This winter I attended the Royal wedding.
I'm not even kidding. How cool is it to have the last name "Royal"? And really, it couldn't be more fitting for my dear friend Melissa who has always been a royal beauty, and a royally genuine, wonderful spirit. And now she's found her Prince. (Ok I swear, last one, I'll keep the royalty references contained from here on out...maybe.)
I was so incredibly honored when Melissa and Grant invited me to be a part of their big day. Melissa and I have been friends for many years, and we've had some amazing times together - we traveled to Mexico for a girls' getaway (just the two of us) and she flew across the world to visit us when we lived in Taiwan.
But reflecting on our friendship, what I find to be most special about getting to photograph her wedding is that when I first started exploring photography back in 2009, Melissa (as a new friend back then) was one of the first to encourage me to pursue portrait and wedding photography. I was interested in it, but hadn't really done it, and she was the first person to say - would you photograph my family? And she has supported my photography, my passion ever since. To be able to fly to L.A. for her wedding, and photograph the beginning of a wonderful new chapter for her - it truly was such a beautiful opportunity.
Plus - getting to photograph a wedding in Hollywood? That's pretty cool! What's really cool is when the bride and groom choose an unconventional location like the American Legion Hollywood Post - and it is absolutely epic! They got married in the atrium, completely surrounded by friends and family, and it was beautiful. And then there's the art deco bar...seriously, greatest spot for a cocktail hour.
Their reception was a dance party (just the way the bride likes it!). I've witnessed a lot of weddings, and most of the time, the bridal party really has to get the dance floor started - not at the Royal wedding - people were dancing before the food was even served! (And it wasn't just because of cocktail hour!) Other highlights included grandpa singing an impromptu love song that brought us all to tears and received a standing ovation, and another surprise tune by an aunt who could probably release her own album. Oh, and that photo booth! (Go check out Smiley Shots Photo Booth - by far the best photo booth I've ever seen/experienced - and the owners were so friendly and fun.)
In the end, I felt so blessed to be there as their photographer, but to also witness the wedding as a guest and friend. It was an honor, truly a joy, and, of course, the most fun ever!
All my love to Mr. and Mrs. Royal - may your love continue to grow with every year.