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Romantic Black Tie Engagement Session at Sunstone Winery

This engagement shoot is just too good; I can’t help but wonder how absolutely amazing the wedding will be. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because these snapshots deserve plenty of love all on their own. Trini Mai captured the romance between these cuties and this gallery has too many Pinterest pics to keep count (the dress! the bouquet!). Prepare to have your breath taken away right this way!

From the Bride-to-be… Trieu and I are both volunteer youth group leaders and we met in February 2005 at a leadership training camp. That summer we hung out often with a big group of mutual friends but I had no idea he was “into” me. Given that he was a very shy person, I was shocked when he called me a few months later and asked for a one-on-one date. Now, almost a decade later (oh boy!), we’re engaged and absolutely cannot wait to be husband and wife.

Although we’ve been together for a while, the proposal came as a surprise as there were no signs of it happening just yet. Towards the end of December, Trieu asked me to go with him to watch his niece’s Christmas photoshoot where Trini was also the photographer. As they were wrapping up the shoot, Trini asked us to get in for a family photo and while she was clicking away, Trieu got down on one knee and proposed. He was shaking like a leaf so I had to put him out of his misery with a quick “YES!!!” ;)

Since we love nature and stunning landscapes, we chose Malibu and Sunstone Winery as the backdrops for our engagement. While searching for what to wear, I fell in love with this Marchesa dress at first sight and just had to have it. Initially I didn’t expect much from the photoshoot because it was our first time being photographed – we had no idea what we were doing! On top of that, we had very limited daylight since it kept raining on and off and we literally waited out the rain sitting in our car. But boy Trini sure delivered! She walked us through the whole process with ease and the pictures turned out perfect. We are so happy with our engagement photos and look forward to saying “I do” later this year.

Photography: Trini Mai Photography | Floral Design: Flower Allie | Dress: Marchesa | Hair And Makeup: Vincent Tran | Venue: Sunstone Winery

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Elegant White Wedding at Asian Art Museum

Today is the type of day where we count our blessings. Because not only did we get to share one stunning fete from onelove photography, but we’ve got another to wrap add to the loveliness. It’s an elegant wedding brimming with originality and romance, one look at the unique ceremony and you’ll be hooked. Trust me, the gallery is not to be missed!

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Spring
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Art Gallery
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Elegant

From the beautiful Bride…We were very focused on being surrounded by the people we love most. We know the wedding is about celebrating our love, but its also about starting our life together with all the people we love most in this world. It was very important for us to thank our loved ones and let them know they were there for a reason and that we wouldn’t have wanted this day without them. We also wanted our night to be formal and for everyone to look their best, but still be wild and free. We had a Black Tie wedding and served fried chicken. Style and comfort.

We had handkerchiefs as our party favor. I (Traci) knew I wanted to give them out before the wedding to give my very weepy family something to cry into. My dad always carried a hankie, and I wanted to honor his style. My engagement ring is gold, so all the decor was gold to go along with that.

When I was planning the menu, I first looked at regular “wedding” food and then opted for what I really wanted, friend chicken and mac and cheese and biscuits. Its not formal black tie food. I got a lot of push back from my planner and other people offering opinions but in the end I did what I wanted and it was a HUGE hit with everyone. It didn’t hurt that the food was so delicious. This is also true for the handwritten thank you notes I left at every guests place setting. A lot of people told me not to or that it would be too hard or that it would take too long. It was important to me and so I did it. It was the thing I received the most compliments on. My advice is do what you want. Its your day. Its your vision. If it will make you happy do it, if not, let it go.

Taking pictures on the pier in SF was a true highlight. Just being with Jake (and my BFF who helped with my dress and make up and was just the best friend ever) alone before the madness was nice. Also our ceremony was so special to me. A huge highlight was looking up at our guests and seeing them smiling (or crying) down at us. It was so special to be surrounded by our loved ones. It was so magical and meaningful. Our first dance was to my parents song by Billy Joel. My parents were married the same week as Jake and I 35 years prior. That was a treat. And to top it off our friend Miko sang our processional and recessional songs as well as our first dance. He added his special touches to the songs and it made it feel so much more personal. We were married by my aunt who was a judge in SF and that also really made the ceremony feel personal AND official. And we had donuts at the end of the night, because donuts are our favorite and who doesn’t want doubts at midnight?

