Genesa Richards Photography » Blog

Wow! I don’t even know where or how to begin with this one.

I’ve known Tatiana for years. We have several mutual friends and share an unbreakable bond of being military widows. So when photos of her and this guy, Wander, started showing up on Facebook, I knew by the genuine & huge smiles that her heart found love again. Something I wish for all of ‘my girls’ to have again one day!

Fast forward to Wander proposing and Tatiana writing me to photograph her wedding in the Dominican Republic! I was ecstatic and blown away that she would want me to fly all the way from Seattle to be such a big part of her wedding!! The date changed a few times and it didn’t look like it was going to work out after all until just this January. We had been talking for 2 years about this day and I was actually going to be able to go!

With the excitement, I shared with my best friend, the insanely talented Amanda Lloyd of Lloyd Photographers, that I was going to be going to the Dominican Republic to photograph Tatiana & Wander’s wedding. One night I said, “Hey, what do you think about going with me and co-shooting together? Oh and stay a few extra days too, just for fun?” When she said “Heck yeah!” I knew it was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to shoot with my best friend alongside me in such a beautiful place.

While I was with Tatiana getting ready in one part of the resort with her girls, Lloyd (I’ll explain!) was with Wander getting ready and photographing the guy’s portraits. (When she photographed my wedding in August 2013, I started calling her Lloyd because my sister’s name is also Amanda. My whole family, to this day, still calls her that) The rest of the day, we shot everything together right alongside each other. We smiled, we laughed, we both cried a little and truly enjoyed being able to share such an incredible day with Tatiana & Wander!

#MuffyPikante, thank you for treating us two girls as if we were apart of your family. There wasn’t a time throughout the whole trip that we didn’t feel so welcomed and loved. Thank you for inviting us to be apart of your special day and for the countless memories! A Bucket List item to now check off!! I hope you love this collection of photos from Lloyd & myself. Congratulations you two and cheers to many, many years!

P I NP I NP I NTatiana’s Matron of Honor, Jenny, is an incredible makeup artist! How lucky is Tatiana to have a best friend that’s always around for spot on makeup?! So jealous!! P I NHow cute are these little flowergirls? They were giggling because the one was eating an apple in hopes of losing a loose tooth. So stinkin’ cute!! P I NP I NAll morning, the sun was shining and I was hopeful that the forecast was wrong. We were going to get lucky and miss the 80% chance of rain! Right as both Tatiana & Wander are getting dressed, the rain started. Just poured! It didn’t phase these two one bit and you’d never know it rained off and on all day by their photos, besides a wet ground! Plus, isn’t rain on your wedding day good luck?!P I NP I NRight before we were going to walk out to take some portraits, Tatiana FaceTimed with her Dad, who couldn’t make it due to the Zika virus scare and his wife is pregnant. This made everyone in the room tear up!
P I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NSeriously girl?! GORGEOUS!!P I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NTatiana & Wander chose to stay traditional and not see each other prior to the ceremony. The moment that he turned and spotted his beautiful Bride was priceless. P I NP I NAnother family member, Tatiana’s brother, wasn’t going to be able to fly down for the wedding due to the Zika virus. Her Mom told us the night before that he DID make it and was going to surprise Tatiana once she walked down the aisle. Little did she know that he got ready right alongside Wander and was already in the Groomsmen portraits too! P I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NSince Tatiana’s Dad wasn’t able to make it, she danced with her Grandfather and then her two Uncles each took a turn too. P I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NThe staff at Melia Caribe Tropical Resort was truly incredible to work with! So friendly, so helpful and so much fun! Also, no wedding day is complete until you get a selfie with the beautiful couple! P I N
Every wedding is made possible by an awesome vendor team. Huge thanks to all that made it possible!

Photography: Genesa Richards Photography:
Amanda of Lloyd Photographers:

Venue: Melia Caribe Tropical Beach & Golf Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic:

Hair Salon & Make-Up Artist:  Hair: Yhi Salon (Wendy) & Make-Up Artist: MakeUpByJennyFro/Jenny Borrego

Bridal Boutique: Brides of Florida:

Bridesmaid Dresses:

Tuxes/Suits: Groom’s Tux: Santori Amici/Groomsmen’s Suits: JCPenny

Brand of shoes:  International Concepts

Jewelry: Brides of

Florist:  Floristeria El Tronco

Lighting:  PSAV Melia Caribe Tropical

Coordinators:  Geraldy Ramos/Melia Caribe Tropical

Entertainment:Pedro Rossi/PSAV Melia Caribe Tropical 

Caterer:  Melia Caribe Tropical

Alcohol:  Melia Caribe Tropical

Cake/Baker:  Melia Caribe Tropical

Décor:  Melia Caribe Tropical

Tables/Linens: Melia Caribe Tropical

Meet Shelbie & Jonathan. An absolutely beautiful couple, inside and out!

