Beautifully Blended || See Fruit Ranch, San Luis Obispo Orchard Wedding

Everyone loves a smoothie.  Grab a little of this and a little of that; mix it into something unique and tasty.  Sometimes the ingredients may be surprising.  I was recently introduced to a chocolate spinach avocado shake.  I took my first gulp with a plugged nose like it was my first shot of whiskey.  But then my taste buds had a little party and I was ready for seconds!

Families are often like that.  Beautiful yet messy, complementary yet discordant mixtures of people, tendencies, and history.  What we each bring to the table may not always seem to create a balanced meal.  But, once blended together, all that stuff can become something new and exquisite.

We had a delightful sampling of that kind of mixture, courtesy of Taylor and Kyle.  Despite being one of our youngest couples, these two have a deep, mature understanding of how combining all of our various quirks can produce wonderful results.  Not only do they understand it, but it seems like they actively seek to cultivate that in their own lives and relationships.

We began to realize this right away in our first meeting.  Taylor is a wedding planner herself for Zest It Up wedding planners, and orchard-farmer Kyle isn’t exactly the kind of guy you’d expect to care about that.  But he recognized the chance to actively support his bride, and eagerly jumped into the process alongside her.  Few things delight us more than seeing a groom engaging with his bride in the midst of the details.

When it came time for the wedding day, that same spirit continued.  We witnessed it not only in the bride and groom but also in their family and friends.  From the large bridal party to the diverse family groups, there was an intricate web of relationships on display.  Yet everyone seemed to blend together into one velvety combination.  It was clear that Taylor and Kyle’s approach to relationships had spilled over onto their loved ones.

Even the venue was a blend of sorts.  Part rustic barn, part enchanted forest, the See Canyon Fruit Ranch in San Luis Obispo provided a perfect backdrop for Taylor and Kyle’s day.

San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding,

But one moment encapsulated the theme best.  When Taylor headed down the aisle, she was escorted by both her dad and stepdad.  Both dads passed their little girl off to her groom.  It was absolutely tear-jerking.  And it was a beautiful picture of something we hold deeply—that weddings and marriages have the power to increase our capacity for love in ways we might never have thought possible.

San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding,

Then they had a little party, and—like my taste buds—we could have gone for seconds.

San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding, San Luis Obispo Wedding, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, Wedding Photography, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Fullerton Wedding Photographer, San Luis Obispo Wedding, Pismo Beach Wedding,

The truth is that life is messy.  People are messy.  You are, and so am I.  Perhaps you wouldn’t think that mixing all these messy people together would result in anything worthwhile.  But that’s one of the most amazing things about marriage.  When two people—and two families—come together with jagged edges, stains, and scars, yet still choose to love and accept each other, the love and acceptance is all the more undeniable.  Learning to love each other in full view of all of that stuff is kinda what life is all about.  It’s even tastier than a chocolate spinach avocado shake.

 

 

Wedding Vendors ::

Wedding Planner :: Zest It Up;  www.zestitup.com

Ceremony & Reception Venue :: See Canyon Fruit Ranch; www.seecanyonfruitranch.com/

Wedding Cake and Desserts :: Paper Cake Events; www.papercakeevents.com

Wedding & Event DJ :: Modern Symphony DJ; http://www.modernsymphony.net

Videographer :: RP3 Productions; http://www.rp3productions.com

Caterer / Taco Cart :: Taqueria 805; https://www.taqueria805.com

Rentals ::  SLO Party Rentals; http://www.slopartyrentals.com

Florist :: Friend

Officiant :: Friend

Hair and Makeup ::  Friend

Ceremony Music  :: Friend

no comments

“Take A Beat!” || Miramonte Resort Wedding, Indian Wells

You’re in the heat of planning your wedding, and you’ve dreamt of a day you’ll never forget.  You may have heard that “You’ve got to stop and appreciate it because it goes by so fast!”  Of course you have.  Everyone knows the wedding day is a blur.  It’s one of those truths we hold to be self-evident. It’s so obvious that even people who have never been married will give you the same advice.  You might think that such a universal piece of advice would go without saying.  Yet we say it to all of our couples: “Take a beat.”

