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    Featured ::: 100 Layer Cake, Our Wedding!

    I'm so thrilled 100 Layer Cake featured our wedding earlier this week. I had so much fun planning our day, working on all the details and making sure everything was just right. I wish I could plan other weddings too, sorta ;) It's interesting how having my own wedding has changed the dynamic between my relationship with my clients. Sometimes it takes really being able to say "I know how you feel.." to help better connect with my brides. It's changing the way we communicate and also how I shoot at weddings.

    There were so many helping hands during the entire process and on the big day. Our friend Angi gave us the gift of gorgeous photos and all of our vendors worked so hard to make sure our vision came together -- and it did!

    I think my favorite part of being engaged was seeing and hearing how many people really cared about us and wanted to help in whatever way they could. So, so, so much love was showered on us during our 6 month engagement, it's one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.

    I have a couple tips for you brides to be :::

    1. It's all overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be crazy, mind-boggling overwhelming. Don't be afraid to delegate to others. If you're on a tight budget, stop looking at things you can't afford! There's always another way and it's usually better because it took a little more time, thought, and creativity to come up with. There are so many options, styles, and themes but do your best to narrow it down so everything is coherent. Pick a couple things that are your favorite and build around that. For us it was the color gold, a love for balloons, and simplicity. Also, do your homework and price check. I'm sure my bridesmaids might have thought I was going a little crazy, but hopefully I was manageable and seeing everything come together was well worth it.

    2. The simplier, the better. Don't get caught up in complicated processes - - pick and choose your battles. I chose to be complicated with our invitations, but everything else was really simple, although specific. We did our own flowers, centerpieces, and other decor. Most things were DIY which gave me the freedom to decide on how much I wanted to spend. It's easy to get caught up in wedding trends when you're looking at blogs, but ask yourself, will this still be relevant in 20 years or will it just seem silly or frivilous. Beautiful doesn't mean extravagant or hip. 

    3. Set priorities & stay organized.  Allow yourself to have a couple big non-negotiables, but for the rest, you have to be a little flexible knowing that not every detail will work out perfectly. For us it was our venue, Hawaiian breakfast meal, and our photographer. Also, we went on a more low-key honeymoon which gave us more room in our wedding day budget. Also, after your wedding day, you are SOOOO tired. Don't plan a trip to a destination that will keep you on the go. You don't want to feel pressured to go see everything, you will want some rest and relaxation. As for organization, keep a folder of all your expenses, receipts, and contact information for each vendor. Also print out photos of your inspiration boards, so when you reference things, such as "gold letters" your vendors will know exactly what you mean. Print off a couple copies to leave with each vendor. This will keep your mind at ease knowing everyone is on board.

    4. If possible, get married outdoors or with a venue that allows for a bit of both. This is definitely a personal preference and I realize a lot of indoor venues are gorgeous, but if you want creamy, God-given well-lit photos, outdoors it is! Plus, your guests can feel free to roam, enjoy the scenery and get fresh air. There's just something magical about the outdoors that indoor venues have a difficult time trying to replicate.

    5. Last and not least, at the end of the day, it's about marriage, not colors, flowers, or your dress. It's about a celebratory union between you and yours and the merging of families. Don't let the things take precedence over the relationships you are building. As long as you keep that in mind, your day will be filled with joy regardless of any unforeseen hiccups that may occur. It will be wonderful knowing your family and friends are surrounding you in full support as you take your biggest steps yet.


    Happy Valentine's Day ::: Year 1

    Happy Valentine's Day to my one and only! Looking forward to many many more and seeing our love grow! And also Happy Valentine's Day to all of my past and current clients, wishing you all a splendid day with the ones you love --- I'm thankful to be a snippet in your story.

