With its sun-drenched mountains, beaches and stunning blue skies, Hawaii is a paradise for photographers.
But the state’s traditional way of doing weddings, where couples have to dress up in costume, is considered off-limits to the rest of the country.
To accommodate the growing popularity of weddings in Hawaii, the Honolulu City Council last week voted to allow costume-wearing weddings.
Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx and his wife, actress and producer Nicole Kidman, have been holding their first Hawaiian wedding at a hotel in Hollywood, California, where they will dress up as Hawaiian characters.
The couple is one of several couples in the state who have decided to have costume weddings to make their own way of expressing their love for one another, says Chris Karpeles, a photographer who specializes in wedding photography.
“I think it’s going to be the norm in the near future,” he says.
It’s not unusual for many couples to have a small wedding that has only a few guests, but the wedding will be a special occasion for everyone involved, Karpelsays.
Karpelsay says that the costume-waiting trend has been gaining popularity, especially among the young and hip.
In 2015, the Associated Press reported that the number of people attending weddings on the West Coast had nearly doubled since 2008.
Wedding photography is becoming more and more popular among celebrities, Karsparys says, and he’s seen many of them take to the web to promote their own weddings.
“It’s become very trendy,” he said.
“There are so many people that want to do weddings that are so much more intimate, they can’t afford to have everyone dress up, so they’re going to hire an escort.”
In Hawaii, it’s not just the wedding itself that will be the center of attention.
The city of Honolulu will host a parade on Monday to mark the start of the costume wedding season.
At the end of the parade, the couple will walk through the streets of the city and the sea, wearing costumes and holding hands in a gesture of love and support for oneanother, Kapsparys said.
The couple has already planned a wedding ceremony for Saturday, but it is not yet clear whether it will be held on the street or in the hotel.
Although some people will have costumes, Katsaras hopes that everyone will dress for the occasion and embrace their relationship, regardless of what the event entails.
When he was a child, Ketsaras recalls, his parents made a special effort to dress as Hawaiian princesses and other Disney characters to entertain him.
“My dad said it was really important to know who we were, and if I was going to have to pretend to be a princess, I really wanted to do it,” Ketsas said.
He says that while he is not interested in becoming a princess himself, he hopes that his parents’ efforts will inspire others to follow their example.
“We’re just kids,” he added.
“It’s really hard to make a difference.”