What a delight to see BRIDES.com feature one of our favorites.
When Krisi asked if we were available to shoot her sister's wedding, we were equal parts floored and delighted. I mean, this is Krisi Johnson, for crying out loud. Then we had the pleasure of meeting Kayla and Mitch and were blown away. They are the people who are so hot that part of you expects them to be mean. On the contrary, they're kind, lovely, fun, warm, and quite simply, everything and more we expected from the Johnson family and anybody associated with it.
This two-part wedding was blow-your-socks-off beautiful. Kayla and Mitch gave the GRO Designs team complete creative freedom, and oh boy, did they deliver: for the late-December ceremony and brunch at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, a custom (and breathtaking) floral wall as the backdrop, ombré floral arrangements running the length of the entire banquet table, and perfect Christmas-time touches.
The New Year's Eve reception (i.e. perfect excuse to throw an amazing party for your friends and family) at the Joule Hotel boasted swanky black and gold design, a rad DJ, and the coolest and hottest people in Dallas. It was basically the best New Year's Eve party to which we would otherwise never be invited.
To Kayla and Mitch, where do we begin with you two? We've probably gone through your photos at least a dozen times, and our faces ache from the relentless ear-to-ear smiles. Thank you for having us and for trusting us so warmly with your wedding day. You guys were nothing short of an absolute pleasure. Love you guys. Please tell Lenny that Leo says congratulations on finding a dad.
To GRO Designs: Next level y'all. We are forever honored and grateful to have contributed to this celebration and documented your amazing design. It was a true pleasure, and we just love you guys forever and ever amen.
Event coordinator, event design, and floral design: GRO Designs
Ceremony venue: Mansion on Turtle Creek
Reception venue: Joule Hotel
Makeup: Maitee Miles
Hairstylist: Pin Salon
Kayla's ceremony gown: Anne Barge
Kayla's reception gown: Jenny Packham
Mitch's suits: Stanley Korshak
DJ: DJ S.O.U.L.Jah
Invitations: Chips & Salsa Designs & Blue Eye Brown Eye
In September, we received a call from a dear friend asking when we were available before the end of the year. We had one Saturday, and it was less than a month later. "Let's do it," he said. They acquired a ceremony permit for Central Park, purchased flights to NYC, and three weeks later, this magical elopement happened...
Thank you to the Junebug Weddings blog for featuring this gem. The full feature is live HERE.
To GRO Designs: You two are simply the most talented event designers we know, and we're so happy to call you our lovely friends.
To the Harmses: we have real-deal love for the two of you, and we are infinitely thrilled for the forthcoming years of joy you will have together.
All our love,
She loves champagne, and he loves craft cocktails. So basically, they were our instant best friends. I know that bonding over alcoholic preferences doesn't seem like a healthy way to make friends, but it's working out very well for us. So cheers!
We have had non-stop laughs with these two, from our client meeting to the portrait sessions, to the wedding day, to dinner after their honeymoon. Y'all, they brought some rad souvenirs back for us...from their honeymoon. I think this makes them to most thoughtful people roaming the earth. On my honeymoon, I was only concerned about one thing, and it was not getting souvenirs back to anybody, especially the photographer (Sorry, Nirav, we love you!). All that to say that these are the caliber people we insist on keeping in our lives, and we look forward to continuing our friendship with them.
For this one, we owe a massive THANK YOU SO MUCH to Meredith Commender of Significant Events of Texas, definitely one of our favorites. She hooked us up with these two, and we are forever grateful. Meredith is a stellar event coordinator, y'all. Check her out. And STEMS of Dallas is responsible for all that stunning floral design. Check them out too.
