We are Jacob & Christin Willis, fine art wedding photographers. I thought he was sweet.
He thought I was funny. We fell in love and got married. Now we work together, play
together, and do life together. Our work has been featured in the world's top wedding
blogs and magazines. We love what we do because we heart photography.
I’ve always been a bit of a thief. Just ask my sisters and my roommates and my friends and my mom. I hate all of my clothes all of the time so I like to borrow things, especially from my sister Rachel. (Can I call it “borrowing” if she specifically told me I was not allowed to take things from her on numerous occasions?) I still, to this day, “borrow” things from her when we go to Clovis to visit – clothes, makeup, deodorant, shampoo, her loofa (too far?) – you get the idea. She claims that I’m stealing her clothes (since I don’t have permission) and using her makeup and shampoo (since I will clearly not be returning what I have partaken in). I will continue to use the term borrow because it sounds nice and it makes me feel like we live in a sharing-is-caring kind of world.
This character flaw virtue has stayed with me even in marriage. No, Jacob does not wear makeup but I have switched to using men’s deodorant so that we can “share” and there are multiple items in his closet that sometimes live in mine. Like his flannels. (Mmm… Cozy.) He also has the coziest socks, the most accessible cell phone charger, and the softest loofa. (Yeah. I’m a repeat offender. What of it?)
You would totally understand if I said he hated it. You wouldn’t be surprised if I said that this part of my personality causes tension or arguments. You would probably even back him up if he put his deodorant in a safe. This is the amazing thing about my Jacob… He doesn’t hate it. He embraces it. Instead of allowing it to cause tension he has accepted it and adapted. He buys deodorant in two-packs and hangs HIS flannel in MY closet. He even bought a second loofa. (I should probably ask which one I should be using because it kind of defeats the purpose if I don’t know.) He now offers me his socks and knows exactly where to find his cell phone charger when it’s missing. This is the amazing thing about his love for me… it’s selfless. His love for me ignores, even embraces, this thing about me that would be annoying (and kind of gross) to 98% of people. Instead, he chooses to say, “Yeah. She may be a thief… but she’s my thief.”
***For more of our Little Love Stories, click here.***
(Side note: the title sounds like one of those children’s books that uses reverse psychology to make kids want to eat vegetables or go to bed on time… except this one would be about blowing their noses and brushing their teeth. I think I’m on to something here.)
Other than the time Jacob “measured my grumpiness” I haven’t shared many stories about disagreements fights we’ve had. (I really wanted to use the word “disagreement” rather than “fight” but then I feel like I’m one of those girls that, when all the girlfriends are sharing about the funniest/worst/most recent fight they’ve had with their husband, says, “We’ve never had a fight.” And all the girlfriends roll their eyes because they know that is impossible and that she just doesn’t like the word “fight.” But really? Let’s just call it what it is. We all fight, even if you choose to label it a “disagreement.”) But, in all honesty, we really don’t fight often… especially considering the fact that we live, work, sleep, and now parent together. We are literally together 24/7. (Jacob is not going to love my use of the word “literally” there because we aren’t “literally” together 24/7. Whatever.)
ANYways, I wanted to take this opportunity to share one of the silly things we fight about: the toothpaste. It’s not the type of toothpaste or even the fact that Jacob squeezes it from the middle (though that would be a totally legit thing to fight about). It’s the toothpaste’s location.
Every single evening, I have to basically climb into the shower (fully clothed) to retrieve the toothpaste from the back corner (which is as far away as possible). And every single evening, I put it in a perfect spot on the counter where both Jacob and I can easily access it from our preferred teeth-brushing spots (the shower and the sink respectively). Without fail, the next morning, I go to look for the toothpaste, in the perfect spot I last placed it, and guess what? It’s. Not. There. Which is mind-boggling because I usually brush my teeth later in the evening than him and earlier in the morning. There is no logical explanation why it shouldn’t still be there. But sure enough, I awkwardly climb halfway into our shower, look in the deepest, darkest corner, behind 3 half-used bottles of Suave shampoo, 1 very heavy bottle of Listerene, and (the strangest item in our shower) a bottle of beard shampoo, and there it is. How did it get there? I have no idea. Do I consider shaking him awake from his sleep to ask this question? Every single day.
To be fair, I know that there are a few teeny tiny things that I do that can cause a tiff or two here and there. Like my use (or lack thereof) of tissues. I’ve always been a sniffler. Growing up in central California, my allergies were always going crazy and I had a constant sniffle. I seriously don’t know if I knew what an un-stuffed nose felt like until I moved away for college. So now, when I’m sick, (which seems to be at least once a month), instead of blowing my nose, I just sniffle. I don’t even notice it… but Jacob does. He will kindly ask if I would “like a tissue” and I will cordially decline. After about 17 more sniffles, he will subtly bring me a tissue, acting like it was just “on his way” back from the kitchen. Of course I’ll decline, “Oh. I’m fine. You really didn’t need to do that.” I’m certain that his mental response is, “Yes. Yes, I did need to do that.” 32 more sniffles and then he loses it, “Will you PLEASE blow your nose?!”
