This is what love looks like, and this is what a wedding looks like when you request a more documentary approach to your wedding photography. Cindy and Kevin will forever be one of our favorite couples, they just wanted to have the best time with their friends and family and really wanted all of those candid photographs for their wedding. We drove down to San Diego to document their wedding day at Luce Loft with pure excitement and we drove back after documenting their day with pure love for who they are as a couple and the absolute joy we witnessed.
There is an old saying that there are always six degrees of separation and I think that Cindy and Kevin’s love story reflects just that. Cindy’s older sister’s best friend Ann has a little brother who’s best friend is Kevin the groom (did you follow all that? Haha). Ann was always asking her little brother about his buddy Kevin, he was humble, intelligent, funny, kind, tall and handsome and Ann thought just PERFECT for Cindy. This went on for a few years, Ann trying to get the low-down from her little brother on his friend Kevin but the timing hadn’t quite worked out as Kevin developed his career traveling to New Zealand. Finally Kevin returned to the states and Ann’s persistence had both Cindy and Kevin giving in to finally meeting up. What I love most about their love story is that God had a back-up plan, if these two hadn’t given in to Ann insisting that they meet God was sure that they would connect in a different way. They had just been matched on Coffee Meets Bagel but fortunately Ann’s deep belief that these two were made for one another was enough on its own to sway them.
They spent their first date talking for over five hours in what felt like only one hour. The rest is simply history, a few months after meeting Kevin was planning his proposal and around a camp fire at Big Sur he asked Cindy to be his forever adventure buddy, she said yes and one year after meeting we were invited to photograph their wedding. If their love story isn’t the embodiment of Kismet then I don’t know what is.
We started off the day at Luce Loft located at 1037 J St. San Diego, CA 92101, we arrived early to check out the space and drop off some photography equipment and found Alexis and Adrian of Together For Better Events already hard at work transforming the space to make all of Cindy’s bohemian loft dreams come to life. The scent of fresh eucalyptus filled the loft as bunches of eucalyptus were draped across the chairs lining the aisle. The ceremony backdrop that Cindy and Kevin and chose was the massive chevron wooden barn door that separates the loft from the cocktail space. Chic Flowers placed more of the eucalyptus across the top of the barn door and let it delicately cascade down its sides. A bohemian woven rug was placed at the foot of the door and clusters of candles were placed on either side creating a beautiful warm ambience for the chilly winter evening ahead.
Kevin and his groomsmen made a surprise appearance at Luce Loft cruising up with his boys on Bird scooters to check out the space. We followed the crew back to the Indigo Hotel where they were getting prepped and also where they were throwing their after party and many of the guests were staying. This couldn’t be a more perfect getting ready location if you are having your wedding at Luce Loft. For starters it’s so close to the Loft, walking distance or Birding distance if your heart desires. It has incredible views Cindy and her girls were up in the Terrain Suite room 916 and their room opened up to a beautiful balcony overlooking Petco park. Seriously beautiful views everywhere you look from their balcony, also the suite was the perfect size even for her larger bridal party of eight. The light coming into the suite is beautiful enough to make photographers and makeup artists jump for joy.
I arrived to find hair by Kayti putting her final touches on the girl’s hair. The potted succulents on the hotel’s balcony proved to come in handy as Cindy’s bridesmaids delicately plucked them for Kayti to place in their romantic updo’s. Cindy had the most beautiful hair vine that wrapped around her head like a crown and then dropped down into a beautiful braid. The girls each had a different style bridesmaid gown in a fiery rusty hue that I just fell for. The other thing I fell for was the gift exchange between Cindy and Kevin. I love when a wedding day is packed with meaningful details to the couple and I think a heartfelt gift exchange between you and you honey is just the sweetest.
Cindy’s mother and maid of honor lovingly buttoned her into her lace BHLDN gown on the balcony overlooking the city. The sun peeked through the overcast skies as they help Cindy get all of her jewelry on, her mother’s stud earrings, her grandmother’s bracelet and her cross necklace from Kevin each detail carrying with it, its own nostalgia. The girls sipped champagne and joined in prayer before Cindy departed to Luce Loft for her first look with Kevin.
