My mom grew up in a family of three brothers and three sisters, which gave my sister and I the opportunity to have many aunts, uncles and cousins around as we grew up. Some of my relatives settled in California, and though we do not have the chance to visit that often, important life events tend to bring the group together. Just a few weeks after my sister's graduation, we made the drive to Leo Carillo State Park in Malibu, California to attend my cousin's beachfront camping wedding. The invitation was word of mouth, and several of us rowdy Arizona relatives showed up in time to join in the festivities.
The route to get to the beach from the hotel a twist-filled, two lane mountain road that wove through the hills of the Santa Monica Mountains. My husband had a really fun time navigating the turns in the sporty sedan we rented to complete the journey from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Turns out it was more cost effective to rent a car rather than purchase 2 airline tickets. (M was still under 2, and eligible for taking a flight while sitting on a comfy lap.)
We showed up at the campsite in time to walk the half mile to the private cove where the ceremony was to be held. I planned on snapping a few photos as documentary, but was not the official wedding photographer. It was a very heartfelt, low-key ceremony and about 30 were in attendance. My cousin and her husband both have adult daughters who also are photographers, so there were plenty of shutterbugs in the crowd. I guess you could call it crowd-sourced wedding photography.
Following the ceremony we had lunch at a nearby restaurant with a large deck and view of the water. The weather was gorgeous. That evening we returned to the campsite to find a feast prepared by one of our uncles, and the bride's sister and brother. We enjoyed making custom s'mores, and hot cocoa around a roaring campfire as temperatures dipped into the 50s. What a beautiful way to celebrate love and finding a partner to share life's adventures! Thank you to the bride and groom for inviting us to be present for your nuptials and join in the festivities!
Taking a walk with one of her great aunts.
M with her great aunt and two great uncles. Sometimes you just can't get through the day without a pacifier.