Jen & Gordon got married deep in the wilderness of Big Sur, at a Boy Scout camp miles from civilization, surrounded by rivers and redwoods, family and friends. It was one of the most unique and relaxed celebrations I’ve ever been witness to, in a place I didn’t want to leave.
One of the best ways I can think to describe what Jen & Gordon’s Big Sur wedding was like is to tell you about the trip to get there. There’s a road that heads inland from Highway 1 in Big Sur called Palo Colorado Canyon. It twists and winds and turns between narrow gaps in old redwood trees, climbing past funky cabins and charismatic houses (including Sofanya’s Dome). After a few miles, you reach the top, and there’s a gate. On the other side of the gate, the road is dirt, and rocky, and downhill, rather steeply. It was bumpy enough that my iPhone got knocked into shuffle mode three times while playing music through my car stereo. The dirt road goes on like this for about five miles before arriving at Camp Pico Blanco. I drove through the Little Sur River to get to the parking area I used.
Jen & Gordon worked together at the Pico Blanco Scout Reservation as summer camp staff years ago, so the place is near and dear to their hearts. While shooting photos before the wedding, I chose a tent to pose them in, and Jen said I happened to choose her old tent.
Anyway, it was quite a day. We did a first look on a small wooden bridge, then shot portraits in redwood groves and near rivers and later by a waterfall. The ceremony was in front of a tiny chapel that would fit well in a Wes Anderson movie. The reception featured beer home brewed by Gordon & Jen — several kegs of it. And wedding attendees had the option of camping on the nights before and after the wedding.
I got very important help on this wedding by my friend and colleague Sonia Savio, who was on call to shoot the whole thing herself because my baby was due to be born close to the wedding date. Fortunately, Lila made her appearance a few days before the wedding, and Sonia and I shot together. Many of her beautiful photos appear in the gallery below.
During the reception, after the traditional toasts by parents, the microphone was opened up to anyone who wanted to say something about Jen & Gordon. This happens fairly frequently at weddings, and usually only a couple people speak, if any. But for Jen & Gordon, speaker after speaker took advantage of the opportunity to say wonderful things about the newlyweds, to talk about how their lives had been made better by them individually and as a couple. It was more evidence of how special these two are.
Check out my favorite photos from their day below.