Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a place I randomly found once when I was looking at wedding photos on Instagram last year. I really was intrigued by the story of it and hope to see it one day in person. I used to dream that someone would find me and fly me out there to shoot their wedding. It’s truly a magical looking place and I have it on my bucket list at least for visiting one day! The area of Eureka Springs and nearby Bella Vista really look like magical places. And the more images I see popping up of this part of Arkansas, it really seems like The Ozarks could be The Oregon of the South.
Aaaaah! Let’s begin with the history behind my upcoming trip in May. I had the pleasure of knowing Trisha and Rainer in Orlando. I photographed the memories of their first pregnancy and helped them capture the first week of sweet newborn Emily. At that time I remember being so blown away by how beautiful and natural their photos were. Back then I had just started photography full time (it was 2010) and I felt on top of the world when I received the canvas order of Emily sleeping peacefully on Trisha’s shoulder. I knew that craving the success of a breathtaking photo was life.
Later on I photographed Emily’s birthday portraits, and as an October baby, her costumes were the icing on the cake! During this time I met Jennifer, Trisha’s sister. Although the meetings were brief, I remember how close they were and just truly admired their relationship as sisters. (Feeling teary eyed writing this! It’s this photo below that does it.)
Fast forward three years and my family moves to Oregon before I can meet Rainer and Trisha’s new little boy. Jennifer moved away from Florida as well. But the whole family will be together again very soon because… Jennifer is getting married and the destination for their ceremony? Cliffs of Moher in Ireland! I am so honored that Jennifer and her fiance Chris thought of me to capture this moment in their lives. While I treasure each and every wedding I’m a part of, I am truly thankful to go on this adventure as their two families come together in a magical, beautiful place. I can’t wait for Chris and Jennifer to say I do!
I have goosebumps right now from a photo I just looked at from Juan and Kha-Mei’s intimate beach wedding. There’s something about the love these two souls have for one another. These two made me cry during the ceremony just because of how they were looking at each other. These two allowed me to photograph one of the most joyful weddings I’ve ever been a part of.
Kha-Mei’s joyful spirit is calming and endearing, and Juan has such a strong yet kind presence that makes everyone feel at ease. They effortlessly radiate care and warmth for not only each other, but for absolutely everyone else in their lives. And that is why their wedding was a dream to capture. Kha-Mei was simply floating along the beach in her beautiful dress after the ceremony without a care in the world, while Juan adored her the entire way.
The bride and groom live in Portland but love the beauty of the Oregon coast, and that happens to be where Juan proposed to Kha-Mei! So they decided to have their morning wedding ceremony at Hug Point State Park at the exact place where he popped the question. Their breakfast reception was held at the Wayfarer Restaurant in Cannon Beach. Both locations were intimate, relaxed and perfectly reflected the couple.
The ceremony was held in the waterfall cove at Hug Point. The walk to the ceremony location was quite a distance and definitely created anxiousness for Juan! It really is unique to wait for your bride to appear from behind a gigantic mountain on the beach. I remember how there was a sprinkle of rain for a little while right before Kha-Mei appeared. Then the rain slowly began to dissipate – or perhaps we were all so mesmerized by the ceremony we just didn’t notice it any longer. Either way, it was so light it certainly didn’t matter one bit. And as Kha-Mei and Juan were closer to the end of the ceremony and their first kiss, their hearts were closer than ever. You could see their smiles get bigger and bigger. It was true bliss.
As a surprise to Juan, Kha-Mei had a secret dress on underneath her original wedding dress. Juan posed for a photo (and was doing an awesome job by the way!) while Kha-Mei’s best friend helped to quickly take her original dress off!