If it's a rainy day, dance in the puddles! » Seattle Wedding Photographer Blog

There are two parts to this story and let me start by telling you the sunny San Francisco version. Grab your tissues, a glass of wine and be ready for a love story with heart ache, perseverance, and history. This is one for the books!

It’s hard to not want to write about how amazing Matt & Miguel are as individuals. Anyone that knows them knows this is true. They both have so much to offer the world and being together for 10 years you can feel that they always handled life’s up and downs with grace and patience. Never showing signs of stress of frustration but only love and commitment to each other and those they love.

They’ve been together for 10 years and married on their 10th anniversary in beautiful San Francisco.



The day started out perfect. The sun rose, cascading its light through alleys separated by buildings climbing to the blue sky! Matt and Miguel’s long time friend’s Marissa & Joni stood by helping with ties, pouring champagne, laughing, celebrating not just this day but what the last decade has been like to get to this day. They knew the emotions and the more difficult moments that lead to this better than anyone else.






I wasn’t a part of their lives 10 years ago but as I watch childhood friends break down in tears, I can only imagine what their thoughts were, what they went through. Emotions stuffed down for years, finally coming to the surface, ready to be seen and heard. It’s happening, it’s beautiful and there’s no stopping it.

From Joni’s perspective (Matt’s longest childhood friend)

“I am so proud and in awe of the way both Matt and Miguel have done the hard work of establishing authenticity in their lives. They believe in living in the truth and facing life head on with all its messy reality. They are continually strengthening their relationships with the people they love and with each other.”

“It was an honor to be in SF for the wedding. I kept thinking about all the brave LGBT community there that has never stopped fighting for equality. It was such a quintessential San Francisco experience with the ceremony at the beautiful courthouse, the reception in an incredible Victorian mansion, and dancing till dawn in the Castro! It was a weekend of LOVE that I’ll never forget and Jessica captured it all beautifully in her wonderful photos!”

Before we all left Matt & Miguel gave Joni & Marissa the most elegant Tiffany necklaces as a symbol of their gratitude for their unconditional support, love & devotion to their friendships.


Marissa, one of Miguel’s childhood friends came all the way from Spain to be with the couple. When Miguel told her they were flying to San Fransisco to get married, Marissa didn’t even hesitate to make sure she would be there.

Moments like these get me thinking as we get older and the true nature of real friendship. Even when you’re not together all the time, or live in different time zones, the fact that your friend would fly across the world to be with you on your special day shows the amount of love and respect this friendship has built over the last two decades.

As this day is playing out, Marissa’s happiness for her best friend,  shines through as hugs and smiles are exchange.


It’s almost 2pm and time to meet at the San Francisco City Hall. Everyone finds their way there and as everyone meets by the front steps as wave of excitement hits. Smiles, laughter, hugs and this intense feeling of happiness floods us all.

My face is hidden behind the lens, but as I watch the most genuine people in the world all hug each other, truly excited for Matt & Miguel, tears role down my face. This is what love is all about. We talk about loving one another but to show it through your actions is a completely different aspect. Don’t just tell people you love them, show it.




Everyone heads into San Francisco City Hall, if you have never been there. Put it on your bucket list of places to see. The only word that came to mind when we walked in, was grand! It’s very grand! The high ceiling, flowing stair case, beautiful architecture and cascading columns. It was the perfect place for Matt and Miguel to say their I Do’s!


Everyone waits patiently for Miguel’s and Matt’s turn. Vows are practiced, friends relax and wait. It’s a calm moment and one to savor.





As the vows were read, 10 years of memories washed through the room. The energy was intense as Matt and Miguel both gave very moving speeches. There wasn’t a dry eye when they reference their fur babies, Bella & Frank. The way they both take care of them and love them.






The adventure didn’t stop here! Everyone headed to a Victorian Mansion that has been restored to it’s original state for dinner.



As we all strolled in and climbed the stairs, their friends were waiting at the top of the balcony ready to give beautifully written toasts.

I think everyone could agree when Marissa said, “When Miguel first told me about Matt, I knew Matt was the one for him,  because I have never seen Miguel as happy as he was when he was with Matt.”

Their happiness is evidence that they were meant to be together. They are better together and have created this circle of trust and happiness with those they love.

As we headed downstairs, you could smell the amazing dinner being prepared and couldn’t help but appreciate the stunning table scape created by their friends.





