Ruth & robbie

The ocean has always been a special place for Robbie and I. We said "I love you" for the first time while playing in the ocean on a road trip, he proposed on the Italian coast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and the ocean is usually involved in our many camping trips. With that in mind, we knew we wanted to get married next to the ocean, we just had to figure out where. After lots of research and seeing how far we actually wanted to drive we found the perfect spot just south of Monterey.

Robbie and I never wanted a big wedding. We were actually toying with the idea of just eloping and having just the photographer and officiant be there on the big day. The more we talked about it though, the more we realized we wanted our grandparents, immediate family, and close friends to be there with us. The location we found was just enough removed from the road, but also accessible enough for the grandparents. Perfect.

The day of the wedding Robbie and I got up to have our first look at sunrise. Why? Because I love the light during that time of day, and because no one else was out. We had the whole place to ourselves. We also didn't have to wait all day to see each other. The nerves were still there later in the day before the actual ceremony, but not nearly as bad as they would have been had I not already seen Robbie. Sunrise is also so peaceful, the world is just waking up, and there were rabbits hopping along the path while we listened to the waves come crashing in. After our first look I went back to have brunch and a nap with some friends, while Robbie went surfing with his brother.

Just make sure your fiancé doesn't take the keys to your car the night before your sunrise first look, so you have to wake up your sleeping friend to borrow her car. Or just make sure you have a really solid friend with you who will lend you their car.

We got ready a second time in the afternoon and then everyone drove down the coast to our ceremony site. We figured on a Tuesday no one else would be there, and that's true in regards to tourists, but apparently some other couples thought the same thing. We waited in the car until the other ceremonies wrapped up and then we headed down to the cliffs. We had found this lookout with a rock platform that was on an offshoot of the main path. We had everyone standing around the platform with Nick, Robbie and I in the middle. Nick, Robbie's best friend and brother-in-law, who is also one of my good friends, officiated our ceremony and we had our dads each pray over us. I was told that during the ceremony there were whales breaching on the horizon, but I was a little distracted at the moment to notice. We weren't planning on being down on the cliffs at sunset, but with the delay from the other weddings happening, we ended up staying longer than expected. Definitely wasn't sad though, it was a beautiful day. It could have been foggy and cold, but God gave us sunshine with just a little bit of overcast, making for the best sunset.

Once we wrapped up at the beach we all headed back to the Airbnb I had found up in the redwoods. The host was more than happy to have a small wedding there because they were wanting to eventually become a venue. They asked if I wanted to have a large redwood slab table for the reception and I couldn't say "yes" fast enough. I wasn't sure what to expect because they were still setting it up when we went down to the beach, but we came back to this gorgeous huge table. The table was large enough to fit 25+ of us around it. My friends had taken the extra flowers used for my bouquet and strewn them down the middle of the table among candles which cast a soft glow. They had put logs on their sides with furs draped over them for us to sit on. I had a friend come and string lights since we were out in the forest and wouldn't have been able to see anything otherwise. The table, string lights, and candles that were setup on the table made such a cozy atmosphere.

Robbie and I didn't want to do anything complicated for food, so we had our favorite pizzas for dinner from Woodstock's. Their dessert pizza is one of my favorites, so couldn't leave that out. We had planned to have milkshakes, but because of the delay earlier in the day, we just ended up sending the ice cream home with our friends to enjoy on their own.

I love our wedding. It was simple, but true to us. I found my dress second hand online and miraculously didn't have to alter it. My parents found all the candlestick holders for me at thrift stores. My dad even polished them for me! The Airbnb turned out to be so wonderful and helpful. It was super easy to get a permit for the beach. My florist was also amazing and made me the most beautiful bouquet and flower crown. It all just came together.

**just click on a photo to see it bigger

Dress: Rue De Siene on Pre Owned Wedding Dresses

Florist: A Bit of Earth

Photography: Misha Velasquez

Airbnb: Sparrow Valley Retreat

Engagement Ring: Valerie Madison Jewelry

Necklaces: Mountainside Made

Locations: Santa Cruz & Garrapata State Park