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Claire and Steve are a couple that I can only describe as ferociously in love. When I think back on my months of helping plan their gorgeous seaside nuptials, I remember Steve’s protective heart more than anything else. He loves her, he wants nothing but the deepest desires of her heart to be met- and he works tirelessly to ensure she’s taken care of in any way he can. A true knight in shining armor [especially in that dapper tux on his wedding day], Steve is out of a fairly tale- and I can say no less of Claire! The perfect delicate, ladylike picture of beauty. She was always certain of things she loved, and quick to point out what wasn’t working. A marriage of two people with these traits is one that I hope and pray will continue with the same intense beauty that was so evident on their wedding day. Because the world needs couples like this. The world needs more of Claire and Steve, and I’m here to show it. Set at a phenomenal private estate in Laguna Beach, their day was nothing short of magical…

Claire’s cinderella dress [which she continually said she was “so surprised” she liked the shape of] was beyond amazing on her petit frame! It was such a highlight!

Beyond cute together, right?! Their chuppa had a ridiculously beautiful backdrop of the coastline [the estate itself has more than a 180* ocean venue… truly, you have to physically turn yourself to see the entire view- and it is breath-taking!].

Claire and her mom have the most adorably tender relationship, and during the ceremony, there was no shortage of tears shed and truly heartfelt moments. So thankful that they had the incredible Jasmine Star documenting the day!

The first of so so many “cannot-keep-their-hands-off-each-other” moments of the day!

Because every ocean view estate needs a good Secret Garden for portraits…. of course, we enjoyed stolen moments there!

Love their love.

The details at this day were so so fun! I think the thing I love the most about weddings is that each clients’ needs are so different and specific, they are all beautiful in an alternating way. Claire dreamed of romance and regality, and that is what was created. This was one of 3 monogrammed bars during the cocktail hour and reception!

Their place settings did NOT disappoint. Hand-painted chargers in a milky blush pink were adorned with each guests’ name in gold script, custom menu cards with brooch wraps, scented candle favors were tucked into tiny boxes, crystal stemware…. it was a good day. I’m telling you.

Kim from Art With Nature was a perfect choice for the floral and design eye at this one, and I was beyond excited to pair with her! She always knocks it out of the park when it comes to loose, garden-inspired beautiful designs that are every bit as decadent as they are lush. I am truly obsessed with her work.

Another fun little detail- we did pre-ceremony bottled sparkling pink lemonade [with custom labels] for the guests that arrived on the shuttle early… a way to beat that summer heat and enjoy a little treat doing so! I realize how much I rhymed back there and I kept it in there anyway!

During their first dance, they smooched endlessly as their 9-piece live band wailed away. Since this was literally 6 days after my sweet baby was born- I missed some of these moments [yes, I WAS there for 1/2 the day and I DID come back after dinner to check on things- because I am a crazy person], so seeing them caught forever by Jasmine made my heart burst with joy.

We had little vignettes of lounge furniture with monogrammed pillows that were too cute for words! But the details went well beyond anything I’m even showing here- there’s a full feature over on Style Me Pretty that showcases the rest of the incredible day! And just in case you needed a little more love in your day…

Surrounded by those they hold dear, dancing the night away and singing along to their band, with aching feet and full hearts- that is how EVERY wedding day should end. That is what we get to take with us at the end of it, people! I am so incredibly honored to help make these memories with our couples. To share in that joy is what my life is about- so, to my darlings Claire and Steve: we love you, we miss you, we’ll do it all again for you both whenever you are ready to renew those vows!!

Keep one another close and keep growing old together. Today and always!

xoxo,

A Little Pretty…

POSTED BY Amanda

Just a little snip of pretty from a recent shoot I did with a friendly vendor fellow of mine for Koyal Wholesale:

Basically, they sent me a couple boxes of their products and gave me 3 days to turn it into a shoot that they could use in their product catalog that would show their products grouped together in a real-life event setting! It was right up my alley and seriously so SO fun!

I have always been obsessed with a good, clean overhead shot and Jack *delivered* for me on that end. Love it!

Thanks again to my sweet, sweet friend Jack Rodriguez for being so incredibly DEPENDABLE [meaning, there for me last minute when this shoot came up, bringing his KILLER talent and not disappointing ever in his photo work, and having a great attitude as I ran circles around him styling piece after piece to ensure our vendor had options for their catalog]. He’s great. Honestly, I just don’t have enough words. And he does weddings, too [equally great at that. Trust.]! And thanks to Koyal for the fun challenge this time around- can’t wait for more in the future!!

xoxo,

I am thrilled and honored whenever I get asked to do something a bit different. So when I got approached directly by Evite, asking for me to design a birthday party [which turned into not one, but TWO individual shoots], I squealed with delight. I mean really- who am I to have anyone approach me?! I think anyone in a self-made business feels that way. But truly, my business is client-made, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am beyond grateful for it. The feature showcases our Super Mario Brothers party with a fun little edgy twist [I mean, gold stud table trim?! I die!]. Here’s a link to the full page, but just to give you a taste….

