First Wedding EVER at La Ventura Event Center, San Clemente

So tardy in blogging this fantastic wedding day with Alec and Julian. I had a chance to shoot at two venues I’ve not been to before, which is always fun! The ceremony was held at a beautiful park in the gated community of Cypress Shores in San Clemente. Complete with palm trees, pond, and access to the beach! Who could ask for more? And the reception, the first ever, at the brand new La Ventura Event Center. Can hardly wait to go back. Be sure to see all credits at the end, and a special shout out to Mikii of Neon Carrot Events who made the day run smooth as silk.

Alec and her spectacularly beautiful bridesmaids got ready at her parent’s home in Cypress Shores. IMG_2378

She left it to the ladies to choose their own gown in a “muted shade of blue/grey”. It worked out perfectly! (And believe me, I’ve seen instances where that wasn’t the case.)

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Alec’s gown was Sottero Midgley. And I love her “something blue” shoes.

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I made her do it 🙂

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Sentimental touches on a wedding day are so sweet. This little red heart sewn into the lining  of Alec’s  gown was from a coat ofAlec’s grandmother. Keeping her in her heart.

Unbeknownst to groom Julian, Alec had kept every ticket, program, and other ephemera from each and every thing they’d done together. She had them delivered in a zippered pouch with a note to him at La Ventura, where he was getting ready.IMG_2316

Meanwhile, boys will be boys. They were at LaVentura in the beautiful bridal suite.DSC_2540DSC_2586Let’s talk about squad goals! Alec and the ladies at Cypress Shores, pre-ceremony.IMG_2449Alec doesn’t think she’s photogenic. I beg to differ. She’s a rock star!IMG_2473Watching for Alec to come down the aisle. Such an emotional moment for the groom.IMG_2601But first… their adorable baby boy is wheeled down the aisle by Alec’s junior bridesmaid and greeted by her daddy.IMG_2579Alec’s dad “giving her away.”DSC_3292-2Sweet ceremony moments. BTW, Alec is Catholic and Julian Jewish. So they met in the middle with the officiant being the father of one of Julian’s childhood friends.IMG_2767DSC_3470-2

DSC_3533-2Julian getting ready to stomp on the glass. There are so many reasons this is traditionally done in Jewish weddings … all beautiful and joyous.

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Mazel tov!

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Yeah! You may kiss the bride.

A private moment following the ceremony. This shot taken from afar.DSC_3597

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It seemed like a good idea!

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You kidding me? Alec is spectacular!

Between the park and beach is a tunnel. Hard to resist calling it “The Tunnel of Love.” These are among my faves of the day.

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Then to the sand. IMG_3198Short drive to LaVentura Event Center to christen it with their very first wedding reception. Gorgeous architecture as well as tile and wood elements to make it a beautiful backdrop for any weddings. Catering by the uber-delicious Iva Lee’s.

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The ladies doing some last minute touch-ups in the bridal suite.

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Such a cute display of escort cards. I love anything with clothespins 🙂

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Sweet and simple. Not fans of cake, the couple had only a topper to cut, and cupcakes for their guests. By Plumeria Cake Studio. I can tell you, the cupcakes were delish 🙂

Had a chance to do a few shots at LaVentura before the grand entrance. Like I said… so many beautiful details at the property.

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How cute is he???

Okay, so the first dance started traditionally. But then… Julian busted out some moves that left me with my jaw on the floor. It was truly incredible.IMG_3513IMG_3526DSC_3393What a great day!!!
Credits:

Photography: Click Chicks Photography
Second shooter: Carrie Zeller
Planner: Neon Carrot Events
Florals: The Tangled Vine
Ceremony Venue: Cypress Shores Park
Rentals: Signature Party Rentals and Sundrop Vintage
Reception Venue: LaVentura Event Center
Catering and Venue Manaement: Iva Lee’s
Sweets: Plumeria Cake Studio
MUA: Flawness Faces
Bridal Gown: Sottero and Midgley

 

 

Thank you Mr. Google…

Thanks to the search engines, I’m often found by couples having what I’ve coined a “tiny wedding.” You know, like “tiny houses.” This L.A. couple met just 3 MONTHS ago at a fire ceremony gathering in Topanga Canyon. Sparks more than flew. They skyrocketed.

Tatiana came to this country just 1-1//2 years ago from Brazil. And Leif is an actor, producer. Tati’s cousin lives in OC and has a beautiful greenbelt in back of her home which is where the ceremony was held.

