Ljubov & Alex - Part One - Love, Marriage and Laundry Baskets

By:  Brett Werner

As most weddings go, you don't really know what is going to happen or how ultimately good the opportunity will be to capture beautiful photos as a result of all of the wedding photographer's planets aligning:  weather, decorations, venues, lighting, luck, absolutely beautiful couples, beautiful friends and family and so on.  And then there are days when it all comes easy and turns out purely magical and it happened on November 25th, 2015 in San Diego, California.  

I would like to introduce  Alex and Ljubov from Moscow and Estonia respetively.  They invited me to photograph their intimate wedding near the airport downtown.  And as a lesson to anyone feeling you have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful wedding, think again.  This was a day of simplicity, beauty, fun and relaxation (record screech)...yes...I'm not kidding.  And for this reason I am super excited to share the story of Alex and Ljubov.     

This is Part 1 of their wedding day story, and it involves a laundry basket in the coolest way.  

The Hidden Villa - Before the Wedding

The day began at the Hidden Villa, a rental home near the airport downtown San Diego.  

The property was well suited with plenty of open space and favorable lighting on the patio and in the entry, bedroom, getting-ready areas.  


Not Your Average Spread

Alex and Ljubov prepared their own spread of wonderful pre-wedding refreshments and snacks to keep the guests fed until the ceremony.  The couple offered an assortment of delicious treats including caviar and pate.

Alex Asks For Ljubov's Hand In Marriage





I have seen a great many rituals and traditions as a wedding photographer, but this was my first Russian/Estonian encounter.  









The Mother of the bride was all that stood between Alex and his prize.  Of course Alex had his work cut out for him as he entered the gate and was greeted by the mother's beautiful smile and a lot of qualifying questions for Alex.  




Alex was prepared, dressed to the nines in a custom suit tailored in Moscow.  He cleverly brought gifts to win the favor of Ljubov's Mother including wines and her favorite chocolates.  







It appeared that even Alex's charm would fall short as Mom was not warming up at first.  But it was all in fun and fun it was.  




And then the groom to-be had another challenge, to demonstrate his love by how much he knew of the the bride through a series of numbers.  He was required to associate to important facts about Ljubov (shoe size, waistline, etc).  


As you can see, Ljubov was not too happy with some of the guesses.  


And then, Ljubov's mother asked Alex to put the very best gift he had to offer in the basket and what did Alex do?, He jumped into the basket!!!





In the end, persistence, charm and good looks prevailed.  Ljubov's Mother approved and Alex was free to claim his bride.  

The couple was presented and ready to get take the next step at the ceremony which would be held on Coronado Island.  With this first chapter ending, so much more of this story was yet to unfold.  

But before we left for Coronado Island, I was able to take a few photos of this beautiful bride.  Ljubov was comfortable with the camera and made it easy to capture some beautiful portraits.    

And that is the end of Part 1.  

But there is much more to this adventure....so stay tuned for Part II where we will show you their beautiful Coronado Island lawn ceremony overlooking downtown San Diego and we will share a little about how this dynamic couple met.  Stay tuned.