Wedding Photographers in Santa Cruz, Monterey & Carmel » Wedding photographers in Santa Cruz, Monterey & Carmel

Natalie & Jorge couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for their Bernardus Lodge wedding in Carmel Valley. The day went off without a hitch with design and coordination by Taylor of Taylor Made Weddings & Events and gorgeous flowers by Fionna Floral. Their adorable dog Parker may have stolen the show if it wasn’t for Natalie’s showstopper dress with a detachable train. You can also view their engagement photos at Bernardus Lodge here!

This was my first wedding after the birth of my son and it was so great to get back to what I know how to do well since being a new mom is full of such unknown! I had a great team working alongside me and I couldn’t have been more thankful for them being there. Rachel & Briana you are the best!  Carmel Valley Wedding Bernardus Lodge Wedding Bernardus Lodge Wedding in Carmel Valley Bernardus Lodge Wedding Bernardus Lodge Wedding Bridal bouquet by Fionna Floral Bride getting ready at Bernardus Lodge Bride getting ready at Bernardus Lodge Bride getting ready at Bernardus Lodge Bride getting ready at Bernardus Lodge Bride getting ready at Bernardus Lodge Groom getting ready at Bernardus Lodge Groom walking down the aisle at Bernardus Lodge Wedding Ceremony Bernardus Lodge Wedding Ceremony Bride walking down aisle at Bernardus Lodge Wedding Ceremony Bernardus Lodge Wedding Ceremony Bernardus Lodge Wedding Ceremony Bernardus Lodge Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley Dog ringbearer at Wedding Bernardus Lodge Wedding Ceremony Bernardus_Lodge_Wedding_Carmel-22 Wedding at Bernardus Lodge Carmel Valley Wedding Photographers Carmel Wedding Photographer Carmel Wedding Photographers Carmel Valley Wedding Photographer Fiona Floral Wedding flowers Bernardus_Lodge_Wedding_Carmel-29 Carmel Valley Wedding photographers Rose Garden at Bernardus Lodge Bernardus_Lodge_Wedding_Carmel-32 Bernardus_Lodge_Wedding_Carmel-33 Wedding Party posing for photos at Bernardus Lodge Bernardus_Lodge_Wedding_Carmel-35 Wedding photographers in Carmel Valley Rose Garden at Bernardus Lodge Bride and Groom at Bernardus Lodge Cocktail Hour at Bernardus Lodge Wedding Bernardus_Lodge_Wedding_Carmel-4 Bernardus_Lodge_Wedding_Carmel-41 Bernardus_Lodge_Wedding_Carmel-42 Indoor wedding reception at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley  Bernardus Lodge wedding reception Taylor Made Weddings and Events             Wedding Venue: Bernardus Lodge

Wedding Planner: Taylor Made Weddings & Events

Florist: Fionna Floral

A personal post here about my journey in to motherhood. Milo Edwin Reynolds was born on May 1st, 2016 at 2:14am. He was 7lbs 13oz and 22 in long. He was named after family as Milo was my great Grandfather and Edwin was John’s Grandfather.  Milo has utterly changed our world. It has been tough and exhausting but so worth it. There are many times I find myself just staring at him and thinking how unreal it feels that he is here. Here are a few photos of our journey and the beginning of his life as well as our birth story.

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It was exactly one year ago today that I found out that I was pregnant. John and I had been trying to get pregnant for 8 months. Every month that went by was harder and harder and the month before had left me in tears and starting to feel discouraged. That week we had moved across town and in to our new apartment. The day before I found out I was expecting, I was photographing my friends, Ian & Cassie’s wedding at Roaring Camp. I had decided that morning to take the last pregnancy test I had. It had the most faint positive line on it but I was so doubtful it could be real. It was a store brand test and when I googled it, it seemed like a lot of women saw faint lines like I did and had false positive results. I didn’t want to dwell on that so it was great to have such a fun wedding to document that day to put it out of my mind. The next morning I went to the gym but couldn’t help thinking if it could had been real or not so on the way home I stopped to get more tests. John was over at our friend/neighbors house since everyone was still in the celebration mood from the wedding the night before but came home when I got there. When I snuck the test in to the bathroom and saw an immediate positive result I was elated. Every month I had tried to think of some fun way I would be able to tell John I was pregnant but at that moment all I could do was run out and show him the test. I was shaking and crying and we were in disbelief. The rest of the afternoon was spent with friends at the beach and was so hard to keep this monumental news to ourselves. I was nauseous in the beginning but felt the best on my wedding days. My mind was so focused on work and I was constantly on the go that I didn’t have a second to realize I didn’t feel good. It was the days spent at my computer trying to edit that were the hardest to get through and there were many breaks and naps on the couch to get through it.