The evening followed with lots of laughter and amazing food and wine. It was one of those nights you don’t want to end because it feels almost magical. Matt and Miguel have created this feeling by just being themselves and inviting us all to join in.


The night ended with dancing and LOTS of laughter.

It was perfect.

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If I were to say Edmond’s beach for Taleah, David and I was kind of important,  that would be an understatement. Edmond’s beach is the shore that we can touch with our hands and feet that connects us with home. The sand and water surrounding our toes is a reminder were almost there. Watching as the white and green ferry sets off to Kingston,  we know we are one step closer to home. Being from Forks is always an interesting tale to tell. Proir to Twilight Forks was a sleepy logging town that not many people knew about. If you did know about it,  you are probably very protective of it. I was forunate enough to spend my weekends, summers and holidays in Forks. Running around in the woods with my friends, going to the ocean was a normal daily routine just like dinner, and the river just a 5 minute walk away.


Being able to do all these things also included, getting the honor at 11 years old of being Taleah’s babysitter. It’s an honor because her family is very protective of her and not just anyone was allowed to babysit. This means I took my job very seriously!! We had an entire resort/campground her family owned to run around on, have bon fires, smores, tree swings and endless hours outside. I remember heading back home when I was 21 and seeing her in the 4th of July parade. She was all grown up and stunning!! My thoughts raced to when she was young. Taleah was shy, sweet and happy. I never remember her being upset but I do remember her smile and the adorable bob hair cut she had.


Taleah is the type of girl that gets along with everyone and when I met David for the first time I could understand instantly why they chose to be together. It wasn’t just the way he looked at her, but the way he complimented her, he saw the same bright shining star she is, that we all see in her.

“You’re just so great Taleah, you’re not mean to anyone and when new people come into town, you’re so excited to meet them, I love it!” I smiled, knowing exactly what he meant.

Being in a small town can be hard for new comers,  but Taleah will be the first one to embrace you with open arms.


As we set out to Edmonds I saw it again, the way he looked at her, the comfort and the way she smiled back. She always looked him in the eye with trust and admiration. This time I am not her babysitter but her wedding photographer and I had the same desire to take my job very seriously as I am trusted once again with Taleah & the love her life, David!




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  • April 29, 2016 - 5:50 pm

    Taleah - Oh, Jess. We love our photos so much! Your words mean more than you know. We feel so lucky to be working with you because you are such a natural and extremely talented. You have a way about you that makes us feel so comfortable being in front of the camera. This experience has been so special to me, in particular, because I’ve known you for so many years and to have you be a part of our big day makes it that much more special. You are amazing and we couldn’t be more thankful for you. Thank you again!ReplyCancel

Dear Alicia,  Amanda,  Sara C,  Sarah G, and Stephanie,

I can’t even begin to explain what happen.  Devine intervention, The Universe, God, whatever you believe,  this story is from a higher power.

It was a few days before Mother’s Day and I wasn’t worried to much about it. I was scrolling Facebook and saw a post, “A Letter to Motherless daughters on Mother’s Day.” I didn’t feel like crying, so I didn’t read it.

However that moment, reading that title,  took my heart in a completely different direction for that week than I had planned. It was your Mothers. There is no other explanation.

I started making calls, sending messages to my closest friends, clients and anyone I knew that lost their mother. If you recall it sounded something like this, “Hey, do you want to come and do a fun photo shoot with me on Friday, it’s suppose to be beautifully sunny out. It will be fun and low key.”

My gift from the universe is pictures. I might not always have the right words, or best answers but if you’re feeling blue, I can take your picture and watch you light up when you see how beautiful you are! I can do that!

That simple gesture turned into a life changing experience for me. Thank you for that.   2016-03-15_0002

 I am close to all of you for different reasons, all from different walks of life and all at different stages of your mother’s death.

 In two days I planned for you to be at my house, hair and make up artists lined up,  and I would do a session with you Edmond’s beach at sunset.

Little did I know the magic that was about to play out in all our lives.

2016-03-15_0005Venders jumped on board and everything we needed was taken care of.

It was so amazing to see a community come together for such a great cause. I decided to contact a few News Channels to see what they thought of covering the event and King 5 was the first to get back to me.

Thank you again to everyone that helped make this possible. The mission was for each girl to feel INSANELY LOVED! Mission accomplished!

