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Santa Cruz Seaside Engagement

It’s a good day at SMP when we see a little something pretty in the inbox from Brumley & Wells. And when it comes in the form of a sweet and sandy beach engagement like this one? Our crazy, big, romance-loving hearts are ready to burst with excitement. Get lost in all the soft kisses, insanely beautiful views and hand-holding here in the gallery.

From Brumley And WellsWe ventured down to Bonny Doon beach in Santa Cruz, California for this simple, timeless engagement shoot with Brandon & Grace. Their chemistry was unmatched, and we can’t wait for their wedding this fall in Sonoma.

Photography: Brumley And Wells | Venue: Bonny Doon Beach

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Camarillo Wedding at The McCormick Ranch from Nancy Neil

There’s something to be said about a bride who rocks a fabulous headpiece, designs each and every detail of her own big day (even crafting branch candelabras) and dances the night away under the stars (+ twinkle lights) with her uber-dashing groom.  And that something?  She’s fabulous.  As is the wedding she crafted at the ever-gorgeous McCormick Ranch, which is nothing short of amazing with rows of maidenhair ferns lining the tables, sweet rustic touches and every last moment captured by Nancy Neil. See them all right here.


From the Bride… I’m so excited to share our special day with you all! Our wedding was simple and elegant with a whimsy garden, nature feel. I chose different dresses, for my special ladies, in dusty, pastel colors, while they all wore the same glass locket necklace. The maiden ferns were the star of the tables, accompanied by branch candelabras, that I made, to bring the nature to the tables. Decorative, edible butterflies covered our cake in beautiful, bright colors. The cake was set on a real tree stump that my uncle so kindly made. It was a beautiful sunny day and we all had so much fun! Hope you all enjoy.

Wedding Photography: Nancy Neil | Wedding Venue: The McCormick Ranch in Camarillo, California | Floral Design: Dorothy Donahue + Shannon Hull | Event Design: the Bride | Wedding Dress: Custom | Shoes: Vince Camuto | Bridesmaid Attire: ASOS + ModCloth | Groom’s Attire: Brooklyn Tailors



And, of course, we couldn’t possibly wrap up this gorgeous wedding without giving another special shout-out to the amazing Cook Islands, the tropical paradise that just so happens to be sponsoring our fabulous week here on SMP California.  We love them. xoxo


Southern California Wedding from Frame 36 Photography

This wedding is not just perfect. It’s perfect for today. For a day when Fall feels like it’s slipping away and we (read: I) are clinging to the sweetness of pretty wraps, bottles of wine and a gorgeous al fresco celebration. So guess what you get when you layer on beautiful, utterly romantic photography by Frame 36, a bride who literally can’t contain her gorgeousness and a groom who is entirely adorable? Well, you get me. A very, very happy blogger. Click here to see so much more.

From the Bride… My favorite place in the whole world is a plant nursery in Western Pennsylvania, where I lived for two years. Danny and I both grew up in Southern California, but I lived there for work and completely fell in love with the place. Danny ended up proposing in the actual greenhouse at the nursery with my grandmother’s ring. He put up twinkle lights where the hanging baskets go, and hung the love letters I wrote him throughout the years from clothespins. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my whole life. The greenhouse was truly my inspiration for our wedding in Southern California. As a couple, we wanted people to feel completely loved when they were with us, just like we feel when we are at the nursery! We didn’t have a huge budget, but knew we wanted soulful, romantic and down-to-earth. We wanted very little pretense, but at the same time wanted to convey the elegance and importance of the day and life we were entering into together.

Both coming from very large families (Danny is one of nine and I am one of eight!) we relied a lot on our family and close friends to help with many of the details, and to save money where we could. My mom made my veil (which was one of my very favorite pieces) and sewed all of the burlap table runners, Danny’s sister-in-law made our cake, my dear friend did the flowers at the reception, and my little brothers and sisters planted all of the succulents that were on the tables. We also placed several long tables together to make it look like everyone was sitting at one table. It looked absolutely beautiful, and everyone felt like they were part of one big family. As a nod to our Pennsylvania engagement roots, we had a bluegrass band play during the cocktail hour (but a DJ for fun dancing at night). A few fun details that we DIY-ed were the favors and the seating cards. I found an old iron rod stand from an olive oil company that was looking to downsize and hung shipping tags that I tea-stained and hand-wrote each person’s name on with their table number. For the favors, I stamped muslin bags with our wedding logo and then filled them with daffodil bulbs (Danny’s favorite flower). I placed them in an antique cart with a sign that said, “Think of us next spring as you plant these daffodil bulbs!”

