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Rick & Kendall // Vintage inspired wedding at the French Estate in Orange

©2015 Sun & Sparrow // Vintage inspired wedding at the French Estate in Orange

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how she did it

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE YOUR BEAUTIFUL DECOR? // Bride: Rick proposed to me at the top of a Ferris wheel, which inspired the carnival elements of our day. I’ve always adored all things pastel and vintage, and from there our Vintage Carnival theme and decor was born! We aren’t a couple who typically dances, but we can never resist the temptation of carnival games, so we opted to have a variety of old fashioned wooden games to play instead. In lieu of a sit down meal, we had a variety of carnival-esque food stations; from cotton candy to popcorn to jalapeño poppers to a Filipino food truck to caramel apples!

We chose to place chairs and vintage benches around old trunks to form little lounges for our guests to rest and mingle between games, rather than assigned seating, simply because we felt a more relaxed setting would better reflect our personalities. The chiffon draping from the ceremony space as well as the gathering of fabric to mimic a maypole over our grand entrance space were inspired by the feel of an old fashioned carnival- vibrant and light! We wanted our day to be full of color, but still romantic and elegant, and so we endeavored to create a ton of DIY- the fabric bunting, grand entrance backdrop, tree ‘guest book’ painting, purple chalkboard signs, hand painted invitations, and the personalized mason jar glasses that doubled as favors. While making them was challenging, it was such a labor of love.

I wanted our wedding day to have a laid back, romantic and lighthearted feel, and I think our decor went a long way to create those undertones. I am an extremely detail oriented person, and I loved watching all the projects and options we selected come together to create such a rich, soft and charming space to celebrate our marriage.


WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE/FAVORITE MOMENT ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY?  //  Bride: Our first look! One of the few wedding traditions we kept was spending the night before our wedding apart. He had never seen my dress either, so I was pretty nervous about his reaction.   He stood outside, closed his eyes and held his hand out as I walked to him. Before I even grabbed hold, there were tears in his eyes. When he looked at me, his face was so full of love and raw joy! In our five-year relationship, I have literally seen him cry ONCE so it was very special. I knew that the meaning of the day, and seeing me all done up as his bride, affected him deeply which was incredibly rewarding. Our ceremony was also incredibly meaningful. We wrote our own vows, did a pagan hand-fasting, as well as a roses ceremony to honor the incredible women in each of our respective matriarchies. We were both crying tears of joy during our first kiss as a married couple- I felt my sobs shaking my body against his and I felt so complete.

Groom: Our first look was amazing but our ceremony was more meaningful. My favorite memory would have to be the whole ceremony. I was so happy looking out at everyone who was present for our wedding. I’m so thankful- everyone was so helpful and did an awesome job with everything we asked of them- which was A LOT! It just all came together and looked amazing for our ceremony.

It was particularly special to me to watch everyone come down the aisle. That’s when I realized that each and every person in our wedding party put so much effort into our wedding and the day wouldn’t have been nearly as great without them. Watching everyone come down the aisle was kind of funny because everyone has his or her own walk which really made me smile. Our best man, Gabriel, had his swagger and my cousin, Clint, had his swag but also nerves showing in his walk. One of our bridesmaids, Bianca, walked with her pretty innocent glide and Cassidy had her amazing smile. Then, our Best Lady, Natasha’s, soft smile, that for some reason just gives me this calm, collected, confident vibe that brings me back into focus. And, then there’s Emily; she is just amazing. I’m so thankful for making me feel so welcomed into the family, and that I’m so glad she’s my cousin. Then, seeing Cousin Sydney as one of our flower girls, walking down with the roses. She did awesome! Her giant smile is priceless.  Then, Kendall came down the aisle. Her brothers, Baron and Brennan, walked her but I was in total tunnel vision and all I could see or think about was her; her beauty, her brains, her toughness, her affectionate nature. I was thinking, “This is it. I’ve found the woman I’m going to be with for the rest of my life. My best friend. We are making it official- husband and wife! The best day of my life has came and no more waiting. No more planning for this day. It is finally happening.”