All our love, Ashley and Clay! xoxo
Event coordinator: Meredith Commender, Significant Events
Floral design: STEMS of Dallas
Venue: Hotel Adolphus
Dress: Jenny Packham
Hair and makeup: Beauty and the Blush
Cake: Dallas Affaires
Entertainment: The Project Band Dallas
"Infectious" is the word. These two, their sweet souls, and their joyful smiles are simply infectious. Shaun and Blair have known each other for ages. I believe there's a New Year's Eve shenanigan involved wherein their group of friends went to their friends' parties around town starting the NYE countdown. They just started yelling "Ten! Nine! Eight!..." and everybody joined in, hah! Blair is a person who radiates joy and laughs often, and she can't help spreading it to everybody around her. Delightfully infectious. Brian is her perfect companion, adoring her for her energy and offering a balance, remarkably kind and exceedingly thoughtful. I'll just have to leave it at that; otherwise, I'll probably not be able to stop.
To another team of amazing wedding professionals, thank you for all your stunning work. Between Blair's amazing style and your vision and execution, this was FLAWLESS.
Thank you so much Style Me Pretty for featuring this one.
Event designer and coordinator: Bird Dog Wedding
Floral designer: Margot Blair Floral
Ceremony venue: Hotel Saint Cecilia
Reception venue: Hotel Ella
Wedding dress: Second Summer Bride
Shoes: Gianvito Rossi
Invitations: Gold Fox Paper
Hair: Carolyn Holden at Salon Hush
Makeup: Donna Bruns
Linens: La Tavola
DJ: Johnny Bravvo
Cake: La Victoria
Vintage furniture: Loot Vintage Rental
Kate and Donovan were technically already married. They currently live in Qatar, where Muslim law prevents unwed couples from legally cohabiting. Their stateside legal ceremony opened with the court reporter mumbling unsavory remarks not quite under her breath. Sweet, huh? Well don't worry; it gets much better for these two.
Kate and Donovan wanted to throw an actual wedding celebration in a place that would be exciting and adventurous but wouldn't incite severe jet-lag for their stateside families. They decided on Greece, and we couldn't be happier about that. The guest list included immediate family, a few friends that might-as-well-be-family, and us, for a total of 22. It was magical.They got married on a rooftop overlooking Mykonos town and the Aegean Sea. Kate and Donovan carried glasses of champagne down the aisle together, and Kate's dad said some awfully sweet things and concluded the ceremony with a "Cheers!" to the couple. AWESOME, RIGHT?? Everybody then enjoyed a poolside dinner, punctuated with more people saying more awfully sweet things, and then everybody danced the night away. The wedding ended the only way a poolside reception should EVER end, and that's with several people plunging in, some of them completely clothed.
I must point out that Kate and Donovan were so admirably laid-back about the wedding planning process that they "ran out of time" to do any floral design. They were perfectly content, as were we, because one does not need to decorate Greece. However, Kate's good friend, who also happens to be a fantastic event designer, would have none of that. She took it upon herself to drive down to the local flower market, procure various and sundry foliage and flora, and decorate the ceremony and reception spaces. Oooooo she nailed it, she did.
We spend four days with Kate, Donovan, and their families, so we could go on and on. Instead, however, I'll simply say that these two were kind, welcoming, hysterical, fun, generous, and just simply wonderful. We hope you enjoy the photos.
To Kate and Donovan: We couldn't be happier for you two. Thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts, for absolutely everything. All our love from Texas! xoxo
Venue: Leonis Summer Houses
Event Design: Emily Wilson
Hair: Anna Kalaitzoglou at Beautyworld by Despina Gavala
Catering: Yefsi Restaurant
Stephanie and Michael eloped to Jamaica, and their first act as a married couple was to jump off a 25-foot bridge into the Caribbean waters. Rad.
Stephanie is infectiously joyful and wildly gregarious, and it billows from the photos. Michael is her perfect balance — pensively reserved and warmly introverted. Their powers combined make a truly remarkable couple. They have an adventurous, seize-the-moment spirit, demonstrated by their adventures outside the Rockhouse Hotel into the streets of Negril. They made friends with a family across the street and invited them to the wedding dinner, and I suspect the suitcase seams are permanently distended by the amount of goods Stephanie and Michael snagged from the local artists. They woke up early and went to bed late, maximizing every moment of their elopement adventure. And oh boy, are we grateful we were along for the ride.
