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Palos Verdes Engagement Session

It’s safe to say the day Nia Sanchez was not only crowned Miss USA, but also proposed to by her soon-to-be hubby will forever be remembered as one of her best days ever. Topped only, perhaps, by the day she gets to say I do. And after seeing  their stunning engagement session from Zoom Theory planned by Cake And Punch, I’m already chomping at the bit to see them say I do. 


From The Bride…Our love story started just over two years ago. We met in church at a Good Friday service where Daniel was greeting people at the door, we instantly clicked and on my way out, I made a point to say goodbye to the “cute guy at the door”.

One week later we had our first date hiking on a mountain and frozen yogurt to follow. A few days later we went to dinner and after that we knew we were meant to be. Daniel and I knew just a few months in that we wanted to get married, but first I wanted to compete in “one last pageant”. Little did we know that one would lead to three more and another year and a half years.

Daniel was my number one fan, my coach and support all the way! After winning Miss Nevada USA, and Miss USA Daniel proposed. The proposal was the most romantic thing anyone could have ever imagined. I was living in New York as Miss USA and Daniel was in LA. While I had a weekend with my girlfriends planned, he secretly flew to New York, prepared and decorated a roof top terrace at the Nomad hotel. The terrace was decorated to a T with fairy lights, lanterns, balloons, candles, flowers and roses. My friends told me that we were going to a roof top dinner. Little did I know that my life was going to change forever that night. That night we decided that forever was the choice we wanted to make together!

After I placed 1st runner up at the Miss Universe pageant, we were finally able to move forward with wedding plans. We chose our wedding planners, Cake and Punch, and started with the planning process! One of the first things we did was get engagement photos by Zoom Photography. They were the best!! We are so in love, and she captured that perfectly! We loved every second working with Meredith! Her talent and direction made it so comfortable and easy to shoot with her!! Thank you Zoom Theory for capturing our love on that beautiful day!

From Cake And PunchNia and Daniel’s love is beautiful and effortless just like these engagement photos. Meredith from Zoom Theory did such a great job capturing the many sides of their love story. This sweet couple definitely lives life to the fullest and enjoys every second of it, while always embracing their thoughtful, romantic, and softer side with each other. Nia will be crowning the next Miss USA this July 12th but something tells us that this will not be the last crown she will wear ;). Their engagement has been a dream and their wedding day is sure to be just the beginning of their beautiful fairytale. We cannot wait for their big day in October!

Photography: Zoom Theory | Event Planning: Cake And Punch | Venue: Palos Verdes

Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties

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Romantic Fall Wedding at South Coast Botanic Garden

My love for Aga Jones continues to increase exponentially and this romantic wedding right here is just the latest example of the magic she creates when she captures a couple of lovebirds in an absolutely gorgeous setting. Add in the fact that the celebration was topped off with a BBQ feast and my Monday morning has been made. See all the pics – and the super sweet film by F1 Productionsright this way!

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Fall
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Romantic

From the beautiful Bride… Our wedding day took place in such an enchanting garden that helped encompass our intimate and romantic evening. We wanted to throw a small, casual yet intimate party with our closest friends and family members. For us, a party means a BBQ! I am originally from Texas and my amazing groom is a California native. The best way to provide the most personal atmosphere for us was to combine our two worlds together. We had one of our favorite BBQ restaurants cater and grill on-site for our guests with the southern California palm tree backdrop scenery. The smell of fresh BBQ lingered on the ocean breeze as the guests would gather around to fill their plates.

Budget was the main determinant for any decision during this whole wedding planning process.
In order to create our romantic BBQ soiree, I had to plan it myself. Majority of the wedding centerpieces, decorations, and accessories were made by me, the bridal party, the groom, and my brother. I spent hours brainstorming designs, calculating my budget, researching vendors, and scavenging for glass bottles for centerpieces.

Our theme was supposedly a “French country” atmosphere with repetition of non-uniformity. As my sweet husband would say, “it’s more unique if things didn’t match!” Our theme sums up our unique relationship, so we went with it. All of our bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses and the groomsmen wore mismatched bow-ties.

In order to accomplish all of the specific details for our theme within budget, we had to really take the “DIY” motto to the next level. From the garden rose bouquets, wedding favors, centerpieces, table numbers, and even the groomsmen bow-ties, almost everything was handmade. Our table numbers even signified specific dates of milestones in our relationship. We wanted to share our love story and journey together with our favorite people. There was so much more sentiment and teamwork expressed throughout the wedding. Everyone in the wedding party played a role in creating our romantic day, which made the evening even more special.

We could not have asked for a more magical rustic soiree! Once the bistro lights were lit up at sunset, it truly felt like we were dining in our own French garden!

Our photographer and videographers made sure to capture every candid and tender moment with our friends and family! 

