vancouver island elopement

Goldstream Waterfall Elopement with Katie & Steven // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Katie and Steven come from the UK to elope in Victoria near a waterfall in Goldstream Regional Park // Vancouver Island Wedding Photographers

Who says weddings are for Saturdays only? Who says you have to wear a wedding dress and tux? We love a good Thursday afternoon elopement in the woods! And that’s exactly what Katie and Steven had planned. It felt so fly off the cuff like a true elopement in the movies would: running to a far off place, absconding into the woods in their favourite outfits, grinning and beaming at each other in a romantic whirlwind ceremony in front of a waterfall with no one else around. I mean, aside from their officiant and their photographers.

Here are a few of our favourites from Katie and Steven’s elopement at Goldstream Regional Park.

Intimate Wedding at Wild Renfrew and Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew // Holly and Alessandro

Holly and Alessandro host their nearest and dearest at Wild Renfrew for their wild and intimate Botany Beach Wedding Ceremony // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Since moving to Sooke on Vancouver Island a couple years , Port Renfrew quickly became one of our (if not our most) very favourite places.  A quiet, rugged, wild, and mysterious pocket of coast line takes the breath away of every visitor. Winter storms are dramatic, wildlife is abundant, and the landscape is humbling. Our first trip there was a cold and grey November day as huge green waves crashed against layers of black angular lava rock. Like liquid glass colliding against a book of razors. We could only stand there and stare, mouths agape. Just around a bend from there, a short hike through twisted cedars, sitkas and firs, is a smooth refuge of flat beach, sheltered from ocean winds and pock marked by tide pools that teem with sea life.  One doesn't need to wonder why Holly and Alessandro, geologists, would choose this on all places to host their family for their intimate wedding. 

Holly and Ale got ready for their day at the Wild Renfrew cabins, overlooking the Port of San Juan, and mountains filled with new and ancient growth forests.  As a small group, their friends and family walked down to Botany Bay and gathered closely for their ceremony officiated by an inviting and humourous  Port Renfrew local Reet Buckler.  Eagles soared overhead, sea lions played in the kelp bed, and waves crashed rhythmically on the rocks.  After the ceremony and champagne, we stole away with Holly and Ale to explore the coast more for some adventurous portraits.

Thank Holly and Ale for having us there to be a part of your beautiful, natural, an intimate day. We hope you love the photos!

Stanley Park Engagement Session // Jane & Joseph

Jane and Joseph stroll the Seawall and explore the Stanley Park Gardens in Vancouver // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Wowee! Spring was fabulous, but summer has made a booming arrival!  What gorgeous weather we've been having. On days like these, we love to stroll somewhat aimlessly, check out the sights, play tourist, and take in the long days. That's just what we did with Jane and Joseph during their Stanley Park engagement photos! he park was abuzz with tourists and locals like, as we wandered from the Aquarium, to the gardens, and then the Seawall. It was a perfect day for people watching and flower gazing as we stopped to admire the rhododendrons, azaleas, roses, and alliums all around the park. All the while we chatted, giggled (and twirled!!) with Jane and Joseph, and took the opportunity to chat about them, their upcoming wedding and their excitement for their big day! 

Thank you Jane and Joseph for taking a easy breezy Saturday stroll with us during your engagement photos, we had a blast!

 

Beacon Hill Park Elopement in Victoria // Kaiti and Mike

Kaiti and Mike's secret September wedding in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria // Victoria Wedding Photographers

With September being our busiest month, and the month of our anniversary, we weren't really expecting to have enough time to really celebrate our anniversary.  With so many wedding on the docket, we figured we'd probably spend the day editing, consulting, updating our portfolio, catching up on social media, or meeting with couples.  As it happens though, we were given the opportunity to do something very special on the day of our anniversary.  When Kaiti and Mike approached us with their elopement so secret that we'd be the very witnesses on their marriage certificate, we knew that would be the most memorable way to spend our anniversary.  We couldn't wait for the day to hurry up and arrive so we could spend it photographing, witnessing, and celebrating he marriage of a fantastic couple who would end up sharing the very same day! What a treat!

Kaiti and Mike came from the Mainland to elope in Victoria, and to spend a couple days enjoying the city. We met the two of them on that sunny September afternoon in Beacon Hill Park for their intimate elopement amongst a secluded grove of Garry oaks. What a gorgeous place to exchange such heartfelt felt vows, and rings. After their official ceremony, we spent time exploring around the park and beaches nearby, taking in the sights, the sunlit fog, and wedded bliss!

