HEIDI MORGAN PHOTOGRAPHY » Exclusive wedding photographer for the refined and the elegant. Monterey, Pebble Beach, San Francisco, Napa. Available for worldwide destination wedding photography.

Rick and Amanda are a Central Valley (California) couple. However, the Santa Cruz and Aptos beach towns are near and dear to their hearts. While the wedding was a destination beach wedding for them, their roots and childhoods are inextricably linked to this town.

The wedding took place at the Hollins House, where there is amazing light and changing scenery available at every angle. From the getting ready moments to the end of reception, we marveled at the views (from golf course to valley to ocean and the Boardwalk). Amanda’s dad, Mark, quietly pondered the white steeple that was visible to the squinting eye, undoubtedly recalling many a family memory.

Although the number of years that Amanda and Rick have been together is subject to debate, that this wedding — and marriage — was worth the wait certainly are not.





There is nice separation of space between Hollins House and the Pasatiempo area down the hill. This reduced Amanda’s concern that Rick would see her before the first look.



Rick was able to get ready and save lots of time for fun.


The running joke throughout this family- and friend-filled day was the loooooong wait for a proposal. Amanda made it right on the wedding day; this time, Rick waited for her! Kidding aside, she too was worth it. Her dress was stunning and the vintage ring box that she hunted for was just right.


Laurie and Darcy at Seascape Flowers arranged beautiful florals, with surprise hints of berries here and there. Laurie tied a special pearl necklace into the bridal bouquet.




The view from the room that Amanda used for getting ready offered garden, gazebo and golf course views.


I loved that each attendant’s dress was a different color and texture.








The first look did not disappoint. It was clear at this time — and again during the ceremony — that Rick was swallowing back emotion.




Their eyes met…






























The golden hour became magical. Amanda and Rick were open to a few moments away from their guests.





The cake was gluten free and tasted divine. Amanda hunted for vintage cake plates and platters for months prior to the wedding to locate the perfect ones.



Santa Cruz Wedding Photographer

Men eyed Rick’s guitar; women observed his tender vocals for Amanda.





Wedding photographers do not work alone. I wholeheartedly thank Rhonda Thorn for shooting with me at this very special wedding. We loved working with a great team of vendors. Send them some love!

Venue: Hollins House (via Margy Seifert)

DJ: Sound in Motion

Videography: Gilholm Productions

Florals: Seascape Flowers

Hair Styling: Becca Wood

Makeup Artist: Millie Amis

Officiant: Father Michael Burchfield


Amanda and Rick selected Santa Cruz, CA for their beach town destination wedding. However, their Catholic backgrounds compelled them to perform a church ceremony in the days prior to their departure for Santa Cruz. Enter Le Grand, California. These Central California natives invited siblings and parents (and their respective families), and also secured the priest who had previously married all three of Rick’s Marchini siblings.

What a special, timeless day — which may help to understand why I interpreted so much of the day via black and white images. The sibling-sibling and parent-child relationships were easy to capture and the tender moments unfolded before me. This is a very special family who have also become very special friends.

I can’t wait to share more, as their beautiful Santa Cruz wedding has since passed. In the meantime, enjoy their church ceremony images — as well as a few during the meal and celebration at Bella Luna Bistro in Merced

Le Grand Wedding Photographer

Le Grand Wedding Photographer

Le Grand Wedding PhotographerLe Grand Wedding Photographer

Le Grand Wedding Photographer

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Le Grand Wedding PhotographerLe Grand Wedding Photographer



I can’t wait to blog Josh’s surprise proposal and all of its sweet details! In the meantime, Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms who have worked so hard and for so long. Some of those moms are not able to celebrate with their children today. Such is the case for Jessica’s mom, who she lost to illness two years ago.

Knowing that this would be a tender time, Josh made sure to include her mom’s memory in the proposal. Seascape Flowers tied her mother’s own wedding band into the center of the proposal bouquet — which Jessica thought was a “prop” for her “styled shoot.” The flowers were selected for the couple’s love to travel and tropical destinations. Look closely into the center of the bouquet below and you will find her mom’s precious remembrance.

