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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.

Little Ellerie Brynn // Redondo Beach newborn photographer

Redondo Beach newborn photographer // ©2017 Sun & Sparrow Redondo beach family photographer

The decision to have a baby comes in many shapes and forms for each couple. My husband, Adrian, and I had talked about having children throughout our relationship and once we were married, the talk became reality. We felt we had accomplished our goals; our careers were established and thriving, we had traveled solo & together, settled into being married. Now we were ready for our life adventure of starting a family, we just didn’t think we would be blessed so quickly! We found out we were pregnant and our due date would be our 1st wedding anniversary but unfortunately we experienced the loss of that angel. Although devastated and fearful of many “what ifs” and “what next”, our relationship grew stronger as we pushed through one of the hardest moments we experienced together. Our positive outlook of “what is meant to be is meant to be” & “we are lucky to have what we had” allowed us to bounce back to our normal silly, loving, traveling selfs. We had a busy month between work, family & friend events, we weren’t worrying about “trying” to get pregnant…and thats when beautiful things happen. All worries aside and loving life, we were blessed with another pregnancy; our rainbow baby! Needless to say, both of us worried as we passed each week until the first, second, and let’s be honest, third doctor appointments. That tiny little heartbeat was stronger than ever & all the worries morphed into “we are going to be parents” worry! Being a pediatric nurse and being around babies/children can not prep you for your own little bundle of joy! Everyone would comment “you got this, you handle babies everyday, you are great with kids, this will be so easy for you”…but honestly, now I was on the opposite side; the days of cuddling and pacifying then handing them over to their mom/dad were over….I was mom and Adrain was dad! As the months went on, our family & friends celebrated our gender reveal and multiple baby showers.  We were settling in and the nursery was slowing but surely coming together. Adrian was actually nesting more than I was; he deep cleaned our carpets, painted the nursery, put furniture together and read baby blogs….he was determined to be ready!

As the big day approached, we brainstormed over 20 names and finally narrowed it down to two; which we kept a secret till we met her. I had a relatively “easy” pregnancy, so naturally I was expecting the craziest labor. We had joked about how the day would go once I went into labor; we kept quoting the movie Juno when her water breaks “thundercats a go!”. It became our code phrase to signify our go time. As the due date May 10th passed, we were scheduled to be induced on May 15th but our little one decided against that…my water broke at home midday Saturday, May 13th at home while Adrian was out running errands. I called him with our epic phrase “thundercats a go!” and I’m positive thats the fastest he has ever gotten home! We checked into Torrance Memorial Hospital that evening and had a relatively smooth labor. On Sunday, May 14th we welcomed baby girl Ellerie on the most appropriate day…Mother’s Day 2017. Weighing in at 8lbs 14oz and 19 1/2 inches, she was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! The moment she was placed on my chest, my heart melted and we were consumed with a different overwhelming love. You think you know love for someone until your child is laying in your arms. Taking her home was both exciting and nerve wrecking…this beautiful little girl was all ours! Settling into our home with our new addition is still a process but the rollercoaster is full of laughs, tears, smiles, worry, distraught, reassurance….the greatest adventure we’ve been blessed to experience together as a family. Each day brings more joy in raising a child…its the hardest thing you will ever do but the most humbling and gratifying thing you will ever do.

We have invited Tiffani into each one of our special life experiences and could not imagine anyone else capturing our new adventures as first time parents. She has been telling our story from our engagement & wedding, our maternity journey and now capturing Ellerie’s first weeks in this world. As a family, we are beyond excited to continue sharing these moments with Tiffani at Sun and Sparrow.
 
xoxo Shanna, Adrian & Ellerie 

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

Steve & Shanele // Industrial Romantic wedding at the Millwick

Industrial Romantic wedding at the Millwick // © 2016 Sun & Sparrow Los Angeles wedding photographers

amazing

Our main focus when planning our wedding was our guests. To begin with, we wanted to find a venue centrally located to our family and friends and also be a reflection of who we are. For two people who enjoy the outdoors, such a location in Los Angeles is not easy to come by. Millwick was the answer. It was local to our guests and we could customize it however we wanted.
 
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE YOUR BEAUTIFUL DECOR? // From the Bride: I have always been a DIY’er and I am a fan of practical and useful pieces. Thankfully our venue spoke for itself in many ways and I didn’t want to take away from it’s simple yet detailed design. For the flowers, I chose succulents for two reasons: 1) they’re plants! There would be no stress of running to the flower mart at 5 am the day before and you don’t need a green thumb to take care of them 2) our guests could take home unique practical pieces that they could use to decorate their personal space long after the wedding. After deciding on the succulents I did some extensive Instagram research and found talented artists around the world that were creating everyday objects out of cement. The creative juices started to flow and with the help of both of our families and close friends we became a production line of weekend designers, mold makers, cement mixers, driers, painters, and (no joke Steven’s favorite) cleanup crew. We learned the ins and outs of the cement curing process, how cement sticks to cardboard when you don’t use cooking spray, and that some people get emotional when watching Armageddon and some think its the cheesiest movie in the world (you know who you are 🙂

 

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE/FAVORITE MOMENT ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY? // From the Groom: The most memorable moment for me was our first dance as a married couple. It was nice to be close to her and show everyone how much fun we have together and how much we love each other. // From the Bride: The most memorable moment for me was walking down the aisle holding my dad’s arm and taking in the significance of that moment. I am extremely grateful to to have had my dad by my side as I walked towards the next phase of my life and receive his blessing before saying I Do to my best friend.

