couple kiss la venta inn wedding ceremony site
Henry Chen

Henry Chen

Wedding At La Venta Inn

Photos from Kristina and Hayden’s intimate wedding at La Venta Inn, which began with a romantic first look in the landscaped gardens. This was followed by a morning ceremony overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a brunch reception before heading to Santa Monica Beach for an urban-inspired wedding portrait session.

KRISTINA & HAYDEN

Locations:

  • Getting ready: La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates, CA (bride and groom)
  • Ceremony and reception: La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates, CA

 

Wedding photos at Palos Verdes Estates:

I heard from Kristina and Hayden last Fall about capturing their intimate wedding in Palos Verdes Estates and after just a few emails, they decided to book me. We hit it off immediately when I invited them to my home studio to hear more about their story and their plans for this wedding at La Venta Inn.

Kristina and Hayden met at grad school at Caltech where they were both doing a PhD in space engineering, and after six years together, they’re both now working at NASA. They were so incredibly sweet during our meeting, so I was excited to connect with them again to capture their special day at what is one of my favorite venues.

couple kiss la venta inn wedding ceremony site
A newly married bride and groom kiss at their stunning wedding ceremony site at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.

 

Getting ready photos at La Venta Inn:

Kristina and Hayden’s wedding at La Venta Inn was taking place in the morning, with the bride making her final preparations with her bridesmaids in an elegant suite. I captured some portraits of them sharing in this special moment in their floral robes before grabbing some more shots once Kristina had changed into her stunning floral dress. I loved that she’d decided on something a little more unconventional, with her bridesmaids the ones wearing white, and documented an emotional moment as her mom arrived.

As the only photographer capturing this wedding at La Venta Inn, I moved between the couple to document their getting ready moments after the groom and his entourage had arrived. I photographed his best man assisting him into his suit jacket and a casual shot with his groomsmen, before grabbing some portraits of the groom in front of a bamboo forest.

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Kristina surrounded by her bridesmaids in their floral robes as they prepared for the wedding at La Venta Inn.
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A playful portrait of Kristina’s bridesmaids admiring her engagement ring while getting ready at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A casual portrait of Hayden doing up his shirt while getting ready for his wedding at La Venta Inn.
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Hayden doing up one of his shoelace while seated on a rustic bench at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Hayden’s best man assists with his suit jacket while getting ready for his wedding in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A candid photo of Hayden relaxing with his groomsmen as he prepared for his wedding at La Venta Inn.
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Hayden doing up the front of his blue suit jacket in front of a bamboo forest at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A casual portrait of the groom standing at the bottom of a staircase at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A portrait of Hayden smiling in front of a bamboo forest during his wedding photo session at La Venta Inn.
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Kristina securing one of her earrings while getting ready for her intimate wedding at La Venta Inn.
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One of Kristina’s bridesmaids helps to do up her wedding shoes while getting ready in a suite at La Venta Inn.
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Capturing an emotional moment between Kristina and her mom at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina enjoying a moment with her bridesmaids wearing white dresses at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A portrait of Kristina looking out her getting ready suite window at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina seated beside a window in her getting ready suite at La Venta Inn wearing a stunning floral dress.
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Hayden’s mom helps to secure his boutonniere while getting ready for his wedding at La Venta Inn.
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Capturing a special moment between Hayden and his mom in the garden of La Venta Inn.

 

Pre-ceremony portraits at La Venta Inn:

After capturing some shots of Hayden’s mom assisting with his boutonniere, it was time for the couple’s first look, which was taking place on a garden pathway of La Venta Inn. We were really lucky with the cloudy conditions, which made for gorgeous diffuse lighting at a time when the sun can otherwise create quite harsh shadows.

I photographed Kristina walking up behind her groom as he waited patiently, then their emotional reactions at seeing one another for the first time on their special day. I particularly loved that they wore their emotions on their sleeves (not only in this moment but throughout the day), with really genuine embraces and special exchanges to capture as they let it all sink in.

