For a simple elopement, this is a long post. SorryNotSorry.
River and Levi had been planning a fall wedding, but due to a surprise pregnancy, with a due date within a week of the original wedding date, they thought it would be more fun to move it up to spring and my girl, River, talked Levi into eloping. She’s a photographer too and we both LOVE elopements. After shooting some herself, she really wanted to elope, but Levi was still hanging on to the idea of a traditional wedding, even though River is anything, but traditional. Once he agreed to the elopement (yay, we won!), River started planning a surprise. She invited his best friends, as well as a large group of their closest friends and family…all without Levi knowing!
River found this incredibly adorable dress at a second hand store, in her small town of La Grande, Oregon, for $60. Yes, you read that right… SIXTY. DOLLARS. The only alterations she had made to the dress were the removal of some poofy, sheer sleeves that were under the short sleeves, and the removal of a layer of tulle under the dress. That was it. It fit her perfectly. Even over the baby bump! Her favorite color is yellow (as in, she’s basically obsessed), so she incorporated little splashes of yellow anywhere she could.
Remember how I said Levi’s best friends were invited, as a surprise? Well, the guys rented this adorable little A-frame house, right around the corner from the house the bride and groom were renting. River told Levi that *I* had rented that house and that I needed help unpacking my gear, so she sent him over. He was definitely surprised to see his buddies!
How fabulous is this tie?
And how cool are these rings?
Let’s not forget these kick ass sneakers!
Everything throughout the day was taken care of by friends and family. River’s sister did her hair, as she’s a professional hairstylist. Friends helped with the flowers, ribbons, and setting up the beach. River made her own floral crown and borrowed the awesome yellow boots from a friend (but, she has her own now, of course).
Levi’s daughter walked in (wearing her uncle’s boots, haha) and saw River, getting zipped up.
Her reaction was priceless.
Just a couple of quick snaps, before heading to the beach for the ceremony!
When Levi walked around the corner, he was greeted by his daughter and it was the sweetest embrace!
I don’t want to brag or anything, but this bagpiper right here? He’s my husband. I have to give him props because he played literally 3 days before he had knee surgery. He could barely walk, but still played for their elopement. River walked down the beach to Amazing Grace, the same song to which I walked down the aisle!
Their faces, when they saw each other, were just too freaking cute.
Their daughter had to walk over and tell Mama how pretty she looked! How sweet is that?
Right as the ceremony was getting started, a surprise wave came in and, well, you can see what happened below. Levi totally rescued River and then everyone laughed. I was thankful to have been barefoot at the time because I decided to stand my ground and take photos, rather than run, lol!
Levi is so emotional and I love it. He cried pretty much off and on, throughout the ceremony. These two shots below show him nudging her on the shoulder, as he blamed her for his crying. HA!
What’s a wedding without a high five in the middle of the vows?
When you’re a mom, you don’t really get to take a break, just because you’re in the middle of getting married. River and Levi’s daughter needed to ask mom to open her snack for her. Haha, I love toddlers.
I love this shot. Levi was about to put the ring on River’s finger and just stopped and took a moment to just really take it all in. This was a huge moment, for a guy who never wanted to get married, but fell madly in love with the girl of his dreams and totally changed his mind.
Once they sealed the deal with a kiss, we had fun making some portraits for a few minutes.
I got a group shot of everyone in attendance. As you can see, their tiny little elopement quickly grew into what looks like a small wedding, but I promise it really was an elopement. I mean, they didn’t even have chairs. 😉
The rest of the evening was spent around the bonfire, singing songs, roasting marshmallows, and just having an all around awesome time.