Category Archives: California

happy anniversary

Heather & Ben | Casa Grande, AZ | 10.30.2010
Sharon & Daniel | Sonora, CA | 10.22.2011
Anika & Mark | Seattle,WA | 10.29.2011
Patti & Ron | Gig Harbor, WA | 10.23.2010
Shaunessy & Chris | Seattle, WA | 10.21.2012

nomadic wedding, santa cruz- shane & erik

Shane and Erik’s Nomadic Wedding was held in three different places all within walking distance of each other in Santa Cruz: a neighborhood art gallery, their favorite Chinese restaurant, and their (soon-to-be-vacated) apartment. This allowed the pair and all their guests to parade around downtown in pure elation while cutting down on both cost and cleanup. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Such is the case with Shane and Erik’s Santa Cruz Wedding. The original spot where they planned to marry fell through just months before their wedding date. That’s how their unique nomadic theme came to fruition. We loved these two from the first email message and we were heartbroken and worried when we heard about their venue cancellation. But as their brainstorming and creative minds kicked in, we started to hear about even better plans. We grew excited as we learned about the record shop down the street, a wonderful little art-space for the ceremony, a parade to dinner,  wontons and Tsingtao beer, their apartment and plans to empty the space before their big move to San Francisco, and then decorate it back up for their wedding reception. We ended their wedding day with big hugs and a promise to be forever friends. I can’t tell you how badly I wish they could be our neighbors. I’ll let Shane tell the rest of the story….

“We were lucky enough to experience a real ah-ha moment about 4 1/2 months before the wedding, we lost our venue, and all the wedding ideas that were tailored to it went with it. The original plans were lovely, but losing them was like a dare to do it better. Instead of a ceremony under a flowering apple tree, we would do it in the art gallery right around the corner; instead of dancing on native meadow grasses and drinking under the stars, we waltzed around the little beach town we fell for each other in and got down in the gutted studio we first called home. The first wedding we had planned was beautiful, but the one we ended up having was really us.”

“I was surprised at how much I loved planning it. After my ninth birthday, I basically sat my parents down and told them NO MORE PARTIES because they made me anxious (OK Woody Allen). Since this party was going to my first in over a decade, I thought I would be nervous and stressed. Not at all. Loved it. From scrubbing the walls of our teeny Victorian studio together, hands smelling of bleach, to stinking to high heaven from no shower the day before because Erik, I, and our band of merry women were way too busy hanging lights and pictures and metal dandelion sculptures to fiddle with such foolishness as hygiene. It was all an absolute blast. I miss it and might have to take up throwing holiday parties or something as, though I never thought it possible, it seems the hostess bug has laid eggs in my brain.”
“The dress I had ordered from a designer was three months late and by the time it did arrive days before the wedding, it wasn’t even close to the design we’d discussed, making it necessary  for my mother to totally redesign, recreate and resew my dress. Later I realized that getting into my dress was indeed the only real hitch in our getting hitched, and that the rest of the night was fan-fucking-tastic and that’s pretty damn fortunate. As soon as I saw Erik right before the ceremony, it didn’t matter one bit that I’d forgotten to pluck one of my eyebrows because I was too busy being pushed and pulled and sewn into my dress by my superhero of a mama who barely had time to get ready herself. It didn’t matter that I used the wrong gloss over my lip pencil, creating a grated cheese affect on my mouth during the ceremony (I promptly swallowed all the little chunks), because Erik looked fine as hell, and we were getting married. And that was awesome.”
For Erik, the groom “The most memorable moment of our day for me was when I finally got to see Shane for the first time that day, after hours of waiting, as surgical attention was being devoted to her dress: sublime”.
From Shane “My most memorable moment was the way Erik looked at me during the entire ceremony. I’d only seen that look a handful of times before, it’s almost a sad face, sad in the happiest way as though defeated by the joy of the moment.”
“We stuck with our gut with our planning. This was important. Why would we pay $45 a plate when our favorite Chinese joint was right down the street? Why would we buy a cake when our preferred sweet-of-choice was doughnuts?”
“Decorating the house we’d lived in for three years for that one night was pretty epic. We put twinkle lights everywhere (I’m a whore for twinkle lights) and two tables in our tiny yard around the trumpet flower tree and that was that.”

Words of Advice:

“Time flies, so dig your heels into the dance floor and pay attention. I’d heard/read this everywhere but didn’t really appreciate it till I practically browned out most of my reception. Not due to alcohol intake, mind you; it was simply because I was in shock that it was finally happening and overwhelmed with giddiness. So stay present. Hell, I would even advise getting a little krunk. I think if I’d sauced it up a little more, things might have moved a little slower. Oh and wear a veil (I wish I had) cause you know, when else are you going to get to?”

Wedding Details:

Venue: Felix Kulpa GalleryLittle Shanghai Restaurant // Event Design & Catering:  We (family, friends, etc.) did it…every damn bit. // Floral Design: Bonny Doon Garden Co & Blue Heron Farm // Dessert: Allbright’s Donut Shoppe // Bride’s Shoes: Diane von Fürstenberg // Bridal Headpiece:  H&M // Bridesmaid Dresses: Ouma // Groom’s Apparel: John Varvatos, Theory // Photography: Us of course // Wedding Featured on East Side Bride

palm springs wedding, ace hotel- lisa & alan

We had the good fortune to photograph Lisa and Alan’s crafty vintage desert wedding this year. Today it is being featured on Green Wedding Shoes! Lisa and Alan decided right from the start that their wedding needed to be a big fun party for their friends and family. They didn’t want the reception to feel too serious or uptight and what they wanted the very most was a crazy dance party. They made sure all the details, invites, and design reflected their personalities by keeping everything simple and lighthearted. Since Lisa is a talented graphic designer they were able to put their personal touch on everything from the invites, pencil set gifts and the seating chart. Palm Springs with it’s golden hills and never ending blue skies was the perfect setting for their wedding. The pair had a traditional Catholic ceremony at  St. Francis of Assisi church and their reception/dance party at the Ace Hotel. It was a perfect mix of traditional and modern. A bit more about the day from Lisa “We picked Palm Springs for our wedding for a couple reasons. One reason, is that it’s so beautiful! The clouds are always amazing, and the weather in the winter is great. We were inspired by the mid century modern design and architecture in Palm Springs. Since I’m from San Diego and Alan is from LA, it was a nice meeting place for both our families. We looked at venues all over Orange County and San Diego, but the first time we stayed at the Ace Hotel we just knew it was the place.”

Sewing my wedding dress was a pretty large project. I knew exactly what type of dress I was looking for, and at the time I couldn’t find it anywhere. I finally found my dream dress as a vintage pattern in an antique store. With the help of my Mom we made the dress I had imagined. In the end it wasn’t perfect, but I still loved it, and I loved wearing it so much. I really wish I could wear it again honestly. I wanted to give Alan a little wedding surprise, so I secretly sewed a blue heart in his coat jacket with an L&A on it.

I was a little surprised that one of my favorite parts was the ceremony. Originally I was somewhat afraid to be in front of everyone, and the church felt huge and a bit intimidating. It can be a lot of work to hold a wedding in a Catholic Church, there is so much preparation ahead of time. But, it was really important to both of our families, and in the end it was very meaningful to us.


A special moment for me was the unofficial father/daughter dance which was right after the official one. My Dad’s side of the family is polish, so I had our DJ play my favorite polka song for him. I wasn’t expecting him to whisk me back onto the dance floor to polka with him. Everyone was standing around smiling and clapping. So much better than the slow dance. I will remember it forever.
My advice for future brides would be to make decisions as early as possible. I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted for our wedding early on, but I still waited until the very last minute to pull the trigger on most things. Be confident in what you think is right, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. Figure out which vendors are most important to you. To us, this was the music and photography. The right DJ can keep the dance floor packed all night and the photographs will be how you remember your day forever. The style of photography was super important to us and when we look at ours they make us so happy!

Wedding Details:

Church: St. Francis of Assisi // Reception Venue: Ace Hotel  // Catering: Ace Hotel // Floral Design: Centerpieces: By Lisa Viado (Bride), Bouquets: Cachet Fiore // Cake & Dessert: Over the Rainbow Cupcakes & Macaroons: Doly’s Delectables // Music: DJ Exxxplosivo, Mike Bocek // Wedding Video: Alan Silva //  Hair & Make-up: Kimmi Le Hair & Makeup  // Bridal Headpiece: BHLDN // Brides Wedding Band: SeaBabe Jewelry on Etsy // Groom’s Apparel: Calvin Klein  // Grooms Wedding Band: Hersteller on Etsy // Flower Girls Headbands: Sunshine and Carousels on Etsy//  Favors: Lisa Viado // Invites: Lisa Viado // Tossing Streamers:  Extravagant Exits on Etsy // Decor Pinatas: Confetti System // Gourmet Lollypops: The Candied Flower on Etsy // Cake Topper: Bunny With a Tool Belt on Etsy // Table Linens: Fringe Fiber & Anna Joyce // Table Numbers: Liza Artistry on Etsy // Wedding Feature: Green Wedding Shoes