Monthly Archives: September 2010

Katy & Shaun’s Wedding day… as amazing as you’d expect and more!

You’ve now finished the appetizers I’ve been feeding you about Katy and Shaun’s wedding week and are ready for the main course… the wedding day.

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By now you’ve read about Katy and Shaun and you’ve seen the heart they put into planning their wedding week (if you missed all this, read part 1 and part 2) for their friends and family to enjoy so you know to expect nothing short of amazingness, in all it’s glory, on their wedding day.

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And you’d be quite right to expect that. No beauty was spared, no creative ideas left untouched as Katy and Shaun put all the details into their big day. Everything from big to small was perfect. (Instead of flower girls and ring bearers, they had the kids at the wedding hand out leis to the guests as they arrived). I’m sure some of this perfection came from their perfectly wonderful wedding coordinator, Melissa Laudise with Let’s Do This! Event Planning and Coordinating.  We had heard a ton about Melissa long before it was even time to head to Hawaii.  Katy and Shaun were absolutely thrilled with her… as were we once we got to meet and work with her!  She was so easy to work with and she was the perfect combination of relaxed and organized… in short, we have a professional crush on her. Her arrangement of all the sentimental and beautiful details that Katy and Shaun wanted included in their wedding was pulled off flawlessly, and she did it all with a casual kind of grace that can only be described as “Hawaiian Class”. Melissa lives in Hawaii but she’s not charging travel fees for any 2011 weddings!  So no matter where you live, if you still need a coordinator for your wedding day, give her a call! As you can see, the Kahaluu fishpond that Katy and Shaun got married on, also had a part to play in the beauty of the wedding day. I can’t believe how perfectly this place seemed to fit them.

