Whytecliff Park Elopement | Russell & Savannah

Not every couple has what it takes to execute an essentials only West Vancouver elopement. It is all too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of cascading guest lists, glittering decor, extravagant entrances, and all the other minutia making up a wedding ceremony. Russell and Savannah, however, expertly avoided such a trap, kept both feet firmly on the ground, and enjoyed an elopement day as spectacular for its simplicity as any royal wedding is grand for its excess.

As far as venue decor was concerned, the couple was content to let Mother Nature do most of the work. The only extra effort required was a small trek, which brought bride, groom, and the other attendees to the sweet little coastal cove of Whytecliff Park. One of Canada’s first protected marine areas, Whytecliff is bustling with more than 200 marine animal species, including the photogenic sea lions that can often be seen sunning themselves on the beach. Though full of life, the gently rippling water offered a deep sense of serenity, while the rocky outcroppings added a playful element as the perfect place to climb, and jump, and scramble. Soaring skies and towering trees imbued the scene with tranquil strength. Overall a beautifully fitting place to exchange vows despite, or perhaps because of, its lack of traditional (read man-made) opulence. Each element of the venue is a textured example of important pillars in any successful marriage.
Joining Savannah and Russell in the quiet cove turned elopement venue was a small gathering of VIPs as opposed to the crowd of one hundred or more found at your average wedding. Though untraditionally brief, the guest list left nothing to be desired. The ceremony was complete with maid of honor, best man, bride, groom, and just enough fine liquor to give the couple a proper send off into their next chapter. Also in attendance, and of equal importance, were the adorably dapper kiddos, a regal pup, and, of course, Kristen.

Kristen is something of a triple threat; relationship expert, life coach, officiant. Which means she is a very useful resource for two people who, like Savannah and Russell, are about to officially make their relationship a lifelong commitment. Kristen ended up shoreside, celebrating Russell’s love for Savannah, and Savannah’s love for Russell, via Vancouver based officiant company Young, Hip & Married. The company has one clear goal; help couples get married and stay married. Founders Shawn and Erica Miller aim to do this by putting together a qualified collection of officiants, relationship coaches, and officiant/relationship coaches who can provide clients with a fully rounded two-part experience. The first part, coaching, involves crafting a solid base for a marriage to grow, as well as equipping couples with the tools they will need to navigate the complexities and issues sure to arise throughout a long lived marriage. The second part, officiating, involves guidance and assistance in breaking couples out of the bland textbook wedding ceremony, so they may instead enjoy a ceremony as young, hip, and nuanced as they are. While designed to work hand-in-hand, the coaching and officiating parts are offered separately, so couples can be sure to get just exactly what they need.

In the case of Russell and Savannah, the list of what was needed included a thoughtful and well-spoken officiant to make this particular trip into Canada’s stunning wilderness one that will not soon be forgotten. With Savannah draped in angelic white, and Russell looking sharp in navy, Kristen fulfilled this need expertly. Overall, the day was as soft, sweet, and romantic a start to a marriage as one could wish for.

Thank you for visiting my blog! I am a Vancouver wedding photographer who specializes in capturing people and real, joyful moments. I also love me a good destination wedding and am currently dreaming about shooting a wedding in Santorini, Greece. Absolutely LOVE that island. I mostly shoot weddings in the Greater Vancouver area, but I am quite willing to travel. Originally from Saskatchewan, I got my start photographing those bright blue skies and wide open spaces. My images have been published in numerous blogs such as Popsugar, Rocky Mountain Bride and The Huffington Post. My focus has always been capturing the true joy and intimacy that my couples experience. As a West Vancouver Wedding Photographer, I get to capture so much beauty and feel blessed to live and work here! I’m currently booking for 2017 and 2018 weddings, so message me SOON with any inquiries you may have about wedding, family or portrait photography. Click here to get in touch or email me directly at clint at clintbargen.com and say hello!