Laura and Nick the Reveal

To reveal or not to reveal.  This is a question my brides and grooms think about a lot.  Is it special?  Is it emotional?  Is it so fun to hang out together before the ceremony.  Some of our couples think that it is.  I love the first look whether it is walking down the aisle of a quiet moment between the two of you.  Either way his heart will surely miss a beat.Happy Monday!

xoxo Suzanne

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THE DALIA LAMA IS AS WISE AS MY MOMMA

Happy Monday! I've been thinking recently about my goals for the year 2012. Have you heard of anyone's goals that are unusual or insightful? I'm still working on mine... but one of my missions in 2012 is to become like Buddha. It may sound silly, but the themes I studied in my Buddhism class truly enlightened and influenced how I interpret my surroundings.I found these three photos in the SheWanders' collection they took while traveling the globe. I don't think they are all taken in places where Buddhism is the main religion, but they certainly invoked a religious presence. The patterns in the middle photo are especially enticing. SheWanders' photographs of non-traditional religious weddings have always been a favorite of mine- especially ornate, Indian weddings.

I found a few quotes that embody the Buddha- all spoken by one of the most influential people in the world- the Dalia Lama.

"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."

"If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry."

“Because we all share an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anybody we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister.”

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

"Always be kind". OK, those are my words of wisdom. Have a nice week! xoxo... Jessica of the Wanderers

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September Style : Christine

Ok Ok, it is still October.  But I have Christine's dress story for you all today!  Matt and Christine had a summer wedding in Coronado.  It was a blast.  I can't wait to post the whole wedding. Here's how she found the one.Happy Sunday, Suzanne

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Having a 7 month engagement I had pretty limited time to find a dress to start with so I started in La Jolla with some girlfriends and found one I liked but wasn't crazy about. Then I headed to another store, fell in love with a dress and bought it on the spot! But the next day I instantly had dress remorse. Well turns out that the shop went out of business and my dress wouldn't be made anyways. We had to go through a lot to get back the deposit and then of course I had to start all over!

That's when, per Suzanne's recommendation, I went to see Courtney at The White Flower. Best experience EVER! Courtney was amazing and her gowns were beautiful. So much that I was completely torn between 2 of them. What to do, what to do?! SO I took a few days then went back with friends in tow and as soon as I put on the dress I got I knew it was it. Just like when I met Matt :) So it is corny and cliche but it's true that you just know, exactly like your man!

Courtney had fab ideas and we did some custom work on the dress along with her miracle worker of a seamstress and viola! I love that dress so much that I now regret that she is preserved and boxed up, if I could, I would watch tv in her!!

September Style : Julie

I had a really really great time in Europe the last two weeks.  That is the official explanation as to why today is Saturday and October.  Both of these things don't have a lot to do with our rad blog post today.  First of all we rarely post on the weekends and Today is October 1st.  So like I said, Europe was really fun.  I just may have gotten a little off track.  None the less, you are in for a treat today.  Julie tells us her dress story!  Actually she has two dress stories.  She wore a beautiful gown most of the day and changed into a traditional Korean wedding dress during the reception. Viva la difference, Suzannebeautiful korean bride, san diego wedding photography, balboa park wedding photography, the pradothe prado, san diego wedding photography, balboa park wedding photography, the pradobride and groom, san diego wedding photography, balboa park wedding photography, the prado, stylish attirehilarious, korean bridal attire, san diego wedding photography, balboa park wedding photography, the pradokorean bridal attire, san diego wedding photography, balboa park wedding photography, the pradoI think most girls have at least some vague idea of what their wedding dress looks like even before they ever set their wedding date... or meet their husband for that matter. :P Growing up, I always saw my wedding dress as very white, very modern, sleek, and with absolutely no lace or beading whatsoever. I also pictured myself getting married barefoot on a remote beach, with a flower in my hair, in a very small ceremony. Ironically enough, everything I ended up with was the antithesis of what I pictured. I originally went dress shopping with my sister and my BFF of 27 years, Jessica. We hit several different boutiques and I tried on several different dresses. My sister encouraged me to try on dresses I never even imagined wearing,  (i.e. a giant Cinderella-type ballroom gown!) so I would be entirely sure when I found the right one that it was the right one. So I tried on dress after dress, and the funny thing is-- the dress I always imagined myself in was beautiful on, but I didn't fall in love with it. The dress I *did* fall in love with, was a very expensive, very ornate, and very antique-y looking Jim Hjelm dress. The dress was made entirely of lace (something I never was a fan of!) and beading (again, something I swore I would never wear!). But when I put it on, and I walked up and down the store in it, I knew that this was the right dress for me. I felt so beautiful and glamorous in it.... until I saw the price tag. While I loved the dress, I definitely did not want to pay so much money for a dress I would be wearing one day of my life. So... I left the store glumly, and hoped to find a similar dress. My sister, Jessica and I went to two more stores that afternoon, and I was sorely disappointed, as I could not replicate the feelings I felt in the Jim Hjelm dress.

For weeks, I obsessed over the dress and scoured websites to find something similar.... and then... et voila! I found one very similar at a different store for about half the price! I was so excited that I wanted to go try it on that day. I called the store, and the woman said that she did not have any appointments that afternoon, but I begged and pleaded and promised her I knew exactly what I wanted. Reluctantly, she agreed to squeeze me in, and I went with my co-worker, Barbara right after work to try the dress on.