Small weddings are very special. The guests are very few that mean a lot to the couple. And Tatiana’s 92-year-old grandmother flew in from Brazil. Wait’ll you see her!

Here’s Leif waiting to see his bride come down the path.

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When lens flares happen at times like this, I can’t help feeling it looks like God is shining down on the moment.

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After their first look, walking across the lawn to the ceremony site.

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The officiant is a friend of Leif’s, in “the business” also, and perfect in every way.IMG_7142-2Listening to Tati saying her vows.

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Their personal vows were magical. And filled with emotion.IMG_7190-2IMG_7192-2IMG_7218-2IMG_7226-2

I think they’re happy 🙂IMG_7240-2IMG_7441-2IMG_7458-2IMG_7494-2

A fun take on the sometimes boring group photo. That little lady in the stripes next to the groom is the 92 year-old grandmother. I want what she’s having.

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Anatomy of a “simple” family beach session

Me:  “Click Chicks Photography, this is Leslie.”

Them:  “Hi, I’d like to book a family photo session at the beach.”

Me:  “Sure. Great. Are you available on Weds. eve.?”

Them:  “Yes! Please book us.”

No brainer, right? Well, it’s typically a little more complicated than that. At least I’ve learned to ask how many family members there will be, because the answer often isn’t four, or even eight. It’s often 10 or more. Families like to come together from different states, or even parts of the world, in beautiful Southern CA. Which looks like this…

Numero uno. Find a place (depending upon tide) to arrange the family. No bueno just having in a line standing up. So, get the 14 family members posed on a rock. All is well and even the 3-year old is looking at the camera. But wait… there are now people climbing on the rocks in back of them. Well, I’ll take them out in post production. Can’t re-position my peeps now. Overcast day. Add highlights and some color to the sky in post also.IMG_8695

Next shot: grandma and grandpa with their grandchildren. Little Hampton is still cooperative, with some cajoling. Same issue with climbers and sky.IMG_8731

Then, mom and dad with their bio children.

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Just noticed that Hampton is being cute. Have to be on the lookout for those photo ops because crying can happen any moment. Once that happens, it’s hard to get a toddler back. And they get red and splotchy 😦

IMG_8757Little Hamp and his parents. Note: He’s starting to lose interest. Another 😦

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Another family unit.

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Another another family unit. Can’t do much about the fake smile. Have to go with it.

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Parents chance to have a romantic shot.IMG_8884

Just the grandkids.

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Another candid moment of cuteness. Have to stay on your toes to catch these.

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Everyone’s got their shades out. Snap.

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The couple responsible for all this family goodness … 45 years together.IMG_8935

At least a couple different poses. Better add some blue to the sky.IMG_8961

There goes Hampton, running away with someone’s cell phone.IMG_8962

Just the menfolk in a manly pose on the lifeguard tower. But wait, the sky is blown out. Note to self: add blue in post. And that house in the background looks crummy. Better get rid of it, and also the pole on the hill.

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Best Hampton cuteness so far. Crop out the other people in the shot in post.

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More blue sky needed.

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My favorite of the day. I’d suggested the ladies get their feet wet. Worked out really well for the shot… not so good for them.IMG_9047

One more exceedingly attractive couple to shoot.

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Parting shot. Still had my camera out when I was walking to my car. Caught this little lady out the window of their SUV. IMG_9071

So… that was a “simple” family session. Only about 90 minutes shooting, but hours spent in post production. I take each session seriously and want to deliver as many good shots as I can to give my clients options. NOTE: they were very happy, which makes ME very happy.

Small wedding. Big love.

 

Danny and Sarah live in Colorado and Sarah dreamed of having a wedding on the beach. What better than Laguna Beach? And Divers Cove in particular. This was last Friday, 6/3. BTW, Danny’s the lead singer in a hot band called 888, who were just at Bottlerock. (Wish I’d been there, too!)

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The tide was definitely iffy, but it cooperated long enough.  High tide was at the exact time the ceremony was to take place and we made it! Good thing there were only about 30 guests.

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Sarah is a beautiful bride. What a smile.

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There aren’t any traditional wedding venues within walking distance of Heisler Park, so I don’t typically get a chance to take this type of photo. Palm trees, grass, AND ocean.

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And I also love the stone benches/sculptures at Heisler. They left the next day for their ‘moon at Zihuatanejo. Hope they come back to visit So. CA. That’s the trouble with photographing destination weddings to Laguna. I often don’t get to see my couples again. Boo hoo.

