introducing the culvers!

You know how much I love a good love story… but aren’t they all good? This one begins when Matt and Hadhyja met in the fall of 2014 at a Halloween party. Matt was an outlaw biker, Hadhyja was a member of the SWAT team. Perfect, yes? And proof that opposites truly do attract. They’ve been from LA to Chicago, and now the OC. I have to admit that it took me a while to get the pronunciation of her Brazilian name correct, but I finally got it :-).

The proposal happened last Thanksgiving in the Paso Robles wine country. And just about a year later, their wedding took place at Occasions in Laguna Village. Complete credits are at the end.

Both Hadhyja and Matt got ready at Laguna’s Surf & Sand Hotel, which is a perfect spot. The rooms are… well… roomy, which is nice when you have a few people getting hair and make-up, dressing, and helping the bride.

Here’s Hadhyja’s mom zipping and buttoning. BTW, she’s also named Hadhyja. AJ1A1534Fantasy Florals always does an amazing job. These were simple and elegant.AJ1A1509Hadhyja’s gorgeous gown was custom made in Brazil.

AJ1A1548How much do I love a first look? Plenty!!!AJ1A1570AJ1A1571IMG_7695IMG_7735The arches at the Surf & Sand are the perfect frame for first look photos.IMG_7704IMG_7814Lots more beautiful spots for photography nearby.IMG_7847AJ1A1608IMG_7860IMG_7899IMG_7905Then to Occasions for the ceremony and reception. What a spectacular day overlooking the Pacific. Check out the custom aisle runner, hand painted by Amanda of Fantasy Floral Designs. AJ1A1794This is a bouquet type I don’t often see, but it’s really pretty. Called a presentation, or pageant, bouquet. Hadhyja’s is simple lilies, a little dusty miller, and eucalyptus.IMG_8120Now, THAT’S a veil.AJ1A1888IMG_8158Acknowledging the Moms.IMG_8182My favorite officiant, Don Johnson, always interjects humor with his heartfelt ceremonies.AJ1A1983IMG_8376Just steps from the venue is this incredible spot.AJ1A2123AJ1A2115The babies breath was such a nice touch.AJ1A2271A winter sunset is hard to beat. IMG_8641

Photography | Click Chicks Photography
Getting ready | Surf & Sand Hotel, Laguna Beach
HMUA | Pure Beauty by Danielle
Gown | Custom made in Brazil
Florals | Fantasy Floral Design
Venue | Occasions at Laguna Village
Officiant | Don Johnson
Coordinator | Dayna Lewis, A Very Special Day

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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Laurie + Thomas’ oceanfront wedding at ‘Occasions at Laguna Village’

Shooting at Occasions is the best! Everything goes so smoothly … Dayna is the utmost professional, the picture of calm, and always has everything under control. The setting is unparalleled, overlooking the beautiful beach of Laguna. There are several hotels within a few blocks to choose from to get ready. Laurie and Thomas chose Pacific Edge. Laurie did her own hair and makeup and looked stunning!!! What a gorgeous girl. And we loved Thomas’ twinkling eyes. He’s one happy guy.

So … the story is, Thomas decided it was time to get serious about finding a wife. He wrote a detailed list with the qualities and characteristics he wanted to find in a woman. It was so specific that he listed “kindergarten teacher.” When he met Laurie, he was immediately smitten. No surprise there! As they talked, he went out on a limb and said “You’re a kindergarten teacher.” She was shocked, to say the least, and then told him he was only a little off … she actually teaches second grade.

They fell in love, and well, the rest is history. I’m so glad I got to share their special day.

By the way, what I’m doing with images these days is finding a signature ‘look’ for each wedding. You’ll see that all of the following have a similar ‘feeling’ about them.

See what I mean about Laurie?

Note the “I do” on the bottom of her shoes.

The wall color in the Pacific Edge guest rooms are the perfect turquoise to set the getting ready series of photos.

The perfect bridal portrait. I loved the pink flowers … don’t know what they are. I’ve never seen them before!

Here comes the bride!

Aren’t the flowers above the arch gorgeous?

Can you see the bubbles?

Always fun to see what the tide is doing!

So pretty.

Perhaps my favorite shot of the day. Or at least in the top few.

Love this spot, just north of Occasions.

Mckenzie + Mike at Occasions at Laguna Village

Thank you, Kim, for conceiving this shot. I love it! And, can you believe our bride was able to work these shoes?

Mckenzie and Mike got married on yet another gorgeous, blue Laguna Beach day. She and her bridesmaids got ready at Pacific Edge Hotel, then we all walked up the road to Occasions. And here’s one … our groom had a female “Best Man”.  A first for me! Also, might’ve been the shortest ceremony I’ve ever heard; guess they were anxious to say “I do”! What a beautiful and happy bride.

Such a happy bride! (And this was PRE ceremony.)

Beautiful bridesmaids!

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.