Intimate Backyard Wedding in Africa - Ceremony
Ceremony © Arcata wedding photographer Kate Donaldson Photography
Bride meets her groom at the altar with her father backyard garden ceremony in Addis Ababa; photographed by Northern California Offbeat Wedding photographer Kate Donaldson Photography.
Backyard garden wedding ceremony in Addis Ababa; photographed by Northern California Offbeat Wedding photographer Kate Donaldson Photography.
Blessing Rings © Humboldt County wedding photographer Kate Donaldson Photography
Bride and groom embrace after vows by Arcata wedding photographer Kate Donaldson Photography
Backyard Wedding Ceremony © California photographer Kate Donaldson Photography
Groom dips bride after a backyard wedding ceremony by Arcata wedding photographer Kate Donaldson Photography
Bride is congratulated by her new sisters following a backyard garden ceremony in Addis Ababa; photographed by Northern California Offbeat Wedding photographer Kate Donaldson Photography.

There are all kinds of destination weddings. Ocean side weddings, rustic cabin weddings, mountain top weddings. A wedding on a farm that belongs to a friend. The reasons for getting married outside of the city you call home are equally varied. Maybe you gravitate towards a natural element that just doesn't exist in your current neighborhood. Whimsy and spark definitely go a long way in the selection of your celebration destination but geography will also factor into the mix. Sometimes that equation is wonderfully and perfectly simple - here we are, can you be, too?

At M&K's wedding in Addis Ababa, the question wasn't had you traveled to get there, but how far had you traveled. Between K's German family and friends, M's Canadian by way of Poland parents and my own Denver-Chicago-Heathrow-Beirut-Addis flight path, the sky miles were piled to the moon! On the way to the wedding, I devoured Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost. What do you think about most when you're traveling? I tend to be the pensive type that likes to look up at the stars and think about converging paths, how traveling alone can be lonesome but not necessarily lonely. And then I will inevitably start singing that song from An American Tail. Because why wouldn't I?

Which brings me back to love. And destination weddings. By limits of time and finance, destination weddings naturally inspire a minimalist guest list. But a small ceremony is afforded a level of intimacy that is difficult to maintain as the guest list grows. And what a backyard style celebration might lack in flash, it certainly makes up for in all caps LOVE.