Mary and Robbie

Photoshoot With Local San Diego Wedding Photographers

Last month my husband, Robbie, and I took a trip to San Diego, California! This trip had many purposes but one thing I knew I wanted to do was get more images of us. Throughout wedding planning, we document so many beautiful moments. From engagement photos to wedding photos but after the wedding it’s as if the other moments don’t need to be documented. Have you ever thought about honeymoon photos? You’re probably visiting somewhere you have never been or at least somewhere that is beautiful! So why not get updated images? Not for cards or albums but just for you. To celebrate your marriage and “new” life together. Images to remember this special time – the first trip as husband and wife! More people should hire photographers while on trips – not just honeymoons!

The purpose behind this La Jolla photoshoot with our San Diego wedding photographers was to explore the idea of honeymoon photos. And I couldn’t be more excited about these gorgeous images! Thank you so much Brittany V Photography and Danny Lewis Photography! We will cherish these images for the rest of our lives! 

Leading up to the photoshoot day, Bethany from Events by BD, helped me plan everything. From deciding the overall look with me to providing us with props and flower arrangements. She was SO sweet and easy to work with! If you’re looking for a San Diego florist or event planner, you should definitely reach out to Bethany! She knew my vision better than I did!

Guitar Beach 2 2

To kick off our photoshoot, Tracie from Makeup by Tracie came over to our house to do my makeup. I honestly didn’t even have to tell her what I wanted and she completely nailed it. She made me feel confident and beautiful. I liked that she didn’t do anything too extreme and kept my look natural. She picked the perfect lip color too! Robbie kept complimenting the color the entire day! Not only did she do a great job with my makeup, she was easy to talk to and fun to work with! If you’re looking for a San Diego makeup artist, drop Tracie a message!

We started our photoshoot at La Valencia in La Jolla, California where one of our photographers Brittany from Brittany V Photography met us to take some candid, lifestyle images at the hotel. They were so nice to let us in for a few images! Brittany was creative, kind, and so much fun during the entire photoshoot. She prompted us, encouraged us, and complimented us!

Mary and Robbie
Mary and Robbie
Mary and Robbie

I mean look at these pictures?! If you’re looking for a bright and colorful San Diego wedding photographer who loves to take charge (in a good way), Brittany is a perfect fit! I could tell she was not only confident but she also knew what she was doing!

Mary and Robbie
Mary and Robbie

Some of the links below may be commissioned. 

After our city images, Danny from Danny Lewis Photography joined us at Windansea in La Jolla. We continued the photoshoot with outfit changes and added props. I love that we got to do two completely different looks. Both of my new outfits came from Amazon (if you don’t have prime, you can use that link for a free trial)! You can purchase the white floral dress here and the long green dress here. If you end up purchasing, we would love to see pictures of you in your new dresses! 

Danny was easy to work with and fun to be around. He brought two cameras and was definitely more of a candid photographer which was really cool to watch. It’s amazing to see the two different styles (in photography and in editing)! If you’re looking for a San Diego engagement photographer or wedding photographer who loves to capture candid moments, Danny is your guy!

Couple Blankey Kiss 5 B&W

I love to work with wedding vendors from around the world because it gives me the opportunity to meet them and actually experience their work for myself. If you’re a wedding vendor or you know of someone you’d like me to get in touch with, please don’t hesitate to reach out. If this blog helped you to learn something new or get inspiration and you want to follow us for more wedding tips, tricks, and ideas, head to our Facebook page and don’t forget to join our wedding shopping group here. We can’t wait to see you there!

You can find these vendors online by clicking on their name(s) or going to our Mary Taylor Weddings Facebook Page where we have shared this blog. 

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


Our Wedding Day

Wow! Where do I even begin? I have been anticipating writing this blog for so long. September 14th, 2019 was one of the best days of my life. I had dreamt of it since I was a little girl but had no idea how perfect it could truly be. Being from California but living in New Zealand made it that much more exciting. For those that don’t know, Robbie (my husband) is from New Zealand and I am from the States. We have been living in New Zealand and I planned our wedding from overseas. With family all over the world, it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of us. We had friends and family traveling from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Spain, Minnesota, Arizona, Idaho, and more.