Upon their stateside return, Stephanie and Michael threw an unforgettable reception for family and close friends. It's going down in our books as the most unique receptions we've had the pleasure to photograph. The Guerras hosted their guests at the delightfully uncommon Quixotic World, which boasts a stilt walker and stage dancer, and the couple brought in a tarot card reader and caricaturist. It was all one magnificent and magical adventure.
Peruse the summer 2016 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings and you'll encounter Tara and Dan: Power Couple. We knew within minutes of meeting them that they would be a phenomenal fit for us. And while some assume that a single woman out of her 20s is either mentally unstable (you know, because her uterus makes her nuts-o), unable to have kids (gasp!), or simply bad at relationships, I'm here to say that Tara is PERFECTION. She's confident and ambitios, an entrepreneur, operating a vintage resale shop via Etsy. It's called Victor & Paulette, and it boasts some rad finds. Have a look! Entrepreneurial spirit aside, we admire Tara because she waited it out for Dan, refusing to waste time on the inferior. In this culture that esteems instant gratification and demands validation from peers, Tara waited for her match.
And what a match it is. These two are marvelous together - fun, intentional, kind, and cool as hell. A raging Texas thunderstorm blew in just as dinner started, and these two ran out for a quick wind-blown photo just before the rain unleashed.
Tara and Dan hosted an intimate and meaningful wedding, attended by their closest and best, all crunched affectionally indoors during the reception by cause of the storm. And of course, Tara designed and executed some exquisite details of which Martha Stewart Weddings approves!
Oh, also...that DRESS.
Thank you to the wedding professionals who contributed to this beauty!
Event design: We + You
Location: Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden
Dress: Yolan Cris
Cake: Sugar Bee Sweets
Calligraphy: Butler's Pantry
Ceremony music: European Ensemble Strings
DJ: DJ Deluxe
Hair: Tasha Graham at Live Hair Group
Dan's suit: Hugo Boss
Hang out in the Dominican Republic for a few days with a wonderful couple and a stellar wedding team? Why, yes please. Don't mind if we do.
GRO Designs, sheesh! DJ S.O.U.L.Jah, confetti cannons, fireworks, dancers, these people had no idea what was coming their way, and GRO delivered a stellar party. I've never seen so many beautiful people completely apathetic that they were drenched in tropic sweat from dancing so hard. It was phenomenal.
Thanks to everybody involved, and to Ashleigh and Lance, CONGRATULATIONS! You two together are a radiant light, and we love you guys. xoxo
Event and floral design: GRO Designs
Venue: Casa de Campo
Ceremony music: Shane & Shane
Reception music: DJ S.O.U.L.Jah
Hair and makeup: Kristy at makeupnola.com
Groom's suit: The Ross Bennett Collection
Bride's dress: Kenneth Pool
Custom logo: Jocelyn Jesus
The officiant pronounced Saba and Sayed "married," and the sheer joy and freedom that poured out of this couple made a marvelous moment. Saba and Sayed endured a decade of courtship full of ups and downs, and their love for one another never wavered. To photograph a small piece of that love story was an honor and a joy. We hope you love these photographs as much as we do.
To Saba and Sayed: Your love for one another is one to inspire the masses. Thank you so much for trusting us to capture it. xoxo
Event Coordinator: Meredith Commender at Significant Events of Texas
Mehndi Venue: T&P Station
Wedding Venue: Belo Mansion
Florist: Lush Couture Design
Cake: Frosted Art
Dress: Almas Tejani Desi Couture
Hair and Makeup: Mo Bowers at Fairy Godmother Bridal
DJ: DJ Yoonis
Transportation: Blue Diamond Limos
Rings: Ascot Diamonds
Event Decor: Prashe Event Decor
Henna: Sharmin Ajani
Mega thank you to Grant Daniels for photographing with us and contributing some phenomenal images to this collection. Couldn't have do it without you, bud!
Y'all. We do not have enough words to do justice our experience with the Golans. And I wuz a English majerr, so you know it was exquisite. Melissa and Dani live here in Dallas but have roots in Chicago. Melissa initially inquired for engagement portraits only, but after meeting them, shooting their portraits, and having dinner with them, I did what Shaun likes to call "juggernauting" the bride. That basically entails me passive aggressively bombarding the couple with our work and incessantly "following up" until they're completely deflated of any other hope. Then they hire us! Photographers, workshop coming soon.
