Andrea & Anthony Day After Session, Conchas Chinas, Mexico

What is better than photographing a couple on their wedding day? A day after session, of course!

I had a lot of fun reconnecting with Andrea and Anthony a couple of days after their wedding day for some relaxed beach portraits at their hotel, Costa Sur. The view was just amazing and even though it was sunny, it was such a beautiful time to have a session.

There is literally nothing more spectacular than two people in love with such a beautiful beach backdrop.

Isa & Adrian Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Mexico Destination Wedding

Isa and I first met during her friend's wedding in Mazatlan a couple years ago.  She is an absolutely easy going person who carried through her day like it was any other.  Truly enjoyed every minute of the day, which was fabulous! I just loved the way Adrian looked at her, he completely adores her.

Their day began with a first look, which are my favorite! It's so wonderful to see the couple before all the madness begins and give them some time and space to truly enjoy each other.  They had a symbolic ceremony overlooking the hotel's playa saying I Do with their closest friends and family.  That is what I love about destination weddings, truly those who attend are those closest to you which makes for a beautiful intimate wedding.  

The reception was full of beautiful accents and details! Along with fireworks during their first dance!  Needless to say, the party lasted a good long while as we could hear the music when we got to our room that night.  Which I gotta say, makes for successful wedding day!


If you are looking to have your wedding on a beautiful beach in Mexico, email me! I would love to sendyou more information!  Click on the button below to email me right now.

Beautiful Nuevo Vallarta Beach Portrait Session at the Grand Mayan Resort

I love having the beach so close by!  Makes it all that more fun when I have families who are from out of town come visit and take advantage of the view with a fun family portrait session!

Tere contacted me via Facebook letting me know that she and her family were going to be in town.  We coordinated and I met them at their resort, The Grand Mayan, in Nuevo Vallarta.  What a gorgeous location! The best is when the hotels have beautiful  beachfronts to soak in the sunset!  We had fun splashing in the water and getting to know each other a little better.  

If you are traveling to Puerto Vallarta or anywhere in the Riviera Nayarit area, please let me know and we can take advantage of the beautiful views and get a sweet portrait session done! An amazing memory to take back with you from your vacation 😉

Should you do a first look on your wedding day?

You might have seen it over and over again as you started planning your wedding on Pinterest or on the blogs of other photographers, planners, and coordinators.  Are you wondering what a First Look actually is? 

What is a First Look?

First Looks are not new, I'm sure they've been around for a long time but really come to become the new tradition about 7 years ago.  Since then they have taken lots of different forms but to put it simply, it's when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony.  

Why do a First Look?

There are many reasons that a First Look might come into play during your wedding day.  In my experience, it usually happens for one of two reasons:

  1. To take advantage of the light.  For example, if your getting married in the fall and your ceremony is at 4pm, that doesn't leave much time for portraits of the two of you.  It cuts into time with family, perhaps a cocktail hour, or another event during your day.  To take advantage of the light, we'll schedule the portrait session before the ceremony when light is abundant.  This way we ensure that you have great photos of the two of you with lots of time. 
  2. Another reason couples opt for a First Look instead of staying with the traditional see-you-after-the-ceremony, is to have a moment alone together.  Usually, after the ceremony, there really isn't much time spent as a couple, alone, together.   Having a couple of hours just the two of you really makes the day even more special.  

How does it work?

The great thing about the First Look is that when you see each other, right after you ease right into the portrait session.  It is a seamless transition that allows for many more photos during your day and also allows the photographer to get those must have shots as well as experiment a little bit without eating time from major events on the day of.  I'm sure that was a run on sentence but you get the idea.  

This is especially important if light is an issue during your day.  After all, your photographs are all that you'll have left and you want to make sure you have the most beautiful photographs of you and your hubby!

But it'll take away the surprise!

FALSE! There is nothing wrong with keeping it traditional, I have many couples who opt for traditional all the time and everything works out perfectly.  However, thinking that seeing each other before the wedding takes away from walking down the aisle, IT DOESN'T at all!

I have had grooms who are beyond nervous and quite frankly need more than a shot or two before the wedding, and after the First Look have expressed to me that it was the best decision because it made them even MORE excited to see their bride walk down the aisle.  

