Imagine that this is an old-fashioned letter, you know, the kind that require a stamp, the ones that are delivered to a mailbox by a real person. The envelope is linen and the color of blush, the stamp an antiqued cupid shooting a heart-shapped arrow. The script, the most beautiful calligraphy you have ever seen. The return address is mine; the recipients are Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Estrada. The letters swirl hypnotically; the soft- textured envelope beckons you to open it. So, you do. The vellum and the lines correspond with the exterior, the paper is smooth with traces of cotton, your eyes follow the calligraphy billows, as you read:
Dear Louise and Antonio,
I don’t believe in fate or chance. I believe there is a plan for our life, and I believe that people and experiences are put in our lives at certain times to help us learn something, to help us appreciate the human experience on a deeper level, to humble us, and sometimes to help us feel what it truly means to love and be alive. I am so infinitesimally grateful that you two became a part of the fabric of my life. Meeting you, and being a part of your engagement, your wedding, and a few occasions after has been a gift, a blessing. When God was making kind, loving, compassionate, thoughtful, and warm people you were among the first. He also knew that when he created you he was going to be making two people that would be filled with love for each other and for their life together, and that your relationship would serve to inspire countless others!
When we were on the boat shooting your engagement photographs, I was so fascinated by your story: how you met, how brazen Antonio was to ask you, Louise, to rub Aloe Vera on his back on the first date ;), how comfortable and real you were together, and I was especially touched when Antonio said, “I don’t like being out on the boat too long; I just don’t like being away from Louise.” This was one of those moments when I felt such clarity in relation to the importance of time and with whom I spend it. As the sun set I couldn’t help but feel sad that our session would be ending soon, and that I would be heading home, not seeing you two again until your wedding day. I wanted to stretch the light, extend the day, pay for extra hours, just so I could spend more time with you. You welcomed me into your hearts, and I was so happy and comfortable there.
Your wedding day was filled with equal grace and resplendence. It was easy to see all the care, research, and thought that had gone into the details, again, not just so you would have a lovely and memorable day, but so those attending your wedding would also. It was joyful, emotional, and so very sweet, and although I was there with a very delineated role, I also felt like I was one of your people, a friend who had come to celebrate the fact that you two had committed to sharing your life and love, together. And that made me profoundly happy.
I think about our afternoon on the boat often.
I think about your wedding day often.
I think about how grateful I am to have you as friends in my life, often.
Thank you, from my heart, for sharing yours, with me.
Much Love, Kamee
You look over the pretty writing on last time and smile, because your heart was hugged, and then you fold the paper, put it back in its home, and tuck it in a safe place, because it’s something special to you.
Louise and Antonio were married in July at the Martin Johnson House in San Diego. I am so truly sorry for the delay in posting this timelessly beautiful and classic couple and wedding, maybe it’s because I knew once I posted it that it wouldn’t be able to be posted again, that, that would signify it had been “sealed”, completed, that the letter had been sent. That it was really “all over”. Paradoxically enough, I believe that’s where the power of the photograph comes in and where the words of the Bard himself from his famous sonnet #18 resonate: So long as men can breath, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. In essence, as long as these pictures exist, so does the wedding, and every time we look at them it’s as if they are happening again, and again, and again… as all wedding-day memories should.
My good friend and colleague, Rebecca, shot the next couple of images. So grateful for her influence in my life as well!
Louise and Antonio,
Thank you again, so very much, for everything!! May these images always take you back to one of your sweetest days! Thank you for sharing it all with me! Much, much, love, KJ
For a wedding like Louise and Antonio’s tap into some of these resources:
Ceremony and Reception Site: The Martin Johnson House
Officiant: Art Guiterrez
Catering: Coast Catering by Barry Layne
Rentals: Crown Rentals
Wedding Gown: Designer: Paloma Blanca Purchased at Isis Bridal Boutique
Bride’s Shoes: Vera Wang Lavendar
Bride’s Maids’ Dresses: Ann Taylor
Hair: Kristy Warner
Make up: Erin Zepf
Groom’s Suit: J Crew
Photographer: Kamee June Photography
Videographer: Rachel Ashley, Birch Box Films
Invitation Design: Santiago Merino
Graphic design (Save the dates, Programs, Table Numbers, Escort Cards, Signage, etc.): Stacey Holton
Music: Chris Prescott
Band: Steal Dawn
Florist: Elegant Touch Floral Designs
Bakery: Elizabethan Desserts
Guest Favors: Roots Soap Co
Guest and Bridesmaid’s Welcome Bags: Wedding Chicks
Decor (Card Basket, Candle Sticks, etc.): Morgann Hill Designs
Vintage Rentals: Archive Rentals
Bouquet Brooch: Luxe Deluxe
Coordinator: Liz Zborowski
In honor of their Parisian honeymoon a few more highlights from the day; enjoy the effervescent show!