California Wedding Day BEST OF 2020

Being a “BEST OF” Photographer finalist is so exciting! California Wedding Day has honored the wedding industry with their “BEST OF” awards for the past six years. California Wedding Day readers and wedding industry professionals nominate and vote for “BEST OF” finalists. Being a finalist is a huge honor and we are very grateful.

“BEST OF” nominees are divided by region and specialty. Photography, Venue, Florist, Planners, etc., San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco. Leah Marie Photography is being included as a San Diego Region finalist for the second consecutive year. And we are proud to be nominated for the “BEST OF 2020” photographer alongside Allie Lindsey Photography, Dear Lovers Photography, and Emma Hopp Photography.

Last year’s “BEST OF” event at Vibiana was amazing. Our team had a great time celebrating with several other Temecula Wedding Partners who were honored that evening. This year’s event, the 7th Annual, will be wildly different due to COVID-19. California Wedding Day recently shared that they will be hosting a LIVE VIRTUAL EVENT to celebrate.

While learning that we will not be able to gather and celebrate together with our peers this year is disappointing, we are still looking forward to seeing who takes home the honors for 2020 and sharing the news with all of you.

Until then check out this fun editorial we were included in.

California Wedding Day, Friar Tux Sweet Oaks Ranch
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The short answer to this often asked question is yes. You should definitely invest in a wedding album. Below we’ll get into our top 5 reasons to invest in your wedding album now.

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No. 1- Hard Drive

The number one reason is to make sure you get an album? Ensuring your photos don’t end up living on a hard drive. Ordering your album at the outset will guarantee your wedding pictures will be part of your home and a keepsake that you can look back at regularly.

No. 2- 1000’s of Images

It’s also the perfect way to highlight your favorite moments of your wedding day. Giving you the opportunity to choose your favorite 100 images that represent your wedding when your likely to have 1000+ digital negatives saved.

No. 3- Life Changes

We often hear couples say that they’ll get an album later but what we’ve found is that rarely happens. Opting “to wait until later”, means you are unlikely to splurge on your album. Justifying spending extra money on an album once you are looking at purchasing a home, or when you are preparing to have kids will be more difficult.

No. 4- History

Speaking of those kids in your future… purchasing an album gives your family and future generations, the ability to look back on your wedding day and relive your happy day with you.

No. 5- Album Special

FUN FACT! We are currently having an album special. Both former and current couples who purchase an album this month, May, will receive special pricing. Please contact us to learn more.

Sharing your wedding pictures digitally and on social media will be great in the months and weeks after you say “I do”, but as time moves on having a physical reminder of your wedding day will be more meaningful.


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We loved learning that this Ponte Winery Wedding was published! There’s nothing like sharing in the excitement with our couples. Hearing from them how much they love reliving their wedding day through the story being retold.

Ponte Winery Wedding, Ponte Wedding, Temecula Wedding, Real Weddings of Temecula

Amanda and Eric’s Classic and Elegant Ponte Winery wedding was featured on Real Weddings of Temecula. They highlighted some of our favorite details of the day, but not all of them. So, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into the album and share some more. Before we get to that, I’d like to start by telling you something that I LOVED about this wedding. The color palette. That’s right, I love a classic, clean, white wedding. There is something about how timeless the day feels, how crisp the images look after, it just gets me EVERY TIME.

Ponte Winery Wedding, Ponte Wedding, Temecula Wedding, Wedding Invitations, Leah Marie Photography
Getting Ready

One part of Amanda and Eric’s day, that was hard to find in the feature, was Amanda’s bridal look. Her lace strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline was absolutely stunning. The Ines de Santo gown paired perfectly with her Manolo Blahnik shoes and her petite bouquet of white Peonies.

Ponte Wedding, Real Weddings of Temecula, Ines De Santo, Manolo Blanhnik, Temecula Wedding
Down the Aisle

The next stop down memory lane… their ceremony. Ponte’s vineyard lawn was intimate and luxurious with the addition of white planters along the aisle topped with white flowers. The aisle, flanked in flowers, led to Ponte’s arbor which was covered in flowers and draped in white.

Ponte Wedding Ceremony, Temecula Wedding, Leah Marie Photography, White Wedding
The Celebration

While The Real Weddings of Temecula blog included many details on the reception. We just can’t get over how transformed the room at Ponte was. The chairs, tables, linens, flowers, and dance floor created an elegant feeling in the room.

Ponte Wedding, Temecula Wedding, Leah Marie Photography

Last but not least, is this classic cake by Laura Marie’s, delicately decorated with fresh blooms.

Temecula Wedding, Ponte Wedding, Wedding Cake, Leah Marie Photography

To check out the full feature and hear from Amanda and Eric click here.

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This is one of the most common questions asked by our couples in the lead up to their wedding day. We personally love for our couples to say yes to a first look. We are going to break down our top three reasons and get into an alternative if you just can’t bear to break with tradition.

Leah Marie Photography, first look, Monte De Oro Winery, Temecula Wedding

No. 1 Wedding Day Timeline.

The first look takes place before you walk down the aisle. Taking advantage of the time before your ceremony will open up your cocktail hour for photos with family and the bridal party. This can also allow couples to stop in greet people and not rush through things like bustling or family portraits. Utilizing that time before the ceremony is especially important if your venue is large and spread out with a number of picture spots located away from each other. The logistics of getting from location to location will consume the hour of time available after the ceremony very quickly.

No. 2 Aesthetics.

When you choose, or chose, us to photograph your wedding you did so based on our portfolio which features natural light. When you wait until after the ceremony you risk losing light based on the time the sunsets. Another aspect to consider is if you know you are crier, you may want to take into account the tears you will shed during the ceremony and what affect that may have on your makeup.

No. 3 Privacy.

A first look gives our couples a moment alone without the attention of all their wedding guests. This can help alleviates any pressure you might feel about being the center of attention- with all eyes on the two of you. This can also help slow down the pace a bit particularly if you have a large bridal party.

Leah Marie Photography, First Touch, Temecula Wedding

If the first look doesn’t feel right for you, try a first touch. This happens when the couple meets either at the corner of a building onsite at the venue or on opposite sides of a door and hold hands without seeing each other face to face. We’ve had couples come together for first touches to say a prayer together or to read their vows and share in a quiet moment for just the two of them. These are beautiful to capture and give us the opportunity to photograph the couple on their own similar to a first look.

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So… we’re all stuck at home for the time being. We are filling our days with games, tv, reading, podcasts and hopefully some self-care during this quarantine. I often get questions in my stories about botox and eyelashes and anything else that you may have seen me InstaStory, which is a lot… lol. But last week I took my story live and shared some of my own self-care, an at-home chemical peel. Let me start with this little disclaimer: I am not a licensed esthetician, and I do not guarantee your results, but this totally works for me.

Product List:

Coconbby Facial Steamer

Hypebeauty Blackhead Vacuum

Tinkle Eyebrow Razor

Face Halo

Admire My Skin Vitamin C Oil

Admire My Skin Brightening Serum

Step 1- Steam your face to open pores.

Step 2- Apply vitamin c oil and shave face using razor- avoid eyebrows.

Step 3- Vacuum pores

Step 4- Clean face using halo.

Step 5- Apply Skin Brightening Serum- this stings.

I usually repeat this process 2- 3 times in one week to maximize my results, my skin does appear red and I have to wear a hat when I go out for several days- which is why for me, now is the perfect time for this. If you try it at home please let us know how it worked and if you liked your results. If you have any questions for me, chime in here or on Instagram and I’ll do my best to respond.

We hope you’re making the most of your time at home and that you find time for some self- care during the quarantine, we are trying.

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