15Dec

U.S. Grant

By, December 15, 2017

Highlights of the U.S. Grant

The U.S. Grant is a San Diego icon that ties together the aesthetics of past and future. A national landmark located in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the hotel was built in 1910 by the son of Ulysses S. Grant. The venue’s architecture possesses a Gatsby-esque, Art Deco-style rejuvenated with a modern charm. For weddings, the U.S. Grant offers many options, with couples being able to tie the knot in the venue’s most requested ceremony venue, the Crystal Ballroom. From there, the reception is often held in the Bivouac Ballroom, a known speakeasy during the time of Prohibition.

The building’s interior also exudes a larger-than-life presence with its luxurious crystal chandeliers, empire-style furnishings and regal marble floors decorating the property throughout. With its ornate architecture and bold facade, the US Grant building offers a number of different backgrounds for a classic look.

Bridal party throwing confetti while bride and groom kiss
Solo portrait of bride and groom before wedding ceremony
During Kamisha and Cecil's wedding day (above left) we used the iconic corner of the building to feature the hotel's sign. Framed in between the signs and the lamp posts, we loved the symmetry at play for a fun, stylized portraitu00a0of this duo.
Bride and Groom portraits outside the US Grant Hotel
Bride and groom sit on lounge furniture during wedding reception
Bride and Groom walk across city street in Downtown San Diego
Funny portrait of groom jumping while bride looks on and laughs
Candid portrait of wedding couples walking down streets of Downtown San Diego
Bride and Groom drinking champagne at bar in Downtown San Diego
Bride and Groom lie on checkered tile and smile at one another
Bride putting on shoe before wedding ceremony
Bride looking out over balcony while getting ready for wedding ceremony
Groom and groomsmen sit in modern furniture at US Grant
Wedding couple and bridal party jump in middle of Downtown street
Bride poses for stylish portrait with bridesmaids at the US Grant
Wedding Ceremony at the Crystal Ballroom in the US Grant
Bride and Groom portraits in Downtown San Diego
bride and groom embracing on balcony overlooking US Grant Hotel
Candid portrait of bride and groom laughing by stairway
Bride and groom hold hands and kiss in front of water fountain outside the US Grant Hotel
Groomsmen standing outside the US Grant Hotel in Downtown San Diego
Wedding couple with Bridal party at the US Grant Hotel
Groom with groomsmen in front of brick wall in downtown San Diego
bride with bridesmaids in downtown san diego california
bride and bridesmaids sitting after getting ready for ceremony
Dramatic, back-lit portrait of bride and groom at the us grant
Noticing an empty boardroom near the ceremony site, we wanted to take advantage of the US Grant's interior architecture on Janna and Nika's wedding day. To separate the couple from the dark walls and create a pop of contrast, we placed a light placed behind them and pointed it upwards to illuminate the rest of the room.
Bride and Groom embrace under luxurious chandelier at US Grant
Groom sits with groomsmen at the US Grant
Bride and Groom kiss on streets of Downtown San Diego
Wedding couple and Bridal Party outside the US grant
Wedding Couple's first look at the us grant
Colorful wedding reception at the US Grant
Bride and Groom kiss under gaslamp sign
creative, slow-shutter portrait of bride and groom kissing
Outside, the Downtown area has plenty to offer those wanting au00a0more complete metropolitan look to their day.
Bride and Groom kiss in water fountain at Horton Plaza
Adjacent to the US Grant sits Horton Plaza which offers a number of fun, playful backgrounds to offset the urban appeal of Downtown. On Bethlene and Brent's wedding day, we placed the couple at the center of the plaza'su00a0water park and framed our composition to give the illusion of water falling all around them for an artistic portrait.
Night portrait of bride and groom kissing outside us grant hotel
Creative night portrait of bride and groom outside US Grant in Downtown
Stylized night portrait of bride and groom at US Grant
Once the sun sets,u00a0the streets areu00a0transformed into a display of neon as the lights illuminate the cityscape. During this time, the U.S. Grant takes on a completely unique look thanu00a0the daytime with its artistic display of color on the building's facade at night.

