Viceroy Santa Monica Wedding : Erma and Maxim

Viceroy Santa Monica Wedding : Erma and Maxim


He moved from Bulgaria to Canada to attend college, and he fortunately found a lovely apartment with nice landlords. Maxim would talk to Mr. Hadzic about life, college, and–sometimes–his immigration woes. You know what you need to do, Mr. Hadzic told him, find a nice Canadian girl and marry her! Then everything will be solved.

But that was easier said than done.

Maxim continued to focus on his studies and made many friends, one of whom was Erma, a lively girl with charm and class. Maxim and Erma hung out with friends and went out to dinner with large groups, but one night, they ended up at dinner. Alone. They spent the entire night talking and, well, falling in love. But the story only gets better.

Remember Mr. Hadzic? Well, it turns out that he was Erma’s father. That’s right. Maxim’s landlord gave him perfect advice, but one ever knew Mr. Hadzic’s encouragement would lead to his endorsement of marrying his own daughter! But it was perfect. And amazing. And the perfect blend of two equal parts.

Erma and Maxim planned a destination wedding at the Viceroy Santa Monica, bringing only the closest of friends and family to witness their intimate ceremony. They chose to marry on Equinox, the day of the year when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, thus causing the night and day to be equally long. Their love, much like equinox, is two equal parts, neither one loving more or less than the other. As Erma placed Maxim’s ring on his finger, she knew what part of the inscription read: the latitudes of Santa Monica. That there, in one of their favorite cities in the world, on the most equal day of the year, they became one whole part.

Erma and Maxim…I told you this at your wedding, but it bears repeating again. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your love, your private ceremony, and your lives with us. We walked away from your day feeling like–quite possibly–the luckiest wedding photographers to be alive. I appreciate the gifts you gave me, the lovely toast, and the overt expression of appreciation. We can’t wait to see you next year as you celebrate your first anniversary! Much Love and Appreciation…J*

There were so many personal touches to their wedding day, and I was especially fond of the ring plate Erma made…

Erma was nervous traveling with her Ramona Keveza wedding dress from Canada, but it made it safely…

Many thanks to Carlie B. for a wonderful job with hair and makeup…

The Ta-DAH moment…

This is Erma being simply fabulous.

When I first met Erma, she explained she wasn’t photogenic and I’d have to work hard at capturing photos of her. Ummm, I beg to differ.

Here’s Maxim waiting nervously outside Viceroy Santa Monica’s library…

Maxim and Erma saw each other before the wedding ceremony and it’s moments like the following that reassure me that encouraging my clients to opt for a First Look is a perfect addition to their day…JD captured this photo…

I simply adore shooting at Viceroy Santa Monica…every nook and cranny is fabulously amazing!

JD’s photo…

Just before the ceremony, we ventured in Viceroy Santa Monica for a few more wedding photos…

JD captured this photo and there’s something I adore about it…the following two images are his…

Erma personalized her ceremony site by pinning childhood through adulthood photos of her and Maxim on long strings of ribbon….

A reading during the ceremony…

As we made our way to the beach, JD captured this photo…

One thing I love when clients see each other before the ceremony is the flexibility in their day to capture the type of photos they want. Because of the extra time, we were able to capture more wedding photos at Santa Monica Beach…

JD’s photo…

The following two photos are my favorites from the wedding day…

**Note to Future Brides: If you want to lay down in your wedding dress, I promise to take very good care of it…and make you feel fabulous doing so!** 🙂

I have to totally commend Erma for being the epitome of perfect destination bride. She traveled from Canada with BOXES of decor, but she made her reception radiant and bubbling with her personal style…LOVED it!

Erma’s mother made the clay flower cake toppers and they were so pretty…

A heartfelt toast from Erma’s sister and much celebration…

One of my favorite parts of the night was an impromptu First Dance and everyone else joining in…it was perfect! The following photos are JD’s…

I’ll end with this picture…because I hope Erma and Maxim see fireworks for the rest of their lives together…

To see more of their fabulous wedding at Viceroy Santa Monica, feel free to CLICK HERE for a slideshow

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  1. TH -

    Beautiful! I love her necklaces!

