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It’s always when you aren’t looking that you find the one.

At 52, Michele was happily single and living a very successful life on her own. She wasn’t looking for a partner when Barry stumbled into her path by happenstance.

Over time, she realized “he gave a new dimension to my existence. He gave me the peace and calm I have never had.”

She realized she felt more happiness than she ever thought possible. She realized she had fallen in love. Michele and Barry have a natural chemistry and a mutual respect for one another. And even though they’ve been together more than four years, you’d think they were smitten teenagers.

Michele and Barry, who live in New York, were married in a New Orleans destination wedding at the Omni Royal Orleans. After their candlelit ceremony in the courtyard, Michele changed into a fun reception dress, and they hit the dance floor with their friends and family.  The evening ended with the traditional second line out on the street, and a romantic walk back to their hotel. 

This is one of those weddings, and one of those couples, that will always bring a smile to our faces. Michele and Barry, your love is an inspiration! 

Thank you to Michele Adams of Unique Weddings in New Orleans for flawless planning!

The post Michele<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Barry appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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Rules in dating are stupid. We’re glad Suzann was blissfully unaware of them when, as she was walking back to her car after her first date with Armin, she texted him (I mean, they had *just* walked away from each other) to set up their second date. 

After those two dates, these two ophthalmologists both knew they had met “the one.” And everything else just fell into place.

Suzann and Armin were married at the beautiful Asian Art Museum , one of San Francisco’s architectural treasures. It is easy to see the chemistry between Suzann and Armin during their Persian wedding ceremony and reception. All the nerves and jitters beforehand just washed right away when they finally got to see one another at the sofreh. 

The Asian Art Museum provided a grand setting for a celebration that included dancing, entertainment and endless smiles. We’re so happy for these two and proud to have witnessed their first day as husband and wife!

The post Suzann<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Armin appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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You are such a good person. It was always our hope that, in your search for love and friendship, you would cross paths with other good people, and that those other good people would see in you what we see in you. 

Ryan, what we see in you is pure kindness, selflessness, intelligence, tenacity … someone who has overcome so many challenges in his life but when you meet him all you see is a fun-loving, goofy and carefree person that everyone loves to be around. You take care of people, you look out for people, and you exhibit a level of respect to others that is rare to find these days. We always wondered who you would finally settle down with for life. Whoever it was, we hoped she would appreciate all the wonderful things about you that we do!

We met Bonnie briefly a couple of times through the years, but it was not until the day before your wedding in Tahoe that we really got a feel for who she is. Ben and I breathed a collective sigh of relief and smiled so big. The first thing you notice is how beautiful she is. Her kind, warm smile brings you right in and makes you feel you’ve known her your whole life. The second thing you notice is that she seems a little shy. But you’d be wrong about that. Bonnie is bold! Yet she’s also very easygoing. She rolls with the punches and never seems bothered by anything. She’s confident, sharp and hilarious. She’s not someone who constantly worries how she looks, or whether everything is going OK. She simply floats elegantly through the day, making everyone feel loved and at ease. 

The general consensus was: Wow, Ryan lucked out!!

For those not in the know, Ryan has been a photographer with Chrisman Studios for many years. We knew shortly after meeting him that we wanted to work with him someday. He has photographed weddings and portrait sessions all over the world, and our clients absolutely adore him. Check out his Chrisman Studios weddings here

Bonnie and Ryan were married at Gar Woods Grill & Pier on Lake Tahoe. Ben and I were there as the photographers, as friends, and even kinda-sorta as family members. Bonnie and Ryan surprised us by including us in their Chinese tea ceremony, which brought tears to my eyes. Ben gave a speech at the wedding reception. That brought tears to a lot of people’s eyes. 

The year 2018 was a big year for you, Ryan – you traveled all over the world, you got married, and you bought a house in the Bay Area (which is a feat in itself). You also learned how to build a driveway … something we’ll never know how to do. You never fail to impress us with your ability to learn and to make anything work.

Your wedding reaffirmed what we always hope to be true – that good people will find other good people, team up for life, and inspire others to be good. We can not wait to see what 2019 brings you and Bonnie. We love you both!

