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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:


Yay!


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:


Love:


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?!


Stunner:


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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