Museum of Ice Cream

Museum of Ice Cream in Downtown Los Angeles

Neon sign at the museum of ice cream in downtown los angeles.

So by now you've all probably heard about the infamous Museum of Ice Cream in Downtown Los Angeles. It's hardly a museum, more so an experience. It features 10 rooms/galleries, featuring different ice cream themed art installations. 

I had been seeing friends posting pictures during their visit to the Museum of Ice Cream and really wanted to go but it was constantly sold out. Until one morning my sweet friend Shauntelle surprised me and said she had snagged us tickets to go in September (she had to book it several weeks in advance). Oh my goodness I was SO excited, and we decided to make a girls date day out of it. I realized I never share personal posts, so today I wanted to share some pictures from our fun day at the Museum of Ice Cream. 

Inflatable pool floats at the museum of ice cream in downtown los angeles.

When we first arrived at the MOIC, we spotted it from down the block as the entire outside of the building was bubble gum pink. We were told to wait in a short line, so we snapped a photo in front of the deliciously pink brick wall. Once inside, we were told we were allowed to take as long as we wanted in each room, but once you left a room, you had to continue forward and you couldn't reenter. 

Each room was a fun surprise filled with bright colors, fun patterns, and most of them with yummy treats which we of course indulged in. It felt like my childhood dreams had come to life before my eyes. Everything was so visually stimulating, and it was no wonder that people flocked here to capture the perfect Instagram photo. As we were taking photos throughout our visit, I kept joking that we must blend in with all of the fashion bloggers who come here to take photos. Call me Sincerely Jules. (jk!) 

I was absolutely obsessed with the pink palm leaf wall paper that graced one of the first rooms. It was so cheerful and represented Los Angeles and the rest of sunny California so well. 

One of the most unique experiences at the Museum of Ice Cream is a swimming pool filled with millions of sprinkles. It is such a popular photo opportunity that it is the only room that they give you a limited amount of time in. I had seen this spot photographed so many times before but I had no idea how FUN it would actually be! The funniest part about it is that for the rest of the day I kept finding sprinkles inside of my jeans! I was like a unicorn, leaving a trail of sprinkles everywhere I went. 

Our day at the Museum of Ice Cream was such a blast. Thank you to my friend Shaunie for putting together such a fun day for us! If you are able to get tickets, I would highly recommend visiting! I know this has been such a popular exhibit that they are opening a San Francisco location very soon that features completely different rooms. Check it out!

xx Erin

Photos captured by Los Angeles Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more photography like this, check out this UCLA engagement session and this Ole Hanson Beach  Club Wedding Inspiration

2017 Holiday Mini Sessions

It's That Time of Year Again!

It's that time of year again, when the leaves begin to turn and the summer nights start turning to a crisp chill that makes you crave all things pumpkin spice. With Fall fast approaching, it's time to plan your annual Holiday family photos and not wait until the last minute like last year (yeah, I'm talking to you!). I wanted to get the dates and locations for my 2017 Holiday Mini-sessions announced early this year so that you can get your date on the calendar early this time... and then wait until the last minute to figure out what to wear. Haha! 

These holiday sessions are a great opportunity to refresh your family photos from year to year, while capturing those special moments in your family's life. Don't have a family yet, they can be used however you like... a gift to a parent, couples photos (perfect for your first married Christmas together), you can even bring your dogs!

Family photos at Seal Beach Pier. 

This year I am shaking things up and offering TWO different packages, something I've never done, as well as holding sessions all over Orange County! I have some great locations in mind that I think will be perfect for your family's Holiday photos. 

 

Holiday Mini-Sessions- $225

Early Bird Special -
Only $200 on October 7th and 15th!!

**Intended for couples, families with small children, or groups of 4 people or less**

-20 minute session
-10 image downloads (of your choice)
-online viewing gallery
-option to purchase the entire gallery download for an additional $100

 

Holiday Sessions- $300

**For groups larger than 8 people, an additional charge of $25/person will be added. Longer sessions available by request.**

-30 minute session
-40+ image downloads (entire gallery)
-online viewing gallery


Dates & Locations

The following is a list of dates and locations throughout Orange County where I will be holding family photo sessions this holiday season. When you're ready to reserve the date for your Holiday photos, you can send me an email (Erin@LovisaPhoto.com) with the date you are interested in to find out which time slots are still available. Or just click the link below...

Saturday 9/30 - Seal Beach Pier, Seal Beach, Ca

Saturday 10/7 - Serrano Creek Park, Lake Forest, Ca

Sunday 10/15 - Oak Canyon Nature Center, Anaheim, Ca

Thursday 10/26 - Seal Beach Pier, Seal Beach, Ca

Sunday 10/29 - Serrano Creek Park, Lake Forest, Ca

Sunday 11/5 - Peltzer Pines Christmas Tree Farm, Silverado, Ca
**Additional $50 due to permit fees**

Sunday 11/12 - Serrano Creek Park, Lake Forest, Ca

Thursday 11/16 - Newport Back Bay, Newport Beach, Ca

Sunday 11/19 - a Local Field, Temecula, Ca


Longer sessions are available by request. Please email me at Erin@LovisaPhoto.com if you have any questions at all! I am incredibly honored to be considered your Orange County family photographer and would love it if you kept me in mind if anyone you know may benefit from my family photography services. As always I am INCREDIBLY appreciative of any referrals you may send my way.

Thank you! xx Erin

Terra Bella Wedding in Murrieta, Ca

Terra Bella Wedding in Murrieta, Ca

Zane and Olivia are the kind of couple that make you feel right at home with them. I have known Zane for several years, and finally got the chance to meet Olivia at their Temecula wine country engagement session. She is kind, caring, full of life, and they are both crazy about each other. I was so happy for my friend that he found someone who compliments him so well. I quickly became close friends with Olivia as well and was honored to be able to photograph their wedding in Murrieta.

Wedding photos at Terra Bella in Murrieta, Ca by Temecula Photographer.
Wedding photos at Terra Bella in Murrieta, Ca by Temecula Photographer.


The Wedding Venue- Terra Bella

Olivia’s parents own a new wedding venue in Murrieta called Terra Bella, that will be opening up this fall. Zane and Olivia’s wedding was the first one to take place at the new venue, and having photographed several weddings in Temecula, I have to tell you, it is such a cool outdoor wedding venue north of Temecula Wine Country. When I asked the bride how she chose her wedding venue, she said she was looking for a unique venue in Murrieta. She loved that Terra Bella offered a private outdoor space with a gorgeous view of the mountains. She loved that she had found the perfect wedding venue that was elegant, yet rustic at the same time.


How the bride and groom met

From the bride... "We met at a church connect group. Zane kept asking me to hang out, but I blew him off a few times. My best friend and mom told to keep an open mind about him. We went on a few dates, and I knew after a month I would marry him. We were engaged after six months, and we got married one year and a day after our first date."

Wedding photos at Terra Bella in Murrieta, Ca by Temecula Photographer.


my favorite moments from the wedding day:

  • Zane and Olivia wanted to pray together before their ceremony, but had decided not to do a first look. So, they blindfolded the groom and had a tear-filled quiet moment together as they prayed.
  • The bride and groom chose to have a faith based ceremony, that the groom’s father officiated. It was so special because it was an emotional moment for him as well. What an honor!
  • The bride and her father shared their father daughter dance together and broke out into a choreographed dance to “Don’t Fear the Reaper”.
  • Zane’s reaction when he started to exchange vows with his beautiful bride. Girls… find a man who looks at you the way Zane looks at Olivia! 
Wedding photos at Terra Bella in Murrieta, Ca by Temecula Photographer.
Wedding photos at Terra Bella in Murrieta, Ca by Temecula Photographer.
Wedding photos at Terra Bella in Murrieta, Ca by Temecula Photographer.

All photos captured by Temecula Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more Temecula wedding photography like this, check out the feature of this wedding on Temecula Wedding House!  


Photography: Lovisa Photo
Bride’s Dress: Casablanca Bridal
Venue: Terra Bella
Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas
Cake: Sweet Layers
MUA: Tanya Rae
Officiant: Gary Martin (Father of the Groom)
DJ:  High End Events
Florals: Victoria Ohlwiler (Bridesmaid)

Grand Tradition Estate Wedding

Josh & April's Grand Tradition Estate Wedding in Fallbrook, Ca

 

Josh and April are two of the most kind hearted, generous, and sweetest people I've had the pleasure of working with. When April contacted me to photograph their end of summer wedding at Grand Tradition Estate, I knew they were going to be a fun couple to work with. 

The funny story is, as a Temecula wedding photographer, I grew up in the area and was familiar with this wedding venue. My Senior Homecoming Dance was held at the Grand Tradition Estate and I immediately had flashbacks of the horse drawn carriage, white lattice arbors, and fairytale gazebos that graced the property. At first I was a little skeptical, but April (the bride) let me know that they had recently redone the property a few years ago and the refresh had done wonders for the venue. She could not have been more right. Lush greens overflowed through the property, while the sun peaked through the gorgeous tall palm trees. Winding pathways led guests all around the property wondering what they would find around the next corner, like a garden of Eden waiting to be discovered. Perfect for wedding photos!

Grand Tradition Estate Wedding by Temecula Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Grand Tradition Estate Wedding by Temecula Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Grand Tradition Estate Wedding by Temecula Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Grand Tradition Estate Wedding by Temecula Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.

The Grand Tradition Estate made the perfect back drop for Josh and April’s Fallbrook wedding. They married in front of a cascading waterfall (Arbor Terrace Gardens), surrounded by their closest family and friends. The look on the Josh's face as April’s father walked her down the aisle was so sweet and definitely one of the most memorable moments of the day! As a wedding photographer in Temecula, I love that I get to capture these special and unforgettable moments for each couple on their wedding day. My favorite moment from this wedding, was the garter toss. Josh and April put her garter around a football for Josh to toss to the groomsmen. However, the football bounced off of the groomsmen’s hands straight into April’s hands. The bride caught her own garter!! 

If you are planning a wedding in Temecula, I’d love to chat about your wedding photography needs and see if we are a good fit! 

xx Erin


All photos captured by Temecula Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more Temecula Weddings like this one, check out this Los Willows Wedding and this . 

