Engagement Love - Shauna & Jonathan!

Shauna and Jonathan are a breath of fresh air and I couldn't be more excited for their wedding tomorrow! Weddings around the holidays can be tricky but these two are doing it the right way. They're having a small, intimate wedding with close family and friends. I can't wait to see Shauna in her beautiful gown and Jonathan's face as she walks down the aisle to him.


Photography: My Life Photography 
Makeup: 9 Shades by J 


Miriam & Fred!

Let me just cut to the chase and tell you the most entertaining thing about Miriam and Fred: so, Miriam is hilarious and anyone who knows her, knows I'm not making that up. I'm constantly laughing about almost anything so needless to say, our meetings were filled with jokes, laughs and sometimes linens. Fred would sit by, roll his eyes and eventually laugh. Fred's #1 goal in life, aside from being a great husband, father, brother and friend, is to NOT laugh at Miriam but he loses every single time and it's HILARIOUS.

I'll never forget when Miriam sent me a text saying that she wanted to play Fred's college fight song on her trombone. I thought she was kidding because it's Miriam and this is something she'd joke I thought. Her father and I were the only ones who knew about it and when it was time, he grabbed the trombone, handed it to her and Miriam jumped right in. Fred looked stunned at first, got a huge grin on his face then he joined in along with everyone else. The entire day was full of memorable moments like this which made for one of the most magical weddings of my career.


Dede & Stephen!

I've always said that wedding planning is an intimate experience. As the planner, we're involved in every aspect of the couple's life. You deal with their finances, family struggles and their relationship...just to name a few things. Planning Dede & Stephen's wedding was a new level of intimacy.

We had our planning meetings during Dede's chemo treatments for Stage II breast cancer. She wanted to take her mind off of things and what better way than to do it while picking out invitations and going over every detail of the big day?  I'll never forget a conversation that we had at her final chemo treatment. Stephen was talking about the future and settling down after the wedding and leaving the cancer behind. I've spent a lot of time with them and every once in a while, Stephen gets this twinkle in his eyes. There is a bell that people ring at the end of their final chemo treatment. When Dede walked over to ring that bell, the twinkle was there. It was magical.


Adrienne & Jeff!

If I graded my couples based on the planning advice they took from me, Adrienne and Jeff would get an A+! After our first meeting, I took notes and understood how they moved as a couple. They took all of the information in, they'd consult with each other and then come back to me and tell me their final decision, which was always what I suggested. I always told them to trust the experts and they did...all the way until the end. 

Now, as much as I'm praising these two, I had a bit of a struggle convincing them to do a first look. They were determined not to see each other before the ceremony. They felt that it took away from the actual moment, which I understood. Logistics were a huge factor in the photographer and I pushing for their first look. Ultimately, they trusted the experts and had one of the most magical first looks that I've ever witnessed. 

Karida & Derrell's Surprise Engagement!

The idea of getting engaged at someone's wedding is normally a no-no. You know how it goes: it's the bride's day and all of the attention should be solely on her. While that's true in most cases, I can't help but LOVE the idea of bride's allowing their friends to get engaged during their wedding. It takes a very special bride to share some of the shine with someone else on her special day.  

While everyone was gearing up for Joy and Lateef's destination wedding in San Francisco, Bahia, Joy's daughter, received a phone call from Derrell, Bahia's close friend. He told her that he was going to propose while they were in town. Joy overheard the conversation, grabbed the phone and insisted that he propose during their reception.  She said,"You'll be surrounded by friends and family. That'll be the PERFECT place to do it!" 

After all of the formal pictures had been taken, Joy and Lateef changed into their reception outfits, thanked everyone for coming and gave Derrell the signal, "Thank you all for coming and celebrating this beautiful day with us...but first..." When Karida and Derrell were done with the traditional African dances they had practiced, all of the dancers stayed at the front of the room, swaying from side-to-side. Karida didn't know what dance this was but she stayed up there and swayed with everyone else. As Derrell played the drum, he made his way over to Karida and the rest is history.  It was an honor to have been able to witness it all unfold. For Joy and Lateef, the proposal was the icing on the cake.  

{Photo Credit: Ifanyi Bell}

You can watch the magic unfold below: