This Idyllwild woods elopement on our wedding blog today is unconventional, but every bit as beautiful as an extravagant affair. It’s simple and sweet and we love every second. We’ll keep it brief, because you must read the photographer’s take on the day, and the bride’s rendition of their love story – and enjoy all the stunning images of course! Here’s more pretty inspo from the forest too!
from New Love Photography …
We can now say we have photographed just every different type of wedding there could possibly be: from a ninety minute long traditional Catholic mass in the Immaculata at University of San Diego to a black tie at The Biltmore Santa Barbara, from a lawn ceremony at a winery with only thirteen guests and no formal reception to Rebecca and Zachary’s elopement-style wedding in the middle of the woods.
Idyllwild is a forest town halfway between our home in Orange County and Palm Springs. It resides is the San Bernarndino National Forest, a huge and hulking part of wild Southern California. Rebecca and Zachary made it very clear to us that they wanted their ceremony to be as authentic and unencumbered with stuffy tradition as possible. No bridal party. No parents. No chapel. Actually, it was obvious they were using the sanctity of the woods as their “chapel.” So on a Saturday morning, we found ourselves driving up steep and windy mountain roads, far away in the opposite direction of the beach, towards Idyllwild, California. On this day, we each brought a pair of hiking boots, because, to be honest, nobody knew yet where we were going to photograph the ceremony. Rebecca and Zachary were planning on just walking into the woods and picking a spot, on the spot, that just felt right. Good thing the officiant was on board, too!
They had rented a woodsy cabin not far from the ceremony “site” where they were getting ready with just two close friends. Following the ceremony, back at the cabin, they hosted just one wedding tradition: the cake cutting (of course, Rebecca made the rustic whole wheat cake herself). It was at this cabin we all started our adventure of Rebecca and Zachary’s (beautiful and heartfelt) elopement in the woods.
From the bride, Rebecca:
Zack and I actually went to the same school kindergarten to high school. Going to a small private school we knew a lot about each other and were actually arch enemies (he was a nerd and I was a mean girl) for quite sometime. It wasn’t until our junior year in high school when we started to take interest in each other and started dating. I was indeed Zack’s first kiss at the sweet age of 16. Ever since then we have ironically been inseparable.
About 7 years later, When it came time for us to make the leap into marriage we knew we weren’t a big wedding people. It was extremely important for us to have FUN without any distractions. I wanted this day to be about us and for us to be relaxed and feel spontaneous! We both agreed eloping would be 100% original and 100% us. When it came time for make decisions about the wedding everything went so smoothly and feel into place so well. I think our entire wedding budget came in under $2500. I literally grabbed the dress off the rack at Bloomingdales in my size and under $100! I knew we would be traipsing through the forest so I wanted a dress that I didn’t dump a whole bunch of money into where I would have to worry about it getting dirty, and something I could easily put on by myself. At the end of the night I had several pine cones and needles attached to the train. I loved the dress I wore. It was very glamorous for a forest wedding but I wanted something that wasn’t typic! al and expected, when I put it on I knew it felt right and comfortable. I didn’t plan on wearing my dr Martins under my dress until the day before when we had decided on the location of the ceremony, which was off the hiking trail in a lush sanctuary of pine trees on a carpet of leaves and dirt. It was still extremely fun and stress free! I even had a great time making my cake as well. I baked it before we left and assembled it the morning of my wedding. It was impossible to find someone to make my naked cake so I decided to do it on my own. My cake recipe Is also zacks all time favorite cake so I knew it was going to be worth it. I had an amazing florist who had a similar elopement as mine and was all aboard making my day as special as possible. I had told her my story and she had given me a ton of extra flowers that I could decorate the cake, cake table and cabin with.
All and all I couldn’t have been happier with the way things turned out and I wouldn’t have wanted to change a thing. I loved our simple little elopement because it is a lot like our love. Unadorned, uncomplicated, and unconventional.