I had to set aside my role as a family member and put on my photographer’s hat; not an easy task. I hope that through time my sister Bonnie, her daughter Ilana and all the other dear family will look back at these photographs and be stirred by the feelings, emotions and memories they conjure up. I was touched by the wonderful conjoining of two family groups becoming one through the marriage of Ilana from California and Jacob whose family reside in Washington state. For me, this was not work – it was a work of heart.
There were many highlights to this day, including a reading of their love story from each perspective . . . But back to the beginning . . . As I turned the bend on 101 towards Pismo, expecting bright blue skies – there before me was the thickest fog I had seen in ages. As a photographer, it made my day, being provided a gigantic softbox knowing that my bride and groom would not be dealing with harsh shadows and contrast from the bright sun. The setting was magical, complete with a gazebo decorated with flowing white material.
Aunt Debbie Santucci gave me a call when she got the news that her niece was getting married (sort of out of the blue . . .). Not much notice, but Aunt Debbie made sure that Catherine and Zachary would have a professional photographer to record their special day. They were getting married on a Thursday, and then Zachary was being deployed to South Korea on Sunday, so there was a certain poignancy to the event. I loved the story I heard of their meeting in high school and then here they were getting married at 19 and 20. Ahh, young love!
Mariika and Leo were married in the gorgeous huge lawn area at the home of Leo’s parents in Atascadero. I loved how very family-oriented the event was – I don’t think I’ve seen so many generations from the children to great-grandparents . . . aunts, uncles, cousins, and on and on. Mariika’s mom hand-made all the distinctly unique bouquets and boutonnieres. They even encouraged everyone to choose a seat and not a side as they witnessed the union of two lives joining together. As the day turned into evening it became more and more chilly – but that didn’t deter anyone from enjoying all the festivities of the joyous celebration.
Luis and Vaneza said their vows in a room full of friends and family from far and wide (as far as Germany!) After the ceremony they made their way to Shell Beach Dinosaur Caves Park in the coolest 58 Chevy for a photo session overlooking the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. Then, on to the iconic Madonna Inn for a reception that included lots of dancing, toasts, and even a Mariachi Band. A highlight of the evening was when the mothers came forward and shared special words and prayers, along with a few tears.
As filmmakers who have been making films and programs showcasing the beauty and wonder of the natural world, it’s no surprise that Sally and David chose the rugged beauty of Hearst Beach in San Simeon, Ca. to exchange their vows. The ceremony was simple, yet full of meaning as they combined traditions of her Jewish heritage and his Italian roots. I loved my position as their photographer, recording images of two people very much in love proclaiming their love and devotion to one another on a picture perfect day that seemed made to order.
You can learn more about David and Sally’s documentaries at Backcountry Pictures
Corbitt and Katie had already been married in a civil ceremony, had a darling little girl and now was time for the dream wedding. They chose Lago Giuseppe for the wedding location – first time there for me – and it is such a dreamy and magical setting! The ceremony was short and sweet – and then it was time to feast and party with 150 friends and family. I loved watching the camaraderie amongst all these people helping to celebrate the union of this loving and fun-loving couple!
Helpful article from The Wedding Channel:
Oh my gosh! I am so far behind since my computer died . . . and it took 2 weeks to get my new one. The good news – it is Bigger and Beefier and I now have 2 monitors. All the more I can get done better and faster!
Laura and Daniel flew out from back east – Laura grew up in this area and dreamed of a beach wedding. Now technically, this was not a wedding, but a renewal. They’ve been married for 4 years – but you would never know it! They were as giddy as a new bride and groom. I loved watching them interact with such joy, elation, and emotion.
The ceremony at The Cliffs in Pismo Beach, Ca. was quite short and I was only there for a couple of hours, but I came away with some awesome shots that I know they will treasure every time they look at them.