When I thought about what I wanted to write about Monika + Caleb’s beautiful wedding day the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery + Mt. Whitney Golf Club…all I could think of was how much happiness we felt. Monika + Caleb are a couple we won’t ever forget. We lovingly referred to them as our “Couple Spirit Animals.” These two were nothing short of incredible. They planned an intimate wedding at the base of Mt. Whitney (which is where Caleb proposed to Monika during a hiking excursion). They wanted their friends and family to unite and celebrate in a place that meant so much to them…which happened to be one of the most picturesque places we’ve ever seen.
The day started off at the a funky motel in the town of Lone Pine, California. The boys hung out, had a couple of beers, and laughed while the ladies got all made up…and maybe ate a couple of ridiculously large cheeseburgers (which I elected to not include in the post). Monika gave each bridesmaid a delicate ring formed into a bow along with a heartfelt letter explaining how much their friendship meant to her. Monika’s mother, Yoshie, helped her gorgeous daughter slip into one of the most stunning Monique Lhuillier dresses I have ever seen. Tears of joy ran down everyone’s faces as Monika’s wedding ensemble came together – such a perfect bride.
Monika + Caleb chose a secluded spot for their first look at the bottom of the Alabama Foothills. Caleb anxiously waited as Monika made her way up a canyon to meet him. Their first look was incredibly emotional. It was everything. We snapped a few portraits before we made our way to their ceremony at the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery (which…whoa…such a rad location!).
Monika + father enjoyed a father/daughter first look (wait until you see his expression when he saw her for the first time). Monika + Caleb were married under a beautiful tree outside of the hatchery. The ceremony was officiated by Caleb’s father…which added to the intimacy of their wedding.
The reception was held at the Mt. Whitney Golf Club. Details such as succulents, snuggly blankets, Moscow Mule Cups, and delicate greenery chosen by the couple were placed around the reception site. Monika + her bridesmaids handmade each of the individual cakes that graced each table. The couple performed a traditional Japanese tea lighting ceremony to welcome each of their guests – as they wanted to greet each person individually prior to the start of dinner.
For their formal portraits, we all jumped in a golf cart and darted about the property. When we would find a location we liked…Aaron, Caleb, Monika, and I would hop out…take a few photos…and zoom to another spot. It was so much fun – and a great way for the newlyweds to spend some time together – on their wedding day…and taking a few moments to breathe, relax, and take it all in. We ended our portrait session at an abandoned mobile home that we found near the golf course. Monika + Caleb were superstars…they did what they wanted while we shot away.
The reception concluded with toasts, dancing, and maybe a few drinks.
To Monika + Caleb: we fell in love with you two on your wedding day…and are grateful to have made two new friends. Congratulations on your lives together! You are adored. Thank you for letting us capture such a special day.
Photography: Underwood Photography // Lake Tahoe // Reno // Destination Wedding Photography
Wedding Venue: Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery
Reception: Mt. Whitney Golf Course
Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
MUA + hair: Katie Leonard
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