North Torrey Pines Engagement – Kaitlin and Niles

By, November 11, 2017

Kaitlin and Niles love being active together. Whether it’s surfing, biking, skateboarding or hiking, they never miss a chance to get outside and play. When it came time for their engagement shoot, this couple wanted to incorporate some of these fun activities, and showcase some of their favorite local spots. They chose the majestic trails and beach of North Torrey Pines as their playground for the day. Have a look at some of the adventures that took place :)

Enagagement shoot in Del Mar
Hiking trail North Torrey Pines
California engagement shoot
North Torrey Pines Bridge
Active couple at Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines Beach Shoot
Del Mar Engagement shoot
Railroad tracks at North Torrey Pines road
North Torrey Pines Trails Engagement photo
Fun photoshoot at North Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines lifeguard tower
Engagement photos in California
Fun engagement couple
Engagement photos in California
Torrey Pines State Reserve

We look forward to their big day happening at the Grand Tradition :)


Dressed to Impress | Groomsmen Getting Ready

By, March 15, 2016

We love witnessing the bromance between the groom and his buddies on the wedding day. While the bride is squared away with her ladies, our second shooters typically head over to the groom and his fellas. By having two photographers on the wedding day, our crew is able to divide and conquer, and capture the early moments of the day from both perspectives. The guys often create hilarious and unpredictable moments, leading to unforgettable images to enjoy for years to come.

When we first arrive, the groom and his buddies are usually getting dressed to impress. Once they are prepped and ready, there may be time to kick back, talk smack, or play a competitive game of pool with a beer (or two) to celebrate. We enjoy finding creative ways for the guys to let loose and show off their personalities.

For a stylish collection of dapper dudes preparing to tie the knot, check out some of our favorite pre-ceremony moments.

Groomsmen fix ties in front of mirror

With so many groomsmen and only one mirror (above), we had to get a little creative. After spotting this awesome multi-paned mirror in the lobby, we made sure there was enough prep room for all the guys at Vanessa and Justin’s wedding.

Modern groom before wedding ceremonyGroom buttoning up jacket Groom's watch and bowtie

We love when grooms pick fun, vibrant details to match their personalities. When we noticed Anton getting a bowtie assist from one of his buddies on his wedding day (see above), we couldn’t resist capturing a photo in hopes of learning a trick or two ourselves.

Groomsmen relax and cheers for a beerGroomsmen have fun during pre-ceremonyblack-and-white photo of groom putting on shoesGroom open gifts from Bride

Sometimes, couples exchange a special pre-ceremony gift, such as during Begum and Michael’s wedding (left) or Katie and John’s (right). We like to capture intimate moments like this, where we can grab the Groom’s reaction as he reveals what’s inside.

Groom shows off fancy watch Groomsmen sit in lobbyGroom laughing as he puts on tie

While Steven and his groomsmen shared a few rounds of jokes, we captured this genuine reaction from the groom, whose laughter couldn’t be contained. By staying alert and focused, we were able to jump on this fleeting moment before it passed.

Groom's colorful Socks and BowtieGroomsmen sit casually on steps

Between funky colored socks, dapper-looking bowties or fancy watches, the groom’s details can be just as colorful and entertaining as the bride’s.

Groomsmen help the groom with his outfitGroomsmen skateboarding down street

Daniel and his buddies are avid skateboarders, and after spying a stack of decks in the corner, we were determined to put them to good use. The group was more than willing to entertain us with some sweet tricks. By letting groomsmen show off their inner daredevils, we were able to document a fun and spontaneous moment.

Groomsmen wearing polka dot socksGroomsmen having fun playing pool before wedding ceremony

For more photos of couples getting ready for the big day, please click here.


“Cheery” Temecula Winery Wedding at Lake Oak Meadows

By, October 20, 2011

We photographed Kelsey and Kyle’s engagement shoot in Pacific Beach back in June, and ever since we’ve been excited for this fun and energetic couple to tie the knot!  Their Temecula wine country wedding was full of brightly colored Gerber Daisies, clever wine themed escort cards, and plenty of their own unique flair!  With Kelsey being a competitive cheerleading coach, and Kyle, an avid skateboarder, there’s no doubt where the “cheery” but “laid back” vibe came from.  Kelsey shared with us a few details from their celebration at Lake Oak Meadows private estate and winery. Check it out!

