2018 / Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding / Elopement


Maria Eloisa & Gabriel renewed a sweet delight in me and my work as I enter into another full and (perhaps) taxing year.

These two were the first I saw through my camera lens wed in the year 2018, and their story and their lives are worthy of unique and joyful remembrance.

The day was short, the guests were few, but no one present felt the least amount of lack. Their hearts were too full, their gratitude too high, and the tears of joy and hope were sent to those they loved afar instead of being kept for themselves.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse was their cathedral. The sun chose to shine on a city recently wrecked with natural disaster, and the bustling about of repair and confusion felt appropriate somehow… For within the hearts of these two lovers is a familiarity with natural disaster, confusion, and the power of hope.

Mariah Elloise is a doctor, and has had days filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of suffering in others. Her own father, with a rare and disastrous sickness lives upon her care and his family’s love for him. She spends her days and years in devoted research of his illness in order to love him, to keep him, and to honor him and his family. Mariah’s father suffers with a similar diagnosis (in disease the family) of that which my own father died two years ago.

Gabriel, far from his parents whom he loves in Brazil, wore the same suit jacket which his father wore the day he devoted himself into marriage to Gabriel’s mother. It was as though his father gave a physical embrace to Gabriel’s  decision that day. Tears appeared in Gabriel’s eyes and the eyes of his dear sister often as they felt the distance of such loving and supporting examples to them.

So their joy is great, and their dependence on one another thick and supple. And in these strong roots of suffering and endurance they entered into marriage by vow of such devotion, and by the soft and gentle light of a cool coastal day.

The final location selected by Mariah for their wedding portraits was the famous Moreton Bay Fig Tree, a tree of 142 years, known for its strong and gargantuan roots. It stood as a symbol to Mariah and Gabriel to set their thoughts of married life to. Mariah related to me that she wants her marriage to look like this tree; strongly rooted.

And so the year of 2018 begins, with a marriage union that humbles and lifts me in the same way that a tree’s roots grow deep into the ground, and the flowers of foliage raise high in reach for the light. So will I endure in my mission for strong roots in seeking truth and high praise in seeking the light. May truth, honor, and the celebrate of the light be my anthem this year.


2 thoughts on “2018 / Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding / Elopement

    • Thank you John!! It was definitely a precious time. I’m honored to be their story-teller not only for this single day, but a lifetime of memorable and meaningful relationships.

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