Photography Uncategorized weddings

Ben + Alexa – an intimate early morning lakeside wedding

It takes a lot of courage to walk up to a girl in the gym, especially the manager and ask for her number. Those things that give us the biggest fears in our lives tend to provide some of the biggest reward. That girl just so happened to be the love of Ben’s life, even though he didn’t know it that first moment. These two dreamed together of a wedding with only their four extremely close friends and their immediate families in the place that Alexa grew up going to since she was little. Hearing the stories of how special Packer Lake was to her would bring anyone with a heart to tears. Some of her sister’s earliest memories were of baby Alexa in a crib hanging out for a week in the summer, or one of a 4 year old girl who wanted to get married there when she grew up. That little four year old’s dream happened to come true at the beginning of July! This story is a little different from most weddings you have ever been to. In fact, it was different from any wedding we have been to and Lisa and I have been to almost 200 weddings. The night before they were to wed all 13 guests gathered for an intimate dinner, a quick rehearsal lakeside, then headed to bed at a decent hour. It was going to be an EARLY morning…

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We woke up at 3:30am to meet Alexa and Ben when they were getting up to get ready. Alexa started getting ready at 4am. That time is right, 4am, but that is what you do if you want to get married as the sun rises on Packer Lake. They even brought along their little puppy/ring bearer Bumble, who kinda steals the show sometimes. One thing to note is that every picture below is from their wedding day. They saw the sunrise and sunset with their best friends, were wed, went on a couple hikes, ate every meal with family and friends, and even went for a swim in the lake! This next shot is what I first saw when I awoke that morning at Packer Lake.Packer Lake Wedding 007 photoPacker Lake Wedding 009 photoPacker Lake Wedding 015 photoPacker Lake Wedding 016 photoPacker Lake Wedding 011 photoPacker Lake Wedding 012 photoPacker Lake Wedding 017 photoPacker Lake Wedding 018 photoPacker Lake Wedding 021 photoPacker Lake Wedding 022 photoPacker Lake Wedding 023 photoPacker Lake Wedding 024 photoPacker Lake Wedding 001 Photo 7Packer Lake Wedding 027 photoPacker Lake Wedding 001 photo 2Packer Lake Wedding 029 photoPacker Lake Wedding 031 photo

Early mornings are a special time of day. There are only a few people around and the quiet in the air is one of the calmest things I have ever experienced. The only noises are birds chirping as the wind rustles the towering tree limbs. There was one requirement Alexa had for Ben, he had to look away until she was coming down the aisle. He couldn’t peak and see her walking up. Well, you can see how it turned out next, and there was lots of smiles and laughs getting married as the sun rose!Packer Lake Wedding 033 photoPacker Lake Wedding 035 photoPacker Lake Wedding 036 photoPacker Lake Wedding 037 photoPacker Lake Wedding 001 photo 3Packer Lake Wedding 038 photoPacker Lake Wedding 043 photoPacker Lake Wedding 044 photoPacker Lake Wedding 045 photoPacker Lake Wedding 046 photoPacker Lake Wedding 047 photoPacker Lake Wedding 048 photoPacker Lake Wedding 050 photoPacker Lake Wedding 052 photoPacker Lake Wedding 053 photoPacker Lake Wedding 001 Photo 8Packer Lake Wedding 056 photoPacker Lake Wedding 057 photoPacker Lake Wedding 058 photo

After they were married there was one very important task that was very special for Ben and Alexa. We needed to climb the side of a mountain to leave her Mother’s favorite flowers in one of her favorite places overlooking the mountains. I know I told you Packer Lake was special, and that really doesn’t say the half of what this place really means in the hearts of these people. Alexa’s family have been going there for 25 years together. When we were driving up the day before the wedding I told Lisa I want to do something like that with our family. I want to create a special tradition that we do together, no matter what. It doesn’t matter where we are in life, in work, we take the time to stop and do something every year as a family through a tradition we create. Family is what we make through marriage and I have said this a million times but being able to have traditions that are unique to you are just one of the many small things we do to celebrate who we are and why we choose the paths in life and love we choose.Packer Lake Wedding 060 photoPacker Lake Wedding 061 photoPacker Lake Wedding 062 photoPacker Lake Wedding 064 photoPacker Lake Wedding 001 Photo 5Packer Lake Wedding 066 photoPacker Lake Wedding 067 photoPacker Lake Wedding 069 photo

A girl who will climb a mountain in a pair of Vera Wang flats and not have a single worry in the world about it is an amazing person!
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This cake from freeport bakery was a fun surprise for Ben. He had no idea it existed, and Alexa had to sneak it by him and climb through a window all to keep it a secret from him!Packer Lake Wedding 084 photoPacker Lake Wedding 087 photoPacker Lake Wedding 003 photoPacker Lake Wedding 105 photoPacker Lake Wedding 106 photoPacker Lake Wedding 107 photoPacker Lake Wedding 109 photoPacker Lake Wedding 088 photoPacker Lake Wedding 090 photoPacker Lake Wedding 091 photoPacker Lake Wedding 092 photoPacker Lake Wedding 094 photoPacker Lake Wedding 098 photoPacker Lake Wedding 099 photoPacker Lake Wedding 100 photoPacker Lake Wedding 102 photo

Thank you so much for choosing us to capture your wedding day. Knowing your story and being able to tell just a small part of who you are through photography will forever hold a little place in our hearts. I sit here with a smile on my face because I couldn’t feel more special as I saw you two get married. I hope you had an amazing rest of your stay at Packer Lake!

Engagements Photography Uncategorized

Bart + Veronica – Capitola and Natural Bridges

I fall in love with each couple we have the opportunity to photograph for a million different reasons. The reason why I first fell in love with Bart and Veronica was not because they are getting married in Santa Cruz and wanted beautiful coast lines in their engagement session at Natural Bridges State Park. I fell in love with knowing that we were on a very similar journey and just starting to learn what it was to be parents. They happened to have a baby boy named Harrison who was born three days before our son Bear, and could not have been more excited about the insanity that was already happening in their life together. I knew that familiar sound of excitement, joy and exhaustion in Veronica’s voice when we first talked about her getting married and understood that Bart, and now Harrison, have made her the happiest girl and now mom in the world. I would have done whatever it took to be able to photograph their wedding, not just because we loved their story and we photographed her amazing friend Elise’s wedding, but because their love shined through on phone calls and emails and brightened my day knowing that their little family of three was so happy to be together. That getting married in Santa Cruz where so many of her family had been married in the past matters to both Bart and Veronica. I will say that finally getting to meet the cute, chubby man that is Harrison was extremely fun. He was quiet, well mannered and not afraid to smile at all. He took to having his photo taken with ease! Since we understood that every parent loves their child with all their heart, but a little bit of time spent with just your fiancé is rewarding and fulfilling for your relationship. Grandma and Grandpa had a fun afternoon with Harrison after a couple photos in Capitola allowing us to run off with Bart and Veronica to Natural Bridges State Park. I had never been before and loved the cliffs overlooking the ocean so close to downtown Santa Cruz. I can see why Veronica’s parents moved out there.Natural Bridges Engagement Session 001 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 003 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 004 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 005 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 006 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 007 PhotoaNatural Bridges Engagement Session 009 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 010 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 011 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 015 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 016 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 017 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 018 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 019 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 020 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 023 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 025 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 026 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 027 PhotoNatural Bridges Engagement Session 029 Photo

Thank you again for showing us why Santa Cruz is special to you! We can not wait to see you three next month!

