Wedding At Ventana Inn And Spa

May 11, 2016

KAITLIN & DEVIN

Locations:

 

Introduction:

Kaitlin Doubleday and her love Devin Lucien really need no introduction. So let me start off by saying what an honor and privilege it was to be selected as their wedding photographer for their intimate wedding at Ventana Inn And Spa. It was after Kaitlin had seen the photos I captured of a friend’s wedding that she decided to book me and it was such a magical day to be a part of.

My wife Charlene was the second photographer for the event and we headed up to Big Sur for the rehearsal the Thursday before Kaitlin and Devin’s big day. While I’d had some contact with the “Empire” star through email and texts in the lead-up to the event, I was excited to actually meet her and her husband-to-be in person.

Even though I’ve shot more than 350 weddings over the course of a decade, this was my first celebrity wedding and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a few butterflies. But from the moment I met Kaitlin and Devin in their room at the Ventana Inn And Spa, I knew it was going to be a wonderful event to capture. I was really humbled when Devin told me he loved my photos, and I encouraged him to showcase his DJing skills during the reception so I could have the privilege of capturing them!

The day was being organized by wedding planner Samantha and she led a really tight ship of incredible vendors that were such a privilege to work with. From the florists and the camera crew of “Entertainment Tonight” who were there to film, to the team at the Ventana Inn And Spa who looked after us over the weekend, it was working alongside professionals like this that made this celebrity wedding run so smoothly.

gorgeous couple portrait at ventana inn and spa

A portrait of the gorgeous couple on their luxurious wedding day at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

 

Getting ready photos at Ventana Inn And Spa:

The big day itself was on Friday and we woke up to discover it was a little cloudy and rain had been forecasted. While I know most couples want a perfect sunny day for their wedding, as a photographer I much prefer to work under cloudy conditions with beautiful diffuse lighting, so it definitely didn’t put a dampener on my spirits.

It wasn’t putting a dampener on Kaitlin or Devin either as we met up with them to capture their preparations for this once-in-a-lifetime event. Kaitlin had a really close-knit bunch of girlfriends as her bridesmaids, together with her best friend Max who was the “man of honor”. I captured some special moments with her mom as they made their last-minute preparations, while Charlene was with Devin as got ready with the help of his dad and groomsman Nick.

We had a bit of time up our sleeve, so I used it to capture some portraits of Kaitlin looking absolutely stunning in her bridal gown outside the rustic suite where she had been getting ready. I want to give a big shout out to her long-term friend and stylist who was right by my side throughout the shoot ensuring Kaitlin looking amazing. He was the one fluffing her dress and holding her bouquet, and he just made my job such a breeze.

bride getting ready with friends for big sur wedding

Kaitlin surrounded by her bridesmaids and ‘man of honor’ as they prepared for her special day in Big Sur.

beautiful couple portrait by big sur wedding photographer

A portrait of Kaitlin looking radiant as she prepared for her glamorous celebrity wedding at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

candid groom getting ready photo at ventana inn

A candid photo of Devin getting ready for his wedding day at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

reflective groom getting ready photo in big sur

Reflective portrait of Devin getting ready for his celebrity wedding at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

candid moment groom and dad at ventana inn

Devin’s dad helps to fix his bow tie as they were preparing for his special day at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

bride and bridesmaids getting ready at ventana inn and spa

Kaitlin surrounded by her bridesmaids as they made their last minute preparations for the Ventana Inn And Spa wedding.

candid moment bride and mom during big sur wedding

Kaitlin helps to secure her mom’s necklace as they were getting ready at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

bride practising vows before ventana inn wedding

Kaitlin practising reading her vows as she prepared for her wedding day at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

gorgeous bride portrait at ventana inn big sur

Portrait of Kaitlin in her gorgeous bridal gown at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

beautiful bride portrait at ventana inn big sur

Kaitlin with her bouquet in front of her getting ready suite at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

candid photo groom and groomsman by big sur wedding photographer

One of Devin’s groomsmen, Nick, helps him prepare for his special day at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

black and white photo groom reading gift card

A black and white shot of Devin reading a gift card from his future wife before their Big Sur wedding.

