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san diego mission bay wedding – grace + john

Be warned. This post is LOADED with tons of cute rustic details from Grace + John’s outdoor/backyard themed wedding. You may remember these 2 from their “love + basketball” themed engagement shoot that included a perfectly, non-sweaty bride-to-be playing basketball followed by a cute picnic in the Santa Monica Mountains. Grace + John’s wedding took place around the beautiful marina in San Diego that is called Mission Bay. Of the many times Dougie + I visited San Diego we’ve never ventured on this side of town. It was nice to get to know San Diego outside of its downtown area.

 Working with Grace + John was an absolute photographer’s dream. They were both so kind, genuine, and sweet towards one another. And towards me, they treated me like I was one of their many close friends. In fact, the minute I showed up for Grace’s prep on their wedding day, she handed me a ‘Thank You’ gift. Wow. I haven’t even finished shooting the wedding, but already I had a little surprise! And boy do I LOVE surprises. I opened up my little gift bag, and inside was 2 large pints of my favorite (as well as the Groom’s favorite) Belgian beer — Delirium Tremens! How did they absolutely know this is the only beer I will drink?? Well, thanks to my Instagram and a few mentions here and there. ;)I especially love when my clients know me so well outside of ‘photography’, because it means we’re on the same page and I can deliver work that meets their expectations as well.

I loved this wedding for its laid back simplicity. Grace + John wanted a relaxed wedding that resembled something like a backyard kickback with a little DIY rustic charm. Did they execute? They sure did! There was a pit fire with s’mores, giant Jenga, ladder golf, and a lot of dancing towards the end of the night. The grey burlap linens, wine crates, the adorable cake topper and wild flowers added to the rustic charm. There’s nothing that excites me more when a couple decides to do something a little different that represents them and their entire group of family and friends.

Congratulations, Grace + John! The 2 of you have something special that will last you a lifetime. I was especially touched by all the speeches, which left a tear in my eyes. It’s refreshing to see when both families embrace each other and couldn’t be any happier to see 2 people unite. Dougie and I wish you nothing but the absolute best in your future together!! xo


The next few shots have to probably be one of my favorite non-First Looks! Grace + John decided to not ‘see’ each other before the ceremony but still wanted to exchange gifts. These 2 are so in tune with one another that they even bought the same greeting card to one another!

Associate Photographer: Tai Nguyen // Ceremony: The Immaculata, Univ of San Diego // Reception: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay // Dress: Kathy Ireland for Mon Cheri // Bride’s Shoes: Vera Wang & Air Jordan Retro 1’s // Hair + Makeup: Makeup by Jill // Cake: Babycakes San Diego // Linens: DIY hand-sewn burlap runners // Signage & other little details: DIY with support from Grace’s entire wedding party // Coordinator: Suzette Lam // Florist: Kathleen Castagnoli

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