a few of my favorite moments in palm springs with casey & erik.
I’m ready to retire in palm springs.
first wedding back after the babe.
a few of my favorite moments in palm springs with casey & erik.
I’m ready to retire in palm springs.
first wedding back after the babe.
ah yes, those wonderful people we chose to work with and been blessed by their amazing talents. as i mentioned before, there was only a handful of things i cared about, those things got insane work done around them, anything outside it. yea, nope…didnt give it a second thought. so for those things that we really cared about, i wanted to make sure that we were surrounded by likeminded bomb people who got what we were doing…so searching out the experience and brand within that vendor was super important. the handful of people we worked with…well, they were incredible and im excited to internet-duce you to them all.
for the most part, we dont get to pick and choose and be consumers that often. outside shopping for clothes or home items….we’re not typically choosing artists and people that we can support with our dollar, so when you can…..take your time, search em out, see what they’re about, go with your gut. the feeling they bring and the experience is so important to how you feel and joy you can feel by how they interact with you.
The Food // im sorry to tell you, but wedding food is typically boring as f*ck and nothing to write home about. we wanted something fun. something different and not your everyday meal. yas. i cant wait to tell you what we chose.
The Dress // as said before, YOLO, i wanted a really unique dress. something sexy and something that wasnt necessarily white. well this came thru in the best of ways.
The Dinner // we wanted people to sit for 19 hours. to talk. to remind us of a dinner in europe where you burn time and dont even think about it. we wanted courses and courses and courses. the dinner was the main event of the evening…so the aura and feeling around the dinner was so important.
The Venue // #duh. this was hella important because it influenced the entire wedding and feeling people had there with us. I searched high and low for a bomb venue.
Her Role: hand painting our watercolor custom portrait of CJ and I, the tiny icons for our wedding book, and our “Thank You” custom portraits for our photo/video and food team.
Experience: I’m obviously writing about her first, because, hello, the experience was wonderful and we felt so taken care of and that she was just as excited and interested in the project as we were. The paper was basically my obsession of the wedding, i found a way to get design into every part of the wedding, and her role was huge. we wanted something totally unique and never done before (big surprise) …not just for uniques sake but i really felt like doing things others have done, didnt feel like they were mine. doing something new, meant it was just ours. i reached out to her and heard back right away…she was so on top of getting me sketches and drawings quickly. took all my changes with no problem and just lived out exactly my vision…which was so amazing.
I would say, if you have a reason to reach out to her, do it. custom art. invites. a fun project. whatever it is, find a way. i have already used her again since and every time is a dream.
i really wanted to find a way to say thank you to a few people who put insane work into our wedding and really impacted our day in a positive way. logan, tyler (photo), austin (video) and dante (food)…what do you get 4 guys? a candle?….no. another card in the mail? simply not! i really wanted to get them someone that they wouldnt just look at once and say that was a nice thought. thank you’s are important. i mean yea, we paid them…thats good. but a thank you goes a long way, and is rarely done in my experience. ding dong! a portrait! + i got to use Ellen again, so that was a bonus. I sent her photos of each of the guys, and these watercolor portraits were actually painted online, not by hand (again, so talented) and i adore how they turned out! they were printed on nice luscious paper and sent off into the mail to our vendors as a proper thank you.
Austin & Logan
Dante & Tyler
feel free to use this idea on anything! i plan on bringing it back out for birthdays, holiday gifts…its gonna be amazing.
To sum up, we LOVED using Ellen and i cant wait to use her again. My advice would be, if there is one area you just LOVE and want to spend time on…search out someone great….its so worth the research and time to find someone who gets you and puts true love into their work. I know because of how important the paper was to me, i would have been so sad if i had just gone with someone who didnt give that experience that i was looking for. its not always just about the end result, its about the process & experience too.
HER SITE // HERE
His Role: being the king of soul food. literally the king. the source of us stuffing ourselves beyond what is healthy or appropriate.
