At the beginning of my photography career, I had the pleasure of shooting Andrew and Rochelle’s wedding in Pebble Beach with Tony Yang, who flew in from the East Coast and was looking for some local help. :) Through Tony, I’ve met so many amazing and kindhearted people – clients who truly appreciate our work as photographers and more often than not, transition from clients to friends. The Woods are one of those couples. I was truly happy to reconnect with this sweet couple and meet the newest addition to their family!
After MUCH anticipation (on my end… haha), I am absolutely thrilled to share with you one of my favorite weddings of the year!! Whenever friends ask me about the best weddings I’ve ever shot, I mention this one – and they’ll reply that of course, shooting a destination wedding by the beach would be anyone’s dream. But it wasn’t just the setting. Or the details (which were so fun and colorful). Or the vacation that accompanied the trip to Mexico. Honestly, this couple could have gotten married in my backyard and it still would’ve been one of my favorite weddings of 2013. In the end, the highlight of shooting a wedding has everything to do with the people. The friendships you form, the memories you share, and the relationships that continue long after the wedding is over. :) I made so many new friends at this wedding and had the time of my life exploring Sayulita with them!
I met Christine and Andrew on a cold winter night in Oakland. They were one of the very first couples who found me on Google, of all places – oh, the wonders of the Internet! Thank you Google, for connecting me to these wonderful people. We hit it off right away when they told me they were cat lovers, and by the end of the meeting we were no longer discussing wedding logistics but had quickly moved on to sharing photos of our pets on our phones.
Fast forward seven months and I found myself watching the sunset from the patio of a beach house in Sayulita, surrounded by Christine and Andrew’s friends and family. I had just met them moments ago and they were already treating me like family (the welcome dinner was to die for. I still crave it!). It was a surreal moment… to think that a simple online search had somehow flown me out to Mexico and brought me to this intimate celebration where my second shooter and I were welcome as guests. To this day I am incredibly touched by their warmth and generosity.
If you haven’t heard of the little town of Sayulita… you can say you heard it here first! :) Christine and Andrew stayed here while vacationing in Mexico and fell in love with its small town charm. As told by Christine herself: “Andrew and I wanted a rustic, easy-going, down-to-earth place to have our wedding. Andrew loves the ocean, so we also wanted to have our reception near the water! Everyone there is so friendly and the location is gorgeous! We wanted to introduce this cute, picturesque town to our family and friends.”
They had every reason to bring their loved ones to this beautiful place. Located about 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta on the western coast of Mexico, the quaint little town by the sea is a tranquil retreat from the city. Allow me to take you on a vacation as well…
A friend of the bride wasn’t able to attend the wedding, but made these awesome (and VERY handy) screen printed tote bags for the newlyweds. They filled the totes with snacks and goodies and handed them out as welcome bags. I carried my tote everywhere. :)The wedding took place at La Gran Villa, a premiere 3 bedroom suite sitting atop a hill overlooking the ocean. I hiked up that hill with my camera bag in tow not knowing that we had access to a golf cart! The second level of the villa had an infinity pool overlooking the beach. The views were stunning! Each place setting at the table had a raffia fan and authentic Puerto Vallarta maraca! These custom made papel picados (Mexican paper flags) were one of my favorite details of the wedding. So pretty and delicate. As the sun set, we were serenaded by local musicians! The setting was so picturesque, it was like being in a dream… Fresh handmade churros for dessert.
It makes me happy to relive this day through photos. :) Christine and Andrew, I can’t thank you enough for this experience of a lifetime. I’m so grateful that you found me!!! Congratulations again!
Wedding Planner: Karen Ruezga
Catering: Don Pedro’s
Flowers: Flor Mimo
Musical guests: Los Frixoleros
I recently had the honor of taking the first official portraits for this cute little family of three! The Jangs are close family friends and it’s been a joy to see J grow. His smile is contagious and I love his stylish layers. :) We explored the forested trails by the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland and found the perfect scenery for this mini session. What a cutie!
There are some people in this world that you meet and instantly click with. For me, Phil and Diego are those people. :) Phil initially contacted me via phone (a rare occurrence these days. Our conversation was so fun and lively that it made me realize just how valuable it is to talk to a real live person when you’re contacting a business. It makes a difference! My phone skills are out of practice and could use some improvement, but after this positive experience I’m absolutely ready to pick up the phone and make more friends… I mean, get more clients. ;)
We met at the chic, poolside Cabana Cafe inside the Beverly Hills Hotel before exploring through the hotel grounds, and eventually made our way across the street to Will Rogers Memorial Park. Lush scenery, an intimate ceremony, and a handsome couple made for some beautiful photos.
I mean, really… just look at those smiles. They make my job too easy!
How stunning are these wedding bands by Hearts on Fire?
Congratulations Phil & Diego – wishing you all the best!!!
When Rebecca told me that she and Andrew had rented a vintage car for our shoot, I couldn’t wait to see what they picked out. This gorgeous white Porsche was better than anything I could have imagined! They rented the car for the day and spent the afternoon cruising along the coast before arriving at Huntington Beach for some romantic photos. My favorite shot from this set. :) Rebecca found this shell in the sand right by where we were shooting. Andrew was sweet enough to wash it off in the ocean for us, which resulted in this adorable detail shot. I could not get over how gorgeous this light was. California sunshine is a dream to work with!