St. Eugene’s Cathedral Vow Renewal Photoshoot: Noelia & Jose

Oh where to begin with this one….Bianca contacted me months ago about doing a SURPRISE vow renewal for her parents, and I’m not gonna lie, at first I was skeptical. I thought to myself, how could someone pull off a vow renewal for someone else, without even telling them? Man, they sure showed me!

Noelia & Jose were celebrating 30 years of marriage. I posted on my Facebook that day that I asked Noelia what the secret was to 30 years of wedded bliss, and she told me, “Respect. He’s never disrespected me and I’ve never disrespected him.” I was floored–such a different answer from the typical one, “Love”, and such a great reminder to respect ourselves and our partners.

Anyway, back to the story of the day. I arrived at St. Eugene’s Cathedral in Santa Rosa, the SAME church the couple was married in 30 years prior, still somewhat curious as to how this was really gonna work out…”how would they convince her what to wear? Or to come to the church? She has to have some idea…” Notice my thoughts really centered around Noelia having some indication, not necessarily Jose. I just want to clarify that this isn’t because I didn’t think Jose was bright, but because I am a woman and I know my species–Never underestimate a woman’s ability to find stuff out.

Well, Jose & Noelia showed up with their family, under the guise of doing family photos at the church…and were genuinely surprised. I was so happy! After the ceremony/mass, we captured a few family photos, but then headed back to their house for some more. Bianca & her sister and their boyfriends had completely cleaned up/organized everything to have it ready. They were in the process of remodeling the backyard, so wood was everywhere! Noelia was so nervous when she found out everyone was going back to the house afterwards for the reception, but little did she know that her family made sure everything was perfect.

Congratulations Jose & Noelia–So happy to have met you and shared in your day.


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DJ's short for Danielle Joy. I'm a photographer, student advisor, and social extrovert. Lover of golden hour & happy hour.