Northern Californians know one thing about the region’s weather: You can’t count on year-round sunshine and warmth. When Mandy and Clinton planned their destination wedding at Bayonet & Black Horse golf course in the Monterey Bay Area in March, they probably didn’t consider that it might rain on their special day. Luckily for them, even though it poured the day before during our pre-wedding shoot together (and would rain the day after their wedding), they and their guests were able to enjoy an outdoor ceremony with windswept trees, dramatic clouds, Monterey Bay, and the Pacific Ocean as their backdrop. The sun even came out for their first kiss!
Since Mandy and Clinton both serve in the military and have spent a good chunk of their relationship apart, it warmed everyone’s hearts to know that they’d finally be together. All the love, however, wasn’t enough to keep everyone’s teeth from chattering…
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Mandy and Clinton both serve in different branches of the military and have thus spent most of their relationship apart, which means the time they have together is that much more precious. It also means that they don’t have many photographs of themselves together!
To remedy this, we met up with them the day before their destination wedding in the coastal town of Monterey. The California sunshine they expected for their wedding weekend was replaced by biting winds and occasional slashes of rain, which made the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium a welcome backdrop for their pre-wedding photos. With just a few hours to explore the aquatic exhibits, we marveled at the vast kelp forest, pulsating jellyfish, dizzying schools of sardines, preening penguins, and sharks, tuna, and other deep-sea denizens.
It was still light out and fairly dry when the aquarium closed so we made our way to nearby Lovers Point…
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Before they were even engaged, we had the pleasure of photographing Lou Lou and Dave for a vintage tiki wedding inspiration shoot we did last year. Imagine our excitement when they asked us to capture their wedding this spring!
In addition to being the cutest couple ever, they’re in a band together and thought it’d be fun to meld their engagement session with a band photo shoot. Heck yeah! This is how we found ourselves at Roaring Camp Railroads, trundling through the soaring redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains on a 19th-century narrow-gauge steam train while Lou Lou and Dave serenaded us with a guitar and steel banjolele. The train conductor, it turned out, played in old-timey bluegrass bands and took a liking to Lou Lou and Dave. After the official train ride ended, he generously invited them to climb aboard the Sonora Shay #7 as steam spewed around…
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One of the first things we noticed when we arrived at Mira Vista Golf & Country Club in El Cerrito for Suzanne and Richard’s wedding was its panoramic views of the East Bay, San Francisco, and beyond. Says Suzanne, “We chose Mira Vista because it was a great way for us to show off the beauty of the East Bay to some of our out-of-town guests.”
Indeed! The venue also boasts striking English Tudor–style architecture from the 1920s, well-manicured grounds, and towering, elegant trees. But, frankly, once Suzanne or Richard landed in our sights, it was hard to take in anything but their unmistakable love and adoration for each other! Our bride, by the way, was gorgeous in a strapless, beaded gown with a romantic, layered skirt perfect for twirling. Our groom couldn’t have looked more handsome in his black tuxedo.
Their special day, filled with their wonderful family and friends…
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