Photography: onelove photography | Coordinator: Lisa Feldman | Floral Design: Sharla Flock Designs | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Taste Of Denmark | Shoes: Kate Spade | Catering: Mccalls | Makeup: Anita Daniels | Ceremony And Reception: Asian Art Museum Of SF | Rentals: La Tavola | Rentals: Hartmann Studios

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California Sunrise Engagement Session

Sunsets often get all the glory but the stunning sunrise is not to be forgotten. Not so subtly shining in these pics by Sally Pinera, the morning light is the perfect accompaniment to these equally beaming lovebirds. Oh and the icing on the cake? This gorgeous Gossamer Vintage gown that has me weak at the knees. See this pretty piece and every moment of their early dawn adventures right this way!

From Sally Pinera… Kelly wore a gorgeous Gossamer Vintage gown for her engagement session, and we loved the natural and organic setting of the rolling hills of California. It paired so well with the soft chiffon grey dove gown Kelly wore for the session. Both Kelly and Nixon were so in love, whimsical and carefree. It was a beautifully golden shoot!

Morning light is just as beautiful as sunset light. Waking up bright and early for your engagement session is always a wonderful and peaceful way to start your day. We hope to have inspired all brides to utilize the early morning light to be part of their story.

Photography: Sally Pinera | Floral Design: California Florals | Gown: Gossamer Vintage | Makeup: Sherilyn Yi

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Romantic Blush Wedding at Calamigos Ranch

This next lovely fete is giving me gorgeous induced goosebumps. From the pretty paper goods a la East Six to the stunning snaps from onelove photography and design inspiration of Kat Keane Weddings & Events, it’s the ultimate party packed with pretty pink hues. And when it comes to jaw-dropping details, nothing compares to the oh-so-magical floral installations by The Little Branch that’ll instantly transport you to a spring day. Get lost in the gorgeous gallery, right here!

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Spring
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Ranch
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Rustic
From Onelove Photography… Kyle & Marisa hired Kat Keane of Kat Keane Weddings & Events to work with them on achieving their dream wedding. After securing the venue for the couple, Kat came up with the idea of incorporating customized cherry blossom trees after Marisa (the bride) mentioned she wanted their wedding to feel like they were in a “Secret garden”. Under the design direction and collaboration with Kat, The Little Branch did an amazing job with the vintage style floral centerpieces, as well as coating the floor around the sweetheart table with rose petals. Knowing that Kyle & Marisa are huge music fans of New Orleans and New Orleans style music, Kat made sure to include Dust Bowl Revival into the magical affair. An authentic Hot Jazz, New Orleans funk style band, Dust Bowl kept the dance floor booked up all night! They even performed a second line formation behind the bride and groom as they exited their ceremony and the guests all followed and danced! Fanciful designs provided the French cotton paper floral backdrop behind their sweetheart table as a surprise gift from Kat. The stunning show stopping cake and dessert bar was designed by Superfine Bakery…Yum! From beginning to end the wedding was magical night for all!

From the Bride… We love the outdoors so getting married under an oak tree in a garden setting was important. Music is very special for us so we hand picked our songs and made sure we hired the right band and DJ to complete the night. A Charlie Chaplin impersonator was one of the few surprises we had in store for our guests. Highlights of the day included: the First Look with my husband-to-be, that moment was so special; the band following us down the aisle after we said “I do”; our sweetheart table area (candles, cherry blossom trees, huge chandelier, rose petals; Charlie Chaplin; the desert and candy table; all the yummy food; special coffee company; photo booth; live swing-grass music! My advice to future couples: Be present on your wedding day. Trust your team. Hire a wedding planner. Enjoy the process as much as possible. Plan ahead and be prepared.

