Joy + Caesar : San Diego : A Starfish Wedding

It was one of those weddings we dream of as little girls. To the tiniest details – the dress, the cake, and the theme. Light colored shells peeking out of brown sugar sand sprinkled around centerpieces. Silver starfish hair ornaments and jewelry. Personalized seashells that led their guests to their seats. Sparkling blue lights and table covers. I felt like I was Ariel, swimming under the sea.

Overlooking the San Diego skyline, the reception was held at the Soledad Club. It was an intimate and beautiful venue, and as mentioned in her thank you speech, they chose to be here with their closest family and friends. And it was just that. Intimate. Close. Perfect.

After some time of mingling with her guests during cocktail hour, I found Joy and asked her how she was doing. Her exact words were “I feel like a princess.” Ah… smiles. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. It can be so easy to forget to take that step back and enjoy the moment, it can be a dream that happens so quickly and we wake up realizing it’s already over. She took it in, her big day, she was with the most important people in her life. This – this made me smile.

They capped the evening with thank you’s and a speech that brought tears.. tears with an “s” to my eyes. I usually don’t cry until after I sit down and go through the images, but this time, while the camera was held to my eye and I was looking at her, looking at him… and I listened to his speech. He hesitated at first as Joy turned to him with the mic, but began his speech with his thank you’s … thankful for this day, thankful to have found Joy. He glanced at their guests, then to the ground and said, he did have one wish. One wish that could have made this day even more special than it already was. His one wish, that his mom could have been there, for his mom to have met the most beautiful woman he was marrying today…

But we all know that somehow she was a part this magical day. That she did meet his beautiful bride. And that she had blessed them with her love, her happiness, and with Joy. His wish, I am sure, came true that magical day.

Now, let’s bow our heads and dance.

Thank you Orn, for the beautiful images of the church and of the wedding. Thank you for being my right hand woman.

Congratulations many many times Joy and Caesar, I so much enjoyed working with you, photographing you and getting to know you and your family and friends. Lots, and lots of LOVE!


Of course, lots of thanks to the vendors that help put this beautiful day together. It was a pleasure working with each every one of you once again.

Orn Thang for the much needed help and beautiful images.

Manny De Leon of Sound Illusions Ph: (619) 462-7750 Office

Lea Eleccion Bridal Consultant of Celebrations By Design

Gerald Labrador Videography

And kudos to:
Wedding invitations designed by Blue Ribbon Design

Ceremony at St. Joseph Cathedral

Wedding Gown and Bridesmaid DressesTour of Elegance

Ranch Catering, Inc.
3560 Mt. Acadia Blvd.
San Diego CA 92111
Phone: (858) 492 9100

Serena + Josh : San Diego Weddings : MCRD : Old Town

Who’s the new guy in town? Inquiring minds want to know.

And that is how it all started, AN inquiring mind wanted to know. This office romance turned into something more… they became each other’s best friend. Shared interest in sports, life, karaoke nights, and of course, each other.

For as long as I have known Serena, she loves to have a good time with her closest family and friends. You are invited, he is invited, we are all invited. She sets up the best: Ugly Sweater Parties, Costume Parties, the Wear All White Parties, Lets-Get-Together Parties, After Parties… it runs in her blood, and it also runs in his blood – they make a great team. I was able to witness it the night of their wedding.

With families and friends, bride and groom strutting their moves, you can’t help but want to jump in and dance around with them, even with a camera and tripod wrapped around your neck. Watch out, I may be hazardous. Josh, I can see the attraction and the magnetism she has on you and on all of us. She does this with her love for life and with the biggest smile on her face. 🙂

Josh & Serena: I wish you two the best, and lots and lots of love and hugs. Congratulations!!!

The garter that was passed down from her grandmother.

The wedding ceremony and reception was held at the MCRD overlooking the Bay. It was the perfect day to say “I do”

I believe, Josh, I caught a half wink… oh yes, indeedy.

The speech and this image that made me cry over and over again.

Oh plane, you made this day extra memorable by flying over every 5 minutes… during the ceremony.

You 2 are gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

DJ: Jeremy Smith 619-606-2582
Ceremony Coordinator: Laura Bissonnette 619-994-3989
Flowers: Corie Sonnenberg of Elegant Touch Floral Designs
Click here to check out their engagement session

R + M : San Diego : Wedding

So it happened, the union happened and I couldn’t be more happier.