Photography: Aga Jones Photography | Videography: F1 Productions | Coordination: Gwenessential | Floral Design: OC Wholesale Flowers | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Sweet Embellishments Dessert Bar | Wedding Cake: Sweet And Saucy Shop | Bride's Shoes: Audrey Brooke | Catering: Lucille’s BBQ | Make Up: Luong Lasting | Wedding Favors: OC Succulents | Groomsmen's Attire: Topman | Wedding Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden | Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds

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Elegant Coastal Wedding in Rancho Palos Verdes

“Every great love starts with a great story…” a well-known romantic novelist once penned. To tell theirs, this couple turned to their favorites for inspiration in this dreamy destination wedding overlooking the Pacific. All of it is perfection, from the Bride’s gorgeous look by Fiore Beauty to the bridesmaids in blush Jenny Yoo dresses, and thanks to Koman Photography you can get lost in the full gallery right here!

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Winter
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ChapelResort

From Koman PhotographyMegan and Michael are two of the sweetest and kindest people we’ve ever met and we couldn’t be happier to have gained two new great friends. Their hearts are filled with pure joy and love for one another and it’s so beautiful to watch the excitement in their eyes. They have the capability of making everyone around them feel so special and appreciated. We just fell in love with them and we could have photographed them for hours upon hours! It was truly an honor to be a part of their wedding day at the Terranea Resort and we are grateful for such an opportunity!

From the Bride… Michael and I knew that we had wanted a very small and intimate wedding. We had been dating 5 years when Michael proposed along the Manhasset Bay in New York. It was during sunset and just a very private moment between the two of us. This special moment truly set the tone for our big day. We knew that we had wanted a destination wedding with around 15 of our closest friends and family, so where better than Southern California? As soon as we came across the Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, we absolutely fell in love! The glass chapel with the surrounding greenery and a view of the Pacific Ocean was incomparable to anything we had ever seen.

For our theme, we wanted it to be very romantic, beautiful, and to have the essence of a great love story. One of our favorite books is “Pride & Prejudice,” so this story was a definite source of inspiration. The color palette consisted of gold, light pink, peach, and ivory. Additionally, I wanted lots of greenery to accentuate the natural beauty of the Chapel. Our reception venue at the Terranea was overlooking the Pacific Ocean as well. I loved that we were able to encompass a “seaside” feel to our wedding with the Palos Verdes Cove and beach right there.

We wanted our reception to be a festive, and celebratory dinner party. We had small DIY projects like our skeleton key place cards and our favors. But since Michael and I are both in law school, our schedules did not allow for many DIY projects. So, we turned to the best place for unique and handmade décor – Etsy! Every designer we worked with was able to tailor each and every item for us. A highlight of our dinner was the English party crackers. They were filled with black licorice pipes, gold crowns, fortune fish, jokes, candy necklaces, and magic tricks. Our guests loved them! The favors we gave to our guests were saltwater taffy and fudge from a famous candy shop at the Jersey shore. We absolutely loved giving these out, especially since I had spent most of my summers going there.

It was a day filled with such love and joy, and I will never forget all of the special moments Michael and I shared together. Thank you to the very talented and kindhearted Marlene and John Koman for capturing every moment in such a beautiful and outstanding way! They told our story perfectly, and we felt so lucky to have them as guests at our wedding!

Photography: Koman Photography | Floral Design: Indigo And Plum | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige-Kleinfeld Bridal | Cake: Mar'sel | Invitations: The First Snow | Ceremony Venue: Wayfarer Chapel | Reception Venue: Terranea Resort | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Ring: London Jewelers | Hair & Makeup: Fiore Beauty | Calligraphy: Koi Kalligraphia | Favors: Shriver's | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang | Groomsmen's Attire: Vera Wang | Bridesmaid Dress: Jenny Yoo | Cake Topper: Alexis Mattox | Clutch: Kate Spade | Earrings: Anthropologie | Flower Girl Dress: SasAndAsa | Flower Girl Shoes: J.Crew | Handkerchief: Get Yo Stich On | Party Crackers: Souvenir Suitcase | Place Cards: Noteworthy & Co | Reception Dress: Badgley Mischka | Ring Bearer Box: Shop Works Of Glass | Robes: Silk And More

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Surprise Coastal Wedding

It’s funny… after all of these years working for SMP, I still find myself completely speechless.  I mean, I literally thought I had seen it all, but along comes a day like this breathtaking gem from My Bride Story and blows me completely out of the water.  Because this isn’t just any wedding.  It’s an epic love story meets a SURPRISE marriage celebration (even to the bride!) meets some of the most amazing images from Andy Seo Studio that you will ever see.  Get lost in all of the magic in the full gallery.

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Fall
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Romantic

From My Bride Story… This may be, by far, the most heartwarming and intimate wedding I have ever planned in my entire career. This couple had been living together for the past 20 years. However, they never had the opportunity to wed due to difficult circumstances. The husband is now a CEO of a highly successful junior clothing line called Molly and Dolly, named after their two beautiful daughters. This family currently resides in Hong Kong, but the father decided to surprise the family with a trip to the United States AND a wedding ceremony for his wife!

