F E A T U R E D O N
I first met Mayra when I worked on the production of a styled wedding photo shoot in Napa this past spring with the Christian Brothers Retreat and Conference Center . We got to chatting and I learned her own dream of having her wedding at the Christian Brothers ten years ago, unfortunately, at that time weddings were not allowed here. The more I learned, the more I new that this would be a beautiful portrait session, the wheels were definitely in motion!
Ten years ago weddings were not incorporated into this location, so in order to keep things romantic and beautiful, she and Beto (short for Alberto), decided to marry in their native Guadalajara, Mexico. What really struck me about her story is that here is a beautiful couple who wanted to have their wedding at this dream and home like venue, had to plan an alternative plan, and what better way than to have the wedding where their parents are from originally. I think Mayra’s heart never settled however.
I contacted her in the late summer and shared the idea of re-creating her wedding.vow renewals on her 10th wedding anniversary that was just up-and-coming in December. She loved the idea and immediately jumped on board. Together, we planned, shared late night phone calls, I created our very own “Mayra”
Pinterest board to get the inspiration flowing and where we could each see where we were heading in styling this concept. We chatted about bringing in the elements and the colors that surround the season as well as bringing in their beautiful twin daughters Alexa and Jocelyn. If you pay close attention to the wine label (a wine label made by Beto and his very own harvested wine), the wine is named Jolexa which is a combination of both of their daughters names and a specialty wine to celebrate their first decade.
It was a
beautiful sunny yet crisp day that began with getting ready in the upstairs bridal suite and the anticipation of a First Look in one of the beautiful exterior courtyards. And just when you think it could not have gotten more beautiful, in walks Alexa and Jocelyn, whom at the site of their mommy in a wedding gown left them gasping for air and desperately running to end in their mommy’s arms! Mayra was just as ecstatic and was excited to see just gorgeous her gals were in their formal dresses and beautiful flowing hair. Surprise for everyone, it was very emotional it was a beautiful way of celebrating ten years of marriage and also eight years of a beautiful little family.
After an endearing sparkling cider toast with their children, some dancing and romancing, and a gown change, we then headed to the chapel
which is also on the property, for the couples a intimate vow renewal.
As the evening progressed, we jumped into our cars to drive amongst the grounds to photograph the couple in front of their favorite oak tree which is down the road and amongst the Vineyard. The evening ended very sweetly and quietly with a good night first dance under a tree hung chandelier, as the twins played and enjoyed snacks inside the conference room.
I think you will agree that by looking at these photographs that this couple is still looking at, holding , and kissing each other the same as they did ten years ago. It was my distinct pleasure to have met and photographed such an amazing milestone, and I wish Mayra Alejandra, José Alberto, Jocelyn and Alexa many many years of happiness.
You are quite an inspiration…Happy anniversary… Feliz Aniversario y muchos más!
Hair & Makeup – Cory of Pure Skin Spa, Napa Ca
Flowers – Gina of Garaventas Florist, Napa, Ca
Wedding Cake & Desserts – Chef Juan Zavala of Christian Brothers Retreat & Conference, Napa, Ca
Specialty Anniversary Wine – Jolexa Collection by José Alberto Paniagua…..the groom!
Photography Assistant – Dario Leventini