      9.25.09 - 6:28 pm

  2. Noel Salazar -

    Lovely work J*. Im truely a fan. I also just spent the last two days going through you old and new blogs. Your an inspiration to all the little people who are trying to break into the business.

      9.25.09 - 6:34 pm

  3. cristy cross -

    Gorgeous. Love the laying down one. Beautiful.

      9.25.09 - 6:45 pm

  4. Gladys -

    Jasmine! These images are so beautiful. I always love seeing your work. Also, can’t wait to meet you at the workshop in November!! I, as well as the rest of the attendees are so excited to learn from you.

      9.25.09 - 6:46 pm

  5. Marie Q -

    Your work continues to amaze me. What a beautiul and intimate wedding.

      9.25.09 - 6:46 pm

  6. Stephanie Greenwell -

    Oh, how beautiful is she?!? Beautiful wedding. Of course you & JD always do a great job. I love your blog! And your humor. And happy 4th anniversary–enjoy your new books!

      9.25.09 - 6:52 pm

  7. Amy Starks -

    Not photogenic?! Riiiight! She’s gorgeous! She reminds me a little of Leighton Meester! These images are incredibly beautiful and intimate. Wonderful job!

      9.25.09 - 7:03 pm

  8. Michelle sidles -

    Beautiful!! 🙂 The Viceroy always looks so amazing in photos! 🙂

      9.25.09 - 7:07 pm

  9. Dennis Bullock -

    You did you job and then some Jasmine! good stuff…..

      9.25.09 - 7:08 pm

  10. Melissa -

    I am pretty sure Erma is dang gorgeous!!! The photo with her on the green couch with her eyes?? Wow!

    Fabulous work Jasmine & JD!

      9.25.09 - 7:11 pm

  11. Nicole Benitez -

    Intimate and beautiful from start to end!

      9.25.09 - 7:15 pm

  12. Christopher Wren -

    Great work Jasmine. And you FINALLY fixed your borders!! Did you fix it yourself?

      9.25.09 - 7:19 pm

  13. Laura Lawson -

    What a gorgeous wedding and an amazing story to compliment it! I love the way that God weaves lives together; as a witness of that on a very regular basis, you must truly love your job! Love them all, especially the last one. Xo

      9.25.09 - 7:21 pm

  14. Regina -

    Fabulous! She is beautiful! Congrats to them. Love Love the story how they met.

      9.25.09 - 7:22 pm

  15. julianna collett -

    Love the beach shots, how do you protect the dress and reasure the bride?In my experience the brides are so careful/paraniod – but those laying poses are always my fav.

      9.25.09 - 7:23 pm

  16. Meg -

    AAAAAAh-mazing 🙂

      9.25.09 - 7:26 pm

  17. Emily -

    I just LOVE these! If I did it all over again, I would do the same thing 🙂

      9.25.09 - 7:29 pm

  18. Julie Massie -

    Beautiful as always, Jasmine! Love the detail shots! And I don’t know what this crazy girl is talking about…she is drop dead gorgeous! Like…the-kind-of-gorgeous-that-makes-your-jaw-drop-when-you-see-her gorgeous. Looking forward to The Workshop!!!

      9.25.09 - 7:30 pm

  19. Karen C, Florida -

    Jasmine, as usual, your photos are amazing. How on earth could this girl think she’s not photogenic??? Your work is always inspiring. On a separate note, I don’t know how often JD gets complimented for his work, but I can tell you that I ALWAYS love the photos that JD takes. He’s extremely talented, too, and I hope you pass along kudos to him. You two are a dynamic duo!!!

      9.25.09 - 7:40 pm

  20. Washington DC Wedding Photographer -

    Great pictures, I especially love the one of them on the Santa Monica Beach in the life guard towards.