We used the time available for some portraits of the couple in this loved-up moment as they explored the gardens of La Venta Inn and Hayden twirled his bride to showcase her flowing, floral dress. We also grabbed some playful bridal party portraits of Kristina’s bridesmaids covering their faces with their bouquets and one of Hayden being lifted by his groomsmen.

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Hayden waiting patiently for Kristin during their romantic first look session at La Venta Inn.
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Kristina walking up behind Hayden during their garden first look session at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Capturing the bride and groom’s emotional reactions at seeing one another on their wedding day at La Venta Inn.
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Kristina and Hayden embrace during their emotional first look session in the landscaped gardens of La Venta Inn.
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Hayden embraces his bride during their first look session at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina and Hayden kiss during their first look session in Palos Verdes Estates at La Venta Inn.
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Capturing a tender moment between the bride and groom during their first look session at La Venta Inn.
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Kristina leads Hayden along a garden pathway during their romantic wedding portrait session at La Venta Inn.
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Capturing an affectionate embrace between Kristina and Hayden during their loved-up wedding portrait session at La Venta Inn.
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An intimate portrait of Kristina and Hayden during their wedding photo session at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina and Hayden stand hand-in-hand on a stone-built lookout at La Venta Inn, with the Pacific Ocean in the background.
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Kristina embraces Hayden while holding her gorgeous floral bouquet during their wedding portrait session at La Venta Inn.
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Hayden tenderly kisses Kristina’s forehead during their wedding portrait session overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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Kristina and Hayden kiss on a beautifully landscaped garden walkway during their La Venta Inn wedding portrait session.
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Kristina leans tenderly on Hayden’s forehead during their romantic wedding portrait session at La Venta Inn.
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A romantic portrait of Hayden embracing and kissing Kristina in the garden of La Venta Inn.
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Hayden twirling Kristina in her stunning floral dress on a garden lookout at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A creative portrait of Hayden and his groomsmen during their garden wedding photo session at La Venta Inn.
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A playful portrait of Hayden’s groomsmen holding him in the gardens of La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A portrait of Hayden in the European-inspired landscaped courtyard of La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina and her bridesmaids blowing kisses towards the camera while holding their beautiful bouquets at La Venta Inn.
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A fun portrait of Kristina and her bridesmaids hiding behind their bouquets at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A portrait of Kristina looking stunning in her floral dress on a rustic stone path at La Venta Inn.

 

Wedding ceremony photos at La Venta Inn:

Kristina and Hayden’s intimate wedding at La Venta Inn began with the groom being escorted down the aisle by his parents, followed by the flower girls throwing petals. Kristina then arrived on the arm of her dad (who was wearing a Hawaiian shirt in keeping with the floral theme) before the couple exchanged vows overlooking the azure waters of the Pacific Ocean at La Venta Inn’s stunning wedding ceremony venue.

Kristina and Hayden’s wedding at Palos Verdes Estates was filled with love and emotion, with the bride trying to hold back tears as she listened to Hayden read his vows. Their mutual love of space was reflected in the naming of stars in honor of their marriage before they sealed their new status as “husband and wife” with a kiss.

After documenting their recessional walk down the aisle, I captured a special moment as the newlyweds bowed their heads together, then grabbed a playful portrait as they kissed while their flower girls covered their eyes.

