“This is exactly the moment I dreamed of” he said to her as he held her close and they looked out at the view. They had just said their vows, heartfelt and intentional with every word. He kissed her on the head and everything was quiet as they looked out to the lake. Finley, their beautiful little girl played with Mya Dog up above us and Tony and Ashley took a moment to themselves to take everything in. The sun in an out from a cloud, the breeze falling still creating a mirror reflection on the lake, and the mosquitos buzzing around lighting up in the sunlight like pixie dust. This moment was calm and peaceful, and then Tony turned around and said “alright let’s get this dance party started” and started playing the new Drake hit from his iPhone, haha! Best first dance ever!
Finley came down to join them and they all did the moves as “Kiki do you love me” played and they would sing it to Finley. I could imagine the 3 of them doing this in their kitchen all laughing and smiling as Finley showed them her best moves. Tony spun her around in a princess twirl and Ashley couldn’t take her eyes off of them with the biggest smile.
3 weeks to decide to plan a trip to Canada to get married and they didn’t have a worry in the world about the details. We didn’t have a solid plan and they showed up holding hands all smiles, down to leave the day open to whatever naturally unfolded. That’s always when the magic happens. Grateful to have been a part of these two and the great story they are writing, can’t wait to see what life brings this adorable little family next!
earlier in the day we had gotten rained out of our original plan so we had to improvise. we decided to head to one of our favorite spots on the island in hopes of better weather, and after we got there it was clear that our original plan didn’t work out in order to make way for something even better. the sky lit up in pinks and oranges, it was almost as if someone took neon highlighters and streaked the sky. the glow lasted for what felt like hours and kept getting better and better. jim spun sarah around and they laughed, her blue dress was something out of a dream up against that backdrop. he held her hand and they walked down the beach without another soul in sight under the most majestic sky.
This is the beauty of kauai, you never know what you’re going to get but if you’re willing to look for it, you’ll always find the magic.
Congratulations to these two love birds on their beautiful elopement, we had such a blast wandering the island and it was clear how much love and respect they had for eachother, especially when the plans changed due to unexpected weather and they were both so down to go with the flow and always had a smile on their face! Mya dog even got to tag along for this one which was so fun! Thank you so much for having us there Sarah and Jim, enjoy the photographs!
(sarah’s dream dress was designed by chantelle lauren, the same girl who made my own wedding dress! <3)
In honor of these two and their totally MAGICAL destination elopement last week, I wanted to share their proposal story from just over a year ago first! I cannot wait to show you the Rocky Mountain photographs of their spontaneous trip to Canada for their wedding, but for now, this is when she said YES!
he had a plan and it was a good one, a north shore beach, sunset, it was going to be perfect. the island however had different plans for us and when the rain poured down and the wind howled 2 days in a row tony went back to the drawing board. i’ve never met someone so up for anything as long as it was romantic and special for ashley, so peter and i drove around the island all morning looking for the driest most epic spot despite the storm that was sitting over Kauai. we ended up down a long bumpy dirt road at one of our favourite beaches. the cell service was next to nothing out there and it was still windy and raining, but the scenery couldn’t be beat. tony was excited and game for the new plan on the total opposite site of the island and he convinced ashely they should head west for sunset. I’m sure she was confused why he insisted on driving down this long bumpy dirt road in their mustang convertible mid rain and wind storm but she was along for the ride and when they got there everything finally made sense.
peter and i pretended to be out watching the stormy sunset on the bluff as tony and ashley walked up. i did my best not to smile or make eye contact to make things less suspicious and tony walked towards the giant X i had drawn for him in the sand. I had butterflies for her and the rain briefly stopped as to give them a moment and the sun came out from behind the cloud lighting up the sky. He bent down on one knee and her eyes filled with tears as she gasped… she said YES!!!!
It’s been well over a year and I still haven’t posted about this trip yet because to be honest, I haven’t found the words! andddd there were thousands of photographs to go through haha… From popular demand, I’m going to briefly talk about the route and activities we did last year while exploring New Zealand, and if anyone has any questions feel free to leave a comment below and i’ll get back to you asap!
Peter and I originally planned our trip to New Zealand for Melissa and Grant’s beautiful wedding at Castaway Resort just outside of Auckland, and then my little sister met us (at the wedding actually haha) and we took off the next day for an epic north island road trip. We drove for 13 hours that day and saw so many beautiful sights and once we got to Wellington the craziest thing happened… one of our best friends johnny flew from Hawaii to meet us there as well as some of our best friends from Austria, and we all arrived on the same street corner at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME! One in a taxi, one walking, and then us in our rental car. what are the chances!!?
We stayed in a hostel that night and first thing the next morning we set out for our adventure to the South Island. The ferry was nothing short of interesting and thanks to some wind and weather half of the people on the boat were sea-sick an hour into the journey. Water splashed up on the window from waves on the 9th floor as we played cards in the cafe and I was a little nervous, but soon enough we were cruising through the Malbrough Sounds in glassy turquoise water with islands everywhere and my mind was already blown.