Wedding Photographer: Lovisa Photo
Venue: Grand Tradition Estate
DJ/Entertainment: Darren Meyer from Temporary Tempo
Florist: Bella Flora
Officiant: Pastor Jim McClintock
Dress: Demetrios
Invitations: Zazzle
Photo Booth: Temporary Tempo

5 Bachelorette Party Destinations other than Las Vegas

5 Bachelorette Party Destinations other than Las Vegas

Bachelorette Party Destinations other than Las Vegas by Long Beach Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.

With Summer right around the corner, I'm slowly putting together my bucket list for the season. It got me thinking about all of the fun bachelorette parties that will be happening this Summer. Who doesn't love a good girls trip?! I've put together 5 bachelorette party destinations other than Las Vegas for all of you girls who are planning a bachelorette party for your favorite bride!

 

1. Napa, Ca

Are you more of a classy lady? Vegas not your thing? Take your girls and travel to Napa for a wine tasting weekend in one of the most beautiful places on Earth! You’ll enjoy winery tours, picnics in the vineyards, live music, and breath taking views. 

2. Palm Springs, Ca

If you’re looking to stay stateside but still catch some sun over a relaxing weekend, Palm Springs may be just for you. Enjoy some pool time, a rejuvenating spa treatment, and dinner and dancing in the evenings! Check out this great Palm Springs Travel Guide by A Beautiful Mess.

3. Day Spa

For some, ultimate relaxation is at the top of the list, and a day at the spa is what's in order. Here in Southern California, Glen Ivy Hot Springs is a great option for a bachelorette party. They offer admission to their mineral pools and mud baths, a restaurant on property, and a full array of spa services. They also have cabanas available for rent which would be perfect for the occasion. 

4. Co-Ed Cruise

Co-Ed bachelor/bachelorette parties are becoming increasingly more popular! If you’re looking for a unique way for the guys and girls to party together but still be able to separate at times, a Carnival cruise would be the perfect option for you. Their huge cruise ships have endless entertainment that will keep everyone happy and they offer packages starting under $200 per person and that price includes all meals!

5. Cancun, Mexico

Paradise is only a short plane ride away! Why not party with your girls in Cancun? You can snag a great price on a hotel room at an all inclusive resort, or book a large private house through AirBnb! You’ll be sipping margaritas on the beach in no time and it will be a Bachelorette party you’re sure to remember! 

I hope you enjoyed reading, and if you have any other ideas for bachelorette party destinations, I would love to hear them in the comments section below!

xx Erin

 

All photos were captured by Palm Springs wedding photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more tips for brides, check out 12 Things to Do After You Get Engaged, or this 6 Reasons to Do an Engagement Session

 

UCLA Engagement Session

UCLA Engagement Session

When Victor and Elaine contacted me to photograph their UCLA engagement session, I knew I was in for something special. I was curious as to how the couple chose to have their engagement session at UCLA and finish the engagement session with photos at Venice Beach. But once I realized that there were about to take me through their 8 year love story in one afternoon, I quickly fell head over heels for the idea.

UCLA Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Vic and I chose to have our engagement session capture our 8 year love story. UCLA will always have a special place in our story because it’s where it all began. We both were very engaged in school activities- Vic was manager of the basketball team and president of his fraternity while I was elected to the student government council and active in various clubs. Our paths crossed when we met at a networking event organized by Vic. We shared special memories at Kerckhoff Hall where my student government office was housed and the event where we met was held. We walked hand in hand on the Bruin walk, cheered our team on at Pauley Pavilion, and took part in school traditions like jumping in the inverted fountain. Lastly, it was so important to us to take pictures in front of UCLA’s Royce Hall (the most beautiful building on campus) and on top of the historical Janss Steps.
— Elaine (the bride)
UCLA Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
UCLA Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
UCLA Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Venice Beach is special because it marks the beginning of a new chapter in our life together. Vic and I had our first date here, and at the end of 2016, Vic proposed in Venice Beach by recreating our first date and bringing me to the place that held a special mark in our story. The night of the proposal, we had drinks at Cabo Cantina, and then walked over to the exact area on the pier where we had our first kiss. The night ended with Vic getting down on one knee at C&O Trattoria, the restaurant where we had our first dinner date.
— Elaine (the bride)
Venice Beach Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Venice Beach Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Venice Beach Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Venice Beach Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.
Venice Beach Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.

The UCLA campus made a stunning backdrop for this engagement session. Every corner that we turned revealed beautiful architecture and stunning buildings. It was a wedding photographers dream! I would photograph every engagement session here if I could, but what I love the most is that this location is so significant to the bride and groom. I have shot engagement sessions at Venice Beach several times before and as usual, it did not disappoint. One of my favorite moments during this engagement session was when we ended the session on the Venice Beach pier where the couple shared their first kiss. It was a special moment for Victor and Elaine and I’m so happy I was able to photograph it for them. Congratulations to the happy couple! Words can't express how happy I am for you and I am so excited to photograph your wedding at Colony 29 this November!

