From the Photographer:
It was a swing dancing class taught by Eli’s nana when Chelsea sauntered in with a mutual friend of theirs. Their friend introduced them and they danced the night away…well not exactly but it is where Chelsea & Eli first met. A few weeks later Eli started working at the Jamba Juice in the Safeway where Chelsea worked. Many mornings of quick ‘hellos’ were exchanged as they would pass by each other. Through a mutual friend they started hanging out at church more and more together. It didn’t take much time for these two to become best friends. Less than a year into their friendship they started dating. Their love for adventure drew them together, hiking and finding new places and trying new things.
It was only a month after their ONE year anniversary when Eli planned a trip to Palouse Falls in Eastern Washington. They had their friend Andrew join them and little did Chelsea know he was there to capture Eli’s surprise proposal! Chelsea only knew it was going to be an amazing adventure so of course Andrew being a photographer and videographer, why wouldn’t we have him come along to photograph the view. It was a new place for them to discover. Chelsea had never even heard of the falls and definitely had no idea that Eli was going to propose. Talking about marriage the past few months she knew it could be a possibility but was truly surprised when Eli got down on one knee during their hike and Andrew was able to catch all their excitement and emotion!
When it came to planning their wedding they both had an idea of what they wanted…simple, organic and authentic. Chelsea decided early on that she wanted to crochet her wedding dress. She had a friend make the dress portion and although the process took a lot longer than she expected, she crocheted the top overlay. It was a process however the time invested paid off…it was detailed and beautiful and simply Chelsea. They changed locations several times and ended up settling on Bob Herman Wildlife Park. Deciding on a first look at sunrise I was stoked to be photographing it!
Chelsea started getting ready at 3 am. Definitely different to be getting ready in the dark and well worth it. Chelsea’s mom Danielle (who is also a talented interior designer) helped with the headpiece, bouquet, boutonniere and other little details for the wedding. As she helped Chelsea with her hair and makeup and into her dress, Chelsea’s mom couldn’t be more proud! We headed to the park for their first look…the combination of fog and burnt orange sun peaking over the hillside made for a stunning backdrop. As Chelsea approached Eli she was all smiles. He turned around and he too was beaming. She was so excited to give him his gift…as she handed him the homemade box he opened up a special pocket watch she had for him. Soon after when he looked up and gazed at Chelsea. He was in awe of her, her dress and savoring the reality that they were about to get married!
We took in the early morning light and headed to the lagoon where they had a canoe waiting. I was in heaven…sunrise…a canoe…a bride & groom….yes please!! It was gorgeous…Eli even serenaded her with his mandolin…although it wasn’t without us coaxing him from the shoreline. By 8 am the sun was hot and bright and their intimate wedding of 12 people was starting to arrive. They found a clearing in the grass that seemed to be the perfect place to commit their love to each other. They said their ‘I Do’s’ and took communion. After being pronounced husband and wife they ran down the makeshift aisle and rather than confetti the ‘crowd’ threw dried flower petals in the air! A picnic of scones and fig jam accompanied by Kombucha (a fermented tea) was the reception food of choice. Having some trees and shoreline area to gather at, they all congratulated the couple and enjoyed some family time.
Congratulations Chelsea & Eli…may you have many years of happiness!
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Photographer: Arlene Chambers Photography