Tiny Weddings

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I think I might’ve coined a new phrase: Tiny Weddings. You’ve no doubt heard of “tiny houses?” As little as 300 square feet (!), they’ve become quite the rage as people downsize their lives. All I can say is, the smaller my house is, the bigger my storage unit! So, that term can translate to weddings as well. I had the pleasure of photographing two #tinyweddings at the end of 2016. While small in size they were still B-I-G in love and emotion and I was honored to play a role.

First up: Sakeenah and Regis … now Mr. and Mrs. Ndabadugitse. They’re been together nearly a decade and decided it was time to tie the knot. Regis is from one of the smallest countries in Africa — Burundi. Due to its general instability, he and his family came to the US. Their civil ceremony was at Laguna Hills City Hall and attended only by close family members, followed by photos there.

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Stunning family on both sides.

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Love this spot inside City Hall.

Then to the beach in Laguna, where Sakeenah’s dad talked about the African American tradition of Jumping the Broom, a custom practiced in antebellum slavery when a couple couldn’t wed legally. It’s come to mean sweeping away the old and welcoming new beginnings, joining two families, and a respectful nod to ancestors. img_2260img_2265img_2288Some final shots on the beach and La Casa del Camino, before a rooftop lunch for the family at Mozambique.

What a stunning couple!img_2279img_2300img_2331img_2340img_2362img_2381img_2411

Elise + Craig’s Wedding at Laguna’s La Casa del Camino

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Laguna locals, as well as visitors, often refer to this location as simply “The Rooftop.” But The Rooftop is atop the historic boutique hotel, La Casa del Camino, that oozes charm. (And of course, also offers many little corners for photos.) The Spanish inspired guest rooms are beautiful, or you can choose from a number of “Surf Rooms” designed by So Cal surfwear companies.

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The headboard was the perfect backdrop for the gown. And, Craig gave Elise the single rose earlier in the day.

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Love the personalized shoes. See the soles on a separate photo.

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Girls, especially sisters, just want to have fun!

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The natural light coming from the window, combined with beautiful carved headboard and iron sconces, made this a beautiful setting for some portraits.

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Love the serious look here. The lad is groom Craig’s son, and ring bearer.

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How sweet was this message Craig wrote to his bride?

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Something blue…

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That would be a wrap. Married!

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Down to the beach. Literally just steps away.

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Love this little courtyard. And when a couple can “dip”, I take advantage of it! So romantic.

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Oh yeah!

Joyce + Mike’s First Look at The Center Club, Costa Mesa

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This couple’s love story culminated at their beautiful Center Club wedding. The property has so many fantastic spots for shooting. We staged their first look using these two ah-mazing chairs. They’re like beautifully padded cocoons, so once we got Mike in place with his eyes closed, Joyce tiptoed to the second chair. Little by little they scooted forward until they saw each other. Sigh. This is just one snippet from the day. More to come!

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corporate done right at terranea

I just finished editing several thousand images that I, and my two co-photographers, shot at the Molnlycke National Sales Meeting at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. I didn’t think it was possible, but this actually topped the NSM I shot for them in 2014.

What an incredible four days! This group of 300+ was wined, dined, entertained, inspired, and rewarded for stellar service. Although most of us have never heard of the company, they are making a huge impact with their breakthrough products for hospitals, and specifically the OR.

Terranea was a perfect location choice. It’s a beautiful resort located on Palos Verdes Peninsula. The rooms, meeting spaces and common areas are gorgeous and the service top notch. We were with the folks documenting every moment, from 6:00 a.m. fitness sessions to closing down after-parties at 1:00 a.m. Whew!

And I can’t say enough about the production company, The Defining Point, from Atlanta. You likely can’t imagine the amount of work it takes to put on a multi-day event like this. From lighting and sound to AV, staging, room and event coordination, decor, and on and on. Big kudos to TDP.

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Here’s the Palos Verdes Ballroom set up for the opening session.

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And the “Hollywood Sign” at the entry to the Awards Dinner. Great photo op!6M6A0526How pretty is this set-up?6M6A0820-26M6A0742-2

One of the other nights included a costume party. Come as a TV or movie character. Here are just a few of my favorites. Unbeliveably creative. So hard to choose!

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The highlight for me was definitely the closing session. The final keynote speaker was J.R. Martinez. Some of you may know him as a winner on “Dancing With the Stars”, but what’s more significant is his inspirational story.  He’ll be indelibly imprinted in my memory as someone who overcame bigger obstacles than most people will ever have to face. A great speaker. What a man! Sweet and funny, too.

