Yésica + Enrique. A finales del pasado Marzo tuvimos la suerte de documentar la boda de Yesi y Enrique en Oaxaca, ¡fue una maravilla! El día de su boda llegamos al arreglo en el Hotel Los Amantes, y documentamos con mucho corazón estos momentos sencillos y significativos. Su ceremonia fue en la icónica iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzman en el Centro Histórico de Oaxaca, seguida por la fiesta en el Jardín Casa Don Luis. Fue un honor para nosotros documentar su boda y ser testigos de este gran día en su vida.

Desde el momento en que nos conocimos un año antes de su boda, sabíamos que iba a ser una hermosa celebración llena de amor, y así fue. Yesi y Enrique son personas cariñosas y comparten un amor profundo, lo cual fue evidente en cada momento de su boda.  Sus familias y amigos son seres tan lindos, luego luego haciéndonos sentir como en casa, fue una bella experiencia. Gracias a Yesi y Enrique por confiar en nosotros para documentar su boda, ¡felicidades a esta preciosa pareja!

Fotografía por Roque Reyes y Nikhol Esteras | Wedding Planner Lorena Chagoya Eventos

Year two documenting the Joseph Family. While I live in Oaxaca, I still have a strong connection with my friends in Santa Cruz, where I’m from and grew up. Suzanne and I met in middle school, grew up around the block from one another, and in our best moments, jammed from beach to beach, from party to party, on our old school cruiser bikes, in true coastal style. During one brilliant moment, we even took our precious modes of transportation apart to repaint them with glitter and of course, adding ribbons to the handlebars … the bikes where never the same.

But in all seriousness, I absolutely adore this family. Today happens to be this beautiful Mama’s birthday, a fellow virgo sister of mine, and so this post comes in the most fitting moment. I loved making these pictures, chaos and calm were in abundance, never-ending perfection. One thing I became acutely aware of during our session, was the way Suzanne and Spencer are with their girls and as parents, incredibly present with their kiddos and with one another. Hayden, the eldest, is wildfire, she’s on her way to big things, and sweet Sky baby is just the most darling little lady, constantly in admiration of her big sister, overall the happiest little one. I am excited to share these pictures from our real session, and while I spent only two hours documenting them, the moments – tantrums, laughs, outfit changes and more, were in abundance. Love these four beauties, and I’m so grateful to be able to document them year after year, happy birthday to darling Suzanne!

The Hansen Family year four. I’ve been so lucky over the years to photograph the Hansen Family, since Ellery’s newborn days to her preschool days, plus a new little sister now and a move back to Santa Cruz, this wonderful crew really gets the importance of documenting these precious ordinary moments in life. Katie and I have been friends since middle school, when we’d ride our cruiser bikes just about everywhere, making documenting a day in their life that much more special. These days they are a family of four, with the arrival of sweet Clover, and I absolutely love being able to tell a bit of their story each year, while seeing them grow and transform, they are an amazing family. Katie and Daniel are wonderful parents to their stunning and wild little girls, I am constantly in awe of their calm nature no matter the storm around them coupled with their extraordinarily thoughtful approach to parenting, I learn something new every time I photograph them. Thank you to this beautiful family for entrusting me to document these precious moments in life, I love y’all!

Youali + Jimmy were married in Berkeley CA, where they met and live and where their love story began. From the moment they reached out to me, I knew we’d be a great fit. Their wedding day was absolutely beautiful, from the getting ready through to the reception, the immense love was overwhelmingly beautiful and highly contagious. These two are pillars of love and support to those they hold closest and so strong was that feeling, that nearly tangible it felt. Youali and Jimmy hold each other close, they share a tight bond founded in deep faith and immersed in love. Their connection is inspiring and a true gift to experience.

