Well, where to start with this one, that is the question! It’s a long post, so if you’re not into reading, just scroll down, and check out the pics! Hope you enjoy!
Eight years ago, Dan and I moved to the Central Coast from Santa Cruz. We moved to the country, out near Santa Margarita Lake. One day, we hope to be back in the country, but that’s a side note, and a whole ‘nother blog post…I can’t wait until it happens!
As a wedding photorapher new to the area, I was always keen on checking out locations, seeing what they were like, what was the light is like at different times of the day etc…. I stumbled upon, and quickly added to my wish list of locations, San Miguel Mission.
One could say I’m a obsessed with missions, although, I personanlly would not quite take it that far. I do however feel like there is something really special about each of these places I get to visit on a somewhat regular basis, to me they are kind of like treasure. I’ve shot at probably around 6 of the California Missions, and they always provide with warm light, amazing landscapes, HISTORY, and just a really “homey” feeling when I’m on the grounds, must be something about adobe bricks!
As most of your know, in December of 2003, about 7 months after we moved, Paso Robles endured a 6.5 earthquake, and well, there died my “mission” of shooting a wedding at San Miguel Mission. The mission went under major fundraising campaigns, FEMA dollars, and was closed, for about almost EIGHT LONG YEARS, in Allyson’s Wonderland. The big silver lining as a photographer, was that a very generous Judge Bill Clark, had opened up his very special, Chapel Hill, for couples who had scheduled their wedding’s at San Miguel Mission. That was a true blessing, not only to the couples, but to me, as a photographer. Chapel Hill, is the only other “new” place of worship that has a similar sense as the missions, isolated, peaceful, goregous.
When I received a phone call from Roxanne about a year ago, and the minute she mentioned San Miguel Mission, I was ALL ears. Roxanne and Scott are from Chicago, but have visited the Paso Robles area, as Scott’s brother lives here. He’s the one who suggested San Miguel Misison and Calcarous for their venues…. yes, if you’ve been to these locations, you know, they are amazing. We agreed to work together, I was super excited and the rest is history!
As we were preparing for the ceremony, meeting the Father etc… it dawned on me, like it usually does, how blessed I am. I was standing in the back of a mission I had been itching to photographaph a wedding at for 8 years, with a Father, who was seriously the nicest and warmest priest I have met in 12 years, and in the back hollows, of this 300 year old building, I had the opportunity to capture marriage vows and a committment of love, that would change these families forever. I guess I kind of felt like Harry Potter, but as a photographer.
Congratulations Roxanne and Scott! May your love endure forever! xo allyson
Even Jesus showed up for this photo!!! : )
On a side note, I had another opportunity that was historical for San Miguel Mission ealier this year. The Frost Family had contacted me about photographing a cross dedication on behalf of their son. I can say with a full heart, it was one of the most special services I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. I don’t think my words can describe the experience, but it was for certain, another blessed moment I had the opportunity to be a part of! God is good, and I am one grateful gal! If you are wondering where the cross is….it’s near the 101 and the new building behind the mssion, like a mission style community center. The Frost family, along with some other very generous donors mentioned in the above post, pulled together to comission this very special piece, by an incredibly talented arist to create a cross that is literally seen by hundreds of thousands of people traveling on the 101. I know, this is not for everyone, no worries, but I do encourage everyone to try to sneak a peak next time you’re heading north on the 101 past Mission San Miguel.