What to Expect for the Weather during Your Maui Elopement or Wedding

So, you’ve decided to elope or have an intimate wedding on Maui, and now you’re wondering what to expect for the weather! The overall climate on Maui is quite pleasant consisting of year-round daytime temperatures at sea-level ranging from 75-85°F (23-29°C). However, this does not mean that the weather is always bright and sunny everywhere on the island (although it often is somewhere). Maui has numerous microclimates, which means that the specific weather and landscape can vary significantly depending on where you are on the island. If you check a weather app, you’ll likely see rain forecasted every day on Maui. But don’t despair— that does not necessarily mean that it will rain at your elopement or wedding location.

Rain was forecasted during this couple’s session; however, it was a bright and sunny morning!

Rain was forecasted during this couple’s session; however, it was a bright and sunny morning!

Maui is home to desert, rainforest, and mountainous climates. The West, South, and Central areas the island are desert climates, which to be drier and hotter than other spots on the island. The North, East, and parts of the West Maui mountains are rainforest climates, which are wetter and more humid than other areas on the island. Upcountry Maui experiences a mountainous climate with cooler temperatures and moderate rainfall.

There are two main seasons on Maui: winter and summer. Winter is characterized by a rainy season (also known as “rainbow season”) from October to March, which is when Maui experiences the majority of its rainfall. However, it rare for there to be a day where it is raining all day, everywhere on the island. You can almost always find a dry location with sun when it is cloudy and raining elsewhere on the island. There is a saying on Maui, “If you don’t like the weather, just drive 5 miles.” The major noticeable difference during the winter months are the much larger waves on the North facing shores. You won’t want to plan a “trash the dress” session or anything else in the water on the North Shore during the winter.

A winter day on Maui’s North Shore

A winter day on Maui’s North Shore

Summers, from April to September, are generally dry, warm, and a bit humid in some areas, although it is unusual for it to be much above 90°F (32°C) at sea level. Having lived in Florida and experienced summers in the U.S. Midwest, I don’t find Maui to be that humid, but I know that some other people do. Most homes in Maui do not have air conditioning. That being said, when you are fully dressed in your wedding clothes, you can probably expect to sweat quite a bit during a summer sunset elopement on Maui’s South Shore. Summer brings larger swells on the South facing shores of Maui. This can sometimes mean that elopements and intimate weddings scheduled at smaller beaches, such as Makena Cove, may need to be moved if the tide is particularly high and there is little beach left.

Large waves seen during a summer elopement at Makena Cove.

Large waves seen during a summer elopement at Makena Cove.

One of the things that contribute to Maui being such a comfortable climate for most people is that there is almost always a nice breeze. To put it another way, Maui is windy! There are some areas and times that are known to have stronger wind- for example, when Maui has the typical tradewinds (from the north), sunset sessions on the North Shore during the summer will likely have a lot of wind. The winds usually die down overnight, so sunrise sessions on the North Shore will have less wind. When Maui experiences kona winds (from the south), the South or West Shores may experience a lot more wind than usual.

A breezy day on Maui’s South Shore during a summer elopement.

A breezy day on Maui’s South Shore during a summer elopement.

Hurricane season spans from June to November, but it may be somewhat comforting to note that Maui hasn’t had a direct hit from a hurricane in over 100 years. Hurricanes tend to travel from the east to the west, meaning that hurricanes and tropical storms typically have to pass over the Big Island of Hawai’i first, weakening the storm. That’s not to say that a hurricane or tropical storm couldn’t happen during your Maui elopement or wedding, but there are other weather considerations that might require a little more thought.

My best advice regarding the weather on Maui is not too worry to much— just embrace it! As your Maui photographer, I can give you advice about different locations and times of year, and the typical weather patterns. In the event of inclement weather that is affecting the entire island on the day of an elopement or outdoor intimate wedding, I remain in close contact with my clients. Ceremony locations and times are not changed for overcast skies, wind, or small amounts of rain. Overcast skies create the ideal lighting situation for photos. Wind creates beautiful movement in your images. And rain, well, with the rain comes rainbows!

A rainbow captured during a couple’s anniversary session.

A rainbow captured during a couple’s anniversary session.