One of the most memorable moments of the reception for me was when my uncle, brothers and cousins surprised me by serenading me with a song they had written. They asked me to stand in front of them while they sang to me, and so I got to watch each one of their faces — so sincere and loving while they gave me that gift. I’ll truly never forget it. The wedding day, from start to finish, really was filled with love. I think it’s easy to get caught up and think of a wedding as a great big party (which is a part of it!), but it’s just so much more than that. For us it truly was an incredibly spiritual experience, a promise to make each other so much better than we could be on our own, and there’s not much that’s better than that. We are eternally grateful to everyone in our lives that made the day so truly perfect.

Wedding Photography: Frame 36 Photography / Ceremony: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Montecito, California / Reception: Wiggy Ranch in Ventura, California / Ceremony Floral Design: Sweet Peas Flowers and Gifts / Catering: Dearmore’s BBQ Catering / Wedding Invitation Design: Annie Clark / Wedding Map + Logo Illustration: Carolyn Kelly / Calligraphy: Ann Patton ( / Program Stitching: Lisa Bowman / Rentals: Ventura Party Rental Center / Lighting: Bella Vista Designs, Inc. / Ring Bearer Bowl: Paloma’s Nest / Muslin Favor Bags: Muslin Bag / Wedding Dress: Pronovias / Bride’s Veil: Handmade by the Bride’s Mother / Hair + Makeup: LunaBella Makeup and Hair / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Getting Ready Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar / Flower Girl’s Dress: J.Crew / Invitations: Carolyn Kelly / Groomsmen’s Tuxedos: Calvin Klein via Men’s Wearhouse

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Carpinteria Wedding at HeartStone Ranch from Hazelnut Photography

You know those weddings that grab a hold of your heart from moment one and never EVER let go? Those weddings that are filled to the very brim with SO many heartwarming moments, SO many beautiful details and SO much love, the happiness is literally bursting from your computer screen? Well, lovelies… brace yourselves.  Because this glorious Carpinteria soiree?  It’s most definitely one of those weddings.  And the sweet combo of pretty grey hues, devastatingly gorgeous images by Hazelnut Photography and an amazingly stunning bride and groom is, well.  Almost too perfect to believe.  Click here for even more pretty.

From Hazelnut PhotographyAllie and Matt are kind, creative, generous and, well, beautiful. On the inside and the outside! Their engagement session was so much fun, and I knew that their wedding would be absolutely incredible. Their inspiration actually came from her mother and from their venue, Heartstone Ranch. Allie’s mother actually collected rocks, pebbles and stones in the shapes of hearts, and when Allie stumbled upon this new venue, she knew it was the perfect homage to her mother! After booking the venue, Allie and Matt spent months combing the land for heart stones to incorporate in the escort cards and the table numbers. Matt actually carved names and table numbers into the stones for each guest. It was a lovely bit of personalization! On top of that, their cake was made by a close friend, and every corner you turned, there were handmade touches. The wedding ceremony, held at the San BuenaVentura Mission, was beautiful and heartfelt. And our portrait session at Bates Ranch could have gone on for hours more! With mariachis for cocktails, BBQ for dinner and games to play as the sun went down, the reception was incredibly personal and heartwarming. For two people who are so perfect for each other, so deserving of the incredible love that they share, it was a perfect day!

Wedding Photography: Hazelnut Photography / Ceremony: San BuenaVentura Mission in Ventura, California / Reception: HeartStone Ranch in Carpinteria, California / Floral Design: Yamaguchi Flowers (805-525-9268) / Wedding Coordination: Amber Weir / Wedding Cinematography: Signature Wedding Films / Hair & Makeup: Bliss Makeup Artistry / Catering: Wood Ranch / Appetizers: Falzones / Bartending: Jeannie of Catered Cocktails / Wedding Cake: DIY by a Friend / Mariachi: Mariachi Camarillo / DJ: Peter Krouse / Lighting: LBPS Events / Rentals + Limousine: Rockstar / Getting Ready + Portraits Location: Bates Ranch House / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals

Ventura Engagement Session from Chaffin Cade Photography

I’m not sure what all of you lovelies have on the agenda for this upcoming Labor Day weekend, but I can guarantee you one thing – you’ll be adding “beach time with my honey” to your calendar the very SECOND you take in all of the pretty that is this Ventura e-session from Chaffin Cade Photography.  Yep – this is most definitely the kind of shoot that gets you in the mood for a little romance with the ocean waves crashing in the distance and two adorable sweethearts dancing in the sand.  It’s one moment after another of L.O.V.E. and it’s all just a hop, skip and a jump away in the full gallery.  Join me there for more.

Click here for the FULL engagement session!

From Chaffin Cade PhotographyNevada and Sam are such a fun couple. When Nevada said her parents had a beach house, we jumped at that chance to do their engagement shoot at the nearby beach! San Buenaventura State Beach is a gorgeous location with palm trees all over the place and huge gray rocks that head out into the ocean like a pier! The day was perfect, and when it got a little chilly, the couple cuddled up in a blanket. It’s always great to work with such a gorgeous and fun couple like this one!

Photography: Chaffin Cade Photography / Location: San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura, California