Although they had planned something small, COVID meant that their intimate wedding became an elopement. They said their vows on the UC Berkeley Campus in California in a private ceremony.
Tell us more about the romance. How long have you been together?
J: In our souls, our whole lives. In this timeline, eight months.
C: We’ve been best friends for about two years. We met at the gym, where Julie was working, and quickly became inseparable. Life kept us apart until eight months ago when we finally figured out we could make the jump after I confessed my feelings one night. It was on an epic trip for my 30th birthday. We were together 72hrs later.
Tell us about the proposal.
C: When we got together, it wasn’t a casual decision. We knew we wanted to get married. I bought a ring almost immediately and gave it to her the second the jeweler had it finished.
We were in bed for the night when I pulled it out of my pocket and asked her to marry me.
J: My Proposal was supposed to be a surprise. But, that dissolved quickly since she loves having surprises spoiled, and had to propose first. I had begun planning to have a custom ring made for her in the spring but had to message my jeweler after Carolina proposed that I was going to need that ring ASAP.
I took her to one of our favorite spots in the area, a dog park on the bay we visited often. It was actually the first place we hung out together outside of my work.
The only secret that I did keep, besides the actual ring, was that I had planned with Liv (our wedding photographer) to get some candid shots of the moment. After frantically searching strangers’ faces at what I thought was our agreed meeting spot, I bumbled my way through the park until I finally spotted her in the distance. I distracted Carolina with a very smooth “Quick, look over there!” and got down on one knee while her head was turned.
It was perfect.
Our dogs were running wild and it felt very casual and relaxed and us.
Talk us through the decision to elope
C: We were originally going to have a small ceremony with friends and family. We picked a date and started planning, but then the pandemic happened. Neither of us was fans of changing the date, so we chose to elope.
Our families were extremely supportive.
J: After we picked a date I was pretty set on marrying Carolina on that date no matter what, even if it was just the two of us. Deciding to elope was easy for me.
How did you go about telling your loved ones about the elopement?
C: My parents know me well enough that when my mind is set on something, I’m going to do it. There was no changing the date, so my parents weren’t surprised with the decision.
J: A lot of people knew we were engaged, and close friends and family knew about the elopement decision, so it wasn’t a huge surprise. My loved ones have been beyond happy to welcome Carolina to the family.
And, the elopement. Was it everything you hoped it would be?
C: It was kind of hilarious. We got our own outfits, wrote our own ceremony and vows, called the most handsome guy we knew to officiate for us, and just pulled the trigger. We also tried getting flowers from Julie’s favorite shop, but the pandemic forced them to cancel last minute, so we ended up getting six bouquets from Whole Foods the night before.
The checker literally cried for us when we told her what they were for. We thought it was hilarious.
I think our best attribute as a couple is rolling with the punches.
J: To be honest it kind of crept up on me. I had elopement stress dreams a few weeks beforehand. I can’t even imagine how I would have handled a full wedding.
We considered a few locations but ultimately wanted something easy and familiar. We did a walkthrough of the UC Berkeley campus a few weeks beforehand, a place we’d walked the dogs often when I lived nearby, and found some really beautiful spaces and decided from those.
I’d like to say, I picked from those six bouquets to make one beautiful one the night before. And really, woman from Whole Foods, if you’re reading this, you were so sweet to us, but we were NOT sad! It was hilarious! And, turned out great.
We got ready the morning of the elopement together, but I had Carolina leave early so that we could do a first look. Walking through Berkeley in a wedding dress with a bouquet definitely got some looks.
We all met up, had our private ceremony, and wandered campus, taking pictures for a few hours. It was perfect.
Now that you’re married, what’s in the future for you both?
C: Kids and puppies! But, in all seriousness, we’re both really ambitious and have big goals for our family, ourselves, and each other. Pandemic permitting, we’d like to have a party for our first anniversary next year so that our friends and family can celebrate in person with us.
J: SO MUCH. School, changing careers, growing a family, and just living every day together, so happy we took the leap.
Photography by Liv With The Lens