Last weekend was Ryan and Lisette’s wedding reception here in California.
So although the two of them had actually flown to Hawaii for a destination wedding, they waited til they were back on the mainland to celebrate with a reception for the rest of their family and friends.
Unfortunately I was busy at a triathlon the weekend of their ceremony on Maui – they had actually reached out to see about me coming with them to shoot the wedding day, too. And honestly that would have been a lot of fun and I’m bummed that I missed it. However I was still able to be a part of their reception and photograph that, as well as meet their friends and family.
Ryan and I go way back. We met twelve years ago, in college, while we were working at DisneyWorld as lifeguards. So I have a ton of great memories with Ryan and he’s remained part of our core group of friends that still keeps in touch and gets together occasionally for reunion trips.
I met Lisette a couple years ago during our 10-year reunion trip. Ryan brought her along to introduce her to this “last” group of friends of his that she hadn’t met. I remember talking to Ryan and he told me something along the lines of: “This is it.. If she can put up with me around you guys then I’m going to ask her to marry me.” For those who don’t know, our old lifeguard group is still pretty close. And when we get to together it’s a lot of laughing, joking, giving each other a ton of crap, and all around just having fun. But whereas some people might not like getting thrown into a group of old friends like that, Lisette seemed to have a great time with everyone that week. And a few months later (if I recall correctly) I was hearing more about proposal plans from Ryan when we caught up briefly.
Their wedding reception was held in Livermore, on the edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up in the South Bay Area, so it was simply a matter of going home to visit around the time of Ryan and Lisette’s reception.
I’m going to save some other comments for the captions, as I usually do in my blog write ups.
But first, let’s go for a brief stroll down memory lane with Bedford all the way back to our Disney College Program days, yes? Yes.
Blizzard Beach… 2003
Ryan flexing for the camera on one of my days off that I went back to the park to take some photos. This was at close at the end of the day I think.
Hahaha! Either way, it’s glorious.
Disney Quest – a huge arcade kinda thing. Ryan, me, and Aaron one of the summer days we were all there wasting time.
That year really was a blast for reasons like this… few responsibilities and a lot of good friends to chill with all the time.
Me and Ryan, during the going-away BBQ night we had at our complex. Twelve years since this photo and we still look pretttty much the same.
Our group had many, many volleyball and BBQ nights together. So we spent all day at the water park lifeguarding, then came home and spent the evening/night playing volleyball and BBQing.
During our 10 Year Reunion trip I mentioned. Ryan, and his “Everything but the kitchen sink” sundae
After we were done eating…
More recently was THIS amazing event… When I convinced our group of friends that dressing in drag and doing the Disney Princess Half Marathon (as princesses) was an amazing idea. And it was.
And having a fiancé like Lisette that will help you get into your dress so you can run as a woman with your buddies is pretty awesome, right? Haha!
It really was an amazing time, and we’re going to miss Anna, er… Ryan, next February when we’re back to do it again.
Ok, but the wedding reception… let’s get to that.
The reception was held at Ryan’s family’s property
And arriving there as they were setting it up it was awesome to see the amount of work they put into decorating the place
Table the entry way to greet everyone
Ryan and Lisette discussing details for that night and a few changes that might need to be made.
But the place was really coming together
In the old pool house was going to be the dance floor, and ultimately the cake once the wind outside got a little too strong.
Practicing their Jr. High dance…
Getting the popcorn machine loaded up and running
And not too long after all the family and friends started to arrive
The beer keg was acting up, so I think this was a test beer? haha!
Lots of family to meet and greet though
The cake arrived! Hawaiian themes to everything since they had a Hawaiian wedding two weeks before
Plenty of drinks for everyone. The bartenders stayed busy most of the night
Both Ryan and Lisette were bouncing all around catching up with everyone and visiting.
And then the wind really started to drop the temperature.. so everyone had to start breaking out the sweaters..
Other family members were hiding out in the pool house where it was nice and warm though
Force-feeding Lisette popcorn! hahaha!
A little later, before it started to get too late in the evening, the family was brought out to the backyard
Ryan and Lisette had saved the sand ceremony to do back here, with everyone present.
