A Bride's Story // Jenna + Ryan

We love hearing about our client's wedding day from their perspective. It's so fun to tell a complete story with their words and our images. Here are some snippets from a past bride, Jenna, who married her soulmate at St. Brigid Church in Pacific Beach followed by a reception at Scripps Seaside forum. 

"Our wedding was truly the best day. I am still smiling just writing and thinking about it and wish so bad we could go back and be guests at our own wedding! It felt personal and felt genuine to me and Ryan.  I loved the traditional aspect of getting married in the church and the moment of being on my dad’s arm and looking into Ryan’s eyes; they are two best men I know. I loved reading our vows and professing our love to each other in front of our best family and friends. I loved taking photos at the beach with everyone and having FUN! That was awesome. I loved that in every direction I looked all day there were family, friends and people from all different seasons of our lives. I loved just being with Ryan and looking at each other exclaiming, 'You are my husband!' and 'You are my wife!' " - Jenna

Describe the wedding, what was the style of the day? 
It was simple, natural and stunning. The weather was beautiful in the morning with a gorgeous golden sunrise and then became more overcast during photos and some light sprinkles of good luck rain in the afternoon. It was overwhelming, exciting, JOYOUS, loving - it felt like US. 

What did people wear? 
Girls wore pretty bright dresses with sweaters. Some dresses too short, some just right, some long and flowing. Navy,gray, or black suits for the guys.

Did you have a coordinator?  Was it rad?  Or if you didn't was there any moments you wish you did? 
I did everything leading up to the wedding, but having a day-of coordinator was a huge lifesaver. I didn’t have to think or worry about anything and we floated on a cloud all day.

Honeymoon?  Right away or you've got a year to do it? 
We went to Sedona, AZ for three days after the wedding. It was so nice to relax and unwind amidst the beautiful red rocks! We stayed at L’Auberge which was the perfect spot with little cottages and a creek side restaurant. We went to New Zealand for a full honeymoon a few months later which was EPIC. 

What was your first dance song? 
It was a mash-up of  "Forever and Ever, Amen" by Randy Travis and "Whatever It Is" by Zac Brown Band. Our DJ/Musician Michael Tiernan was unforgettable. 

Who did your florals and what were they?  What was your favorite part of the florals? 
Plenty of Petals. They were free-flowing and natural looking, but stunning. They were pastel colored with pops of bright colors. I loved my bouquet and also the long garland of eucalyptus and bunches of flowers on our sweetheart table.

Did you do a first look or wait to meet at the end of the aisle? 
We met at the end of the isle. I could see Ryan's face when I peered through the window right before my dad and I walked down the isle. We were both so nervous, but so excited to see each other. He accidentally tried to take me away from my dad before I could hug my dad or mom!

Where did you get your shoes? 
My mom found them on sale from Nordstrom’s and I was in love with them. My favorite color is green. They had to be green.

Did you do the chicken dance? 
No, but we did a conga line to locomotion!

Did you toss the bouquet?  Any funny stories there? 
I did! My sisters friend Cassie who came from Texas caught it. She literally didn’t put it down all night, took it with her on the plane home, and then framed it. She was pretty excited.

What song got everyone dancing? 
"Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars. 

Did the flower girl/ring bearer make it down the aisle? 
Yes, but there is a baptismal font in the middle of the isle (a small barrier to getting down) and when they got to it they didn’t know what to do and started doing loops around it! Finally someone from the front called them to walk the rest of the way down. 

What is the funniest story from your day? 
One of my favorite moments was right after the Best Man’s speech. Mark (best man) had talked about how him and Ryan (groom) were pretty nerdy in high school. He mentioned a time in the car on the way home from a football game that they made up hand motions to the Tom Petty song "Running Down a Dream". Right when Mark put the mic down to end his speech, the DJ in perfect timing cued up the song and everyone cheered for them to do the hand motions! It was hilarious and totally impromptu which made it even better.

I also forgot my veil at the Crystal Pier Cottages (where we stayed) and right before it was time to get everyone together to start walking down the aisle I realized it! My sister’s husband bolted to the car, to the pier and had the veil back to the church in less than seven minutes flat. We made it.

Lastly, I got food poisoning on Thursday night before our wedding and was in the ER getting IV’s on Friday morning. The doctor told me it was his mission to get me to the church on time! Haha it was not ideal but Ryan really had to prove his vows in those last 48 hours (in sickness and in health!).

