Sweet, Simple Wedding in Downtown Los Angeles

Small details can make such a big impact in your wedding—the sweet flowers and extra care in choosing just the right food made Agatha + Walter's wedding beautiful and unique. The ceremony was help at the USC Caruso Center, and everyone enjoyed dining afterward at Otium in Downtown Los Angeles. I'm excited to share A+W's downtown Los Angeles wedding with you!

Kat Tanita, With Love from Kat // Kelly LeVeque, Body Love

What a treat to photograph both of these lovely women on the cusp of exciting projects. Kat Tanita, the blogger behind With Love From Kat, was prepping the launch of her Wellness Wednesday series, and Kelly LeVeque, the nutritionist known for Be Well By Kelly, was about to release her book, Body Love. I loved being in the kitchen with these two to photograph healthy recipes!

Kirsten Paige Bridal at Urban Light

On of my favorite wedding gown designers in Los Angeles is about to be one of my fave designers—in San Francisco! Kirsten Paige of Kirsten Paige Bridal creates dreamy dresses that are absolutely stunning, always with a sweet detail that sets your look apart on your wedding day. We got together with our model, Erin, for a shoot before the move at Urban Light at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. What a dream!

El Matador Engagement Session

It took us a couple of tries to get Erica + Kevin's engagement session just right (high tide and rogue waves took us out at the first attempt!), but it was worth the wait to get these laughs on camera. Just a few more months until their November wedding! 

Los Angeles Wedding at Los Verdes Golf Course

Congratulations Estefany + Joseph! This was such a beautiful, fun wedding—and those sunset views! Los Verdes Golf Course definitely has something special.

Los Angeles Wedding at Inn of the Seventh Ray

The love between Heather +Shayne is so amazingly tangible—you can just feel the depth of it by being around them. This sweet emotion made for one of my favorite first looks ever! Congratulations you guys!

Soda Pop Public Relations Celebrates 6 Years in Ojai at Caravan Outpost

Each year, I get the joy of photographing these amazing women to celebrate the Soda Pop PR anniversary. SPPR was founded by Dyan Offut in Los Angeles, and they're such a fun bunch!

Bubbly + Romantic Engagement at Sunset Cliffs, San Diego

I always encourage my couples to bring props—Lauren + Todd definitely took their engagement session to the next level by popping some bubbly over the rocky Sunset Cliffs in San Diego! I can't wait to photograph their fall wedding!

Sweet + Romantic Wedding at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel

Congratulations, Jess + Caleb! The emotion and joy of your wedding day is absolutely inspiring and I'm so honored to have photographed it! 

Venue: Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel

Dress: David's Bridal

Wedding Why: When should I book my wedding photographer?

Me photographing one of my 2016 couples (as a brunette, obviously—gotta keep it fun!).

Me photographing one of my 2016 couples (as a brunette, obviously—gotta keep it fun!).

There's a lot to be overwhelmed by when it comes to wedding planning, and those of us who work in the wedding industry understand exactly how you feel: stressed, overwhelmed, crazed, and a little bit sleepy—you'll stay up more than a few nights planning that seating chart. 

You have a million questions about wedding planning, but let me take this one off your plate: "When should I book my photographer?"

Soon! Yes, really soon. Like, 9-12 months before your wedding date, soon. Let's back up a bit. When you book your wedding vendors, the first thing they'll ask you is your wedding date. Of all the choices you have to make for your wedding, start there: Picking your wedding date is priority No. 1.

From there, your second step is to choose a planner, who will help you organize everything else. From there, you'll nail down your photographer and your wedding venue. 

Yes, 9 or even 12 months out seems really early, but in wedding planning terms, you're right on time. We book early and often, so our weekends fill up fast, and there are only so many to go around. 

If you have any burning whys of your wedding day, send them to me! My "wedding why" series is here to answer them. Email court@daybreakanddusk.com with your Qs or to inquire about my 2018 wedding dates (it's already that time of year!). 

xo,

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Modern Greenery Wedding at The York Manor in Los Angeles

This sweet couple—I love how much joy and absolute giddiness radiates from their faces when they're around each other. Congratulations on a beautiful wedding, Molly + Kris!

Event planning: Event Science // Venue: The York Manor // Florals: Confetti + Bloom // Hair + Makeup: Dominique Calvillo // Dress: David's Bridal // Tux: Groom Studio Weddings // Catering: Iconic Catering

The 8 Biggest Wedding Trends for 2017

Wedding season is in full swing, especially in Southern California. I recently attended WeddingWire World 2017, which had many wedding-industry experts speaking. Notably, Mindy Weiss, event designer extraordinaire, treated the crowd to her take on the biggest wedding trends this year.

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Colors: Green, White + Beyond

Green and white has been a popular combo in the last few wedding seasons, but now we're seeing these two with additional pops of color in creative ways. Accents of peaches and pinks for a softer touch, and even the vessels are giving us some added brightness with blues. 

Big Accents: Marble Everything

Accents pieces are stealing the show with marble everything: dishes, invites, furniture, cakes, etc. It goes with any color and fits in any celebration. Plus, accents are also having a mixed-metal moment: rose gold, gold and platinum are mixing together for a unique touch. Silver and gold are particularly fabulous together. 

