A Stanford Wedding // Sonya and Joshua

stanford memorial church wedding portrait

Sonya is part of a fairly large UCLA wedding crew that we've been fortunate enough to meet most of, and it all started with one-half of our favorite couples of all time Adri and Ro. Sonya's family is based in the San Francisco South Bay Area so the couple journeyed back from their home in New York to reconnect with friends and family and get married. We met all the family, friends and yes, aunties and cousins the night before for the rehearsal dinner which was hosted by Sonya's family.

Sonya's wedding day preparations began at her parents South Bay home surrounded by her large enthusiastic family and her bridesmaids. It's tradition to do a marriage blessing ceremony prior to the wedding ceremony, so both Sonya and Joshua separately prayed surrounding their family as each family member took turns giving blessings to the bride and groom. It was a powerful and emotional moment, and there were tears all around.

The couple headed to their Stanford wedding where at the centre of the campus quad, Stanford Memorial Church establishes itself a majestic center point of the Stanford campus, in all it's Pre-Raphaelite splendor, and with an undeniable European arcade feel. Stanford was one of the earliest, and is still amongst the most prominent, interdenominational churches in California. As you walk down the nave of the church, the cavernous inner sanctum opens to greet you. Adorned with angelic mosaics and quatrefoils, and dimly illuminated by warm lighting occasionally punctuated by shafts of color, the space does take your breathe away. In this sacred space, Sonya and Joshua quietly read vows to each another and sealed their commitment with a kiss. The organist depressed the keys, triggering notes which filled and released Stanford Church's giant pipes with air, in another perfectly harmonious union. As the couple took each other's hand and made their way down the aisle, the doors of the church opened and these triumphant sounds spilled out across the campus, announcing the newly married couple to the world.

After family photos at the church, Sonya and Joshua joined the wedding party and hopped on their party bus to take photos around the campus. We stopped at several places and got some great moments in with everyone, alongside the filmmakers Brinton Films before getting everyone back to the Hyatt Regency and the grand ballroom. The wedding party made their entrance and speeches began with everyone sharing such touching moments from their lives together with Sonya and Josh. From the bride and groom's elevated love-seat, above the dance floor, the couple laughed and cried in each other's arms and once the speeches concluded, as is tradition, everyone got to eat! The gap between dinner and dance floor boogie down was narrow and it was almost immediate that the dance floor packed with groovy grannies, rad dads and funky uncles getting down. It was a perfect unwind to a day that began in such a sacred space.