When it came to their wedding day, Miranda and Sam said they most wanted to celebrate their love and make memories with their family and friends. They had originally planned to hold their wedding at the popular Chico venue White Ranch but, due to Covid-19, they were forced to make a last-minute location shift. They decided to keep their original wedding date and hold a socially distanced wedding at Wildwood Park. This couple and their guests handled the unexpected changes with grace and remained focused on what mattered most: Miranda and Sam getting married!
I started the day at an Airbnb with Miranda and her bridesmaids. There was a summer thunderstorm rolling in over Chico but Miranda remained so calm; all she cared about was marrying Sam. We took getting ready photos of the girls as well as some shots once they were all in their gowns. Next, I drove over to Miranda and Sam’s home where the groom and his party were getting ready to capture some shots. Miranda and Sam decided not to do a First Look, so once everyone was ready, it was time for the ceremony!
Miranda and Sam’s guests were awaiting the bridal party on the grass fields of Wildwood Park looking out towards the fields and foothills of Upper Bidwell Park. Everyone was very respectful of social distancing; guests brought chairs from home and spaced themselves out accordingly. The looming storm only yielded a few raindrops and left a layer of clouds that created a beautiful defused lighting. The bridal party arrived and entered with a traditional processional complete with two adorable flower girls. Walking down the aisle was the first time Sam saw Miranda and it was such a special moment. Miranda and Sam exchanged personal vows that were so heartfelt I teared up. Full disclosure, no matter how many weddings I go to, sweet moments full of deep connection can always move me.
Once Miranda and Sam we’re officially married—Yay!—we took family photos as well as pictures of the complete bridal party and shots of the bride and groom. Upper Park is a location I shoot in often so I knew exactly where to go. Across the road from the ceremony site, there is a beautiful secluded area with tall golden grass and mature oak trees. Miranda’s bohemian styling, from her lacy sleeves to her flower crown, coupled with the natural setting created such a romantic vibe.
With the portraits done, it was time for the reception back on the park lawn. Along with a stunning cake table, there was a sanitation station complete with masks and hand sanitizer to keep Miranda and Sam’s guests happy and healthy. The bride and groom shared a first dance, danced with their parents, and the bridal party shared touching toasts to the couple. Although the day may not have been what they originally planned, Miranda and Sam’s wedding reflected everything they had told me they wished for in their new life as husband and wife; a simple, beautiful life full of family, friends, nature, joy, and, above all, love.