Myranda and Richard’s San Diego rustic barn wedding at Ethereal Open Air Resort now known as Ethereal Gardens was such a reminder of why we love photographing weddings. To be honest, I really felt a ton of pressure writing this one. All I could think was how are my words going to do this day justice? I have never cried more at a wedding that wasn’t my own, the emotions at this one were electric and everyone in this family wore their hearts on their sleeves making for an unbelievably sentimental day.
As, San Diego wedding photographer’s there is nothing we love more than capturing the weddings crafted by our couples centered around authenticity and individual style. We actually feel way outdated on our wedding questionnaire that we send out to our couples asking what their wedding “theme” is. In all reality weddings that swerve far from any set “theme” and instead focus on meaningful details, imagination and having a damn good time are our kind of weddings.
We knew these two were meant for us the second we began speaking with Myranda. She had booked another wedding photographer before discovering us and it wasn’t going so well (their loss, our SCORE). We met up for drinks and it was like being out with old friends. In case you’re wondering I always feel like that is a really good way to decide on a wedding photographer, if you can carry a conversation with them and actually feel like you could be friends and of course love their work then you have yourself a winner. Your wedding is such an intimate day and your wedding photographer is at your hip for the entire day so it’s important to feel that connection, okay tangent OVER.
We started the day at Ethereal Gardens which is one of our favorite San Diego wedding venues. We started scouting the property for wedding portrait photo opportunities. No, this wasn’t our first time photographing a wedding at Ethereal Open Air Resort, in fact we are on the preferred vendor list at Ethereal Gardens. One of the things we love about the San Diego wedding venue is that it really does transform with the seasons and even month to month. Sometimes there are bursts of wildflowers blooming that last a few weeks and certain areas are more grown in or trimmed back which can really change the way things look there. Another reason we love to show up early is so that we can stumble upon new photo locations, as San Diego wedding photographer’s it’s always a personal goal of ours to give each of our couples something unique even if we have photographed weddings at that venue 100 times before.
I had a major tone crush on Myranda’s colors for her wedding. Forest green, mustard, rust and burgundy, it’s everything fall dreams are made of and made the already cozy vibe of the wedding venue even cozier. I’m talking hot chocolate by the fire wearing knit socks kind of cozy.
The girls arrived at the bridal suite at the venue in their robes and cowgirl boots and quickly settled into the amazing hanging bed in the women’s bath house. Myranda has the ultimate girl gang surrounding her. That group of girls had me getting choked up all morning, their love and support of one another was amazing to witness. I watched as Myranda and her girls laid out photos of loved ones who could not be there thoughtfully choosing which ones to place into frames to display at the wedding. All of the nostalgia had Myranda reminiscing which turned into her telling each of the women in that room just what they mean to her and how blessed she felt to have each of them by her side (after this wedding I need to invest in a hanky).
I have to say if you are playing around with the idea of mismatched bridesmaids gowns you should check out Myranda’s bridal party because they rocked it! I may have done some online shopping for myself after seeing their dresses =), Myranda had the girls choose their own dresses which is always a nice thing to extend to your bridesmaids so that they choose something they may actually wear again (show of hands for how many of you have bridesmaids dresses in your closet that have never been worn again, I know I sure do).
While Myranda’s girls looked gorgeous nothing can compare to Myranda when she came out in her Mia Solano wedding dress from Luv Bridal. I mean BREATHTAKING, seriously. I hadn’t seen a dress like hers ever before, it had the most beautiful silhouette and was the epitome of romance. The fellas looked dapper in chestnut brown suits and Richard showed off his personal style in a deep forest green suit and matching tie.
Myranda and Richard held their wedding ceremony in the Orchard Barn at Ethereal Gardens. The redwood seed barn was the perfect ceremony backdrop for their rustic inspired wedding. Myranda rides horses too so holding the couples wedding in the barn felt just like home. There are very few San Diego wedding venues with barns on the property so Ethereal Gardens is a real diamond in the rough for San Diego couples wanting that rustic barn vibe.
The couple’s son, Asher had all of our hearts melting into puddles as he entered with the flower girl rocking his adorable suspenders. Myranda was escorted down the aisle by her father and as she approached Richard, he used sign language to sign “you’re beautiful”. Myranda had taken three semesters of ASL and Richard was always there to help her practice, looks like the practicing paid off with one of the sweetest romantic gestures ever. Myranda and Richard shared their hand written vows with one another in the cozy warmth of the barn surrounded by loved ones. They sealed the deal with one heck of a first kiss as husband and wife, but my absolute fave? Asher rushing over to them after the ceremony with big hugs and lots of love for mom and dad.