Thanks, Kaiti and Mike, for including us in such a great day, and congratulations on your marriage!  We hope you love the photos!

Tips for Looking and Feeling Awesome in Your Engagement Photos

Some great suggestions on how to look and feel amazing during your engagement photos, from Victoria Wedding Photography team, Pebble and Pine Photography.

Let's start with why we love engagement sessions so much!  We get asked a lot by couples if engagement sessions are a totally necessary part of getting married.  The truth is, they aren't.  You can get married without having engagement sessions and your marriage is still just as legal, haha.  However,  we've found that engagement sessions are so valuable because they are a great way for us to get to know our couples a bit more before the wedding.  It helps us to see how you interact with each other, get to know your dynamic as a couple, and how we can best make you feeling comfortable and confident in front of the lens so the wedding day is effortless and has a smooth natural flow to it.  It's also incredibly helpful and fun for our couples who are preparing for the big day.  It shows you how we work as a photography duo, how you feel being photographed, and help you to get more comfortable in front of our lenses, so that you have less to feel nervous about when your wedding day comes. 

 In our experience of photographing weddings, we've found that many of the couples we work with have not had professional photos done together before working with us.  They often have questions about how they can best prepare for the engagement session, so we've put together a handy little tips list.  That way, you can put your nerves at ease, and feel excited!

First and most importantly to remember; this is not a do-or-die list.  As with all advice, follow it to the degree that you're comfortable with, and that feels right for you!

Ability to move freely. 
Because we’ll be walking around, and getting the two of you interacting with each other, the ability to move around with ease is the best way to feel natural in front of the camera.  You want to make sure that you can wrap your arms around each other comfortably, and also be able to walk and sit down without worrying what your clothes are doing, or feeling restricted by them. We also love taking candid photos of you guys just spending time together, so the less you carry with you (purses, backpacks, etc), the more spontaneous the photos can be.  Some couples like to make sure they can keep their phones close by, or like to bring a small makeup/lip touch-up kit along which is totally fine. In those instances, we will usually just carry those things for you in our camera bags until you need them, so they don’t show through your pockets and clothes.

Wear the clothes, and do the hair and makeup style that make you feel like the most confident, comfortable, and vibrant version of yourself.
Keep in mind that when you look at your photos later, we want you to feel like your photos are a reflection of your true self, not a costumey version of yourself.
Our best advice is to not wear clothes, or get hair and makeup done to an extreme or style that feels unnatural or uncharacteristic of you. The best way to look good on camera is to feel like yourself! 
Brides who are planning to have hair and makeup done at the wedding often opt to have some hair and makeup for the engagement session, to see how it feels to be photographed with it done.  Typically it’s slightly more toned-down, and less formal than it would be on the wedding day.  The best way to look good on camera is to feel like yourself! 

Decide on a location you love and feel comfortable in.
We encourage couples to choose a place of significance to them, and a place they feel comfortable in.  We love engagement sessions to tell some kind of story and have a flow to them, so that you don’t feel like you're just standing in front of the camera posing the whole time. If you're in a place you love and are excited about, you'll feel more at ease in front of the camera.  This way we can get you interacting with each other to really capture your personalities, and your dynamic together.  A lot of couples choose walks on the beach or the woods in areas they like, or decide they want to have a date night, like a wine-and-sunset picnic somewhere.  Other couples choose to have their photos taken doing a hobby they enjoy doing.  We like to chat with our couples about ideas that work best to reflect their life together.

Match your engagement style vibe to the atmosphere and style you’ve planned your wedding. 
Weddings nowadays have become less of a traditional mould, and more of an expression of your relationship.  Chances are, you’ve planned your wedding to reflect your personalities, your style and taste, and of course your eccentricities.  We recommend matching your engagement style to fit amongst the same general style of your wedding, and your own personal style.  Some couples consider themselves more outdoorsy and adventurous. Some couples vibe with boho, whereas others are more modern and edgy, etc.  So to avoid feeling uncomfortable or inauthentic to yourself, we usually recommend couples dress in what Matt refers to as, “casual plus, or better".  It's a spruced up version of your own real, personal style.  For example, a couple we shot last year, during a beach sunset, described their outfit choice this way, “we chose outfits to that we would wear to a beachfront patio, on a night out for dinner and drinks with good friends we hadn’t seen for a long time.”   

