Oh. My. Goodness. My heart is skipping a beat just putting this post together. For this was not a wedding, but the tender and profound launch of a marriage. Andrew and Rachel first came to me last fall, telling me of a gorgeous proposal made at home, surrounded by all their friends and family.It was an honor for them to reach out to me in the first place—Andrew is a talented photographer himself. They were so full of vibrant and sweet, tender love. We eventually went on an engagement adventure at the lake—you may remember all the swoony photographs. And then, too, did I recognize in them a condition of complete simplicity, a pure and simple love. And I knew. That this would be a wedding that rallies a community of friends and family, that connects people together in depth and emotion. This, in fact, will be a marriage that inspires others. I knew it when we first met and chatted and oohed and ahhed. I know it when we went on our frolic. I knew it as I watched them gaze at each other before the people they love so deeply, in tears and with joy.
Andrew’s groomsmen were an even mix of stirring faith and excessive ridiculousness. It was an awesome combination to behold, and of course, unsurprising, considering that it is so well reflected in andrew himself. As the day rolled along, in a sticky and intense summer heat, they gathered together and laughed and prayed and yes… they sure did a little twerking, too. YUP. On the girls’ side, Rachel’s glowing bridesmaids worked very hard to avoid getting teary-eyed. The trick seemed most certainly to be busy laughing hysterically. It seemed to work rather well, as the small room was abuzz with excitement and frenzied energy, as they put on their *gorgeous* greek-inspired headwear. Even still, there were quiet moments, when the girls paused as Rach took their breath away, or when mom’s tears couldn’t be kept at bay.
Andrew’s anxious anticipation while he awaited his first look was beautiful. Some men are quiet and cool during a first look, but Andrew brimmed with beautiful emotion as he heard Rachel close in behind him. The wait was worth it. The stunning floral arrangements throughout the entire event absolutely floored me. Megatalent Alise Davis of Sweet Marie Designs created magic and myth in these ferny and tender bouquets and arrangements. Stay tuned for more of my collaborations with this dazzlin’ lady.
This ceremony was not just a formality, but so deeply and powerfully important to them. This was a ceremony in which everyone in attendance was thoroughly engaged. This was a uniting, a true linking of two brilliant hearts in simple oneness. There were many beautiful tears in the eyes of all. I was particularly moved when pastor Adam Klekowski teared up, described a time in his own life when Andrew had impacted and nurtured him at a time of need. Andrew and Rachel are so clearly people that have been so significant in the lives of so many others.
The image above is my favorite from the set. Challenging to choose a favorite considering all the wonder and beauty of the day. But this, to me, so perfectly represents the mood and magic of their love. It isn’t about perfection, nor focus. It is a powerful and endless feeling.
Hidden Oaks in Ramona could not have proven to be a more perfect venue. Shading us from an incredibly intense sun, these grand oaks strung with lights wrapped us in a cozy wonder and a palpable joy. Heritage was their inspiration word, as they crafted a celebration that would feel timeless and and tender. Delightfully historic collectibles and found vintage pieces were combined with some beautifully built tables and signage to create the perfect setting for their celebration. And with a feast provided by Rancho’s Cocina North Park, one of my favorite veggie-friendly mexican eateries, it was just so deliciously right.
There was feasting, there were warm and loving speeches, and then there was dancing. After these two stole my heart with their first dance, their people proceeded to knock me senseless on the dance floor. Finally, we wrapped the evening by watching a gorgeous same-day premiere film by the talented Tom of Aqua Vivus Productions. The story of Andrew and Rachel, summed up so succinctly, so beautifully, so perfectly. And then, showered in a grand send-off, the day was done. Andrew and Rachel, I could not have been more honored, moved, and all-around pleased to have shared in such a beautiful and heartfelt day. I know amazing things await you.
TALENT ROLL CALL
Photography: Let’s Frolic Together / Associate photographer: Susan Yee / Videography: Aqua Vivus Productions / Venue: Hidden Oaks in Ramona, CA / Coordinator: Debbie Abeel / Officiant: Adam Klekowski / Hair & Makeup: Alisa Healy / Bride’s Dress: Tadashi Shoji / Bride’s Shoes: Nordstrom / Bride’s Veil: Handmade by Mom! / Groom’s Attire: Theory / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Modcloth / Florals: Sweet Marie Designs / Cake/Cupcakes: Moncai Vegan Bakery / Caterers: Ranchos Cocina North Park / DJ: Mookie Cunningham / Decor: Bistro tables, engraved wood signs, and head table made by the groom and Zac Jensen of Jensen Co.