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Sacred Mountain Wedding in Julian, California

The setting: Sacred Mountain wedding venue in Julian, CA. A private retreat nestled in the hills of Julian with a killer view overlooking the valley. Jaime and Eric were surrounded by their loved ones on a beautiful spring day. Even though it had rained for many days prior, the sky was so clear you could nearly see the Pacific. Jaime and Eric were filled with joy to be surrounded by their closest family and friends. We couldn’t be more honored to have captured it all!

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Ocean Beach San Diego Engagement

Kayna and Caleb asked us to explore their quirky Ocean Beach neighborhood for a laid back engagement session. We couldn’t help but note how comfortable they were in their familiar surroundings.  If there is anything San Diego has taught us it is that you should be who you are despite what the rest of the world may expect of you. The genuine love these two share is thrilling to witness and we cannot wait to watch their lives blossom together.

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San Miguel de Allende Anniversary Session

Going to do our best here to not turn this post into a travel blog. That being said, San Miguel de Allende holds a place in our hearts as one of the most charming and colorful destinations we’ve yet to visit. When Jamie and Ryan invited us to capture their anniversary trip to San Miguel we had no idea what was in store. We wandered the colorful, cobblestone streets celebrating love, friendship, and marriage milestones.

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel stands glowing amid the city center. With children joyfully filling the streets this church radiates warm pink and orange tones adding to the warmth and welcoming feeling San Miguel de Allende emits.


Located just outside the city is El Charco del Ingenio, a peaceful botanical garden.

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A Romantic Industrial Wedding at the Loft On Pine

With their romantic industrial theme,  The Loft on Pine in Downtown Long Beach was the perfect setting for Kate and Alex’s wedding. The day contained so much love and celebration it is difficult to do it justice, especially in writing. The day was a unique atmosphere of romance and intimacy combined with undeniable joy and celebration. We never could have guessed what would come after the formal dances and speeches. One word: FlashPants. If you have not yet had the joy of witnessing this wedding wonder, we urge you to find the nearest wedding they are attending and crash it (don’t actually do this). The attitude and straight up care free spirit of this 80’s hair band embodied so much of Kate and Alex’s character and excitement for their marriage (minus the weird short-shorts). We found it incredibly difficult to leave when our time was up! Below the blog is an amazing list of all the super talented vendors for those who are planning your wedding in Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego!

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This San Diego Courthouse Wedding contained all the simplicity and charm you could ask for. The decision to elope is a difficult one, and sometimes life throws some very special detours that help you make that choice along the way. This elopement started peacefully in the morning. Getting ready together, sharing gifts with one another. Meanwhile down at the San Diego Harbor, friends and family awaited a beautiful, civil ceremony to make it official. As we walked along a quite path in Balboa Park, Teri and Matt took time to breathe and enjoy their first moments together as one. The reception followed at Top of the Market where they gathered around the table together to enjoy incredible local fish and cocktails to die for! But truly one of the sweetest moments of all was taking the time away to read each others vows outside the reception with the sun shining warmly on the smiles and hearts of Teri and Matt.

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Practice with an Engagement Session

Getting the very best out of your wedding photos on your wedding day means first and foremost you must be comfortable! Not saying you need to wear flats (although that does help!) the best way to be comfortable in front of the camera is to have some experience. Your engagement session is the perfect way to get your feet wet. Engagement sessions are so important to us because it allows us to learn about you and get you in a place where you are excited to have your photos taken. All while getting gorgeous engagement photos!


Choose a location that excites you or IS you

This goes for both the engagement and your wedding. Although that may seem obvious, finding the right locations plays a big part. There may not be that ONE location that fits you, but getting creative and finding something special to you both makes everything feel right. 

Plan plenty of time

There is nothing fun about being rushed on your wedding day. We understand there is a VERY long list of things that need to be accomplished. Having extra time scheduled for your photo session(s) is never a bad idea. That extra time allows you to relax, be with your loved one, and get comfortable in front of the camera.

Use the best light of the day

An experienced photographer can work with almost any light throughout the day. But that same photographer should tell you when the sun is at its highest you run the risk of less dreamy and captivating photos. If you think golden hour is all hype, we beg you to please rethink this! Be fully aware of your sunset time.

Have fun, collaborate with your photographer

Let your personalities shine. Whatever it takes to have fun and loosen up is alright by us! Don’t be afraid to share an idea you may have. Even if that particular idea doesn’t work out, this can help get the wheels turning. We always say we love capturing those in-between moments, and often times those come between your ideas and your photographers!

This should go without saying: Hire a photographer you trust!

There is an ocean of photographers out there and everyone has a friend who has a camera. Do yourself a favor and hire someone you trust. Photographers who have experience, know how to handle the pressure of a wedding day, and have studied the art form always have a vision that stands out.

Tips:

Sunrise & Sunset Calendar
San Diego Wedding Venues

The post How to Get the Best Wedding Photos appeared first on Westlund Photography.

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This Autumn Farmhouse Wedding will give you all the feels. Dana and Alex found the perfect spot tucked away in the Santa Ynez Valley for their November wedding, Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse. The farmhouse itself is actually three combined structures shipped to California from different parts of Appalachia. Each with incredible architecture, beautiful textures, and just the right amount of minimalism for you to add your design touch. The crisp autumn air was kept everyone huddled and cozy around the fires just after the sunset left us breathless. Among all of the beauty of the day, the floral aisle by Anna Le Pley Flowers which Dana walked was nothing short of amazing and perhaps the most memorable of all.

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Mat & Julie originally planned to hold their wedding in Hawaii. As their plans progressed they decided to instead hold it at Bheau View Ranch in San Marcos, CA so that all the people they loved could attend. After a winter of abnormal rain, the ranch was lush, green, and the perfect slice of Hawaii in Southern California. Everything was designed around a constellation theme. In Julie’s words, “We both share the same deep sense of awe and wonder when we look up at the starry night sky and decided to make that our the theme of our wedding.” Stars, gold, and shades of blue and purple were charmingly incorporated into every aspect of their design. They also included a bit of magic for their guests through a caricature artist, campfire with s’mores bar, and a professional magician!

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A bride and groom with impeccable style, wildflowers filling the San Diego hillsides, and a succulent filled ceremony space. Sometimes things just always seem to come together. Katie and Garrett filled this day jam packed with joy, vibrant colors, beautiful design, and loving family. We adored every aspect of this unforgettable day. This ceremony space felt intimate and romantic while the reception space was truly one of a kind with fabulous modern woodwork and greenery hanging gently from the ceiling. But what might have been our favorite moment of the day was the first look where Katie and Garrett read private vows and soaked in the beauty of the day, and nothing else mattered.

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For Karina and Jon’s engagement session, San Francisco was the only option. They live and breathe this city. So, we flew up to San Francisco for the day to make some magic happen! The stories they shared with us helped turn this San Francisco experience into the best we have ever had.  If you have not yet seen some highlights from their Rimrock Ranch Wedding, stop what you’re doing and peep it, because it was amazing. Top to bottom these two know how to have fun and experience a joyful life. For us, they knew how to get the most out of their photo experience and for that we are thankful!

The post San Francisco Engagement appeared first on Westlund Photography.

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