Amy and Madison: a magical Palomar Mountain wedding

I remember the feeling of new love. When we were apart, all I wanted to do was think about him, and relive that moment when my hand first brushed against his in that crowded concert. I didn’t want to spoil the feeling by talking about him too much, so instead any quiet moment turned into an opportunity to just close my eyes and remember the excitement I felt when he got up the nerve to kiss me for the first time. I immediately recognized that same feeling it when I saw it in Amy.

Several years ago, Amy and I were photographing a wedding together when she told me about this new guy, Madison. She told me that they met at a costume party where he was dressed up as Pan, and that they effortlessly talked for hours that night. During the wedding reception, I’d occasionally look over at her and could see that look on her face… she was thinking about him…

Then, earlier this year when Amy told me she and Madison were going to be getting married, I was thrilled for them and immediately offered to take their wedding photos (I mean, it’s a no-brainer! they’re beautiful and I couldn’t think of a better gift to give them). However, she quickly squashed my photography related plans by asking me to be her Maid of Honor (gulp!) and I could not have been more touched.

Amy and Madison decided to pass on more traditional wedding venues and ballrooms and instead opted for a smaller, more personal celebration. A handful of close relatives and friends gathered for the weekend in Palomar Mountain, where a small clearing made for a magical ceremony setting, followed by a love-filled party at the Upper Meadow Lodge, complete with delicious dinner (prepared by the property’s on-site chef) and dancing (DJ’d by family friend and host extraordinaire, Roger Parker)

So, back to the photography for this wedding… Dad and Dick took all of the ceremony photos, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation to keep my camera with me for the rest of the day.  So in this post you’ll see a combination of all of our efforts. Enjoy!

Perfect, unique rings for these two.  “My Once & Future Love”

amymadblog_01Dick took these images of Amy and Madison’s rings. I usually try to get photos of wedding rings with and without their boxes. I love that because these rings were mail-ordered, Dick used the colorful stamps as a background. 

amymadblog_02 amymadblog_03

Little Ashling also got to wear pretty gold shoes on the big day.
amymadblog_04 amymadblog_05 amymadblog_06Amy and I picked out armloads of wholesale flowers on Friday morning, then I spent most of the first part of the wedding day pretending to be a florist.  While I now have more respect than ever for my talented florist friends, I have to say I think these turned out pretty good for DIY.  :-)
amymadblog_07 amymadblog_08 amymadblog_09 Amy made her own beautiful floral wreath earlier that morning.amymadblog_10

I don’t have a sister, but Amy comes pretty close. Our dads are brothers who have quite a few personality traits in common.  And as we’ve gotten older and a bit more self-reflective, we have often laughed about our own similarities, and the various quirks and virtues we know are a result of being raised by our smart, goofy dads and sensible, loving moms. I love you Amy-lady. Thank you so much for the honor of standing next to you on such a special day.

amymadblog_11amymadblog_12 amymadblog_13 amymadblog_14 amymadblog_15 amymadblog_16My uncle Jerry, and Madison’s dad Bruce did a beautiful job officiating the ceremony together, mixing a little humor with a lot of heart-felt sentiment. Very nicely done, gentlemen!
amymadblog_17 amymadblog_18Included amongst the rest of the cheerful ceremony decorations was a little homage to Madison’s British background.
amymadblog_19My aunt Joanie’s paper flowers were an amazing addition to the site!  Honestly, I can’t think of more perfect decor to incorporate.
amymadblog_20 AEMO_0911_1AEMO_0931_1 amymadblog_23Guest seating was draped in blankets filled with personal meaning. Here Dede inspects Waylond’s baby quilt with her great granddaughter.
amymadblog_25 amymadblog_26 Two amazingly beautiful ladies (and possibly my favorite capture of the day)amymadblog_29 amymadblog_30 amymadblog_31 amymadblog_32 amymadblog_33 amymadblog_35 AEMO_1522bw The stunning and ever-changing view from the lodge.amymadblog_37 amymadblog_38Okay – I don’t know what made Amy and Madison decide to build a tent inside the house for their sweethearts table, but it was so perfect!  (shout out to friends Erin and Ryan for putting this together)
amymadblog_39 amymadblog_40 amymadblog_41 amymadblog_42 amymadblog_44 amymadblog_45 amymadblog_46The kids were a big part of this day.  Here they are for the “mother & sons dance”amymadblog_47 amymadblog_48amymadblog_49 And of course, there’s the “father and daughter dance”amymadblog_50 amymadblog_52 amymadblog_53 See what happens when you open the bouquet toss up to all genders and ages?  The little guy gets it (can’t say I’m surprised…)  :-)amymadblog_54A little newlywed game fun.  Looks like they agreed on this one…
amymadblog_55 Couldn’t resist including this one…amymadblog_56 AEMO_2624_1amymadblog_57 amymadblog_58 amymadblog_59 amymadblog_60

Amy and Madison, I’m so happy you found each other. Thank you again for asking me to be part of your beautiful celebration. I love you both.