Escape to a cliffside celebration via a gallery of images by Kurt Boomer? You don’t have to ask me twice. Because when you combine his talent, these views, and a Bride and Groom who couldn’t look more in love, the end result is magic. It’s the dream ending to a love story you have to read to believe (all in the Bride’s words below!) and meanwhile we’ll be waiting in The Vault.
From The Bride… Jason and I met years ago on a plane. I know it sounds so cliche to say, but it honestly felt like the universe wanted us to end up together. I’ll explain: we saw each other first on an East Coast flight headed towards the SF bay area. I thought he was cute standing a few aisles in front of me on the plane. A few hours later, the plane landed at SFO and we found ourselves walking the same direction out of the terminal. From there, we ended up being the only two people on the airport transporter (a rarity, considering what a zoo SFO can be on the weekends). We twiddled our thumbs and pretended not to notice how awkward this was that we were strangers that seemed to be following each other. When we reached the stop for the Bart ticketing station, we both got off and headed towards the platform. We were both too shy to say anything at this point, but when we both realized we were getting onto the same train to the East bay, it became too comical NOT to talk about.
At this point, I think Jason just shook his head, laughed and smiled as he held out his hand to shake mine. He and I talked the whole way to my stop in Rockridge, Oakland. We talked about art and how we were both artists exploring different mediums – him game design and lighting, me photography and writing. We found out through the tail end of our conversation that we actually lived in different states. Regardless, he invited me out to dinner that night to continue our conversation over Italian food, and I gleefully accepted.
Over a glass of wine and some lasagne, It became increasingly apparent that though our chemistry was insane, we were in entirely different places in our lives: I, was in college, he was steadily in his own new career in North Carolina where he lived. The timing just wasn’t right on paper. We adored each other, but I think we both thought our first date would be our last. However I know that somewhere inside of me, on a deeper level, knew that if we just let this thing run its course, the universe might be good to us somewhere down the line. Maybe fate would bring us together again when we were more in sync and ready for a relationship. Little did we know a the time, that’s exactly what would happen.
About 4 years later, I got this email from Jason out of the blue. I had almost forgotten we had exchanged contact info all those years ago. The email was somewhere along the lines of, “Hey, do you remember me from the train some time ago?” I laughed to my friends about how serendipitous this was; they knew my story about the romantic-train-encounter-mystery-man very well. I wrote back and the connection was just as special as it had been the first time we had met. The rest is history! From there, we would meet every weekend in either Seattle or San Francisco, he had moved to Seattle recently to take a job, and the plane ride was only 2 hours away.
When I graduated college, I was hungry for a new adventure. The trees and majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest felt like the perfect place to find myself – and with Jason there too, it was a win-win. Everything seemed to align perfectly when I moved to Seattle. We collaborated on creative projects together; I would help him write stories for games, and he would paint and illustrate them. When Jason proposed in December of 2013, I didn’t start planning right away, but I did have a specific feeling in mind for what I wanted the day to feel like: I wanted it to feel like “us” and the simplicity yet emotionally deep elements of our love. I wanted, and Jason did too, for our wedding to reflect everything we loved about both Washington and California. When we visited Big Sur for the first time, we felt almost a primal reaction to it: the towering trees, the lush colored landscape, the peaceful tranquility of being outdoors. We feel it perfectly represented us and the peace we feel together as best friends and life partners.
As far as the actual labor of planning went – I feel like I lucked out in some cosmic way on that front too. I created a mood board of small glimpses I liked – nothing literal, just textures and soft-focus pauses on beautiful details. I had contacted a few floral designers in the Carmel/Big Sur area to help me narrow down this vision and come up with flower choices, but there didn’t seem to be anyone that understood the emotion that I wanted the event to convey. Then, I came across the work of Christine Cater and her team.
There is a heart-stoppingly gorgeous image on Pinterest that I’m sure many brides have seen: It’s of a half-circle pampas grass arrangement with white and pink roses and a couple standing in the middle of this ethereal coastal scene. I followed a barrage of links to find out the floral designer involved in this, and come to find out, it was Christine Cater – who also works in the Carmel/Big Sur area. I reached out to her on a whim thinking she’d never have time for me with all of her world-building and all, and to my surprise she wrote back. Over the course of the next 4 months, she and I worked together to use a lot of what I already from my little shop and side-business ForesterCo on Etsy.
I used bits and pieces that reminded me of my childhood: real brass candlesticks, handmade vintage textile hangings, cake stands from the 50s. If I had any advice for other brides, it would be to use things you already have whether that’s vintage or handmade, and get creative with it. If you don’t already have vintage, search estate sales and thrift stores for unique pieces early on, so that when the time comes, you can sort through and narrow down a vision that’s uniquely-you.
I had a lot of favorite moments the day-of. There was a lot of emotion back and forth between Jason and I because after all those years between meeting, and finally finding each other again, It was honestly surreal. When he and I first met that day way-back-when, one of the random bits of information we bonded over on the train was our love for Arcade Fire. So walking down the aisle together to the Vitamin String Quartet version of “Wake Up” was so cool. It was like a dream I once had long ago for my life that came true. My Aunt Sally is the one who performed the ceremony, and that was another neat part as well. Jason and I aren’t religious at all, so we wrote the ceremony ourselves, but having someone to close to us who is part of our family speak those words and facilitate in binding our union together was very special.
From The Planner…From the moment we met it was evident that these two had their esthetics in the bag. Alexandra’s clean romantic modern touches throughout her wedding day added some pretty yummy eye candy. Point 16 is gorgeous with its ceremony perched high above the Pacific Ocean. A birch altar was created by the family where we hung strands of hand dyed yarn tassels to compliment the brides macrame wall hanging.
At the base we added wicker, ceramic and glass vessels filled with spring blooms, grasses and greenery. Jason and Alexandra stood on a rug that they own and now enjoy in their new home. The bouquet was inspired by our May brides love for the multi petalled peony. It took center stage amongst garden roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, astilbe, queen annes lace, magnolia and eucalyptus.
Jason’s boutonnière wrapped in taupe velvet had blush sweet peas, with the ‘shammy’ side of a magnolia leaf against his tweed suit. Gold and bronze elements were present throughout the wedding and we love to compliment these metals with foliage like magnolia. Bronze candlesticks were used along the single dining table centered with handmade green garlands.
In the end this wedding had our full attention on design and details as you can see by these images. Big Sur + Kurt Boomer + pretty flowers and details = a match made in heaven.
Photography: Kurt Boomer | Floral Design: Christine Cater | Wedding Dress: The Dress Theory | Bride's Shoes: BHLDN | Catering: A Big Sur Affair | Hair + Makeup: La Coiffure | Calligraphy: Melissa Lam | Groom's Attire: ASOS | Venue: Big Sur Point 16 | Bridal Boutique: The Dress Theory | Earrings: Avigail Adam | Geode Placecard Holders: BHLDN | Gold Dipped Feather Pen: Indrasideas | Hair Accessories: Twigs & Honey | Signage: The Paper Walrus | Tabletop: Alexis Party Rentals | Velvet Guest Book: BHLDN | Vintage Decor: ForesterCo