Gulf Islands Elopement on a sailboat

My connection to N & C all started because of a chance photo I took at sunset of a beautiful sailboat dropping anchor near us at Galiano Island 2 years ago. 

It was a banger sunset sailboat photo! So I posted it on social media and got a reply from the lovely N saying, "Hey, that's our boat!" 

And so the story begins! We chatted about our mutual love of life with kids on sailboats and I sent her family the photos I took. 

Fast forward a year and a bit and N sends me a message saying "Would you want to be our photographer for our intimate wedding on Portland Island with our sailboat  this summer?" 

Ummmm…that's a Heck yes!! 

A summer beach wedding in the Gulf Islands of BC

And so the story continues. On the morning of their wedding, N and C picked me up at the dock with their sailboat and it was a mimosa cruise over to Shell Beach on Portland Island. 

We dropped anchor and took the dinghy ashore where they had set up camp for the day. 

Portland Island is a boat access only island within the Gulf Island archipelago. The entire island is part of the Gulf Island's National Park Reserve. There are over 10km of walking trails that circle the island leading to two different anchorages and three backcountry camping spots. The island's history goes back to being the site of a First Nation's village and then a farming and settlement site for Hawaiian immigrants in the 1880s. You can still see evidence of it's early inhabitants in the midden beaches and fruit trees growing in the abandoned orchards. 

Why They Chose Portland Island for their Wedding

Portland Island had been a favourite sailing destination for their family over the years and held significant sentimental meaning for both of them. It's close proximity to Sidney meant that it was also accessible for guests to reach the island for the day. Being part of the boating community meant that they could use their own boat as well as friends' boats to shuttle friends and family from the public dock in Swartz Bay to Shell Beach on the island. They also chartered a water taxi that could beach right on shore for guests.

Portland Island also allowed guests to camp overnight if they chose to.

Here is How They Chose to Structure Their Beach Wedding Day

  • Guests arrived via power boat or on board a chartered taxi from Sidney. They set up tents above the beach ready for a full day and overnight celebrating N & C's wedding day.
  • Guests helped set up a BBQ and seating area in the shade under the trees
  • N got ready for the ceremony onboard their sailboat along with her daughters and close friends.
  • N was brought ashore by her sons on the dinghy, to a ceremony on the rocky headland surrounded by their children
  •  The ceremony was followed by a beachside BBQ with kids and adults splashing and playing in the aquamarine water.
  • We ended the day with sunset photos on their beautiful sailboat.
  • Remaining guests camped under the stars or on their boats

It was a day full of heart and love and free spirits. No strict schedule, just a day spent with the ones they love and who know them best. Such a fabulous way to get married!

Portland Island Elopement on a sailboat
Portland Island, BC elopement
Portland Island, BC elopement
Portland Island, BC elopement
Portland Island, BC elopement
Portland Island, BC elopement
Portland Island, BC elopement
Gulf Island Elopement on a sailboat

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