When Ana + Casey reached out to me, they described their wedding as “beautiful, simple, chaos.” If I could add anything else to that description, it would be the word “heart.” This wedding was full of heart and was reflected in every part of this mesmerizing day.
It was my first time to Lopez Island, where Ana grew up. I’ve been to the San Juans for weddings in the past, but Lopez was always a “pitstop” on my way to another island. Having the chance to explore this tiny place took me more than by surprise. On top of being visually stunning, the island natives were really what blew me away. The focus on local agriculture and sustainable community was a theme that carried from the moment I arrived and through the entirety of the wedding.
That morning, I arrived to Ana + Casey’s little house and was immediately taken in by the uniqueness of the location. Soon, I discovered that Ana had built the house herself and after she met Casey, they built onto it. Then, I noticed the rack of clothes in the bedroom and realized that every piece had been handmade by Ana or her friend Piper, who had also knitted all the bridesmaids’ attire. Ana even designed and created her own wedding dress.
For their portraits, Ana + Casey took me to a local bluff, a place they like to visit often, and we walked along the cliffside together. They talked about what they love about the island and connected to the story that brought the two of them together that day.
Friends of the couple had spent the last several months cleaning and renovating their barn to host the reception and their ceremony took place under a simple arch in front of a crabapple tree. They lined haystacks in a circle and as they were led into their ceremony by a local gypsy band, they took the hands of their friends and families and made their way to the center. The love that surrounded them was something I could physically feel. It took my breath away.
After the ceremony, I was quickly introduced to the heart of all Lopez residents… Their love for food. Guests brought homemade dishes with ingredients they had grown, caught, or butchered themselves. The people poured themselves into the dishes they created for Ana + Casey and all of which could have rivaled any meal from any fancy restaurant. And there was so much of it… It was a true bounty. Everyone’s hearts and bellies were full.
This wedding will stay with me for a long time. Ana + Casey’s love for each other and for their community simply can’t be contained in an image, but I did my best to capture a glimpse. And I hope you all could see it, too.