In celebration of our blogger, Betsi, getting married tomorrow (!!), we have a special post from a bride we met while they honeymooned into our store. Morgan Blake shares about her truly unique destination wedding in Joshua Tree, complete with some AMAZING photos!Being married is so much fun, everyone was right. And there aren't many days that go by when i dont think about the day it all REALLY started. A little back story: I met my now husband through mutual friends--he was from London, I live in Atlanta. It was truly a long distance relationship. It was difficult at times, but we loved the adventure, the trust and the appriciation that came from it.
When it came time to plan a wedding, I knew exactly what I wanted. I photographed twenty-five weddings last year and went a little crazy. Not that I didn't love my job and the couples that I worked with, I just knew I wanted my wedding-one-day to be very un-wedding, un-traditional but sweet, intentional and a representation of who we were. I feel like it is just so easy to get caught up. I also learned--and made a promise to myself about--is that I would share with others the fact that as a bride, you have permission to create the day that you would like to create. You do not need permission from culture, trends, your friends or your family to experience what you dream up.
I think nowadays, with all the inspiration there is out there combined with the traditional aspects that we see at every. single. wedding. makes it hard for brides, especially the type that dont feel like they are creative to create a different experience for them and their guests. Don't get me wrong: some love the tradition, and some simply may not care, and some care way too much to get on the next blog. But this isn't about that- it's just how I was inspired to do mine.
A few things, I love adventure and traveling. Since Andrew and I were on the same page...we decided to pick our location based on what kind of environment we wanted to create, and the west coast was a place that was pretty special to us. We wanted to gather our very closest friends and family for a dinner party, small ceremony and of course, dancing. All were accomplished.
Because we did our wedding out of town, we had to find a remote venue, which was challenging because we didn't know much about Johsua Tree. But we were struck with the genius idea to contact a few Airbnbs (ps. joshua tree has some killer Airbnbs). Our very favorite one agreed to have us and our friends so we rented their property. It had three homes on it for us to house the vendors that we had come out to hang with us. It also allowed for our friends and family to rent other Airbnbs around. I LOVED getting to have everyone close by. So that Friday when we checked in, we picked our ceremony location, where the dinner and dancing was to be held and that was that!
From then on, I relied on friends; and families' help, but wanted to really be involved in the process as much as I could. There was kinks along the way--like shuttling everyone in, and wind, and a small kitchen to warm things up in. But that was it! i wanted the least amount of stress possible. That meant being organized on the front end of things and having an amazing team of our favorites to jump in if things needed to get done. But the key was simplicity.
The weekend went by so smoothly, and although things fly by...I really was striving to soak each little bit in. To not rush. To not allow myself to feel like I wasn't prepared. Because if it didn't happen by the time we got to California, it wasn't going to change the fact that I was marrying my best friend.
Overall, it was the best weekend of our lives. We didn't have a a bridal party, but surrounded by those we loved. No cake, but Andrew's favorite cheesecake bites instead. No strict timeline. No photo lists. No bouqet or garter toss. Not many details. Just a simple, beautiful gathering with our favorite people, in a place that created the detailed surrounding for us. it was the most peace I've felt in awhile, and the most fun I've had, ever. We know that this isn't everyone's dream or desire. But I was so inspisred coming back from our wedding to make sure to tell others that they have permission to have whatever kind of day they would like. Whatever suits them best as a couple. However they can show love to their guests in their own way.