Love Notes

POSTED IN : Casa de Youngren, Sweet and Sour

On Friday – on Valentine’s Day – Jeff and I received an email from one of our past brides, Jennifer. She has always been a sweetheart along with her now husband, Michael, but this note made my weekend. Maybe my year. The subject read, “Thank You Will Never Be Enough.”

With Jennifer and Michael’s permission, her note is posted below and you’ll see the image above that she attached to her email regarding Michael’s sweet Grandmother, Armida Flores.


“Dear Erin and Jeff,

I have been trying to write this letter to you for the last few weeks in my head and I think I am finally ready to put it on paper (well electronic paper haha). Michael and I always knew that you were the right fit for photographing our wedding day but didn’t know the real reason God brought you into our lives until the past few weeks. I am writing this with tears in my eyes because on January 21st, Michael’s beloved Grandmother, Armida Flores, was sent home to God and her husband Enrique (who was called Gee Gee by Michael). She had not been in the best health for a long time but it is never completely expected when someone passes away, even at the age of 89. She was at home with her family and went peacefully, which is all that we can hope for each of us when we end our time on Earth.

The reason I am writing this letter is to tell you the impact your work has had on our family and friends during this sad time. When we met with you and we talked about the importance of capturing family portraits, we knew that it was right. When we first looked at your website and felt the emotion in your work,we said to each other, “Why do we have to like them so much, they are the most expensive photographers we have considered!? What is it that draws us to them? It must be meant to be.” Know that we will never regret the money that we spent to have you with us on our wedding day. We would have gladly paid you a million dollars if we could.

When Michael got the call at work that she had passed (and it was not an expected call by any means), he told me all he could picture in his head was the photo that you captured at our wedding of the sign of peace between his mom, grandma and aunt. That one image captures love in a way we never knew it could be captured. It was a moment we never saw, but you did, and you froze it in time so that we will always have it. It was not on a list of portraits or a list of specific ceremony moments that we gave you or discussed. You reacted with your gut and your love. You knew it was important. This photo is why you photographed our wedding. Why God sent you to us by way of Diane Reichenbach. Why we took a leap and invested more in wedding photography than we expected.

Family members and friends who never noticed the photo now cherish this photo.  So many tears but also so many smiles.  We also heard stories we had never heard before from our wedding.  One of our closest friends told us with tears in his eyes how emotional he felt while watching that moment happen and seeing you capture it.

So when you have a tough day or wonder if you have chosen the right career path, please know that you both have a tremendous gift. Your big hearts shine through your work and allow you to capture moments that families will treasure for a lifetime. You will always have a piece of our hearts, and we thank God everyday for you.

I have so many feelings I cannot find the words to express, but I am sure you understand and can feel them too. It seems appropriate somehow that today is Valentine’s day.

All my love,

Jennifer Spencer”


It will never cease to floor me how the Lord knows exactly what his children need at exactly the right moments. Jeff and I can never fully know the depth to which our images affect our couples and their families, but we take every wedding deeply to heart because we understand the job we have been given. We have been entrusted with moments, and those moments will only occur once and with no warning. Our job is to open up our hearts, eyes, and minds enough to capture them. And at a time when uncertainty, doubt, confusion, and insecurity came to rob me of my joy in this precious endeavor, He brought Jennifer.

Jennifer and Michael – I just wanted to say that the past couple of months have been terribly difficult for us on a many levels and for many reasons, so your note brought infinite joy to my heart. Just as I’ll never fully know exactly how much these images have impacted your hearts, you’ll never know just how much this note meant to me, and so I say right back to you – thank you will never be enough.

But really, Thank You.




Hi there! We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren, a hubby and wifey wedding photography team in San Diego. We shoot together. We travel together. We dream together. And we believe the best thing to hold onto in life is each other (+ a great glass of wine…)


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We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren, a hubby and wifey team that photographs amazing couples and their incredible weddings. Hopeless romantics, BFF's, and mama + daddy to James, we’re obsessed with traveling, podcasts, Oreos (Erin) and whiskey (Jeff).