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Hitched: Kristin & Mike {San Diego}

Not long after I got back from Italy…like…3 days later…I was whisked away to yet another time zone, but this time, I stayed on U.S. soil. The destination was my favorite favorite U.S. city (as of yet)… San Diego. (I was just about to use the nickname that good ol’ Ron Burgundy bestowed upon the city, but then I realized that could lead to some very odd hits from Google…)


Anywho I would live in Southern coastal California if it weren’t so darn cost-prohibitive for us folk who start our lives in the “cheap” Midwest. I have been there several times, the first time was when I was 12, and ever since, it has held a place in my heart. I mean, who could NOT love the flora, fauna and fabulousness that is the Golden State?


San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


(These pics were taken when we stopped at La Jolla for breakfast. I adore La Jolla.
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


Now I’ve made even more memories in this gem of a city thanks to Kristin & Mike, who twisted my arm oh-so-not-hard to get me out to the West Coast. (I hade my trusty sidekick Courtney Tompson (from Moberly, Mo.) as my travel companion and shooting assistant, so a big thanks goes out to her!!!)


So how did I end up, a photographer from Kansas City, shooting a wedding in San Diego? Well, that’s easy. I was hired. San Diego-native Kristin contacted me last summer after having followed my photos for quite some time (she is a fellow MU grad, though our paths never had crossed in the Show-Me State.) Woot for social media bringing lovely coastal brides to Midwest photographers!!! She has been teaching science and health at an elementary school on Coronado Island for the past 2 years.


Between then and now, we’ve exchanged about 40 emails — so even though I’d never met her, I felt like I knew her. And because she apparently likes to type/write, I learned lots about her groom, too!


Mike is a gentleman with a penchant for saying heart-warming things that get an “Awwwww!” from anyone within earshot. He is originally from Maryland and currently is a Lt. Commander in the Navy, where he’s been serving for more than 10 years. Leadership comes naturally for him, having been the oldest of five children.


Online dating can be applauded one more time for bringing these two together. Kristin usually cringes at the cliché of “love at first sight”… but she admits there definitely was something beyond special when she met Mike at the ferry landing on Coronado Island and found herself enthralled in what would be the first of countless great conversations. The first few dates were followed by several get-togethers with Kristin’s family, and she says she knew he was the one after he fit so perfectly with the ones she loved the most.


Apparently, that feeling was requited. On Independence Day, about a year and a half after Kristin first knew Mike was different than any other guy she’s met, Mike carried the ring around in his pocket all day, waiting for that moment when his courage exceeded his excitement. That moment came as they were walking toward the waterfront to watch the firework display. After flattering Kristin with all the reasons he loves her (seriously, this is every girl’s dream to hear….) he got down on one knee. Kristin’s YES response was met with clapping from strangers who were watching it all go down. The rest is pretty much history!!! And one week after they were married, the two moved to Jacksonville, Florida,  where—and warning, I really have no idea what this means–Mike will be qualifying on the P-3 Orion, in which he is a tactical coordinator. But Jax-ville will only be a temporary home–they are headed from there to a permanent honeymoon location–HAWAII!!! Sigh. Sigh. And one. More. Sigh.   


So yeah, that is their fairytale… and the big affair that sent them off in style… is documented below.:)Enjoy!




The ladies got ready in Kristin’s parent’s bungalow on Coronado.
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


What a laugh. So infectious!
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


Check out THE most practical wedding day shoes I’ve ever seen. Kristin definitely didn’t have sore feet… (and Kristin’s dad was a big softy–but in a manly way, don’t worry!! I always enjoyed witnessing their interactions…)
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


What a great idea to get bobble heads that look like the groomsmen!!! 
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.
(the ceremony was at Immaculate Conception in Old Towne. 
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


In Mike’s words…

“I was excited to express my unrelenting love for Kristin to the entire community of family and friends. Our wedding showed the commitment between Kristin and me that will last a lifetime. In my humble opinion, our marriage will affirm the love we feel right now for the rest of our lives. I know that I will have a partner from this day forward which gives me the confidence to try new things and enjoy life to its fullest.”

In Kristin’s words…
“We are the perfect complement to each other. During the last couple weeks before the marriage, I kept expecting to hit a panic moment where I would start to wonder if I was ready for a whole life commitment. I always think about people as shaking so hard they can’t get the ring on, and I never had that. It’s like my whole being knew better than my conscious self that marrying Mike was the best decision I had ever made. There was no fear because there was no need for it. I couldn’t be happier about the wedding. I had so much fun with Mike and all of our family and friends. It’s funny how I don’t really feel like Mike’s and my relationship has changed that much since being married, but the wedding/marriage has really helped me to feel more connected with his family and friends.”





San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.





I just love (and my camera whole-heartedly agrees) when couples fit together so well that it’s super natural. And I also love the pristine-ness of the dress whites and the white dress. (we were at Balboa Park for these…along with several other weddings and quinceaneras. 

San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


Court and I LOVEd their bridal party. The boys were a few good gentlemen. 😉 And the ladies were heckuva lotta fun!!
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.



San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


The reception was at Coronado Community Center. We of course had to take advantage of the background of something we don’t get to see in Missouri–boats and yachts and the amazingness of a bay!
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


Reception time!
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


I (wrongly) assumed that Mike knew what he was doing by cutting the cake with his saber. (I mean, don’t they have that lesson in training camp???) But no. Not so much. As you can see by their faces when he sliced off a rather large piece of the top tier. (And let me just say…the guests were so much fun…not afraid to dance!!)
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


I love myself a groom who likes to claim his bride with EAR SNUGGLES!
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


Don’t ask…but it’ll do for the “three of us” pic.
San Diego wedding photography by Kansas city wedding photographer Darbi G.


Kristin & Mike–when you got married, it was clear that you have now joined forces with two families and sets of friends that are so loving, supportive and fun! You both know already how blessed you are to be in the middle of all that warm fuzziness. 
Thank you so much for being great hosts to Courtney and me…and to making us so jealous of the adventures that lie ahead for you. xo 

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