Fresh + Flowery Cakes

Fresh flowers are the perfect cake decoration these days, usually wrapping up and around the different layers. Plus, we've also seen a trend in downplaying the cake cutting—no one wants to stop the party or the dancing.

Creative Placecards

Placecards are moving away from traditional paper and into your local hardware store. Tiles are more popular than ever, whether from local tile stores or even remnants from home depot.

Unstructured Flowers

The big bouquet is back! They're taking on interesting shapes that are unstructured and wild (you know I love that). This also means that brides will have to hold them a bit differently because they're so large—some brides are even cradling these wild creations.

Creative Cocktail Hour

For couples who don't want to do a full bar during cocktail hour, they're getting creative by offering interactive drink experiences: wine tastings and beer gardens with craft brews have been on tap for a lot of weddings this year. Afterward, there's a full open bar for guests at the reception.

Music with No Sound

Seriously, silent discos are all the rage. When the newlyweds want to keep the music going late and loud but don't want to offend the neighbors, DJs and event planners are providing headphones for silent discos. That's right, all the guests wear headphones, which is the only place the music can be heard. It's surprisingly fun, and the guests really let loose. 

Comfort Food at All Hours

Rehearsal dinners are becoming more casual, and food trucks are still a big element (we see a ton of in-n-out trucks here in Southern California). There is more comfort food being served for the wedding dinner, including beef, fish and basket of fries, which people looooove right after cocktail hour while waiting for the first course. For the after party, couples are bringing in local food from outside vendors, like food trucks, street tacos, hot dogs, grilled cheese and pizza. Speaking of the after party, it has become an entire party to plan on its own. Couples want to keep the night going, and they don't hesitate to turn up the volume on the fun at the after party.

4 Must-Haves for Styling Your Engagement Photos

This is the question I get most often: What should I wear for my photos? These are my top 4 must-haves (and must-dos) for styling your engagement session.

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1. Basic, Not Boring

You want your personality to shine through in photos, of course. But I always recommend avoiding logos or prints that will outshine you in photos. Logos tend to be the first object that the eyes travel to in photos—when they should be looking at your beautiful faces. Pick solid colors or designs that give interest to your photos but don't overwhelm the scene.

2. Bright is Better

Yes, go bright! We all gravitate toward wearing dark colors in photos because they're flattering, but don't underestimate the power of a pop of color in your engagement session. Here in Los Angeles, we're typically visiting beaches, forests and country spots for photos, so wearing bright pinks, reds, oranges and yellows will separate you more from the background and make you stand out against a backdrop of green fields, blue skies and neutral (ok, golden) beaches.

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3. Comfortable Clothes Make a Comfortable Shoot

If anything is obvious in photos, it's an uncomfortable smile. I want you to relax! Hang out, have fun, let your hair down and enjoy the afternoon. (Some couples have been known to bring a flask and take a quick shot pre-photos—but you didn't hear it from me.) And if you're wearing comfy clothes that you feel confident in, then that confidence will show up in your photos and take your look to a whole new level.

4. Try Your Hair and Makeup Team

Ladies... this. Over and over again. You'll have to do hair and makeup trials before your wedding day, and it should definitely be right before your engagement session. You'll get a sneak peek at how you're beauty will look and feel in person and in photos—plus, it will answer some important questions: Will my lipstick rub off during our first kiss? Will my foundation melt in the sun? Will my eyeliner smudge if I start to perspire? These are all must-knows!

One more note...

For the guys: You can't go wrong with a button-down shirt, it's classic. For both of you, I recommend bringing a couple of outfit choices. We usually photograph 1-2 looks during an engagement session: a casual look and a dressed-up look. Or, pick your all-time fave and be comfortable in it for the whole session. 

How to Throw a Wedding That is True to Your Wild Heart

Start with the dream. 

If you could plan any wedding, no matter the budget, what would it look like? Would it be in the middle of Yosemite surrounded by your closest friends and family? Would it be a five-star hotel in the middle of Los Angeles with three hundred of your closest family and friends?

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Hold on to that vision. Scale your dream to match your budget. And don't let anyone else's opinions about the flowers or the location or the color scheme sway you. 

If you want to throw a wild + fearless wedding, just remember this one thing: That's ok.

You want the name cards to be in the shape of dinos? That's ok.

You want bright orange and neon pink as your color scheme? That's ok.

You don't want the DJ to play YMCA? That's definitely ok. With pretty much everyone.

You want to skip the garter toss? Hey babe, that's totally ok. 

There will be a lot of opinions that fill up your wedding day, but the only ones that matter are yours and your future spouse. Don't feel like you have to stick to tradition or please everyone. Make it your day—one that is full of your unique personality and endless love. To throw a wedding that's rooted in what you really want rather than what everyone else says you're supposed to do? That's pretty wild. And fearless.

Engagement Session at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks, California

I love this time of year, when weddings are being planned and it's time to photograph engagement sessions. Kaitlyn + Allen have a lot of adventure in store, and I can't wait for their fall wedding!