Photography: onelove photography | Videography: SCinema Weddings | Event Design: Kat Keane Weddings & Events | Event Planning: Kat Keane Weddings & Events | Floral Designer: The Little Branch | Stationery: East Six | Jewelry: Marisa Newacheck | Catering: Calamigos Ranch | Hair And Makeup: Aille Beauty | DJ: Jon Olsen | Groom's Attire: Tom Ford | Officiant: Tess Hightower | Cake Designer: Superfine Bakery | Ceremony And Reception: Calamigos Ranch | Dress Designer: Tamara Kristen | Live Band: Dustbowl Revival | Paper Flower Backdrop: FancifulDesign | Rentals: LA Party Rentals | Shoe Designer: Betsey Johnson

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Whimsical + Bright Los Angeles Wedding

Bright and whimsical—this L.A. affair is everything a summer wedding ought to be. And that’s just the beginning. From the Bride’s mother singing “Ave Maria,” to the invitation graphics designed by the Bride’s sister, and florals and cookies created by friends, family and friends banded together to make this couple’s wedding a truly special occasion, which Lucy Muñoz captured to perfection. See it all here.

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Summer
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Arboretum
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Whimsical

From Lucy MuñozThis beautiful summer wedding had everything you could hope for—pops of corals and yellows with gold accents that were wrapped up in gorgeous sunlight! Stephanie and Frank had DIY touches and help from friends to create so much of what made her wedding fabulous. It made guests stop and look in delight! Her florals were done by her good friend Missy Fine, her sister did the graphics on her invites. Bridesmaids helped sew the napkins that were used at dinner. Her mom sang a beautiful rendition of the Ave Maria during mass. Her cookies were baked by friends and a few local bakeries. All of her friends and family pulled together, using their resources and creativity to create a one of a kind experience.

Photography: Lucy Munoz | Florist: Missy Fine | Wedding Dress: Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique | Wedding Cake: The Lark Bake Shop | Invitations: A Alpha Wedding Invitation Co. | Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Hair & Makeup: Anna Lee | DJ: DJ Bleev | Venue: Los Angeles Arboretum | Cookies: Lark Bake Shop | Cookies: The Eagle Rock Bakery | Cookies: Lemon Poppy Kitchen | Second Shooter: Jon CU

Rustic Santa Barbara Historical Museum Wedding

Bohemian cowboys in California, that’s what I’m dubbing this Santa Barbara affair. With LMarie Photo and 0816 Productions behind the day every moment is authentic and energetic. From the Grab a Beer and Rope the Steer reception to the homemade and hand-built beer bar, every detail is just as dreamy as the DIY dreamcatchers.

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Summer
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Museum
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Rustic

From the beautiful Bride… We knew we wanted to get married somewhere near our home in Ventura, California, so naturally, Santa Barbara was an easy choice. The second we saw the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, it just felt so “us.” We loved the understated, Old California vibe and how the space felt sort of raw and authentic. Wes and I really wanted the day to embody who we are as a couple. Wes is a country raised cowboy and I’m a bit of a free spirit, so all of our choices for venue, decor and special touches revolved around embracing those influences and that energy.

We originally hoped to have a small, intimate wedding, but after trimming our guest list to 250 people, we knew that was out of the question. So we kept focusing on ways in which we could make a really big wedding feel small. I grew up eating dinner with my entire family at one table, so I wanted to create that same energy for the wedding, which is why we did the farm style tables all connected in a big u-shape around the courtyard…so it felt like we were all eating dinner at the same table. Then, we had our families at the center of the u…which I thought was super cool and kind of symbolic. I loved that.

Wes let me handle most of the planning, but had one request. He wanted simple, country-style food. Nothing fancy. Every Sunday, his folks cook up a delicious Sunday dinner at their ranch with tri-tip, salad, potatoes, beans and garlic bread. And that’s exactly what he wanted. I loved the idea and was so excited when we found Country Catering in Santa Barbara. Their food was delicious and they also offered family-style dinner service and homemade pies and ice cream, which went perfectly with our seating set-up and vibe.

I think those 2 elements really made the wedding feel less like a super-traditional formal wedding and more like an amazing Sunday dinner at the ranch.

