Masthead header
    • My Favorite Vendors
    • Resources for Photographers
    • Let's Be Facebook Friends
    • Follow Leah Marie on Twitter
    • About the Photographer

A Private Affair {Stephanie & Josh, San Diego Wedding Photographer}

When Stephanie and Josh started to tell me about their wedding, I knew that their day was going to be something special.  With the help of one of their dear friends, they planned the entire wedding themselves at a private estate out in San Diego.  The guest count was limited to close family and friends because they wanted to be surrounded by only the people who mattered most to them.

When I walked into the cozy ranch style home…I could feel the energy of people buzzing around trying to prepare everything for the day.  A team of women were hard at work preparing the food in the kitchen.  Baking, stirring and cutting a full garden of vegetables.  Friends were carrying chairs out onto the lawn and placing them in neat rows facing the oak tree that was about to be an alter.  Bridesmaids were cutting flowers for tablescapes, filling burlap bags with goodies and giggling with excitement.

As I made my way over to Stephanine and Josh I found out that he was under strict orders to not come downstairs, in fear that he may accidently run into her.  Stephanie was  getting ready with the help of her mom and three sisters.  All of whom were helping her get into her dress, put on her jewelry and making sure every curl was exactly where it was supposed to be.  There was crying, reminiscing about the past, hugging, and praying…together.  Just like she had envisioned.

The very first thing that Stephanie and Josh wanted to do as a couple was take communion.  So, right after the ceremony they had their pastor lead them in taking communion…together. Just as they had envisioned.  They also transformed the cutest little shed into this vintage accent area where their guests could go to sign their guest book, drop off gifts or just hang out for a bit.  Stephanine, Josh…I am so happy that I got to be a part of your wedding day.  Thank you all so much!!

BACK TO TOPCONTACTSHARE ON FACEBOOKTWEET THISEmail to a FriendPIN IT

Soiree Design & Events {My Absolute Favorite Vendors}

Soiree Design & Events:

I could not sing enough praises about these two ladies (sing?? I’m totally listening to pandora and its effecting my blogger mood…I can’t sing) but if I could sing, I would sing to the moon and back about Soiree.

They are one of my absolute favorite vendors for a magnitude of reasons.  Their work is exquisite and they are so incredibly talented.  When I first came across their work it was literally…love at first sight.  Every time I see their work it never looks the same.  They are always creating something new and different for each of their couples.  They take ideas and feelings and turn them into beautiful works of art.  They have become the only florist company that I use for any of the styled shoots that I do and the only florist that I will recommend to my couples.  I know that I can call, text, email, tweet, or facebook them a list of adjectives that I am looking for in a bouquet and they will exceed my wildest dreams.

Like the bouquet above…I needed something for a Hollywood Glam inspired shoot that was still cohesive with my brand and not the typical “red” that immediately comes to mind when Hollywood Glam is thrown out there and I was stoked when they brought me that.

Their work truly speaks for itself and I get so excited to see what they will create next…

Contact Info:

Soiree Design & Events

951-704-2409

BACK TO TOPCONTACTSHARE ON FACEBOOKTWEET THISEmail to a FriendPIN IT

Ready, Set, Plan a Wedding… {Tricia & Ben, Laguna Beach Engagement Session}

Weddings are one of those things that can take a really long time to plan.  There are so many little details that go into making the day all come together.  So, when I heard that Tricia & Ben had planned their entire wedding in just four months, I was in complete shock.  I couldn’t believe that they were able to book their venue, hire all their vendors and iron out all of the details of their day in that short amount of time.  But as we hung out for a while shooting their engagement session, I began to realize how it was all possible…they’re the perfect team.  It was literally like hanging out with yin & yang.  Everything that they did together was like this fluid dance that only they knew the steps to.  Their personalities were totally complementary to each other and it was so beautiful to see how they interacted.  Ben cherishes Tricia and she’s head over heels crazy about him.  They just enjoyed being around each other so much that I got the sense that waiting an entire year or so to start their lives together would have been down right unbearable.

Tricia and Ben wanted to have their engagement session over at the beach.  And what is a better beach than the one over by The Montage.  I mean seriously, beaches don’t get any nicer than that one.  I absolutely love shooting there because there are so many gorgeous spots to take portraits at.

