What in the world is more romantic that your hubby finding driftwood on a beach during a surf trip, lugging it a couple miles through the sand and then constructing a beautiful altar out of it for your wedding day? We can’t think of much, but their wedding was right up there on the romance scale. El Capitan Canyon created the perfect outdoor oasis for this couple’s celebration to unfold allowing Bluephoto Photography to fill the the full gallery to the brim with all the romantic prettiness!

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From the Bride… Chris and I were married October 29, 2011 at El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara, California. From the moment we started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to plan a day that would symbolize not only who we are as a couple but also who we are as individuals. We both share a love for the arts, world culture, travel, the outdoors and an active lifestyle. While we met about ten years ago as two baristas working in a small coffee shop in my hometown of Seal Beach, California, our current professions have taken us far from our espresso tamping days. Today, Chris is a firefighter for Bakersfield Fire Department and I recently transitioned from teaching to a career in fashion marketing.

El Capitan Canyon is a private camping resort — a little hidden gem — tucked away off the 101 Hwy just north of Santa Barbara. In addition to vintage decor and several DIY touches, we incorporated seasonal touches such as white pumpkins, a candy bar (grown-up trick or treat), hay bales and corn husks. The color palette coordinated soft muted dusty tones with the natural hues of our outdoor venue. More than thinking about how our wedding would represent us, we wanted to create a unique experience for our guests. All of our guests were invited to stay the weekend and book a cabin or tent-cabin and come together in a shared experience that they would never forget.

My step-father was ordained for the day to marry us. Chris and his brother and best man, Nick, found some driftwood on the beach during a surf trip in Ventura. They dragged the hefty logs across a couple of miles in sand before loading them to take home and craft into our altar. At the reception, in lieu of a guestbook we had a custom surfboard made and designed our own logo which was added to the board. Guests signed their wishes to the board as they entered the reception. The wooden board stand was made by Chris’ brother and best man, Nick. A mini-chalkboard etched with “Home is Wherever I’m Alone with You” instructed guests where to sign. The lyric alluded to the song “Home” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros which played while Chris and I made our first entrance as husband and wife. Besides the obvious, the song noted a special significance to us because not only were we planning a wedding in 2011 but we were also searching for our first home together. We closed escrow the day after our wedding.  

When the sun set, the bonfire was lit and guests helped themselves to “S’more Love”. Our s’more station was a hit! For our sunset pictures, we headed to the State Beach across the street and took a few moments to soak it all in as our photographer captured some of our first candid moments as husband and wife.

Wedding Photography: Bluephoto Photography / Wedding Venue + Catering: El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara, California / Wedding Coordination: Sarah Hames of Rhone Weddings / Bouquet: Toast Events & Design Studio / Centerpiece + Cake Flowers: Steve’s Valencia Florist / Officiant: The Bride’s Step-Father / Wedding Cake + Cupcakes: Crushcakes / DJ: Danny of Elite Disc Jockeys / Custom Surf Board for Guest Sign-In: Paragon Surfboards / Surfboard Stand: LK Design Works / Vintage Windows, Plates, Silverware + Mason jar Rentals: Rhone Weddings / Picture Frames + Candy Jars: Home Goods / DIY Supplies: Joann, Michael’s + Home Depot / Wedding Dress: Watters via Lili Bridals / Bride’s Shoes: Pour la Victoire / Bride’s Earrings: Nordstrom Wedding Suite /  Hair: Natalie Irwin, A Bridesmaid / Makeup: Luna Bella Makeup and Hair / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

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