This was one of the most relaxed weddings I’ve had the pleasure of photographing! It was a small but beautiful outdoor wedding, with only family and the closest of friends. The bride and groom were able to focus on each other, with no pressure to perform. This intimate California ranch wedding held at Highland Springs Ranch & Inn was calm, unique, and had lots of love and laughter.
I always wonder how a couple’s first look will go down, because it’s never the same.
Each couple is so different, so it’s always interesting.
The bride had to use double-sided body tape to keep the straps of her wedding dress positioned correctly. During the first look between her and the groom, when she revealed said tape to her soon-to-be husband, he couldn’t stop laughing!
There was even more laughter as he stepped on a wood stump to elevate himself for some photos – as you can see from some of the behind-the-scenes shots! What you see in photos vs. what actually happened are always fun and hilarious to look at!
Doing a first look allows you to shake off nerves and just have fun together before the ceremony – and make some hilarious memories to savor forever!
Making time for a first look before the ceremony is a great idea for those who want more photos together. The bride’s walk down the aisle will still be as magical as ever, even with the first look.
Despite having seen her already, Joe was still beaming and almost bursting with happiness to see Abie walk down the aisle towards him.
The venue at Highland Springs provided delicious lavender scones, and the fragrance brought a sense of calm and peace to the day. Lavender happens to be my favorite scent for essential oils, so it was nice to have a lovely scent throughout the day.
The smell of lavender perfumed the air before we snuck out for some intimate sunset photos during the reception.
I always encourage couples to slip away for a few moments to enjoy their first sunset together as a married couple. Sunset portraits allow you to take a moment away from the crowd to really enjoy each other’s presence and quietly absorb the day.
Sunset photos are probably my favorite part of the day for weddings (after the first look, of course!).
As a newly wedded couple, you get to enjoy a few quiet moments to yourselves as a married pair – during the best time of day with the most glorious lighting.
What’s not to love?!
Sunset photos usually end up being a couple’s favorite to frame in their new home, so if you’re planning your own wedding, don’t skimp out here when making your timeline!
A quick getaway during the reception for you two to enjoy a quiet moment together is always a good idea.
The day of the wedding can get hectic and pass by in a blur as you entertain your guests and celebrate. Don’t be afraid to make some time to get away from the crowd for a bit to take it all in with your sweetheart and simply enjoy each other’s presence. It’s your day, after all! 🙂
Having a California intimate wedding can mean a simple, intentional day full of meaningful moments.
Discuss with your photographer ahead of time, and decide which photos are most important to you so you can protect that time. Make sure to leave enough time for sunset portraits so you can slow down, bask in the moment with your honey, enjoy the beautiful venue you carefully picked out, and have a breather – away from all of your guests.
The crowd can wait! Especially with the help of a great MC or DJ to keep the guests laughing and enjoying themselves! 🙂
Outdoor receptions with some simple lighting can be absolutely gorgeous!
The Maid of Honor’s Speech was by far my favorite part of the day. She was so genuine and heartfelt, and her speech brought everyone to tears.
Even if you don’t have a huge wedding, you can still invite guests and family members to give short speeches or toasts.
They’re usually so happy to do it, and it makes for such a memorable day.
After the reception, the bride gave a short speech thanking everyone and saying why she had invited the people who were here. She and the groom just wanted to spend time with people who had had an impact in their lives, without feeling the need to perform to meet expectations.
Each guest was carefully chosen with intention, making their wedding day meaningful and intimate.
It’s easy to get caught up in expectations when planning a wedding. But just remember that it’s for you, and for the people who are near and dear to your heart. In the end, a wedding doesn’t have to be a huge performance or a show. It’s what you (and your future spouse) want.
Invite the people closest to your heart. Keep it simple and intentional. Allow for emotion, but also allow for laughter and happy tears.
Create a wedding day that’s what YOU want, and I promise you won’t regret it. xo
The amazing wedding vendor team:
Wedding Coordination & Styling: Joyfully Co
Videography: Lion Tales Creative
Florist: Jovial Floral Co
Venue + Catering: Highland Springs Ranch & Inn
MC: Daniel Cho
Calligraphy: Carina Cheung Design
Wedding Gown: LeeHwa Wedding