Camille & Doug’s Monterey wedding reception

On my way to Camille & Doug’s Monterey wedding reception, I encountered the worst traffic on Highway 101 that I’ve ever seen in my nine years of living in California.

The one-hour trip from my house in San Jose to Monterey took two and a half hours, including an ill-advised detour off of the highway and directly into a farmers market.

I was worried my late arrival would get things off to a bad start, but instead, I found a smiling Camille, surrounded by family, getting her hair done, telling me that it’s no problem.

The relaxed and happy mood I found with Camille and her family on the sunny deck of their Monterey hotel continued throughout the entire event. This day was a celebration of family — Camile & Doug had already gotten married in New York state and even had a second reception there. The Monterey wedding reception I was covering was the third stop on their cross-country wedding tour.

This was my second event at the Garden of Memories in Monterey, a beautiful spot just a few hundred yards away from Fisherman’s Wharf, but with a secluded feeling, like you’re a world away from the bustling crowds of tourists.

The outdoor venue is surrounded by adobe walls, open to the sky, filled with trees that are strung with lights that stand out beautifully against the sky at dusk.

Camille had assembled a formidable list of group photos that she wanted, some of which included about 30 people. We were able to get the entire way through the list without missing a single photo, partly because we planned ahead and were organized, and partly because I followed the advice of Camille’s mother Carmen: “You’ve got to be aggressive with my family!”

Because I wasn’t the only one who got stuck in traffic, the schedule of events got pushed back about half an hour, so we decided to scrap our planned photo at sunset in favor of an after-dark photo at Fisherman’s Wharf. As I walked with Camille and Doug down the busy tourist attraction on an extremely busy weekend for tourism, the couple was showered with compliments and congratulations.

It was a charming end to a beautiful evening for a wonderful couple. Have fun in Hawaii, you two!

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