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The little house the girls got ready in (one that President Obama stayed in on a visit by the way) was lit up all bright and beautiful and had a chill, down to earth feel… … sort of like Katy herself! Doesn’t she just beam?! I have to say that when Katy put on the wedding dress I absolutely lost my breath for a second!  She somehow managed to still look like herself, but also just like a Hawaiian princess! I’m not kidding, the entire day I couldn’t get over how beautiful she looked, I’m sure her face radiating happiness the way it was had a lot to do with it! It was at this house that Katy and Shaun had their reveal moment… …which they both agreed they were SO glad they did since  it made them feel more like a team as they prepared to walk down the aisle in front of all their family and friends… …and I’m sure it’s a moment that neither will ever forget. Since we loved the house so much, we went ahead and did all the group photos around there as well. (Someone shouted the cue and before I knew what was happening, they’d spelled out “Katy” with their arms!  Ha ha!). Once it was time for the ceremony, Katy pulled out all the stops by surprising her guests and coming across the lake on a canoe (that was being paddled by 2 of the groomsmen… who are obviously very trusted and have very good balance!). (He’s eagerly awaiting the arrival of his beautiful bride from across the water). Since I (Breanna) knew the canoe entrance was coming, that wasn’t the most surprising part of the ceremony to me… what was surprising was how emotional I got throughout the whole thing!  It was one of those times where I was constantly checking the viewer on my camera to make sure the mist from my eyes wasn’t fogging it up. I just know how excited they were about every single little part of their day since we’ve been talking with them about it for so long now. During the very first phone call we ever had with them, Katy and Shaun took great care to explain in detail, how much they wanted their wedding to be about joining them together before God and about the great love they shared with each other and with all the people surrounding them.  For as excited as they were about the actual wedding and reception, they were even more excited about the meaning behind it all. The location of the ceremony and reception couldn’t have been better… with beautiful tents set up for dinner, complete with my dearest decor love… white lights strung across a night sky. I’ve always dreamed of having the perfect nighttime garden party… and I think Katy and Shaun nailed my own dreams on the head! The cocktail hour area was stunning as well, with a magnificent view of the lake and couches to sit on while you stare at it and talk to your friends, it was the whole package. During this chill hanging out time guests were not only munching on amazing appetizers (called Pupus there), but also filling out postcards to mail to Katy and Shaun sporadically once they return home from their honeymoon. So they can look forward to getting different postcards from their wedding guests for a long time after their wedding day.  How fun is that?!  This idea is courtesy of Melissa’s special touch. After the cocktail hour and the dinner, we moved onto the toasts.  I heard some of the best speeches I’ve ever heard that night.  Maybe it’s because I’d spent all week getting to know the people who were giving the speeches… …but I felt like they were incredibly insightful and exceptionally beautiful.  I also heard one of the funniest speeches I’ve ever heard as one of the groomsmen read out loud a letter Shaun wrote him when he was in Jr. High. It was hilarious and such a great idea! During the speeches, it started raining.  But don’t worry, instead of taking away from the perfection of the day, it actually made it better! In Hawaii, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck and Shaun (who lived in Hawaii for awhile growing up) was really hoping they’d get “the blessing”, but he also didn’t want it to spoil any of their plans.  So after the 20 min. of rain we got, he was SO excited that they had some rain but not too much! (and Scottie was so excited he had the chance to get these amazing nighttime rain shots!). Pretty soon it was time to start the party! Katy and Shaun had hired a super talented and very fun band and their guests took full advantage of this excellent dancing music that was there just for them. Everyone jumped right in and the energy that flowed from the band to the guests was very high!  Katy and Shaun’s first dance was amazing too by the way, it was to a very fun and jazzy number and they busted out with some moves I didn’t know they had in them! Towards the end of the night, the big surprise we’d been waiting for finally came… Shaun and his band got up there to sing a song dedicated to Katy (read about the coolness of their band in this post here).  They sang “Just the Two of Us” (no, not the Will Smith version!) and there is no less cheesy way to describe this song than as a magical moment.  It just was.  The ebb and flow of the musicians, the excitement of their guests, and the happiness of Katy and Shaun made it all more than complete.  It was definitely unforgettable. (this was taken when everyone was cheering on Shaun and the band… so cool.  Like our Facebook page if you want to tag yourself in some of these photos.). As the guests cleared out of the wedding, they weren’t too sad that it was over because for many of them it wasn’t! Katy and Shaun had planned an after party at a local restaurant where they had hired another musician as well.  We spent the night dancing away and laughing and talking with all their fantastic friends.  We don’t have any after party pictures because Katy and Shaun talked us into not bringing our cameras so we could truly relax.  By the end of the night, we were so thankful that we listened to them because we had more fun than I can remember having in a very long time! (Katy and her mom… about to walk down the aisle together). (Shaun with is 90+ year old grandmother who was such a trooper and made it to many of the pre-wedding events as well as the wedding!). (Shaun giving his nephew- also named Shaun- one of the coolest challenges I’ve ever heard). 🙂 Actually, this entire experience in Hawaii with Katy and Shaun and their guests is pretty unforgettable. I can honestly say with confidence that it was one of the best weeks of Scottie and my lives and we are so thankful we got to be a part of it all.  Thank you Katy and Shaun for being the loving, relaxed, gracious, and fun people that you are. We not only enjoyed all aspects of your wedding week, but we can’t imagine spending it with a better couple.  You both are very unique individuals and we’re so glad that you’ve joined forces to create the beautiful “collective dream” that you are working on.  We love you both and we’re excited to come visit you in CA soon! Click to see the rest of the photos from Katy and Shaun’s wedding! (Also click to see pictures of Katy swimming in her wedding dress after the wedding!)

All dressed up and just as wet… Katy and Shaun’s Hawaiian Unique Session

This was a photo shoot that went from normal to really wet very fast.  In fact, this whole session was high speed, so I’m going to stay true to the feel of it and relay the blog the same way.  So here’s the story behind Katy and Shaun’s Unique Session… short and sweet (well short for me anyways!).

We’d been so distracted by keeping up with the details behind all Katy and Shaun’s wedding events (see the events part 1 and part 2) and wedding itself that we talked the least about the Unique Session with them.

