Each year we like to look back on the weddings we’ve had the joy of featuring—and we also like to ask our APW sponsors to share their favorite weddings from the year with us. Politically, 2016 was one of the worst years in a zillion years, but our lives have been made better by sharing all of the joy you guys have had, and we know that 2016 held many lovely moments for so many of you. When applicable, we’ve noted which weddings were published on APW (and we have a whole bunch of these coming your way in 2017!).
Since so many of you have worked with our sponsors, there’s a true relationship shared between a lot of you. And when you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that so many of our readers and sponsors just get each other. As photographers Smitten Chickens told us:
We love working with APW couples because they have weddings just as unique as they are, and they understand that marriage is the most important part of a wedding. They want beautiful photos, but they don’t want their wedding to be a photo shoot. Instead, they want to look back on emotional moments and the important people who shared them.
So since this is our last publishing week of 2016 (sob!), it’s time to look back on the year and bask in a few glorious 2016 weddings, one more time:
1. WHO: Ederlyn and Geoff | Where: long beach, wa | APW Sponsor: Dustin Cantrell
Geoff is also a photographer, and he picked the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach because (of course) he knew the lighting would be amazing, no matter what. And from where I’m standing, he was 100 percent right.
Sam and Amber wanted to elope, and they wanted to do it their own way. After each finishing up branding school (Sam) and police training (Amber), they decided to escape to New York City and get married. A rainy day upped the romance factor, and these two shared a gorgeous day with each other, and with the city.
3. Who: Severin and Robert | Where: Kauai, Hawaii | APW Sponsor: Vivian Chen Photography
Severin and Robert asked photographer Vivian Chen if she’d be open to hiking the Kalalau Trail along Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, to which she enthusiastically said yes. Their twelve-person wedding was intimate and, as only a wedding in Hawaii can be, ultra lush.
4. Who: Kate and Jo | Where: Hawaii | APW Sponsor: Smitten Chickens
I love this story! Kate and Jo got married on a boat in Hawaii, and a rainbow appeared just after their ceremony. These two look like they had a blast—and confirmed it for us, too:
Jo and I didn’t play by the rules when it came to our ceremony. Jo’s brother was her Man-OH and my sister was my Matron-OH. We sang the entire song, “Seasons of Love,” with all of our guests. Our moms walked us down the “aisle” of the boat and we kissed multiple times throughout our sermon, vows, and exchanging of rings before we even said, “I do.” But for us, it was perfect.
5. Who: Teresa and Richard | Where: Hawaii | APW Sponsor: Justin Kunimoto Photography
Five minutes before the ceremony, the clouds rolled in and rain started to fall. Teresa and Richard maintained their relaxed, focused composure, even when a complete downpour dumped down on top of them during the ceremony. As photographer Justin Kunimoto told us, “The couple kept going with the ceremony laughing their way through it and having a ‘YOLO’ moment.”
6. Who: Sam and ManuEl | Where: Hawaii | APW Sponsor: Hayley Anne Photography
Sam and Manuel met while backpacking, and decided to elope while in Kauai earlier this year. As Hayley Anne told us:
These guys are total hippies and we immediately connected on a fundamental level. On their wedding day it was just the two of them, their little baby, the officiant, and myself. Sam and Manuel’s sheer joy and amazement of the natural beauty around them was so inspiring and energizing. It was a last-minute booking, I traveled for about eighteen hours on just a couple hours of sleep, then immediately went to photograph the elopement. It was a challenge, and raining on top of everything, but I’m so glad that Sam was determined to work together. It was beyond worth it. After meeting them at their rental house I followed them through the storm along a very long and windy mostly single lane road. At the bridges the rain water came washing over everything and we still made it through. We finally arrived at the beach and explored the forested area of banyan trees and vines. Their ceremony was on the edge of the sand with an epic view of the beautiful Na Pali Coast in the background. It was really cinematic, and I’m so honored and proud that we were all able to adventure together for their elopement in what is quite literally paradise. The universe was really on our side.
7. WHO: Sara and Logan | Where: Las Vegas | APW Sponsor: Evangeline Lane
Logan and Sara originally planned to get married in LA, but when the universe (and plans) conspired against them, they opted for Las Vegas instead. They booked the Neon Museum and invited twenty of their closest people.
8. Who: Suzanne and Connie | Where: San Francisco | APW Sponsor: Helena + Laurent
Suzanne and Connie were a perfect match for similarly adventures photographers Helena + Laurent:
First off, we photographers love bad weather, but wind and clouds combined with a couple that is willing to brave the elements and adventure hard with us is the best. In this case, the weather seemed like the perfect fit for their story. As it turns out, years earlier, Suzanne and Connie found themselves stuck on the side of a mountain, in the Colorado Rockies, as a heavy ice storm made rescue attempts impossible. After being stranded for two days, with only each other to keep warm, they picked their way down a precarious Colorado mountain trail to safety. Their resolve, their love for each other, their strength and enduring positive attitude, this and more made documenting this couple all the more awesome and humbling.
9. Who: Sarit and Jakob | Where: Geneva | APW Sponsor: Corey Torpie Photography
Sarit and Jakob were married on a farm just outside Geneva, and the wedding was a true group effort. The two were married under a chuppah made of well wishes from their guests, who traveled from all over the world to be part of their day.
