Vow Renewal at Huntington Beach | Destination Wedding Photographer

Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out as you thought they would. And sometimes, like this vow renewal at Huntington Beach, those altered plans come back around even more beautifully than hoped for.

Blake and Amanda were a covid couple that hoped to be married at Huntington Beach in 2020… only you can guess how that went. They made a very tough decision and relocated the ceremony to Blake’s parent’s backyard, with just Blake’s parents and grandma present. Amanda had to have all of her family watch on Zoom.

I had the honor photographing that intimate backyard ceremony, and was overjoyed when the couple got in touch again to ask me to shoot their vow renewal at the original location beach this year! Since the first ceremony had been so small, this celebration was centered around the family and friends that hadn’t been able to attend in 2020. People came from different states across the U.S. and it was a beautiful day celebrating these two!

A little background on the couple: Blake is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Amanda was raised in Huntington Beach, California. They met through mutual friends back in the spring of 2017 when Blake moved to LA for a change of scenery and to start his career. Amanda recalls them working crazy hours when they first met, just to make ends meet, and that they’d take the bus to go and see each other. After a year of being friends, they decided to begin dating. Amanda said that she knew Blake was different from the moment she first met him: he was “such a gentleman and completely stole my heart.”

Amanda and Blake wanted to incorporate some of their small covid wedding details (like their perfume and accessories) into the larger celebration because it had been such an important moment in their lives. They also incorporated traditional Jewish wedding elements like breaking of the glass and the hora dance, to honor Amanda’s heritage.

But maybe the sweetest moment of the night was Amanda’s father/daughter dance, done with her Poppy. Her grandparents raised her since she was little, and she and her grandfather share a very close relationship. Watching them dance was a beautifully emotional moment for everyone! You could tell she felt like a little girl dancing on top of grandad’s shoes as he held her tight.

As a destination wedding photographer, it was so special photographing Amanda and Blake’s tiny backyard wedding in Oklahoma, then seeing their plans come full circle back to the original beachside celebration! I got to watch them grow so much as a couple from the first time we met, and I genuinely couldn’t be happier to see them get their dream: surrounded by all of their closest family and friends for their vow renewal at Huntington Beach!

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