A Bluebird Day For an Oak Creek Wedding

Penny and Justin’s love story started when they were both students at Chapman University. We did a fun engagement session there what seems like eons ago, and I was looking forward to their wedding. As it turned out, it was on a beautiful April day. The venue they chose, Oak Creek Golf Club, is so pretty, and — being a golf course — always green. The ceremony pergola has a beautiful backdrop with lots of pepper trees. And, there are also palm trees in abundance, so there are many options at the property.

IMG_1192Okay, so the hashtag for the wedding was #justinsluckypenny. Of course, we had to do this shot.

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The “I’m a bride” moment.

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I absolutely LOVE this bouquet, with gardenias and my personal fave flower — the peony. And the touch of blue is beautiful.

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Dad’s will be Dads. Helping with the tie.

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An interesting angle can turn an otherwise ho hum shot into something terrific.

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This is what you DON’T get with a first look. Love this moment.

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Here she comes!

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Going in for the first kiss.

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Time for a little joyriding in the golf cart to some scenic spots.

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First dance as Mr. and Mrs. The look of love.

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Popping out for the last bit of light.

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Photography: Click Chicks Photography
Venue: Oak Greek Golf Club, Irvine, CA
Property Wedding Coordinator: Sarah Gamble
Outside Coordinator: Cindy Brown, Events by Melody Walker
Florals: Beautiful Savage Flowers
Bridal Gown:  Demetrios
Brides Hair:  Shadows Hair Salon (Tina)
Brides Makeup:  Ashley Gannon
Grooms Attire: Vera Wang from Men’sWarehouse
Bridesmaid/Groomsmaid dresses:  J Crew
Cake:  Creative Cakes
Officiant:  Dr. Brian Trott

All Laguna … All the Time

This lovely bride Rebecca, got ready with her ‘maids and moms at The Ranch at Laguna Beach. Do remember, even if you’re not having your wedding there, it’s a fantastic location for getting ready. The decor furniture in the rooms is really terrific for backdrops, and the exteriors are — as I’ve said many times — fantastic.

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How pretty is the tile and mirror moulding in the bathroom in their suite? The perfect details to add to this shot.

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Gown by Essence of Australia Couture. So many beautiful layers of blush.

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I’m always a fan of an all white bridal bouquet. The pop of color in the bridesmaids bouquets was a nice design touch. By Flour & Flower Designs in Laguna Beach.

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When it’s time to put the gown on, it’s nice to have a maid of honor that’s ON IT! And however much time is allowed for it, it’s often never quite enough. Note to brides: allow a minimum of 20 minutes. It often seems that it won’t take that long but, trust me, it does.

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There was a chill in the air as we got ready to leave The Ranch. Fortunately, there was a lovely color-coordinated throw in the girls’ suite.

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I like to do at least two different looks for the bridal party. One a little more formal, and one more playful. This wedding day worked out great because we also had such different venues.

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Location change to seven-degrees for ceremony and reception.

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I think these two are gorgeous bridal portraits.

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Such a beautiful and emotional time when the groom is waiting for his love to appear. Stephen is feeling it here, for sure.

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The new Mr. & Mrs. Bray!!!

By the time the ceremony was over it was pitch dark outside. Not exactly the best situation for photos. Caught a shot inside, then went into the night. With extra lighting, of course 🙂

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Grand entrance, then the first dances, which are always one of my favorite parts of a wedding.136A1252

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It’s sunk in. “We’re married!”

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Father + daughter.

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Mother + son. So many feelings come to the surface.

Then … the hora! Always fun. (And a little scary.)

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This was such a surprise! Rebecca’s mom and dad busted out some serious dance moves that delighted the guests.136A1438

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The look of love.

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The sparkler send off that was high on their list of “musts.” Congratulations to Mr.and Mrs. Stephen Bray! A great day indeed.

 

Another “Tiny Wedding”

I closed out 2016 with another “Tiny Wedding.” This one was the adorable Sami marrying her soldier just days before he was deployed overseas. Although the skies in Laguna Beach were dreary that day, the smiles couldn’t have been sunnier. What a sweet couple.

The location was the gazebo in Heisler Park (Laguna Beach), which never looked prettier! And I love Sami’s vintage mink stole. It crossed my mind several times that she has an Adele vibe going on, don’t you think?

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Sami’s pretty maids…

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Love these lighthearted moments in an otherwise serious ceremony.

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The look of love.

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Sealed with a kiss.

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Love the colors here. And Sami looks so pretty.

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They love Heisler Park and beach, so I had to get a shot with the sign.

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