San Juan Island, Washington Elopement - Caitlin & Brian
This San Juan Island, Washington elopement was everything Caitlin & Brian had been dreaming of since they were little kids. It was stress free, all about them, and the people they truly care about. Their beautiful weekend started off with a ferry ride from Seattle to Friday Harbor of San Juan Islands, WA. Before this I had never been on a ferry. Whale sightings are fairly common on ferry rides, so I was scouting for them, but sadly I didn’t come across any like I had hoped. But, the crisp ocean air flowing across my midwesterner skin was so refreshing and much needed. The first night on the island Caitlin, Brian, their two best friends, and I went location scouting to find the perfect location to take their bridal portraits the next day. We planned to go to Lime Kiln State Park to check out the lighthouse because we knew that spot would be gorgeous, but it turned out even more beautiful than we could have hoped! Not only was the lighthouse a stunning location, little did we know, the sky put on such an amazing show that evening! We weren’t expecting much since right before Caitlin snd Brian’s San Juan Island elopement Washington state and California had some pretty large fires, and the smoke carried over towards the islands, making it so we could not see the mountains as well as you could if there wasn’t smoke. Thankfully, the sheen layer of smoke made for a pretty unbelievable sunset. The next day started off slow. Breakfast was a group effort, made by their closest family members. Coffee was sipped on the porch of their cabin while listening to the birds sing, and the lake water wash up onto the sand. When it was time to get ready, Caitlin and Brian went their separate ways. Caitlin got ready with her mom, soon to be mother in law, and her two sisters. Laughs were shared, and tears were shed, but after Caitlin put on her dress it was time to start the festivities. We started off slow with their first look in the most magical secluded pine forest. Then when they were done gushing over each other (ew, I love, love), we gathered their family members and walked to their ceremony location next to the cutest little pond. Caitlin and Brian did something a little different during their ceremony. They had their family members create a circle around them (pictured below), and I thought that was such a special way to celebrate and have everyone equally involved! Caitlin’s sister was the ceremony officiant, and after exchanging vows she ended with a sage cleanse. What is a Sage cleanse you may ask? Burning sage (aka, “smudging” or “sage-ing”) is a ritual used to “cleanse” a space or environment from negative energy, generate wisdom and clarity, and promote healing. How fun is that?! Soon after the ceremony was over, we split ways and as their family went to the restaurant to get a table, we went to Lime Kiln State Park just in time for sunset photos! We ran around on treacherous rocks chasing the sun until every last bit of it was used up. They were literally on cloud nine the whole time, not worrying about cake cutting, first dances, or catering 200 people. It was spent exactly how they wanted it, celebrating them and their love, and we got some pretty phenomenal shots too.