Design Uncategorized

Vintage Kitschy Hawaii Wedding Design

Don’t you just love Hawaii? There is a major feeling of nostalgia that comes along with it, even for those of us going for our first visit. I guarantee that anyone that has been, now holds a little piece of it in their hearts. Of course I know a BIG part of Brit and Tim’s hearts hold a place for the Aloha State, seeing as how they became man and wife there, amongst the ocean waves and beneath the tall palm trees. We are SO excited to share the design work we did for their wedding today. Let me tell, you there is a lot! This is one of our favorite designs to date, and we certainly had a ton of fun creating it. We are also truly honored to have Brit and Tim’s wedding featured on one of our favorite wedding blogs, Wedding Chicks, today! Be sure to head over and check it out. For now, on to the design eye candy! 

Brit and Tim wanted to do something a little different from your average Hawaii wedding. They both have a fun, quirky, vintage style and wanted to bring that into their wedding. We decided to draw inspiration from vintage hawaii kitsch. So lots of hula girls, tiki men, and vintage artwork were just the ticket! For their save the dates, they wanted to do a postcard of themselves hanging out on the beach, with a vintage flare, as an ode to there wedding location. So for their engagement session, which you can check out here, we packed a picnic and headed out to the beaches of Santa Cruz, to create the photo we used on their postcard save the dates. 
Hawaii Save the Date Postcard The Goodness 001Next up was the design for their invitations. The color palette for the wedding was lots of sea foam green, and muted shaded of bright pink, green, blue, and yellow. I always LOVE it when couples are not afraid of color!Brit tim hawaii wedding 283One of my favorite touches is the woodgrain belly band that holds the invitation suite together. Brit tim hawaii wedding 288These stripes were also an ongoing design element as you’ll see in some of their day-of paper goods. Love them as an envelope liner!Brit tim hawaii wedding 292Brit tim hawaii wedding 284I love the RSVP! We used a cool surfer dude and some playful wording.Brit tim hawaii wedding 295With any destination wedding, a map is a must-have. This one highlighted airport and hotel locations, fun things to do on the island, and of course, the wedding location at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu. Brit tim hawaii wedding 289Hawaii The Goodness 003At the rehearsal dinner, the night before the wedding, Brit and Tim handed out these great tote bags with wedding info and more. We designed the bags and the brochure as well. Inside they were packed with lots of Hawaii goodies, water, and travel information.Brit tim hawaii wedding 280aHawaii The Goodness 109At the wedding itself, we designed all of the day-of paper goods. At cocktail hour, we had lots of little signs about all the yummy food, drinks, and snacks. I’ll take shave ice at a wedding any day!Hawaii The Goodness 066Hawaii The Goodness 067aHawaii The Goodness 038One of my favorite details during the reception were these fun flag escort cards. The backs of the flags had the guest’s name and table assignment. They made a fun prop during the day and a great favor to take home!Hawaii The Goodness 070Brit tim hawaii wedding 298Hawaii The Goodness 147Brit tim hawaii wedding 301Hawaii The Goodness 1620276We do design photo guestbooks using engagement photos, but this one we did a little differently. Designed in a square format, we used the stripe and circle motif along with all the fun colors of the wedding, to creat this one-of-a-kind keepsake for the couple.

Hawaii The Goodness 075Hawaii The Goodness 077Hawaii The Goodness 126For table name signs, again we used the flags. Each table was named after one of the Hawaiian islands and we also used the flags to display each island’s nickname.Hawaii The Goodness 137Brit tim hawaii wedding 296Hawaii The Goodness 134Hawaii The Goodness 059We designed the menus and food signage for the buffet.Hawaii The Goodness 149aOf course they had matching beer!Hawaii The Goodness 160Finally, Brit really wanted Mr. and Mrs. signs for the chairs and their sweetheart table, so we used some vintage artwork of hula girls (for the Mrs.) and surfer guys (for the Mr.) and it could not have been more perfect!Hawaii The Goodness 142Be sure to check out Wedding Chicks and our post about their wedding for even MORE wedding loveliness. We’ve also posted some wonderful DIY tutorials about some wedding crafts we helped with such as the colorful bunting, ring pillow and Brit’s gorgeous starfish veil. Congratulations again to Brit and Tim! 0506