Gosh, I was such a cry baby- tears all over the place. I couldn’t help it! I continued to cry tears of happiness and struggled to breathe. I couldn’t have asked for anyone more perfect for me than Kendall.


WHY WAS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO YOU AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SUN & SPARROW?  //  Bride: The wedding is only one day, and so it was vital to us to have excellent photographs to remember and reflect upon the day throughout our marriage. We had Tiffani take our engagement photos and knew we would have to have Sun and Sparrow for our wedding day as well! Tiffani, Ellie and Dani were so full of positivity, support and creativity on our wedding day, which made me feel one thousand perfect validated that we picked Sun and Sparrow. In addition to being fantastic people, the Sun and Sparrow team was super responsive throughout the planning process and their images are spectacular! How could anyone NOT choose Sun and Sparrow?


DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BRIDES WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?  //  Bride: The biggest price of advice I would give to couples planning a wedding would be to focus on what is important to you. Do you love food, or music, or dancing, or flowers, or polka dots, or Star Wars, or fast cars? Then live it up at your wedding! Celebrate what you, as a couple, love! To me, while everyone has their own version of an ideal wedding, the only things that are REQUIRED are two people who want to get married and, legally, two witnesses. That’s it! Everything else is optional! You can choose to do everything that is traditional in dominant American culture, or you can choose to do none of it. Both choices are equally valid, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Also, turning my phone off and directing all day of questions to be filtered through members of our fabulous wedding party greatly helped manage my (naturally high) levels of stress on the wedding day itself.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING MARRIED NOW?  //  Bride: While I am still getting used to the word ‘husband’ (my mouth hasn’t quite adjusted after 3 years and 3 months of saying ‘fiancé’), I do love being married. Wedding planning for me, personally, was both incredibly stressful and rewarding…. I am so glad it is over with! I am a BIG planner- I love schedules and predictability, whether I’m planning a meal or a trip or talking points for a discussion. It is so nice to be able to refocus my efforts from wedding planning and onto creating a happy and loving marriage.

I love thinking about having my husband present for my graduation, adopting our children, and living our lives side by side. I think the best part of being married is the stability; having Rick to come home to after a long day of working with children, classes, mentoring, supervising and facilitating discussion, is incredibly comforting. To know that he will be there for all the changes our lives will see in the years to come is the very best part.

Groom: My favorite part would have to thinking about be our future together. Knowing we have each other helps with getting through whatever life might throw at us down the road. I feel that it’s just going to get better and better with time. She makes me a better person everyday. I feel my life itself is complete with her by my side; everything else is just additional.


©2015 Sun & Sparrow // Vintage inspired wedding at the French Estate in Orange

VENDORS // Venue: The French Estate- // Photographers: Sun & Sparrow // Photo Booth: Julius Estanislao, No ka ‘oi Photobooth // Catering: Kim Reed, Spoon Caterers // Florist and Event Design: Adrienne Moore, The Bloom of Time //  Hair and Makeup: Melissa Caulfield  //  Food Truck: White Rabbit  // Officiant: Sasha Kuczynski  //  Game Rentals: Party Pals  //  Vintage Rentals:  // Wedding Gown: Bonny  // Suit:  //  Veil and Hair Piece:  //  Bride and Maids Robes: MorningParisBoutique  //  Personalized Tote Bags: PersonalizedGiftsbyJ  // Cupcake Wrappers: ArcadiaWeddingDesign  //  Ring Warming Dish:  SayYourPiece   //  Cake Topper: RusticBeachChic  //  Groomsmen Suspenders  // Groomsmen ties