Why should we feel the need to make such an obvious comment?  Because, ironically, while everyone knows it, when it comes to their own wedding, no one actually does it.  Understandable.  There are so many details that go into this one day, and so many moments to organize that it’s easy to become fixated on the minutia and miss the big picture.  On the wedding day, there are so many guests to connect with and moments that can’t be missed and in the blink of an eye, the night is over. We even struggled to find moments to slow down on our own wedding day. To Jen’s disappointment, we turned around from a conversation at the end of the night to find the entire place had been cleaned up and was being loaded into trucks, as we were being shooed out to start our honeymoon. We weren’t ready for the night to end!

Imagine our delight when we found Jess and Bret taking it to heart and taking a beat.  They had already had a day full of plans and details at the Miramonte Resort.  But they were also in the midst of a day full of love and laughter, and they didn’t want to miss it.  They had the presence of mind to pause at a few times throughout the day, and during their reception, they made a special point to step aside and survey the lawn filled with all of their most loved friends and family.

To drive it home, the toasts from their parents and siblings repeatedly touched on their strong connection to the family and willingness to set all else aside at a moment’s notice and invest in those they love.  But it’s not just the stolen moments and care and concern for one another that allows us to take a beat and enjoy life.  A healthy dose of humor goes a long way as well.  These two were clearly not lacking in that department.  From general conversations to their vows to the toasts, Bret and Jess’s wedding featured some of the funniest, most genuine moments we’ve enjoyed at a wedding.  Seriously, try not to laugh when you hear the groom say to his new sister-in-law, “It’s out of love when I tell you that you look like you were dressed by a circus clown with cataracts.”

We hope that Jess and Bret found the pauses and the humor fulfilling.  Having been to so many weddings, we can say with confidence that they had a wedding well worth remembering!  We will remember their day as one that was truly authentic.  We saw two people who had settled confidently into who they are together, and have learned to value the relationships in their lives above anything else.  Those values were on display as their wedding was laid back, but full of intention in every decision.

What we love most about our job is that we get to help couples recall and enhance the memories they have of the most meaningful day of their lives.  But it would be a shame if our images were all anyone had to go on.  When your turn comes, take our advice.  Take Jess and Bret’s advice.  Take everyone’s advice.  Take a beat.

 

Wedding Vendors:

Wedding Planner: Nicole Alexandra Designs;   http://www.nicolealexandradesigns.com

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Miramonte Resort, Indian Wells;  http://miramonteresort.com

Site Cordinator: Michele Frechette

Videographer: By Design Films; http://bydesignfilms.com

Floral Design: Studio Kate Floral Designs; http://www.studiokatefloral.com

Cake & Desserts: Over the Rainbow Cakes; http://www.romanblas.com

Music/DJ: Who’s That DJ?;  http://www.whosthatdj.com

Hair & Makeup: Beauty Marked by B&C; http://getbeautymarked.net/

Rentals & Event Decor: Signature Party Rentals; http://www.signatureparty.com

no comments

“But Without Love, I Have Nothing” || A Catholic Wedding in Indian Wells, Ca.

Weddings are about people.  Ok, maybe that’s obvious.  But this central and most-important aspect is far too often overshadowed.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s an intimate elopement with a dozen people or a grand occasion 50 times larger; the details can sometimes cause even the most well-intentioned couples to lose sight of the real reason for the celebration.

Our latest wedding was like a royal wedding of its own.  Despite its size, the event showed how focus on people can be preserved even in the midst of hundreds of other details.

It was quickly apparent that Elise and Chris had been making wedding decisions consciously with each of their guests in mind.  These two provided one of the best examples we’ve ever seen of a couple using their wedding to express their love for the people in their lives.  Elise and Chris are that kind of couple who treat everyone around them with such warmth and attention that they make even their photographers feel like lifelong friends.  It’s no wonder they have such a vibrant collection of loved ones!

They did make a few decisions that eventually helped them protect their primary focus.  They found great vendors they could trust with their vision, and used their ability to connect with people to communicate that vision.  The Renaissance Indian Wells always provides an elegant backdrop and excellent service.  Their wedding planner, Rachel from Plan It San Diego, was amazing! She was always kind, organized, and an absolute pleasure to work with.  The decor provided by Luna at Arrangements Floral and Party Design were exquisite, and the live band, Rembrandt, absolutely rocked the reception.  We were humbled to be added to that list.  Because of choices like these, they were able to let go of the details on the wedding day and enjoy the people they were most excited to spend time with.

