Oakland Elopement : Leila + Austen

Often when people hear the word elopement they think of city hall or running off to Vegas. Time and time again I’ve had to try to show people what an elopement day could be. And this wedding is a prime example of an all day elopement where the photographers were there to capture it all from getting ready to the end.

From their photographer:

“Austin contacted me with a very specific plan. He’d made up an eighteen point storyboard of exactly how he wanted the day to go. Leila was the love of his life, and he wanted to surprise her in every thoughtful and wonderful way that he could.

We started with getting ready photos of him and his best man at their hip Oakland wood and brick office for some dressing up, a facetime call with his dad and some shots of bourbon with his business partner and best friend.

Austin had rented a vintage 1966 red mustang convertible to drive to the home that they had just bought together. The plan was to surprise her and take her over the Bay Bridge to San Francisco for the rest of the shoot, but the car broke down! At least we got some footage first:)

Meanwhile back at their home, we photographed her getting ready and waiting for Austin to arrive and he’d given her a pretty amazing gift. He’d created a Sofreh table. In the Persian culture they have a table with ceremonial fruits and flowers, and a mirror that the couples looks into together, to symbolize their future. He secretly got all of the info from her parents and really really surprised her. She was overcome with emotion to have this piece of her family history. Her family is overseas and of course they could not be together for the wedding. She got all the instructions from her family, and both sets of parents wrote letters for them to read together, with their marriage advice.

They did a zoom wedding in the living room which they wanted to keep private, but we got to witness the first look and some very very heartfelt personal vows in the courtyard that they’d built and designed together.

We headed to the city for sunset, wedding cake and champagne at the legion of Honor Museum and Golden Gate Bridge!

The day was perfect, as any eight hour elopement should be!”

Photography: Rachel Levine Photography

Location: Legion of Honor

Florist: Bells N’ Blooms

Bakery: Creme De La Creme