This wedding was so special to me for so many reasons. First of all, it took place at my favorite venue Volcan Mountain Winery in Julian, CA.
I left Sara and Casey’s engagement session, hopped in the car and said “They are just so much FUN!” And I knew that once their wedding day was here it was going to be a party! On the day of the wedding, these two were surrounded by their amazing family and friends. I was right!!
So many sweet moments stuck out to me: I loved watching Sara’s sweet mom smile at her while she stood there in her dress for the very first time on her wedding day. As a momma to a little girl, I can’t imagine how surreal it must have felt to see her baby girl on her wedding day.
I loved Sara and her grandfather’s first look. She looked amazing and he made sure that she knew it. Her girlfriends were just in awe of how gorgeous she was, and they made her entire day such a celebration!!
Being a part of weddings like this is such an honor for me. This sweet family was so gracious, warm, and inviting. I felt like I was more than a photographer, but a part of this loving family as well. Their smiles are contagious!!
Being a part of weddings is such an honor for me. Casey, you are one lucky guy! Sara, you were radiant, and I can’t wait for you to relive your day through these images!!!! I am so blessed to have you in my life! Enjoy living in your home together, enjoy not having to say goodbye at the end of the night, and enjoy fully living life with your best friend.
It was a cold and windy day, but that didn’t matter because that was the day that Tanner was proposing to his love Cristen on the beach at Sunset!
Tanner and Cristen first met at work and quickly became friends. Shortly after that they bonded over learned that they also attended the same church together. The friendship was 5 months in, and they were dating other people. It was during that time that Tanner realized that Cristen was the only woman who truly made him laugh and made him happy. He realized that “this is the woman I need to be with”. He is wonderful with Cristen’s daughter, and will be a great addition to her life. And as Cristen says, “He loves more fiercely and lovingly than anyone else I have seen love.” And From what I saw, I know Cristen loves him just the same. They dated for 9 months, and he knew…she was the one for him!Tanner and I worked together to find the perfect location in San Diego to propose, and that was Pacific Beach. To make sure the day was a success, I created a video to send to him in advance outlining the best way to set himself up for the proposal. On the day of the proposal he made dinner reservations at JRDN, placing him at the right location to take a nice stroll on the beach after dinner. While I sat there waiting and hoping not to be blown away by the wind, Tanner and Cristen came down the stairs to the beach, and walking hand in hand, laughing and smiling. I could already tell how happy they were. Once they were in the right spot, Tanner knelt down on one knee and proposed to Cristen! Her excitement was contagious. Once Tanner told her about me, I got closer to introduce myself and to congratulate both them for the new chapter of their journey together. Then we took a few moments, in the least windy location, to capture a few photos of them as a newly engaged couple. I could clearly feel that joy on their faces and their pictures were full of natural emotions! I know that they are going to have an amazing wedding in their hometown surrounded by family and friends.
It was a cold (for San Diego) December Evening, and I was meeting Grey who was about to propose to his girlfriend, Rachel, of 5 years. His plan was to take to take her to Balboa Park and see “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, then propose to her outside the Old Globe Theater after the show. As I was driving to meet him and prepare the game plan of how he would propose and I would capture the moment, I realized I could call in some favors and take this to the next level.
I quickly contacted my dear friend Nicole, who is also one of my very first brides when I started my photography business. I told her about Grey’s plan to propose after the show and I wanted to see if she could help me…and she did! She put me in contact with another groom I had the pleasure of working with on his wedding day, Jeremy. Jeremy helped me come up with an amazing plan for Grey.
On that cold Monday, Grey walked up, shook my hand and we started talking about how he planned to propose outside. I then said to him, “If the sky were the limit, what would the perfect proposal be for you?” He paused in thought, so I pulled out all the stops; “what if you could propose on stage after the show ended?” A look of pure excitement came across his face, and I knew we were going to create an unforgettable surprise proposal with the help of the Grinch, the Globe, and good people.