AMAZING Flower Crowns & Flower Center Pieces: Lola Floral

Delicious Pie Shooters & Homemade Sugar Cookies: Snohomish Pie Company

Yummy Green Smoothies & Sweet Potato Chips: Alive Juice Bar

 Perfectly Handmade Cards: Goodey Studio

Stunning Glass Jewelry: Cheryl Parrot

Adorable Homemade Lipgloss: Craft Botanicals

Elegant Letterhead: Milly design Studio

NUMMY Cupcakes & other Sweet treats: Mandy Pierce

Perfect Make up & Stunning Hair: Make Up By Timmi & Michelle-Make Up Artistry & Taylor Wickman

 Fun Vintage Couch & other decor: Vintage Ambiance

Amazing Dinner: Sponsored by Demetris on Edmond’s Waterfront

Documenting the event so we can cherish it forever: King 5 News

Spread the word, Ring My Belle: Rachel Belle


To make things even more amazing, Edward the guy that recruited our story from King 5,  started to tell me the day of the event was actually his Mother’s birthday and that she had passed away years ago and he was really close to her! Crazy timing!

Right after I got off the phone with him I got a message from Sarah G, she had been reading her mom’s diary and she read an entry about Edmond’s beach and it’s beauty just a few weeks off from our event date. (Picture above)


Heather Graf from King 5 and awesome camera man Dave!

2016-02-02_0007Each of you bring your own gift to this world. Let me tell you how special you really are through my eyes.

First Stephanie walked through the door, she might as well of had a beaming light with angels behind her! Her smile lit up the house, she graced me with a huge hug and said she couldn’t wait to see her sister! I had only met her one other time at her sister’s wedding. I felt drawn to her instantly because of her courage and strength. When their Mother, Elaine passed away when the girls were young,  Stephanie often had to play the role of Mom and big sister.


Sarah G. followed soon after, her classic beauty and timeless effort was as if she glided through the door out of a classic black and white movie. Her beauty mirrors that one of Marilyn Monroe or Aubrey Hepburn. I’ve know her for years, actually a decade! We had recently reunited and picked up right where we left off.  You can see her wearing her Mom, Sandra’s wedding dress!  I remember when Sarah and I had reunited and were chatting over drinks.  She mentioned her mom’s passing and that it was one of the hardest things she had ever gone through. I hope this experience relieved some of that pressure, as I do feel strongly,  it was all their Mother’s making this happen.


Sara C. followed next and gave me the biggest hug, with a her perfect laugh as we joked about something,  given our similar sense of humor!  Her piercing deep dark blue eyes put the blue skies to shame and her easy going nature makes you feel like you’re family! I’ve know Sara for years and I have to give her credit for trusting me with her family pictures when I was first starting out!  Thank you Sara!  I was around when Odie, Sara’s mom past away. I couldn’t imagine what she was going through, I just remember noticing that she handled it with so much grace as she had to continue being a wife and mother to two adorable girls.


Alicia of our course came through the door looking like a Pop Star somewhere in-between Katy Perry and Britney. Bubbly, happy, gorgeous and makes you want to start dancing! I’ve know her since high school and the Summer before had the honor of photographing her beautiful wedding. Alicia has a beautiful tattoo along with her sister, of their mom’s hand writing, saying “I love you.”


 Amanda was last and beamed with a smile and her beautiful graceful face, soft eyes, and motherly nature put us all at ease. Her calming voice had us all relax! Amanda and I met at dinner party and became instant friends. We will always be in each other’s lives, even if we don’t see each other often! Amanda & her sister lost her Mother not long ago and her story of her Mother Linda hit close to home for all of us as it was very recent.


Each girl had never met each other before, but as our paths were crossing, it felt in that moment we were all where we were meant to be.

Amanda and Sarah below,  also came with their Mother’s Wedding Dresses. You’ll see them as you keep scrolling, and they wear them beautifully.

 I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
























Thank you to Cindy Thompson for making sure we were able to send off Chinese lanterns in each Mother’s honor including Edward’s Mom. My favorite part was watching  you huddle together describing how each lantern did it’s own thing and that’s so…”My mom would go off in her own direction.” or “There she goes float off into the water.” or “She keeps soaring higher.”

Amanda took the moment a step further with each girl by offering up an opportunity to tell their story. Thank you for that Amanda, it was beautiful to watch.

Happy Mother’s Day you 5 beautiful souls!




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I have to do a post on The Wolverton Family!

They’re just such great people!

Have you ever shot a family with 4 boys of all ages and they’re all polite, sweet and incredibly respectful!