And apparently some where along the way I (Breanna) missed a major component, because when we arrived for picture time and Katy was describing a Radiant Unique Session to all her friends,  I was nodding and smiling along until she got to the part where she said “and I’m going to get into the ocean in my wedding dress!”.  Wait… what?!?

Don’t misunderstand me… I was thrilled to hear this… I just still can’t help but be shocked whenever I hear a bride say she’s not only willing, but excited to go swimming in her wedding dress!

We’ve taken pictures of this before, but each time is unique (hence the title of the session!) and every time a bride gets into the water in her wedding dress I’m just as excited, shocked, and amazed as I was the first time I saw it!

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Someone recently commented on our Facebook page about how we always have the coolest couples to work with.  And thanks to Katy and Shaun, I’m yet again reminded of how right he is!  I mean seriously, how many brides can there really be in the world who are willing to do this?!  We definitely have the coolest couples!

And actually there was something about this session that I really have never seen before… not with our own brides, not on any other photographers’ websites, and not even on TV… and that was the bouquet toss that happened in the ocean!!

ocean boquet toss

We can’t claim that this was our inventiveness, it was all concocted by the girls who had been waiting since the wedding the night before for Katy to throw her bouquet!  They planned and set up the whole thing and it was freaking hilarious!

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My favorite part was when all the onlookers that were hanging out on the beach that day started clapping and cheering when Chrissie caught it… crowd participation!

Apparently this was something that none of them had seen before either!

It’s a good thing Katy was so excited about swimming in the ocean in her wedding dress, because Shaun was excited about it as well!

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In fact, he was so excited that he couldn’t even wait.  He carried Katy out into the ocean to get a few good pics…

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…and before we could even blink… he dropped her!

We were pretty surprised but I think it’s safe to say Katy was the most shocked!  Ha ha!  Good one, Shaun!

After a some time of swimming and making out in the ocean…

…you know like everyone does when they’re wearing their wedding clothes…

…Katy’s mom came wandering up the beach, just in time to see her daughter wading out of the ocean in her wedding dress!

So in true mother/daughter style, Katy and her mom ran into the ocean together for a little swim time of their own!

It was so cute and I was so glad her mom came up just at that moment so they could experience this together and so we could capture it!

So thanks Katy (and Shaun of course) for being such adventurous go-getters and for being so much fun (always) to work with!

We’re so happy we got to do this session with you and get these once in a lifetime kind of pictures for you guys.  We hope you love them!!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Katy and Shaun’s wet, Hawaiian, Unique Session!  And click here to see their actual wedding photos!

Cocktails, Dinner, and 16″ guns . . . Katy & Shaun’s Pre-Wedding Events Part 2.

I (Scottie) remember going over to Katy & Shaun’s house after their engagement session a few months ago. Shaun was so excited to tell us some big news . . . they were having their Grooms Dinner on the U.S.S Missouri.
This battleship is an amazing piece of American history. It was the last US battleship ever built, it fought in 3 wars and it was the sight of Japan’s surrender and the end of WWII. The day started out amazing as we were allowed to board the ship a couple hours early to get some shots of the ship empty and to scout it out. The best part was when Shaun’s dad gave me a personal tour of the ship. This was amazing because Shaun’s dad is Rear Admiral Tucker and during his Naval career was the Commanding Officer of the Battleship U.S.S New Jersey which is basically a twin to the Missouri. It really was an amazing honor to follow him around and hear the stories.
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The navy is a huge part of Shaun’s family history (he was in the Navy himself) so there could not have been a place more dear to his heart to have the Groom’s dinner than on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri. 
Needless to say, both Katy and Shaun were SOOO thrilled about this opportunity.  Not to mention, their guests couldn’t stop talking all week about how excited for they were for this event!  Breanna and I were two of those people who couldn’t shut up about it!
So after some stories from the Admiral and some alone time spent between our cameras and the ship… Katy and Shaun arrived. It was such an amazing opportunity to get to wander the ship freely to take some photos of the 2 of them. Not many people get the chance to take pictures of the Missouri without tons of tourists in the background!   We were so thankful to have such a unique photo opp… it was so much fun!
Honolulu Wedding Photography(That’s Shaun and his dad on the left there.)
Hawaii Wedding PhotogapherHawaii Wedding PhotogapherHawaii Wedding Photogapher(Those guns fire 16 inch wide bullets that weigh as much as my car.)
Oahu Wedding PhotographerOahu Wedding PhotographerOahu Wedding Photographer(That is the U.S.S Arizona Memorial in the background. It was sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor and is the grave for more than 1,000 members of the crew. The juxtaposition is amazing . . . the U.S.S Arizona marks the entrance of the US into WWII and the U.S.S Missouri is where the war ended.)

