Lia & Darryl’s garden estate wedding

Lia and Darryl were married at the Twin Oaks Garden Estate in San Marcos, California. We arrived a little early in order to get our bearings in this location because neither of us had shot there before. And what a treat! Even without all of the wedding decorations in place this venue is just filled with beautiful little touches – both indoors and out. Here are a few of the images I got before Lia arrived for hair and make-up.

Not only was the place full of inspiration and character, but the people were fantastic to work with as well. I understand this team often works with their own photographer, but they graciously welcomed us as though we’ve been shooting there for years. Thank you so much for that!
Being an animal lover, I couldn’t resist getting a shot of the owner’s dog, Buddy. He wandered the grounds freely throughout the morning but disappeared when the bridal party arrived.

I wasn’t able to join Dad when he shot Lia and Darryl’s engagement photos so I didn’t have the opportunity to meet them before we photographed their wedding day. From their engagement photos I could see that they were strikingly attractive: petite Lia with cute, short hair that highlights her big, beautiful eyes and Darryl with his sincere smile and wavy locks. But I didn’t really know anything else about them, which always makes for an interesting first-meeting.

At 11am Lia dashed past me from her car to the bridal suite, struggling to carry a huge garment bag, offering a quick “hi Julie” on her way in. I had to pick the pace up to a light jog in order to follow her around as she darted from place to place, preparing all of the carefully selected details of the day. So right off the bat it was clear that this woman had excellent taste, knew what she wanted, and was attentive to every last detail (a woman after my own heart).

As the day progressed I got to know Lia and Darryl just a little bit better. I learned that they have been together for quite some time, that they recently bought a house together, that the two of them had adopted little Christian, and that they had a great group of friends who were excited to be there with them to celebrate the their love. I also couldn’t help but notice that Lia was happiest and most relaxed when she was with Darryl. Together they are absolutely lovely and I feel lucky to have been able to photograph them.

The beautiful dress that filled that huge garment bag is by Demetrios Bride.



“something old – something new – something borrowed – something blue”

Lia and Darryl incorporated so many elegant and creative details into their day. I was particularly impressed with the flower arrangements. As it turns out these elegant flowers were done by a local high school ROP group. Cool, huh?
(I’ll try to get the name of the school and revise this post soon)


Can we say gorgeous?
As I mentioned before, there were so many things to love about the Twin Oaks Garden Estate. Among them is this 1891 schoolhouse-turned-bridal suite. I loved the light and details in this beautiful room. I wish Lia and I could have spent another hour just shooting her in that stunning dress in various spots around the room.
The small garden ceremony was so sweet and personal. Lia and Darryl wrote their own vows.
These ladies were fantastic!
Did I mention how great the flowers were? I think I did. :-)
best man/officiant with the maid of honor having a good laugh
This opulent reception tent is also on the Twin Oaks grounds. I loved how fresh and clean everything looked. The orange flowers were perfect – so cheerful during the day and so warm in the evening.
The cake was made by a close family friend (and I hear it was deee-licious) – darn diet!
Ohh-la-la!
There’s something about a spontaneous hug in the middle of a first dance that just gets to me. And what a beautiful couple.

Lia and Darryl’s little boy Christian isn’t sure why all these ladies are lined up. But he doesn’t seem to mind.
Lia and her cousins look like models.
Party down!
Thanks again for letting us be a part of your day, you two. I wish you all the joy in the world!