Redwoods Roaring Camp Wedding – Beneath the Chickadees: Mikayla + Luke

A bird-themed wedding next to the California redwoods at Roaring Camp left me smiling for weeks afterwards, and I’m excited to share the photos from Mikayla and Luke’s wedding. 

The two met at UC David in their Christian fellowship and spent the semester studying together. Later down the road, the two re-connected and after one fateful evening beneath the awe-inspiring stars and an accidental “head boop,” the two fell madly in love.

Earlier this summer, Mikayla had found the “Chasing Chickadees” photographer and knew we needed to connect as Mikayla was a biologist herself. We met up and wandered through her old survey stomping grounds in Henry Cowell State Park and talked about the birds, the redwoods, and of course, her upcoming wedding there. Our day ended with a visit from a chickadee, and we knew that all the stars had aligned for us to meet!

Their late October wedding day was a perfect sunny day surrounded by all their friends and family gathering at the red wood nestled venue known for its train rides through the forest and down to the Santa Cruz coast.

Before I launch into the utter magic of their day, let me nerd out on the incredible details. My favorite were the birds interwoven throughout the day including bird-themed seating. Each table was assigned a bird and at each table setting was a bird fact related to that bird. She even had a Chestnut-backed Chickadee table, which I got to choose all the facts for. And for a special touch, she had wooden rounds on each table that she and her father had cut hauled from the forest behind their house and cut together. How sweet! 

The day began with Mikayla and her wonderful bridesmaids and mother getting ready in the “schoolhouse.” After Mikayla got into her divine dress, we walked down into the redwoods where Luke was waiting for his first look with her. The raw, beautiful, and deep love between them showed as they both lit up head to toe seeing each other. We pranced deeper into the redwoods and captured some of my favorite wedding photos ever, including a playful series of Mikayla using binoculars to hunt Luke down. 

After a powerful first look, we reconnected them with their family for a first look with her father, which brought tears to our eyes, and then a family prayer together.

The ceremony was beautiful, and we all laughed as their officiant recalled their story together with bird antidotes. I’m pretty sure all the chickadees were watching from the trees cheering them on.

The autumn sun left us but the light from the day shined on. Their first dance had us all in tears again as Mikayla’s father sat and played his guitar on stage above the two. It was like watching a fairy tale come true! After we all dried our eyes, the dance floor lit up. After the last song, the entire wedding party lined up outside and blew bubbles at the two lovebirds departing. 

Mikayla and Luke, thank you for the honor of capturing your wedding day!

Mikayla + Luke’s Review: 

“I came across Chasing Chickadees Photography in my search for a wedding photographer, and being the bird nerd that I am, I could not pass up a name like this without investigating. I am so happy that I did! Alicia and I clicked immediately as fellow bird nerds and I could see the joy she had for both wildlife and photography.  

I loved working with Alicia! She was amazing. She captured the feelings of my wedding so well and made sure to capture all the details that made our wedding unique and personal to my husband and I. All my bridesmaids said she was so fun. She had so much energy that just radiated to everyone throughout the whole day. 

Alicia was also such a great help beforehand with my day-of timeline and adding in where and when we would take all the different pictures. She knew exactly how long the pictures would take and what was the best order to complete them in, especially family formals. Alicia even met me at my venue a few weeks before to find the best spots for pictures that fit with my vision of a dreamy redwoods first look! 

And her barn photography was amazing! If you are getting married in a barn with low light, hire Alicia! There were no orange faces and her pictures of our barn reception came out amazing! Her husband Keith was great too. The groom and groomsmen had a great time taking serious and funny pictures with him. Keith and Alicia are such a great team! I highly recommend Chasing Chickadees Photography!”

Venue | Roaring Camp

Floral | Pink Petals

Hair + Makeup | Nguyen Ha from AList Studios

Jewelry | Trifleholics and RosadosBox

Dress | Elegant Designs Bridal

DJ | DJ Michael Cahalan

Catering | Roaring Camp

Bartender | Raise Your Glass

Dessert | Dessert First Bakery

Photographer | Chasing Chickadees

Videographer | Zach Morris

View the complete gallery.

Roaring Camp Wedding Redwoods Santa Cruz
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Redwoods
Roaring Camp Wedding Redwoods Santa Cruz
Roaring Camp Wedding Schoolhouse Getting Ready
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Getting Ready
Roaring Camp Wedding Barn Bird Tables
Roaring Camp Wedding Barn Bird Tables
Lavender and Turquoise Wedding Rings
Roaring Camp Wedding Dessert First Bakery
Roaring Camp Wedding Barn Dancing
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Redwoods First Look
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Redwoods First Look
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Redwoods
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Bridal Party
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Black and White
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Redwoods
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Groomsmen
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Barn Dancing
Roaring Camp Wedding Santa Cruz Barn Dancing
Bubbles Wedding Exit

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meet alicia


With over 15 years of experience, you can rest assured that you will be getting top-tier photography. I focus on the experience and put everyone immediately at ease with my vibrant + playful style. I bring joy with me and infuse it in every part of a session.

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