Estate Home Wedding Photography

Korine & Stephen wed on an unseasonably warm November afternoon at the French Estate in Orange, CA.  Korine and her bridesmaids' colorful bouquets were designed by Joan at Flowers of Orange, the dinner was catered by Elegant Affair Catering, and their cake was designed by Rockwells' Creative Cakes.  Many of Korine and Stephen's other details were creative DIY touches, such as the adorable little bridesmaid headpieces.Stephen & Korine's friend and ridiculously-talented maid of honor Micah drew the custom portrait of them for their signature frame.Antiquesgetting dresseddressveilbridesmaid broochblue flowersbridesmaid headpieceSuch unique bridesmaid hairpieces!applying the veilKorine's grandma sees her for the first time in her dresslipstickfrench estate decorKorineA portrait of Korine's dad, taken by Matt.A dolled up and ready to rock!Portrait of Stephen's father, taken by MattStephen and Korine opted to see each other before the ceremony, always recommendedbride and groomThe French Estate is a pretty and historic location for intimate weddings with 50 guests or fewer21st century couple! Stephen and Korine read their vows from their Blackberries.newlyweds in woodsbridal partycouple in the treesfrench estate receptionfirst danceDuring the best man's speechtoast reactionFrench Estate wedding photographyparty girls

Bride Against Breast Cancer!

A couple weeks ago Luminaire Images teamed with Simply Mumtaz Events planning, The Spiraled Stem florals, Ferndale's Bridal salon, and Sculpted Silhouette lingerie to donate a spectacular charity wedding for breast cancer survivor Binh and her faithful fiancé Dean!  Christine at The Spiraled Stem organized the vendors and fielded applicants for what was dubbed the "Say I Do" Contest, and ultimately selected Binh who wrote about how she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 21 and how her boyfriend Dean not only stood by her throughout harsh chemotherapy treatments, he also asked her to marry him.Other vendors involved include the Doubletree Hotel San Pedro, DJ Tony WayneRossmoor PastriesChivari Chair Rentals, and J&M Entertainment photo booths.harborBinh's lovely Maggie Sottero dressbridesmaid emotionbridal hair accessorybouquetsBinh's pearl necklace and one of her treatment scars Looooove this image!Groom in mirror

Binh & Dean

couple in San Pedro

shoe surgery

sunny bridal party



sunny aisledoubletree hilton wedding

ring on finger

Now that's a happy couple!San Pedrobride & groomI think beating cancer gives someone an extra glow on their wedding day, don't you?ballroomImages by Mattcenterpieceshead tablemenubridesmaid in the windowBinh & Dean's ingenious "guestbook" was in fact a picture of a tree on a canvas; guests would create "thumbprint leaves" and sign their names.first danceSmooth, Dean. Smooth.During the toastschairsBinh & her mom enjoy J&M Entertainment's photobooth!dance floorDJdance floor 2Image by Matt

