I love you.

Simple, right? Everyone has said it at one time or another, and probably heard it said as well. But what does it mean?

Well, it depends on the context, the subject, the speaker, and the intent.

Everyone knows that there are many different ways to love someone. Some kinds of love are romantic love, which is what we usually think of when we hear of a wedding. There are also kinds of love that are hard to speak about, because how can you name something so fleeting, so intangible?

What some people DON'T know is that the ancient Greeks had names for many of these kinds of love--real, solid names for feelings that we only know when we experience them.

I think that I would consider my life well lived if I were able to experience fully all of the kinds of loves that the Greeks named.

Erin and Dave experienced them all in one day.

Philia (the love of FRIENDSHIP)

Definition: 1. friendly feeling toward; 2. tendency toward; 3. abnormal appetite or liking for. (source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Means friendship in modern Greek. A dispassionate, virtuous love, was a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends,
family, community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. (source: wikipedia)

Erin and Dave met while they were in college, as many people do, and became friends first. Not one to rush into relationships, she certainly didn't need her dad to make sure that she knew to take her time, but I'm sure that even he didn't expect a wedding for 10 years after that! Their foundation was built on that friendship, and that friendship has been relied on every day since.

I love to become friends with my couples. Erin & Dave are the kind of people who make you feel as if you're their friend immediately, so walking into Erin's getting ready room was both comfortable and easy from the start!


She was such a happy bride! I love to see a bride happy and relaxed on her day:


Of course the details were beautiful--it was only fitting for such a gorgeous day! All flowers and decor are by Square Root


When I was uncovering Erin's dress, something about the shape and feel of the material reminded me of my own dress, which is why I wasn't surprised to find out that it was by the same designer, Amsale


Storge: The love felt by a parent for his/her offspring (source: wikipedia)

This past year, several of my closest friends have become parents for the first time. Erin and Dave also became parents for the first time to a beautiful son named Jake. People always say that the bond between a parent and a child is like nothing else on earth--it is a bond that cannot be broken. Although I've never felt this way (at least not yet), Jake is so obviously the light of their lives! He brings so much joy to his parents and to their whole families--he just fits in perfectly!

He even served as his fathers' best man:



Between Jake's need of attention and lots of people popping in and out of the room, Erin still managed to get dressed in style and grace:


Did I mention that the dress has pockets? POCKETS?! Who doesn't want pockets in their dress?


I just LOVED the bow on the back of the dress!


Look at how graceful Erin's mother looks helping her--it's easy to see where Erin gets it from!


Patriotism: Love of one's country, from the Greek "patris" meaning "fatherland" (source: wikipedia)

Erin's brother is proudly serving our country and was luckily able to make it to the wedding! People in the military sacrifice many things for their love--often they sacrifice time with family, many of the comforts of home, and yes, even sacrificing their lives.

Erin is, and has always been, very protective of her baby brother (who towers over her by a good foot now!). She told me a funny story from their childhood:

They were out playing one day as children, and some mean kid stepped on Adam's toy. Erin wasted no time in threatening the kid within an inch of his life in defense of him! Ironically, the toy was a toy plane, and Adam is now a pilot :)


You've never seen a groom happier to be getting married. Such is the way life goes, that this wedding was a long time coming.


The love a father feels when he walks his only daughter down the aisle is something that is hard to imagine when that woman is just a baby. This is a moment I cherish at every wedding, and from my own as well:



Agape: "A deeper sense of true love rather than attraction..." , also, the love of God for mankind (source: wikipedia)

Although Erin & Dave chose a simple ceremony, they are bound by more than just affection for one another. Once you are beyond friendship, beyond attraction, beyond being brought together by a child, you are left with a higher kind of love, an unconditional, deep love. That is what was brought out in the ceremony. Even though they did the traditional vows, they chose to say a few personal words to one another to express all that they have been through so far and all that they look forward to in the future:



My favorite two:


Just married! I just love newlyweds :)


Both the ceremony and reception were held at Studio at the Montage, which in my opinion is one of the best venues for a smaller wedding in Orange County. It's just so beautiful and the food is amazing! Patty and Jaime are also incredible--no matter who you work with there you can be assured that your day will flow perfectly:


First dance--it's no question that Dave and Erin are having a ball:



I love this little series:


But this one seems to stand out on its own to me:


And there's something special about this moment:


The cake was done by the team at the Montage and it was so light and pretty! You can see that Dave is briefly considering other options for the cake than a standard feeding, but he ultimately chooses the right behavior. Good job Dave :)


I didn't have to look very far to find love on that day:


Just a fun shot I love:


PHOTOGRAPHER NOTE (if you are a bride, non-photographer, or my mother, you can just skip past this part :) )

This wedding was at 11am, so we didn't get down to the beach until about 3pm. It was still really bright at that time, way too bright for the light to be flattering. I chose to shoot most of the photos backlit into a darker background, because the light in the full sun was just way harsh and hot! You'll see as we move to the other side that the images remain light--I shot in RAW and underexposed slightly, and then brought up the light in post-processing. You can only get that sun-flare, golden look during the 45 minutes before the time of sunset, which on this day was about 7:15).


We brought Jake down to shoot some photos for however long he'd tolerate us:


We did get a few gems! Parents always worry when a child won't let go of their ________ (fill in the blank with the word monkey, blankie, binky, etc.), but I see it more of a capture of THAT particular time:


But we had to get back to the couple by themselves once he decided he was through with us:


Eros: "A passionate love, with sensual desire and longing... Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of
friendship" (source, wikipedia)

"Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that
person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself" (source, wikipedia)

Erin and Dave are one another's only:


He will do anything for her happiness, and she for him:


They can be playful:


They can be still:


They are relaxed:


And sometimes serious:


but always kind:


Erin & Dave, it was such a pleasure to spend your wedding day with you! Thank you for allowing me to experience five kinds of love with you!