Her vows were perfect. Hand-written and crafted full of awe, gratefulness, and goals over promises. They tugged at heartstrings and were infused with laughter and tears. Jami poured all of herself into those words that she chose to speak to Dan as he became her husband.
And then it was Dan’s turn. Apparently ‘his’ self matches ‘her’ self perfectly because the first 3 lines of what he spoke were nearly identical to hers. If the words weren’t so very specific to the walk these two have had together one might’ve wondered if there was a handbook on how-to-write-your-own-vows involved. They both spoke in awe about how the other exceeded even their own hopes of a dream mate for themselves. And the fact that it was someone who had been right under their nose, having known each other since high school, but watching now how God saved this perfect connection for His own perfect timing. Those beautiful sentiments aside, the rolls of laughter that came with Dan’s echo of Jami’s words were incredible. I’ve never seen an entire room in full-on side stitches during so much of a ceremony. The joy was the kind you want to wrap up and save for a lousy day because you absolutely cannot think about it and not smile. It’s also the kind that brings tears of joy. Big, elephant-sized tears of joy. *Here’s a secret. I tear up at nearly every wedding. It’s usually just a little guy welled up in the corner of my eye that I can hide quite well behind that big old camera of mine. Well joy like *this kind* for my friend that I’ve known so very long and through many different walks of life was apparently a bit too much for me that day. Let’s just say that if any of the guests did not know how far back Jami and I go, they probably thought I was the weirdest, craziest photographer around. Because there was NO hiding those tears. Ohhh, if only I could ⌘-Delete a moment.
Jami and Dan, I am filled with the greatest joy for you two. You are two of the kindest, most incredible people and you truly deserve every ounce of what has been stored up for you. I am so grateful to have gotten to be a part of your amazing day, and even more grateful to call you friends. I love you guys!!!
So now, prepare to be distracted by a whole lot of amazing. I had the really unique, incredible opportunity to be a part of this fabulous wedding day which was the first one held at the Chuck Jones Gallery in Costa Mesa. The awesome (and brilliant) people behind 24 Carrots have bought it and will be using it to host weddings on the weekends, and allowing the Children’s Center to continue on during the week! I absolutely love how they are keeping the arts alive, and yet now offering a truly to-die-for event space for weddings. It is a dream venue because it’s a blank slate for any couple to perfectly infuse their own style into, and the light inside is just beautiful! And I will absolutely gush about Heather Hoesch of LVL Events who put together the whole epic affair. It was not only completely breathtaking and perfectly reflective of Jami and Dan’s style, it went off without a hitch. Everyone who made the day happen was so kind, helpful, efficient and fun that it makes me want to work with them as much as possible! And a million thanks to Candice Benjamin who is just the best second shooter I could hope for and just simply a blast to spend the day with.
Now the eye candy…enjoy!!!
Can’t go wrong starting off with Jami’s stunning bouquet by Inviting Occasion.
Jami and Dan opted to see each other for a private first look before their ceremony, so because we didn’t know how crowded the area around Chuck Jones might be that day we decided to have a moment just for them at a local park near where they live. There are a dozen reasons I love when couples choose to have this, but it’s primarily because of the way it calms the nerves and allows for such a relaxed rest of the day. Just see for yourself.
That and the groom’s priceless reaction when he gets to have it without a sea of people staring them down.
I have to admit…when Jami told me the gallery was in a “shopping center”, I had a mild panic attack. Then when I went to see for myself, I realized it was only the kind of shopping center that would exist in gorgeous Southern California. I could’ve shot there all day long.
And then this was waiting for me inside. I think I squealed out loud.
This beautiful venue is so spacious that the gallery has a private area for cocktail hour just outside. Love it!
Seriously?? I feel like this bridal party looks like they belong in Vogue.
Here’s where the world’s-best-and-funniest-vows happened.
The light all around the gallery is just unbelievable!
And I couldn’t get away without paying homage to the wonderful cartoonist Chuck Jones who’s gallery provided the perfect backdrop for Jami and Dan’s wedding. Just one.
And while we were busy strolling around the center, this is what Heather and her crew were up to inside. It was so beautiful I really didn’t even know what to do with myself. So I took pictures. Waaaay too many pictures.
Jami and Dan I think I’ve really not kept it a secret how much I adore you both and how grateful I am to have been a part of your gorgeous wedding day. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you both.