Three years in the making, with two pandemic-related postponements, Oliwia and JJ finally celebrated their wedding under the bold, golden landscapes of Paicines Ranch. Their wedding photos sum up their love of nature, travel, and their way of connecting friends and family from around the globe with so much care.
The two met at UCLA, and little did she know that when she was interviewing JJ for the geology club, she was interviewing her future husband! Their first date at a bowling alley led to many, many more until JJ proposed to her while paddleboarding in 2019. And, as a nature-biologist-adventurer myself, I was head over heels when they asked me to be their wedding photographer!
Their details captured them just perfectly. Signs of adventure and travel filled the barn, such as a table seating chart that was fashioned into an archery target with arrows for each person with their assigned table. WOW! And my favorite was the guest book, a coffee table world maps book where guests signed a page representing a special place in their heart. You better bet I signed the Delaware page where I’m originally from!
Their summer wedding day started with getting ready at the grand Grogan House, where the bridal crew dawned their dusty blue robes, which Oliwia had gifted. We set up under a pepper tree for a sweet first look before whisking the two away to the St. Benedict Church in Hollister.
After a beautiful mass in the gorgeous church, we whisked them away again, back to the church for a series of photos catching the sweetest, kindest love. Their love for each other and their friends and family swept through everyone. Seeing their people from around the world connect and come together for these two radiant humans was incredible.
The reception started with a Polish tradition of a bread and vodka ceremony, which is precisely that, Oliwia’s mother and father gave the newlyweds bread and vodka. After their grand entrance, Oliwia and JJ showcased a mind-blowing choreographed dance to “Hallelujah.”
Another fun Polish tradition was a water and vodka test following the cake cutting. Two shots were brought out, one water and one vodka, and the bride and groom grabbed one. The one who ends up with the water is the cool-headed partner, and the one who grabs the vodka is the firey partner.
The dance floor was full of smiles, laughter, and love, especially when the entire wedding circled around and danced around Oliwia and JJ. These two were loved to the moon and back by every person traveling to be with them on their wedding day!
Oliwia and JJ, thank you for the honor of capturing your wedding day!
Oliwia + JJ’s Review:
“How can we even begin to describe the tremendous impact Chasing Chickadees had on the success and specialness of our wedding day? All through the pandemic she was there for us with encouraging words, answers to all our questions, and in-depth advice for the big day, and most importantly unmatchable enthusiasm! Alicia is a fantastic problem-solver and handles all of the unexpected that a wedding can bring with ease and grace. Together Alicia and Keith are the perfect team, both when working together during the main event as well as separately to capture special moments with the family and bridal party before the wedding. Everyone including us responded so well to Alicia and Keith’s warm and genuine manner as photographers and this made pictures a fun bonding expereince even for the most camera-shy!
After the wedding day, Alicia was amazingly efficient in getting us our wedding photos, even sending us gorgeous teasers which helped us realize that it all really finally happened! And the photos were beautiful! My sister put it much better than I can, saying “Alicia really captured the colors and feelings of the day” and it is so true. The Chasing Chickadees team captured all the moments – both the big ones and the small special ones – so genuinely and gorgeously and we are so thankful for that. We will be highly recommending Chasing Chickadees to everyone we know who is getting engaged, and highly recommend them to anyone even thinking of getting married! The day of the wedding we didn’t even stress because we knew we were in the best possible hands (or wings!) with Chasing Chickadees.”
Venue | Paicines Ranch
Church | St Benedict’s
Coordinator | Emily Skow
Floral | Mom
Hair + Makeup | Kayla Kenney
DJ | DJ Curtis
Catering | Paicines Ranch
Dessert | Heavenly Bakery
Photographer | Chasing Chickadees Photography
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