Photo Friday

Today officially marks the start of my last weekend in South Florida. (spoiler alert! I’m moving!) While there are a lot of things I will miss about Miami, this view is at the top of the list. This is an image I took at Matheson Hammock quite a few years ago and it is still one of my favorites. (side note – this print is one of a number of prints I have for purchase, if you’re interested it comes single, matted or stretched on canvas. Email me!)

matheson1

Goodbye Miami! You’ve been a great home!

Well, that looks familiar

It’s really a strange response to be scrolling through the latest blog post on your reader and suddenly stumble upon familiar images. While reading 100 Layer Cake today I came across a series of photos from a shoot that I recognized as “home.” “Wait, I think I know that fort, yes I definitely do. Wait, is that my beach?’  Though St. Augustine may not be my official home (close enough), it was home for this beautiful beach shoot inspired by the movie Princess Bride shot by Studio222 Photography.

I never thought I’d miss that sticky coquina sand as I do right now! Check out the full post here or the photographers themselves here.

I’ve always known it was you Pt. 2

Well, as promised, it’s time to revisit the Ormond Beach Wedding. The professional pictures are in and they are fantastic. Seriously, there were so many beautiful images it was hard to pick out just a few to spotlight. The ceremony was held at Rockefeller Gardens with the reception following at Plantation Bay Country Club, both in Ormond Beach, Florida. Despite reports of thunderstorms we were blessed with clear skies and a nice breeze long enough for ceremony and pictures. All photos were taken by the talented AJ Neste who is such a blast to work with! (I apologize in advance for the oncoming photo overload!) Without further ado…let the ooh’s and ahh’s commence!

Using the forsythia blossom as inspiration Jaclyn and Ryan chose yellow, grey and white as their colors which were continued throughout the day. Guests were entertained with an acoustic guitar and cello during the ceremony by friends of the couple. All of the flowers were provided by Petals and Nature Scapes in Palm Coast and Parrish Designs of Miami. The reception was filled with willow and oncidium orchids, tulips, hydrangeas and calla lilies. Guests were greeted at the reception with a signature cocktail punch and a photo booth set up by the father of the bride. Shopping around for months, the bride found a vintage type writer through a friend so guests could write notes and well wishes to the couple. Guests were sent off with personalized bottles of olive oil put together by the bride and groom.

(From the bride) “They say it goes by quickly, but you can’t imagine.  The waiting feels endless — especially when you are engaged for a year in a half — but the last few minutes soared by me before I could catch a breath.  There was so much riding on one day, All of those tiny, minuscule details for a five-hour show.  But I wouldn’t change a thing.

I was so incredibly nervous about all the details coming together.  I had flowers for the reception coming from two places, and the ceremony flowers coming from another.  The aisles were lined with bows handmade by a friend and petal cones that I threw together. I had a groomsman flying in the day before the wedding, without his suit, praying that Penny’s would have his size.  It was chaos — brought together by one of my best friends, and wedding planner, myself & the groom, and my parents, who had been wonderfully helpful throughout the whole process.

So it came down to the final minute.  I walked down the aisle.  I said my vows.  I took the obligatory photos and some rather hilarious ones.  I rode in a limo to the reception.  Danced to our song.  Cut the cake.  Smile and hugged like my life depended on it.  And then it was over.  It was a massive, yellow blur for the most part.  I remember flying to St. Lucia for the honeymoon and thinking that I couldn’t wait to see pictures because I couldn’t remember how everything looked. I was praying that it all came together like I imagined.  

It honestly wasn’t until I got to see the photos that I realized how perfect everything was.  The flowers matched perfectly and created a beautiful backdrop.  The DJ was fun and entertaining and the pictures of everyone on the dance floor show my friends and family having a fabulous time — including my 80-year-old grandfather.  By the last photo of the night, Ryan & I have our heads pressed together and I look truly exhausted and truly blessed all at the same time.  And that’s what I felt. Everything fell into place and I was surrounded by beautiful things & beautiful people for the whole night.”

All of the little details added up to a spectacular wedding! Congratulations again to Jaclyn and Ryan!

 

Art by elle.la.mae

I’d like to take a quick detour from wedding world….

 

In shameless self promotion I have to admit that part of my disappearing act was due to the fact that I spent the majority of March preparing for and participating in a local art show in my neighborhood. Gifford Art Stroll is an annual street art fair in Coconut Grove, Florida featuring eclectic artists, musicians and street food vendors from around the town. Having lived in the neighborhood for a few years I have previously volunteered but this was my first year participating as an artist. I have to say – it was awesome. Showing/selling my work to the public was something I have wanted to do for a while so jumping that hurdle felt fantastic! I sold a few pieces and generated a lot of interest from passers by.

All of my work is for sale year round though so check it out here. My website is still in the construction phase and only features highlights so if you are looking for anything in particular let me know – I just might have something for you! 🙂 Again, check out my website art by elle.la.mae and buy some pieces!!! Your walls are begging for it I swear!

Putting My Face On

Let’s be honest…every girl loves a good excuse to dress up every now and then right? With the exception of a few up-do’s and friend of a family make up jobs for proms I’ve never had my hair and makeup “professionally” done. In fact, I was usually the one doing my friends’ make up. So, needless to say when a recent opportunity arose for me to get a professional “make over” I jumped at the chance!

My office was home to a photo shoot for one of our wedding planners earlier this week and I had the pleasure of participating. Essentially, we turned our client consultation room into an office/wedding haven with tables and vases draping with linen samples, flowers and pictures galore. My job was to act as the bride-to-be and pretend to be in the middle of a consultation with the planner. It was pretty fun.  But I digress…my lack of acting skills and brief stint as a bride are not the point of this post.

To make sure I was camera ready (side note – it’s quite strange being on that side of the camera) our wedding planner brought in a make up artist to make me over. Amy does TV and special events – i.e. weddings – jobs all over the South Florida Area so I was in good hands. Let me tell you – it was quite fun!

I was a little nervous because this would be my first experience with air brushed makeup. (In case you don’t know what that is, it’s when the makeup is literally applied to your face with an airbrush machine – similar to a mini spray tan machine) Airbrushing is really popular with weddings because A. it doesn’t sweat off and B. it doesn’t wipe off (depending on the brands of course). Also, it looks extremely natural as it goes on quite thin. I am officially a fan! It was so light and barely felt like I was wearing anything. Amy also went all out applying false eyelashes and full eye makeup etc. Not only did I enjoy not having to lift a hand to get ready for this, but it was nice to see how good I could look (HA!) because I typically stick with just slight smokey eye, liner, blush and chapstick. So classy 🙂

Anyway, I am officially an airbrush convert. I can certainly see why it is so widely used for the big day and it will be a my must do list for all my clients from here on out! Now, I know it’s totally wrong to tease with all this information and not show the finished product but alas, I only have some pretty awful iPhone pictures.

Oh who care’s …. full disclosure right…. (ignore the crazy faces). For comparison factor, there’s a pretty rough before on my About page.

I’ll add a few sneaks from the shoot once I get those.

The Sweetest Surprise

I love a good (romantic) engagement story, but I love it even more when it involves people I know and care about.  So here’s some back story:

Alex is one of my closest friends from my hometown and we go (WAY!)  back to our dorky middle school days. The origin of our meeting is still a little hazy, surrounded by a bit of discrepancy (ha), but either way I’ve known him a long time. After high school he moved up to Boston for college. I still argue he should have gone to the U – my alma mater – but if he had done what he should have he originally planned -this post wouldn’t exist! Anyway, I digress. While at school in Boston, Alex met his beautiful beauty queen girlfriend Amanda (this is no exaggeration – she really was Miss. Massachusetts!). Forgive me for not knowing the exact details but they have been together for many many years.

Being in the wedding business I seem to be privy to a lot of details from my friends as well as a source of advice. I’ll take what I can get. This led to Alex letting me know that he was planning on asking Amanda to marry him sometime in the near future. He told me he had already spoken to her family (props for the traditionalism) and was on the hunt for the perfect diamond. If anyone knows Alex, they know he is quite the perfectionist, so this hunt took some time as just any old diamond wouldn’t do. Needless to say, I anxiously awaited the day I would hear “she said yes” and regularly checked in asking “so did you find it yet? When are you going to do it.” Finally, the day came! I couldn’t wait to find out how Alex ended up popping the question and boy was it a doozy!

While Amanda was visiting family in Florida, Alex had planned a vacation to New York (or so she thought). Really, Alex flew to Florida to surprise Amanda during a beach photo shoot with her mother. According to Alex, Amanda was so surprised she kept asking if it was “really happening.” The best part about this trickery and surprise is that all of it was captured on film because of the photo shoot set up. The photograper, Mark Dickinson, explains how it all went down on his blog site. Directly following the surprise, Alex and Amanda were able to shoot a mini engagement session (also on Mark’s blog). The photos turned out absolutely amazing! Alex- who knew you could be so photogenic (ha!)

Anyway…now the surprise in photo nutshell (all images pulled from Mark’s blog linked above).

Alex sneaking up from behind the dunes.

The photography is absolutely beautiful and so is the couple! (The black and white is my favorite!!) I am so happy for Alex and Amanda. Congratulations!! I love when such wonderful events happen to people around me!

Photo Perfection

I’m not going to lie, this little lovely was stolen straight from the pages of Southern Weddings blog, but I just couldn’t help but share. The moment I saw this I instantly fell in love. This photo shoot is so sweet and fun and silly and vintage and beautiful and everything else all rolled into one. I pretty much want to be this couple. See for yourself:

All of the photography was shot by W+E Photographie at the home of the bride. I really can’t get enough.

To Look or Not to Look…

One of the more popular trends in weddings right now is the “First Look.” Thanks to a friend of mine on Pinterest I found this article with a fantastic take on the situation and I just had to share. Breanna, along with her husband, is a wedding photographer in Arizona who points out numerous reasons why the first look is beneficial for any wedding. Read her whole article here:

The Reveal Moment

For the short version, here is a quick summary of what she had to say (pulled from the article)

“The Lesser Known Benefits of the Reveal Moment:

  1. The first time you see each other in a ceremony happens in the blur of a few seconds. The reveal takes that amazing moment and turns it into it’s own event which makes it more memorable and significant.
  2. You feel more like partners going into this together rather than alone… it is an amazing bonding experience to anticipate the moment together.
  3. Your emotions are more genuine when expressed in private, which is one of the many things about a reveal moment that will make the photos of the first time you see one another turn out better
  4. Your nerves calm down significantly when you see one another, allowing you to enjoy the first half of your wedding day more.
  5. Your schedule is more relaxed which will make your entire wedding day feel more relaxed.
  6. It feels more natural to do family photos before the ceremony because afterwards all you want to do is be together for a few minutes and then go join your party.
  7. You have more time for photos of the two of you alone and with the people you care about (30 min to 1 hr more!).
  8. Cocktail hour is shorter and your guests are happier!
  9. The reveal moment is all about relaxing everyone and making the day more enjoyable.  Every person involved in the wedding will be more chill and have more fun when the reveal moment schedule is used.
  10. Part of the reason our clients hire us is because they trust our experience and you believe we have their best interests at heart… and we fully believe they will be happiest experiencing the benefits of the Reveal Moment Schedule.”

I love Breanna’s point of view and could not agree with her more!!! Oh yea, and did I mention their work is beyond beautiful too? (all images are from their site)

 

Check out their website Radiant Photography for more.

 

 

Pinch me am I sleeping?

Because it’s like my dreams are coming alive. Why’s that you ask? Well aside from my extremely quirky (and realistic) dreams as of yet – that’s a story for another time – this following wedding is the epitome of my latest dreams. I have found myself being drawn to the same style of weddings lately – maybe it’s because we just closed up the summer wedding season which is always beautiful, or maybe its a nice swing of trends, or perhaps I’m just getting tunnel vision currently – whatever it is – i’m loving it.

“It” – is a simple style, laid-back but still feminine and glamorous, outdoor weddings. Case in point the event below. The following wedding took place in Manhattan Beach in Southern California. Photography was done by Erin Hearts Court, florals by JL Designs, and once again showcased on my mecca Style Me Pretty.

The couple planned most of the event themselves (with help from their floral designer) and took the event location – The Shade Hotel – as inspiration for the feel of the wedding. I absolutely love the color palette of whites, greens, and grey executed beautifully through the cymbidiums, hydrangeas, tulips, and calla lilies.. I think it is very chic and elegant, but also very natural in feeling (not to mention the pale green is one of my favorite colors – heyo!). The husband did all of the designing of paper goods, website, invites, etc, so it was definitely a DIY wedding – also one of my favorite parts!!

The grey bridesmaid dresses are from JCrew (love!), and look awesome against the green bridesmaids bouquets. Those bouquets by the way – are tied for one of my number one details from this event. Why? Because every bridesmaid carried a bouquet of a different flower. OBSESSED! I especially love the super parrot tulips (the green/white ones in the bridesmaid picture toward the end). They are so unique!

The personalized bouquets are tied with the ceremony decor – specifically the fabric draping on the “ceiling.” This is the second time I have seen this style of treatment and I think it is so beautiful. I can’t look at it enough.

Enough about the details though – how cute are the pictures of the couple?! Laying in the sand, chillin on a vintage beach cruiser – they capture the event so perfectly.

OK, enough swooning. If you want more pictures check out the gallery on Style Me Pretty. I will keep dreaming.