The post Bonnie<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Ryan appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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Jonathan told us one of the things he loves the most about Natalie is that she doesn’t need him, but that she chooses to be with him. She could do anything, be with anyone, or not even be with anyone at all. And yet she chooses him. Over and over again. 

Natalie is highly successful, a go-getter, a charge-taker, super-driven and accomplished. And on top of all of that, she’s gorgeous, hilarious and adventurous. So yeah, she doesn’t need anyone to fill any gaps in her life. But when you fall in love for real, it’s usually when you weren’t even looking, and for reasons you can’t even articulate yourself. You just know you’re in it. That magnetic draw is a powerful one. 

Natalie and Jonathan are both super Type A’s – accomplished, opinionated, tenacious. They found kindred spirits in one another. They love to travel, and are both big wine-country fans. That is where Jonathan proposed, and it’s where they chose to have their wedding.

They were married at the idyllic Highlands Estate in Sonoma County. Despite a little rain during the ceremony, they had an amazing day, and an outright raucous reception. When you bring in San Francisco’s Prince tribute band, The Purple Ones, you know things are gonna get crazy. And they did. In all the best ways. 

Big thanks to photographer Robyn Navarro for helping Mauricio shoot this one! And Kristen Miller of So Eventful… you are absolutely amazing and make our job very easy! 

The post Natalie<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Jonathan appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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On my way to Aaron and Jason’s wedding at The Gibbes Museum of Art in downtown Charleston, my Uber driver and I began chatting. I told him how Ben and I were photographing a wedding today for a couple from Washington DC, and how it’s kinda crazy because the groom, Aaron, grew up on my street. 

He said, “Wait, what’s his name?” Turns out my Uber driver, William, also grew up in the neighborhood and knew Aaron from when they were kids. His face took on a wistful expression as he told me how he always knew Aaron would make something of himself, how his mother raised him that way, to be smart and kind and driven. 

Then he said, “So the bride must be from DC then?” I said, “Actually, he’s marrying a man.” This being the Deep South, you can never be sure about anyone’s views on gay marriage, so I waited as he considered this. He said, “This is really making me think. I’ve gotta get my life together!” He was simply impressed, as most people are with Aaron. 

Aaron came from very humble beginnings right here in downtown Charleston, on the same street where Ben and I now live. He has become that super-impressive person who commands a room, who entertains, who loves on everyone, and who everyone loves to be around. As someone pointed out in their wedding speech, Aaron’s story is unlikely: A gay, biracial man from the South, who moved to DC and became a lawyer for Futures Without Violence , which works to end violence against women. 

Jason, who works for the Department of State, is just as impressive, just as kind, and has that same innate desire to care for those around him (during one of our portraits, he couldn’t concentrate because he was worried about his mother feeling OK on this very hot day). And, in that amazing small-world way, even though they met in DC, Jason was also a South Carolina kid. They met through an online dating app. Neither expected anything to come from their first date, but they told us that something was different right away. They felt a deep, instantaneous connection. 

To see Aaron and Jason together is to see the natural flow of love. They move with and around one another as if choreographed – each one taking up where the other leaves off, each one anticipating the next step, the next word, the next move. 

Instead of a first dance, they surprised their guests with a vocal performance on stage with the band. Jason, who is not normally the singer in this duo, got on stage again later in the evening to perform solo, and then hopped on stage yet again to dance with the band. Everyone went wild! 

Aaron and Jason’s wedding day was the same day that the US Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice. The last speech of the wedding brought up this fact, and urged everyone to come up on stage (everyone who could fit) to show how they will stand beside one another through whatever challenges, hardships and heartbreak we will be facing as a nation. Instead of sadness, it felt more like hope and inspiration.

Love wins again, and it will continue to win, as long as there are people to protect it, and as long as there are people like Aaron and Jason who show us what the best version of it looks like. 

