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 🙂

IMG_2349

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

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 🙂

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 🙂IMG_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

Small wedding. Big love.

 

Danny and Sarah live in Colorado and Sarah dreamed of having a wedding on the beach. What better than Laguna Beach? And Divers Cove in particular. This was last Friday, 6/3. BTW, Danny’s the lead singer in a hot band called 888, who were just at Bottlerock. (Wish I’d been there, too!)

IMG_2626

IMG_2518

The tide was definitely iffy, but it cooperated long enough.  High tide was at the exact time the ceremony was to take place and we made it! Good thing there were only about 30 guests.

IMG_2729IMG_2695

Sarah is a beautiful bride. What a smile.

IMG_2716IMG_2737IMG_2860

There aren’t any traditional wedding venues within walking distance of Heisler Park, so I don’t typically get a chance to take this type of photo. Palm trees, grass, AND ocean.

IMG_2771

And I also love the stone benches/sculptures at Heisler. They left the next day for their ‘moon at Zihuatanejo. Hope they come back to visit So. CA. That’s the trouble with photographing destination weddings to Laguna. I often don’t get to see my couples again. Boo hoo.

A Bluebird Day For an Oak Creek Wedding

Penny and Justin’s love story started when they were both students at Chapman University. We did a fun engagement session there what seems like eons ago, and I was looking forward to their wedding. As it turned out, it was on a beautiful April day. The venue they chose, Oak Creek Golf Club, is so pretty, and — being a golf course — always green. The ceremony pergola has a beautiful backdrop with lots of pepper trees. And, there are also palm trees in abundance, so there are many options at the property.

IMG_1192Okay, so the hashtag for the wedding was #justinsluckypenny. Of course, we had to do this shot.

IMG_3514

IMG_3589

The “I’m a bride” moment.

IMG_3600IMG_3616

IMG_3660

I absolutely LOVE this bouquet, with gardenias and my personal fave flower — the peony. And the touch of blue is beautiful.

IMG_3669

IMG_3717

Dad’s will be Dads. Helping with the tie.

IMG_3779IMG_3792

IMG_3820

An interesting angle can turn an otherwise ho hum shot into something terrific.

IMG_3873

IMG_4003

This is what you DON’T get with a first look. Love this moment.

IMG_1281

Here she comes!

IMG_1337IMG_1375
IMG_4046IMG_4049IMG_4066

IMG_4087

Going in for the first kiss.

IMG_4125

Time for a little joyriding in the golf cart to some scenic spots.

IMG_1503

IMG_4174IMG_4180IMG_4198IMG_4207IMG_4229

IMG_4294

First dance as Mr. and Mrs. The look of love.

IMG_4419

IMG_4557

Popping out for the last bit of light.

IMG_4601IMG_4690

 

Photography: Click Chicks Photography
Venue: Oak Greek Golf Club, Irvine, CA
Property Wedding Coordinator: Sarah Gamble
Outside Coordinator: Cindy Brown, Events by Melody Walker
Florals: Beautiful Savage Flowers
Bridal Gown:  Demetrios
Brides Hair:  Shadows Hair Salon (Tina)
Brides Makeup:  Ashley Gannon
Grooms Attire: Vera Wang from Men’sWarehouse
Bridesmaid/Groomsmaid dresses:  J Crew
Cake:  Creative Cakes
Officiant:  Dr. Brian Trott

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 sunnier. 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

Tiny Weddings

img_2230

I think I might’ve coined a new phrase: Tiny Weddings. You’ve no doubt heard of “tiny houses?” As little as 300 square feet (!), they’ve become quite the rage as people downsize their lives. All I can say is, the smaller my house is, the bigger my storage unit! So, that term can translate to weddings as well. I had the pleasure of photographing two #tinyweddings at the end of 2016. While small in size they were still B-I-G in love and emotion and I was honored to play a role.

First up: Sakeenah and Regis … now Mr. and Mrs. Ndabadugitse. They’re been together nearly a decade and decided it was time to tie the knot. Regis is from one of the smallest countries in Africa — Burundi. Due to its general instability, he and his family came to the US. Their civil ceremony was at Laguna Hills City Hall and attended only by close family members, followed by photos there.

img_2044

img_2059

Stunning family on both sides.

img_2203

Love this spot inside City Hall.

Then to the beach in Laguna, where Sakeenah’s dad talked about the African American tradition of Jumping the Broom, a custom practiced in antebellum slavery when a couple couldn’t wed legally. It’s come to mean sweeping away the old and welcoming new beginnings, joining two families, and a respectful nod to ancestors. img_2260img_2265img_2288Some final shots on the beach and La Casa del Camino, before a rooftop lunch for the family at Mozambique.

What a stunning couple!img_2279img_2300img_2331img_2340img_2362img_2381img_2411

 

 

 

A San Miguel de Allende engagement

I know I’ve been extremely remiss in doing blog posts. I’ll try to catch up… promise! But this engagement shoot in San Miguel de Allende a week ago touched my heart in so many ways. San Miguel is a gorgeous Spanish colonial town in the middle of the central highlands of the country. Add a Gothic church or two, cobblestone streets, incredible restaurants, and you’ve got a dreamy getaway.

img_5108

I traveled to San Miguel de Allende over the holidays and wasn’t completely prepared for the amazing colors, culture, and more. A feast for the photographer’s eyes, to be sure. And to have the opportunity to shoot a beautiful couple like this was almost too much! The proposal  was outside a jewelry store. How appropriate, right?

Can hardly wait to return to this beautiful spot on our globe.

img_5097img_5092img_5099img_5103