DIY Weddings/Real Weddings

Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With S’mores

Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 10

What’s more romantic than saying ‘I do’ on a misty Pacific Northwest beach at sunset & roasting marshmallows over a bonfire singing kumbaya? It’s hard to think of a dreamier evening (but maybe that’s the PNW girl in me talking) and we can certainly imagine why Chelsea & Jorell decided to ditch the big wedding plans and opt for this dreamy intimate wedding scene.

Now living in Hawaii, the couple endured years of long distance with an ocean between them. Jorell in Hawaii & Chelsea in Oregon, the two fell in love between visits, band tours & trips to the iconic Cannon Beach. Years after their courtship and getting engaged the two jokingly thought ‘Why don’t we get married at Haystack Rock with our nearest and dearest?’

So the plan was on to throw an intimate bonfire beach wedding in two months time. Aided by the beauty of Cannon Beach’s stunning cliffs (it truly is beautiful!) the couple focused their resources to a picturesque aisle made of florals & and a bonfire hangout equipped with s’more supplies. The scene photographed by Marina Goktas is as dreamy as it sounds.

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Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 20

Our Love Story

I met Jorell at a concert in Portland, Oregon. I was finishing my degree at PSU and he was touring with a band from Hawaii. All I can say is it must have been fate since I never went to concerts and it was a last minute decision that brought me there that night. Jorell and I had mutual friends, which is how we ended up sitting next to each other and talking after the show. Before the night ended, he and I exchanged numbers. Nothing happened at first, but then a few weeks later we started texting and since then not one day has gone by that we haven’t talked to each other. After a couple of months of talking, a few friends of mine and I planned a trip to Hawaii for that summer.

On July 9th, 2012 Jorell and I officially started dating. I admit it sounds crazy to meet someone one night, talk for a couple of hours, text for a few months, then fly 2,000 miles to see someone who you already know is your best friend and someone you could see your future with. Jorell and I spent two years long distance as I finished my degree and we saw each other as much as possible on breaks from school. Luckily with his job touring, if he was ever near Portland I would drive to see him at a show. After two years, I tried moving to Hawaii but after six months, I decided I needed to return to Oregon to get my masters in teaching to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. After another year of long distance, I returned to Hawaii in 2016.

Since then, it feels like we’ve known each other forever and we are glad to have the days of long distance behind us. In August 2017, we got engaged at the same location his parents had their wedding reception.

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Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 16
Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 17

The Planning

We knew we wanted to have a wedding, but struggled with how to afford one with as many people as we know. One day we just decided we just needed to do something small because we didn’t want to wait anymore. Even if we had the money for a big wedding, we wouldn’t want to spend that amount of money. Joking (in a way) I suggested we should get married in Oregon at Cannon Beach, specifically Haystack Rock. This location was meaningful to us because many times when Jorell was touring in town and I was still in school we would drive to Cannon Beach. He and I love the movie The Goonies, so it was always one of our things that we loved to do together. To my surprise, Jorell actually liked the idea.

On July 9th, 2018, on our six-year anniversary we said, “I do” in the most perfect way. Our wedding was simple but so beautiful. Every aspect of our wedding was meaningful. As I walked down the aisle, two of Jorell’s friends sang and played guitar. One of the boys was actually in the same band Jorell was in on the night we met. Our relationship has been an adventure, and our story is not one you hear every day. Our wedding was the same, an adventure, not your typical wedding, but perfect for us.

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Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 2

The Florals & Decor

Our vision for our wedding was simple and intimate yet beautiful. When deciding on colors we felt that peach, coral, cream and gray really matched the style of our wedding and would match the natural colors of the Oregon Coast. The decor was rustic, again matching the beach venue. Since we were having a small wedding “elopement” we didn’t need a lot of decor for the ceremony or reception.

Since our wedding was on the beach I did know I wanted something to create an aisle and decor where we would be standing during the ceremony. Poppies and Paisley Floral created the most beautiful floral circle with fairy lights intertwined and rose petals leading up to the circle. As if Haystack rock wasn’t amazing enough, the floral aspect was a beautiful addition.

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Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 23

Favorite Moments

I absolutely love that we were able to include so many friends and family into our day. Having a close friend sing one of my favorite songs (In Case You Didn’t Know) as I walked down the aisle was perfect. Having my brother film our wedding added another level of comfort. We had our first dance by the bonfire in the light of the fire and torches. Then just being able to sit by the fire, grab a blanket and a cupcake. It was probably the most relaxing reception ever!

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Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 12

The Videography

The videographer for our wedding was my brother. I love his style and think he has a really good eye when it comes to capturing a moment. I use to watch his videos before we ever started planning our own wedding, and I would imagine what he could make our wedding look like. This was just another aspect that made our special day intimate.

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Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 28
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The Dress

I always knew I wanted a real wedding dress, something simple and elegant that would be easy to move in on the sand. Luckily I found my perfect wedding dress at Bridal Exclusives on my first appointment a week before the wedding!

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The Reception

For our reception, we just wanted something where we could relax with our guests. Since our ceremony was at sunset we decided what would be better than a bonfire? Our planner Kindred Spirits created the best bonfire I have ever seen. There were pillows and blankets in our wedding colors, it was surrounded by torches for additional lighting and a cupcake dessert bar. Oh, and of course supplies to roast marshmallows!

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Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 35
Cannon Beach Bonfire Wedding With Smores – Marina Goktas Photography 19

Advice to Other Couples

If you are budgeting, really just chose what is most important for you! I know that’s what everyone says, but it’s true. We found a venue that was free and it was amazing. I knew I wanted some floral arrangements like my bouquet and the floral aisle and ceremony ring, but we didn’t need many more additional flowers.

Don’t be afraid to buy a sample dress. I wanted a beautiful wedding dress but didn’t want to spend thousands on a dress I would wear for a couple of hours. I found my dress a week before the wedding, it was a sample dress in my size and I couldn’t have been happier. They cleaned it and did a few minor alterations and a few days later I picked it up.

On your wedding day try to relax! Things are going to happen that you have no control over. Plan extra time, because most likely things will start running behind schedule. For me, because we had a sunset wedding and things started to run behind that’s when panic set in because I had no control over when the sun will set. In the end, everything will work out and be perfect.

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We did not take a honeymoon trip. For us, we live in Hawaii and traveling to Oregon was kind of like a vacation in itself. Again, if you are budgeting and don’t feel like you can afford it right after your wedding then don’t feel pressured to take one, or plan it for later on. Personally, we don’t feel like we missed anything by not taking one, but that’s just us. If it is important to you, then do it!

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