You only come across people like Brittany and Jared rarely in life; those individuals who decide to change things, decide to pack up a life they know and go on a real, honest to God, adventure. When they first told me their story, it hit my in the heart. It’s a hard thing to do to change things up, to quit something, to go for something new and choosing to actually go for it, is possibly the hardest step. After deciding to break free from the life they were living in Virginia, “making just enough money to pay for food to eat and gas to get to work” they quit their jobs, packed up Brittany’s car and the next day, drove away into the distance headed West.
These two set out to explore and experience, heading as far West as they could with just under $1000 between them. After Jared asked Brittany to elope, they tied the knot along the way in Santa Fe at the magistrate and Brittany explains “it was like we were finally free to make whatever life we wanted. We didn’t have to go back. It felt crazy, but at the same time it made more sense to me than anything else. We were finally free.”
After a long and beautiful story, they finally made it to the Oregon Coast together settling in Bandon where they found jobs working at the Lake Bradley Christian Camp. Shortly after, I was put into contact with these two via Jared’s brother Josh when I was looking for couples in the Pacific Northwest, and after realizing they didn’t have much as far as actually wedding photographs went, we put plans into motion to provide an experience that might compliment their wedding day at the magistrate. Along with an absolutely amazing team of creatives (A & B Creative styling, Twigss Floral and Nikol Elaine with hair and make-up) we all traveled to Northern California near the heart of the redwoods to capture and create that sense of adventure that these two seemed to live and breathe.
To help give this inspiring couple an even further emotional connection to their California elopement session, they wrote personal letters (which were then beautifully hand-written by Mon Voir) to each other and on the edge of a cliff, and with the Pacific Ocean below, in the whirling wind they exchanged vows and promises to each other that they’ll keep for the next 80 years. There’s something so real and powerful about that, and being able to stand with them and capture it was surely one of the highlights of my experiences as a photographer thus far.
Beyond their cliffside vows, we also headed deep into the ancient redwood forest nearby, and the setting along with this sweet couple took my breath away. The truly beautiful wedding gown by Sarah Seven and vintage motorcycle owned by Stefan and Becky Fisher added a sense of whimsey to the entire experience – I was half tempted to hop on and ride off with them!
More to come from our time with Brittany and Jared on the foggy black sand beaches of the Lost Coast!
An undeniably huge thank you to the phenomenal team that came together to make this California elopement session possible:
Styling/Design: Rebekah at A&B Creative
Floral: Addison at Twigss Floral Design
Hair & Makeup: Nikol Elaine
Dress: Sarah Seven
Calligraphy: Jenna at Mon Voir
Motorcycle: Stefan and Becky Fisher
Couple: Brittany & Jared Etheridge
Photography: Perry Vaile Photography
Redwood elopement, redwood portraits, California elopement session, Perry Vaile Photography, A&B Creative design and styling, Twigss Floral Design, Nikol Elaine makeup, Nikol Elaine hair, Sarah Seven dress, Mon Voir calligraphy,