I always love a wedding on the coast. Half Moon Bay is one of my favorite towns in California - the misty weather adds drama to photos, and the scenery is always stunning. Luckily, this couple wanted to get dramatic shots separate from the epic venue itself, so we got the best of both worlds - an Oceano Hotel wedding plus cliffside wedding photos.
Shelby is originally from Oklahoma, which she cherishes so very much. Kevin knows exactly how much she loves and misses home. He secretly flew to Oklahoma City just for a ring from Mitchener Farrand Jewelers. He somehow accomplished this entire secret trip in 24 hours!
That romantic gesture encouraged Shelby to embrace her home state for other aspects of the wedding, including choosing the venue that reminded her of Oklahoma. She also flew out there to buy her wedding gown alongside her mom and sisters from Bella Rose in Edmond (just outside Oklahoma City).
How exactly did the Oceano Hotel remind Shelby of home? After all, it's a gorgeous, elegant hotel and spa located on the coast of California. You certainly may not think Oklahoma at first glance. But the rustic farmhouse vibe inside the reception hall reminded her of Oklahoma, which I can totally see:
Shelby and Kevin also fell completely in love with the garden area for their ceremony. It really was perfect and provided a gorgeous spot for their wedding ceremony:
How Shelby and Kevin Met
They actually met during the pandemic, completely online (obviously) on the dating app Hinge. Their first date was virtual, as most first dates were during the pandemic. When they finally met in person, they went to the San Francisco Zoo (outdoor and safe!). It went so well that they ended up spending dinner together, which led to them talking all through the night.
Nine months later, they went to Maui for a romantic vacation. While there, they met up with some friends to take some scenic photos. Shelby told us, "To my surprise Kevin got down on one knee and proposed with my friends as our personal photographers and my family on facetime. We came back to California and Kevin had arranged a surprise engagement party with our family and close friends!" So sweet!
A Bit of Drama
It was important to Shelby and Kevin that they take full advantage of the incredible cliffs in Half Moon Bay. I was happy to oblige! Here is one of the dramatic cliffside wedding photos (more below in the gallery):
The cliffside photos were positive drama...and we had some fun, potentially negative drama with Shelby's wedding dress. Shelby unfortunately had gone to her dress fittings alone and had trouble with her bustle between the ceremony and reception. Crisis averted, though - I've been doing this for so long, and I jumped right in to help them fix the bustle.
Due to this though, Shelby and Kevin ended up missing most of cocktail hour. Their spirits weren't dampened at all, though! This positive couple was grateful for the love and support of their loved ones, especially those that stayed right til the end of the night. "I think one other thing that stood out to us is at the end of the night," Shelby said "It was our family and best friends who made it to the end and we danced the night away together. In that moment we felt so loved and supported by our people!"
Ooh one more photo I want to share - this one in front of the epic fireplace inside the hotel. There are a bunch more below, but here's one of them:
Thank you Shelby and Kevin for the opportunity to photograph your memorable wedding in Half Moon Bay! I absolutely loved photographing you at the Oceano Hotel and wish you nothing but the very best for your future together.
All quotes below are from Shelby.
Bridesmaid Dresses from Azazie - "My bridesmaids lived in 3 different states and with COVID it's challenging to get everyone together at the same time. This website allowed them to pick whatever dress fit them best, as long as the color was Eucalyptus."
Tuxedo and Groomsmen Suits from The Black Tux - "This also was primarily done online, as he had groomsmen living in different states as well."
Florist: Karyssa Miller's Floral Expressions - "Karyssa was supportive of every idea we had... Her floral arrangements were beautiful. She also helped us to repurpose the flowers all throughout the day, which was important to the both of us."
Hair and Makeup: Minted Styling - "They created the hair and makeup of my dreams and were fun to be with that morning of the wedding!"
DJ: DJ Vetz - "We had so much fun dancing the night away at that wedding and knew he would help us do the same at our own Wedding!"
Videographer: Augusto Lopez of Slow Fall Cinema - "He helped us to customize exactly what we wanted for our wedding day. He also made us feel so comfortable and we barely even noticed he was there filming us all day."
Wedding Cake: Mazzetti's Bakery in Pacifica - "Their fudge filling won us over and we wanted to be able to go back and visit the bakery for anniversaries!"
Donuts: Half Moon Bay Bakery - for the donut wall which was handmade by Shelby and Kevin's dad:
Photographer: Red Eye Collection (of course) 🙂 - "Oscar was professional, efficient, and most of all fun! He listened and delivered the best wedding photos, the photos of our dreams!"
Shelby and Kevin's Wedding Photo Gallery
featuring the Oceano Hotel & Spa in Half Moon Bay
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