Ryan’s parents welcomed everyone to their home and explained a bit of the history there at the family property. The tree behind them is estimated at 350 years old. Ryan’s parents were married under that tree, and so were his aunt/uncle if I recall. To keep with tradition, their sand ceremony was held under it as well.
I’m totally drawing a blank at what Mr. Bedford is talking about though.. someone remind me so I an add it here
Lisette’s nieces carried in the sand for their aunt and uncle
Two different types of sand were brought back from Hawaii for the ceremony
And Lisette and Ryan were surprised with traditional leis to wear as well
Ryan’s cousin welcomed everyone, too, as he was going to officiate the ceremony
“Webster defines…..” he started as everyone laughed when they realized he was, in fact, holding a MASSIVE dictionary to use in his speech
They black sand and beige sand to be used
Ryan was getting mad that Lisette was taking all the space in the jar and not giving him any room..
But that’s marriage right? Her way, or her way… so Ryan should be used to that by now? haha
And they’re done! The last part left from their wedding they started in Hawaii, and wrapped up in California among their friends and family
Waiting to take a group picture the wind picked back up so they’re actually bouncing up and down trying to stay warm! Haha!
Once back out front everyone was back to laughing and talking as they all awaited dinner.
And believe it or not, some neighbor called in a noise complaint… at 630pm… when you’re completely allowed to be playing music on your property.
Lisette’s mom starting off some of the speeches and welcoming everyone
And then Lisette’s father spoke next
Ryan’s mom welcomed everyone to their home and shared how happy she was to have everyone there to celebrate
And then Ryan’s dad came up to speak, too
And then Lisette’s father came back up. He had saved is Father-of-the-Bride speech for tonight, to give to Lisette and Ryan and share with everyone else
And Mrs. Sazama then gave her speech as Mother-of-the-Bride
She shared that she was so happy her daughter found someone like Ryan who compliments her life and adds to it, rather than tries to change it.
Ooh, this was… an uncle? Is that correct?
I’m trying to recall who it was, but his speech was quite lovely. He ended up this piece of advice: That relationships to just-happen, they’re built.
And then Lisette’s older sister wrapped things up with her speech
Outside the sun was setting and dinner was being served.
It was a little chilly out, but with a sweater on most everyone seemed just fine and were too busy talking and enjoying themselves to seem to notice
After dinner everyone slowly moved into the pool room where the DJ was and people were socialized
Time to cut the cake!
I’m somewhat certain that Ryan was ready to smash his piece in Lisette’s face
And Lisette went in for the attack!
Whoa whoa! Not too close!
For their official first dance, Ryan and Lisette and actually learned a dance routine together
And they looked like they had a great time during it, too
Complete with a cartwheel!
Then everyone else joined them on the dance floor
And the night progressed, Ryan started dealing in glow sticks…
He had a bag that he walked around and handed out on the dark dance floor
Cha Cha Slide with everyone
Clap. Clap. Clap your hands!
Daddy-Daughter dance was a bit later
And Ryan dragged his mom out for an impromptu Mother-Son dance at the same time
And a bouquet toss!
Had to get my usual photo with the bride and groom!
Even as it got late into the evening there were still people outside chatting and laughing
The tables were starting to be cleaned up, but since the wind and stopped hours ago it wasn’t too bad out
The party was still going on indoors though for a while longer
Ryan was giving a little booty shake.. then got spanked several times by everyone
Had to sit down since he felt violated. Haaaaaa!
Last song of the night was wrapping up!
And that’s it!
Successful reception, complete
Hugs and goodbyes with family for the night
A little more dancing as the the DJ played one more song as he started to clean up his gear
Outside everyone was finishing their drinks and conversation as others caught cabs home to their hotels for the night.
And that was it for me, too! I chatted with Lisette and Ryan a bit as I packed up my gear. It’s always great to spend time with old friends and get to be part of their weddings. The only sad part is that several friends, like Ryan and Lisette, live very far away and I only see them once a year to every year and a half.
I was really happy to be a part of their reception with them, though. And while I missed out on the wedding ceremony, hopefully you all have enjoyed their look at their wedding reception!