On her wedding day, I asked our wonderful bride, Lauren, if it felt real. And then followed up with, "When did it feel like this was your wedding day?" Her response was, "When David [of Allegro Photography] arrived." I smiled.

And then later, when she was about to put the dress on, and Lauren was kicking out all of the men, except aforementioned David, because as she put it, "He’s family; he can stay." I laughed. Of course, all of us who weren’t helping her put on the dress, still closed our eyes or turned our backs until she was ready.

And then still later in the evening, when Lauren’s soon-to-be sister-in-law, Leah (whose wedding to Lauren’s brother Dave we will be photographing in November) checked on us to make sure we had eaten something. Actually, come to think of it, we were being offered food all weekend. Definitely family.

You see we have been a part of Lauren’s family since her brother Mark married Emily. We started with their engagement session and then photographed their wedding, which was when we met the rest of their families.

When Lauren got engaged in the winter of 2008, she called us up almost immediately to share the news. We were so excited for her. She knew she wanted us to be a part of her celebration, and we were looking forward to it. At that time, she hadn’t chosen anything else; she wanted to make sure we were available- how cool is that?! So throughout her planning process and decision making, we were a part of things. From her initial plan to get married at a destination resort in Mexico to her ultimate decision to create her dream wedding at a private estate in Carmel Valley.

When the big day finally arrived, we were so excited. Excited for Lauren and Steve, excited for both their families, and excited to see everyone. In honor of this, I dedicate Lauren and Steve’s sneak preview to family. Enjoy!

Lauren’s mom just after Lauren put on her dress.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca- mother of the bride weeps when seeing her daughter in her wedding gown in carmel valley, ca

Lauren and her dad after he walked her down the aisle.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca-3 bride with her dad during the ceremony in carmel valley, cali

Steve’s parents, being absolutely adorable, during the reception.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca-mother and father of the groom celebrate in carmel valley

The families together.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca-families look at bride and groom's ring at estate in carmel valley

Lauren’s adopted parents from her time in Spain, also being rather cute.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca- study abroad spanish family at wedding northern california

Lauren and Steve are clearly devoted to their mom’s. They gave each mom a beautifully embroidered handkerchief.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca-mom's gift of embroidered handkerchiefs

And they included family wedding photos as decor.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca- details of wedding photos - carmel valley estate california

Now for the sibs.

Steve with the groomsmen, which included Lauren’s bothers and Steve’s brother.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca-groomsmen portrait at estate wedding in carmel valley

Lauren looking up to her "little" twin brothers Dave and Mark.

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca- bride with brothers for portrait in carmel valley estate

Lauren getting ready with the help of her bridesmaids, which included her sister-in-law Emily (Mark’s wife) and her sister-in-law-to-be Leah (Dave’s fiance).

lauren_steve_carmel_valley_wedding_ca- bride getting ready carmel valley, ca

And I just want to close with one of my favorite photos from the wedding, one of the newly formed family unit, our gorgeous bride with her handsome groom.

lauren_steve_wedding_carmel_valley_ca- bride and groom portrait

What a totally fabulous and wonderful wedding! I can’t wait to share more of the happy couple and their gorgeous day. Definitely check back soon!