A Prado wedding inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement for Susan & Matt

Susan is kind and loving and multi faceted and a perfect fit for Matt. These two care so deeply about their community and making sure they are adding to it. I loved getting to know them and can’t wait to photograph their friends wedding next month. I had such a great time on our engagement session in the snow and every planning meeting we had. I learned about the Arts and Crafts movement and about Susan and Matt. I already miss hanging out and talking all things weddings. Take a look at this gorgeous day.

The rad team!!!

Coordination & Design: First Comes Love
Photography: She Wanders Photography
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Prado at Balboa Park
Florals: Organic Elements
Rentals: Classic Party RentalsBBJ Linens, & La Tavola
Cupcakes: Sweet Cheeks
Paper Elements: The Brides Grandfather
Hair & Makeup: Lovestruck
Car: Rolls Livery

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Wedding for Sarah & Anson

Being a wedding photographer is such a cool way to live your life.  I feel so grateful to have gotten to know Sarah and Anson.  I wish I could insert the speeches from the rehearsal dinner here.  These two are ridiculously smart, fun, and kind -doctors, Harvard, soccer - the lists were long.  I love how their friends and family talk about them.  They are obviously loved and as the speeches can jokingly attest - a lot to live up to.  How wonderful can two people be?

Citrus is my jam and the creatives on this team are just so ridiculously talented.  They had a few "doctor" moments in the design.  I loved the jean jacket that Sarah's sister gave her - Dr.Snow., the illustration of the intertwined stethoscopes, and the cute doctor figurines on top of the cake.  Sarah's mom also made 1000 cranes for her that made a beautiful backdrop for the head table.  I think there is something for me to love in every image.  The citrus florals and the relatives from abroad wearing traditional kimonos gave us plenty to photograph.  The main attraction was of course Sarah and Anson.  They couldn't take their eyes off each other or attempt to hide how happy the other one made them feel.  That's my favorite way to spend the day - photographing people who must have done something right in their life - to have found someone that they can love and be loved in return.

Photography: Shewanders Photography
Location and Catering: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
Event planning: Coastyle Events
Flowers: Flowers Anette Gomez
Videography: Quixotic Pictures
Stationery: Paperless Post
Calligraphy: The Bloomery Co.
Cake: Come On In Café
Donuts: VG Donut & Bakery
Ceremony Music: Caprice Strings
Cocktail Hour Music: David Adele
Rentals: Farm Tables and More
Rentals: Concepts Event Design
Hair: Audra Rene
Makeup: Elizabeth Root
Transportation: San Diego Charter Company

The Hotel Del Coronado Wedding for Johanna & Drew

The hashtag for this wedding was #JohannaSaysIDrew how cute is that? I remember sitting across from Johanna and Drew during our first interview. They sat close together and always seemed to be holding hands or toughing shoulders. Their energy was so awesome and I couldn’t help but smile and imagine what the wedding day would be like. I had my fingers crossed that they thought I was a good fit - because they had me at hello. They both love photography and wanted to create something really special for their guests. Their was such a genuineness from our first conversation. This wedding has all the feels. It felt so good to be a part of it. Johanna hugged me in the getting ready room and I just knew it was going to be an epic day.

On top of all of that I got to collaborate with so many of my favorite people. Double yay. Cara from Luxe out did herself. She transformed the Hotel Del into this beautiful garden that echoed the charm that Johanna and Drew have.

Coordination & Design: Luxe Events
Photography: She Wanders Photography
Venue: Hotel Del Coronado
Florals: Isari Flower Studio
Videography: Quixotic Weddings
Rentals: Hire EleganceBBJ Linens, Chiavari Guys, & Farm Tables & More
Cake: CAKE
Invites & Paper Amazingness: Brightly Designed
Hair: : Audra Rene
Makeup: Elena T Beauty
DJ: Still Listening
Officiate: Bride’s Brother in law
Photo Booth: Magic Mirror

The Prado An old world wedding for Eulia & Jimmy

Eulia and Jimmy are such a fun couple. Although the day looked like a gorgeous old-world wedding it felt like the most fun ever. My cheeks hurt at the end of the night from smiling. Love looks like a whole lot of fun for these two. Make sure and check out the cocktail hour at the wishing well and the champagne tower. I loved this design.

Published In Exquisite Weddings

The team:

Coordination & Design: First Comes Love
Photography: She Wanders Photography
Ceremony: Balboa Park Patio A
Reception: Prado at Balboa Park
Florals: Organic Elements
Rentals: Classic Party RentalsBBJ Linens, & La Tavola
Cupcakes: Heavenly Cupcakes
Paper Elements: Whimsique
Hair & Makeup: Three Ways Beautiful
Photo Booth: The Foto Box

Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Not This Time

Can this be it?  Are we really not suppose to have kids?  This process has shaken me to my core. I feel defeated. This time I know how cruel IVF can be.  It’s no distant stranger.  I’m not in shock, I’m just worn and hurt.  Who would have guessed we would be sitting here.

I was so naive and I took so much for granted.  I thought the hard part would be finding someone I wanted to live my life with.  Mike is home, I’m certain of him.  He keeps me safe. 