special moment between groom and mom at ventana inn

A special moment between Devin and his mom before his luxurious wedding ceremony at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

portrait of groom at ventana inn and spa

Portrait of the groom full of joy and excitement on his wedding day at Big Sur’s Ventana Inn And Spa.

bride portrait outside rustic cabin in big sur

Portrait of Kaitlin outside her getting ready suite at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

stunning bride portrait by los angeles wedding photographer

Close up portrait of Kaitlin during her Ventana Inn And Spa wedding photo session in Big Sur.

 

Pre-ceremony portraits at Ventana Inn And Spa:

The couple had decided on a first look session in the beautiful gardens of the Ventana Inn And Spa and the overcast conditions resulted in the most perfect lighting. Kaitlin walked towards Devin and it was an emotional moment for both of them upon seeing each other for the first time that day. The skies were starting to threaten rain, so I knew we didn’t have a lot of time to work with, but we managed to have a short couple portrait session around the Ventana Inn And Spa.

We then brought together their entourage for bridal party portraits, both classic photos and a few more playful ones. I particularly love the portrait of Devin and his groomsmen hanging out just in front of the cabin and walking through the grassy field in formation. After a photo with her sister Portia and an impromptu first look with her dad, Kaitlin went back into her suite to make a few final adjustments and secure her veil.

bride walks towards groom during romantic first look session

Kaitlin walking towards Devin during their first look session at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

bride reaction during ventana inn first look session

Capturing Kaitlin’s reaction during her first look session with Devin at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

intimate first look session at ventana inn and spa

Devin catches his first glimpse of Kaitlin on their wedding day at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

couple look into each other’s eyes during first look session

The soon-to-be married couple look into each other’s eyes during their romantic first look session in Big Sur.

bride tears up during emotional first look session

Capturing Kaitlin’s emotional reaction during her first look session with Devin at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

intimate moment during big sur first look session

Kaitlin and Devin share a special moment during their intimate first look session in Big Sur.

black and white photo of couple kiss at ventana inn

A black and white portrait of the couple during their Ventana Inn And Spa wedding portrait session.

wide angle couple portrait at ventana inn

A wide angle shot of the couple within the leafy landscaped gardens of the Ventana Inn And Spa.

romantic ventana inn couple portrait session

Kaitlin and Devin walk hand-in-hand through the grounds of the Ventana Inn And Spa.

romantic couple portrait by los angeles wedding photographer

Devin kisses Kaitlin tenderly during their Ventana Inn And Spa couple portrait session.

groom holds bride’s bouquet during ventana inn portrait session

Devin holds Kaitlin’s bouquet as the walk through the grounds of the Ventana Inn And Spa.

romantic big sur couple portrait session

The couple share an intimate embrace during their romantic Big Sur wedding photo session.

couple kiss on ceremonial lawns at ventana inn

The couple kiss in front of their ceremonial arch at the luxurious Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

bridal party portrait at ventana inn and spa

Kaitlin and Devin, surrounded by their bridal party, during their wedding day celebrations at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

groom and groomsmen portrait at ventana inn

Portrait of Devin and his groomsmen looking sharp before the start of his wedding ceremony in Big Sur.

bride and entourage at ventana inn and spa

Portrait of Kaitlin with her bridesmaids and “man of honor’” at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

bride and sister portrait at ventana inn and spa

Capturing a special moment between Kaitlin and her sister Portia as they prepared for the wedding day at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

playful groomsmen photo at ventana inn and spa

A playful shot of Devin and his groomsmen hanging out before his Big Sur wedding ceremony.

playful groomsmen photo at ventana inn and spa

Devin and his groomsmen walk across the lawns of the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

 

Ceremony photos at Ventana Inn And Spa:

There was still a bit of drizzle around as the ceremony started, but Kaitlin and Devin’s wedding guests were well-prepared with umbrellas. But as the bride starting walking down the aisle, escorted by her dad, the rain cleared right on cue. I think my favorite part was after Kaitlin’s dad gave her away at the altar, the couple stole a kiss straight away – who says you have to wait until the end of the ceremony!

