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Remember the FAB Jen and Jacob from their wedding I blogged back in May? Well, I have been COUNTING down the days since they got married, knowing that they’d already booked the amazingly talented and sought after Sarah K. Chen for their day-after session! When these popped up about a week ago… they far exceeded my expectations [which are increasingly high for Sarah and her work!!]. I heart them!!

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My FAVE artsy photo:
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Yep… they’re gorgeous! Make sure you check out Sarah’s blog for more eye candy and to tell her how super great she is at capturing people, emotion, moments and memories!!

I’ll be honest: I’m a LITTLE disappointed with my pictures for this post. The good: Nicola had some AMAZING details that I got to capture to the best of my feeble ability. The bad: I have hardly any pictures of the couple. Which hurts my heart. Because not only are they beyond awesome… they looked amazing! Until the rockumental Krissy Davis premiers her photos from the day, these details and small glimpses will have to do…

The entire event took place at the super cool boutique Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach [seriously… 33 rooms to the entire place!]. The ambiance of the courtyard was PERECT. The day was gorgeous. All in all, amazing. And Nicola hand made SO many delectable details for all of her guests. I couldn’t get enough!!

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Their guest book was Manhattan Beach postcards:

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My assistant Miriam and I set up the place card tray prior to the ceremony, but kept it hidden until cocktail time:

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On each chair, a program and a little bag of lavender to toss as the couple came back up the aisle!

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Loooooved it:

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The colors of the wedding were green and brown, but the theme was beach-y for sure. This worked GREAT at the Shade, because that was the ENTIRE hotel. Wood, green, and sea life. Their decor was insane!

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Some simple decor for the stage and stairs, where the ceremony took place [which later turned into our dinner focal point]:

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[and YES, keeping these candles lit was a losing battle!!]

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Ceremony!

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Miriam caught this shot JUST IN TIME:

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Oh and yes, her dress is blush pink. I’m SO lucky. TWO brides with pink dresses in August. I love it!

This is meant to be vibe-y and nothing else [the couple, waiting for their bridal party to trek to the beach after the ceremony]:

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And now, the ceremony area turned reception style [totally forgot to take a picture of the super cool lounge/lobby area where the cocktail hour was held… VERY modern, funky, sleek, love-able!]:

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A close up of the centerpieces, conceptualized by Nicola [put together through inspirational pictures]:

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I loved that they were lush but didn’t need to be totally floral! And from the 2nd story:

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Okay, so I couldn’t get enough…

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THIS picture was smashingly captured by Miriam, can’t you see that the top of my head is my “good side”? This is what happens when you say “Hey Amanda!!” while I’m working. :)

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More table decor:

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For the kids:

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Another vibe shot pre-dinner: [Nicole changed out her veil for a gardenia for her hair… I loved it!]

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Oh, and she also changed her shoes so that she could rock THESE puppies:

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The losing battle:

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After dinner we headed up to the roof top for dancing and cake. I LOVED this about the Shade. Seriously pictures don’t do the space justice. It was SUCH a fun venue!!

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Nicola thought of everything, and beyond that, she vibed it OUT!

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As night fell and the guests headed upstairs, they were graced by a gorgeous modern cake from the likes of Vanilla Bake Shop, a husband and wife that I’d been dying to meet. Amy and Jeremy are just as infectious as their confections. And the cake was fabulous to boot!!

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N & N had their “official” grand entrance upstairs after dinner, going straight into a personal, intimate first dance which I loved but got super sucky pictures of:

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Though the above is a GEM to my heart!

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I think they like each other!!

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And lastly, a pictures of Nicola’s cool green kicks:

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All in all, the night was SO fun and SO personal. Nicola was such a beautiful, beaming, and gracious host to her wedding. I loved watching her laugh and be sincere with her guests. I loved watching her schmooz up her husband and fall hopelessly for him. They’d been together 10 years I think word on the street was. So, it was ABOUT TIME! :) Either way, they are full of love and life, and were SUCH a pleasure to be with!

My favorite memory from the night: just before the cake cutting I got distracted for a moment and when I came back, they were standing at the cake, holding the knife upside down [meaning sharp side up, away from the cake] aiming for the top tier. After correcting them and giving them the rundown at the last moment, we had a good laugh about it! I truly love my couples!!

N & N- fabulousness oozes from you! I LOVED being a part of your day. I’m so glad you finally got to see your vision come to life. It was everything you could have asked for and more [well, from my eyes it was]. I loved that you two remained relaxed, in love, and focused on what weddings are supposed to be- a celebration of you two!!! xoxo!

I miss…

POSTED BY Amanda

this face!!   img_0033.jpg  This morning in [what I consider] the wee hours, Josh left for camp. I know, right? He and some friends are up in the Big Bear area providing some lucky duck campers with music twice daily[!!!] until the weekend. Just 3 days. And in fact I’m going up tomorrow after a convenient meeting I booked near the area, but today has been LONG without my Josh. Since there’s been no cell service for him, and he left before I was even up… I just miss him. It’s moments like these [going home to a lonely bed] that make me realize how LUCKY I am to be so in love every day, and how convenient it’s been for us to soak one another up pre-kids by working from home. I’m a big ball of co-dependent mush. I can’t help it!! Come home to me, love! xoxo!

