From the moment I met Daryl and Noah, I knew that their wedding day was going to be unique, creative, and absolutely full of love.
From start to finish I was so pleasantly surprised at how effortlessly perfect everything was. Daryl and Noah decided to save money, and do absolutely everything by hand; as well as hold their ceremony and reception in Balboa Park, San Diego. Even the flowers were done by the bride and her maid of honor the night before the wedding! The archway that they were married under was made by Noah and his father (for $60!) and beautiful assorted rugs were donated by friends for the day, and strewn about the grass so that the guests had somewhere dry, and grass stain free to sit during their ceremony.
Billowing white drapes were attached to a nearby tree to provide cover for Daryl so that Noah would not see her until she made her way down the aisle. Daryl decided to host a “barefoot wedding” and she herself did not put on shoes until the end of her reception!
The ceremony itself was intimate, tender, and so so sweet. Daryl walked down the aisle to an alternate version of “you are my sunshine”, and Noah fought back tears the moment he saw her. While Noah and Daryl both decided to only have a maid of honor and best man, they asked all of the most influential and important people in their lives to stand behind them as they wed. They provided such a sense of community and support, and added yet another unique touch to the entire day.
The ceremony itself was full of raw emotion. Laughter erupting contagiously, all why tears streaming down everyones faces. There was such authentic love being shown that there was no doubt that what was happening was meant to be.
After the ceremony, the reception took place up a small hill, amongst the shade of the big trees. A 3 tiered donut cake, and rows and rows of stacked donuts were the centerpiece to their garden breakfast, along with beautiful croissant sandwiches, fruit, and gourmet coffee.
One stand out moment from the reception for me was the “father daughter dance”. As Daryl took hold of the mic, she proceeded to explain that she didn’t quite know what to do leading up to that day, and that since she didn’t have a dad to dance with she almost just skipped the whole thing entirely… but then she decided to have a close friend come up and sing one of her favorite songs, and she wanted everyone to just sit back, and enjoy her “dance” with her dad above. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, as she sat at her sweetheart table, eyes closed, singing her heart out to her daddy in the clouds. I could barely take a picture at all through my foggy view finder.
After the reception, we went all around the park taking their portraits, and boy did we have a blast! One of my favorite things about my job, is capturing each couples uniqueness. I don’t want every wedding I shoot to look the same, I want every wedding I shoot to capture the essence of the couple I am photographing. I want my couples to look at their pictures and think “yep, that FEELS like us”.
Daryl and Noah had no problems being authentically themselves, right down to our mid session pit stop at Starbucks ! I couldn’t help but continue to click the shutter as the two love bugs sat in line and ordered there “bride” and “groom” coffees.
Start to finish this wedding exceeded all of my expectations. From the quaint boutique hotel where I began my morning, to my afternoon espresso, I think any bride out there, worried about doing a wedding on a budget needs to see this wedding!