How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
A: We’ve been together just over two years now. We met working at an outdoor science school in southern California. I had just moved from Texas, and Kate was the first person who made me truly laugh since arriving in this new state. A week after we met, I was having dinner with a friend from college, and I told her all about Kate. She told me, “You like her. Invite her over right now.” So I invited her, and it turned out my friend was right. I’ve spent every day since then enamored by her.
K: Aww! That’s so sweet! We did start spending time together really almost immediately after meeting.
Aside from your wedding, what is your favorite memory together.
A: We spent our first summer together apart. I was back in Austin, Texas, and she was still in California. I came to visit for a weekend and it was like falling in love all over again. At a local beach, we swam together, and it felt like we had the whole ocean to ourselves. Totally magical.
K: It sounds silly, but the times that we have shared while driving on long road trips are some of my favorites! Our most favorite pastime is chatting, and long, open roads work really well for that. There was one night where it was really late and freezing cold outside in New Mexico that never fails to crack me up because of the crazy things we saw together!
Tell us about the proposal.
A: We had been talking for a long time about getting married, and I think we both knew I was going to be the one to propose. I bought a ring, and knew I wanted to pop the question when we visited her family in California for Christmas. Just a few days before I was going to do it, Kate found a picture of the ring on my phone, so the surprise was a little spoiled.
We walked down to the beach, both knowing what was coming, sat on an empty lifeguard stand and talked about our future together. Finally, I pulled out the ring and asked. She said yes, then surprised me by producing a ring of her own for me!
K: We both knew because I had asked who wanted to propose! I must say that we are horrible at surprises – gifts, secrets, you name it. That evening was so beautiful!
Talk us through the decision to elope.
A: It turns out weddings are expensive and need a lot of coordinating. Who knew? We kept going back and forth about what we wanted to do and how much we could spend. After much squabbling, I finally said, let’s just fly to your parents and have your mom marry us!
Her parents live in a fifth-wheel trailer full time, so we knew we’d be able to find them in a beautiful spot. Plus, Kate’s family has been our rock during the course of our relationship. It was then that it clicked for us that having a “traditional” wedding was our attempt to please lots of other people. Especially because my parents are not supportive of our relationship, eloping allowed us to make the day truly just about us and what we both hold most dear.
And, how was the elopement?
K: We actually bit the bullet and chose a date for the elopement about a month and a half out. My parents were exploring up and down the Columbia River in Oregon for the better part of the summer, and I had visited that spot with them before [actually, just two weeks before I met Audrey], so I knew it was really gorgeous.
Tying the knot in a beautiful outdoor space just made sense for us! We couldn’t resist the irony of two brides getting married at a waterfall named “Bridal Veil Falls,” so we picked that spot, invited my brother to fly up, and asked my mom to become an officiant.
The ceremony itself happened bright and early and was super intimate and sweet – we all piled on a big rock near the falls as Audrey, and I exchanged vows, and everyone shared well wishes.
Afterward, we toasted with mimosas overlooking the river and headed into town for brunch.
Tell us about telling your loved ones that you’re now married.
A: I texted my brother first thing, but otherwise, I think most people found out via Instagram. My friends and I actually had a small bachelorette-style party a couple of weeks afterward.
K: Yeah, Instagram really has done the heavy lifting on letting people know that we’re married now!
And, what does the future hold for you both?
K: I feel like we’d be happy with so many outcomes as long as we can explore outside together! We want to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail [PCT] sometime in the next 5+ years or so … and then see where we end up from there.
A: Oh boy! Maybe law school, maybe starting a farm? I feel like we could go anywhere from here. The only thing I really know for sure is that Kate will be by my side. But hopefully lots of camping, traveling, and sunshine, and laughter along the way! I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll have a pig someday.
Photographer Sienna plus Josh