California Surprise Proposal Photographer

Thank you to Laurie and Darcy at Seascape Flowers for helping us to make this happen. More details (and vendor thank you’s) to come! In the meantime, want to see their slideshow? Click here…

Our styled shoot at Seascape Resort (in Aptos) and beach was out of this world good. Meet Maddy Casteel — earth and health food loving Pilates instructor extraordinaire. She has lived in numerous beach towns

and recently moved back from Santa Barbara. Santa Cruz and its local beaches offer beautiful light, great people, and a local culture rich with conversation starters. If you’ve visited, you will know this tangible quality that I’m trying to describe!

We began at Seascape Beach, where we featured a necklace by Blue Moon Clothing Co., white and gold platters and sea-themed glasses. Last but not least, we enjoyed accessorizing this editorial shoot with white and milk chocolate shell candy from Marini’s Candies. Check it out — they were hard to discern from real shells. This would be an amazing favor at a seaside wedding.


Seascape Wedding Photographer

Seascape Wedding Photographer

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Next, we chased the setting sun to Twin Lakes Beach in Santa Cruz for golden hour. I think that Maddy so closely resembles Goldie Hawn or Kate Hudson in some of these images! I also love that Twin Lakes features the Crow’s Nest, delicious oceanfront California cuisine and an excellent place for parties or rehearsal dinners.




At last, we followed the last of the day’s light to highlight Maddy’s hard work. She is an avid runner, yogi and Pilates enthusiast. I was in awe when she did these poses on rocks and without falling.


Lastly, thank you to my partner in crime — Claire Morgan. Claire and I have chased the world’s sunsets together. I think we are up to eight or nine countries now. Go, Team Morgan!


Medicine — specifically an emergency room near Atlanta, Georgia — brought Amy and Stephen together. He is a physician, she is a nurse. Their love of family kept them grounded during the early years of their courtship, while their love of travel landed them here — at Mont Saint-Michel, an island commune in Normandy, France. Stephen had planned an uber-romantic engagement away from home and invited Heidi Morgan Photography to shoot this destination love story.

Stephen hand selected this and a number of other destinations after spending much of his youth traveling with family and living abroad. Of the destinations, Mont Saint-Michel held a special magic — as remembered by a boy of twelve. After laying my own eyes on this castle-on-a-hill, the magic resonated even with me.

Enter Le Mere Poulard, a rainy day and umbrellas galore. You know what they say about rainy day love stories — a clearing of the slate, start of a new chapter. Amy and Stephen allowed us to capture their discovery of Mont Saint-Michel. This “castle on a hill” took about four hours of [Audi] driving from Paris. We passed beautiful fields and stunning skies, with what we thought were miles of nothingness ahead of us. We were wrong — so wrong!

Mont Saint-Michel itself cannot be driven into. There are busses available — or you can use your walking legs like we did. The details were stunning — including a body of what looks like water but is actually “mud” that you can walk on!


Just after Amy emerged with her perfectly straight hair, the showers began. She and Stephen were troopers — all smiles — and accepted our suggestions to tuck in and out of the many alcoves available to us.



Ever feel like you are alone with your love despite a sea of people around you? Welcome to Amy and Stephen’s day; they didn’t mind the audience!





We were impressed with Amy’s ability to walk in a pair of her beloved heels. Up, up, up we went. And then, we were met with the most stunning view…

2014-05-18_0152014-05-18_0162014-05-18_0172014-05-18_0182014-05-18_019The couple that laughs together…stays together.

2014-05-18_020Stephen spotted a moment — and offered his wife-to-be a dance — in the rain, on a tourist-filled holiday.

2014-05-18_0212014-05-18_0222014-05-18_023The dance led to their moment of realization. They are engaged. Stephen had done it — privately — the day prior at the chapel at Mont Saint-Michel. Her ring is stunning, and perfect; similarly, their hands fit perfectly into one another’s.


At last, and in the end, it was back to La Mere Poulard, where we witnessed their specialty omelette making. Their wooden spoons beat — literally so — like synchronized music. Their wine — oh so smooth.


As nature intended it, the skies cleared and the promise of new beginnings emerged. Congratulations to Amy and Stephen. I can’t wait to shoot your Atlanta wedding!


Last but not least, thank you so much to my partner in crime, translater, and travel agent Claire Morgan for shooting by my side. Love you!


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