every once in a while a wedding comes along that just it out of the water. something so different, so exciting, so incredibly fun, that it reminds me why i do what i do. this time around, i have to thank sole and mariano for introducing the concept of wedding/music festival to me. from the first time i talked to sole on the phone we hit it off immediately. i remember we talked about music and life for well over 20 minutes before we realized we had literally said nothing about the wedding. fast forward a couple months, after their gorgeous engagement, and all the crazy wedding preparations and we find ourselves in a country home for a weekend of amazing music, ridiculous amounts of food, and a 3 day long pool party! did i mention they had an amazing band performing well into the night? all kinds of covers of classics, in a ridiculous amount of styles. by the end of the night sole and i even jumped on stage and joined the band to sing “wonder wall” by oasis. so what else could i possibly say? if you were there, these photos will take you back. if you weren’t there… i’m truly sorry you missed it!
rain rain go away, come again another day… preferably on a day that my little sister isn’t having a garden wedding. we spent half of the night wide awake, as lightning lit up the room and thunder roared directly above us. it was all a bit surreal, thinking that the wedding would be held in a garden in the morning. this was madrid, it’s not crazy like bilbao where rain could come at you at any moment. alameth and i shared a room, along with nervous laughs, about what we would be waking up to in the morning. sure enough, the day set out to a bit of a disastrous start… the rain didn’t subside, the hair dresser took longer than expected, we were showered by the storm while we dealt with bad traffic, and right when we were pulling into the parking lot… the bride got in a fender bender!
after shaking all of it off, filing paperwork, and frantically trying to get back on schedule… the ceremony started and every thing that went wrong seemed to trickle off, like the rain on the windows. she looked stunning, everyone’s eyes filled up with tears as dad walked her down the aisle. our little sister anna sang “a thousand miles” and we all breathed a sigh of relief. the rest? party time, of course! there was plenty of singing, bouncing, chanting, and cheer going around. in fact, at a given point even alameth and jose’s greyhound were brought over to them, as a surprise. i guess they didn’t want to miss out on their big day either! all’s well that ends well!
I don’t know how we met. As far back as I can remember, I have known Nicole and her family. I have spent summers with them, cheered at their softball games, and watched her grow up from a kid who pretended like she couldn’t stand me up until being a bride that books me all the way from spain. I will never let her forget that.
I met her husband-to-be at Dulles International Airport, where they came to pick me up and set on a four-hour drive to our engagement session beach location.
And then there was this. The day we had all been waiting for. she had a first look with her dad, dave, and i admit that i had to shove a tear or two back into my tear ducts. it is physically not possible for me to not smile when i look back on this wedding. seeing their house all set up for a wedding, helping out, and making sure hurricane irma wasn’t going to ruin all our fun! i’m telling you, there’s never a dull moment with these two. watching nicole getting married was like watching a little sister grow up. saying i do. having a first dance. i can’t even find the right words to explain… but i’m mostly just thankful. thankful that they chose me to write the beginning of their new life together. thankful that i got to see her with a man that makes her glow with happiness. and thankful that i got to be there to dance the night away and have great time with these two big kids. congratulations “squiggs” and “peanut”… never grow up!!
The day came and the day went, but it wasn’t without nerves, tears, and laughter. vanesa and will held a long long extra long distance relationship for what seemed like forever. made extra difficult not just by them being thousands of miles apart and on different time zones, but by will actually being at high sea more often than not. i remember when i first met her in french class, then helping her get a job and becoming coworkers, then came the beers after work, the heart-to-heart conversations, and the eventual wedding talk. i never told her (and i guess she is about to find out) how much i admired their dedication to each other. how strong she is. how she inspired me to love and to allow myself to be loved. and love… this day was all about it! so what else can i say? obviously everyone was gorgeous and the nerves quickly subsided and turned into a beautiful choreography of laughing and crying. they absolutely spoiled me during the whole work ay, making sure i had everything i needed and even that i got in a little dancing! i still remember how amazing it was to meet people that had travelled from so far away just to be there for them. see? i told you it was inspiring! at the end of it all i can only say that it was truly a blessing to be asked to be the one that would help them remember every face, smile, tear. forever.
vanesa + will: i love you guys! please continue to love on each other and on your friends and family the way only you know how. i am so sad to see you go, my dear vanesa, but i wish you the very best and cannot wait for our paths to cross again. you hold a special place in my heart. you once told me that to you i wasn’t just a photographer. needless to say, you weren’t just another client. i’m going to shut up now because i don’t want to cry in the middle seat on a full flight. kisses! mwah!
