A wedding in the mountains, surrounded by ladybugs

So, my sister gets married, and she does so in typical Eliason fashion: in the woods, on a mountain.

Who would ever complain?

Without divulging too many details, I will say this. Having a vacation wedding in a setting so familiar to our families was such a payoff. Although friends and family members alike to work hard and make the wedding happen, it was hugely connecting and intimate.

We settled down the Wednesday before to haul up gear and get some rest in at Pinecrest Chalet, a cabin campground about thirty minutes east of Sonora in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Thursday was mostly rest, save for a regenerating morning hike on an old mining road nearby.


Post-hike was when the work, and fun, began. The usual setup required another full day of work but it was small to task due to the many friends helping out.

I would be silly not to mention one of the best parts of the whole trip… At first I thought they were bits of cottonwood fluffs, being carried by an air current, but later realized in amazement that these were anything but.

Ladybugs. Thousands and thousands of ladybugs, each day, streamed through the air, in and around the ceremonial site. I assume on a migration pattern, you could reach out and catch five within seconds there were so many. As I’ve heard in many cultures that ladybugs are great omens, I took this as nature’s blessing for the auspicious occasion itself.


Saturday was her big day and went off without a hitch. The weather was perfect, slightly overcast, silvery mountain light streaming through the trees, ladybugs bumbling about, you couldn’t plan it better. A few ‘first look’ shots by yours truly, an incredibly moving ceremony (yup, I cried), and several hours later, we’re partying under the milky way to 90s hip-hop.


I honestly thought the was the time for all the hard work to shine. Everything from table centers, lighting, signage, or cool little prayer flags was handmade with love by friends or family. The sense was utter benevolence and I truly believe everyone went to be happy that night.

You see, that’s the nature of my sister, Carmina and new brother, Paul. Lately they’ve been bringing out the best in people, which ultimately means they will receive the very best. Whether by pure karmic induction or the simple fact that they surround themselves by people who will always be there.

I said this during my toast and I say it again, a Swedish wedding blessing…

Under dagar som komma, år som gå må lycka och glädje följa er två.

Through days that come, years that go, may happiness and joy follow you two.



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