Hi! We're Shawn + Adam

We're husband and wife who formed our Love + Water Photography team on Maui in 2014. Since then we've created a series of weddings and sessions from the land + sea, drawing inspiration from the gorgeous colors of Maui sunrises and sunsets.



Wailea proposal photography at sunrise and sunset


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Ultimate Guide to Beach Proposals in Maui, Hawaii

Is there anything more romantic than beach proposals? As Wailea, Maui engagement photographers, we can’t get enough of capturing all that love in the most stunning of settings!

Your proposal is a moment you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s the moment when you decide to take the plunge (maybe literally!). You’re declaring that you’ve found your soulmate, your forever person, your partner through the good and the bad—and that you want to spend the rest of your lives together.

A beautiful woman is surprised while a man presents a ring down on one knee during a beach proposal in Maui, and the moment is captured by Wailea engagement photographers Love + Water photography.

How do you want to remember this moment?

If you’re picturing a gorgeous proposal on the beach in Maui, we don’t blame you! It’s a breathtaking scene that never gets old, and you’re sure to look back on your time here together with full hearts and big smiles.

We’ve compiled some frequently asked questions and our favorite Maui engagement tips and beach proposal ideas just for you!

Common Questions & Tips for Beach Proposals in Maui

Let’s start with some common questions we hear about proposing in general.

What do you say when you propose? How long is a proposal speech?

Of course, there’s no one right answer to this question but our advice is always this: Speak from the heart!

We’ve seen people propose with big speeches and with just a few simple words. Sometimes, there are no words and it’s just a look into each other’s eyes. In the end, it’s about your unique relationship and what you think will make your partner feel special.

A man holding a bottle of champagne down on one knee while his girlfriend looks out at the ocean, about to propose on the beach in Wailea, Maui.
A happily surprised woman turns to see her boyfriend down on one knee with a bottle of champagne during a beach proposal in Hawaii.

If you’re looking for proposal speech ideas, try answering some of these questions:

  • What did you think when you first saw/met them?
  • When did you know you were in love with them/wanted to marry them?
  • Why do you want to spend the rest of your life with them?
  • What is your fondest memory of the two of you together?
  • What value do they add to your life? How do they bring you joy?
  • What do you love about them?
  • How do you make each other better?
  • How can you add value to their life as a spouse? 

Our other piece of advice is to not make it too long or to expect that you’ll nail it word-for-word. The nerves are real, and sometimes short, sweet, and heartfelt is best. But again, do what feels right for you!

A woman in a beautiful long, floral skirt covers her mouth in surprise as her fiance proposes on the beach in Hawaii.
A man embraces and picks up his new fiance at an engagement session in Maui after she says yes to his beach proposal.

How do you propose in a unique way?

There are plenty of ways to plan a unique proposal.

We think that proposing on a trip is a great way to turn it into a fun and memorable experience. That way, it can be a whole adventure that you’ll always remember as the trip when you decided to tie the knot. Plus, you can really bask in the celebration rather than having to return to normal life right away!

It also turns the spot where you proposed into a special place to visit together again in the future.

We outline some unique beach proposal ideas later in this blog!

How can I propose without them knowing?

A surprise proposal might be easier than you think—as long as you can keep a secret and act natural!

Act like you are just going on a nice date together, or choose some other reason why you might be celebrating. Anniversaries are often a go-to.

This is another reason why we love travel proposals—it can be easier to keep it a secret since you are already outside of your normal day-to-day lives and doing spectacular things together!

Should I get a photographer for the proposal?

We might be biased, but we say yes!

Having a professional photographer there to capture this special moment is something you won’t regret. Experienced proposal photographers will know how to keep it a secret and get those amazing shots when you get down on one knee, so you can look back and remember exactly how you felt at that moment. Don’t forget to let your photographer know about your plan so they can be prepared too.

A woman kisses her new fiance while he piggy-backs her on the beach for engagement photos with Love + Water in Maui.

Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get engagement photos to use on your wedding invitations and as decor.

If you’re worried about getting professional photos and keeping the proposal a secret, tell your partner that you’ve surprised them with a romantic couples photoshoot. They will think you just wanted to get some beautiful photos together when really you’re taking the care to preserve a very special memory for both of you.

Now let’s talk about some tips for beach proposals in Maui!

Is Hawaii a good place to propose?

Hawaii is known for its natural beauty and hospitality. Visiting here is like stepping into a tropical paradise. It feels like an absolute dream (and it’s why we never left!).

If you love the sunshine and the beach, Hawaii is an amazing place to get engaged! It’s romantic, relaxing, and unforgettable.

Of course, please always remember to be respectful when traveling. Respect the people, the beautiful land, and Hawaii’s history when you visit.

How do I propose in Maui?

Of course, there are plenty of different ways to propose in Maui. Here are some things you’ll want to figure out:

  • Any steps you need to take before your proposal, such as speaking with the family and getting a ring.
  • Your Maui proposal location. 
  • The time of day when you’d like to propose. 
  • What to say during your proposal.
  • What to do after your proposal to celebrate!

Where do I propose in Maui?

There are plenty of beautiful places to propose in Maui!

A beautiful couple holds each other and kisses in front of the ocean during a beach engagement session in Hawaii.