Experience: lets call this the pursuit of my life. i found Dante on some CA food truck website. checked out his instagram and YOLO fell in love. this guy is mysterious, a real chase i’ll tell ya. i think i mostly became obsessed with getting him to cook for us because i couldnt get a hold of him….i went cray on my search. tweeted at him. IG’d him. wrote him an email. if this was a dating situation, i would have been called a stalker. This guy runs food-music pop-ups all over CA and the US, has cooked for celebrities and placed all his orders only via Twitter from a secret location. whatever, i knew in my gut we had to have him. about a month later, i got a response from him and it was like angels singing. we slowly got things squared away over a set of months and our dreams slowly became true. we set our menu and he had sent us this visual menu with pictures which was such a cool way to see what we’d be eating. CJ’s one true love is good Soul Food and so this was his passion project for the wedding. He did not disappoint. not only was he talented but he felt like an addition to our family, he joined in on some scotch drinking and chatting….we cant wait to be in his presence again.
The Food: I know you all think you had good food at your wedding. well you didnt. i did. this was an experience. this guy is a genius. it is hands down – all across the world, in all the traveling I’ve done – the BEST food i’ve ever had in my life. the flavors, the way of cooking, the presentation, the taste. Food’gasm if i’ve ever had one. we had 4 courses. people sat down to a bruleed grapefruits that my mother picked for him that morning on site. we ate everything family style. huge platters, passed around, you can take what you want. i hate getting one small plate and thats supposed to be it? what if i want to gorge myself? well we did, and i did. so much so, that i went into the bathroom with my sister because i had over-eaten so much i thought i had to throw up #classy (turns out just taking my tight ribcage dress off allowed my to exhale properly, then i felt better). We had course after course after course. we literally couldnt even finish the last course that was brought to us. We were in heaven. We even got to pack some leftovers in a huge Tupperware and carry them on the plane home – and enjoy more food those following days. It was glorious.
Welcome Dinner “Chicken & Waffles” …yes.
I cant say enough about our experience using Dante. we are 100% without a shadow of a doubt hiring him for any huge parties we do the rest of our life. we have to get more people to taste his creations. he was thinking about bringing a food-music pop up event to Seattle and i would just like to put it out into the universe that we are voting YES on that. when people talk about our wedding in Palm Springs…its the food they talk about first. something we all got to experience and feel like we were in on the best kept secret in CA only its not a secret. thank you Dante for your incredible brain and talents. we love you mucho.
Her Role: Designing the dress of my dreams
Experience: yes yes and yes. i was in New York trying on wedding dresses (talk about a helluva experience) and hopping around shops that i meticulously researched and organized and setup. On one of the appointments, I tried on a dress i loved the seams of and the gal let me know she had a showroom in NYC and i should check it out. all my appts, i’d made a month in advance…but we called her shop from the back of a cab and somehow got a same day appointment. it was a sign. we got to the showroom, poured champagne and had the shop to ourselves to shop and mingle our way through all her gowns. i mean, trying on wedding dresses is like one of the best things ever…and im not a super girly girl (well depending on who you ask) but damn, i could do this every month. you feel so special and actually like a bride! // so when i tried on my dress we knew it was the one. it was stunning. so different and sexified!! i felt like a queen. i saw myself on my wedding in it. i knew it was the one. the team at Carol Hannah is small enough and young enough to feel like your peers, in a great way, they share in your joy. They were truly so excited for me and so happy that i was sooo in love with this unique gown. I had the absolute best best experience with them. The next day, I came in again to try it on and got to meet Carol Hannah. how great is that, you dont always get to meet face to face the designer behind your gown. overall, it was just the experience i wanted. feeling like i had a personal experience with the brand and was treated with love and excitement. as you know, dress shops see 942 brides a week, so feeling special and taken care of it really a gem.
