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Erica & Luke’s Hotel Valencia Wedding Photography

Hotel Valencia Wedding Photos

Erica & Luke’ San Jose Wedding

We are high school sweethearts that were introduced through Boy/Girl Scouts. Started dating after a Scout rock climbing event & he was my belayer.

5 years later, he proposed at my favorite restaurant on the Las Vegas strip in front of family and friends.

 He hired a magician to put on a show complete with fire, and turned a wishing stone into an engagement ring.

He designed the engagement ring himself, using great grandparent stones from both sides.

 The wedding bands are diamonds from his great grandmother, and the engagement ring is my great grandmother. His band is his great grandfathers.

 “Have a FUN wedding, don’t be stuffy or cookiecutter. Your guests will have more fun, if they see the couple having fun.”

We are high school sweethearts that were introduced through Boy/Girl Scouts. Started dating after a Scout rock climbing event & he was my belayer. 5 years later, he proposed at my favorite restaurant on the Las Vegas strip in front of family and friends. He hired a magician to put on a show complete with fire, and turned a wishing stone into an engagement ring. He designed the engagement ring himself, using great grandparent stones from both sides. The wedding bands are diamonds from his great grandmother, and the engagement ring is my great grandmother. His band is his great grandfathers.

The only theme was symmetry. We achieved this by having long tables that mirrored eachother on either side of a long fountain. The courtyard had 4 dramatic arches on either side that lended to the theme. The bridesmaids dresses had a lattice pattern that echos the greenery and the lattice pattern of the invitations. The two center arches that served as the backdrop to our ceremony with another arched fountain, were flanked with giant 12ft garland made of greenery.

I wanted to keep the symmetry and straight lines in the bridal party. The bridesmaids dresses had a lattice pattern that echos the lattice pattern of the invitations. The best man had a green plaid tuxedo jacket. The green and white tied in with the bridesmaid bouquets. Then the bride and groom were the glittering rose gold. The groom had a custom pocket square made from the rose patterned blush lace from the bride’s dress, which popped off of his white tuxedo jacket. He sported cufflinks that showed off his devotion for his favorite NFL team, the Denver Broncos. The bride’s dress was handmade by her mother, with handmade Murano Italian lace. The lace had perfect circular roses with beads on the back of the bodice, breaking up the perfect lines of the surroundings. The skirt was made of blush silk, peach tulle and silk crêpe. Then we, bride and groom, changed into white Nike slides (the only shoes the groom is ever seen in).

The bride and groom flowers were indicative of “rose gold.” The bride bouquet was a mixture of peach and blush tulips and peonies, my favorite. The groom boutonniere was custom made with the bride’s blush lace, tree fern, and fragrant freesias. The rest of the bridal party were the lush greenery of greens and white lilies and gardenias.

We had rustic white washed wood and linen chairs rented to match the rustic Italian feel of the courtyard. The chair backs were draped with lush garland to match the garland behind the altar. There were potted lemon trees, bougainvillea blooming, and rose gold lanterns with candles at the base of the altar on either side. The fountain split the aisle and had a floating “L” & “E” and bride and groom rubber duckies, the bride had a thing for rubber duckies as a kid. The DJ played acoustic guitar for the bride walking down the aisle to John Legend’s “All of Me”. The brother of the bride was the officiant. And the newlywed’s exited the ceremony to Smashmouth’s “I’m a Believer” on acoustic guitar. (Her family used to call him Shrek because he was so large, and this song played at the end of Shrek).

Hotel Valencia on Santana Row, the Groom picked it out, and the Bride loved the Italian courtyard feel that transported you. The bride and her mother made all of the Gold/rose gold centerpieces. Lamp bases gold leafed, copper glittered, and painted in various rose gold tones. Some had flower arrangements, some had candles. The bride hand painted the seating chart, and welcome sign. The bride also hand wrote the bar sign, with the signature cocktails – “two less fish in the sea”, “Bullseye” inspired by the scouting archery merit badge, and “milehigh margarita” for the mile high stadium the Denver Broncos play at. The bridal party entrance was to Blue Suede’s “Hooked on a feeling” with the chorus as queue for the groom to lead the bride out for their first dance. It was halted by the groomsmen (their nephew) who ran in and stole the bouquet for a game of monkey in the middle at the expense of the bride. In one swoop, the groom caught it and dropped to one knee. The bride and groom then danced to Nicki Minaj’s “Your Love” for their first slow dance as husband and wife. The wedding cake was made by the Bride’s sister, that was “destroyed” by an incoming chocolate football. (The venue actually thought someone ruined the cake and offered to buy a replacement cake!) The groom “threw a long pass” to the guests, in lieu of a garter toss. The bouquet was tossed from the surrounding guest room balconies, where other hotel guests cheered from. The bride made a flower wall for the bridal shower, and used it as a backdrop to the photobooth.

Our Advice to couples – Have a FUN wedding, don’t be stuffy or cookiecutter. Your guests will have more fun, if they see the couple having fun.

 Most couples reserve their date in our calendars 12+ months prior to their wedding day.


 Photography: Apollo Fotografie