After a few photos, it was time to get the party rolling and Katy & Shaun’s guests started to arrive right on schedule. They were given a couple of hours to have cocktails, mingle, and explore the ship.
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For as excited as these guests were about this party… I don’t think anyone’s expectations were even close to disappointed!Hawaii Wedding Photographer
(I love how regal Katy and Shaun look in this picture).Hawaii PhotographerHawaii Destination WeddingHawaii Destination WeddingHawaii Destination WeddingHawaii Destination WeddingHawaii Destination WeddingHawaii Destination Wedding
(You can like our page on Facebook to tag yourself in some of the photos!)Hawaii Destination Wedding
After that, everyone was treated to a fantastic Mongolian BBQ dinner. Breanna and I got to sit with some of Shaun’s dad’s Navy buddies and their wives. We heard some amazing stories of their lives in the Navy.  So awesome!!
Oahu Destination Wedding PhotographerOahu Destination Wedding PhotographerOahu Destination Wedding PhotographerOahu Destination Wedding PhotographerOahu Destination Wedding PhotographerSpeeches were given, the bridal party was introduced, pictures were shown, and everyone was celebrating!
Oahu Destination Wedding PhotographerOahu Destination Wedding PhotographerOahu Destination Wedding Photographer(This is Shaun’s grandmother and he was beyond excited that she was able to make it to this and to his wedding).
After the party, Breanna and I took and opportunity to get some shots of Missouri and Arizona at night.
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This really was such an incredible evening and we feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of it! Thanks to Katy, Shaun, and the entire Tucker family for putting on one spectacular event and for inviting us to share in it with you!
(Click here if you missed part 1 of Katy & Shaun’s Pre-Wedding Events.  Click here to see the entire set of photos from this event and others that are available for you to purchase.  The wedding photos are coming soon!).

The Hawaii days…Katy & Shaun’s Pre-Wedding Events Part 1

I always thought it was weird when people pinch themselves in movies to see if what they’re seeing is real.  I mean, I’ve  never thought to pinch myself when I’m in a dream and then said “well that didn’t hurt so I guess I’m dreaming”.  But I take back my skepticism on the whole pinching thing because I was really tempted to do it several times during the week that we were hanging out with Katy and Shaun and all their friends before their wedding in Hawaii.

(Katie is on the far right and Shaun is sitting to the left of her… and he’s the only boy in the picture).

Let me start by saying this blog will be different than our normal posts.  We usually write from the perspective of impartial outsiders who are there to capture a visual record of what’s happening around us.

But Katy and Shaun were cool enough to allow us into their circle of friends and invited us to be just as much guests as we were “hired help”, “vendors”, or whatever other cold and isolated word you could put on it.  Throughout the week we were anything but isolated from this astounding couple and their equally wonderful friends.

So instead of writing this blog from the view of 2 photographers who watched all the amazingness happen from the outside, we’re going to write as 2 people who’s lives were affected greatly by Katy and Shaun’s and the beautiful people they’ve surrounded themselves with.