I’m going to save all my advice and all the things I learned for a different blog post but I’ll walk you through a little bit about our day. If you want to see where we got all of the beautiful items to help pull together our wedding day, click here. All the images in this blog were taken by Susannah Lynn Photography and edited by me (Mary Taylor Photography). Click on the images to view them larger. Scroll to the bottom to see our wedding video!

Some of the links below are commissioned links. This means I may earn a small commission when you use these links. It doesn’t cost you anything and I cannot see who purchases what. 

We started our mornings in separate locations (the guys got ready at an airbnb and the girls got ready at my mom and step-dad’s house). The first vendor to arrive were our videographers from Hart Marketing! They had already been to see the guys! They were so flexible about going back and forth to capture exactly what they needed. Hair and makeup by Peretti Hill Glam Squad showed up a bit early just to make sure I would be done on time! I started to feel like everything was coming together. My artist, Saundra, was completely on top of it! She even allowed my mom to add on hair last minute! I couldn’t believe it! Our last vendor to arrive was the amazing Susannah from Susannah Lynn Photography just in time for getting ready images! Susannah and her team captured myself and the girls getting ready as well as the guys getting ready. I loved the moment they captured above of our officiant (one of Robbie’s best friends) trying to puncture a hole in his formal shirt in order to fit the cufflinks! I’m kind of glad I wasn’t there to witness that! 

We also got images of all of the little details throughout the day. As a bride, I put in so much time and effort into picking out everything to make our day special – even the small things. It was so nice to have someone like Susannah noticing those details and photographing them! We absolutely loved the custom ring box we got from AliExpress as well as my beautiful earrings to match my ring. The wood watches were engraved on the back and gifted to the groomsmen to wear on the wedding day!

She also captured this beautiful bracelet that Robbie’s mom gifted to me and the blue handkerchief that my aunt surprised me with at my bridal shower. It happened to my grandmother’s before she passed away and although I wasn’t going to participate in “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” I ended up bringing this handkerchief with me as my something blue on our wedding day!

I love getting to see the behind the scenes including gift givings, my dad seeing Robbie for the first time, the girls and I drinking champagne, and me seeing my dad for the first time. Doing a first look with your dad is super special!

It’s easy to forget these moments when you look back but to have images of everything means the world to us. I truly feel like I can relive the day just by looking at these images. Especially the images of us getting ready since we weren’t there together in the moment! Like this moment of Robbie giving our dads the custom wallets he bought them!

They also captured me giving my mom Pounamu (New Zealand Greenstone) earrings. This gift was SUPER special to me and not many know the story behind them.  I had been searching for months for the perfect thing to gift my mom. I knew I wanted it to represent New Zealand as we would both now be a part of New Zealand forever. 

In order to make sure we had time to spend with friends and family during our wedding, we did a first look! Honestly, in terms of the timeline, it the best decision we made! Although the boys were a bit late that meant I had time for some portraits of myself! My photographer and coordinators kept saying that I had planned our timeline perfectly and even had extra time for more images and the slight slip up of the guys being late. If you want to see our timeline check out my previous blog about timelines here.

Once Robbie arrived we got him into position with his back facing me. Unlike most first looks, Susannah wanted me positioned further away from Robbie so he could really absorb the full look! Seeing his face light up as he turned around was absolutely incredible. It was so nice to have just a moment to ourselves before the craziness of 80 guests!

After our first look, we got to see our entire wedding party and our families! One of my favorite prompts from our wedding party images was “walk as if you’re drunk!” We all laughed but the images actually turned out really good! I had a super hard time finding dresses that I wanted for my bridesmaids but when I found Azazie, I knew they were the one! They had every size (even custom sizing), shape, color, and style of dress and tie! They even had matching bow ties for Robbie and his nephews! I was so happy with the price, colors, and quality! If you’re a current bride or just looking for a dress or matching tie, I highly recommend Azazie!

I can’t imagine if we had to have done all pictures after the ceremony! Getting family pictures was so important to us because of everyone living so far away. I’m honestly so in love with how these images turned out! I tried to come up with every variation of image possible and I think it worked!

Our ceremony was absolutely perfect! I know I might be biased but it was a great combination of funny, serious, sentimental and unique! Some things that made our wedding different included our bridesmaids walking down the aisle with lanterns instead of bouquets, I walked down the aisle with both my parents (and again, no bouquet), we performed a hand ceremony during the wedding ceremony, and didn’t have our wedding party stand at the “alter” with us. As I walked down the aisle, my Godfather, Art, and his wife, Marilyn, sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley! It meant so much to hear their beautiful voices as I walked down the aisle. Fun fact: they also sang at my mom’s wedding when she married my step-dad!!

