This Circle is Now Complete
What started out as two young kids meeting back in the late 1970s, due to his friendship with her brother, has finally come full circle with the wedding of Christy and Dwayne in June of this year. One of the things I enjoy most about being an Orange County wedding photographer is that I am reminded that life is sweet and filled with amazing moments. Shooting young engaged couples are great because they have their whole lives in front of them, but haven’t experienced life quite yet. Older couples have amazing life stories, and that brings out the vintage feel of their relationship.
I shot Christy and Dwayne’s engagement photo session at the Circle, of all places. Check it out here: Orange County Engagement Photography: Dwayne & Christy. It’s where he proposed and had some of their better dates. For the wedding, we started out at the McFadden House in Placentia where they did their “first look.” They opted to do their photos prior to the wedding so that the guests weren’t held up too long after the ceremony during the other photo session with the family.
They were married at the Women’s Club at the Placentia Round Table. Nice place with a courtyard for the ceremony and a spacious room adjacent to the courtyard. The reception made sense. After all, they laughed a lot during their engagement session, so why not here? Filled with amazing toasts, impromptu lip sync by the groom to Lionel Richie’s “Truly,” a surprise dance with the groom and his new daughter, and the songs. Oh, those songs. Who else plays the Partridge Family, Bay City Rollers, “Xanadu,” “It’s Magic,” and others like that, only to include sing-along songs for everyone to join in such as “Sweet Caroline” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
What did Christy and Dwayne think about their time leading up to this amazing day? Check it out yourselves….
Q: How the big day all came together?
A: When we first started the planning process it was going fairly smooth, but not long after there were so many items and directions that it was becoming a little overwhelming. So from my experience of writing wedding articles and coordinating a couple of weddings in the past, I created a spreadsheet. Everything was categorized and dates were issued and as items were completed, we changed the color to red. As time went on you can really see the progress. This allowed the last two or three months to go rather smoothly, relieving any stress that others have.
We did have one major incident with three days left for the guest favors. But we, along with one of my daughters, overcame it and it worked out better. Overall pretty stress-free.
Q: Looking back on the day, what moment was the most special to you?
A: For me (Dwayne) there were a couple of honorable mentions. Leaving the house for the last time because I knew the next time I saw Christy, she will be in her gown. Going to the venue to see how the progress was going and watched a Little League Baseball game. Why not? Of course, dancing with all four daughters at the reception was pretty special and meeting my new son down the aisle was special too. Oh and who could forget the surprise dance with my youngest daughter to Uptown Funk! But the one moment that defined that day would be the “first look” photo session when I saw her dressed up for the first time. Simply, wow!
Q: What about Christy?
A: Marrying my best friend was pretty epic! My favorite part of the ceremony was when we did communion, just the two of us. It was the first thing we did together as husband and wife and it was just so special sharing that alone time with each other and God. My favorite part of the reception was the surprise dance that Dwayne and my daughter choreographed and performed together…it was AWESOME!! And everyone singing Sweet Caroline and Don’t Stop Believing at the top of their lungs…it was just a perfectly fun time!! Just seeing both of our families coming together in love and support for us and watching two families become one was wonderful and will always be a precious memory for me of a perfect day of love, fun, and laughter.
Q: Where did you go for your honeymoon?
A: Las Vegas! She won money, and I didn’t. But I did get really sick with bronchitis, so I had that going for me, which is nice. No, despite that, we really had a great time. Great meals, atmosphere, Jersey Boys, and a dueling piano bar that was so much fun!
Q: What’s your advice to other couples planning a wedding?
A: Put everything you need to do on paper and organize it that will work for you and follow it. Put items on a calendar if need be. If you do this properly, the stress level is reduced and you can really enjoy the event. After all, a wedding is just that, an event. A production in front of family and friends. The marriage is what really counts.
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