U.S. Grant Wedding Photography

The U.S. Grant is a great option for those seeking a classic yet urban feel with a dose of luxury. As preferred photographers of the U.S. Grant, we photograph weddings here frequently :) If you are considering a wedding at this venue, we are happy to talk over specific photography questions. We also suggest checking out more of our U.S. Grant wedding photos.

17Jan

California Dreamin’ in Ocean Beach | Rubie and Jason

By, January 17, 2017

Rubie and Jason are San Diego locals, and one of their favorite date spots is nearby Ocean Beach. So for their engagement shoot, we headed straight to the coast! The couple’s special connection to the beach – and particularly Sunset Cliffs – was evident from the moment they hit the sand. Here are a few of our favorite moments from the day!

Engaged couple embrace and kiss next to vintage Volkswagen Bus at beach

Embracing the nostalgia of the day with a 1960’s beach vibe, the couple rode in this vintage green Volkswagen from ZElectric Motors

Engaged couple embrace and lean against vintage Volkswagen bus during engagement session

Jason rocked a classic Hawaiian shirt throughout the day’s shoot:) 

Two images of Engaged couple holding hands and kissing in Volkswagen bus during beach engagement session

Taking note of the Volkswagen’s sunroof, we let in some rays and played around with different perspectives. By utilizing the pier nearby, we were able to gain a bird’s eye angle and use the roof as a frame while Rubie and Jason leaned in for a kiss.  Then, inside the vehicle, we split the composition to include both the open sky and the couple’s reactions. 

Groom-to-be drives Volkswagen bus as Bride-to-be sits behind him

For a brief moment, Jason grabbed the wheel as Rubie looked on with affection. To capture the spontaneity, and remain unobtrusive, we positioned ourselves looking in through the front window.

Engaged couple sit against vintage Volkswagen bus on sandy beach during engagement session

Two images of engaged couple leaning against and sitting in vintage Volkswagen bus on beach

With a variety of angles, we loved bringing new life to this classic vehicle, and adding to the overall story of the day.

Reflection of engaged couple kissing in metal hubcap of volkswagen bus

Noticing the metallic reflection of the tire’s hubcap (above), we placed Rubie and Jason out in the sand for a creative portrait. 

Bride-to-be stands outside vintage Volkswagen bus while Groom-to-be looks at her and drives on beach Engaged couple kiss in front seat of volkswagen busUnique photo of engaged couple embracing during sunset through window of vintage Volkswagen bus during beach engagement session

Later, we cruised over to Sunset Cliffs as the sun began to set in the sky. We love that Rubie and Jason chose somewhere close to their hearts with a personal connection.

Engaged couple embrace and look at one another on rocks overlooking ocean during beach engagement session

To show off the landscape, we placed the couple at a lower angle and positioned ourselves on higher ground. By taking an elevated perspective, and adding a hint of off-camera flash, we captured the colorful sky and surrounding ocean.

Engaged couple sit in front seat of vintage volkswagen busEngaged couple embrace and kiss one another during sunset at Sunset Cliffs

We had so much fun photographing this fun, laid-back couple and look forward to photographing their beach wedding at Scripps Seaside Forum next year!

Silhouette of engaged couple kissing during sunset
Check out more moments from Rubie and Jason’s vintage beach engagement session.

14Jun

Condor’s Nest Ranch | Allison and Justin

By, June 14, 2016

Recently, Allison and Justin celebrated their lovely outdoor wedding at Condor’s Nest Ranch in Pala, California. This working ranch is tucked away deep in the mountains, and has an authentic rustic style. The property features an assortment of authentic barns, tractors and farm animals, which completes the rural aesthetic.

Bride and Groom kissing in rustic barn on wedding day

Before the ceremony, Allison prepared in the Ranch House, which is located on the property (see below). The room’s country vibe, amplified by the wood tones and antique props, created the perfect contrast to her modern high-neck halter dress from Casablanca Bridal.