All photos were captured by Malibu wedding photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more engagement sessions like this one, check out this Temecula Wine Country Engagement Session or this San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session

OLE HANSON BEACH CLUB WEDDING INSPIRATION

OLE HANSON BEACH CLUB WEDDING INSPIRATION

I am so very excited to share a styled shoot that I worked on in the beginning of April! It has been SO hard to sit on these gorgeous photos and not share them. This styled shoot at Ole Hanson Beach Club was picked up by one of my favorite wedding blogs and will be featured in late August. I will definitely be sharing when the time comes. In the meantime you can enjoy this Ole Hanson Beach Club wedding inspiration right here on my blog! My hope is that brides planning a beach wedding will find some inspiration. And if you're looking for an oceanfront wedding venue in San Clemente (Orange County), you should definitely check out Ole Hanson Beach Club!

Ceremony decor at Ole Hanson Beach Club wedding in San Clemente, Ca with wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride and groom at Ole Hanson Beach Club wedding in San Clemente, Ca with wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride and Groom exchange vows at Ole Hanson Beach Club wedding in San Clemente, Ca with wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride and Groom at Ole Hanson Beach Club wedding in San Clemente, Ca with wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride and groom at Ole Hanson Beach Club wedding in San Clemente, Ca with wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Wedding reception at Ole Hanson Beach Club wedding in San Clemente, Ca with wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Reception Decor at Ole Hanson Beach Club wedding in San Clemente, Ca with wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.

This colorful wedding inspiration was inspired by summer hues and the gorgeous oceanfront wedding venue Ole Hanson Beach Club in San Clemente, California. It was a celebration of the ocean waves crashing gently along the beach and the beautiful florals that line the coast. Between the divine blue tones of the water, and the vibrant hues of the flowers, it only made sense to celebrate the two. Ilana at Perfect the Event used warm toned florals, and incorporated pops of cool colors in the textiles and smaller details such as our paper goods from Jen Simpson Designs. 

Ole Hanson Beach Club was the perfect venue to host this California coastal dream. We chose a bridal gown that was flowing like the foamy waves, but also had a high end, sophisticated feel. Casablanca Bridal had the most stunning gown for our bride, and Friar Tux’s tan suit was the perfect compliment. 

The design mixes in metals such as our rose gold laser cut items from Happily Ever Etched to contrast against the Spanish villa feel of the venue. Whimsical floral are featured throughout and the white hanging roses from Three Petals are intended to imitate the fluffy clouds over the horizon. 

This shoot was only possible thanks to the talented team in place. Corin Cruz made our bride glow, and Baker Party Rentals supplied such an array of mixed matched wood tones that tied everything together. This day was captured to perfection by Cloud 9 Cinematography. 

 

Photography: Lovisa Photo 
Planning & Design: Perfect the Event
Venue: Ole Hanson Beach Club
Florals: Three Petals Design
Catering: 24 Carrots Catering
Cinematography: Cloud 9 Cinematography
Hair & Makeup: Corin Cruz Makeup & Hair
Stationary: Jen Simpson Design
Laser Cut Goods: Happily Ever Etched
Cake: Love Cakes
Rentals: Baker Party Rentals
Bridal Gown: Casablanca Bridal
Groom’s Attire: Friar Tux
Model: Bailey & Kelsey Schmidt 

Laguna Beach Maternity Session

DESIREE'S LAGUNA BEACH MATERNITY SESSION AT THOUSAND STEPS BEACH

Can I tell you a little secret? It's kind of embarrassing. Okay, here goes... I used to be scared to shoot maternity sessions and I would turn them down. Just saying that out loud sounds crazy! I hadn't done many of them, so I was nervous that I would drop the ball. I recently took on a few maternity sessions, and realized what I've been missing out on. They are so sweet and fun!

When Desiree contacted me to capture her Laguna Beach maternity session, I got the same nervous feeling in my stomach, but knew it was something I wanted to do. And I'm so glad I did! Desiree and Blake are the sweetest couple expecting their first baby boy, Cooper, in about 2 weeks. Desiree only had one request, that her maternity session be in Laguna Beach, and I immediately knew that Thousand Steps Beach would be the perfect location. But first I had to make sure this pregnant mama would be okay with all the stairs. I expected some pushback, but sweet Desiree was a champ, "The stairs are no problem! I could use the workout." How cute is that?! I knew I was going to love her. 

We arrived a little bit early so that we could find the perfect spot on the beach for her maternity photos, and we couldn't believe how beautiful and golden the light was. Even though it had been chilly earlier in the week, the water was surprisingly warm as it lapped at our ankles. I am so happy with how romantic and beautiful this session turned out, and I think it may have even changed the way I feel about maternity sessions. I'm so very excited for Desiree and Blake on their growing family. Congratulations you two! 

Couple walking on beach Pregnant mom during maternity session at Thousand Steps Beach with Laguna Beach maternity photographer Lovisa Photo.
Pregnant mom holds her belly during maternity session at Thousand Steps Beach with Laguna Beach maternity photographer Lovisa Photo.
Pregnant mom holds her belly during maternity session at Thousand Steps Beach with Laguna Beach maternity photographer Lovisa Photo.
Couple walking towards ocean during maternity session at Thousand Steps Beach with Laguna Beach maternity photographer Lovisa Photo.

If you would like to book a maternity session for yourself or someone you love, send me an email for details!

xx Erin

All photos take by Laguna Beach Maternity Photographer Lovisa Photo. 

 

Bride Guide: 12 Things to do after you get engaged

12 Things to do after you get engaged:

Things to do after you get engaged by Long Beach Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.

