Kristin Chalmers Photography » the blog of Kristin Chalmers Photography

Love in Bloom – Jeffrey and Natasha’s Topanga Canyon Wedding

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Jeffrey and Natasha were married on November 22, 2014 with a ceremony and reception at The 1909 in Topanga Canyon. CA.

Jeffrey and Natasha. What more can I say? It was my last wedding of the season and I couldn’t think of a better way to end this year.This wedding meant a trip back to my old stomping ground of Los Angeles to photograph my dear friend Jeffrey’s wedding to his beloved Natasha. I had been dying to return to LA to shoot a wedding there ever since I started doing weddings here in MA.

My very last job in LA before photography and motherhood took over my life was that of a producer for the show House Hunters for Pie Town Productions. It was an amazing place to work. This is where I met Jeff. We hit it off and became incredible friends right away. After I had my first child and a nasty battle with postpartum depression, it was Jeff that would call me at home and make me leave my house with my son to have lunch and try to feel like a normal person again. He saw me cry… a lot. He was an amazing listener. I would always think to myself…”Why the hell is this guy single? Whoever grabs him will be the luckiest woman alive”. When I moved back east, we kept in touch via the internet and skype. Then one day, on his Facebook page I saw a relationship status update. “Jeffrey is engaged to Natasha”. I almost fell off my chair I was so happy for him. Because I know that my pal, Jeff, has wanted to find the right woman for him for a very long time and I was over the moon that he had finally found someone. So now….I needed to hear more. I dropped him a line and said…”ehm….who is this Natasha? I want to hear everything. And just so you know, I really really want to shoot your wedding”. Long story short, the three of us hopped on skype and the next thing I knew…I was flying across the country to watch my good friend marry this fantastic, fun, hilarious, talented and beautiful woman. Another great thing was that I got to frolic with all my old friends from Pie Town Productions. My old bosses were there as well as some of my very favorite work buddies. It was a spectacular day for sure.

Jeff met Natasha through his father, Hanley. Natasha and Hanley worked together at an architectural signage company and they had become fast friends. Jeff’s father invited him to a play that Natasha was performing in at the West Valley Playhouse, and that is where Jeff met her for the first time. The three of them all hung out together a few more times before Jeff’s father passed away in 2011. After Jeff’s dad passed, both Natasha & Jeff were in a place where neither of them were in a relationship, and they decided to start dating. Things just kind of took off from there and Jeff just knew…this was it.

The wedding day stared out with me heading over to The 1909, and my second shooter, Yartiza Colon, going over to hang with the guys at their hotel. I followed Natasha and her bridesmaids as everyone got ready. The weather was perfect and the vibe was super relaxed. Jeff and Natasha opted for a first look, but 5 minutes before that happened, the couple took a moment to create personal letters to one another that they would read right before they looked at one another. Talk about build up! They stood back to back and pass the letters to one another before turning around. It was perfect.

Then it was time for portraits of them alone & with their families and wedding party. And before we knew it…wedding time. From there, Yartiza and I joined the cocktail hour and then dinner in the lower part of the canyon. Toasts given by the couple’s best friends were so heartfelt I could not stop smiling for them and with them. From there we all headed up the hill for dessert and dancing. Not to mention a bouquet toss and possibly the funniest garter belt throw ever!

I loved every detail. Their table numbers were actually different types of wines. The desserts were out of this world and fashioned after childhood classics like pop tarts, smores cookies, yodels, snowballs and a host of other goodies. We took tons of photos of everyone stuffing their faces with desserts! Dinner was by candlelight and fire heaters. Jeffrey and Natasha’s bouquet and boutonniere were made by Natasha out of paper. And this wonderful bride wore red converse sneakers with her new initials embroidered on the backs of them.

The location, the sunset, the dancing. The sun in Los Angeles is so perfect for photography and The 1909 did not disappoint either. Jeff and Natasha’s first dance song was Faithfully by Journey. (My fave). Natasha’s mom really danced her ass off too. She could seriously cut a rug! I found out later, that she was once a very famous ballet dancer. A woman after my own heart.

Natasha and Jeffrey. I can’t thank you enough for bringing me all the way out to California to not only photograph your amazing day, but letting me be apart of your lives. To know you now and forever is such a gift! It was the most magical day ever!!!!

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Vendors

Cake: Cake Monkey
Caterer: Tony Spatafora
Florist: Michael Fiore
Wedding dress: Davids Bridal
DJ: Barry Lamster Entertainment
Officiant Michael German
Hair & Make-up: Melissa Beck-Swarberg

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