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.)

IMG_2329

IMG_2301

Alec’s gown was Sottero Midgley. And I love her “something blue” shoes.

IMG_2299

I made her do it ­čÖé

IMG_2349

Sentimental touches on a wedding day are so sweet. This little red heart sewn into the lining┬á of Alec’s┬á 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.

IMG_2884

Mazel tov!

IMG_2896

Yeah! You may kiss the bride.

A private moment following the ceremony. This shot taken from afar.DSC_3597

IMG_3036

It seemed like a good idea!

DSC_3694-2

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.

IMG_3097IMG_3168

Then to the sand.┬áIMG_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.

IMG_3220

The ladies doing some last minute touch-ups in the bridal suite.

DSC_3070-3

Such a cute display of escort cards. I love anything with clothespins ­čÖé

IMG_3347

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 ­čÖé

Had a chance to do a few shots at LaVentura before the grand entrance. Like I said… so many beautiful details at the property.

IMG_3395IMG_3401IMG_3428

IMG_3456

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.

IMG_7083-2

When lens flares happen at times like this, I can’t help feeling it looks like God is shining down on the moment.

IMG_7097-2

After their first look, walking across the lawn to the ceremony site.

IMG_7126-2

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.

IMG_7178-2

Their personal vows were magical. And filled with emotion.IMG_7190-2IMG_7192-2IMG_7218-2IMG_7226-2

I think they’re happy ­čÖéIMG_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.

IMG_7548-2

Another “Tiny Wedding”

I closed out 2016 with another “Tiny Wedding.” This one was the adorable Sami marrying her soldier just days before he was deployed overseas. Although the skies in Laguna Beach were dreary that day, the smiles couldn’t have been┬ásunnier. What a sweet couple.

The location was the gazebo in Heisler Park (Laguna Beach), which never looked prettier! And I love Sami’s vintage mink stole. It crossed my mind several times that she has an Adele vibe going on, don’t you think?

img_4619

Sami’s pretty maids…

img_4572

Love these lighthearted moments in an otherwise serious ceremony.

img_4548

The look of love.

img_4589

Sealed with a kiss.

img_4629

Love the colors here. And Sami looks so pretty.

img_4811

img_4837

They love Heisler Park and beach, so I had to get a shot with the sign.

img_4863

img_4876

Tips on makeup and hair styling for your wedding day

You’re only going to be a bride once (at least we hope that’s the case) so you want to look picture perfect. Not just for your husband-to-be, ┬ábut for the photos you’ll have for the rest of your life. Although some things will surely┬álook dated after a few decades pass, you don’t want to do a trendy look that will scream out “2014”. Think timeless.

Here’s some advice I can offer after years of photographing weddings.

1. Do a makeup trial. And if you don’t like the first one, do a second…or even third. You want to still look like YOU. Well, maybe a more made-up version of you, but if you’re a “less is more” kind of girl, you don’t want to end up with thick black eyeliner and red lipstick.

This is a look I LOVE. Natural eye, and a little more emphasis on the cheek and lip. Great for photography.

This is a look I LOVE. Natural eye, and a little more emphasis on the cheek and lip. Great for photography. And let’s talk about the pearl and rose gold hair ornament.

2. Bring photos of makeup and hair that are examples of what you’d like to look like on the big day. A picture says a thousand… Of course, your particular hair length, texture and thickness will mean you can or can’t do certain things, but you can still convey the vibe. Classic, sophisticated, hippie, boho, fresh, etc. And please don’t decide to change your hair color the week before the wedding!

3.┬áSpeak up if you aren’t happy during your trial. That’s why you’re doing it. It’s possible that he/she won’t get it completely right, so this is the time to let the artist make changes.

4.┬áThe personality of the makeup and/or hair stylist is also extremely important. You want someone calm, positive and happy. And, PLEASE make sure they can stick to a schedule. In my experience, if hair and makeup run behind, your whole day is messed up! It all starts with them. A call to a previous or client or two should help you learn that important bit of intell.┬áI’ve had brides keep 150 guests sitting in an un-airconditioned church for an hour because the hair and makeup folks had NO sense of urgency.

5.┬áMake sure your stylists bring enough staff for you, your relatives and your bridal party if you’re all getting “did.” Very important.

6. Let the makeup artist apply false eyelashes. They don’t have to be long and super thick, but your eyes will look much better in photos. And, again, the trial will help you get used to the feeling.┬áHaving them put on for the first time on your wedding day isn’t such a good idea. And, your┬ámakeup should be set with a loose translucent powder. Not only will it set your makeup and help it last longer, it gives a smoother, more flawless finish.

Simply beautiful. And beautifully simple.

Simply beautiful. And beautifully simple.

7.┬áSame goes for hair extensions. While you may not need that extra volume every day, they’ll add that extra “oomph.” AND, extensions hold the curl. So while your own hair is wilting from the humidity, the extensions will look freshly curled. Trust me on that.

8. The fancier your gown, the fewer accessories you need. You want to look “done”, but not over done. Curate your look and think about every detail you’re tempted to add. Do you really need earrings, a necklace,┬ábracelet,┬áhair ornament, jeweled sash, etc.

Jen rocks a pretty distinctive style in her personal life, so the red lip was perfection. But do  note lack of accessories. Anything else would've been too much.

Jen rocks a pretty distinctive style in her personal life, so the red lip was perfection. But do note lack of accessories. Anything else would’ve been too much.

9.┬áDon’t let your makeup artist apply too much shimmer on your face or body.┬áIt can actually bring out imperfections and make you look sweaty or shiny in your pictures. No bueno.

10. Don’t do a crazy manicure for the big day, e.g. nails the color of your bridesmaids’ robin egg blue dresses. It will surely look outdated in no time. Don’t forget you’ll likely have close-ups of your hands to show off your ring and/or bouquet, so a┬ásimple French manicure or a neutral pastel is much better.

I'm trusting you know which one is which :-)

I’m trusting you know which one is which ­čÖé

Truly, if you keep these┬ásimple guidelines in mind, you’ll have a flawless look that will look beautiful in person and in your photographs.

 

honored, thrilled, and other stuff

So proud to be featured (again!) in the beautiful new issue of California Wedding Day magazine’s Haute List ┬áas one of Orange County’s 10 premier wedding vendors.┬áCheck out #3.┬áAnd I thank the ever-so gorgeous Nicole and Andy Tremba for enabling me to take such a beautiful photo on their wedding day!

IMG_5984

IMG_5986

Maria + Tony get married!

I loved this couple from the moment I met them. We had a fun and fabulous engagement shoot in the historic area of San Juan some months ago┬á(you can see a selection of images on my blog) ┬áand I was so looking forward to their wedding. I wasn’t disappointed! We got some great shots at the hotel, then the church where they said their vows, followed by a killer reception at the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana. It was truly the perfect venue for this couple! There are so many incredible backdrops for photos, plus the beautiful gardenss. Diana from Country Garden Caterers did a stellar job, as usual, and set up the props beautifully. Lots of fun details, including replicas of two vintage cars that Tony and Elena own. Of course, the food was amazing, as was the entire evening. Love under the stars …. awwwwwww.

A simple yet elegant gown.

The bow just makes it!

Handsome Tony.

Terrific details around the Heritage Museum reception. Tony plays guitar and sings, so the guitar ‘guest book’ was perfect!

The natural light from the window is what makes this image ‘sing’.

Love the ‘girlie’ shoes paired with Tony’s argyle socks.