The woman at the store zipped the dress up, pinned it tightly to my body, and I knew at that moment that I had found my wedding dress. She encouraged me to try on a few more dresses, which I did, but none of the dresses had the same effect on me. I was mesmerized by the dress. It was simply put, stunning. I tried it on 3 separate times in the span of an hour, and several of the other women (and Barbara too) told me that this was the perfect dress for me. I bought it that day!!

Mike and I wanted to incorporate some Korean traditions into our wedding, as our ceremony was a traditionally Jewish one. I thought it would be great to include the paebek ceremony, which is a traditional Korean bowing ceremony. Part of the ceremony is for the bride to catch dates and chestnuts in her hanbok (Korean traditional dress), so I definitely wanted to wear one. Besides, at what other juncture in my life would I have the chance to wear one?! Hanboks can be very very expensive (roughly the same as a wedding dress), because they are made of sheer silk, and sometimes, real gold is used to embroider designs on the dress. I contemplated a few options. Since my aunt was coming in from Korea, I could have had her buy me one, and bring it with her. But, I wanted to try it on before the wedding, and she would be arriving the day before the wedding, which left me little room for alterations if need be. I could have bought one in Korea Town, but that was another added expense, and I did not really want to spend thousands of dollars on a dress that I would wear for such a brief moment. So I decided to go with my final option, which was to rent one. Tons of stores rent out hanboks in Korea Town, and it only cost me $150! I went with my mom and dad, to pick out not just mine, but also Mike's. I tried on several different ones, and while I could have gone with a traditional paebek ceremony hanbok, I opted for something less traditional, and brighter. The traditional paebek hanbok felt a little too gaudy to me (colors such as bright red, yellow, green and blue are used), and I wanted something softer for the summer. So I chose a light peach gown, with a small navy blue bolero. I chose one for Mike that was yellow and lavender. He looked so cute in it, kind of like Aladdin! :)

xoxo Julie

Kiss and Tell : Bridal Advice with Julie

Julie and Mike are a multi cultual couple who embraced their ethnic traditions. Their wedding consisted of a Jewish ceremony as well as a Korean ceremony. Their wedding was modern, stylish and sophisticated. When Julie and Mike first saw each other, it was an emotionally charged moment. Suzanne said she felt her heart in her throat. They are a quirky couple with a wicked sense of humor. Meet the calm, relaxed and stunning Julie and hear what words of wisdom she has to offer!Dos Besos, Katie from the Wandererssan diego wedding photography, prado wedding photography, balboa park weddings, korean bride, hotel solamarsan diego wedding photography, prado wedding photography, balboa park weddings, sepia romantic photograph of bride and groomsan diego wedding photography, prado wedding photography, balboa park weddings, san diego wedding photography, prado wedding photography, balboa park weddings,  julie and mike are hotsan diego wedding photography, prado wedding photography, balboa park weddings,  prado ballroom, shewanders photography

1) How did you mentally prepare for the big day?

-When I was in grad school (a long and tedious six year process), my adviser often told me to "keep [my] eyes on the prize, and to never lose sight of the big picture." I think this was a great life lesson, because it is easy to get overwhelmed in the minutiae. Mike and I had a ton of details to be worried about, and the last three weeks leading up to the wedding were especially stressful. But I tried to remain focused on the big picture and all of the love I felt for the man I was about to be married to!

2) Did you have any events surrounding the wedding. I.E baseball game, rehearsal dinner, brunch, bachelorette party? Tell us about it.

- Our wedding was somewhat of a mini-destination wedding, as we are from LA, Mike's family is from Philly, and our wedding was in SD. So our wedding day actually became a wedding weekend. We a tour of Petco Park, a morning run, a rehearsal dinner, an after party at the Solamar, and a post-wedding breakfast! It was so much fun, and I was so grateful that I had an amazing mother and father in law that planned all of these events! My bachelorette party was a cruise to Mexico that my girlfriends planned, it was so much fun!

3) What is something that makes for a great wedding day?

-The best part of the wedding day was the sheer emotions in the air. I didn't think I would feel so happy and emotional, but I couldn't stop crying (happy tears) and laughing all day. I never felt so happy in my life.

4) Did you see your spouse for the first time before the ceremony or during the ceremony? How did you feel?

-Suzanne staged our first sighting at the Solamar. She had Mike face the wall and told me to call his name when I was ready. I didn't expect to feel so nervous, but I did! When I called out "Schaaarfy" (my nickname for Mike), our eyes met from across the room and we both teared up, because we were both so happy and excited. He cried and said, "you look so beautiful," and I never felt so beautiful in my life.

5) What is one of your favorite memories?

-I will never ever forget Mike's vows to me. They were simply put, brilliant. He had all of our guests laughing and crying! My favorite line is: "For the last 2 and half years, all the best parts of my days have involved you: watching your morning stretch which is invariably accompanied by sounds that can only be described as a cross between the cries of a teething toddler and the mating call of some tropical bird..." When Mike said his vows to me, there was not even the slightest doubt in my mind how much this man loved me and how much I loved him.

6) What song do you most remember on the dance floor?

-Our first dance! "Fake Empire" by the National.

7) What is a piece of advice you wish you had known before the big day?

-Someone told me to "enjoy the moment," and I really tried to enjoy every second of it, but there were definitely some meltdown moments, and I really wish I didn't have those specific moments, and was able to really enjoy every minute of the day. (But it was really stressful!)

8 ) Weddings are wonderful, but share some marriage tips please!

-Always be your partner's best friend, and try to always be the best person you can be. Never forget how you felt on the day you married your partner. :)