The post Aaron<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Jason appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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Every wedding photographer knows this. There is that moment at the beginning of the day, just before you enter the bride’s getting-ready room, where you have no idea what you’re about to walk into. Will the room be filled wall to wall with people in different stages of hair, makeup and dressing, cords and bags and clothes strewn everywhere? Or will the bride be alone, having her hair curled in silence? Will there be a serious family meeting happening, or a group prayer? Will it be a wild, champagne-laced, pajama dance party? Will there be kids running around, jumping on the furniture? (All of which we have experienced).

When we walked into Ivy’s suite at the Four Seasons, we walked into complete calm, quiet and serenity. Ivy was sitting on the couch with three friends, talking quietly and happily. There wasn’t even any music playing. All was well. VERY well.

This is how Ivy and Kyle are as a couple. They bring one another peace and contentment. And they bring that same feeling to everyone around them. It’s that feeling that everything is going to be all right. It was refreshing, and comforting. 

They were married by the pool at the Four Seasons in Denver, with cocktails outside right afterward. Even during the ballroom reception, which turned into a pretty wild dance party, Ivy and Kyle were the picture of sophistication and grace, occasionally drifting away from one another while they visited and partied with their guests, but always finding their way back. They have so much respect and love for one another, and that showed in every aspect of their day.  

If you’re planning your own Denver wedding, make sure to check out more of our Colorado weddings for inspiration! And definitely check out Kimberly Rose Events whose expert planning made this day so easy, beautiful and fun!

The post Ivy<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Kyle appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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Anna and Justin saw their wedding as a reunion of sorts. “It’s rare the number of times you can get all the people who are important to you in one room,” Justin told us a few months before his wedding. 

Anna and Justin were married at the Brazilian Garden in Berkeley, a beautiful outdoor space with views of the Berkeley Hills. Afterward, the celebration moved to a restaurant for a big Chinese banquet reception.

For a day that started at 5 am with hair and makeup, had two ceremonies (a Chinese tea ceremony and a Western ceremony), and included an hourlong drive to the reception venue, this crew did not slow down one bit and partied with everything they had until the very end. 

That’s what we love to see in a wedding day!

Here is another Berkeley wedding we photographed at this property: Brazilian Room Wedding

The post Anna<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Justin appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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She remembers every moment of their first meeting. They were standing in line at a coffee shop in Colorado Springs. She remembers seeing him in front of her and thinking ‘this guy is taking way too long to order.’ She eventually got her drink, and they briefly glanced at each other. She sat down and began studying. He came over and started talking with her. 

In their brief conversation, she felt an intensity that she didn’t understand. It was so intense that she made up an excuse and said she had to go. “I definitely felt a connection, but it freaked me out because I didn’t know what that was,” she said. 

Alex and Greg went on their first date a week later. Right after the date, she told her mom and her sister that she could see herself marrying him. 

And so she will, come May. 

Alex and Greg chose the romantic setting of Sutro Baths for their engagement photos in San Francisco. The photos reflect the quiet love between them, the close connection they share, and the comfort they feel in each other’s presence. We are so excited to be there for them again in May for their wedding in Big Sur!

The post Alex<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Greg appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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Manhei and Jay’s Chateau Briand wedding was more than a celebration of their love. It was full-on celebration of two close families becoming officially united.

Manhei and Jay have known each other since they were little, as their two families have been close for many years. They were childhood friends first, and became a couple during their college years at San Francisco State University. Their partnership is one of respect and selflessness, where each of them puts the other first. It was so beautiful to see the kindness and love exchanged between them during their wedding weekend. 

I too went to SF State, and became friends with Manhei and Jay there. So this wedding was extra special for me. Besides traveling cross-country and getting to shoot in New York, I also got to watch two friends declare their love and commitment to one another in front of those they love most. Chateau Briand has an absolutely amazing view of the New York City skyline, so we had a great time experimenting with portraits around this beautiful and dynamic property. 

Planning a New York wedding? We’d love to meet you and hear what you have planned! In the meantime, check out more of our New York weddings here!

Lastly, thanks to Steven Young for photographing this awesome wedding with us!

The post Manhei<span class='title-ampersand'>&</span>Jay appeared first on Chrisman Studios.

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