Our officiant, Robbie‘s best friend Quentin, did an amazing job!! I can’t wait to share the video which has some snippets of our ceremony and wedding in real time! Look out for an update to this blog for our wedding video. You can also watch it “live” with us at our second reception here in New Zealand on December 14th (if you’re in the US it will be December 13th). We will be having a viewing “party” on our Facebook page – just give us a like so you don’t miss it! 

One thing we made sure to do was look out at everyone. It’s hard to remember to take a second to breathe and see all your loved ones who are there to celebrate you! It was such an amazing feeling! 

We wanted to incorporate something within our ceremony that we could remember for the rest of our lives. Something physical we could take home and keep forever. We thought about doing a sand ceremony but when I was researching officiant speeches and other things to do, I read a hand ceremony that I fell in love with. The night before our wedding, during our rehearsal, we made a sculpture of our hands which we then displayed at the ceremony and reception. Our bridesmaid, Michelle, and our groomsmen, Adam, performed our hand ceremony for us! Here’s what they said:

Michelle: Today, as you face each other and hold hands, I want to remind you of the gift these hands are. These are the hands of your best friend, young, strong, and full of love for you. These are the hands that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

Adam: These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

And after our ceremony we took a few last-minute group photos including photos with our friends! I definitely recommend doing this! It was so much fun and such a good memory of who was there to celebrate with us!

Now, for the party! We did a grand entrance with our wedding party and went straight into our first dance. Our first dance was to the song “This Is It” by Scotty McCreery. After our first dance, so many people told us that it looked like we had practiced a lot and choreographed our dance. Truth be told, we had never actually practiced!

And it was also our first time seeing our reception venue set up! It looked better than I ever imagined! The team at Shadowridge Golf Club used my drawing diagrams, explanations, and all our decor to make my dreams come true! I 100% trusted that they would make it look beautiful and they did just that!! 

I LOVED how our centerpieces and cake table turned out! Wedding Apparel NZ did an incredible job with our custom wine labels which we used as table identifiers. Each place was somewhere in the world that meant a lot to us. We even included a little snippet on why it was important! We also had custom luggage tags for each guest to take home. They were a HUGE hit! 

After our first dance and some food, it was time for speeches! Everyone did such an incredible job – even if some of the speeches were slightly embarrassing (but that’s what makes it fun right?!). They had the whole room laughing!!

Then, it was finally time to dance! We did three special dances – mother/son, mother/daughter, and father/daughter! It was absolutely perfect!

And last, but certainly not least, the dance floor opened up to guests! What a day!

A quick but big thank you again to our amazing vendors (especially our coordinators Anna and Codie from Shadowridge Golf Club), our family and friends who made time to celebrate with us, and to our wedding party for all their help and love! We couldn’t have done it without all of you there!

Our wedding video by Hart Marketing: 

If this blog helped you to get some inspiration or you just enjoyed reading it, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at Mary Taylor Weddings and join me in my deals Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds for more wedding shopping fun!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


Our Wedding Day Purchases

Hi brides and grooms! I am so excited to be sharing some of my behind the scenes wedding day purchases! These items helped us to pull off our beautiful wedding. If you haven’t read about our wedding day and seen all the pictures, check out our wedding day blog here. More links coming soon!

Some of the links below are commissioned links. This means I may earn a small commission when you use these links. It doesn’t cost you anything and I cannot see who purchases what. 

Our Wedding Flowers

Please join our Facebook group for links to these flowers. They were purchased from several companies! 

If this blog helped you to get some inspiration, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at Mary Taylor Weddings and join me in my deals Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds for more wedding shopping fun!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


AliExpress 11/11 Day Sale – Wedding Shopping

If you haven’t heard yet, AliExpress is hosting an 11/11 day sale! Most items all across AliExpress are on super special for two days only! We’re shopping tons in Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds so if you’re not already a part of your group, come join us in the shopping fun! If you want to find other items that are on sale (like clothes, home decor, Christmas decorations, gifts, and more) you can also join our group Mary Taylor’s Shopping Finds. Check out some of the best wedding day finds for the AliExpress 11/11 day sale that is happening TODAY! Click the images or highlighted words to take you to that item.

