by Matt Tundermann
A lot of things go into how a couple is defined. It’s the way they look at each other, little gestures between each other, their friends and family, and their style. For Maricel and EJ, they have a young, hip, urban style that not only makes them one of the hottest couples I’ve ever seen, but one of the most stylish and unique.
I wasn’t able to meet Maricel and EJ until their rehearsal dinner in Chino Hills, CA. Gwen had been fortunate enough to meet them at Jenny & Miguel’s wedding celebration last October and then again for an amazing engagement session in Las Vegas, NV in March. From those images alone, I knew Maricel and EJ not only had a unique style, but energy between them that was going to be fun to capture.
Maricel and EJ have a love of sports, activity, and being social. Their urban style is brought out in their love of shoes, especially Nike Air Jordans, which EJ got as a wedding present and was extremely excited about. I met up with him and his guys at the Double Tree hotel in Anaheim to take some getting ready shots. The plan was for the guys to play a little basketball after the wedding ceremony, and the guys were primed, each guy having their own monogrammed bags and new sneakers, all gifts from Mars and EJ. There was an especially sweet moment when one of EJ’s best men ushered the guys out of the room so EJ could have a quiet moment to read Mars’ note to him. I could tell that EJ was trying to keep his composure as he read Mars’ words.
Meanwhile, Mars was at her mother’s home in West Covina, CA, surrounded by her girls, getting into her fabulous wedding dress. As she came down the stairs, her girls’ reactions were priceless, her own excitement at marrying her sweetheart reflected in their faces. It was impossible for them to look at how beautiful and happy their best friend was and not shed a tear of joy.
Maricel and EJ had picked the amazing St. Paul the Apostle church in Chino Hills for their ceremony. The church has an open and expansive sanctuary, with huge windows to let in lots of beautiful, soft light and a unique, modern altar that provided a beautiful backdrop. After being escorted in by her parents and then up to the altar by EJ, the two took communion together, shared a rope and veil ceremony with the help of their loved ones, and vowed to always stand by each other in the presence of God. It was touching, emotional, and special, highlighted by the little looks of excitement that passed between them as they knelt at the altar.
After the ceremony, the entire wedding party packed into a limo and headed to secluded park nearby for some of the most fun and hot group shots we’ve ever taken. To say this group was rocking is an understatement. With their cool shoes, hot shades, and sexy poses, the wedding party showed us what urban CA style is all about. And while the ladies did their thing, including some really fun shots of Mars playing tennis in her dress, the guys finally got to hoop it up, doing some lay-up drills, and throwing out their best aerial moves.
Mars and EJ’s reception was held back at the Double Tree. Their reception included a photo booth, a candy station, and a gorgeous cake from Rockwell’s Bakery. Their night featured touching speeches by EJ’s two best men and Mars’ two matrons of honor, with plenty of tears all around, a sweet first dance between them, touching dances with their parents, and a fun money dance. But the highlight of the evening was a slideshow that had everyone laughing and crying. The slideshow just highlighted how special Mars and EJ are and how much they mean to all their friends and family.
Mars and EJ, thanks so much for trusting us with this important day in your lives! We are sooooo jealous of the beautiful photos you’ve posted from your honeymoon in Cabo! So glad you had a wonderful time! We hope to see you both again soon!! : )