Joanna + Peter

There are so many things I love in this world. High on that list is low maintenance weddings, specifically brides. Fortunately I’ve photographed a handful, including Joanna. J +P had a beautiful ceremony at St. Anne’s followed by a lunch reception at The Barking Frog. The day was so perfect. And although the bride may have been a little nervous you would have never guessed. Her groom broke out in hives the day before and was still suffering from the outbreak the day of. Talk about one calm bride!

Aren’t they so beautiful? I also love that she chose this time of the year for her wedding. The church was gorgeously decorated for the season. How smart was that?

Thank you J+P for such a simply beautiful day.

I Thee Wed

I had some horrible car karma this week. While The Geek was tending to my TWO flat tires, I took the opportunity to spend the morning at the Pike Place Market. I knew it was Peony season but I had no idea it was PEONY SEASON!

They were absolutely gorgeous! As a matter of fact, it got me thinking….The Geek and I had originally planned to make the leap into holy matrimony September 2013. Yes, indeed we are making it official! With that being said, I’m considering changing our date to coincide with Peony Season. I was so enamored I had to buy a bouquet. At only $10 a bunch, this gave me the idea to practice making my own wedding bouquet.

Although the shades of pinks and burgandys were eye catching, I’m more of a simple white gal. Start with a handful of bloomed stems. I have a total of six here. Strip the stems of all the leaves and gather them together. Once you have all the flowers gathered, layer on the stems of leaves around the outside of the flowers.

When you have the desired size bouquet, start wrapping the stems with floral tape. If you are not in possession of floral tape a rubber band will do.

At this point, you’ll want to hide the floral tape. Here I’ve used some left over linen fabric and tied it with twine. This will go with more of a rustic themed wedding. I’ve also used silk ribbon in the past and anchored it with pins down the stems.

And for the final product..VOILA!

What do you think? Granted it’s not perfect but keep in mind it also did not cost $200! For $10, I’d say I’m pretty satisfied. I think this will be a perfect bouquet for my rustic outdoor wedding!

DIY: Linen Covered Books

Remember in high school when your teachers made you cover the text books with brown grocery bags to “protect” them? Well, this project will yield a more sophisticated version of that. Start with some old hardback books. I snagged some up at the Goodwill for a really great price. Hint: the children’s book cost even less! You’ll also need some linen fabric. I purchased about a yard for less than $8.00. Start by cutting out the linen to accommodate the book size you have. Remember to leave about 1.2-2 inches around the perimeter of the book. Using a glue gun, put the glue on the linen and fold onto the book. It’s not necessary to glue as close to the edge as possible.  You’ll want to fold over the corners when gluing the bottom part. It makes it easier and looks more finished. Cut two slits along the spine of the book. Trim the excess linen and glue along the spine. Use very minimal glue. A toothpick may be helpful to press the linen.And voila! Here is what your new linen covered book should look like. This would be a great center piece addition for a Vintage Chic wedding…or a decorative accent to your home!

DIY: Wood Coasters

This past weekend I started the first of my DIY Holiday Gifts project.

Little did I know, this was much more labor intensive than I had anticipated.

Truth be told, I did not use the hand saw for the entire project. On the other hand, I did not have a table saw either, which would have been less time consuming. Once all the wood pieces are cut, sand it down and then you can either Shellac it or use Tung oil to stain it. (Please note: No trees were specifically harmed for this project. They all died of natural causes)

Wouldn’t these also be great favors for a Breaking Dawn-esque type wedding? What do you think?

Oh Happy Day: Part Deux

As I’ve promised here is the finale to Oh Happy Day! I must say that having been able to participate in such a blessed occasion has been one of life’s highlights. It ranks pretty high up there. I’d say as high as kayaking alongside dolphins in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii.

(all photos courtesy of Dartanyon Race)

Justin and Thuha spared no expensive when it came to showering their guests. The venue was intimate, elegantly casual, and inviting. By the way if you are ever in Ojai, the Lavender Inn is a great little bed and breakfast.

Lots of privacy with a great ambiance.

We were welcomed with lavender and lemon ice waters served in mason jars. (I know its been overly done, but still so adorable!) Shortly after the reception, the caterers had a seafood bar set up along with passed hors d’oeuvres. Delicious! The dinner salad of heirloom tomatos was such a great salute to an Ojai summer. And of course the main course of seared scallops and short ribs was very climatic!

One of my favorite details were the favors that Justin and Thuha chose for their guests. They found a local olive oil company that was able to bottle 2 oz sizes of both olive oil and vinegar. So thoughtful, since many guests were traveling via air.

At the end of the evening I remember my youngest guy looking at me with his little puppy dog face asking if the night was truly over. For a moment I saw his eyes watering up as he realized that the night was coming to an end. I couldn’t bear to tell him that I felt exactly the same. Although I was completely exhausted from tending to all the details I didn’t want the night to end either.

