Mountain Elopement | Idyllwild, CA
A lifelong friend of mine said her vows in front of close family and friends, tucked under thousand-year-old pine trees with the only other surrounding sounds of a gently flowing creek and birds chirping in the distance. On a day that could not have gone more perfect, the energy and group of people that were in attendance supported the love these two so deeply shared. From the details prepared for the reception dinner to the romantic first look in front of the cabin doors, we are blown away by how inspiring their wedding was. Hope you enjoy the photos, and make sure to read the Q&A at the bottom!
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: Early on we knew that we wanted to get married in the woods. We love the outdoors and growing up both our families enjoyed camping and exploring nature. We weighed the pros and cons of doing the wedding large, medium or small but we kept coming back to the idea of a simple, small, family oriented wedding that focused on the people closes to us. We found a beautiful log cabin with a large backyard right in the heart of the woods. We had all of our friends and family stay in that cabin or near by cabins so we could all spend time with each other, which was exactly what we wanted for the weekend. We wanted to keep the theme very organic with the surroundings around us, so we did deep maroon and navy tones with lots of greenery. Lots of our decor was wooden to keep in line with the forest theme and we accented with gold... because gold is awesome!
Q: Let's talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: Working in the wedding industry myself and doing wedding coordinating for a while - one of my passions has always been event design. I designed the wedding invitations and designed everything for the event from start to finish. Since we did a small wedding we wanted to do things very "smart" so we actually purchased dishes and appetizer decorum that we will use later in our own home. But by far the most impressive personalization we did was the two large tables made of white oak with steel hair pin legs. These tables, and the material were given and built with love by us and our family members who came together to make the centerpiece for our wedding reception that much more special.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: Florals were extremely important to our wedding design. Since we did our wedding in the mountains we didn't need to do much to our ceremony spot as it was already stunning, we just added a large floral wreath to frame out our "alter". We wanted the inside of our cabin to still have that natural, mountain feel so we had greenery running down the table. One of the best part of doing a smaller wedding/bridal party is my bouquet got to be epic and full all my favorite flowers!
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: My husband and his brother make their own beer and in the spirit of DIY they made a pilsner and a red ale for the reception. It helped cut on costs and was delicious, win win! All the highlights of our day were spending quality time with our friends, family and each other. The first look and first dance were extremely emotional and special to us. The first look was so powerful and was great to calm nerves, and the first dance was a great way to just hang out in each others arms after becoming married people!
Q: Let's talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: My dress ended up being the easiest part of wedding planning (first one I tried on!). I have been in the wedding industry for a while so I was very aware of all the wedding dresses and styles. BHLDN just always spoke to my style as a bride. I actually wanted to base my dress off of my grandmothers dress which had a fitted lace top and a full tool bottom. My dress, although not exactly the same, was similar, which made me feel connected to her during our day. My dress was pretty formal on its own, so I knew I could do more casual accessories to make the style feel more like me, I did a layer necklace that also had a long back piece to accent the lower back of my dress. I also did just a very simple gold chain belt and wore some simple nude chunky heels for the ceremony then quickly changed into my boots, which stayed on the rest of the event. Brian purchased a suit jacket and pants from friar tux. We ended up actually just using one of his favorite button downs to go underneath and found his shoes at Nordstroms Rack as a total last minute add-on that ended up really putting together the look. I purchased personalized cufflinks for him and a wooden tie clip.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: We meet through a mutual friend at a get together. We hit it off right away, but ended up staying friends for about 6 months before we realized we wanted to be a couple. We did the first year long distance as I was finishing college (it really sucked but we had a lot of fun visiting each other and exploring new places on school breaks). Then we moved in together after college and around two and half years of dating Brian proposed to me in Yosemite on one of our camping trips. I totally guessed he was going to propose to me on this trip, he is really bad at keeping a straight face, and he invited my best friend who also is a photographer and the one who ended up photographing our wedding. So I knew something was up! But it was sweet and I have never seen him more nervous then he was kneeling in front of El Capitan asking me to marry him.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: 100% the ceremony. We had one of our closest friends officiate the wedding and it was very important to us to write our own vows. They each ended up being like 10 minutes each ..oops! but so worth it! Just being in the moment, surround by the closest 18 people to us was so special and we wish we could re-live it all the time.
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: If you decide to do a small wedding just understand that you will receive some push back. One of the mistakes we made early on was being wishy washy about what type of wedding we wanted so people assumed we would do a large wedding. Once you make your choice don't be apologetic about it. It is your day and you get to express it however you feel necessary! We don't regret one second of our day ad that is because we did it so authentically to who were are. Also, for anyone who has a partner who is "event planning challenged" like my husband. Giving them small tasks to do throughout the process (making the music list, calling the catering to confirm everything, and keeping an up to date budget) made him feel included and help take some of the burden off of me. And last, but not least, don't sweat the little things. Even doing small wedding things still didn't go exactly to plan. For example, I had purchased an awesome faux fur shall I was dying to wear in photos and totally spaced on the day of and didn't even remember it was sitting in my luggage till the day after. I look back and am so happy that we were enjoying our day so much that little things like that didn't even come to mind. Enjoy the day, live in the moment because it goes by soooo fast!