Martin Johnson House Wedding in La Jolla, CA

by | February 5, 2020

bride and groom kissing martin johnson house wedding

When Luke and Amber booked me to photograph their Martin Johnson House wedding in La Jolla, California, I knew it was going to be a fun and emotional day.  Fun because Luke and Amber told me from the get-go that they are an easy-going and fun couple.  Emotional because Amber also shared with me that her dad was in stage 4 cancer. So as all wedding days come with a range of emotions, this one was full of joy, laughter, and some sadness too.

The Wedding Day

It started off like most typical wedding days, with the bride and groom getting ready in their separate locations.  I wasn’t surprised at all when Amber told me that she was planning to play a joke on Luke during the first look.  It was pretty typical based on what they told me about their relationship, which is that they like to tease each other a lot.  Amber got one of Luke’s friends to show up in her place dressed in an American Flag Speedo.  With their friends and family looking on, it was hard not to feel a little sorry for Luke.  Although he was a great sport about everything.  Let me tell you! It was the funniest first look I’ve ever photographed.  I was laughing so much I had a hard time keeping my camera straight.

Aftward, it was time to head over to the Martin Johnson House for the ceremony.  I was really hoping to get some photos of Amber with her dad at the wedding because I knew how much they’d mean to her.  But unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  Amber’s dad passed away shortly before the wedding and her mom was diagnosed with cancer as well, which prevented her from being able to attend.  So the big moment of anticipation when the bride walks down the aisle was especially touching given the circumstances.  Amber tearfully walked herself down the aisle but then stopped halfway as Luke offered his arm and they walked the rest of the way together.  It was such a beautiful and symbolic way to start a marriage!  After that, it was all smiles for the bride and groom as they received such an outpouring of love and support from their guests.

The Reception

At the reception, Amber and Luke were finally able to cut loose and relieve some stress.  Since Amber is a country music fan, she hired a dance instructor to come and teach her guests how to line dance.  Good thing she was able to find a dress with a side slit so she could dance her heart out!  She looked gorgeous in it too.  And you can bet there was some shenanigans during the cake cutting!  I didn’t expect any less from these two.

Amber and Luke, I wish you a lifetime of happiness!  It was an honor to photograph your wedding day.

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The Martin Johnson House is often described by couples as a hidden gem and one of the best outdoor wedding venues in San Diego.  It’s not hard to see why.  It’s a historic rustic cottage with spectacular ocean views, located in a secluded area on the Scripps Institute of Oceanography campus.  The venue has an intimate backyard feel and is shaded by 100-year-old cypress trees.  There’s a grassy lawn where you can have your ceremony while overlooking the La Jolla beach area.  You won’t need a lot of decorations to make it beautiful. Your guests will love seeing bunnies hop around the lawn during cocktail hour or watching the sunset during the reception.  It’s perfect for small to medium size weddings and the best part of all is that it’s budget-friendly and affordable.  It had all of the characteristics that the couple was looking for in an outdoor venue.

To find out more about booking a Martin Johnson House wedding, go to the Scripps Venue Rentals page.  Here you will find their inquiry form and FAQ.  You can also email:

If you are looking for a wedding photographer, I would love to chat with you.  Contact me here.  I’m very familiar with Martin Johnson House and know many spots nearby for your couple’s photos.







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