In all seriousness, we were ecstatic when Melissa and Dani decided that it was worth taking us out to Chicago with them. They initially searched in Chicago for a photographer, but I like to pretend that never happened. When I received the "We would love to hire you!" email, my heart skipped a beat.
Their wedding was a traditional Jewish affair with Tish, Ketubah signing, ceremony, and reception complete with the Hora. They chose the Standard Club for its rich Jewish heritage and Old World feel with luscious dark woods and intricate tapestries. Oh my, it was beautiful. On a side note, I don't think I've every seen anybody so stinkin' composed and elegant whilst being flung wildly about in a chair. And she's a tiny little thing, so they really could have launched her, but Melissa was ON POINT. And everybody was going HARD for definitely the most memorable Hora we've seen.
Wedding aside, on a personal level, Melissa and Dani are simply the best. They are intentional and kind, so incredibly sweet, and fun to be around. They have a really cute proposal story. It was Friday night after Shabbat dinner, and Melissa had fallen ill (the thought of sweet little Melissa feeling sick is heartbreaking), so she went to bed and woke up the next morning completely refreshed. She ran downstairs and was greeting by her sweet, handsome, gentle, caring boyfriend yelling at her to go back upstairs and get changed. When she came back down, Dani had set up a reconstruction of their first 40 dates. You see, Melissa, having been convinced of Dani's superb character and husband potential early on, had documented their dates since the beginning. Dani used that material to construct a "proposal wonderland," I like to call it. Well, Dani is an eccentric romantic, so Melissa wasn't quite sure he was proposing until he led her to a picture of an airplane, told her he wanted to travel the world with her, and got a little quiver in his voice. That's when Melissa knew. She obviously said "yes." They celebrated with family, planned their Chicago wedding, and here we are, with new and wonderful friends.
To Melissa and Dani: We have loved every moment, and we hope to have many more with you two. Mazel tov to one sublime couple, and so much love from the Menarys! xoxo
And thank you, thank you, thank you to all the Chicago-based professionals we got to work with, especially the fantastic and talented Graham Buss, who helped us shoot this one and delivered some wonderful images.
Wedding Coordinator: Affairs with Linda
Venue: The Standard Club
Floral Design: Stems of Chicago
Cake: Cake Chicago
Makeup: Glow by Claudia
Hair: Rikki Bassmann of Dear Clark
Entertainment: Stitely Entertainment
Favors: Glazed and infused
Rehearsal Dinner: Pecorino Restaurant
Sometimes friends become clients who consequently become better friends, case in point: Heather and Joel. When Heather reached out to us saying that she was having a hard time finding a local Virgin Islands wedding photographer who could shoot well at night, I'm almost ashamed to say that my heart leapt (obviously not ashamed enough). Shaun's photography degree encompassed extensive light training, so shooting at night is simple...nay, downright fun.
We had the honor of accompanying Heather and Joel to the Virgin Islands for their wedding and spent four days celebrating with these lovelies and their families. If "a day without laugher is a day wasted," then these two would make Charlie Chaplin proud with their infectious joy and perpetual laughs.
We smile unceasingly ear-to-ear when we look their photos, and we hope they make you as happy as they make us.
To Heather and Joel: You two are a perfect match and absolute dream clients, and we're infinitely grateful that you shared your wedding celebration with us. Side note: Shaun and I agree that it's time husbands start taking wives' last names. #joelzak forever.
Second side note: No crabs or iguanas were harmed in the photographing of this wedding.
Hotel: Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel
Wedding beach: Cinnamon Bay
Reception venue: Ocean Grill
Coordinator: Ceremonies of St. John
Floral shop: East End Flower Shop
Wedding dress: Love Marley
Bridal shop: Blue Bridal
Joel's suit: Hugo Boss
There is a special place in our hearts for Bobbie and David Hatch. They are kind, generous, and so very classy. They forewent the traditional wedding route and instead, threw a low-key affair with a family-style dinner and simple quality time with their VIPs. It was charming and intentional, joyful and sweet, simply a lovely wedding to photograph.
