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Overland Elopements

Ryan & Emma: California Redwoods & Oregon Coast Elopement with Family

September 5, 2022

Hi! We're Anna and Trevor.

We're big into hammocks, dim sum, and road trips.

We're a fun (and maybe a little dorky) couple of elopement photographers, traveling all over the country to help people get married in the most beautiful places mother nature has to offer.

We thrive with cameras in hand, and nothing resonates with us more than the intimacy & freedom of an elopement. We get that big events and old school traditions aren't for everyone, and that's totally cool! We're all about embracing our uniqueness and throwing tradition out the window.

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Ryan & Emma’s Redwoods and Oregon Coast Elopement

When we met up with Ryan and Emma at the trailhead near the ceremony site, we immediately knew they were our people. It certainly helped that we saw a bit of ourselves in them when they pulled up in their Cabana rental camper van, exactly the same as the one we rented a year prior. This was not the first day of their adventure either, as they had already spent a few days driving down the coast from Seattle! Their enthusiasm for the lush coastal forest scenery that we found ourselves in was infectious, which would become something of a theme throughout the day. Their immediate family flew out west to join them in the festivities, so we started the day with a ceremony in a quiet, shaded grove.

After a brief ceremony with all their siblings and parents present, Ryan and Emma split off from their families for a couple hours of quiet exploring amongst the redwoods. Emma spends her days as a biologist, studying bats and the rest of the natural world. So when presented with the opportunity to hike amongst some of the biggest freakin’ trees in the world? Yeah, that was not going to be missed. This quick hike through the dreamlike redwood grove, surrounded by lush ferns and dotted with gigantic fallen trees in varying states of decay, also presented a great opportunity for us to nerd out with both Ryan and Emma about the incredible place we found ourselves in. We chatted about our collective love for the trees that have been completely overtaken top to bottom with vibrant green moss (a uniquely PNW attraction), and the fire resistant spongy bark that the giant coastal redwoods have evolved over time to have. We were able to witness evidence of the cycle of the forest on full display, with some trees marked with the black scars of ancient wildfires, and still carrying on in spite of it. There’s something so special about being in a forest that has survived the test of time for centuries through fires, through droughts, and everything else that the harsh hand of mother nature has thrown at it for millenia. The forest was quieter than usual that day, so Ryan and Emma ran ahead, using the fallen trees and hollowed out stumps as their own private wedding day playground.

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And when the time came to move on to our next adventure, we all hurried back down the trail to our vans for the drive north to Oregon. Along the way the coastal fog that had been with us all day disappeared and left nothing behind but clear blue skies and the promise of a truly epic sunset on the coast. Flower farms with huge fields of white lilies in full bloom lined the road, and we considered ourselves lucky to be here to witness it because they were not on full display like that when we had visited just a couple weeks prior.

After passing through Brookings (one of our all time favorite beach towns) we arrived at the perfect little slice of oceanfront heaven Ryan and Emma had chosen to spend the rest of their elopement day. Their families were waiting there with pizza in hand, which is maybe the best way to greet a person if you ask us, and together we enjoyed an amazing beachfront picnic of pizza and all the other summer picnic essentials. After an enthusiastic champagne toast, we all made our way down to the beach to throw a football around and a game that resembled baseball but with some unique twists to the rules to account for the *non regulation* field. Honestly, props to everyone involved but especially Emma. Neither one of us has ever seen a bride move so quickly and with such agility in a wedding dress! Easily our vote for Beach Games MVP.

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The sun was getting low by now and the light was getting oh so good, so we asked if the two of them would be game to climb one of the big rocks that dotted the waterline. Sure enough, our MVP Emma, always down to climb on a fallen log or coastal rock formation, was up there in a heartbeat with Ryan right alongside before we could even get in position for the shot.

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From there we took a walk to a private corner at the far end of the beach. It was a private little cove with gentle waves and tide pools. On the way, Ryans initial reluctance to get his wedding shoes wet quickly vanished after the first waves caught him out, and the two of them took turns leading the other through the glass like waves along the water’s edge. The evening light was absolutely magical to see on the wide flat beaches that this part of Oregon is known for, trapping the water on the sand and creating a perfect mirror-like finish on the shoreline.

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These are the moment’s that we love more than anything else on the Oregon coast. Here we were, the 4 of us, with the beach all to ourselves, tucked away in our own little paradise, the golden light peeking in and out between the sea stacks as we walked. The Oregon coast just has that special “It” factor that’s hard to describe unless you’ve been there. The beach we ventured to that day holds a special place in our hearts (in fact we celebrated Anna’s birthday there just a couple weeks prior) but there are countless other hidden gems to be found along every beach and roadside turnout along the 101. We’ve spent full weeks along the Oregon coast exploring and discovering what treasures it holds, and we still know we’ve hardly scratched the surface. 

Ryan and Emma’s day was absolute magic from start to finish, and if their day in Redwoods National Park and on the Oregon coast has you feeling inspired, reach out and chat with us about how we can make a stunning costal adventure happen for you and your person as well.

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