Erin and Joseph’s DIY Orange County wedding at the Newland Barn

not at burning man, but definitely filled with the essence of burning man

Erin is an incredible human being who I’ve known since my college radio days. A few years ago, she went through quite the transformation via Burning Man: she quit her job in a legal office, became a production designer, got really buff. She also met this lovely guy who also works in Hollywood: Joseph. How did they meet? The Burn. Who attended their wedding? Everyone from the Burn. The only thing missing from this wedding was a giant burning man — outside of that, this budget wedding was, top-to-bottom, filled with weirdo bohemian DIY goodness.

First of all: this is Erin.


And this is where she was waiting before the ceremony. Not terribly picturesque, in the traditional sense — no white curtains, roses, mirrors, vanities — but this photo is 100% Erin. She’s a badass who gets things done.

We had a quick moment to escape behind the barn to gather her flowers and get some shots with her bridesmaids:

What can I say? She’s a badass.

This wedding was a total DIY affair, top-to-bottom. Erin and Joseph’s production friends brought out all the tables and chairs and set up the decorations; Erin’s mom and aunt made the decorations, flowers, and favors; a caterer friend of theirs who normally caters film sets provided the catering. Their budget was small, but with a small budget often comes a kind of ingenuity and sense of community that a bigger budget won’t necessarily have. As the guests arrived, I was suddenly surrounded by hundreds of hugs and colorful outfits (and beards):

Instead of a traditional flower girl, they wanted one of their best friends to be the flower man. He did a fantastic job.

Erin and Joseph kept this traditional element: they stayed completely hidden from each other until Erin’s dad walked her down the aisle. This was the moment that Joseph saw Erin for the first time on his wedding day. Their expressions say everything.


A beautiful, short little ceremony:


After the ceremony: formal portrait time. (Ya know, I focus on documentary photography, but I don’t mind a few cheesy posed pictures!)


I love these two.

After the ceremony, it was time for their no-frills BBQ lunch and hundreds more hugs and kisses:

Not to mention about 30 toasts… no exaggeration!

So many people felt moved to jump up to the mic because these wasn’t just your usual group of work colleagues, distant family members, etc: this wedding was 95% comprised of the deep community of close friends that Erin and Joseph forged through several years of Burning Man.

Of all their wedding pictures, this one is their favorite, the one that they have blown up and framed:


They all think of each other as a second family! Even though I’ve never been to Burning Man, I certainly feel that way about my own close circle of friends, and I cherish the thought of getting them all in one place and taking a photo like this.

After the many many toasts, Erin and Joseph headed to the dance floor for their first dance.
And man oh man… it was so romantic.

I love love love this wedding because it goes to show that you don’t need a ton of $$$ to make a beautiful wedding day — if you have a lot of love, and surround yourself with family and friends, it can transform the most mundane objects into magic.