The Best of 2011 Series – Wedding Ceremonies

Last year one of my favorite posts I did was at the end of the 2010 year to in a single post pick my top 10 or so wedding photos of the year and also engagement photos, it was neat looking back on not only the year of hard work but seeing all of the happy brides and grooms we were fortunate to have had the chance to work with.  I have been meaning to do the same thing, and then I thought of a new idea, a better idea, to recap the year by category.  Things like my favorite reception photos, getting ready photos, ceremony photos, bridal party etc…so I hit the ground running this morning and have compiled some of my very favorite ceremony photos from this last year. Not every single wedding will be featured in every single category, but I can just about guarantee all weddings will be featured in at least 1 category of this blog if your wedding isn’t shown yet, just stay tuned – it will be 🙂

Now before we get on with the photos just a few more notes about this post, this series of posts and why I think these posts will be for sure some of the most important/interesting/aesthetically pleasing posts of this last year – by breaking down the photos into categories you will now be able to see numerous photos that you would typically never see posted on wedding photo blog.  Most photographers when blogging a wedding will focus that respective post primarily around the bride and groom portrait shots with the photographer, with a smattering of getting ready/details/reception etc… Is there anything wrong with this?  Of course not, I do it too, space is a premium and as much as us photographers would like to showcase ALL of our favorites from the day we are always forced to scale down the post to the best of the best photos that “make the cut” – circling back to today’s post, ceremony shots are one category that get pushed aside the most in terms of being showcased in a blog post typically, but not today.  Today is ALL about the ceremony 🙂

Another reason why I think this series will be very interesting for viewers is I will be doing my best to add insight and notes about the photos shown, either, why I took the shot, why I love the shot, etc…  Yes – I will do my very best to let you all into what goes into my mind while taking these photos, it should be interesting.

One thing I love about ALL of the photos shown today is they are all candid, in the moment shots.  One of my new couples that recently booked with us told me something pretty cool – “we picked you because you catch the little moments that can easily go unnoticed”

Well….on with ceremony “moments” from 2011 – I hope you enjoy, please feel free to leave feedback in the comment section 😉  Also – if you’d like to check out any of their wedding posts in its entirety just click on their name!

Brittany & Alex

Nicole got this photo of Brittany & Alex as they just start walking back down the aisle wins the award for my favorite ceremony shot of 2011.  I love the emotion on Brittany and Alex’s face, love the sporadic rose pedals being thrown in the air falling, and of course Alex’s dad giving him a congratulatory kiss on the cheek.  My hats off to Nicole for this one, gorgeous shot!

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On their way down the aisle, this was the first photo right after she turned the corner and could actually see Alex standing waiting for his bride…you can really tell the emotion and whats going through the head of all 3 of them in this photo.

Alex’s first sight of Brittany – overwhelmed with emotion.   I know because I was in his shoes at that same moment 6 months prior.

Jackie & Gerry

Well…now that’s a man-hug there!  Lots of love between these two.

admiral kidd wedding

Jackie and Gerry were given a picture perfect day for their wedding at the Admiral Kidd Club – San Diego at its finest right here

admiral kidd wedding

Love these candids of each of them – having fun, excited and the black and white helps the mood and candidness – timeless, I don’t think this photo will ever get old.

admiral kidd wedding

One of my favorite photos to get is the moment right after the first kiss – love this series below of this fun loving couple.

admiral kidd wedding

Halley & Chad

This first photo I selected because this is a perfect example of a photo that the bride and groom will get and see but often doesn’t get showcased in a blog post.  This casual exchange happened right after Chad escorted his mother and father down to their seats – judging from their expressions its clear Chad was excited for his bride to come on down and I think his dad was just very proud and happy for his son.

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Love this shot of Chad (upper left) as he sheds a tear as Halley is escorted down the aisle.

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The below sequence was from when the officiant asked who would like to read their vows first and Halley abruptly blurted loudly – CHAD WILL!  Her nervousness/excitement in that moment made for a good round of laughs for all and I just snapped away (while laughing too!)

los willows wedding

These are the shots that are just fun to look at and look at every single persons face and their expression and wonder what they are thinking right at that moment…Halley’s family.

These last two are just a cool angle looking back upon the guests and crowd but of course the focal point and what I love most about the photo is their faces and the way they are looking at each other.

los willows wedding

Janna & Chris

Another shot where I just love the candidness and Janna’s expression looking at her groom.

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Sarina & Anthony

My favorite church to shoot at is USD’s Founders Chapel – below is one of those must have shots to get of this gorgeous chapel.

USD Founders Chapel Wedding

As with the photo above, once again wanting to compose the shot to include the beautiful architecture of the chapel and the sepia edit I feel gives it a very old school & traditional feel.

USD Founders Chapel Wedding

Working some different angles here getting low down the aisle….love the slight reflection of Sarina onto the floor from the natural window light.

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Cerise & Vivek – Catholic Ceremony

This vintage photo journalistic series was taken right after their Catholic ceremony held at Founders Chapel as well.  I really just love the getaway and the vintage feel of it all.  Played up the old school glam feel of it since the getaway car was an old Rolls-Royce.

USD Founders Chapel Wedding

I shot this photo while we were driving behind them and stopped at a light – my favorite part of the photo is it literally looks like it could be in San Diego in the 1940s or 1950s.

USD Founders Chapel Wedding

Jen & Matt

Jen & Matt got married at The Bahia Hotel – the ceremony site was gorgeous and a full blown lush garden, photographing it from other angles to get their faces though was a challenge.  This photo below was shot through  some palm trees and the gazebo – at the time I was wishing for a clearer shot with less “stuff” in “the way” but I really like the shot as is, especially since all the extra stuff clears out for her face.

Definitely wanted to include a cool shot of the pretty venue, thought the sun rays coming through right at the start of the ring exchange was a good touch 😉

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My favorite part of this photo is having both sides of the family congratulating them each at the same time.  Just a crisp, clean and cool shot.

bahia hotel san diego wedding

Cerise & Vivek – Hindu Ceremony

This was undoubtedly the most colorful, jubilant, and interesting wedding ceremony of the year.  There are so many neat photos I got from here it was hard to scale them down to just my favorites…I won’t give any additional words for this set of photos – they all rock

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Mary & Matt

I love this photo because it shows the different generations by having Mary’s son as the ring bearer and Mary and her father walking behind.  Also – isn’t it funny/cute how carefully he is holding the rings – talk about an “A” for effort!

westgate hotel san diego wedding

The sepia tones for these two photos compliment the timelessness and charm of The Westgate Hotel well.

westgate hotel san diego wedding

Kelley & Travis

Nicole got this overhead shot of Kelley and Travis as they are fleeting back down the aisle to start their new lives together…

Maaike & David

Sometimes just catching the gaze between the bride and groom is all you need as with Maaike & David below 🙂

Marisa & Michael

Just can’t help but love the excitement of Marisa’s face here…

…and the lucky groom anxiously waiting.

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Diana & Brian

Another superb performance by this little ring bearer!

Another great Nicole shot – always fun to look at everyone’s facial expressions from this perspective.

These two are always laughing – so these two shots below showcase that part of their personality quite well 🙂

Another “San Diego” shot to incorporate the gorgeous surroundings of their big day.

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Ok…well maybe this photo below is my favorite ceremony photo of the year, taken at the San Diego Botanic Gardens.  I love the happiness and gaze on both of our faces – yes that is a photo of yours truly if you didn’t know 🙂

san diego botanic gardens wedding


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