The following is written by the bride, Chelsie about her Deer Park Elopement this summer.
Zachary and I initially met online. And the first time he came to see me he just kind of stared awkwardly for awhile. He later told me that the second he saw me he knew I was the one. We fell head over heels in love quickly. We were engaged in 3 months and married 3 days shy of knowing each other a year. He asked me to marry him in the dark. I thought he was joking because I couldn’t see the ring. And then I felt it… turned on the light and freaked out. He had to ask again and my reply was “oh my god! Yes!”
I actually came across one of Kim’s photos in the discover mode on Instagram. I said wow this is absolutely beautiful. So I went to Kim’s page, discovered how close she and the mountains were and I was sold. By grace, she were available for a weekend in August and it was meant to be! At the time Zach and I were still trying to determine a photographer and a location. So it all just kind of fell into place. All we had known was we wanted a wedding with a view. Zachary and I took a pre marriage course at our church prior to the wedding. There were 3 sets of couples that served as instructors. Larry and Katie were one of them. We would chat with them before class started each week and we just got close to them. When we went to ask pastor larry to perform our ceremony- he offered before we could. On the day of the wedding he gave a short message about clams and how they create a pearl by taking an unwanted and foreign object and wrapping it over and over in a lacquer. Over time it becomes a beautiful pearl but it started as something not so. He related it to marriage beautifully and handed me a pearl to remember the message by.
My dress was designed by Wtoo Watters, they called it the Marnie dress. I had a seamstress make significant modifications though. Like adding sleeves. Ive always wanted a dress with a sleeve. I love that sort of whimsical/southern belle look. I found it at a rack sale in Portland, OR at the cutest shop ever, Ania Bridal. The ladies were so nice. Zachary’s outfit was from designer Joseph Abboud. We chose a pale purple because that’s my favorite color. It was my grandma’s favorite color and she was pretty much my favorite person. (She was in her wedding dress in the gold frame at our ceremony) we also felt it fit the whimsical look and would fit the scenery.
Zachary and I went back and forth over deciding the type of wedding we would have. Destination, traditional, elopement, etc. There were a few other factors that played into our decision but what it really came down to is this. Zachary and I had both been married once before. Our previous weddings were more traditional and we felt that those days in our lives were spent focused on other people. We really wanted this day to be something different for us. We wanted it to be about us and our commitment to each other. We wanted it to be stress and worry free. We had so much fun that day just laughing, climbing and twirling and I wouldn’t ever go back and do it another way. It was perfect. Our airbnb in Sequim was such an amazing place to spend our weekend. It was a beautiful home. We took a helicopter tour over the national park, we went to First beach to watch the sunset together, we went to game farm park and waved at the bears. We really felt connected that weekend because we were able to simply focus on each other and unplug.
Before the wedding, Zachary and I agreed that we wanted to write our own vows. We felt it would be special, sincere, and mean more for our commitment. So we did. We read them aloud to each other and we hung on to every word the other spoke. A little sweet, a little funny, a lot of love. I’m so glad we wrote our own vows.
Having Kim for a photographer was nothing short of amazing. Okay, first of all she takes amazing photographs and that’s why we chose her. She definitely delivered on that. But outside of that she was so fun to be around. She was herself and it allowed us to be ourselves. She joked with us, and captured true and real smiles. The photos I love the most. Hell. I was butt naked in front of her before I put my dress on to get a few boudoir shots, so I think that shows how comfortable she makes you feel. Up in the mountains she gave direction that helped our photos to turn out flawless. We just had so much fun up there with her.
A little marriage advice: Relationships are hard. That is what everyone tells you. And it’s not entirely untrue. But they don’t have to always be. Hard things can be made easy through constant communication. Marriage is a lifelong commitment. To me, this is more than a commitment to love one another (though hugely important) It’s a commitment to communicate openly and honestly with each other. This can be the difference maker in your marriage. I can’t stress enough how important communication is.