Gabe & Alyshia // Romantic Riverside Mission Inn wedding photography

©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photography // Riverside Mission Inn wedding photography

amazingFROM THE GROOM //  Our wedding day was so special and spectacular to us. I loved every moment because every little bit of our day, every detail was from our hearts. We wanted a European feel to our wedding, but we also wanted to be close to home. So, we chose the Mission Inn in Riverside for several reasons. First, Alyshia  had dreamt of getting married there since she was a young girl. Being able to make that dream come true for her was amazing. Second, the venue is breathe taking and ultimately the most romantic venue you can ever visit. Third, the St. Francis Chapel is gorgeous, all of our guests were amazed at how beautiful the church was. For me, the most memorable part of our wedding day is when Alyshia walked down the aisle.  This is a moment that I will absolutely never forget.  I remember a ‘flash monsoon’ thundering down outside and I had to wait extra long to see her. But when those doors opened, I saw a beautiful silhouette  and it was hers. Just the rain and her. I will never forget that crazy storm that overtook us right in the at the start of our ceremony!! It was so awesome and spectacular. Let’s hope it brings us a lot of good luck!! Let me talk a little bit about our photographer. We chose Sun & Sparrow because we love how photography captures  those special moments in time. We love how Sun & Sparrow captures and shares every story uniquely. Tiffani, Claudia, and Vanessa, did an amazing job making us feel comfortable in front of the camera. I tend to get shy and feel awkward while taking pictures but Tiffani definitely helped make us feel natural and relaxed. I appreciated that support even more when it came to helping Alyshia feel comfortable and confident even throughout the chaos of the flash flood around us. As we exit that stage of our lives and we look back on our wedding, I would love to give some advice to brides and grooms on their special day. Just enjoy it. Enjoy and soak in every moment. Some things may not go as planned but enjoy your special day to the fullest, no matter what.

©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Romantic European wedding at the Mission Inn in Riverside //

Big thanks to all our photographers for the day! Claudia Hurtarte, Vanessa Mestas & Jay Worsley from Everly Films

VENDORS // Venue: Mission Inn in Riverside // Photographers: Sun & Sparrow // Videography:  Everly Films  //  Floral Design: Irises Designs // PhotoboothPhotobooth Bomber // Large light-up sign: Junk Art Gypszs

©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photography // Riverside Mission Inn wedding photography 

Big thanks to all our photographers for the day! Claudia Hurtarte, Vanessa Mestas & Jay Worsley from Everly Films



Phil & Gloria // Hurst Ranch wedding photographer

how she did it
FROM THE BRIDE  //   We were so nervous in planning our wedding! We didn’t know where to start but somehow managed to successfully plan our wedding (of course with the help of MANY friends and family). We thoroughly enjoyed our wedding day. The ceremony was special to us because we wanted it to be focused on Christ. We were so happy with the acoustic music and glowing sunshine that contributed to a light but solemn atmosphere. We also loved seeing friends from all seasons of our lives gathered in one area to celebrate our day. We had a great time dancing and taking pictures. We only wish we could have spent more time with our guests!

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR WEDDING? // We were inspired by the Rustic/Casual theme. Also, we had been a long-distance couple for years so we were inspired by paper airplanes and a travel theme for our wedding.

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE/FAVORITE PART ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY?  //  Walking down the aisle officially as husband and wife. We had such a long journey to get there and that moment was absolutely priceless.

WHY WAS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO YOU? // We wanted to capture our special day on camera because years from now, all that will be left of the wedding besides a memory, will be photos.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SUN & SPARROW? // First of all, they are highly skilled and professional. We observed that Sun and Sparrow had a special talent in capturing outdoor scenes and special moments, both of which were important to us. Secondly, they care about their clients. We were immediately drawn to their warm personalities and willingness to go the extra mile with us. We worked with Tiffani, and she was always always always responsive when we had a question or an idea. Tiffani has a great personality and we loved working with her!

DID YOU DO ANY DIY PROJECTS?  // Yes! Our centerpiece vases, centerpiece flowers, bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, wooden cupcake stand and cake stand, seating chart poster, airplane background mobile for the photo station, candle holders at the reception tables, Mr and Mrs. sign for the sweetheart table, poster with our hashtag on it.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BRIDES WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THE PLANNING PROCESS? // Planning a wedding will take sacrifice. We got married in the middle of a job change, graduation and a cross-country move. It was just ridiculously busy and stressful. So we had to sacrifice a few hours of sleep for example, in order to plan our wedding. Be ready to act as a team as you plan this special day. Ask for help. And be ORGANIZED!

