Okay, they didn't actually get married at Jurassic Park and no there was no warding off pterodactyls, but I promise you it sure did feel like we were there. It was magical. There was such a majestic feeling the whole day. When Rachel and I pulled up to the venue to check it out together my first impression of the venue was just how beautiful the tree covered, jungle like, narrow road driving in was. It was the kind of arrival where my jaw dropped to the ground, the jurassic park theme song played in my head, and my heart fluttered. The grounds, the cabins, the old dining lodge and patio were all so charming and beautiful.
The day of the wedding was a perfect sunny day. The birds were making their presence known and the weather was just right. The girls were poppin' champagne and the guys were getting settled into their cabin with food and bevs. Honestly, I think the best way to describe this day is that it was bursting at the seams with love. Beautiful, genuine, emotional love. Every time I looked at Mike he had the biggest, warmest smile on his face. Whenever he looked at his bride he was either tearing up or grinning ear to ear. Rachel was full of smiles and stealing glances at her groom too.
Everything leading up the the first look was full of so much joyous anticipation. Rachel's squad [goals] of ladies stood in awe seeing her in her gown. They sent her off to see her man with a dance party. Once Rachel and Mike had their seriously heart warming first look, it was like nothing else mattered. There they were together after so much anticipation and all the excitement bursting from them. Witnessing first looks like this are the exact reason I love them so much.
One of many really special details that stood out all day were the lockets and charms on Rachel's bouquet given to her by her bridesmaids. One had a photo of Rachel and her dad on it. Rachel's father couldn't be there with us, but his presence was certainly felt. Multiple guests described his presence during the ceremony. A hawk flew over Rachel as she walked down the aisle. There was a dragonfly that kept flying around Rachel and Mike while they talked about her dad during the ceremony. During the kiss, the birds were in an uproarious spirit. Like I said, majestic.
My favorite part about weddings are getting to know the bride and groom through the relationships of their friends and family on their wedding day. Sometimes I hear sweet and personal memories from an officiant about the bride and group, I watch the bridesmaids and groomsmen chat and enjoy each others company while they get ready, I see a mothers excitement, a brothers tears, I listen to the toasts that have the most heartfelt good wishes with some funny stories. For Rachel and Mike, it was like a whole new perspective of them opened up to me. Not that I didn't already love them, I just typically don't get a ton of time with them before the wedding. Meeting Mike and Rachel's families (and friends) and the love they all had for each other made total sense why Rachel and Mike are who they are. I saw the emotional side of the Bimer brothers (which was the sweetest thing - I cried a lot that day too don't worry guys), The excitement of Mike and Rachel's moms, the sweet moment Rachel had with her sister in the morning. They're amazing people and they are surrounded by amazing people. When I was driving home from the wedding that night I was so giddy. I felt like I just watched my two best friends get married - that's how Mike and Rachel make you feel. I think people love being around them so much because they are so genuinely fun and easy to be around. They are the perfect duo and I really hate to bring this up so soon (I mean they did JUST get married) but I am pretty darn excited to watch them become parents one day too and see those precious little ones. No pressure you guys.
Mike and Rachel, I could talk forever about how special this day was. I could talk forever about how special you two are. Rachel, I could talk to you forever about our shared love for So You Think You Can Dance. I am so honored you chose me to document these incredible memories. Love you both - You two are like Kim and Kanye...but WAY better.
| | V E N D O R S A K A M A G I C M A K E R S | |
INVITATION SUITE: Alexa Nelson Prints
VENUE: The Ranch at Bandy Canyon
EVENT COORDINATION: Crowned Events | Jessica Williams
HAIR: XO Beauty Company
MAKE-UP: Makeup By Kandice
GOWN: Here Comes the Bride
FLORAL DESIGN: The Dainty Lion
TABLE RENTALS: To Be Designed
TABLEWARE RENTALS: The Hostess Haven
VIDEOGRAPHY: Even Sparrow Films
DJ: San Diego Party Time DJs
COOKIES: The Cravory
PHOTOBOOTH: Union Booth
SEATING CHART: Present and Pantry