murcia, spain. unexplored territory. i flew down for a weekend to photograph inma + fernando’s wedding, and to be fair i wasn’t sure what to expect. i got it all wrong from the beginning since i thought i would never need a proper jacket in the south of spain. wrong. i also thought i could just pop into a large electronics store, or into the local h&m for whatever my last minute needs might be. wrong again. but after some minor setbacks and being able to resolve them quickly, there i was, with a borrowed jacket, discovering not only the charming little cobblestone street but most importantly the love shown to me by their people. i could go on and on about this small town that made me feel like a city girl 1,000 miles from home. i will spare you the details. all i can say is the experience was unlike any other, in the best way.
the wedding day started out like many others, light rain, big smiles, and big expectations. as soon as the ceremony started though, it was a beautiful display of southern spanish culture. from the traditional choir, to paying a visit to the virgin after the ceremony, i felt somewhat like a foreigner in my own country, but loved seeing different traditions standing strong in modern days. afterwards we took to a small road for portraits, then the formal dinner, and then after many surprises, it was time to let it all go on the dance floor. my favorite thing was definitely counting on inma and fernando’s fabulous fun-loving attitudes. ready to celebrate, to display their love, to go nuts. enjoying every single second… and i guess it was contagious because so did i!
looking back on this very special wedding i am filled with gratitude for being given the opportunity and the amazing amount of honor and responsibility, by two complete strangers, to travel hundreds of miles to be the one who gets to tell their love story. and what a story! as for me, all i can honestly say are those infamous three little words: i’ll be back.
we got lost in the woods. mye, miguel, and little marcus… that was the love triangle, their family, their story. we met in the natural reserve of urdaibai, and it was definitely worth the drive up there. the lush fall colors and all their surroundings just made everything look magical. i had always wanted to go there for a session and i think these guys were the perfect excuse to go. marcus insisted on wearing his robin hood costume, which made for some of the most memorable wedding portraits i’ve ever done! haha. as i look through these photos i think back to the wonderful time that we had, and all i can do is congratulate them on their new life together. so congratulations, mye and miguel, you found each other.
it was that time again. time for me to try to stay focused. time to think about light, composition, and exposure. time to shine. but admittedly it was a big distraction that in this particular wedding the bride was amber, my older sister. yes. try staying focused while having herds of people you haven’t seen in years stop and want to have small talk, while you’re trying to find the bride and stick to a timeline. ask any photographer and they will tell you that family weddings are a big challenge. nonetheless, it is a challenge that we are happy to take. and so there i was, calling my friend and second photographer pablo a few weeks earlier so he could be my backup. i would surely need it.
amber and sergio married on may 22nd, 2016. friends and family flew in and drove from all over the world in order to witness their love become lifelong commitment. not without their struggles, in the last couple of years they both had stuck together through thick and thin. through health issues and an unemployment stricken country. but they remained standing, they remained together. and so it was in this beautiful small chapel, that they committed to forever love, former encourage, and forever be husband and wife. it was a very emotional ceremony followed by delicious food and the most ridiculous dancing you could imagine. courtesy of our spanish relatives, of course. and so it is with a certain sense of nostalgia that i want to congratulate them for everything they’ve accomplished, everything they are, and everything they will be. i love you guys!
the view was breathtaking as i drove up to the venue where sergio and esther’s wedding would take place. the etxegana hotel and spa, borders the gorbea national park and on this particular day it was a little extra bright and beautiful. it was also incredibly hot, but nobody could be bothered by the sun when they had a full day of displays of love and plenty to celebrate. i want to give a special thank you to the wedding planner, janis vallejo, for making sure we stayed hydrated throughout the day! the guests were absolutely loving the cocktails and the view and went all out for their photos, turning up with some of the most hilarious and spontaneous guest photos i have to date. and of course, the bride and groom looked amazing, in love, and relaxed during the last few minutes of sun that we had before the day was over and the night celebrations began. all in all i have to say that looking back it was an absolutely gorgeous, fun, and unpredictable day and i am glad i was there to see it!
we’re on the countdown… in just a couple days sergio and esther are going to be saying their i do’s, and i thought it would be the perfect time to share their engagement session. i have to say, their adorable dog “thelma” totally stole the show. you see, sometimes when you are shooting on location people will stop and watch and see what you’re doing. occasionally pulling out a phone and taking their own photo, ha! but in this case people weren’t watching me, or even them, they were staring and smiling big at thelma. definitely one of my favourite dogs ever. so after answering a million questions about how the lovely wheelchair-bound dog gets around, we were able to have a fantastic time showing off their love for each other. it was also important to sergio that we show off his love for his local soccer team, the athletic club bilbao, so we got our team spirit, went to san mamas stadium, and boasted team colors and love-filled eyes. it got dark way too soon, i could have easily spent another hour or two with this fun couple. the good news for me is that it won’t be long until they get to be in front of my lens again. i can’t wait!