But before sharing a vision, you’ve got to think through how wedding details can highlight your unique identity as a couple and enhance the experience of your guests.  What ceremony traditions do you find personally meaningful?  How do the details reflect your personality together?  How will the events you highlight during the reception express love for your guests?  Use your personal values like a filter for wedding decisions.  By thinking about event details in this way, you will not only realize a unique and fully-developed wedding, but at the same time, you will maintain the focus where it should be—on your relationship and the other significant relationships in your lives.

Whether or not they intentionally took all of these things into account, Elise and Chris perfectly exemplified one of our core values and made their wedding a celebration of people and relationships.  After the flowers have wilted and the music has died down, what remains will be their bond together, and the relationships that have helped make them who they are and will continue to support them for years to come.

With so much to think about, it would be easy to lose sight of that.  But Elise and Chris never did.  All day long, they beamed with gratitude and grace, and their compassionate demeanor only multiplied as they fed off of each other, and the smiles of friends and family.  We couldn’t have been more impressed by that, or more thrilled to have been even a small part of their big day.

pre-ceremony, getting ready, bridal suite, pre-ceremony, getting ready, party buscouple, bride and groom portraits, ceremony, vows, kiss, communion, kiss, ceremony, vows, marriage vows, marriage blessing, communionmother of the bride, wedding dress, bridal attire,

centerpieces, reception decor, wedding decor, floral decor, flower centerpieces, guest cards, seating arrangement, uplighting, reception lighting, mirror seating chart, linens,

maid of honor toast, best man toast, wedding speeches, wedding band, live band, wedding dj, first dance, bride and groom dance, father daughter dance, mother son dance, parental dances, father of the bride, mother of the groom

Wedding Vendors:

Wedding Planner: Plan It San Diego

Rehearsal Dinner: Indian Wells Country Club

Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Reception Venue: Renaissance Indian Wells

Floral and Event Design: Arrangements Floral and Party Design

Band: Rembrandt

Rentals:  Classic Party Rentals & Arrangements Floral and Party Design

Transportation: Cardiff Transportation  &  TRYPPS – Limobus  949.903.2133

Cake: Renaissance Indian Wells

Videographer: Taylor Films

no comments

Sneak Peek: Chris and Elise’s Catholic Wedding in Indian Wells, Ca.

WOW! What a weekend with an endearing bride and funny and charming groom and their inspirational – supportive – make everyone want to be adopted – family and friends. There was no shortage of jovial speeches and remarks toward Chris and Elise. And they were most certainly well deserving.

Elise is a picture perfect bride not just in beauty, but in character and grace. In every moment throughout the planning process and wedding day, she has been full of joy with a permanent smile, always offering kind words, patient, and humble. Chris too has been nothing but kind, patient and humble with an adventurous spirit and deeply rooted in his faith and family.

Here’s a sneak peek at their rehearsal dinner at Indian Wells Country Club, getting ready at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and catholic ceremony at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Indian Wells catholic wedding, sacred heart church, indian wells country club, renaissance indian wells resort, rehearsal dinner, catholic wedding ceremony, bridesmaids, groomsmen, destination wedding, palm springs wedding photographer, indian wells wedding photographerIndian Wells catholic wedding, sacred heart church, indian wells country club, renaissance indian wells resort, rehearsal dinner, catholic wedding ceremony, bridesmaids, groomsmen, destination wedding, palm springs wedding photographer, indian wells wedding photographerIndian Wells catholic wedding, sacred heart church, indian wells country club, renaissance indian wells resort, rehearsal dinner, catholic wedding ceremony, bridesmaids, groomsmen, destination wedding, palm springs wedding photographer, indian wells wedding photographerIndian Wells catholic wedding, sacred heart church, indian wells country club, renaissance indian wells resort, rehearsal dinner, catholic wedding ceremony, bridesmaids, groomsmen, destination wedding, palm springs wedding photographer, indian wells wedding photographerIndian Wells catholic wedding, sacred heart church, indian wells country club, renaissance indian wells resort, rehearsal dinner, catholic wedding ceremony, bridesmaids, groomsmen, destination wedding, palm springs wedding photographer, indian wells wedding photographerIndian Wells catholic wedding, sacred heart church, indian wells country club, renaissance indian wells resort, rehearsal dinner, catholic wedding ceremony, bridesmaids, groomsmen, destination wedding, palm springs wedding photographer, indian wells wedding photographerIndian Wells catholic wedding, sacred heart church, indian wells country club, renaissance indian wells resort, rehearsal dinner, catholic wedding ceremony, bridesmaids, groomsmen, destination wedding, palm springs wedding photographer, indian wells wedding photographerIndian Wells catholic wedding, sacred heart church, indian wells country club, renaissance indian wells resort, rehearsal dinner, catholic wedding ceremony, bridesmaids, groomsmen, destination wedding, palm springs wedding photographer, indian wells wedding photographer

