Category Archives: Weddings

The bride… the groom… and crazy aunt Zelma. Read about it all right here.

Ross and Megan’s very sunny and very happy wedding day

When Ross and Megan planned their beautiful springtime wedding that would take place on a stunning golf course

…with their reception completing the night under the stars….

…I’m guessing they didn’t picture it being 103 degrees outside! But that’s what they got… and they just decided to roll with it.

They didn’t let it ruin their day, they just drank a lot of water and made frequent appearances into the most heavily air conditioned rooms they could find. And their bridal party were troopers as well!

Actually it did turn about being OK. They did have a bit of a sweaty ceremony but the beauty of it distracted everyone from their sunburns.

And by the time evening had rolled around the air had started to cool down and their spectacular patio reception turned out to be everything they had dreamed of.

I LOVED these chalkboards that Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club had set up. Megan and Ross transformed into fun decor by writing table numbers as well as using them like you see below!)

If was a beautiful way to finish out Ross and Megan’s perfectly planned wedding that included everything from singing toasts (which actually wasn’t part of Megan’s plan, that was a surprise from her dad)…

… to hand rolled cigars…

…to fireworks.


They had done it. Megan and Ross had braved the heat, planned a perfect wedding, enjoyed their big day to the fullest, and of course… married the loves of their lives.

What more could you ask for out of a wedding?!

I have to take a second to talk about their reveal moment, or “first look”.

The reason is because just as Megan was getting ready to walk down the aisle to get married, she turned to me and said, “Breanna, thank you SO much for convincing us to see each other before the wedding! I don’t know what we were thinking when we were considering not doing it! I’m so much less nervous than I would be otherwise right now and it made our day so much better to have shared more of it together. Thank you!” And then she headed down the aisle to meet her groom, whom she was no less happy to be seeing for the second time that day!

If you’re planning your wedding and you’re still not sure about whether or not you should see one another before the wedding, take a moment to educate yourself about it so you can make an informed decision by reading what Megan read before her wedding, “The Reveal Moment: to have or not to have”.

To Ross and Megan: I really am so incredibly proud of how much you guys decided to chill and forget about the small stuff so you could focus on each other and the relationships surrounding you. I’m especially happy you chose to do that because you guys having fun means that we get to have a ton of fun with you!

We really enjoyed hanging out with you both and being a part of something so incredibly important to you.

Thanks or choosing us and trusting us.

I hope these pictures help you remember this day perfectly for the rest of your lives!

Click to see the rest of Ross and Megan’s Sunny and Happy Wedding day photos.

 

Re-visiting Katy and Shaun’s Hawaiian Wedding Day

In honor of Katy and Shaun’s Hawaiian wedding being featured on Style Me Pretty Destinations today, I’m re-posting the original blog entry about their Sept. 5, 2010 wedding. This is still one of our all time favorite weddings with one of our all time favorite couples. So if you missed this the first time around, today is your lucky day! Click here to see blog posts about Katy and Shaun’s pre-wedding day events, Groom’s dinner ON the USS Missouri battleship, and their trash the dress session the day after the wedding. Or just continue reading here to take a trip down memory lane to their wedding day….

 

You’ve now finished the appetizers I’ve been feeding you about Katy and Shaun’s wedding week and are ready for the main course… the wedding day.

Hawaii fish pond photosaloha wedding photosbest destination wedding photographer

By now you’ve read about Katy and Shaun and you’ve seen the heart they put into planning their wedding week (if you missed all this, read part 1 and part 2) for their friends and family to enjoy so you know to expect nothing short of amazingness, in all it’s glory, on their wedding day.

Oahu wedding photography

And you’d be quite right to expect that.

No beauty was spared, no creative ideas left untouched as Katy and Shaun put all the details into their big day.

Everything from big to small was perfect.

(Instead of flower girls and ring bearers, they had the kids at the wedding hand out leis to the guests as they arrived).

I’m sure some of this perfection came from their perfectly wonderful wedding coordinator, Melissa Laudise with Let’s Do This! Event Planning and Coordinating.  We had heard a ton about Melissa long before it was even time to head to Hawaii.  Katy and Shaun were absolutely thrilled with her… as were we once we got to meet and work with her!  She was so easy to work with and she was the perfect combination of relaxed and organized… in short, we have a professional crush on her.

