The beautiful ocean institute has a desert-y vibe with cacti and rocks surrounding the building, however it’s also just a few steps from the beach! Cristina and Joel incorporated so many fun, funky details! A Mariachi band? Yes, please! Bright flowers and mixed succulents! Chocolate filled churros? YESSS. Not to mention they had their first dance beneath an enormous whale skeleton!! Enjoy.
Coordinator: Seven Stems
Dessert Bar: A Sweeter Piece
Videographer: Films By Noir
Venue: The Ocean Institute in Dana Point
Mariachi: Mariachi Nuevo Capistrano
Anna and Richard have to be two of the most laid back people I've met! I took their engagement photos the month before their wedding and she still wasn't certain what her bridal party would be wearing. They each chose to have only a Maid of Honor and a Best Man and this lent to the already intimate vibe of their wedding. They also had a brunch instead of a dinner, so this meant their first look was at 9:00 am. It was a perfectly foggy morning, and the clouds parted during their beautiful ceremony. Coyote Hills Golf Course definitely made it into my top list of gorgeous venues. Scroll on to see what I mean!
Julissa and Jeff were married at the gorgeous San Diego Mission which I had never had the opportunity to shoot at prior! Absolutely beautiful grounds! The mission has a lush garden and courtyard and I could have stayed there all day taking portraits. Immediately following the ceremony they hopped on a vintage wedding trolley that took them to Balboa Park for their reception. It was a beautiful day from start to finish! Julissa's bouquet was made completely out of succulents and probably weighed several pounds - no joke!
What can I say about this wedding?! Clients like Sami + Jackson are truly a dream for a photographer. They gladly listened to any and all advice we had regarding the timeline and we ended up with ample time for detail photos and couple's portraits. It was probably one of the smoothest wedding days we've had the pleasure of capturing! Thanks in huge part to their coordinator Taylor from Love and Laughter Events. It was also so special to be back at Temecula Creek Inn (where my husband and I got married almost 7 years ago). They didn't get married at the Stone House, but just being at the property was so fun. And Sami got ready in the same suite that Brandon and I stayed in!
"I'll promise to always be the air guitar to your air drums." -Sami
Sami + Jackson couldn't have been anymore joyful and giddy to marry one another, and I was smiling through their entire ceremony and the whole time I was editing their gallery. Her smile is infectious and her entire face lights up when she looks at her new husband. This is one of the longest blog posts I've ever put together and if you don't want to look through the entire thing, do yourself a favor and at least check out their couples portraits. Such a beautiful couple!
A few words from the bride:
Like a true 2016 love story, Jackson and I met when we both swiped right on Bumble. Romantic, I know. He likes to make fun of my clever pickup line of "Hi," and I like to look down at the ring on my left hand and say, "well I guess it worked."
We texted and FaceTimed for a few weeks after matching on Bumble (and Jackson blowing off our first official date) before deciding we really needed to meet. By that time, Jackson was already back at school in Arizona while I was busy at school in Southern California. With limited options and a few months before Jackson would be back home for summer break, I decided to book a flight to Phoenix to see if we would hit it off in person. Yes my parents were worried, and yes, we've heard of the show Catfish. There are a lot of words to describe me, but clearly "safe" isn't one of them. The trip to Phoenix went well, and I called my parents on my way home to tell them, "I think I'm gonna marry this guy."
On our second date, Jackson asked me to be his girlfriend. On our third date I met his family, and by the fourth date we were already saying "I love you." To say it progressed quickly would be an understatement, but like my mama has always told me, "when you know, you know." After 8 months of long distance, life changes, and too many airport pick-ups and drop-offs to count, Jackson proposed at Disneyland with our families there to witness.
Venue: The Meadows at Temecula Creek Inn
Coordinator: Love and Laughter Events
Cake: Elegance on Display
Dress: Wtoo by Watters
Mini Bundt Cakes: Nothing Bundt Cakes
DJ: DeVaughn Daniels - Timmy D Productions
Florals: arranged by Rosebud & Co.
Singer: Hannah Stadnick
Photobooth: Justin Sherman - Kyro Weddings
I should have known how much I would love Gabe + Kristin when they first suggested meeting at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants for margaritas and tacos for our initial consultation. They live in Arizona and make their way out to Southern California from time to time and knew they wanted to be married along the coast in the La Jolla area. Once they saw how beautiful the Cuvier Wedding Bowl is, they knew they wanted to married right there on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
You have never met people with bigger hearts, or who deserve one another more than Kristin and Gabe! Their overcast, stormy seaside wedding went off without a hitch, due partly to their easy going natures. Brandon and I left on the evening of their wedding chatting about how we hoped we kept in touch with them and would love to meet up for margaritas on their next trip to San Diego.
Lazy V Ranch might just be my favorite new venue! (Have I said that before?) It stole my heart with it's gorgeous pepper trees, tall cacti, white fences and the cutest little bridal suite. Not to mention the wooden dance floor beneath the largest tree adorned with hanging lanterns and twinkle lights. I love that Lisa and Gavin had a little blanket ladder set up so that their guests could cozy up near the fire pits in the evening. Definitely the kind of wedding you want to attend!!
