Monthly Archives: March 2012

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!

Lesley and Mike’s Downtown Engagement Session

When we were planning their engagement session and Lesley told me she was going to wear a nice dress to contrast the dirty downtown area and crazy muraled walls we were going to be shooting in and around, I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

That’s because Lesley is an interior designer so she has that whole “artistic vision” thing down!

I didn’t have to explain the contrast between fancy and dingy because she was way ahead of me on all that.

And it was because of that, we decided downtown Phoenix would be the perfect backdrop for their session!

Especially since one of Lesley and Mike’s groomsmen painted a bunch of the murals around the area! Including this one…

Lesley did bring the great dress and skirt, and as I expected, they were perfect!

They also brought their dogs which definitely added an extra level of challenge and fun to the session!

You never know what a photo session is going to be like when your subjects are covered in fur and walk on all fours!

Lesley and Mike’s dogs were super adorable so whether they were looking at the camera or not, at least they looked great whatever direction they were facing!:-)

My favorite thing about this entire session is what happened every time Lesley and Mike turned to face one another.

It was like magic.

The second their eyes connected, both their faces would light up, and often times lots of laughing followed that!

Yes my friends, it has been confirmed that they are definitely in love!

It’s the real deal! It was more than obvious that they just loved being together. Even if they had to have cameras following around the whole time, they were just glad to be hanging out with one another!

So if this is how cute and romantic they are during an engagement session, I can’t wait to see how they are on their wedding day! We’re so excited about your wedding guys, and we’re so glad we get to be a part of it! See you soon!!

Click to see the rest of Lesley and Mike’s Downtown Engagement Session.

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.

Megan and Mark’s beach love engagement session

There’s nothing like an engagement session to remind you that your big day is coming soon!

And for Megan and Mark that day is very VERY soon!

So soon in fact that they can hardly stand it! And who can blame them? A wedding in Hawaii is no small event!

Yep, Megan and Mark are making it official the island way and have invited us to come along! Which is awesome because destination weddings are one of our favorite things in the world!

No, not just because of the obvious reason (we get to go to amazing places) but because it gives us such a unique bonding experience with the couple we head there with.

Which is why spending time together before hand (like at this engagement session) is uber important and we were thrilled to get a chance to hang out and get to know this great couple who we’ll be saying aloha to very soon!

As an engagement session should be, this one was a great chance for us all to practice working together. Now when we say, “you know, do that one thing” there’s at least a tiny chance that Megan and Mark might actually know what we mean (if they can read minds).

Or when tell them to laugh on command, there’s at least a small possibility that they won’t just think we’re crazy but they’ll know there’s a good reason we’re telling them to do it (hint: it’s because it tends to make you laugh for real!)!

The engagement session was also a great chance for us to hear about the wedding. Now we feel a little more up to date about their overall style, who they are as a couple, and what kinds of things are important to them.

(For example, we learned that they love the houses at The Montage in Laguna, where we did the session because they’re really into architecture! So we made sure to get those in at least a few of the photos!).

It’s so great for us to have a chance to learn a little more about them because that’s the kind of stuff that factors into us getting the kind of pictures that result in their friends and family members seeing them and saying, “oh that is so THEM”! And that’s always our goal!

Capturing the real personality and heart of a couple on their big day is what we always strive to do. And spending time “practicing” and getting to know them during the engagement session is an important part of that!

So thanks to Megan and Mark for giving us the time and putting their all into planning such a stunning session in such an outstanding location!

I think it’s safe to say you’re putting in that kind of thought and energy into the wedding (except times like 1,000) and I can’t wait to see the results of all your hard work! I have a inkling that it’s going to be pretty spectacular! See you soon!

Click to see the rest of Megan and Mark’s beach love engagement session.