I love it when the tide is low enough that we can venture out onto the jetty.  It’s neat to sea all of the different sea life that call it their home.

How cute are these lounge chairs and umbrellas that The Montage provides for their guests??

My favorite part of their session was when we were walking back up to the parking garage.  Ben saw some flowers growing on a bush along the pathway and he decided to pick one to put in Tricia’s hair!  It was such a sweet gesture that made Tricia feel so incredibly special.  I thought that sort of thing only happened in the movies but apparently I’ve got it all wrong.

Tricia & Ben, thank you so much for having me be a part of your special day!!  I can’t wait for your wedding and to see what all the future holds for you guys!!

BACK TO TOPCONTACTSHARE ON FACEBOOKTWEET THISEmail to a FriendPIN IT

Introducing the New Leah Marie Photography!

I am so excited to announce the new Leah Marie Photography website and blog!  Everything has been re-branded with a fresh new look that totally represents me and my style of work 100% better than it did before.  I’ve had an incredible wedding season, met some incredible brides and saw some pretty incredible weddings and I have been DYING to blog about it to you all!  

If you have been following me for a while, Thank You!  If you are new here, Welcome!!  I’m a wedding photographer that works very closely with several of the top rated venues in Temecula Wine Country.  If you’re a prospective client, please take your time, look around and check out the different wedding and engagement posts.  If you’re a photographer, you’ll find some pretty neat resources and tidbits that will hopefully help you in your business.

Enjoy!!

BACK TO TOPCONTACTSHARE ON FACEBOOKTWEET THISEmail to a FriendPIN IT

A Perfect Pinterest Wedding! {Megan & Alex, The Condors Nest Ranch}

There are moments in my life that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  They are the moments that make life worth living, moments that take my breath away.   My first date with Spencer,  The Notebook, watching a Dad walking his daughter down the isle with a tear in his eye, a groom choking up as he professes his love in his vows.  When I think back on my life I realized that I get this feeling whenever I whitness love, real love, fairytale serendipitous love.  Maybe it is all the love stories I have watched that have turned me into such a mush pot, but I truly believe that these moments are what makes my job so wonderful.

Megan & Alex were one of these couples.  They gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling that took my breath away- especially during their First Look.  I was so honored to be a part of their love story.  A love story that started 6 years ago and was sealed with a kiss on their wedding day at The Condors Nest Ranch.  Here’s what Megan had to say about how they met and fell in love:

Alex and met back in 2004 when I got hired at the store he was working at. The first time I saw him, I KNEW.  No joke, I told all my girlfriends…” I’m GOING to marry that man”.  I knew nothing about him, but  it was like the cosmos aligned and fireworks went off. It was like gravity pulling me to him.  Done deal. Sadly,  we didn’t really talk too much at work and within a month of me being there, he unexpectedly left the company and moved away. He was going to school at San Diego State University and moved back home to Simi Valley during Christmas break.

A couple months went by and I hadn’t seen him and then randomly one day I was at the front of our store and I see him walk by and he WAVED at me. This was a BIG deal for me.   I had a huge crush on him [clearly] and didn’t think he would have in a million years remember me, let alone wave to me. Very shortly after that I found out he was working at the store right across the way from ours. To my surprise, my boss found out he was back in town and re-hired him. I was a giddy school girl when I found out he was coming back to our store. After he came back we started to hang out and well, the rest is pretty much history. I was hooked…and I think he was too.:)

Fast forward to January of last year.  Alex and I have at this point been together 6 years or so and are living in Florida. Alex tells me to take a weekend off of work and that we are going on an adventure to see what Florida has to offer. We end up going to the cutest town called St. Augustine. It is actually a historical town and I HIGHLY recommend a visit! The first night we went out and had some good food, saw a few things and that was it. The next day we went all over looking at super old buildings, a really cool old college, and at night we went on a ghost tour [for reals]. We decided before the tour to get a bite to eat and some drinks.  So we have a little bit of time before the tour and walk through the court yard/park area in the middle of the town where all the trees are glowing with lights.  It was rather romantic if I do say so myself.

