Monarch Beach Engagement | Emily and Don

Emily and Don are such a rare and beautiful couple – classy, fun, hard working, adventurous and deeply in love. They met online (common) and then got engaged underwater (uncommon). No kidding. Please take a few minutes to watch Don’s underwater proposal at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. Have some tissue ready and be amazed at the amount of planning that went into that surprise.

Anyhow, we had a fun time in Monarch Beach and Laguna Beach taking these engagement photos. I am SO looking forward to their wedding later this year at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

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Cabo San Lucas Wedding | Published

I have photographed approximately 10 weddings in Cabo San Lucas, MX and feel incredibly lucky and honored every time a couple chooses me to become part of their lives for a weekend. I love Cabo! The wonderful JetFete Destination Wedding Blog pulled through again as they chose to publish a recent exclusive wedding that I photographed in Cabo San Lucas, MX. I am pasting the article here exactly as it appears at JetFete, they did such a great job collecting additional information from the bride and vendors. . .

Lana and Vlad wed on June 2nd in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. After four years of dating (and an epic proposal at Lana’s favorite restaurant in New York City – Megu), they began to plan the trip of a lifetime. The couple secured a private villa for their guests to enjoy on the big day – Villa Mestre, a beautifully modern home on Sunset Beach with a view of the Pacific Ocean. The couple shared with us their reasons for selecting this special place. “We love Cabo, we have been coming there for years. We chose the Villa Mestre because of the view and the location. Plus we loved how modern and beautiful the Villa is!”
The bride wore a beautiful Monique Lhuiller wedding dress while the groom sported a chic grey suit with orchid boutonniere.
Such a sweet idea – embroider your “something blue” into your wedding dress. Lana chose to include the wedding date and monogram into the inside of her gown.

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They wanted their wedding day to be “simple, fun, and elegant.” And that it was – with bubbly for escort cards, a dance party well into the evening, and lush white orchid décor, they certainly achieved everything they set out to when planning their destination wedding!

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The ceremony was flawlessly done in modern white florals and an acrylic ceremony structure. Nothing blocked the beauty of the ocean backdrop during this event!
The entire event took place on property at the villa. After the ceremony, guests moved to the patio for dinner and dancing.
Tequila and champagne kicked off this party as guests looked for their seat assignments tagged with an extra treat.

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With the help of wedding planner, Fiestas Los Cabos, the couple didn’t come across any challenges planning from afar.
The formal white rose and orchid florals made this event anything but barefoot in the sand. Long dinner tables flanked with high centerpieces added to the drama of the decor contrasting such a modern space.

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And who could forget the food! Local flare was in abundance at the main event!

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A traditional white wedding cake rounded out the evening with a sweet cake cutting moment.

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When we asked what their favorite part of the day or weekend was, the sentiment was all about family. “Just having close friends and family being there to celebrate with us our big day:)”
Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Location: Villa Mestre at Sunset Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (private)
Wedding Coordinator: Tara Null / Fiestas Los Cabos
Décor: Main Event, Floral: Living Art Floral Design
Sound, Lighting, Additional Décor: Oxten Productions
Catering: Casiano’s
Wedding Cake: Sweet Dreams Cabo
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier

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Pantheon Mansion Orange County | Wedding Reception

If you haven’t yet heard of or seen the beautiful Pantheon Mansion in Corona, CA., take an immediate detour to these two links so you can get the full grasp: Pantheon Mansion Wedding and Pantheon Wedding Published. Needless to say – exclusive, beautiful, private, classy, all the good stuff for a wedding day. Fortunately I have been able to work at this venue more than once! The following couple got married early in the day with a very nice Catholic Ceremony and then followed up later with a very classy reception at the Pantheon. Starting with a few scene setter shots, enjoy! . . .

Our beautiful bride and groom enjoying their first few hours of marriage on the grounds of the Pantheon . . .
First dance . . .
Father/Daughter dance . . .
Cheery cake cutting moment . .

Good night! See you next time Pantheon!!

If you are interested in the Pantheon Mansion for your event, please call (714) 330-4945, or submit your inquiry via email by writing to

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San Francisco Engagement Session | Marsha and Matthew

Thank you to Marsha and Matthew for flying me up to their “hood” and setting up the ultimate San Francisco engagement photo itinerary – AKA, how many SF landmarks can we get pictures in front of before Hoffmann’s flight leaves!! Hahaha. Seriously, we had a lot of fun for an afternoon and finished it off with some fantastic Indian food. True San Francisco style. You will see that clearly missing from the set of photos is the Golden Gate Bridge. Even though there was Sunshine in the city, the bridge was shrouded in fog! Crazy town, I tell ya!!