We were blessed with that hazy golden winter light for the couple’s portrait session and a beautiful pinky sunset. After getting some DREAMMMMMMY portraits of the newlyweds it was time to let the party begin! Unbeknownst to us, this crew can DANCE! Myranda and Richard blew us and everyone else away with their footwork for their first dance. Looking back it totally makes sense that they can rock a dance floor like, one of their first dates was square dancing at a country bar.
Myranda’s first dance with her father was one we will never forget; it was just one of those etched on our hearts forever kind of moments. Her father was diagnosed with a rare form of early set Alzheimer’s Disease and Myranda having two younger sisters wanted her father to remember what it was like to dance with all of them. So she shared her first dance with her sisters, they each took a turn having some alone time with their father as everyone watched on in tears and by the end of the song it was Myranda’s father and his three little girls all clutching each other tight dancing in the center of the dance floor, tears streaming down their faces. I was frantically trying to blink the tears back into my eyes while I looked through the view finder trying to capture the moment. It’s hard to find words that can do the weight of that emotion justice.
Just when I thought I had no tears left Richard’s best man and best friend began to speak of what a wonderful woman Richard’s mother was, she had passed away shortly before the wedding and seeing how Richard just collapsed into the napkin while Myranda consoled him had me bawling my eyes out again. Having lost a parent myself before my wedding it really struck a chord with me and I could feel that heartbreak for him. The day was so alive with emotion. Alive with all of those beautiful things that make us human and connect us all. It was the kind of wedding where you really just felt so awakened from the symphony of emotions that played throughout the day.
The party continued into the night with speeches that had us laughing, crying, snorting and snotting as we tried to hold in the laughter and the tears. The country music echoed through the starry night meadow and Richard even performed “Amazed” by Lonestar just for Myranda. Writing this story of their day and getting the goosebumps multiple times while doing so just reminded me of what a special day it was and how fortunate we feel to have been a part of it. We have grown to love this couple so much and we are so happy to see them together in a relationship that is so clearly thriving with so much love.
Here is what Myranda & Richard had to say after receiving their full wedding gallery:
“There are truly no words to express how incredibly happy we are that we found Ryan and Emily. Let me be the bride you learn from. When we got engaged I knew that having the perfect photographer was one of my highest priorities for my wedding. It wasn’t just about great images, but also having photos that captured our love, told and story. We also wanted a photographer that we connected with personally. In a rush to lock in a photographer, we hired someone who we quickly realized was not the right fit. I was in so much distress when we got our engagement photos and were unhappy. That’s when I found EMRY! I stumbled across their Instagram and fell in love with the way they captured such raw moments. When I first talked to Ryan and shared with him my experience with my former photographer, he stepped up and assured me he would do whatever he could to help. A few phone conversations later we signed our contract and never looked back. From the moment our communication started with Ryan and Emily we felt so much better. They were always in contact, checking in on us and seeing if there was anything they could do to help. They had so many great resources and recommendations through the whole planning process. They were just our photographers, they became friends through the wedding planning process. They took the time out of their busy schedule to meet with us face to face before our wedding, and after an evening of getting to know the amazing people they were, we found ourselves realizing that choosing them was the best wedding decision we made. On the day of the wedding Emily and Ryan were on top of it, along with their videographer Adam. The 3 of them worked together so flawlessly. Their passion for what they do is evident, and their natural talent for capturing all the special moments is amazing. We laughed with them, cried with them and joked with them. If they weren’t there as our photographers, I would have wanted them there as friends. Our wedding night flew by, just like everyone warned us it would, but I was comforted to know that every moment was captured by Emily and Ryan and that we would forever be able to relive our special day. Before they headed out for the night, they took the time to say a sweet goodbye and told us they would do their best to get us a few sneak peak photos before we left for our honeymoon a few days later. 24 hours after our wedding we got a sneak peak back, and I was in tears. The photos surpassed ALL MY EXPECTATIONS. They were beautiful, and raw and full of emotion. Moments I completely forgot about were brought back to life by the photos Emily and Ryan took. My father daughter dance was particularly important to me, as my dad was diagnosed a while back with early onset Alzheimer’s. With an unknown prognosis I told Emily and Ryan that my dance with my dad would be shared with my 2 younger sisters. They took my concerns to heart and went above and beyond in capturing that dance. The photos I have of our dance are some of my most cherished captured moments. Like I said in the beginning, there are no words that can properly express how thankful we are to Emry photography. If photos mean anything to you, I can’t stress enough how much you need Emily and Ryan as your photographers. They are incredibly talented individuals and such amazing friends, and they will hold a special place in our hearts forever. Love, Myranda & Richard”
Welcome to their story…
Rockin’ Creative Team: Photography| Emry Photography| Videography: Emry Photography| Venue: Ethereal Gardens| Wedding Dress: Mia Solano from Luv Bridal| Hair and Makeup Artist: Ashleigh Long| DJ: Greg Gomez of San Diego Party Time DJ’s|