Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jorge + Amanda, 10.15.2011, Silver Legacy Casino/Resort, Reno, NV.

My brother-in-law, Jorge married the love of his life, Amanda in October and it was a beautiful wedding, lots of love, fun and great food to share in the celebration of two families coming together. They chose Reno as the city for their destination wedding because it held a special place in Amanda's heart, a family-vacation spot for her and her family growing up. Amanda and I spent most of the summertime planning the details of her wedding, grew closer together as future sister-in-laws, and had a blast!

Jorge and Amanda were married in a small chapel surrounded by their close friends and loved ones, it was a very special and romantic ceremony. Following the ceremony was the reception at the Silver Legacy Hotel, which included time to mingle with family, dinner, traditional wedding celebrations (bouquet & garter toss, 1st dances) and of course the party, everyone got on the dance floor and boogied the evening away! It was definitely a fabulous weekend to remember!

I had the amazing opportunity to photograph Amanda's getting ready pictures, we were limited on time between getting ready and the ceremony so there will be a second post featuring Amanda's personal bridal session we did earlier this month! So excited to share those with you, but for now, enjoy these favorites!

Amanda's "Something Old" was her grandfather's wedding ring with a cross attached to it and made into a bracelet. Her "Something Blue" was given to her by her dad, it is called a "demand clip," something her dad would bring home every day from work when Amanda was little and let her play with them because they make a loud popping sound, great entertainment for kids :)
Amanda had 2 garters custom made as keepsakes. 
She and Jorge are HUGE Giants fans and she had to pay homage to
their former World Series Champs. 

 Teagan, my adorable niece and honorary flower girl, with her Grandma Vickie.
Some details from the reception.
First Dance as husband and wife, such a special moment.
 The father/daughter dance always touches my heart, 
I always tear up. It is such a sweet moment between a father and his daughter.
 Jorge did a special dance with his mom, my mother-in-law 
and it was beautiful, not a dry eye in the room.

Women of Hope 2011, Fundraiser & Fashion Show. Chez Shari, Manteca, Ca.

In October I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the 2nd Annual "Women of Hope" event, which was put together by Mary Kay Independent Future National Sales Director, Sandra Munguia, and her fabulous unit of Independent Sales Directors and Beauty Consultants. 

The evening of hope included success stories, encouragement and beauty, celebrating the lives of cancer survivors and their family and friends. Special guest speaker and breast cancer survivor, Kaiser's Robin Mesa, NP/MSN spoke on women's health and wellness and there was a wonderful fashion show courtesy of Dress Barn.

I spent time getting to know the cancer survivors, listening to their heartfelt stories of their courageous battle and how their spirit remains strong and resilient. I photographed each of these wonderful women and their pictures will be added to the "Wall of Hope," showcasing the women who have battled this aggressive disease. 

All proceeds from the event went to The Mary Kay Foundation. Below is the foundation's mission:  
" -It is committed to eliminating cancers affecting women by supporting top 
         medical scientists who are searching for a cure for breast, uterine, cervical 
         and ovarian cancers. 
        -It is committed to ending the epidemic of domestic violence by providing grants 
        to women's shelters and supporting community outreach programs. "

One of the many tables with plenty of raffle prizes to win.
These lovely beauty consultants were in charge of the ticket sales for the raffle.  Love their enthusiasm for the cause!
There was a large table full of incredible desserts and sweets, I of course had to sample a few treats :)
Behind the scenes: The ladies getting their hair and makeup done for the fashion show, love those strappy shoes!
Independent Mary Kay Sales Director Laura Perez on the left, hostess for the Women of Hope Event and on the right, her sister, the amazing Independent Future National Sales Director Sandra Munguia!  She truly is a fabulous leader, this event was her creation in 2010.
This was my 2nd year hearing Robin Mesa, NP/MSN, speak on early detection and women's health and her personal battle with breast cancer.  She truly is a woman of hope.
Sandra gave a very thoughtful gift to each person who donated their time for this event, Robin for guest speaking, the coordinator of the fashion show, hair stylist for the fashion show and myself.  It was an honor to be recognized with such a great team of people!
These wonderful women will be added to the "Wall of Hope," they are the face of surviving cancers that affect women.  It was amazing to be a part of this event and to be in their space, such courage and strength these women have.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dia de Los Muertos Event at Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock, CA.

Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) was celebrated at the newly remodeled Carnegie Arts Center in my hometown, Turlock, the last Friday of October. I had the wonderful opportunity to cover this family friendly event and celebrate my Mexican heritage.

What is Day of the Dead, you ask? Below is an overview of the week-long celebration and it's history:  

     "...a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1–2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts."

Students from Hilmar Elementary and Osborne School and surrounding local schools came to partake in the events of the evening which included: an altar on display which honored those family members who had passed on, children with painted faces dressed colorful attire dancing to traditional Mexican music, an art activity where children and their parents could create their very own Day of the Dead mask and the opportunity to view the Ansel Adams gallery on display as well as art from local artists in the surrounding valley.

It was so wonderful to be a part of a wonderful event where children could spend time with their parents in the community, celebrating the heritage and traditions of the Mexican culture.

I loved photographing the children creating unique masks and fully immersing themselves in art, it's incredible how art brings people from different backgrounds and experiences together. Here are my favorites from the evening, enjoy!

The art studio was ready for the students to create their own day of the dead masks.
Art teacher examples, aren't these neat? I love them, so colorful and fun!
Some of the creativity and fun masks the children did.  They had a great time!
It was so cute to see the kids proudly wearing their masks during the event, so creative!
Artist, Don Hall, brought a few of his Day of the Dead 
pieces just for this event to display in the lobby of the Art Center.  
I fell in love with his work, it was incredible!