Steph & John’s Monterey wedding

Here’s one way to sum up Stephanie & John’s Monterey wedding: The night ended with a mosh pit.

Steph and John got married on a gorgeous day with a gorgeous wedding at the Old Whaling Station in Monterey. Their day was filled with so much passion and perfectness that it left everybody who was there — me included — excited about it for weeks after it was over. (I’ve seen multiple posts on Facebook asking the couple if they could have their wedding all over again.)

Stephanie and John are passionate people with a huge circle of passionate friends. They run a gym — Wolf Fitness Systems in Salinas — where John spends his time preaching better living through hard work and sweat, bringing an intense message of personal improvement through fitness. Many of the people at their wedding also workout there and share John and Steph’s enthusiasm and dedication. It made for a great party, with a group of people who truly know how to party.

The whole thing got me thinking about how weddings are a buildup to a single event, and all the energy and preparation and anticipation comes out at once. At weddings, the buildup is twofold: There’s all the planning for the event itself, and there’s also the growth of the couple’s relationship, the journey that brought them to the commitment they are going to make.

Steph and John are such passionate people that their buildup gave way to an intense outpouring of emotion and sincerity that continued through their entire day. From Steph’s nervousness during our first photos, to the couple’s joyful first look, right on through to their vows, their first dances, the speeches, and the party on the dance floor.

As a photographer, it’s extremely fulfilling and exciting to see that kind of sincere and energetic display of emotion and love, and to be able to record it all, because it comes and goes so quickly. At the end of the night, Steph and John both told told me they felt like the day flew by in an instant. But I knew I had plenty of memories saved for them — I had filled every memory card I had, and even borrowed a couple (thanks, Conner!).

The Old Whaling Station was an amazing venue for a wedding. It’s a historic building with lots of character and is located in arguably the best spot in Monterey for a wedding — near Fisherman’s Wharf, Custom House Plaza, California’s First Theatre and other places, all providing beautiful backdrops for pictures, and all within about two blocks of the venue.

Many things about Steph & John’s wedding are worth mentioning, but here’s a few: Steph’s old friend Serafia sang for them and channeled Etta James perfectly, Heidi choreographed a special dance and performed it for them, and The Money Band kept the dance floor full and hoppping all night.

At the very end of the night, John grabbed the mic and thanked everybody for such an amazing day. “We got the best venue, we got the best band, but most importantly,” he said, “we invited the best people.”

Well done, you two.

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