Photos from Cynthia and Mike’s wedding at The Majestic Downtown, which began with the bride getting ready in an elegant suite at The Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles. The couple said “I do” during a traditional Catholic Mass at Saint Rita Catholic Church in Sierra Madre before partying into the early hours with their family and friends during a glamorous ballroom reception at The Majestic Downtown.
I first heard from Cynthia last August about capturing her wedding at The Majestic Downtown in Los Angeles. It turned out she was marrying 2018 Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith after they’d met at the race track a few years back.
He popped the question as they were opening presents at Christmas 2017 and they were planning a traditional wedding with extended family and friends in Los Angeles. I was really excited that they selected Aevitas Weddings to capture their special day and was looking forward to shooting my first wedding for 2019.
Getting ready photos at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles:
While Mike was getting ready at home in Sierra Madre, Cynthia was with her sister and bridesmaids in a gorgeous suite at The Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles, so I met up with her there to capture their final moments. I photographed the bride admiring herself in a hand-held mirror and a special moment with her bridesmaids in their dressing gowns, as well as one of her flower girl looking up at the stunning gown.
After Cynthia slipped into her dress, I photographed one of her bridesmaids helping to secure her spectacular veil and grabbed a shot as her sister put on her bracelet. We finished the getting ready session with some portraits of the bride looking radiant in her dress beside the elegant suite window.
Ceremony photos at Saint Rita Catholic Church:
Cynthia and Mike wanted to keep things traditional and not have a first look. So the moment she walked down the aisle of Saint Rita Catholic Church on the arm of her brother was the first time Mike saw her that day. I captured his beaming smile as Cynthia walked towards him, followed by all the rites and rituals of their Catholic Mass.
In addition to the reactions of both the bride and groom as they exchanged vows and looked out towards their wedding guests, I also captured the reactions of their family and bridal party watching on. After the ring exchange, the priest turned away to allow the couple a mid-ceremony kiss before they paid their respects to Mother Mary. The couple then made their recessional walk as “husband and wife”, with Mike playfully gesturing to the heavens in thanks.
Portraits at Saint Rita Catholic Church:
We didn’t have a lot of time for portraits in between the ceremony and reception, so we worked efficiently to capture family formals, bridal party portraits and couple portraits at Saint Rita Catholic Church. The whitewashed terrace dotted with succulents provided the perfect backdrop for portraits of Cynthia on her own before we captured a shot of the newlyweds in front of the grand wooden door at the entrance to the church.
Reception photos at The Majestic Downtown:
Cynthia and Mike made a grand entrance into their glamorous ballroom reception at The Majestic Downtown, then went straight into their first dance beneath the stunning chandeliers. This was followed by the cake-cutting of an incredible, multi-tiered creation before everyone settled in for dinner.
We documented the speeches from the best man and maid-of-honor as the newlyweds listened in from their gorgeous sweetheart table, as well as an Arabic-inspired dance performance. The couple was then encouraged up onto the dance floor, with their family and friends following closely behind.
The rest of the evening was largely open dancing, with a couple of short interludes for the bouquet toss and garter removal. Cynthia and Mike were lifted onto the shoulders of their family and friends to dance, with an 80s band providing a live soundtrack throughout the evening. At one point, Mike’s brother got up on stage to do an impressive rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey”, with the dance floor action kicking on well into the night.
Wedding photos at The Majestic Downtown:
I want to send a big congratulations to Mike on his jockey successes during the past year and on his marriage to Cynthia, wishing the couple all the happiness in the world. I hope they like this sneak peek and look forward to sharing more photos with them in the near future.