There are so many more where this came from. Check back soon for more photos and stories about this classic wedding.

no comments

Indian – American Destination Wedding pt ii || Fullerton & Palm Springs

All of the festive anticipation we witnessed on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday paled in comparison to Veena and Alex’s actual wedding day.  On October 7th, we arrived at the Renaissance Esmeralda resort hotel in Rancho Mirage, CA, eager to tackle the many vibrant challenges of capturing an Indian wedding day.

Even with an early arrival, we found the resort already bustling with the first stages of wedding day prep.  Alex and his groomsmen enjoyed time relaxing in his suite while in another suite on the other side of the resort, Veena and the ladies primped frantically.  It seems that some things never change, regardless of what traditions are celebrated.  Nevertheless, tradition was bound to be a bright theme all day long, and it began with the attire.  Alex was a picture of regal joy, wrapped in burgundy and gold with a fantastic headdress and a huge smile.  But no one would deny that Veena stole the show from moment one.  She was absolutely gorgeous in her coral and gold sari.  The beautiful fabric and embellishments made for a truly amazing dress, but even the dress paled in comparison to Veena herself.

Indian-American Wedding, hindu wedding, henna, baraat, Fullerton photographer, Palm Springs photographer, fullerton wedding, orange county wedding, Palm Springs wedding, hindu traditions, cross-cultural wedding, destination wedding, indian wedding photographer, colorful wedding, rehearsal dinner, palm springs air museum, museum wedding, renaissance indian wells,

When they were both perfectly resplendent and ready, it was time for the much-anticipated first look.  And If we thought that Alex’s smile couldn’t get any bigger, we soon discovered otherwise.  When he turned to see his beautiful bride, he was obviously the happiest man on earth.  After they had a few minutes to enjoy seeing each other for the first time, the two of them shared a meaningful private moment, exchanging their own vows.  The public ceremony they were to experience later would feature many meaningful rituals, but this was a special moment just for the two of them to promise their lives to each other.  We were so honored to preserve the memory for them.  We were also happy to give them a few more private moments together while we took couples’ portraits before the commotion of the day really set in.

Indian-American Wedding, hindu wedding, henna, baraat, Fullerton photographer, Palm Springs photographer, fullerton wedding, orange county wedding, Palm Springs wedding, hindu traditions, cross-cultural wedding, destination wedding, indian wedding photographer, colorful wedding, rehearsal dinner, palm springs air museum, museum wedding, renaissance indian wells, Indian-American Wedding, hindu wedding, henna, baraat, Fullerton photographer, Palm Springs photographer, fullerton wedding, orange county wedding, Palm Springs wedding, hindu traditions, cross-cultural wedding, destination wedding, indian wedding photographer, colorful wedding, rehearsal dinner, palm springs air museum, museum wedding, renaissance indian wells,

Historically, an Indian groom and his entourage would all parade with great pomp and circumstance from his village to meet his bride in hers.  The modern Baraat tradition has preserved the spirit of this procession.  Unfortunately, Alex didn’t have many in his entourage, but this being a family affair, all of Veena’s family, friends, and guests were more than happy to help out!  Alex mounted a white horse and rode into the venue, preceded by a multitude of dancing and cheering attendants.  Then he hopped down and joined in on the dancing himself.  Finally, when they had all reached the ceremony site, Alex and his mom and brother exchanged greetings and floral necklaces with Veena’s parents in a symbolic ritual of acceptance called the Milni.

Indian-American Wedding, hindu wedding, henna, baraat, Fullerton photographer, Palm Springs photographer, fullerton wedding, orange county wedding, Palm Springs wedding, hindu traditions, cross-cultural wedding, destination wedding, indian wedding photographer, colorful wedding, rehearsal dinner, palm springs air museum, museum wedding, renaissance indian wells,

Once everyone had paraded to the ceremony site, the guests all took their seats and the wedding party lined up in anticipation of the big moment.  Similar to Western tradition, the wedding party filed in, followed by Veena and her parents, but unlike most Western weddings, the bridal party took their seats while the parents joined the bride and groom on the covered and decorated stage, known as a mandap.  In our own wedding, we also chose to have our parents stand with us, believing strongly that parents should be highlighted and thanked in the midst of such a transitional life moment.  So it was especially meaningful to us to see how involved the parents were in the Indian ceremony and all of its many rituals.