*Please note that the links below are commissioned links. This means that I may earn a small commission from these links. It doesn’t cost you anything and I can’t see who makes purchases though.

  1. Luyue’s 13 Branch/Bouquet Artificial Peony Flowers! I actually got the same ones from Amazon but they didn’t have as many as this one! They have several different colors of these Peony flowers available. 

2. Artificial Rose Flower Garland! These are the ones that we got for our wedding! We actually really loved them. Check out the picture below to see how we used ours. They come in several different colors as well!

© Susannah Lynn Photography

3. Personalised Wedding Welcome Sticker Sign! This would go perfectly for our blog about wedding signs. You can read all about how you can create your own signs with decals like this one! 

4. Gold And White Balloon Arch Chain Wedding Balloons – These come with over 130 balloons in order to help you make your DIY balloon arch!

5. Ball Gowns Spaghetti Straps White Ivory Tulle Wedding Dress – If you haven’t picked out your wedding gown yet, you should definitely check out AliExpress for gowns. This one has over 400 purchases and has fantastic reviews… and check out that price!! If you end up getting this dress or got another dress on AliExpress, we would love to see it! Post a picture in our group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds! <3 

6. 4PC Strap Top Pants Suit Pajamas Sleepwear Sets – These are a MUST in my opinion! I searched long and hard for the perfect bridesmaids gifts (aka bridesmaids robes). I wanted something that had options so everyone was comfortable. Being summer, I wanted something they could wear braless (super important when you’re wearing a dress that doesn’t have straps) and something that they could layer! These were amazing! Here’s our picture below <3 

© Susannah Lynn Photography

7. Relojes 2018 Watch Men LIGE Fashion Sport Quartz Clock Mens Watches – Something for him too of course! This has an insane amount of reviews and purchases and is a must look at this 11/11! A perfect gift for the groom, groomsmen, and fathers!

8. Men high quality genuine leather belt luxury designer belts – Another great option as a gift for groomsmens, groom, or even fathers! Everyone who wears a suit needs a belt! 

Black or Brown available

9. Bridal 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry Sets Green Zirconia Stone Earrings For Women – There’s so much amazing jewelry on AliExpress! Here’s one of the sets on sale and above four stars (pro tip: sometimes it’s hard to sift through everything on AliExpress. I always look for things above 4 stars and with the most reviews and purchases I can find). This set comes in different colors so make sure to click the images to see if there’s a color you like (if you don’t see one you like below).

10. Mr and Mrs Wood Letters Cake Topper Love Birds Tree Topper Wedding Party Decoration Wooden Wedding Cake Toppers – Last but certainly not least! These gorgeous wedding cake toppers! There are several different options but below are three of them! Which one would you go for? They have designs to suite any wedding style! 

To find even more deals and finds don’t forget to join our Facebook groups and come back to this blog as we may update it with more as the sale continues! If you purchase something from AliExpress (during the sale or not), please tag us on Instagram @MaryTaylorWeddings and post the image in our wedding shopping group! We would love to see what you got! We love to see all online purchases and love to share deals and finds from all over online! 

If this blog helped you find something you were looking for, informed you about the sale, or you think it may help someone else, feel free to share it. Just copy and paste the URL onto Facebook or forward it onto friends <3 Don’t forget to tag us @Mary Taylor Weddings on Facebook or Instagram so we can say thank you!


Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


My Bridal Shower

I have been helping brides to plan their bridal showers – giving suggestions, helping them to look for what they need to create their bridal shower, creating templates for brides, and browsing through Pinterest non-stop. Then, it was time for me to have mine! And just like any good mom and maid of honor would do, they said I wasn’t allowed to help (for my own good)! I gave them some suggestions and a couple of things that I really wanted (like these super cute napkins that we got on Amazon) but other than that it was ALL them!! They pulled off a Pinterest-worthy day for me and I couldn’t have been more thrilled! If you want to see where we got things from, look for the images with the captions which tell you which items are linked to those images. Click the image to take you to that product.

This blog contains commissioned links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I may earn a small commission for purchases made through the links provided. I cannot see who purchases what and it doesn’t cost you anything!