I first met Max when we were both 16 years old, in our awkward teenage prime. He loved silly adventures, make believe, and had a sense of humor unlike anyone I had encountered in my short life -- therefore, we were fast friends. Fast forward 12 years -- we lost touch somewhere after high school, and since then so much of life has happened to both of us. Max moved to Japan and became a teacher, where one spring under the cherry blossoms, he met Sarah. And as the fate would have it, I had since become a wedding photographer -- bringing our paths to cross once again. The universe is quite the snarky, mischievous gal.
And so, Max & Sarah were married surrounded by salty sea air and the closest of their friends & family. She wore her grandmother's dress & crown, and he couldn't peel his eyes off her for a moment. The day couldn't have been more perfect - cozy overcast vibes during the day, with a sunset that set my heart on fire.
Three weeks ago, I flew out to Ohio for a best friend's brother's wedding. And it was perhaps my favorite backyard wedding of all time. Let me tell you a little bit about what makes these two and their wedding so near and dear to my heart...
Eleven years ago, I met Ellis' sister, Martha, while living in Northern Ireland. Since then, both she and I have had weddings and children of our own, but we've always managed to visit each other at least once per year. I've been to Ohio 6 times in the last 8 years (the first trip was actually for Martha's own wedding << this link unlocks the door to my humble beginnings as a photographer, so beware of drastic camera angles and vignettes for days), and this time might have been one of my all time favorites. Not only is this family a sort of 2nd family to me, but witnessing the labor of love that brought Ellis & Ashley's wedding to life was the kind of magic that makes you believe in humanity again. The whole thing took place at Ellis' childhood home and began with an intimate ceremony surrounded by their family and closest friends. After their ceremony and some photos, the entire family got to work like a hive of bees - setting tables, cooking dinner, making cake (yes, my friend Martha made that 3-tiered geode wedding cake THAT DAY). A few hours later, the rest of the wedding guests arrived for dinner and more celebration.
I still remember the day Carolyn first texted me photos while she was trying on wedding dresses. I remember the overwhelming sense of love and thoughtfulness I felt when she sent the first care package while I was pregnant (a box full of my favorite treats, #cheezits&sourpatchkids), and the second package right before Phoenix was born (the cutest fox romper and matching burp cloths, #deathbycuteness), and then a box of cookies 2 weeks before her wedding (from her favorite bakery in Soho, #isthisreallife?).
For 18 months, we have emailed back and forth about wedding planning and life. Last weekend, I finally got to hug these guys in REAL LIFE. And their wedding was everything we dreamed it to be - Carolyn's dress was a masterpiece, their families practically adopted me as their own, their vows were beautifully written, their celebration mode was on point, and their love was ridiculously photogenic.
I could blubber on forever about how much I have come to adore this pair. But instead, I invite you to relive their wedding day me with...
Before their wedding day, I had only met Adam & Victoria through modern technology and a computer screen. It's always a little strange showing up to someone's wedding having never given them a hug or high five (and to be honest, it rarely happens). BUT, there wasn't a single moment on their wedding day that I felt like a stranger. There's something to be said for kindred spirits. I was instantly smitten with the way Victoria melted into Adam's arms, the way his entire face smiled when he beheld his bride. Not to mention, they are so photogenic it should be illegal.
Ever wondered what it would be like to attend a wedding in a sauna? I hadn't. But I now know nonetheless.
Despite high temperatures and humidity unfamiliar to most California natives, Cesar and Carly threw the fanciest party her parents' backyard will ever see.