My California Weddings Recap! (Warning: LONG!)
I have NEVER left my son for longer than one work day since the day he was born, so leaving him from a Thurday morning until Sunday night was terrifying. When DH dropped me off at the airport, my little man was in the back in his carseat and I sobbed like a baby. He, on the other hand, said "bye-bye momma, I love you" and waved his hand, as if he was thinking "leave already! You had us wake up at 3:30am to drive you to the airport lady!" haha. DH said he asked for me a few times and when he got home from school that day, he saw my car in front of the house and he got really excited, screaming "momma's home! momma's home!" :( But I wasn't. I called him at least once everyday and the first few times, he asked "what's your name?" :( OMG!!!! Apparently, I sounded very different on the phone. He doesn't talk to me on the phone normally because we are always together. But that broke my heart! Anyway, we sang songs and talked about his day at school everyday, pictures were sent, etc. So even though it was horrible to be away from him, it gave us all a chance to miss eachother. I have to say, the knowledge and experience I gained from going was PRICELESS! :)
Three flights all alone to get to CA. 12 hours of traveling. By the time I got there, I was exhausted! Got my rental car, went to check into my hotel and I hear a woman's voice behind me asking "do you need help with those bags?". So I turned around and it was Melissa McClure! What a sweetheart to greet me there after such a long and anxiety filled day! She took me to lunch at the Bali Hai, where the wedding would be the following day. Great food and great drinks! Had such a great time together! I got lost on my way back to the hotel (for about 3 hours!) because my iPhone battery died, which was my navigation and I forgot to bring my car charger :-/ Needless to say, when I made it back to the hotel, I was in bed early! The time change was throwing me off too. It was 9pm in CA and would've been midnight at home.
Friday, Melissa took me around southern CA. We went for real Mexican food for lunch (which I've never had), she brought me to the beach so that I could put my feet into the Pacific ocean and we went out for coffee to go over a lot of photog stuff. Then it was the wedding!!! I was so nervous, since it was my first one but that passed very quickly! This wedding was very laid back. The couple was probably in their 40's and they actually told us they didn't want detail shots and no getting ready shots! She had a very simple silk beachy dress on. Very casual but it turned out really nice and also allowed a great opportunity for Melissa to teach me. I can't even describe how much I learned from her that night. After the wedding, we went for frozen yogurt and she took me through editing, gave me a lot of tips, showed me how to choose images for clients and much more. She looked through my images and told me I probably should only do 1 free wedding :) I couldn't believe I was hearing those words come out of her mouth! She is such a great friend and it was so nice of her to take me under her wing.
Saturday was the Beverly Hills, 90210 wedding :) I NEVER in a million years, thought I would see that part of the world. I had an amazing day with Mandi (Melissa's associate photographer) and Jackie G. :) who was Mandi's assistant that day! We drove together in horrible traffic for 2hrs to get there and stopped for some very delicious burgers on the way! When we got there, my hear started pounding. This was a much larger and more extravagent wedding, coordinator and all. What do you expect for a Bev Hills wedding I guess! :) The church had very strict rules. Photogs had to dress in dark colors, we couldn't use flash, couldn't step foot in the center aisle......Oh boy! My 70-200 came in handy from all the way in the back :) Before that though, I had an opportunity to get experience with "getting ready" photos. The room was small and the lighting had a pink tint to it. Add 3 photographers, the bride, 6 bridesmaids and the MOB and there wasn't much room to move around so I got what I could. My job before the ceremony was about to start was to stay with the bride and her dad while they waited for it to begin. Once it started, we all got in there. After the ceremony, Jackie G and I were in charge of details, while Mandi did family pics in the church. Then, we got to take bridal party photos and bride/groom photos in the park across the street. The light was beautiful! The reception hall was dimly lit and had yellow lighting accents :-/ But we worked with it! The bride and groom were beautiful and it was such a beautiful wedding! Mandi and Jackie were awesome. I learned a lot from both of them and they were so much fun! After the wedding, we went to Pinkberry for ice cream and I got to see "Rodeo Drive"! Ooooooooooh ;) So much fun! I started getting sick on the way back to the hotel. Got to bed at 2:00am and had to get up at 3:30am to bring my rental car back and catch a 7:00am flight :( I was very sick for the day full of travel on the way home too. I still say it was worth it! but I was very glad to see my boys waiting for me at the airport, to have my little man screaming "momma!" while running into my arms smiling, getting a warm embrace from my amazing husband who sent me there for this experience and to be home again :)