We captured their nuptials from multiple angles, including not only the expressions and reactions of the bride and groom, but also their family and friends. They were so many special exchanges and tender gestures between Kaitlin and Devin and they really wore their emotions on their sleeve – something I just love as a wedding photographer! Kaitlin was holding back tears as she exchanged rings with Devin, then after a joyful kiss at being pronounced “husband and wife”, they made their recessional walk down the aisle.

I just happened to be in the right place at the right time (and at the right focal length) to capture the split-second kiss that Kaitlin gave her dad as she walked back down the aisle – one of those rare moments that I’m so glad I was able to photograph!

At this point I have to give a big shout out to my wife Charlene. In the midst of the ceremony proceedings, we received the news that due to the rainy conditions, wedding planner Samantha had decided to move some of the reception furnishings inside. Although Charlene had already photographed all the gorgeous details that our hard-working co-vendors had created, she raced back down to the reception site to capture them again in their new setting. Then right on cue, just as the lighting was getting too dark for me to photograph without a flash, she arrived back ready to hold my off-camera flash monopod – talk about a savior!

reflective bride portrait by los angeles wedding photographer

A reflective shot of Kaitlin having her veil fitted by hairstylist Paul at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

candid moment bride and parents at big sur wedding

Kaitlin shares a special moment with her parents as they prepared for her wedding day in Big Sur.

candid photo groom with parents at big sur wedding

Devin is escorted by his parents towards his wedding ceremony at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

bride walking down aisle at ventana inn

Kaitlin’s father escorts her down the aisle during her Ventana Inn And Spa wedding ceremony.

groom reaction during big sur wedding ceremony

Capturing Devin’s reaction as he watched Kaitlin walk down the aisle at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

beautiful ceremony photos at ventana inn and spa

Kaitlin’s father gives her away to Devin at the aisle of their luxurious Ventana Inn And Spa wedding ceremony.

couple kiss during glamorous big sur wedding

Kaitlin and Devin sneak in a kiss at the start of their wedding ceremony in California’s Big Sur.

candid ceremony photo during big sur wedding

The celebrant asks ‘who is giving away this bride’ during Kaitlin and Devin’s luxurious wedding ceremony.

parental reactions during big sur wedding

Capturing Kaitlin’s parents reactions during their daughter’s wedding ceremony at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

ventana inn ceremony photo by los angeles wedding photographer

Kaitlin and Devin exchange vows at the luxurious Ventana Inn And Spa in California’s Big Sur.

candid couple photo during big sur wedding

Kaitlin and Devin share a laugh with their celebrant during their Big Sur wedding ceremony.

sister reaction during luxurious big sur wedding

Capturing Portia’s reaction during her sister’s beautiful wedding ceremony in Big Sur.

emotional ring exchange at ventana inn and spa

Kaitlin holds back tears as she exchanges rings with Devin at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

groom reaction during wedding ceremony ring exchange

Capturing Devin’s reaction as he exchanges rings with Kaitlin during their Big Sur wedding.

candid couple ceremony photo at ventana inn

Kaitlin and Devin share a laugh during their romantic wedding ceremony at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

creative black and white wedding ceremony photo

Creative black and white shot capturing Kaitlin’s parents reactions during her Big Sur wedding ceremony.

romantic couple kiss by los angeles wedding photographer

Devin kisses Kaitlin’s neck during their romantic wedding ceremony at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

candid bride portrait big sur wedding ceremony

Candid photo of Kaitlin as she exchanged vows with Devin during their glamorous Big Sur wedding.

