Conrad + Rachel :: A Woodsy Wedding in Half Moon Bay, CA

Conrad and Rachel are definitely kindred spirits.  The first time I met them, I kind of accidentally invited myself to Rachel’s parents house … well wait, let me start this story at the beginning. 😉

Last summer, I was visiting California to assist a friend with a wedding, and I found myself with two extra days, so I decided to look around and see who I could find in the Bay Area that would let me crash with them for a  few days and explore San Francisco.  It just so happened that Rachel’s sister-in-law, Taylor, was in the same online ministry group as me.  I had never met her, but I figured that if she loved Jesus she was probably safe to be-friend, so I messaged her and asked if it would be okay to stay with her and her husband.

Taylor and her husband Michael didn’t have a spare room, so they offered to let me stay with Rachel’s parents, who lived in the apartment above them.   Rachel’s parents made me feel right at home, playing board games together late into the evening and sharing their snacks with me.  During the two days I had there, Michael and Taylor invited Rachel, and her then boyfriend Conrad, to join us, and together we explored the West Coast, the Golden Gate Bridge, the official Ghirardelli store, Pier 39, and countless other places. Needless to say, we had a blast and I was so glad for my new found CA friends!

I was also privileged to hear Conrad and Rachel’s cute love story over In-And-Out fries.  The perfect mix 😉

Less than a year later, I saw that Rachel + Conrad got engaged and I was over the moon excited for them …. and immensely honored that they asked me to shoot their wedding!

What a joy it was to head back to California and spend a weekend with their family and friends!! We picked up right where we left off, and even though there were a few mishaps leading up to the wedding day, the beginning of their marriage could not have been more perfect.
I love you two!!

Here are a few of my favorite photographs from their beautiful wedding! <3

While I took Conrad’s and Rachels portraits, their family and friends played a couple friendly rounds of poker.  The winner had bragging rights, and all the cash went to the newlyweds honeymoon fund!  I was in love with this fun idea that is a win-win for everyone involved! 😉

 

Ending the day with a prayer that included all of the guests.  I can’t think of a better way to start a new marriage!

Conrad + Rachel –

CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN! I am thrilled for you two, and so honored to have been a part of your big day.

With a smile,
Olivia Marie

Kyle + Sara :: An Intimate, Evening Wedding in Paterson, NJ

People might tell you that Instagram (and social media in general) is a waste of time, and that virtual friends aren’t real friends.
I don’t quite buy into that, because some of the sweetest friends I’ve ever made started out as virtual friendships!  Of course, it takes discernment … but I’m not going to talk about that in a post strictly dedicated to all things MUSHY LOVE STORIES and weddings. 😉

I would like to introduce you to Sara and Kyle, the sweetest virtual-turned-real friends. <3

 

Sara found me on Instagram because I shot one of her friends weddings, and I knew right from the start that we would be a good fit.  I was also walking through engagement at that time, so we were able to relate on many wedding planning issues!

It was such a joy to fly up to New Jersey and capture her and Kyle’s wedding day.  Enjoy a few of my favorite photographs!

I want to take a moment here to share a little bit of a photographers perspective!

Most photographers internally groan when they arrive to a session or a wedding, and find that the lighting is terrible.  It’s no different than any other job … there are certain key things you need in order to be able to provide the desired finished project.  However, the photography and wedding industry has played upon this need and created a completely unnecessary shaming factor.  Photographers are afraid to post an image on Instagram if it wasn’t shot in a white room with lots of natural light.  Somehow, it doesn’t meet the required “aesthetic.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I love a good white room with high ceilings and lots of windows! #swoon
However, I know that finding a venue like that isn’t a reality for most brides, and that shouldn’t change the quality of their finished wedding gallery!  Maybe the getting ready room isn’t bright + white + well lit, but that doesn’t mean that their story can’t be captured just like anyone else’s!

I shot several weddings this past year where there was little to no natural light, and frankly, I’m glad.  I don’t want to be a photographer who is only comfortable shooting images like 50,000 others in the industry.  What has happened to creativity?  What has happened to story telling?  As a photographer, my job is not to capture images that earn the worlds approval, but instead, to capture images that tell my clients story!  White or dark, colorful or pastel, classic or funky … I tell stories because I love the people behind the stories, and the different aspects of a wedding day just add to the charm.

No, I’m not saying hotel rooms are my favorite places to shoot.  Ice cream is my favorite, but I still love finding yummy ways to cook broccoli.  Get it?! 😉

Okay, okayyyyy … officially swooning!

This was my second time shooting at this venue, and I just have to say that I love it more each time!  There is a lot going on between all the glass and décor, but it gives everything such a natural and intimate feel.

Also, I LOVE that Kyle + Sara had games for all the guests to play together!  There were countless rounds of Jenga, with lots of laughter to match.  And look at that gorgeous chess set!!

Such joy!

Kyle + Sara, thank you for trusting me to capture your wedding and for sharing your little corner of New Jersey with me!  The weather might not have exactly cooperated, but that didn’t dampen your joy or love.  Congratulations again and here’s to many, many happy years together! <3

With a smile,
Olivia Marie