Redwoods and Gold Beach Elopement

Is it ok for me to start out saying that a couple is badass? I think so. After all, Erin and Cory are triathletes and ran the Ironman Coeur d’Alene right before their wedding. So, yes, using your elopement as a post-triathalon after-party definitely puts you in the bad A department. I already got to know these fabulous folks during their engagement session in Moab last year, and they loved Utah. But this duo from Colorado eloped along the Oregon Coast and California Redwoods, which was the perfect choice for them.

Our day started off with a first look in the redwoods, where Erin was dropped off by Meaghan from Fleurt Beauty Company. And this first look was fantastic! Cory was so emotional that he was crying and almost collapsing when he saw Erin. The fact that he couldn’t keep it together was the cutest thing!

After their first look, we got snacks—including a tasty charcuterie—and explored beaches until we landed at Port Orford with its black sand beach. It’s such a gorgeous spot that totally looks like an Icelandic black sand beach. However, the one caveat was that it was windy. And I’m not talking a little bit of a breeze. I’m talking about a ripping-flowers-out-of-its-foam-tear-apart-the-cake kind of wind. It was hard not to find the humor in as the florals were getting whipped all to hell—it was so ridiculous that I took a video. Literally insane. Sidebar: Erin’s friend, Aaryn, happened to be carrying the cake and got vegan buttercream all over her dress, so her code name is Butters now, lol.

Not only did we end up eating the shredded cake with our hands, but the tide was higher than we thought, so we had to wait for a lower waterline. We ended up getting a little wet and quoted Christmas Vacation and Lord of the Rings while we sat there, but all of that is to say this. Your day, especially when it comes to weather, may not be exactly as you pictured. But some of the best memories can come from unexpected times when you can laugh together. Seriously, Brian (he was there, too!) and I can’t wait to visit Erin and Cory in Colorado or cheer them on in an Ironman someday. They’re truly amazing people who love to laugh.

After our wet and windy adventure, we went to a little hill on the Oregon coast where not many folks elope. It was a super beautiful, unique backdrop, and we ended the night by lighting lanterns for ambiance. When we got back to the car at dark, we signed the marriage license with full bellies (from charcuterie and cake), full hearts, and sore abs from literally laughing our asses off.

There also may have been a bit of crying involved, too—although only happy tears. Erin totally thought Cory would be the first to cry during the ceremony, but she was actually the first to tear up. Honestly, I live for when the waterworks start. I know that sounds totally sadistic, but hear me out. You can fake laughter up to a certain point, but crying is something you really can’t fake. I love it when people cry during the ceremony, and I love capturing it. Sometimes I even take the opportunity to prompt couples and/or their guests to engage in deep conversations that get them to a sweet, emotional state where they can share freely. People deserve to hear what they mean and how much they’re celebrated way more often than they do. 

All in all, Erin and Cory’s day was one for the books. We even had a dozen or so harbor seals come as witnesses to the ceremony. It was so cute to see them bobbing their heads up and down out of curiosity. I also got in about 15,000 steps that day without trying to. Although we got our feet wet and got caught by the wind, it was an amazing day filled with laughs, love, and special memories, which is what a wedding day is all about.