Yay for me…found it on my own!!!! Wow, I’ve impressed myself, lol. I think it’s installed in the header from Headers and Footers?
Elena’s and Kevin’s Sun-Soaked Wedding and Rosy Love Story

Elena’s and Kevin’s Sun-Soaked Wedding and Rosy Love Story

It really is sunshine and roses for these two…

February 1, 2020 marked a momentous moment for my clients Elena and Kevin: they tied the knot in the midst of a beautiful, fun-focused wedding. On top of having a blast photographing these two, I also got to hear all about their adorable love story and their rosy engagement.

The start to a bright future

Kevin, a graduate from USC, and Elena, a UCLA alum, set up a date through a dating app, instantly hitting it off during their first experience with each other. Between poking fun at whose team would win – Bruins or Trojans, and placing bets on the future of the rival universities, sparks flew for these two and they would never look back since. One of their first dates was in San Diego, which would come back to play a part in their future (hint, hint!)

A budding romance

Elena and Kevin discovered how much they love just being a couple together. Whether Elena put on House Hunters or Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, or Kevin played The Office or Seinfeld, the pair enjoyed watching the best things on TV with their soulmate by their side. They also discovered their love to meal prep, to peruse Costco and Target, and to travel.

When Kevin was courting Elena, she mentioned her love for the Berkeley Rose Gardens, and how she always dreamed of a romantic date there. Well, Kevin took note, and when the time felt right and they were visiting the area, he bent down his knee to propose to her in her dream date location! He also surprised her post-proposal with a celebration lunch between them and both their parents in San Francisco.

 A sunshine-filled wedding

One year after the proposal, Elena and Kevin celebrated their wedding at one of my favorite San Deigo gems, Prado at Balboa Park. Their top-of-class wedding planner, Lindsay Johnson of First Comes Love Weddings and Events, did a masterful job coordinating their navy, hunter green, blush, dusty rose, and mauve wedding colors, along with executing what seemed to be a flawless event. To top it all off, Elena and Kevin made sure their wedding was a joyous, carefree party for their guests, all of which seemed to have an amazing time throughout the celebration!

Elena and Kevin, whenever your honeymoon is, I hope you both have an amazing time. You’ll have to throw your own “ragers” at local markets and bazaars, depending on where your destination winds up! It was an honor to be your wedding photographer, and I’m excited for what great things lie in your future together! Cheers to you both!


Vanessa and Luis: A Glorious Church Wedding and a Family-Focused Celebration

Vanessa and Luis: A Glorious Church Wedding and a Family-Focused Celebration

I can still hear families laughing and church bells ringing.

I don’t mean to brag, but I had the best time photographing the ultra-sweet and fun soul mate couple, Vanessa and Luis, for their wedding at the glorious Our Lady of Guadalupe church and their family-focused reception at the 60’s-themed-gem known as Kings Inn. Their love story is nearly fairy tale, and their wedding day was the essence of a perfect event!

Vanessa and Luis first met through a mutual friend during their college years. As the spark between them caught fire, they discovered how much they loved to simply be together, whether it was spending time with one another, being foodies together, or catching flicks together. They especially loved outdoorsy activities, with their first date under golden rays at the beach. And later on, when they both knew that they had found their soul mate, they were engaged during a romantic trip in Cabo San Lucas.

In mid-January of this year, I photographed Vanessa and Luis as they were wedded at the prestigious and holy Our Lady of Guadalupe church, after a first look and a few portraits in Balboa Park. The church’s historic architecture and stained glass windows brought out the smiles on Luis’ and Vanessa’s faces, along with their warm, romantic and inviting wedding colors of burgandy, blush, and white. The fun continued with their reception at Kings Inn, where family was the focus of a laid back, relaxed, and comfortable atmosphere. I couldn’t take a bad picture if I tried – Vanessa and Luis made the entire day about having fun, about being with family, and of course, about the love they share for each other and everyone that celebrated with them. Congratulations to you both, may your life together be filled with outdoorsy fun, beach days, delicious foods, movies, and of course, being together!

P.S. Vanessa and Luis, thank you both for the amazing review. People like you two make me absolutely love what I do, and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. I can’t wait to see what comes next for you both, and I can’t wait to capture the next chapters of your life on camera very soon!

Thank you, my amazing clients – Three-Time Couples’ Choice Award Winner!

Thank you, my amazing clients – Three-Time Couples’ Choice Award Winner!

Thank you yet again to all my clients!

weddingwire couples' choice awards 2020 brant bender photography

Thanks to all of my extraordinary clients, I am overwhelmingly thrilled to receive a THIRD WeddingWire Couples’ Choice award. This three-peat milestone in my photography career fills me with gratitude for the wonderful people I had the opportunity to work with over the past year.

2019 was a year stocked with wins. I connected with new, unique clients, and learned some intriguing new things from each of them along the way. I captured young love tying the knot, snapped a couple who foresaw their wedding the night they met, learned how to throw an amazing themed wedding, beat to a drum line at a romantic wedding reception, and so much more in ’19!

The Couples’ Choice award means the world to me, and stands as a major accomplishment in my work. It’s one thing to receive positive feedback from those I have photographed for, but it is humbling to hear that my clients have shared their positive experiences in choosing me as a quality photographer. To everything and everyone that lies ahead in 2020 and beyond, I am extremely excited to meet my future clients and reconnect with current ones. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to every single Brant Bender Photography client out there!

Snowy frontier to sunny beach: Leslie and Jared’s dream wedding

Snowy frontier to sunny beach: Leslie and Jared’s dream wedding

Looking for Alaska San Deigo

I’ve got another amazing love story for you: Leslie and Jared, the soul mates from Alaska that wanted their dream wedding in sunny San Diego, surrounded by their kids, family, and friends. From what started as an algorithm-spurred brunch followed by a romantic pawn shop peruse, these two found the perfect partner within each other, and after building a life together equipped with laughter, children, and sleep, these two just finished throwing the wedding of their dreams at the Prado at Balboa Park.

Skiing+napping+sarcasm=the ultimate love spark.

Leslie and Jared filled me in on their favorite things to do together, which easily explains how much fun they were to work with! They thrive on laughing with one another, combining parenting forces, skiing, hiking, biking, and other cool Alaskan outdoorsy stuff. Oh, and they are both proven sarcasm experts.

Bringing Alaska to San Diego

Jared and Leslie dined at the precise restaurant that they visited on their first fancy date. Jared had so much more than a Groupon in his pocket: he popped the question to Leslie! From there, the duo set out to orchestrate the wedding of their dreams. Fun fact: destiny would have it that their daughter be born exactly five years after the proposal! And, they blew themselves and their guests away by bringing elements of Alaska to the breathtakingly historic Balboa Park and by having an interactive celebration for every single guest, especially their kids, to participate in. Bonus fact: these two were married January 11, 2020 – marking their six-year anniversary! 

Leslie and Jared got ready and had their very sweet first look at the US Grant. Leslie even got to have a first look with her boys! The famiy-centric wedding focused on fun and play, while staying classy and graceful. Bliss Events‘ Ashley coordinated a jaw-dropping environment for the bride and groom, with notes of deep rasberry reds mixed with greens and other earthy tones based off the natural beauty of Alaska. To include their family spirit at the wedding, Jared and Leslie made sure their kids as well as their other guests played important, real roles throughout their celebration.  And, if you ask any of the younger guests of the wedding, those hula hoops, games, face painting and that play area made for a great party scene!

This happy couple’s story was so much fun to learn about, and what a sweet, creative wedding I was able to witness. To Leslie and Jared, congratulations you two! Wishing you and the kiddos many naps, laughs, and powdery ski trips for many years to come.

Five New, Original Location Ideas for Your Next Event

Five New, Original Location Ideas for Your Next Event

“Location, location, location,” – real estate agents everywhere.

And yet, the saying still holds true: location is extremely important to where you’re having your next big event. Whether it be a first or 60th birthday party, a wedding, modeling head shots, a company event, a performance, or anything in between, finding the perfect place to host your event can be tricky without knowing the right places, people, and websites to look. A simple web search of your desired event location will most likely bring up popular event spots. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s a safe guess that your desired date might be booked, that it will be crowded with people not in your party, and that there won’t be enough parking for everyone.

Whenever I work with clients who rent a private space to call their own, I always notice the freedom they enjoy, the privacy and the relaxed atmosphere that they get to soak in for themselves. Imagine you have an entire place reserved in your name to host that surprise party, or that corporate event, or an upcoming graduation photo shoot, for the hours you need it, on the date(s) you want, with only the people you want there with you! Enter Peerspace: basically, the Airbnb of meeting and event space rentals.

