rustic meets romantic(a) at a casa romantica wedding

IMG_1796-4I seriously count my blessings when it comes to the weddings I photograph overlooking the Pacific. It just doesn’t get much better!

The florals, DIY projects and ocean bluff location at the beautiful Casa Romantica set the stage for a night to remember! The bride and groom were so much fun. I hadn’t met them until the day of their wedding as the details had been handled long distance and by Leeanne’s mom who lives locally.

DIY projects included sewing the mismatched floral napkins for each place setting, adorned with herb sprigs from the family’s garden (also used for the boutonnieres); the table runners; and sourcing vintage teacups and other items for the tablescapes. No table was the same…each unique with different pieces that told different stories.

Complete credits at end.

IMG_0019IMG_0035_MG_5507_MG_5502_MG_5499_MG_5497-2I thought Leanne’s Reem Acra gown was one of the prettiest I’ve seen, and she looked stunning in it. Shoes by Miu Miu._MG_5132_MG_5163I think white florals are timeless and elegant. And a simple baby’s breath bouquet for the ‘maids is perfect._MG_5093_MG_5071

_MG_5263Doorway to paradise._MG_5768



Photographer | Click Chicks Photography
Venue | Casa Romantica, San Clemente, CA
Wedding Planner | ReUp Design & Events
Florals | Enchanted Fine Florals
Wedding Gown | Reem Acra
Brides Shoes | Miu Miu
Bridal Accessories | Kleinfeld Bridal
Groom’s Attire | Balenciaga tux; Prada shirt/tie; Converse shoes
Caterer | Iva Lee’s
Sweets | Sweet & Saucy Shop
DJ | E Mobile Music

christina & jon are SO married

This wedding was so special, down to the last detail. Complete credits at the end of this post.

Let’s start with the gorgeous bride, Christina. She lives and works in L.A. (at Paramount Studios) but has family in coastal OC, so they chose Laguna Beach for their wedding. I hadn’t met her in person before her wedding day, so I had no idea what she would be like. What a happy surprise! She’s so beautiful, sweet, calm, and lots of other great things 🙂 Her gown was designed by Kelly Faetanini and Christina positively rocked it to the max! I wasn’t familiar with the designer so of course I checked out the website. In addition to spectacular gowns, I found some great bridal advice about them. Here’s just one point she made:

Don’t judge a gown by its hanger appeal. Every gown has a unique shape, and although you may not like a certain silhouette based on the way it’s hanging, I always tell my brides to try it anyway, because it might surprise them. Many gowns lack hanger appeal, but look amazing on the body. I have seen brides fall in love and say yes to a gown that they initially did not want to try on!

Then there was her hair. A stunning loose updo, with a beautiful embellishment.

She and her ‘maids and moms got ready at Casa Laguna. I was reminded how many beautiful backdrops there are at this historic b&b. The Spanish architecture, beautiful interiors, and tile work, make it the perfect choice, in my opinion.

IMG_2700I couldn’t resist asking Christina if she would be willing to get in the tub. She was a great sport! And finding the oranges in the kitchen to add a pop of color, was a stroke of luck.

IMG_5224Can’t go wrong with Badgeley Mischka!

IMG_5117Always fun to find a unique way to photograph rings. Typical would be in the bride’s bouquet. But personally I like something a little different. This is part of a light fixture.


This corner is so special. I edited these two images differently and still can’t decide which one I like better! Left is more natural, right is moody.

Then we move on to the first look. The lighting at the spot I’ve used previously was so harsh at this time of day, it would’ve caused shadows and squinting. So, improvisation was required. We opted for the driveway into a parking structure for an urban vibe. Love the blue railing.

Cathedral length veil… swoon. Belongs to Christina’s maid of honor.

IMG_5457Note how well Jon’s suit fits 🙂 Not a rental; he owns it.

I must say, I am a fan of the “almost all white” bouquet. So elegant. Carly was the best MOH ever!


I hope naked cakes never go out of style. I don’t know about you, but I think the frosting is unnecessary 🙂

The ceremony site at Occasions at Laguna Village has never looked prettier. We happened to have a breezy day, which brought the draping to a new and wonderful level. The white dance floor was down, the florals were gorgeous, added lanterns and arrangements at the end of the rows added one more pop of color, and the sky and ocean were “something blue.”

I love this angle as Christina goes down the stairs to her waiting groom.IMG_3149


Down to the sand for a few, then what may have become my “signature shot” … the middle of Coast Highway. It’s not as dangerous as it may appear, for reasons I won’t go into :-). I love it!



A choreographed dance is a nice surprise for your guests.IMG_6160There’s a reason it’s called “the golden hour.”



A perfect day for a wonderful couple. Thank you, Christina and Jon for sharing it with me.

