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Sweet, Whimsical Wedding by Choco Studio

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We had a major milestone in the Larson household. We celebrated my daughter’s first birthday with a big, adorable, totally pink party. It turned out to be such an incredible day with lots of friends and family, a few pony’s and cupcakes galore…one that will definitely go down as a beautiful memory in my book of life.

So, I thought that we could start the week off on an equally sweet note, with this lovely wedding that the oh-so-talented Mike and Natasha of Choco Studio Photographed

choco studio

We have tons of gorgeous photographs from this wedding coming up in just a bit!

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Gia Canali Photography ~ Terri & Joe at Mill Valley

Terri & Joe were married at the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club in California. Their photographer, the ultra-talented Gia Canali, captured soooooo many memorable moments that she’s shared with us, today …

Gia Canali

from Gia

What I love about this wedding, and what I think SMP readers might find really inspiring is how budget-friendly / d.i.y. friendly this wedding was. Terri and Joe have such great taste – and they managed to pull off a really gorgeous, very personal wedding in an urban / wedding-industry-saturated area on a decent budget.

Photography by Gia Canali

They chose a venue with lots of natural beauty, so little adornment was necessary. Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club was built in 1904, and is classically Arts and Crafts Style. We loved the funky architecture. Even though it’s right “in town,” there are redwoods growing on the property. The flowers growing all over the property are native to the area. Coreopsis is the only one I know – those are the striking orange ones, but there were also lacy pink ones, small white ones, etc.

Photography by Gia Canali

Again, from Gia

The redwoods provided a natural visual focal point for the (otherwise undecorated) ceremony. The ceremony was super emotional. I remember that Joe cried through most of it … They had a florist (who was also a friend), Rima Zegarra, to create the bouquets and boutonnieres, but had (non-professional) friends use locally grown flowers to make loose arrangements in mason jars for the centerpieces. The sunflowers were the attention-grabbers, but there were also dahlias, delphiniums and snapdragons.

Photography by Gia Canali

The table numbers were made from photographs Terri had taken on her travels. They also made their own programs.

Photography by Gia Canali

Her french veil was from Unveiled Bridal Designs

Photography by Gia Canali

This was Terri’s “something borrowed.”

A friend, Colin Kennedy, catered the whole event. The food was beautiful and delicious. Cupcakes were by Kara’s Cupcakes, . I still dream about them … (I’m not kidding). We love that Kara’s uses local, natural ingredients in their cupcakes.

Photography by Gia Canali

Terri bought her dress at a sample sale and I absolutely loved it, but I don’t think she ever told me who the designer was. Joe’s suit was a slim modern fit – it looked great, too!

Photography by Gia Canali

In addition to being a fabulous photographer, Gia also hosts a blog that rivals any other when it comes to tips and tricks for planning and capturing your wedding day to the utmost! Her blog ~ Pursuing the Picture Perfect Wedding ~ is truly one of the best. It’s really different. Instead of just reliving beautiful wedding days, Gia uses her own photographs from the weddings she shoots to educate, inform and inspire her readers. It’s not often that you will hear us tell you that. The fact that she so aptly puts into words, what her images show is the mark of a remarkable talent.

Photography by Gia Canali

Congratulations, Terri & Joe from all of us here at SMP! And thanks  soooooooo much to Gia Canali for sharing another of your wonderful weddings with us. Remember, everyone who is in pursuit of a picture perfect wedding, you simply have to bookmark Gia’s blog for step-by-step instructions for achieving just that … from one of the industry’s best!

