Photos from Greta and Matt’s wedding at Bel-Air Bay Club, which began with the bride getting ready in an oceanside suite at this gorgeous Pacific Palisades wedding venue. This was followed by a Catholic wedding ceremony at Saint Monica Catholic Church and a portrait session on the sands of Santa Monica Beach before a lively wedding reception back at Bel-Air Bay Club.
GRETA & MATTHEW
Getting ready: Bel-Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades, CA (bride) and Marina Del Rey Marriott Hotel in Marina Del Rey, CA (groom)
Greta and Matt first reached out to me around a year ago about capturing their wedding at Bel-Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades after finding me through WeddingWire. It was just a few emails back and forth before they decided to book me – I thought it was too good to be true! They were planning a Catholic Mass at Saint Monica Catholic Church (with a few Filipino traditions thrown in to honor Greta’s ancestry) before celebrating with family and friends during a ballroom reception at Bel-Air Bay Club.
Greta and Matt met through work out in New Jersey and made the move to California a few years ago looking for a new adventure. They both love being in the outdoors, hiking and hanging out at the beach, which was a theme in their oceanside wedding in Pacific Palisades.
Many of their guests were flying in from the East Coast and with a lot of rain in the previous week, I was worried that it was going to put a dampener on their special day. While it rained right up until the morning of their wedding, we were lucky that the sun came out and blessed this wonderful couple with clear, sunny skies.
Although we’ve exchanged emails and had a Skype meeting leading up to their wedding, I was excited to finally meet them in person when I up down to Pacific Palisades to capture the girls getting ready in a room at Bel-Air Bay Club. Meanwhile, my second photographer headed to Marina Del Rey Marriott Hotel where Matt and his groomsmen were making their final preparations.
Getting ready photos at Bel-Air Bay Club:
I began the day capturing photos of Greta having the final touches applied to her makeup and sharing in this special moment with her bridesmaids in their floral robes. I grabbed some shots of her cute flower girls looking out from the balcony of their getting ready suite at Bel-Air Bay Club and a black and white as one peaked into the room.
Greta was joined by not only her sister and closest friends but also her mom and grandma while getting ready for her wedding at Bel-Air Bay Club. I captured shots as her mom helped to button the back of her wedding dress and secure her necklace, as well as a photo as her entire entourage assisted as she stepped into her shoes.
We then moved out onto the balcony for a champagne toast before Greta gave some gifts to her mom and grandma. Her two maids-of-honor then delivered a gift from her groom, with Greta beaming as she opened the jewelry box.
We used the rest of the time available for portraits of Greta with her mom and grandparents, as well as some shots of the bride looking absolutely radiant in front of the French doors of Bel-Air Bay Club. Her mom then assisted in securing her veil and we made the short drive over to Santa Monica where her Catholic ceremony was due to take place.
Ceremony photos at Saint Monica Catholic Church:
Greta and Matt’s Catholic wedding ceremony at Saint Monica Catholic Church began with the groom being escorted down the aisle by his parents. Instead of wearing a suit jacket, he’d decided on a traditional barong in respect of Greta’s Filipino heritage. Greta then arrived on the arms of her mom and grandfather, with a sweet hand-off at the altar.
I tried to capture Greta and Matt’s Catholic Mass from multiple angles, grabbing a wide-angle shot looking down the aisle of this ornate Santa Monica church and up-close shots as they exchanged vows, lit the unity candle and took Communion together. I also documented the reactions of their bridesmaids and groomsmen watching on and a few special glances between the bride and groom during this special ceremony.
Greta and Matt then made a joyous recessional walk down the aisle and were congratulated by their family and friends with a receiving line. We snuck back inside Saint Monica Catholic Church for a quick portrait of the newlyweds, as well as grabbing a few shots outside the grand wooden doors of this impressive church.
Portraits at Saint Monica Catholic Church and Bel-Air Bay Club:
Before heading back to Bel-Air Bay Club, we stopped at Santa Monica Beach for a few couples and bridal party portraits. While the strong sun wasn’t ideal for photography, we managed to get a few romantic couple portraits and a whimsical shot of the bridal party on the sands.
By the time we arrived back at Bel-Air Bay Club, the light had softened and we utilized the elegant balcony for a bridal party portrait session. Matt and his groomsmen had changed into their suit jackets and we got a playful shot as they showed off their matching socks, as well as capturing one of Greta and her bridesmaids hiding behind their bouquets.
As the magical “golden hour” light arrived, we moved down onto the grassy lawns in front of Bel-Air Bay Club to continue the portrait session, capturing romantic shots of the newlyweds framed by the venue’s palm trees. I grabbed portraits of them embracing with the Pacific Ocean in the background and one of Matt dipping Greta, as well as some photos of them in front of Bel-Air Bay Club’s French doors.
Reception photos at Bel-Air Bay Club:
Greta and Matt made a grand entrance into their wedding reception at Bel-Air Bay Club before launching straight into their first dance. This was followed by a “thank you” toast from the couple and speeches from those closest to them. I captured all the laughter and emotion as Greta’s two maids-of-honor and Matt’s best men all made speeches, with the couple listening in from their sweetheart table.
It was then time for the parental dances, with Greta and her mom first to take to the dance floor, followed by Matt and his mom. Next up was an “Anniversary Dance”, with Greta’s parents the “last standing” on the dance floor after having been married for more than 60 years!
It was then open dancing for the rest of the night, with plenty of action to capture as Greta, Matt, their family, and friends celebrated this special day. The night was interspersed with a bouquet toss and playful garter removal, as well as a cake cutting ceremony as the newlyweds cut their stunning, multi-tiered wedding cake.
The night ended with a “bubble exit” from Bel-Air Bay Club as Matt dipped and kissed his bride while their family and friends watched on.
Wedding photos at Bel-Air Bay Club:
It was a real joy to finally meet Greta and Matt to capture their wedding at Bel-Air Bay Club and I never take for granted having such wonderful couples trusting me to document their special day. I know that they’re off to Patagonia for their honeymoon, so I wish them an incredible time and all the best as they embark on this new chapter in their life.