“You don’t marry the person you can live with—you marry the person you can’t live without.”
Manny + Destiny
Well, you guys, I have officially shot my first out of Texas wedding - and it was everything I could've wanted and dreamed of... and MORE!
I went to California to capture the wedding of Manuel (Manny) & Destiny.
On Tuesday, February 1st, I flew from DFW to Los Angeles, California, and landed at LAX. I got a rent-a-car and headed to the Hyatt Regency in Westlake Village, CA.
The weather was SO amazing. Considering back home in Texas, it was sleeting, icy, snowy, and rainy - so, I went to California at the most perfect time.
After I got checked in and settled, I drove from my hotel to Malibu, where the wedding would be taking place, and went to scope out the venue, the Malibu West Beach Club and it was a sight to see.
As I got ready for the next day, I prepped for the wedding all while charging my many batteries to make sure I was ready for the big day.
As I woke up on 2/2/22, I heard a lot of wind outside and as I opened my balcony door, I felt it - it was extremely windy. I was hoping it wouldn't affect the big day as Malibu was 30 minutes away and hopefully the weather there was better.
I met the groom, Manny, on the morning of the wedding. As I heard a knock at my door, I answered it and there Manny was, standing there holding my Chick-Fil-A breakfast that had just arrived. Manny came down to my room to meet and go over wedding stuff beforehand and you could see the pre-wedding jitters getting to him. He was so excited (and nervous) for the big day ahead but, I could tell he was extremely excited.
He said he was really tired and I happened to have an extra Bang Energy Drink so I gave it to him to help wake up.
After showering and getting dressed, I headed down to Manny's room to get photos of the guys getting ready for the day. I met all the groomsmen, Manny's father, and Destiny's father, and everyone was just extremely awesome and welcoming. After spending an hour there with the guys, it was time to head off to Malibu and to the venue to see Destiny and all her bridesmaids.
With a high of 62 and a low of 48, the day was beautiful. The weather was absolutely outstanding and the view was BREATHTAKING. The front of the venue was colder than the back as the front was mostly shaded while the back had the sunshine and view.
I met Destiny and all of her bridesmaids and they were already having a ball and getting ready to celebrate these two lovebirds.
I also met the wedding coordinator, Alexa of The Wedding Planner LA and some of her assistants.
I got all the detail, venue and getting ready photos done - all that was left was the dress. And let me tell you, this dress was super heavy. It was probably the heaviest dress I've ever dealt with... but oh my gosh, it was so worth it because it was absolutely gorgeous.
We hung it in the doorway going to outside of the deck so the sun was hitting it and it was sparkling and shining in all its glory. After about 10 or so minutes of it hanging, it finally gave and broke the hanger, haha. I've never had a dress do that before - but, all was fine with the dress! The hanger, on the other hand, has seen better days, haha.
After we got Destiny in her dress and her grandma got her all tied into it, the next thing we know, it's time for the ceremony to start!
Everyone took their seats but, not before everyone got a look at the absolutely stunning charcuterie setup that was set up by Bonappécheese, behind them. Truly spectacular!
The ceremony went off without a hitch and everything was beautiful and perfect. The view, the bride and groom and of course, the kiss!
And man oh man, Manny couldn't hold back his emotions when he saw his gorgeous bride. It was amazing. (We, as photographers, love an emotional groom!)
Also, remember how I said how windy it was? It was crazy because when the ceremony started, it was like the wind knew and stopped completely - it was perfect.
Then, the fun part started - the post-ceremony photos. Normally, this is the most chaotic part of the day. Because you just finished the ceremony, everyone is hyped and is trying to talk to the bride and groom and everyone is just everywhere. But, not this wedding, everyone was pretty quick to get downstairs to the beach to start photos.
And one photo I just had to get was the wedding party/family on the beach with all the guests on the deck behind them (See photo below) - and it went perfect!
After taking many, many photos and popping a bottle of bubbly, we did some couples' portraits on the beach with the gorgeous Malibu sunset. It was seriously a sight to see and I am so happy to have captured it.
The reception was perfect as well. Lots of dancing, drinks, and delicious Mexican food by Playa Baja filled the room.
Music was jamming from DJ Joseph 'DJJLove562', beautiful floral arrangements from The Sweetest Blooms covered the tables and reception, a photo booth from Sweet Snaps Rental, bartending by Julie the Bartender, and even caricature artists of Jam Haven. This reception was LIT!
The reception had its typical dances, speeches/toasts, and whatnot but what was really a highlight is when we did the garter toss and Manny thought he was about to get the garter off of Destinys leg - but, instead, Destiny ICEd him! And if you don't know what Icing" -- or "getting iced" -- is a drinking game. The rules are: if a person sees or is given a Smirnoff Ice, he or she must get down on one knee and chug it. The Smirnoff she Iced him with had the garter wrapped around it.
And in this case, not only did Destiny Ice Manny but the guy who caught the carter got Iced, as did the girl who caught the bouquet - it was too funny.
After a beautiful and special private last dance, the couple headed out surrounded by 'Love Wands' that Destiny actually made herself.
Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Mendoza!
Thank you guys for truly an amazing experience and for this opportunity to capture this amazing and beautiful wedding!!!!!
And I also loved that people were calling me "Tex" & "Texas", haha.
I look forward to many more shoots with you guys and good times ahead in the future!
I could go on and on and on from this wedding and experience but, I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.
Also, I'll leave you with this..... Let's get h.... well... if you were at the wedding or in it, you know what this saying is, haha.
Appetizer Display - @bon_appecheese
Bar - @julie.the.bartender
Caricature Artists - @jamhaven
Catering - Playa Baja
Coordinating / Planning - @theweddingplannerla
Dress - @glaudibyjohanahernandez
DJ - @djjlove562
Florist - @thesweetestblooms
Hair / Makeup - @1stopbeautybar
Invitations - @zazzle
Officiant - Carlos Medina
Photography - @baughtography
Photo Booth - @sweetsnapsrental
Rentals - @malibupartyrents
Transportation - @uber
Tuxedos - Premium BeSpoke Tailor
Venue - @malibuwestbeachclub
Videographer - @a.colored.mind
Thanks for reading!