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 ūüôā

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

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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my photography featured on borrowed & blue

Always fun to get an email from a well-known wedding blog that one of my weddings has been featured! Check it out at¬†Leeanne & Michael on Borrowed and Blue¬†Lovely remembering that gorgeous day at Casa Romantica. Such a beautiful spot! The view just doesn’t get any better than this.

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another engagement session in and around laguna

I’m shooting Monique and Steven’s wedding in three weeks, but did their¬†engagement session just last Sunday with one of my favorite concepts: “In & Around Laguna.” Strolling around, we stop where I see an opportunity for photography that expresses who they are as a couple. For example, the locations I chose¬†have some harmony with the clothing my subjects are¬†wearing. Some couples opt for shorts, sandals and t-shirts. That leads to a entirely different session than Monique and Steven, for example.

There are just so many nooks, crannies, and special spots that only locals know. And, after living in LB for so long, I’d like to think I’ve discovered them all!

Monique looked like a gorgeous porcelain doll, and her Chinese red and gold dress was stunning. Really looking forward to the wedding!

Looks like we traveled to Asia or Morocco, doesn't it?

Looks like we traveled to Asia or Morocco, doesn’t it?

Looks like we traveled to Asia, or Morocco, doesn't it?

 

Loving this luscious cocoa-colored treatment.

Loving this luscious cocoa-colored treatment. Much cooler than your typical sepia. More like a black and white… but brown.

Yeah!

Oh, yeah!

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, ¬†but for the photos you’ll have for the rest of your life. Although some things will surely¬†look 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.¬†Speak 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.¬†The 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.¬†I’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.¬†Make 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.¬†Having them put on for the first time on your wedding day isn’t such a good idea. And, your¬†makeup 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.¬†Same 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,¬†bracelet,¬†hair 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.¬†Don’t let your makeup artist apply too much shimmer on your face or body.¬†It 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¬†simple 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 ūüôā

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

 

Leeanne + Michael at Beautiful Casa Romantica

Just took a quick peruse of this amazing wedding two weeks ago at Casa Romantica. What a gorgeous and sweet couple from New York. Love these two. And they clearly love¬†each other! Will likely share more as the post-production moves along. So many cool details. And some of my fave vendors to work with! Coordinator – Kristin Shively – ReUp Design & Events Florist – Starla Bork, Enchanted Fine Florals Caterer – Iva Lee’s DJ – Todd Allen, E Mobile Music casa_romantica_wedding