Scottie and I (Breanna) spent 2 weeks vacationing in Hawaii before Katy and Shaun’s showed up with their crew which signified the start of our official “job”.  And yet despite the fact that we were working during our 3rd week in Hawaii, it was at least twice as fun as our first two weeks were!  (This picture totally cracks me up.  She decided to get her snorkel because she was getting too much water in her eyes. Genius!).

The factor that changed and made all the difference was that we were surrounded by a bunch of hyper-intelligent, creative, fun, and ultra cool people (aka Katy & Shaun and their wedding guests).

And really, I’m totally not exaggerating when I say that with the exception of our own wedding week, I think this past week was one of the best in our lives.

I turned to Scottie at least twice and said, “you know, I really can’t ever remember a time where I was happy at this ridiculously high level for such a crazy long amount of time before!” I know we were in one of the most beautiful places in the world, doing all kinds of fun stuff, but it didn’t turn into the best week of my life until we input the new relationships into the equation.

In order to understand why this was a wedding week instead of just a wedding day, you have to understand Katy and Shaun.

These are two people who’s lives revolve around their friendships.  In fact, they are known in their group for their huge annual theme parties (which are amazing by the way) that they go through a ton of work to host… and they love every minute of it.

When we were meeting with them at various points throughout their wedding planning, the main thing we heard repeated over and over again with unending enthusiasm, was that this wedding was about the people involved in it all.

(Katy with her mom.)(Shaun with his dad.)

Katy and Shaun made painstaking efforts to do everything in their power to make sure that their guests had the time of their lives…

… and I think that’s exactly what happened.

Now that you’ve had a glimpse into Katy and Shaun’s world back home and the people in it… lets talk about the Hawaii wedding chapter of their lives!  Katy and Shaun rented a big house right on the beach to share with their bridal party…

…and a bunch of their guests rented other houses all along the same beach to share with one another.

So basically it was a 24/7 party, overlooking one of the best views you can imagine, in absolutely perfect weather.

To kickoff this week of heaven that Katy and Shaun put together, we had a potluck on the beach in front of one of the houses the guests rented.

Since our job was to capture the whole feel of the week (not just the wedding day), we got to join in on this party (and many others) and reap all the benefits that being guests at a Hawaii wedding has to offer!

For Scottie, one of these main benefits was volleyball.  A bunch of Shaun’s friends (including Shaun himself) have either played professional volleyball at one point, or have played so well for so long that they might as well be professional.

This was great news to Scottie who has been looking forward to the day for awhile now where he could play with serious volleyball players again. So of course he saw his chance and jumped in for like a 4 hour or something volleyball showdown (that happened to take place in front of this beautiful mountain backdrop of course).

(Scottie is the giant in the back there).

(There’s Scottie again… the one who looks like he’s about to get beat down!).

He held his own too I might add, I was pretty proud of him for busting out all his latent sporting skills (we’ve both re-discovered a lot of our forgotten skills since we’ve been out from behind our computers for over 3 weeks straight now)!

After Scottie played a game involving Katy he said “When she was playing all I could think about was that scene in ‘Meet the Parents’ where the bride gets hit in the face with a volleyball the day before her wedding.”  Thankfully, Katy’s nose was still in tact by the end of the game… but I thought that was pretty funny commentary all the same!

Scottie also jumped into another event that I politely declined (more like bolted in the other direction and pretended not to hear as soon as the words “5:30 am” came out of Shaun’s mouth) and that was a spectacular sunrise hike.

Scottie didn’t escape as quickly as me and since Shaun is one of those people who could convince you to get up at 5 am for a root canal you don’t need, Scottie found himself lacing up his boots and heading up a mountain in the dark early the next morning.

For as good of a “motivator” as Shaun is, he proved to be every bit as honest because once they were at the top, Scottie saw as much beauty as Shaun had promised and more.

In fact I almost (almost being the key word here) wish I had gotten up that early just so people could at least think that there’s a chance that some of these amazing pictures are mine!

Alas, they are not.  I slept through a chance of a lifetime and Scottie’s pictures of perfectection will forever be known as Scottie’s pictures alone. 

