Today, we’re getting a look not only at the love beyond the lens, but behind it as well! And it’s no wonder that we’re feeling a warmth radiating from this beautiful Casa Real soiree. Pair a sweet-as-ever couple with the rockstar hubs and wife team, Evonne & Darren of U Me Us Studios, and well, you’ve got yourself a whole lotta goodness.
SMP: How did you both get started in photography?
Evonne: I was a wedding planner turned wedding photographer! Started my wedding planning company on Maui and then I began photographing details of the weddings that I put together.
Darren: Photography has always been a hobby of mine, I didn’t get serious with it until Evonne asked me to assist in photographing the details of her events in Hawaii.
E & D: From there, we started assisting other photographers at their clients weddings while we built up our own company, and we were fortunate enough to have a few great mentors who took us under their wing.
SMP: What’s your secret to being such an amazing husband & wife team?
E & D: As husband and wife, you never know if you can actually work together until you try. We are blessed that we both love photography and amazingly work very well together. We both have the same motivation to learn and grow together in terms of our photography, and every once in a while we have a friendly competition against one another to see who gets better images!
SMP: Favorite thing to do on your time off?
Evonne: I am a foodie and a movie buff, and being based in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a lot of amazing restaurants in town. The perfect day off for me is definitely a delicious meal followed by a movie either at the theater or at home!
Darren: Spend time with my wife, which means I also love to eat and watch movies!
SMP: Top three favorite wedding destinations you’ve travelled to together?
E & D: Bali, Hawaii, Mexico
SMP: Best piece of advice for brides & grooms?
E & D: We know you want to spend time with families and friends on your wedding day, but the day will fly by in the blink of an eye, so don’t forget to carve out some time for each other either during your First Look (which we highly recommend) or during the bride + groom portrait session! That’s what we did on our own wedding day back in June 2005 and it was the best decision ever!
From the Bride… I envisioned an elegant rustic theme for the wedding and I wanted to have soft pastel colors throughout the wedding. Our florist was amazing; she designed the centerpieces and the background for the head table. We completely trusted her and we were amazed at the results. I have a big sweet tooth and there had to be lots of desserts and candies for our guest to enjoy. We even had these delicious green tea cupcakes from Hannah’s which is a bakery right next to our condo where we get breakfast and cupcakes occasionally.
We selected the Cathedral because we had just moved into our condo nearby. We frequently go to Sunday mass here and thought the Cathedral would be the perfect location for our ceremony. It was such a beautiful church that the first time we walked in we knew this was the place we wanted to have our ceremony. Originally we were contemplating a destination wedding but we knew that only a handful of our family members would be able to make it. So we decided to keep it local and searched the Bay Area for the perfect venue. We knew after our first visit to Casa Real that the entire layout/setting would be the perfect venue for our reception. We wanted the venue to feel exclusive and intimate which is one of the reason we chose this venue.
When I was saying my vows it felt like it was just us two in the room everyone seemed to fade away and that’s when it felt real. Andrew and I were starting our lives together. The toasts and speeches were very also really special to me because it brought back so many memories of our relationship. Each person had a fond memory of us as a couple. At the end of the night when we were pulled outside for pictures, I saw our families and friends dancing with each other through the windows of the venue. I was so happy that everyone was having a great time and dancing the night away even my husband who NEVER dances.
Music was a very important part of our wedding from the entrance songs to the songs played during the reception and we were honored that our Family Friends were able to sing our recessional song “Sunday Morning”. During dinner the DJ even played one of Andrew’s favorite songs (unrequested) which reminded us of our first year together when we both listened to underground hip hop.
I was so nervous/excited the day of the wedding I didn’t have an appetite. I didn’t want to worry about anything; just sit back and enjoy the day. I am so thankful to have the best wedding party and vendors there to help with the small details. The day flew by so fast that even the 1 hr long ceremony was done in a blink of an eye. After the dinner, I had so much fun dancing the night away and partying with our families and friends. There was even a soul train line at one point; it might have been Andrew’s 87 year old grandfather that started it. I was also shocked when Andrew gave his really long thank you speech because he is usually doesn’t like speaking in public. It was the happiest and best day of my life.
From the Groom… Kristina and I put a lot of personal touches throughout the reception, from the DIY table numbers, menus, dessert background and signage. We also worked on a dance routine a couple days before the wedding. It wasn’t easy for everyone to learn the steps but we all had a blast practicing the routine and performing it at the wedding. To this day the wedding party still remembers the dance steps.
Waiting for Kristina at the altar and finally seeing her walk down the aisle in her dress was the most memorable moment. She looked amazing. Our exchange of vows and hearing the priest say “I now pronounce you husband and wife” was probably the happiest moment in my life. I loved seeing both of our families together and getting to know each other.
I’m very lucky that Kristina is extremely organized. The whole day flowed seamlessly. We both had the time of our lives and we were really happy and fortunate to have both our families present for our special day. Prior to Kristina’s entrance I was bit nervous but once Kristina was at my side it was nothing but smiles! 99% of everything went as planned and our only complaint would be that the day went by so fast! It was truly an unforgettable experience and a day I will remember for the rest of my life.
Photographer: U Me Us Studios | Wedding Dress: Mori Lee | Florist: Flowers by Ivy | Cake: Jen's Cakes | Cupcakes: Hannah Coffee Tea & Sweets | Invitations: Nice Owl Design Studio | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph | Reception Venue: Casa Real At Ruby Hill Winery | Wedding Shoes: Enzo Angiolini | Caterer: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery | Lighting: Hartmann Studios | Lighting: Enhanced Lighting and Sound | Groom's Shoes: Allen Edmonds | Bride's Rings: Classic Rock | Bridesmaid's Dress: J. Crew Bridal | Desserts: Hannah Coffee Tea & Sweets | Groom's Rings: Classic Rock | Groom's Tux: Armani Collezioni | Photobooth: Say Ya Photobooth | Rentals: Enhanced Lighting and Sound | Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Rentals: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery | Wedding Jewelry: Kate Spade