I also got to design and concept some FUN activities that are Super Mario inspired for the kids- so don’t forget to look through all the images [from the feature and beyond]. Seriously, so fun! Talk about a blast from the past [and from my pixelated youth… Oregon Trail anyone?!].

Click here for more!

xoxo!

Featured For Our Feature!

POSTED BY Amanda

Remember this? Well, now Front and Main, the West Elm blog, featured the photos also! Be still my beating heart. I love it so!!

Honored to have been a part in such a small way. But still- really cool! Love that I got to style something that has the chance of going viral on Pinterest! ;)

xoxo,

Okay so this one feels like a cheat feature- but, you know what, a deal is a deal! Amy from Wedding Chicks reached out to me to help stylize a fun little DIY based shoot at her home along side Nace from Contemporary Catering [who was cooking up the most delectable treats- I honestly do not have enough good words in my vocabulary to say enough about him!!]. Coupled with the fact that it was inspired by all things West Elm, I KNEW I was on board!! Although I felt like mostly I just contributed to the idea of “stand there, look cute”- I was honored and flattered that I got to be a part of this. And truly, who WOULDN’T want to spend a day with fun industry folk-turned-friends, to laugh a lot, style a little, eat a bit… and more. It was magical. And the proof is in the pictures:


Mussles and Chorizo


Seabass with Roasted Tomatoes

The best part about Amy Squires [from Wedding Chicks] is that she’s a retired photographer. And she’s seriously incomparable. I love her work SO much. Loved it when she shot weddings; love it now when she shoots food for fun on her iphone. Seriously, Ames, way to knock it outta the park! I’m drooling.


Bourbon Pears for dessert!!

And, at least I got to fully contribute in this way:


Teensy Yellow Arrangements in Amazing Mercury Votives from West Elm

ALL of the recipes can be found on the Wedding Chicks Blog– seriously, they are simple and delicious! And don’t miss the stellar cheese board that Nace put together, too! Seriously, that guy is the real deal!

Run over there, y’all! The fun is bountiful.

xoxo,

I am totally and completely in love with all aspects of this. I always say to myself “I am DONE with styled shoots”- mainly because real love, people’s real love, is much more inspiring for me. Sometimes no parameters is the hardest to design in. But when the gals at Cloud Parade approached me about helping promoting their new site by utilizing their vendors for a shoot, I quickly came up with a concept that really inspired me: seasoned love. After planning The Boutwell’s vow renewal that happened early last year, I became totally enamored with the idea of everyone celebrating triumphant love. I mean really… what’s more worthy of celebration than marriage kept? And I knew the perfect couple- and family- to model for it. These real-life friends of mine, with a real-life successful marriage, and their real-life adorable kids were the perfect inspiration to let the ideas come together. I realize this got really wordy, but it’s worth it for me to give you that great back story! I can’t be more thankful that the lovely Jasmine Star was aligned to take photos for us. And with no further delay… go visit the full post with more details and TONS of images, over at

I mean, really…..

They’re SO cute, right?! Don’t miss out. View the full feature here!

xoxo,

MARRIED: Amanda and Theo!

POSTED BY Amanda

Now, I don’t play favorites. I mean, seriously and honestly: I feel blessed beyond measure to work with all of my clients. I’ve said from the beginning [and follow up each email from brides who respond saying that they have not chosen us with this same phrasing] that God hand-picks our clients for us, knowing that they trust us and are the right fit for our humble company. But sometimes, you meet those couples and you’re just excited to be picked! Amanda and I became fast friends trading texts and delving deep into the fun side of planning, so it was a shock when I found out I was due [with my baby] the week before her wedding! Although I had aligned capable hands for her with the rest of the team, including stellar planner Sharon, I knew she’d be sad if I wasn’t able to make an appearance. Low and behold, a 41-week-pregnant Amanda graced the Historic San Clemente Casino that day, around for set up, direction of styling/design creations, and- of course- lots and lots of hugs and excited shrieks. It was a fantastically perfect day after all!

As I was strolling down memory lane, scrolling through images of Amanda and Theo, I just kept thinking about how perfectly mermaid-y her color scheme was. In the best of ways, it was a dreamy, sparkly event with just the right touch of all things fancy fun. The aisle decor, seen above, is no exception. You don’t have to break the bank to make an impact but REALLY- Aly @ The Vine’s Leaf did an exceptional job with that curly willow arch! Eye popping. And the sweet strands of shimmering ribbon and tulle down the aisle are the simple reminder that this is a special day, and a very special aisle.