But now I want that magical feeling of cuddling a cute baby on the couch.  It’s funny, I am not a "couch" person.  I’m not even a "house" person.  I’m a "lets go somewhere" kind of person.  But babies are fun to sit on the couch with.  I’ve loved having my nephew here and as much as I loved taking him places, he taught me that the couch is a playground of it's own. 

These have been my first few days without him since he moved up to Northern California.  We packed up his dishes, clothes, toys, books...everything.  I’m mourning our life with him.  Suddenly without notice, my whole family moved while I was in Europe.  And now we are mourning our IVF dreams as well. 

Today is not my favorite day.

And yet still I can’t give up.  Sometimes it scares me.  Maybe all of these signs are saying give up and yet, I can’t.  Not yet anyway.  I still imagine that picture of little Mike in the bathtub as a kid.  The image that changed all my beliefs.  I want a child with Mike.  I’m still so open to what that will look like in the world of IVF, surrogacy, or adoption. 

First, I need to see what grieving will look like this time.  Even in my heartbroken, defeated state, I know that we will get up again.  Despite this being one of the worst, saddest days ever, I refuse to imagine our lives without a kid to love.  Often I really wish I could.

To our friends and family: we are beyond grateful for all of the love and support we have received. We never would have been strong enough to try this again without you. Thank you to the ends of the earth. 

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // RTT Therapy - Releasing Childhood Fears

In 48 hours we will transfer the embryos and I want to be in the best place possible. Our dreams could come true. Maybe two days from now something beautiful will happen. During RTT therapy last night, I delved into my subconscious beliefs that I had created as a child about how the world isn’t a safe place for babies, and babies somehow hurt their moms during pregnancy.

One of my memories was of my little brother coming home from the hospital. My mom seemed tired and she was heavier and just wanted to sit on the couch. Little me thought the baby hurt my mom. I didn’t like the baby at first. It was clear that everyone else did and that my mixed feelings were wrong. I didn’t know why people weren’t more mad at the baby for hurting my mom. The baby was also supposed to be a girl and it felt like a lie - I felt so betrayed that the baby came home as a boy. My head was spinning, 6-year-old me was confused.

The reality was that my mom had a wonderful pregnancy. I always had this fear of being pregnant and never knew why. I feel like in my conscious mind now, everything has been cleared. I feel like my chances for IVF just exploded into the sky.

I can exhale and keep going to this happy, creative space in my mind that is expansive, playful and fun. Finally.

Now have a secret smile. I feel really, really excited try in two days. What if it happens?a

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // My Last Dollar

Once I got out of the Airbnb in Prague and looked around at the familiar painted houses in Vinohrady it hit me. What the fuck am I doing here? A bit of shock, horror and a small fleeting moment where my mind rejected the whole idea.

The highest part of me is 100% certain I want to be a mom. That’s my intuition and knowing. I’m also bombarded and occasionally run down with moments were my inner being says no. Are those moments true? Am I following my right path?

Despite the image of holding my baby in his or her pajamas, there is a lot of guilt involved in being “all in” in this process.

I’m an adventurer and up for the best life has to offer, but I’m not irresponsible. This year I’m all in. All the debt, all the months of stepping out of my life and responsibilities, the time away from my husband, and my sanity - all in.

I’m not usually a gambler.

Though there was this one time that I spent my last dollar….

I was at a bar in Sydney on the ground level of a hostel. I bought a VB (Victoria Bitters) for $2 at happy hour. My friends were always spending their last dollar, and I thought they were nuts, but there also seemed to be freedom in it.

So I tried it. I sat there, in awe of myself drinking that beer. It was thrilling. Of course I knew I had groceries at home, my subway ticket and a direct deposit going into my account from my ad agency job in the morning, but from 6pm until the next day I was “skint”. I felt so rad.

That was over a decade ago, but just telling you about it makes me feel alive and a little indestructible.

When I walk into the clinic today, I’m going to hold on to the feeling of being that girl, sitting in a bar, drinking a beer she didn’t particularly like, feeling like she had the coolest secret ever. It felt like jumping off a cliff and landing in the sweetest blue water and coming up laughing, gasping for air with salt water running down my face.

I’ll choose to be her instead of the sad, broken poker player risking everything.

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San Diego Museum of Art Wedding Photography for Cara and Brian

“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours.In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”― Maya Angelou

I'm so happy to share Cara and Brian's wedding with all of you. It was exciting to wait for Brian to propose to Cara. There was such certainty that it was just around the corner even though they had been together so long. Cara is amazing and had the whole wedding planned and wrapped with a bow in a few weeks. I guess it helps to be a wedding coordinator. I'll always be better with pictures than with words so instead of tearing up at the wonder of it all, I will say I love them in these pictures.

xoxo,

Suzanne

Venue: SDMART Makeup: Elena T Beauty Hair: Audra Renee Rentals: Concepts Rentals: Crown Photographer: SheWanders Coordinator: Luxe Events Catering: Coast Video: Quixotic Florist: Isari Bar Service Giuseppe Ceremony Musician: Miles Moynier DJ: SGM Events