Photography: Click Chicks Photography
Second photographer: Jan Simonelli
Hair & Makeup: Genna Khein
Gown: Kelly Faetanini, “Inez”
Veil: maid of honor
Shoes: Badgeley Mischka
Bridesmaid dresses: Weddington Way
Groom/Groomsmen attire: Indochino
Wedding bands: Capri Jewelry
Getting ready: Casa Laguna Inn
Wedding/reception venue: Occasions at Laguna Village
Florals: Fantasy Floral Designs
Coordinator: Dayna Lewis, A Very Special Day
DJ: Lucas, AAV Entertainment

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

Love the bridal roomIMG_1603


Lauren’s adorable — and VERY happy — daughter.6M6A0091



Our groom, Chris6M6A0329































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”

You Say You Want the Sand Between Your Toes?

This is for those of you who want to plan your own wedding on the sand in Laguna Beach, as opposed to using one of the beachfront properties that offer that option. It is doable, but there are some rules to follow, and reservations to make. Make sure you’re good with an “informal” wedding, because that’s what it’s going to be! In other words, if you’re thinking black tuxedos and a ball gown, this is probably not the right decision for you.

Three Arch Bay, Laguna Beach

Three Arch Bay, Laguna Beach

It’s also extremely important, in my opinion, that you choose a photographer familiar with the characteristics of our beaches. Just one critical factor to consider are the tides, as the sand on some beaches virtually disappears at high tide. Just like the fact that photographing a corporate event is very different from shooting a wedding, a beach ceremony has idiosyncrasies that a ballroom or country club doesn’t.

Here's a chance to use some cute beachy details.

Here’s a chance to use some cute beachy details.

There are many beautiful coves in Laguna! Make a day of it and check them all out. And when you have your short list, visit again at the specific time of day you’re thinking of having your ceremony. Look at the shadows. If the sun is still high you can get harsh shadows and/or squinting if you’re oriented in a particular direction. Neither makes for great photos. And, if you want shots of the sun hitting the horizon, you need to make sure it isn’t setting ‘around the bend’. Pay attention to all the details.

Three Arch Bay, Laguna Beach

Such a cute sign…and flower girl!

Most beach locations are restricted from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. If you are determined to have a summer ceremony, you can choose from those directly below Heisler Park. They are: North Main Beach, Rockpile, Picnic Beach, and Diver’s Cove. Be sure to have your guests stay at a hotel within walking distance, because parking will definitely be at a premium. Don’t worry — there are many to choose from.

At other times of year, you can get a permit for any of our Laguna beaches, other than those south of Victoria Beach, which don’t require one.

This NY couple chose to say their "I Do's" at Tablerock Beach, just south of Aliso Creek.

This NY couple chose to say their “I Do’s” at Tablerock Beach, just south of Aliso Creek.

The permit allows a two-hour use and costs $255 as of this writing. The rules may seem restrictive but it’s an ‘informal’ wedding after all! Here they are:

  • Maximum number of people, including the wedding party is 95. However, capacity at the Gazebo and Monument Point in Heisler is 50.
  • No tables, chairs, archways, or structures of any type. “Decorations” are allowed, but fixed with ribbon or string and removed afterward. No tape, nails, staples, etc.
  • No blocking of paths or walkways.
  • No amplified sound.
  • No rice, birdseed, confetti or flower petals may be thrown.
  • No alcohol or champagne toasts.
  • No open flame, including candles.

Contact the city Community Services Department located by City Hall at 515 Forest Avenue, (949) 497-0716. And, the permit application is available for download online at


A happy, and gorgeous, couple right after their ceremony!

A fun and thoughtful idea to protect your female guests' high heels.

A fun and thoughtful idea to protect your female guests’ high heels.

Click Chicks featured on Borrowed & Blue

Always fun to be acknowledged and have your photos on a cool wedding website. We love Borrowed & Blue! And of course, Jen & Rich.


John + Megan get married at hotel laguna

This couple lives in the SF Bay area, but did a destination wedding to Laguna Beach and it was a perfect summer day. Megan looked spectacularly beautiful and we had such a fun time with her and John. They did one of the cutest ‘first looks’ I’ve ever seen. Megan had mentioned balloons to me, but I couldn’t quite picture (ha!) it. And even the number of balloons they each held had significance to them.

My co-pho, the ever-talented Jan, took one of the coolest ring shots ever. It’s always fun to do something spontaneous that we’ve never seen. There are so many cliche shots. Beautiful … but chiche. Anyhow, she dropped them in a champagne glass and bubbles ensued 🙂

Enjoy the photos!!!

A special thank you to the following for your huge contribution to this beautiful day: Reverend Michael Ahern, The English Garden Florals.


