Styling with Tobi

Have you heard of the online shop, Tobi? A client of mine, years ago, had the most beautiful dress for her boudoir session and she told me she got it from a site called Tobi. I’ve been a big fan of the brand ever since. I picked out a few of my favorite items from their site recently and wanted to show you how I styled them on a somewhat average day of mine. When I don’t have a session to go to you’ll find me at home for the majority of the day, sneaking away for a quick coffee date with girlfriends and hoping that once my husband gets home he steals me away from my computer for a little date. Dream day? Maybe.

Our mornings start out snuggling with our kitties and drinking coffee. We’re super early birds and usually wake up before the sun rises. It’s our favorite time together, before the emails are replied to, the lunches are made, and the hubby has to leave for work. We’re usually cozied up on the sofa, with at least one giant fluff ball in our lap. Speaking of, let me tell you a quick story about our cats. We wanted to clean out our floor furnace to turn on our heater and once Adam opened it all up and starting clearing out the dust bunnies he uncovered fourteen cat toys. Guys, fourteen!! Our little miss Delilah thinks it’s a fun game to shove her toys down there so now we’ve turned off our pilot light juuuust in case. With that all said, this sweater dress is the perfect thing to throw on in our chilly apartment.

Dress: Tobi Turtleneck Sweater Dress

Socks: Similar (super, super cute and on sale!)

Letter Board: Letterfolk

Cat: not for sale ūüėČ

After Adam leaves for work my day begins. I start writing back emails, editing and checking my to do list. Being a photographer, there are many days I don’t leave my house (the editing cave is real) but it’s so good to get out. Rose Park Roasters is the cutest little coffee shop in our hood of Long Beach and I’m there weekly either for client meetings, dates with friends or just grabbing a delicious chai latte and bacon cheddar biscuit to take back to the cave. This floral maxi is the perfect thing to throw on for a girly date at this cute spot! It’s also a little sassy if you wanted to wear it out to a date night with some cute platforms with your beau! I love how versatile it is.

Dress: Tobi Floral Maxi Dress

Shoes: Dolce Vita for Target booties

Hat: Yellow 108

Bag: Urban Outfitters

Once 6:30 rolls around I’m anxiously waiting for Adam to get home. We try to go out on a date once a week, usually to one of our go to spots for sushi or pizza but every once in a while we’ll break out of our restaurant shell and try a new spot. We’re dying to head to Rances for pizza soon and check out Roe’s new restaurant. So many great spots here in Long Beach! This wrap dress is seriously my favorite. Not only is it super flattering, how can a wrap dress not be? But the color is perfect and can easily be dressed up or down. I love pairing it with my favorite vintage clutch and platforms. Gotta show off the gams on date nights!

Dress: Tobi Wrap Dress

Clutch: Vintage

Shoes: Dolce Vita Platforms

Bracelet: Pressed Rose Jewelry (Adam got this for me on our first Christmas as a married couple. It has our wedding date stamped into it and I LOVE it!)

Be sure to head to Tobi soon and take advantage of their 50% off site wide sale!

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Our Wedding / The Ceremony

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While planning our wedding the one thing we knew we wanted was a simple ceremony site. My (megan’s) dream was to say I do in a golden meadow which maaaay be why May was the chosen month for our wedding date. I knew the grass would be golden and so when we booked Figueroa Farmhouse we made sure to tell the site manager to NOT mow the grass. We wanted that gorgeous tall, golden grass to be the main focal point. Choosing simple, wooden benches for seating was a no brainer since, again, we didn’t want to take away from the view. And having Carissa of¬†JL Designs add that simple eucalyptus garland to the back row was the perfect touch.

We decided early on not to have a bridal party. We loved our friends too much to make them do all of those duties ūüėČ Plus, we just knew we wanted it to be just the two of us standing up there and while we still had a best man and moh who made the most amazing toasts during our reception we were so happy to let everyone just enjoy the day.

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One of our favorite parts of the ceremony was how we incorporated our dear friends into making it so personal. We knew early on that we wanted no one but our talented friend Nick Shattuck to sing while we walked down (and back up) the aisle. Nick and I met at one of his shows years ago and as fate would have it, became great friends and it was so special to have him serenading us and our guests. We chose Sleeping At Last’s version of I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) yes, The Proclaimers song haha! But the version of that song that Sleeping At Last sings had me in tears all the days leading up to our wedding. And being big Johnny Cash fans we chatted with Nick and he suggested our recessional song be Ring of Fire which was SO fun to walk out to. We are just so thankful for Nick, his talents, and his willingness to take on a somewhat stressful responsibility. But he killed it, just as we knew he would.