      9.25.09 - 7:43 pm

  21. Jeanette -

    Incredible! What a beautiful and stylish wedding

      9.25.09 - 7:47 pm

  22. Laura Ivanova -

    Whoohoo! Shout out to Bulgaria! Did she take the feminine version of his family name? Love these pics J*!

      9.25.09 - 7:59 pm

  23. Lucy -

    Very awesome photo shoot 🙂 I really like this blog post. Loved JD’s shots too!

      9.25.09 - 8:02 pm

  24. Pol -

    Beautiful as always.

      9.25.09 - 8:15 pm

  25. {15:51} photography -

    Okay…I have to just say it…

    Us Canadian girls ROCK!!!

      9.25.09 - 8:30 pm

  26. Katherine Bowman -

    Not photogenic???!!!! Whatever!!! She is STUNNING! What a great choice for a destination wedding! Always one of my favorite places where you take pictures Jasmine! Beautifully done! 🙂

      9.25.09 - 8:32 pm

  27. Melissa Mae -


      9.25.09 - 8:33 pm

  28. KrisD Mauga -

    Love it again- I love the Viceroy! I shot "the boys" there- would love to actually shoot a wedding there! Wonderful work always!

      9.25.09 - 8:35 pm

  29. Katherine Bowman -

    Oh, and Erma, good choice at laying down in the sand in your wedding dress! You will never regret those pictures! I wish more brides were adventurous like that!

      9.25.09 - 8:37 pm

  30. Marianne Worlow -

    I absolutely adore your work! I view your blog often and find myself so inspired and excited about my goals and dreams. So Thank YOU! xoxo

      9.25.09 - 8:37 pm

  31. Deborah Zoe -

    I looooooooooove the first two of Erma, they are stunning! And I’m loving all of JD’s shots too!

      9.25.09 - 8:52 pm

  32. Cristen -

    OH MY GOSH!! Such amazing images!! It is like they are out of a magazine…..such a beautiful wedding!

      9.25.09 - 9:21 pm

  33. Marissa Rodriguez -

    I know I sound so repetitive, every time I comment I tell you how beautiful, gorgeous, inspiring and amazing your work is….but I mean it every single time. It just gets better and better! I love the slide show, amazing job!

      9.25.09 - 9:44 pm

  34. JennP -

    "That there, in one of their favorite cities in the world, [ in ] one [ of ] the most equal day of the year, they became one whole part." That sentence is BY FAR my favorite you’ve written yet. So poignant.

      9.25.09 - 9:57 pm

  35. Tina -

    Woah – I LOVE that bride’s choice of necklace with her dress! That looks amazing!! Beautiful work as usual J* 🙂

      9.25.09 - 10:18 pm

  36. Kristen Snyder -

    Oh my goodness! What a beautiful day! =) I love the wallpaper. =) and the photos on ribbons. They are such a cute couple!

      9.25.09 - 11:26 pm

  37. cassandra m -

    gulp…the intro story was one of your best. I could feel the love before I saw the first photo. Your photos are flawless…and JD scored some amazing shots.

      9.25.09 - 11:27 pm

  38. Sherry -

    Gorgeous photos! And Erma is SO photogenic! <3 . The ones in the sand are stunning; they’re my favourite too.

      9.25.09 - 11:28 pm

  39. lroah -

    Oh Jasmine. She is beautiful, and your photos just make me smile. You are just too good. 🙂

      9.25.09 - 11:59 pm

  40. Melanie -

    These are beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with us.

      9.26.09 - 12:03 am

  41. Linda Sherrill -

    Absolutely beautiful JD and Jasmine! What a great story!

      9.26.09 - 1:05 am

  42. Lisa H. Chang -

    Beautiful! I love small, intimate weddings now 🙂

      9.26.09 - 1:07 am

  43. Trish Sloan -

    Wow! Your an amazingduo!!! Just stunning! Again, Wow!

      9.26.09 - 1:09 am

  44. B -

    Zie uber fest est bohn! Wow. This was simply gorgeous.