Their ceremony at Newman Hall – Holly Spirit Parish greatly impacted everyone including myself, so much so in fact that this text that accompanied the first photo I posted of them brought me to tears: “Ceremony moments. Upon entering the church, Catholic Priest Father George took the time to welcome everyone, emphasizing acceptance and respect of all human beings regardless of religion; he lead a ceremony strong in grace, sincerity, inclusivity, humility and warmth, accompanied by impeccable humor, tears and laughter. I know … it’s Berkeley, but how wonderful would it be to have even more like him around …”. I imagine that gives you an idea of how truly stunning their wedding celebration was, how much profound meaning and intention accompanied each word uttered, each detail created, each moment experienced; it was a most remarkable celebration to document and bare witness to. I am so grateful to have been entrusted to make these pictures and tell Youali and Jimmy’s love story through photography. Wishing our dear friends a most amazing adventure ahead, congrats to this beautiful pair!

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This wedding story is particularly moving in this moment in time and is dedicated to the loving memory of Father George, a grandfather figure to Jimmy and Youali and the officiant at their wedding, a man who positively impacted the lives of so many with his grace, love and courage. He passed away in late June of this year. As Youali so elegantly put it when so wrote to tell me this heartbreaking news –  “As you saw on our wedding day, Father George was source of light and joy to all who knew him. I am so very grateful to have this picture and your thoughtful caption to remember him by. Thankful for the healing power of photography.” When I heard this news, I felt it deep, I felt devastated for the loss of such an amazing human being and at the same time, profoundly grateful to have met him, to which I owe a heartfelt thank you to Youali and Jimmy for entrusting us to document their wedding. Father George will always be a part of their lives, remembered in many ways and via many experiences, and these pictures are a way to keep his memory alive and honor an incredible man.  Thank you to Youali and Jimmy. Rest in peace Father George.

 

Angela+Todor. Heart explodes for these two, one of whom I’ve known since the days of obsessions with oversized basketball Ts, Dubs to be exact, while dedicating our recesses to WNBA dreams. You see, Angela and I met in kindergarten at Waldorf School, two budding athletes guided by hippie parents, best friends on a mission to be the best basketball players and capture the flag team leaders (Angela always won in both categories). Weekends we spent shooting hoops, watching the X-Files, playing with pet mice, adventuring through the canyons and woods by our homes; we were extraordinarily active kids with endless energy and a deep desire to explore anything and everything … something that I think for both of us, has become a huge part of who and where we are today. In middle school I left Waldorf and Angela and I went our separate ways, loosing touch over the busy years of middle and high school, only to re-meet in Oaxaca back in 2013. By then, Angela and Todor were a couple, both of whom live to travel, and landed in Oaxaca for an adventure where we met up, chatting the night away at a local hookah and mezcal bar. I distinctly remember feeling so happy to have re-crossed paths after so many years. Flash forward to 2017, I received and email from Angela about having her wedding in Oaxaca, to which I responded with great delight and fierce excitement, I was probably more excited then they were in that first moment, that feeling of life coming full circle was incredible.

Angela and Todor’s wedding was amazing and particularly emotional for me, I couldn’t help but remember so many wild moments we had shared in our childhood and felt so grateful to be part of their wedding. Their wedding was held at Hotel Azul and planned by the brilliant Holly and Friederike of Oaxaca Destination Weddings. The integration of their Bulgarian and British cultures was beautifully woven into their wedding day along with the infamous Oaxacan wedding traditions. Angela’s calm nature and open heart perfectly complement Todor’s clever and charming personality, they share an extremely tight bond and are present with one another in every moment. The world stops when they engage, time slows and you can see in their faces, in their eyes, the immense joy and love that they share. They are dedicated to each other, noticeably so … to each other and to travel might I add. Their unwavering wanderlust has seen them through many an adventure, taking them to the furthest nooks and crannies on this earth, traveling the world hand in hand, they are an inspiration. It was such an honor to document their Oaxaca wedding, we enjoyed every last moment. One thing that stuck with me was something Angela’s mom said to me on their wedding day in teary eyes full of love and admiration for her baby girl:  “It’s the strangest feeling when your child gets married, it’s like their entire life flashes before you, every moment, every memory and not only do you see it, but you feel it too, it’s a profoundly moving and remarkable experience unlike any other.” I loved that reflection, and as always, it got me thinking on the ever present emotional guide that sees us through life and that appears with force on the wedding day.

