Lauren + Jenny Santa Barbara Courthouse Elopement | San Diego Wedding photographer

This Santa Barbara courthouse wedding has a special place in my heart, not just because of the amazing architecture of the county courthouse but because of the overwhelming emotion that took over during this session. The smiles and kisses were a true testament of their undeniable love.

Getting along with Lauren and Jenny, an easy going and fun couple madly in love with each other, was probably the easiest thing I’ve done. We instantly became friends. Fun fact: I actually signed as a witness to their wedding! It was such an intimate ceremony because it was just them and me. These quiet moments will always be some of my favorites. We wrapped up the day with wine, cake, tacos, beers, laughter, and how a friendship developed into an unbounded love. Lauren recounts the story:

“ My wife would say that our love story started at a picnic table for weather class.  But I feel like I have been waiting my entire life for her. Jenny and I first met when she joined the paragliding school I belonged to at Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla, CA.  With her living in Huntington Beach, our early interactions were limited to weekend weather classes, where we learned how to read weather reports and make predictions on the day’s flying conditions.  Surrounded by a group of grown men, all with the maturity level of teenage boys, sexual innuendo and dirty jokes was par for the course.  This was apparently the audience Jenny and I were made for.  Quickly, others would remark that the two of us together were able to make an otherwise dry subject entertaining.  Our similar and complementary senses of humor formed a friendship at the Gliderport, and texting quickly ensued – initial sporadic funny memes and Ecards evolved into daily, and hourly conversations.  From the beginning, I understood Jenny to be “straight” and unavailable, so I put her in that box, and never thought anything more than just that she was a rad chick from weather; never did it occur to me that what we had was anything more than just friends who get along incredibly well, laughed constantly, and never ran out of things to talk about.  As the months passed, I would often comment to my best friend, who’s also a pilot, about how I wished Jenny lived closer so she could join us for our girls’ nights and game nights with friends.  Finally, after a year of our developing friendship, Jenny revealed to me over text that she had had a crush on me since that first day at weather class.  I WAS SHOCKED!!  Never could I have imagined that a woman this fun, and interesting, and who shared a common passion with me would actually be someone who also belonged to my very small pond." 

"It had been planned that Jenny would visit for a girls’/birthday weekend shortly after her big reveal.  I panicked over what this could mean for our friendship if things didn’t go well.  But then the day came.  As she got out of her car, all the trepidation washed away.  As we got ready for my birthday dinner out with friends, I saw Jenny in a way I never had before; I stood watching her buckle the strap on her heels, and for the first time in my life, I was breathless.  The next day, Jenny took me to the San Diego Zoo, where she worked before college.  She had me enthralled with her behind-the-scene stories and animal fun facts.  This girl was brilliant, and damn was she funny.  Walking around that zoo, holding her hand and laughing, was a connection I had never felt before.  It was a kind of completeness that I had only just realized I’d been missing my entire life.  I had been waiting for her, and she had been looking for me.  But finally we were together."

"Every day since that trip the zoo has been better than the day before.  Even though we live together, we still text incessantly throughout the day, and have yet to run out of things to talk about.  Jenny thought the opportunity to be a mother had passed, and I never envisioned sharing that dream with anyone before her.  But here we are, planning a family and a future together.  I have never been so excited for anything else in my life- and it is just my life, and all the possibilities, that excites me!  I love her, and it is the greatest feeling in the world being her wife. To get to promise my forever to her is the dream I never could have imagined."

"…And all because of two weather systems colliding."

Is that not the best story ever?

And it doesn’t end there. Jenny and Lauren have been working very hard to expand their love and lives by adding another: they want to have a baby together. They struggle asking for help (as most people do), and that’s why I decided to reach out to a community that cares about people and their stories. They’ve tried everything to get pregnant using IUI every single month since their marriage last year with no success. Their insurance doesn’t cover anything, so they’ve totaled about $10,000 of crushing disappointment and heartbreak. Fortunately, they don’t give up easily, and they have never been closer in this humbling desire to grow together in a new way. As they put it, “…this journey has only strengthened our bond as a couple, and reaffirmed our commitment to each other and our future family.”

The IUI is only 20% effective, and they only have one more step available to them: IVF. It’s extraordinarily expensive, as one month of IVF attempt totals far more than they’ve already paid. They broke it down for us here:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): $9,000
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): $1,500
Anesthesia: $600
Medications: $3,000 – 5,000

They know the challenges ahead, but realize that with each other (and a little extra love and help), they can conquer anything. They are stuck in their efforts due to the extreme financial commitment this carries, but this doesn’t stop them from reaching out and doing everything they can to achieve their dream of opening a new chapter in their lives, and creating a life—a child of their very own.

They state the following on their gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/ivf-for-teacher-couple

“The child you are contributing to will have:

·      Two moms who will love and support them unconditionally

·      Three dogs to cuddle and play with

·      A cute little craftsman house on a sunny street

·      A large network of extended family and friends who can't wait shower him/her with love

We are both teachers who have dedicated our lives to the welfare and learning of other children.  Please help us ‘bring our work home’.  Thank you.”

Both of these wonderful people have given so much to the future generations throughout the years, and I think it’s about time to give something back. If you can donate anything at all to help this family grow, I know they will forever be grateful. We all have the power to change lives, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to help in some small way. Choose to change a life today!

Venue: Santa Barbara Courthouse
Hair: Cyndi Runs
H
otel: Hotel Canary by Kimpton