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Real Wedding

Carlsbad, California Ranch Wedding: Joy & Penina

Honey Photographs

July 23, 2016

5 years ago Joy met “Zawnaw”, her now lovely wife, Penina, at a beach club in Oceanside, California. The club was a straight bar, so Joy didn’t expect to meet anyone. She was also just out of a bad relationship, had moved back home and was focusing on herself. Her best friend’s older brother was leaving the next day so she showed up to the club to say goodbye. Sober and looking around at the crowd, she saw a girl wearing a beanie who seemed to be with a guy. She was pretty, but Joy didn’t think anything of it.

Evidently Penina noticed Joy too. The man she was with tracked Joy down and put a bug in her ear suggesting that Penina thought she was cute. Joy’s friends helped connect the two and soon Penina asked Joy to dance. The next day, Joy found Penina on Facebook at they just never stopped talking. Their first date happened two months later and they have been together ever since.

Honey Photographs

Joy described her proposal: “On Christmas of 2014 I surprised her with a full package experience to the 2015 USA Women’s World Cup in Winnipeg, Canada! She was overly excited; she had never been to a World Cup, and never left the country. Little did she know I had a full proposal in the works. I ended up proposing to her on June 13th, right by the Red River. She had a recording of my voice when she got out of the shower that led her down to front desk where she got an envelope, and to the café where right by a tree was a chalkboard with her name and another note on it. The recording last told her to walk through a nearby park. I was there with a mini soccer ball with ‘will you marry me’ written all over it and the ring. I got down on one knee and proposed to the angel of my life.”

Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs

Joy and Penina’s wedding planning began and one year, one month later, they were married in Carlsbad, California. Their wedding was rustic, vintage, sweet and filled with love from family and friends; many traveled from afar.

Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs

Wanting something upbeat, Joy and Penina chose LUV by Tory Lanez as their wedding song, and enjoyed a wonderful choreographed first dance.

Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs

The couple personalized mason jars for every one of their guests and had a signature drink at their open bar. Joy made a video for her wedding speech to her family and friends. There were Hawaiian and Polynesian dancers and even a traditional Money Samoan Dance! As a special treat, Penina danced to the traditional Samoan Siva which Joy considered an experience of a lifetime.

Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs

The newlyweds shared their advice for same sex couples getting married, “GO BIG OR GO HOME! If you want that big wedding plan it and you won’t regret it, no matter what it costs! We do not regret one bit!”

Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs
Honey Photographs

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Photographer: Honey Photographs // Floral Designer: Elements of Style // Reception Venue:  Leo Carillo Ranch // Caterer: Personal Touch Dining // Bakery: Personal Touch Dining // DJ: Sound Prodigy

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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