Santa Cruz Wedding Photographer: Abra and Kevin at the Castle House and Gardens on Bonny Dune Road
I’ve been counting down the days to Abra & Kevin’s wedding since shooting their engagement session last spring. They couldn’t have been a more relaxed, down to earth couple – or more fun. I could tell just from their description of their plans that it would be amazing wedding, but it was even better than I could have imagined.
They got married at one of my favorite venues of all time, the Castle House and Gardens off Bonny Dune Road. One of Santa Cruz’s best kept secrets, it’s totally off the grid and a little tricky to find, even online. Nestled in the redwood forests off a winding road, well beyond cell service, in the mountains above Santa Cruz, it’s a beautiful house owned by an incredibly talented florist, Teresa, of Tessa’s Garden, (who also did the flowers for their wedding). They held their ceremony in a grove of redwoods in the front of the house, and the reception on the brick partio in the back with strings of lights casting a soft glow over head. It was a total photographer’s dream – with my new Canon 1DX in hand, I never even had to take my flashes out of my camera bag. Abra’s mom did many of the (incredible) details herself, in shades of peach and aqua. It couldn’t have been more gorgeous. It was also wedding all about having fun. With a first look ahead of time, there was nothing to do after the ceremony but enjoy the party. Pizzas were cooked in a stone oven on one side of the pool, jars of candy and a cotton candy machine sat nearby, and a cart full of flip-flops was waiting by the dance floor for that moment when the heels just weren’t worth it anymore. It’s also safe to say that it was some of the best dancing I’ve seen this year, and definitely the first and only time I’ve seen a push-up contest in the middle of the dance floor. They were excited to be getting married and it showed.
One of my favorite parts of weddings has always been listening to the toasts that couple’s friends and family give about them. It gives you such an incredible view into their life from someone who knows them well, and this was no exception. Kevin’s best man had been there the night that the two of them met on a night out. They all decided to hang out at Kevin’s place afterward, and when Kevin realized that he had locked himself out of his apartment, he knew the night would be over if he couldn’t get in. He told everyone to hang on, and proceeded to scale the building and break in a window with some moves straight out of a Spiderman comic. Abra had turned to his best man with eyes wide with childlike joy and asked, “is he always like this??” “Yes, yes he is” was the response, and the rest was pretty much history.
All the best, you two! I have no doubt that the rest of your life together will be as much fun as this night!