Each time I photograph this family, if it’s a styled shoot, a huge family affair or an intimate family session, it’s always fun, easy going and a great time!

Sarah always gets out the car with a huge smile on her face and follows her husband Rob who also has a huge welcoming smile and 4 boys waving, asking how I have been and excited to get their picture taken. Even if something happens, such as the youngest, Hayes, getting a bunch of bad bee stings, everyone jumps in to help and keep the show going! Each brother helps in their own way, Sarah is sensitive and sweet while Rob runs to the car to see if there is anything that will help. They’re a team, a family built together and staying together no matter what.

Ohana means family, and that means no one gets left behind!

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I was searching Pinterest one day for marriage quotes, you know something about the beauty in real life and real life moments. I only found how to guides on how to bring the spark back or how to appreciate your husband. I was a little disappointed. No one has made quotes decked out in flowers and pretty letters about the joy of marriage and being a team as you raise your children together. As my daugther has grown I find beauty in all the small things she does, as my husband and I grow together emerging more and more into a friendship and love only we understand, I always take mental photographs of these moments.


They’re not the moments you see hung on our walls or shelves but they’re the real life moments that turn into what we call life. When Mykenzie’s last fine baby hairs finally grew out, when Chris laid next to me on the couch and gave me a haunting loving look because he wanted so bad to propose to me in that moment, I had no idea but I will never forget the look. The moment I catch Mykenzie being sneaky but it’s too funny to be mad about or when Chris and I laugh at an inside joke only we understand, that’s real life. I wanted a cute Pinterest quote for it!

Instead I got something better. Way better.



To walk into a families home and document their real life is nothing short of amazing. As I knocked at the door I could hear tiny footsteps running as fast as they could to get to the door. Then waiting…obviously they were taught not to open the door for strangers. I smiled to myself, thinking about the same rule I have for my kids. Ben, their dad greeted me with a warm welcome and Allyce (mom) reassured me they were almost ready. Eleanor, the oldest greeted me with dancing and a huge smile that showed all her teeth! Caroline the newly middle child, brushed her fine blonde hairs out of her eyes and brought her shoulders up and gave me a huge smile as well. The house smelled of Christmas and cinnamon and tree lights twinkled in background. Two small baby bottles rested on the counter, for their newly born twins Amelia and Margaret. This home was filled with love, laughter, tears, joy, marker stains, laundry baskets and real life. I loved being here.


Welcome to the Riemenschneider House!

P.S. I made my own Pinterest Marriage Quotes based off how I felt during this session! (Scroll to the bottom!)

Feel Free to pin them if you like!







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  • January 16, 2016 - 12:20 am

    Lori Riemenschneider - Living so far away (Texas) we love to see pictures of the “kids”. Thank you for capturing their true essence! The love and joy in their household shone through in your pictures! It warmed a grandmas heart to see their beautiful faces. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • January 17, 2016 - 11:59 pm

      admin - Hi Lori! It was such a pleasure and didn’t even feel like I was working. Congrats on the 2 new additions to your grandchildren list!ReplyCancel

This girl!

I don’t even know how to begin telling this story, I’ve always been really private about personal things I went through growing up but sometimes a light comes in that you never forget.

It was my Senior year and Homecoming was coming up. At this point I had worked 2 jobs and paid for most of my stuff. I hadn’t seen my mom in a few years and she had suddenly came back into my life, she needed help with rent, so I gave my savings to her. It didn’t bother me one bit, however that meant I didn’t have money for a homecoming dress. I didn’t tell anyone and just said I couldn’t find the right dress and just nodded and listened as all my friends talked about their dresses. Lydia over heard me talking about not having a dress and she quickly invited me over to her house to try on her dresses from previous dances! There was no hesitation, nothing in it for her and not one ounce of meanness in her heart about it! She wanted to help a sister out and even though the dress didn’t fit, I will always remember the gesture!

With that story in mind, being able to photograph her & James’ engagement session was just 10x more special for me. Especially because she had no idea that I was thinking about that!

Thank you Lyd and I’m over the moon for you and James!





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I love a good love story and I love even more when you see the genuine love and affection behind the lens. The soft touches, the glances, the smiles, the feeling of just being whole heartedly your best self when you’re with this person. Dennis & Julie have an energy about them as a couple that makes you want to run home and hug the love of your life and tell them how grateful you are for them.