Customer Experience: a little story…when i got my dress in the mail months and months later (because they make it custom for you) and tried it on at home alone….and put on the bomb over-skirt that i fell in love with (because its like 2 dresses!) and it was totally different than my feeling in the store. reason being, the one i tried on in the shop was touched and tried on a million times and softened to a flowy silk….the one i got was brand new and because of that, more stiff. i was so sad because i loved the flowy’ness of that first try on. So i reached out to them, and spilled my heart...and asked for the original in the store for my own. and yep, they were so happy to send me that one i fell in love with. all that to say, they showed me incredible customer service and wanted me to be happy and love my dress. and yep, you guessed it…i did.
Her Line // If you’re looking for a really unique dress, look at CH. every line and season is completely new and different. I think its cool that she’s not totally predictable. Her lines dont all look exactly the same. i get the feeling each line is a reflection of where she’s at in life and her vision for that time….if you’re wanting something a little non-traditional and different, seek this girl out! I really cant say enough, Im SO glad that I was able to go here for my dress and have such an incredible experience surrounding such a fun part of planning your wedding. they made it such a special part of my wedding.
Their Role: provided all our gorgeous white bow-ties for CJ and the groomsmen.
Experience: the best. these are dreamy dreamy, all made by hand in Lithuania and arrived in the mail in the most beautiful packaging and look. They custom made our white bow-ties for us and matched perfectly to the guys suits….they were a wonderful matte white, thick and beautiful material. i LOVED these bow-ties. they hold their shape so well and include a how-to-tie diagram, because, newsflash its almost every wedding i shoot that if there are bow-ties, the guy has no idea how to tie it! (last weeks groom walked to Nordstrom to have his done day of) They have a gorgeous site and have a huge amount of colors to choose from. They had each of our guys send in measurements for their neck so the fit was perfect….their detail and care for a great product and delivery is wonderful.
They also offer ties and handkerchiefs, as well as of course the bow-ties..have basically any color you can think of and provided us such a great experience and delivery.
Their Role: All of our gorgina tables and chairs and bar top in Palm Springs.
Experience: the best! As i mentioned before, the dinner was so so super important to us. We wanted people to sit and eat and be there for hours. In Palm Springs, the food was our main event, so we really wanted a beautiful setup for the dinner that encouraged a nice long dinner. I could not be happier we chose Planks & Patina, they were so so super wonderful. John was so quick at getting back to us and had a great library of options for us to choose from. We chose their reclaimed long wood tables, their assorted chairs so it had some variety and fun to it, a few small side tables for the guest book, gifts and frame and then their Bar with a copper top. simple, not too over the top…..not too fancy but amazing quality. We didnt want too stuffy of a feeling or anything that didnt feel our vibe, so these fit perfectly. John was on time and amazing, set up the entire getup for us and was so easy to work with. I promise you, not every vendor is easy to work with (just in my life of working with weddings) so choosing someone with a great reputation and quality of service is so important. if you’re going to be giving your dollar somewhere, it might as well be to someone who you actually enjoy working with.
They are located in Palm Springs and serve the greater desert area. If you’re getting married in that location you must look them up! We absolutely adored
Their Site // HERE
Gorgina, right? we were able to achieve our long long dinner and gorgeous environment, exactly what we wanted. it totally impacted our aura of the night and our families wanting to stay around the table like a good holiday dinner. the dinner in palm springs was absolutely a dream. and i am so thankful we found Planks & Patina and was able to use them for our wedding.
Her Role: providing the gorgeous pampas grass for our ceremony.
Experience: I found her online and simply chose her because her site was bomb and she seemed to have a fun personality – so i reached out and told her about my idea for a grass circle for our ceremony. i am not really a fan of flowers, they just dont feel like me or us. i wanted CJ’s suit to be him and not have florals and i wanted my dress to be the star…and not carry around a $300 bouquet for a few hours. they just arent me. BUT i did want the ceremony to feel dreamy and i loved how that grass looked. i contacted her actually pretty close to the wedding and she was so pumped to work with me (and randomly already followed my work!) she immediately got shit all organized and was so speedy and happy to work on this tiny project for our wedding. i was worried that a florist wouldnt be willing to take such a small project since they are probably used to big $$$ projects but she was so kind and happy to fulfill this tiny floral dream of mine. she is located in San Diego (i thought LA) so she was even kind enough to coordinate a drop off with CJ’s brother in LA – she assembled all of them ahead of time so all we had to do was arrange the circle and blammo, we had our dreamy grass circle.