Grey and Rachel met at college in North Carolina. He was from San Diego and she hailed from Denver. It was in history class when Grey caught Rachel’s eye, or more specifically, his sweatpants did, which were emblazoned with the word “DENVER.” After that they became friends, then a couple. After they graduated college in North Carolina, Grey and Rachel moved back to San Diego. Rachel studied for her RN in physical therapy. Upon graduating college in San Diego, Rachel decided it was finally time to move back to Denver to be closer to family. She had been back to Denver for a month and was coming to visit Grey for the holidays. While she was gone for that month, Grey planned every moment of proposing to her (including asking her father for his blessing), and preparing to make the big move to start his amazing new life with Rachel in Denver, That Thursday had arrived and as soon as the show let out, I snuck into the theater to hide in the sound booth. Grey told Rachel he arranged a private stage tour after the show and they waited in the lobby for everyone to clear out. Once the theater was empty, Jeremy met up with Grey and Rachel to start their tour of the Old Globe. While they made their way on the stage, I slowly started making my way through the seats to get into place. Jeremy walked them over to the Grinch’s cage, stage right and then walked away. At that moment Grey tapped on Rachel’s shoulder, got onto one knee and proposed to her. She was so excited. She said yes, and threw her arms around him for loving hug and kiss! I wouldn’t say the Grinch’s heart grew another few sizes that evening...but I know mine did.After their tour of the Old Globe, we had the opportunity to walk around Balboa Park and get some great evening photographs with Grey and Rachel and the holiday lights and festive atmosphere. It was such a fun experience and I am honored that I could capture their moment. I wish you all the best and an exciting journey to Denver, and the next stage of your lives!
I also want to give a special thanks to the Old Globe, Jeremy Nelson, Nicole Rios, and Mary for helping us make this happen. You are amazing people!
It was the day before Thanksgiving, the sun was shining, the sky was blue; and I was ready and waiting for one excited groom-to-be to propose to his loved one! I was filled with excitement and anticipation as I waited for them to arrive. I wanted everything to be perfect for Jaimin's proposal. One thing I love about the love birds is that each couple has their unique and interesting love story, so as Jaimin and Tara. Jaimin and Tara are one of the adorable couples I have ever met!
They first met each other through a work event when Jaimin was working as an R&D Scientist in NJ and Tara was a Business Development manager at a different Pharmaceutical company in NJ. On a very first meeting both had an intuition, they somehow knew that there is something special about each other. After that one day, Jaimin planned to visit one place in NY and asked Tara if she will be interested to be part of that visit, she agreed. In a car, on the way from NJ to NY during the conversation both got the feeling that they could be the perfect soulmates and just like that there meeting got converted into first date and they started dating each other which converted into an amazing successful love story.
Jaimin decided to surprisingly propose Tara on the anniversary day of their first meeting. He planned the location Sunset cliff with my help and guidance. On the day of the proposal he came with Tara at the Sunset cliff where I was hiding at the predefined spot. I could see that Jaimin was waiting for the right moment and was standing at one place while Tara was getting annoyed as she wanted to walk around the cliffs and suddenly, Jaimin kneel down on his one knee and proposed her after a short speech, while I was busy capturing those golden shots of their perfect moment. Tara was completely surprised and was very happy about the surprised proposal and once she had the ring on a hand, they hugged and kissed. Then Jaimin, told her about me and I got closer to them introducing myself to Tara and congratulating both of them for the new chapter of their journey together. I performed the engagement photo shoot for them right after at the same site. I could clearly feel that joy on their faces and their pictures were full of natural emotions! I wish them luck for their wedding!
Robin and Melissa’s wedding was planned at Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbook, CA. I had not photographed a wedding there before so we decided to walk the property a couple of weeks before their ceremony. The moment I drove on the property my head was filled with ideas and I knew photographing this wedding was going to be a blast. We walked around the property picking all the best spots for formal photography on their wedding day. With so many beautiful locations on the property we knew we needed a plan to capture the essence of this fun loving couple.