And yet, I can say in all honesty that I’m still glad I slept in that morning (am I lame or what?!).

Another thing I slept through (in this group you’d think I was a freak for needing to sleep EVERY night!) was golf day…

…and again Scottie got some great shots. 

But that’s OK I’m holding on to my pride because of my volleyball shots… and just wait until you see my wedding pics! 😉

We have a little healthy competition going on between us if you can’t tell. Good job Scottie, I’m proud of the freaking amazing pictures you took this week… and the next 3 photos are my favorite series from our entire trip.

(Poor brown shirt guy, he didn’t get the blue shirt memo…)

(So his teammates traded him in for the photographer!)

(Poor brown shirt guy, he’ll just never be good enough.)

Ha ha, those crack me up. 🙂  Oh and to end the story, don’t worry… brown shirt guy changed his shirt the next day and found he had friends again!

Anyways, I heard the golfing was a ton of fun and everyone came back with awesome raccoon eye sunburns to prove it!

So now that you all think I’m stupid and lazy for missing such cool morning events… I will say that I got my fill of late night activities! Starting with a “beach crawl” which is basically a pub crawl but with beach houses instead of pubs.

Each house that the guests were staying at had a different theme for their drinks and appetizers that somehow fit the story of Katy and Shaun (for example the last house was occupied by all Katy’s college friends so the theme was “college” and they served lots of beer, jungle juice, and pizza). The grand finale of the beach crawl was to end up at the bar where Shaun’s band was playing that night.

Shaun says that when he thought about what he wanted to do in Hawaii the week of his wedding the first thing he thought was, “well I’ll do what I love… I’ll play with my band”.

(Two very different faces that both show how much he loves what he’s doing).

He told us this months and months ago and he’s been looking forward to it ever since.

There are no words to describe how much I loved this band.

(By the way, you can like our page on Facebook to tag yourself in some of the photos).

Lets just say that as I sat there listening to a particular song in which Max (one of the groomsmen) was smoothly rapping in Portuguese (at least that’s what language I heard someone say it was)…

….among a bunch of incredible musicians who were pouring out their hearts over the noise of a bar…

…that was packed full of their friends swaying to the music and laughing…

…I had another moment where I considered pinching myself to make sure this incredible moment in life was really happening.

So even with all the amazingness that gushed out of these events, I’m still not done telling you about this week of wedding events.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you everything since including all of it would work better for a great book rather than one measly blog post and I know you are probably all reading this at work and are starting to get nervous that your boss might walk in…that’s right, we have analytics that tells us you all look at our stuff during work hours!

Scottie is actually going to write about the final event (so it will be much shorter!) which is the Groom’s dinner that was held on deck of the U.S.S. Missouri.  If you do a quick scan of your brain to find your old high school history lessons (it’s right there past the lyrics to every Bon Jovi song ever written and the phone number to your secret crush’s parent’s house) you’ll find that this is the ship on which the Japanese soldiers stood 65 years ago when they signed the document of their surrender at the end of WWII.  It’s a huge piece of history that most people tour during the day… but we got to party on it at night!  Of course an experience like this doesn’t slip past us without some once in a lifetime photos coming out of it (and I didn’t sleep through this one!)!  See the photos on our blog about the Groom’s Dinner HERE.

If I had to sum up all the events of this week would be to say that even If I decided to make up this entire blog with a fictional story about the week, I couldn’t have written this week any better than it actually happened.

The people, the places, the activities… all of it was just so so SO perfect!

Katy and Shaun, you were the incredible dreamers behind all this and I hope that it was all you wanted and more!  We tried all week to tell you how much your wedding meant to us (and there is still so much to that story that we’ll have to tell you when we come visit you in Venice one day soon) so we hope this blog has helped at least give you some idea about how much we really do mean that!

We love you guys and we’re so excited to post the blog about your wedding day very, very soon!

(There are many more photos from all the events to view and purchase. Click here to see ALL the photos from Katy and Shaun’s Hawaii wedding week events!)