I first got to know bride-to-be Alejandra when she and her mom came to my home studio last summer to chat about her upcoming wedding at Renaissance Banquet. Then I had the pleasure of meeting her fiance, Hugo, a couple of weeks prior to their special day to go over the final details.
They were planning a Catholic ceremony with a full Mass at Saint Emydius Catholic Church in Lynwood, followed by a reception at the glamorous ballroom of Renaissance Banquet in Glendale.
Getting ready photos at a private residence in Lynwood:
But the day all started with the bride and groom getting ready at their respective family homes, with my second photographer with the Hugo while I was with Alejandra and her immediate family in Lynwood. I photographed her admiring her gorgeous wedding dress and drinking tea with her mom, as well as reading a note card from her husband-to-be.
I also captured the moment her grandma saw her for the first time in her wedding dress, together with a special first look with her dad, before she left the room to be welcomed by her aunt and uncle. Alejandra had given her parents a trophy which read “Best Parents” and you could just tell how important family was to this tightly knit group.
Ceremony photos at Saint Emydius Catholic Church:
It was then time for the wedding ceremony at Saint Emydius Catholic Church, with Alejandra and her parents making the short ride from their home in a traditional horse-drawn carriage. The couple had decided on a full Catholic Mass, beginning with Hugo being escorted down the aisle by his parents and followed by Alejandra singing her way down the aisle, accompanied by her parents.
There were lots of spontaneous looks and exchanges between the couple which I captured in candid shots, as well as a wide-angle looking across this house of worship. They also incorporated a number of traditional Catholic rituals into the wedding, with family members coming to give their blessings on the couple during the ceremony.
After being pronounced “husband and wife”, Alejandra and Hugo made their recessional walk down the aisle to be congratulated by family and friends, stopping for a spontaneous kiss beneath a floral arch at the entrance to Saint Emydius Catholic Church.
Portraits at South Gate Park:
We made the short drive over to South Gate Park for a wedding portrait session, utilizing its gorgeous gardens and landscaping features. I captured intimate embraces of the couple in this loved-up moment and a really tender moment between them in black and white. Although it was a little overcast, the lighting was just perfect and the colors of the greenery made for the perfect backdrop.
Reception photos at Renaissance Banquet:
The reception was being held in Glendale, so we made the drive over in the midst of Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. The festivities for this wedding at Renaissance Banquet began with a grand entrance from the newly married couple, followed by a choreographed dance on the smoke-filled ballroom floor. Alejandra’s parents then made a toast to the couple and Hugo replied with a “thank you” speech, before the parental dances got underway.
Then everyone congregated on the dance floor for a group wedding party photo before letting loose to party! There was a traditional Money Dance where the bride and groom dance with family and friends to be gifted donations for their honeymoon, as well as a Latino ritual where the guests run between the couple as they hold a cloth overhead together.
I captured all the action of the bouquet toss, followed by the garter toss and Hugo being lifted into the air by his friends and family. The couple also had glow sticks with their names and wedding date inscribed for their guests, illuminating the dance floor in a myriad of colors. We ended the evening with a romantic nighttime portrait of the couple standing behind their sweetheart table, concluding what was a really warm and memorable wedding at Renaissance Banquet.
I know that Alejandra and Hugo are off to Hawaii for the honeymoon, so I’m looking forward to sharing these photos with them when they return and wish them all the best for their married life together.