Photos from Leigha and Ryan’s wedding at Annenberg Community Beach House, which began with the couple getting ready in separate suites at Fairmont Miramar Hotel And Bungalows. I then captured their romantic garden first look session and some portraits in front of the Santa Monica Pier before they exchanged vows during a rooftop wedding ceremony. After a sunset portrait session on the sands of Santa Monica Beach, the night ended with a lively reception at Annenberg Community Beach House.
Wedding photos at Annenberg Community Beach House:
Leigha and Ryan inquired back in August about capturing their intimate wedding at Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. The bride had been referred to me by a friend (albeit without my full name or wedding photography business name), so she persistently searched online until she found me!
The lovely couple met around a year ago through their work, with the couple currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. The bride actually lived in Los Angeles for many years, which was one of the reasons to get married in Santa Monica. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a destination wedding for almost all the guests in Sunny So Cal during the winter time!
We got to know one another better during a phone meeting a few months back and they are such a sweet and thoughtful couple. I was so thankful that they selected Aevitas Weddings to capture their special day and all the love that it evoked.
Getting ready photos at Fairmont Miramar Hotel And Bungalows:
I met up with my photographer at Fairmont Miramar Hotel And Bungalows in Santa Monica where the bride and groom were making their final preparations. They were in separate suites located just across the corridor from one another, which made it really easy for us to dash back and forth to capture all the getting ready moments.
I photographed Leigha having the final touches applied to her makeup and admiring her gorgeous wedding dress, then grabbed a shot as she sipped on champagne while looking out across Santa Monica from her balcony. I also grabbed some candid shots as her friend assisted her into her wedding dress and secured her bracelet before a playful photo of them laughing as she slipped on the garter.
Meanwhile, Ryan was getting ready across the way and I captured candid shots as he adjusted his tie and secured his cufflinks. He’d had socks custom-made with pictures of the couple’s two dogs, so we captured a shot showcasing them as he slipped on his shoes. Ryan was great at following my lead as he looked out across the sands of Santa Monica Beach from his suite balcony.
Pre-ceremony portraits at Fairmont Miramar Hotel And Bungalows:
It was then time for the first look between the couple, which was being held in a courtyard garden of Fairmont Miramar Hotel And Bungalows. The couple had written sweet notes, which they exchanged with their backs to one another, before the official first look as Leigha walked up behind Ryan.
I captured the reactions of both the bride and groom at seeing one another for the first time on their wedding day before capturing romantic portraits of them in this loved-up moment. We utilized a cabana in the grounds of Fairmont Miramar Hotel And Bungalows and a white picket fence, then moved inside for a portrait with the hotel’s beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
Leigha and Ryan also wanted to get some portraits incorporating the Santa Monica Pier and its iconic Ferris wheel, so we made the quick drive over. I captured shots of them holding hands and embracing on the edge of the sand before driving them back to Annenberg Community Beach House where their ceremony was to be held.
Ceremony photos at Annenberg Community Beach House:
Leigha’s uncle walked her down the aisle as Ryan watched on proudly, with the couple exchanging vows on the rooftop of Annenberg Community Beach House in front of around 50 of their closest family and friends. I grabbed candid shots of both the bride and groom’s reactions during the intimate ceremony, as well as capturing a wide-angle shot looking across the sun-drenched venue.
The ceremony concluded with Ryan performing a Jewish “breaking of the glass” before the couple sealed their marriage with a kiss. I documented their recessional walk down the aisle with both the bride and groom beaming, with a spontaneous kiss as they were congratulated by family and friends.
Post-ceremony portraits at Annenberg Community Beach House:
As Leigha and Ryan’s guests enjoyed cocktail hour at Annenberg Community Beach House, we took advantage of the gorgeous golden hour light for couple portraits in and around the venue. We utilized a bright green hedge and a walkway in front of the property, as well as a set of romantic swings located just outside.
As the sun sank towards the horizon, we got creative with some silhouette shots of the couple, then used the off-camera flash to illuminate them as they sky transformed behind. I ended this sunset portrait session in Santa Monica by giving the couple some time to just soak up the moment and captured a natural candid shot of them doing just that!
Reception photos at Annenberg Community Beach House:
After making their grand reception entrance at Annenberg Community Beach House, Leigha and Ryan kicked off proceedings with their first dance. This was followed by a thank you speech by the couple and some toasts from those closest to them before the couple went round to personally greet each of their wedding guests.
I captured some romantic shots of the couple cozying up at their sweetheart table before Leigha danced with her uncle and Ryan performed a mother-son dance with his mom. This was followed by the cake-cutting ceremony and open dancing for the rest of the night.
There was plenty of action to capture on the dance floor from the couple and their guests, particularly Ryan’s mom who even danced with one of the staff members from Annenberg Community Beach House! Leigha and Ryan ended the evening with a grand exit from their Santa Monica wedding reception venue as their guests waved glow sticks on either side.
Wedding photos at Annenberg Community Beach House:
I can’t thank Leigha and Ryan enough for being such a wonderful couple, from the very first phone contact we had until the end of their reception. It was wonderful to capture all the love and moments from their wedding at Annenberg Community Beach House and I hope they enjoy the rest of their time here in Southern California.