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abday2blog-51As if one day of celebration wasn’t enough, Aileen and Ben had to prepare for a day 2!  Friday was a day filled with family and friends, and Saturday was the big reception that both families had been preparing for.  We work up Saturday morning, and there was the rain.  Family and friends were at the church setting up the reception, frosting cupcakes and preparing for the evening.  As the time for hair appointments came around, the rain was in full effect and had no mercy.  As the time to celebrate inched closer, the rain took a break and we were able to get out for a short bridal session at the Griffith Rock Quarry just up the road in Penryn.  Before we knew it, it was time to head over to the reception and see all the hard work that paid off to create the vision Aileen & Ben had for their Lothlorien Forest reception.  The ceiling was draped with lights and chandeliers created custom for them, and the room was filled with friends and family from near and far.  Surprises trickled through the night, with a cardboard cut out of Aileen’s cat to our dad singing “L’Chaim” as his father of the bride toast.  Before they knew it, it was time to send these newlyweds off on their newest adventure together and wrap up a weekend of events that the past months had been leading up to.
As I do with all couples I spend wedding days with, I wish these two all the best in their new adventure together.  I still find it hard to believe the baby of the family is officially married off and back in Idaho continuing her schooling and making memories with her new husband.  How the years have flown by, and what a journey they are just on the very tip of beginning.  Congratulations again, you two 🙂
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abday1blogIt is hard to believe this day has come and gone already, and that these two have been married for just over a month!  April 8th, 2016 was a whirlwind of a day, not just as a photographer or a bridesmaid, but as a big sister.  Aileen and Ben drove home just a few hours after Aileen finished her finals in Idaho, arriving here in California around 6am Thursday morning.  My cousin Lisa and I took her out for some cheesecake and girl time before her big day.  Before we knew it, Friday was here and it was time these two had been waiting months for.  The front half of my parent’s home turned in to preparation central, as our hairstylist Jolee set up in the living room for Aileen while Lisa was doing makeup and hair in the kitchen as well.  After all the preparations, and a special moment with Aileen’s fur baby Mushu, we headed down the road for Aileen to have a first look with our dad –  a special request from my mom after having seen Natalie & Jenna‘s first looks with their dads.  Ben arrived, and then the two newlyweds to be shared a first look of their own before they headed off to get married.  These two were sealed in the Sacramento LDS Temple in Rancho Cordova, surrounded by family and friends, and after a day full of crossed fingers, made it through the entire day without getting rained on.  After portraits were done around the temple, we headed to a church building in Granite Bay for a small family reception and dinner.  Since the ceremony inside the temple was private and personal, Aileen & Ben took a moment to share some thoughts about their new marriage with all the friends and family that were in attendance as well as exchange rings.  After a few toasts, the evening wrapped up and these two were on their way to rest before the big festivities the next day.
It was an incredible honor to be able to have a few different roles on my sister’s wedding day, and call it crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Sister, photographer & bridesmaid all rolled up in to one made for a lot of things to have done and lists to check off as the day went on.  As you could probably tell I actually am in some of the photos as well, which I owe all to Doug of Doug Miranda Photography.  He really helped out a TON, and I couldn’t ask for better support on such a momentous occasion in the family.  Thanks Doug!
Aileen & Ben – It had been quite the journey leading up to this day, full of ups, downs and new beginnings.  I wish you two all the best in your new adventure together.
One day down, one more soon to follow.  Be sure to check in soon to see photos from Saturday’s bridal portrait session and evening reception!

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I met Heather back in January at the Sacramento Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show, along with a few hundred other brides.  Amid the chaos, we were able to chat a bit and then parted ways.  Fast forward a few weeks, and I received an e-mail saying that Heather was the grand prize winner for and engagement session!  We met at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Fair Oaks, which was where they would spend their early days of dating as they lived close by.  The weather couldn’t have been better, with gorgeous lighting just before sunset.  You could feel the love between Heather & her fiance Kerry, and we got more time to chat about their wedding day plans as we walked the trails in the area.  Heather & Kerry are on their way to a wonderful life together, and I am thrilled that I was lucky enough to document these moments for them.  Congratulations again, you two!

