Unforgettable St. Monica Catholic Church Wedding

Amy and Rob’s St. Monica Catholic Church Wedding bride and groom kiss in front of the chapel Carrie Vines Photography

Amy and Rob’s Unforgettable St. Monica Catholic Church Wedding and UCLA Reception

As a wedding photographer, you see a lot of weddings, but this is one that we will never forget..and this is all because of the genuine kindness and love Amy and Rob have for each other and their family and friends.. Amy and Rob will be the first to admit that their wedding had a few hiccups throughout the day, but they handled everything with such grace and compassion. They chose to put their focus on the people surrounding them and allowed themselves to just enjoy.. come what may.. I think they have stumbled across the ‘real’ secret to a successful marriage!

I’m going to let Amy and Rob share their love story in their own words..

How did you find your wedding venue and why did choose it?:

We are regular parishioners at St. Monica Catholic Community, it's our home, we couldn't get married anywhere else! Our reception was at UCLA, we both went to graduate school there, we are BRUINS!

Tell us about your first look…

Amy: I'm the luckiest girl in the universe. I waited 35 years to marry the man of my dreams, he was completely worth the wait! I looked into his eyes and saw my future and I get to look to them for guidance, care, support, and love forever. I loved taking his hands and knowing that they will be there to hold next to me for all of our future adventures together.

Rob:  When I unknowingly glanced at the car that was transporting her, she gave me a death glare slapping the chauffeur's window. About ten minutes later when I saw her properly, it was a very special greeting where we embraced and I presented her a few gifts. Amy always looks equally beautiful in my eyes, but I'll always remember the way that she looked on this day.

What did you enjoy most about your wedding day?:

Amy: I was completely taken off guard by the love and the joy that was experienced throughout the entire day. I expected a fun party, but what I received from all involved in the celebration was an unfathomable depth of compassion, affection, appreciation, tenderness, enjoyment, and festivity. I realized that marriage did take my relationship with Rob to a new level which I didn't think possible, it's an elation words cannot describe!

Rob: The day itself was a blitz -- but in a good way. I was lucky to get a good night's sleep and a workout in the morning, followed by plenty of prep time before meeting up with Amy and the wedding party at Palisades Park. The moments leading up to the craziness were probably the ones I will remember most fondly, because of the peace and quiet. That said, there were so many others over the next 12 hours I'll always recall with equal fondness.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about you as a couple?: 

Amy: I can't beat Rob's fun fact. Anything I write won't hold a candle to his fun fact...

Rob:  On our planned first date, I kissed the wrong Amy. I arrived at the wrong table at the right restaurant and laid one on the cheek of a look-a-like (Her name was also Amy and she was one of the hostesses on break) before getting word that my real Amy had a family emergency and could not make it to the restaurant. Finally sync'ing up via phone, we met a week later at the same place and all went well to plan.

What advice would you give future brides and grooms when it comes to wedding planning?

Hire a coordinator who is seasoned and reasoned (especially with price). We ended up working on the fly at our reception when we got word that our point person had left for the evening less than an hour into the event! You want to be able to enjoy your reception and guests, you do not want to have to play MC or go back and forth from the kitchen, bartender, DJ (and/or band), and any other vendors during your reception.

Also, take 10 seconds with your new husband (or wife) to go into the corner of the room at your reception and see all the love and joy in the room. All of the people present at your reception are there to have a good time and to celebrate you guys! It is a wonderful and humbling experience!

Describe your wedding with 3 words:

"Dramatic" but "fun" and ultimately "unforgettable".

Your wedding cake flavor(s): 

Chocolate and vanilla (we had Costco birthday cakes to celebrate a few birthdays)!

We also had 9- 2 dozen Krispy Kreme donut cakes, the frosting was our wedding colors. Super fun, super easy, minimal cleanup. Our guests loved it!!

What was the name of the song for your first dance and why did you choose it?: 

"Best Friend" by Queen. It had a dance choreography online which was both learnable and flashy.

Why did you choose Carrie Vines Photography?: 

My bridesmaid Nancy had all of her maternity and family photos completed by Carrie. Carrie is able to capture the essence of who people are through her camera lens, I desired that specific ability for my wedding day photos. I've lost many family members over the past few years, I needed her to capture the happiness that family and friends shared with us. I want to be able to look at our pictures in future hard times (there will inevitably be hard times in life) and be reminded of pure joy and happiness experienced on our wedding day with those that love and support us. 

I also interviewed Carrie and I fell in love with her cheery disposition, positive outlook, and a strong passion for her work. I knew she was the perfect person for the job with the first phone interview and now that the wedding is done she literally was the perfect choice for us! She knows what she is doing and was a joy to work with. Many of our guests commented upon her professional demeanor and that she was working her tail off for us during the wedding and the reception. The photos speak for themselves.

Any other vendors you might want to give a shout out to?: Appreciation to the staff and clergy of St. Monica Church, the hospitality staff at the UCLA Faculty Center, "Benny's Tacos" (catered the welcome reception and the send-off brunch), Men's Warehouse, Kris de la Vara of Salon on Barrington (hair), Sarah Krasnianski (make-up), our entertainment, both "Woodie and the Longboards "and "All The Best Tunes DJ Service", and of course all of our friends and family that helped with the many DIY duties that made the day memorable.

Any final thoughts you'd like to share?:

We feel so lucky to have had such great and professional photography on our wedding day. It was a huge blitz but we created memories that will last a long time, and for this, we are grateful.

Vendor Shout Out

DJ - All The Best DJ

Venue - St. Monica Catholic Church

Reception - UCLA Faculty Center

Hair and Makeup - Salon on Barrington

Cake - Krispy Kreme and Costco

Live Band - Woodie and the Longboards

Photography - Carrie Vines Photography

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Santa Monica beach themed wedding, blue accents, starfish, Carrie Vines Photography