LA Arboretum Engagement | Chawon & Karen

I have had the pleasure of being great friends with Chawon and Karen ever since I moved to Los Angeles. I have seen their relationship grow and build to such a strong bond. The two of them are some of my closest friends here and I've never been more happy knowing they are engaged.

So naturally, I decided to do their engagement photos as a wedding present to them. We picked a beautiful day to run around the LA Arboretum in Arcadia, CA. There was a light breeze in the air and a feeling of something important coming. What I captured of the two of them was nothing short of romantic and magical. Check them out below!

The LA Arboretum is filled with peacocks. :) And we caught this one hanging out on a tree.

The LA Arboretum is filled with peacocks. :) And we caught this one hanging out on a tree.

How hot are these two?! I mean, rawr! 

How hot are these two?! I mean, rawr! 

DIY Fabric Flower Bouquet

My wedding was an amazing adventure in the woods! I got married on a campsite in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which is an amazing campground surrounded by sequoia trees. One of things I recommend to Brides with an outdoor wedding, is to check if there are any foliage restrictions. What do I mean by that? Well, Big Basin banned outside flowers from being brought into the park to use for ceremonies or receptions. 

Some parks do not want outside flowers or foliage brought into the premises because the risk of pollinating the park with non-indigenous species is increased. To preserve the original nature of the park, they forbid the use of outside foliage. Cool. I'm totally respectful of that (being a nature lover myself, I'd never want to encroach upon the already established plant species!). So what did I do for my bouquets and centerpieces? Enter in the coolest mom ever.

My mom helped me find designs and ideas for a fabric flower bouquet. Yes, you read that correctly. FABRIC. So after searching for the right designs and ideas, we pulled together some of my favorite fabrics in my wedding colors and got to work sewing together these little flowers. We then added touching elements such as broaches or pins to create my wedding bouquet.

If you're interested in making your own, you can find tutorials here and here.

The feathers added something really special and etherial to the feel.

The feathers added something really special and etherial to the feel.

Here's one of the pins we added to the bouquet. I love this tree detail!

Here's one of the pins we added to the bouquet. I love this tree detail!

One of my favorite childhood movies was Hook with Robin Williams. So when Mom found this pin of a ship, I thought it would be perfect to add to the bouquet! I really also like the idea of thinking that this marriage is setting sail on a new adventurous voyage! It makes it so much more personal to me. 

One of my favorite childhood movies was Hook with Robin Williams. So when Mom found this pin of a ship, I thought it would be perfect to add to the bouquet! I really also like the idea of thinking that this marriage is setting sail on a new adventurous voyage! It makes it so much more personal to me. 

Also, my spirit animal is the owl, full of wisdom and age.

Also, my spirit animal is the owl, full of wisdom and age.

Garden Grove Emo Wedding | Mick + Heather

What I loved about Mick and Heather was the comments made from their friends and family. They were a quiet couple, but the family certainly had some funny and amazing things to say about them. Mick is a talented musician in a rock band. His brother played a video during the reception of Mick creating his own single, and showed everyone how proud he was of the groom. Heather's family and friends repeatedly commented how amazing it was that Mick had come into her life. Apparently, she had been a "dark cloud but when you [Mick] came, she became only partly cloudy."

The bride got ready at her sister's home, where her sister could pamper her with all the makeup.

The bride got ready at her sister's home, where her sister could pamper her with all the makeup.

Bride getting ready black and white
My favorite moment of the wedding was when this flower girl said, "I'm allergic to cheap makeup." HAHAHA! I think we all are, dear. 

My favorite moment of the wedding was when this flower girl said, "I'm allergic to cheap makeup." HAHAHA! I think we all are, dear. 

Heather had a gorgeous dark purple engagement ring, black sparkly shoes, and wonderful dark jewelry. There were two flower girls and a junior bridesmaid who had adorable outfits of their own.

Heather had a gorgeous dark purple engagement ring, black sparkly shoes, and wonderful dark jewelry. There were two flower girls and a junior bridesmaid who had adorable outfits of their own.

This dress! White with black flowers, it was a non-traditional dress for sure. 

This dress! White with black flowers, it was a non-traditional dress for sure. 

black and white wedding dress
And how dapper does Mick look?! The groom wore a succulent boutonniere and rocked it.

And how dapper does Mick look?! The groom wore a succulent boutonniere and rocked it.

Did I mention his cuff links were dinosaurs?! I'm obsessed.

Did I mention his cuff links were dinosaurs?! I'm obsessed.

The bridal bouquet had succulents and dark purple flowers. They went perfectly with her black nails and dark theme.

The bridal bouquet had succulents and dark purple flowers. They went perfectly with her black nails and dark theme.

The ladies certainly had their own style. I've never met such a group of hard working girls. One was recovering from surgery after just getting her appendix removed. Another had pneumonia (don't worry, she wasn't infectious). Rock on ladies.

The ladies certainly had their own style. I've never met such a group of hard working girls. One was recovering from surgery after just getting her appendix removed. Another had pneumonia (don't worry, she wasn't infectious). Rock on ladies.

Rock on guys!

Rock on guys!

And two become one.

And two become one.

