Keiana & Gerard - Beverly Hills Courthouse Elopement

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Keiana and Gerard are very low-key, down-to-earth people. When you talk to them, they’re grounded; both of them have an energy like oak trees, roots deep underground and branches strong and flourishing. But when they look at each other, something incredible happens — they both light up, and suddenly they’re floating on air.

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I loved shooting this elopement, because these two know what a good wedding is all about: gathering your closest loved ones, dressing up in your finest duds, professing your love to each other all day long…. then buying everyone a 5-star steak dinner and lots of champagne. Seriously.

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The quick but heartfelt ceremony, with handwritten vows:

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Wait wait wait… did I mention the steak dinner? Surf and turf at Ocean Prime, to be exact:

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When dinner was over, we walked outside and wa-lah! It was magic hour:

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I absolutely LOVE this wedding because it just goes to show that as long as you’re putting your resources into the things that are important to you — like flying out family that you haven’t seen in years, or treating people to dinner at one of your favorite restaurants — your wedding will be truly special. You don’t need all the bells and whistles!

And after all… the best things in life are free.
Like sunsets. And palm trees. And glittering lights. And long, slow kisses…!

Best of luck, Keiana and Gerard!

Philip & Michael - Paradise Point, San Diego

Philip & Michael are a match made in heaven. They’re both impeccably well-dressed, fans of a capella music, avid church-goers, and love being just a little bit extra. They gathered their huge community of family, friends and church sponsors for this black-and-white themed wedding on the San Diego beachfront of Paradise Point.

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I shot this wedding with the Sweet Paper Media team, who are a great group of guys. When one camera started to malfunction, my cameras and I saved the day, and I’m glad I did! (PS: This is a good reason to get a second shooter!)

All the photos in this gallery were taken and edited by me, with my eye for documentary coverage, color and light.

here’s the story of philip and michael:

Julie & David - Contra Costa Garden Wedding

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Julie and David are a nerdy cute match made in heaven. They can’t stop smiling and being affectionate with each on an average day, so of course their wedding was no different! There were so many little details that made it a big happy party: the party bus, the puzzle favors, the wedding party that joked and danced nonstop, the huge amount of kids and cousins who kept dancing into the wee hours of the night…

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But I’m getting ahead of myself!

Julie and David live in the San Jose area, and they picked out this nice garden venue by Pleasant Hill for their wedding. The dark greens and string lights of Brownstone Gardens served as a complementary setting to their deep purple, lavender, silver and white color scheme.

Getting ready in a tiny little cabana:

Time for the ceremony:

Lots of tender words, and tender moments:

And then they were wed!

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A boisterous reception:

Adorable kids:

And dancing for many hours, into the night, ending with a huge group hug that encompassed every wedding guest still standing:

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Abrazos!

Marie & Kaleb - Orcutt Ranch, West Hills, CA

Marie and Kaleb are both writers with very independent, DIY, low-key personalities. They wanted a wedding that would be as quick, simple, and low-stress as possible — but of course, they made sure it was still touching and lovely! Marie loves flowers, so their biggest excess was to have gorgeous flowers spread throughout the property. They eschewed as much formality as possible, leaving us with a stripped-down wedding that focused on their family, friends, and the incredible love that they share. Forget all the fancy stuff — real love is worth its weight in gold.