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mjengagement-23
I’m sure I can guess what you’re all thinking… Didn’t we see a lot from Melissa & Jared’s engagement session already?
Yes, yes you did!  When we went out for their original engagement session in February, time was of the essence.  All the locations were equally fantastic and we could have easily spent SO much time at each one.  Unfortunately when we got to the DeYoung Museum on that day, we walked up in high spirits to find them closing the entrance gate right in front of our eyes.  On the plus side, this ended up meaning another trip to San Francisco where we got to focus specifically on this one location and it was fantastic.  We kicked things off at the DeYoung as planned, making use of the area in the open area right in front of the entrance.  After a quick wardrobe change we crossed over to the science museum and used the lush greenery that was perfect!  I had such a blast spending time with these two lovebirds again and hear more about the adventure of their wedding planning!

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MJengaged-7I’ve come to know Melissa quite well the past few years, more so than I really did when we were in the high school marching band together.  I’ve joined her for many game nights and girls nights, costume parties and college graduations, and even dance and theater performances.  Melissa took the stage in the spring 2014 production of “Cats” and coincidentally, so did Jared.  What started out as a friendship between two musical theater enthusiasts grew to be much more.  By the fall, the two were much closer in their friendship, and on October 1st of that same year Jared and Melissa shared their first official date and the rest quickly became history.  Melissa and Jared have become quite the paring, enjoying everything from science fiction movies and conventions to musical theater shows and Disneyland trips.  Not only acting as performers, but these two have shared their love for theater by teaching multiple mini musicals together for young children within the community.  A perfect balance of arts and science, Melissa and Jared spent the year growing together on their journey.  Jared knew early on that Melissa was the one for him, and a year to the day they began their relationship, Jared went down on one knee in the most magical land and asked Melissa to be his bride.  You guessed it, right in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland.  Literally a dream come true, am I right??  In the midst of it all, Melissa asked me to stand by her side as a bridesmaid and I couldn’t be more honored.  Well, that was until she asked me to spend a day with them in their hometown away from home, San Francisco, for some truly special to them engagement photos!  We spent the day hopping around the city, kicking things off at their favorite Starbucks in Laurel Heights.  From there, we popped over to Potrero Hill for an amazing view of the city from the top of the hill.  A quick stop at the DeYoung Museum was rounded off with the day ending at Baker Beach with a sunset that couldn’t have been any clearer for us.  I am so excited to celebrate with these two this year starting their new adventure together.  Of course, the journey as Mr & Mrs begins on October 1st 🙂

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  • April 28, 2016 - 9:02 pm

    Melissa & Jared » photogbyem.com - […] & Jared’s engagement session already? Yes, yes you did!  When we went out for their original engagement session in February, time was of the essence.  All the locations were equally fantastic and we could have […]ReplyCancel

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AM-blog-10

I absolutely love when long time friends contact me about photographing their wedding and April is no exception to that!  I have known April for at least 10 years since high school, and even photographed her younger sister Robin for senior portraits back in 2012.  I just love the way they met, as it was in a way totally unique to them.  As far back as I can remember, April has been in to geocaching, and from month to month, attended various meet ups within the community.  April and Mike met nearly two years ago at an event being held in Napa.  Their relationship took off in July of that same year, this time out in Yosemite at another Geocache event.  Since then, these two have shared this hobby together, and even take the time to find a cache together every day.  April and Mike were looking for an outdoor location that was woodsy and cozy, and I think we found the perfect place!  A friend of our suggested Scott’s Flat Lake out in Nevada City, so we made the trek up there together at the beginning of December.  As we drove, it rained off and on the entire drive.  As we got to the reservoir, it continued to rain some more.  April and Mike we real troopers the entire time, even crossing through some mud just to get the perfect spot – and kudos to April doing it all in heels!  April even took the time to make some holiday props to make these photos extra special for this time of year.
I am so excited that a fun session with these two rounds out the year for 2015, and I cannot wait for their June wedding next summer!
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