Johnny, Steph, Peter and I spend the day in Picton exploring around and chasing the sun. We found some epic lookout points and in true lack-of-planning-fashion, managed to miss all the open hours of the wineries we wanted to check out. Instead, we drove through the backroads with the music as loud as it could go, signing at the top of our lungs laughing at Johnny hanging his head out the window yelling at the sheep as the sun set.
The next day we road tripped to Christchurch, picked up our rental camper van from Pod Campervan Rentals and started to make the trek down to Dunedin so we could drop off Steph and pick up our friend Mandy who was meeting us there. The van was the absolute best way to see New Zealand and Pod Campervan Rentals were awesome. it could have been about twice the size to accommodate 4 people (at first it was supposed to be just Peter and I but Johnny and Steph soon hijacked that plan and then just a week before we left Mandy decided she couldn’t miss out so she booked her ticket too. In the end we had a 2 person camper van with up to 5 people at one point but it all worked out amazingly and we alternated van and tent nights.
Our first stop after picking up Mandy in Dunedin (which is an amazing city and we all wished we had more time there), was Tunnels Beach. We didn’t realize it was a little journey to get down to the beach and we had a long drive ahead of us but it was soo worth it. The coastline was absolutely amazing and is definitely worth the stop. We continued down the scenic route towards Bluff, and I wanted to cry it was so beautiful the whole way. The hills reminded me of Ireland, rolling and vibrant green with sheep everywhere, skinny windy roads and coastal views. We ventured down a gravel road off the highway and found ourselves at a secluded Bay where Johnny chased sheep and we took some drone photographs. The light was perfect and I couldn’t stop talking pictures out the back window. We ended that evening just before the sun set at one of the most incredible lookouts big enough for us to freedom camp for the night. We jumped the fence into a field of wildflowers overlooking a beautiful bay and the sky lit up the most insane colors of pink and purple. We listened to Bon Iver and took photos and the whole thing felt surreal. That evening after cooking our pasta out of the van we watched the moon-rise which was just as impressive as the sunset, and I had never seen more stars in the sky in my life. This may have been my favorite day, until the next day of course.
The next day we made our way to the Milford Sounds after meeting back up with our friends Andi and Josi (who had gotten secretly engaged over the last few days that we hadn’t seen them!!) We convoyed our Pod Campers down the windy mountain roads and we couldn’t get over how much the scenery had changed again. We ended up stopping at a little lake town and celebrating their engagement once I finally noticed the ring on Josi’s finger. We swam in the glacier water and drank champagne and it was another perfect day.
The next day we drove the rest of the way up to the end of the road at Milford Sounds and it was absolutely unlike anything I have ever seen. Coming from Kauai we all thought no coast line in the world could compare to our Na Pali, but once we got on the boat tour we all were speechless. Waterfalls cascading down rock face cliffs and mountain tops into perfect blue calm water. They said we got one of the nicest days for weather of the year and I was speechless. If there ever was a fairyland, this was it.
We made our way from Milford sounds to Queenstown which we all considered the adult DisneyWorld of anywhere we’d ever been. Any extreme activity you could think of including the raddest bars and restaurants were here and we quickly realized our money could run out in this town quicker than we’d like to admit (haha). We spent a few days here in the downtown campground and everyone but me went skydiving (because I am a chicken but I regret it and wish I would have gone after the fact), the boys went bungie jumping, Mandy and I did the worlds largest swing (The Nevis Swing – so fun! and we went jet boating and into an ice bar and rode mechanical bulls and went wine tasting and hiking and shopping. Queenstown was incredible to say the least and is a must-stop if you’re on the south island.
They said their vows out on the edge of the cliff as the wind swept her hair across her face and the sun dipped below the horizon leaving us with this blue glow on the water. Tears fell down their cheeks and he pulled her in so close and just held her there. Every Elopement has a special energy and Kelly and Ryan’s was no exception. There’s something magical about these two.
These two couldn’t take their eyes off of each other all evening and she fit into his arms perfectly as if they were 2 perfect puzzle pieces. He couldn’t help but cry when he saw her for the first time and tears fell down her cheek but she never stopped smiling. Their adventurous and free spirits were so easy to be around and I was so excited about these photographs. Congratulations again to Kelly and Ryan on their beautiful marriage, and high five to them as the first thing they did as a married couple was kayak the NaPali coast (which speaking from recent experience is not always easy haha). Enjoy the photographs!!
I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. They walked out to the edge hand in hand. The air was still, not even a breath of wind and it was silent. You could hear the birds singing with the crunch of their every step and the sunset reflected every color in the rainbow back at us. 4 months of rescheduled dates due to rain, injury, stitches, sickness… all so the stars could perfectly align for these moments.
