I have been a fine art wedding photographer for several years and documented dozens of incredible weddings but there was something very special about this wedding day. Alina, the bride, did an amazing job of creating gorgeous and elegant details for her French and nautical themed wedding. There was beautiful everywhere you looked. [We even captured a few of the details in their San Juan Capistrano engagement session.] Everything – from her dress, to the centerpieces, to the moss covered pillow, to the succulent inspired floral displays – was picture perfect. And more than anything, Alina and Yves’ wedding celebration was filled with the love of family and friends. Thank you both for selecting me to document this most beautiful of wedding days. For a fine art wedding photographer this was a dream wedding. Here is how the bride described the process of creating the look and feel for her wedding:
“I had many inspirations and ideas of what I wanted my wedding to be like. I knew I wanted something more casual and home made. The theme changed several times from French country to sailor to just having it simple and clean. I knew I wanted to do a lot of the decorations myself. Not only because I am little bit of a control freak but I thought we really would be able to express our style more.
You would think we had all the time in the world to prep things. We did for the most part. We had a lot of the arrangements lined up but there are only so many things you can do in advance. I met with Mark and showed him some clippings of what I liked. I didn’t have engagement pictures of Yves and I . He made it so simple for me and he just went along with my ideas. I decided to have the engagement pictures done and they were amazing. I had Mark print out a large photo for us to use at the wedding for our guest to sign.
Six months before our wedding my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. I found myself putting everything off to spend time with my Mom until she passed away April 27th. It was bitter sweet I felt guilty and angry at the same time. I found myself still making things the night before my wedding. So my inspiration towards the end was get it done! It was exactly what we wanted. Although my Mom wasn’t there physically she was a big part of our special day.
The wedding was at the Chart House overlooking Dana Point Harbor July 14. The venue is a modern building with surfer inspired decoration. We got married on the grass facing the harbor. The aisle had shepherd hooks along with hanging succulent and wooden kissing balls. I didn’t want to take away from the great view of the harbor. I had two manzanita trees behind the Pastor. They had glass bulbs hung with twine and white roses in them along with succulents. My bouquet had a blend of white flowers with different types of succulents. I wrapped burlap at the bottom with some charms and buttons from my Mom’s jacket. The guys had buttoners with succulents as well . They wore casual taupe suits with navy blue chucks and socks with anchors.
The tables had burlap runners on them with similar flower arrangements. I used my Mom’s mason jars and adorned them with burlap and moss and succulents. The guest table seats were gold compasses with guest’s names on them. I had several old suit cases I stacked up with an old painter box on top. I pinned pictures of Yves and I and places we had visited together on top. On the bottom I placed the compasses on a bed of moss. The table numbers were old frames with burlap and the number inside. I wanted the guest to take the mason jars as a remembrance of my Mom. The frames were for family to take.
We didn’t do a traditional cake. we had a little cake for Yves and I to cut. For our guests we had different types of French pastries and candies . I used a lot of my Mom’s china she had collected throughout the years to decorate the pastry bar. The day was great; we couldn’t have imagined it any other way. So our theme in the end was French inspired, coastal feel, traveling couple with the love of desert plants.
The true inspiration was my Mom. She inspired me to keep going. I know now no decorations would ever compete with the friends and family that were there celebrating with us. In the end that was the best part.”