Her arrangement of all the sentimental and beautiful details that Katy and Shaun wanted included in their wedding was pulled off flawlessly, and she did it all with a casual kind of grace that can only be described as “Hawaiian Class”.

Melissa lives in Hawaii but she travels for weddings!  So no matter where you live, if you still need a coordinator for your wedding day, give her a call!

As you can see, the Kahaluu fishpond that Katy and Shaun got married on, also had a part to play in the beauty of the wedding day. I can’t believe how perfectly this place seemed to fit them.

Hawaiia wedding photographyOahu creative wedding photos

The little house the girls got ready in (one that President Obama stayed in on a visit by the way) was lit up all bright and beautiful and had a chill, down to earth feel…

… sort of like Katy herself!

Doesn’t she just beam?!

I have to say that when Katy put on the wedding dress I absolutely lost my breath for a second!  She somehow managed to still look like herself, but also just like a Hawaiian princess!

I’m not kidding, the entire day I couldn’t get over how beautiful she looked, I’m sure her face radiating happiness the way it was had a lot to do with it!

It was at this house that Katy and Shaun had their reveal moment…

…which they both agreed they were SO glad they did since  it made them feel more like a team as they prepared to walk down the aisle in front of all their family and friends…

…and I’m sure it’s a moment that neither will ever forget.

Since we loved the house so much, we went ahead and did all the group photos around there as well.

(Someone shouted the cue and before I knew what was happening, they’d spelled out “Katy” with their arms!  Ha ha!).

Once it was time for the ceremony, Katy pulled out all the stops by surprising her guests and coming across the lake on a canoe (that was being paddled by 2 of the groomsmen… who are obviously very trusted and have very good balance!).

(He’s eagerly awaiting the arrival of his beautiful bride from across the water).

Since I (Breanna) knew the canoe entrance was coming, that wasn’t the most surprising part of the ceremony to me… what was surprising was how emotional I got throughout the whole thing!  It was one of those times where I was constantly checking the viewer on my camera to make sure the mist from my eyes wasn’t fogging it up.

I just know how excited they were about every single little part of their day since we’ve been talking with them about it for so long now.

During the very first phone call we ever had with them, Katy and Shaun took great care to explain in detail, how much they wanted their wedding to be about joining them together before God and about the great love they shared with each other and with all the people surrounding them.  For as excited as they were about the actual wedding and reception, they were even more excited about the meaning behind it all.

The location of the ceremony and reception couldn’t have been better… with beautiful tents set up for dinner, complete with my dearest decor love… white lights strung across a night sky.

I’ve always dreamed of having the perfect nighttime garden party… and I think Katy and Shaun nailed my own dreams on the head!

The cocktail hour area was stunning as well, with a magnificent view of the lake and couches to sit on while you stare at it and talk to your friends, it was the whole package.

During this chill hanging out time guests were not only munching on amazing appetizers (called Pupus there), but also filling out postcards to mail to Katy and Shaun sporadically once they return home from their honeymoon.

So they can look forward to getting different postcards from their wedding guests for a long time after their wedding day.  How fun is that?!  This idea is courtesy of Melissa’s special touch.

After the cocktail hour and the dinner, we moved onto the toasts.  I heard some of the best speeches I’ve ever heard that night.  Maybe it’s because I’d spent all week getting to know the people who were giving the speeches…

…but I felt like they were incredibly insightful and exceptionally beautiful.  I also heard one of the funniest speeches I’ve ever heard as one of the groomsmen read out loud a letter Shaun wrote him when he was in Jr. High.

It was hilarious and such a great idea!

During the speeches, it started raining.  But don’t worry, instead of taking away from the perfection of the day, it actually made it better!

In Hawaii, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck and Shaun (who lived in Hawaii for awhile growing up) was really hoping they’d get “the blessing”, but he also didn’t want it to spoil any of their plans.  So after the 20 min. of rain we got, he was SO excited that they had some rain but not too much!

(and Scottie was so excited he had the chance to get these amazing nighttime rain shots!).

Pretty soon it was time to start the party!

