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Ben & Amy // Glamorous Los Angeles engagement

Glamorous Los Angeles engagement  //  ©2018 Sun & Sparrow Los Angeles wedding photographers 

FROM THE BRIDE: Born a Southern girl, I’ve always dreamed of something bigger and better. In 2012, I decided it was time. I packed up my dog and a group of friends and caravanned across the country to a new life in Los Angeles. A week later, I was sitting in orientation for my first day of graduate school. Little did I know, the love of my life was there as well. We were both hearing the same speech from a professor: “work hard, study hard” – all the usual things. The professor told our group to expect to make lifelong friends, and said that some of us might even end up marrying someone they meet at school. We both individually laughed off this last statement, thinking, “yeah right.” But actually, he was right…

 

Ben and I became friends the first week of school. We were in a similar social circle and chatted during late night cramming sessions. In the middle of our second year, we had a fancy school event and I needed a date. A true gentleman, he picked me up in a nice car, held the door for me, and bought me food and drinks. After that, as a true Los Angeles native, Ben took me on a whirlwind tour of the City that continues to this day. We went to the hottest restaurants, drank at dive bars that you see in old movies about LA, sang karaoke in Koreatown, became friends with servers at his favorite deli in the valley, explored canyons above the hills, and walked red carpets at award shows. Not only is he adventurous, but he is incredibly smart and charming. He is that tall, dark, handsome type that little girls only dream of. I fell in love with Ben and the new city I would call home.

 

Our adventure has continued for over four years. In April 2018, he took me to New York City to see a Broadway show. On our last night, we were late-night dining at a quintessential New York restaurant where Buddy Holly proposed to his wife. As we were headed out to meet up with some friends, he caught me by surprise. He took a knee, opened a box, and asked me to marry him. Needless to say, I said yes, feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. I cannot wait to see what is in store for us as we embark on this next chapter in LA together – as husband and wife.

Mike & Pauline // a natural love // engagement in Palos Verdes

A natural love engagement in Palos Verdes, CA // ©2016 Sun & Sparrow Los Angeles wedding and engagement photographers

Sun & Sparrow is one of the leading engagement and wedding photographers in the Los Angeles area as well as Santa Barbara and Orange County.

FROM THE BRIDE //  Back in 2014, Mike and I have been planning a trip to Maui for May 2015.  This was going to be our first “adult”, just the two of us trip! (Ha) As the day was approaching for us to leave to Hawaii, the only expectation I had was to relax, enjoy the beautiful beaches, and of course to always have a delicious cocktail in my hand. We had done our research on all the cool, hidden beaches to go to, and all the amazing food hot spots to hit, but the one thing we absolutely had to do was go on the road to Hana. Now being someone who does not enjoy long car rides, I was a little skeptical. But the images we saw online were to die for, and I knew if we did not go that we would both regret it for the rest of our lives! (Maybe haha) For the first 3 days we had our schedules filled with fun activities. We went snorkeling on the coral reef in Lanai, went to our first luau, resort hopped, and swam in what is probably now one of my favorite beaches, “The Little Beach”. By the fourth day, I was already feeling a little pooped, but Mike was so adamant about waking up at 5am, and making that 7 hour drive to the road to Hana. Super tired and cranky in the car, Mike tells me he wants to make a quick stop to a mini hiking trail, that leads to two waterfalls called Twin Falls. Trying to be as enthusiastic as him, I agree, and soon enough we arrive to the trail. As Mike promised the hike was short, wet, and filled with spider webs (eek!), but as soon as we both see the two beautiful waterfalls, I forget my tiredness. A group of girls leave soon after we arrive and we both get our phones out trying to capture the waterfall. As I’m recording, I notice Mike shuffling on the ground looking for something in our backpack. Completely unaware of what he’s searching for, I continue to record, and ask him casually, “why are you on the ground? What are you doing Mike?” Then I look down, and there he is, with the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen and asks me, “Boo boo, will you marry me?” I burst into tears, and completely speechless and unable to find my voice to scream “yes”, I just nod my head and soon enough, the words come out and he puts the ring on my finger. He explains the reason why he wanted to come to this specific spot to propose was because each waterfall represented both Mike and I, and the water they fell to was the “one” that we were becoming. We were officially merging into one family. This was the highlight of our trip to Maui, and I will forever remember that unexpected moment, and words, until the day I die.

