Jeanne + Stephen | Redwood Forest Elopement

Shooting a redwood forest elopement has been a dream of ours and we couldn’t have picked a better couple to make this dream come true.  Jeanne and Stephen are some of the most adventurous, life-loving, nature-seeking people we’ve ever met and their whole wedding day still doesn’t seem like real life.  They started the day making their own boutonniere and bouquet (check out their business here). From seeing HUGE redwood trees, to creeping around two black bears, to crossing a field of elk, to encountering an adult male elk on a hike, everything about this day was full of adventure.  Not to mention witnessing such a beautiful, intimate ceremony in what their officiant called a “cathedral of redwoods”.  Jeanne, thank you for hiking to the middle of the woods only to get stung by plants right before getting into your wedding dress all for better pictures.  Stephen, thank you for carrying a wooden hammock on what seemed like a forever hike for just-in-case photos.  This was one of the most memorable days of our lives and we were honored to sign your marriage license as witnesses.  We were so honored to be a part of it!

Here’s Jeanne’s recap of their beautiful Redwood Forest Elopement:
“Our wedding day was a true representation of our relationship and what we collectively value in sharing a life together. Stephen has brought so much joy to my life, but also something that I never knew I desired – and that’s genuine serenity. We both lead very busy lives, and are constantly on the go, which we love, but there’s always a strong and steady foundation that consists of security, serenity and unconditional love. As wild as the day of the wedding was, these specific aspects of our relationship felt amplified. The overall calm, mixed in with bubbling excitement, raw emotion and adventure made the day more perfect than we could’ve ever imagined. I don’t think that either of us stopped smiling the entire day.  Nature has always been a huge part of Stephen and I’s relationship. While we live in New Orleans and lead a pretty urban lifestyle, we always make a point to bike, kayak, hike and immerse ourselves in nature as much as possible. We feel that it grounds us. So when choosing a place to make this huge commitment, we knew we wanted to be surrounded by large scale natural beauty. The Tall Trees Grove did not disappoint. I feel that I ended up in a place I dreamed of my whole life but never knew was real – I think that stems from my obsession with the cartoon “Fern Gully”.  My favorite part of the day was our first look. Stephen and I had been together every second of the day for 5 days that point, so taking a few minutes to step away, get into my dress and reflect on what was happening made the moment I saw him in his suit that much more special. The moment I saw him, with his blue suit contrasting against the lush greenery, wearing the boutiniere that I had made for him and smiling like he couldn’t contain his excitement, filled my heart with an overwhelming feeling of love. In true Stephen fashion he made me feel so beautiful, and immediately offered to carry my bouquet for me to make my walk easier. Holding hands, walking to our ‘Cathedral of Trees’ was the best walk of my life.”

Here’s Stephen’s recap (grab a tissue):
“From the moment we woke up to the time we passed out in the back seat of a red Dodge Charger, our wedding day was full of adventure, romance, companionship, blissfulness, fun, excitement and so much more. It was like no other day I’ve ever experienced, from being immersed in the grandest trees on earth, marrying the love of my life, to the wildlife seemingly blessing our marriage. It started off with a hike down the mountain to the valley floor where the Tall Trees Grove stood. This would be where we would get married. The hike down was like any other day, holding hands, laughing, talking just doing our usual. There was a calmness between the two of us all day and it made the day so much more meaningful.  Our first look was my favorite part of the day. We hiked down in regular clothes so once we found our spot we went in different directions and began to change. This is a moment I’ve thought about since we went to our first wedding together, 4 months after we started dating. While I was getting dressed, I found myself in a hurry so I could see Jeanne as quickly as possible. I just couldn’t wait to see her, in these frantic moments of getting ready I dropped my jacket, stepped on my pants and smeared dirt on my white shirt. This made me slow down and take the moment in fully. From the moment I first saw her to present time, our relationship has brought me so much joy, happiness, fulfillment, security, strength and trust.  I had finished getting ready and was standing in-between two giant fallen redwood trees with lush foliage growing on them, this is where I finally got to experience the moment I’ve been waiting for. Jeanne walked out and she was glowing with a huge smile on her face. I immediately had a lasting smile on my face and grabbed her to pull her closer to me. This is a memory that will stick with me forever and one that I often look back to.”

Here are a few of my favorite images from their Redwood Forest elopement: