Monday, March 28, 2011

My weekend in photos

I tried to do something different for Saturday's wedding by taking photos from my perspective of everything from the rehearsal prep to the end of the wedding. It didn't go as well as I hoped as, you know, I was running a wedding. A challenging wedding at that due to inclement weather and a music video we were filming that day! My assistant Nira and I did snap a few as we could.

Friday, March 25

2:00 PM - Fingernails painted. Paperwork printed. Owen assisting.

2:15 PM - Car loaded with linens from La Tavola for reception tables 

2:30 PM - Nira driving us to the rehearsal at Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes

4:00 PM - bridal party rehearsing with choreographer for the amazing music video that was filmed by David Robin Films on the wedding day. I can't wait to see it, it's going to be incredible!

Saturday, March 26
9:00 AM - bag packed for the day. Off to breakfast at Hugo's with my husband. Stomach in knots due to 20-60% chance of rain today.
3:00 PM - Videographers setting up jibb at ceremony site for music video filming. It's going to be amazing.

5:15 PM - Ceremony starts! NO RAIN! We didn't have to use Plan B or C! Yes!

5:30 PM  - Ceremony ends. Portions of music video are filmed. Have I mentioned yet that it's going to be incredible????
6:50 PM - Bustling a bride before reception begins

7:00-11:00 PM
Awesomeness commences with no iphone photos to show. Below is a sneak peak of the gorgeousness that you'll see soon! Photo by the ever talented CallwayGable

Congratulations, Joya and Emre! xoxoxoxox

Monday, March 21, 2011

Planning Tip: assign seats at your ceremony

I have a lot of pet peeves (poly cotton linens, bad lighting, cheap stationery, chair covers, clunky wine glasses, those cheapo aisle runners, to name a few), but most of my pet peeves come down to throwing money at them to make them go away. This tip won't.

My Pet Peeve: empty chairs on the first two rows during the ceremony.  I hate, Hate, HATE seeing this in the pictures. It shows up when photos are taken up by the bride and groom. The empty chairs are usually right over their shoulders.

Yes, your guests know that family has claimed the first 2 rows of seats, but chances are your family doesn't consist of two perfectly even numbers that the chairs just happen to be set for. This should be though of,  your immediately family should be assigned seats, signs should be made for said seats, and the exact number of chairs should be placed in each row for those people.

The more complex your ceremony, the larger your family is, the more important this is. For instance, this wedding below was staged "in the round" and it took some mathematical maneuvering to make sure that all 27 family members that needed seats had them on the front row.
photography by Lin & Jirsa

This is what their chart looked like. Last names have been removed for the blog, but on the wedding day each reserved seat had a sign on it and guests knew not to sit there.

excel magic by Amber Events and Microsoft 

This makes things SO much easier on the wedding day for the family on both sides, and it also looks great in photos. No empty chairs gaping like black holes in your ceremony photos!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Food Truck catering for weddings


You see them everywhere in LA these days: those yummy food trucks scooting around. I've noticed many brides on the blogosphere incorporating them into their weddings by bringing in food trucks instead of full service caterers. It can definitely save a lot of money, but make sure you address some of the logistics that come along with it such as:

  • Is your food truck operating with the proper licenses and health inspections? Food poisoning would not be a fun way for your guests to remember your wedding...
  • How close can they fit their truck to your reception area? 
  • Are they able to set up buffet stations outside of the truck for faster service?
  • What will the flow be like to get guests from their tables to the truck?
  • How many people can your guests serve every few minutes? Multiply that by the number of guests to see what kind of wait some of them will have.
  • If you're not using their disposable plates/napkins/silverware but renting them, who will be  scraping and packing up all rentals at the end of the night?
  • Who will be bussing the tables and cleaning the venue up after the party is over? 
When you start to look at the details of bringing in a food truck, it's actually not as simple as one might think. It takes more labor than you might think to pull off a flawless reception.

*I did a google image search for food truck and came across this cute sketch on some girl named Amber's blog titled "Amber Eats LA". How could I resist?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The milestones of our lives

I wrote this blog post last summer but did not post it as everything was a bit too fresh and raw for this couple. Their wedding came and went in the fall and it was perfect and they were thrilled. I feel like I can post this now:

 The milestones of our lives

"I feel like our wedding is cursed." my bride said to me. And she is not being melodramatic. In the past month, she lost a close friend to cancer and her fiance, his mother to a debilitating disease.  I can't even imagine what they're going through. And truthfully? I don't even want to try. Her friend and his mother...

Postponing their fall wedding was something she actually considered a few weeks ago. Thankfully, it wasn't an option for him. We are moving forward with plans. Life goes on, as they say.

I was talking a few nights ago with a colleague of mine about what we do and he said "when you look at human history, our ceremonies are the milestones of our lives: our christenings, weddings, parades, and burials."  I've never looked at it like that. Our lives whiz by us at lightening speed and it takes something like consciously making an effort to acknowledge the fact that this important event is, indeed, a monumental occasion in our life and we need to stop and recognize that. Or draw on the cave wall, carve a statue, build an arch, or take a photo. Commemorate.

Many people say that a wedding is a waste of money "for just one day". But I don't see it like that. A wedding is the celebration of the fact that two people have found each other and want to commit their lives to each other. Whether they have a BBQ in the backyard or an 8 course dinner in a 5 start venue, their wedding is the monument that asks their family and friends to pause for a moment and recognize this milestone in their life. Commemorate.

My bride and groom are going to celebrate their wedding this fall and there will be loved ones who, unfortunately, have passed on who will not be physically there. Instead of putting it off because they are going through a hard time, I believe they need this moment more than ever. They found each other after a lifetime of searching, and this is the day where their friends and family will come together and celebrate with them. It is a day that will never happen again and my couple will have the memories and the photos to remember this milestone, or monument, in their life.

Monday, March 7, 2011


 21 days of travel is too much for me to write about in a blog, so I'm just going to share some of my favorite photos and videos from the 750ish that we took. The first two weeks I was with an organized group through GAP Adventures with my friend Maureen, and the last week it was just my husband and I. Due to my group trip being sold out while my husband was on tour in Europe with his band, he wasn't able to join me the first two weeks, but we did manage to meet up in cities as we were sharing the same itinerary.

The last week he and I were going to attend a wedding in Ahmedabad (on my birthday), but unfortunately, that's when "Delhi Belly" struck us both down. When you go to India, it's not "if" you get food poisoning, it's "when". Aside from the last week being completely  messed up because of the illness, it was an amazing trip.

I was excited!

Humayun's tomb in Delhi
fyi the gray skies are not due to bad weather and cloud cover: it's pollution. So sad. 

On the grounds of Humayun's tomb in Delhi

 A family celebrating their son's marriage that day. They were on our train from Delhi to Agra and he was going to meet his bride

There is a reason it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is magnificent!

One of our many "Eat, Pray, Love" moments. There were a few on this trip.

Itimad-ub-Daulah's Tomb in Agra. aka the "Baby Taj" because westerners can't pronouce its name.

Me and Maureen


Tuk-Tuk ride through the streets

Intently shopping in Jaipur. Yes, I haggled, and yes, I still got ripped off. A lot.

The Amber Palace and Fort in Jaipur. Yes, that's its real name.

The most romantic city in India: Udaipur

Sunrise at Savitri Temple overlooking one of the oldest cities in India: Pushkar. 


Jain Temple in Rajasthan


Edited this post to add: while our photos are our happy memories of the trip, THIS is what a photographer's perspective of India looks like. Becker's photos are so beautiful and truly capture the colors, textures, and feeling of the country! Looking at his pictures I feel like I'm back there.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

a little more Love

Valentine's Day was like a million years ago, but I have to share Joya and Emre's cute engagement session that was featured on Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book Blog on Valentine's day:

Their wedding day on March 26 is quickly approaching, and we've had such a lovely time planning together. They are warm, wonderful, gracious people and their wedding is going to be a beautiful reflection of them and their love. I can't wait to share it with you all! Enjoy these photos taken by the ever talented Brian and Allie Callaway of Callaway Gable Photography!