RJ & Danielle // Sherwood Country Club Wedding
RJ & Danielle’s wedding was freakin’ legendary.
It was stunningly romantic, beautifully multi-cultural, unbelievably HYPE, and a celebration that their guests (and I) will NEVER forget. Their Persian / Jewish wedding ceremony & EDC-level wedding reception came together to create one of the most incredible events I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m so excited to share their wedding story + photos.
I met RJ & Danielle last year, and instantly connected to their positive energy and senses of humor. I ALSO greatly admired RJ’s enthusiasm and involvement as a groom, as he was the one (and only groom EVER) to reach out to me about wedding photography! Getting to know the couple at their engagement session & over Topper’s pizzas, we became quick friends. I learned about how they met: at Gold’s gym—RJ was working there and saw the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on (Danielle) come in to work out all the time. With some extra encouragement from one of his best friends, he eventually got the courage to talk to her, and they (clearly) hit off. I learned about how much they loved their children (a German Shepherd and a Husky). I heard stories of how RJ is always surprising Danielle (more to come about THAT as we talk about their wedding,) and how Danielle always cooks delicious meals for RJ, never forgetting #TacoTuesday. I loved the way these two loved each other, and looked forward to their wedding throughout the entire year.
WELP the day finally came, and on a warm sunny day at Sherwood Country Club, they officially became Mr. & Mrs. Sobhanpanah.
Early in the day, during two tearful first looks, Danielle shared sweet moments with her dad and then with RJ. Both men were overcome with emotion when they were able to see her in her wedding dress for the first time. I’m not sure who cried more—RJ or Danielle’s dad. The jury is out.
In the afternoon, family and friends gathered on the patio of Sherwood Country Club to see Danielle walk down the aisle to a (very tearful, but very excited) RJ. Guests then got to observe the couple take part in a beautiful traditional Persian Sofreh ceremony with gifts and meaningful symbols, and a traditional Jewish ceremony with a Chuppa / breaking of the glass. These ceremony elements were complimented by personal vows, which the couple read to one another. There was not a single dry eye in the crowd as RJ spoke about how caring & thoughtful Danielle is, and as Danielle spoke about how big-hearted and generous RJ is. The vows brought an additional depth to the ceremony, and it was a joy to see the emotion reflected in family member’s faces—which went from tearful, to laughing, to tearful again—as the couple shared sweet words with one another.
After their perfect ceremony, RJ’s big surprise was ready to unfold. Before the wedding, he strategically instructed me to suggest around 6:45pm that we go to a waterfall on the property (a golf-cart ride away) to take photos so Danielle could be out of sight when his friend pulled a BRAND NEW MERCEDES WITH A RED BOW up to the front of the building. I played along, and when the time was right, I suggested the location change & the couple’s wedding planner drove us all down the road to the waterfall. We took photos for a few minutes before we got the all-clear and drove back up to the venue. At first, Danielle thought there was a fire or other hazard because all she initially saw was all 200 of her wedding guests standing outside (lol). Once she saw the car, she freaked OUT & hid her face in her hands, overwhelmed with emotion. When the shock of RJ’s enormous surprise wore off, the couple finally walked up to the car and Danielle gave it a huge hug (lol again). He pulled his surprise off, and friends and family chanted “RJ! RJ! RJ!” as Danielle sat in her new whip.
The reception was another HUGE and continuous highlight. First, the wedding party entered with the highest energy grand entrances. Next, the couple shared a sweet first dance in what looked like a literal cloud. After their dance, family and RJ’s 5!!! best men gave heartwarming speeches, and then it was time to PARTY. RJ & Danielle brought in some SERIOUS DJs for the occasion who set up an enormous stage with huge speakers, rainbow strobe lighting, a smoke machine, a confetti cannon, and live drums. I kid you not when I say that their reception was one of the most fun concerts I’ve ever been to. It was like EDC in there, and seeing Danielle react to the surprise of a confetti cannon shooting off behind her was PRICELESS. Also RJ looked like a legit DJ. Check the photos. Their friends were going wild, recording videos on their phones and creating mosh pits out of sheer enthusiasm. It was insane. I had the time of my life and I couldn’t believe I was working.
So.. yeah.. the wedding was SO epic. But my biggest takeaway is not that they had the party of the year (which they did), but rather that Mr. & Mrs. Sobhanpanah are absolutely meant to be together and are just the best freakin’ people. When their friends & family spoke of them, a few themes arose—trustworthiness, generosity, kindness, and selflessness were all words used to describe the couple together and apart. These qualities are fundamental to who RJ and Danielle are; they have consistently shown me such kindness and love when they could have just treated me like another vendor, and I truly feel privileged to be able to now call them two of my close friends.
I love you, pals. Congratulations.