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Docuvitae: Redwood Forest Wedding ~ Kim & Erik

Cheyenne and Rebecca of Docuvitae had the honor of documenting Kim and Eric’s very special wedding day at the insanely beautiful and historical Ralston White Retreat Center, nestled in the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais, just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley, CA.

from Rebecca

Kim & Eric are the type of couple you swoon over, the kind of couple Hollywood has been trying to write stories about for decades. It’s events like this and couples like Kim and Erik who provide so much inspiration and joy in the work we do at Docuvitae. As journalists, artists and documentarians, it is so rewarding to be invited into our client’s lives and to be privy to some of the most emotional moments they’ll ever have. After we presented the photos to Kim and Erik, I got a truly heartwarming note from Kim that read, “OH MY GOD are those beautiful pictures! I’ve been looking at them for hours and hours. There are so many amazing moments. There just aren’t words. Thank you thank you thank you for capturing so many amazing moments and the true essence of the people at the wedding and of us. You guys are incredible. We really couldn’t be happier. Thank you again.”

Docuvitae

When Kim & Eric’s guests arrived, they were escorted down a hiking trail into the redwood grove where the ceremony took place. Once everyone was settled in, Kim and Erik made their grand entrance into the ceremony … and what an entrance it was! In the midst of a quiet forest, with warm sunlight streaming through the trees, the musical score from Lord of the Rings began to play. Suddenly, Kim appeared above the ceremony site on a part of the hiking trail that was about twenty feet above where the guests were seated. Erik walked up the trail to greet his bride with an incredibly passionate embrace and the couple continued down to the site to be married in a ceremony officiated by Kim’s father. Kim and Erik both work in the film industry and had choreographed this incredibly cinematic ceremony together. Their dog, Chloe, made a wonderful flower girl and ring bearer with a simple pearl necklace around her collar that had the rings tied to a flower.

Docuvitae

After the ceremony, Kim and Erik enjoyed a private moment together and took a walk through the majestic redwood forest while their guests hiked back up to the retreat center to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Kim and Erik joined their guests after their walk and all sat down for a beautiful dinner on the porch of the incredible craftsman style mansion designed by the noted San Francisco architect, Willis Polk, in 1910.

. . .

Kim and Erik were introduced to the retreat center by a dear friend of theirs. Little did Kim know, this would be the site where Erik would pop the question and where, about a year later, they would be married. The retreat center’s grounds are expansive and filled with extraordinary redwood groves and hiking trails. It seemed only natural to return to their engagement site for the actual wedding as words cannot describe how beautiful and spectacular the redwood forests are.

Docuvitae

Kim and Erik invited 40 of their closest friends and family members to celebrate the day with them. Included in the guest list were Erik’s son and daughter who served as the Best Man and Maid of Honor. The day was not just a celebration of the union of this very special couple, but the beginning of a new family for Erik, Kim and the kids. The kids both gave the most heartwarming and genuine toasts that I have ever witnessed at a wedding. Cheyenne and I were so touched by their words that we had to hide behind our cameras to disguise our tears! I’m actually getting choked up again just thinking about it!

Docuvitae

Kim is incredibly creative and talented and made all of the decorations herself. She and Erik wanted an ‘Elfenkind’ themed wedding and she added wonderfully charming details to the table settings and the already beautiful location.

After dinner, the couple and their guests went into the charming ballroom inside the house and danced the night away. As a special surprise, Kim hired a karaoke machine so that she could serenade her new husband (with the help of her dad) with ‘Unforgettable’, by Nat King Cole. At this point, Cheyenne and I didn’t even bother to hide our tears. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Docuvitae

Docuvitae

Docuvitae

Wow! Our thanks to Rebecca and Cheyenne for sharing the details and these gorgeous photos of Kim & Eric’s truly magical day! And our BEST WISHES to Kim, Eric & the lovely family!!

. . .

Docuvitae is an incredibly talented team of photographers and film makers. Their work has been recognized in scores of prominent magazines, newspapers and on film. The women and men in their organization are truly some of the top names in the industry.

For more of their fabulous footage, take a look back on Style Me Pretty at Kisma & Jonathan’s Wedding, Ana & Kevin’s Wedding, Clair & David’s Wedding … to name just a few! Pretty obvious that we LOVE their style, right!?! And of course, for so many more examples of the fabulous photographers and cinematographers who compose the Docuvitae team, check out their website!

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here