MaryAnne: When I received your email, I was literally jumping up and down, no questions to ask just completely ecstatic, thrilled, I just didn’t fall to the ground (wink, wink. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me… I will not utter a word).

You two worked so hard at getting everyone to arrive on time, to make sure no one had on their phillipino watch, however,  you did  set them back about an hour but it all worked and paid off.

Rey and MaryAnne – you two make the perfect team.

Here is a look at your smiley and happy faces.

Who doesn’t like to jumping photos? Especially Rey, who wouldn’t stop when everyone else did. I must say, you are an A+ jumper.

MaryAnne… on the other hand…

I know, I know you said this is usual thing for you, but I must say sorry once again. You are so cute MaryAnne. This makes a great action shot with blurred movements. 🙂

Why iphones are the greatest inventions.

By the way, please thank your mom for making me try that piece of cake. It was Deee-lish!!! She watched me eat it to the very last bite. Now thats true love.

Family + Friends: Permission to copy, paste, or use the images above to share with your family and friends.  Who wouldn’t want to share Love. Plus, weddings = big smiles. And I love big smiles!

He had his way… Of making us all happy.

If he could have his way, he would.. oh wait, but he did.

Once everyone was in bed and sound asleep, he made his way and found the perfect spot – soft, warm and just the right size, on top of the forbidden couch but he made sure he was off before anyone was awake.

When everyone left for a game of basketball, he made his way and found the perfect bucket of KFC. All 20 pieces of them.

When I left for vacation, and had a friend housesit for a week, he watched, learned, and figured out how to turn the doorknob to my room. He lied on top of my bed, like he was king of the throne.

When he was left outside, he had an anxiety of being alone so he somehow managed over time to claw a hole into our side door. He happily found his way into the garage and back safe inside the house.

Or when he was not allowed inside my mom’s house, he stayed put right outside, right next to the opened door. Once her back was turned, he would duck his 75 lb body close to floor and tip toe past my mother and over to me. When it was safe, he would wag his entire butt and tail to greet me hello, and do his multiple victory dance/laps inside the house. He knew he had his way.

During our walks, he had this overly obnoxious way of protecting me. He was the “Marly” that could not be trained (3 animal trainers, many books of training dogs for stupid people later – it did not work), he showed you he could do it for a couple of weeks and resort back to his old ways of pulling, barking, sniffing, and marking.

He was definitely smarter than his owner. He always had his way…

It was a surprise, this past week, that night when he was barely able to get himself up. It took so much out of him to get up and walk a few steps but he managed to sit right next to me. After trying to figure out his diagnosis with no conclusive findings, we decided to take him into the Animal Hospital and found out he had a ruptured tumor. A tumor, the size of a football had ruptured inside, causing internal bleeding and an incredible amount of blood loss… And I just wanted to have my way… for him to stay with me… an extra hour to 1/2 hour to.. please, 5 more minutes. But of course, he had his way, it was time for me to thank him for the 9 wonderful years he had given me. Thank you Rusty. Thank you. Thank you for cleaning up the kitchen floor everytime there was a spillage. Thank you for keeping Shella warm with your “body heht”. Thank you for resisting Quoc’s dirty food temptations (you showed him). Thank you for allowing my parents to be creative with their garden so you wouldn’t have a new stomping ground. Thank you for making Teena itch everytime you jumped on her. Thank you for putting up with a full house (condo) when your Auntie Linda and Martin stayed with us. Thank you for all the tears you wiped off. Thank you for your overwhelming “welcome home” greetings at the door even if I was only gone for 2 seconds. Thank you taking Christmas photos every year with Brandyn and me dressed up – scarf/tie/hat and all. Thank you for wearing that tutu. I love everything about you.

This is how he greets hello.

Caught on the sofa.

I donated my hair for a real good cause.

He was not really a hugger, but I was.

Getting him ready for holiday photos

Everyone looks perfect here and my eyes are closed.

Happy 80th Grandpa Noe!

Dear Grandpa Noe,

First I would like to say: Happy happy happy 80th birthday. This is such a wonderful mark in your life. You and Tessie both raised an amazing family of 18. Four sons, four daughters and 8 very beautiful grandkids. You must be so proud and I feel very lucky to have met your family and to be a part of your special moment. Here is a look at my favorite images:

What happens when you ask the boys to give their moms big hugs…

Or when you ask the girls to give kisses in front of the camera.

