Karina + Mark [Betty H. Reckas Cultural Center Wedding]



As 2011 dawns, it's hard to believe it's been almost a year since I first met Mark and Karina. I can remember the three of us huddling at a lone table outside a Starbucks. It was a chilly March night, and all of the seats indoors had been spoken for. We chatted about their wedding day -- of their cozy church, of lush portrait gardens -- and best of all, Mark's motivation for marrying in November: the rest of the year is just too darn toasty to be in a tux. You have to admit, that's pretty good reasoning, especially from the standpoint of a photographer who's on the move all day under the sun.

Come their wedding in November, wouldn't you know, the chill of that first night was long forgotten, as we were greeted by one of the warmer days in memory. But it beat rain, and the weather was a dream, even in a tux. Mark and Karina prepared at the Hotel Maya, Long Beach. With its chic decor, outdoor mirrors, and sprawling harbor-side patios, this place is a photographer's candy store. I'm not exaggerating. Your mind will go bonkers trying to decide where to sling your lens first, it's that awesome.

Resisting the temptation to shoot at the Maya all day, we proceeded only a few miles away to their ceremony at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, unique to the area with its welcoming small town New England charm.   For portraits, Mark and Karina reserved Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at CSULB, yet another home run photo-op locale, shot under the fading glaze of magic hour. 

The Betty H. Reckas Cultural Center hosted a beautiful reception, stunningly decorated by Shawna Yamamoto Event Design and the perfect closure to the day's festivities.

Mark and Karina, I want to thank you again both for being so generous, kind, and trusting. Keep in touch, always.