We started out at the spectacular Palace of Fine Arts, have you been there? . . .

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Random classic San Fran city street . . .
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Whoa! Easy there Matthew, getting excited . . . check out Marsha rocking’ the Christian Louboutins . . .
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The famous San Francisco Painted Ladies (in the background) . . .
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Off to church!!
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Matthew doing a San Francisco City Hall fly by (or is that Superman??) . . .
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Thanks Marsha and Matthew!! We had fun, I miss you guys!!

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Punta Cana Wedding | Published

I am excited to share the following wedding that I photographed recently in the Dominican Republic was published on the popular destination wedding blog Jet Fete by Bridal Bar! I am posting everything here in the exact form that it was published on Jet Fete. They definitely get credit for putting together such a nice representation of this beautiful wedding. The text is a result of interview questions that the bride Shannon responded to. Enjoy their story!! I had a blast photographing their weekend . . .

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Shannon and John met years back when one of Shannon’s cats came ill and her regular vet was unavailable. Much to her surprise, the vet that would fill in and save the day for her little furry friend would also turn out to be her own knight in shining armor. John fixed her kitty right up and they parted ways, though neither could get the other out of their mind. Another visit a few days later with an overly attentive doctor and in just a few days they were on their first date to a Humane Society fundraiser (how fitting). The rest…well, you know how this story ends!

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When it came time for their destination wedding, Shannon and John said “I do” at the trendy Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. “We knew we wanted a destination wedding but our friends just recently got married in Mexico and Puerto Rico so we wanted a tropical location that a lot of our friend haven’t been to and was still affordable. Once we settled on Punta Cana, choosing the Hard Rock was easy. We had the best of both, beautiful beaches with still a touch of the states.”

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What a beautiful beach backdrop for the big day!

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This wedding was all about the branded personal details. A great idea for both décor and guest gifts -“We brought our own pashminas that our friends graciously tied around the chairs and after the ceremony was over our guests were able to take them and use throughout the night. It does get chilly in the Dominican at night, but they also served as cute accessories in pictures.”

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We asked the couple what hurtles they faced in the planning process (in hopes of our readers avoiding them) and here’s what they had to say. “Our first challenge came from the simple task of trying to ship sparklers and matches with our logos on them to the Dominican. It appears that the woman at UPS in the states marked the wrong value for the package and in addition to the $400 it costs to ship the package which was only $85in value, to the Dominican customs wanted an extra $600 to release the package because of the incorrect labeling of the value. When it was all said and done our package arrived the day we were leaving to head back home. It was a little disappointing but our wedding coordinator at the Hard Rock Punta Cana was wonderful throughout the whole situation. At the end of the day we still had one of the most beautiful wedding days even without the sparklers.” Note: Customs can be tricky!! Leave plenty of lead time and if you can’t live without it, travel with it (except in this case when sparklers might be seen as explosives).

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Then it came time for the seaside ceremony…

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This wedding was a labor of love for not just the bride and groom, but close friends too! “We are lucky to have our good friend Tera Duckhorn in our lives. She is extremely talented and helped to add a number of personalized touches from our itinerary to a phone list so people could keep in touch since the resort was quite large. She also designed the logos that were used on our welcome bags and tshirts. A big thanks also to ibrands who helped us print all the bags and tshirts. The last personal touch that we loved were the sand dollars Tera individually painted with everyone’s name for our table seating at dinner.”

Love these “I do” letters!

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But there were more personal surprises on this day. The cats that brought this pair together couldn’t travel to the big day, but John had a surprise in store for his bride-to-be. Shannon shared one of her teary-eyed moments from the day. “The funny thing to note is the video John made me. So every couple usually exchanges on the day of their wedding, whether it be a card or a present well when John told me he had made me a video I was very surprised. I thought to myself we are exchanging our own vows what more do you need to say to me that you aren’t going to say in front of all these people in 30 minutes. As soon as it started to play and our two cats came on the screen tears filled my eyes and laughter overwhelmed me. He had made video using pictures of our pets and narrated the whole thing. It was called what Max and Molly did while we were on vacation. It was cute and funny and meant so much, and in that moment I thought the man I was about to walk down the aisle and marry knows me so well and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him.”

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Congratulations Shannon & John (and your kitties!)

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