Grandpa Noe, your family was so much fun and so full of love, hugs, and kisses.

And they are just absolutely full of cuteness. I really do want to pinch her dimpled cheeks!

I hope you have a beautiful 80th birthday weekend with your family and friends. I wish you many more years of happiness and love. =)

Janet, thank you for the opportunity and once again, Michelle, thank you for the referral. Love you girls!

Understanding Mom

We had a great Sunday at the annual San Diego Fair for Father’s Day. We gorged on everything our nose led us to – BBQ corn (I am salivating just thinking about it), clam chowder, cream puffs, and corn dogs dipped into a  sweet potato batter.  We walked down aisles and aisles of “what should I buy this year”,  oohed and awed over  this year’s best of show, enjoyed lunch in the middle of the landscape and garden exhibit, and watched my competitive 5’4 father eagar to win us a giant size hippo with an odd-looking belly button (we got not one but 2) shooting hoops.  I know Kris.. shirt tight… could not make the ball in the basket… although you are 2x my father’s height.

My mom and Kris even checked out the minerals, jewelry, and gems at the Gem Faire. After spending some time with my mom, Kris felt like he starting to understand her.   He was understanding the words that were coming out her mouth!  Her accent is not very strong but she has her ways of describing things, places, and stories with sound effects, replacement words (nonsensical of course), and sometimes she may even act out a word here and there. I have caught him a few times during their past conversations with a blank stare. So he was excited to tell me that he could understand her.

“Sina, your mom was educating me on the gems and stones they had at the exhibit. She said the lighter the jade is, the more expensive they are.”

“Hmmm… interesting, I am pretty sure they are more expensive when the stone is darker.”

“She said the more lack in color, the more expensive it is.  Well.. Lack in color is less color, right?”

“I think she said, the more black in color.”

“But the stone was pink.”

“Yeah same thing, the more black in color. Dark means Black. Black is Dark”

Kris, please understand when the light is out, and it is dark all around you and you cannot see a thing, not even your white walls – it is black not dark.

Sisterly quarrel

Older vs Younger. Stubborn vs Sensitive. You vs You too. We fight exactly the way we did back in grade school. When I was 10 and she was 6. She would cry and I would get in trouble. She was sorry to make it all go away and I could never let go.

Here is just a taste of it (edited version, we swear like sailors) It happened today, I am 31 and she is 28:

Me: nope – you called me selfish. I was only responding to that comment.
Linda: you called me selfish first
Me: well….
Linda: i asked one time, and then i said ok!
Linda: what is your deal!!!!!!!!!
Me: what is your deal? my blood isn’t boiling.
Me: okay, I wont.
Me: dont matter to me
Me: ok
Linda: SAY SORRY. Honestly, you’re really freaking hurtful
I don’t know why you do this.
Me: So are you
Me: i was joking and then you called me selfish.
Linda: you called me selfish too
Me: ok fine – i am sorry
Linda: Sorry for the whatever
Me: done
Linda: why do you have to add the “done”
so disingenuious
Me: are we done? (I’m not mad at all- tone, in a – i am sorry tone)
Linda: i said i am sorry for saying whatever
Linda: what i mean is i cant say things to you, but you can say whatever to me
Me: okay fine
acceptd but i dont say whatever to you
Linda: i said sorry for that!
Me: ok, fine. I know
Linda: see how fast i can say that?
Linda: and how long it takes for you to apologize?
Me: Liiiiiiiiiiiiinda
quit it
Linda: you quit it
Me: this is getting annoying
you go on and on
Linda: you too
Me: sorry, seriously sorry.
Linda: ok im sorry too
Me: sorry i hurt your feelings
Linda: make me cry
Me: that is a sincere comment and i am truly sorry i made you cry
Not my intent
Linda: lol
Me: but it did make me laugh a little
Linda: you can come to la
Me: you laughed too
Linda: no i didnt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: you just wrote lol
I laughed only a little
Linda: just to “sorry i made you cry”
Me: oh
Sorry i laughed a little
Linda: this reminds me when i drew that heart and cut it in half and then let it fall down the stairs*
Me: Now I am laughing hard.
Me: Really? I can’t laugh at that one even? You can’t do that. That was funny!

*She once drew a picture of a heart and 2 young girls to resemble us. She tore the paper in half for dramatic effects and dropped it over the banister as I walked by. I looked at it and rolled my eyes. Come on, I just got in trouble.