I was given the privilege of planning the wedding in just six days!! From picking out venues, dresses, and shoes to putting together a romantic, organic garden tablescape, the entire planning process was definitely a treat for me. They had an intimate ceremony at Wayfayers Chapel with just the family of four and two other witnesses. Then, we headed off to a romantic candlelit dinner reception with a total of twelve guests, including the family. We chose the Mar’sel restaurant at the Terranea Resort and it was a perfect reception location overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Mar’sel is a fine dining that is known for their locally-sourced ingredients (citrus and herbs from the resort’s grounds), so we added the maidenhair, champagne grapes, and laser cut names to tie in with our organic, garden place setting. Lavender, raspberry, blush pink, ivory and gold color palette were picked out to highlight the bride’s evening gown.

This wedding was nothing short of an amazing surprise wedding I have ever witnessed. They walked down the aisle with their daughters, promising 20 more years (and counting!) of life together. I was so blessed to have witnessed their heartfelt gratitude, love and respect for each other.

Photography: Andy Seo Studio | Floral Design: Heavenly Blooms | Wedding Dress: Wilshire Wedding Center | Ceremony Venue: Wayfarers Chapel | Reception Venue: Mar'sel Restaurant, Terranea Resort | Catering: Mar'sel Restaurant | Event Design & Planning: My Bride Story | Hair & Make Up: Hair Day | Music: Mike Isberto

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Romantic Cliffside Wedding at La Venta Inn

I’m a sucker for a good romance, especially those chance meetings that should have, could have happened years prior.  This, loves, is one of those stories, and it’s all culminating in a drop-dead gorgeous cliffside wedding at La Venta Inn.  Think romantic blush hues, lush blooms from Flowers By Laurel and vintage goodness from Found Vintage Rentals.  See it all captured by Melvin Gilbert right here.

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Fall
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Inn

From the Bride… Although my husband, Scott, and I grew up and went to high school about a mile apart, we didn’t meet until we both attended a mutual friend’s birthday party when we were 30. The party took place in Santa Monica, where we had both lived for years, but never met. We felt so lucky to have finally found each other, and spent the first year of our relationship getting to know one another and exploring the beautiful beach cities that surrounded us. Other than a love of the beach, another common thread that drew us closer was a mutual love of music. We relished listening to new albums for the first time and going to concerts by bands and performers we loved. So when it came time to plan on our wedding, there were two things we knew we wanted to involve: the ocean and music.

The second we walked into the ballroom at the La Venta Inn, we knew we had found our venue. Perched high on the cliffs of Palos Verdes, the stunning ocean view brought tears to my eyes. Choosing our venue was the very first thing we did… and the rest of our wedding seemed to fall into place from there. Given our mutual love of music, we decided to go with a vintage “Music & Memories” theme for our wedding. For “Music,” we used sheet music accents on everything we could: our guest book, ceremony programs, menus, table numbers, banner signs and escort cards. For “Memories,” we went with a Polaroid guest book to capture the looks on our guests’ faces as they entered our wedding, and a photo booth to capture moments of fun as they unfolded. And for the grand finale, our cinematographers put together an amazing Same-Day-Edit, which we showed our guests as a surprise on a screen overlooking the twinkling lights of the city below.

We didn’t have a wedding planner, but we did have a ton of help from family, friends and the good old internet. One of my bridesmaids accompanied me to the famous Fairfax High Flea Market where we picked up the beautiful vintage suitcases, picture frames and perfume trays that were displayed throughout the venue. I bought the chalkboard signs displayed in the courtyard on Craigslist and Etsy, and my mom and I wrote out all of the signage. I went to the Found Vintage Rentals warehouse and picked out all of the vintage furniture displayed throughout our venue. Our guest book, escort cards and flower girl dresses were all hand-made by various vendors I found on Etsy. And the table numbers, ceremony programs, and menus I designed and bought on Zazzle. Although planning our wedding ourselves was stressful at times, the payoff was more than I ever could of imagined. There was a moment during dinner when I turned to my husband at our sweetheart table, tapped him on shoulder and told him to look out over the dining room. Our guests were buzzing with conversation, the room was glowing with candle light, and I remember saying: “I can’t believe this is our wedding…everything looks so beautiful!” I don’t think it gets much better than that.

Photographer: Melvin Gilbert | Videography: Solano 888 Productions | Coordination: Mike Halish Of La Venta Inn | Florals: Flowers By Laurel | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: JWD Paperie | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy Collection | Catering: New York Food Company | Hair Stylist: Pa Kou Xiong | Lighting: La Venta Inn | DJ: Mike Sincere | Wedding Favors: Wine Straws | Groom's Shoes: Gordon Rush | Accommodations: Terranea Resort | Ceremony & Reception: La Venta Inn | Cupcakes / Cake: New York Food Company | Getting Ready Location: Terranea Resort | Groom's Tux/Attire: J. Crew | Limo / Transportation: GTS Charter | Make Up Artist: Pa Kou Xiong | Photobooth: Magnolia Photo Booth Co. | Vintage Furniture Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals

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