I’ve known Shelbie’s sister, Briana, for a few years through the photography & military communities. I have photographed Briana’s little family and when she reached out to see if I was available for Shelbie & Jonathan’s destination wedding, I was ecstatic! I had one hesitation though and that was that the day prior, I had a wedding locally that wouldn’t allow me to fly out of Seattle until the morning OF the wedding, in California. With knowing that and all the risks that come along with it, they still went ahead and booked me!

I had googled the La Cuesta Ranch probably a million times, using all sorts of different key words, to get a complete grasp of what the venue was like since I wasn’t able to see it before their wedding day. Although I came across several beautiful images of other’s weddings, it wasn’t until I actually walked onto the property that I fell head over heels in love! From a rustic barn, rolling hills surrounding the venue and crystal chandeliers that hung from oak trees… it couldn’t of been prettier!

P I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NI absolutely loved the custom made photo booth that they created. With awesome little props and a funky chaise lounge chair, it was so neat to watch guests take turns using the polaroid for their own photos!P I NP I NP I NWhen Shelbie & Jonathan told me the ring ‘box’ was actually the shape of a baseball, I wasn’t the least bit surprised since Jonathan plays on the minor league team for the New York Mets.
P I NThe awesome DJ Dan sang acoustically for the ceremony, which was truly suiting for the intimate setting. P I NP I NP I NI have laughed every single time I’ve seen this photo of Jonathan’s Dad taking a selfie in the aisle after Shelbie & her Dad walked down. So funny! P I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NThere was originally supposed to be seven Groomsmen by Jonathan’s side but those darn NY Mets made it to the World Series last year, leaving one of the Groomsmen out of the wedding but playing in the series! Travis happened to hit a home run during the reception and I turned to Shelbie & Jonathan and said, “Well, that’s one heck of a wedding gift!”
P I NP I NP I NP I NI just love how each of the Bridesmaid’s had a different style dress than each other!P I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NThis wedding party was so much fun! Their grand entrances all played to their personalities too! P I NP I NP I NI’m not sure I’ll typically add family portraits to all of my blog posts but with this scenery and their fantastic families, I just had to include a few!
P I NP I NP I NP I NSiblings. <3 P I NP I NDuring dinner, the owner of the Ranch drove us out to some of the higher peaks of the property. We initially were all a little sad we missed the sunset by just a few minutes but really, the lighting was just as beautiful, if not more, at dusk! P I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NP I NThe party!! Always so much fun and filled with so many laughs. Even more so when going through images and seeing the party really come to life!P I NP I NP I NP I NShelbie & Jonathan, it was an absolute pleasure working with you guys and I’m so grateful for the opportunity! Thank you and congratulations!!


Rockstar team of vendors that made the magic happen:

Photography: Genesa Richards Photography
Venue: La Cuesta Ranch, San Luis Obispo, CA
Catering: Phil’s Catering
Bakery: LicketySplit Cupcakes
Floral: Sprigs Floral Designs
DJ: Dan Curcio

  • May 12, 2016 - 7:05 pm

    kristina - this is beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

  • May 13, 2016 - 7:56 pm

    Amber - Absolutely stunning Cuesta Ranch San Luis Obispo wedding! You captured the day wonderfully!ReplyCancel

Lesley & John have quite a love story! John first proposed to Lesley in the Spring of 2004 and in Fall 2006, they had a commitment ceremony onboard a cruise ship! (How amazing!) Between the two of them, they have six kiddos together so their lives have been consumed with raising their beautiful family.

John proposed for a second time last November while they were at their favorite comedy club. This Summer will leave them with only the two youngest still in the home so it’s the perfect opportunity to officially become husband & wife! It’s incredible to see the love that these two share after all these years of being together. They were worried that they wouldn’t show how much in love they are with each other and really, I think their photos show EXACTLY how much in love they are with each other!!

Their wedding is going to be in Pike Place Market, in front of where they throw fish. It’s going to be epic and so unique! Cannot wait to share those images with everyone but until then, check out John & Lesley’s super fun engagement session.

  • March 8, 2016 - 3:55 pm

    Linda - These are such great engagement photos. Those are some funky purple shoes. I like the shots of them with those bright purple flowers in the background because they go so well with their purple clothes.ReplyCancel

The start of Sean & Ioana’s love story is amazing. Ioana’s parents lived in the same building as Sean and he’d seen her in passing a few times. He’d try to start a conversation with her but she was always on the go to her next errand. Sean asked Ioana’s Mom if she’d give him her phone number but like a good Mom, she told him that he needed to ask Ioana for herself. So he eventually did and the rest is history!

It’s super neat how these two found me. Ioana was shopping in a boutique shop one day and was casually talking to the sales associate. What she didn’t know is that she was talking to Toni, who is my 2nd shooter for most of the year each year. Toni is a key asset to me and it’s such an incredible feeling that she sent this beautiful couple to me for us to photograph their big day.

I’ve become pretty close to these two and because of that, it made it even easier to photograph them for their engagements. You see, Ioana is a photographer herself so she has an incredible eye. It also made me nervous to photograph them because of her being a photographer. In the end, it resulted in the most beautiful photo session.

Truly cannot wait until Ioana & Sean’s wedding in Seabrook, WA this August!