A DIY Christian Wedding || Middle Ranch Lodge

Almost exactly a year after we met Adrianna Saavedra and Tyler Rogers, we headed to Middle Ranch Lodge in Lake View Terrace, California.  We weren’t sure whether they liked us when they first came to our apartment for a consultation, but over the past year, the reserved couple had become dear to us.  After an engagement session and a couple of other meetings, we had gotten to know them, see how we share their values, and we couldn’t have been more excited to photograph their wedding.

It had been a busy few months for Adrianna and Tyler, as August 12, 2017 approached.  We had a good idea of how they must have felt.  The days and weeks leading up to a wedding day can be hectic, to say the least, and these two were trying to manage job, school, graduation, film internship, and house hunting all on top of wedding preparations.  All of this just intensifies the bubbling cauldron of emotions already present on a wedding day.  But as we pulled up to the venue, it was shaping up to be the kind of day that puts all of your worries at ease.

The quaint equestrian lodge and horse ranch nestled in the foothills above LA was a new location for us.  We did a walk through one week in advance to ensure that we wouldn’t have too many unwanted surprises, but a new venue always presents new challenges and new opportunities.  We were eager to discover what new visuals we could capture.  Adrianna and her girls enjoyed the seclusion of the bridal suite, while Tyler and his gentlemen prepped in the locker room before returning to the air-conditioned lodge.

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The setting offered a nice mixture of quiet country cabin and natural park landscape.  Adrianna and Tyler had chosen not to see each other before the wedding, so the time of anticipation was full of friends and family.  Adrianna is very close with her dad, Luis, who had been involved in the wedding since day one.  They shared a father-daughter first look, and the love between them was apparent, even to those who may not know what a bond they possess.

We feel a strong sense of kindred spirit with Adriana and Tyler.  Many of the things that we valued most about our own wedding were high priorities for them, and they planned their day according many of the core marriage principles that we care most about.  We believe strongly that God designed marriage both as a metaphor to teach us about how He loves us, and also as a training ground for helping us learn to love unconditionally.  So we take marriage vows very seriously.  Adrianna and Tyler’s traditional ceremony reflected those ideals, as it was filled with prayer, symbolism, and moments of reflection.

The grand tree framing the ceremony scene served both as a wonderful symbol and as a beautiful backdrop.  When Adrianna came down the aisle, Tyler met her half way, signifying his desire always to meet his bride where she’s at, and never expect her to do all the work.  As they exchanged rings and vows, lit candles and took communion, the meaning behind each intentional act was explained.  Sometimes wedding traditions can become ritualistic and lose their meaning, so we can’t blame any couple choosing to do without them.  But in our experience, when those things are highlighted, they can serve to make a wedding ceremony more vibrant and memorable.  We’re so glad that Adrianna and Tyler put so much thought into their ceremony, and we hope that their memory of it is as rich as the images.

After family portraits, Adrianna and Tyler finally had their first few minutes alone together on their wedding day (well, aside from our camera lenses, of course).  We took full advantage of the beautiful grounds and perfectly romantic sunset lighting for their couples portraits.

 

Tyler led his bride through groves of trees as sunlight filtered softly through the leaves, and the two basked in the glow and surreal feeling of being newly married.  These are the moments that make wedding photography truly rewarding.  Wrapped in a joy that lies somewhere between dreamlike and too-real, we love having the chance to preserve moments of such beauty and tenderness.  Hopefully, Adrianna and Tyler will look back on that setting and cherish the feelings they had which they may never be able to fully describe.


But Adrianna and Tyler weren’t only about tradition and romance.  Weddings are supposed to be celebrations, and there was a lot of fun to be had!  Loved ones packed into the back patio of the lodge, and laughter echoed from all corners.  Guests enjoyed games at their tables, laughing along as dollar bills were passed around like hot potatoes, and applauding those couples who had stood the test of time as generations were honored.

And of course, cookies.  We also share with Adrianna and Tyler a great love for cookies (as sane people do), and so their reception provided an abundance of tasty morsels for nibbling.  The dancing was enthusiastic and jovial, along with both top-40 hits and latin favorites.  Finally, their guests sent them off with cheers as the newlyweds made their way down a long corridor of smiling faces off into the night and the future.  And we’re excited for what that future holds.

Congratulations, Adrianna and Tyler!


