Yuliza and Tommie Married at Lamb’s Fellowship Lake Elsinore
Yuliza and Tommie met in high school. They knew of each other having classes together here and there, but they never exchanged words. Later in life, Yuliza’s friend Rachel mentioned to her, “You remember that Tommie guy from high school? I think you two would be perfect for each other.” Yuli laughed and brushed it off, not even knowing him, but a few days went by and she couldn’t get the thought out of her head. She finally decided to get on Facebook and send him a message. What would it hurt, right? “Hey, would you like to get coffee sometime?” Three days later they met and just like that they were hanging out all the time.
Their dating relationship didn’t last too long before they went separate ways for a while. They were young and both had things they needed to work out, adventures they needed to take to figure out what kind of people they wanted to be, and trials to go through alone to make each of them stronger individuals. Tommie had moved to San Francisco for a while, and he and Yuliza remained somewhat in contact. Though the time wasn’t quite yet right, they always had a special place in each other’s hearts.
When Tommie made the decision to come back home to Southern California, he told Yulia he wanted to start fresh. They began building a friendship rather than doing the typical dating thing – a friendship so beautiful and so strong it transformed into an incredible example of marriage. These two have become such great friends in mine and Justin’s lives and have grown such a part of our relationship that they both stood up at our wedding with us, and just this last weekend we got to stand up next to them.
So how did I photograph this wedding if I was in it, you ask? Well just keep reading about Tommie and Yuliza and I may share a bit of how I juggled two big roles during their special day!
I arrived to the house early in the morning while Yuliza’s maid of honor Eryn began makeup. We all snacked on fruit that Yuli’s sweet friend Tina had out and enjoyed a relaxing morning together as I began collecting all of Yuliza’s bridal details for photographs. Her Sarah Seven dress from Lovely Bride of Los Angeles hung so beautifully with it’s soft silk chiffon and gorgeous draping. Custom gown designer Jennifer Sitchler of Eden Couture added sleeves to Yuliza’s perfect dress by taking fabric from the excess length of the skirt. Yuliza made her own two-tiered, chapel length veil and it was the perfect addition to her bridal look!
Being a part of her bridal party, I got to help her with other fun details during the planning process, like invitations! She wanted something very casual to set the tone for her laid back wedding, but still wanted it to feel creative and wedding-like. I typed up a few simple designs in Photoshop for her and then dropped in their names that Yuliza watercolored and scanned in herself. She used kraft paper and did the printing and cutting, then she hand addressed all of her invites on her own. I love how they turned out!
After I finished up getting photos of all her lovely details, I left plenty of time to go get myself pretty for the big day! I had some amazing help coming out to make sure we got plenty of great photos, while still allowing me to fulfill my bridesmaid duties. My photographer friend Maria and assistant Kia came just in time to get Yuliza into her dreamy wedding gown, and Maria and I captured it all as her mother and sisters each took a part in getting her dressed.
Yuliza’s mother placed the veil in her stunning hair by Alyssa Reyes. And then she just about lost it as she realized her baby girl was getting married. It’s always the veil that makes it all feel so real! Yuliza turned around and giggled, seeing her mother get all teary eyed. They had a sweet moment together before we all went out to take photos.
Meanwhile, Tommie and his groomsmen were barbecuing at one of the guy’s house down the street! After having some time to relax together they began getting ready for the big day. Another talented photographer friend of mine Janelle arrived to capture the boys while I was with the girls. I’m so thankful for my fabulous team that were such a big help to me all day!
Yuli and Tommie are MAJOR Disneyland fans (as in they went just about once a week before they got engaged), and Tommie is an even bigger Star Wars fan (and I can now connect the two since Disney is making a new Star Wars movie… woo!!!). When they started dating, Yuliza got her and Tommie these cute pins, so she felt it appropriate they each carry them on the wedding day. How cute is this! It’s so them.
And then we went out for bridal portraits and I about cried. Yuliza always comes with me on my location scouting adventures and models while I test light, so I knew her photos were going to be to die for… but this?!! >>>(Insert teary-eyed emojis for days here)<<<
Maria and Kia captured us ladies together, so I could get in front of the camera, too. Thank you both for doing such a great job!
All of us ladies left just in time for the guys to arrive after the bride was hidden. Thanks to Janelle for capturing the boys while I touched up my hair and makeup with Yuliza at the house before the ceremony started!