beautiful ring exchange photo by big sur wedding photographer

Kaitlin exchanges rings with Devin during their romantic wedding ceremony at the luxurious Ventana Inn And Spa.

couple kiss during ventana inn wedding ceremony

The newly married couple kiss after being pronounced “husband and wife” at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

bride kisses father during ceremony recessional walk

Kaitlin kisses her dad on the cheek as she and Devin made their recessional walk down the aisle.

couple recessional walk during ventana inn wedding ceremony

Kaitlin and Devin make a joyful recessional walk down the aisle during their Ventana Inn And Spa wedding ceremony.

black and white photo couple kiss during big sur wedding

Black and white photo of the newly married couple stealing a kiss following their Big Sur wedding ceremony.

beautiful couple portrait at ventana inn and spa

Portrait of the newly married couple standing at the Ventana Inn And Spa ceremonial site.

 

Reception photos at Ventana Inn And Spa:

It was then time for the formal reception proceedings to get under way, starting with a beautiful first dance from Kaitlin and Devin. This was followed by a really warm father-daughter dance between Kaitlin and her dad, then the mother-son dance which ended with Devin’s dad joining them in an emotional moment I captured. Kaitlin’s sister and man of honor Max both made great toasts, as did Devin’s groomsmen Nick and Dave, then everyone hit the dance floor and let loose.

The crew from Entertainment Tonight were there to video Kaitlin and Devin’s wedding, stopping to grab interviews with the couple, as well as creator Lee Daniels and the “Empire” cast members. For us this was a great opportunity to get photos of the group together, as well as some shots of the interviews taking place themselves.

Right after Kaitlin and Devin’s interview, standing in front of a gorgeous table decorated with lit candles and flowers, Charlene encouraged me to stop them for a photo as the setting was just perfect. I was shy to disturb them, but she said “this shot is now or never”, and the kiss I captured ended up being one of my favorites and the last in the selection exhibited here.

Rather than a sit down dinner, Kaitlin and Devin’s reception was more of a cocktail style event, which meant that the dance floor was the center of action all night. One thing I really strive for as a wedding photographer is to capture images that really jump off the page and embody all the action of the moment, and this was one factor that attracted Kaitlin to my photography in the first place. On the night, I got right in the midst of all the guests and had an absolute blast on the dance floor, trying to capture all the energy, love and festivity in that room.

Although neither Kaitlin or Devin are Jewish, apparently some of Devin’s friends are and had decided to give the couple a traditional Jewish Horah dance. So there they were, lifted up above their guests on chairs over the dance floor, just loving every minute!

Part way through the evening, Kaitlin ditched her heels for a more comfortable pair of tennis shoes and let loose with the cast of “Empire”, her sister and all the family and friends who had come to celebrate this unforgettable day. To my absolute delight, Devin did actually get on the decks to do some DJing and it was a privilege to photograph him “at work” on his own wedding day!

couple first dance during ventana inn wedding reception

Kaitlin and Devin share a first dance during their Ventana Inn And Spa wedding reception.

couple first dance during big sur wedding reception

The newly married couple’s first dance, watched on by family and friends at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

empire stars at ventana inn wedding reception

Kaitlin with her Empire co-stars and creator during her lavish Ventana Inn And Spa wedding reception.

emotional father daughter dance at ventana inn

An emotional father-daughter dance between Kaitlin and her dad during the Ventana Inn And Spa wedding reception.

family watch on during father-daughter dance at big sur wedding

Kaitlin’s mom and sister watch on lovingly during the father-daughter dance at Ventana Inn And Spa.

emotional father-daughter dance at ventana inn

Kaitlin embraces her dad during their father-daughter dance at the Ventana Inn And Spa wedding reception.

mother-son dance at big sur wedding reception

Devin and his mom during the mother-son dance at his lavish Big Sur wedding reception.

