I love all weddings! From the private intimate elopements in the majestic redwood forests to the 12 hour epic weddings with concerts. I love every couples love story and being able to put into picture form their vision they worked so hard on. When Kim first contacted me, she and Jeurgen were planning a short elopement at the Historic Benbow Inn. But, as weddings often do, it took on a life of its own and turned into an intimate destination wedding. A few family and friends decided to make the trek to watch them exchange their vows on the lush greeen lawn with the beautiful stone art bridge in the background. We increased their hours of elopement coverage from 2 to 3 hours and their private elopement turned into a beautiful intimate destination wedding. We were able to capture a wide array of beautiful images. I love this couple!They were all about fun! : ) They are at a season in life where they don't care what others think and just enjoy life. I loved this intimate destination wedding on a Tuesday at the Benbow Inn and I hope you do too. : )
I have been dreaming of shooting a Benbow Inn Wedding ever since I started shooting weddings four years ago. There are two reasons for this. It is a gorgeous venue, and it is 5 minutes from my house. I was so happy when Lucas and Vanessa chose me as their wedding photographer. I was envisioning a beautiful, warm day full of sunshine which is typical here in Southern Humboldt. I kept checking the forecast for their wedding day, but the chance of rain just kept climbing until it reached 100%. I had been picturing their family gathered on the beautiful green lawn of the Benbow Inn with the bridge in the background, in the golden sunshine, followed by a romantic reception on the balcony under the starry sky. We like to make our plans, and then God likes to make his. Lucas and Vanessa took the rain in stride. They were down for anything! They had a vision of doing their first look beneath the majestic redwoods on the Avenue of the Giants. They didn’t let the rain stop their vision. I am so glad they chose to stick to the plan!
After the first look, we traveled back to Benbow for some bridal party portraits. This bridal party was down for anything and still had smiles on their faces despite the constant rain. Catrina Chavez of Above and Beyond Creations helped save the day with the vintage umbrellas which made for some romantic photographs.
After the bridal party formals Lucas and Vanessa said “I Do” in the quaint library of the Benbow Inn with a reception following upstairs. Their close family and friends traveled all the way from Central California to the middle of the United States to witness their vows and celebrate their love.
As their friends and family continued to celebrate, we snuck outside for some romantic sneak away shots which are my favorite. The rain still continued to bless their day, and we have some romantic and magical images to show for it!
We like to make our plans, and then God likes to make his. We can dream and plan all we want. But we can't control what happens in this life, all we can do is control how we react. It rained the entire wedding day of Lucas and Vanessa's wedding. But they took it in stride with each other by their side. I have 100% faith that this couple will be able to weather any storm that they face together.
Venue: Benbow Inn
Hair and Make up: Paige Paup and Calilyn Quinn Lyon
Lucas and Vanessa met in Community College. They were both math tutors at the time and had a few friends in the same circles and saw each other in some study groups. After a few years and an Associate's Degree, Vanessa transferred to UCSC for Astrophysics. They really got together after Lucas’ first summer session at UCSD. Lucas came to visit Vanessa. They had hung out with friends and both decided to leave a little early, but ended up going to see some holiday lights at the beautiful Riverside Mission Inn. It was there that they agreed on their first "date" to Disneyland. (I am so jealous by the way! I have always wanted to do a theme park date!) Disneyland was a long fun day, and by the end of the night Lucas had picked up on Vanessa’s interest. They "officially" became a couple after a discussion and hanging out on New Year's Eve in 2010.
Lucas proposed to Vanessa in September of 2015. She had no idea he was going to propose, even though they lived together. They went to San Francisco just to walk around and explore some touristy sites like Fisherman's Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and dinner at McCormick and Kuleto's. He proposed by the Hyde Street Pier. After a long night walking the streets of SF, he finally got the courage to bend on one knee when they were just about ready to go home from walking the late night empty beach. He proposed with his mother's wedding ring. He wanted to have the engagement ring be something that they picked out together to really represent them and do something else with his mom's ring that was given to him. They eventually picked out Vanessa’s engagement ring. His mom's ring has been taken apart, and her small stones are in Vanessa’s wedding band, and her gold is in Lucas's wedding band.
Lucas and Vanessa found me online and we met up for coffee to get to know each other at the wedding consultation. We met 30 minutes later to do their engagement photo shoot at the Benbow Inn. It was a gorgeous winter day in February. We really lucked out with the weather. It enabled us to get some amazing images! I can’t wait to continue their love story at their Benbow Inn wedding in May!
It might be winter in California now, but I am reminiscing about Jaeden’s fall senior session. I have been so excited to share her beautiful senior pictures on the blog. Jaeden is one of my amazing senior reps from Fortuna High School. . She traveled down to the Benbow Inn for her senior session, which is one of my favorite locations to shoot at. There are no words for how much I adore my clients, they seriously blow my mind at how amazing they are! Working with teen girls is something that I am so passionate about. I believe that a senior portrait session should be more than just taking pictures. It should be an unforgettable experience where they not only look beautiful- they genuinely feel beautiful, too. Their senior portrait session should be an experience that lives in them for a lifetime. These girls are just incredible and I am grateful beyond words to have the opportunity to get to know and work with them.
Jaeden, you are absolutely amazing! I loved working with you so much! Adventuring around the Benbow Inn with you was so much fun! Your beauty and light shines from the inside-out. I cannot begin to thank you enough for choosing me to be your senior photographer- I hope you loved the experience as much as I did! You are a dream client and I mean that!