When my older sister Kelly got married 2 years ago, her mother in law held the most beautiful ring ceremony while we are all getting ready. It was my favorite memory from my sister’s wedding, so I asked if she would mind doing the same thing for our special day. My mom and Wes’ mom each asked influential women from our lives, from each side of our families, to bring their wedding ring to our room right before I put on my dress. Surrounded by all my favorite women in the world, we all held hands in a big circle and each of the women gave me their wedding ring, along with words of advice or blessings for our marriage. We then attached each of the rings to a string that was then wrapped around my bouquet. It was one of the most special parts of the entire day, and something I will never forget.

For cocktail hour, we wanted to add something fun and unique, so we came up with the idea of having a roping dummy with a sign that read “Grab a Beer and Rope the Steer.” It was just another fun way of adding our personality to the day…and it was such a hit!!

I had found a photo of a cool beer bar on Pinterest, and asked my dad (who can make just about anything) if he could duplicate the bar for the wedding. Per usual, he went above and beyond. He had the idea of incorporating driftwood in the bar, so he would meet me at my place in Ventura, take me to breakfast and we would go for a walk along the beach, collecting cool pieces of driftwood along the way. He didn’t tell me anything else about the bar, just that it would be ready for the wedding. What I didn’t know is that he also went to Wes’ folks ranch and got a bunch of old horseshoes and incorporated those as well. I never actually saw the completed bar until the wedding, and I cried. Not only because it was way cooler than anything I could have imagined, but because I knew how much love went into it. Now it’s in our backyard, and every time I see it, I smile, remembering our wedding day and those walks on the beach with my pops.

For our signature cocktails, I wanted to come up with something different and fun for the names. Wes and I both have a love for good, old school music. I kept thinking in my mind, we’re a little bit country, and a little bit rock n roll…so the “Waylon Jennings” and the “Janis Joplin” seemed to sum us, and the entire energy of the night, up best.

I love dreamcatchers, so I knew I wanted to incorporate them into the wedding somehow. I got to crafting and it was so much fun!!! I invited my family and girlfriends over for a night of dinner and vino, and we made tons of dreamcatchers. I loved them all and how they were each so different, made with love and laughter…and I gave them all away after the wedding to my family and friends, except for the one we got married under.

I wanted to try and come up with something different to hang on mine and Wes’ chairs for dinner, and then I had the idea of making a Mr and Mrs sign out of rope. I looked it up online, found a DIY tutorial, and it was so easy and just another way of adding a little cowboy element to the night.

Instead of doing a gift at each table, I had the idea of giving each guest a seed packet of wildflowers and having the packets double as a gift and escort card. I found a great little shop on Etsy that made mini seed packets with dreamcatchers and floral wreaths on the front (which was so perfect). I had a thank you note from Wes and I printed on the backside of the packets. We filled the packets with California wildflower seeds and had them hanging between 2 vintage ladders with some photos from our engagement session. The sign read, “Please be seeded.”

While working with my florist, we came up with the idea of using vintage apothecary jars, a large old spittoon, a vintage canteen and rustic Spanish style pots instead of traditional vases for all the flower arrangements. Wes and I love searching for cool vintage finds, so for the last year and a half, we collected (literally hundreds) of apothecary jars during all of our travels. I love that each of the jars we collected has a cool story of the places we’ve been…and now we have the jars displayed throughout our home.

During the planning process, everyone kept asking me what our wedding theme was, and I sort of thought that was a crazy question. We didn’t have a theme. It was just Wes and I. That was the theme. I didn’t think about matching things or having the most Pinterest-worthy details and decor. I think that’s what made it special. We just poured ourselves and our love into a beautiful day filled with family, friends, food, booze, and one hell of a country band. That was our theme. And it made perfect sense to me.

Photography: LMarie Photo | Videography: 0816 Productions | Floral Design: White Fig Designs | Wedding Dress: Nightcap Clothing | Catering: Country Catering | Makeup: Double Take Makeup Artistry | Hair: Haley Rae Weinrich | Hair: Penny Vaughn | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | Band: Just Dave Band | Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum | Event Design & Coordination: Galas By Gerry