Robyn and Michael's wedding was a first for us. In one breath, they asked Justin and I to document their day, and in the next, Robyn asked me to be her matron of honor! It was a balancing act, at times, being in and shooting a wedding, but it was a great reminder of what weddings are like from the other side of the lens. It was incredible to be swept up in it - in the hilarity, the tears, the hours of hair and makeup and holding the bride's bouquet during the ceremony and trying to remember when to walk back down the aisle during the recessional (which I did wrong, by the way). It renewed my awe and respect for brides, grooms and wedding parties everywhere! The amount of time and energy that goes into making a wedding tick defies all reason, and yet the best ones - like Robyn and Michael's - look and feel completely effortless.
So here is a shortened version of their love story: Robyn and Michael were friends who fell for each other. He proposed, overlooking the ocean in San Francisco, and she texted me the next morning to say she loved him so much "it made [her] want to barf." TRUE LOVE RIGHT THERE, FOLKS. And somewhere after they moved in together but before their wedding day? She also fell in love with the dress.
Just look through these pictures and tell me this is not the most beautiful dress you have ever seen. The champagne color, the vintage-y below-knee length, the tulle underskirt and nude netting and of course those hand-sewn gold leaves. The lengths Robyn went to get this dress were incredible - she ordered it from Romania from a company that does not ship to the United States and had to jump through a lot of hoops to get it here from Europe. I think we can all agree, though, that the effort was worth it.
And of course, the dress was only one of many old-world-gorgeous details at this wedding. The DIY flowers with their lacy white buds and bunches of ferns made the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock look like a secret garden. To compliment the silver and gold color palate, Robyn ordered simple grey tablecloths and biodegradable disposable wood plates and silverware. And in honor of Michael, a dedicated Disney nerd, the two filled the day with upscale Disney details, like Michael's Up-inspired boutonniere, which was affixed with a Grape Soda bottle cap, or the beautiful Mickey Mouse watch she bought him as a wedding gift. Their cake topper had the two arm chairs from Up with the line "You Are My Greatest Adventure" written underneath. They even had their guests sign a poster-sized print of the house from Up as a makeshift guestbook, and the paper lanterns on the wall were fastened with tape that read "Dream Big." And everywhere you looked, there were homemade pennant banners made from Disney Little Golden Books, including Cinderella and The Jungle Book. Most of the touches were subtle enough that you could miss them if you weren't a Disney fanatic - like their first dance, which was to Sleeping Beauty's "Once Upon a Dream" - but numerous enough to really feel like a theme.
It was a beautiful day and I could not be happier for them. With their 14-inch height difference, Robyn and Michael will always live in my mind as the ultimate Tall and Small groom and bride, a fact we used to our full advantage in their sunset portraits. Congratulations, Robyn and Michael! We love you!