Now with just 4 months until we say “I do”, I can’t wait to spend this intimate day with our closest friends and family who’ve stuck by and supported both Mike and I for the 8.5 years we’ve been together. The funny thing is, from all the years I’ve been with him, I’ve never seen mike shed a tear. When people ask what I’m most excited about, I simply reply, “to see Mike cry” 🙂

A natural love // Engagement in Palos Verdes, CA // ©2016 Sun & Sparrow photography

Vic & Alexa // Whimsical boho Los Angeles engagement

 Whimsical boho Los Angeles engagement // ©2016 Sun & Sparrow Los Angeles wedding photographers

engagement-los-angeles-wedding-photographerVic and I basically come from opposite sides of the world; I’m from Southern California and Vic is kind of from everywhere (Guam, Thailand, Singapore, Boston, you name it….), so we think it was probably fate when we happened to meet by chance about 3 years ago when I was living in Boston finishing up graduate school and Vic was living in San Francisco working in tech. Traveling started out of necessity for us trying to maintain a long distance relationship from opposite coasts of the country. Every month we would look up cheap flights in random cities and decide to meet up in places like Portland, Dallas, and Austin to keep things interesting. We crave adventure and spontaneity, so traveling naturally became a vital part of our relationship and took us to places like Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines. On April second of last year, Vic basically tricked me into marrying him when he proposed on the beach in Tulum! He made me think I lost one of my favorite rings (an older ring he got me at the beginning of our relationship)…after I was digging in the sand for a few minutes and on the verge of tears, Vic pretended like he “found” said ring and continued by putting a diamond ring on my finger. Being that it was shortly after April Fools, I seriously thought it was some kind of joke and said no (about 3 times). To this day we are not even sure if I said yes in that moment, but we really like each other so decided to stay engaged! HA. We are beyond excited to bring together our friends and family from all over the world in order to celebrate our marriage in the awesome little town of Whittier, California. It will be a Thai-Armenian celebration for the books!

 Whimsical boho Los Angeles engagement // ©2016 Sun & Sparrow Los Angeles wedding photographers

Ryan & Christina // Chic Palm Springs wedding

©Sun & Sparrow Photography // Chic Palm Springs Wedding

FROM THE BRIDE // Our wedding turned out to be a really fun party! Ryan and I were really excited to hear how much fun everyone had and it was so great to watch everyone hang out throughout the wedding weekend. All of these different people from different places, coming together to celebrate our union. It was pretty amazing.
I was inspired by a lot of weddings I had seen online on sites like Green Wedding Shoes and Style Me Pretty and I followed a lot of Australian designers/photographers/stylists on Instagram. I found I was really drawn to the aesthetic of Australian weddings. They often have a very natural, organic, and bohemian look to them. I really wanted a “bohemian glam” vibe and I wanted it to feel like a wedding without being “weddingy”.
One of the most memorable moments for me was dancing with my father to “In My Life”. We’re both big Beatles fans and he started singing the lyrics before choking up and he was holding me so tight. It was such an emotional moment with my father.
Ryan: I’ll never forget my reaction when seeing Christina for the first time in her wedding dress.  Time stopped and all I could see was Christina.  I’ve never been in a “moment” more that at that time.  It was an amazing feeling and even just thinking about it, makes me emotional.  She was beautiful and it’s something I’ll cherish forever.
Photography was important to us because we didn’t want our photos to look too posed or corny and we both have an aversion to anything that seems phony or cliche. When we decided on our venue, The Historic Cree Estate,  I was looking at real weddings that had taken place there and I noticed that I kept being drawn to the photos by Sun and Sparrow. The photography was natural and romantic, it felt fresh and dynamic without being overly trendy. It feels classic and relaxed. Tiffani was so awesome at making up feel like rock stars even though we are both super awkward in front of the camera.
My advice to brides planning right now would be to pick three things that are most important to you and your fiance for your wedding and make those a priority. Stick to that vision of what is most important and everything else will fall into place.
The best part about being married is not having to plan a wedding! Seriously though, planning a wedding with a groom that was as invested as Ryan was made for a really great bonding experience. We were both in this together, just like we’re in this journey through life together.
Ryan: Some people say being married is no different from before.  It’s certainly different for me.  I can’t put my finger on it and really explain it though.  I feel different in the best way possible.  Our bond is stronger.  Not because the State of California recognizes it, but because of the entire experience from planning, to getting married, to now.  I can’t tell you a single best part of being married because I’m enjoying the whole experience.
VENDORS :
Venue: The Historic Cree Estate  //  Flowers: My Little Flower Shop   //  Catering: Paella Project  //  Dessert: Over the Rainbow   //  Rentals: Signature Party Rentals   //  Photographer: Sun and Sparrow   //  Wedding Coordinator: Nicole Alexandra Designs   //  Invitations: Paper Please Studio 
Bride’s dress: Sarah Seven   //  Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka   //  Belt: Millieicaro   //  Headband and veil: Twigs and Honey   //  Bride’s rings: Kirk Kara   //  Groom’s ring: Steve Padis of San Francisco   //  Groom’s suit: J Crew   //  Groom’s shoes: Saks Fifth Avenue Collection  //  Groom’s tie and pocket square: Pocket Square Clothing   //  Bridesmaid’s dresses: J Crew  //  Groomsmen’s suits: J Crew

