When Leiana and Jerry first got engaged, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would get to stand alongside her as a bridesmaid. Our friendship goes all the way back to college freshmen orientation. I wasn’t expecting to also have the honor of photographing their Catholic wedding ceremony in Long Beach. Their church wedding was the kickoff to their big wedding weekend, officially becoming husband and wife on Friday at their home church before their big celebration on Sunday.
Long Beach has been the backdrop for their love story. The two met while working at the CSULB Student Wellness and Recreation Center, and over time their relationship grew as attended a friend’s fitness classes together. They’ve embraced the city as their home and fully immersed themselves in the community. So it only made sense for their chapter as husband and wife to begin in the city they’ve adopted as their own.
Leiana’s wedding day was filled with thoughtful heirlooms and links to her family. She wore diamond earrings, repurposed from her grandmother’s rings, as her something old. The bracelet she wore was a gift her mom had given her for her birthday, less than 2 weeks prior. Her aunt’s veil served as her something borrowed; it was previously also borrowed by Leiana’s mom for her own wedding. And Leiana made it a point to tell me that her wedding dress style happened to share a name with my daughter!
Jerry’s family loves surprises! They also have a keen ability to get the party started. Jerry’s sister and brother-in-law, Alex and Ruben, arranged for a mariachi to greet the newlyweds as they exited the church. They got to enjoy an impromptu first dance, and it was the perfect way to commemorate this joyful occasion with their family and friends.
Leiana, we have borne witness to so many of each other’s milestones since our friendship first began after college orientation! I’m so touched to have had the honor of capturing this special day for you and Jerry. Cheers to you both.
The vendors behind Jerry and Leiana’s Long Beach Catholic wedding
Ceremony venue: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
Hair and makeup: Jessica Lupinetti of Hue Salon
Florals: Groom’s mother, Blanca
Wedding Rings: La Noosha Inc.
Engagement ring: Vera Wang from Jared the Galleria of Jewelry
Wedding dress: Lulu’s