Elyse and Bryan’s Dreamy Wedding

The DJ picked up the microphone, bringing it to his lips, “Alright everyone, it’s time for the Anniversary Dance! If you’re married, get on out here and dance with your loved one with Elyse and Bryan! As the song plays, I’ll be calling out years of marriage, and if you haven’t made it to that milestone yet, you’re out! The last couple standing WINS!”

All of the married couples crowded the dance floor, surrounding Elyse and Bryan as the song began. Chris started calling out years of marriage, “One year… Three years… Five years…” Couples slowly started trickling back off the dance floor and to their seats.

“Ten years… Fifteen years… Twenty years…” Elyse and Bryan looked around and realized there were only 3 couples left on the dance floor – Elyse’s parents, Bryan’s dad and step-mom, and the pastor and his wife!

“Twenty-five years… Thirty years… Thirty-five years…” All three couples remained dancing, smiling at laughing as they all looked at each other, wondering which would hit their ceiling first.

“Forty years?” Chris asked, and still no one left the dance floor. “Forty-FIVE years?”

With a laugh and a sigh, both Elyse’s parents and Bryan’s dad and step-mom gave a nod to the pastor and his wife and exited the dance floor.

Chris came over and held his microphone out to the pastor, “And just how long have you been married to this beautiful woman?”

“Fifty-three wonderful years!” His wife smiled, blushed, and curtsied to the whole room, every person laughing, smiling, and clapping.

When you are surrounded by such a beautiful display of love that lasting, that amazing, that powerful, like Elyse and Bryan were on the dance floor of their wedding night, how could you NOT believe in happily ever afters and a dream come true?

Elyse and Bryan’s entire wedding day had that same dreamy feel to it, everything coming together so seamlessly and beautifully, celebrating their amazing love story (ten years in the making!).

Thank you so very much, Elyse and Bryan, for allowing us to be a part of such a truly magical day! Being a part of your day made Jeremy and me so appreciative and thankful for our own relationship, and helped make the dream of our wedding day (fast approaching!) seem so much more tangible. It was so special and humbling to watch how much everyone around you loves and cares for the two of you so deeply! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of capturing that love and those special memories for you to treasure as you make your own way towards winning that Anniversary Dance some day!

Detail photo of a letterboard that reads "Elyse & Bryan," a pair of bronze high heel shoes, and a soft white paper flower.  Detail photo of a bronze high heel shoe and a soft white paper flower.Three bridesmaids in pink floral robes cheers-ing the bride in a white floral robe. All seated on a white bedspread.   

A detail photo of a pair of crystal drop earrings on a cream colored ribbon with a white background.

A bride holding her bouquet against a white background.  A groom in a tie and waistcoat adjusting his cuff links against a white background.The back of a bride's dress. The dress has translucent straps with beaded edges, and the bride's hair is half-up and half-down, curled on the bottom, with a crystal hair clip.  The bride holding holding her bouquet, surrounded by her three bridesmaids in lavender dresses, fluffing her dress. 

  The look of surprise on a groom's face as he sees his bride for the first time in her wedding dress.   A bride covers her mouth in pleased surprise at seeing her groom in his wedding outfit for the first time.

 After the first look, a bride and groom give each other an emotional hug.   Three bridesmaids in lavender dress grouped casually around the bride. All are holding bouquets casually (either hanging at their sides or flung over their shoulders.

   A bridesmaid in a lavender dress. She is glancing down off camera and holding a bouquet.