My husband and I also opted for a first look and we got some of our favorite images from it! It was a nice time to see each other and be alone for a bit before seeing our friends and family for the rest of the day.  It definitely calmed my nerves! 

Whether you opt to go the traditional route or do a First Look, just know that you have options.  Make sure you talk with your photographer to see which suits your day the best.  

Must Have Photos On Your Wedding Day | Tips for Brides

There are lots of resources out there and I know it can get a little overwhelming, especially in the planning stages.  So, I've come to help take a little bit of the stress off your shoulders, Brides.  

Every wedding is unique and with that, each event is different in terms of timeline, number of guests, and what gets photographed and what doesn't.  A seasoned photographer will have a mental checklist of all the details they should be capturing through out the day and will aim to get them all.  Sometimes, brides have very specific photographs in mind and most often than not, forget to communicate that with their photographers.  Resulting in missed shots that the bride would have loved.  


For example, at my last wedding, if the bride hadn't told me about her something blue, I would have missed it completely - even though I carried those shoes throughout the whole suite for 30 minutes and never noticed! I'm glad she said something and I was able to get that shot.  From now on though, I will be looking at the souls of all future brides' shoes just in case ;).

It's an honest mistake and no one is to blame, however, it can totally be avoided!  In order to make sure to get the photos you truly want, I've created this checklist for you to fill out and hand over to your photographer the next time you meet.  

In my personal experience, I don't mind getting these back from brides at all because it's so important!  Sure, 99% of the items on the list I already photograph and make sure it gets into the gallery.  However, there is that 1% that might slip through or that one shot that is most important.  

Wedding Day Photo Checklist 




You've handed over the checklist and now you are expecting all of those photos to be included. Let's be realistic, your photographer will have 99% of that checklist already in their heads as they are photographing your wedding, however, some of those shots are just a no go on the actual day of your wedding.  It could be a lighting issue, a location issue, maybe that person didn't show up on time.  There are countless reasons, so it's good to always stay a little flexible.

Being able to stay realistic about the photos on the checklist on your wedding day will not only relieve a bit of the stress off you, but will allow your photographer to make changes or improvise and make the best possible photographs with what is happening the day of.  

And sometimes, being a little flexible gives you even better photos than you imagined! Your photographer is experienced and will know how to handle the situations  as they present themselves during an event.  We have pretty much seen it all when it comes to this kind of stuff! 

So there you have it!  A little handy checklist to help  you get the photos you really want on your wedding day.  Just remember to stay flexible and enjoy your day! 

What do you think about this blog post? Was it useful to you? If it was, make sure you share with other future brides and comment below or hit the like button! 

Beach Wedding Inspiration

Since I've been closer to the beach, I have realized that Beach Destination Weddings are just beyond amazing!  It's a perfect option for the bride who wants to have a breathtaking ocean background, mini vacation, and your most important guests share their day with you.  I wrote a whole post on why you should have a destination wedding, you can read it HERE

I want to share with you guys the beautiful decor that each bride pours their heart into to create the wedding of their dreams.  Each of the inspiration boards are from REAL BEACH WEDDINGS!  Each unique, each different and all amazing!  Make sure you pin these images!

Jessica + Jordan Puerto Vallarta

Colors: Teal, cream, bright and soft pings, and orange.  Adding some glam with the brides sparkly shoes and votive candle centerpieces.  Florals were those beautiful lilies in bright tropical colors as well as white.  


Everything mixed well together to create a beautiful tropical ambiance to the wedding.  Can't get over the bride's maids mix-matched dresses in different pink hues!

Anais + Mario Mazatlan Beach Wedding

This couple wanted more of an elegant and timeless feel to their wedding with a beach ceremony and beautiful closed reception hall for their party.  It was not with out beautiful details to keep it tied to the beach theme!  Those tiffany blue bride's maid dresses are to die for! Tying it with white florals for the bouquet and boutonnieres make it look effortlessly elegant!  


We continue to see the trend of using glass votive candle centerpieces with roses and lilies to create that glamour during the reception.  Paired with sliver charger plates and tiffany blue linens.  Love!

