Jana + Mark: Married! Part 3

March 02, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


This wedding was so full of awesome that we had to give it THREE posts!  I'm so happy to share my reception favorites today!  I can't help but smile when I look through these- the night was full of dancing and laughter.


This.first.dance.  Incredible.  Totally choreographed, totally graceful, totally Jana and Mark.



I loved that they did a dessert bar!  There were so many wonderful homemade goodies for the guests to choose from.  They were hovering close to the table all night ;)


Bryan absolutely loved this part.  Mark decided he was going to cut his cake with a sword.


Then set the stage for some payback from his new wife.


The toasts were full of tears and laughter.


And their guests sent them off to their honeymoon in style!


Jana and Mark- thank you so much for letting us tag along with you on this incredible day.  You two are so full of life and love for each other.  Marriage has been an amazing adventure for us, and we know it will be for you guys as well.  Happy trails :)




Bryan and Crystal

Jana + Mark: Married! Part 2

February 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


We're back with part 2 of Jana and Mark's amazing wedding day!  And buckle up, because you're about to get hit with a major dose of details.  


The reception hall was pure perfection.  Jana and Mark handcrafted every element of the table settings:  the centerpieces, the menus, the favors (homemade vanilla extract!), and even the beautiful burlap and lace table runners.  



Outside, the ceremony space was waiting for guests to arrive.  Jana had her hand lettered chalkboard signs ready to guide everyone to the right place.



Jana and Mark loved everything about their venue when they found it.  But the blacktop at the ceremony site wasn't exactly what Jana had pictured, so she came up with the most BRILLIANT solution:  a custom chalk aisle!  Some amazingly talented high school art students made a custom design just for the two of them.  I think this was one of my favorite details of the day!



Soon, the music began to play, and it was time to get hitched!



These guys were cracking me up!  I loved the idea for this sister picture- one bride, one expectant mom, and one sassy single gal ;)


We loved their shoe picture from their engagement session so much that we had to do a companion piece from the wedding!


So much amazingness.  And it's not even over yet!  I have one final round of awesomeness to share with you all on Tuesday.  Get ready to see their fun reception.


Happy Thursday, everyone!







Jana + Mark: Married! Part 1

February 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

We drove into the parking lot and gasped as the San Diego skyline appeared beyond the hedge edging the pavement. Bryan turned off the car, and the only thing I heard when I got out of the car was the gravel crunching under my feet and the birds singing in a nearby tree.   What a perfect location, what a perfectly beautiful, sunny, San Diego day to get married!

Jana and Mark chose the Soledad Club in Pacific Beach as their wedding venue, and it was gorgeous.  As Mark proudly told the guests later that evening at the reception, Jana poured her heart and soul into every beautiful detail that made their DIY wedding absolutely perfect.  Everywhere we turned, Jana had a special detail waiting to be discovered.  


Mark made these adorable solar mason jars to light the patio after the sunset.


Jana hand lettered beautiful chalkboards throughout the venue to direct their guests.


I got to spend the morning with Jana as she had her hair and makeup done in her suite.   


Her dress was beautiful.  I loved the vintage feel!


Jana and Mark opted to do a first look.  We set Mark up in a tucked away corner of Kate Sessions Park, then lead Jana to him.


We have so much more to share on Thursday!  Details all OVER the place... and the most amazing aisle I've ever seen.  I can't wait to share!





Our Story: Part 1

February 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

My mind meanders in lots of different directions when I'm drifting off to sleep.  The other night, my head nearly popped off the pillow when my mind decided to realize that it has been almost exactly 10 years since I met Bryan.  Over a third of my life has been spent with my favorite guy by my side.  We've had such a beautiful journey together so far, and we love to tell each other our love story.  We crack up and get all sentimental when we start playing the "Remember When," game.  I want to keep telling each other that story, to tell our kids that story, and to always remember it in the same kind of detail that I do now, so I decided to start writing it out.  I'm not going to promise that I'll post these with any kind of regularity, but as the memories decide to surface, I'll work them into the blog.  

We met as 18 year old freshman college kids at our alma mater- Point Loma Nazarene University.

So here goes...

The Night I Met Bryan


I didn’t know what to make of this guy… we’ll call him John (to protect the guilty).  He would seek me out to sit next to me whenever we showed up to the same campus event.  He would call me at night in my dorm to invite me to hang out the next day.  Now, he had waved me over to sit with his buddies in the caf.  But he never asked me out.  And to be honest, I was super confused.  And slightly annoyed.  But he was likeable and I was totally down with making new friends, so I kept going with it- I just wanted him to cut the tension and let me know if this was a friend thing or a more than that thing, ya know?


I took another forkful of tuna salad and listened with amusement as he and his friends made typical freshman boy banter around the lunch table.  “Hey Crystal,” he suddenly turned to me, “Me and my friend Bryan worked on a video that we’re showing tonight at Time Out for the start of the 30 Hour Famine.  You should come.”


(Note:  For the uninitiated in the lingo of early 2000s Nazarene youth-groupese, the 30 Hour Famine was an event to raise awareness about world hunger and raise funds for impoverished kids.  Time Out was our on campus Bible study that met on Wednesday nights.)


And here we go again.  I thought.  “Sure, I’ll see if I can make it.”


That night, I strolled into the Rec Room well after Time Out had started, just as the video was starting up.  The boys had climbed on top of a landscaping cart and taken a video of their perspective as they rode down the campus mall.  Real cutting edge stuff.  John was in the back behind the projector. 


I walked up to him when Time Out ended, but the music was so loud that we had to practically shout into each other’s ears to be heard.  We walked outside on the patio to escape the noise, and I saw a guy with wavy brown hair and glasses loading gear into the back of a media services cart.


“Oh!  Let me introduce you to my friend, Bryan!” John said, pulling me over to him, and back into the deafening music.  When Bryan turned around, I thrust my hand towards him and yelled, “HI! I’M CRYSTAL!”


I looked into his kind brown eyes and felt the breath momentarily squeeze out of my lungs as a shock of joy warmed me from the top of my head to my toes, then bounced back to nestle in my tummy.  When he reached back to shake my hand, I was caught off guard when my right hand was met with his left.  In a flash of understanding, I realized at once that his right arm was hanging limply at his side, and that his left hand was strong and gentle as it held my own.  I felt my cheeks blush.


We tried to say something to each other, but the music was way too loud, and the boys were in the middle of cleaning up, so I waved goodbye to them and headed back to my dorm.


And as I drifted off to sleep that night, I thought about the cute boy with the wavy hair, glasses, and sweet smile.


Photo Cred:  Nicole Ponton circa 2007

Weston: Artist Headshots

February 17, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Taking photos for fellow photographers is always so much fun.  It's fantastic to get the people who are used to being behind the camera out in front of the lens!  My friend Weston is one of my favorite people on the planet.  He's an incredibly talented musician- he plays violin, piano, and has a beautiful tenor singing voice- an equally talented photographer, a gifted stage actor, and tender hearted to the max.  He needed some updated headshot for his website and his various artistic endeavors, and I was thrilled to provide them!  I took him out to the old Sweetwater River steel bridge- one of my favorite, tucked away places to shoot.




He totally rocked it.  I kept trying to go through and pick a favorite, but I deleted and moved my comment so many times, I was just like to heck with it.  He's amazing in all of them!

Weston, thank you for the joy you bring to our family.  We are blessed beyond expression to know you and be your friend on this crazy journey through life.  




Crystal + Bryan


PS- also, he just released a YouTube video full of awesomeness.  You should see it. Click HERE.