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Jayme & Luis | Bella Vista Gardens Wedding

The only thing I can really say about our Wedding Day, aside from the fact that we had a blast, was that it was US!!! From the wardrobe, to the music, to the food, to the decorations–every detail was a reflection of both, who Luis & I are as individuals and who we are as a couple. Being a previous Event Coordinator, I made the decision to tackle most of the planning, decorating & coordinating myself. We spent over a year crafting, bargain hunting, building, DIYing & up-cycling as much as we could. Looking back, it was a lofty & time-consuming endeavor, but the hard work allowed us to customize a wedding that was a perfect reflection of us & our personalities–Fun, Quirky, Crafty & Colorful.

Originally, we had planned to have a “Love Is…” themed-wedding; kind of pop-artsy, kitschy, and a little vintage (which is what I love). But as the planning progressed, things morphed into a little less cutesie and a little more classic. This was the best balance between mine & Luis’ styles. We ended up incorporating many rustic elements for Luis, paid homage to 1950’s style that I adore with my tea-length wedding dress, brooch bouquet, classic body-wave hairstyle & vintage luggage accents, and focused a great deal on the food & music. Luis & I are definitely “foodies” and wanted to take our guests a culinary tour of many of the foods we love. So, we melded cuisine from both our Filipino & Mexican backgrounds (Adobo, Lumpia, Pancit, Pollo Norteno, Horchata, Bean & Rice), hired a Taquero “Taco Man,” offered Nothing Bundt Cakes as our Wedding Cake & gave away Porto’s Cheese Rolls as Wedding Favors. Lastly, we had a Mariachi Band during Cocktail Hour &
our Grand Entrance which was a nod to Luis’ heritage.  

***JAYME: A very special moment for us was definitely our First Dance. As the DJ announced us, our wedding guests gathered along the edge of Bella Vista Grove’s beautiful, outdoor dance floor with huge glowing Sparklers in-hand as we made our way to center stage. Can you imagine dancing under a star-filled sky, with your new wife/husband in your arms, to Ed Sheeran’s “Talking Out Loud,” surrounded by a sea of glimmering lights? There was definitely love in the air that night & it was truly magical… 
***LUIS: My favorite part of our big day was, without question, when Jayme walked out of the house and made her way to the alter. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen–she looked stunning! I felt like no one else was there but us… I fell in love again, a million times over, that day.

Once your big day has come & gone and the freshness of your memories begin to fade, all you’ll have left are the pictures/video footage from that special day… A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s why it’s SO important to invest in professionals who will skillfully & stylishly capture all those feelings & experiences & moments for you. As we interviewed many published & notable wedding photographers, Sun & Sparrow climbed to the top of our list because, as a bride, not only did I want beautiful pictures, but I also wanted us to be able to spend our day with people we enjoyed, people we could laugh with, people that would reassure us & keep us smiling, people that we would make our day memorable. We chose correctly!

With my past experiences in Event Planning, I knew how much couples invested (and ultimately OVER-invested) on their Weddings, so it was important for us to keep costs as low as possible. Luis & I spent many weekends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, Ventura Swap Meet & a plethora of antique shops trying to find vintage frames, shutters, barrels, brooches, etc. We literally spent our evenings building & crafting everything we could ourselves: Boutonnieres, Crepe Paper Flowers, Chalkboard Signs, The Bar, All Decorations, Backdrop, Curtains, Photo Booth Props, Bridal Bouquet, Table Centerpieces, Luminaries, Bridal Party Gifts, etc, etc… The list goes on-&-on! We were exhausted, but the sense of pride we felt when it all came together and knowing that everything we made was from our hearts & carried a small piece of us was well worth it.  

The biggest pieces of advice I can offer any couple is to make efforts to slow down & enjoy each moment as they come, because faster than you realize, it will all be over. Also, inevitably, something unplanned will happen, someone will be late, something won’t go according to plan, some part of your master plan will fall through–but that’s okay. Most times, something that seems like a “big deal” to you will go unnoticed by your guests (as they were not part of the planning process), and at the end of the day, you are marrying the person you love and that’s what counts! And lastly, don’t focus on pleasing others (mother-in-law, friends, family, etc) or make decisions that you’re not comfortable with; its your special day and should be yours & your fiances vision–no one else’s.

