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Mike and Amy - Walnut Grove Wedding

Posted by Nicolas on Apr 28 2012 - 5:06pm
Bride and Groom at Walnut Grove Weddings at Tierra Rejada Ranch in Moorpark, CA.


On Saturday, April 14th, I photographed a wedding with my friend and fellow photographer, Jennifer Biagiotti. I was especially excited to photograph this wedding because I wanted to try out my new Canon 5D Mark III camera. With its low light sensitivity and professional-level high definition video capabilities, the Canon 5D Mark III is sure to be the camera of choice for wedding photographers and wedding videographers.

The wedding was going to be held for a really sweet couple, Amy Abrams and Michael Kenny. The story of their courtship sounded totally meant to be. Amy and Michael met in their 20s while working at an elementary school connected to UCLA. They discovered a number of unexpected connections with each of their families -- cosmic coincidences, perhaps! They dated a little, but then lost touch with each other. Years later, they reconnected via Facebook, met for dinner, and have been inseparable ever since.

Jenn and I met up with Amy and her family in their hotel suite at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village. We snapped a few photos of Amy's wedding dress and her cool blue shoes, which she purchased on Etsy. If you're unfamiliar with Etsy, check it out. It's an online marketplace where you can buy handmade and vintage items directly from artists and collectors.

The Four Seasons at Westlake Village

white wedding dress and blue wedding shoes at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village

I was impressed at how comfortable Amy and her family were at being photographed. As Jenn and I were packing up our gear, the ladies opened a bottle of champagne and started the pre-party with toasting and considerable laughing. Eventually they proceeded to get changed into their wedding attire. In the hallway, I ran into Mike, Amy's husband-to-be. Initially, he didn't want to be photographed prior to the ceremony, but the father of the bride persuaded him to pose for a few pictures.

Groom getting ready at the Four Seasons Westlake Village

After that, Jenn and I dashed off to get a head start at the wedding venue, located about 15 minutes away in Moorpark, California. The wedding was held at Walnut Grove Weddings at Tierra Rejada Ranch, adjacent to Underwood Family Farms. Walnut Grove is a stunning outdoor wedding venue, encompassing over 120 acres, with towering eucalyptus trees and 50-year-old walnut trees. In the days leading up to their wedding day, southern California was pounded with rain. In fact, it was still raining the evening before Mike and Amy's big day. Fortunately, the Walnut Grove Weddings staff was able to erect a tent, so that the reception could be held inside. This was the first time a tent was needed in the 20 years that they'd been hosting weddings. Luckily, the weather cleared and it turned out to be a sunny, but chilly afternoon. The wedding guests appreciated the heaters inside the tent.

wedding arch, walnut grove wedding, tierra rejada ranch, moorpark, california

walnut grove weddings, tierra rejada ranch, wedding tent, moorpark, california

Prior to the ceremony, Jenn and I snapped photos of the arriving guests and the beautiful wedding floral arrangements on the tables and chairs. All of the table settings, the bouquet, the corsages, the boutineers, the chuppah, and the aisle details were done by a florist named Andres who has for a long time worked on photo sets with Amy's father. Amy felt especially proud that Andres was there to decorate her wedding. She told me, "Not only is he truly talented, with a real eye for detail, but he is one of the sweetest, most genuine people I have ever had the opportunity to work with."

bridal bouquet, wedding flowers, wedding floral arrangements

Mike and Amy decided to not see each other until the ceremony. While the guests were taking their seats, Amy was busy getting ready in the dressing room and Mike was looking over his vows. Soon after, Mike's parents escorted him to the chuppa, the traditional Jewish wedding canopy. Mike waited patiently under the chuppa for his beautiful bride to be escorted down the aisle by her father. It was a beautiful and moving Jewish wedding ceremony, with several prayers, blessings, offerings of support to the bride and groom, and the breaking of the glass. I particularly enjoyed the Sheva Brachot, which is a traditional set of seven blessings offered to the bride and groom. Mike and Amy selected seven guests to come up and recite the blessings individually.

father walking bride down aisle, bride and groom and rabbi

jewish wedding ceremony, walnut grove weddings at tierra rejada ranch

wedding ceremony, walnut grove weddings, breaking the glass, wedding flowers

bride and groom walnut grove wedding, wedding arch, black and white wedding pictures

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Bride posing for pictures at Walnut Grove Weddings at Tierra Rejada Ranch

wedding party posing for pictures at Walnut Grove Weddings at Tierra Rejada Ranch

First dance wedding reception photos at walnut grove weddings

bride and groom with their grandmothers

wedding cake, wedding fruit platter at walnut grove weddings

ring bearer and flower girl at walnut grove weddingswedding guests at walnut grove weddings, tierra rejada ranch, moorpark, california

The wedding reception was especially festive. There was a lot of dancing due in no small part to the creative DJ, Jerome Wroten. Command Performance Catering served up some truly delicious food. And the father of the bride, Dana Abrams, put together a lovely slide show. It was a memorable evening and I'm glad that Jenn and I were there to photograph the wedding.

wedding reception dancing, wedding dj, walnut grove weddings

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L.A. Family Photographer

Nicolas Sage has been a professional photographer in Los Angeles and Orange County for over ten years, developing a reputation as one of the best family photographers in the area. 

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