Erick and Ashely were married in Calumet on the chilliest and foggiest Saturday at the restored historic St. Anne’s church which is now the Keweenaw Heritage Center.  Despite the weather, these two had so much joy and happiness on their day and completely rolled with whatever Mother Nature brought us.  I will admit, the fog made for some pretty cool pictures!

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emilydennisphotography_3129________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3130________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3131________P I NSite ImageAshley was prepared for the rain we were expecting with this amazing vintage umbrella!  But you will never believe that we not only didn’t need it, we had sunshine during portraits.   You can see those further down.emilydennisphotography_3132________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3133________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3134________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3135________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3136________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3137________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3138________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3139________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3178________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3140________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3141________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3142________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3143________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3144________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3145________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3146________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3147________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-176________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3148________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3149________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3151________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3161________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3160________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3162________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3150________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3152________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3153________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3154________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3155________P I NSite ImageWe were shocked that the fog thinned out as we got closer to Lake Superior.   So not only was it not raining like we thought it might be, it was SUNNY!   And then we drove back into foggy downtown Calumet.  crazy!emilydennisphotography_3156________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3157________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3159________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3158________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-203________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3164________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-207________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-208________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-209________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-210________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3166________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3167________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3168________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3171________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3170________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3169________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3172________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3173________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3174________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3175________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3176________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3177________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3186________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3179________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3180________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3181________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3182________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3183________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3185________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3187________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3188________P I NSite Image

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Today I get to share my brothers wedding with you all.   Wade and Christin had a beautiful outdoor Kensington Park wedding over the Memorial Day weekend.  So much joy and happiness throughout the day!

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Wade and Christin kept their day low key and casual by seeing each other before the wedding.  Such a cute first look.   We immediately followed up with some portraits.

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Saturday’s wedding was a perfect start to the official wedding season.   Kyle and Chloe along with their families were so much fun to spend the day with.   They were married on a beautiful Copper Country Spring day at the Finnish Heritage Center in Hancock with a reception at the Magnuson Hotel Franklin Square Inn in Houghton.

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emilydennisphotography_3044________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3045________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-5________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3050________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-15________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-18________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3054________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-22________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-21________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-24________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-23________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-26________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-30________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-31________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-33________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-36________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-38________P I NSite Image

emilydennisphotography_3065________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-42________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-44________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-47________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-49________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-48________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3071________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-52________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-53________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3074________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-55________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-57________P I NSite ImageIt’s always a good idea to leave enough time in your day to relax!   Kyle and Chloe had enough time to just go hang out and be together during the day.   We kept portraits short and sweet and made more time for candids.

EMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-58________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-62________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-64________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-68________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-70________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-71________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-73________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-74________P I NSite ImageThe reception was on the top floor of the Magnuson Hotel in Houghton.   The canal below makes for a beautiful background!emilydennisphotography_3086________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3087________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-76________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-78________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-77________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3090________P I NSite ImageEMILY_DENNIS_PHOTOGRAPHY-79________P I NSite Imageemilydennisphotography_3092________P I NSite ImagePhotographer:   Emily Dennis Photography
Second Photographer:  Bryana Riutta
Wedding Ceremony:   Finlandia’s Finnish Heritage Center, Hancock, MI
Wedding Reception:   Magnuson Franklin Square Inn Hotel, Houghton, MI
Cake Artist:   Shelby Turnquist
DJ:   Double Trouble DJ, Marquette, MI
Table linens:  Superior Rental, Houghton, MI
Hair:   Hairsmiths, Houghton, MI
Makeup:   Giselle Ryan of Makeup by GR
Bridal Gowns:   Celebrations, Hancock, MI

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