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On a trip to Utah to see my family at Thanksgiving we went to an ultrasound place there and found out we were having a BOY! It was such exciting news and I couldn’t help but imagine how much fun John was going to have with our son.

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In January I was at a photography retreat in Joshua Tree and some friends took a few photos for me. These are by Ali & Garrett Weddings 1

and by Rachel Zee Photography 20160127_untitled_44337-EditWe ended up doing this maternity session with Savannah 5 days before Milo was born. Photos: Savannah Hayes Photography Hair & Makeup: Blush Hair and Makeup Design & Flower Crown: Flowers by Carra 
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Birth Story: I was so uncomfortable at the end of my pregnancy and was so anxious for it to be over. A friend of mine who was due a week before me had been having contractions here and there for a week and then went in to labor  and I was so jealous/anxious to be done. She described them as very painful and I had been feeling a little crampy but nothing felt like it was real yet. I was going on walks daily as well as getting acupuncture. The morning I went in to labor my day started out with prenatal yoga then I got a pineapple smoothie and went on a two mile walk. I saw my friend Nicole who invited me over for lunch and I was exhausted sitting on her couch but started some acupressure on my hands. John was out on a mountain bike ride and when he got home we had an appointment with a private lactation consultant. After our meeting we went on another walk (I walked 6 miles that day according to my fitbit) and my allergies were bad when we got home that I had to take a benydryl. We were discussing what to do for dinner and I had no energy to cook so John was going to go get to Chipotle. I decided I needed to go with him because if I fell asleep on the couch I wasn’t going to be able to sleep much that night. I had started feeling crampy again but it just felt like what my period cramps felt like and wasn’t too bad. In the car on the way home I started to time them because they were coming pretty often and were already 3 min apart. After we finished eating at home I finally told John that maybe I was actually having contractions and texted our Doula, Ashley, with questions. I wanted to know if it was false labor what I could do to stop it as I couldn’t remember anything from our childbirth classes at the moment. She advised me to take some Natural Calm and a bath and if it was false labor it would help them to stop. While in the bath I felt a pop and when I got up I could tell my water had broken. The contractions were immediately painful and there was no denying I was in labor. That was at 9pm.  I needed to actually shower since I knew it may be a while before I was able to again but the pain was so intense it took forever. John hadn’t packed his hospital bag yet and I had a few things to add so it was 11pm before we were on our way to the hospital. Our doula met us at there and the nurses checked me and confirmed my water had broken and that I was already dilated to a 4. They wouldn’t be sending us home and moved us in to our room. The pain was so intense I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. John was such a calming presence and just kept telling me how great I was doing. I felt like I was having an out of body experience and couldn’t talk much through it but appreciated all he was saying. Ashley got me a yoga ball to try sitting on and had these electrodes to put on my back to help dull the pain of the contractions. They knew Milo was head down but they couldn’t tell what way he was facing and tried a few positional things to help him descend. They filled the tub for me to labor in but I couldn’t use it or even move around because it was so intense. At one point they checked me again and I was at a 6. I started having an uncontrollable urge to push during every contraction and everyone kept trying to help me remember to breathe through it as it wasn’t time to push yet and could be bad to push before I should. I brought it up twice that I didn’t know if I could get through it without any drugs but since I had come in with a plan to have a natural birth they all ignored me when I mentioned it. When I couldn’t stop stop pushing during any contractions they decided to check me again and I was at a 10 and ready to push for real now. We had only been at the hospital for 2 hours at that point. I do feel fortunate that I didn’t have a long labor but let me tell you that dilating from a 4 to a 10 in two hours is incredibly intense and painful and hurts even between contractions. When I was finally allowed to push it all the sudden became much harder and I was utterly exhausted. I ended up pushing for an hour and fifteen minutes before Milo was born. Throughout that time his heart rate would drop and at the end they told me I had no choice but to get him out on that last one. He ended up being posterior (sunny side up, or face up) and had the cord wrapped around his neck. The midwife told me babies in that position can usually take hours of pushing so she was shocked it went so quick. I didn’t know how serious it was but John later told me how he could tell they were all starting to worry about the baby’s heart rate because of the cord around his neck. I am so thankful that everything was ok as soon as he was born. They immediately put him on my chest and he didn’t leave me for the next hour and half. I was in shock from everything and couldn’t believe that less than 6 hours before I was sitting at home eating Chipotle and watching TV. We had my camera there and I will forever treasure the photos that John took in those first minutes and hours of Milo’s life.

