Ashley + Eric Del Mar Elopement

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Karen + Calvin, An NYC Affair

Karen and Calvin are two of the kindest souls there are. They had a grand wedding in New York City, and although it rained throughout the entire time, their love brought more light into the day than the sun ever could.

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Preparations down to every last detail…

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Families coming together

As they got ready for the day, Calvin had his mother give Karen his old wallet from high school, from the days he wished for a love like theirs. Karen and her soon-to-be mother in law cried together as she looked through the wallet and its sentimental contents.

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Enough tears, time for bubbly!!

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There’s nothing like a great

bride tribe.

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After Karen got dressed, we didn’t let the rain stop us from a quick stroll around NYC.

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Some time with the boys…

Karen’s maid of honor delivered a sentimental letter to Calvin from his bride.

Off to the altar they went

Their ceremony was held in a beautiful Catholic church with the most incredibly ornate details.

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Beautiful traditions taking center stage

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Playing in the rain with the married lovebirds

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A family affair

Karen and Calvin’s families traveled from all over the country to celebrate with the happy couple.

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Time for celebration

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Karen + Calvin

New York, New York

Jheri + Kai's Elegant Rustic Wedding

Jheri and Kai held their big day at Milagro Winery in Ramona, California. They didn’t trade any class for the rustic feel across this stunning venue. These lovebirds are not only gorgeous on the outside, but two of the most beautiful people on the inside.

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The first look

Kai anxiously awaiting his beautiful bride Jheri

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Bride tribe

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The boys

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Ceremony time…

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Husband and wife

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It takes a village

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Time to party!

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Jheri + Kai

Ramona, California

Carissa + Jerry

Del Mar Beach, CA

Aimee + Bryan Joshua Tree Elopement

Elopements have such an intimacy that can be so moving, and this one was no exception. Aimee and Bryan’s elopement in Joshua Tree was truly one of the most emotional experiences. At one point during her vows, the bride told her soon-to-be husband, “my heart hurts in the best way ever” and the tears flowed from both the lovers in the most beautiful way.

The couple got ready on opposite ends of a small house in the middle of the desert. A few family members were there, and you could feel the excitement in the air.

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“My heart hurts in the best way ever.”

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First look

Aimee and Bryan had a first look filled with tears and laughs while family watched from afar with baited breath.

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A walk down the desert aisle…

Aimee’s father walked her through the desert to meet Bryan at the altar.

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A day filled with love…

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The most emotional and beautiful of ceremonies

And just like that…

they were married.

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Family love

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A walk as husband and wife

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Cake for two…

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Aimee + Bryan

Joshua Tree, California

Five Tips for Killer Engagement Photos

Having a camera pointed directly at your face can be stressful.  Its not part of your normal routine to kiss, walk, laugh, twirl or even splash while an overly enthusiastic photographer yells, “you look amaaaazing, keep doing that!!”.  But, you’re getting your pictures taken, and the fact is you’re taking time out of your life and money out of your wallet to get them done so let’s make sure you friggin LOVE them.  In my humble opinion, these are the five rules you need to follow to ensure that you DO love them.  A lot.

1.       Pick the right outfits.  In a nutshell, they need to be flattering, comfortable, and not look like a scary neon sign on camera.  There’s a ton I could say on this subject, so I’ll write a future blog devoted to the art of what you drape on your body, but for now here it is:  wear neutrals, basics or pastels, keep patterns soft like florals, don’t match each other too much, and *almost* always wear flats.  If you don’t know what to wear, then ask your photographer.  Any professional with her/his salt will be happy to advise you on this subject.  Wait, I get to dress you like a Barbie and take photos of you?  Yes, please.

2.       Don’t freeze up.  This is easier said than done because for some reason a camera can turn even the most relaxed confident person, into a rigid and nervous deer in the headlights.  It’ll take a good ten minutes or so to loosen up on camera, but try your best to shake out those nerves and enjoy the experience!  I mean, how often in your life will you have someone following you around like paparazzi, and freaking out about how incredible you look in ‘that light’?  Unless you’re Selena Gomez, not often.  Some great tricks to work out with your photographer include playing games that will get you moving in flattering ways, having funny stories all teed up for the occasion, or my personal favorite: fart jokes.  No seriously, it works every time.  It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 60, fart jokes never get old.

3.       Be okay getting awkward.  I realize this is a bit of an extension of #2, but its important enough to have its own number, so lets roll with it.  The general rule of thumb is that the more you feel okay getting in crazy awkward positions, the better your photos will look.  It looks good to press your foreheads weirdly up against one another, it looks good to shove your arm really tightly under his armpit, and it looks good to caress your own clavicle like you’re trying to seduce it.  I promise.

4.       Be prepared.  Prior to ever even showing up at the beach/trail/park/wherever, you should have an idea of at least a couple of poses that you want to do.  How on earth will you even begin to figure this out?  Easy… Pinterest and Instagram have about a zillion awesome poses on display for you, and all you have to do is pick your favorites.  If you're getting engagement photos, then just search #engagementsession or #couplepose, and you’ll see more poses then your beautiful eyeballs can handle.  Screenshot these and send them over to your photographer with a brief explanation of why you like them (ie “they look relaxed”, or “I love that light glow in between them”, or “this photo does/doesn’t accentuate my booty”).  This way you’ll definitely LOVE at least some photos from your shoot, and It’ll also give her/him an idea of your taste to help ensure you love them all.

5.       Nail the location.  Yes, its all about you, but its also a little about where you’re hanging out.  My best advice about location is to pick a place that’s comfortable for you, meaning if you have no interest in black-tie events and don’t even own a ballgown, maybe don’t choose photos at an opera house, or if you hate getting sandy or wet maybe the beach isn’t your best bet.  And yes, you want the location to be representative of you, and you want it to be pretty, but arguably most importantly, you want it to get killer light!  Light is the thing that could make or break your photos, so if you’re considering a location, involve your photographer so she/he can shed some light on the light there.  And drop the mic, because I just ended this blog with a photography pun.   

Hope this helps all of you lovelies, and happy posing!!

Courtney + Arnaud

Courtney + Arnaud

Torrey Pines beach session with Courtney + Arnaud