Katy and Shaun had hired a super talented and very fun band and their guests took full advantage of this excellent dancing music that was there just for them. Everyone jumped right in and the energy that flowed from the band to the guests was very high!  Katy and Shaun’s first dance was amazing too by the way, it was to a very fun and jazzy number and they busted out with some moves I didn’t know they had in them!

Towards the end of the night, the big surprise we’d been waiting for finally came… Shaun and his band got up there to sing a song dedicated to Katy (read about the coolness of their band in this post here).  They sang “Just the Two of Us” (no, not the Will Smith version!) and there is no less cheesy way to describe this song than as a magical moment.  It just was.  The ebb and flow of the musicians, the excitement of their guests, and the happiness of Katy and Shaun made it all more than complete.  It was definitely unforgettable.

(this was taken when everyone was cheering on Shaun and the band… so cool.  Like our Facebook page if you want to tag yourself in some of these photos.).

As the guests cleared out of the wedding, they weren’t too sad that it was over because for many of them it wasn’t!

Katy and Shaun had planned an after party at a local restaurant where they had hired another musician as well.  We spent the night dancing away and laughing and talking with all their fantastic friends.  We don’t have any after party pictures because Katy and Shaun talked us into not bringing our cameras so we could truly relax.  By the end of the night, we were so thankful that we listened to them because we had more fun than I can remember having in a very long time!

(Katy and her mom… about to walk down the aisle together).

(Shaun with is 90+ year old grandmother who was such a trooper and made it to many of the pre-wedding events as well as the wedding!).

(Shaun giving his nephew- also named Shaun- one of the coolest challenges I’ve ever heard). 🙂

Actually, this entire experience in Hawaii with Katy and Shaun and their guests is pretty unforgettable.

I can honestly say with confidence that it was one of the best weeks of Scottie and my lives and we are so thankful we got to be a part of it all.  Thank you Katy and Shaun for being the loving, relaxed, gracious, and fun people that you are.

We not only enjoyed all aspects of your wedding week, but we can’t imagine spending it with a better couple.  You both are very unique individuals and we’re so glad that you’ve joined forces to create the beautiful “collective dream” that you are working on.  We love you both and we’re excited to come visit you in CA soon!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Katy and Shaun’s wedding!

(Also click to see pictures of Katy swimming in her wedding dress after the wedding!)

Megan and Mark’s Marvelous Maui Wedding

One day, Megan called and said, “I think we might like you to be our wedding photographers.”

And Breanna (me) replied “sounds great! When and where is the wedding?”

Then Megan said, “Maui”. And Breanna said nothing because she was already home packing her bags for Hawaii.

OK, maybe that’s not exactly how it went down, but it was pretty close!  Whether you’re a guest, a vendor, a parent, or a bridesmaid… when someone tells you that you’re invited to their wedding on Maui, you only have one option for how you react. You don’t hesitate, check your calendar, or ask your girlfriend… you just nod yes immediately and ask them to fork over the RSVP card where you can check “attending” to seal the deal.

OK, again, maybe that’s not exactly what we did, but it was pretty close! We actually decided to do the responsible thing and sit down with Megan and Mark to find out more about their wedding and see if we’d be a good fit for it!

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourselves in some of the photos!).

As soon as we realized that Megan and Mark were such awesome people and that it looked like we were going to be a good addition to their wedding, both Scottie and I let out our breaths that we were surprised to find we’d been holding during the entire meeting.

So to put it mildly, yes, we were excited to go to Hawaii. But not just because the coconuts and luaus were calling our names, but because Hawaii is one of the most gorgeous places for a wedding, which means it’s an absolute dream for wedding photographers!

When Megan and Mark told us they were having their reception at The Four Seasons Resort there, our excitement only grew because we couldn’t wait to see what kind of pictures we’d be able to get out of a place that gorgeous with a couple this stunning!

When we arrived on the wedding day and took in the scenery around us, we immediately knew there was no chance we’d be disappointed!

And when we saw the couple themselves, slow, wide smiles spread across our faces. Megan looked GORGEOUS with her blonde hair pinned perfectly in a way that effortlessly resisted the inevitable Maui afternoon winds…

…and Mark was fully caught up into the day from early on as his groomsmen gave tear jerking speech after tear jerking speech.

(I love this picture with all Mark’s groomsmen having a good time around him while he’s just off in his own little world as he eagerly awaits his bride’s entrance into the ceremony!).

