Monday, September 24, 2012

Engagement Shoot {Aubrey & Matthew} Cavallo Point, Sausalito, CA

Photo by Delbarr Moradi

{We are excited to share that this engagement shoot was featured earlier this year in Style Me Pretty. To view the feature, click here}

As a wedding planner, it’s easy to say that I fall in love with all my clients, but this especially rings true for this drop dead gorgeous couple. Upon meeting Matthew and Aubrey, I instantly felt I had a set of the most amazing clients on my hands for 2012.

I first met Matthew and Aubrey in Carmel, California at my most favorite jewelry store in the entire world, Fourtane Estate Jewelers. Being good friends with the owners, they told this gorgeous couple about me when Matthew purchased Aubrey’s insanely gorgeous engagement (see photo gallery). I was lucky enough to meet them face-to-face during their next visit to the store and I was completely blown away by how physically gorgeous and sweet these two were. 

The story of how they met and their sweet courtship gets me so inspired for their wedding day every time I hear them tell it.  My favorite version is Matthew’s (hear it from his perspective in the passage below) as it’s so evident that he’s head over heels in love and beaming to make her his wife. His version of their story is seriously swoon-worthy for all single women out there.

Matthew and Aubrey are medical students at Loma Linda University in Southern California, and according to Matthew, he first laid eyes on her in the gym on campus.  For him, totally love at first sight.

Passage according to Matt...

“There she was, working out at the Drayson Center. This was the first time I had seen her outside of the Anatomy lab, where I was currently teaching first year medical students the intricacies of the human form and where I first noticed her beautiful blue eyes and flowing red hair. For several months now, I had wanted to know her name, knowing full well I really had no shot- she was way out of my league. But, I decided to wander over to some weights near where she was instructing a few other med students (didn't know she was also a fitness instructor!). Luckily for me, I knew one of the other students she was working out with. I caught Stacy's eye and said hi- she proceeded to introduce me to the ladies...

"Hi, I'm Aubrey," my future fiancée said.
"Hi. I'm Matthew. Wow..." I said.

And then I blurted out the words that would stick in both of our heads forever and for that moment, would be, what I thought, the stupidest thing I could have ever said, “…my name would have been Aubrey if I was a girl- my mom was going to name me that…” (As Aubrey nods her head in bemusement) “…yah Aubrey Elizabeth would have been my name.”

Oh my god. I can’t believe I just said that. I mean, my name really would have been Aubrey Elizabeth Zabel, had I been born a girl… Ask my mom. But what the heck was I thinking- now I definitely have no shot… idiot. “Oh wow,” she exclaimed, as the others looked at each other with awkward smiles. “That is MY name.” After exchanging surprised looks and several laughs, I walked away thinking I must have sounded like an tool… or a creep.”

“A few weeks later I found myself being asked by her and a classmate to do a tutoring session in the Anatomy lab. From there we would see each other in the gym and by no coincidence either. We were both showing up to work out at the time we knew the other would also be there. One day, I asked her to do sushi with some friends and me… And that set in motion our relationship. After enjoying sushi where I got to show off some of my neuroscience geekyness and found out that she was a Brain Camp attendee (love it), she invited me to a med student get together that night. After talking and getting to know each other, it had come up that I was going to Malibu the next morning for a friend’s birthday- a place she said she had never been before. So again, in my predictable blurting nature, I asked if she wanted to come with me. Excitedly, she said yes and the next morning we drove up to Malibu together and hung out for the entire day with my friends… and where I preceded to get us lost in the coastal mountains and kept her out way too late walking around Beverly Hills before finally getting her home around 1 am- apologizing persistently. Yet none of this was enough to keep her away and we started to talk more and more. “

“A few weeks after we started seeing each other, in February, our parents joined us in Loma Linda for family weekend. On that Friday, our parents met on the fourth floor of the Centennial Medical building, just outside the medical simulation center. The chemistry of our families melded in seconds and immediately after introductions the conversation turned to poodles. Both families are obsessed with this beautiful and intelligent breed of dog and the poodles Sandie (maltipoo), Kirrah, Jasper and Rocky are no exception. So for a good half hour, Aubrey chatted with Leesa, Steve with Ken and I with Ellen... about poodles!