Right after my husband, Grant, proposed to me I remember the feeling. "Holy cow! I'm engaged!". That moment had finally come. But after the initial shock wore off, and I'd told the story of how he asked 1,000 times, that feeling was quickly followed up by the overwhelming question of "where do I begin?". Engagement is an exciting and crazy time in your life. But before getting overwhelmed with wedding planning, make sure to check out this list that I've put together for you- 12 things to do after you get engaged. 


1. Announce your engagement to your family and friends

This one is a no-brainer! If you happened to have a proposal photographer capture the special moment, ask if they would be willing to send you a few of the sneak peeks right away to use in your announcement! 

2. Celebrate!

Pop some bubbly and celebrate with your friends and family! An engagement party is a great opportunity for everyone to congratulate you in person and see your new ring! 

3. Take some time before you start wedding planning

Your life is about to go through some new and exciting changes, so take some time to relish in the moment before the wedding planning starts. We made a point to not start wedding planning for the first month of our engagement and I'm so glad we did. 

4. Have a date Night

Enjoy your first date together as fiancés! Trust me, it's really fun to say. Let the restaurant know you're celebrating your engagement and they may take extra special care of you!  

5. Come up with a wedding hashtag

Start thinking about your wedding hashtag. This is a great way to let your friends and family see all of the photos from the proposal, engagement party, bridal shower, and eventually your wedding day! If you need some help coming up with a wedding hashtag, check out Wedding Wire's Hashtag Generator or ask your closest friends to help you come up with some ideas!

6. Start an inspiration board

It's time to start day dreaming about your big day! Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration and help you narrow in on your theme and color palette. Pinterest has some amazing boards to help you decide on your wedding color palette.

12 things to do after you get engaged by Long Beach wedding photographer Lovisa Photo. 

7. Choose a season

Look back at your wedding inspiration boards and you may see a trend. If you are falling in love with pastels, you may be leaning towards a spring wedding. Bright splashy colors? You may want to consider a summer wedding. Jewel tones are a beautiful choice for a Fall wedding. You'll also want to consider what the weather will be like during that time of year. 

8. Set a budget

Set a budget for your wedding and stick to it! Money conversations can be difficult, but just remember what is important at the end of the day is that you'll be married to the love of your life. My husband and I chose our top 2-3 things that were the most important to us and the rest we decided to be open minded about in case we needed to compromise. For example, having a great wedding photographer was important to us, so in order to be able to afford the wedding photographer we wanted, we made room in the budget by not doing wedding favors, having our wedding on a Friday, etc. 

9. book your venue

Start looking around for wedding venues that fit your budget and style. There are so many styles of wedding venues out there, The Wedding Spot is a great resource to find the wedding venue of your dreams!

10. Set a date

This one goes simultaneously with booking your venue. You may choose to set the date before you choose your venue, but it will limit your options. Your dream venue may not end up being available on your wedding date. 

11. Open a joint bank account

Each couple is different, and this may not be for everyone. But this the first of many small steps for my (now) husband and I towards building our life together. It was exciting, and it really helped us get on the same page with managing our finances during the final stages of wedding planning. 

12. Get your ring insured

Trust me. Just do it. Hopefully you'll never have to file a claim, but if you do at least you can have peace of mind during a stressful time. 

 

All photos were captured by Malibu wedding photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more tips for brides like this one, check out 12 Things to Do After You Get Engaged, or this 6 Reasons to Do an Engagement Session

Bride Guide: 6 Reasons to do an Engagement Session

6 Reasons to do an Engagement Session

Reasons to do an Engagement Session by Long Beach Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.

Hi friends!

Today I want to share 6 Reasons to do an engagement session with you! As a wedding photographer I hear couples ask if they really "need" an engagement session and see it as an opportunity to save money. There is nothing wrong with saving money or sticking to a budget. But if you merely see an engagement session as just photos, I'm here to tell you there are SO many uses for them other than sharing them on Facebook. I actually printed more of my engagement photos than my wedding photos and have them hanging throughout our place. I see them as a better reflection of who we are in regular every day life and I LOVE that our wedding photographer was able to capture that side of us! So read on, you may look at engagement photos in a whole new way...


1. You'll get beautiful photos

This sounds like a no-brainer, but seriously, when was the last time you had professional photos taken? Engagement sessions capture all the joy and excitement of this season of life with memories that will last a lifetime. Personally, I really loved having photos that I could hang around our new home that captured our "everyday" life together, and not just our wedding day. 

2. Your engagement photos have many uses

Aside from hanging the photos throughout your new home, you can use your engagement session photos for your save-the-dates, guest sign-in book, and invitations. Not to mention, you can display them around your wedding and bridal shower. I'm planning to do another post that talks about all the different ways you can use your engagement photos so stay tuned!

3. Practice for the big day!

Chances are you haven't spent a lot of time in front of professional cameras. It can be intimidating having several cameras pointed at you, but the engagement session is a great opportunity for you to get comfortable in front of the cameras so you can relax and be yourselves on the big day. 

4. Establish a relationship with your wedding photographer

As a wedding photographer, one of my favorite parts throughout the wedding process is shooting the engagement session. It really gives me a chance to get to know each couple as they are. Each couple is so different and through getting to know them I am able to truly capture and photograph their story on their wedding day. 

