Rachel and John

Rachel and John’s magical, rainy day not-quite elopement (not-quite because they included their immediate families!) was a hell of a way to kick off my wedding season.

In one of Rachel’s first emails to me, she mentioned how one of her favorite things was feeding the wild parrots from her San Francisco office window. And I knew I was going to love her.

Rachel and John’s ceremony was set to take place in the Chautauqua meadow, but it was drizzling and cold the day of their wedding, so they had to make a last minute change of plans. And actually? I think it worked out just as it was supposed to. They filled a little picnic shelter with candles and lit the fireplace, and it made for the coziest setting.

Their ceremony was radiant and reminded me of everything I love about the complexity of marriage. The ceremony began with the officiant asking, “Will you disappoint one another?” To which they answered, “I will, though I wish not to.”

I love that audacious promises are often made in a wedding ceremony, but there was something so honest and true about theirs. Their ceremony acknowledged the waves of a relationship and that love from your partner—though beautiful, can’t be all things at all times. They vowed to uplift and respect and to become who they were meant to be side by side.

They gave each of their family members a cord to bind their hands together in a nod to old Irish tradition. I love this gesture of including their families, because a good marriage is built on a community that will support and uphold it.

And there were birds. Rachel loves birds, and it was a delight watching her get so excited about seeing a mountain chickadee for the first time, and asking John if he heard the birds singing while they were saying their vows.

Rachel and John, thank you for reminding me of why marriage is wild and worthwhile. Thank you for giving me the joy of documenting the beginning of yours.

I treasured every bit of it.


location: Chautauqua, Boulder

dress: Nasty Gal

flowers: Bella Calla

officiant: Keith Horstman