Speaking of poodles, since Aubrey and I found out we had another big thing in common (and our families as well), we decided to take advantage of that and take our poodles for a walk the next morning. So we walked and talked with our poodles striding- ever so elegantly- ahead of us for about an hour...

The next morning I had the chance to really get to know Aubrey's family. We started around 11 am where I showed the family around my research facilities and continued into the afternoon with lunch and a stroll around Mission Inn in Riverside, followed by intriguing conversation at a Coffee Bean down the street. On our way home, we took a detour to find See's Candy, but instead found ourselves in a Barnes and Noble (where I bought Aubrey the book The Watchers by Dean Koontz and where I believe we found Monterey- the MOH- an anatomy coloring book). From there we headed back to Loma Linda to watch the movie The King's Speech and had dinner at BJ's... at 11 pm. At the end of the night, when they dropped me off at my apartment, Aubrey accompanied me to the door. We smiled and exchanged expecting looks. I had to say it... "Yah, so, I like you," i said. Aubrey smiled up at me... "I am glad to know we are on the same page," she said back to me. I kissed her on the cheek and couldn't wait to see her again. We OFFICIALLY started dating that night.”

The Engagement Shoot
When we first talked about their engagement pictures, they had discussed the importance of having a California style setting as a backdrop so their out-of-town wedding guests could get excited about their travel to Carmel Valley for their wedding day. They also had wanted to somehow incorporate a nautical feel while still staying true to their lifestyle and how they met. I immediately I suggested Cavallo Point as their engagement location as it’s backdrop boasts the most incredible view of the Golden Gate Bridge (can’t get any more Cali than that), features a sailing harbor, is surrounded by a forest and has some seriously gorgeous historical buildings.

Also, since I originally met both Matthew and Aubrey at Fourtane Jewelers, I asked the owners if they would be willing to lend some of their amazing pieces for the shoot since this couple absolutely loves vintage jewelry. They did more than that, they actually came to the shoot and styled each photo session with a complete look using some of their signature pieces. It was truly a swoon-worthy moment.

It was important to me that they not only had a beautiful backdrop and jewelry for their photos, but equally I wanted the shoot to reflect them as a couple. Since they met in medical school and studying is a big part of their lifestyle, I decided to create their first look as a study session in the center of the property nestled in the gorgeous tall grass (one of Cavallo’s signature characteristics). We brought in coffee cups, vintage books, blankets and some other cute props for them to play with.  Needless to say, it was a very natural atmosphere for them and they got really playful.

We moved down to the pier for their second shoot which took on a more nautical feel. We staged them on a dock overlooking the entire San Francisco Bay using the Golden Gate Bridge as the backdrop, a simple arrangement of blue Hydrangea, a box of the famous Teuscher chocolates, a bottle of champagne and a pair of crystal flutes. It was so clear and gorgeous that day and Aubrey and Matthew looked amazing in almost every shot. This was an especially fun look since we got to play dress up and put Aubrey in a flowing blue maxi dress and diamond jewelry and watched her gorgeous red hair blow in the wind. 

Aubrey and Matthew were such a pleasure to work with, and with Delbarr Moradi behind the lens, of course the photos came out simply stunning.

Aubrey and Mathew were married at Holman Ranch on June 3rd this year! Congratulations Aubrey and Matthew!

Vendor Credits:
Photography: Delbarr Moradi, Delbarr Moradi Photography
Photo Shoot Design & Styling: Simone Lennon, Soiree by Simone Lennon
Vintage Jewelery & Vintage Rolex Watches: Kris Bonifas, Fourtane Jewelers


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