June 24, 2018  •  3 Comments

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I met Amber in 2013 while shooting  their artist portraits for their website. We clicked right away. You know that feeling when you rarely meet really spiritual and happy souls and you want to stay in touch with them after that and follow their creative career.

Four years later I get an email from Monique referred by Amber to be their wedding photographer. Honestly, I was thrilled and I knew this would be a very unique  and emotional day even for me to be a part of it.

This is how they met. Both were attending the Esalen  Retreat Center in Big Sur, CA during the Holiday Season in 2014. Monique was taking a soul motion dance retreat and Amber was taking a tai chi/sound healing retreat. Sparkles bursted right away when they met on the dance floor during the Christmas Eve dance party. It was a magical night and couldn't be more romantic and memorable for them. The first question Amber asked Monique was ‘Don’t  I know you? Haven’t we met before?’. It wouldn't be possible as Monique lived in Hawaii where she was from and Amber in San Francisco at that time. They both shared their coming out stories and dating history in the first hour they met, which they had so much in common. But, it was the first 5 minutes conversation though between two of them that they knew were meant for each other. Their love for sure has a special relationship to hot springs . On April 13, 2017 they drove to Myvatn Nature Baths in Iceland, the most beautiful hot spring they have ever visited . They were pretty much alone in a huge pool and it spontaneously came to Amber to pop the question to Monique. They  tied the knot on May 26th, 2018 in the beautiful rose garden of UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, CA.

Their ceremony was so beautiful and spiritual. The concept was to walk in the circle  and make an eye connection with everyone who came to their wedding day and acknowledge their presence. I thought this was absolutely beautiful and so personal. It made me think that every wedding ceremony should have this moment in it, a moment of presence and connection with the people who we love and appreciate.  “The rose garden was in full bloom, and roses symbolize love. You could smell their heavenly fragrance. The rose garden is also up on a hill, with a view of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. We liked the expansive view. It was Monique's dream to move to the Bay Area--being in the rose garden with the view on the hill felt like being in the heavenly realm of sacred space with wafts of roses. “

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a personal moment

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The gorgeous bridal bouquet and the bouttenniere were by Vanessa from Bell and Trunk Flowers   Amber's suit was custom made by Thùy Custom Clothier



Monique was proud to wear on her wedding day her grandma pearls. 

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connecting with each other though touching each other heart


Monique makes eye contact with Amber's mom. Very emotional moment for both of them. 

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Walking in through the little gate at the rose garden. Monique walks with her two sons. 


Gorgeous view from rose garden at UC Botanical Garden garden . Golden gate bridge in the far distance. 

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connectig with the closest family members 


 I thought their wedding rings with natural gemstones like turquoise were so meaningful and beautiful made by Thomas Carusetta

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As Monique is Japanese American, the Japanese garden was a very special and significant place for her. 

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Bridal Dress by Nicole Miller and  silver/grey suit with eggplant piping, white shirt and iridescent blue/pink/silver vest by Thùy Custom Clothier


cakes made by M+A friend table flowers by Good Eggs

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Catering and Wedding Coordinator by  Simon from S&S Gastro Grub Catering

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Wildflowers on the tables by Good Eggs and guest favorites by Upcountry Maui Jams and Jellies



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free your voice 



the speeches were even more heartbreaking especially when little kids want to be a part of them


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The two moms are connecting. I believe this is a very memorable photo for the family album. 


Congratulations Amber and Monique and Thank You for believing in my work. It was more than an honor to be a part of your wedding day. 


Uma Kahn(non-registered)
These pictures are beautiful....well done!!!! Thanks for including me in this most festive of weddings. I loved everything about it. And I love you two!
U la la
Thank you for this most amazing and love-filled day.
Kimberley J. Rodler(non-registered)
Dear Amber Sue, Congratulations and Best Wishes to you and Monique on your marriage. Your photographer Stani has made a truly beautiful record of your stunning wedding day. I am so grateful to witness through the photographic record the loving beauty of your wedding day. Wish every good wish and Love, Kimmy
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