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Celebrating the New Year With a ‘Ring’! {Crystal and Chris’s Westin Saint Francis Wedding}

He was cooking up a storm…she was in her workout clothes waiting patiently in their bedroom for who knows what?  He had simply asked her to wait in there until he was done.  All she could hear were the sounds of pots and pans banging and of course the sound of a loud blender crushing something.  Chris loves to cook so the fact that he was getting serious in the kitchen was no surprise to Crystal…but the blender?  hmmm.  Only an hour or two later of waiting, Crystal was finally allowed to come out of the bedroom.  Something amazing was about to happen… They had been dating for 7 years as they met early in college due to having apartments that were connected.  He lived with a house of guys and she with a house of girls…A dream come true some might think:) Merging the houses was inevitable and soon all were friends.  But there was more there between Chris and Crystal…there were sparks.  So here they were 7 years later in their own San Francisco apartment no longer separated by college apartment walls… alone.  She in her workout clothes, he in his apron.  Set out on the table before her was the very menu they shared on their first date together.  It was so incredibly sentimental that I find the screen welling up as I type this…or is it my eyes?  Anyway, he had prepared this meal…the first meal they shared as a couple, and the first meal they would share as an engaged couple.  This was it!  He proposed right there and she said “Yes!”  It was the perfect night, just the two of them with their blended drinks…of course he served the same drinks they had on their first date!  Major points for Sentimentalness (not a word) and remembering all the details of the first date Chris!

I have to say,  that I too was elated because Crystal called me to do her wedding.  I explained to her my experience.  She knew that I had less than a year under my belt at the time of that phone call a year ago, and I will never forget what she told me.  She said, “I have interviewed several other photographers and I want you to do my wedding cuz I would rather hire a photographer starting out her business than a large established one.”  I am so thankful for her giving me a chance and having faith in me!  Booking this wedding was a blessing for my growth as a photographer because it forced me to get out of my element and learn to use my flash as there would be ZERO natural light.  My coverage started at night and ended at night.  Flash seems simple enough right?  Not really… It is the thing that can either ruin your image or make it spectacular.  I got my learn on.  I bought all the gear for using off camera flash…and I even watched DVD’s explaining how to use it!  I’m a certified dork, I know.   I was totally that girl in college that never missed a class, which reminds me how thankful I am that I have a Psychology degree that I use every day…Not!  I was studying flash all year (well for like 3 months) and that night with knots in my stomach I took the test.  I have a ways to go in my flash journey, but this wedding built my confidence in using it.  Now I look flash in the face (well, not directly) and say, “Bring It!”

I would like to thank my two awesome assistant shooters that night Hui and Wen with 555photography.com.  They captured the “dudes” while I captured the gals.  Without them, I would have had to lace up my running shoes to hop place to place.

Oh, and I’d also like to thank God for a huge miracle that happened that night.  My camera fell 5 feet from the top of a ladder in front of a huge group of 50 people waiting to have their picture taken…First, I heard the “OHHHH” of the crowd, and then I heard the piercing crunch of the camera and lens…Why is this a miracle?  Nothing broke…Nothing!  I wanted to shout right then and there to the group, “Can I get a Halleluiah Praise the Lord??!!”

I am super excited to share these images that I feel capture the love between this amazing couple!  Crystal and the vendors put together an amazing wedding at the Westin Saint Francis in San Francisco complete with all the fun details of a NYE party.  She had kazoos in the bouquets as well as kazoos for the guest to blow as they were announced husband and wife!  The centerpieces on each table were cleverly decorated with all the party gear necessary for a NYE celebration!  I just loved the bridesmaids silver and black color blocked party dresses beaded appropriately with sequence.  To top it all off, the guests were fed well as they had food stations representing the delicious cuisine found in all of San Francisco’s different districts!  So Brilliant!

Crystal was absolutely breathtaking!  If there was one word to describe her on her wedding day it would be a ‘sophisticated  timeless beauty’…ok that was 3 words, but one word is never enough!  Here is to a life of love and happiness!  I’m so glad I was able to be a part of this spectacular and very special day!  Cheers to 2012!

Check out more in the slideshow below!

No Peeking for the first look!  Especially in the Westin’s famous hallway of mirrors!

OMG!  If you thought Crystal’s dress was to DIE for, you are gonna flip like I did when I saw that it converted into a NYE party dress in minutes!

Crystal warned me ahead of time that Chris LOVES to dance…so much that every year at his company’s Christmas they clear the dance floor to watch him get jigge wit’ it on the dance floor!…he did just that on his wedding day!!  He owned it!

Getting low minutes before the midnight count down!!

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