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Engaged: Lee and Jessica... it all started in 7th grade!

One of the benefits of being a wedding photographer is hearing all the great love stories. This one is special because it started when they were in the 7th grade. How many middle school relationships end in marriage? Their amazing story, in their own words:  "Jessica was the tallest, blondest, prettiest girl at Sequoia Middle School." Lee says. "I was four-foot-six in 7th grade, and Jessica seemed to stand two full feet over me. But I didn't care. I was in love."

He continues, "I walked her home from school. Sometimes I held her hand. We went to movies. I took her to the Spring dance. I remember we had to dance at 'elbows length apart' most of the time, but during the final dance I pulled her close. She could rest her head completely on top of mine. It was magic."

Scroll to the bottom to here her side of this sweet story.

Her side of things was just as sweet. "I still can't believe that the man I'm going to marry is the boy that took me to the spring dance in 7th grade." Jessica says, "He even wore a suit to the dance. All the other boys were wearing the typical baggy pants and big t-shirts, but not my Lee. He has always been very classy, even as a 12 year old boy! He was also my first boyfriend. I was extremely shy and timid in middle school. I was a scrawny, tall, gangly girl, and I often got teased for these things. Lee somehow saw me as gorgeous. Still to this day he says he thought I was just so pretty!"

She continues, "As many young romances go, we parted ways around the end of 7th grade. Little did we know, that wasn't the end of our story. We kept in touch on and off over the years; we even dated again for a while in 2008. It seems we couldn't stay away for too long. In September of 2011, the time was finally right. After a wonderful year together, Lee proposed in Hawaii on September 2, 2012. He said he just couldn't wait any longer. We are so excited to spend the rest of our lives together! I believe some things are just meant to be, and I am definitely meant to be with Lee. He is the funniest man I've ever met. We laugh together every day. He knows how to make me feel better when I'm down. I feel so lucky I get to spend even a minute with him, let alone the rest of my life! I couldn't be happier that I get to marry my best friend."

Well if that's not the sweetest love story that started in the 7th grade I don't know what could possibly top it. Thanks guys for the wonderful engagement shoot and I'm totally excited to photograph the wedding!

San Francisco Chinese Wedding Michael and Jessica

San Francisco Chinese Wedding Michael and Jessica

I have to admit, I didn't know what a Chinese wedding was until I met Michael and Jessica. Though I have lived in Asia for more than 12 years, I had not even heard of this "tea ceremony" they were talking about. While I still don't know all the symbolism involved, the tea ceremony is hugely important and honors both the bride and groom's parents. At two separate locations, Michael and Jessica knelt and with the assistance of a relative, served their parent(s) hot tea. In return, they received the special red envelopes (cha-ching!) and that was it. In both ceremonies, we were done in a minute or two. How cool is that! Off we went for wedding pictures, but not before Jessica slipped on her beautiful wedding dress. We had plenty of time for photos at the Legion of Honor, Baker Beach and the always beautiful (but very crowded) Golden Gate Park. These places are always a great place for wedding party pictures and for good reason -- they are stunning locations and the overcast day made for some fantastic light.

As a non-Chinese, it was a big honor for me (and my video crew) to capture Michael and Jessica's sacred day -- thanks guys! If you're looking for a San Francisco wedding photographer or video coverage for your Chinese wedding, let's discuss your big day!

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Rhodora and Brent - a match made on BART

Rhodora and Brent - a match made on BART

I never knew anyone who met their future spouse on public transit until Rhodora and Brent contacted me about their upcoming wedding. They were riding BART to their jobs in San Francisco...a conversation started... and the rest is history. So random at first but then destiny stepped in and laid out the course for their lives. I love stories like that. These guys have really creative ideas for their upcoming wedding in Portola Valley this December. I won't give those details away yet so their guests can be surprised. On our engagement shoot, we started at a small park near Brent's office where they often have lunch. From there we of course had to go back to where it all began -- the BART train! Then we went to this super awesome ally, a photographers dream location, and got some really sweet pictures. And of course we had to drop by the place Brent proposed, Dolores Park which has the San Francisco skyline in the background.

Our team of photographers and videographers are shooting their wedding in Portola Valley in December and can't wait to put up their highlight video and wedding photos. Thanks Rhodora and Brent for the great engagement shoot and look forward to seeing you soon!

I almost forgot -- since they already had a wedding website, I just made them a simple gallery website with all the best photos from the day. Thanks guys for a super unique engagement shoot!

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Julianne and Andy’s misty S.F. engagement

Julianne and Andy’s misty S.F. engagement

The weather said showers in San Francisco, and ok I was a little concerned. Not that we couldn't get great pictures, but because I was afraid Andy and Julianne would think twice about pushing thru. Well I obviously didn't know them very well because they were totally game no matter what the forecast said. How cool is that? I love them for taking a risk with me and we ended up having a great time and lots of nice pictures! These engagement portraits are all from one general area around Palace of Fine Arts / Crissy Field on a misty September afternoon. Check out more of their photos at their wedding website I designed, which is included in all my wedding packages. Can't wait guys for your wedding at Casa Real next April!

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Michael and Jessica’s “Giants” engagement

Michael and Jessica’s “Giants” engagement

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Michael and Jessica are by far the biggest Giants fans I have ever met, crazier than even my brother Matt who wrote two books on the team. Being a Giants fan myself, I was totally down for their engagement session at the ballpark. These guys brought signs, jerseys and lots of bubbly energy that made for some really fun pictures. And after a quick eat, we headed to Union Square for some night portraits before calling it a night. What a great time guys -- look forward to your Chinese wedding/ tea ceremony! engagement photos san Francisco

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Glenn and Vickie's Engagement

Though Glenn and Vicki booked me a year ago, only recently did all of our paths cross at the same in SF for their engagement shoot. We were really happy to hang out with them for a bit, wondering around Crissy, the Yacht Club, and of course the Palace of Fine Arts. See you guys at your wedding!

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San Francisco Engagement shoot with Archie and Rosie

Archie and Rosie's engagement shoot in San Francisco was a lot of fun, not just because the locations were awesome but mostly because Rosie and Archie are really funny people to be around. Ok at first Archie was a little stiff, naturally of course because how often to people pose for "engagement portraits" let alone really know what those really are to begin with. Brides surf all the wedding sites and are usually savvy about the whole thing, but guys tend to need a little time to get comfortable with the whole idea. My approach is to encourage couples to just enjoy the moment wherever we happen to be. They kiss, whisper, giggle, smile and point at the cute dog walking by... and I capture all the giddy goodness that engaged people naturally exhibit. If necessary I do pose couples who need a little extra help or if I see something that would be oh-so-cute, but other than that we just hang out and make pictures of their lives together.

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