emotional parental dance by los angeles wedding photographer

Devin’s dad joins the groom and his mom for an emotional moment on the dance floor at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

sister makes a toast during ventana inn wedding reception

Kaitlin’s sister Portia makes a toast during the Ventana Inn And Spa wedding reception in Big Sur.

couple reactions during reception toasts and speeches

Capturing Kaitlin and Devin’s reactions as speeches and toasts are made at their Big Sur wedding reception.

candid black and white ventana inn reception photo

A black and white photo of Portia’s fun toast at Kaitlin and Devin’s glamorous Ventana Inn And Spa reception.

couple reactions during wedding reception toast

The newly married couple share a laugh as speeches and toasts are made during their Big Sur wedding.

groomsmen speech during big sur wedding reception

Devin’s groomsmen, Nick and Dave, make a speech for the couple during their Big Sur wedding reception.

couple reactions during wedding reception toast

Capturing Kaitlin and Devin’s emotional reactions as speeches and toasts are made during their wedding reception.

bride and empire stars on dance floor during wedding reception

Kaitlin enjoying the dance floor with her Empire co-stars and creator at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

bride and empire stars on dance floor during wedding reception

Kaitlin getting down on the dance floor with her Empire co-stars at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

empire creator lee daniels wedding day interview

Creator of Empire, Lee Daniels, being interviewed by ‘Entertainment Tonight’ during Kaitlin Doubleday’s wedding.

kaitlin doubleday celebrity wedding photos by big sur photographer

Kaitlin Doubleday enjoying the dance floor with her family and friends at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

kaitlin doubleday celebrity wedding photos by big sur photographer

Portrait of Kaitlin Doubleday and “Empire” creator Lee Daniels during her luxurious Big Sur wedding.

candid dance floor wedding reception photo

Capturing all the dance floor action during Kaitlin Doubleday’s celebrity wedding at Big Sur.

couple getting down on dance floor at ventana inn and spa

Kaitlin and Devin getting down on the dance floor during their celebrity wedding at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

candid dance floor wedding reception photo

A playful shot of one of Kaitlin and Devin’s wedding guests during their luxurious Ventana Inn And Spa celebrations.

kaitlin doubleday celebrity wedding photos by los angeles photographer

Devin lifts Kaitlin into the air during their fun-filled wedding reception at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

kaitlin doubleday celebrity wedding photos by los angeles photographer

Kaitlin and her friend Sarah enjoying the dance floor during her glamorous Ventana Inn And Spa wedding reception.

funny wedding reception photo by los angeles wedding photographer

A playful shot of a wedding guest on the dance floor during Kaitlin and Devin’s celebrity wedding at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

traditional jewish horah chair dance wedding photo

Kaitlin and Devin are lifted into the air during a traditional Jewish Horah chair dance at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

traditional jewish horah chair dance wedding photo

Capturing a cheeky moment from the groom during their traditional Jewish Horah chair dance in Big Sur.

bride during traditional jewish chair dance at wedding reception

Energetic photo of Kaitlin being lifted above her family and friends on the dance floor at Ventana Inn And Spa.

fun wedding reception photo by los angeles wedding photographerDoubleday Celebrity Wedding Photos

Looking up towards Kaitlin and Devin being lifted above their family and friends on chairs at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

kaitlin doubleday wedding day photos in big sur

Kaitlin Doubleday is dipped on the dance floor during her wedding day celebrations in Big Sur.

kaitlin doubleday wedding day photos in big sur

Kaitlin changes into a pair of comfortable tennis shoes during her glamorous wedding day celebrations in Big Sur.

bride enjoying dance floor with sister during big sur reception

Kaitlin and her sister Portia getting down on the dance floor at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

bride and mom on dance floor by los angeles wedding photographer

Kaitlin enjoying the dance floor with her mom at the Ventana Inn And Spa in Big Sur.

