This simple Washington state wedding is a breath of fresh air on this lovely Wedding Wednesday. The serene, beach-inspired details are simple and chic with a natural beauty and quiet romance that radiates through Erich McVey Photography‘s stunning images. The decor is just as tranquil as the day that was filled with casual, summer fun and ended beneath the beautiful, setting Northwest sun. See it all in the full gallery!
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From Erich of Erich McVey Photography… Of all of the weddings I have shot, this is probably the least conventional. Many of the great details were in the uniqueness of the venue, the fun activities that took place and the wonderfully interesting guests. The whole wedding took place at Dunes Bible Camp, located directly on the beach in Ocean Park, Washington. The ceremony began early in the afternoon, followed by lunch, then out to the expansive grounds of the camp for “free-time.” During free-time, the guests (as well as the bride, groom, and bridal party) played football, frisbee golf, pickle-ball and basked in the summer sun. Everyone funneled back to the mess hall for the traditionals and some dancing, and when sunset came around, the 150 guests made their way down to the beach for a bonfire/beach party fueled by s’mores and hot chocolate. The bride and groom were sent off with a firework show and a sparkler tunnel just as the sun dipped below the horizon.
From the bride… Joel and I met in college. More specifically, we met at a show that Joel’s band played at. My best friend and bridesmaid Becca Pullen said she’d pay me $11 to stand really close to the band — she was friends with the guitar player. She still hasn’t paid me. As I stood on the sloped hill outside Sprague High School pumping my fist to the jams of the hit Salem band Fear of Falling Stars, I never expected to be so blessed to spend the rest of my life with the lead singer, who has the most beautiful and morose voice.
I’m not the kind of bride that wanted an extravagant wedding. I just wanted a simple day that made sense for us and captured what I love so much about the beach: the things that make me feel like home. We wanted our guests to have a beach experience without seagulls and buoys. Our experience at the beach was not the cliché coastal trip, but home, and I really wanted to highlight those things that I love. We built a simple backdrop for the ceremony of driftwood and twine. The aisle was lined with driftwood and led to antique glass balls that are a beach novelty. Half of the glass balls were those that my own grandpa had picked up off the beach after they floated over from Japan. These now-rare antiquities were formerly used as buoys on the other side of the Pacific. It was really fun to work to spruce up the camp, not only for the wedding but after a summer of campers coming to the property. My dad and I also went along the northern shore of the peninsula a few months before the wedding, after a clam tide, and found hundreds of sand dollars. We were able to offer these to our guests as well as decorate with them. It was these touches, using pampas grass, driftwood, and a sundry of other found objects that made it feel like the beach that I know, like home. The venue was really special to us because it was on the property that I grew up on. Most my life I lived on a Bible camp that sits on the coast of southwest Washington. My home was open to hundreds of students every year for summer camps and retreats, and it was really meaningful that it could also host our wedding. Living so far away from Joel, he would often drive the three hours to come visit me on his weekends at the beach. We had spent some of our favorite times there, and it was so important that our wedding be a reflection of us.
Wedding Photography: Erich McVey Photography / Flowers: Costco, a neighbor’s garden, the side of a road / Venue: Dunes Bible Camp in Ocean Park, Washington / Music: Symmetry/Symmetry / Groom’s Suit: Perry Ellis / Groomsmen Suits: H&M / Bridesmaid Dresses: Anthropologie / Wedding Stationery: DIY by Bride / Cake: Cottage Bakery (360-642-4441) / Wedding Gown: Mori Lee