At this point I started to get nervous because he was acting nervous. He kept looking around and being kind of weird. We stop in front of a fountain  [true story] and he hugs me. I knew what was coming, mainly because I could feel his heart beating a mile a minute. He got down and proposed right there with his grandmother’s ring. Obviously, I cried like a baby. He had talked to both his family and my parents  months previously when we came to California on a visit.  It is all definitely something I will never, ever forget.


Megan and Alex decided to do a First Look on their wedding day.  I wish someone had told me about a first look when I got married a few years ago.  The First Look is when the bride and groom decide to see each other for the first time before their ceremony begins.  Alex stood with his back to Megan as she walked towards him from across the meadow.

Then as she draws nearer, he turned to look at her for the first time.  There’s no one around…(except for us in a distance).  He looked at her, she smiled and tears welled up in his eyes.  He is overtaken by her beauty and they giggle together.  They embrace…he whispers in her ear how beautiful she looks and kisses her over and over again.  They get to relish in the moment of seeing each other for the first time…and I mean really relish.  The moment isn’t rushed. There aren’t a hundred sets of eyes watching them.  There isn’t a timeline or a schedule to adhere to.  He isn’t interrupting anyone as he tells her how much he loves her.  It’s their moment.  And theirs alone.

The Condor’s Nest Ranch is located in Pala, California. If I could re-do my wedding, this is where I would have it.  If you love the rustic country feel, this is your venue!


 Megan did all of the decor and planning herself!!!! She said she owes all of it to Pinterest. I think she may be in the wrong profession and should consider a career as a wedding planner!  I mean seriously, Oh my goodness!  Look at the adorable honey jars.. and the succulents.. and the flowers.. just noticed the mason jars… *sigh

Since Pinterest came on the scene wedding details have been getting better and better.  This by far the most spectacular wedding I have ever seen.


My favorite part of the venue…the huge oak tree (I am totally guessing that is an oak tree, could be wrong).  Not only did it provide an amazing backdrop, but I feel like it represents marriage and a life spent together. With proper care and a solid foundation your love will continue to grow stronger and bigger as the years pass by.

Thank you guys for allowing me to be a part of your big day.  I had such a great time with you and I am so happy for your new future together as husband and wife.

 

Lisa Biesterfeld - April 24, 2012 - 9:01 am

Thank You for sharing! Love the photos!!! Great couple – and the ranch looks good too! Love the story about the couple and your sweet comments about the ranch! –Lisa & Bob Biesterfeld

Lisa Biesterfeld - April 24, 2012 - 9:01 am

Thank You for sharing! Love the photos!!! Great couple – and the ranch looks good too! Love the story about the couple and your sweet comments about the ranch! –Lisa & Bob Biesterfeld

Ted & Sherrill - April 24, 2012 - 1:20 am

Love the pictures…and your “love story” brought tears to our eyes….we love you both, Grandma & Grandpa Brown

Ted & Sherrill - April 24, 2012 - 1:20 am

Love the pictures…and your “love story” brought tears to our eyes….we love you both, Grandma & Grandpa Brown

Kimberly Smith - April 23, 2012 - 5:28 pm

You have become a BEAUTIFUL Young woman and a Beautiful Bride
..Wish we knew each other….I Love You …Your Aunt Kim…

Kimberly Smith - April 23, 2012 - 5:28 pm

You have become a BEAUTIFUL Young woman and a Beautiful Bride
..Wish we knew each other….I Love You …Your Aunt Kim…

BACK TO TOPCONTACTSHARE ON FACEBOOKTWEET THISEmail to a FriendPIN IT

A Real-Life Cinderella and Prince Charming {Kaylee & Derek, Murrieta Engagement Session}

Kaylee and Derek ooze adorableness.  I mean look at them, they are the kind of couple that I imagine in my head when I think of a live version of Cinderella and Prince Charming.  Derek adores Kaylee and every time he looks at her you can see his admiration in his eyes.  They are the cutest couple and I am so glad that I got to spend some time with them while shooting at one of my favorite locations.  When Kaylee told me how she and Derek met and how he proposed, I immediately thought that every girl should have someone who loves them as much as Derek loves Kaylee.  Here is what Kaylee had to say,

“We met through mutual friends. My friend was dating a friend of Derek’s and she asked him if I could join them for 4th of July on Derek’s boat in 2008. We hit it off and were inseparable from that day on.  We started officially dating on 8.8.08. and the rest was magical! Derek proposed with his Great grandmother’s ring as we were leaving Newport Harbor for a weekend trip with our new puppy.  We were headed to Catalina for our 3rd year anniversary and it could not have been a more perfect day. He then surprised me again by arranging for our friends and family to be waiting for us over in Catalina to celebrate for the weekend.  We all had so much fun celebrating our lives soon becoming one.”

