Please raise your hand if you’re a sucker for a really good love story.  As I suspected, many of you are!  I’m cheesy.  I admit it.  I’m totally the cheeseball who loves hearing the love story behind the wedding.  Especially  love stories of coincidence. Where people just happen to sit down next to one another at a restaurant or bar, only to walk down the aisle and profess their eternal love to each other a year later (I wasn’t kidding about the cheeseball stuff).  Well today’s Manhattan beach wedding definitely satisfies my love story sweet tooth.  And with wedding coordinator, Beth Helmstetter and photographer Chelsea Elizabeth on task for this wedding, it’s delivering some serious eye candy.

Kurt and I were both living in Manhattan Beach, literally on the same street, about 10 blocks from each other when we first met. We were both watching football at a local sports bar, sitting right next to each other. I was rooting for my beloved Michigan Wolverines, and apparently he was intrigued because his parents also grew up in Michigan. He called me a couple of days later, and we’ve been together ever since!

After a year and a half, Kurt got my Dad’s blessing and completely surprised me with his proposal! It was a typical Monday evening… I got home from work and we went for a run along the ocean. We ended up walking around the Manhattan Beach pier to cool down from our run, where Kurt got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so caught off guard and thought he was being completely spontaneous. Then he pulled out the most amazing ring I had ever seen, and I realized it was for real!

We were both so excited, and started the planning shortly after! I knew I would need a lot of help with our wedding, so after receiving a referral for a planner from a friend, we met with Beth Helmstetter. She helped us so much throughout our planning and gave us so many wonderful ideas. We knew that we wanted our day to be romantic and beautiful, and Beth helped put it all together. One of our favorite parts of our wedding were the long wood tables with the eclectic mix of vessels and flowers. And the candles!!!! We had candles EVERYWHERE! They really warmed the room (which was necessary because it was a bit cold and rainy!). We also had beautiful lanterns with candles that hung from the ceiling above the dance floor. They were so stunning and another one of our favorite parts of our wedding.

Our photographer, Chelsea Elizabeth, did such an amazing job too.  She also shot my sister’s wedding, and as soon as we saw their pictures, we knew we wanted Chelsea to shoot our wedding.  Whenever we show people who weren’t at our wedding our pictures, they always seem to comment about what a beautiful, sunny, typical California day it was…  which is quite funny because it POURED!  Somehow Chelsea captured the moments when the sun came out and made it look so sunny and beautiful!  Even though it rained, we were able to get some great pictures before the ceremony.  Our first glance was such a special moment.  Kurt was standing on the Strand (where we went running the day we got engaged), and I walked up behind him.  I was so excited to see him and excited for him to see me and my dress because it was the one thing during our planning that I couldn’t share with him.  We have a great picture of our wedding party walking up Manhattan Beach Blvd — it’s one of my most special memories from the day.  We were in the middle of the street and the pier and the ocean are in the background.  As we were walking up the street, people were hanging out of the restaurants clapping and cheering.  It was so much fun, and then the sky opened up, the rain starting coming down, and we ran to the nearest building!  It was so much fun and I didn’t even care at all that it was raining!  The entire day was so beautiful to me, and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could.

Sounds like an amazing day!  Thanks Michele!

xoxo Chantale from La Belle Bride

Vendors:  Wedding Planner: Beth Helmstetter / Make Up: Jami, Flore Beauty / Flowers: Holly Flora /Getting Ready: The Belamar Hotel, Manhattan Beach / Ceremony: American Martyrs Church, Manhattan Beach /Reception: La Venta Inn, Palos Verdes Estates / Photography: Chelsea Elizabeth / Calligraphy: Laura Hooper

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