Out of the woods, into my head

Hi friends, I’m back in LA from Tahoe with a mountain of work ahead of me and a head full of magical landscape. We drove up the the eastern route, which puts you through the Red Rock Canyon, skirts you to the edge of Yosemite and Mono Lake, and through other heart-stopping peaks and curves that my brain couldn’t retain the names of because I was too busy open-mouthed the whole time. I think the theme of my summer so far as been beautiful scenery and my heart wants to burst at the thought of how the West never ceases to amaze me with its beauty. Will and I have been casually thinking about our wedding with a lot of headache over our laughable budget (building back up our savings after the Big C wiped it) and too big guest list (story of nearly everyone’s wedding?) and this trip has us dreaming about a place with cabins where our family and closest friends can stay with us while we have a big bbq cook out and get married among the trees and dance the night away under the stars. No fancy props or catering or excessive money spent on one single event when all we want to remember is the people we love having a good time with us. Not caring if not everyone thinks it a particularly classy event.

I don’t know, wedding planning makes me want to tear my hair out but Yosemite calms me a bit, making me think outside the box and into the woods. Have you been to Yosemite? Please put it on your bucket list. I have to go back as soon as humanly possible to see the actual inside of the park. Tahoe was amazing as well, I have to add to this – the bluest water I’ve ever seen. I took this weird long exposure photo at the wedding I shot up there. More on that later. I shot some film on our trip but haven’t finished the roll, so you can see my Instagram photos (like the top two) here.

I’ve been really absent lately but it’s all for a good reason – please check back tomorrow (just kidding, Thursday or Friday) for a big jewelry shop announcement!


  1. says

    The first stages of wedding planning are the absolute worst, I think. Once you nail down the guest list and the venue, everything else is so much easier to deal with, because you’re basically just making logical choices that are limited by the first two choices (unless you have an unlimited budget, in which case I think there are way more choices to make). Just know that you’re going through the hardest part and it will get better!

  2. Kelly says

    Thats exactly how my guy and I plan to get married! Outdoors, rustic, campfires, whiskey, big trees, big sky. So jealous of your trip!

  3. says

    395 and the east side of the Sierra are hands down one of my favorite places on Earth. The hubs and I almost just bought Sierra Lodge (up a canyon outside of Big Pine). It has 9 cabins, 10 RV/tent spots, and a general store. This was our life long dream. Perfection. Not to mention it is being sold for $225,000. Ridiculously cheap, I know. Fast forward to when we found out we have to pay cash due to the land lease. Dream shattered. Anyhoo, we would have totally hosted your wedding on that sweet spot.

    We just got back from a 2 week trip to Yosemite and the east side. This time we got to take our little guy and show him all our favorite places. Magic.

  4. says

    As someone who followed my gut & did the tiny-wedding/awesome-setting thing, I’d totally recommend it to anyone who’s so inclined. We hosted 11 guests, just closest family & friends, at a really cool place called the Rolling Huts in eastern Washington, & it was exactly the sort of fun, informal, relaxed, meaningful experience we wanted – & a huge time- & money-saver, to boot. Here are our photos in case you’re interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaspark/sets/72157627574070970/

    Good luck planning!

    • says

      I would KILL for your exact wedding, Jasmine! With the best of trimming, my close family is 20 people and that will still cause some serious hurt feelings. But I will make it work, damnit! ha.

      • says

        I’ve always thought it’s funny how people say your wedding is supposed to be “your day,” yet having a tiny one that suits you is considered controversial. I say go for it & don’t look back.

        Two things that helped us: 1. our parents were totally supportive; & 2. we made no apologies to anyone who wasn’t invited, so it wasn’t even really a question. We also threw a party at our house a month later just so my friends from out of town had a good reason to come celebrate & have fun. What’s funny is planning that party was way more stressful than the wedding weekend – ha.

        I can’t wait to see what you guys end up planning – either way, I’m sure it’s going to be lovely & heartfelt.

  5. says

    here’s the thing about a tiny wedding: you can’t invite as many people, but you end up having time to actually talk to everyone and connect. It’s not just a blur of 2-minutes-each. Also, you’re not completely exhausted at the end of it. This was a perfect choice for my husband and I.

    We did a short-notice courthouse wedding with just four friends as witnesses. A month later, we had a backyard reception for 30 that we catered ourselves. We both cook and we’d shared a lot of meals with our loved ones in the 9 years we’d been together; this seemed the most appropriate way to celebrate. We spent about $1,000, all told, for a green event (everything was reusable or compostable), with jazz band and chanteuse, and a dinner that included two mains (grilled alaskan king salmon, roasted chickens), four sides (beets with chevre, tarragon corn, etc.), two desserts (chocolate and lavender cake with La Duree’s candied violets, a lemon curd tart), a smorgasbord of appetizers, two pitchers of cocktails, and I’ve-forgotten-how-many bottles of good wine. There are ways to do this!!

    We stuck to our guns and took some flack for it from both sides of the family. But here’s the thing: you have to remember that with just about any wedding, some people are going to lose their minds. I don’t know why, they just do – people get crazy about weddings. So do what works best for you and don’t worry about them – they’ll get over it. Whatever you do, it *WILL* be special (and classy!) because it is your day!

    • says

      That sounds lovely, Sarah, I would definitely do the same if we had access to a backyard! I like your idea of a jazz band a lot, I may have to look into that as I’m not big on hiring a DJ but want people to enjoy music.

  6. Rebek says

    When you go back to Yosemite, be sure to rent bikes. Absolutely the BEST way to explore the valley. And if you drive through Fresno on the way there, visit Yoshi Now. So many wonderful vintage treasures.

  7. Aja says

    I’m sure whatever you do for your wedding it will be special. It can be as small as inviting friends for the ceremony and then cookies and punch . . . and it will still be wonderful! A good friend told me this recently when I admitted to being somewhat terrified of the price of weddings today.

  8. Aja says

    I see Sarah has already pretty much stated what I’m trying to say. Friends and family will be happy no matter what you do!

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