It was the highlight of my professional year to travel to San Bernandino County, California, for Joey and Heidi’s New Year’s Eve wedding. I met this amazing couple in San Antonio for their engagement session. Joey is a proud member of our armed services, and his lovely wife had remained back home in southern California to plan not only their wedding, but her sister’s wedding as well. I fell in love with them, and agonized that I wouldn’t be a part of their wedding day. I knew it would be a night to remember! A few months later, to my delight, Heidi texted, asking “what do we have to do to get you out here?” (Insert shout out to Travelocity here.)
The day before the wedding was miserable: freezing cold, and raining. Everyone was panicking, apologizing for the weather–“it’s never like this here!!” I just laughed; it was exactly the same in Austin, so I wasn’t worried. The wedding day actually proved lovely, no rain at all. I met Heidi and her bridesmaids at the Mission Inn and Spa in Riverside for some getting ready images and gorgeous portraits. (*A word of advice for any bride or couple who plan to use that incredibly beautiful venue for portraits, there is a hefty permit fee you will be required to pay which is above and beyond what you already spent on renting a room or having your event there. It’s extra, no matter what other staff members might tell you.) The bridesmaids’ dresses were so awesome: gold ruffly costumes reminiscent of the circus ladies who rode elephants into the big tent. And the flowers girls! Pancita sweetie, I still wish I had put you in my pocket and brought you home.
The Mitten Building was Heidi’s choice for their evening wedding and reception. A former orange-packing warehouse, it’s an urban venue with beautiful hardwood floors and exposed brick walls. Circa Vintage Rentals did a great job providing exactly what Heidi wanted for guest relaxation areas and family portraits. All my anticipation for this multi-cultural, vintage circus-themed wedding was rewarded: Heidi’s reception was a feast for the eyes with brilliant red, gold and white florals, ferris-wheel tea light centerpieces, vintage crystal candle holders and circus animal place cards. Their seating chart was a unique display of personal Cracker Jack boxes on a table for guests to pick up as they entered. For cocktail hour, an aerialist performed acrobatics above the crowd, and the piece de resistance was Heidi and Joey’s dramatic entrance heralded by a troupe of belly dancers, a nod to Joey’s Middle Eastern heritage. It was amazing. One final note: Heidi’s father made the wooden light up initials which stood behind their table, which was really fun to use in photographs of the couple.
It was an honor to be a part of Joey and Heidi’s wedding, and I want to thank Luis Godinez for doing a terrific job assisting me. The night ended with a kiss to bring in the New Year. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. LeMond, may this night be the beginning of your Happily Ever After.