With a handful of their loved ones, Brandi and Isabel eloped among the Redwoods in California in an intimate, personal, ceremony.
How did your love story begin?
We have been “officially” together since January 3rd of 2019. Engaged July 6th of 2020, and married September 3rd, 2021. We met through mutual friends playing KanJam on the lake in Nashville, TN.
Our first official date. Brandi flew to NH where I (Isabel) lived at the time and we walked around the city of Portsmouth in the snow, along the beach, with coffee. We watched the boats coming in and out of the harbor and Brandi told me in that moment she knew I was the one.
And, how did the proposal go down?
Brandi proposed to me in the same spot as our first date, Prescott Park, in a garden of flowers, along the ocean in Portsmouth, NH. We had a photoshoot session to get some photos of us with Brandi’s son, Reagan.
Brandi contacted the photographer in advance to let him know her plan. He had me turn so he could “test the lighting” and that’s when she proposed. As she proposed, she surprised me with my mom, sister and best friend watching from a distance, sharing the moment with us. It was perfect!
Talk us through the decision to elope.
Initially, we were going to go with a “traditional” wedding with all family and friends. Brandi didn’t care where/how she married me, but I cared a little more. Once we made a list, we decided we had to narrow people down and that wasn’t a good feeling.
At the end of the day, the main reason we chose to elope is because we didn’t want to feel like we were putting on an act for the sake of entertaining others. We wanted to focus on each other and all the special moments that come with a wedding day. We wanted our love for one another to be at the centre, we value peace and what better way than to be surrounded by nature!
Photography and videography became very important to us because we wanted our loved ones to be able to get a good glimpse of how the day went.
How did you tell your family about your decision to elope?
Almost everybody knew that we were getting married and that we were eloping. We had 9 guests. Isabel’s sister, Carmen, as a bridesmaid and her boyfriend, Christian. Brandi’s best friend, Amanda, as her bridesmaid, and her husband Matt. We also had Brandi’s mother and Step mother as well as Isabel’s mother. Isabel’s younger brother (ring bearer), and Brandi’s son (also ring bearer).
We announced our engagement on Facebook and Instagram so anybody and everybody that each of us had as friends on those sites knew we were engaged, but only very close people knew about our wedding and how we were doing it.
How was elopement day?
Around 10am Brandi and I were separated from each other in the Airbnb.
We booked a house with separate suites. We both got our hair and makeup done and then we went in separate cars to a specific spot in the Redwoods (Zoe was responsible for all of the exact spots we went- she did amazing) for our first look.
Brandi was waiting on me and we were holding hands back to back before turning around.
We did some video and photos walking around in that area for about an hour and then we drove to the ceremony spot where our guests and officiant were waiting. We walked into the opening where the ceremony was from around the corner. Each of our bridesmaids walked out and stood in place. We walked out to the song “I’m With You” by Vance Joy- Brandi first, and then me.
Emily Sterling was our officiant and did an amazing job.
We wanted the ceremony to reflect on the importance of nature and the history of the Redwoods so that is how Emily started the ceremony off. We went through Emily’s portion, I said my vows, Brandi said her vows and then it was over. We wrote our own vows and they were perfect!
Everyone went in seperate cars following Zoe to the Oregon coast to enjoy pizza on blankets, quality time, and more photos on the beach.
Photography by The Foxes Photography
Catering Fat Cat Pizza
Ceremony Spot Redwood Forest, Crescent City, California
Cinematographer Jeffrey H Le
Dress Boutique Tess’ Bridal & Country Bumpkin Boutique
Florist Carmen Fernandez
Hair & Makeup Anne Timss
Officiant Emily Sterling
Rings Kay Jewelers