      9.26.09 - 1:31 am

  45. Sue M -

    These are so fabulous!!! I love the one with her in the sand leaning on her man…so sexy! Great job and thanks so much for sharing!!

      9.26.09 - 1:56 am

  46. Bobbie Brown -

    Words cannot even say how much I love these!

      9.26.09 - 2:02 am

  47. Tara Templeton -

    Not photogenic???? That girl is stunning! Wonderful work! WOW!

      9.26.09 - 2:02 am

  48. kelly g -

    They are perfection. These shots are perfection. That wedding looks fabulous. You rock!

      9.26.09 - 2:07 am

  49. michelle cunningham -

    jas i just love that ring shot! and erma’s idea of hanging pictures is a note to tuck away for future events. it’s adorable!

      9.26.09 - 2:55 am

  50. jamie delaine -

    Where in Canada are these two beautiful people from? P.S. To anybody wondering, yes, marry a nice Canadian girl will solve all your problems. We’re kinda great.

      9.26.09 - 3:06 am

  51. kim james -

    7th down the unphotogenic one. Shazame! You hit it! Stunning!!!

      9.26.09 - 3:14 am

  52. Susan D -

    Absolute perfection in every way! The love just permeates in your stunning photos! Love the sand DO you keep wedding dresses clean on the laydown shots? And she is SO photogenic!

      9.26.09 - 3:20 am

  53. sharon snow -

    absolutely stunning!!!!! These photo’s are just gorgeous and will not be forgotten ANY time soon. The bride has the most beautiful eyes and her style is so fresh and classy. Awesome work Jasmine! (and JD!) 🙂

      9.26.09 - 4:16 am

  54. gina -

    as usual…simply love all of the captures. So beautiful!

      9.26.09 - 4:18 am

  55. Lydia -

    Love her style! Her hair, flower, and necklace are so perfect!

      9.26.09 - 5:10 am

  56. jena -

    what a stunning couple, beautiful wedding, and even better love story 🙂

      9.26.09 - 5:14 am

  57. kayleen t. -

    Love your ying/yang detail shot! The white on black bouquet and the black on white purse! love it!

      9.26.09 - 5:43 am

  58. Audrey -

    Great shots, but it would have been great to have shown Mr. Hadzic and Erma……since Mr. Hadmiz was a great part of the short. Just an idea 🙂

      9.26.09 - 6:57 am

  59. Feuza -

    stunning! love the picture ribbon idea, love that pool shot, love that cake,love the beach one of the life guard chairs and love lvoe the last shot

      9.26.09 - 7:03 am

  60. Dorothy Huynh -

    wow, she’s gorgeous!

      9.26.09 - 7:03 am

  61. Cynthia Q. -

    SIMPLY EXQUISITE!!! I love the way you captured this beau-ti-ful couple, the details, their story! Everything! Very interested in knowing which lens was used in which photo if at all possible pretty please with lots of pinkberry on top 😉

      9.26.09 - 7:27 am

  62. Elizabeth -

    Very beautiful Jasmine….simple but elegant, what a wonderful to get married on as well.

      9.26.09 - 11:19 am

  63. Irene Frankhouse -

    Your work continues to awe me. Simply stunning!!

      9.26.09 - 7:04 pm

  64. Brittany Dawson -

    Work it JD!!

      9.26.09 - 7:05 pm

  65. Anouschka -

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!

      9.26.09 - 7:54 pm

  66. Michelle -

    Just beautiful!!!

      9.26.09 - 11:49 pm

  67. Carly -

    Love these! And JD – you’re awesome! I love what he captured – just another reason for another shooter! Question – how did you keep Erma and her dress clean?
    Thanks Jasmine!!

      9.27.09 - 2:31 am

  68. amanda thiessen -

    love the close ups of her! beautiful!

      9.27.09 - 2:43 am

  69. Lawrence Kent -

    The photo of the brides feet in the sand is an award winner. Bravo!