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Five minutes after he was born John was cutting the cord.
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I was so excited to photograph John holding our son for the first time.
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The next morning was filled with lots of cuddling and photos.  Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-11 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-12 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-13

The friend I mentioned earlier about having contractions had her son Gavin 2 days before us and it was so fun to have them in the hospital at the same time! Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-14 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-15 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-16 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-17 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-18 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-19

I had to document the first moments of being at home with Milo.  Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-20 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-21 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-22 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-23 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-24 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-25

My mom came to help and was a lifesaver in those first days.  Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-26 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-27 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-28

These are all from the first few weeks with him at home. Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-29 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-30 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-31 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-32 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-33 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-34 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-35

 

These newborn/family photos were take by my friend Adriana Klas Photography when Milo was 12 days old.

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Here are a few more photos of my sweet Milo.
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He will be four months on Thursday and is growing like a bean pole! He is long and skinny and already wearing size 6-9 month clothes.  Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-43 Santa-Cruz-Newborn-Photographer-44

 

Charissa & Johnny met while in school in UCSC so they wanted to come back here to do their engagement photos in Santa Cruz. These two were adorable and had a great sense of style. There were many laughs and loving glances shared between them. Santa Cruz is such a great mix of redwood forests and beaches so we made sure to incorporate both in to their session. We started off at Henry Cowell State Park then headed to Lighthouse Field State beach near Steamers Lane. Congrats you two!

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Nick and Mackinna had their Sand Rock Farm wedding on a beautiful day in November. It was the perfect backdrop for them to exchange wedding vows and become husband and wife. These two are so in love and quite the jokesters. It was so fun to be able to document their big day. Mackinna and her father have a very close relationship and apparent with the sweet wedding ceremony he officiated for them and the song he performed at the reception. One of my all time favorite moments that day was when Mackinna’s father saw her in her wedding dress for the first time. Their friends also turned their reception into quite the dance party at the end of the night. It was my first time shooting a wedding at Sand Rock Farm and it didn’t disappoint. The grounds are beautiful with so many options for photographs. I also love that they do their own florals in house!  Congrats again you two! It was a magical day!
Sand Rock Farm wedding Wine cellar at Sand Rock Farm wedding Bed and Breakfast at Sand Rock Farm invitation suite at Sand Rock Farm wedding Wedding dress at Sand Rock Farm wedding flowers at Sand Rock Farm wedding Bride getting ready at Sand Rock Farm bride getting ready at Sand Rock Farm wedding Bride getting ready at Sand Rock Farm flower girl at wedding with flower crown emotional dad seeing daughter for first time at wedding wedding details at Sand Rock Farm Sand Rock Farm wedding ceremony Wedding Ceremony at Sand Rock Farm Sand Rock Farm wedding ceremony Redwood Grove at Sand Rock Farm Sand Rock Farm wedding ceremony first kiss at wedding ceremony at Sand Rock Farm Sand Rock Farm wedding Sand Rock Farm wedding bridesmaids at Sand Rock Farm wedding groomsmen at Sand Rock Farm wedding Bride and groom at Sand Rock Farm wedding Sand Rock Farm wedding Wedding reception at Sand Rock Farm Sand Rock Farm wedding reception Sand Rock Farm wedding reception Wedding reception at Sand Rock Farm Sand Rock Farm wedding reception Toasts at wedding reception cheers after toasts at Sand Rock Farm wedding reception first dance at Sand Rock Farm wedding bride and groom dancing at Sand Rock Farm wedding dancing at reception at Sand Rock Farm Sand Rock Farm wedding Sand Rock Farm wedding reception Sand Rock Farm wedding reception sparkler reception exit at Sand Rock Farm

There were so many things I loved about Tracy & Andrew’s Villa Montalvo wedding. These two had the sweetest adoration for each other. Family is a big priority to them so they were their bridal party including Tracy’s 13 nieces and nephews as the flower girls and ringbearers. Villa Montalvo is a gorgeous venue with so many photo opportunities and I loved their clear tent at their reception which allowed you to view the sunset as well as the stars at night. Last but not least I was obsessed with Tracy’s wedding dress. Can you even begin to believe that it was her mother’s wedding dress? She had it redesigned to fit her styled and it was so unique and gorgeous!  I had a blast documenting their wedding day!

 

Their wedding also had a dream team of vendors that I loved working with! Events by Satra, Apis Floral, Stuart Rentals, Cafe Primavera Catering, Villa Montalvo.

 

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How cute are Tracy’s nieces and nephews? During their wedding ceremony they read words of advice as written by these kiddos and it gave everyone some good laughs!
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