Complement each other’s style. 
This is not a suggestion to wear a matchy-matchy couples onesie outfit, though that would be hilarious. We do, however, recommend your clothes complement each other’s style and scale of formality. We’ve found most couples have a similar style anyways, but we just throw this in as a tip.  For example, if one of you is in a suit jacket, the other might not want to wear those oh-so-cozy LuLus and gym top.  Or, if one is in a brightly coloured, patterned summer dress, the other probably wouldn’t be rocking the Johnny Cash all-black-from-head-to-toe look.  You're both individuals, but these photos show how you complement each other as two equal parts of a whole.

Play off the season and location.  
This all goes with the goal of feeling comfortable and natural in your surroundings. We want you to dress and feel awesome for the weather, and location you're in.  Heels aren't always the best shoe choice for snowy mountains or sandy beaches. If you're planning to rock a strapless dress at the top of Cypress in the winter, bring along a cute jacket to wear.  If you're planning a romantic summer sunset on a hot beach, leave that parka at home and wear layers instead. 

I know, I know! This isn't one of Andrea and Eddie's engagement photos. But we love their use of vibrant colour and eccentric prints to show their personal style. Don't be afraid to be bold, friends!

I know, I know! This isn't one of Andrea and Eddie's engagement photos. But we love their use of vibrant colour and eccentric prints to show their personal style. Don't be afraid to be bold, friends!

Don't shy away from bright colours or prints, but avoid fluorescent neon materials. 
Bold prints and vibrant colours can be a great way to show your personal style, but be weary of fluorescent and neon.  Think Olivia Newton John in her 80’s aerobic leotards.  While these types of colours are mostly seen in workout and road-worker attire to promote visibility and road safety, they have started to pop up in regular style as well for a visual punch.  Great in real life, but these fluorescent and neon colours are so reflective that they’ll reflect their own colour onto your skin in photographs.  If these colours are on the front of your shirt, they will often cast their colour up onto your face and your partner’s, even on a cloudy day. (We’ll have a photo in the blog to show an example of this effect.)

A good night sleep, proper meals, and lots of water! 
This is just a general rule for day to day life, but it applies to the day of your photoshoot as well.  If you’re nervous the night before, try to hit the hay early to make sure you’re not tired the evening of your session. If you’re busy with hair and makeup on the day of, make sure to allot time for food and water through the day of your the photo session.  It’s the best way to look vibrant, feel refreshed, and stay excited through your photos together. Plus, as we all know, it’s hard to smile and feel lovey when we’re hangry. 

 

These are some of our prep / attire tips. But again, only follow these to the degree that you’re comfortable with, and don’t feel restricted by.  We usually spend a few minutes at the start of each photo shoot to let you guys know what expect so that you know how to interact with each other and the camera during the photoshoot. We’ll shake out all those nervous, awkward feelings at the start so you guys can feel awesome in the photos! 

 

Feel free to check out some other blogs here:

Hawai'i Vacation Scrapbook - Wedding Photographers do Maui!

Mahalo!  We are back from our vacation in Maui!  No, this holiday was not to shoot a wedding, or landscapes, or our honeymoon. This holiday was for disconnecting, and spending some time with family, to celebrate Matt's father, Brad's, 60th birthday.  We're thankful that we get to travel so much for weddings and photoshoots, and we've seen a lot of incredible places as a result, much of our travelling lately has just been to get to know our new turf on Vancouver Island.  So, some down time with the Neumann side of the family was going to be an awesome, and different, type of trip for us.  We had been excited for this trip for eons it felt like: and just like that, it came, and was over before we could even raise our cameras to take photos.  The best part about this trip in particular was leaving the cameras in the bags, and getting to spend quality time with family members.  As you can imagine, in the busy wedding season, we often only get to see them when we are crashing in their spare rooms so that we can be close to the wedding we're shooting the next day.  Some of the best parts of the trip weren't the grand adventures, but just hanging by the pool with them until after sunset, playing jenga around the dinner table until everyone was too exhausted to carry on. 

