wedding

Olivia & Oscar | Casa Romantica Garden Wedding

Olivia and Oscar are two of the most humble people you will ever meet, so allow me take a moment to brag FOR them! Not only are they a stunningly beautiful and stylish couple, Olivia and Oscar are both incredibly intelligent and are both doctors! Their dedication to their careers is surpassed only by their dedication to one another. Olivia and Oscar made the decision that they would both graduate as doctors before they tied the knot, so they dreamed and studied and worked toward these goals side-by-side. I can only imagine how challenging it must have been to balance that level of stress and hard work while building such a strong foundation in their relationship. And even with all of these impressive qualities, none of that compares to the genuine, kind-hearted nature of these two beautiful people. For as long as I have known them, Olivia and Oscar have exemplified kindness and poise. Every interaction I’ve had with them has left me smiling from ear to ear. So it’s an understatement to say that I was REALLY looking forward to their wedding at Casa Romantica in San Clemente, CA.

Olivia and Oscar’s garden wedding was every bit as beautiful as I imagined it would be! From Olivia’s Kleinfeld gown to Oscar’s charcoal three piece suit to the soft purple and green colors, everything was gorgeous. Not to mention… THE VIEW OF THE OCEAN FROM THE CEREMONY! Wow!!! This truly was such a stunning wedding! And no surprise, the people Olivia and Oscar have surrounded themselves with are as kind and loving as they are. From getting ready, to the ceremony, to the toasts, the day was full of tender moments and sweet memories!

Olivia and Oscar, thank you SO SO SO much for allowing me to join you on your wedding day. It was truly a blessing and I am beyond thrilled to share these gorgeous images we created together! All my best!

… and the Oscar goes to Olivia!

Downtown San Diego Styled Shoot | The El Cortez Don Room

Hello, gorgeous!!!

This incredible styled shoot at the El Cortez Don Room features vibrant jewel tones and rich golden hues for a truly jaw-dropping, luxury wedding. The outdoor fireplace on the terrace was the perfect setting for a stunning lounge designed by Breezy Day Weddings with rentals from TBD San Diego. Breezy Day Florals created some of the most spectacular arrangements I have ever seen! I'm still reeling over the incredible bridal bouquet!

With dark wood floors and a real 24k gold ceiling, the Don Room is one of the most romantic venues in San Diego. We ran with the romance and the gold theme to create a sweetheart table for the ages! From the floral arrangements to the gold flatware, this table is full of delicious colors and is sure to give you all the warm fuzzies.

In short, this shoot is one for the books! Every single detail created by the incredible team of vendors is perfection! Be sure to check out the entire list of vendors below! Enjoy!

Photography: Weston Bennett Photography

Coordination: Breezy Day Weddings

Florals: Breezy Day Florals

Venue: El Cortez Don Room

Hair: Laura Claire

Rentals: To Be Designed, Tavolo Chaise & Lighting

Linens: Patty's Linens

Cake: Frost Me Gourmet

Calligraphy: Orange and Melrose

Allyson & Shane | Wedding Album

Allyson and Shane's gorgeous wedding at Mt. Woodson Castle is officially printed in the most gorgeous blush wedding album! You can see more of their wedding here. I love, love, love these full-grain leather books. The images print directly over the center seam and bleed clear to the edges and the lay-flat design makes it easy to share around the coffee table with friends and family! I'm so excited to have this album delivered to these lovely clients just in time for the holidays!

Michelle & Robert | Pine Hills Lodge

Michelle and Robert met the old-fashioned way; her mom set them up! And it turns out that mother really does know best, because these two very quickly realized that they were head-over-heels in love. Nice job, mom!

Robert and Michelle's wedding was the perfect blend of tradition and uniqueness! I loved the juxtaposition of Michelle's pearls (passed down from her grandmother) and her incredibly beautiful sleeve tattoo that she designed herself! And don't let the tattoos fool you. It was an all pink wedding for this self-proclaimed girly girl, including her absolutely stunning engagement ring!

There were tears all around when Robert first saw Michelle before the ceremony. A first look for the books! You can see his deep love for Michelle every time he looks at her! What an amazing moment!

Their wedding party was full of friends, family, and of course, Michelle's sweet dog in a tuxedo! Can every wedding please include dogs? That would be great! The Pine Hills Lodge in Julian, CA was a perfect fall setting for this beautiful wedding! It was a fantastic day from start to finish!

Michelle and Robert, I wish you all the best in this incredible new adventure! It was such a joy spending your wedding day with you! Best wishes, my friends!

Jessica & Eric

Jessica and Eric met when he, a speech therapist, started working with her students in her special-education classroom. As the only young people working at the school, they quickly hit it off. And while Jessica knew very early on that Eric was interested in her, she wasn't quite ready to date. As far as she knew, he would be moving to another city soon enough anyway. But, as seems to be a common trend among the wonderful couples I get to photograph, Eric's persistence paid off. With his sights set on Jessica, Eric decided to stay in Monterey and even had his friends help him find a new job in the area, allowing them to start dating. And just as it didn't take long for these two to become close friends, dating quickly taught them that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

Their wedding in Monterey, CA was a joy to photograph. I loved the way they were able to tie in Eric's Chinese heritage with beautiful red florals and lanterns. And the backdrop for their first look at York School was stunning! Plus, Jessica all of the tables at the reception had musical theatre-themed table marker. Right up my alley, folks! I was humming show tunes all night long! But more than any of that, Jessica and Eric have the sweetest hearts, and that's what made sharing in their day so special. Their love for one another and everyone who shares in their story is palpable.

