Sam and Tony celebrated their wedding with family and friends at Marine Park and the Bellingham Ferry Terminal. Shortly after photographing their engagement portraits at Larrabee, Sam and Tony let me know that they eloped, and that the plan was still set to celebrate in May. We always encourage our couples to get married in whatever way feels fun to them, and to set aside the traditions that don't. This wedding was the perfect example of why that's so important. They spent their entire day laughing, dancing, and having a blast with people they love, without a single sign of stress or worries. They're effortlessly happy together, and it's been such a joy to get to know them. Here's a collection of some of my favorites, and I hope you can feel the love!
Frankie & Maude is a small wedding dress studio in Bellingham, WA, run by mother/daughter team Kathleen and Meghann. Together, they design and create their own beautiful collections of dresses, as well as custom orders. So many decisions go into planning a wedding, and there's something really special and reassuring about knowing exactly who's making your wedding dress. If you're engaged and live in the Bellingham area, I highly recommend making an appointment, bringing a few friends, and talking with Kathleen and Meghann about your dress. (If you have time, tea and scones at Abbey Tea Garden is a must!) I visited their studio to select a wedding dress for myself, and fell in love with three of their designs. We combined elements of each, selected fabrics and ribbon, and they had me pop back in for a couple quick fittings to make sure it was just right. Kathleen and Meghann made the entire process special, lighthearted, fun, and easy, and it's clear they're both really passionate about what they do. If you're looking for a high quality custom wedding dress, made by two talented local women, I highly recommend Frankie & Maude!
When I began searching for a florist for our own wedding, the process felt a bit overwhelming. There are so many talented and beautiful farms and florists in the Bellingham area, and I'm so glad I stumbled upon Free Range Flowers. I emailed with Celeste and told her about the colors and feeling I hoped for, and I knew right away she would be the perfect fit for our wedding! Celeste and I worked together to come up with a mood board and a good estimate of how many flowers my bridesmaids and I would need for our DIY bouquets and table decor. When we arrived to pick them up the day before our wedding, I couldn't believe how many flowers and stems of greenery she had lovingly tucked into the buckets. Celeste pours her heart into her flower fields, and she's an absolute joy to work with. I couldn't recommend her more!
I also had the pleasure of visiting her farm throughout the seasons, to photograph the ever-changing colors and varieties she offers. I'm so excited to finally share these with you all!
Last summer I had a very special opportunity to document Brian and Anni's birth photography. They wanted someone they could trust, who would focus on the love and connections of all the people bringing Eliana into this world. They wanted photos of their joy, their happy tears, and photos of them being there for each other. I had never been present for a birth, let alone photographed one, but Brian and Anni trusted me to give it a try, and I'm so glad they did! Little Eliana took her time, and when she finally arrived, there were so many big emotions in the room. Everyone cried, myself included, and to put it simply: it was amazing.
I'm a big fan of getting married in whatever way makes you happy. David and Aubrey eloped in Iceland and then hosted a reception for friends and family back in Seattle. Aubrey loves to cook, so she and her friends catered on their own, and they created some of the most beautiful wedding food I've ever seen. Another friend brought flowers, and the family barbershop quartet surprised them with a few songs. They shared hugs, toasts, and laughter, and had me join them for two hours of photography. I love tiny weddings and hope to do many more of these in the future!
Right now my family sessions have been limited to wedding clients and close friends, but I'm opening these up to everyone this March through May! I had so much fun photographing the Appel family (all 17 of them!) and squeezing in lots of couple portraits and candids! Everyone was in town for a wedding but wanted photos together without the timelines or fancy outfits. And I'm so happy they did!
To celebrate Elyssa & Curtis's engagement, we traveled around Bellingham for a three-part engagement session. We started at Baby Greens downtown and then dashed into Lafeen's Donuts as the temperatures dropped and the rain started to fall. Lafeen's has the best donuts in town, perfect for a date with a special someone. If you're looking for a fun dessert option at your wedding, Lafeen's does large orders, too! We picked up 10 boxes for our own wedding and let's just say there weren't any leftovers. :)
Madison wanted a winter mountain shoot, and that's exactly what we gave her! If these two look familiar, it's because I've had the joy of photographing them four times over the past few years for their engagement, wedding, and first wedding anniversary. They've told me a dozen times now how much they value photography, and it really shows. They treat each session like a date and embrace whatever I throw their way. I'm so thankful that photography brought them into my life, and I look forward to many years of friendship and memories together!
Ready for something a little different? Elyssa is one of my very best friends, and she and Curtis decided to have a small elopement along Nooksack River. We finished beading her dress the night before, spent the morning getting ready together, and drove out toward Mount Baker! Their first look was beautiful and so sweet. Not only was it Curtis's first time seeing Elyssa that day, but it was his first time seeing the dress that she had put months of time and love into. I love the way she included pieces of family history in her lace, beads, and jewelry.
And as soon as the ceremony began, I swapped out my camera for Elyssa's bouquet, and my talented friend Kestrel Bailey took over as a second shooter so I could be present in the moments. Kestrel and I met through our work in non-profits years ago and spent each of my volunteer shifts talking about our shared love of photography. Elyssa and I knew we could trust her to document the ceremony beautifully. (Thank you, Kestrel!) We laughed, shivered, and shared hot cocoa, and I have to say—it was one of the most fun, light-hearted, people-focused weddings I've ever been a part of. No decorations, no setup, just a well-scouted location that served as the perfect setting to say "I do" in front of their closest friends.
Hair by Crowns of Gold Styling
After photographing the Appel family last summer, Nicole and Richard reached out and asked if I would also photograph their upcoming elopement on the family farm. Yes! This was the smallest wedding I've ever been a part of, just Nicole, Richard, their daughters, and their parents, and it was so special. We took portraits along the river, played with their daughter in the backyard, and gathered under the twinkle lights for their ceremony. It was such an honor to be a part of their tiny elopement, and know that their siblings, friends, and extended family would later get to be a part of the moments through my photos.
Richard's sister Elizabeth (Beauty by Elizabeth Marie) and sister-in-law Erika (Crowns of Gold Styling) are my go-to hair and makeup artists, and they did a beautiful job getting Nicole ready for her day!