20 Oct Intimate and Dreamy Wedding on the Ocean Bluffs of Mendocino California
Traveling all around the country, I have seen some of the most spectacular wedding venues but I always love when a couple presents us with a new location or a different twist in their wedding. As a wedding videographer, new locations are always exciting and sometimes challenge me in different ways.
When Levi and Bethany contacted me to film their very small wedding (some might even call it an elopement), I was so excited that they said it would take place outdoors, along the seaside bluffs of Mendocino California. I have driven past this part of the coast before and saw how beautifully the ocean and the bluffs all meshed together to create a very serene setting. Also, it was quite perfect that the bride, being a designer, had a great eye for natural beauty. What usually looked like undeveloped and rugged bluffs to most, was transformed into an elegant and timeless sensation to become the perfect venue for the two love birds to exchange their vows in the most intimate of settings. Every detail, no doubt planned by the bride months ahead, was molded to focus on the love the couple shared for each other, surrounded by their parents and siblings. Even their vegan lifestyle was reflected and celebrated on their big day!
The two met back in 2012 while attending UPenn just around Valentine’s Day. During the last 6 years, their love has blossomed and as Levi put it, they “are entirely capable independently, but 100% better together.” They have discovered so many great qualities in one another and the two fit together like a “matching puzzle piece.” Levi popped the question around their five-year anniversary, surrounded by close friends, and soon after, they started planning their perfect wedding day.
Levi and Bethany wanted to share their big day with a small and intimate crowd and something about exchanging their “I dos” on the cliffs that overlooked the Pacific Ocean made that moment significantly more in tune with nature. The couple both stressed their love for Mother Earth and wanting to capture more of that, we made a trip after the wedding ceremony to the redwoods nearby to film the couple in their favorite element – the outdoors.
I was a bit nervous about how the weather would play out that day because an outdoor wedding in October is sometimes a risky gamble. Luckily, the rain took a merciful break just an hour before the wedding ceremony was to begin and instead of a thundershower, out came the clouds and sunshine. As any wedding cinematographer knows, cloudy skies provide the best lighting for a romantic and soft shot.
While filming the Jewish ceremony on the bluffs at Navarro Point Preserve, I wanted to have some epic drone shots of that moment but realized this would be rather distracting and will ruin “the moment.” Instead, I asked the whole wedding party to stay put after the ceremony (which they didn’t mind because this gave all the family time to congratulate and bless the couple personally) and I was able to get bird-eye views of the ceremony overlooking the bluffs and the ocean. Take a look at those shots in the film, they are amazing.
As a wedding filmmaker, I knew that what made the wedding day so special was the words that were spoken by the entire wedding party – from the bride and groom exchanging their personal vows to the blessings given by the guests. I wanted that intimacy to be felt in the film as well, since the couple put in so much effort to make everything so meaningful about their big day. So, throughout the entire film, telling the story, I included the different speeches given during the ceremony, made by the most important people in Levi’s and Bethany’s lives. These are the tender moments every couple could rewatch years after their wedding day and just relive that special day.
From the smallest details of the venue (did you notice the adorable little goat?), to the greatest ones, it was evident that Bethany and Levi put in a lot of thought into their elopement style wedding. Enjoy the wedding film from Bethany and Levi’s intimate and dreamy destination wedding on the Ocean Bluffs of Mendocino, California.
Ceremony Location: Navarro Point Preserve (the Bluffs overlooking the ocean)
Cinematography: Aperina Studios
Photography: Kate Harrison Photography
Florist: Mendocino Floral Design
Hair & Makeup: M Salon
Wedding Dress: Lovely Bride SF
Wedding Suit: Eleventh State
Wedding Cake: A Sweet Affair
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