I must be so incredibly lucky because I was the photographer for Jorieden and Mitch for their engagement session, but also their wedding in January of 2021 and their reception in June later that year! I am intentional about how many weddings I shoot a year because booking and serving clients who align with my values and vibe make the photos more connected and meaningful. Exhibit A: the totally awesome chemistry Jorieden, Mitch, and I had when we did their initial consult made shooting their engagement and two weddings an immediate YES! I have totally loved being their wedding photographer.
After working together on their engagement session in June of 2020, Jorieden, Mitch, and I had to take a pause on working together for everyone’s safety. We knew that there would be a beautiful wedding to shoot… eventually. We just weren’t sure when exactly it was going to be yet.
In January of 2021, they decided they couldn’t wait any longer to get married. The couple scheduled a very small ceremony with family and Zoom access for friends. To be honest, this is one of my most favorite events I have ever captured. I absolutely loved being their wedding photographer. The ceremony took place in Mitch’s family’s backyard. We took romantic portraits in the yard, cried during the vow exchange with the officiant, and then hung out and celebrated with family. There’s something special about bearing witness to a family home. In this past year, many couples were married in settings like this — emotions on their sleeve and focused on what matters.
And this certainly was a family affair — both for Jorieden and Mitch, but also me! LOL. My wife R coordinated the zoom, I took the wedding photos, and my mom cooked some of the reception food. And let me tell ya, we did a damn good job. (R’s been trying to convince me to let her be my second shooter for years, but I think she’d be a stellar DJ and emcee…)
My favorite moment of this event was definitely the ceremony. The ceremony was all about the journey that Jorieden and Mitch have been on together with their families. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the whole space.
And when COVID took a small break and Jorieden and Mitch’s family were vaccinated, the couple felt confident in hosting a beautiful reception at the Turnip Rose in Costa Mesa. This event was ALL about celebrating their family and community, who supported them throughout their whole relationship. It was a blast to honor their relationships and be their wedding photographer once again.
While there are so many incredibly joyful moments to choose from, I would have to say that my favorite was definitely their vow exchange and private first look. In lieu of having another ceremony, they chose to write their own vows to be exchanged after their first look. This was a STAND OUT moment, and the photos turned out so beautiful. I truly believe that because Jorieden and Mitch took the time and space to be just with each other, they were able to relax and enjoy the rest of the celebration.
The couple’s main goal during their reception was to celebrate their community and get fantastic wedding photos of their friends and family to look back on. It was so great to be able to watch them interact with all of the people that they love so much. Everything they did that day was about how they took care of each other, family members, cousins, and friends.
Jorieden and Mitch are one of my favorite couples to have ever worked with. Witnessing their journey together to marriage was an honor. If you are a couple interested in my photography services for your wedding, click the button below! Note that I only take a few weddings a year because this process means a lot to me. I’m not a photo factory that just slips my couples into cookie cutter poses, vibes, and templates. I’m passionate about telling stories of intersecting identities and true love.
Venue: The Turnip Rose Promenade in Costa Mesa
Catering: The Turnip Rose Promenade
Photography: Yours Truly, Xiaopan Xue Photography
Videography: Carissa Woo Photography
Florals: Jenny B Floral Design
DJ/Emcee: Christopher Wang
Cake: Grace and Honey Cakes
Photobooth: PBG Entertainment