Winter forest wedding in Santa Cruz | Megan & Carl

November 3, 2022 Real Weddings

Now that I’m blogging again, I need to catch up on all the fantastic stories I haven’t shared yet. Which better one to start with than Megan & Carl? Megan wrote this in her review “She promised to tell a story, and to me, it’s the best story ever written.” I  feel butterflies in my stomach when clients say such beautiful things about my work. I blush when I read that line still. But sincerely, thank you, Megan & Carl. 

Megan & Carl brought their friends & family from all over the United States to the redwood forest of the small town of Santa Cruz. Inside a cozy wooden cabin in the middle of winter, everyone came together to celebrate this beautiful family and feast on BBQ.🤤

There is something special, almost magical, about first looks in the redwood forest.

Their ceremony happened in the beautiful Fairy circle of this redwood grove. With the San Lorenzo river roaring in the background. A unique and breathtaking setting for this truly unique breathtaking ceremony. "Picture a boho backyard wedding with eucalyptus and lace." That's how Megan described the decor. The venue was a decoration on its own. The arch, handcrafted by their sister, was covered with big eucalyptus leaves, delicate baby’s breath with pops of color from the peonies, and dusty, maroon roses.

Carl came walking into the ceremony to The Next Episode Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg in his white converse sneakers. But I must say to me; Addy stole the show in her gorgeous dress and sparkly pink converse sneakers! She was as cut as can be. It seemed like a little fairy was flying out of the forest for a few minutes. And Megan, oh, she was a vision. I loved her winter lace wedding gown, and Boho forest look!

Carl's sister did a great job officiating the ceremony. There is something so special about ceremonies done by someone close to the couple. Deeply meaningful and beautiful, just like the setting itself.  It was magical. It can’t help but be with a name like a “fairy circle.”

With Addy coming to stand with and join her mom and dad, it was some of the most beautiful moments I’ve been lucky enough to witness. Holding both her parent's hands as they have their first kiss. Then Mom, Dad, and Daughter all together celebrate the joyous occasions! It was one of those happy moments that feels contagious. Everyone was happy!

We were off into the muddy forest to check out the magnificent river that was flowing with clear mountain water was something to behold. With the droughts in California, this river is often dried out, especially during summertime. But this Santa Cruz had had some good rain, and the river was a sight to behold. 

We made our way back into the forest just in time to catch the most magical sunset light. This was a golden hour! It was such an honor to photograph this gorgeous couple and document their beautiful story in this beautiful and unique location.

Winter in the forest means mud, and boy, were we planning on treading in some. Megan came up with the fantastic idea of getting her and Carl both white converse sneakers. She wrote their wedding date on one side and Mrs. & Mr. on it on the other side in sharpie. This made for a great keepsake, all be it a muddy keepsake.

Cocktail hour was spent hanging out on the cabin's deck with the most beautiful view of the forest and sunset. And when Megan asked me during the cocktail hour if we could take photos inside a bathtub, I said let’s go! Thanks, Carl turner, for playing along with our idea. These were so fun and are some of my favorites! The two of you goofing off in this outside bathtub with the windows behind you reflecting the sunset color in the sky!

After the fabulous sunset on the outdoor deck, it was time to go indoors as the winter nights can get freezing! But inside, the cabin was cozy and warm with a roaring fireplace and a true feast prepared; BBQ brisket and BBQ Chicken thighs with braised collard greens, baked beans, roasted delicata squash with pomegranates, and homemade cornbread. The food was excellent! One of the perks of being a wedding photographer is the excellent food I eat almost weekly, all thanks to my amazing clients.

We ended the evening of laughter and conversations with Megan in her stylish jean jacket (I’m a jean jacket lover myself!)  full, on smashing cake in Carl's face! 😂 Her face was so hilarious! The cake, by the way, came from the fantastic @milkbar in New York. You can order they're amazing cake online. This cake was the best cake I have had in my life!

It is a fantastic honor to be entrusted by such wonderful people to tell their stories. Megan & Carl, your story is beautiful; thank you for reminding me what photography is all about. It’s about telling a story.

Venue: The Ferreira Property in Soquel, CA

Photography: Picturist Photography

Rentals: M&M Party Rentals

DJ & Event Planning: Turner Events