I captured engagement photos for Dana and Justin almost two years ago! They both live in San Francisco and as a lot of us know, wedding planning takes a lot of time. I was thrilled when they chose to get married in La Jolla at two places I've been dying to shoot at: Cuvier Park Wedding Bowl followed by a reception at the gorgeous Darlington House. Their stunning cliff-side ceremony took place on a perfect sunny day, and the bridesmaids in their floral and black maxi dresses were perfection! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Prueitt!
As Diana and Eric's wedding day approached, Diana and I kept in touch as her wedding planning unfolded. I was so excited to shoot at the Bali Hai which I had always heard was stunning, and I was almost even more excited that we were going to do a first look at the harbor among all of the beautiful boats behind their hotel, the Bay Club Hotel on Shelter Island.
But when I showed up on the afternoon of her wedding to see the nautical theme that was so tastefully done, I couldn't stop snapping pictures. From the invitations they designed themselves (!) to Eric's fashion forward blue suit and his gold, knot cuff-links, to her stunning, stunning florals -- this wedding will have you drooling. I loved that she gave the mother-of-the-bride and groom bouquets instead of corsages - I'd never seen that, and it really added something special. The little flower girls also held bouquets instead of tossing petals.
We found out later that evening that Eric only asked for two things at his wedding: a giant margarita they could share at dinner, and a Captain's hat for the dance party at the end of the evening. He might not care for floral design, but this guy knows how to throw a party!
Venue: The Bali Hai Restaurant
Band: The Lucky Devils
Videographer: Nathan Miller Videography
Desert Table: VG Donuts
Hair/Make-up: XOA Angelina Dawson
Invitations: Self-Designed and Self-Printed
Coordinator: Michelle Quint
Floral Design: Dawn Steel Gaslamp Florals
Bride/Bridemaid/MOB pajamas: Plum Pretty Sugar
Lately we hear a lot about "DIY" (Do-it-yourself) brides who craft many of the details of their wedding days. However, Ivory + Wes took "DIY" to a whole different level. Not only did Ivory + Wes make all of their own centerpieces and ceremony arbor, and hang a million twinkly lights themselves, Ivory also made. her. own. wedding. dress. Yes, she made her own beautiful two piece dress. I couldn't get over it.
Their funky style was so much fun to capture. From the tulle-laced converse that the bridesmaids wore to the reception, to the Princess Bride inspired invitations (my favorite movie of all time) to the bouncy house they provided for the kids as entertainment. Their day was one-of-a-kind, and love from their family and friends filled the air.
They got married at a beautiful, blue house in Julian and they had friends play florist, baker, caterer, DJ and planner. We were one of the only vendors they hired and while that was so flattering, I took that responsibility seriously. It makes my heart swell when other people value photography as much as I do. My hope is always that no matter a bride's budget, our images will always capture the details in the most beautiful way and in the most beautiful light (literally, we seek out the best light, ha).
Stephanie and Brad got ready at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina before we all made our way over the the Coronado Community Center for their first look and wedding. All of the details of their wedding were so pretty! From her lace dress, to the sequin bridesmaid dresses, to the blush and cream flowers - it's one of my favorite color palettes. Also, those gold chiavari chairs? Love! Aside from being an obviously very good looking couple, Stephanie and Brad were SO natural with each other. I hardly had to pose them -- they just couldn't keep their hands off of each other!
Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Pearson!
What can I say about Kelly & Cass's wedding? It's absolutely in my top 3 favorite weddings. There's a trend right now to use very neutral flower colors -- pale pinks, creams etc. And while I absolutely LOVE that, it was so refreshing to see the colorful, vibrant flower choices that Kelly made. Her florist did such an incredible job of making her vision come to life. I had such a hard time only choosing a few to share. Oh, and did I mention that her brother was part of the design team at Caroline Herrera and helped design her wedding gown?? Swoon!
It was also so nice as the photographer because Kelly & Cass chose to do a "First Look" which meant that we got to take family photos before the ceremony. This left the entire cocktail hour for me to focus on just photos of the couple (my favorite part!) I always recommend doing a "First Look" when my couples ask for my input.
I think I squealed when Ericca and Brandon told me that their venue was Olivenhain Meeting Hall. It made my rustic-loving soul so happy. It was actually built in the 1800s and is nestled beneath the trees. As their wedding day approached, it became pretty clear that it was going to rain all day Saturday. The site was a little flooded the day before, but with a lot of work on their part and some last minute white tents, we were hopeful it would be manageable. Luckily, I don't think we saw more than a drop or two of rain the entire day! Every single detail of this wedding was absolutely beautiful. From the beautiful fern backdrop at the ceremony to the long barn-wood tables with olive branch garland and gorgeous gold candle holders. Their ceremony was quick, and the meeting hall was packed with their friends and family. Their reception felt like a backyard dinner party, lit with candles and great music. Here is a tiny glimpse, into their special day. Congrats again Mr. & Mrs. Hines!
Florist/Planner: Bella Florina Event & Design