724 East Bonita Ave.
San Dimas, CA 91773
A modern, very pretty Catholic Church not too far off the freeway located in the quiet community of San Dimas. It's the perfect sized church for nearly all weddings because it isn't so large that it dwarfs any wedding that it holds. Large churches to tend to spread guests out and make it appear that just about any wedding was hardly attended by anybody, even if a couple of hundred guests show up.
The architecture and décor of this church are impressive. Though the rules are strict, they are manageable and fair. There is a great potential for outstanding images if the photographer is both diplomatic and creative.
What Type Of Bridal Couple Would Like This Place?
Having seen medieval Catholic churches firsthand I can see tell you that for the past thousand years or so the game plan has been to make their churches dark so that the stained glass really stands out. Though I haven't run across any catholic churches with tombs in the floor in the US like you would find in England, it seems that you find a lot of red brick, dark colored catholic churches with stained glass. It's interesting to see that a religion that prides itself on not changing its message can indeed change. I find the movement towards lighter, brighter Catholic churches to be very significant in the respect that it seems to be responding to what people want. My belief is that people are basically visual and the architecture and structure of the church symbolizes to some degree what the church is about in their mind.
For people who are Catholic, the church is important because it's the only way to have your marriage recognized by the church. With an abundance of drab churches, the bright and modern looking churches are in high demand. Places like St. Denis in Diamond Bar are always in demand, but in reality Holy name of Mary can give St. Denis a run for it's money.
The only reason I wouldn't go off and rave about this church is the alter. I am willing to bet that the architect who designed this church showed the design to the purchasing committee using a computer simulation of how the church was going to look. Walking towards the church from the parking lot the church's design is eye candy. It's modern and inviting. Walking closer towards the church you see the fountain in the courtyard. As you move inside there is a lobby, and then when you open the church doors you have this overall amazing view of the alter with yet another fountain. The probably showed very well on the computer screen. The problem is that as you get closer to the alter, the stained glass is above where people are standing. There is a half cylinder wall made of large cinderblocks painted white. So, you've got the bride in white, the father in white, and the wall in white, see the problem here? When we shoot tight on someone it's hard to tell if it's inside a church or rec hall at a dormitory. Though this could be taken care of quickly and inexpensively it probably won't be addressed for quite some time. As mentioned before the Catholic church doesn't need to compete with the Rose Garden at The Disneyland Hotel, or a garden wedding at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Laguna Beach. Holy Mary is better than most catholic churches in the area for photographic potential, but with a little work it could be outstanding.
The people are nice, it's a beautiful, easy going church, there isn't much to be aware of. The rules are fair, the staff is nice.
It's a beautiful modern church, much better looking than the average Catholic church. I am still holding out hope that a talented interior decorator puts the finishing touches on this church. Until then, it's still a great church to get married in. About the only other word that comes to mind when thinking about this church is sterile. It's so new and clean and modern looking it reminds me of a new and modern hospital. When you look at churches like St. Denis and even St. Paul the Apostle in Chino Hills you have some churches that are in the newer style of the catholic church, or
in the case of St. Denis have deviated away from the standard plan significantly enough to be considered unique. Both of these church have that lived in look going for them. Holy Mary is so new and so clean it gives the impression it was just opened yesterday. With so many Catholic churches in so old looking, not in a romantic medieval way, but in a 'this place should be red tagged and torn down' type of way, having a clean, modern church would probably be appealing to a lot of brides. So, by this virtue alone brides will be attracted to it. It's just that it's so new it really hasn't developed it's own personality yet.