A selection of photos from the celebrity wedding of Kaitlin and Devin at the stunning Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur, beginning with some candid shots of the couple making their final preparations. This was followed by a romantic first look between the bride and groom before they exchanged vows during an intimate garden wedding ceremony. Kaitlin and Devin then celebrated with their family and friends (and "Empire" co-stars) during a lively reception party.
Kaitlin Doubleday and her love Devin Lucien really need no introduction. So let me start off by saying what an honor and privilege it was to be selected as their wedding photographer for their intimate wedding at Ventana Inn And Spa. It was after Kaitlin had seen the photos I captured of a friend’s wedding that she decided to book me and it was such a magical day to be a part of.
My wife Charlene was the second photographer for the event and we headed up to Big Sur for the rehearsal the Thursday before Kaitlin and Devin’s big day. While I’d had some contact with the “Empire” star through email and texts in the lead-up to the event, I was excited to actually meet her and her husband-to-be in person.
Even though I’ve shot more than 350 weddings over the course of a decade, this was my first celebrity wedding and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a few butterflies. But from the moment I met Kaitlin and Devin in their room at the Ventana Inn And Spa, I knew it was going to be a wonderful event to capture. I was really humbled when Devin told me he loved my photos, and I encouraged him to showcase his DJing skills during the reception so I could have the privilege of capturing them!
The day was being organized by wedding planner Samantha and she led a really tight ship of incredible vendors that were such a privilege to work with. From the florists and the camera crew of “Entertainment Tonight” who were there to film, to the team at the Ventana Inn And Spa who looked after us over the weekend, it was working alongside professionals like this that made this celebrity wedding run so smoothly.
Getting ready photos at Ventana Inn And Spa:
The big day itself was on Friday and we woke up to discover it was a little cloudy and rain had been forecasted. While I know most couples want a perfect sunny day for their wedding, as a photographer I much prefer to work under cloudy conditions with beautiful diffuse lighting, so it definitely didn’t put a dampener on my spirits.
It wasn’t putting a dampener on Kaitlin or Devin either as we met up with them to capture their preparations for this once-in-a-lifetime event. Kaitlin had a really close-knit bunch of girlfriends as her bridesmaids, together with her best friend Max who was the “man of honor”. I captured some special moments with her mom as they made their last-minute preparations, while Charlene was with Devin as got ready with the help of his dad and groomsman Nick.
We had a bit of time up our sleeve, so I used it to capture some portraits of Kaitlin looking absolutely stunning in her bridal gown outside the rustic suite where she had been getting ready. I want to give a big shout out to her long-term friend and stylist who was right by my side throughout the shoot ensuring Kaitlin looking amazing. He was the one fluffing her dress and holding her bouquet, and he just made my job such a breeze.
Pre-ceremony portraits at Ventana Inn And Spa:
The couple had decided on a first look session in the beautiful gardens of the Ventana Inn And Spa and the overcast conditions resulted in the most perfect lighting. Kaitlin walked towards Devin and it was an emotional moment for both of them upon seeing each other for the first time that day. The skies were starting to threaten rain, so I knew we didn’t have a lot of time to work with, but we managed to have a short couple portrait session around the Ventana Inn And Spa.
We then brought together their entourage for bridal party portraits, both classic photos and a few more playful ones. I particularly love the portrait of Devin and his groomsmen hanging out just in front of the cabin and walking through the grassy field in formation. After a photo with her sister Portia and an impromptu first look with her dad, Kaitlin went back into her suite to make a few final adjustments and secure her veil.
Ceremony photos at Ventana Inn And Spa:
There was still a bit of drizzle around as the ceremony started, but Kaitlin and Devin’s wedding guests were well-prepared with umbrellas. But as the bride starting walking down the aisle, escorted by her dad, the rain cleared right on cue. I think my favorite part was after Kaitlin’s dad gave her away at the altar, the couple stole a kiss straight away – who says you have to wait until the end of the ceremony!
We captured their nuptials from multiple angles, including not only the expressions and reactions of the bride and groom, but also their family and friends. They were so many special exchanges and tender gestures between Kaitlin and Devin and they really wore their emotions on their sleeve – something I just love as a wedding photographer! Kaitlin was holding back tears as she exchanged rings with Devin, then after a joyful kiss at being pronounced “husband and wife”, they made their recessional walk down the aisle.
I just happened to be in the right place at the right time (and at the right focal length) to capture the split-second kiss that Kaitlin gave her dad as she walked back down the aisle – one of those rare moments that I’m so glad I was able to photograph!
At this point I have to give a big shout out to my wife Charlene. In the midst of the ceremony proceedings, we received the news that due to the rainy conditions, wedding planner Samantha had decided to move some of the reception furnishings inside. Although Charlene had already photographed all the gorgeous details that our hard-working co-vendors had created, she raced back down to the reception site to capture them again in their new setting. Then right on cue, just as the lighting was getting too dark for me to photograph without a flash, she arrived back ready to hold my off-camera flash monopod – talk about a savior!
Reception photos at Ventana Inn And Spa:
It was then time for the formal reception proceedings to get under way, starting with a beautiful first dance from Kaitlin and Devin. This was followed by a really warm father-daughter dance between Kaitlin and her dad, then the mother-son dance which ended with Devin’s dad joining them in an emotional moment I captured. Kaitlin’s sister and man of honor Max both made great toasts, as did Devin’s groomsmen Nick and Dave, then everyone hit the dance floor and let loose.
The crew from Entertainment Tonight were there to video Kaitlin and Devin’s wedding, stopping to grab interviews with the couple, as well as creator Lee Daniels and the “Empire” cast members. For us this was a great opportunity to get photos of the group together, as well as some shots of the interviews taking place themselves.
Right after Kaitlin and Devin’s interview, standing in front of a gorgeous table decorated with lit candles and flowers, Charlene encouraged me to stop them for a photo as the setting was just perfect. I was shy to disturb them, but she said “this shot is now or never”, and the kiss I captured ended up being one of my favorites and the last in the selection exhibited here.
Rather than a sit down dinner, Kaitlin and Devin’s reception was more of a cocktail style event, which meant that the dance floor was the center of action all night. One thing I really strive for as a wedding photographer is to capture images that really jump off the page and embody all the action of the moment, and this was one factor that attracted Kaitlin to my photography in the first place. On the night, I got right in the midst of all the guests and had an absolute blast on the dance floor, trying to capture all the energy, love and festivity in that room.
Although neither Kaitlin or Devin are Jewish, apparently some of Devin’s friends are and had decided to give the couple a traditional Jewish Horah dance. So there they were, lifted up above their guests on chairs over the dance floor, just loving every minute!
Part way through the evening, Kaitlin ditched her heels for a more comfortable pair of tennis shoes and let loose with the cast of “Empire”, her sister and all the family and friends who had come to celebrate this unforgettable day. To my absolute delight, Devin did actually get on the decks to do some DJing and it was a privilege to photograph him “at work” on his own wedding day!
Wedding photos at Ventana Inn And Spa:
Despite my initial butterflies at photographing such a high profile event, the celebrity wedding of Kaitlin and Devin was an absolute blast from start to finish. The newly married couple treated us as guests on their special day and their close-knit team of family and friends did so much to make our job that much easier.
I want to thank all the vendors who we worked alongside and wedding planner Samantha for putting it all together, as well as Sarah – the sister of a previous bride I photographed – who was the link that introduced me to Kaitlin in the first place. And last (but definitely not least) my incredible partner-in-crime Charlene who did so much on the day to help me capture these shots.
I wish Kaitlin and Devin a lifetime of happiness together and an incredible honeymoon in Greece!