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!)

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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.

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Sarah is a beautiful bride. What a smile.

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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.

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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.

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The “I’m a bride” moment.

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

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

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

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

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Here she comes!

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Going in for the first kiss.

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

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

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Popping out for the last bit of light.

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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?

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Sami’s pretty maids…

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Love these lighthearted moments in an otherwise serious ceremony.

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The look of love.

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Sealed with a kiss.

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Love the colors here. And Sami looks so pretty.

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

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Tiny Weddings

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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.

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Stunning family on both sides.

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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.

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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.

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Awesome advice for an unplugged wedding

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This photo is what was actually happening behind me when one of my couples was having their “private” first look at The Ritz Carlton in Dana Point. What can you do?

I’ve got to say, competing with family members and guests for a memorable shot is an ongoing issue for me as a professional wedding photographer in Orange County. For example: I work to get a couple looking beautifully romantic for an image I know is killer. Next to me are 10 people who also want the shot. Typically family or members of the bridal party. Meanwhile, the couple is terribly distracted by all the other lenses staring at them and don’t know where to look. The results are less an ideal for all of us.

If the couple doesn’t speak up, I politely ask the others to let me get the shot, then they can have their chance. What they probably don’t think about is the fact that we’re on a schedule. We are being paid to deliver. And that’s our priority. So, I apologize in advance if you think I’m being selfish, bratty, or {insert adjective here}. I just want to do my job the very best I can.

That being said, the amazingly talented wedding/event planner, consultant extraordinaire Natalie Vishny (http://natalievishny.com) just did a blog post on this very same issue. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thank you Natalie.

Here are Natalie’s thoughts:

Wedding ceremonies are more fun when your guests turn off their cell phones.  You get to live in the moment and actually “look around” and enjoy.

Twice, in the last week, I’ve been asked from couples about etiquette for unplugged weddings. 

Here are my simple three pieces of advice for wedding couples:

1)  If you have a cool invitation that allows for an extra verbiage line, you actually can say, “At our ceremony, we ask you enjoy and be “unplugged”.  

2)  Have “PARTY signage.”.  This could be a LARGE framed sign at the sign-in book table, or a sign at your greeting beverage station reminding your family and friends to turn off their cells. An example of signage includes, “There’s a person here taking pictures, we’d like to only have one. Please set down your cameras until our ceremony is done.”

3) Make sure that your wedding planning team knows that you would like an unplugged ceremony, so that they can go and provide a note or a hug to the “lady” who is taking photos.

Having an unplugged wedding definitely makes the moment seem more intimate.