I followed along the down town San Diego streets as Cindy walked toward Luce Loft for her first look. Honks, congratulations and cheers ensued from passers-by she even collected an entourage of people behind her who asked for a selfie with the glowing bride. We got to the loft where Kevin awaited her behind the sliding barn door. Their reactions to each other were priceless, laughter, tears and all of the twirls! Kevin came prepared with the Kleenex as he helped Cindy with her tears.
After giving them some alone time we hit the streets of San Diego outside of Luce Loft for the couples portrait session. We were so inspired by their playful nature and all of the architecture and murals in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. These two wanted a more photojournalistic approach to their portrait session so we just showed them where to hangout based on the light and background and let them do their thing. I loved all of the little moments that resulted from that. Kevin busting out some Altoid’s Mints (is he a boy scout? So prepared! Haha). Pulling an eyelash from her cheek and making a wish, randomly twirling her in the crosswalk oh and all the forehead to forehead nuzzles just resting into one another. As wedding photographers it is always our goal to make our couples feel comfortable enough and give that space where they can just be them. I should preface that with the fact that we are flexible and we can be there with as much or as little direction as desired. We know a hands-off approach isn’t for everyone and also a hands-on approach isn’t for everyone we can meet you anywhere on the spectrum =).
After getting the boot from a parking garage by a security guard we headed back towards the loft and connected with the couple’s bridal party. We photographed all of the bridal party portraits in front of their cool brick building with factory windows and then headed back to Luce Loft before guests began to arrive.
Night fell upon the city and the ambient light in the loft dimmed for a romantic glow from the flickering candles and strung market lights. Cindy was escorted by her father as she made her walk down the aisle. Kevin threw his head back for one of my favorite reactions ever. They two of them shared vows to one another and something I hadn’t seen before shared vows to their parents and soon to be in-laws which I thought was just so special.
After the ceremony Alexis and Adrian from Together for Better Events began transforming the ceremony space into the reception space. The Socal Wanderbus was such a cool edition to the reception. The blue VW bus transformed into a photo booth was packed with guests all night and brought Cindy’s boho style to the celebration in a really fun way.
DJ Hersch announced the couple into their reception for their grand entrance and we have to say, it was pretty GRAND. They flew in on Bird scooters decked out with metallic tassels and Mr. and Mrs. signs courtesy of the couple’s awesome friends. In lieu of a bouquet and garter toss the couple shot nerf guns from the second story of the loft into the crowd and the catcher’s received custom T-shirts that paid homage to the couple’s nicknames squirrel (Cindy) and otter (Kevin). I loved that personal touch, we see a lot of couples foregoing things like the bouquet and garter toss and the cake cut and our take is HECK YES if you feel like it doesn’t suit you then don’t do it, it’s your party after all ;).
Dinner was served courtesy of Phil’s BBQ which let’s be real is ALWAYS a good idea. Cindy and Kevin chose to take that time to eat alone and have a little time together as newlyweds which I also thought was so cool. These two also didn’t have a sweet heart table and didn’t sit ALL NIGHT instead they mingled with their guests, danced their hearts out and enjoyed all of the snacks and activities they had booked for their wedding. The perk to their first look was that they attended their cocktail hour which meant more time with their friends and family many of whom traveled from far to be there. Hammond’s Ice Cream and late-night nachos from Social Tap Catering were the finishing touches that brought in the couple’s personalities. Nachos an ode to the couple’s first date and just a downright crowd pleaser and the couples fave ice cream from Hammond’s.
So there you have it, a little sliver of Cindy and Kevin’s beautiful story that is just getting started. Take a gander and leave us a comment we would love to know what you think!
Creative team: Photography: Emry Photography| Videography: Emry Photography| Venue: Luce Loft| Planning: Together for Better Events| DJ: DJ Hersch| Brides Gown: BHLDN| Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie| Hair: Hair by Kayti| Makeup: Refined Beauty Inc.| Flowers: Chic Flowers| Catering: Phil’s BBQ| Bar: For Real Bartenders| Ice Cream: Hammond’s Ice cream| Late Night Nachos: Social Tap Catering| Photobooth: SoCal Wander Bus| Rentals: Cedar and Pine Events| Favors: Nothing Bundt Cakes|