Beyonce XO was on repeat as I edited their photos, I kept smiling as it just explained them as a couple perfectly…

Your love is bright as ever (ever, ever, ever)
Even in the shadows (shadows, shadows, shadows)
Baby kiss me (kiss me, kiss me, kiss me)
Before they turn the lights out (lights out, lights out, lights out)
Your heart is glowing (glowing, glowing, glowing)
And I’m crashing into you (into you, into you, into you)
Baby kiss me (kiss me, kiss me, kiss me)
Before they turn the lights out (the lights out)
Before they turn the lights out (the lights out)
Baby love me lights out

In the darkest night hour (In the darkest night hour)
I’ll search through the crowd (I’ll search through the crowd)
Your face is all that I see
I’ll give you everything
Baby love me lights out
Baby love me lights out
You can turn my lights out

Listen here



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The night is still young but the event is winding down, some of you have chosen to stay. We head up the wooden stairs to the upper loft of the barn at Bostic Lake Ranch. The ceilings are high and drenched with white christmas lights. When you squint your eyes it’s like a million shining stars, the ambiance of the room is calm, warm and welcoming. We pull up chairs and squish ourselves to one table so we can be closer. Elbows and knees touching but smiling and laugher fills the loft. The left over wine sets in the middle of the table and dessert is beckoning at each of us to just take one bite of that beautiful naked cake!

I think Sarah W. starts and gets us laughing so hard about her mom’s new boobs. “She was so proud of them, she wouldn’t wear a shirt or bra and just go walking outside.”

Roughly 5 hours before we were all sitting around a table together, girls from all over Washington state pulled up to Bostic Lake Ranch, the sun was shining and magic was in the air. As girls filed in, make up and hair started.

They were all different but here for the same reason, at a young age they all lost their mothers. Some didn’t have their mother’s at their wedding to pester them about their hair style or to be a grandma when they had their first child. Each story is a little different but one thing is for sure, they all loved their mother’s to the core of their being, and every word of wisdom their mother shared with them dances on their hearts daily & feels even stronger as mother’s day rolls around.

Here’s what happens when they all meet.

Devion Hagen Photography

Miguel Cornelio Photography

Miguel Cornelio Photography

Devon Hagen Photography

Miguel Cornelio Photography

Miguel Cornelio Photography

Devion Hagen Photography

Devon Hagen Photography

Devon Hagen Photography

Seven of Hearts Photography

Sisters Tara and Alicia lost their mother more recently and the tears are flowing. Girls that have been going through this for a long time, offer loving advice, always real and genuine. “It never gets easier sweet, but you learn to live with it and realize she’s still here if you just talk to her.”

As the night ends, the moon shines bright, the girls hug for a long time, constantly exchanging I love yous, swearing this is exactly what they needed but didn’t even know they needed it.

Love Always,





Thank you to all our sponsors including families that donated $25.00 a piece to cover costs! We are so grateful to be able to put the event on!

Venue- Bostic Lake Ranch

Table Setting Design, Invitation Design & pretty much there to make it AWESOME! – Alissa Lawton with Gather Events

Make up and Hair Artists

Michelle Wight

Make up by Timmi

Armand Leslie

Danielle Harrigan

Taylor Wickman

Adrienne Ryan Gray

Dinner & Apeteizers_ El Gaucho- Bellevue  &  Juice Bar

Gift bags- Wine from Delille Cellars, Cards- Kaitlin Goodey  Jewelry from Lori

Furniture- Becca from Northwest Vintage Rentals

Tables-Seattle Farm Tables

Music-Leslie Ann Wheatley with Seattle Parties

Photographers Miguel Cornelio Photography & Devion Hagen Photography

Flowers & Flower Crowns- Althauser Design





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Talk about a beautiful wildflower! Sam is from Edmonds so it was only perfect to have her senior session at Edmonds Beach. The colors of the sunset and warmth of the sand was very fitting for Sam’s warm personality. What a dreamy evening and perfect way to celebrate her senior year. But first SOCCER!


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Gabi & Khandey

What an amazing experience to have your horse, Khandey in your senior pictures. The entire moment was magical, as the frost on the trees glimmered in the distance and the sun rays came through the branches. It was a crisp morning but beautiful. There was a calmness among the ranch as you could hear other horses trotting around, enjoying getting brushed and basking in the sunlight.

Senior pictures should always make a statement of who you are and I think Gabi nailed it. Not one picture was taken without Khandey at her request!


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