How far Angela and I have come … yoga beat basketball in the end and we re-found one another in glorious Oaxaca as adults with great appreciation for  life, travel and culture … how the universe gets it so right I will never understand but will always feel grateful for. I could go on and on here, but I’ll try to keep it short(ish), so on that note –  I am so happy for this beautiful pair, soulmates deeply committed to one another, both Roque and I are so very grateful to have them on this wild ride of life, we adore these beautiful souls. Congrats to our queridos amigos on such a beautiful love filled wedding! Cheers to the many more fantastic adventures ahead!

Venue: Hotel Azul | Photography: Roque Reyes and yours truly | Wedding Planners: Oaxaca Destination Weddings

 

Katie and Ricard, what a wedding! It was a match made in heaven from day one – in our first email exchange, Katie’s started out with … “what’s your availability” … in order to be able to plan their wedding around working together, a true sign that it was going to be an incredible experience. In six months they planned their dream wedding and it was not only one of the most emotional days I’ve ever had, it was also insanely beautiful in every sense. Planned and executed by Marcela González, every moment and every detail was absolutely breath-taking. We got to spend fourteen hours photographing these beauties along with their warm and loving families and friends, all of whom opened their arms and hearts to us, we felt right at home.

The first look was a moment that I will never forget. When Ricardo saw Katie for the first time he choked up big time, gazing at her and then wiping his eyes, on repeat, he was mesmerized by his stunning bride. Katie was in the same boat, they were adorable, nervous, excited and quite literally could not stop stealing glances. As they read the handwritten letters they’d prepared for this moment, neither Katie nor Ricardo could hold it together, and the raw emotion took over, it was absolutely beautiful to feel and see the immense love they share. This moment that set the tone for their entire loved-filled wedding day.

Their wedding unfolded with so much life and excitement, from exploring the Jardin Etnobotanico, to their lovely ceremony at Sangre de Cristo church in the City center, to a most fantastic and lively calenda followed by a phenomenal party at the Quinta Real that finished with a Mariachi band who handed to mic to Ricard’s father for a few epic songs. Everyone in attendance was incredibly present, wildly happy and enjoyed the most brilliant of celebrations. We are so happy to have crossed paths with Katie and Ricardo … the type of people that hear you’re coming to New York and send you an unsolicited yet much appreciated email with all their favorite places, things to do and see and an invitation for a city bike ride (insert heart explodes). We feel mighty lucky to have them in our lives and are excited to make even more memories together this summer in their neck of the woods. We thrilled to share their wedding story and feel very grateful for the experience of their glorious Oaxaca wedding, congrats to these two amazing souls, all the love for y’all!

Photos by Roque Reyes and yours truly | Wedding Planner Marcela González

 

This wedding. I have so much to say, I feel so much when I think about this beautiful couple, where to start?! … how about circa 2002, yep no typo there, a mere 16 years ago is basically where we came to be their wedding photographers. I met David in High School, he was an adorable fella, skater style with a heart of gold. If there’s one thing that I remember most vividly about him, I’d say it was his way of being, even way back then in the stressful world of high school, he had the kindest nature, the best hugs and there’s always been something about him that draws you in, makes you want to be his best friend, and that “something” he still has to this day.

