Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Traditional Mexican Wedding in Gustine California

“It’s a wedding. Things are going to go wrong. It’s how you react that decides how you’ll remember your day.” This is what I tell just about every one of our brides at some point during their day. Usually, it’s something minor, a little hiccup easily overlooked, but what do you do when a few months before your wedding day your venue catches on fire leaving you with precious little time to find a new venue?

Saray had her dream wedding all planned out. A horse-drawn carriage would pick her up at home and take her to the church. After the ceremony she and Ignacio would ride through her hometown to the hall just a few blocks away, complete with horseback escort. It was exactly what she wanted but then life happened.

Unfortunately, the only place available on such short notice was ten miles away. The day of the wedding the sun was beating down on us. The limo that came in place of the horses and carriage to pick up the wedding party had no working air-conditioning. The change in venue also had no air conditioning. With all of the running around, we lost all our time to take bridals. Talk about miserable conditions.

Even with all of that going on Saray and Ignacio kept smiles on their faces. Despite the heat, the inconveniences, the lost time, the thing that mattered most was that they were married and with friends. And that, my friends, is how you do it.

Bride looking down from staircase
Saray wanted to get something on the spiral staircase that showcased her veil, but I had to get a closeup first. 

Long hispanic wedding veil
It was a pretty long veil. 

Horse-drawn carriage wedding
Saray's mode of transportation to the church, horse-drawn carriage. 

bride in horse-drawn cariage hispanic
Gustine is a small town, but it's not every day you see this coming down the street.

hispanic wedding horseback
From the opposite direction, Ignacio and the wedding party road in on several horses.

mexican wedding offering bible
When pressed for time, details sometimes have to be done on the fly. 

mexican wedding offering money
In this case I caught the offerings just before the wedding party walked into the church. 

bride and groom at alter

vaqueros lined up in pew

wedding ceremony with mariachi band
Traditional Spanish music during the ceremony.

Mexican wedding black and white

Married to her vaquero
Still smiling.

Hispanic bridals vaquero sombrero
One of the two setups we had time for before heading to the hall.

bride and groom under veil
The second setup. Both were nice, but I always hope for more time to work magic.

Billy can as centerpiece

It was at this wedding that my light stand took one tumble too many. Bent and twisted, it was time for a new softbox and before I shoot anything with a new softbox, I like to shoot with it first to figure out the subtleties of how it lights a subject. Because we didn’t get much time for bridals the day of the wedding, I invited Saray and Ignacio to do a day after shoot (in this case it was weeks later). The following photos are from our time together that night.

Bride and groom in the horse stalls
I've been experimenting with backlighting as it's a technique I'd like to be able to do on the fly without having to think about it. 

bride and groom as silhouettes against sunset
Rather than using a flash for backlight, I opted for the sun in this shot.

bride and groom sitting in a field at sunset
Mosquitos! Mosquitos everywhere! But the shot turned out great.

bride and groom by stalls at sundown
I saw this light behind the horse barn and brought Saray and Ignacio over to it. She wanted to get in a quick shot with the owners of the property first, I said no. Didn't want to miss this light.

night shot of bride and groom dramatic lighting
Last shot of the evening. Long, tree lined drive with lights running down either side. Send them about halfway down the drive, I went back to the beginning and laid on my stomach. The flashes spooked the horses who in turn kicked up that dust that is really selling the shot. Thank you spooked horses. Oh, and a thank you to the mosquitos who are providing the specks of white floating in the air.

You can see more from this wedding on our facebook page here.
The ceremony was held at Our Lady of Miracles in Gustine CA.
If you'd like to find out more about our photography look us up at
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