Santa Cruz Cowell Ranch Hay Barn Wedding | Crystal & Erin

October 13, 2020 Real Weddings

Two amazing women getting married during Pride month. So many beautiful stories of love, forgiveness, and acceptance - I was literally in tears. Still, I'm so grateful to have witnessed and learned so much about love. Love is love.

Crystal was surrounded by her close friends while getting ready. I fell in love with her delicate lace dress. She looked like a real-life princess.

Plus size bride getting into her beautiful lace dress.
Plus size delicate lace wedding dress detail
Plus size bride getting into wedding dress.
plus size bride back of her lace wedding dress

Even during their engagement shoot, Erin wanted to include their dogs. I was not surprised that she found a way to include them in the wedding. I loved her doggy bow tie and socks. She even had pictures of all of their pets - past, and present, at the wedding. 

Lesbian bride getting ready for her wedding
Detail of wedding bow tie with dog print
Lesbian getting ready for her wedding in suit and a bow tie
Lesbian having a laugh while putting on bow tie for wedding.

Like every other part of their wedding, their ceremony was special. The look on Erin's face as Crystal walked down the aisle with their son and daughter was one of the most emotional I have seen. They are a wonderful family with so much love!  

Lesbian wedding waiting for bride to walk down the aisle
plus size bride walking down the aisle with her kids.
Bride being walked down the aisle at her wedding ceremony by her children

These ladies have so many wonderful and talented friends, one of them played the music for their ceremony. Crystal's mother officiated the wedding ceremony. Another special touch was the photograph of Crystal's Dad on a seat in the front row. 

Queer wedding ceremony with one bride in a beautiful gown and the other bride in a suit
Lesbian bride staring at her beautiful bride.
Two brides have their first kiss at their LGBTQ wedding ceremony
Bride and Bride walking out of the ceremony with their kids

With both the Cowell Ranch Property's rich history and the picturesque views of Monterey Bay, we didn't have to venture very far for portraits. We stuck to the beautiful barn and the adjacent fields of the organic farm, the oldest in the country.

Lesbian brides celebrating that they just tied the knot
Plus size lesbian brides staring into each others eyes with beautiful lighting.
Lesbian brides sharing a kiss outside the barn
Plus size bride in beautiful lace wedding gown with bouquet.
Close up of pastel color bouquet being held by the bride.

If you ever get to meet Crystal and Erin, you will not be surprised that they have a big support group of family and friends. When I arrived early at the venue, an army of people busy unloading goods from the rental van and setting up string lights. There was also a room full of ladies working on flowers. There was a lot of DIY going on! I was blown away by their work when I came back later. They transformed the barn into a magical wedding reception venue in a matter of hours. 

Pastel colored roses on the reception tails inside the barn.
place setting with rosemary stalk
Detail of rustic flower decor inside the Cowell Hay Barn.
Table and chairs neatly lined up inside the Henry Cowell Hay Barn for a rustic wedding reception with string lights.

As I said, this wedding taught me a lot about love. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to hear Crystal & Erin's beautiful story. When Erin came out to her southern family as LGBTQ, it went like many others have, and she ended up not speaking to them for a while. But their story had a beautiful ending with love acceptance. Now they were all here celebrating their love, in pride month, together! I was crying like a baby behind my camera.

Bride wiping the tear off her brides cheek
Sister of the bride giving an emotional speach.
Mother of the bride hugging the newly weds
Brides raising a glass during the toasts.

How gorgeous is this wedding cake?! I love the trend of using real flowers on wedding cakes. This one is so colorful!

Wedding cake decorated with real flower in purples, yellows, and pinks.
Detail of the real flowers decorating the wedding cake.
Bride and bride cutting the wedding cake
Lesbian couple feeding each other wedding cake.

There is nothing like a live band at a reception, and Coffee Zombie Collective was awesome. There was a whole lot of dancing! Crystal and Erin dancing with their kids was so sweet. My favorite was probably Erin and her dad dancing together. Seeing the love between those two was special.

Live band playing at the wedding reception called Coffee Zombie Collective.
Bride and Bride dancing at wedding reception
Lesbian brides dancing at their wedding reception.
Lesbian Brides having their first dance at their wedding reception.
Bride dancing with her daughter at her wedding reception.
Lesbian bride in a suit dancing with her dad at her wedding reception.
Lesbian brides looking out at their guests dancing at their wedding reception.

“My partner and I feel so very lucky to have found the Picturist to document our wedding. We interviewed quite a few photographers and honestly we didn't feel like we found a match until we met Danieka. There were folks that were supposedly well know and sought after but we didn't get a genuine or caring vibe from them. Danieka was responsive, thoughtful and just plain enjoyable to connect with from the beginning. Her photos are honest, full of emotion and truly capture the moment.”