I cannot BELIEVE how long I’ve waited to blog these pictures. But, alas, my time as gotten away from me. With no further adieu, here are some pictures from Cyn and Der’s LOVELY wedding this past weekend. Full of love, friendship, and laughter- this wedding was just PERFECT for what it was. Cynthia- I’m talking to you- remember this and nothing else!! :)

The ceremony:

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And only the ceremony [notice Cynthia’s father gave his nod to their home state of Montana by dawning his cowboy hat!]

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I love that she was walked in by both of her parents!

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For their sand ceremony, they had a unique twist! As the guests came in, they scooped sand from a bowl into a vase and then the vase was brought up for the ceremony. The sand of their friends and family represented the foundation of their love and lives!

Altadena Town & Country Club provided the GORGEOUS backdrop for our day! Too bad they don’t have cell service there!! :)

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C & D’s guest book was epic!! Since Cynthia’s maid of honor was none other than the fantabulous Susan Yee [En Pointe Photography], and her photographer was the lovely and super talented Stephanie Williams, she had a plethora of photos to choose from for her photo guest book! The images were stunning… I cannot WAIT to see the moments Stephanie and her husband Isaac captured from the wedding!

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Onto the reception details! Holy cow, all of these escort cards were hand-crafted by Cynth and I love her for it!!

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Cynthia had a bit of a stressful morning that ALMOST turned into a stressful afternoon- but we stopped that. Here we are, laughing at cheese. Isn’t cheese SO funny?

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My beautiful bride!!!

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I’m so blessed by my business!

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I wish I could have gotten more shots of the assorted fans that Cynth bought, like above. We placed one on each chair for every guest and they were SNAPPED up after the ceremony! Apparently they were a hit- and all unique. I loved the eclectic feel, but still keeping it cultural!

Another snap of the fab guest book:

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My super simple programs:

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[Thanks to husband Josh for the pictures- lately I’d be lost without him at my events!!]

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Looooved the cake!

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This draping comes with the room:

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Swoooon! Onto the nightly activities!

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I know that some of my pictures are blurry, but I cannot HELP but love them. They express raw emotion that is captured at the click of a button. Sometimes I WISH I had the initiative to really learn photography… but it’s not for me. I’m doing just what I’m supposed to be- being touched by the moments!

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Loved the way she was holding his arm, holding her…

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And a few words from our wedding party:

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Note Cynthia is dawning dress #2!!

Pre-cutting of the gorgeous cake:

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And a quick shot of their favors, which were mini candles with “double happiness” on them:

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Cake time!

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Yes, it was hard for them to get a piece of cake out. The slice they DID manage to haul out was MONDO!!!

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[And so this face was appropriate!]

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A few words from the couple:

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Father Daughter and Mother Son:

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Cynthia got emotional during this dance, which was so sweet!

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I LOVED this moment, below. During the money dance, all of table 16 circled Derek, pining money to him everywhere and dancing:

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Missed the bouquet. :( Garter time!

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And of course my FAVORITE shot of the night:

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xoxo! I’m so biased. All in all, the day was truly surrounded with love and support from friends and family. I felt such a connection with this couple and this wedding, it was an honor to be there on this important day!

C & D: you know you rule. You know I know you rule. You know I know you know…. you get it. I told you both on the day of but I’ll state it here again: you are the perfect example of savoring the meaning and the moment. When things were beyond stressful and personal, you took deep breaths and remembered why you were there to begin with! I loved that about you, Cyn! I’ll never forget the smile that came on your face when you rounded that corner to head down the aisle to your husband. It was the stuff of movies!! Thanks for inspiring me to love recklessly and with intent!

Yesterday was perfect! The weather, the lovely bride, the ambiance, the love. Perfection.

Some teasers before I can get to the real post in the next day or two:

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Love, love, love!

Just a few quickies before I lay down for the most glorious 8 hour nap imaginable…

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Another WONDERFUL wedding to look forward to… more pictures to come on Monday!

xoxo to my newlywedders!!!

I’ll be honest… I totally contemplated skipping this week. Not so much because I was SO busy [but, well, I am!], but more because I’m not sure I’m as interesting as I pretend to be. Ha. But… seriously. Am I? I can’t be.

Anyway, a little late, but I’m committed to the “open book-ness” that I promised!

1. I thought that THIS was an interesting debate/poll. It’s an internet poll on whether the motto “In God We Trust” should be kept on our currency, or removed. I’ll admit, although my personal beliefs may make people assume I’d sway strongly one way, I’m pretty indifferent. What I believe is in me… not my money. Your thoughts?