WHY WAS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO YOU AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SUN & SPARROW? // From the Bride: From the beginning of the planning process I knew photography was very important to me. I enjoy looking back at my families old wedding photos and I wanted to be able to share our wedding memories just the same. I was fortunate enough to help at an engagement shoot and be a part of wedding in which Sun & Sparrow (Tiffani) was the hired photographer. From both of these experiences I was able to see Tiffani’s amazing eye for detail first hand and I knew that when it was my turn to get married, I wanted the Sun & Sparrow team!

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BRIDES WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?  //  Don’t sweat the small stuff. When you start to stress over the details, take a step back and ask yourself “will anyone REALLY notice this?”. I should have done this more often, but I will say it did come in handy the day of our wedding!

 
MY VENDORS //
Wedding Dress: Lourdes Dress by David Tutera for Mon Cheri
Bride shoes: Nordstrom
Groom’s Suit: Bar III Macy’s
Groom’s Shoes: Steve Madden
Bridesmaid Dresses: Renz Rags via Etsy
Bride & Bridesmaid Hair: Moya Cruz (instagram @moya_cruz_)
Photobooth: Genuine Photobooths (genuinephotobooths.com)
Live Music: Bolero Soul (www.bolerosoul.com)
Signs & Seating Chart: Lela Rose (instagram @orangeandmelrose)

 

 

1 comment
  • SBMay 11, 2016 - 5:50 am

    Wow. Bricks can be as stunning as trees. Excellent stuff!ReplyCancel

Eddie & Alice // The Villa del Sol d’Oro Wedding

The Villa del Sol d’Oro Wedding // ©2016 Sun & Sparrow Sierra Madre wedding photographers

amazing

Our wedding day went exactly how we had hoped! Everything from the decor to the weather turned out wonderful. We both were so nervous leading up to our wedding day. A big part of the nervousness was due to the fact that we understood what this moment meant. It was the culmination of all the planning we had done over the last year and a half. But as our wedding day proceeded, the nervousness quickly turned into joy. It was an indescribable feeling to be able to share that day with all of our family and friends. It was definitely a beautiful celebration of our love that is over 10 years in the making.
For the decor, we got inspirations from many different weddings that we saw on Pinterest. Knowing that our ceremony and reception was held outdoors, we wanted colors for the decor to reflect the Spring season. We went with a lot of light/soft colors.
Photography was crucial for our wedding. Throughout the day, we were on a roller coaster of emotions from anxiousness to extreme joy. Photography helps us capture and document these wonderful moments so that we can always hold onto that one perfect day.
We decided to go with Sun & Sparrow after looking through their website and having a conversation with them. The images on their website were amazing and really showed off their quality of work. And after talking with them, we got a sense of their passion and excitement which sealed the deal for us! After selecting Sun & Sparrow, their professionalism and ease to work with reinforced our minds that we selected the perfect photographers for our wedding.
My advice to brides would be to make sure you are comfortable with and trust your vendors as they play huge roles in the success of a wedding. Relax and be open to their recommendations!
Our favorite moment of the wedding day: Eddie: My favorite moment was definitely the first look. For months, I had been telling everyone that I was not going to cry. However, the very moment I turned around and saw Alice in her dress, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing… She looked stunning, breathtaking, gorgeous… and any other synonyms that fits here. Alice: My favorite moment was the duration of ceremony and vows.  This was the first time a Type A person like myself felt intense excitement of anxiousness that was quickly followed by a feeling an immediate calmness as he took my hand.  As he spoke his vows to me, the happiness and feeling blessed brought me to tears. It was a surreal moment as if time stopped and it was just him and I.
Our favorite part of being married is the joy of knowing that our love will carry us into the old years of our lives and understanding that we are going to have an amazing journey getting there…
OUR VENDORS:
Wedding Venue: Villa del Sol d’Oro
Photography & Film : Sun & Sparrow
Day of Coordinator/ Decor & Party rentals: Lindbergh McPherson with Wilcox Manor
Wedding Gown: designer Hailey Paige from Blush Bridal
Wedding Heels : Kiara by Badly Mischka
Hair & Makeup : Kelly Zhang
Groom & Groomsmen suits: The Sew Standard
Wedding Florist: WenFloral Design Studio
DJ & Lighting: Invisible Touch Events
Dessert : ChunknChip

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