Tuesday with the Pros: Clover Chadwick

"Tuesday with the Pros" is an ongoing blog series featuring experts in the wedding and event industry. Today's authority is Clover Chadwick, owner and lead designer of the floral company Dandelion Ranch.clover floristLI: How would you describe your job?Clover: I design specialized flower arrangements for events and restaurants.LI: What would you say makes Dandelion Ranch unique from other floral design companies?Clover: We approach flowers differently in general, I think.  Each arrangement is a little homage to nature, like little masterpieces, little gardens in their own right.  We focus on a lot of greens, and instead of using greens as filler like many other companies do, we use them to create lines and texture, and allow the flowers to design themselves.  Everything we create is really inspired and selected by how they grow in the wild.LI: What inspired you to become a floral designer?Clover: I used to live in Napa, and the restaurants there value their floral designs very highly and encourage a lot of creativity, so I would often get really inspired looking at their arrangements.  When I myself became a restaurant manager, I began doing arrangements as part of my managerial duties and was able to style my designs using inspirations from Napa restaurants.  By the time I started Dandelion Ranch I already had quite a few contacts in the restaurant business and was able to start somewhere instead of entirely from scratch.LI: What are some of your favorite things about your line of work?Clover: I love working with my talented associates, and the atmosphere that we have here in our studio. I also love going to the LA Flower Market in the morning...I go every day!  It's fun to be around all the growers and learn new things from them.LI: What would be a dream event for Dandelion Ranch to design?Clover: Something with an "Alice in Wonderland" theme, or "Midsummer Night's Dream."  It would be SO much fun, because it would just be endless ideas and designs!arrangementLI: What would you recommend to clientele looking to save money on their florals?Clover: Trust your floral designer for a beautiful and professional look, and buy local and seasonal.  If you're shopping in the height of any flower's season, it'll be be less expensive and gorgeous.LI: Do you have anything exciting coming up?Clover: We have the NBC/Universal television award luncheon coming up at the end of this month. Those are always fun because they're themed and dramatic---they host them at a Phantom of the Opera theater and we create an absolutely enormous urn arrangement!  We also have this great wedding that I'm looking forward to, with a Country Fair theme.  I am going to arrange baskets of vegetables and flowers for the tables, it'll be so fun!LI: What is your favorite flower?Clover: I really love ranunculus, and matricarias.LI: What would be your pro advice to clients for a fun, stress-free event?Clover: Don't plan too far ahead. There's never any less stress three months out from an event whether you had two years to plan it or six months.  You should probably only plan really far ahead if you need to save up for it, then it's understandable.For more on Clover and Dandelion Ranch, visit:Dandelion Ranch's official websiteThe Dandelion Ranch Facebook Page

Alternative Wedding Couple

There's so much about Kevin and Jessica that just makes you go, "what?"  They're unique, sarcastic, not afraid to be themselves, and of course...perfect for each other.Venue: Tivoli Hacienda (Santa Ana, CA)Flowers by This Old Garden GalleryEntertainment by Luis Ayala at Your Special Night Entertainment

purple wedding shoesIf you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, etc. you've already caught a glimpse of Jessica's fantastic purple shoes :Dbride getting dressedwedding dress bride

groom and brideTheir glasses crack me up. It's like a "his" and "hers" version.

groomsman getting readyGroomsmen photo by Matt

bridesmaids in purple

groomsmen sepiaKevin: "I'd like a groomsmen photo where we're all stepping out.  You know, like the Troggs."   Heh, the TROGGS?!?!  LOL. Musicians.

bride groom first lookFor the sake of daylight, we set up a "First Look" so they could have a special moment to see each other before their ceremony.

retro brideI LOVED Jessica's hairstyle

bride and groom in treesKevin insisted on a tux with tails! Trendsetter.


flower girlGotta love that pout.

ceremony Images by Matt

blue wedding rings

alternative bride

bridesmaid, elderly couple

first dance

alternative wedding bride and groomI love this image. It seems to capture their personalities as a couple so well.

tivoli wedding

Congrats, guys!