2. My gripe about MiPhone: okay… I love my iPhone. It’s been a GREAT, live-saving addition to my little family. Google maps… bonus! Checking my email… insane. Having ALL of my internet bookmarks at the tip of my fingers should I need them… the ultimate PLUS. BUT…. I’m really, REALLY, insanely organizedly [not a word] ANAL about things. When I got MiPhone, I moved around my icons because I could. I put them on 2 pages, [if you have an iPhone you will understand this, if not… just bear with me]. I put the 2nd page of icons as my superfluous applications [app store, my flashlight, a few games, etc]- things I will not use daily and possibly not weekly. My huge gripe: these apps update. And EVERY time you update them, which is kinda required, the icons MOVE BACK TO WHERE EVER THE PHONE WANTS THEM TO BE. Since I keep my first page not “full” [I have a space between my stationary icon bar at the bottom and my actual icons on the screen], every time I update an application, it fills my first page. It drives me batty. And, I’ve only had the phone like… a month! Ugh. 2 updates so far in ONE month. This may be the end of me!!

3. Sadly, since I still have no TV [which has been an amazing break from all things media and propaganda], I haven’t seen a lick of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. :(

4. Wedding Trend I’m in LOVE with right now: monogrammed stamps. One of my couples that are getting married in seriously 5 seconds [ok, 2 weeks] sent me an official invitation [the bride is an interior designer and the groom a graphic designer… wowza, FUN wedding!!], complete with stamps from Stamps.com that held their monogram logo. They. Are. Incredible. I am in love!!!

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5. ‘Member how I told you I had this SURGE of empowerment to finally finish our condo?? Well, I’ve been looking for a few unique pieces to kinda make [or break] our place. One element I’m on the hunt for is some type of wood carving or amazing artwork to hang in my dining room above our new table. Another I’d love is a pair of twin mirrors for our hallway [to cover up our lovely breaker box that someone thought would be awesome to stick in the MIDDLE of our HALLWAY when they built the place- classy, right??]. I found this today and fell in looooooove:

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This is too big to buy two and too small to have the effect I need it to. But, it’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for. Why do I have to fall in love with the hand-crafted $300 mirror from Peru? Seriously?? Sigh…

6. Josh told me today his favorite thing about me is my ability to stay in character. We do things a lot – and I mean a LOT – to make each other laugh. Josh is the easiest sell EVER [love it about him] but I can hold a straight face for days. I’m sure I was meant to be on Saturday Night Live. :) But, alas, weddings captured my heart!

7. I cannot BELIEVE how many inquiries I’ve gotten lately. All I can do is say… I’m flattered! Everything goes in seasons, you know, even my moods. It’s so nice to feel confident in what I’m doing… to know I’m exactly where I need to be. The fact that others feel the same way about me, my career, and my choices is beyond inspiring. I’m awe struck that I’ve built this whole “thing” that is so much of my life from the ground up with my own heart and hands. I owe everything to things and people that are beyond my control. There is never a moment that is not humbling about that reality!

8. That being said, my new motto of the moment [which is affecting me and the way I relate very much] has become “contact, not contract”. Really, it’s not a NEW concept for me, but sometimes my ego gets wounded when I become competitive in the industry and forget who I am. For me, it’s not about how many contracts I get, but for the contact that I get and give to people- clients and non-clients alike. One of my fave bands, Mates of State, says in one of my all time fave songs this line that I feel so epically applies to me [and, well, it happens to be one of Josh and I’s “songs”]:
“Above all, are we out for contact? Oh, can’t I.”

I love the Mates. Yes, I do.

9. So… my hair is officially LONG. I can’t believe it. The other day after getting out of the shower I was hanging around in a tank top for the first time in forever and I could feel my hair on my back. It was a weird experience! Did anyone out there meet me when my hair was short??

This was like… a year an a half ago:

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And this was less than a year ago:

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And this is… well, right NOW:

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Not as much mermaid as lioness lately, but it’ll get there. A few more inches. Though, I already don’t know what the heck to do with it!

10. Cruise Countdown: 15 days. I cannot BELIEVE that in 15 days I’ll have been married 5 years. It has flown by. I love marriage so much! I am so blessed with a husband who is so much more than a roommate or even a lover. He is a best friend! We are on the same, freaky wave length and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. This vacation is SO long overdue [did I mention this will be our first vacation that will have lasted more than 2 nights in the last 3 years? Yep, the last time we had a week-long vacay was our 2 year anniversary!]. I’m SO ready to be swept off of my feet in love for 7 days!

Well, it’s almost 2am. Yes. I know I’m crazy. But this is my time and these are my people. Again, crazy. :) I have two amaaazing events this weekend that I am just so so so so so excited for! I can’t wait to share them with you all! You will love. I promise. Stay posted. I’ll try and “tease” on Sunday morning but I may be too ‘zhausted from Saturday night. We’ll see. If not, Monday will for SURE be goo-licious for y’all!!

xoxoxo… until we meet again!

I’ve been kinda swamped here lately so although I picked these up off the fab Louis Palos blog about a week or so ago, I had yet to preview them here for y’all!!

Franny and Mikey were captured perfectly and beautifully in these images! It was soo hard to pick a few faves!!

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Yippee! I made it into a picture [and a blogged one, no dobut!!]. CLASSY I say… classy!!

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There are more beauties on Louis’ Blog to perk your tired Thursday eyes!!!

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