FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA - Villa Del Sol, a hidden gem of a venue and plaza that most people don't know about. If you blink, you'll miss it. This is one of those venues or plazas that seems out of place because of its Spanish architecture. And it's one of those places that is a dream venue for me. Yvonne and Andrew gave us the honor to photograph their wedding at this venue, and it was amazing!
I was anxious to photograph Yvonne and Andrew's wedding. Not only because of the venue, but also because I finally got to meet these two lovebirds. When we arrived at the back of the venue, we had to walk into this maze of walkways and stairways to find the bridal suite where there was an active scene of women getting themselves ready to look their best in honor of their best friend and bride of the day, Yvonne.
Yvonne was in the makeup chair when we arrived, getting hair and makeup done by her sister. She seemed relaxed and was sporting this big smile. How could she be so calm on this big day? I was a nervous wreck. I am always nervous at these events. Yvonne was just cool. With a nonchalant look, she said, "Hey!" Her demeanor was infectious. I said hey back and started to chat like old friends.
Of course, I had to be quick about it because down the road, past Disneyland, the groom was in his hotel waiting for his time to get ready. I drove 10 minutes down to Anaheim, my hometown. I grew up in this city; as a matter of fact, I drove by the street where Anaheim High School was. That's where I graduated. I was starting to feel nostalgic...FOCUS, TONY!
Okay, so I arrived at the hotel where Andrew was waiting for me in the lobby. Again, so calm. I can't believe how cool these two were! I guess I overthink things. I mean, I am just the photographer who is going to capture the most important day of their lives, right?!
Truth be told, being nervous is a good thing. I am nervous for a different reason. Meanwhile, they knew what the outcome of this wedding would be. Why should they be nervous?
I began to notice Andrew sitting nervously at the part of the plaza where the ceremony was going to take place. I asked him, "Nervous?"
"Nope," he replied as he jingled his keys in his pocket. But I knew he was, especially when there is nothing to do but wait, and you are alone in the venue. But that usually changes when the doors open and the guests begin to pour in. A wave of HEY's, hugs, and smiles flooded over the groom, and in Andrew's case, it was no exception. That's when I saw Andrew relax.
The guests began to find their seats as the time arrived and passed. The bride was still getting some last-minute things done, but the guests didn't mind. It was nothing but smiles and laughs. They would occasionally look up towards the bridal room to see if they could get a sneak peek of the bride coming down. But no chance! Her party was good at concealing her from the masses.
As a matter of fact, she managed to be unseen as she went down and around the venue to make the big entrance through the big wooden doors at the front. Like a true queen, she greeted everyone with her beautiful vintage dress, looking nothing less than mystical. Meanwhile, Andrew's happiness went off the charts. You could tell he was beyond ecstatic.
With such romantic architecture and hidden nooks, I was motivated to create an intimate feel for the portraits of these two. Like the lovers they are, I used the passion they shared to infuse the portraits with the essence of a foreign romantic film. It was truly gorgeous.
The time that all newlyweds love: the party. The beautiful lights that Villa Del Sol provides add a feel of being in another part of the world, celebrating in that plaza with its Spanish architecture. It was a great night and a great wedding.