I’m so blessed to witness AMAZING, special moments in people’s lives. It was extremely difficult to choose, but I narrowed down my personal 15 favorite moments from 2015. I hope you enjoy them!
15. Marsha and Kevin’s first dance as Man and Wife
These two have been together since they were fifteen, and they’re best friends. Their special Bride and Groom dance was so sweet and there was no doubt they felt they were the only two people on the planet. (Marsha & Kevin’s Wedding)
14. Jodi making Matthew a drink
Jodi and Matthew met at the restaurant where she worked as a bartender. He had to know who the tiny hot blonde behind the bar was. He started coming in regularly and asked her out. From then on, they were always together. He says, “It just kind of snow-balled from there.”
13. Ali and Luke’s First Look
Luke proposed to Ali in a gondola on a lake, and it was the most romantic thing EVER. They were thrilled to be getting married and Luke was all smiles when he saw how gorgeous Ali looked on their wedding day.
12. Zoe’s toast at Amanda and Erik’s wedding
Amanda and Eric both had children, and their wedding was a ceremony of blending into one official family. They each treat each other’s kids as their own, and it’s clear how much Zoe loves her new stepdad. They are a WONDERFUL, sweet, fun family who’s full of love. These kids are so blessed to have such amazing, caring, loving parents.
11. Mary and James’s gift exchanges
Mary and James didn’t see each other before their wedding ceremony, so we got to deliver their gifts and photograph the moments. James was SO surprised and thrilled to get a gorgeous boudoir album, print, and calendar from his super hot wife. He couldn’t stop looking at it and it was so cute, like a little boy on Christmas.
When Mary was handed her new Dooney & Bourke handbag, she LOVED it, then Mark told her to look inside, where she found a matching wallet. He told her, “Keep looking!” Then she found her real gift, a purple handgun, which she FLIPPED over! This is one groom who KNOWS his bride!
10. Stacia reading Miguel’s letter to her
This year we’ve witnessed a new special trend – brides and groom’s writing letters to each other and family members, which are read before the ceremony. This one really tugged at my heart strings. Miguel wrote Stacia a beautiful letter that stated, “Well, it’s about time we made this family thing official.” This was incredibly special to me because my father adopted me when he married my mother, and he treated me as his blood daughter. Just like my Papa CHOSE me, Miguel CHOSE to be Stacia’s father. He’s such an amazing person, father, husband, and friend… These ladies and Monique and Miguel’s other children are blessed to have him! (Monique & Miguel’s Wedding)
9. Alma and Joe right after they walked up the aisle as Man and Wife
Alma and Joe didn’t see each other before their ceremony, and they both say their favorite moment from the day is seeing each other as she walked down the aisle. For me, my favorite is this very moment, when it’s just them, without an audience of people looking on. It sunk in that they were officially Mr. and Mrs. Joe Vona. What a special couple!
8. Cortney and her grandmother hugging after the ceremony
Cortney’s sweet grandma lost her husband not too long ago, and she feels lost without him. They did EVERYTHING together and were married in an interesting elopement as teenagers. She is SO happy for her beautiful granddaughter Cortney because she found such a wonderful man, Craig, to love her for all their lives together. It was a pleasure to meet this woman. Photos with parents and grandparents at weddings are very important. They won’t be around forever, so you should have moments captured on film to keep their memory alive. (Cortney & Craig’s Wedding)
7. Sharon’s family photos
I was asked by a friend of mine to do family photos for a lovely woman who was terminally ill with cancer and I happily volunteered my services. Sharon was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and friend, and her loved ones lost her shortly after these photos were taken. I was so honored to be there and take these images of her and her family. I wish there was more I could’ve done for them.
6. Ricardo’s dance with his mama!
When Ricardo escorted his mom to the dance floor, we had no idea what we were in store for. They busted out in energetic, fun fast dancing of the likes we’ve never seen. This woman has it going on! Incredibly entertaining for all. (Monica & Ricardo’s Wedding)
5. Jesse’s proposal to Sowandy
Jesse and Sowandy had a long-distance relationship from the time Jesse went home to Florida to work for his family’s business. After four years of dating, they were deeply in love and best friends. He surprised her by proposing at El Sol winery, and we were privileged enough to be there to capture it on film.
4. Lavenda and Mike’s First Look
If you haven’t viewed Lavenda and Mike’s wedding blog, you should! I’ve known these two for almost my entire life, and seeing their happiness was the most emotional moment of the year. As soon as I finished photographing their ceremony, I put the camera down and burst into happy tears, sobbing uncontrollably. They’d known each other for decades and were friends with each other’s spouses. Sadly, both their spouses passed away in 2005. They started doing Ministry together along with Mike’s daughter, Sierra, and as Lavenda put it, “Somewhere along the way, we fell in love!” You can see by the way he looks at her, he’s completely smitten. He acts like a school boy, kissing her and fawning over her beauty. It’s truly something special.
3. Dustin’s father’s toast
Dustin and Claire were both very emotional on their wedding day. They both cried as she walked down the aisle towards him, and Claire teared up when her mother gave a touching toast. But when Joe’s father walked up with the mic, Joe started crying before a word was even said. This father and son have a wonderful, special bond, and it was amazing to witness.
2. Cortney and Craig’s First Look
The photo pretty much speaks for itself! Craig had NO idea Cortney had purchased a vintage 1960’s wedding dress. He expected his ex-model fiance to be in something modern and sleek, so he was FLOORED when he saw her gorgeous lace gown. He absolutely loved it! It was a perfect vintage wedding day.
And my NUMBER 1 favorite moment from 2015 was Monique’s dedicated “Father” dance!
Monique lost her father a few years ago, and was quite emotional that he wasn’t at her wedding. Her brother, who had given her away, took the microphone at the reception and said, “Every bride deserves to dance with her father on her wedding day. Our father isn’t here, so I’ve gathered all the men in her life that have been fathers to her, and she’ll dance with them all tonight.” Each wonderful surrogate father danced with her, including her brother, the sweetest brother there is.