All outdoors, beautiful flowers and thriving landscape, lots of space for guests to roam —  the venue was ours for the entire day!  No other parties or onlookers that you usually get with the other wineries.  Temecula isn’t far from my hometown of San Diego, but far enough to make it a retreat, and I love wine!  Most of all, the fire pits and heaters, ambient lighting (candles, twinkle, paper lanterns, etc), and a variety of flowers,  it reminds me of my parent’s backyard, but can fit hundreds of people! 

San Diego Wedding Photography: Paper lanterns, candles, firepits and nature at Lake Oak Meadows Winnery in Temecula, California

My two favorite shots of Kyle and I are our first dance when we’re grinning ear to ear and look so ecstatic and in love, and the one where he’s kneeling and kissing my hand – it shows my typical sass!

San Diego Wedding Photography: Bride and groom smiling and kissing during first dance at Temecula winery weddingsSan Diego Wedding Photography: Funny photo of bride and groom after ceremony at Temecula winery wedding

Since the men’s attire wasn’t the typical suit or tux I figured the boutonniere shouldn’t be typical either.  We used mini skateboards instead!  Looped ribbon as the leaves were topped off with the skateboard wheels as flower buds. 

San Diego Wedding Photographers: Laid back wedding with skateboard boutonnières and black and white checkered ties

The vibe was  fun, laid back, “cheery” and unexpected, just like me.  It wasn’t so much a wedding reception I wanted to have, but a typical “Rahn party!”.  When I heard guests saying the event was “totally you!”, I knew I had done it right!

San Diego Wedding Photographer: Laid back and cheery wedding at Lake Oak Meadows private estate and winery

Just before the ceremony began, the guests were greeted and asked to choose a beverage of their choice for the pre-ceremony toast to my father, Ted, who passed away just about a year ago.  He made the most amazing margaritas, which we call Ted-aritas, and we all know of his love for Jimmy Buffet tunes.  The toast happened at exactly 5 o’clock, because it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere!  This photo shows my two sisters/matrons of honor, my mom and myself during the toast just after they finished walking me down the aisle to give me away – ALL 3 of them, with the help of my dad from above too!

San Diego Wedding Photography: Toast for father before the ceremony at Lake Oak Meadows private estate and winery wedding

I needed a fun entrance and this I what I thought of.  My sister and I had a teal 57 Chevy Barbie car when we were younger and that is what I envisioned.  The cars turned out perfect and every male at the wedding couldn’t stop talking about them. My mom always made the team banner for my softball teams when I was younger, so when I had the idea of my two nieces carrying a “here comes the bride” sign down the aisle she immediately started the process.  We took it one step further and had a second banner rolled up behind the first that was revealed at the end of the ceremony…it said “Mr. & Mrs. Varonfakis!”.

San Diego Wedding Photographer captures bride entering on a classic car and flower girls holding "Here Comes the Bride" sign

I’ve grown up spending my summer vacation at my favorite spot in the world – Balboa Island.  They have an ice cream treat called a Balboa Bar, which is chocolate dipped ice cream on a stick coated with your choice of topping.  I wasn’t going to have a cake in the first place so this was a perfect idea as dessert, and reminds me of those vacations growing up!

San Diego Wedding Photography: Wedding dessert of old fashioned hand dipped ice cream at Temecula Winery Wedding

There are so many wine labels out there and I thought it’d be fun to give each table an unusual or quirky wine label in place of the typical table numbers.  I matched the labels to the people sitting at that table too, it was great.  Mine & Kyle’s was “Monogamy”, very fitting!  A few other examples…“Jargon!”, “Barefoot”, “Insatiable” and “It’s a Headsnapper”. The ladder display came straight from a favorite store – Pottery Barn.  We took the idea and ran with it. It came out even more spectacular than I thought.

San Diego Wedding Photographer: Unique escort card display and reception tables named after wine labels

Our experience with True was amazing!  From the engagement shoot to planning the timeline of the big day it went smooth and painless.  After seeing my engagement pictures I knew the wedding shots would be absolutely stunning, and they are!  Every member of the True staff I have dealt with has been welcoming and helpful and had a genuine interest in our event.  I’ve already told girlfriends to go to True for their upcoming weddings!

San Diego wedding photography: Photo of light shining on bride and groom during first dance at Temecula wedding