Modern Ethereal Wedding // Longbranch, WA

McKayla + Jonathan declared their love for each other tucked back on a small island in the Puget Sound. It was ethereal, modern and elegant, one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever been a part of. And I was so honored to photograph it.

McKayla and I have been friends for years, so when it came time for Jonathan to propose I was all about dropping hints and letting them know how badly I wanted to shoot their wedding! Fast forward to Mothers Day weekend and everything worked out so perfectly! The weather was great, the venue came together friends and family got to witness it all. 

There was no doubt that the Holy Spirit was present for this event. I was so moved by the evidence of grace in both their lives and their relationships. The entire day was filled with joy and love,  it was truly one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever been a part of. So many people came around this young couple, showering them with love and talents to make McKayla’s dreams come true.

I had learned that McKayla’s bouquet was made from the Horticulture program at the Women’s correction center. I had never heard of such a program and honestly, this bouquet was one of the most elegant, thoughtfully crafted pieces I had ever seen. So I wanted to find out more and asked McKayla to share a little about how and why she chose to go with the choice of using the program for her wedding day. This is what she had to say about it. 

“Jonathan and I are both still college students, and we financed our wedding completely on our own outside of my dress. With that in mind, our budget for our wedding was extremely low. We were blessed by a multitude of people who gave us gifts of their talents or discounted greatly their services. One of the coolest finds for our wedding-on-a-budget was our flowers. We had gone to a wedding in October and learned that the Women’s correction venter had done their flowers. I remember thinking how amazing that was, but not thinking too much more of it because at the time I was hoping to be married on the other side of the state. When Jonathan and I nailed down our venue on the west side of Washington, eventually I remembered about my friend's flowers and that they were done by the corrections center. I started making phone calls to figure out how to go about ordering wedding flowers from the penitentiary (“wedding flowers” wasn’t necessarily featured on their website!) Eventually I connected with the man who had been heading up the Horticulture program at the Women’s correction center of Purdy for years, and he gave me a quote for the flowers I needed that was perfectly within my budget! 

Flowers are so expensive, especially for weddings. Outside of the cost of the flowers I bought for our wedding, I felt so good about putting money towards this horticulture program that teaches women in the correction center a trade so that, when they are ready to re-enter society, they have the skills and knowledge of a beautiful trade to assist them in building and sustaining their life and work. Now that’s a cause that I felt honored to support!” - McKayla 

Another beautiful piece of M+J’s wedding was the cake. Soooo many people had been talking about it at the reception and I over heard someone mentioned it being made by the brides mom, so I got to the bottom of the cakes story. This is what McKayla had to say about her cake,

“The cake for our wedding was pretty special. My mom is an incredible cook and baker, and she made my sisters wedding cake the year before. I knew i wanted to ask her to make ours also. I sent her a photo of a cake I liked from online, and nearly immediately she messaged me back saying “I got this”. What she came up with was stunning! 

The cake topper is so special to me. My Dad passed away when I was nearly eight years old, and I wanted to have some part of his touch present at our wedding. For one, I wore on my right hand the original engagement ring he had given to my mom. The second thing was the cake topper. It’s a heart with two doves, to rings, and a cross in the center, signifying Christ as the center of my mom and dad’s marriage. It was made by them for their wedding completely from glass. Using it at my wedding felt like a subtle but still profound way to remember my dad and his influence on my life, allowing some essence of him to be part of our day.”

There are no words that can adequately describe how much of an honor it is for me to be trusted documenting someone's wedding, I want to shoot YOUR wedding. And when its a friend, or family members it's just surreal. I have goosebumps guys, seriously when I realized my sweet friend was marrying her soul mate it brought tears to my eyes. I am so so happy for you both, and cant more excited to share these photos with you <3