These two! There is so much to say about Alicia and Craig’s Communal Coffee and Spanish Village Engagement Session. But there is even more to say about how these two met, and since they have so many meaningful memories that are worth telling, I figure I'll share the memory they shared with me in person during our time together.
Lucky for me, I have gotten to see Alicia and Craig's relationship from its very inception. Alicia and I have been friends since the days when I was running my grassroots mural project and she was running a social experiment using social media and art called The Rock Project. She was a thought partner in my creative endeavors and would also later stand up with me through a spiritual journey from unmarried life to married life as one of my beloved bridesmaids and friend.
I remember clearly the minute that Alicia called Craig into her life. It was at my bachelorette party in Joshua Tree and all the girls were hanging around outside our trailer at Hicksville. Alicia and I had attended a Kyle Cease event that taught us this trick of talking out loud the things we want, but not only that, talking about the things we want as if we already have them.
Since Alicia and I were bringing this to the group, naturally we were the first to do the exercise. During Alicia’s out loud moment, she put her heart on the table and spoke about how she had found a man who completed her. It was one of those cosmic moments where one puts every ounce of energy into the fibers of ones future, and I truly believe it was in that moment that she found the love of her life, who happened to be living in Oregon.
Craig was ending a relationship at the time and with the encouragement of a close friend, he started setting his own intentions for a new love. He was doing his own style of manifesting. He made a list of adjectives of the qualities he wanted in his next partner. A woman who was energetic, athletic, and creative. He wanted her to be motivated, successful, independent and appreciate nature.
As they were both manifesting each other, being a Phish Head was ironically not on their lists. But as fate would have it, they would meet at a Phish concert in San Diego. I mean, this band has seriously change their lives in profound and meaningful ways. Both have followed Phish from state to state dozens of times.
Additionally, like the lead vocalist and guitarist, Trey Anastasio, they have both become active participants in their personal recovery from addiction and attend Phish shows through the Phellowship program. Being clean and sober wasn't on Craig's list either, but another important bonus. It's not easy what these two have done on a personal level, something that Alicia talks about in an interview on AnxietyErica.com that I find very profound and speaks to the character of her being, and without this self care and self love introspection, they may never have had the chance to meet.
In 2016, Alicia and Craigs’s lives would cross. I mean, more than cross, they would collide. Craig had been following the end of the 2016 Phish tour from Los Angeles to San Diego. Alicia, on a spur of the moment with encouragement from a close friend, would buy a ticket to the show, not just any ticket though, but the keepsake Phish general admission ticket that you can only get from their website.
Craig had been at the rail the day before in Los Angeles and found himself again at the rail in Chula Vista. Typically for a show, you would need to arrive hours before to get this close to the stage. She was surprised how easy it was to get into the venue and then she saw a spot on the rail and next to that spot was Craig.
It was loud in the venue and Alicia immediately noticed Craig’s “One Concert at a Time” sticker and told him she was no stranger to the program. Craig couldn’t believe this gorgeous woman was talking to him and they jammed out next to each other the whole show, even asking if she wanted to attend a meeting with him at the break which she replied yes. Alicia was equally blown away by this incredible man standing before her.
But it was the last song of the night that would bring happy tears to Alicia’s eyes and warm Craig's heart. The song, “Loving Cup.” Love is when we get put into people’s lives at exactly the right moment, and it was in this moment that the two's earlier manifestation combined and materialized.
Toward the end of the song, Craig tossed his glow-in-the-dark sobriety tag to Trey on the stage (Trey recognizing Craig from the night before for a similar act). Craig put his hands in prayer repeating the words, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” Trey's recovery has been an inspiration to Craig and this purposeful moment created ripples in the crowd. And of course, my dear friend Alicia captured the whole moment on her phone which was the perfect reason to exchange numbers.
With knowing all this about Alicia and Craig, one also has to know that on top of having a spiritually binding relationship to each other, they also have a vibrant, creative, and playful one. Both are unbelievably inspiring beings who love a good laugh, a great story, and a serendipitous adventure.
We started out at Communal Coffee because coffee is a big part of their lifestyle. The place had exactly the right feel for what we were looking for — a clean modern space, geometric and cantina accents, and a whole lot of love. Craig even bought a beautiful bouquet for Alicia! Then we took a quick pitstop to grab a quick bite from the vegan fast food restaurant Evolution before heading to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.
Our session was so rich in color and love, blossoming before my camera. Even with the difference between our two locations, they both were perfect for Alicia and Craig, complementing the mosiac-like complexity and beauty of their relationship. I’m beyond honored and excited to officiate their wedding later this year, and photograph it, too! So glad we had this time to hang out and make all these memories.
Location 1: Communal Coffee
Location 2: Spanish Village Art Center
Flowers: Native Poppy
Hair: Drybar Del Mar
Makeup: Elwynn + Cass
Wedding Planner: Events by Lift