Wedding Vendors:

Ceremony & Reception VenueMiddle Ranch Lodge
Videographer: Matrimony Films
Florist: Claire’s Flowers
Cake Artist: Delicious Bakery
Cookies: Susies Cakes
Band/DJ: Adel Music
Hair & Makeup Artist: Perfect Day Perfect Look
Bridesmaid Dresses: Cecile Rivoire
Tuxes: Tuxedo Revue
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As Featured on Borrowed and Blue || Ryan & Veronica

What a great day! Ryan and Veronica’s wedding has been featured on Borrowed and Blue!

Check out their Palm Springs windmills engagement session: Romantic Picnic Engagement Session

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Be touched by their gorgeous Miramonte Resort & Spa wedding day:  Elegant Pink & Gold Wedding

Feature on Borrowed and Blue: https://www.borrowedandblue.com/us/weddings/veronica-ryan–2

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Ceremony & Reception Venue: Miramonte Resort and Spa

Day of Wedding Planner: Weddings by Katlin

Officiant: A Journey of Two Hearts

Florist & Event Decor Rentals: Arrangements Floral & Party Design

DJ: Musical Journey’s

Guitarist: Milton Merlos

Videographer: Light WRX

Hair: Tanya Franco with Sola Salon Studios

Makeup: Arlene with MAC Cosmetics, Palm Desert

Cake: Exquisite Desserts

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As Featured on Borrowed & Blue || Eric & Frnch

The desert foothills near Joshua Tree National Park was a perfect setting for Erica and Frnch’s wedding day. It was full of so much charm from the private estate to her sister singing their first dance to the money race and the excitement of Chinese lanterns that floated down to the surrounding brush. Erica and her loved ones spent hours creating unique and beautiful decor items to accentuate their wedding vows.

Read more about their love story:

Erica & Fnch’s engagement session at hipster resort, The Ace Hotel: https://jenniferyount.com/ace-hotel-palm-springs-erica-frnch-engaged/

Their full wedding and love story: https://jenniferyount.com/outdoor-joshua-tree-desert-wedding/

See their feature here: https://www.borrowedandblue.com/us/weddings/erica-franchel

Outdoor backyard wedding near Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Palm Springs Wedding Venue, Estate Wedding

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As Featured on Borrowed & Blue || Mike & Whitney

That’s right! Mike and Whitney’s wedding is featured on Borrow & Blue Locally Inspired Weddings. Their family-focused desert wedding with a view is an inspiration for all who prioritize their relationships as the top value in their life and wedding day. Stories of life and laughter filled the air all weekend long over bottles of wine and dinners while surrounded by the serene Palm Springs mountains and desert scape was just perfect!

https://www.borrowedandblue.com/us/weddings/whitney-mike

For the complete stories of their relationship read our past blogs from their engagement session and wedding day.

Casual Laguna Beach Engagement Session

Family Focused Wedding with a View

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Managing Wedding Expectations | Part 2 Mothers and Mother-in-Law

“It’s all about the bride!” We’ve all heard the age-old saying in reference to making decisions about a wedding day. But a wedding day is about far more than the bride or the groom. Yes, it is a day to celebrate their vows and commitment to each other. But another saying is even more apt: “It takes a village.” A wedding is a family event. For most of us, our parents made us who we are today. They helped us get to this point. It might be seen in the overprotectiveness of a father; the listening ear when a new crush emerged, the mother’s shoulder to cry on when a heart was broken, or the words of wisdom and encouragement to seek the best soul mate, and hopefully, an example to follow. Our parents dreamt of this day long before than we ever did. Many of them envisioned it since we were in the womb. Not to mention the traditions surrounding who pays for it all, which may have led to savings beginning years prior. Yes, a wedding day belongs to many more than just the bride. And if you still think it’s only your day, your planning process may be a long, stressful, and difficult road.

