David + Stephanie | San Diego, California Destination Wedding

Destination Wedding Film Photographer San Diego Socal Fine Art Balboa Park

As a wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon, it’s somewhat rare to be asked to photograph a wedding in Southern California, but earlier this year I did and I was so very thrilled.  Not just because of the opportunity I was being given to work as a destination wedding photographer, but because the bride is someone I know and adore and I just KNEW her wedding was going to be original, beautiful, and such fun.  When the details of the planning started to trickle in, it was just smile after smile of joy-filled  expectation.

Stephanie said, “I would love for you to photograph my wedding and I want you to shoot as much of it on film as possible.” YESSSS!!! That is how it started, but then I heard it was going to take place in Balboa Park (yay!), that we were going to start portraits at the San Diego County Courthouse and later the historic Santa Fe Train Station would be involved(yes!!!), that Elizabeth Dye was making her dress (oh my), and later that she was actually going to have two outfits and the first one was going to be a 60’s inspired JUMPSUIT.  A smoking hot wedding jumpsuit.  Of course she would, because she’s that awesome.  What I love most about all the things Stephanie and David planned for their wedding, it was truly a celebration of them.  They did what they wanted, their personalities were all over their wedding day, they made it their own!

I hadn’t spent very much time with David prior to their wedding day, but wow–what a catch he is (smart, hard working, kind-hearted, handsome, oozing with integrity… you know, all the best things).  They are wonderful together, so respectful of one another and so in love.  It’s always a treat to see that level of affection between any of my wedding couples, but really so endearing and heart warming to see it between my friend and the love of her life.

I asked Stephanie to answer four questions regarding the style of their wedding and some of the choices they made.  Keep reading at the bottom to hear more from her perspective. =)

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Japanese Friendship Garden Bride Groom portrait

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Japanese Friendship Garden Elizabeth Dye Dunaway wedding gown

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Q+A Time!!

1)  How did you come up with your personal wedding look?  Many brides choose 2 dresses and do a reception change, but you went completely outside the box and chose a jumpsuit first and then a dress.  I’d love to know more about your process of creating these looks for big day!

Bride:  I like a little bit of everything, from vintage to modern to tomboy to high fashion.  If it has clean lines, yet still playful no questions asked, I’m into it. I chose my looks based off the vibe I wanted to create during each time point of the night. I also wanted to bring as much of Portland to San Diego which is why I went with Portland based designers Elizabeth Dye for my dress and Sahlia Jewelry for most of my accessories.

2)  What were your favorite details of your wedding day?
Bride:  So hard to choose..
1) Doing our first look at where we originally wanted to get married (City Hall, but both our families really wanted a real wedding), so we made sure to still file our marriage certificate there after our first look and pay tribute to our idea.
2) Not having a bridal party.  It’s obvious as a couple you’ll save money but also avoid any headache or heartache by not having one.  Most importantly, it didn’t create a barrier for our close friends and siblings. It set a tone of “all of us are family” and let’s celebrate the love we share.
3) Taking two hours around downtown San Diego to take photos at a few memorable spots before arriving to our venue. We were able to decompress and have fun before arriving to our wedding.
4) Our music choice for the important stuff.  The groom and I initially bonded over our tastes in music. Both songs we walked down the aisle too gave us goosebumps, even though we couldn’t see one another we knew what the songs were for and the backstory to them. Honored guests and groom walked down to the cover “Heartbeats” by Jose Gonzalez while my parents and I walked down to “Genesis” by Grimes.
3)  What do you remember most about your wedding day?
Bride:  Our nightfall, candle-lit ceremony in the garden with our favorite people. So dreamy. Enough said.
4)  Another outside the box part of your wedding was a reverse ceremony, how did you come by that idea?  Now that you’ve done it, would you do it again?  Do you have any advice to other brides who might consider a similar timeline/set up?
Bride:  I came by this idea by reading this article: http://www.brit.co/reverse-wedding-trend/. We are both from the Pacific Northwest and knew we had to have our wedding in San Diego so his (now late) grandfather could attend. We’ve both been to a lot of weddings in Southern California and didn’t want ours to be another pretentious traditional one. Once I read the above article I was sold, we added our own spins to the timeline and voila! It came together so nicely and I would absolutely do it again!!!

 

Thank you so much to David + Stephanie for having me document such a special time in your lives!  I’m thrilled to show off your beautiful wedding day!!

 

Credits

Wedding Venue:  Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park

Getting Ready Location:  Inn At The Park

Planning and Coordination: Weddings by Thomas Lewis

Cellists:   The Andantino Duo

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Images created using Kodak Portra 400 film and a Contax 645 medium format camera.  Film processed and scanned by The FIND Lab.

Marla Cyree of Simply Splendid specializes in film photography based in Portland, Oregon as a wedding and portrait photographer.

 

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