   A casual shot of the bridesmaids. One is holding her bouquet, and another has her shoes flung over her shoulder.A detail shot of the side of a white gazebo, dripping with pink and white flowers. A white gazebo with a white-draped table in it. The gazebo is dripping with white and pink flowers, and is surrounded by white rose bushes and pink flowers.   A close up detail shot of a potted lavender plant. A detail shot of a succulent, lavender, and soft pink bouquet, a gray card box, and a bronze lantern.  A bride during her wedding ceremony - the wind has lifted her veil and fanned it back and away from her in a beautiful arc. She is smiling and looking off camera.A bridesmaid smiling at the bride (unseen) during the wedding ceremony. She is wearing a lavender dress and holding a bouquet.A groom smiling at his bride as they exchange their wedding vows.A bridesmaid looking down and over her shoulder (at an unseen flower girl) during the wedding ceremony. She is wearing a lavender spaghetti strap dress.The bride and groom kissing after saying their wedding vows. The bride and groom snuggling close together. The bride has her bouquet draped around the groom's shoulder, and the edge of her veil can be seen in the foreground.     A white 2-layer wedding cake with white swirls, a purple ribbon, and a crystal sparkle ribbon. The cake topper is light colored wood and reads "Mr. and Mrs. Budrow." A detail shot of wedding favors - tiny bars of lavender soap on a purple, pink, and white tray, surrounded by sprigs of rosemary. The soaps are wrapped in brown paper that reads "Elyse and Bryan [heart] 5-11-19" A close up photo of the bride and groom champagne glasses in front of a centerpiece of white hydrangeas and purple iris.A bride and groom holding their champagne glasses up to toast. They are seated at a white-draped table with a centerpiece of purple iris. Also on the table is the bride's succulent, lavender, and soft pink bouquet.A side view of a white wedding cake with purple and sparkle ribbons around the two tiers. In the background, out of focus, you can see the bride and groom holding up their champagne glasses to toast. A groom in a black suit with a lavender boutonniere, laughing off camera with cake smeared on his cheek.,    The Jr. Groomsman and the Ring Bearer dancing. A man with a drink in his hand dancing at a wedding. He is surrounded by other wedding guests. A photo of wedding guests dancing. They are all raising their hands and clapping. A bridesmaid in a lavender wedding dress dancing with a red drink in her hand. She is looking at the camera and smiling. The mother and father of the bride dancing together. They are smiling at the camera. The bride and groom slow dancing on the dance floor. A man in a black suit dancing with a woman in a blue jumpsuit and an orange shrug. The bride in the center of the dance floor. She is holding a purple drink and pointing at someone. Everyone around her is dancing. A lady in a blue jumpsuit with an orange shrug leading a conga line that contains several bridesmaids and groomsmen, among other people. The bride and her mom (wearing a maroon lace dress) dancing together. A man in a black suit and a woman in a blue jumpsuit with an orange shrug dancing. You can see the DJ in the background. <<– The winners of the Anniversay Game, y’all!

 

And finally, a big thank you to all of the vendors that put so much time and energy into making Elyse and Bryan’s day absolutely perfect!

Venue: El Camino Country Club

Day-of Coordinator: Natalie Dane (of El Camino Country Club)

Florist: Silvia of HS Floral Design

Baker: Eccentric International Chefs

DJ: Chris Bland of Solid Gold Professional Entertainment

Makeup: Michelle Gilmore

Hair: Bri Sandoval

Officiant: John Dahlem

2019 Wedding Trend Predictions

Even though we’re only halfway through August, we are already turning our eyes to the 2019 wedding season, and giving you our predictions for what’s going to be coming into style, staying in style, and what’s on its way out!

What’s Out for 2019 Weddings:

Wedding Favors:

You just threw a huge bash for all of your closest family and friends – trust us: they won’t be missing the jordan almonds or the tiny succulent plant that they can’t bring on the plane home with them anyway! Save the money from favors and use it in another part of your wedding budget where it can make a bigger impact!

Naked Cakes:

Cake is just a frosting delivery system, amiright? We think naked cakes are going to see a decline in favor of frosting! Naked cakes match the shabby chic, rustic theme great, but as those themes start to fall out of fashion, we think the naked cakes are going to go with them.

Large Bridal Parties:

Couples are seeking a wedding experience that feels more intimate (even if they have a large guest list), and one way to accomplish that is to have a smaller bridal party! A good portion of your wedding day is spent with your bridal party before your other guests even show up, and having just a couple close friends and siblings there can set an intimate tone for the whole day.

Photo Booths:

While they have been quite the rage lately, we think they are going to be on the decline. Brides are wanting to give their guests an EXPERIENCE, rather than just the expected first dance, cut the cake, toss the bouquet routine we’ve all come to expect. We think our brides will be branching out and incorporating more unique experience-based things into their wedding day for their guests.

A bride and a groom in a wooded area. The groom is twirling the bride.

What’s Staying in 2019 Weddings:

DIY Food Bars:

Whether it’s a taco bar or a dessert bar, brides are loving being able to give their guests exactly what they want, and how they want it. We don’t think this trend is going anywhere anytime soon.

Unplugged Ceremonies:

We are seeing more and more brides posting signs or asking their officiants to make an announcement before the ceremony begins asking guests to please keep their phones put away until after the ceremony. Our brides want to see their guests faces and reactions as they walk down the aisle – not the backs of their phones!

First Looks:

We personally love first looks, and are looking forward to seeing this stay in vogue. Aside from affording the bride and groom a personal, intimate first meeting, it also allows for more photos to be taken before the ceremony starts – leaving you, your bridal party, and your guests more freedom to have fun and enjoy yourselves after!

Metallics:

We’ve seen a lot of gold, rose gold, and copper the last couple years, and we don’t think they’re going anywhere. However, we also think silver and gunmetal are gunna join in the fun this year!

Greenery:

Our brides are loving the feeling of bringing nature inside, with greenery galore! We think that will stay the same, but with more bright and soft florals to being some contrast and color!

