Patriotic Engagement Session from Jessica Lee Thomas

Before we start celebrating the 4th of July, we thought to share with you a lovely Independence Day e-session featuring the most sweet couple.  Danny is currently serving our country in the Army, and this session and location was perfect for these two love birds. This session is not only celebrating America’s birthday, but a couple’s love for each other. We LOVE this session and thanks to Jessica Lee Thomas for the breathtaking images. So, before you start the beach/pool parties, or barbecuing, take a moment to browse this amazing session.











From Jessica Lee Thomas

Crystal & Danny’s Love Story Session is one I will always remember. From the representation of their upcoming  4th of July Wedding Day, to the military tribute,  and most of all, the beautiful love these two share… their Engagement Session was perfect in every way. It’s important for me as a photographer to not just capture “photos” for an Engagement Session. Instead, I love to capture a Love Story that represents the two as a couple… and really stands to remind them (in many years to come) of their unique relationship. When Danny & Crystal told me they wanted to have their session on the Queen Mary, I knew it would be perfect. It is not only a symbol of patriotism, but also the backdrop to an incredible wedding on the 4th day of July at Hotel Maya. When Danny showed up in his Army Uniform and Crystal matching in her gorgeous army green skirt, black top, & pumps, I was thrilled! They looked amazing & the Queen Mary was a perfect setting for them. The entire afternoon, Danny was so attentive with Crystal. He was a perfect gentleman. Crystal just radiated with her love of Danny, as they laughed effortlessly throughout the session. When Danny and Crystal took out their over 6 ft. tall American Flag, we captured photos as we celebrated the United States of America and most importantly all those who serve selflessly for our Freedom. We also celebrated the day to come- when the fireworks would light the sky above their venue at Hotel Maya, while these two celebrated being husband and wife with their closest family & friends.

July 4th Wedding Weekend Must Do’s

With the Fourth of July  here, and all the barbecues  beach days, and relaxing activities, weddings are also here. Yep, many couples will choose a long weekend to celebrate their love with close friends and family. Why not? I am a total fan of long weekends and weddings. It is the perfect way to spend time with the ones you love for more than just one day. When the wedding day comes, it is hard to spend that quality time with each and every guest. So why not extend the celebrations into a few more days? I think that the fourth of July weekend is one of those weekends where you can totally do this! Here are some ideas of how you can celebrate with your guests at two of my favorite Southern Orange County spots!

  • Dana Point Harbor: A quaint beach town in the lovely city of Dana Point, California. Besides its gorgeous views and beach-side living, this town offers so many fun filled activities for you and your guests. You can go  kayaking,  stand up paddle boarding,  and jet skiing. Want to go Whale-watching? Sure, you can do this too!  What is great is that if any of your guests have children, this is a perfect location for them. There is a small beach called “baby beach” which has shallow water, no waves,  soft sands, and plenty of room to make sand castles! So, your guests who are parents can really enjoy a day at the beach without the worry about waves and a huge crowd. Kids love this place! You can also enjoy seafood at many of the restaurants on the harbor, or if you are feeling like a treat, then there is a famous ice cream place too. Kids will love this as well.  If you are not feeling like going to a restaurant  then you can have a barbecue with your guests. The harbor has some great spots with a grill, and covered picnic tables. The parking is free and the view? Well, the view is amazing. Imagine barbecuing, playing ball, games, or just relaxing…all on the gorgeous waters. It is incredible. So, if you are having a wedding on a long weekend like the 4th of July, then consider Dana Point Harbor. You and your guests will have a great time!





  • Laguna Beach: Ah, Laguna Beach, California. I may have mentioned this spot a few times before, but I really love this town. Not only does it offer spectacular ocean views from about anywhere you are, it has some of the finest eateries. Whatever your palate desires, there is a restaurant for you and your guests. Want an ocean-view seat? No problem, there are several fantastic places with perfect views of the ocean. Enjoy sunset views with dinner with your guests. Laguna Beach of course has a main beach area where you can play basketball, walk the boardwalk, get some rays, swim, or just relax in the sun. I can go on and on about this amazing spot, but I want to bring your attention to a exclusive and private spot. If you are having your wedding celebrations on a long weekend and want to avoid the large crowds, then I have the perfect place for you. Hotel Laguna is located right in the heart of Laguna Beach. If you stay at this hotel, you have access to the a private beach which comes fully equipped with chairs, lounge chairs, towels, and a server. You do not have to worry about getting to the beach early to hold your spot. It is a fabulous hotel and great service.  Treat yourself and your guests to an amazing weekend in Laguna Beach, California. If you are looking for fine foods, gorgeous ocean views, beach side fun, or a relaxing time, then this is the place for you.





The private beach area of Hotel Laguna


Happy 4th of July!!

All photos are property of Bridal Hot List.