The couple couldn't find an officiant they liked. At the last moment, their close friend went out and got his minister license to marry them. He rose up to the challenge and provided his friends with the best wedding gift two people could ask for. He was such a great guy.

The couple couldn't find an officiant they liked. At the last moment, their close friend went out and got his minister license to marry them. He rose up to the challenge and provided his friends with the best wedding gift two people could ask for. He was such a great guy.

first kiss after marriage vows
bride and groom walk away as husband and wife
This groom was so smitten with his bride. The happiness on his face in this photo just pulls at my heartstrings. I've never seen a guy SO happy and emotive. 

This groom was so smitten with his bride. The happiness on his face in this photo just pulls at my heartstrings. I've never seen a guy SO happy and emotive. 

lighting on the bride
Bride and groom rest after marriage
black and white bride & groom
These two were so perfect together. It's funny, everyone talked about how gloomy the bride usually behaves. But she was all smiles the day she got married.

These two were so perfect together. It's funny, everyone talked about how gloomy the bride usually behaves. But she was all smiles the day she got married.

play with light

Their fun rocker party kept things lively and entertaining. It was a beautiful, non-traditional wedding that celebrated two amazing souls that were bound for one another.


Anaheim Purple Wedding | Sandie + Mike

Sandie sat in her beautiful flowered robe as she opened a card from her husband-to-be. As she read it, her eyes lit up and a large smile touched her lips. "Happy 1-day Anniversary" it said, with the '1-day' words handwritten by the groom. The change over her entire being as she read it is something I will never forget. It was a calming movement, a relaxing of the shoulders. Everything was going to be okay. She was getting married to an amazing man.

Bridal prep

I was so blessed to photograph this couple's wedding. There was a deep emotion that could be felt between them, and it was noticed by their whole family. The hotel room in the Hyatt Regency of Orange County was hushed, even though it was crowded with ladies. As the excitement built over time, the quiet voices began to grow to loud giggles. Soon she was ready to put on her dress (Alfred Angelo's Cinderella Bridal Gown) and conquer this wedding.

Bridesmaid helping get dress on

After a short trip, we arrived at the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Anaheim. It was a beautiful ceremony. Even when the priest led them through a strange order of events (he accidently announced them wed, didn't ask them to kiss, and then realized he forgot the offering to the Virgin Mary), no one was phased.

I absolutely adored the reaction of the groom when he saw his bride. His face lit up and a massive open smile took over.

I absolutely adored the reaction of the groom when he saw his bride. His face lit up and a massive open smile took over.

How amazing was this Catholic church ceremony? 

How amazing was this Catholic church ceremony? 

The happily married couple!

The happily married couple!

A quick releasing of balloons, and it was off to take photos!

The photos were taken at the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim. It was an extremely HOT day, and I was sweating bullets in my all black wedding attire! But we muscled through and got some amazing group shots.

Did I mention the bride and groom stopped into Starbucks on their way back into the reception? Gotta have your coffee girl!

Did I mention the bride and groom stopped into Starbucks on their way back into the reception? Gotta have your coffee girl!

Finally, the reception was back at the Hyatt. Everything was purple, the color of royalty. And these two certainly were the King and Queen of the ball! I'll never forget the toasts, they were some of the funniest speeches I've heard yet!

How adorable are these cake toppers made of wood people?!

How adorable are these cake toppers made of wood people?!

Time to dance the night away! Congrats Sandie and Mike!

Time to dance the night away! Congrats Sandie and Mike!

Temecula Winery Wedding | Lauren + Steven

A couple of weekends ago, I had the lovely opportunity to shoot a wedding with another photographer named Melissa Morelli. Her cousin Steven married his gorgeous bride Lauren at a winery in Temecula. The sun was shining, the wine was flowing, and everyone looked beautiful. 

The rings were captured on a wine barrel: I just love the rustic element showcasing the wedding bands. The wedding dress was hanging from vines at the winery. I was in love with the simplicity of the design, including the white rose boutonniere and the gold bowl holding the centerpiece bouquet.

The rings were captured on a wine barrel: I just love the rustic element showcasing the wedding bands. The wedding dress was hanging from vines at the winery. I was in love with the simplicity of the design, including the white rose boutonniere and the gold bowl holding the centerpiece bouquet.

The bridesmaid ladies were told to pick out a navy lace dress, and each of them looked absolutely gorgeous!

The bridesmaid ladies were told to pick out a navy lace dress, and each of them looked absolutely gorgeous!

How adorable are these flower girls looking like princesses under the winery vines?!

How adorable are these flower girls looking like princesses under the winery vines?!

ceremony pergola in winery
There was an amazing orange grove on the winery property that we were able to take some bride and groom portraits in.

There was an amazing orange grove on the winery property that we were able to take some bride and groom portraits in.

orange grove winery wedding portraits
I'm in love with these wedding details. The wine bottles and vases were spray painted gold and held only a few flowers. The welcome sign was a nice touch too!

I'm in love with these wedding details. The wine bottles and vases were spray painted gold and held only a few flowers. The welcome sign was a nice touch too!

bride and groom kiss at reception
How cute is this wedding cake on a wine barrel?

How cute is this wedding cake on a wine barrel?