I met Andrew through our local church and was thrilled when he and Samantha asked me to photograph their backyard wedding at Samantha's parents' home in Santa Cruz. When I first met Samantha at their engagement shoot, I just knew she and Andrew were meant to be.
It was wonderful seeing Samantha getting ready for her wedding day, surrounded by family pictures on the walls and so many other memorabilia in her childhood home. She and her best friend were hanging out doing hair and makeup and chatting away. It felt so casual and relaxed.
One of my favorite moments was when Samantha knelt next to their family golden retriever and explained that she would be the dog of honor today. She received a beautiful lace bandana that replaced her color for the day and seemed thrilled about the whole affair.
Meanwhile, out in the driveway in a gorgeous old airstream trailer, Andrew was also getting ready. Being over 6 ft, it was almost comical seeing this tall man getting prepared in such a small space. He also chose to wear a traditional kilt, which looked good on him. With a bit of help from his soon-to-be father-in-law, he was ready.
The couple chose to say their vows underneath the old tree Sam used to climb as a child. With just over a dozen guests, it was a wonderfully intimate ceremony, performed by Andrew's brother-law. It was beautiful. Yet, after their first kiss, you could not tell from the cheers that erupted that there were only a dozen guests or so; it seemed more like a hundred! All their closest family and friends here in this not only beautiful but meaningful place on what seemed like a perfect summer day in Santa Cruz.
We choose to go down to New Brighton State Park beach for some portraits. This is a beach I go to all the time with my family. While there is a beautiful camping ground, it never seems to get as overrun with tourists as the other beaches in Santa Cruz. The light on top of the cliffs was magical. Sam looked like an angel in a pre-renaissance painting as the sun shone on her. All the warm colors in the trees behind them seemed to match her bouquet.
We headed down to the beach just before the sun began setting behind the cliffs. We had to keep running up the beach to keep up with the setting sun, but we had a blast doing so! Sam and Andrew are both super playful, and this indeed was one of the most fun portrait sessions ever!
When we had gotten back to her parent's backyard, all the candles had been lit. The table was made by Andrew and his father-in-law, especially for the occasion. Samantha had rummage goodwills all around Santa Cruz County for colorful and unique glassware, while her mother had helped arrange the flowers. It was hard to believe that this was all DIY and not some styled shoot set up for a magazine.
The bonus was that there was a place at the table for me with my name on it. ❤️
Thank you, Andrew and Samantha, for letting me be a part of your most special day. It is one that I will never forget!