Megan and Mark had a beautiful, traditional Catholic Mass for their ceremony.

And from there they moved on for a little bit of photo opp time with yours truly.

Before I dive head first into the super fantastic party details, I need to point out something. One of the things that impressed me most about this wedding, besides the incredible speeches, super supportive family and friends, and the undeniable loving relationship between the couple themselves, was the fantastic planning that Megan did.

As many of the heartfelt speeches I’ve referred to mentioned, Megan opted to go wedding planner free for this and did everything on her own.

If any of you out there have ever had a destination wedding where you have actual ocean between you and the place you’re getting married at, you know this is quite an impressive feat!

( I LOVED the adorable little “Puggle Pops” and “Purr-fect Pops” made to represent their beloved cat and dog who couldn’t be at the wedding with them! Not to mention the elegant, all white candy bar shown below that was all kinds of stunning!)

 

One of my favorite parts of the day (out of many) was the reaction Megan had when she saw the final product of all her months and months of hard work.

She walked into the empty ballroom to check it out before the guests entered, and you could just tell by how her eyes widened, her hands glided along the backs of the chairs, and her smile grew bigger and bigger, that this was EXACTLY the way she had always dreamed her wedding day would be!

She talked about it multiple times throughout the night because she just couldn’t believe how incredibly perfect all her plans had turned out! She was floating on her perfect wedding high as she stood next to her perfect man who was such a perfect match for her.

It was… perfect.

Oh yeah, and it didn’t take long for the party to go into full swing awesomeness!

(Why yes, that IS the Thriller dance!)

(Why yes, that IS Mark impressing us all with his incredible moves that probably caused him a lot of pain in the morning!).

Megan and Mark, I can’t tell you how much I loved hearing all the stories about you two and your love for each other throughout the many elaborate and tear inducing speeches I heard the weekend of your wedding.

Yes, we’re glad we had the opportunity to go to Hawaii, but even more than that, we really are so glad we got to be a part of a wedding where the couple is as loved and supported as much as you two are…

…and who are even more in love than two people could ask to be on their wedding day.

My favorite speech of the night was your best man, Jay’s, speech. I’m pretty sure it will go down in history as one of the best of all time.

(Jay is one left of Mark in this photo).

I loved it because of the way that he described Mark’s ridiculously high expectations for the girl he was going to marry. Everyone thought he was crazy for maintaining these expectations as the years went by and that girl remained nowhere to be found. Then Jay proceeded to explain how Megan perfectly fulfilled all those expectations to a T in a way that completely astounded everyone and made them eat their words for ever thinking that Mark was asking for too much.

He’d definitely found “the one” and everyone knew it.

You guys are such a wonderful couple and Scottie and I couldn’t be happier for you two. It really was such an honor to be a part of such a beautiful wedding that I know will translate into a beautiful marriage. Congratulations!

Oh but wait! You thought that was all didn’t you?! No way, there’s much more!  That’s right, there’s a whole other photo session that we did with Megan and Mark around the island the day after their wedding… and yes, I’m going to make you wait for it! So be excited, be very excited because there’s nothing better than a day after session with a fantastic couple in the extraordinary world of Maui! Here’s a taste of the session…

… check back later this week for the rest!

Click to see more photos from Megan and Mark’s Marvelous Maui Wedding here.

 

Susanne and Greg’s Colorful Star Wars Wedding

If you would’ve told me it was possible to pull off a Star Wars themed wedding with class, I would’ve laughed in your face.

But it looks like I was indeed wrong as Susanne and Greg managed to do just that!

It was definitely a subtle theme (I mean they weren’t dressed up like Star Troopers saying their vows to one another or anything!). They kept the SW world limited to the table names at the reception…

…the garter (to Greg’s great surprise)…

…the cuff links…

… the music as they entered the reception (another surprise for Greg courtesy of his loving new wife), and the music during the garter toss. Oh and I do believe there was a light saber in the hand of the tiny groom on top of the wedding cake! See? That’s a pretty low key theme, not nearly what you pictured when you read the title I’m sure!

The best part of the theme was that it was used to enhance the rest of the wedding, rather than detract from it (like it would have if they had say… decided to make the bridesmaids wear gold bikinis).