Using Peerspace‘s search results, here are five quick event location ideas that are unique, personal, and completely yours for your next event, whatever and whenever that may be. Happy location finding!

1. A getaway equipped with everything needed for the perfect house party.

Sometimes, having a party in a cozy chateau is the perfect place for a family get-together. It’s a chance to turn a professionally designed and well-kept house into yours, with those renovations you’ve always dreamed of, without the worry of having to move anything or clean up too much.

Peerspace examples:

La Jolla Country Casa Event Space

– Versatile Beachside House – Lifestyle and Products- Great Lighting, Spacious, Custom Designed

2. An estate for bringing your guests and you together in an intimate, unique setting with no other distractions.

These types of rentals are especially popular for weddings, where an immaculate estate is available for everything a bride and groom may need. Estates provide a private environment where couples can get ready onsite, walk to their ceremony and their reception, and enjoy the estate as if it was their own.

Peerspace examples:

Spacious Villa with Breathtaking Views for Events, Meetings, Photo Shoots!

– Country Elegance on Hilltop with majestic 360 views. Spectacular outdoor spaces

3. An outdoor space that can handle the band, the fans, and the drum solo!

For musicians looking to hold a private party for themselves and their biggest fans, renting a private space to hold a concert is a great way to add hype and exclusiveness to the event. It also allows for the band to play without any permits, interruptions, permissions from the city, etc., since, the space is entirely theirs to do what they please with it!

Peerspace example:

Barrio Logan indoor/outdoor event space

4. A space dedicated to targeting your customer base.

Good entrepreneurs know their customers; what their audience looks like, does for a living, does in their free time, and what their pain points are. If you’re a business owner reading this, renting a space to market a product or service in a location that captures your targeted audience’s attention will not only get your brand noticed, but will also help you stand out from your competitors, too.

Peerspace examples:

– Smart & Sleek Conference Boardroom – Edison

Light and Bright Yoga Studio

– Artistic Urban Gym

5. A garden flourishing with the most beautiful greenery you never knew existed.

Gardens are an attraction as well as a location, and from a photographer’s perspective, they are particularly gorgeous in the background of a headshot or grad photo. To create an entirely different environment filled with living, growing flora, booking a garden as your next event location will be as exotic as it will be breathtaking.

Peerspace example:

Canyon Perched A-Frame Home & Art Studio

Great Pictures Lead to Great Publications: San Diego Spotlights Brant Bender Photography’s Star Clients!

Great Pictures Lead to Great Publications: San Diego Spotlights Brant Bender Photography’s Star Clients!

A wedding so beautiful, it had to be shared with all of San Diego.

On October 6, 2018, I was lucky enough to capture all-star couple William and Richard’s whimsical wedding that took over San Diego’s famous and jaw-dropping historical landmark, Prado at Balboa Park. Inspired by the World’s Fair that took place at San Diego in 1916, their wedding featured coattails, top hats, bow ties, and happy-go-lucky dancing and fun.

I worked with Richard and William on their engagement shoot and wedding photos, where I learned about how they met, the spark between them, and what they envisioned as their perfect wedding day. I can confirm their (en)vision came true; the wedding was seamless and stunning, where every photo I took, candid or formal, included a huge smile or a teary grin (huge kudos to the master of wedding planning, Courtney at Breezy Day Weddings!) Their captivating love story and wedding served as inspiration for couples brainstorming their very own creative, unique, story-telling wedding that would take place in the San Diego area.

San Diego Style Weddings, a local magazine that shares the best resources for all things weddings, provides readers southern-California-specific tips, vendors, services, and inspiration, from engagement to post-wedding. S.D.S.W. picked up Richard’s and William’s wedding photos and included them in their December 2019-January 2020 issue. Check out page 118 to see how Richard and William celebrated a stunning World’s Fair Wedding together with their guests and loved ones at the iconic Prado!

Seeing these photos and their wedding story in S.D.S.W. fills me with so much happiness. I remember taking those photos with Richard and William, and I remember loving to capture them and their guests on the happiest day of their lives in one of the most beautiful buildings in Southern California. Working with them was a highlight in my career so far, and to see them bring inspiration to all of San Diego reminds me of how proud I am to be their wedding photographer! Congratulations once again to William and Richard, I can’t wait to see what you both accomplish together – and how you inspire others together – next.

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