***JAYME: My favorite part of being married is knowing that I have someone, a forever “partner-in-crime,” who made a decision & promise to always stand beside me, support me, act silly with me, share in my adventures, love me, protect me, inspire me, and build a life & family with me. When I wake up in the morning next to my husband, it’s the best knowing that he adores me & thinks I’m beautiful even though my hair is messy and I have no make-up on. Love & Commitment are things many people spend their whole lifetime searching for, and I feel lucky & blessed to have found mine.
***LUIS: My favorite part of being married is feeling the bond we have get stronger and stronger with each new day. Being able to come home every night, knowing that my wife will always be there for the rest of our lives, is incredibly heart warming and a blessed feeling. 

Officiate: Warren Geisler
Venue: Bella Vista Groves | www.bellavistagroves.com
Dress: Dolly Couture | www.dollycouture.com
Hair: Kristen Thompson of Salon Rouge | www.salonrouge.net/home
Make-Up: Lindsay Dickenson of Kiss The Bride | www.kissthebridemakeup.blogspot.com
Women’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | www.tiffany.com
Men’s Watches: Fossil | www.fossil.com
Acoustic Guitar: David Komski
Photography: Tiffani, Ellie & Claudia of Sun & Sparrow | www.sunandsparrow.com
Disc Jockey: Jerry Gutierrez of GTZ Entertainment | www.gtzentertainment.com
Catering: El Pollo Norteno Grill | www.elnortenogrill.com
Catering: Del’s Sweet Creations 
Taco Man: K.O. Tacos | https://www.facebook.com/pages/KO-Tacos/228855383793584
Favors: Porto’s Bakery | www.portosbakery.com
Wedding Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes | www.nothingbundtcakes.com
Photo Booth: Caught Up In The Moment | www.caughtupphotobooths.com
Mariachi: Mariachi Estrellas de Jalisco | https://www.facebook.com/mariachiestrellas.dejalisco

Joel & Ariana // Rustic engagement in Yucaipa, CA

how he asked-torrance wedding-photography

FROM THE BRIDE //  Nothing says opposites attract more than me and Joel. We actually met as silly, quirky pre-adolescents on a missions trip to Mexico with our church. He wanted to date me early on, but I said no because I wasn’t allowed to until I was 16! Joel had to wait a few years (poor guy), but this was good because we got to know each other as good friends. My feelings for him took time because I was raised in a family that took relationships and marriage very seriously. During high school, I was drawn to how Joel projected integrity and maturity to me and our peers. He was a strong believer in Christ like I was, and he was selfless in his serving towards others. I remember in 10th grade, there was this time of day when Joel and I would cross paths on the way to classes, where he would always stop to give me a hug. As days passed, I became more and more excited for his hugs. They were always what got me through that drooling hour of math class. Finally, when I was 16 1/2, Joel asked me to be his girlfriend on the way to a Sixth Flags church trip. We shared both of our first kisses with each other and have been dating ever since (6 years now!).

I love that in our relationship we complement each other’s differences. I am very enthusiastic, spontaneous, and outgoing, while Joel is very stoic, calm, and quiet. He has been my rock in my most stressful times, and I have been his joy in his most broken times. Though we have our differences, we know that what we share is our love for God. We are definitely competitive with each other, especially in sports and games. And we also love to go on walks, go to the movies, and play with my nieces and nephew. Joel has always been very patient in sharing me with my family and friends, and he has always encouraged me to pursue my own passions and dreams. I love how God has grown and molded our high school sweetheart relationship into something so beautiful and complementary.

FROM THE GROOM //  I met Ari on a bus ride to Mexico for a missions trip when we were 12 years old. As crazy as it sounds, I knew then and there that she was a girl that I wanted to pursue. It didn’t happen immediately, but 4 years later our lives and friendship had developed to the point that we were able to start our romantic relationship. We started dating in 2008 and I can honestly say that these past 6 years have been the best of my life, and that is in large part to the amazing girl I have been able to spend them with.

Ari is the most empathetic person I have ever met. It is probably the quality that made me really fall in love with her. She feels so strongly for other people, and she is an inspiration to me every day take others needs and feelings into account when I am living my life. I also love how willing she is to challenge me to grow in areas that I struggle in (usually having to do with social settings). I think that is a really special aspect of our relationship. We can challenge each other without ever fearing backlash. We trust each other and want to continually grow as a couple and as individuals. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life growing with my best friend.