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I had already been in the event industry for 7 years when my mom and I began planning my wedding, and we had a lot of insight from my experiences. Over the years watching me, she had learned a lot about involvement and boundaries for the mother of the bride or groom. She had observed that for the majority of weddings, it is not the bride who is a ‘bridezilla’, but rather it’s a mother or a sister or a bridesmaid who is the momzilla/siszilla/maidzilla. My mom and I often discussed traditions and how they have changed. We explored ideas and desires before the actual wedding day was ever official.

mother of the groom, oregon wedding, portland wedding, winery wedding, fall wedding in portland, maysara wineryIn our case, my brother and I were engaged at the same time. This made things both easier and more complicated for my mom. She had two weddings to occupy her thoughts, time, and budget. It was tough to juggle both, but she also couldn’t obsess over one or the other as momzillas often do. My brother and sister-in-law were in Oregon doing all of their own planning and paying for 90% of the wedding themselves. However, my brother is not one to talk or share many details. They did invite my parents up for 1 or 2 weekends to help with major decisions, but we were in the dark for much of their planning process. To make things more complicated for my mom, I had just moved out 2 months before Luke proposed. I was living 100 miles away with my in-laws during half of our engagement. I was maintaining the photography business full time, working another part time job, planning our DIY wedding, trying to diet and work out 5 days a week, and I moved 5 times during the process. I was struggling to stay afloat and think about anything other than what was in front of me at the time. Unfortunately, that meant that I began to neglect my mom and forget to keep her informed about all of the wedding plans.

A few months into our engagement, I was visiting home for a weekend. Sitting across the dinner table from my mom, I could tell she was upset. Soon, it all came gushing out! She was trying so hard not to be the ‘momzilla’. She was waiting patiently to be invited into the planning. But both my brother and I were ignoring her. To make matters worse, I was living with my soon-to-be mother-in-law who was probably there to hear everything, and able to find ways to be involved. My mom—and best friend—felt as if she was left out and being replaced.

Let’s rewind a few months. My brother had just proposed. I mentioned it to my in-laws. My future mother-in-law started mentioning something about being involved in the planning and decision-making when eventually Luke and I were engaged. Her intentions are always admirable, but she often eager to get involved, and we don’t always share the same opinions. I already had a hunch that there would be trouble between us during the planning. Without much thought, I stated “We’re going to fight when it’s time for Luke and I to get married.” My sudden assertion was met with surprise and a gasp.

So, what do you do with two mothers who desperately want to be involved in their children’s wedding plans? 

  • Set your pride aside
  • Let go of control
  • Delegate!!

It helped that we had a DIY wedding which meant there were plenty of crafts to go around.  A DIY wedding always has more ‘DI’ than ‘Y’ can handle, so if you don’t learn to let go of a little control, you risk becoming obsessive, and you still may not get it all done. I gave each mother a job to do. I gave them guidelines for style and execution and let them run with it.

My mom isn’t the most artistically-inclined, so the dessert table was hers, because it involved more curation than craft. I showed her my inspiration and what I had in mind. Then she did all of the research, shopping, and work to make it happen to the best of her ability, checking in with me along the way. Most of the project involved finding antique-looking dessert displays and making sure everything would be ready for the imported Costa Rica coffee bar. She even attempted a craft project making hot air balloon decorations, and they turned out beautifully!

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My mother-in-law is great at sewing and fabric crafts. I happened to have piles of upholstery fabric that had been discarded from my other part time job with a textile designer. I watched for any scraps close to my colors that would be thrown away, and brought home bags and rolls of useful material. She made all of our table runners with a couple of rolls of gray fabric and store-bought lace. From bags of purple and blue scraps, she cut and sewed pennants for a photo booth backdrop (which my mom and I strung together later).

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I even got my dad involved. He put his contractor skills to work making our chuppah/sweet heart table backdrop and the wood signs for our ceremony aisle. It was actually most difficult to convey our vision to him than to either of the mothers. It was also the project I couldn’t give up as much control over, so we struggled through some lengthy communication ensuring that his part looked like we had planned.

But what if you’re not having a DIY wedding? What projects can you delegate to parents when there are fewer projects to delegate?  Well, there’s a barrage of decisions to be made for any wedding, and countless hours of research to do and phone calls to make. Try giving each parent a vendor to research, favors to find, or recruit their help with a song list. Let the father of the groom and mother of the bride pick their own songs for the traditional dances. You can guide their input and assistance toward your vision if you provide images for inspiration and a budget for restraint. You can still make the final decision, but it will alleviate so much time, and allow you to focus on something else.

Most importantly, remember that it is their day too. They have been dreaming of this day as long as you’ve been alive and they’ve worked hard to get you here. The mere fact that they are passionate enough to become ‘zillas’ of any type only shows how much they love you. Take the time to honor them. Say thank you!

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