It was back in 2016 that I received a message from David asking if I still lived in Oaxaca and informing me that him and his (then) girlfriend were panning to come down to Oaxaca to travel and live for an unknown amount of time. They left their day jobs in San Francisco and made the trip south where I was overjoyed to re-meet my dear friend in adult life along with stunning Margaret, who I instantly connected with and who I felt like I’d known all along. During their time in Oaxaca, we had BBQs galore, drank mezcal, hung on the shimmering Coast of Oaxaca, road-tripped through the Southern Sierra, ate late night tacos, cried together while watching a terrible US election and so much more. We connected, we became family. One day Margaret asked me about making some engagement pictures of them and I was overjoyed with the idea, instantly knowing that this meant an adventure, as these two are down for anything and everything. We set out in our classic VW bug to roam the maguey fields and climb the mountainous peeks of Tlacochahuaya, exploring this utopia of a town while making pictures, it was an amazing day that I will never forget. For us, it’s so important that every session be an adventure, and experience, whether it’s in the city center, our portrait wall or a far-off pueblo, we want our friends and couples to leave feeling like … damn that was a good time!

Around the same time, Margaret casually asked me if we’d be interested in documenting their wedding, to which I replied with a HELL YES we’re interested!!! You see, not only are these two some of our favorite humans, they are also such a joy to be around. They love hard, they love honestly and authentically, you feel it in our bones, it’s contagious and everyone around them learns a little more about love just by being near them. Feeling this, and then knowing this, made us even more excited to be a part of their wedding celebration. When that day arrived last January, we found our dear friends with their loved ones from all walks of life enjoying the glorious Pacific Coast of Nayarit, the small beach town of San Pancho to be exact, ready to make it official. Their wedding was held at Bungalows Lydia, gorgeous cabañas on top of a cliff with epic views as far as the eye can see and with a small beach below boasting some beauteous views. Their wedding, envisioned by Margaret her (creative) self and planned and executed by Nicoella was literal perfection. Both David and Margaret got ready on site in the company of their best friends and family;  their highly emotional ceremony was held on the beach below, a mere 50 stone stairs descended and ascended by each wedding guest to celebrate these two. Both Roque and I shed tears during their ceremony, but kept it together enough to be on point when their exit included traditional Irish Monos de Calenda (best description that comes to mind) brought by Maragert’s uncles. Their fiesta was under a palapa in true coastal Mexico style, mezcal was in abundance, chelitas flowing, dancing jammin’ and the best time was had. We, and I do mean we – Roque concurs, couldn’t be happier for our queridos amigos, they found one another, we all celebrated their love, they opened their arms to everyone in attendance and we are so grateful to have been part of it. Congrats to David and Margaret, we LOVE y’all somethang fierce!

Photos by Roque Reyes and yours truly | Wedding Planners: Nicoella

 

The first time Enrique and I met we happened to both be passing through Mexico City and found ourselves in a tiny bar hidden amongst the glorious tree-lined streets of Roma Norte, where we sipped on pulque perched upright in a less than conformable rickety diner style tables next to what appeared to be the beer storage zone, as we were surrounded by boxes full of boos. For Roque and I, getting to know the people we photograph is of immense importance, and Enrique and I did just that. We chatted life, travel, wedding and more, it was a most perfect first encounter. Since that night, we know we’d work well together and upon meeting the beautiful and witty Liz, the deal was sealed.

Flash forward 8 months, their big day arrived as our first wedding of 2018 and just as we’d imagined, it was beyond words. Oaxaca Destination Weddings took wedding planning to an entirely new level, every detail was chosen with love and intention, every moment planned to perfection, we literally felt as if we were on an adventure full of surprises the entire day. Liz & Enrique got ready at Hotel Azul, where they also held their completely unique and stunning ceremony, followed by one of the most epic wedding calendas through the Centro Historico of Oaxaca City, and when I say epic – I mean a calenda full of professional dancers … no joke, they killed it, even in the wildly warm midday heat. The calenda ended at the double-decker tourist buses, which they rented for transportation to their venue, a whole new experience in and of itself. Heading out from the Centro Historico, second-story dancing and mezcal were in abundance, however once we got a few blocks out, the telephone cables hung low above our heads, leading to yours truly nearly getting clotheslined (literally was saved at the very last minute – as you’ll see below) and guests staying in a half duck and cover position most of the way, it was a fabulously chaotic start to their fiesta.

