santa barbara courthouse weddingWondering how to have a Santa Barbara Courthouse wedding?

Santa Barbara Courthouse is one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous courthouses where you can be married. I have shot full weddings and small civil ceremonies/elopements in which the couples have come in from Canada, the east coast, and even England!

The architecture celebrates the city’s Spanish heritage, the building is filled with natural sunlight, grand open hallways, and you can walk around the grounds for over an hour and get so many photo ops that you’ll feel like your photos were taken at 10 different locations. I absolutely love the intimacy of civil ceremonies a.k.a elopements and I want to help couples make it easier to sort through all the information. So I’ve put together this blogpost specifically for couples wanting to elope and to hopefully make this an easier process for them. A few of the same questions keep popping up, so I wanted to put all the information in one place and create a handy guide for you all. I’ve answered the most frequently asked questions below, but if you have any unanswered questions after this, please ask me in the comments, and I’ll do my best to help you out! And, of course, I hope you consider me to capture your day! An check out my new and VERY thorough website to help you plan your wedding dat at the Santa Barbara Courthouse!

View full post »

 mackinac island grand hotel wedding

A Mackinac Island Wedding at the Grand Hotel.

Every year I have the honor of shooting a Mackinac Island wedding for Andrejka Photography in Northern Michigan. And a Mackinac Island wedding at the Grand Hotel is even MORE magical! Any time I explain the island to friends they look at me at disbelief when I tell them that there are NO motorized vehicles. You get around by walking, bicycles, or HORSES! Yes, horses! So one of the awesome milestones couples can do for their special day is take a horse ride around the island during their cocktail hour and this is exactly what  Jamie and David did!

I love all the pretty details against the colorful decor of each room. Each room is unique! And I love the groomsmen and groom’s unique gifts. Sports lovers in the house!

Their ceremony was performed on the west patio with Mackinac Island Bridge in the background. I love how guests lounging in their rocking chairs can watch as the beautiful bride walks to her soon-to-be husband.

And the Grand Hotel as a backdrop is breathtaking!! 

If you’re going to get married on Mackinac Island why not take a carriage ride and incorporate horses into your portraits and then add bicycles. One of my favorite stops is at the beginning of downtown and capturing the feel at the heart of the island.

Their reception was held at the Gate House located a little down the hill from the Grand Hotel. This gave us even more options for portraits!

Thank you so much for having me, Jamie and David!!


Why Get Married at the Santa Barbara Courthouse??

Wondering if getting married at the Santa Barbara courthouse is the best choice for you? Here are a few reasons why getting married or eloping at the Santa Barbara Courthouse may be the perfect option for you.

One of the many things I love about doing small civil ceremonies is that I have a chance to connect and chat with my couples. And I always ask, “Why did you decide to get married here at the courthouse?”

The most common answers where:

1. “Wedding planning became too stressful.”

– “With both of us working full-time (and more sometimes), planning a wedding became a 3rd full-time job.  It wasn’t worth the hassle!”

santa barbara courthouse wedding elopement

2. “Wedding costs were RIDICULOUS!!!”

– “When we started tallying up all the costs we realized that we’d rather put a down payment on a house.”

– “We’d rather have a nice honeymoon and travel a bit.”

– “We want to start a family ASAP/have started a family and so we’re rather spend our money there.”

3. “Family dynamics were too much to handle.”

– “There are divorces in the family and would make for awkwardness.”

– “We’re not very close to our families and want it to just be us.”

4. “This is our second marriage.”

-“We’ve done all the hoopla. We don’t need all the fanfare. We just want it to be intimate.”

5. “We’re not traditional and we like to be adventurous!”

-“We’re on our way to a long international vacation and decided, hey, let’s get married and make it our honeymoon!”


– “I’ve been visiting here for years and always wanted to get married here!!

Check out my blog post on How to Get Married at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. It’s a great step-by-step post to make your courthouse wedding planning EASY! Or head straight to the Santa Barbara County Clerk website and book your date now!

And I would LOVE to capture your day! I offer packages starting at $500. Click HERE for more information.

XO, Cherry