Jenna and Kaj Darlington House Wedding, La Jolla


From Jenna and Kaj's first encounter at a Frat formal, to a proposal in Spain at the Parque del Retiro in Madrid; this couple topped it all off with yesterdays stunning Darlington House wedding. The Darlington House is a great representation of these two and their adventurous spirits, with the inspiration for their weddings' theme coming from their travels in Spain.  With accent colors of Pinks, Corals, Sage Green and Gold , that all perfectly reflected the colors of the Venue.

I love how weddings bring families and friends together and collectively we all are there to witness and help create a new family. From sweet loving speeches, to tender moments with parents, and dancing and celebrating with friends, it's all a whirlwind of over-whelming and happy memories. And I get to be the one to help record and create an heirloom.

This wedding was beyond lovely, and for me it was even more special because I was able to return not only as a photographer but a past Darlington House bride. It was so sweet to live and record this day with Jenna and Kaj, and have it in every moment remind me of my own wedding. 

Jenna and Kaj, I hope you are relaxing today and enjoying your first day as Husband and Wife. And Hopefully these images bring some extra joy to this already joyous weekend. 




Big shout out to all the amazing vendor for putting together this stunning event:

Photographer: Great Woodland Photography

2nd Shooter: Brittanee Taylor Photography

Photography Assistant: Jax Connolly Photography

Day of Coordinator: Jessica Mattly Blue Stocking Events

Venue: Darlington House

Dress Shop: Tour of Elegance

Dress Designer: Stella York

Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew

Groom's Suit: Macy's - Calvin Klein

Bride's Shoes: INC

Caterer: 24 Carrots Catering

Rentals: Raphael's Party Rentals

Florist: Lois Mathews - Lois Mathews Design

Baker: Debbie McLaughlin - Cakes to Celebrate

DJ: DeeJay Swiss

PhotoBooth: Instant Memories Photobooths

Lighting: Brilliant Event Lighting

Hair and Makeup: Haydee - Bridal by Haydee


What's a "First Look" and why you should do it!

When I first heard about doing a “First Look” from my wedding photographer I knew it was the ideal situation for my wedding day, but I was worried I would be missing out. But I was soooo WRONG! Not only did Eddie and I share a First Look on our wedding day, I encourage all my future brides and grooms to do one as well! First Looks are amazing and SO incredibly helpful to photographers! Here are the top reasons I hear against wanting to do First Looks: 1. Family/ moms expectations 2. The Bride wants that WOW moment to be when she is coming down the aisle and 3. Way too non-traditional.

Well, my answer to brides and grooms that are thinking about doing a first look is:

I love families, buuuuutttt it’s your wedding and you do what you want lady.  

I also understand wanting him to be wowed as you come down the aisle. Understandable, I wanted that too! The thing is, he is still going to be “in awe” of you coming down the aisle no matter what. Eddie still cried his eyes out when I came down the aisle (seriously we even paused the ceremony for me to tell him to breath), even though we had seen each other maybe 20 minutes earlier.  The moment you walk down the aisle is so incredible that it doesn’t lose that feeling if you see each other before hand.  Eddie can attest that even though we saw each other, when I walked down the aisle, it was still the most memorable part of our ceremony.

True, this is a non-traditional concept but here some of my reasons you should consider it:

·      Your guests will not have to wait for you to arrive at your reception for sometimes over an hour! When do portraits after the ceremony, (family, bridal party, romantic portraits and then travel to the reception) that usually takes an hour and a half (yes it takes that long), sometimes longer if the couple wants a ton of awesome portraits of just the two of them! Because this is so time consuming, it often leads to rushed portraits and can cause unnecessary stress for the Bride and Groom because they aren’t enjoying their portraits together, they are worrying about their waiting guests.

·      A first look allows you to have some alone time. When couples decide to see each other for the first time in private, it is an emotional moment that the two of them share and it’s so incredibly intimate. And for me it’s so awesome getting to be there and document it.  This is a time when you get to love on each other, for the groom to tell his bride how beautiful she is. AND as a bonus this moment serves as a once in a lifetime photo opportunity for me. You look amazing and this is a chance for your groom to tell you, versus waiting till after the ceremony.