Their reception was held at La Calera, a beautiful factory turned event venue located just outside the city center. Liz and Enrique got things going with an absolutely breath-taking Tango dance, the dance that brought them together as a couple, it was poetic, wild and beautiful, and so captivating in fact, that there were moments when I nearly forgot to shoot. Seeing as half of their guests are dancers, the party that ensued was also memorizing, with casual dance-offs and amazing moves, we had the best time watching the magic unfold. Liz and Enrique stole hearts from day one, they share a beautiful connection and literally can’t keep their eyes off one another; they are from opposite cultures and different countries and yet share so much in common, it’s like the force of the universe, or the love of Tango, is so strong that it pulled these two together with all of the intention imaginable. Evident was their love in every aspect of their wedding day – their devotion to Tango, their contagious energy, their unstoppable laughter and their passion for making positive change in the world, all of which was woven beautifully into their wedding celebration. We adore these two and feel lucky to have documented their wedding day and to call them our friends. Congrats to Liz and Enrique, we love y’all and wish you the most brilliant adventure ahead!

Photos by Roque Reyes and yours truly | Wedding planned and executed by Oaxaca Destination Weddings

 

Isabel and Dorian were married in Mexico City last December, where Isabel was born and their wedding was gorgeous, full of wonderful people, laughter and love. When Isabel first contacted us about shooting her wedding, if I recall correctly, it was at least a year and a half in advance, so early in fact, that plane tickets for her wedding dates weren’t even available for purchase. Over that year or so, we got acquainted and we were really looking forward to their celebration. Isabel and Dorian are absolutely amazing together, their witty sense of humor and clever one-liners had us laughing our way through their day. In fact, Isabel reminds me a lot of friends I grew up with; she’s hilarious, brilliant, feisty, a real gem. Dorian – you just want to hug – not because he needs a hug, but because he’s such a genuine, loving, kind human being, also ridiculously clever and extra points because he’s always smiling. These two are incredibly attentive to one another, frequently locking eyes and forgetting about the world around them for extended moments in time – so much so that I had to break the lock on a few occasions to make sure we arrived on time to their ceremony, as we walked through the sea of thousands of humans that convene at the Zocalo in Mexico City that time of year. This pair even purchased a blessing by Shamans pre-ceremony in the zocalo, to which Isabel keenly noted – could be blessing or a curse, time shall tell. It was an adventure, every moment in center of the mega city, and we were all down for the ride. One fun fact – there was another “Roque” in attendance, we were in awe, the first ever Roque #2 we’ve met!

Isabel and Dorian got ready together, helping one another every step of the way. Their wedding ceremony was held at the Cathedral in the Zocalo, an absolutely stunning piece of architecture full of history, and even though Photographers are not allowed in the aisle during the ceremony, we made it work from Press booths perched above the guests. The reception was held at La Casa del Corregidor where dancing ensued, tears were shed, Mariachi jammed, it was epic. We are grateful to these two for entrusting us to capture this special day in their lives, documenting their wedding was a beautiful experience. Congrats to Isabel and Dorian!

Pictures by Roque Reyes and yours truly | Wedding planned and executed by the brilliant Dahn Wedding Panner

Aurora and Samuel were married last December in Oaxaca, a beautiful celebration at Hotel Azul surrounded by family and friends who made the trip to celebrate these lovers in our stunning city! Aurora’s Mexican roots and the couple’s mutual love for this country made Oaxaca the perfect destination for their wedding. Friends and family quickly fell for Oaxaca, embracing the culture (and mezcal) while exploring the city in depth. Aurora and Samuel are creative souls, madly in love and with an incredible sense of humor, making me laugh at every street corner. Their touch for meaningful details was evident, every decoration was chosen with intention and personalized for their celebration. It was a beautiful day and I am grateful to this beautiful pair for entrusting us to document their wedding, it was a true honor and we are so happy to have them in our lives. ¡Felicidades a Aurora y Samuel!

Photos by Roque Reyes and yours truly.