Tuesday w/ the Pros: Betty Wan

Tuesday with the Pros is an ongoing blog series featuring experts in the wedding and event industry.  Today's authority is Betty, event planner and owner of Type A Planning.betty yee wanLI: So what is your job?Betty: I do event and wedding planning, and my role is anything from planning birthday parties to helping a wedding couple find the venue, to just day-of wedding coordination.  Destination clients are primarily full planning, which is recommended---the wedding can still be hands-on for the couple, but destination planning is a lot more work, so it's easier to hand it off to someone else who knows what they're doing and has done it before.LI: What sort of destinations do you normally work with?Betty: I frequently help plan a lot of wine country weddings, up in Santa Barbara and Napa Valley.  Napa is where I myself was married!LI: How is Type A Planning unique from other planning services?Betty: My demeanor is very laid-back and flexible, and my style revolves around simple elegance. Brides tend to appreciate my low-key approach to designing events for them that have classy looks but a casual air.  I think it helps absorb some of their stress.LI: What inspired you to start planning events?Betty: When I was in high school back in Massachusetts, my younger middle-school-aged siblings had a lot of friends who were having bar and bat mitzvahs and hosting special parties when they turned thirteen.  Even though we aren't Jewish, my parents decided to try the same thing, sort of like a "Sweet-Thirteen" party, so my brother and sister wouldn't feel left out.  We rented a room at a local country club, hired a DJ, entertainment, et cetera, and helping put those together really turned me on to large-scale event planning.  You can imagine by the time I planned my own wedding, it was like a second nature to me!LI: What are some of your favorite things about event planning?Betty: I really love helping people, and I just get a really good feeling from seeing the final product. It's so fun to put together this vision that the client has in their head, and use my expertise to flesh it out. I like coming up with little ideas that I can tweak to fit the bride and make the event they dreamed of really happen for them---it's great when we have chemistry and the concepts just "click!"LI: What kind of profile do most of your clients fall under?Betty: Obviously I can work with anybody, but it seems like I meet a lot of young professionals who need a planner to help them handle details that they don't have a lot of time to deal with, particularly for destination events.LI: What would be a dream event to plan?Betty: Something off-the-wall, like recreating a miniature city inside the reception venue, or a putting together a full set for the event.  And of course a client with the budget to pull it off!  I also really love wine-centric events, which is maybe why I'm so drawn to wine country weddings.  Wine is like my second passion, so it would be amazing to do a wedding in a legendary wine location like Bordeaux, France.LI: Do you have any advice for people out there who are looking to save money on their event?Betty: I know it sounds self-serving and maybe event a little counter-intuitive because it costs money, but in fact a good event planner can save you money; they have resources not available to the general public, as well as a network of vendors who will work for lesser rates for them. It's sometimes hard to grasp in an era where so much self-service is possible that hiring someone to do something that you can do yourself will decrease the overall cost of the event, but it's true.  Especially when your time is worth more than what you pay your planner, because planning can eat up weeks of time!I also recommend prioritizing what's important to you. Hire and pay for the aspects of the event that you value the highest FIRST, so that way if the budget starts getting tight near the end of the process you're not stuck compromising on things that are of the utmost importance to you.LI: Do you have any exciting events coming up?Betty: My parents' 40th Anniversary party, because it's going to be a fun, special, personal project for me.  They had a very modest wedding when they got married 40 years ago, and I want to give them the fancy event they didn't have due to their means back then.  As a planner, I have resources and expertise that my family can use for this event, so it's going to be a big deal...because 40 years of marriage is a big deal!LI: How do you help your clients select vendors?Betty: I try to get a good sense of the clients' style and recommend to them vendors who I think would be a good artistic and personality match.  It's not about me and who my buddies's about the client and who in my network of professionals would work best with them and their style.  This kind of customized, objective recommendation based on really knowing the client is something you can't get by searching online for vendors.LI: What would be your professional suggestion(s) for a festive, stress-free event?Betty: Keep it simple, keep it light.  If you're obsessed with the font on the dance floor gobo or the exact, perfect color roses, then you're not really going to have much fun, especially if something falls short of your high expectations.  If your vendors are professionals and you trust them to deliver something you like, then understand that they're going to try their best to please you, and really that's all anyone could ask for from their wedding plans!FOR MORE ON BETTY...Type A Planning websiteBetty's BlogType A Planning FacebookBetty's Twitter

Sweetest Perfection industry event

On Thursday several of the event industry's up-and-comings threw an event designed to inspire today's bride and planners looking for unique creations and delightful concepts.  It was held at Party Rental King and attracted over 200 visitors.

event industryThe tent setting. Tables and furniture courtesy of the fine folks at AFR Event Furnishings.