      9.27.09 - 2:47 am

  70. Catherine Lorraine -

    Absolutely GORGEOUS! as usual…

      9.27.09 - 3:30 am

  71. Erica Velasco -

    Not Photogenic? I get that a lot too…luckily they’re always wrong =)

      9.27.09 - 3:13 pm

  72. Bella Taylor -

    Wow she’s gorgeous I don’t know what she was worried about. Stunning photos all of them!!!!

      9.27.09 - 11:19 pm

  73. Vilma Deckena -

    I think this is the first time I have seen so many pictures that were taken by JD! Let him know they are great and he did an awesome job!

      9.28.09 - 1:27 am

  74. melissa oholendt -

    J*, amazing. My favorite work of yours to date. Beautiful!! I LOVE the plate wall like woah.

      9.28.09 - 2:14 am

  75. aimee tangeman - -

    Such a trendy wedding! Love all her jewelry!

      9.28.09 - 4:57 am

  76. Terry-Lynn Pollock -

    WOW absolutely stunnig! It looks like it was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple! XOXO

      9.28.09 - 10:18 am

  77. Jasmine* -

    For those who asked, I didn’t do anything to protect Erma’s dress when she layed in the sand. Truthfully, a wedding dress can withstand most elements quite nicely and I’d never place a bride in a spot I’d think her dress would be compromised. I’ve come to think that most my brides trust me and know I always have their best interests in mind! 🙂

      9.28.09 - 12:23 pm

  78. Brent Pilgrim -

    A bride jumped over a barb wire fence for me! My stress level peaked at that moment, but she was so cool about it.

      9.28.09 - 12:48 pm

  79. Stephanie Stewart -

    Beautiful work! Love the ones on the beach in the lifeguard chairs and on the sand. And that plate wall??? Wow! Stunning work as usual, both of you!

      9.28.09 - 1:33 pm

  80. Jo LeFlufy -

    Jeez, Jazzy Jazz…looks like JD’s going able to give you a run for your money now…LOL. Beautiful photos. Makes me want to get married again so I can hire you!

      9.28.09 - 2:05 pm

  81. shani Barel-Desser -

    The perfect Bride, Beautiful and Brave!!!
    ( to carry the dress all the way from Canada just to lay on the BEach in Santa Monica)

      9.28.09 - 2:33 pm

  82. ohana photographers -

    yummy details!

      9.28.09 - 4:12 pm

  83. Jenny -

    LOVE the details and the portrait with ONE on the upper hand corner ! How appropriate !

      9.28.09 - 8:17 pm

  84. Kisha of Sahara Blue -

    woot woot! to the lovely canadian couple (from a fellow canadian 🙂 beautiful images to remember such a special day!

      9.28.09 - 8:27 pm

  85. Amy Wenzel -

    These are really lovely! I love your purty pictures.

      9.28.09 - 11:26 pm

  86. Sara -

    J*, awesome photos and you are a constant source of inspiration. I am sending my sister to a link of your site for the hair in this wedding– simply FAB. Love it. I cannot believe she said she wasn’t photogenic?!??!?

      9.28.09 - 11:36 pm

  87. Katie Whitcomb -

    I adore all the different sized pearls in her necklaces. Simply fabulous!!!

      9.28.09 - 11:52 pm

  88. Ricki Ford -


      9.29.09 - 1:54 pm

  89. Lana -

    You first made me cry with your 4 year anniversary post and then with their story. As you mentioned Mr Hadzic I became even more interested because the surname comes from the country I am coming from. The name Erna too, so as story was unfolding I figured that they are related 🙂 And I knew she must be beautiful (as we all are hehehe) but when i saw her in the first pic I gasped. She is stunning!!!!!
    Thank you for telling us their story as it made this all post most beautiful and as I said on the beginning made me cry.

      9.30.09 - 11:52 pm

  90. Jenny -

    I have worked with Erma. She is as sweet as she is beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous work Jasmine!

      4.17.10 - 2:54 am

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