IMG_1390IMG_1442IMG_1450Oh, yes, there was the helicopter ride, too 🙂 First time for me.

ringing in 2016 at the ranch at laguna beach

My first wedding of the year was at the glorious “The Ranch at Laguna Beach.” You’ve heard the saying everything old is new again? Well, The Ranch is a historic property (formerly Ben Brown’s and Aliso Creek Inn) nestled in a spectacular wooded canyon just down from The Montage. Anyone who’s seen it knows it’s a very special place. With new owners for the first time in decades, they’re in the final phases of a remodel that is sure to make it one of California’s premiere hotel/golf course/spa properties and, of course, wedding venue. The brand-new Sage Ballroom is slated to open in just a few months.

What better way to kick off the New Year by photographing Lauren and Chris’ wedding? Can’t imagine anything better. What a day. What a team. What a couple! Complete credits at the end.

P.S., Yes I know this is a long blog entry. But… what can I say? I’m in love with these photos!

What a setting!6M6A0751

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Lauren’s adorable — and VERY happy — daughter.6M6A0091
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Our groom, Chris6M6A0329

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The team ::

Photographer: Click Chicks Photography
Co-Photographer: Maryanne McGuire
Venue: The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Venue Coordinator: Lindsey Kenworthy
Event design/Planning/Florals: Studio AD Events
Gown: Maggie Sottero
Bridal Makeup: Tamara Taylor Artistry
Bridal Hair: Summer Reed
Bridesmaids’ Gowns: Donna Morgan “Laura”

mother daughter sister

I love shooting families! This trio the other afternoon was particularly fun. Teenagers seem to all be able to turn into supermodels in front of the camera. How cool is that? The purpose of the session was pre-Bat Mitzvah for the younger daughter, but they were all so darned photogenic, I couldn’t help myself. One great shot after the next. The backdrop options available here in my own little village of Laguna Beach are endless.

Thank you, ladies!1_MG_0048 2_MG_0325 3_MG_0289 4_MG_0123 5_MG_0188 6_MG_0153 7_MG_0336 8_MG_0346 9_MG_0095

stephanie + tim get married at the balboa yacht club

I knew this couple was going to be relaxed and have some serious fun on their wedding day. We did an engagement shoot (with doggie) and I got to know them and their laid back style. The hours flew by on the BIG day, with the gang getting ready at the Newport Beach Hyatt Hotel, then wedding and reception at the Balboa Yacht Club. I hadn’t shot there before, but I can tell you it’s a beautiful location. Stay tuned for just a second, and you’ll see what I mean. Everything about the day was pretty perfect with an ace team at the helm. (Credits at end.)

Sweet day-of-wedding gift from Tim.

Sweet day-of-wedding gift from Tim.

Let's talk about Stephanie's Badgley Mischka shoes! I've never seen a wedding wedge! She says they were uber comfoy.

Let’s talk about Stephanie’s Badgley Mischka shoes! I’ve never seen a wedding wedge! She says they were uber comfy.

Gorgeous bride.

Gorgeous bride. Check out her perfect brows.

Get that selfie stick going, girls!

Get that selfie stick going, girls!

So pretty. The white iceberg roses are the perfect backdrop for a wedding portrait.

So pretty. The white iceberg roses are the perfect backdrop for a wedding portrait.

Boys chillin' at the Hyatt Newport Beach bar.

Boys chillin’ at the Hyatt Newport Beach bar.

After the very sweet first look.

After the very sweet first look.

On the dock at the Balboa Yacht Club. Girls love to have fun with parasols :-)

On the dock at the Balboa Yacht Club. Girls love to have fun with parasols 🙂

Beautiful ceremony officiated by the incredible Rev. Don Johnson.

Beautiful ceremony officiated by the incredible Rev. Don Johnson.

Super location right on the bay.

Super location right on the bay.

Nautical here. Nautical there.

Nautical here. Nautical there.

Colorful backdrop for a post wedding shot.

Colorful backdrop for a post wedding shot.

Good dipping!

Good dipping!

A beautiful end to an amazing day. My best to the B&G for a lifetime of happiness.

A beautiful end to an amazing day. My best to the B&G for a lifetime of happiness.

Event Coordinator: Stephanie, Table7Events
Getting ready location: Hyatt Hotel Newport Beach
Ladies hair & makeup: Design Visage
Florals: Lavenders Flowers
Ceremony & reception site: Balboa Yacht Club
Officiant: Don Johnson
DJ: Synergetic Sounds
Photography: Click Chicks Photography
Second Photographer: Carrie Zeller