I’ve been ready to blog this wedding since before I even photographed it. How does that happen, you ask? Well… it all started back in 2018 when Carly reached out to me about photographing her Carlsbad wedding. I’m glad she added “California” to that, because I at first thought she meant Carlsbad, New Mexico. I mean, I would’ve been down for a spelunking wedding (if you’re doing that, hit me up. Bucket list fo’sho), but Southern California is great too. Better than great… it was INCREDIBLE! My experience in California involves a short stint in Bakersfield and Los Angeles back in 2007 for drum corps finals, then LA/Hollywood again back in 2017 for a workshop; now I get to say that I’ve been to San Diego! Getting there was an adventure in its own right. Marc and I freaking ROAD TRIPPED it from Fort Worth, Texas all the way up to Carlsbad, California and back.
39 hours in a car.
WORTH. EVERY. BIT.
We did make a couple pit stops in Tucson and La Jolla on the way there and back, which was lovely. If it weren’t for the $10,000/month rent, I could totally see the Swans flying west to nest on the beach with the sea lions…
Anyways! Carlsbad is about an hour away from San Diego and just as lovely as the rest of the county. If you thought the distance was far between Texas and Cali, it’s got nothing on the miles between California and South Africa! As fate would have it, Albert would meet Carly in a bar in Southern California where they soon after fell in love. Albert eventually moved to the US to start his new life.
Carly and her ladies started getting ready at an adorable Airbnb not too far from the historic Leo Carillo Ranch, then were shuttled over to the venue. Since we obviously live in different states, the wedding day was the first time I got to meet Albert and Carly, but we were welcomed like old friends. The lovebirds decided against a First Look, so the first time Albert saw his bride was when she came down the aisle. You can’t fake that emotion. They were practically giddy during the ceremony, which included quiet guitar melodies, handwritten vows, lots of laughs, a poem reading by one of the bridesmaids, and being declared Man & Wife by one of the groomsmen. All of this happened under a floral wrapped tree while the sun slowly dipped down, filling the entire area with golden light.
One of my favorite moments of the day was after the recessional; the bridal party and family gathered in a different part of the venue where many hugs were shared. Mrs. Beukman also got a couple minutes to show off that new ring of hers. While everyone was celebrating the union, the Moms were quietly hugging each other. It was so endearing.
During portraits, guests from all over the world mingled, fascinated by the free roaming peacocks who would occasionally caw their approval. After a buffet style dinner started the toasts, which were pretty standard… until everyone in attendance was treated with a little bit of South African tradition. Albert stood up to thank everyone for traveling and to toast to his beautiful Bride; he had to do all of this while the groomsmen sat front and center, singing and guffawing loudly. It was hilarious! The party kept on until after the sun set, and even later with an afterparty post-reception.
Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Beukman! Thank you soooooo much for this opportunity! Yours was a wedding that I won’t soon forget. I loved the culture, the venue (listen up, Fort Worth! Get on this level), and just how FUN everyone was. I wish you nothing but many years of travel and falling deeper in love with each other with every passing day.
Photographer: Swan Photography // Venue: Leo Carillo Ranch // Florals: FLWRBOX Design // Catering: Personal Touch Dining // Dress: Emmy Mae // Bridal Salon: Love and Lace, Irvine // Bridesmaids Dresses: Showmeyourmumu // Suits: Macy’s // Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan // Hair & Makeup: Shelby Tinker // Rings: Robbins Brothers // Ceremony Music & DJ: Nick Weiss