HOW HE ASKED //  My family had planned a big trip in June to my one of my favorite places in the world, Lake Powell. This was Joel’s second time coming on the trip. I wasn’t anticipating an engagement yet, thinking it would happen later in the year. I went ring shopping for fun a few months before with a mentor of mine, and I showed Joel a few pictures of rings I liked. Little did I know he would buy one of those rings weeks later. He kept my family in suspense, having asked my dad’s permission back in April, so whenever my family knew we were hanging out, they thought this was it, Ari’s engaged for sure. Of course, I was completely oblivious to all this, so I went to Lake Powell thinking it would be a fun trip spent with family and Joel.

So, on our second day at Lake Powell, Joel took me on a hike up Rock Creek Canyon. We got pretty far and decided to rest before we went back down the trail. We talked and enjoyed the beauty around us. It was a nice, peaceful moment. Then I asked Joel if we should head back down, to which he replied “Hold on, I have to go to the bathroom first.” (Very romantic right? Haha) So I’m waiting and he comes back from behind a boulder and says “Ari, I found a cool rock over there, I brought it over to show you.” And then I look down and notice a ring in his hand. It hit me, Joel’s proposing, right now, right here, that’s not a dirty, brown rock, it’s a diamond rock! And all I could say was “Joel what are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing? JOEL” He then asked me if I would marry him and my first response was, “Did you ask my dad first?” After I got the confirmation, I said yes. And finally, after 5 ½ years, we are engaged! I am beyond excited to begin this new adventure together!

©2014 Sun & Sparrow – photo & film // Rustic engagement in Yucaipa // Shot by Ellie Fuqua from Sun & Sparrow

©2014 Sun & Sparrow – photo & film // Rustic engagement in Yucaipa // Shot by Ellie Fuqua from Sun & Sparrow

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



Stu & Carissa // Chic Ace Hotel engagement in Palm Springs

how he asked-torrance wedding-photography

FROM THE BRIDE // Stu and I met freshman year of high school. We were in the same group of friends for many years, but never thought about dating one another. Stu was in band and I was on the drill team. We saw each other often and even hung out in the same circles.  Though we were always in together, we never talked much. I felt he was shy and I was very outgoing, so I didn’t think we made a good match.  After high school we basically parted ways and hadn’t seen one another since.  

It wasn’t until over 10 years later that we reconnected.  About two years or so ago, I began to see him at some friends get togethers and parties. I suppose you would say that the “Stars Aligned”. It was the night of Stu’s holiday work party when everything went right. He called me and asked me to hang out with him.  Unfortunately, he was a little nervous to ask me to the actual party, but we hung out afterward and we have been together ever since. I know that he is the man of my dreams because I can be with him night and day and it never gets old. I can’t believe that we hit it off on that holiday night.  Two years after that beautiful holiday evening, he proposed in Redondo Beach. It was a private and romantic evening where we shared an exchange under the stars. I’m so glad to be marrying my best friend and I can’t wait for our wedding day!

VENDORS: Venue: Ace Hotel in Palm Springs // Photography:  Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Styling:  Nicole Alexandra Designs // Yellow Dress: Shabby Apple & Pink Dress: Rent the Runway  // Hair & Makeup:  Cheryl Nacario // Suit Jacket: Mattucci // Calligraphy: Kindred Calligraphy // Wooden Mr & Mrs // Florals: Bridewell Market  // My Little Flower Shop // Cake: Over the Rainbow Desserts

©2104 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Chic Ace Hotel engagement in Palm Springs



VENDORS: Venue: Ace Hotel in Palm Springs // Photography:  Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Styling:  Nicole Alexandra Designs // Yellow Dress: Shabby Apple & Pink Dress: Rent the Runway  // Hair & Makeup:  Cheryl Nacario // Suit Jacket: Mattucci // Calligraphy: Kindred Calligraphy // Wooden Mr & Mrs // Florals: Bridewell Market  // My Little Flower Shop // Cake: Over the Rainbow Desserts

©2104 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Chic Ace Hotel engagement in Palm Springs

  • Erin LeppoOctober 24, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    LOVE IT!!! 😀ReplyCancel

