Maija and Hally Married in the Redwoods of California
Getting married in the redwoods of California was not the original plan!
Then again, did anyone’s wedding plans for 2020 turned out as expected? (If they did, I don’t know about them!) So, no, the plan for Maija and Hally wasn’t to elope. But Covid intervened, so they adjusted. Then the California wildfires struck, and they adjusted again–although thankfully their redwood venue in the Santa Cruz mountains was spared and we were able to have their ceremony there as originally planned.
And throughout the entire process, these two ladies were total troopers and an absolute joy to work with. They trusted us to make sure their wedding day was intimate, joy-filled and stress-free. And thankfully, that’s how it came out in the end. Now that it’s been ten months since they said “I do,” I can admit the fact that there was a little behind the scenes juggling on their behalf (wildfires being as unpredictable as they are!). But the end goal of having them elope in the redwoods harmoniously and peacefully was ultimately achieved.
From Maija: “Our decision was driven by the pandemic. We wanted to get married this year, and accepted that the only way we could do that was to do something very small.”
Maija and Hally’s Wedding Day
The two came prepared for a short hike through the forest at our private redwood site in the Santa Cruz mountains. And those pride socks! (You’ll have to scroll down further to check out their coordinating sneakers.) They had great whimsical, yet meaningful touches spread throughout the day that totally reflected their personalities (and made us smile too).
With just the two of them present, it allowed us to tuck into a great spot in the woods that is perfect for an intimate ceremony. It involved crossing a makeshift bridge, but these two were up for anything–and no one fell in the creek, so it was a good day!
The two wrote personal vows to each other that were heartfelt and beautiful. Framed by our Spiritual/Contemporary ceremony script, they were the perfect words to sum up their commitment to one another.
They even incorporated pandemic humor into their wedding photos! If nothing else, it makes for a great wedding-day story. And did you notice their masks match their socks and sneakers? It’s the little things.
And then, there was dancing…
And this one just might be my favorite wedding photo of all time. These two cracked me up!
In their own words:
What made you select the location you did?
We both love the redwoods and the wonder of being among these sacred, ancient trees.
What words best describe your wedding in the California redwoods?
Joyful, intimate, spiritual easy, magical, fun, playful, beautiful, relaxed
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Spending time in the redwoods. Exchanging vows in such an intimate setting. Wandering through the redwoods with the photographer taking pictures. Having a reception for 2 at our Air BnB surrounded by more redwoods.
Did you face any challenges in eloping?
The biggest challenge was waiting through the California fires in the area and hoping that they would not prevent us from getting married.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
While we chose to elope because of the pandemic, we ended up being grateful for the intimacy of the day. We could just focus on each other and be fully present without having to worry about hosting an event. Then in a year or so when we are able to have a celebration with our community, we can just focus on that. It ends up being the best of both worlds.
Any advice for other couples planning to elope?
It was a meaningful experience, even though we could not celebrate with our loved ones. It allowed us to focus on each other and on the moment, rather than creating an event for other people.
We both really liked the wedding script and found it meaningful, along with the opportunity to write something to share with each other. Working with Blue Sky really made our wedding day a stress-free experience.
Maureen was easy to work with, even when we stressed about the fires. The photographer, was delightful and easy to work with and took beautiful pictures. Eileen, the officiant, worked with us to create a ceremony that felt personal and meaningful.
Services included in Maija and Hally’s “Married in the California Redwoods” Package