Her Work: This girl is uber talented and is all over the California scene and you cant scroll 10 inches on Green Wedding Shoes or any wedding blog…people love her and for a reason. if you’re getting married in the CA area….#duh check her out.
Her Site // HERE
The biggest thank you to those who offered such incredible talents up for our wedding. I feel so lucky that we got to have such incredible artists that helped bring the aura and experience we really wanted to life. Palm Springs was one incredible evening of our families falling in love with each other, not a lot of fluff, not a lot of pretense….just a really emotional ceremony and some damn good food.
If you have any reason to use any of these incredible artists for any wedding, event or party of yours…..dont you hesitate. you wont regret it.
last weekend was wonderful.
i rolled a few miles down from my house, to jared & shelby’s wedding. and they did it right.
my aim it to deliver work that seems effortless. relaxed. images with mood. with joy.
the final image may seem that. but its like the duck on water. graceful on top, yet paddling away under the surface.
it is the same for my process. smooth, deep, gorgeous imagery….does not come by chance. jared & shelby’s day prove just that.
to get ready in a gorgeous, light filled hotel. a venue surrounded by locations begging to shot in. extra extra time shooting the couple in good light. a couple who gasps and remarks in the playback of what we shot. a ceremony location chosen specifically in open shade in order to allow gorgeous, not blown out images. if you want to know what makes badass imagery, its that.
i’d love for my images to appear graceful, slow and relaxed. and they are. but dont be fooled, it doesnt happen by chance. it comes by time and an appreciation for the process. these two did just that, what more could i want?
what a refreshing day. and a couple i love. thank you for caring about the process and creating a day that allowed me to shoot good shit.
DIARY ADDITION: as i am mentally preparing for 2015. in the deep. if you’re wondering what type of weddings i’ll be taking on. its ones like these. i’m shooting and taking on less next year. i aim to work with couples who want the best images possible. who choose locations and venues knowing the photography potential. as i continue thru this wedding world, i refuse to feel sorry or shy about the fact that those are the weddings i connect with. the couples who i create the best work with. i aint doin’ this for the money and i dont want to just do whatever. my calendar is closed for the remaining 2014. and i’m being careful to truly book slowly, work i’m passionate about in 2015. if you plan on inquiring with me, please know that this is my aim. i’m looking for a connection and a value for photography. not a message that says “are you open? send me your prices.” you may not even hear back from me if that’s your approach. i’m gonna put a lot into you. so i expect the same. i realize all this can come off like i have my damn nose in the air. please dont get it confused. but take away the fact that, it is only my aim to take on work that is a fit. and that i can invest my heart into. knowing that you’ll be just as excited about good photos as i am. the process. the story. that’s all. that’s it.
there’s a very special spot, allotted to no one else. in the east corner of my heart.
it is designated for kerry and jon-paul. and the work we create.
i may have a muse, and for much of my career, its been years in between and then favorite work created with this couple, and this lady. so it is a very vury special day indeed, when we turn the corner from personal projects and have the opportunity to document the day they become one last name.
we dont like it normal. no hearts. no flowers. we like to do it a little different.
and that is why i love these two. this day was lovely beyond. i’d shoot it every day if i could.
her class. his spunk. they are forever.
breathe this effing in.
i hope this gets framed lifesize.
something i aim and hope to attract, is couples who want to create art on their wedding day. that gets me high. makes me hungry for more.
I just started publishing some videos to YouTube, so you can see a wedding start to finish. if you’d like to see more than is included in the blog post, you can go HERE.
// you can watch Kerry & Jon-Paul’s wedding slideshow i made for them on YouTube HERE.