I woke up that morning and Peter asked “what are you going to work on today” knowing that my ankle was still to injured to make this 7 mile hike, and as I began to list the tasks for the day I started to cry. It has been 6 months since I fell and my ankle still wasn’t healed, I had been slowly seeing improvements but it was too sore and weak for this difficulty of a hike and the frustration of that was overwhelming. I wanted to go so bad, but I pulled it together and accepted it for what it was and I knew the boys would rock it. The plan was that I would go with everyone to the trail-head and work in the truck while Peter and Micah hiked with Cassady and Kepa, but as we started to drive, I decided I had to just try it. We stopped at the store and bought 2 tensor bandages, I taped my ankle up and put on my air-cast and somehow conquered 7 miles, half of them in the pitch dark! I didn’t walk for a few days after that but dang every mile was worth it to get to witness these moments and to feel able again! Team work makes the team work, thanks for carrying all my stuff and convincing me I could do it, and for taking the best photos ever Pete and Micah! The days we all get to work together are always the most magic enjoy the photographs, hope they make you dream as much as they do for me!
…and a little behind the scenes of me testing out the spot with my air cast on… haha! so thankful i was able to make it to this spot. Pure magic. Thank you for being here, if you enjoyed these images be sure to click the “like” button below and feel free to leave kepa and cassady some love in the comments section! Have a beautiful day!
He shifted his weight from foot to foot, completely captivated by her words, never taking his eyes or hands off of hers. There was so much emotion in her voice and in the way he soaked in every word. He smiled as if to fight back tears and they laughed as they did all day long together.
“My heart is light with you, Casey, and I’m so honored to be leaving today as your wife” he swept her up and kissed her for a while, keeping her close as they whispered and laughed to one another. His hand gripped hers tightly and then standing there in the silence of the canyon they had just backpacked through days before was surreal. There was no rush, no sounds but their breathing and gentle words as they exchanged vows and the sun dipped in and out of the scattered clouds.
They laughed all day, but a sweet giggle to each other. “You’re so cute” he would tell her and she would playfully twist back and forth looking up at him with a giant smile. I loved the adventurous spirit in these two and we explored around dodging fog and rain and finding sunshine almost everywhere we went. Congratulations again to Liz and Casey, and hope you all enjoy the photographs!!
It was killing me that 4 months after spraining my ankle I still was in an air cast and couldn’t hike, but I knew Emily and diogo were in good hands with Peter. I stood at the bottom of the trail and decided to take a few steps up as Peter lead the way. The light was shining through the trees perfectly rim lighting everything it touched. Diogo lead Emily up the rocks and when she got to him, he turned and pulled her in for a kiss, an absolute fairytale.
When they got down from the lookout we decided to do a little adventuring on flatter ground, so we walked along lava rocks and into trails in the forest, and despite not being allowed to hike due to my injury, we found ourselves accidently climbing back up the side of the mountain ;). I took every step carefully and slowly and the unexpected hiking was SO worth it. Vast landscapes of palm trees, a setting sun and whales breaching in the distance. Emily floated along the trail as sweet as she is, twirling and playing with her dress and diogo never stopped smiling.
I enjoyed our time with these two soo much, and not to mention after what had felt like months of consecutive rainy days, this sunset was pure magic. Congrats again to the wonderful Emily and Diogo… Enjoy the photographs!
the chaos of their ceremony had subsided as the guests all made their way to cocktail hour on the other side of the property. kelsey and tyler held hands and walked across the beach to the water staring out at the ocean. a momma and baby whale started jumping and playing out in front and we all sat on the beach for a minute to just take it in and be still. the sun got lower and lower, and after what had been a beautiful but overcast day, i had a feeling we were about to get an incredible sunset. kelsey and tyler practiced their first dance as we all waited for the sun to drop below the clouds, and then all of a sudden there it was. the sky lit up in the most incredible hues of pink and purple and blue, the ocean was flat and glowing with color and kelsey and tyler slowly walked down the beach. she kept looking over and giggling at him, as she had done all day and he couldn’t help but smile. there somehow wasn’t another soul around and it was just them and an epic maui sky.
we did their first look in the most enchanted of enchanted forests, and as she walked up behind him through the vines and the trees it looked like something out of a fairytale. we explored the many paths with them hand-in-hand before we met a group of their friends at the beach for photographs. the forest seemed quiet and the green was electric with color from all the rain we have been getting on the islands. light peaked through the top of the trees and i could have stayed there all day. we headed back to the royal lahaina for their wedding ceremony followed by their outdoor reception and everything went perfectly. rain gently fell for a few moments during their vows and it felt like an island blessing as they always say it is. i’m still dreaming of the colors of the sunset from that evening, whales jumping in the background and a beach all to ourselves. somehow the magic always finds us.
congrats again to kelsey and tyler, and a huge thanks to peter and micah for rocking this wedding out with me! enjoy the photographs!