Words by Angela

We are an adventurous couple; Alli a music therapist and I’m a wilderness therapy field guide and first responder. When we aren’t exploring the backcountry, you’ll find us watching Dr Who or Star Trek or playing Super Mario.

We’ve been together for almost three years. We met when Alli was interning to finish her Masters at a residential program where I worked as a counselor.

Alli surprised me with a trip to Portsmouth, NH for the weekend. On the way home, we stopped at a secluded beach to walk the dog and take pictures. Alli proposed with a beautiful, tearful speech, and I dropped to one knee and proposed right back.

We were engaged for one year.

We decided to elope when we were crunching numbers and realized how ridiculously expensive everything was. We thought our families would be upset, but instead, they were relieved. Alli also had a heck of a time finding an outfit, something that was elegant but also allowed her to be comfortable and confident instead of stiff.

Alli didn’t think she was ever going to find the perfect thing. She went on countless shopping trips with family and friends until she finally had her big “ah-ha” moment. I was able to find my outfit in one day on Amazon.

Neither of us had seen the Redwoods before, but our deep spiritual connection to nature led us there. It was the perfect destination to exchange our hand-written vows.

While our family wasn’t there, we had significant family and friends put their energy and intention into our wedding rings and special items. Angela had pearls from their mom’s wedding dress on the back of their shoes. They were there in thought and spirit.

We are glad we eloped and had a party at home for everyone after. It meant that nobody felt left out [although we wish we spent less money on favors that looked good but weren’t practical]. Our wedding was about just the two of us and not putting on a show for everyone else. We didn’t listen to our parents, we listened to our hearts, true to ourselves and our relationship.


Photographer Allie Dearie
Ceremony Venue Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Celebrant Minister Hayne Bendick
Florist Ferrari Florist
Rings Rachel Bertoni
Gown Designer BHLDN, Amazon
Veil Alli’s was borrowed from her sister, Angela’s was made by bridesmaid Vic Ludden
Flower crown Vic Ludden