Where to start.
An email read in a coffee shop. Responded to in New York. Emails. Skype calls. An off chance of this ever happening. A road trip up the west coast in the spring with dear friends. A stop over in San Francisco.
That is where I first met Colette and Andrew. Two people who are the definition of ideal friends. Sweet and creative. Two people entirely in love with each other. Their wedding was a day less about them and more about a celebration with those closest to them. An event to bring those who have been most impactful in their lives together from New York, British Columbia, Portland, and across California. A chance for wonderful people to meet in a place Colette and Andrew have loved visiting and exploring these past years together. There, among the California redwoods in Big Sur they read their vows and promised their lives to each other.
The day began in a wonderfully quaint cottage nestled in the woods off of Highway One. Colette’s friend Tori was putting the finishing touches on her bouquet. The flowers are sustainably grown in West Oakland adding colour and character to neighbourhoods before become some of the most unique simply stunning arrangements I have seen. Colette was calming finishing last minute wedding preparations. Her friend’s surrounding her. So much laughter and a little bit of dancing.
The ceremony site, a natural amphitheatre with simple benches as seating, was a ten minute walk from the closest lot. Accessible by crossing a plank bridge and passing a couple campgrounds. Wrapping around above it however was a small hiking trail from the other direction. It was decided by Colette that she would walk in with her long time best friend Mark Sam along that 3/4 mile trail that clung to the side of the hill. Mark Sam and Colette were driven to the trailhead by a friend in Colette’s father’s 1967 Ford Mustang. The two of them were quite a sight. Double checking directions on maps, thanking each passerby for their well wishes before bursting out in laughter after they had passed due to the confusion of groom, hoping to not go on a misadventure similar to the one in Oregon years before that left them hiking dozen of miles over a mountain to find a village on account of a rental car stuck in the snow. There is no replacement for a father walking his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. Especially a father who was clearly so instrumental and inspirational to his daughter. However, I am sure Colette’s father who passed away not too long ago would have taken even more delighted than me in seeing these two on their way to the ceremony.
The natural quietness of the forest gave way to a New Orleans band’s tunes. There below us was everyone sitting and ready. Andrew could not have looked more delighted to see Colette. They just beamed at each other. There were tears, laughter, readings, music. All of this finished with the most enthusiastic kiss.
The guests were treated to the most enjoyable cocktail hour. Delectable food, dancing to live music. Colette and Andrew took a moment to themselves before joining. So began an evening of stories that expressed love, happenstance, support and joy. Surrounded by them on the walls were Colette’s father’s art pieces.
Colette and Andrew. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Ceremony | Ampitheatre in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park . Reception and Catering | Big Sur Bakery . Getting Ready | Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn . Suit | Pendleton . Dress | Antique early 1900′s Irish crochet lace dress from Shadows Bridal in San Anselmo . Flowers | Colette’s friend Tori at Madrona in Oakland . Cake | Patisserie Bechler in Forest Grove . Band | Toot Sweet Jazz Band . Make-up | Colette . Hairstylist | Colette and her friend Linda . Videographer | Colette’s brother Nick
Thank you so much to my kind, wonderful, thoughtful, and really really ridiculously good looking fiancé, Sam, for photographing Colette and Andrew’s wedding by my side.