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

 

monique + steven get married at occasions at laguna village

I’ll admit … I went a little crazy with this post. I just couldn’t narrow the field to fewer than these 25 images. What can I say? Monique was a stunning bride. I loved the piece she added to her gown around her shoulders, to make it extra special, rather than “just another beautiful strapless gown.” I think it absolutely made the dress.

And, as you know, I love shooting at Occasions at Laguna Village. The setting just can’t get any better. Their wedding was in the middle of a sunny day, so lighting was tricky, but we made it work. There’s no other option, right!

Kudos, as always to Dayna and her daughter, who coordinate Occasions weddings flawlessly; Annie of La Tulipe Florals who always wows; and Rev. Michael Ahern, who performed a heartfelt and touching ceremony.

Starting the processional. The moment when reality hits and the groom and guests see her for the first time.

Starting the processional. The moment when reality hits and the groom and guests see her for the first time.

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A gorgeous puffy cloud day.

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I think they’re married!

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Brown’s Park, the little walkway just north of the property.

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Even a parking lot can provide an interesting backdrop!

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Just a white wall in the corner of the property. Gorgeous!!!

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First dance.

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Groom and Mom is always a shot that has so much emotion.

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Giving myself props for capturing the bouquet before it was caught 🙂

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Priceless view from Occasions.

LOVE this.

I love this shot AND the little pocket park where this metal fence resides. Isn’t it beautiful?

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One of those serendipitous moments that turns into a beautiful capture.

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Christine + Kevin, Part II ~ More Ritz Carlton & Occasions at Laguna Village

Here’s a few more from the hotel before the limo whisked our couple North to Occasions at Laguna Village.

Is there any better location than at the ocean's edge? I don't think so! Their officiant was Bruce Danzara.

Sharmeen+Ankur – Mission San Juan Capistrano wedding, and Occasions at Laguna Village reception. A feast for the eyes!

I was so grateful to be selected by Ankur and Sharmeen as their wedding photographer.  The day started … well, actually it started two nights earlier when she had mehndi (henna) applied to her hands, arms and feet.

On their wedding day, she got ready at the Montage, where we met her in the morning. The ceremony was in the Soldier’s Barracks at Mission San Juan Capistrano and the reception at Occasions at Laguna Village, overlooking the ocean. Call my friend Stacy there @ 949.293.0872. (www.occasionsatlagunavillage.com).

Sharmeen is spectacularly gorgeous, as you can see!

We just couldn’t get enough photos of her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their families and guests (and Sharmeen and Ankur) all traveled from Chicago. That made the locations they chose even more special … from California history at the Mission to the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

 

We learned that Ankur wasn’t able to get down on one knee when he proposed to Sharmeen, because they were on a sailboat in the Canary Islands so … we ‘proposed’ he do it again.  (She said yes for the second time!)

 

 

 

After leaving the Mission, the couple changed their clothes and we took some fun photos with the coastline backdrop, then on the sand in front of Occasions at Laguna Village. An incredible setting to end their wonderfully romantic wedding day.