I first met Caroline + Stan back in 2009 while I’m photographing their friends’ wedding: Joy + Brandon. As I was working the dance floor photographing people at the reception, Stan came up to me and asked for my business card. He was so polite (as he still is now) and Caroline was really stunning with her fiery red hair (not a lot of people can sport this, but Caroline owned it). I know at that point that I have to shoot their wedding. I was ecstatic when I got a phone call from Caroline, saying “Hi Erwin, this is Caroline, we met at Joy + Brandon’s wedding… I don’t know if you remember me… ” and then I cut her off and said “Of course I still remember you! You’re the girl with the red hair!”. We laughed and the rest is history. Pretty amazing considering I have a bad memory :)
Caroline + Stan have so many mutual friends since freshman year of high school yet they did not cross paths until much later. Everyone I talked to at the wedding kept on raving about these two, specifically how good they are together and how they have waited for this day to come. Their love towards each other really showed at the ceremony, especially when Caroline was walking down the aisle. I took so many photos of them and I can see Stan trying to holding back his smile and his eyes are locked the whole time on Caroline. The. Whole. Time. It’s amazing to see how the eyes can tell so much, and I see that in both Caroline + Stan’s that day.
Style is a big part of them in their every day lives, and that day was no different. Caroline was gorgeously draped with Allure Bridal’s dress and a custom-made birdcage veil, while Stan opted for John Varvatos suit (which I would have to say is my favorite brand). Both of them together couldn’t look any better.
Here’s what Caroline had to say about her dress search:
I’m very simple, but extremely picky. I know what I like and don’t need to waste time on useless options. When I first started my dress hunt, I opted for an online search. I didn’t have a vision of a perfect dress in my mind, but I knew it would be the one when I saw it. Two things that were a must for me were 1. must have cap sleeves. I don’t know why, but I must have them. 2. No bedazzle. It’s not me, never was. This narrowed my search down from hundreds of thousands, to just a few. And voila, from the moment I saw it, I knew this was going to be my dress. The closest bridal shop to me was called Mariposa in Anaheim. I called to make sure they had the specific dress by Allure Bridals so I can make sure it looked the same in person as it did online, and appointment was set with Le Ann. I went by myself to try on the dress to get it over with. After knowing me, you know that I’m not the girl to try on every dress in the store and I didn’t want to make a deal about it. I tried on a total of 3 dresses (one being the one I found online). I don’t know why I tried on the other 2, but Le Ann recommended I should, just for another option. After a total of about 30 minutes, my mind was made up and I was done. I came back the next week with my maid of honor, Kat (btw who was upset with me that I went without her the first time) and she knew that this was the one for me too. My measurements were taken and my dress was custom ordered. The sample had a bedazzled decoration on the front that I ordered without, and Kat and I found an amazing vintage looking brooch that suited my dress much better.
Their wedding day started at The Hotel Wilshire and then we proceeded to the most amazing church ever! This is the type of church that takes your breath away upon entering. Not only the feel of the church is amazing, but the colors and details were amazing. The front of the church (as I mentioned to Caroline the first time I saw it) reminds me of a nuclear reactor of a spaceship. Obviously I have never been in a spaceship nor have I seen what a nuclear reactor before. It was just me with my geeky talk. There’s honestly not too many churches like this, and I’ve been to a few. From there we went to their reception location, The SmogShoppe in Culver City (another favorite place of mine). Caroline + Stan both like simplicity, and they picked amazing locations that already have character. This allowed them to let their locations stay the way they are without doing too much to the decor. Sometimes, less is more. Absolutely true for this wedding. Combine this with friendly, cool, and stylish people, then you have a recipe for an awesome party.
Stan’s family is in the restaurant business, and it is natural that one of their main thing is having great food served for their guests to enjoy. Seriously, it was one of the best meals at a wedding, ever. Combine that with the alcoholic consumption, the party explodes as the night goes on, and I can see them just enjoying themselves with their friends. Dance floor is packed, and an awesome drum performance by one of their friends as everyone dances around him stepped up the notch of awesomeness at this wedding.
Special thanks to my talented friend, Jason Tran for being my second shooter.
The details of SmogShoppe, and the table settings. Notice the custom-made cake toppers! :)
You don’t need props if you got the real thing :)
The first dance
This was an awesome sequence of events: Outside, one of Stan’s groomsmen playfully hit Stan, in which Caroline’s dad came to the rescue at the end. Payback time. :)
Getting Ready: The Hotel Wilshire
Ceremony: First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
Reception: The SmogShoppe, Culver City
Caterer / Cake: Auntie Em’s
Dress Designer: Allure Bridals
Makeup Artist: Monique Moralez
Hairdresser: Liz Rivas
Groom’s tux: John Varvatos