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:



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Lovely little details:

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Sigh. Red soles make my heart pitter patter!

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

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

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

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Such a beautiful and fun group of sisters & friends!

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The perfect bride:

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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:

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

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Such a dapper group of gentlemen:

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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:

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

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Yay!

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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!

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A little help:

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

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

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Square Root really outdid themselves with these lush arrangements:

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A little side view of the ceremony:

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I loved the wild roses in the arch!

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An overhead view of the ceremony:

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

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Mike waiting for his bride:

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

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Here we go!

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

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The ceremony begins:

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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:

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Love:

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

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A cool angle of the ceremony:

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

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Don't worry, he had them:

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Mazel Tov!

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

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

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

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

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Stunner:

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

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

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

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Love it:

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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:

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Michelle, three ways:

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Mike, hair still perfect even on the beach:

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

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

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Hanging candles are awesome!

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

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More lights:

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First dance:

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A classic Hora shot! Red soles!

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

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Such a sweet moment during toasts:

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

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

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

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Couples on the dance floor together are so fun!

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Party! Love stuff like this:

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Cake cutting (it was delicious!)

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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!

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This wedding was made possible by the following amazing people:
Coordinator Extraordinaire: Alicia Townsend of Details DetailsVenue & Catering Manager:  Patty Burns, Montage Laguna BeachHair & Makeup:  Matt Motherhead (hair), Kristin Merkling (makeup)Floral Designer & Linens:  Square RootVideographer:  Shannon of Hoo FilmsBand:  West Coast MusicDJ:  Peter Papadopoulos