If you’re going with a beach, try to choose a spot that is a bit off the beaten path or go during a time of day/year when the area isn’t flooded with tourists.

Our absolute favorite location, and where we do our couples’ photoshoots, is a stunning beach in Wailea. Check out this Wailea proposal photoshoot at sunrise to see for yourself!

When should I propose at the beach—sunrise or sunset?

This is a great question and we photograph beautiful engagements at both sunrise and sunset.

Choosing a time when the sun isn’t high in the sky is ideal because of the great lighting, cooler temperatures, and lack of crowds. But do you go with sunrise or sunset?

Proposing at sunrise

If you’re an early riser, a sunrise beach proposal might be the perfect time for you!

Mornings are typically quietest and offer the most privacy. Plus, in Wailea especially, sunrise is when you get those gorgeously soft pastel skies!

If you’re lucky, you might even be able to see the moon.

A newly engaged couple kisses on the beach during a surprise proposal photos session with Love + Water in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii.
Proposing at sunset

If early mornings aren’t for you, or a sunrise proposal doesn’t fit into your plan for the day, no problem! Sunset proposals on the beach are just as breathtaking and memorable.

That being said, there are some differences between sunrise and sunset photoshoots to be aware of. While sunrises boast more pastel tones, sunsets typically offer those warmer, golden hour tones. There’s also more chance for vibrant skies at sunset, although it can’t be guaranteed. That’s up to Mother Nature, but when it happens, it’s absolutely brilliant!

Another benefit of proposing at sunset is that you don’t have to get up early. If early rising really isn’t your thing, it might be best to plan your engagement proposal for when you’ll be properly awake and have energy.

Consider what your other plans are for the day. Would you rather propose in the wee hours of the morning, and then spend the day celebrating your engagement? Or would you rather spend a romantic day together in anticipation and then send it out with a bang?

Either way, as far as engagement photos in Maui go, you can’t lose!

How do I set up a beach proposal?

One of the great things about getting engaged at the beach is that you can keep it nice and simple. You already have a beautiful setting waiting for you, and who doesn’t love a romantic walk along the beach?

If you want to kick it up a notch, here are some ideas:

  • Bring a cute picnic with your partner’s favorite foods
  • Play your partner’s favorite love song (on a speaker or with an instrument if you’re a virtuoso!) 
  • Bring a bottle of bubbly to pop
  • Bring flowers or have petals scattered around the beach (best if you have someone who can help you with the setup before you arrive)

For some really unique beach proposal ideas, try these:

Make a splash with water portraits

You’re at the beach in beautiful Maui, after all! So don’t be afraid to make a splash.

A couple embraces and stands in the water during an engagement photo shoot at sunset after a surprise beach proposal in Maui,

Couples water portraits are so much fun! If you’re surprising your partner with your proposal, make sure they’re prepared to have a splash (although, we’re all for strolling right into the water in your clothes, too!).

Drone couples photography

Have you ever tried drone couples photography? It’s also such a blast and a unique way to document your proposal!

Make use of props

Don’t be afraid to bring some simple props for your beach session, like a bouquet of beautiful flowers or pretty string lights, like this couple’s photoshoot. Sparkler are out for public beaches on Maui, but we can suggest some more ways to make your proposal extra special!

What should I wear for beach engagement photos?

This is one of the most fun parts!

Consider wearing timeless outfits that complement the beachy vibe and beautiful colors of Maui at sunrise and sunset.

For men, a light button-up shirt and gray or khaki pants or shorts are a safe bet. Don’t be afraid to mix in some colors and patterns, but make sure not to clash with your partner.

A woman in a flowing pink dress covers her mouth in happy surprise as a man proposes on the beach at sunrise in Hawaii.

For women, long, flowy dresses are our favorite—especially if you don’t mind it getting a bit wet! Pastels and jewel tones typically look amazing. And don’t forget to bring a bathing suit for some water portraits! We recommend you forgo the fluttery neckline if you have a sunset session, as it can fly in your face with those beautiful and sometimes gusty afternoon trades.

We also have a client closet where we rent beautiful Kasia Kulenty gowns that are super flattering! Get them as sandy as you want and just throw ’em at us after your shoot for dry cleaning. Win.

In the end, it’s important to wear something that matches the scene but also feels you. Choose something that makes you feel comfortable and confident!

For more inspiration and ideas, check out what our past clients have worn for their beach engagement photos.

What should I do after the proposal in Maui? 

There are plenty of ways to celebrate your engagement in Maui!

If you propose at sunrise, spend the day lounging at the beach and sipping tasty cocktails before enjoying a delicious seafood dinner. Or, pack a picnic and head out for an adventurous hike.

If you propose at sunset, head out for a happy hour celebration drink and surprise your partner with a night at a luxurious resort.

Engagement Photos in Wailea, Maui

First of all—congratulations on deciding to pop the big question! We’re so excited for you and love that you’re considering Maui as the place to do it.

If you’re looking for a Maui photographer to capture beautiful beach proposal photos for you in Wailea, we’d love to chat. Please feel free to check out our portfolio and, if you like our work, let’s get in touch!

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  1. […] thing to consider when having your Hawaii proposal portraits or maternity portraits taken in Hawaii? You will get wet, you will get sandy, so plan accordingly! […]

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