Gorgeous Megan, cool as a cucumber.


And the dapper John.


Rings in champagne!! Bubble-licious.


Megan got teary a couple of times. (Thank goodness for waterproof eye makeup!). I think this was when she saw her beautiful bouquets, created by The English Garden Fine Florals in Laguna Beach.



Megan making her way to the rose garden, where she and John did their first look.


Here’s John waiting!


When they were in position we gave the cue and they let the balloons go. Super cute idea.



The tide was a little dicey … meaning high. But all survived.


Love this staircase for a backdrop at the Hotel Laguna.


And how could I resist a piano … in the hotel’s lobby.


Anita, owner of the English Garden, decorated the cake. Gorgeous!

IMG_1854-2 IMG_2362-2 IMG_2418-2  t

Erin + Pete get married at Three Arch Bay

A bluebird day in Laguna Beach manifested for Erin and Pete’s end-of-summer wedding. They now live in the Bay Area but grew up in the OC, so a beach wedding was perfect for them. Lots of cute beachy details, including baskets of flip-flops organized by size for trek down to the sand. It can get slippery on the steep path … believe me! I slipped on the sand and fell during one of our meetings 🙂 Loved the bicycle announcing the event at the entrance to the Three Arch Bay Clubhouse. Also, the place card treatment, with miniature beach chairs holding the names/table assignments in shallow boxes of sand. Ukelele music for the processional and recessional. Of course, the food was divine. What else would it be with 24 Carrots catering?

Have a look!

I do love succulents mixed with the flowers in bouquets.

The sign was a gift from one of Erin’s friends. You’ll see what’s on the reverse side in another photo. LOVE these personal touches.

A different angle. I really like it!

Why, I believe they’re married!!! Just after “I do”.

Here’s the sign…

What a handsome group of guys! Did I mention the groom’s name is “Pete Rose”… no NOT that one!

What a gorgeous couple!

Might’ve been the ‘danciest’ first dance ever! You guys rocked it!

And, finally, the ‘dream team’ that put it all together: Katie, Ashely and Carie from Once Upon a Wedding, and Lynn from 24 Carrots.

A love that’s already stood the test of time.

I found out during Christine’s father’s toast that his adorable couple has been together since 8th grade! Mr. Reedy read a letter that Ryan wrote to her when they were in middle school, professing his love . Ahhhhhhh.

Christine and Ryan got married at beautiful Three Arch Bay in Laguna Beach. The wedding and reception were on the clubhouse lawn, but we had an opportunity to dash down to the sand with the bridal party. Christine had told me she wasn’t a ‘fussy’ bride. But what she WAS was a spectacular one. A simple dress that suited her perfectly, accented by a beautiful cameo brooch that belonged to her grandmother. And when the weather started cooling, she donned a vintage sweater, also belonging to her grandmother.

Christine got ready at the home of a family friend. These shelves in the bedroom lent themselves perfectly to a shoe/bouquet still life. And let’s talk about how cute those shoes are!

And here’s the vintage brooch that Christine put on her gown’s sash. The shell was carried by the ring bearer at the ceremony.

Our beautiful bride.

With bridesmaids before going to the ceremony location.

Of course, the perfect mode of transportation was a golf cart.

Cute beachy details. I’m a big fan of tables other than rounds. Everything looked great.

They look married to me!!!


Christine told me this is one of her favorites shots o’ the day.

A different approach to color. I brought out the blue.

I do love monogrammed cakes. Iva Lee’s did the catering, and the food was delish. Can’t pass up a lemon square.

Good job Ryan! The man in the background with the video camera is the esteemed IMAX filmmaker, environmentalist, and fellow Lagunan Greg MacGillivray. How cool to have a wedding video created by him!

Time for cake! Red velvet, I see.

A wedding at The Ebell Club in Long Beach

I’d never photographed a wedding at this venue, but I’d been looking forward to it for a long while. A beautiful, historic building in Long Beach, with a gorgeous exterior, balconies, and beautiful rooms inside.

Christina is a very crafty girl, as evidenced by the amazing bouquet she made! I’ve seen examples online of brooch/pin/ring ‘flowers’,  but never saw one in real life. All that metal makes for one heavy bouquet! But it you can buck up, it’s worth it. What a statement.

If you couldn’t tell, she loves pink, and the candy table was awash with the color, accented by vintage books with titles about love. All details covered.

Stunning, yes? And you don’t need to spend lots of money on vintage jewelry. Christina used a combination of old, new, expensive and not-so. (Even Forever 21 pieces.) Gorgeous results.

Set up for the dinner/reception. Love the extra tall windows.

Couldn’t resist the petal toss!

Love to do editorial-look shots with the bridal party.

Beautiful facade on The Ebell.