    *photo from our wedding day via Angi Welsch


    Hawaii Wedding at the Hale Koa ::: Chris + Mel

    Wow, this wedding was back in September and is finally making it's way to the blog. My, my. Shooting this wedding meant a lot to me personally and professionally. Chris, the groom, has been a friend for many years. He's quite literally the nicest guy you'll meet. I'm sure he's tired of hearing it, but I think it really says a lot when kindess is the first thing people say about someone's character. I was so excited to hear that Chris was engaged but knew I probably wouldn't be able to attend the wedding since I'm in LA and it was taking place in Hawaii. Luckily for me Chris' fiancé Mel really loved my work! We were able to work out a trade since Chris and his brother shoot wedding videography and were available to capture our wedding day footage back in May. I had a great time shooting their lovely wedding with the help of my friend and assistant, Amber. Their day was really special to me, I know that sounds corny, but their story was a decade in the making and it was surreal to see them take the next step of marriage. Love to you both :)
    P.S. Stay on the lookout for some "day-after" photos!


    Portraits ::: Tara

    Tara is one of my nearest and dearest here in LA. We met the summer David and I started dating and we get togther almost every week to hang out, make crafts or cocktails (or both), watch movies and SHOP. She and her husband, another David, have become great friends these past couple of years. Tara does background work and has been on many tv shows, commercials, and movie sets - - I love spotting her in How I Met Your Mother, specifically the "Woo Girls" episode :) We did some portraits a while back for her portfolio and had a lot of fun traipsing around Silver Lake. Love to you my friend :)


    Santa Monica Engagement ::: Tanya + Morten

    It's been a pleasure working with Tanya and Morten thus far and I'm so excited for their wedding in just a few short months - it is going to be amazing -  I cannot wait to see how everything comes together. It's been a great experience from the beginning, meeting up at the Alcove for brunch (two of my favorite things) to talk about photos (three of my favorite things), although much of our conversation revolved around our food obsession and my upcoming trip to Austin, where Morten is from and different places to check out in LA.

    For their engagement session we went to the Santa Monica Pier, ate some cotton candy, explored under the pier and rode the ferris wheel. I loved watching them interact together through the camera. It's easy to tell how in love they are and how their playfulness "plays" a big role in their relationship. I'm not sure how to explain it exactly, but they felt almost effortless with one another, comfortable. It was a pleasure to be a part of. Much love to you both, can't wait for the big day! 


    And the Holidays are officially over

    David and I just got back from an 8-day trip to Hawaii. I shot a wedding there for a dear friend, did a couples session in North Shore and a family session in Ko Olina - - - I really loved shooting in Hawaii! I haven't done much work there so it was really nice to be able to do what I do here in LA, back home in Hawaii for a change. We got to spend quality with all of our ohana, but we are definitely tired! But, I'm really looking forward to going over new images and showing ya'll a bit of my Hawaii Nei. Hope you all have a good short week ahead! 

    *Photo from the couples session in North Shore in the pineapple fields, I got about 25 mosquito bites trekking through the red dirt but it was worth it :)


    Hau'oli makahiki hou ::: Happy New Year!

    One pro to working at a University is getting a week off between Christmas day and New Years, thank you academic calendar. David and I spent our first married Christmas here in LA and decided we should establish a few of our own Christmas traditions :::

    1. First being, Christmas Eve candlelight service at our church.

    2. Present on Christmas Eve. We could each open 1 present, but no stockings. David said Santa brings the stocking gifts, even though neither of us ever believed in Santa. Too logical for our own good. 

    3. Sleeping by the tree. On Christmas Eve we slept in the living room with the tree lights on and watched a holiday-ish movie, which ended up being "The Holiday" which we both fell asleep through.

    and lastly, but definitely NOT least...

    4. Hawaiian breakfast Christmas morning :) Eggs, rice, portuguese sausage, spam, taro pancakes and guava juice - - heaven!

    We also started one New Year's tradition - - - making mochi! It's a japanese tradition to ring in the New Year and I am all for anything Japanese, and well, doughy and delicious.

    Having time off gave us more time to walk the dog together around our neighborhood and decide which streets we liked best, which houses we wished we could live in, which neighbor really needed to clean up their yard... those kinds of things. We were also able to go to the dog park and socialize our crazy pup. If there's one thing that vacation teaches you is that time = money. Having time to rest and spend with family and friends is pretty priceless.

    All in all, weeks off should be more frequent. I took naps, everyday. I slept for four hours after breakfast on Christmas morning and kind of kept the tradition going throughout the week. My body was so grateful, my mind was rested, and I'm thankful for the time I was able to spend with my little family.

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