On April 4, 2014 I married my best friend. It was not your typical wedding, but it was the perfect wedding for us. My husband and I both feel very connected to the sea. We love to surf, sail, freedive and just be anywhere near the beach. When we first met in 2004, we serendipitously discovered that we each shared the same dream of sailing to the South Pacific. Four years later, we had bought our own sailboat together and found ourselves chasing the sunset across the great blue Pacific. So it should be of no surprise when I tell you that we also decided to get married in the ocean.
The day of our wedding we took a little boat out to the kelp beds off of San Diego. I put some flowers in my hair and tossed on a veil, and my husband, Chris, threw on a tie over his wetsuit. We jumped over the side and paddled our surfboards over to a quiet, peaceful spot right off the coast. With the fish as our witnesses, we held hands and exchanged vows in the water as the glowing orange sun set on the horizon behind us. It was a beautiful moment that we shared only with our good friend, Megan, who was our adventurous officiant. Knowing each of us well, she wrote a touching sermon that encompassed us both as individuals and as a couple (which she stored in a Ziploc bag and read aloud while balancing on a surfboard and wearing a GoPro camera strapped to her head!).
The most important thing to me that day, was marrying the wonderful man that I love. And for our journey there was no better place to start our new life together, as husband and wife, than where we feel most connected and free. But since we were married in our wetsuits, we were not able to take the wedding pictures that I had dreamt of. As a wedding photographer myself, having my own bridal photos is something that I’ve always looked forward to. I pictured myself in a simple rustic dress with lace details being photographed kissing my husband amongst towering redwood trees, a first look by the river’s edge, and a picture of us holding hands while walking down a sandy beach on the rugged Big Sur coast.
So I reserved the Big Sur Cabin at Glen Oaks Big Sur, booked our plane tickets, and we were off for some destination wedding photography! I bought a beautiful little wedding dress, hired an amazing wedding hair stylist and make-up artist named Melissa Marie, and stopped at the Farmer’s Market on our drive down the coast to make a do-it-yourself natural wedding bouquet. When we arrived at our destination, we snuck in a quick dip in the river and then prepared for our bridal photos. My husband and I spent the afternoon having our pictures taken in the redwood grove, by the river, and at Julia Pfeifer State Beach. It was so fun to spend the day together playing, taking pictures, and focusing on each other without any stress of a wedding day!
I wasn’t able to take our own wedding pictures but I was really inspired by the natural beauty of Big Sur. I spent the following afternoon running around the redwoods and exploring by the river with my camera and wedding dress in hand, looking for places to take more photos. These are the pictures that I’m sharing here with you.
I hope my own story helps you when planning for your own wedding. Don’t forget to cherish the things that inspire you both and the dreams that you share together. Your bridal photos can be as unique as you are! Just remember that this is your fairytale, and together you can write your own story. Happy wedding planning!