empire stars at celebrity wedding in big sur

Kaitlin celebrates with her “Empire” co-stars during her celebrity wedding at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

empire creator lee daniels during kaitlin doubleday’s wedding

Kaitlin’s sister Portia and “Empire” creator Lee Daniels during the luxurious wedding celebrations in Big Sur.

candid couple photo on dance floor at ventana inn

Candid photo of Kaitlin and Devin on the dance floor during their Ventana Inn And Spa wedding reception.

fun dance floor photos at ventana inn and spa

Kaitlin and Devin on the dance floor at the Ventana Inn And Spa, surrounded by family and friends.

devin lucien dj photo at big sur wedding

Devin Lucien DJ-ing at his wedding day celebrations to Kaitlin Doubleday at Big Sur’s Ventana Inn And Spa.

kaitlin doubleday entertainment tonight wedding interview

The newly married couple being interviewed by “Entertainment Tonight” during their wedding reception in Big Sur.

energetic wedding day dance floor photo

Kaitlin’s sister and mom letting loose on the dance floor during the lively wedding celebrations at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

candid wedding reception photo at ventana inn

Devin sharing a special moment with a friend during his intimate wedding celebrations at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

kaitlin doubleday celebrity wedding photos by big sur photographer

Candid photo of Kaitlin Doubleday having a ball during her wedding day celebrations at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

energetic wedding reception dance floor photo

Friends and family letting loose on the dance floor during Kaitlin and Devin’s intimate wedding celebrations.

candid black and white couple kiss during wedding reception

A black and white candid photo of the newly married couple stealing a kiss during their wedding reception in Big Sur.

best man and maid-of-honor on dance floor

The best man and maid-of-honor letting loose on the dance floor at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

kaitlin doubleday and devin lucien wedding photo

Kaitlin and Devin sharing a special moment with a family friend during their intimate wedding celebrations in Big Sur.

candid dance floor photo at big sur wedding

Capturing all the action on the dance floor during Kaitlin and Devin’s wedding celebrations in Big Sur.

bride and sister on dance floor at ventana inn

Kaitlin and her sister enjoying the dance floor during her luxurious Big Sur wedding celebrations.

devin lucien dj set at wedding reception

Wedding guests watching on as Devin DJs during his Ventana Inn And Spa reception.

candid dance floor photo kaitlin doubleday celebrity wedding

The newly married couple on the dance floor of their reception, surrounded by family and friends.

wedding guests at kaitlin doubleday’s celebrity wedding reception

Candid photo of Kaitlin and Devin’s wedding guests enjoying their glamorous reception at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

black and white photo of bride on dance floor

A black and white photo of Kaitlin letting loose on the dance floor during her Big Sur wedding reception.

kaitlin doubleday celebrity wedding photos in big sur

Kaitlin and Devin soaking up the love and laughter of their celebrity wedding at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

energy-infused reception photos by los angeles wedding photographer

The newly married couple surrounded by family and friends during their exuberant wedding reception.

kaitlin doubleday celebrity wedding photos in big sur

Kaitlin and Devin enjoying the Ventana Inn And Spa dance floor during their intimate wedding celebrations.

couple kiss during luxurious ventana inn wedding

The newly married couple kiss in front of a table filled with candles and flowers at the Ventana Inn And Spa.

 

Conclusion:

Despite my initial butterflies at photographing such a high profile event, the celebrity wedding of Kaitlin and Devin was an absolute blast from start to finish. The newly married couple treated us as guests on their special day and their close-knit team of family and friends did so much to make our job that much easier.

I want to thank all the vendors who we worked alongside and wedding planner Samantha for putting it all together, as well as Sarah – the sister of a previous bride I photographed – who was the link that introduced me to Kaitlin in the first place. And last (but definitely not least) my incredible partner-in-crime Charlene who did so much on the day to help me capture these shots.

I wish Kaitlin and Devin a lifetime of happiness together and an incredible honeymoon in Greece!

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