At home in Cardiff - The Peyton Family

Persephone is funny.  How can someone is such a small package be hilarious?  I had the chance to spend the afternoon with this creative family and capture some of the toddler magic.  If you keep scrolling to the bottom of the post you can see a short film as well.  Yes that's what I said, a short film!

xoxo Suzanne

[vimeo 196489278 w=640 h=352]

Tara and Jason Equestrian engagement

Tara and Jason won me over on a rainy Sunday in San Juan Capistrano.  I loved meeting their family and getting to walk the property where their wedding will take place.  Donna Urban introduced me to Tara, Jason and Tara's mom and we went to scout the ceremony and reception locations.  I loved taking the backroads on Tara's family property and getting to envision what the big day will be like.  I even got to meet Tara's grandfather.  Although it sprinkled and sometimes downright poured we made the best of it and got some beautiful images.  How cute are their dogs!  I couldn't be more excited to meet the rest of the family, see Tara in her wedding dress, and watch how Donna transforms one of the most lush green spaces into something perfect for Jason and Tara.  xoxo Suzanne

Street Photography -Copenhagen, San Miguel De Allende and Guadalajara

can't explain why these images go together.  They are a slow arc in the change of how i'm seeing things.  For so long I've lived in the beautiful watercolor world of backlighting.  It's defined me for so long that I'm struggling to find my voice and certainly how to find my new way to process images.  It takes me a while to know if I like something.  But every so often I'll find a shot and know it's just right for me.  I'm still looking for words to explain it.  I'm not sure how so many ideas can fit into one category but it seems to be really honest for me.  I wonder if I'm categorizing everything that isn't backlighting into one thing.  But I know it's more than that.  There's a certain feeling I get in my gut when I stumble upon a little gem and I feel so grateful immediately - a quiet happiness spreads and it makes me want to stay out side and shoot all day and never do paper work again.  I think in so many ways my love affair with photography is just beginning.

xoxo Suzanne

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

We are thankful for the mommas and papas out there.  Here is one of our favorite playlists from what used to be Songza and is now Google play music.  Everyone at Shewanders wishes you love and time with your loved ones this weekend.  Endless Cheer! From Suzanne, Mike, Hanna, Vanessa, and Jenna.

4 Things : Out of Office - Hawaii

Hey Wanderers,

This week, Mike has been photographing some rad parties while Suzanne headed to Hawaii with her cousin to photograph some national park beauties. #CousinTrip

Photographing and filming: Volcano National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Dreaming of: A more united country and a resurgence in the civil rights movement.

WatchingGood Girls Revolt on Amazon.  What a surprising find.  It's an inspiring gem that reminds us of how far we have come.

Gazing at: My cousin Amber loves waterfalls. She has a crazy deep love affair with them.  So we have been chasing them around the island and filling our hearts with their wild beauty and strength.

Suzanne & Mike

On the way to Charlotte : Jen and John Maternity Santa Paula California

I adore Jen and John.  I first met them at Karis and Blake's wedding years ago.  I have such a girl crush on Jen, her smile lights up every room.  I was ecstatic when I heard they were going to have  a baby.  It's so crazy wonderful to get to share these major life changing moments with people.  I loved capturing their vows in Rhode Island just a couple of years ago and I loved being at her Grandmother's house capturing the last couple of days of pregnancy.  Little Charlotte was just born safe and sound and I can't wait to get her in front of my lens soon.  One day Mike and I will have our own kids.  I feel like moments like this bring us just a little closer to our dream.  Wahoo yay Launs thanks for sharing your dreams with us.

Archive Cocktail Conference - It's a wonderful night for a moon dance...

When Krista and Regina decide to throw a party I want to be on the guest list.  What a great night.  I love cohosting parties.  It's so lovely to throw all of our talents together.  I so loved inviting some of our favorite industry people out for a night of cocktails and dancing.  Bravo everyone.  Last night was a dream.  #archivecocktailconference #moondance 

Rentals and Design : @archiverentals

Paper @brightlydesigned

Cocktails @barcon_

Bites @amihoexperience

Photography @shewanders

Flowers @bloombabes

DJ/Lighting @varioproductions

Photobooth @amigobooth

sugar pie honey bunch.. The McNees family at home.

I'm so happy to share these with all of you.  I love this family so much.  One of the giant perks of my job is keeping up with amazing families year after year.  I photographed Ashlyn when she was so tiny and three years ago Macy came into the picture.  I'm crazy in love with this happy life my Alyssa and Marty have in their home and love to capture these moments.


4 Things // San Miguel De Allende

Photographing : Daily photo walks around the artist city of San Miguel. Every night we went to sleep happy and a little exhausted. 

Dreaming of : This week we are throwing a super fun party with our pals at Archive. I'm excited to hang out with our friends and live it up at Luce Loft.

Learning : Mike and I took an encuastic painting class in San Miguel. What a treat. I loved the movement of the wax. This is a method we will explore. 

Loving : Canada. These murals were such an achievement. I could have stayed for hours checking every nook for a new surprise. This place is full of wonder and beauty. It was so easy to respond creatively. Guadalajara is cool and creative and I'm intrigued to spend some more time here. 


4 Things : Ohh Mexico

Photographing : Mike and I captured Jessica and Adrian's wedding at his family's ranch home in Mexico. We photographed Jessica's sister's wedding a few years ago and it was so fun to be among friends. 

Listening to : The podcast, History of Photography. It's so fun to listen in on lectures.

Sightseeing : Around the town center of Tlaquepaque. There have been so many festivals this week; we hit the jackpot. I loved their ceramic museum. 

Dreaming of : Hawaii in a couple weeks with my cousin Amber. I will take a weeks break to celebrate the ending of a wonderful wedding season.

