Emotions were running high on the morning of Marah and Shawn’s big day! In fact, I’m pretty sure they were feeling the pressure of the words “big day”!
Marah was dancing around, practically stomping her feet in anticipation as she sat getting her hair and makeup done, before putting on her UNBELIEVABLE dress that I (Breanna) fell in love with immediately!
(TING Makeup and Hair did all the hair for Marah and the bridal party, check her out!).
Meanwhile, Shawn was pacing the room filled with all sorts of nerves as he awaited the big moment of the big day…
… the ceremony!
Marah and Shawn had their ceremony at the gorgeous Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. With it’s beautiful architecture and surroundings, the Wayfarers Chapel was the perfect representation of the beauty found in Marah and Shawn’s relationship and it proved to be the perfect place for them to profess their love in front of all their friends and family that day.
After the ceremony, the newly married couple traded their nerves for joy as they headed over with all their friends and family to the Trump National Golf Club to dance the night away at their stunningly beautiful reception!
I think I literally lost my breath when I walked into that ballroom! The deep reds and golds combined with the perfect amount of flowers and lighting, created an absolutely killer ambiance that could be rivaled by only that of the ceremony earlier that day!
Since you’ve now seen her breathtaking handiwork, it seems like an appropriate time to introduce Melissa Veenstra from Let’s Do This!, who was the talented hands that brought all the pieces of this elegant puzzle together.
You may remember Melissa from her own wedding that we photographed a few months back! Well she got married and then went quickly back to work to begin investing her heart and energy into making Marah and Shawn’s day as special as her own had been… with many of the same vendors involved as well!
(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in some of these photos!).
I have to say, it was fun to be back together with the old team again! Mainly, with Hoo Films, since we couldn’t have picked a better partner in camera crime for Marah and Shawn’s wedding day! Shannon Avery and her team do incredibly moving work, as they demonstrated at the reception that night while presenting Marah and Shawn’s wonderful love story video that had me scrambling to wipe tears off my camera as I watched it!
I wasn’t the only one with a tear problem, Marah and Shawn’s entire day was filled with all kinds of emotions and special family traditions that left us all in need of more tissues than a huge place like the Trump could even hold!
Marah and Shawn are both of Filipino heritage so they found many touching ways to incorporate their cultural and family heritage into their wedding. During the ceremony, they were given Filipino coins that were borrowed from Marah’s aunt, as a symbol of the wealth that is wished upon them. They also borrowed Marah’s mom’s covering and rope to place over them during a special part of the ceremony to symbolize their new found unity as a married couple. And Shawn used his father’s wedding ring as a way to show honor to his father.
But by far, my favorite personal tradition they held up was having the guests actually pin their money onto the couple during the dollar dance!
Each time someone came up to pay for a dance, they found a new and creative way to attach the cash to the couple! It was so awesome and made for some great photos!
The dollar dance was only a small part of the fun that was had at this party! Everyone was so happy to see Marah and Shawn married, that they laughed, danced and celebrated themselves right into the morning!
Unfortunately for Marah and Shawn, they had an appointment the next day… with us… for more pictures!
Luckily the excitement for their photos easily over ruled their tired bodies from the night before, so Marah put on her reception dress and Shawn laced up his fancy shoes and they headed over to meet us and begin the final aspect of their wedding… the much anticipated Unique Session!
The Unique Session is a photo session after the wedding that gives the bride a chance to wear her dress again and it gives us a chance to be in control of the timing, lighting, etc., etc. to free us up get the very best photos possible! It also enables the couple to have wedding photos taken at a variety of locations so they can squeeze in all the different looks they wish they had time to get on their wedding day!
Scottie and I (Breanna) had spent much of the afternoon driving all up and down the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes, since exploring beautiful places is one of the perks of the job for us! And we found some photo locations that fit the beauty of Marah and Shawn’s wedding perfectly! The only thing we didn’t find were easily accessible sandy beaches, but Marah found a way to get her dress wet regardless!
We were all muttering silent prayers that the waves wouldn’t whisk her away as she clung tightly to the rocks as the powerful waves washed over her. Of course Shawn was standing by ready to swim out and rescue his bride if need be!
Fortunately, Marah’s grip is as strong as her determination for good pictures, and a life guard rescue by her heroic husband was not necessary. Though the risk was well worth it because we all had a lot of fun and got some wonderful pictures out of the entire experience!
Thanks Marah and Shawn for being such wonderful people!
You were both so incredibly kind to us and a breeze to work with. Both Scottie and I found ourselves super excited about your wedding, not just because we knew it would be fun, but because we couldn’t wait to see the two of you again! You are both amazing people and we’re so happy you found each other to enjoy life together with. Congratulations and we hope to see you again soon!
Click to see the rest of Marah and Shawn’s Wedding and Unique Session photos!