Tommie and his guys looked sharp thanks to Friar Tux who always does an amazing job dressing the gentlemen! Look at that handsome guy second from the left. 😉 That’s my husband!
Okay, Tommie, you looked great too!
I had to throw some moody black and whites in for the boys, considering half of them are in a band together. Yuliza and I are lovers of soft and whimsical, but I felt like Tommie needed some nice manly, dark photos of him and his guys. Look at how great they all looked!
We all headed to the church at Lamb’s Fellowship of Lake Elsinore, this hidden gym at the base of the hills! I could shoot weddings here any day! Tommie and Yuliza didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony, but they did want to share a quiet moment together and pray. Tommie tucked himself away behind this pillar as Yuliza walked up to the other side. With their backs to each other, they reached out their hands and prayed together before they walked the aisle.
It was at first a really exciting moment, and then it got really quiet and emotional. After they prayed we all just stopped in quietness and soaked up the special moment of silence. I almost didn’t want to escort Tommie away, because it was such a tangible and memorable experience.
I finally broke them up, so we could get these two to the aisle and get them married! I handed my camera over to Kia who had been amazing watching my gear all day. She got to help Maria and Janelle photograph the ceremony as I took my place as a bridesmaid! Standing up there and watching Tommie as he saw his bride walk to him was such a special thing to take in with no camera in my hand. You can see the happiness in his eyes!
And Yuliza just radiates with beauty and joy all day, just like in this photo!
And they’re married!!
What?!!! I’m still trying to process this. My friends are husband and wife!!
Justin has been telling Tommie to “put a ring on it” …For. Ever. And he did it!!!
Introducing The Segobias!
Yuliza, you are too cute. Stop it.
After the ceremony, I organized family photos. Then we ran and got some really fun wedding party shots! Thanks to Janelle who photographed us and Kia who got some super cute candids on the side! I love you both!
My friend Maria went off to the reception to take photos of their pretty decorations while Janelle stayed and help me with bride and groom portraits. THESE TWO ARE STUNNING!!! >>(Insert a million heart eye emojis here)<<< Can you tell my friends and I overuse emojis?!
I told them to lean in really close to each other, even though Tommie is almost one and a half feet taller than Yuliza, but since Justin and I have almost the same height difference and we can about do it, I know they could too! And so, they laughed at me like I was nuts and looked super cute doing it!
I don’t know what I said, but it must have been pretty funny. Thanks for looking so great when you guys laugh. It makes my job really easy.
And then this happened.
We all headed to the reception for some fun! How cute is their wedding cake and desserts by Tina Brown?! She was the close friend who let us get ready in her cute house, and she also did desserts for the wedding! I got to know Tina a bit more at Yulia’s bachelorette party a couple weeks ago, and she is the sweetest!
Yuliza and Tommie were so excited to go on their honeymoon they bounced out 30 minutes early, yeah! You go Tommie!!
Thank you so much to the both of you for allowing me to be such a big part of your day! It was an honor to be asked to stand up next to you two and be one of the many support systems you two have as you enter marriage. Your life is filled with so many other incredible people that love you, and it was really special getting to know them all through this journey you shared with us.
Thank you also to Maria, Janelle and Kia for being my rockstar team as we all split up and took on different roles to capture this entire day flawlessly! I could not have done it without you. And thank you to Katelyn James who actually pulled off the dual bridesmaid/photographer role first and made me realize it was possible (and not as crazy as it sounds)!
Last but not least, thank you to all the incredible people who worked this event to make it special for Yuli and Tommie!
Wedding Venue: Lamb’s Fellowship Lake Elsinore
Ceremony Coordinator: Teresa Milano
Officiant: Kasey Crawford
Bridal Hair: Alyssa Reyes
Bridal Makeup: Raeleen Babbel
Wedding Gown: Sarah Seven at Lovely Bride of Los Angeles
Groom & Groomsmen Tuxedos: Friar Tux
Bridesmaid Gowns: Union Station (Formally Little Borrowed Dress)
Gown Customizations: Jennifer Sitchler of Eden Couture
Ceremony Music: Micah Orlaff, Chris Phipps, Heather Nail
Florals: Claudian Montes
Reception Venue: The Club
Reception MC & Music: Heather Nail
Reception Setup: Nancy McCarrol & Tina Brown
Cakes & Desserts: Tina Brown
Photography: Jenna Joseph Photography