tunnelFantastical tunnel constructed by Party Rental King, ending at the wondrous chocolate fountain from Chocolate Delights with some cool curtains a lá West Coast Drape

charm eventsA pretty gnarly room designed and decorated by Patricia (right) of Charm Events

cakesINSANE cakes by Cake Fusions!


more than just weddingsThe ever-cheerful Wenda from More Than Just Weddings

candy buffetDelectable candy table by Charm Events

lollipopI may or may not have pilfered a lolly...

decorationAn amazing, inspired design by J'Adore Florist and Flowers on Mars (and influenced in part by the movie Avatar!)

j'adoreJoan, the visionary behind J'Adore Florist


crystal treeA crystal detail from White Feathers Events

candy and makeupStunning makeup by Jesse Sillas, and delightful candied apples by Berry Beautiful Creations

event designMagical butterflies from Flowers on Mars and J'Adore Florist, as well as scrumptious cupcakes by Miss Priss Cupcakes & Such

press boardWith Mars & Nancy from Flowers on Mars.  Mars is a pro DJ and mixed up some serious tunes that night, too.

I seriously don't know how everyone else isn't squinting against the bright lights like I am. I also don't know how I managed to dress like Han Solo and not notice until after I took a picture of myself...but there you go.  A little Star Wars for your evening with Sweetest Perfection.

Thanks for a great event, everyone!

Tuesday with the Pros

Tuesday with the Pros is an ongoing interview series featuring experts in the wedding and event industry.  Today's authority is Doyle, event designer and owner of My Flower orchidLI: How would you define or describe what you do?Doyle: We at My Flower Guy are your personal event design consultants.  Whether it's an intimate dinner party at your home, or a lavish gala or wedding, My Flower Guy can make all the arrangements for you from a design aspect.  Even though I don't consider myself an event planner, I like to be able to create the design aesthetic for my clients in its entirety--ultimately, I would personally call myself a floral and event design stylist.LI: What makes My Flower Guy unique from other similar companies in the marketplace?Doyle: It starts with our name. My Flower Guy is passionate about personal service. You're not a number with us, that's why we're called MY Flower Guy.  Our designers are the people who have access to our clients, not any sales reps or account managers...because it's the designers who ARE our company. LI: How did you start a floral and event design business?  What inspired you?Doyle: It all started when I was a kid living out in the sticks of East Texas.  I had a lot of elderly neighbors with gardens who would give me cuttings of flowers that I would take home and eventually plant, and they'd sprout into beautiful bushes in my backyard.  I loved flowers, and right before I went to college I worked one summer as a delivery driver for a local flower shop, and in my down time I'd take scraps from their designs and create my own in buckets from the cooler...and my work began to sell faster than theirs did!  That's when I realized that design came naturally to me.  I came out to California after a bit of college and got a job at L.A. Premiere in Los Angeles and worked there for six years...I learned a lot there before opening my own design business.LI: What are some of your favorite things about your line of work?Doyle: I come from a very, very modest childhood.  My brother and I would have to create things to entertain ourselves because we really did not have any money for toys or games.  We'd invent little pretend parties and make something out of nothing...and that's one of the things I do love.  I love people, and socializing, and the theme or aesthetic of an event when we put it together.  I also just love seeing peoples' first reaction to what we've made.  My passion is making people happy.  I'm a people-pleaser!LI: Who are most of your clients?Doyle: Most of my clients are from referrals from other event professionals.  Word gets around in this industry!  I don't use online advertising because I've found it encourages price-shopping, which doesn't really support personalized service.  I can help my clientele create an event that fits within their budget and parameters, but people won't realize that when they're just browsing names online. LI: Describe your dream event to design.Doyle: An event that is themed after the movie Avatar.  It'd be a very interactive event, and I was just thinking about it the other day--and I already have fantastic ideas for how I could do it, but ideally I'd need about half a million dollars to pull it off! LI: Do you have any tips for couples and other clients out there looking to save a few bucks on their event or their flowers?Doyle: I would suggest prioritizing what is most important to them.  There are usually a couple things that they'll need to keep in mind regarding their event---firstly, the photos capture everything, so invest in a great photographer.  Second, consider what the photographers going to be taking pictures of! You and the flowers you got at Wal-Mart?  Or are they going to take pictures of a gorgeously designed event, and you and your family looking happy because you are surrounded by the aesthetic and beauty of an amazing wedding?  I jokingly tell people to spend more money on their wedding, but in truth if it's a once-in-a-lifetime event, why wouldn't you want to make it as incredible as possible, and ensure that you can remember it with great photographs later?  The better the design, decor, food, etc...the happier everyone is, the more memorable the occasion, and the more that shows in photos.  My best advice is that if you can't afford the event you want now, then put it off until you can do it the way you want to do it.  Save up for it and do it right the first time.  That, or....cut the guest list. LI: Do you have anything exciting lined up for this year?Doyle: I'm very excited about the glamorous Platinum Wedding I am designing that will be airing on WE T.V. later on this spring.  I'm actually doing a taped interview for them this week. I'll keep ya'll posted!LI: Do you have a favorite flower?Doyle: All of them are my favorite!  I do like orchids for how many types of blooms there are in the breed.  And they're so exquisite.LI: What are your suggestions for a fun, festive, "stress-free" event?Doyle: Relax, and ENJOY your event. Plan ahead, let your pro's absorb your stress and deal with the problems---that's what they're hired to do!  Something will always come up unexpectedly, but if you're relaxed and thinking clearly, then it's no sweat.flowersMy Flower Guy websiteFacebook fanpageE-mail Doyle

