Sophie & Kade’s elopement in France was such a special celebration after covid affected their original plans. Finally being able to celebrate and carry on traditions that were so important to them and their families!
Brief Summary of Wedding: Sophie and Kade met in college in Oregon and quickly became close. I actually have known the bride since we were kids and played soccer together in AYSO. We reconnected as adults during her engagement, and they flew me up to Oregon to capture their engagement pictures. They planned to get married mid-March 2020 in Orange County, but unfortunately their plans were massively downsized due to COVID. The plan was always to have a wedding in France in addition to their US celebration because Sophie’s parents live in France and much of her extended family lives in the surrounding countries. Once it became safe to travel again, they started planning and asked me to come with them to document the weekend. Their rehearsal dinner was held in a creperie, they were driven to their wedding ceremony in classic cars, and the party continued until 4:30am! The group photo post ceremony is a French tradition. All the bride wanted was to eat crepes on her wedding day, and she did! After the ceremony, it is also a French tradition that all the guests follow the bride and groom’s car back to reception in a parade of sorts. Ribbons flying, horns honking, the whole city waving us by! How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another? We met in college at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. We were part of the same friend group and lived in the same dorm. We would eat meals together and hang out with each other almost every day with our friend group. Most weekends consisted of endless games of Catan, late night chats, and so many laughs. Eventually, we started to spend more time together one-on-one and found out we have a lot in common, including our love for travel. Kade’s first impression of Sophie was that she was very personable and bubbly, and that she stood out in the crowd. She was someone he naturally gravitated towards. Sophie’s first impression of Kade was that he was incredibly kind to his friends and family and that he had a great sense of humor beneath his serious exterior. Once we started dating, Sophie spent most weekends going to college golf tournaments to support Kade (in the rain), learning about a sport she never thought she could enjoy. We eventually moved in together, got a dog named Cedar, and the rest is history! Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning. We originally got married on March 21, 2020 in California, but that wedding was cancelled a few days before it was supposed to happen, because of Covid-19. We ended up having a very small ceremony with 10 people present (including us), and we had our friends and families watch on YouTube livestream because no one knew about Zoom yet! We had considered postponing the wedding until further notice, having a slightly smaller wedding (75 people) at a family member’s house, or even getting married in a grocery store cake aisle, as it was one of the only places people were allowed to go during lockdowns. Ultimately, we decided we wanted to go ahead with our wedding on the date it was originally planned for because we didn’t know how long the lockdowns would last, and we were so ready to be married to each other. We didn’t want to risk anyone getting sick, so we kept it very small. Sophie’s aunt got ordained the morning of our wedding, we ate In-N-Out double doubles for lunch, and started the ceremony once we were both ready, not feeling rushed at all. It actually ended up being a very relaxing day, all things considered, and it was special to share that day with such a small group. We spent our honeymoon in our apartment with our dog, in Covid isolation, but we made the most of it and grew closer as a couple. We truly spent all hours of the day together, watching everything on Netflix, opening wedding gifts, and learning more about each other. We were so excited to redo our wedding in France in 2022 so that we could really celebrate with friends and family – and FINALLY get some amazing wedding photos! What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you? A special part of our wedding in France was the Cortège after our ceremony. A cortège is a traditional French car procession that takes place as the wedding guests follow the bride and groom in cars, honking the whole way to the reception. Every car is decorated with ribbons, and they make as much noise as possible. This tradition comes from the Middle Ages, when it was encouraged to make as much noise as possible to alert the town of a marriage.
Our cortège was even more special because Sophie’s close family friends collect classic American cars and antique World War II vehicles, which they excitedly offered to use at our wedding. We were chauffeured by our family friend in a beautiful 1960 Chevy Impala, and both of our sets of parents were driven in a 1950s Chevy Brookwood. Our sisters got to drive in Sophie’s parents’ 1967 Volkswagon Bug, and another friend drove his WWII Willys Jeep so he could help direct traffic. On the way to the reception, he used his Jeep and its air raid horn to stop traffic so that only our wedding guests were behind us, and then directed everyone to the parking area at the reception. This was such a fun experience for Kade who had never done anything like it, and Sophie was so happy to be able to participate in such a fun French tradition, finally as the bride! Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day? Our wedding in France took place at Sophie’s parents’ farmhouse in Brittany. Sophie grew up spending summers at this house, so the property itself was very special to her and her family. Sophie’s Grampy Bill was also in attendance, at 101 years old, and he tore up the dance floor until 5:00am! Sophie chose to surprise Grampy with a special dance after her father-daughter dance, as he is the true patriarch of her dad’s side of the family, and loved by everyone who meets him.
Both of our families, as well as our friends (and us) all helped decorate the property for the wedding, so we got to spend a lot of time together setting tables, making flower arrangements, and hoisting chandeliers onto the ceiling of our reception tent!
Both of us have incredibly talented sisters, so we wanted to make sure they got to share their talents at the wedding. Kade’s sister Ava played guitar for the ceremony, Sophie’s sister Sam officiated the wedding in both French and English, and she also played guitar and sang for Sophie’s father-daughter dance, which was a surprise for their dad. What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another? Sophie has learned to be more patient because of Kade. He is such a naturally patient person, and always takes the time to think everything through. Kade has learned to speak up and communicate more effectively because of Sophie, who comes from a large family who always speaks their mind. We find that we balance each other out well while pushing each other to be our best selves. What is your favorite thing about each other? Sophie loves Kade’s silly nature even though his “dad jokes” can sometimes get old. She hates to admit it, but his old soul brings out some hilarious sayings that never cease to make her laugh. Kade loves that Sophie is always up for an adventure, whether it’s going camping in the woods or fitting in at the New York Athletic Club – she can do it all! We bring out the best in each other, and truly enjoy each other’s company. If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be? Communication is key! It is always best to say what’s on your mind so that problems can be resolved and feelings can be heard. Nothing will ever get better if no one knows what the problem is, so be open to honest communication. Along with that, it is important to listen to each other and make sure you are understanding what your partner’s needs are and how you can work together to make everyone happy (with some compromises). Photographer: Erin Marton Photography
Ceremony Venue: Jardin Publique Fougères
Reception Venue: Private residence and working brewery in Fougeres, France
Bakery: L’éco Pain
Catering: The Hungry Cow
Wedding Submission Services: Published + Pretty