Just LOOK at those two lovebirds. I die for that killer Amanda smile! And we’re always fortunate when the client allows us to take their design from beginning to end- after crafting Amanda’s invites along with her amazing friend Queeny, who created her monogram, we were able to truly put a custom stamp on their day all the way through. I hope you’ll see in the pictures to follow, but first- here’s their sweet suite:

A unity act is always something that people are trying to re-invent. It’s tough to find something symbolic, simple, poignant, and have it be realistic for your big day. Amanda and Theo opted to tie a unity knot, tightening it and promising to keep their love strong and to fight for it. Gorgeous, I say. You’ll also see that they presented roses to their mothers. True class acts, these ones!

And a little post-ceremony-aisle-moment:

The room at the Historic Casino sparkled and glimmered. Some fun details included quartz rock candle holders nested into floral arrangements, sequin and sparkling linens, an amazing shimmering ribbon and fabric backdrop [that can only have justice done to it by viewing in person- I promise], glitter-dipped candles, and more! Fun touches were absolutely everywhere.

The best part is how many guests were clamoring to take pictures with the couple against the stunning sweetheart backdrop. My heart sings when I see these moments!!

Whence there’s a fireplace on site, I can never resist a little late night, intimate s’mores session! This was no exception [and, the guests loved it…. I coin our station the “gour’mores” because we use the fancy chocolate, you know]!

Totally my favorite cake cutting candid of all time:

The past year has shown these little puppies to be an In The Now staple [as much as an array of mini desserts seem to be a wedding staple], dessert names ON the cake stands! I love it.

This will always be one of my favorite simple, adorable guest books. And I can’t take credit, it’s all classic Martha! Mini envelopes matching darling notecards applied inside a book for guests to tuck their notes away!

[Thanks Queeny!!] Remember how I said we put that monogram everywhere? I truly meant EVERYWHERE! Custom pre-ceremony beverage station with monogrammed cups, that fits the bill!!

Amanda was obsessed with our glitter table number idea, so we made a special one for her and Theo to take home and display, to remember their big day!

Blue signature drink, anyone?? No? Well, maybe now that you’ve noticed it has a glitter-tipped plexiglass swizzle stick in it!!! That’s what I thought. And I’ll take two, please! And, just another small taste of their glittering cocktail hour… they spliced their tables with half all-sequin drapes, half shimmer drapes. It was a sight to be seen. Just perfection!

There is so much more to say about this day. So much more to show, really! They had a killer dance floor monogram, an exceptional escort chart [full glitter background!], and cute details abundantly. But, I’ll leave you with this, so you can remember the soft, romantic side of this special day:

And, on a personal note: my baby girl arrived the morning after this wedding at 8am. It was quite the moment, quite the rush, quite the crazy. I am forever indebted to my team who took such great care of our clients in my absence. They’re truly remarkable people and I just pray you’ll have a chance to encounter them and let them whip their wedding amazing at you. You’ll be shocked and stunned. Of course, we’re only as good as the people we align on your behalf, and in this case, so so so many props, thanks and love to each of these:

Casino San Clemente [setting the gorgeous scene, always]
The Vine’s Leaf [blooms to take your breath away]
Sweet and Saucy Shop [ridiculously cute and delicious confections]
24 Carrots Catering [amazing food, amazing staff]
After Dark Entertainment [for musical services, DJ style]
Piper at Allure Express [for hair and makeup]
Pat Moyer [for snapping with style- without him I’d have nothing to show for!!]
Signature Party Rentals [my peeps, haha]
La Tavola LinenSharkpig

And my exceptional, wonderful team of friends-that-are-family, who created this day on behalf of a company I started with my bare hands 9 years ago. I am humbled to call them associates, and even more humbled that they’d be my friends.

Amanda and Theo: I die. Just looking at these images again, I truly die for your love for one another. For your pretty wedding. For your friendship. For the good times so clearly had by all. You are everything, you two!!

xoxo,

I love a good hunt. So when I found a picture on Pinterest that looked *mighty* familiar to one of my bouquets, I clicked link after link to find the original source and- sure enough- people have been pinning what we had put together! A definite sweet surprise all tied up in a vibrantly pinky purple package!

And, Irene’s bouquet in it’s full fluffy glory:

You can view even more from their amazing day at their photographer Ian Grant’s blog. I hold nothing but amazing memories of working with Irene and Aaron. So much fun. So much joy. So much love. They are the best! And worth being shared and found all over this big old internet!!

Hoping today finds a sweet surprise for YOU, too!

xoxo,

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