California Coast LGBTQ Elopement

This California Coastal Elopement Symbolically Incorporated Fire, Water, Earth and Air

If love is fire, then we’re burning for every part of Jasmine and Liliya’s beach elopement off the California Coast.

Jasmine and Liliya went to the law school, but it wasn’t until a bit later that they really connected and their relationship blossomed.

“I remembered a Russian turn-of-phrase Liliya had taught me — a ray of sun in Russian is described as a ‘solnichnuy zaichik’ (sun bunny) because the light of the sun leaps and bounces in its exploration of the world. For me, Liliya is the vast, sublime, complexity of the ocean and I am a sun bunny, content just to be in her presence,” says Jasmine. This phrase was the beginning of the details that would be rooted into their wonderful celebration of love.

“We really wanted to buck what traditional wedding ceremonies are supposed to be and create a ceremony that was just for us,” recalls the couple. “So we decided to get married inside a circle, honoring the four elements: North, East, West and South.”

North was Earth – choosing to incorporate a polished geode Liliya’s grandmother gave her from Russia. To represent the East and the element of air, the incorporated windchimes. “[Windchimes were] one of the first things we got from Grocery Outlet when we were furnishing Liliya’s first apartment in California which became [our] first apartment together when the pandemic hit and Jasmine left Michigan several months early,” says the couple.

Fire was the element they chose for the South, with a dumpster fire nightlight they got in 2020 from all the stress it brought. Finally the West was illustrated by water; getting married in front of the ocean with seashells.

The two looked beautiful as they came together underneath the glowing sun; Jasmine wearing a pair of ocean earrings from Scotland to fit the scene and Liliya wearing a necklace her grandfather and former geologist made and polished from rock.

A makeshift circle of seaweed was created in the sand for the pair to stand and unite with a pagan handfasting ceremony. “For the handfasting we used three different ribbons, one was from flowers Jasmine’s sister sent, one was a pretty ribbon we had kept, and one that Diane (our officiant) contributed. At the end of the ceremony, we made a sacrifice of lilies to the Goddess by throwing them into the ocean.”

Not only was their ceremony intimate, but they found ways to include each guest that attended.

“We had one of our wedding guests hold each one of the elements, so actually every single person had a role. There was also an officiant and our son who held our dog Tobik a little out of the circle.” The day was truly special in every sense of the word.

“It felt very spiritual, intimate, and real. The ocean splashed onto our feet into the circle during the ceremony and it felt like even nature was giving us her blessing.”

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Photography: Cheri Tran Snaps

Location: Pescadero Beach

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