I have known Chika since I was in middle school. She and her family moved in three doors down from my family and everyone soon became friends. My brother and her oldest son hung out a lot, we went on family vacations, and I watched her youngest son grow up basically from birth!
Fast forward 15 or so years, and it was a complete joy to photograph Chika and Paul getting married. It's also always a pleasure to shoot a wedding where my parents are in attendance. Not only that, but the wedding took place in my hometown of Culver City (west Los Angeles) at the gorgeous and historic Culver Hotel! This spot is legendary -- built by the same man who founded Culver City 100 years ago, housing everyone from Wizard of Oz munchkins to bookies and the Hollywood elite, changing with the times until a recent remodel that left it more gorgeous than ever.
The couple got ready with Chika's sons, the ceremony was small and intimate, and the sunset was perfect. Winter weddings in California always have that certain brand of magic.