Kaylee and Derek are getting married at Villa De Amore and their wedding will be shot by Marcella Caldwell from The Studio by Leah Marie.  What’s The Studio you ask??!  You can find out all of the juicy details right here.  I cannot wait for their wedding.  You all were so much fun to work with and I’m so excited to see what the future holds for the two of you!

BACK TO TOPCONTACTSHARE ON FACEBOOKTWEET THISEmail to a FriendPIN IT

A NYC proposal + Temecula Wine Country Wedding= A match made in heaven {Julie & Seung, Callaway Winery}

Seung & Julie are a photographers dream.  When I met them, I knew they would be fun to photograph but had no idea the magic that would happen on the other side of my camera.  As you can tell they are super photogenic!  It wasn’t just the cuteness factor, this couple is head over heels in-love.  My heart melted every time I saw how they adoringly looked at each other, and I must admit I even shed a tear during their ceremony.   My favorite part was hearing that he is a school principal and she is a  kindergarten teacher,  I think I might sell this script to Hollywood…

 Our first date was at Cafe Lalo on the upper west side of New York.  It’s the cafe that was made famous by the movie “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. It’s the cafe where they were supposed to meet and then he stood her up. Lucky for me he didn’t stand me up (hehehe)!  There was that random hurricane that was coming up the east coast early September…parts of NYC were evacuated. Our third date was hunkering down in his apartment ready with a stash of food, candles, flashlights, water, etc. in case things got really crazy as the city shut down for a couple of days.  We got engaged mid-February. We had a nice dinner at a restaurant on the upper west side. It was a bit rainy and cold that night. After dinner Seung insisted that we walk a bit…find some coffee or an umbrella perhaps? We walked a bit but I started to get cold, but he kept saying let’s keep going.  Then he said, “Hmmm, I totally forgot this is where Cafe Lalo was!” I knew that he was being a bit ridiculous. I told him, that he was playing dumb and of course he knew exactly where we were. When we first met he saw me sitting on the bench outside the cafe waiting for him. We walked over to the bench and he told me about how he remembered me sitting there. He asked if I could listen to a song on his phone. I had one earphone bud in my ear, he had the other. The song was “Marry Me” by Train. Then he asked me to dance in the middle of the sidewalk. (I always gave him a hard time because we never dance, so he asked me to dance!) He sang part of the song to me. I was in tears. At the end of the song, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! Soggy sidewalk and all!!


Callaway was amazing AS ALWAYS! The food was top notch, their chef goes above and beyond for every wedding. The construction should be done soon on their new tasting room. You have to check it out!! It has the most amazing views of their vineyards.

Thank you Seung and Julie for being so much fun to photograph!  I will forever remember your story and the love you both share.  Everyone deserves all that you two have been blessed with. I can’t wait to watch your future unfold on Facebook (which means…I want to see how adorable your babies are!)

Play and Win on Quibids - May 6, 2013 - 10:52 pm

This is Awesome! Thank you so much.

soon myung Choi - May 28, 2012 - 7:19 pm

You look so happy too obba! To me Seung and Julie will have so much
fun every day forever. from kungomo

soon myung Choi - May 28, 2012 - 7:19 pm

You look so happy too obba! To me Seung and Julie will have so much
fun every day forever. from kungomo

Sergi - May 24, 2012 - 9:44 pm

Congrats to my old teacher !
Mr. yu !
Also best coach ever!

Sergi - May 24, 2012 - 9:44 pm

Congrats to my old teacher !
Mr. yu !
Also best coach ever!

BACK TO TOPCONTACTSHARE ON FACEBOOKTWEET THISEmail to a FriendPIN IT