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Hayden is escorted down the aisle by his parents at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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A candid photo of two flower girls throwing petals while walking down the aisle at La Venta Inn.
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Capturing Hayden’s reactions while watching his bride walk down the aisle at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina is escorted down the aisle by her dad at the start of the garden wedding ceremony at La Venta Inn.
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Kristina’s dad kisses her while giving her away to Hayden during their La Venta Inn garden wedding ceremony.
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A candid photo of Kristina’s dad embracing Hayden at the start of their garden wedding ceremony in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Capturing a special moment between Kristina and one of her flower girls during the La Venta Inn wedding ceremony.
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Kristina and Hayden hold up a chart showcasing the stars named after them at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Capturing Kristina’s emotional reaction while Hayden read his vows during their intimate wedding ceremony at La Venta Inn.
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A candid photo of Hayden reading his vows to Kristina during their intimate wedding ceremony at La Venta Inn.
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An elevated view of Kristina and Hayden’s garden wedding ceremony at La Venta Inn, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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Capturing an emotional moment while Kristina read her vows during the Palos Verdes Estates wedding ceremony.
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The bride and groom share a laugh while reading their vows during the intimate wedding ceremony in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina’s parents watch on during the garden wedding ceremony at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina and Hayden exchange rings during their romantic wedding ceremony overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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Capturing the reactions of Hayden’s parents as they watched their son wed Kristina at La Venta Inn.
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Kristina and Hayden kiss after becoming officially married during their morning wedding ceremony at La Venta Inn.
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Kristina and Hayden make their recessional walk down the aisle, backed by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.
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The newlyweds embrace while letting their marriage sink in at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Capturing a special moment between the couple as they bow their heads together in the gardens of La Venta Inn.
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A playful portrait of the couple kissing while their flower girls cover their eyes at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.

 

Reception photos at La Venta Inn:

With a party planned for later that evening, Kristina and Hayden’s intimate reception brunch was a more laid-back affair, including speeches from those closest to them. I photographed their reactions as they listened in while enjoying a glass of champagne before they fed one another mini donuts from Donut Friends.

We also managed to squeeze in a few more portraits of the couple at the gorgeous La Venta Inn wedding ceremony site as they looked out across the Pacific Ocean together. I captured a portrait of Kristina walking with her bridesmaids through the grounds of this Palos Verdes Estates wedding venue, as well as grabbing a shot as Hayden and his groomsmen did the same.

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Kristina and Hayden make a thank you toast for their wedding guests during their brunch reception at La Venta Inn.
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A candid photo of Kristina’s dad making a reception speech in a blue floral shirt at La Venta Inn.
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Capturing the reactions of the bride and groom during speeches and toasts at their La Venta Inn brunch reception.
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The couple share a laugh during a speech from Kristina’s mom at their La Venta Inn brunch reception.
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A candid photo of Kristina embracing her mom following a brunch reception speech at La Venta Inn.
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Kristina’s maid-of-honor makes a reception speech while the bride listens in at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Capturing an emotional moment as Kristina wipes away tears during a speech at her La Venta Inn brunch reception.
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An emotional moment as the couple thank their maid-of-honor following a reception speech at La Venta Inn.
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A candid photo of the best man making a speech during the brunch reception at La Venta Inn.
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Capturing Kristina’s emotional reaction to a reception speech following her wedding at La Venta Inn.
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A creative silhouette of the best man making a reception speech, backed by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.
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Looking across the intimate room at La Venta Inn during Kristina and Hayden’s reception brunch.
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A candid photo of Kristina and Hayden feeding one another donuts during their intimate wedding reception at La Venta Inn.

 

Post-ceremony portraits at La Venta Inn and Santa Monica Beach:

Kristina, Hayden and I then made the one-hour drive north to Santa Monica Beach where they had planned an urban-inspired wedding portrait session. I captured shots of them walking in front of industrial-style orange doors and kissing in front of the famous Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant, as well as some fun shots as they played arcade games together.

We then jumped aboard the Ferris wheel for some romantic portraits of the couple embracing in the carriage before heading back down to ground level for a shot of them kissing in the photo booth. As the sun began sinking towards the horizon, we walked along the Santa Monica Pier where Kristina danced in her flowing dress before heading down onto the beach itself.

I photographed Hayden dipping and kissing his bride and a shot of the couple spinning one another in their bare feet, as well as capturing a portrait as Kristina leaned on his shoulder while being illuminated by the setting sun.

