2018 was such an incredible year for Photography by Betty Elaine! I photographed couples from the coast, to mountains and alpine lakes, and into the sky in a hot air balloon! One of my favorite trips was to Positano Italy in the spring, it’s one of my favorite places in the world. But as much as I love traveling to Europe, I’m always happy to be home in the Pacific Northwest. One of the reasons I love photographing couples elopements and weddings in Washington, is because I’m always inspired by the beauty of this place, my home. And any chance to share the epic nature of this wild place with other adventure seekers, be that at an engagement or anniversary session, or wedding day, is a joy.
This past year, I focused on photographing home. Whatever that was to each of my couples. In the arms of whom they loved most, surrounded by family, or intimately alone in front of a waterfall. I’m proud of the photographs I created, and the relationships I made.
Image above and below photographed for Huoy Chen Photography at Heronswood Garden.
My sister is ENGAGED! When my sister’s boyfriend called me to help plan ideas for his proposal to her, I threw out the idea of me flying in to photograph it. I live in Seattle, Washington, she lives in St Louis, MO. Before I knew it, I was on a plane and in less than 24hrs I had landed, hiked to the spot for the proposal, setup a tray of hot tea, candles, and a vase of her favorite flowers, hid to document the event (she said yes!), spent the day celebrating their engagement with family, and then I boarded a plane back to Seattle! It was crazy! But it was perfect, and beautiful.
They walked along a trail that was in the park they took their first hike together at, until they reached this overlook of the river. The sun had just risen, and there was a streak of orange glowing through the clouds. When Yuriy went down on one knee to propose, Blythe couldn’t stop crying, and collapsed into his arms. It was so romantic. When she noticed someone was taking pictures, and that it was me, she started sobbing (I will keep those pictures offline, you’re welcome Blythe, haha). After giving them some time alone, we took a few newly engaged photos, and then I left them to enjoy the rest of their tea and treats. What a perfect way to start off an engagement!
A year into their relationship, Peter bet Karly that if he could catch a rabbit they saw on the campus, that they would get married. Doubting his ability to catch the rabbit, Karly took the bet. Peter ran so fast at it, it scared her, but he didn’t catch it. After that, anytime he saw a rabbit during their relationship he would chase it. Years later, when Peter did propose, instead of a ring he gave her a hand carved amber rabbit, a symbol of their relationship. Having a rabbit at Black Diamond Gardens on their wedding day, was a full circle moment, and the symbol of a rabbit was lovingly sealed onto their wedding invitations.
After spending a decade together, they wanted their wedding to be a celebration with family and friends. Specifically they wanted it to feel like a hobbit river party for everyone to gather, big appetites, and bigger hearts. And it did! Their wedding was the most perfect fall day, filled with music from their friends during their ceremony, the Groom’s band (Neon Brass Party) during cocktail hour with drinks served by Happy Camper Cocktail Co, pouring wine made by from Peter’s family and beer brewed by their friends. Handmade lace and crochet decorations from the Bride decorated their ceremony and reception. With a librarian for the Bride, and a teacher for the Groom, their vows were witty, made you laugh, cry, you learned something, and your heart was full after hearing them.
I’ve never witnessed so many toasts in the form of tribute songs to a Bride & Groom, they were romantic, hysterical, and nostalgic. Karly & Peter, your wedding day was magical. I will forever remember it as one of my favorite days. And from the words of one to the many tribute songs sung to you “May your love endure, and may you go and rule the world”.
Venue: Black Diamond Gardens
Coordination: Nelliena Events
Photographer: Photography by Betty Elaine
2nd Shooter: Meredith Ruth
Bar Service: Happy Camper Cocktail Co
Brewery: Tumwater Brewing Company
Wine: Shaw Wines
Catering: Paseo Caribbean
Wedding Dress: Custom made by Heather Sheppard Uhl
Ceremony Entertainment: John & Leah Platter, Nick Suda
Cocktail Hour Entertainment: Neon Brass Party
Reception Entertainment: Second Wind Band
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