Raphael & Michelle // Glamorous wedding at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica

casa del mar wedding

©2015 Sun & Sparrow Photography // Glamorous wedding at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica

how she did it

FROM THE BRIDE //  When I began planning my wedding, I knew the colors I wanted and I knew that I wanted to add a romantic touch. We didn’t necessarily have a theme, but I wanted our wedding to have a hollywood glam feel.  I feel like we were able to achieve the look and create the most amazing memories from our day. When I look back on my wedding day, there are so many moments that I want to remember forever! One of my most memorable moments is getting married in our local parish St. Monica. St. Monica is such a special place for Raphael and I, since we have been attending mass there for many years. We actually knew we wanted to get married there the first time we attended mass at the church. We had family and friends travel from all over the world to witness our vows and that was very meaningful to us. It was just the most magical day, being able to say our vows in front of all our family and friends was special too.

One of my most memorable moments was seeing all of our business fraternity brothers from USC back together again for our wedding. We have a running inside joke with our friend Sean that has lasted for 5 years now…he surprised us with real doves to release at our wedding (don’t worry they are trained to come back to the dove keeper 😛 ) . It was so special for us to know that our friends still value our friendship after all these years.

If I could give advice to any brides who are planning their wedding, I would recommend to make time for all the wonderful things that you want from your wedding. I fortunately had time to plan our wedding for a year. I definitely made a checklist of all of my “must-haves” and attacked one item at a time. One of the biggest items on my list was to find a wedding planner who was AWESOME and who could help tremendously with our planning. I would highly recommend finding a wedding planner who understands your vision and can help you execute your wedding. Photography was the second most important item on my list. It was extremely important to me because I knew our day would be filled with so many emotions. I wanted to make sure we were able to capture everything. I chose Sun & Sparrow because I instantly fell in love with their work and how they tell beautiful stories through their photography. All of their pictures are gorgeous!

Also, don’t be afraid to lean on your maid/matron of honor, or bridesmaids for some help. I am lucky enough to have wonderful women in my life and whenever I felt like I wasn’t sure, or needed an opinion I would reach out to these ladies. Your wedding will be close to being perfect, and things will happen on the day of that maybe aren’t intentionally planned…don’t fret or let it cloud over your amazing day.

Last, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be married! I absolutely love when Raphael & I get to call each other husband and wife 🙂 We were together for 5 years prior to getting married, but now we truly feel like we are one family now. Also, our families coming together is great. We are both close to our families and having them together is an amazing experience. The thought of expanding our own family in the future is also another wonderful feeling.

VENDORS // Wedding Coordinator – Sassy Girl Weddings // Venues – St. Monica Catholic Church & Casa Del Mar // Bride’s Hair/Makeup – Jennifer Conejo // Bridesmaids Hair/Makeup – Kelly Zhang // Bridal Dress – Lovella Bridal // Bridal Earrings – Haute Bride // Bridal Shoes – Manolo Blahnik // Bridesmaids Dresses – BHLDN // Florals – Commerce Flowers /  Linen – Luxe Linen /  Lighting / Dancefloor / Chairs – TMMPRO  // Photobooth – Rockstar Photobooth /  Fresh Donuts – The Fry Girl, Inc. // Cake – Vanilla Bake Shop // Videographer – White Rose Production // DJ – Mike Soltani // Wedding // Invitations – Jen Simpson Design // Reception Stationary – Papercake Designs // 1962 Rolls Royce – Classy Chassis

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4 comments
  • Haute BrideOctober 22, 2015 - 2:05 am

    These are gorgeous! Love the Haute Bride chandeliers of course! And the blush gowns! The colors are all so pretty! And the USC Trojan jersey! Fight on! Who is the designer of the gown? Such beautiful lace! Congrats Raphael and Michelle! Beautiful photos! xReplyCancel

    • MeeshOctober 22, 2015 - 6:34 pm

      Thank you! Bridal gown designed by Matthew Christopher 🙂ReplyCancel

    • SunSparrowMarch 30, 2016 - 3:12 pm

      Hello!! I believe the dress came from Lovell LA.ReplyCancel

  • UyenOctober 22, 2015 - 9:03 am

    It was such an amazing day. We loved working with you & love love love these images!

    xoxo,

    The Sassy Girl Weddings crewReplyCancel

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