No Surrender ~ Camping, Paintball and an unforgettable Wedding!

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It had been raining across the state of California for what seemed like weeks.  Everyone was getting a little bit nervous about the weather, but as December 7th came, and a mass of family and friends ascended the mountains of Santa Barbara, the sun began to shine and God smiled on what would be a wild weekend of adrenaline pumping paintball and a “no surrender” wedding.

Annie, my dear sister (in-law technically, but who cares about that part), and her fiancé Jesse had a vision for their wedding.  It wasn’t just about something old, new, borrowed, or blue.  It was about following the traditions that have meaning and bumping the rest.  They wanted a celebration, not for one day, but for a whole weekend with their wedding party of their closest friends and family.

From their vision came a retreat at the San Marcos Christian Camp.  In all there were about thirty of us enjoying the beauty of the freshly watered forest, swinging on a thirty foot rope swing (and climbing the ropes for some of us), the warmth of a campfire and the comfort of friends and family glorifying God in preparation for the coming nuptials. Oh, and we can’t forget the morning of running, ducking, covering and most of all shooting at each other with paintball guns.

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The culminating event came on Sunday, December 9.  After all the fun we’d shared during the weekend, how could a “wedding” be the climax, you ask?  Well, you have to remember that Annie and Jesse planned this wedding.

I was blessed by Annie to be able to photograph the wedding.  But even better, she wanted me to be able to participate in the excitement and not be tied to the camera entirely.  To do that, Annie’s roommate Jess Taylor, took the lead and allowed me to shoot as the backup.  Jess was so fun to work with.  She has such a free spirit and seems to be so relaxed while she works.  Her carefree manner kept everyone’s nerves at bay.  Jess has a very giving heart that is abundantly evident in her work as a freelance photographer at 37 degrees.

In true Annie and Jesse style, the ceremony took place in a meadow and the reception in the main cabin of the camp.  The decor had an organic feel that featured a burlap aisle runner, mason jars, wild flowers, and candles, topped off with glow sticks for some crazy dancing.  Jesse donned a vest and the groomsmen were armed with knives on their hip.  Annie looked stunning in a custom made dress by Avary Mitchell and her classy brown boots.  The atmosphere precisely matched the styles of Annie and Jesse and it was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to.

I’m so happy for Annie and Jesse Borden.  Congratulations and may God bless your marriage, wherever it takes you.

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  • December 12, 2012 - 8:14 am

    Laura Johnston - Absolutely enchanting photos of a beautiful couple!ReplyCancel

    • December 12, 2012 - 8:49 am

      Peter Stephens - Thank you Laura. Photographing wonderful people like Annie and Jesse takes very little effort. They really are a beautiful couple and it made my role very easy!ReplyCancel

  • December 12, 2012 - 6:21 pm

    Carolyn Repko - Such a beautiful blog and incredible pictures Peter. We are sorry we didn’t get to visit more with you and your family.

    Gramma CarolynReplyCancel

    • December 12, 2012 - 7:28 pm

      Peter Stephens - Carolyn, thank you. I would have loved to spend more time with you as well.ReplyCancel

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