5. Better control over the light and location

Wedding days can be stressful. You have to follow a strict timeline, and have limited time to take photos. In addition, your timeline may not allow for photos during the best daylight and the location choices for wedding photos is limited to a close radius of your venue. Your engagement session is much less pressure since there's no timeline, and you're able to take the photos whenever and wherever you want- in the mountains, the desert, or that gorgeous field you've been driving past on your way home from work. We'll also make sure to time it perfectly so you can get some gorgeous sunset photos with the most flattering light. 

6. While you're at it, plan a date night

I love to advise all of my brides to schedule their hair and makeup trials for the same day as the engagement session so they can double down! While you're all dressed up and looking your best, you might as well have a date night afterwards!

 

All photos were captured by San Juan Capistrano Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more tips for brides like this one, check out 12 Things to Do After You Get Engaged, or this 6 Reasons to Do an Engagement Session

New Year's Eve Elopement in Las Vegas

JR & Leann's New Year's Eve Elopement in Las Vegas

I wish that every one of my couples could elope. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love shooting big weddings, but there is something so sweet and special about an intimate elopement. 

JR & Leann's New Year's Eve elopement in Las Vegas was nothing short of perfection. The bride and groom flew out from Alabama to tie the knot in a way that was so very "them". They got ready at their hotel room in the Aria Sky Tower, which had a magnificent view of the strip, and enjoyed a relaxing morning getting ready together. The bride says, "with the big day being on New Years Eve and in Las Vegas, I just knew my dress did not need to be a traditional white wedding gown....I needed SEQUINS and SPARKLE. I also asked that my groom wear a black tux since it was New Year's Eve."

New Year's Eve Elopement in Las Vegas with Palm Springs wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride's blue shoes at New Year's Eve Elopement in Las Vegas with Palm Springs wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride getting ready at New Year's Eve Elopement in Las Vegas with Palm Springs wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride and groom getting ready at New Year's Eve Elopement in Las Vegas with Palm Springs wedding photographer Lovisa Photo.

The couple headed for Graceland Wedding Chapel, where Bon Jovi once wed, and tied the knot in front of seven of their closest friends, and of course Elvis. Palm Spring wedding photographer Lovisa Photo flew in to photograph the elopement, and ventured into Red Rock Canyon with the couple for photos. The couple's evening wear attire was the perfect contrast against the vibrant red hills. JR and Leann were so much fun and up for anything- including popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate their New Year's Eve elopement in Las Vegas!  

Bride and groom elope at little wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride and groom elope at little wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.

From the bride: "My fiancé (now husband) and I both wanted to elope on New Years Eve, rather than have a traditional wedding with numerous guests. We researched elopement destinations (Caribbean Islands, Mexico, etc) and kept coming back to Las Vegas as an option. We both love to laugh and keep things light and fun, so an Elvis / Las Vegas chapel elopement was the option we just couldn't take off of our list, and eventually we decided to go with Las Vegas. Now, knowing that a Las Vegas wedding chapel may not be the classiest of places, I envisioned us making it as classy and glitzy as possible, in order to still make the intimate day special and awesome for us both."

Bride and groom cheers champagne during New Year's Eve elopement in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.

All photos were captured by Palm Springs Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more weddings like this one, check out this Joshua Tree Elopement.

Photography: Lovisa Photo
Hair and Makeup: Perfect Hair and Makeup
Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Wedding Dress: Bella's Bridal
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Getting Ready Venue: Aria Resort and Casino
Wedding Ceremony Venue: Graceland Wedding Chapel

San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session

Matt & Jori's San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session at Los Rios District

Hey guys!

I am SO excited to share Matt & Jori's San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session with you today! I have a special place in my heart for these two because I have been friends with Jori for a few years now. In 2014, we met working at a restaurant and hit it off so well that we decided to spontaneously plan a girls trip to Europe together! Crazy, I know! We traveled (ahem, *ate) our way around France, Italy, and Romania together making memories that I will always treasure.

Shortly after we returned home to the States, Jori was invited to a party to casually meet a blind date. But instead of hitting it off with her blind date, she ended up meeting Matt and hitting it off while she was waiting for the other guy to show up. Over the next couple of months, they kept running into each other through friends. Then one night, Matt helped Jori fix her flat tire and followed her home to make sure she made it safely. Major points Matt! It was then that he finally asked her out for their first date, and Jori gladly said yes.

After two years of dating, Matt finally popped the question and proposed at a beautiful dinner in Arizona, where Jori was least expecting it. And he did GOOD, check out her stunning engagement ring!

I finally got to meet her groom at their engagement session in San Juan Capistrano and he truly is the gentleman she always described him as. It is no secret that they are crazy about each other! Besides, they make the most beautiful couple ever! Matt and Jori, you truly are amazing together and I’m so glad that you’ve found one another. I can’t wait to photograph your wedding day at the Ranch at Laguna Beach in November. It’s going to be a very special day celebrating two very beautiful people.   

xx Erin

 

All photos were captured by San Juan Capistrano wedding photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more engagement sessions like this one, check out this Temecula Wine Country Engagement Session or this UCLA Engagement Session

 

5 Year Anniversary- Punta Cana Excursions

5 Year Anniversary- Punta Cana Excursions

Hey guys! 