(See, very normal bridesmaids dresses!)

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in some of the photos).

They used just enough to represent one of Greg’s all time favorite things in the world (besides the Los Angeles Lakers and the Red Hot Chili Peppers… see their engagement session). Which also happens to be one of the things Susanne has grown to love because she loves her man.

(Seeing each other for the first time that day during the first look).

(Seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony as she walks down the aisle towards him).

Greg has also had his heart turned towards things that Susanne loves… Converse shoes being one of them! Susanne had her pretty teal heels of course…

…but once the formal part of the day was done, they both changed into matching converse to finish out the party with, because Susanne is known for being the Converse Queen! I’m sure Greg never thought in his wildest dreams that the first time he’d ever put on a pair of Converse shoes would be at his wedding! 🙂

As you can see, these two really do give a lot to one another and do their best to appreciate not only their similarities (which eHarmony knew they’d have a lot of) but also their differences.

I was already a believer in eHarmony, but since meeting Susanne and Greg I have even more confidence in the match maker! Because seriously, these 2 are absolutely perfect for each other!

Every move they make towards one another makes that more and more obvious even to someone who’s just met them! The people who’ve known them the longest are convinced as well! It seemed like everyone at the wedding, couldn’t be happier for these two.

They’d been through a lot trying to find the “right one”, as I heard tales of during the speeches, and their friends were with them through it all. And once they found each other, their friends didn’t need any convincing that Greg and Susanne were going to be making a great decision in choosing to spend the rest of their lives with one another.

It’s so much fun to be at a wedding where everyone is just so absolutely overjoyed about the match! I think it’s safe to say that these two have the kind of strong support system that will help carry them through anything… what a gift.

And now that they’ve found each other, I think they pretty much have everything they need to have a wonderful life filled with so much joy! They’re just so beautiful to watch together!

Congratulations you two, I meant every word I said about what a great match you are for each other!

I hope to hear that years and years from now, you guys are still as happy together as you were on your wedding day.

I think that’s a reasonable expectation for the two of you! Cheers to a wonderful day today and an even greater tomorrow!! 🙂

Click to see the rest of Susanne and Greg’s colorful star wars wedding!

Melissa and Kevin’s Hawaiian wedding in a California vineyard

How does a wedding planner plan her own wedding?

It may sound like an easy job since she does it for a living, but really that makes it much harder for her to have the wedding of her dreams. When you go to weddings every weekend, it’s difficult to find ways to make your own day feel unique and special.

Luckily, Melissa from Let’s Do This! Wedding and Events was up for the challenge! Her wedding day was upon her and she found some incredible ways to make it her own. But before I get into that, let me give you a little bit of Melissa and Kevin’s story because it’s a good one!

Melissa was one of those girls who felt like she had to wait forever for “the one” to come.

It wasn’t always easy for her to believe that she was doing the right thing by waiting  for just the right guy to come along one day. But she was persistent and she stuck to her guns. So when fanny pack wearing (he’s trying to bring them back), messy haired, California boy Kevin came into her life Melissa and her family knew her prayers had been answered and that all her tears, waiting, and frustrations had been well worth it. Because “the one” really had found his way into her life. Even though he had to cross an ocean to do it.

(Melissa and her mom spending time together before the ceremony).

 

One of my favorite moments from Melissa and Kevin’s big day was when Melissa’s bridesmaid sister stood up to give her speech and the first thing she did was turn to Kevin and yell, “WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!”. It was a pretty good question that summed up the anticipation that had led up to this wonderful, glorious wedding day for Melissa when she finally got to marry the man of her dreams!

The rest of the speeches that night followed the honest tone that Melissa’s sister brought to the table… only with a little less yelling involved.

(Tag yourself in some of these photos by liking our Facebook page!).

Everyone in the room was so full of joy and it seemed like people couldn’t even find the words to speak highly enough of these two wonderful people and the beautiful love between them. Tears, tears, and more tears for me and everyone involved that night!

(Yes, I think it’s safe to say that even the tough guys were getting emotional!).

The passion between Melissa and Kevin was undeniable. And who were we to interrupt their great making out moments to get them to walk over there or stand facing a certain direction, etc. Mostly we just let them go at it and tried to make sure we didn’t get any pictures where you could see their tongues!