  • GinaNovember 25, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    Love this session! Especially the interior shots in the lobby and the details… good job! Love the Ace! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Joel DantoNovember 25, 2014 - 9:24 pm

    amazing location! Gorgeous looks.ReplyCancel

  • VictoriaNovember 25, 2014 - 10:50 pm

    You seriously could not have picked a more gorgeous location. Loving it!ReplyCancel

  • Brittney HannonNovember 26, 2014 - 11:02 pm

    I have always heard of this hotel but have never been there. It is absolutely gorgeous as is the couple and your work is amazing! Great job on all of these!ReplyCancel

  • PascalAugust 1, 2015 - 8:10 pm

    Great job with the sunlight – and way to catch all that emotion!ReplyCancel

Shon & Lena // South Coast Botanical garden wedding

how she did it


Our wedding day was amazing. It was everything we dreamed of and more. We had all of our family and friends with us, they traveled from near and far, just to be with us on our special day. My day started off with finishing up our wedding cake. I still had to cover the top cake with fondant and lace and put the flowers all over it. I was crazy for doing this, it took so long. While all my girls were getting ready, I was decorating our cake. This put me behind on getting my hair and makeup done, which then put us behind on leaving to our venue for pictures. This was my only stress on our wedding day. I am so happy that Sun & Sparrow was there. Tiffani made sure we were still able to get all the ‘getting ready’ shots, and then all of the shots at our venue. When I first saw Shon, during our “first look” all of my stress went away. I knew nothing else mattered that day, now that he was with me again. I couldn’t stop crying when I saw him. He was the man I was about to marry and spend the rest of my life with. Nothing could get me down that day. Once we did all of our photos with our family, we had a couple moments to ourselves before we said our I do’s. It was like the calm before the storm. It was so peaceful and magical. We said our I Do’s and we were finally married!! We could finally party and enjoy everything we had worked so hard to plan. Our reception was wonderful! Wonderful food, wonderful music, fun games, and loving people all around. It was everything we had dreamed it to be. It was the best day of our lives!!!
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR WEDDING?  //  The inspiration behind our wedding was rustic/romantic. We wanted to get married in a forest and be surrounded by trees, since Shon is from Oregon, we wanted to bring a little of that into our wedding. We wanted it to feel very homey and like love was in the air.
WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE/FAVORITE PART ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY?  //  Shon: Seeing my bride, and getting married. I will always remember our first look.
Lena: Finally seeing Shon after being apart from him all day. And finally being able to marry him and call him my husband. I also loved that our dog Penny could be there, that made me feel more relaxed. I will never forget how loved we felt that day. Having our closest friends and family with us on such a memorable day, was amazing. It was also perfect weather, our whole wedding was all outside, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. We felt so blessed and so loved, we will never forget this day!!
WHY WAS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO YOU AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SUN & SPARROW?  //   I always knew I needed to have photography at my wedding. I can’t always remember the little details, so I wanted someone to be there to capture all the little things and moments I wouldn’t be able to see. Once I became friends with Ellie, and later Tiffani, and I saw their work, I knew I wanted them to be my wedding photographers.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BRIDES WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?  //  It is never too soon to start planning! I can’t believe all the last minute little details that snuck up on us. It was crazy! We were blessed to have all of our family and friends around to help, but there are some things that only the bride and groom can do. Make sure all of your vendors are on the same page, and you have someone to be your day of coordinator. Mine helped so much! She took care of all the setup and communicating with the vendors. I didn’t have to think of anything on my wedding day!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING MARRIED NOW?  //  My favorite part of being married now is being able to call Shon my husband. We have since moved and we are enjoying married life, just the two of us and our dog. It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for us, being married has brought us closer together. It’s so amazing to be married, to have my best friend with me all the time.
© 2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Big thanks to Katie Jackson Photography for second shooting with us! // South Coast Botanical garden wedding

VENDORS //  Venue:  South Coast Botanic Gardens   //  Photographer: Sun & Sparrow Photographers  //  Videographer: Janelle Warren Photography  //  Wedding dress: Bridal Elegance, Torrance  //  Caterer: Lucille’s BBQ  //  Day of coordinator: Wonderland Events  //  photo booth: creative photo booths
© 2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Big thanks to Katie Jackson Photography for second shooting with us! // South Coast Botanical garden wedding

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