Karen is one of the sweetest and kindest people I know.  We first met in 2012 while we were both waiters at Sabroso Mexican Grill restaurant.  She happened to be my secret santa that year and we’ve kept in touch since then even though we’ve both moved on to our respective careers.  She called me out of the blue one day and asked if I could cover her upcoming wedding and, of course I was happy to do so.  She had been with her fiancée since high school and they were such a great pair.  From the get-go, I knew the wedding was going to be a little hectic simply because she told me the guest count would be around 300 people.  I also was very familiar with her family and relatives…and they knew how to have a good time.



The day started off with lots of energy, with the bride and groom getting prepared at their own homes with their large wedding party.  They had about 18 in their wedding party, the largest I’ve seen thus far.  It’s a testament to how close and tight knit they are with their friends and family.  After prep, we had a smooth catholic ceremony at St. John Baptist Catholic church followed by portraits at Irvine Regional park.  Nothing is normal when you have a large group.  It takes a lot of planning to come up with good poses and activities for a large group so we can keep them engaged, having fun, and most importantly, all looking good.  Luckily, we prepared for all that ahead of time when we did our planning session, which we do for all our wedding couples.

Snake Dance

is cray cray

As we moved on from the portraits to the reception, we took a drive to Riverside where her uncle owned a ranch venue for large events.  It was a sweltering day in July, almost 90 degrees.  The weather was hot and so were the activities!  Of all my weddings up to this point, the most exciting, exhilarating, and mini-culture shocking event had to be the snake dance.  The reception started out fairly normally, with a grand entrance, parent toasts, and a scrumptious spread of food but as it came towards the middle of the night, they headed into a money dance, followed by an insane thing called a Snake Dance.  Basically everyone guest gets into a conga line and travels around the dance floor while the couple stand on chairs, supported by their bridal party.  The conga line goes around and tries to knock off the couple.   The couple has to try and stay on their chair while people walk around and bump into them hard.