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Capturing an intimate moment between the couple beneath their bridal arch and overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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Kristina and her bridesmaids walk arm-in-arm through the wedding ceremony site at La Venta Inn.
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A creative portrait of Hayden and his groomsmen walking through the La Venta Inn wedding ceremony site.
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Kristina and Hayden kiss while their bridal party celebrate around them at the La Venta Inn wedding ceremony site.
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Kristina and Hayden look out across the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean during their wedding portrait session at La Venta Inn.
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A romantic portrait of Hayden lifting Kristina into the air beneath their bridal arch at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Kristina and Hayden look lovingly into one another’s eyes during their wedding portrait session at Santa Monica Beach.
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Kristina leads Hayden in front of a set of bright orange doors during their Santa Monica Beach wedding portrait session.
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Kristina kisses Hayden’s cheek while leaning up against a bright orange door in the streets of Santa Monica Beach.
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The newly married couple kiss in front of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company during their Santa Monica Beach wedding portrait session.
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A whimsical portrait of the couple embracing on the bustling Santa Monica Pier during their wedding day photo session.
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Kristina and Hayden kiss in a tiny yellow taxi during their wedding portrait session at Santa Monica Beach.
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Kristina playfully covers Hayden’s eyes while he plays an arcade game at Santa Monica Beach.
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The newlyweds look lovingly into one another’s eyes while seated at an arcade game during their Santa Monica Beach portrait session.
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Kristina tenderly kisses Hayden’s hand while walking along the pier at Santa Monica Beach.
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The newlyweds dance to the sounds of a live drummer busking on the Santa Monica Pier.
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A playful portrait of Kristina pretending to knock Hayden’s head during their wedding photo session at Santa Monica Beach.
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A portrait of the couple playing an arcade game together during their Santa Monica Beach wedding photo session.
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Kristina and Hayden kiss while riding the Ferris wheel in the amusement park at Santa Monica Beach.
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The newlyweds share a laugh while riding a Ferris wheel during their wedding portrait session at Santa Monica Beach.
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Capturing a tender moment between Kristina and Hayden while riding the Ferris wheel at Santa Monica Beach.
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Kristina and Hayden embrace, backed by the Ferris wheel of Santa Monica Beach in Southern California.
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Kristina and Hayden kiss in a photo booth during their urban-inspired wedding portrait session at Santa Monica Beach.
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Kristina and Hayden embrace, illuminated by the late-afternoon sunshine on the pier at Santa Monica Beach.
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Hayden watches Kristina dancing in her floral wedding dress on the rustic pier at Santa Monica Beach.
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A romantic silhouette portrait of the newlyweds on the sands of Santa Monica Beach during their sunset wedding photo session.
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Kristina and Hayden stand hand-in-hand beneath the pier of Santa Monica Beach during their wedding portrait session.
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Kristina embraces Hayden, backed by the iconic Santa Monica Pier, during their sunset wedding portrait session.
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Kristina and Hayden dancing in the shallow waters on Santa Monica Beach during their sunset wedding portrait session.
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Capturing a warm embrace between the couple at sunset beneath the Santa Monica Beach Pier.
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Hayden dips and kisses Kristina beneath the Santa Monica Pier during their sunset wedding portrait session.
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Capturing a romantic moment between the newlyweds while being illuminated by the setting sun at Santa Monica Beach.
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A whimsical portrait of Kristina and Hayden backed by the setting sun on the sands of Santa Monica Beach.
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Kristina and Hayden spin beneath the Santa Monica Pier during their beach wedding portrait session.
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The newlyweds kiss beneath the Santa Monica Pier during their creative sunset wedding portrait session.

 

Wedding photos at Palos Verdes Estates:

It was such a privilege to work with this sweet and wonderful couple who treated me like a friend throughout their wedding day at La Venta Inn and had such amazing chemistry in front of the camera. I know they’re off to Machu Picchu and Patagonia later this year for their honeymoon (two of my favorite places in the world), so I wish them an incredible time and hope these photos bring them joy for many years to come.

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