Kyleen and Ryan are no strangers to pivoting. These two found each other as they were both transitioning to a sober lifestyle. Kyleen and Ryan have been each other’s rock throughout this transition. They have built a life full of clarity and love and couldn’t wait to commit to a lifetime together. Kyleen and Ryan were excited to exchange vows in front of family and friends in Hawaii. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, these plans had to change. After facing so many difficult moments together, Kyleen and Ryan were able to pivot with grace and create a beautiful and intimate elopement.
Kyleen and Ryan decided to keep their original wedding date; the Fourth of July. They had hoped that although their Hawaiian wedding had to be canceled, they would be able to host a small backyard wedding. As the pandemic trudged on, Kyleen and Ryan made the decision to scale back even further for the safety of their family and friends and elope. They held their ceremony in an olive tree grove on Bidwell Golf Course with just four family members, one close friend, one close friend turned officiant, and myself in attendance.
Elopements always seem to have an organic flow to them. Kyleen had found the perfect spot under the ethereal canopy of olive branches and I helped instruct their few guests where to stand around that space. Then it was time for the bride and groom’s first look.
I captured some shots of Ryan as he waited for his bride. Ryan looked dashing as he sported his three-piece navy suit as he awaited Kyleen. Kyleen was stunning in a crisp white lace gown with a low back and sheath silhouette. Her only accessory was an ornate flower crown with lush greenery and florals in white, red, and small pops of a vibrant fascia. The crown was crafted in the traditional Polynesian haku style and brought a little bit of their planned Hawaiian wedding to their Northern California elopement. The love between these two was so evident during their first look and they were excited to start the ceremony.
Ryan walked down the makeshift aisle through the grove to join the officiant and guests. Kyleen grabbed her bouquet of white stargazer lilies and then Her father took her arm to escort her down the aisle. The officiant shared words, Kyleen and Ryan exchanged vows, placed rings on each other’s fingers, and then sealed their new union with a kiss! Now husband and wife, they ceremoniously walked back down the aisle together as their guest applauded.
After the ceremony, Kyleen and Ryan celebrated with their guests and took group photos under the olive trees. One of my favorite shots was of Kyleen with her friend and her officiant—the three of them had worked together at Lowe’s and had brought along their uniform hats to wear in a photo together. It was such a fun and adorable moment. After the group photos, we finished the session with sunset photos on the golf course.
Kyleen and Ryan’s elopement held a certain magic about it. Olive branches have long been a symbol of peace and rebirth. Kyleen and Ryan’s grace and adaptability among the challenges that they faced in life as well as in wedding planning is proof that no matter what you can find peace and create beautiful moments worth capturing.