Elopement at Cattle Point Lighthouse :: Ashley & Christopher

Intimate weddings are something special, and this celebration off the coast of Washington has absolutely enchanted us. Details we love include the modern and romantic apple cake, the lush flower arrangements, and the spectacular setting where Ashley and Christopher became husband and wife!


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“When Chris proposed, we knew we wanted a small wedding and a short engagement. Our laid back approach made every step of planning enjoyable. After we decided on the San Juan Island, we found a cute hotel, and a lovely restaurant online. My parents and our dear friends made up our wedding party, and we were surrounded by people we love and who love us. We wouldn’t have had it any other way!”


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What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Make it your dream wedding by holding true to the best reflection of your relationship and love!

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Our budget advice is simple: don’t figure out how much you can spend, but rather what you are comfortable spending.


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The Ceremony

“When we got engaged, we quickly decided that we wanted a small intimate affair and to wed on the coast. Planning the wedding in a month and a half from Salt Lake City did not leave time to visit the island prior to the wedding, so we arrived a few days early to find a ceremony location. Our first stop on our tour of the island was Cattle Point Lighthouse, and we fell for the location. It signified everything that we love about the Pacific Northwest – we were on a bluff above the Strait of Juan de Fuca where seal lions were playing and where orca pods frequent, and you can see other islands and the Olympic Mountains across the water.”


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Your ceremony in three words.  Ashley: Intimate, beautiful, us. // Chris: Joyous, amazing, and gorgeous.

What was your ceremony music?  Chris played my father’s guitar and sang the Neil Young song, “Dance, Dance, Dance.” When Chris asked me to marry him, I asked if he would play in our ceremony. We love Neil Young in our house, so I wasn’t surprised when he chose one of his songs to play. It was a perfect fit, as a rainbow appeared over the water just before our ceremony began.

Chris, what was your favorite moment of the ceremony?  Ashley being escorted by her dad down to the spot we exchanged vows, no question. The natural beauty of the setting, the love from our friends and family, and the rainbow behind her made for the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and I was overwhelmed! It was just the perfect moment.


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Ashley, what was your favorite moment during the ceremony?  There were so many beautiful moments. One of my favorites was walking towards Chris while he was singing and playing my father’s guitar. When my father and I reached him, Chris got choked up and couldn’t finish the song. I couldn’t help it – I had to give him a smooch before we could continue on! Then, just before my father pronounced us husband and wife, he got teared up. He was sharing his hopes and wishes for our marriage, and it was such a tender moment.


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Who officiated your ceremony?  We asked my father to officiate our ceremony. My father and I are extremely close, and I could not imagine asking anyone else. Having my dad not only walk me towards my groom, but also preside over our ceremony was definitely one of the most special moments from our day.


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What were your vows like?  We both loved the idea of using traditional vows, but as we started writing our ceremony, we decided it would be so special to write our own vows to each other. We each wrote our own, not following any templates, and keeping them a secret until our ceremony. They were so tender and loving, and I think we both felt as though we’d never been more loved in our whole lives than in that moment.


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Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  We chose to have cake and champagne at the lighthouse directly after the ceremony to celebrate! We knew we would be so excited afterwards, so why wait for dessert after dinner? It was so fun and sweet to have a cocktail hour of sorts at the lighthouse before heading off to a delicious dinner.

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Since Chris’ parents were unable to travel for the wedding, it was important to include a piece of Appalachia, where he is from, on our wedding day. When I first met his family, his father introduced me to a regional treat called an apple stack cake. Traditionally, Appalachian families would each bring a layer of the cake to an event, like a wedding, and the cake would slowly be complied. Knowing it would make my father-in-law smile, it meant so much to my groom and his family to carry that tradition with us!


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What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Our inspiration for our wedding was simple – we wanted it to be outdoors and to be a reflection of our love and relationship.


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The Reception

“We loved the idea of the ceremony on the beach, and then heading inland to a cabin in the woods for a delicious dinner. We were sold on Duck Soup Inn by reading about the owners story and the way they described the mission of their business.”




How would you describe your reception? Intimate and delicious!

Chris, what was your favorite moment of the reception?  Sitting next to my wife, and looking around the table at our friends and family. It was a moment of completeness for me. I felt so privileged.


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Ashley, what was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  When the wine arrived, Chris raised his glass and thanked everyone for being a part of our first dinner as a married couple. The joy on everyone’s face and the love we all felt was incredible.


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Vendor Credits

Photography: S’Wonderful Photography / Venue: Cattle Point Lighthouse, San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor, Washington / Dress: Anthropologie / Necklace: Sarah Safavi via Mineral and Matter / Shoes: Frye Boots / Suit: J.Crew / Tie: Nordstrom / Boots: Steve Madden / Floral Design: Heirloom Design House / Catering: Duck Soup Inn / Cake: Cakes by Felicitations


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