It seems silly to fight about such dumb things… but then again, it’s kind of nice to be able to say that the only thing we fought about today was the toothpaste. Or was it the tissue? See? I can’t even remember. And I like that.
***For more of our Little Love Stories, click here.***
Love Story: Love at second sight ;) This might be more than a sentence or two ;) Chase and I met back in 2007 at a mutual friend’s wedding. We were both 22 at the time and living on different coasts. I was actually in town visiting from San Diego and he had just moved back to CA from NYC. We chatted, shared a few dances and even exchanged phone numbers at the end of the night. The next day I flew back to San Diego and went on to finish college. We didn’t end up keeping in touch, I think mostly because we just were living two totally separate lives in two totally different places. Fast forward 5 years later. We were still living in completely opposite places, this time a little closer than East coast versus West coast. Chase was living and working in San Francisco and I was living and working in Monterey. We randomly ended up at a BBQ together on Fourth of July 2012. Crazy right!? We immediately recognized each other and spent the majority of the afternoon chatting. At the end of the day, we exchanged phone numbers and immediately connected. We went on our first date two weeks later and it was just as if we had known each other for years. We fell in love very quickly, and we both knew early on that we were soulmates. After about a year and 3 months of dating, Chase asked me to marry him. It was truly a storybook romance. I still pinch myself that I am so lucky to have found such an incredible and amazing husband who is also my best friend.
Our inspiration for our wedding day came from our venue and the time of year in which we got married. Union Hill Inn was so beautiful on its own that it made it really easy for us to take that natural beauty and transform it into our vision. We drew inspiration from the rustic barn and the insanely beautiful natural light that it casts. The beautiful twinkly white lights, the old barn wood pews. I knew that I wanted a neutral color palette and wanted everything to feel cozy, wintery and romantic. That was the word of the day for the entirety of our planning, “romantic” ;) I wanted a flood of candles and light airy floral.
One of my favorite DIY projects were the gold deer we used to hold our escort cards. My mom and I found them on Etsy and spray painted all 120 of them gold. We called them the “herd” it was so funny seeing all 120 of them standing out to dry! The bridesmaid’s furs were also so special; it was my gift to them for being in the wedding. I wanted them to have something warm and cozy to throw around their shoulders because it was FREEZING. It was so much fun handing them out at the rehearsal dinner the night before. Another special detail was a gold ring I wore that belonged to my great, great, great grandmother. My mom wore it on her wedding day too; it was so special to me to wear such a treasured piece of family history. My grandmother actually had me hand it right back after the ceremony was over for safe keeping, it’s that special! My “something borrowed” was actually a mink fur that my grandfather had purchased for my grandmother in France in the early 1950’s, it has her name embroidered into it, that was really special for me as my grandfather has since passed and it was so nice to have something that meant so much to the both of them on our special day.
My absolute favorite moment was our first look, when we saw each other for the first time before the ceremony. It was so emotional for both of us and so exciting! We both had such butterflies, it was so amazing. It was so special to have that alone time with just the two of us. You don’t realize how little time you actually get that day with just the two of you. The ceremony was also a favorite, we were so ecstatic to be married…it was truly a moment in time we will always cherish. As soon as we walked out of the chapel, we both looked at each other and said, “That was fun!” and it really was!
My advice is to listen to your heart and stick with your vision, no matter who tries to persuade you in other directions. Find vendors who are excited and enthusiastic about working with you and helping you make your vision come to life! It was so great for us to be able to work with vendors that were willing to work with our ideas and and make them that much more amazing! Take deep breaths and remember why you are doing all of this planning and hard work. Enjoy it, because it goes by so fast! I heard that time and time again in the early stages of planning and it really is true. Also, remember to do non-wedding related things with your fiancé. Plan a weekend trip, or a fun date night. You need to have something else that keeps you excited and entertained after wedding planning. In the end, it’s not about how the napkin is folded just so, it’s about marrying the love of your life and that is something that is worth an epic celebration.
Our processional was by Drew Barefoot, Song: Mud in our eyes (Instrumental), Recessional was by A Boy and His Kite, Song: Till the end of time. First dance song, Kip Moore, Song: Hey pretty girl
My favorite photo of the day is one that was taken just as the pastor said you may now kiss the bride. My husband has his hands on my cheeks as we were kissing for the first time as husband and wife. It was such a true and tender moment. It truly captured our love for one another and just how excited we were to finally be married :)
Venue: Union Hill Inn in Sonora, California | Coordinator: Terri Neher of Events Extraordinaire | Floral: Willow Floral Design | Catering: Mustard Seed Catering
Cake: Corner Space Cakes | Entertainment: Sounds in Motion | Make-up: Blush Makeup and Beauty Lounge (Christa) | Gown Designer: Claire Pettibone
Men’s Formalwear: Men’s Warehouse | Brides Jewelry: Haute Bride Design | Brides Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Calligraphy: Dear Darling Calligraphy
Escort Cards: Minted.com | Hair: Jessica Lewis from Jewelz and Co.