Monique and Robert’s backyard wedding in Menlo Park, California was exactly the kind of celebration that keeps me totally in love with what I do. The two celebrated their marriage in front of a gathering of their closest friends and family, right in the backyard of the groom’s childhood home. Every little detail present was so full of Monique’s creative touch, from the incredible paper flower arbor to the handmade floral arrangements. I had the best time hanging out with both sides of the family before the ceremony and hearing their shared stories! The groom’s dad in particular told me (quite proudly!) about the love and labor that went into getting the garden space ready for his son’s wedding. I thought watching the father of the groom and Monique’s friends diligently clear the area of curious spiders was one of the funniest, sweetest gestures I’ve ever seen before a wedding!
Robert (who goes by Bob) was one of the most helpful, down-to-earth grooms I’ve ever met! Despite keeping fairly hands-on with setting up the backyard space, he continuously made sure that I felt entirely at home and that I had everything I needed (which, really, looking at the amount of baggage I carry to every wedding… there’s not much more I ever need haha). He told me that, in his eyes, the exact moment the garden transformed from his childhood playspace to an actual wedding ceremony site was when all of the chairs were unfolded and lined up into neat rows.
I kept this thought in mind as we pulled Bob and Monique together for their sweet first look under the sunlit trees. These stories and celebrations have the power to fully transform a scene, and that’s something I find incredibly moving. The same goes for the moment right before the bride walks in. I think that there’s a truly pure kind of magic in the hush of a crowd. The processional music strikes up, and suddenly, there’s a collective intake of breath that you can sense and feel. This love story started almost six years ago, when Monique and Bob first met, continued on into a surprise proposal in Japan during the cherry blossom season, and finally brought all of the bride and groom’s loved ones together on this sunny afternoon. I’m so thankful to have been a part of it all and hope you all enjoy the photos!