Those rituals were guided by an Indian holy man known as a Pundit.  With great detail and a little bit of humor, he led those involved in the ceremony through everything step-by-step, explaining the significance of the practices as they went.  The entire ceremony took place on the lavishly-decorated mandap around a holy flame called the Vivaah Havan.  They hung flower garlands known as varmala around each other’s necks and together took the seven steps, or Saptapadi, in which they encircle the fire seven times, each lap signifying a different deepening aspect of their bond.  They literally ‘tied the knot’ as they were wrapped by a cord called the Mangalsutra and tied together.  The Mangalsutra would be the Indian equivalent of the Western ring exchange, but in Alex and Veena’s case, they also chose to give each other rings.  They were blessed by their parents with rose water, and Alex painted bright vermillion Sindoor powder on Veena’s forehead, which basically means he has dibs.

Indian-American Wedding, hindu wedding, henna, baraat, Fullerton photographer, Palm Springs photographer, fullerton wedding, orange county wedding, Palm Springs wedding, hindu traditions, cross-cultural wedding, destination wedding, indian wedding photographer, colorful wedding, rehearsal dinner, palm springs air museum, museum wedding, renaissance indian wells,

These were just a few of the most noteworthy customs they included.  Some may be called by different names, but most Indian ceremonies feature these rich traditions in some form.  Though he was new to it all, Alex grinned from ear to ear the entire time.  After the ceremony, one of the most fun customs he discovered was the Jutti Chupai.  A young bridesmaid had stolen his shoes, and he was going to have to pay for them if he wanted them back!  After some heated bartering, he finally got his shoes back at a steep price.  But that didn’t diminish his smile.  It had been plastered on his face since we began the day, and Veena had an un-concealable glow as well.  Joy like theirs always makes for great family portraits.

As all the guests began transitioning to cocktail hour and then into the beautifully-decorated grand ballroom, Veena and Alex hid away for a quick wardrobe change.  Their parents and bridal party kicked off an exciting grand entrance, and then the newlyweds reappeared to thunderous applause.  Alex donned a classy tuxedo, and Veena wrapped herself in a new burgundy and gold sari, just as dazzling as the first.  They took to the dance floor for a romantic first dance, which then developed into a full choreographed routine!  Everyone whooped and cheered as another Bollywood performance unfolded, and the two stars finished it off the right way with a lift like the famous one from Dirty Dancing.

Still a little breathless, Veena and Alex slid into a luxurious couch center stage—surrounded by beautiful floral arrangements—and sat back to soak in the scene.  They had already experienced the day of their lives, but it wasn’t over yet!  Their guests filled the giant room and all the love and joy was focused on the stage.  A few very special people had opportunities to put that love and joy into words.  Veena’s parents, Alex’s mom and brother, and their best men and maids of honor toasted the newlyweds, reliving many happy memories, sharing many funny quirks, and wishing many years of joy.

Indian-American Wedding, hindu wedding, henna, baraat, Fullerton photographer, Palm Springs photographer, fullerton wedding, orange county wedding, Palm Springs wedding, hindu traditions, cross-cultural wedding, destination wedding, indian wedding photographer, colorful wedding, rehearsal dinner, palm springs air museum, museum wedding, renaissance indian wells,

After some heartfelt toasts, touching father-daughter and mother-son dances, and a colorful cake-cutting, all 250 guests got busy dancing.  They didn’t leave the dance floor empty all night.  We managed to pull Veena and Alex away for one last romantic portrait under the stars and surrounded by the colors of the resort.  When all was said and done, we were so excited and honored to have had a chance to photograph such a beautiful event.  Yet for all of the vibrant culture we witnessed, what we will remember most are the bright smiles and caring hearts of these two amazing people.

Indian-American Wedding, hindu wedding, henna, baraat, Fullerton photographer, Palm Springs photographer, fullerton wedding, orange county wedding, Palm Springs wedding, hindu traditions, cross-cultural wedding, destination wedding, indian wedding photographer, colorful wedding, rehearsal dinner, palm springs air museum, museum wedding, renaissance indian wells,

no comments
Menu