I am back to share with you about all the fun excursions we did in Punta Cana! I had so much to tell you about our stay at The Level at Melia Caribe that I figured I would make a separate post to talk about these fun excursions! 

In my previous post I mentioned that we stayed at an all-inclusive resort which has everything you could think of, you don’t even need to leave the resort! But for those of you that like to experience the culture and have a sense of adventure, I would highly recommend going on a few excursions! You can book these right at the resort, or you can have your travel agent arrange it for you.

While we were in Punta Cana, we decided on two different excursions: a dune buggy adventure, and horseback riding on the beach. These ended up being some of our favorite memories from this trip! 

The dune buggy adventure was so much more fun than I expected it to be! We started at a dune buggy camp, and rode through the Dominican Republic countryside to three different locations before heading back. First, we rode to a local plantation where we got to see how the locals make local coffee, Mama Juana (the local alcohol of choice), and cigars. Then we moved on to the second location where we cliff jumped into a natural cave! It was 25 feet deep and icy cold, which felt really good in the 90-degree heat! Lastly, we stopped at Macaow Beach which is one of the undeveloped “virgin” beaches in the Dominican Republic. It was one of the most beautiful beaches I had ever seen! The water was so bright and gorgeous. Then we drove back to the dune buggy camp. The drive was so bumpy and we got so muddy, it was truly an adventure. One of the things Grant and I kept saying was that we really liked that this excursion gave us a great overview of some things that are exclusive to the Dominican Republic. 

Our second adventure was horseback riding on the beach. I used to take lessons as a kid, so I was so excited for this one. Grant had never been horseback riding, so I was even more excited to experience it with him. We took a short shuttle trip to Bavaro Beach and were introduced to our horses, Margarita and Coca-Cola. I guess they like beverages for names! We had so much fun and the view was amazing. At one point, they let us go full speed gallop down the beach! I was certainly in my happy place, and I was surprised that Grant handled the gallop so well for a first time rider! We kept saying that we couldn’t wait to go do something like that again.

So make sure to save a little room in your budget to go on an excursion or two during your trip! It will not disappoint!

xx Erin

Our 5 Year Anniversary- Level at Melia Caribe in Punta Cana

Our 5 Year Anniversary- Level at Melia Caribe in Punta Cana

Anniversary at the Level at Melia Caribe Punta Cana by Lovisa Photo

Wow! What a wild Summer it has been! We’ve had so much going on and I am excited to share with you our Punta Cana anniversary trip at The Level at Melia Caribe, which would be a perfect place for any of you planning your honeymoon! 

So, first things first, we stayed at The Level at Melia Caribe which is basically a hotel within a hotel. It was the upgraded and adults-only portion of the resort and I wouldn’t recommend staying at this resort any other way.

When we arrived at the Level, we were greeted by the friendliest staff and welcomed into a VIP lounge for check-in. They brought us cold towels and refreshing tropical cocktails for us to enjoy while we waited for them to finish checking us in. I kept thinking, this would be the perfect way to start a honeymoon, and instantly knew we were going to love the rest of our anniversary trip here. 

The Level has four restaurants and three bars that are exclusive to Level members, so they were nicer and less crowded. It also has a private pool, and did I mention adults-only?  ;)  We had a blast at the pool and swim up bar and made several friends down there. But the white sand and turquoise water of the Punta Cana beach called our names too so we spent most of our days hopping back and forth. 

One of the things I loved most was of course that this was an all-inclusive resort! That means that food, beverage, alcohol, entertainment, etc... it was all included! A lot of people get nervous about the food at all-inclusive resorts, but we loved it! Everything was fresh and delicious. There were 11 restaurants, 2 buffets, and 14 bars, so we never got tired of the selection! I'm pretty sure I ate my weight in fresh fruit, how gorgeous is this fruit plate?! 

We had so much fun on this trip. You guys, if you've never stayed at an all-inclusive resort, it is something you MUST do! It is such an amazing experience to be able to get away for several days and not have to worry about currency conversion or budgeting out your meals. The best thing are there are different types of all-inclusive resorts based on your needs: adults-only, adventurous, romantic, luxurious, etc. Spending our anniversary at the Level at Melia Caribe was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to plan a romantic honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort. 

4 REASONS TO DO A FIRST LOOK

4 REASONS TO DO A FIRST LOOK

"Should we do a first look?"... This is a question that gets brought up a LOT! First looks are a special intimate moment set up for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. Typically, your wedding photographer chooses a location (on site) away from family and friends to give the couple privacy and to make that moment special just for them. Of course, this goes against the age old tradition of the groom not being allowed to see the bride before she walks down the aisle. But times are changing! And the first look is now just as common as not seeing each other before the ceremony. As a wedding photographer, I fully support the idea and I’ve gone ahead and put together 4 reasons to do a first look. 

1.     More time for photos

This right here is huge! I love when couples choose to do a first look because we can take care of the majority of the family and bridal party photos before the wedding ceremony begins, leaving more time for romantic couples’ portraits after the ceremony. I may be biased as a wedding photographer, but who wouldn’t want that?! 