10. Who: Brenda and Emanuel | Where: Brooklyn, New York | APW Sponsor: Julie Pepin Photography
Brenda and Emanuel met in high school, and years later got married in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Julie’s favorite part? When Emanuel surprised Brenda by serenading her with a song in Mandarin.
11.Who: Victoria and Timmy | Where: Atlanta, GA | APW Sponsor: YouAreRaven
Photographer Raven was extra in love with these two:
Completely unsurprisingly, one of my absolute favorite couples I’ve ever worked with came to me through APW. Victoria and Timmy have been an outstanding experience from top to bottom, from their unconventional and sidesplitting engagement session to their modern-industrial wedding complete with a surprise first dance. Victoria and Timmy had a special first dance choreographed to pay homage to Victoria’s grandmother, who had recently passed away. The dance was in the style of the part of Spain that her mother’s family was from, and the two performed it flawlessly.
12. Who: Tiffany and Tim | Where: Donner Pass, CA | APW Sponsor: Ash Carr Photography
Tiffany and Tim were married in an ultra intimate (just themselves, two witnesses, and Ash) at sunrise on top of Donner Pass in California. Breakfast at a cozy diner with immediate family followed, and the two headed home to get ready for a post-wedding celebration that night.
13. Who: Billie and Ryen | Where: Hawaii | APW Sponsor: Jonas Seaman
We love weddings with a good back-story, and Jonas told us one of the best:
Billie jokes that she and Ryen have done everything backwards, up to and including marriage. The two of them met nine years ago, had two children, and even honeymooned in Cancun before embarking on a wedding. My favorite weddings come down to the people involved, and their wedding will always hold a special place in my heart.
14. Who: A and K | Where: California | APW Sponsor: Manali Anne Photography
These two ended up having to scramble to find a new wedding venue as the week of their wedding was hit with a rainstorm—and ended up getting married inside a wine cave as a storm raged outside.
15. Who: Stacey and Mark | Where: Austin, TX | APW Sponsor: Diana Ascarrunz Photography
Stacey and Mark had a super secret elopement—the only people who knew about it were their kids, who didn’t find out until a few days before.
Samantha and Yeshi were worried about rain on their wedding day and opted to use a back up location—even though it never rained. Either way, the photos are faaaabulous and their energy is tangible.
We loved this wedding as soon as we saw it, and it turns out that photographer Nadiya of Imani Photo also had an instantaneous love for Morgan and Brendan when they met:
There are some people whom when you meet them, you just feel like you’ve known them forever. Maybe it’s the lack of pretense and airs, or the way both their smiles radiate joy and love to the point that you yourself cannot help but smile. Or maybe it’s the warmth they exude to everyone and everything. Even in the beginning stages of planning and chatting with Morgan, she emphasized how “chill” she was to the point of coming up with the self-proclamation: “Bride-chilla.” I died. Morgan also carried a bouquet of her favorite flowers that was totally unique and awesome. They also had their pup be the ring barer as well. With every decision they made toward their wedding, the bottom line was always just to be happy and to make sure that it fell in line with their own truth.
18. Who: Tara and Steve | Where: Los Angeles, California | APW Sponsor: Two Moon Photography
Tara and Steve are heavily invested in their community, which came out during their wedding:
When I first met them I knew they were going to have the kind of gathering that is filled with support and love of their extensive community. And that’s exactly what their wedding was. Almost every element of their day included scouting out new ways of doing things and having a team of friends pull together to make it real. From finding Quonset View Farms, who had never hosted a wedding before to serving a new kind oyster bred by Steve’s uncle—the day was filled with blooms of personality and delight. Not to mention a first dance—to “Fox in the Snow” by Belle and Sebastian—that was choreographed by the bride and was like watching cranes take flight. The entire affair was alight with the care and love of so many hearts Tara and Steve have touched.
19. Who: Jess and Kelly | Where: Boonville, CA | APW Sponsor: Christina Richards
Jess and Kelly’s wedding at Boonville Hotel was pretty adorable, but this banner? COME ON GUYS, it slays so much. Plus any wedding that’s chill enough for bare feet during dinner is awesome.
20. Who: Claire and Stephen | Where: Atlanta, GA | APW Sponsor: Bri McDaniel Photography
Claire and Stephen wanted their wedding to be about both of them, which photographer Bri McDaniel loved:
Claire and Stephen’s wedding was super awesome because they focused on keeping it simple and made sure to focus on each other as individuals. They were really passionate while planning and wanted to be sure that both of their personalities were shown throughout the day. It was important to them to not just focus on Claire as the bride, but to focus on them both equally.
21. WHO: Sara and Jason | Where: Arcade, NY | APW Sponsor: Shaw Photo Co.
Sara and Jason got married in Jason’s parent’s backyard, and his parents spent a year getting the property ready. Sara and Jason were bowled over by this gesture and others that went into their wedding day, as photographer Christina Shaw told us:
Sara and Jason are exceptional people—from the moment we were booked, we were welcomed in to their story with warmness and gratitude, and we are so grateful our paths have crossed.
22. WHO: Elizabeth and Mackie | Where: Boston | APW Sponsor: Leise Jones Photography
Elizabeth and Mackie shirked pressure to have a big wedding and instead had a small, private ceremony that felt like them. The only people in attendance? Their best friends, the officiant, and the dog, Finnegan.