She walked slowly, her thin shoes not completely shielding her feet from the hot sand. She was nervous… and excited in the same breath. Shore waves, about three feet tall, were crashing along the shoreline. Misty sea-spray was in the air. She took a deep breath, tasting the briny elixir that was on her lips. There wasn’t a shipwreck in sight. But she could see her man, faced away from, as he was meant to at this moment. He was waiting for her. Her heart began to beat even faster.
Not that I really knew what was going on in the bride’s mind at that moment; I just guessed it. I had been hired to capture these moments on video. It’s a typical scene that is experienced by thousands of wedding couples at this particular beach: Shipwrecks Beach. My mind drifted off for a moment, and I wondered, how many ‘shipwreck beaches’ are there? I know that in Greece there’s a Shipwreck Beach that some call Smuggler’s Cove. And I’ve heard that Oregon has a Shipwrecks beach, as does Washington State. In Hawaii there are at least two that I know of, the one at Lanai, aptly named Shipwrecks because it really does have mangled sea vessels littering its shore, and the one that I was on at that very moment: Shipwreck Beach, Poipu, Kauai. But here you wont actually find a shipwreck, not anywhere along the beach or along the spectacular coast. You will, however, see the iconic rock face—Makawehi Point—a sandstone landmark which the bride was presently heading to, and where her groom was waiting. You might have heard about this particular beach for another reason: This is where locals (and some brave tourists) leap thirty-five feet off the rock into the turbulent Pacific. Notably, Harrison Ford and Anne Heche jumped from it for the movie, “6 Days and 7 Nights.” It’s just a short walk along the sand from the Hyatt Regency and other Poipu resorts, which might also be why so many wedding couples choose this location. Waves smash again the cliff and when it’s really hot, wedding couples can move twenty feet from the water’s edge and find shade under the canopy of lush ironwood trees. It’s idyllic for dramatic photography and videography. The image below is pulled directly from the video, filmed by me at Shipwreck’s on November 11th 2019.
The groom turned…and gasped as he saw her for the first time that day. His heart was galloping at a hundred miles an hour. In his prepared vows, he told how she’d so profoundly changed his life, for the better; that God and destiny had made it so. When it was her turn, her eyes turned watery and her voice trembled lightly; this also made his eyes glisten.
Fifteen minutes later, the officiant proclaimed them husband and wife and they fell into each other’s embrace. There weren’t any violins but if there had been they wouldn’t have been out of place. Nice ceremony.
A footnote: there used to be an old weather-beaten boat lying at the water’s edge. It sat there for many years, and that’s where the pirate-like name came from, I guess.
If you know of another Shipwrecks Beach, I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my website: Kauai Video Productions