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Lissette and Joel standing on bridge at Brownstone Gardens in California

Lissette & Joel – Brownstone Gardens

Lissette & Joel’s traditional Catholic Wedding was a dream come true. Their day started with a ceremony at the gorgeous St. Anne Church, also called St. Anne Parish, in Byron and ended with a breathtaking outdoor reception at Brownstone Gardens in Oakley.

bride and groom sit on swing at Brownstone Gardens

The Beginning

This love story began ten years ago when Lissette and Joel met in high school through mutual friends. They started as friends but quickly started dating and soon become inseparable. A happy nine years later, Joel planned a romantic day and proposed to Lissette at one of their favorite beaches on the coast. Then they celebrated their proposal with a dinner at the iconic Original Joe’s in the heart of Little Italy (North Beach) in San Francisco.

They began planning their big day immediately. They wanted an outdoor garden wedding but still wanted a traditional Catholic wedding. Their search for the perfect match ended with a ceremony at St. Anne Church followed by the nearby Brownstone Gardens for their reception. Lissette told us that the church was the perfect spot for a ceremony, "a small, intimate and romantic location. Just how we imagined it to be.” Even though it was a smaller location, it still held all their guests while feeling spacious.

Intimate Catholic Ceremony

Lissette had a beautiful rosary and Bible for their ceremony at St. Anne's. Their Catholic ceremony went as planned without any mishaps. From communion to prayers, to ring exchanges and vows, it was all so beautiful to be a part of. The chapel offered an elegant, intimate, and colorful setting, which was perfect for their pictures and wedding video.


Lissette found her videographer, Graham King of Final Frame, on The Knot and was instantly drawn to his style. Lissette said Graham did not disappoint them as he “did such a beautiful job with our wedding video, he captured very candid shots of everyone.”

And let’s not forget to admire Lissette’s stunning wedding dress! She bought her gown in Walnut Creek at La Soie Bridal, where she had an amazing experience. She told us, “Everyone was absolutely amazing, from the moment I walked in, they were super helpful and made my whole experience unforgettable. The ladies at La Soie were able to get my style in a short period of time.” She was lucky enough to find her dress the very first day she went out looking.

Her look was completed by Inette Montes from The Glam Bar with a natural glam look. Lissette had many makeup trials before her wedding day and disliked all of them until she found Inette. Lissette said Inette is “a great makeup artist and she helped me feel beautiful on my wedding day.”

Garden Reception

After the ceremony, the reception was a short 20-minute drive to the dreamy Brownstone Gardens. These gardens felt magical as if we were in a fairy tale. All the little details, from a sweet treats table, to flowers and decorations placed around the area, made it feel even more majestic. Most of the wonderful details were provided by their florist, Deb, from Beyond the Terrace in Brentwood. They chose her because she has a long working history with weddings and events. She made all the floral arrangements, favors, entrance sign, and centerpieces. Wow! Lissette said Deb “always listened to what we wanted, took notes and gave great advice based on her experience with previous weddings.” A wedding with an abundance of lovely details makes such a difference for pictures. It offers that much more for us, as photographers, to capture as memories.

Brownstone Gardens

We were able to take Lissette and Joel around the grounds of Brownstone Gardens for a variety of photo backdrops, including a quaint little bridge, blooming flowers, luscious greenery, and an open field. Lissette expressed how this gorgeous setting for their reception exceeded their expectations. We love seeing a happy bride having her dream wedding come true. We always feel honored to be a part of the special day.

Brownstone Gardens even has its own Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Barbara DuMont. She made life so much easier for Lissette and Joel. They were able to relax and enjoy their wedding day, thanks to Barbara. Lissette and Joel had an abundance of appreciation for Barbara.

"We have no words but she was absolutely incredible. She was so helpful from beginning to end and we couldn't have asked for a better coordinator. Especially on the day of the wedding, she made sure everything was going smoothly and on time. Joel and I were completely stress-free, our only job that day was to enjoy our wedding to the fullest.”

An experienced wedding planner can really make a wedding day so much more enjoyable and smooth. We highly recommend using one if your budget allows.


Once we captured Lissette and Joel’s stunning pictures, they were ready to celebrate. They danced their way into the reception to get it started. All their guests were beaming with joy for the happy couple. The two of them gave touching speeches that led into their first dance as newlyweds. They sang and laughed as they danced, and it was so nice to see them relaxed and enjoying themselves. Following the couple's first dance were the father-daughter dance and mother-son dance. The proud parents soaked in every second of those dances…. so precious!

Lissette and Joel chose a great DJ, one who we personally recommend: Robert with Ace Entertainment. Lissette found Robert at a wedding fair in Walnut Creek with her mom and mother-in-law. All three of them were immediately drawn to him the moment they heard him play. He even supplied lighting and a Photo Booth… Bonus!! We agreed with Lissette when she said, “Robert kept the party alive from beginning to end, we wish we could have kept the party going all night. Best DJ!!!”

Once the party was really going, Lissette & Joel made a bridge with their hands and a cloth and almost every single person who attended the wedding was dancing in a long line under their arms and through the courtyards of the Gardens. It was so upbeat and fun!

And of course, they did a cake cutting, where Joel was super funny! He acted like he was going to attack Lissette with her bite he was feeding her. We all had a great laugh! Then everyone got ready for the bouquet toss and garter toss. The men put up a bigger fight for the garter than the women did for the bouquet…. it was entertaining to watch!

As if everyone wasn’t enjoying themselves enough already, Lissette & Joel also had a Dancing Robot come around 9 p.m. to get the party even more pumped. He handed out glow sticks and headbands and made the night even more unforgettable. Lissette & Joel really know how to make a night exciting and memorable for everyone. We loved being a part of this day and wish Lissette & Joel the best!


Bridal Gown - La Soie Bridal in Walnut Creek

Videographer - Final Frame

Makeup - The Glam Bar

DJ - Ace Entertainment

Reception - Brownstone Gardens

Ceremony - St. Anne Church

Florist & Designer - Beyond the Terrace

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