To say we were blessed to shoot the amazing wedding of Kati and Pete at the incredible Costanoa Resort would be a terrible understatement. This 3 day long beautiful extravaganza was both completely unique, beautifully designed and thoughtfully created to honor both the couple and their beautiful family and friends who had journeyed from all over the world to celebrate this amazing union.
Kati and Pete met at UC Santa Cruz and share a mutual love of the sea so much so that it played an integral part in their wedding day from the color of the bride's dress (turquoise honoring Yemaya- Goddess of the living Ocean) to the unbelievably gorgeous & deeply spiritual seaside ceremony. There were countless details and pieces created with so much thought and attention that made up this wedding-there's no way I could even begin to recall it all-but I will do my best! Come journey with me!!!
K & P have a serious love for sunflowers which you'll see throughout their wedding-they grew all of the sunflowers themselves and brought them out to California! NO JOKE! Here is the invitation-gorgeously crafted and stamped with their custom tandem design (you'll learn more about that later!) PLUS it came last year with a little satchel of sunflower seeds and just in case you can't read it:
"When flowers appear the time is near to celebrate by the sea..."
The weekend kicked off with THE most legit talent show you've ever seen! Seriously, they went all out for this! From the cozy decor to the incredible vegetarian cuisine and hot apple cider dessert-it was amazing.
Kati is also a photographer and teacher and put SO MANY personal touches on her innumerable creations!!!
Kati and Pete kicked off the event and loosened everyone up by performing this ridiculously awesome joint yoga thingamajig performed to their friend who was reading allowed this poem that perfectly narrated the movements and crazy positions they were able to support each other in. Oh yeah, did I mention they're both the most in shape people you've ever met? Between yoga, surfing and biking I hope to one day be half as ripped.....
Pete's mommy and daddy sang him an original :*********)
Oh yeah...and did I mention Pete is a agroecology major who teaches nutritional cooking at Maxwell Park International Academy? Check him out! For the wedding feast Pete grew all of the food back home in Utah at his incredible Sandhill Farms-they literally planted their own wedding garden to feed their guests!!! Holy moly it was DELICIOUS!!!
After a late night of laughter everyone went to bed in their various luxurious cabins, adorably comfortable tents or awesome camp sites (another reason I ADORE Costanoa-they had something perfect for EVERYONE!) only to wake up bright and early Saturday morning for some fabulous yoga led by the bride and groom's sweet friend...
I couldn't believe the flexibility and agility so many (okay all) of these folks have-many of whom are quite a bit more "mature" in their journeys than I-totally put me to shame (and reminded me it's been about 4 months since my last Ashtanga class-I need to get on that)
It was a fabulous time for fellowship and a great way to cleanse and prepare for the wedding!
While the guests enjoyed various hiking paths or a yummy lunch in the lodge lounge Kati withdrew to her lodge room to prepare for the beautiful ceremony...
while Pete ventured down to the sea side with his closest friends and family to meditate and take in the incredible moment before creating the amazing landscape that would serve as the backdrop for his wedding ceremony.
he then prepared himself for Kati
and was ready to go...
We arranged for Kati and Pete to have their reveal in a hidden cove not far from their ceremony site. My husband set Pete up and gave him a moment to take a breath before I had Kati come through the cave into the cove...
After they took some time together it was time for the parade! That's right...I said parade.
Kati and Pete's guests met them at the top of the trail and led them down to the seaside with drums, flags and of course-lots of sunflowers!!
all the way down the path and to the seaside where the guests happily removed their shoes and took a spot by the sunflower alter....
They then enjoyed one of the more loving and spiritual wedding ceremonies I have ever seen. Their very talented friend sang them in
Pete's parents walked him in carrying their oversized gorgeous sunflowers
and then Kati's parents walked her in
which caused Pete to give one of my all time favorite groom reactions (he simply turned around and giggled out loud at the sea)
this ceremony was filled with music, dancing, touching words and sweet ceremonial gifts including both the groom's and bride's parents puling apart a garlic bulb (remember Pete is a garlic grower) and planting them all together symbolizing the start of this new season of life and the two families forever connected and growing through life together.
What happened after the bride and groom kissed you ask? Well remember all of those gorgeous sunflowers Pete and Kati grew themselves? All of the guests were given one and everyone took a moment of quiet to meditate and pray into these flowers all of the beautiful thoughts and prayers they have for Pete and Kati....then they all went into a huge basket and Kati and Pete were pushed out into the ocean where they took a moment out at sea to offer the sunflowers to Yemaya and show their gratitude for the amazing experience.
and you know what happens next......these weren't your average wedding guests-they weren't about to let Kati and Pete have all the fun-they jumped in as well! It was a gorgeous day on that warm Santa Cruz beach!
The couple and their guests went back to the lodge and celebrated into the night! Dancing, music, delicious food and a very non traditional strawberry shortcake wedding cake :) YUMMMMMY!!!!
to end the night, Pete called everyone to the lawn to watch the moon rise-stunning doesn't even begin to describe it. What an amazing night it was....
What are they up to now you ask?
Well instead of registering for pots and pans and whatnot they registered for an amazing tandem bike (get the theme?!)
p.s. one of their sweet friends created this graphic especially for them which they used on various sweet touches throughout the wedding from the invitations themselves to the reusable canvas wedding favor satchels filled with wine and goodies!! (notice the garlic for Pete & the flower for Kati! SO cute!!!)
Back to the bike....
A guest could literally go to the bike shop and choose a piece of the bike that Kati and Pete had already registered for and they could buy it for their bike and voila! The most amazing wedding present in the history of weddings!
PLUS they pushed off from their wedding and rode all the way down to the border and eventually to Cuba where they are currently traveling from province to province on the tandem bike interviewing and documenting the tremendous sustainable organic agriculture movement in Cuba! And word has it-they're writing a book about it! But until then, their fabulous Lives in Tandem blog will have to hold you over :)