Engagement sessions are always an awesome way to start the week here on SMP, but when it’s an e-session with two sweeties who happen to have an amazing love story, it’s just a tad bit more spectacular than normal. Case in point? This adorable duo, who met in true movie-esque fashion and then frolicked around the beaches of San Fran like it’s no one’s business. See it all captured by Anna Wu Photography right here.
From the Groom… Deirdre came in to interview for a developer position at my last company (wearing heels and very long dress pants). Her heels got into a fight with her pants and she fell (face first) in front of the CEO’s office. All of her papers (resume, etc.) scattered and she made an extremely loud crash. Unfortunately, most of the executive team was meeting in the CEO’s office and everyone came out to see what happened.
It was only a few seconds, but all of a sudden everyone was there (and she was still on the floor). I helped her up, but I knew she was really embarrassed and I was surprised that she still wanted to go through with the interview. We did the interview, but I told her that she didn’t have enough experience and wished her the best of luck. She didn’t agree with me though and went directly to HR and convinced them to give her a chance as an intern (even though she graduated a year ago).
She started the following week and we butted heads frequently. She was stubborn, overly optimistic, but an amazing programmer. Everyone thought I hated her, but secretly I was in love with her. I think I started falling for her the day she fell in front of everyone.
From Anna Wu Photography… Almost a decade later, these two are getting ready to tie the knot in a Florida wedding. But first, we met up for some lovely engagement photos around their neighborhood in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights. There was no tripping and falling, as Deirdre was unstoppable in her Cole Haan Lunargrands and that awesome orange blazer.
Photography: Anna Wu Photography
This bride has amazing advice, and the second you see her wedding, you’re going to be scrambling for a pen and paper to take notes. She planned a wedding that is quite possibly more beautiful than California itself (I know.), brought in Estate Weddings and Events to manage it so that she could enjoy it, and hired This Love of Yours Photography to capture every single moment. Genius.
From the stunning bride… I had such a blast planning our wedding that I used to tease my husband that I wasn’t sure I every actually wanted our wedding day to come. The best advice I can give to anyone starting the planning process is to have fun, find great vendors and TRUST the vendors that you hire. We decided to start by identifying the aspects of our wedding day that were our top priority and go from there.
For us, location was number one. We wanted the venue to have wow-factor without being pretentious and to be luxe without being stuffy. The Caballo Estate was absolutely perfect. They only do a handful of weddings a year (it’s a private residence) so we knew none of our guests had been to a wedding there before and we loved that it was an unexpected upscale twist on the idea of a “barn wedding.” The estate and it’s staff definitely delivered!
The next question we asked was – how do we make our wedding live beyond that one day? So photography and how I was going to look in those photos was our next priority (there, I said it!). I could not have been happier with This Love of Yours Photography and Maria Lee Makeup and Hair (and her agency artists!). I vetted a LOT of photographers and had multiple hair & makeup trials before finding these industry gems. They were able to capture the soft, natural feel against the gorgeous backdrop of the property so well. We couldn’t have been happier.
My overall planning advice would be:
1. Don’t be discouraged by vendors who don’t list prices on websites. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are more expensive than those that do.
2. Decide the things that you are really important to you (location? food? ability to serve your own home-brewed beer?) and let that help guide your vendor search, planning and budget allocation.
3. Find creative ways to have friends/family contribute – one of my best friends’ family owns a bakery in Chicago and they flew out a signature cheesecake for our wedding cake. It made it so special and personal.
4. Hire a videographer, it’s my one regret!
5. If possible, get ready on-site at your venue. I can honestly say that I do not have the feeling of “it all happened so fast” because for me I started my wedding day bright and early! Being able to see the finishing touches going up, the chandeliers being raised, and the flowers being set, built up an excitement and anticipation that I would have wholly missed had I showed up just in time to walk down the aisle.
The best part of the day was definitely our ceremony. I don’t remember what anyone said, but I know it was perfect. And I’ve never seen my husband smile at me like that!
Photographer: This Love Of Yours Photography | Wedding Dress: Casablanca | Floral Design: J Floral Art | Cake: Eli's Cheesecake Of Chicago | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Event Planning: Cassy Rose Events | DJ: Elite Entertainment | Ceremony Music: Amethyst Trio | Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Cake Design: Beaux Gateaux | Event Management: Estate Weddings And Events | Hair/Makeup: Maria Lee Makeup And Hair | Private Residence: The Caballo Estate
Badgley Mischka is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
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In my humble opinion, it will never get more romantic than a simple, sweet elopement. And this La Jolla affair? Well, let’s just say it’s got enough elegance to give any traditional wedding a major run for its money. It’s all thanks to the fiercely talented Sweet Marie Designs and Ashley Keleman who made a last minute indoor ceremony transformation, and you can read the full story waiting down below!
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From Ashley Kelemen… When Laura and Bart first approached me about capturing their intimate elopement, we were all picturing a beautiful sunset ceremony on the beach, but woke up that day to a very rare rainstorm in Southern California. These two weren’t even phased, and put all their trust into myself and Sweet Marie Designs to move their ceremony indoors for a unique and special evening that was an absolute joy to be a part of!
From the Bride… When Bart and I thought about how we wanted our wedding day to be, it was difficult to envision. All of the planning, coordinating, and organizing required to have a traditional ceremony overwhelmed us to the point that we could not even start the process. We decided that our biggest wish was just to be married. Speaking vows to each other and promising a lifetime of love to bond ourselves as husband and wife was most important, so we decided to elope in La Jolla, California. We’re from Dallas and the thought of sunny days and sandy beaches was thrilling! What could be better than saying “I do” at a park overlooking the coast?
When you plan an elopement outdoors, you generally cross your fingers and pray that Murphy and his law doesn’t bring his cousins Calamity and Disaster along for the nuptials. Alas, this was too much to hope for as the beautiful weather we had experienced in days prior to our elopement was disrupted by torrents of rain that would not subside! Our photographer Ashley Kelemen, her amazing assistant Nicole, and the phenomenal florist Alise came to our rescue to create the perfect setting for our vows inside our vacation rental. Seeing how beautiful these talented ladies made the occasion brings a tear to my eye! Our vows were so special thanks to these ladies and the officiant, Rev. Chris Tuttle. I felt just as beautiful as the setting thanks to Jennel Gehring at Harlow Hair Salon. I’m so grateful to have such warm memories of the most important day of our lives.
Photography: Ashley Keleman | Brides Shoes: Steve Madden | Hair & Makeup: Jennel Gehring | Grooms Attire: Vera Wang | Officiant: Rev. Chris Tuttle | Brides Dress: Jovani | Event Styling & Floral Design: Sweet Marie Designs | Photo Assistant: Nicole Cherie | Venue: Private Rental Via Airbnb