I have been waiting for this one for a long time!! I met Monica and Desmond back in 2019 and we have been talking about this day since then! The two had moved to the Netherlands, so many of our DM's were across the world, her answering in the middle of the night for me, and vice versa. We had so many conversations talking about how we can plan this day to be the best day ever and it did not disappoint!
We started the day at the Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. Monica had all her details, invitations, and accessories ready for me to photograph and I am so in love with the photos they took in the Netherlands (where they currently reside)! The bridal suite was a little dark for my taste, so I brought her out to the front for her to get ready with her bridesmaids and mom helping. As for Desmond, we kept him in the moody light for a rustic background with the fireplace. Unfortunate for him, his back started to sweat from the heat, haha!
The first look was an important moment for Monica. She wanted to do a first look with her father and then her groom and honestly, it was the sweetest thing to witness. It was a great way to relieve their nerves as both were getting anxious for the upcoming ceremony. Soon after, the wedding party came and the two were joined with their friends.
Once we wrapped up the portraits, guests started to arrive, so we quickly hid Monica and prepared for this long awaited ceremony. The beautiful ceremony space was decorated by Wury from Graceful Garland Co. and her assistants. It was the perfect spot for Monica and Desmond to officially tie the knot. This silly couple made everyone laugh and cry. The moment everyone was waiting for was finally here!
Now we're finally entering the reception space at the Casa Real at Ruby Hill. It has been years since I've been here, so seeing that iconic chandelier in person was so magnificent. Since all the formalities were done, the couple was able to let loose and enjoy their night. They entered as husband and wife to "All I do is Win," getting the guests excited for the night. The two shared a sweet first dance and got ready to eat the delicious food prepared by the staff.
My favorite part of the night was something Monica and I went back and forth several times... deciding the best "sparkler exit" alternative. When we were talking about this via email, this seemed like the best ideal ever. Upon set up, both Monica and Desmond told me how much work it was to blow up the balloons and how they stayed up late to finish everything. Despite all that work put into it, she still felt it was worth it, but would suggest others to only do so if you have a smaller guest size (they assembled over 150 so each of their guests could have one). As someone who didn't have to do any work, I'd say these photos were 100% worth it!
A little bit about Monica and Desmond...
The two met during their freshman year of high school where Desmond approached Monica addressing a ridiculous rumor about her pinching people. Somehow that was the start to their friendship. Nothing romantic happened over the next 4 years, but as their friends moved away for college, these two stayed around the Bay Area and this is where their relationship grew. Their first date was in Japantown in San Francisco, and while they had a great time, they were worried their friendship would get ruined and to avoid drama and stress, they decided to stay friends. However after a couple months, they changed their minds and I think it's safe to say, that risk was all worth it! Now the two live in the Netherlands pursuing their dreams and supporting one another.
Huge thanks to these vendors!
Photo: Danya | Venue: Casa Real at Ruby Hill | Video: Cinememories | Florals: Graceful Garland Co. | Hair and Makeup: Infini Fi | Dress: BoLee Bridal | Suit: Suit Supply | DJ: DJ jkixx | Cake: Danielle Mestrella