Many, many thanks to the Mr. and Mrs. Hatch for inviting us in.
Backstory: Shaun and I spent our honeymoon along the PCH, an unimaginably beautiful stretch of highway that offers breathtaking view after breathtaking view of the California coast. Since then, we occasionally dream-talked about how sublime it would be to go back and photograph a couple there. Well then, this magical thing happened.
And not only did it happen, but it happened with Yvonne and Jeffrey. These are two of the highest quality people on planet Earth. As an illustration, their place cards were bags of seeds they asked their guests to empty into one of three buckets representing three different charities important to the couple, thereby "voting" for that charity. After the wedding, Yvonne and Jeffrey made a monetary donation to the winning charity. High quality people. This is one of the reasons we love our jobs so much. Sometimes we see in our couples wisdom and generosity that inspire us to be better. These two and their hearts of gold...sheesh.
What's hysterical in retrospect is that when Shaun and I traveled to San Francisco to shoot Yvonne and Jeffrey's couple's session, we had that slightly panicky feeling you get when you realize you're about to spend 10 hours in a car with two people you've only met on Skype. But it took us all of 20 seconds to put that anxiety to bed and realize that if we were going to be stuck in a car with new people for half of a day, these were the people. Naturally, we had a teeming caché of hysterical inside jokes before we even stopped for gas.
We hope you all enjoy these photos as much as we do! I think Yvonne and Jeffrey have the most endearing and infectious smiles. You simply cannot look at them without feeling happy on the inside. (Just try, and PLEASE let me know if I'm wrong here; although I'll probably just respond by calling you a heartless, soulless baffoon. You've been informed.)
To Yvonne and Jeffrey: We are so very grateful for absolutely everything. We feel lucky that you chose us. And most importantly, we have walked away with a renewed appreciation for kindness and generosity. xoxoxo
Thank you so very much to the team of superb wedding vendors out in California! We had a lovely time working with all of you, and everything was so beautifully executed.
Venue: The Ranch at Little Hills
Floral design: Flowerstory
Hair and makeup: A-List Makeup
Wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses: J.Crew
Shoes: Cole Haan
Photo booth: Mementostrip
Cake: Fleur de Farine
Rentals: Pleasanton Rentals
I'm not really sure how to describe what I experienced when shooting Michelle and Antonio's wedding. First, I got to go to Central America and experience a different culture, which is one of my favorite things to do anyway. Second, Antigua is probably the coolest city I've seen with gorgeous, historic architecture. Third, the venue, Hotel Santa Domingo, is built around old ruins and has incredible character and history built into the very walls. Finally, not only are Michelle and Antonio two of the most beautiful people in the world, their love for each other is tangible and inspiring. Being there capturing their story was an unforgettable experience that has made its mark on me. I'm so thankful! Also, Guatemalans know how to party.
These two are magic. Molly is a radiant delight, and David is as kind as they come. Thanks, you two, for having us at your wedding, for our Texas State Fair/portrait session double date, and for being your sublime selves. All our love!
And thanks so much to GRO Designs for another exquisite event design. It was creatively dazzling, per the usual.
Event and Floral Design: GRO Designs
Venue: Belmont Hotel
Videography: Splendor Films
Photo Booth: Photo Wagon
Makeup: Visuelle Artistry
Wedding Dress: After Six
Delightful SoCal weather, a stunning private estate, a phenomenally talented wedding designer, and a couple deep, deep in love with one another -- sometimes the stars sprint into alignment. You'll see.
Floral Design and Event Coordination: GRO Designs
Invitations: GRO Designs
Dress: Romona Keveza
Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop
Furniture Rentals: Minted & Vintage
Party Rentals: JC Party Rentals
Linens: La Tavola
Hair and Makeup: Mariah Nicole Makeup and Hair Artistry
DJ: Matt Cornwall
To all involved, our deepest thanks for a lovely wedding.
And to the McMillans, congratulations on your new family, and much love from the Menarys!