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Blissful San Diego Wedding at The Martin Johnson House

I adore this post for many reasons. First, I am the biggest fan, and I mean biggest, of wedding cinematography. There is absolutly nothing like seeing your big day play out on film. Nothing. Second, Amari Productions. They are amazing. They captured this couples’ stunning day with such heart you can feel it, and when you hit play, you’ll see just what I mean…


From Amari ProductionsIt was about eleven in the morning, and we were in a standoff. In our 4+ years as wedding videographers, we’d never been rained upon. But just 5 or so hours before Kelsey & Joel were to say “I do”, it was pouring. It was Mother Nature vs. our dry streak, and it didn’t look like she was going to blink.

Oh, and here’s one quick detail: the entire wedding and reception was to be outside.

An hour or so later we pulled up to Kelsey and Joel’s respective getting ready locations. It was still raining, albeit lightly at the moment. (Now, if at this point in the story you’re fidgeting anxiously in your chair trying to pray away the rain, know that we were feeling very much the same thing.) So I, Dave, walk into Joel’s house, whilst Mariah walks into Kelsey’s hotel room. And what do we find? The most pure, unadulterated joy. These two were about to marry the love of their life, and that was ALL. THAT. MATTERED.

Hell yes.

By the way, it turns out Mother Nature has a soft spot for true love. Because as we left for the venue not only did the rain stop, the clouds literally parted and the sun came out. It was like that scene from Land Before Time when they find the Great Valley. The soundtrack from the movie might have even been playing as it happened, or maybe that was just in my head.

Either way, the day turned out to be everything these two deserved, and we were SO STOKED to be able to be show this Same Day Premiere at the end of the night.

Photography: Yes, Dear. Studio | Videography: Amari Productions | Coordinator: A Joy Forever Events | Floral Design: Wallflower Inspirations | Make-up: Elizabeth Root | DJ: Apollo Productions LLC | Officiant: Andy Kelly | Venue: The Martin Johnson House

Amari Productions is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Amari Productions


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Wedding Open House at The Nixon Library

Any day when I’m introduced to a fabulous + unique wedding venue is a seriously good day in my book. And today? I can’t stop swooning over The Nixon Library. Located in Orange County, the incredible space sits on nine lush acres, and boasts the area’s largest public Rose Garden. And coming up on October 12, 2014, brides-to-be will have the chance to check it all out during the Wedding Open House!

Whether you’re hosting an intimate affair or a celebration for hundreds, The Nixon Library is a one-of-a kind venue, that oozes timeless elegance, tranquility and rich history. The venue features a replica of the White House East Room, decorated with three large dazzling crystal chandeliers, four marble fireplaces and gorgeous wooden terrazzo floors with 20-foot ceilings as well as a Rose Garden with 1,400 rose bushes — talk about a stunning spot to say “I do!” The Nixon Library offers couples a private Bridal Room + Groom’s Room, sound system, choices from a high-end preferred catering list as well as complimentary parking.  Without a doubt, your guests will be swooning over this magical wedding day setting.

To make sure your big day goes off without a hitch, The Nixon Library has event specialists to assist you every step of the way! To check it all out for yourself, be sure to mark your calendars for October 12, 2014 for the Wedding Open House! To register, head over here. Happy planning, my dears!

Photo Credits: The Youngrens


Romantic Military Wedding at La Jolla Darlington House

As a Bride-to-be with a military fiancé myself, this wedding from Heidi-O-Photo hit my heart in just the right spot. With their venue chosen and deposit made, these two lovebirds got the news that the Groom would be deploying a mere two weeks before their set date, but they didn’t let that stop them. They whipped up this absolutely gorgeous day in just five months—it’s heartwarming, to say the least.


From Heidi-O-PhotoSarah & Bud recently moved from the East Coast to San Diego and chose the Darlington House for their wedding. All their friends and family traveled to California for the wedding.

Sarah chose the wedding colors to go well with the Darlington House and it’s decor.

From the beautiful Bride…We came very close to having an entirely different wedding. So close in fact that we had made a deposit at a vineyard in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and started planning our wedding in our hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. That is, until Bud checked into his duty station at Camp Pendleton and was informed that he would be deployed to Afghanistan two weeks before our scheduled wedding. After weighing all our options, we decided it was most important to us that we were married before he deployed and that we would be able to share that day with our friends and families. That left us a five month window to plan an event in a place we had only lived for a matter of weeks.

The Darlington House was the only venue we toured in San Diego. We were immediately attracted to the history and intimate feel, and could not help but feel at home in a place that still felt very foreign. As essentially all of our guests were coming in from out of town, we wanted a space that would allow us to visit with them personally and that would showcase the unique style of Southern California. We also decided to include a few reminders of home, like the collection of family wedding photos to honor everywhere we’ve come from, and the selection of pies it could not be a real Southern party without. We relied very heavily on recommendations from our vendors to build a wonderfully experienced team that made our wedding feel both like us and iconically Southern Californian.

Many of our friends and family took our wedding as an opportunity to vacation in San Diego for the week, but due to their military obligations, Bud’s friends could not and the last of his friends did not arrive until 1 AM the morning of the wedding. Finally having everyone there was this immense feeling of relief and set an amazing tone of celebration and reunion for the event the next day. It was very important to Bud that we incorporate some military traditions into our wedding, such as the sword arch and cutting of the cake with his mameluke, the Marine Corps officers’ sword. Like the traditional vows we made, said by our parents and grandparents before us, these traditions have been a special connection to the larger Marine Corps family we have both decided to join, through good times and bad.

Photography: Heidi-O-Photo | Florist: Whole Food La Jolla | Bakery: Sugar And Scribe Bakery | Invitations: Made In Brockton Village | Bride's Shoes: Banana Republic | Catering: The Abbey | DJ: DJ Daniel Peterson | Officiant: Reverend Mark Bray | Bride's Dress: Saja Wedding | Makeup & Hair: Tiffany Monday | Save-the-dates: Starboard Press | Venue: Darlington House

Saja is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. heidi-o-photo is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.