(Like this kiss under the veil for example… we didn’t even have to stage it, that’s  just the kind of stuff they were doing naturally!).

They were so incredibly happy!

Melissa looked exactly how I pictured her looking on her wedding day.

And though this was my first time meeting Kevin, his love for Melissa was unmistakable as well.

Not only were his tears as he watched her walk down the aisle evidence of this, but also the absolutely incredible vows he spoke to her during the ceremony about growing old together and returning to this tree in the vineyard they got married under with their kids one day, and then again when they have to hobble up to it with their canes.

Ah, I’m getting all misty eyed just thinking about the gist of the speech, and that’s nothing compared to how beautiful it was word for word!

(You can tell by this picture that her vows had the intended effect as well!!!).

As you can see, this is one very expressive group of people!

Their words, actions, behavior… everything, communicated love and joy this day!

(The guys praying before the ceremony).

I was so floored by the quality of the long lasting relationships that Melissa and Kevin have had over their lifetimes.

Their strong and deep friendships say so much about the character of these two kind and caring people. I seriously felt like I was having the honor of being in a room full of some of the greatest people in existence that night.

OK I’m tired of trying not to cry as I write this so let me get on to the details of this wedding that uniquely reflected Melissa and Kevin… only I’m not sure those hold much hope for a tear free explanation either!

(Kevin’s mom doing her Bible reading during the ceremony).

You can’t emotionally detach yourself from a ceremony that includes a foot washing as a symbol of how they will love and serve one another, prayers given by their fathers as a blessing on them, and a presentation of the flags from their countries of heritage to one another’s fathers as a symbol of the respect they have for the different cultures they will be bringing together in this union.

(I love the photo on the left of Melissa’s parents watching their little girl all grown up and getting married! By the way, during the father daughter dance to “My Girl” Melissa kept pretending she was playing basketball like in Father of the Bride! It was so sweet!).

I KNOW! I’m just going to have to give up on my mascara at this point!

As I said, Melissa is a wedding coordinator. What I didn’t say is that she is born and raised, and currently works in, Hawaii!

We first met Melissa when we went over to Oahu for Katy and Shaun’s gorgeous wedding that she did such a great job coordinating, that Scottie and I were fully impressed and determined to work with her one day again. What we didn’t know was how often and soon we’d get to work with her, and that we’d eventually be doing so at her very own wedding!!!

Melissa is from Oahu and Kevin is a recent transplant to that part of the world as well. So while they didn’t choose to get married in Hawaii (which is probably good because I think Melissa would’ve felt like she was working a little more than she should have on her big day) they did choose to bring some of the culture they love into the mix.

By the way, in case you’re wondering where someone who lives in Hawaii goes when they want a destination wedding… the answer is to Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez, California!

So to bring a little piece of aloha to the mainland, Melissa and Kevin started out with exactly what you’d expect, which is beautiful and fragrant leis they had draped over chairs and around necks. They also kicked off their reception with a Hawaiian prayer and welcome. Melissa brought the hula to the party that she worked so very hard to learn as a special surprise for Kevin. She performed it beautifully by the way!

(Kevin watching his love dance with her dad).

One of the coolest representations of Hawaii was the special surprise the generous couple handed out to one very lucky guest! As response cards they had their guests fill out Mad Libs. And from those Mad Libs responses, they chose one person to win a FREE TRIP TO HAWAII!!!!  One of my favorite wedding moments of all time was watching this unsuspecting girl find out she had just one a trip to Hawaii! She was in complete shock. It was definitely the best wedding favor we’ve ever seen a guest walk away with! 🙂

As you can tell, there is more story to this wedding than I have time to share. And even more of a story to this fantastic couple that Scottie and I have fallen in love with. Melissa and Kevin, your wedding day was a very special and precious time to us that we were incredibly honored to be a part of.

Seeing your passion for one another, your love for your friends and family, and your incredible ability to give of yourselves to others was such an inspiration to us and one that has left us talking about it ever since. I know you guys have a beautiful future ahead of you and I just hope we continue to find ways for Scottie and I to be blessed enough to be a part of it! We love you both! Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of Melissa and Kevin’s Hawaiian Wedding in a California vineyard.