Gabriela + Fernando Puerto Vallarta Beach Wedding

Can you mix blush pink, grey, and mint for your wedding? You can bet on it! These colors made for a beautiful blend of feminine and masculine with the mint and grey while keeping it flirty with the blush pink.  Ah! I can't get over how it just works so well together!

And let's get some of those beautiful votive candle centerpieces and plush pink tipped roses to light up the night while we're at it.

Cristy + Eduardo Cancun Beach Wedding

This couple kept things light and airy during their wedding! Makes perfect sense since the background of their wedding provided a lot of decor with an intimate chapel ceremony and beachfront reception.  Cristy opted to mix-match her bridal party dresses ranging from soft mint to rich teal hues and her bride's men? They wore matching colored ties.  Definite win!

Add the sand colored centerpieces and white bouquet, this wedding made a statement to not overpower the beach in the background and keeping it classy and playful at the same time.

I hope these inspiration collages help you to get more ideas for your own destination beach wedding!  Make sure you pin them so you can reference back to them when you start planning your big day.  And don't forget, we would love to document your wedding as well! ;).  

Oh, and if you're looking for beautiful wedding invites, make sure you check out Paperless Post - they were an inspiration for this post and have great wedding invites for your event!  Check out their website HERE.

Jessica + Jordan Puerto Vallarta Photo Session

Monica + Eloy Mexico Destination Wedding

This particular wedding is very dear and near to my heart.  Monica and I met two years ago when I was looking for a Godmother for my baptism ceremony into the Catholic faith.  We didn't know each other and it was God who definitely put us into each others' lives.  For that I cannot express how she has taught me so much on how to serve and be faithful.  In comes Eloy, also a chance meeting in God's plan for Monica.  A sweet and caring person who treats her like the woman she is.  

It is beautiful to witness two souls that bring forth so much love, laughter, and adoration for each other.  Their wedding day was nothing short of all that! It was an honor to photograph Monica and Eloy's wedding!  

Ceremony: San Felipe de Apostol // Portrait location: Quinta Gameros // Reception: Quinta Victoria // 

Cristy + Eduardo | Moon Palace Resorts Riviera Maya Destination Wedding

We were afraid it was going to rain this day.  It rained the day before yet as luck would have it, the skies opened up for us on this beautiful November day.  The beautiful backdrop of the Mayan Riviera at Moon Palace Resort & Spa was just breathtaking.  A quiet morning, the bride ever so relaxed (and what a gorgeous bride)!

Cristy and Eduardo said "I do" at the resort's chapel over looking the ocean.  It was an emotional and intimate ceremony with all of their closest family and friends; and one very funny priest! Coordinated by Weddings by Herick Lamas (he's my cousin!) it was a magical wedding with a beach front reception where the couple danced the night away while enjoying the ocean breeze.

*Español abajo*


Temíamos que iba llover.  Había llovido el día anterior pero el destino abrió el cielo y salió el sol en este hermoso día.  El hotel Moon Palace Resort & Spa en la Riviera Maya fue el fondo perfecto para esta gran boda.  La mañana empezó tranquilamente, la novia relajada (y que bellísima novia)! 

Cristy y Eduardo prometieron un para siempre en la capilla del resort con vista al mar.  Era una ceremonia emotiva e intima compartida con sus seres queridos mas cercanos; y un padre muy gracioso!  Coordinado por Weddings by Herick Lamas (mi primo!) era una boda magica con la fiesta en plena playa donde los invitados bailaron toda la noche mientras disfrutando del viento del mar.

Brittany + Gabriel | California Engagement Photography

Hello beautiful and fun couple! Brittany and Gabriel were gifted a mini session because, well, they're awesome and getting married next year.  Duh, that's what great friends do - they gift one of kind engagement sessions! 

They were so fun to be around and even though a little camera shy, they totally rocked it by being themselves.  That's the best part of my job, that I get to capture the essence of a person that makes up their personality... that is magic.

We walked around downtown and found great spots to create images that reflected who they are.  And can we just say how gorgeous Brittany is?!?!