Surf and Sand Wedding- Allyson and Shadow

This is a good one…

I met Allyson at Niguel Hills Jr High when we were a mere 12 years old. As we entered Dana Hills High School I was immersed in photography, Ally landed a spot on the yearbook staff too. Not to brag, but our school was known for always winning #1 nationally in our yearbooks and to take on the position it was literally an unpaid part time job. We became so close that we were tagged as “the bopsy twins” because we were always together. Another thing our school took great pride in (within the yearbook staff) was to build an eclectic team of jocks, nerds, socialites, basically a well rounded scope to create the representation of a giant school with 2000+ students. So I was “the rocker” always wearing music t-shirts and Doc Martins [which sidebar are happily back in style]. My Ally, she was the popular one that was a boy magnet and liked by everyone. Unlike a lot of the popular girls that were the quintessential mean girl she was sincerely kind, sweet, smiley and good hearted. Would we have been such good friends without yearbook, I’ll never know… but thankfully it created a childhood bond.

After high school I branched into photography, taking early jobs in the field. Allyson went off to college, then a big-time job in San Francisco and now resides with another big-time career in New York. Thanks to social media we’ve never lost touch and always had a feel for each other’s life events. It was when I saw photos posted of this man named Shadow (what an awesome name, right?) on bended knee with the New York skyline proposing to my sweet friend that I about jumped off my chair. AWE MAN did I want to photograph her wedding!!! My knee-jerk reaction was to jump all over the chance. But, I reminded myself that I am not an ambulance chaser and will sit back and let her come to me if she wanted. When the email came a rush of relief poured over my body, thankfully she DID want me to be her photographer and I have the honor of seeing her marry her true love.

Being a Southern California beach girl at heart, The Surf and Sand was such an ideal location for her. It allowed all of Shadow’s East Coast family and friends to have a destination wedding while her relatives enjoyed what’s always been in their own backyard. Surf and Sand has stood there as long as I can remember, proudly owning a pristine stretch of Laguna Beach coastline. It was a perfect location for so much love to be celebrated.

On to the day itself, both Allyson and Shadow were floating on cloud 10. It was so incredibly cute! At our age a genuine love is so deeply appreciated and fought to have found. I know all love is special but after years of searching, attempting, scouring potential mates there is a deeper level of gratefulness that comes with time. They emanated in it! As the day progressed I also noticed how much Ally is still the fantastic Ally she always was. It’s a beautiful thing to see someone’s good heart stay good and she’s still the witty and kind, thoughtful yet fun girl I always knew. It’s rare when I get got, but dangit I pinched a few tears at her reception after their first dance. My heart was so overjoyed and I relate so dearly to her journey of finding love later in life that my emotions burst lol. I am touched by just about every couple in one way or another whilst I unfold their day with them but this one hit home. I loved every single minute of it and can happily say it was magical for them.

As her 2000+ images are currently cranking away on my desktop here is a big, fat sneak peek to share with my girl. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Holden… I couldn’t be happier for you!!!! XOXO

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