We've put together a little scrapbook blog of photos just to show you some of the things we saw and did: lots of sunsets by the pool, trekking up the Haleakala volcanic crater, driving the windy and lush Road to Hana, snorkelling all over Maui (we didn't see sea turtles, but saw so many huma-huma-nuku-nuku-apuaa), waterfall hiking, whale watching, watching surfers, and trying to keep Matt's porcelain skin from burning to a crisp.   He also took the opportunity to work on his vacation beard, which seems to have also traversed the Pacific Ocean and is currently resisting his razor's edge as we make our way back into our normal routine.  

Enjoy the photos! 

Whonnock Lake Lodge Wedding - Minna and Trevor

Minna and Trevor's Intimate Wedding at Whonnock Lake in Maple Ridge // Vancouver Island Wedding Photographers

Today we're sharing some of our favourites from Minna and Trevor's wedding at Whonnock Lake Centre.

We were so honoured to be there to capture Minna and Trevor's big day with them, and their family and friends.  For those of you who know what the Vancouver area is like in the winter, you know we get rain.  A lot of it.   With the rain pouring down the wall of windows of Whonnock Lake Centre, and the sun setting low into a nest of mist and cloud,  Minna and Trevor hosted one of the most intimate and cozy weddings we've had the pleasure of shooting.  Underneath a canopy of lanterns strung from the wood beams, they and their guests danced and drank the night away. What a celebration!  

Thank you Minna and Trevor for having us there to capture it.  Thanks for standing in the rain while we did some photography experimentations on you!  You're such great sports.

We hope you love the photos!

Thank you for stopping by to check out our wedding photography. If you'd like to know more about our lives in BC, or as Pebble and Pine Photography, Creative and Modern Victoria and Vancouver Island wedding photographers, you can read About Us

Golden Eagle Golf Course Wedding - Candy and Tim

Candy and Tim's Outdoor Wedding and Helicopter Ride at Golden Eagle Golf Course in Maple Ridge // BC Wedding Photographers

We had the pleasure of photographing a wedding at Golden Eagle Golf Course a couple years ago and really loved the experience.  When Candy and Tim approached us about their wedding this year, we were excited to come back from Victoria to capture it.  They seemed like a couple who was perfect for each other, and it would be so great to spend a day with them at such a neat place. 

We loved all the personal touches that Candy and Tim put into their wedding were really superb and cheeky.  Being pharmacists, Candy and Tim handed out large prescription bottles for their guests to 'fill' at their candy bar.  They also had all their guests fill out a prescription pad with marriage advice for them to read through in the future. 

With all the excitement of the day, it was nice for Candy and Tim to have a few minutes alone together, to step away from all their guests and absorb the day.  They did this by taking a helicopter ride to a remote riverbed in the forest, just the two of them... and Matt. While they were away, their guests enjoyed their time putt'ing around the greens and listening to Candy's sister play beautiful music on the guzheng. 

Upon their return, it was time for the celebrations, with amazing speeches and stories about the couple and their relationship, they finished off their evening with dancing and sparklers.

Thanks Candy and Tim for letting us be part of this special day! We hope you love the photos.

Thank you for stopping by to check out our wedding photography. If you'd like to know more about our lives in BC, or as Pebble and Pine Photography, Creative and Modern Victoria and Vancouver Island wedding photographers, you can read About Us

British Columbia Elopement - Aria and Zach // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Aria and Zach Elope on the Sunshine Coast in the Forest // Vancouver Island Wedding Photographers

We're romantics, of course. I think you have to be to work in such an intimate field, photographing such an intimate and monumental milestone.  For a lot of us, an elopement is the epitome of romantic.  So, you can imagine how our hearts were a flutter when Aria and Zachary called us to talk about photographing their elopement on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast. 

We had so much fun with the two of them and their charming officiant, Greig - just the five of us exploring Cliff Gilker Park near Gibsons, and Smuggler Cove past Sechelt.  We loved talking to them, and getting to know about their relationship.  Aria and Zach started dating and knew right away that they were going to spend their lives together.  They got engaged a few months into their relationship, and felt an intimate and private elopement would be right for them... down the road.  They spent their 5 year engagement getting to know each other, growing together, and  then moving from the States to BC together.  As they explore the mountain ranges in BC together, their matching wedding bands illustrate the mountain ranges from where they came.  We love their story, their positive attitudes, and their sense of adventure - it's not everyday that a couple decides they want to get married or elope by a waterfall, in the middle of the mossy woods, in a province they just moved to.

Thank you Aria and Zachary for inviting us on this great adventure with you! We wish you a lifetime of adventures together, and hope you love the photos!