A bride and groom in a wooded area in front of a lake. The bride is holding a bouquet, and they are about to kiss.

What’s In for 2019 Weddings:

Unique Altars and Ceremony Arches:

We’ve been noticing a lot more unique altars and ceremony arches in styled shoots the last few months, and we think our brides are going to LOVE THEM! (I mean, WE love them, so you probably will too!) From circular hoops dripping with flowers and greenery to arrow shaped arches and floral walls, there is something for every bride’s style in this trend!

Mis-matched Groomsmen:

We’ve seen bridesmaids wearing the same color but different styles, the same style but different shades, and different cuts and shades altogether. But now we think the guys are going to get in on the action! With a cohesive color palette, but allowing the gentlemen to mix and match some stylistic elements (bow ties, traditional dies, suspenders, and waistcoats), we think our brides are going to have a whole lot of fun with this trend!

Deeper, Richer Colors:

As we transition out of 2018 and into 2019, I think we’ll be seeing a lot of deeper, richer color palettes. The neutral with blush color palette that’s been in the last couple years is going to gain some pops of color in the form of jewel tones like emerald, plum, and ruby reds.

Mix and Match Place Settings and Centerpieces:

What started with bridesmaids dresses is carrying over to the reception hall. Mixing and matching both place settings and centerpieces can help thrifty brides keep costs down, while letting them break free from the copy and paste style of traditional wedding reception decor. I think we’ll see this trend expressed in multiple place setting options, centerpiece options, and even linen options throughout the reception hall.

2nd Anniversary Wedding-Redo!

When two of my dearest friends got married 2 years ago, their photographer did almost no posed photographs of the two of them during their portrait hour after the ceremony. When Ash lamented to me that there were really only 4 or 5 photos of them together that weren’t during the ceremony, I gave her a wicked smile and told her to look at her schedule and tell me when she and Jack had a free afternoon, and we started planning this!

I took them to one of my favorite locations (Huntington Beach Central Park), and we had an absolute blast!

One of the shots she was dying for (and disappointed she didn’t get) was Jack showing off his ring, and his groomsmen squealing over it. Jeremy (who was, in fact, one of his groomsmen) stepped in and gave us just the level of excitement she was looking for, and the four of us couldn’t stop laughing!

I put together her bouquet from ranunculus, chamomile, and two different types of eucalyptus. I am actually really kind of proud of how it turned out, considering this was only my second time making a bouquet!

Jack and Ash have the most amazing souls, and are so much fun to be around. They exude life and love, and being around them is the absolute best! We were laughing so hard that my cheeks were absolutely killing me by the end!

I am so honored that they trusted me when I first proposed the idea of a wedding session to them, because I am just absolutely in love with these photos of them! Creating beautiful images that people will love and cherish for generations is my goal, and I love this couple so much! I love that I got to be a part of this!

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Myth: All Wedding Photographers are the Same

One of the biggest myths in wedding photography is that we’re all the same. There are many different types of wedding photography (candid, posed, photojournalistic), and just as many different editing styles once the photos are captured (light and airy, dark and moody, light and moody, saturated). Add to that the photographers preferred shots (some like playful, fun expressions, others like soulful, emotional expressions). Not to mention up close and personal shots, pulled back dramatic shots, and a smattering of detail shots. Mix and match all of these different options, and brides have quite a lot of choices when choosing photographers for their big day.

A bride and groom in a wooded area in front of a lake. The bride is holding a bouquet, and they are about to kiss.

Personally, I favor a light and airy editing style, and I love posed photos that look candid – like you’re sneaking a peek into an intimate moment.  My particular posing style is great for couples who feel uncomfortable being in front of the camera and being told to “just act natural.”

A bride and groom in a wooded area in front of a lake. The bride is holding a bouquet. They are both looking at the camera and smiling.

I don’t know about you, but as soon as I get in front of a camera, I feel so awkward and I have no idea what to do or how to move my body in any kind of a natural way, AND I DO THIS FOR A LIVING! The first time we ever hired a photographer to take photos of us, she didn’t coach us or pose us at all, and I remember sitting in the car on the way home telling Jeremy that I was really nervous about the photos, because we both felt so awkward the whole time!

(Do you remember in How I Met Your Mother where Marshall can’t figure out what to do with his hands? THAT’S ME!!)

I do this style of posing and photography because this is what I need when I’m being photographed, and I am willing to bet that you feel the same! (If you feel totally natural in front of the camera, I’m super jealous, and I definitely need tips!)

A bride and a groom in a wooded area. The groom is twirling the bride.

I want you to look at a photograph and remember the emotions of your big day, feel that welling up of all the love and happiness you felt. I want to make you forget how awkward you feel in front of the camera and just sink into the love, relish it, and remember it for years to come.

A bride and groom about to kiss. The bride is holding a bouquet.