Modern bohemian bride in wedding dress by Casablanca Bridal while holding rustic bouquet Bride shows off ring to bridesmaids for funny reaction Modern Hipster Groom wearing tux from Men's Warehouse poses for photos

The ranch spreads out over 20 acres of property, giving us lots of opportunity to play with the natural landscape. We also made good use of the structures onsite, like in the photo below.

Groom and Groomsmen outside rustic barn

Later on, these cattle stole the spotlight with a classic photobomb of Justin.

Groom poses in front of cattle at rustic outdoor ranch on wedding day

The intimate property sits 1800 ft. above sea level, and overlooks a picturesque valley. To exchange vows, the couple chose the romantic outdoor ceremony site below, featuring breathtaking scenic views.

Wide-angle perspective of bride and groom tying the knot during rustic outdoor wedding ceremony

Allison made her entrance down an aisle of flower petals with Dad by her side (below).

Father walks Bride down flower aisle during wedding ceremony Groom looks on and smiles after seeing Bride come down aisle during wedding Groom dips Bride during First Kiss at outdoor wedding ceremony overlooking mountains

After the ceremony, we walked with Allison and Justin around the ranch’s vast property. By taking advantage of the rural environment and vintage charm, we were able to showcase a variety of backgrounds in the portrait photos.

Bride and Groom embrace one another after rustic outdoor wedding ceremony during beautiful california sunset on ranch Modern Bohemian Bride and Groom pose for photos at rustic ranch Romantic bride and groom look into each other's eyes and touch noses Bride and Groom hold hands and romantically look at one another in rustic greenhouse shed at ranch weddingBride and Groom stand in front of rustic barn door after outdoor ceremony Modern bohemian wedding couple embrace one another before rustic outdoor wedding ceremony at Condor's Nest Ranch in Pala, California.

Allison’s bridesmaids chose alternating dress colors, which added a personalized flair, as well as a vibrant pop of color.

Bohemian modern wedding bridal party outside vintage 76 gas station Black and white photo of wedding couple walk with bridal party at rustic ranch

As the day progressed, Allison and Justin invited guests to the ranch’s pool area, which served as the reception site. As you’ll see in the photo below, the festivities were kicked off with a romantic first dance :)

Bride and Groom share romantic First Dance during rustic outdoor wedding reception

During dinner, tables were decorated with mason jars, as well as floral centerpieces mixed with succulents.

Colorful pink, green and white centerpieces during rustic outdoor wedding reception on ranchCustom rustic wicker chairs for bride and groom during outdoor reception

Throughout the night, Allison and Justin incorporated a bohemian twist to their details, and entertained guests with old-school popcorn machines.

Fun and creative vintage popcorn machine during rustic outdoor wedding reception

In addition, there was a delicious dessert table designed to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

Dessert table with wedding cake, cookies and candy during rustic wedding reception Bride and Groom hold knife and begin to cut cake as guests watch during outdoor wedding receptionBride prepares to toss bouquet during outdoor reception Bride and Groom's ornate diamond rings placed on vintage typewriter at rustic ranch wedding Creative long-exposure of outdoor rustic wedding reception on ranch at night

Vendors

Venue: Condor’s Nest Ranch
Wedding Dress: Casablanca Bridal
Wedding Shoes: Sam Edelman “Gigi” Sandals
Wedding Rings: Adiamor (Bride Engagement Band) Its A Little Thing (Bride Wedding Band) & Ben Bridge (Groom)
Makeup: Sunshine Hair Design
Hair Stylist: Sunshine Hair Design
Coordinator: Condor’s Nest Ranch
Officiant: Pastor Glenn Hirashiki
Catering: Dalena’s Catering 2 U
Disc Jockey: Universal Weddings and Events

Check out more romantic moments from Allison and Justin’s rustic outdoor wedding