Kaitlin + Ian | 06.14.2016

Locations: Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, just south of Forks, WA; Big Cedar Tree right off of US Hwy 101, between Ruby beach and Kalaloch Beach

Bouquet & Boutonniere: Leppell’s Flowers & Gifts, in Forks, WA

Officiant: Lynne Murphy, owner of Manitou Lodge in Forks, WA

Kaitlin contacted us back in March about photographing their elopement that would take place sometime in June at Kalaloch Beach, on the edge of the Olympic National Park, just south of Forks, WA. We knew it would be a three-hour drive each way for us, but we were up for it! Kaitlin & Ian are actually from the Cleveland area and had planned on vacationing together on the west coast–and then Ian proposed. So instead of just a vacation, their trip turned into a destination elopement and honeymoon.

This couple was so in love, down-to-earth, and just all-around awesome. It was a privilege to witness their little ceremony as well as be the legal witnesses on their paperwork (yes, we have done it more than once!). It was raining during their ceremony, hence the umbrellas, even though the sky was blue around us. Such is the nature of the west coast–it can rain and be sunny at the same time if just the right cloud is overhead. The rain cloud passed on just before their first kiss as a married couple, and we were able to take advantage of the beautiful weather and the light breeze that the beach afforded us.

After we had had our fill of all that Ruby Beach had to offer, we headed south on the 101 toward the Big Cedar Tree. This monument of Olympic National Park is around 1,000 years old, and was once one of the largest red cedars in the U.S. Unfortunately, two years ago a storm whipped through the coast and the tree split in two. One half of the giant lays on the forest floor, while the other half still stands and is still alive, producing new branches and boughs. We got some of our favorite images at this site. The tree has a hollow space at the base, with light coming in through an opening on the other side. We had Kaitlin & Ian stand on the other side of the tree, right in the frame of that natural window, and produced some wonderfully intimate images.