2.     More intimate and it eases the nerves

On my own wedding day, anxiety was high and my stomach was churning right before I walked down the aisle. The idea of having all eyes on me was overwhelming. Oh how I wish I had chosen to do a first look! It would have been so nice to share that intimate moment together, just us, before we said our vows in front of everyone we knew. I can’t tell you how many couples say they are so happy they took the time to have a quiet intimate moment together before the ceremony and do a first look. It is a sacred moment that will never be forgotten and it helps ease many couples’ nerves before the ceremony.

3.     Daylight/Best Lighting

Unfortunately, the lighting is not always ideal at a wedding ceremony space; sometimes the light is harsh, uneven, or sometimes it’s even too dark (after daylight savings). First looks allow the wedding photographer to place the bride and groom in the most ideal light/location so that they can capture the best possible photos of that special moment. This is especially important for couples' whose wedding day falls right after daylight savings.

4.     Attending Cocktail Hour/Spend more time with guests

For the bride and grooms that love to party, need I say more? With more time after the wedding ceremony, some couples opt to use this time to mingle with their guests during the cocktail hour. Cheers!

There you have it! 4 reasons to do a first look! Hopefully this will help you to decide whether a first look is right for you on your wedding day! If you have any questions, as always, feel free to comment below!

xx Erin

All photos were captured by Malibu wedding photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more tips for brides like this one, check out 12 Things to Do After You Get Engaged, or this What to Wear to Your Engagement Session.

What To Wear To Your Engagement Session

What To Wear To Your Engagement Session

What to Wear to Your Engagement Session by Malibu Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo
What to Wear to Your Engagement Session by Temecula Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo

We've all seen good AND bad engagement photos. But it doesn't come down to just picking the right photographer, you've gotta look good too! As a wedding photographer, I get asked ALL the time what couples should wear to their engagement session. I've answered some of the most frequently asked questions, along with some of my best tips for brides, to help you plan what to wear to your engagement session. If you have any other questions or tips of your own, feel free to comment!

 

Dress Comfortably

My first piece of advice is to dress comfortably. If you are uncomfortable at your engagement session, it will most likely show through in your engagement photos. Make sure everything fits correctly and works well with the setting. You wouldn’t wear heels to the beach, or a scarf and sweater on a summer day, so don’t attempt to pull that off on the day of your engagement session.

Something Old and Something New

I always love to recommend that couples wear one outfit or item that they already own, and another that they bought new for the engagement session. Wearing something you already own is a good idea because it is tried and true and so very YOU. You know that it fits well and you will feel confident in that. Buying a new outfit or item for the engagement session is fun because it gives you a chance to feel extra special during the session. I know that I always feel great when I put on a brand new dress. If the item is new shoes, try to wear them around the house to break them in before the session. Nothing is worse than a blister!

Is it okay to wear prints?

I personally love prints, and think they bring a fun element to engagement photos. Don’t be afraid to get playful with prints. Just make sure they don’t clash with one another and aren’t too distracting.

What colors should I wear?

There’s nothing I love more than a light and neutral color palette filled with cream, blush, tan, grey and white. I think it really helps create light and airy photos. But a pop of color can be fun too! Just be intentional about it. Maybe choose a bright lipstick, scarf, or pants and keep the rest of the palette toned down.

Should we match?

Okay, we’ve all seen it. The awful photo of a family of 5 all wearing white shirts and light blue denim. There’s nothing worse than being too matchy matchy. That being said, I do believe couples should coordinate their outfits to work well together. Play off of each other’s outfits to find a color palette and prints that work well together. If you’re going for a fall color palette, maybe find a plaid scarf that has a hint of color in it that matches his shirt. Or if he is wearing bright red pants, maybe wear bright red lipstick to tie the look together. It’s a subtle way to create a look that comes together flawlessly.

Casual or Dressy?

This comes down to a personal decision. Ultimately, the engagement session is meant to capture who you are as a couple! If you love to dress up, go for it! But if you are a more casual couple, there is nothing wrong with wearing a more every day look. I know some days, I feel just as confident in Converse and blue jeans as I would in a dress. Some couples like to bring one dressy and one casual outfit, but the choice is up to you. I do highly recommend that brides choose a long flowy dress for at least one of your outfits. 

How many outfits should we bring?

When it comes to this, I believe that less is more. I always recommend that couples limit themselves to two outfits, or even wear one outfit but bring a jacket or change of top to switch up the look easily. You won’t want to waste precious time during your session trying to find a restroom to change in.

Any extra advice?

Yes! If you are able to, I would suggest getting your hair and make up done professionally. You've spent good money on these photos, so don't cut corners when it comes to looking your best! Professionals know how to apply your makeup in a way that photographs well and lasts all day. If you have hired a hair and makeup artist for your wedding day, then why not schedule your trial appointment for the day of the engagement session? Or go get a blow out for under $40! Treat yo'self girl! I promise you will love your photos even more. Also, don't forget to have your nails freshly painted. You won't want chipped nails in your photos.

 

xx Erin

All photos were captured by Malibu wedding photographer Lovisa Photo. To see more tips for brides like this one, check out 12 Things to Do After You Get Engaged, or this 6 Reasons to Do an Engagement Session