·      Couples that choose a first look end up with about 40% more portraits than those who do not opt for the First Look. PLUS the bride’s makeup is still intact (sometimes tears from the ceremony can require a makeup touchup and this can take 15 minutes).

·      It calms both of your nerves, but this is especially huge for the groom. Eddie and I talked about it after the fact and he was in full freak out mode until we had our first look. ALL grooms that have experienced a First Look admit that seeing their bride beforehand eases the wedding day shakes and allows them to relax and enjoy the ceremony!

·      Finally, a First Look is the answer to the wedding day timeline crisis!  It creates ample portrait time and allows the bride and groom to celebrate freely. AND you end up with more portraits than couples who don’t opt to do a first look.

Attention all late fall, winter and early spring brides…. you will most likely run out of great light for portraits after your ceremony. A First Look is a great solution for this issue!!

So while it is clear that I love first looks, I never absolutely never pressure my couples into doing them. I always give them the reasons why it’s a smart choice but if they really aren’t interested, OK. It’s their wedding day! It’s my job to make them happy and to help them have a great time and a solid schedule for pictures. It’s your decision, no judgement. I’ll make your day as perfect as possible. I get that it is a BIG decision but I have never had a couple that wasn’t happy that they decided to go for it!

Moody Mermaid Wedding Style Shoot at La Jolla, WindanSea

I am so excited to share this Moody Mermaid style shoot I did a few weeks ago with some amazingly talented San Diego Vendors. I had the idea a long time ago, when I was getting married in La Jolla and discovered the Shack at WindanSea. The location just begs to be photographed. We all got our individual pieces together and made something beautiful and I am so proud!

So instead of trying to write about all the awesome things we did and how awesome they are,  I was so grateful that they all wrote a little blurb about what they did for our shoot. :) Enjoy! 



Cherished Rentals - The muted colors of the Terrain Collection from Cherished Rentals was an easy choice for this seaside tablescape. Each setting was adorned with intricate vintage silverware and chargers, then paired with an eclectic mix of mid-century glassware.  

Sweet Emma Lou - Sweet Emma Lou cooked up a dark chocolate semi naked cake adorned with beautiful florals and edible gold leaf. In addition, we created a intimate cake table set up with the help of amazing rentals with a macrame backdrop.

Black Lotus Design - Black Lotus Design provided the bridal bouquet, boutonniere, table centerpieces, arch flowers, garlands, flowers for the cake display and custom-dyed ocean-inspired azure ombre textiles. 

Dapper Vintage Rentals - Dapper Vintage Rentals providing speciality vintage rentals in San Diego, CA for weddings, soirees, photoshoots and events. Husband & Wife team, Josh & Maheli founded Dapper after planning their own wedding and giving it that vintage touch. Dapper vintage rentals provided unique chairs for the table setting set-up, mint blue settle for the lounge, and cake display table.

theMINTERY, founded by Angela Fowler, is a creative studio specializing in event styling + furniture revival - creating, building, and refurbishing personalized pieces to bring out the unique face of each project. She constructed a 12' arch from found branches courtesy of a local ranch in Alpine, refurbished and styled the Queen Anne table used in the tablescape and created the bride's shell crown.

Made by Meer - Nikki Meer, owner of Made by Meer, created a watercolor invitation suite with a blue wash to mimic the ocean. She hand painted place cards and a table number to match. A wooden "Cheers" sign adorned the cake table and a fabric love quote was painted for the bride and groom to hold. 


Photography: Great Woodland Photography

Calligraphy: Made by Meer

Styling and Design:  theMintery

Decor and Furniture Rentals: Dapper Vintage Rentals

Floral Design: Black Lotus Design

Cake Designer: Sweet Emma Lou

Hair and Makeup: Natalie Pittman

Bridal Gown: Elle Bridal Boutique

Female Model: Arta from The Arta Facts

Male Model: Ramsey