Suzanne and the Wanderers



Inside Out :: My Flaws Are Hilarious To Me

"There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do." - Amy Poehler

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I love to watch the Big Bang Theory by myself because Sheldon is so hilarious and I seem to laugh longer than anyone else in the room. I'm so much more emotional than he is, but I think a lot of us can relate to his moments of misunderstanding.

My flaws are hilarious to me. Here are 10 of them for your enjoyment:

1)  In Cranium Anniversary Edition, I love CopyCat, but I speak as if I'm giving an autobiography of the person instead of using an accent. I can not speak in accents. Mike is certain I am violating the spirit of the game.

2) It’s been years since I’ve surfed because I jump off the board every time I catch a wave in grand celebration. The last jump I landed on a sting ray.

3) I can often be found packing at midnight before a trip.

4) A couple of years back we flew into Thailand around midnight, arriving in Bangkok at 2am without a hotel reservation. This is not odd for us.

5) I love music and can often sing along to an unusual variety of songs, but it will be off key. I rarely ever know A) who is singing the song and B) the name of the song. Pop culture and I don’t know a lot about each other.

6) I don’t actually know who Kanye West is other than I remember hearing he has a kid that has a direction name. See #5.

7) I’m also very unsure of who the Kardashians are and why they are relevant, but I know one of them has a big butt and tried to ‘break’ the internet.

8) I can ask for directions in three languages; English, Spanish and Italian. This is due to my shockingly bad sense of direction, but great love of travel. Thank you to whomever invented GPS.

9) I can also order dinner, and more importantly, gelato in three languages, but that is solely because I value eating and well, Gelato.

10) I often leave things places, but have the ability to collect the most understanding and amazing people as friends. For example: I went to Target with my mom. When I got home I realized I must have left my phone somewhere. I went into my condo and saw a note on the table next to my phone.

Dear Suzanne,
Stop leaving your things everywhere. I was your last call and I was near Target so I picked it up and dropped it off. Pull it together.
Love you,
Jen Morrison

P.S She has keys to my place for emergencies like this one.




A land and sea engagement session for Laura and Andrew

These two beauties were a lot of fun.  I've spoken to Laura a few times on the phone but it was nice to meet them both in person.  I admired how Laura and Andrew could be both glamorous and free.  Laura had such a clear vision of what she wanted I had a breezy time following her lead.  She had gorgeous outfits picked out and we had chatted about locations and the feeling we were going for.  We started out at Balboa Park one of my personal favorites and then headed over the to beach where Andrew proposed.  The sunset was lovely and the low tide made for some dramatic backgrounds.  It felt very serendipitous all around.

4 Things // Oh Hi

Suzanne : A fun wedding weekend in Ojai with Aubree and Travis at the Ojai Valley Inn.  Their band Impulse was incredible and a good fit for this lively couple.

Mike :  An elegant reception for Diana and Jim to celebrate their recent wedding in Italy with their friends and family.

Brushing our teeth : We had Gaidin a few days this week. There was a lot of guitar playing, going to the park and Gaidin's favorite; brushing his teeth.  Kids are funny.

Watching : Mike and I are still binge-watching The Walking Dead.  How were we so slow on this one?

Working : This week we rented a new stylish work space in Mission Hills.  It's been so fun to be in a different, inspiring environment.

Listening to : Tim Ferriss' podcast.  Week after week Tim is the coolest.  I loved the 4 hour work week and his blog is clever and entertainingas well.

Mike, Suzanne and the Wanderers

Julie and Kurt, Sarloos and Sons, Los Olivios wedding

I'm so excited to share this loving couples images with you.  Julie and Kurt are the most caring hosts.  Every detail of the day was intentional and meant to bring joy and love to their friends and family.  Luxe Events created an inspired event that reflected who Julie and Kurt are as people.  Their imaginative team of creatives took this sea glass color palette and made it their own.  Luxe Events, Brightly Designed, Isari Florals and Archive Rentals came together and made a gorgeous design that felt modern and timeless with a little bit of land and sea in wine country.  

Luxe Events :  Design and Coordination

Brightly Designed :  Paper Amazingness 

Isari Floral :  Floral Design

Archive Rentals :  Rentals

Estancia Garden wedding in La Jolla : Jenni and Matt

These two intellectuals love books, stories, and authors who love an overflowing garden.  I was stoked to be on their team.  I adored their quirkiness and the amount of inspiration they gave all of their vendors to create an event that was just for them.  Luxe Events did an amazing job with a purple, yellow and blue palette.  I don't know if I would have been brave enough to tackle that one but of course they made me fall head over heels for this design.  I really loved the detail in the paper work.  Brightly Designed can bring out so many joyous elements and layer them in a way that feels free and luxurious at the same time.  Isari has such a fun point of view.  I feel like Tam reinvents herself every season.  I loved the farm tables and cafe chairs from Adore Folklore mixed with colorful glasses from Archive and inspired objects.  Thanks friends for out doing yourselves.  Jenni and Matt deserved a one of a kind day.


Luxe Events

Brightly Designed

Isari Florals

Archive Events