PLANNING TIPS //  (1) Start early! A lot of times the prices for vendors are not listed so you have to contact them via email or phone and get a quote that way.   //  (2) Create a separate e-mail account for wedding business.   //  (3) Prioritize what to do first. For us, we concentrated on making sure we got our marriage license in a timely fashion, scheduling marital counseling with our church pastor, booking an amazing photographer, finding a venue and caterer. Everything else was secondary for us.   //  (4) Stay organized as possible. We planned our wedding during a very busy time in our lives, and I also lived on the other side of the country.   //  (5) Enjoy the process and enjoy each other as much as possible. Pray often and laugh often.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING MARRIED NOW? // No more long-distance! We love how we can act as one unit now and go places together. From the simple trips like going to the grocery store together to the more extravagant vacation trips, it is really great!



©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Hurst Ranch wedding photographer

VENDORS //  Venue – Hurst Ranch  //   Wedding Day Of Coordinator & Floral Design- Hannah Bae  //

Hair/Makeup – e2beauty  //  Photographers & Videographers – Sun & Sparrow //  DJ – John Park  //   Cupcakes – Delightful by the Dozen  //  Wedding dress – David’s Bridal  //  Wedding shoes – Marshalls  //  Groom’s Suit – Banana Republic  //  Groom’s Tie – Nordstrom Rack  //  Men’s socks – Express


©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Hurst Ranch wedding photographer

David & Amanda // Waiting for love // Orange County Wedding Photographers


After childhood in India and growing into adulthood in America, I was spending most of my time in Bangalore traffic – trying to keep up a schedule that couldn’t include much of a social life. Thrown between the worlds of dating, courting, and arranged marriage, I got the idea from a friend to start meeting people online. After a month of reading through profiles sent from an online dating service, my attention was caught by one that sounded like someone who had always been walking right beside me.


Like me, Amanda spent her childhood in Asia and then came to California for university. At the time of our meeting, she was working night shifts, which also like me, made difficult having a social life. I gathered from her profile that we had both recently gone through the same paradigm shift in how we viewed the world and wanted to live our lives.


I “sent her a smile”, as eHarmony calls it, and Amanda responded, “Let’s talk”.


My wife likes to point out that at this point I suddenly disappeared. What she didn’t know was that I couldn’t communicate or see pictures on eHarmony until my bank could pay their fee in the right currency. After three months of waiting, we started communicating again. Little by little a relationship started to fall into place.


Frequent emails turned into video calls and we finally met in person later the same year. After a few weeks of visiting, I returned to India not knowing when we would meet again. Six months later Amanda and her parents visited our family in India, and that’s when I proposed.


We started planning a wedding in the summer, but since US immigration hadn’t given us a date for my visa interview, we set the date of the wedding day on the last available weekend before Amanda’s parents were leaving for the Philippines. My visa came through and my passport returned a day before the wedding. I managed to find same day flights, and arrived on the morning of our wedding just a few hours before the festivities began.


‘God has granted us existence–the greatest gift of His goodness, and after we had fallen away from Him, from life into death, He gave us for our regeneration, to bring us back to life, His Son. How small in proportion are all the other gifts which we ask of Him in prayer, and how easy it is for Him to give them to us at the first word of true faith, if they are really necessary for us! Therefore it is perfectly unpardonable in us if we still doubt that we shall obtain what we ask of God in prayer. The Lord said plainly : Ask, and it shall be given you.’ – St John of Kronstadt


I am grateful to God that this story ends well and I made our wedding on time; I consider myself blessed to call Amanda my wife. Thank you for reading and sharing with us! : David

VENDORS  // VENUE: St. Michael Orthodox Church // Photography : Sun & Sparrow // Videography : Sun & Sparrow // Car Rental : Enterprise  // Wedding Gown : Allure

All other items were personally owned or hand made! Great job you two!!

©2013 Sun & Sparrow //  St Michael Orthodox Church // Orange County Wedding Photographers

A HUGE thanks to our Sun & Sparrow team! Thanks to Aaron & Winston from our Videography team & a huge thanks to Claudia Navarette for second shooting!

1 comment
  • CharlieMay 18, 2014 - 5:37 pm

    Stunning pictures, especially the black and white, the couple looks gorgeous.ReplyCancel