sydney + mike tie the knot

Well, there’s been another big gap between blog posts; seems to be always at the end of the list. But, this was worth waiting for. I loved these two from the minute we met. They’re fun AND sweet. What a great combo!

Mike and Sydney met in 2013 at a bar in Newport Beach through mutual friends, Jessica  and Josh. Neither of them wanted to go out that night, or particularly like partying in Newport! Luckily, they agreed to go. Mike says that Sydney made the first move, which included a conversation about Snapchat and adding each other on the app. They then messaged back and forth for a couple of weeks to follow. Mike eventually asked for Sydney’s number and they dated “long distance” for the first year, while Mike was attending Cal State San Marcos.

Mike proposed to Sydney at the Nadel’s annual 4th of July party in front of their families and friends; it was a magical night indeed! The rest is happy history.

See the end of the post for full vendor credits.

6M6A0712I love the creative, personalized gifts that brides can give to their ‘maids.

IMG_1555What would girls in pink play other than… Prosecco Pong!

IMG_1574They got ready at an Air BNB in Laguna Beach that had the perfectly colored bedroom for photos.

IMG_1540S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G. gown.

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6M6A0899Caught up with the guys, including both dads, at the bar at the venue.

6M6A1023Is Mike happy or what? Before the First Look.

6M6A1104First Look on the sand below the venue. Not a dry eye.

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6M6A1404Such a beautiful bouquet.

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6M6A1451Show off those shoes, girl! And her gown is stunning, isn’t it?

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6M6A1504I’ve shot at this location many, many times. (Did I say many?) I’m loving the burnt out sky and shadows.6M6A1589Cake with a view :-). Sydney’s rose gold details were gorg. Her dad painted each charger to be the perfect shade. What a guy!

IMG_2113Last few steps as a single lady.

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IMG_2146I love it when couples laugh during their ceremony. Note Sydney’s dad in the background.6M6A1716IMG_2200

IMG_2224Sealed with a kiss … and a few bubbles.IMG_22676M6A1938

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6M6A2314Please tell your photographer when you’re doing a dip to end the first dance. That way we can be sure to be on the correct side 🙂

IMG_2531Father/daughter and mother/son dances just seem to call out for black and white. It shows the story and emotion without distracting color.IMG_2532

Venue: Occasions at Laguna Village
Coordinator: Dayna Lewis, A Very Special Day
Gown: Mia Solano
Brides Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Ladies Hair: Heather Loebner
Ladies Makeup: Eric Blair
Groom’s attire: Hugo Boss
Florals: Fantasy Florals
Cake: Rockwell Bakery
DJ: AAV Entertainment

caroline + chad’s sweet laguna beach wedding

I just love this couple — Caroline and Chad. They are the sweetest. Their wedding was small, with only one attendant on each side… but let me say, Ann, Caroline’s MOH and BFF rocked the socks off her “duties.” When you have multiple bridesmaids, they can divvy up the various things that need to be attended to…. such as: having the details ready for us when we arrive at the hotel (shoes, jewelry, garter, rings, vows, and the like), helping put the gown on, carrying incidentals the bride may need throughout the day, wrangling the family for posed formals, etc. etc.) Ladies, take note: the bride should not have to worry about a THING. She’s got enough on her mind, so you are making a very important contribution to her day.

And if you noticed Caroline has an amazing figure, she does! She works as a middle school PE teacher.

See full credits at the end of the post.

Gorgeous Badgley Mishka sparkly shoes look even more beautiful with an ocean background.IMG_4961

Some images call for black and white. To me, it can take you deeper into the “story.”

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I hadn’t seen the “Kiss the Miss” line before. Caroline’s BFFs  gave this to her pre-wedding. I think its adorable. As is her personalized bride wine glass.

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The aforementioned MOH, Ann 🙂 Caroline’s gown had button loops in addition to a zipper. Takes a little more time to fasten. Note to self: put crochet hook in camera bag.IMG_5071

First look. Very satisfying 🙂 They both got ready at Laguna Riviera. Caroline had plenty of space in the bungalow below the hotel.IMG_9019IMG_9038No, you’re not seeing double. Chad’s got a twin, Brent.IMG_9189Other than the sand, favorite spot near Occasions at Laguna Village. IMG_5211Same place, other direction. Like the perspective.IMG_5251

Brick looks so textural in black & white.IMG_5284Going down the stairs to the ceremony. Last shot as a single guy.

IMG_9246Same for Caroline. One last look before going down the stairs.IMG_9254Love this angle. And the joy radiating from the spectacular Caroline.IMG_9269With her Dad after walking down the aisle.IMG_5390IMG_9327

Best view in town. And the “something blue.”IMG_5413Love the lighthearted, spontaneous moments during the ceremony.IMG_5420IMG_5439IMG_5462The chandelier adds some bling to the ceremony space, and eliminates the need for fancy florals.
IMG_9359IMG_5493As Chad and Caroline said, their wedding was small, but everyone in attendance was very important to them.IMG_9399Just before the sun crossed the horizon, we got this shot by the ceremony space.IMG_5683But then, we went to the sand and captured a few more amazing images. Only possible with off camera flash, as the light was going. Fast.IMG_5697Shot o’the day, IMHO. Some fancy editing on this one to balance the colors and minimize shadows created by using flash. Very happy with the results!IMG_5705

 

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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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.