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.
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!