St. Denis Catholic Church
2151 S. Diamond Bar Blvd.
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
There is all kinds of information on the website about the church, but unfortunately not much about the weddings. So, we'll just make this stuff up as we go along. If you think about Catholic Churches, there still are a lot of old school red brick with dark wood, dark carpet, heavy stain glass churches around They get used a lot for TV shows and movies because they are always so dark and full of mood. Then over the past few years the Catholic church swung the other direction. Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles is a perfect example of this, large, bright, cheerful, with tile and earth tones it's the Catholic Church 2.0. St. Denis falls comfortably in between these two extremes. It mixes up the best of both worlds to make one outstanding church. Marble floors, stain glass, modern Spanish architecture with a lovely courtyard. Even if you aren't Catholic you may be temped to get married here! Just click the link above, find the part about becoming catholic, they'll hook you up!
Of course, if you are already Catholic, and you aren't crazy about your church, and want a step up Catholic church, you've found the right place.
What Type Of Bridal Couple Would Like This Place?
St. Denis is really the gold standard Catholic church for miles around. It's one of the few Catholic churches that is as pretty on the outside than it is on the inside. From the moment you step out of the parking lot to the time you sit in the pews this is a place that is a pleasant visual delight. If you were to envision what a current Southern California Catholic church should look like, this would be it. It features Spanish architecture combined with traditional catholic church themes to offer something that is both modern and traditional.
We've made many wonderful images at this church.. True to form for a Spanish style church, it features a lovely open quad courtyard with a large foutain in the center. What I've learned is that it is possible to get the couple up to the second story balcony for photography. Because the grounds aren't that large and thus you don't have to worry about needing to run around to all sorts of different locations like you would at the Crystal Cathedral. Most of the best photography this place offers is inside the courtyard..
Possible Distractions/ Work Around
St. Denis is a nice church, it's a lovely church, the people who work here are nice, and yet.... it's a wedding factory. They often host many weddings a day at this facility because it's so popular. One thing that is a bit of a turn off is that you aren't allowed to use the alter to take photos after the ceremony, most likely because they have weddings stacked up on each other. On of the weddings we did started a few minutes late and when we came out the bride, groom and a couple hundred guests from the next wedding were standing at the door waiting to get in. Thus instead of taking pictures on the alter you will get pushed out to the courtyard. The only problem with this scenario is that the guest hang out in the courtyard as well. Most photographers' these days won't care and thus your wedding pictures will have distracting guests hanging around in the background of family photos. Since it's inland it can get warm in the summer time.
It's not that we are trying to make this place sound bad, or encourage you to look elsewhere. It's a lovely church, and it has a lot going for it. If you were one of our friends and wanted to know what we think of this place, everything listed is exactly what we would tell you. Now, to make things even worse, and this isn't really so much the problem of the church, just something to be aware of. This church is popular with a lot of people, including rat bastards! Who are these people? There is a crime network that likes to hit this church quite often, and steal camera gear from photographers. We've heard of photographers having their gear stolen inside of the church during the ceremony. We know for a fact that they follow photographers to receptions to steal gear as well. One knew of one photographer who had all her gear stolen at the reception, it included all the pictures taken that day up to the point of the reception were gone, gone, gone.
St. Denis is a lovely church. Plain and simple, it's about as eye candy as a Catholic church gets in Southern California. The people are nice, the ceremony is meaningful. With all of this it does have its challenges, but other than the potential of having camera gear stolen, they are things most people can live with. As far as camera gear being stolen is concerned, it has nothing to do the the church, or the part of town it's located in. The Hyatt in Huntington Beach is an upscale venue that is notorious for having photographers and videographers having their gear stolen. For seasoned pros most of us know how to combat crime, for newer guys that leave their gear laying around, it's an expensive lesson to learn, For the clients who lose precious images, it's very sad.