Engagement Session WINNER!

We have a winner!! (*confetti*!)Congratulations to Bill and Ellen, who sent in this story that gives me the warm Valentine's fuzzies:

"My fiancée Ellen and I met on, believe it or not, and it was love at first site for me.  The story I relay often for friends and family is the moment we met in the street outside my apartment in Westwood.  Brave Ellen was meeting me at my house to... wait for it... jump on my motorcycle for a sunset ride out to Malibu for our first date!  As she pulled up to park on my street she claims I "bounded" out to greet her at the car (likely true).  What is clear in my mind is how I felt the second she stepped our of her car: "She's so beautiful!  This girl is way out of my league!"  I was smitten the minute we met, and not just because of her looks.  Her energy, grace, and a strong sense of presence was what washed over me and made my stomach do that flippy floppy thing.  Needless to say, we've spent nearly every minute together since that incredibly connected first date and can't wait to get married and make it official later this year."

winning coupleAWWW.   Many happy days are ahead, as we can see.  Congrats again to the lucky couple, and thanks to everyone who participated!

Utterly Engaged Spankin' New Year's Party

Last night was the New Year's party + tabletop decoration contest hosted by online wedding 'zine Utterly Engaged.  And what a party!  There must have been a couple hundred of the industry's finest in attendance, easily.  Thankfully it was at the very spacious and accommodating Astor Classics Event Center in Anaheim.

Ahoy!  Point and shoot pics!


Eva and MollyUtterly Engaged's super sweet wedding diva Eva, (wo)manning the registration table.

cotton candy

OMFG there was cotton candy, courtesy of Tasty Clouds. You'd be making this face if Piña Colada was filling your mouth, too.

matt, molly, nancyOur saucy favorite florist Nancy from Flowers on Mars was there!

Other cool cats we met and ran into included tabletop co-designers Joan from J'Adore Florist, Nancy from Fancy Nancy Events, foodie Mary Lallande from Jay's Catering, fabulous florist Doyle Borden from My Flower Guy, movers and shakers James and Nadine from Firefly Group Events, delectable delight divas The Fry Girl(s) all the while DJ "The Human Jukebox" from FlashDance kept the party moving!  Thanks for the good time, everybody!