Jessica and Eric, my deepest congratulations and best wishes for your marriage. I love the way you love others. It's inspirational. Keep doing that and you're sure to have a very happy life together!

The Good Ol' Days

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I'm a marine biology nerd. I love all things nautical. Blue and white is the color scheme of my life (and most of my closet). Coffee is life. Leather-bound journals are awesome. Pilot gel pens are the only pens. Narwhals are real.

For being a marine biology nerd, it's a bit embarrassing to admit that I didn't discover that last truth until I was in college. Narwhals are the unicorns of the sea, and they totally exist. Mind blown. Much to my dismay, my dear roommate was present during this epiphany and still never tires to remind me (or our friends) of it.

While discovering the existence of these majestic creatures was a crucial revelation in my college career, the most life-changing lesson I learned in college was the practice of being fully present. I had just returned to an empty campus after Christmas break of my senior year, meaning I had one semester left. Just a few more months of the most transformative and exciting times of my life. That reality hit me HARD! I kept picturing my future self saying, "remember the good ol' days?" I found myself sitting alone in my room, crippled by the fact that, very soon, my entire community would just disappear. In a very real sense, I was grieving the loss of something I loved before I had even lost it!

Thankfully, by some divine revelation, I realized that I had become so engrossed in my fears for the future, that I had completely stopped living in the present. A switch flipped. Rather than spending my time imagining what it would be like when all of my friends moved away, I started making the most of my time with them. Every single day I woke up and asked myself, "What are you going to do today that's worth remembering?" As somebody who had always been futuristic and goal-oriented, this new philosophy ROCKED. MY. WORLD. 

It's now four years later, and yes, I consider those the good ol' days. But guess what! Today is the good ol' days, too. Practicing presence is something I continue to do every day. Admittedly, I often forget. Sometimes I get caught up in the rush and let the day slip by. Our culture is pretty good at teaching us how to live for tomorrow. But when I remember, I take a few deep breaths and I grab my journal, or I sit at the edge of the ocean, or I grab coffee with a friend. And in those moments, I do my best to slow down. I take in everything around me and I tell myself to remember this. And it works.

As a wedding photographer, I now believe in the power of presence more than ever. I know from first-hand experience that being fully present results in deeper relationships, truer emotions, and clearer memories. That's why I am so committed to practicing presence with my couples on their wedding day. Beautiful photographs are precious. They will tell your story for years and generations to come, but there is no substitute for being fully present the first time around.

Try it.

 

 

"Bye, Buddy! I hope you find your dad."

Kirsten & Krishan | Publick House Historic Inn

As a photographer, I rely on images to tell the stories that words often can't, so I'm really glad I have all of these images to show just how special Kirsten and Krishan's wedding day was. Kirsten has been one of my dearest friends for many years and I had the enormous joy of both photographing her wedding AND being part of her wedding party (which means you get to see some images of me tearing up the dance floor)!

Kirsten and Krishan might be one of the best examples of "opposites attract" that I've ever met. Kirsten is whimsical, energetic, and LOUD! (I can say that because we're friends and because I'm probably just as loud). Krishan is methodical, calm, and quiet. But for all the ways they are different, they have one particular thing in common: music. 

Kirsten and Krishan are two of the most gifted musicians I have ever met. Their mutual love of choral music is what initially brought them together. If you've ever had the pleasure of watching this choral conducting power couple at work, then you know that they operate like a well-oiled machine. And if you've had the pleasure of calling these two your friends, then you know that, for all the ways they are different, they are so very right for each other.

Kirsten and Krishan's winter wedding in Sturbridge, MA was everything a winter wedding should be! The ceremony at Notre Dame Catholic Church was jaw-dropping. The snowy fields and forests made for beautiful portraits. And the Publick House Historic Inn was a cozy location for the reception. And when most of your guests are musicians, you know there's going to be some great dancing and good ol' karaoke!

I could go on and on about all of the reasons I loved this wedding, but as I said before, the images will do a much better job anyway. Kirsten and Krishan, thank you for your friendship and thank you for inviting me to play such a special role in your big day. I wish you the happiest of marriages and many years of beautiful music!

Megan & Gage | The Ranch at Bandy Canyon

As family friends, Megan and Gage grew up camping, fishing, and four-wheeling together. Gage fell pretty early on for Megan's adventurous spirit and sweet smile, but it would take 12 years for Gage's crush to pay off! Every Valentine's day, Gage would send Megan a gift, regardless of their relationship statuses at the time. Talk about dedication! I guess it worked, because last year they started dating, and now it's pretty easy to see that these two just belong together! 

Megan and Gage's wedding at The Ranch at Bandy Canyon was everything I love in a wedding day! Beautiful blush and navy details, a gorgeous outdoor venue with market lights, and lots of wonderful family and friends. Most importantly, Megan and Gage's love for one another was so obvious and fun to watch! From beginning to end, this day was all smiles. Enjoy :)