My day started n Melissa’s rooms gathering her wedding dress, jewelry and shoes to take them onsite to photograph. I love finding a beautiful place outside to hang the wedding dress. Then I photographed Melissa and her party finishing getting hair and make-up done. After that was done, Melissa and party walked around checking out the ceremony site so Robin could go into the same room to finish hair and make-up. We had to make sure it was all planned so they wouldn’t see each other. After Robin was done, everyone headed back to the rooms to finish getting ready.
Prior to the wedding we blindfolded both Melissa and Robin and put them back to back on set of stairs to hold hands for a few moments feel their love in their hands one more time before saying I-Do. It was a perfect moment.
Melissa and Robin decided to go with a style/theme that was nerd chic with the colors dark purple and grey. Melissa and her bridesmaids had bouquets made of purple and white Cali lilies. They wanted to incorporate their love for, “nerdy things” as Robin says, like Star Wars, Harry Potter and other “Nerd Fandoms”.
The ceremony began at the unique Antique Bell Tower with a picturesque Rose garden and 30-foot waterfall. Robin walked down an aisle laid with rose petals with her brother as her escort. Robin, the wedding party, and the ringbearer walked down to music from Lord of the Rings. Melissa walked down by her father as escort to music from Pirates of the Caribbean. Officiate Bob was a close friend of theirs, who had a personalized message that also had nerd references in the ceremony. They read their own vows, and after they kissed to being wife and wife they rang the bell in celebration. They exited to music from Star Wars. To keep it classy, this music was all from String quartets. The ceremony was very special because everything that was in it felt like it was Robin and Melissa.
After the ceremony we took family photos at the Antique Bell Tower and then we started working our way through the property for the wedding party photos. I was excited when we were done and I was able to spend time with Melissa and Robin photographing just them two of them as they talked, laughed, kissed and played during their formal photos.
The reception was in a huge tent like area that was very open and had LED lighting which offered the option to add a purple to give it a flare from Melissa and Robin’s color themes. The tables were named after couples in different nerdom, like Leia and Han; and Wesley and Buttercup. Some of the table centerpieces had purple and white rose petals around lanterns; and the others had tall water pieces with branches, white carnations/baby's breath and candles floating in water at the base.
The sweetheart table, guest setting cards, and the cake topper had a Harry Potter theme. The sweetheart table had the words 'Always" in front which is a reference from Harry Potter; and a word that Melissa and Robin frequently use to each other for their love for one another. Even the champagne and wine glasses had Harry Potter quotes on theme.
The cake topper was made to look Robin and Melissa dressed as their Hogwarts assigned houses. The cake table had pictures of Robin and Melissa from the many years of Robin smashing cake in Melissa's face during her birthday. The reception was truly unique and special because every detail that was added was reflecting Robin and Melissa and the things they both love. Robin and Melissa love Bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cake. Therefore decided to go with Buntinis, to allow their guests to pick whatever flavor they wanted through the night.
The gift to guests was Baggies filled with purple, white and grey soaps to represent the color scheme in star wars shapes. The shapes were Darth Vader, stormtroopers, and R2D2. The baggy also had a note that said, "May the force be with you. Thank you for attending our wedding October 22, 2016.” They also got free pictured in the photo booth, offered by Accent Weddings; my favorite company to work with for DJ and Photobooth.
This wedding was truly unique and special because every detail that was added to the ceremony and the reception was reflecting Robin and Melissa, and the things they both love. They are, indeed, a perfect match, and I am just bursting with joy that I get to document their love.
Robin and Melissa, I just love the way you light one another up and make one another shine. You are truly adorable and wonderful, and I a so thrilled that Rob and I were able to be apart of this journey with you! Cheers to many decades of love and happiness!
RECEPTION/CEREMONY VENUE: Pala Mesa Resort
FLORIST: Denise Shadle from Flowers Over Time
CAKE ARTIST: Nothing Bundt Cake
DJ: Accent Weddings
HAIR ARTIST: Lisa Ramirez
BRIDESMAIDS DRESS: David's bridal
DESIGNER WOMEN’S SUIT: Express
TUXES: Men's Warehouse
BRIDAL GOWN: Brides by Demetrio