And isn’t that the moment when you know this was one fabulous occasion?

I know I’m a little bias but this was the BEST wedding I’ve ever attended. Not because I was the planner or even the sister. It was because the element of family, friends, love and fun was felt throughout the entire day. OH HAPPY DAY INDEED!

Oh Happy Day!

Well, where do I begin? How about that wedding I teased you lovelies about several months ago? Indeed my baby sister did tie the knot this past Labor Day. I know, I know, I’m a little late reporting it but in my defense, I’ve had A LOT going on!

So here are a few of my favorites from their first wedding!

Aren’t they so adorable?

Their first wedding was a quaint little Catholic ceremony in our hometown of Seattle.

I was fortunate enough to play the role of photographer, florist, and reception host. Of course no other role was more important though than that of older sister.

I just about cried when her groom handed me this gift to hand to his bride the day of their wedding.

The one great thing about our family is the fact that we make everything a family event! Here is my handsome baby playing the ring bearer.

Isn’t he so handsome and don’t you just LOVE the attire?

From Seattle, the entire family (ALL 25 of us) headed south for Ojai, CA where the celebrations continued!

For now, here is a little prelude to Oh Happy Day part Deux!

Bridal Shower: Garden Party

A couple months ago I photographed my sister’s engagement photos, and this past weekend I hosted her bridal shower. Oh how time flies when you’re planning a wedding! Thuha’s wedding theme colors are Red, White, Pink, and Black; this made it so easy as all I had to do was think Valentine’s Day!

We couldn’t have hoped for a better day, since brunch was held outside in my backyard and I had no contingency plan. We were extremely lucky since we had miserable weather in Seattle the previous two days.

The Brunch menu consisted of quiche, bacon roasted asparagus, truffle roasted vegetables, tea sandwiches, assorted vegetables and a cheese platter. I initially tried to plan for a Parisian themed menu (Thuha’s favorite cuisine) but as many of you know, things can get a little chaotic in the few days before a party and I had to let go of that over achieving mentality.

One area where I did not compromise however, were the heart shaped tea sandwiches. Aren’t they just so adorable?

Our Garden Bridal Shower Brunch was a huge hit and of course, the bride to be felt celebrated as all her close girlfriends were there to wish her well. Here is a photo of the Bride and her Hostess. Bride on the right, and Hostess on the left. Isn’t she so cute?

Next on our wedding agenda: Catholic Ceremony and reception, in which I’ll be hosting again!

La Maison Rouge Photo Shoot

My baby sister is engaged! This past weekend we had a little photo shoot at her home, otherwise known as la Maison Rouge. Because their home defines their personalities to a tee, we didn’t have to go far for inspiration. You can read more about her humble abode here.

Their beautiful Chow was a critical part of our shoot. Coco, was a little excited to participate and she ended up knowing which side was her more photogenic side in no time! 

They’ll be getting married in Ojai, California within the next few months and I can’t wait to reveal some of the wedding detail decisions she’ll be making! I’ll keep you guys posted, but for now, don’t you just know that their wedding will be so whimsical and chic based on this shoot?

Vera Wang: White

In our book, Vera Wang is the quintessential designer for wedding gowns. Her designs have defined brides for over two decades. Once only accessible by celebrities and those born with silver spoons, her designs are now made available to the masses because of a partnership with David’s Bridal.

Everything Vera is illustrated in this collection. From the quality craftsmanship to the aesthetically pleasing designs, Vera Wang has made it all within reach as dresses will range from $600.-$1400. Take a peek and let us know what you think! Vera Wang White for David\’s Bridal

Jessica + Stefan: Vintage Chic Traditions

We recently made our way to the City of Angels for a weekend celebrating families, traditions, vows and love. This was the wedding of Jessica and Stefan. The two were purposeful in choosing their wedding date to land on the day Stefan’s grandparents married 62 years earlier. It was evident that their role models had a hand in setting the stage and tone for their special day.

The bride stayed true to her vintage chic spirit as she donned a vintage inspired dress with adornments that paid tribute to her family past and present. The groom followed suit but the accessory that defined him was the smile he graced the entire day. It was evident that his bride was his most treasured accessory.

Although the air of casualness resonated throughout the day, there was no compromise of traditions. The couple held true to Stefan’s Jewish heritage and made sure to celebrate and honor the sanctity of their lives beginning as one.

This truly was a wedding that allowed for two new families to be celebrated and honored. As we made our way through the day documenting typical wedding moments, we found that it wasn’t the flowers, accessories, or colorful details that the couple wanted to capture. It was the people in their lives that they wanted to document. Thank you Jessica + Stefan for reminding us that it’s the people who make our special day special.