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Mike & Michelle’s Wedding at the Montage Laguna Beach

Mon. July 8, 2013   |   i do
Every since I moved to California, the Montage has been a second home to me in my wedding photography career.  It's not everyday that you come across a hotel that is so exceptional in every way, yet feels so cozy and unpretentious.  I take my family there every year to look at the Christmas tree, and I can be found having a cocktail or strolling on the grounds on my days off!
Well, a big part of the reason the Montage is so amazing is the founder & CEO, Alan Fuerstman, and his commitment to excellence.  So when I found out that I would be shooting the wedding of his son Mike and Mike's absolutely incredible bride Michelle, well, I could have died with excitement!  Of course, I was not disappointed--Mike and Michelle were like the Montage itself--wonderful and gracious in every way, and the absolute perfect hosts all night long.

But let's start at the beginning :)

Michelle is as sweet as they come, and so was her dress:

Lovely little details:

Sigh.  Red soles make my heart pitter patter!

Michelle was calm and collected as could be while getting ready:

Typically, the guys ate a good meal and relaxed all morning:

It's no surprise that Michelle had lots of great friends to help her get ready:

Such a beautiful and fun group of sisters & friends!

The perfect bride:

Something that not a lot of people know is that the Montage has a jewelry rental program so that you can be absolutely dripping with diamonds on your wedding day!  I'll post other photos of her jewelry later:

There's just nothing like a groom in a bowtie.  I think it should be required!

Such a dapper group of gentlemen:

Mike--such a GQ groom!  He also has perfect hair.  I think there were a few mentions of that in the toasts :)  But seriously, it's perfect:

About to see one another for the first time on their wedding day:


What I loved most about this day is that Mike and Michelle, even though they had a large wedding, were most at home during the moments they had alone together.  Tehy really treasured that time, and it made my job quite easy!

A little help:

This couple should be on the cover of a magazine.  Actually, they might be on the cover of a magazine.  Stay tuned for that!

Although there were a few clouds, you really can't beat this view!

Square Root really outdid themselves with these lush arrangements:

A little side view of the ceremony:

I loved the wild roses in the arch!

An overhead view of the ceremony:

One last moment with her dad before walking down the aisle (this photo is from my second shooter that day, Lauren)

Mike waiting for his bride:

Cutie ring bearers! I hope my boys get to be in a wedding someday (hint hint Jonathan, hurry up and get married already!!):

Here we go!

Michelle's expression on the right is the best!!

The ceremony begins:

I love the way Mike concentrates just on Michelle.  I think that if Mike could have planned the wedding, there would have been three people there--the officiant, himself, and Michelle.  But Michelle had dreamed of a wedding on the lawn at the Montage her whole life, and you could see how much Mike just wanted her day to be perfect:


Everything about this day, even the clouds, were so soft and romantic looking:

A cool angle of the ceremony:

Oops, I was supposed to bring the rings??  :)

Don't worry, he had them:

Mazel Tov!

Walking back down the aisle are always some of my favorite moments:

Look at this great moment the kids were having!  Thanks Lauren :)

I hope this gets pinned on Pinterest a million times.  It would make Michelle's day :)

But seriously, who wouldn't want to be this girl?!


One advantage to a less than sunny day is beach with nobody on it--perfect for photos!

I hardly ever get to shoot on an empty beach in So. Cal.  Now I'm spoiled for life!

This couple just always looks like they're in a Vanity Fair spread:

Love it:

With a big wedding, you have to find a few moments to connect as a couple on your wedding day.  I'm just glad I was able to capture those moments:

Michelle, three ways:

Mike, hair still perfect even on the beach:

The reception space was transformed--pink glowy lighting, incredible arrangements, and a white dance floor!

What's that? You want me to post lots of photos of the INSANE decor, especially these tree arrangements?  Oh, ok:

Hanging candles are awesome!

What a perfect cake with all those sugar flowers!  I swear, even up close, I thought they were real:

More lights:

First dance:

A classic Hora shot!  Red soles!

Horas are amazing.  I think they should be mandatory at all weddings:

Such a sweet moment during toasts:

This is so perfectly Michelle, with her mom.  She is so thoughtful and sweet to everyone around her.  I just adore her!

Of course, toasts should always be a little roast-ish:

Parent dances, and such a cute moment with Mike & his mom:

Couples on the dance floor together are so fun!

Party!  Love stuff like this:

Cake cutting (it was delicious!)

Mike and Michelle, it was such an honor to get to be a part of your perfect day.  You two deserve nothing but the best of everything, and I hope your marriage is as sweet as both of you!

This wedding was made possible by the following amazing people:
Coordinator Extraordinaire:  Alicia Townsend of Details Details
Venue & Catering Manager:  Patty Burns, Montage Laguna Beach
Hair & Makeup:  Matt Motherhead (hair), Kristin Merkling (makeup)
Floral Designer & Linens:  Square Root
Videographer:  Shannon of Hoo Films
Band:  West Coast Music
DJ:  Peter Papadopoulos
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