Hannah + Paul by Twin Flames

Tell us about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about your relationship

We met each other 8 or so years ago, volunteering at a literary festival, and we immediately had a million things to talk about. Even our first moments together perfectly encapsulate the life that we ended up cultivating— late nights talking about art, theory, politics; days spent on long walks through Chicago, with no destination in mind; never running out of stories to share with each other, and of course, making stories of our own.

Hannah works in poetry, and Paul works in cinema, and between the two of us, there’s no shortage of ideas and creativity. Lately, you can find Hannah making handcrafted soap, and Paul working on a music project. And, of course, cuddling with our cat, Lunchbox.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling, and some of your favourite details

Almost nothing about our day was planned. We originally had our wedding day scheduled for April 2020, but had to postpone due to the pandemic. After planning and agonizing over what to do, we were toying with the idea of an elopement. We’re big “party-people” and we often host long, rowdy gatherings, so we originally wanted a wedding where everyone could be loud, dance hard, and let loose. An elopement just didn’t seem like it was on the table— until we got restless and wanted to just tie the knot.

With the incredible support and planning of our photographers and friends, Mitch and Savanna, we planned an elopement, just the two of us, in Big Sur, California in August. The dramatic cliffs and ocean felt so unequivocally us. But, once again, our plans were completely crushed. Much to our heartbreak, California suffered one of the worst wildfires to date, and Big Sur was hit hard. The fires started 4 days before our flight out to the west coast.

Our saving grace was having Mitch and Savanna literally on call, helping us generate ideas, and working with us through what would become Plan C. We had never seen the coast of Oregon, but a few Google searches later, we said “yep, let’s do it,” then cancelled and rebooked everything in a matter of 24 hours.

The result was unimaginably astounding, and better than anything we could’ve planned for. The Oregon coast is wild in every sense of the word— rocky bluffs loom over the churning ocean, and massive trees poke their tops through the fog. Having just the two of us sharing our vows on an empty, secluded beach was the most special experience, and our hearts couldn’t have been more full.

Tell us about your main outfits

We both picked our outfits based on the aesthetics of the setting, which was originally supposed to be an industrial warehouse. We planned for clean, modern lines, with bold pops of color. When we switched over to the elopement, we needed to choose something much softer, flowy, carefree, and pared down.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

Where do we even begin! The coast felt remote and untouched, and we often had whole sections of a trail or coast to ourselves. We really got lost in the beauty of the landscape, whether it was in thick, mossy forest, or wide open, rocky coastline.

We’ll never forget the end of the night, after we were done shooting. We drove back to the Airbnb we rented, which was right on the water in Rockaway Beach, OR. The wind is usually strong and abrasive, but that night, it was dead silent and no other people were around. We made a fire on the sand, drank beer, and watched— to our amazement— the bright, orange moon set over the ocean.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together

“Perfect proportions.” We often joke with each other that when we snuggle or sleep, our bodies fit together next to each other’s perfectly, despite us being different sizes. We think it’s great relationship advice, too— two people in a couple are not going to be the same size or have the same identity, ideals, aesthetic, or backgrounds. But your willingness and ability to listen, learn, shape, and meet your partner halfway— having the right proportions— is such an important element in unity.

Photography: @twinflamesphotofilm | Ceremony location: @oregonstateparks | Bride’s gown: @staud.clothing | Bride’s shoes: @alohas | Bride’s rings: @melaniecaseyjewelry | Earrings: @whileodinsleeps | Groom’s suit: @topman | Groom’s ring: @digbyandiona | Floral: @solabeeflowers