I met Kaitlin back in 2020 before you-know-what happened, and we excitedly talked about her September 2020 wedding. She dreamed of every detail, down to the authentic food, mariachi band, and beautiful late summer day. And she lit up every time she talked about her fiancé Zeus. We were all heartbroken when the inevitable re-schedule changed the date to September 4th, 2021.
But let me tell you, it was worth the year wait. The day was the epitome of a perfect summer day in California, endless sunshine and the magical oak landscapes and golden hills. The Hidden Valley Music Seminars is an absolute hidden gem nestled in Carmel Valley. They feature concerts, dance, and host weddings as well. And did I mention how insanely beautiful the property is with a grand oak overlooking the ceremony lawn, a garden that summoned up every fairy tale I’ve read, and a music hall with twinkling lights and barn doors that can open up and let the sun shine in – I’m telling you, this is one heck of a venue.
I worked alongside Kaitlin and her vibrant bridal squad capturing an incredibly heart-warming first look with them. The joy (and tears) on their faces when they saw her for the first time – wow times wow! Kaitlin twirled around in her drop-dead gorgeous dress making us all swoon even more.
My husband, Keith, was working around the corner photographing the dapper groomsmen and Zeus. We work like sly ninjas together and coordinated so the bride and groom would not see each other until their ceremony, which was approaching quickly. We organized an impromptu first look with Kaitlin’s father and watching his jaw drop when he saw her just about made my heart fall out – it was so pure and so powerful.
The ceremony was upon us, and I photographed our beautiful bride as she walked towards her soon-to-be-husband. Keith was turned the opposite way photographing Zeus as his eyes welled up with tears of joy seeing her walk down the aisle. (And this is why it’s awesome to have two shooters so you can capture every single moment!)
Their officiant, Jesus, gave a beautiful reading in Spanish, and when the time came, that first kiss was breathtaking. I think the oak tree behind them blushed a little.
Photo tip: Ask your photographer if they can capture a photo of the ENTIRE wedding after your ceremony. I always do this as it’s a great way to remember every single person there. For this ceremony, I had Keith grab me a ladder and I climbed to the top to get a wide shot looking down on everyone)
Cocktail hour began, the mariachi band started, and after family formals, we whisked Kaitlin and Zeus away for their formals beneath the majestic ceremony oak and then into the fairy tale garden. They were beaming from head to toe!
An incredible spread of authentic Mexican food followed from the incredible catering. After beautiful and some hilarious toasts, the two shared their first dance. There were smiles and tears all around.
Then, the DJ lit up the dance floor and I couldn’t stop capturing all the fun folks where having, except for a moment when Kaitlin’s amazing mom pulled me in to teach me square dancing.
Kaitlin and Zeus, thank you for the honor of capturing your beautiful and love-filled wedding day! And thank you Lily for teaching me how to dance!
Kaitlin + Zeus’ Review:
Venue | Hidden Valley Music Seminars
Coordinator | Princess
Floral | –
Hair + Makeup | Monica Hernandez
Jewelry | –
Dress | –
Band | –
DJ | –
Catering | –
Dessert | –
Bartenders | –
Photographer: Chasing Chickadees
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