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The other amazing choice we made for our ceremony was choosing our dear friend Israel to marry us. We both knew immediately that he would be SO good at taking on this um, daunting task and it was really important to us to have someone who knew us both, as a couple, to the the one to marry us. We wanted someone more special than just a guy we found on the internet. But you guys, you should find someone on the internet now because he needs to make his own officiant website. He was so so so so good. We are so thankful for him for taking on this huge task and knocking it out of the park. We told him we wanted our ceremony to feel like a “romantic comedy” nothing too sappy, nothing too religious, but just us. And it was absolutely perfect. One of his opening lines was “Today, promises become permanent and friends become family. This day is not about the words spoken or the rings exchanged, nor is it about grand pronouncements or recessional marches. On this day, the day of Megan and Adam, it’s about love.” HEART MELT ALL OVER THAT BEAUTIFUL MEADOW. It was everything I could have dreamed of and even with the crazy winds whipping my veil around, it was the most perfect 15 minutes of my life.

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Venue: Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse | Photographer: Brumley & Wells | Videographer: Eric Frank Cinema | Coordinator and Stylist: Beijos Events | Florist: Carissa Jowett of JL Designs | Invitations: Twinkle & Toast | Calligrapher: Poppyjack | Desserts: Sweet and Saucy Shop | Vintage Rentals: Borrowed Blu | Chairs, benches and bar: Classic Party Rentals | Tables and corn hole sets: Against the Grain | Caterer: The Pairing Knife | Dress: Sarah Seven from Lovely Bride | Suit: Klein Epstein Parker | Mr. & Mrs. Sign: The Duo Studio

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Afternoon Date at SteelCraft

I came across this place on instagram recently (thanks social media!) and decided to surprise Adam with a date yesterday afternoon in our own hood. SteelCraft is a really cool outdoor eatery in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach with all of the restaurants made of shipping containers. They have everything from ramen to gourmet waffles (banana cream waffles, guys) to hawaiian shaved ice and Smog City Brewing for those of you beer lovers. There is plenty of seating and a little lawn area where you can bring a blanket and do dinner or lunch picnic style. It’s still in it’s soft opening so only a couple of places are open right now but their grand opening is the weekend of February 4th and I can’t wait to go check out all of the shops. That ramen is calling my name! If you find yourself in Long Beach this is definitely a spot you’ll want to stop by.

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Our Wedding / Why we chose to do a First Look

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We always knew we wanted to do a first look. The idea of getting the portraits out of the way before the ceremony, being able to enjoy our cocktail hour with our friends and family and (hopefully) getting out some of those pre ceremony jitters were our main decision makers but I don’t think either of us anticipated the emotions we’d have. Being able to have that time alone with each other on an otherwise kind of insane day was so, soooo good.

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I know a lot of couples worry that if they do a first look it won’t be as special when they walk down the aisle and see each other. Let me tell you, the feeling doesn’t change, well it didn’t for me at least. It’s still SO incredibly special to see each other, surrounded by all of your loved ones. That walk is like none other BUT the wonderful thing about it is that I (Megan) was just so, so happy and was able to look around at our friends and family AND at my groom and not feel like I was going to throw up from nerves.

I (Adam) was genuinely shocked when I turned around and saw Megan. I obviously had no idea what her dress was going to look like and for a moment I was actually speechless. It was a moment when I realized “woah, this is happening. This is my bride”. When I saw Megan walking down the aisle I saw our future together. I’ll admit that I wasn’t as taken back as I was when I saw her during our first look. But it was a different feeling, I was calmer and just really excited for this moment to seal our commitment to each other.

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If you’re considering a first look, be sure to talk about what you want with your partner and talk to your photographer about the timeline of your day and what the best options are. Sometimes, if your ceremony is towards sunset having a first look is somewhat necessary and on the other side, if you are having an earlier ceremony, say in the summertime when the sun sets way later in the evening you would have more than enough time to do portraits after your ceremony BUT remember, you will be missing your cocktail hour. In the end, it’s your day and you should do whatever feels right but just know all of your options!

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Megan’s Details

Dress: Clementine by Sarah Seven

Belt: Sarah Seven Gilded Belt

Shoes: Betsey Johnson “Blue”

Hair: April Warford of Eclectic Chic Salon

Makeup: Wynter Binder

Adam’s Details

Shoes: Church Footware

Bow Tie: Hackett

Suit: Custom from Klein Epstein Parker

Beautiful photos by the talented Brumley and Wells

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A little San Francisco Getaway

Last fall we had a weekend getaway to one of our favorite places. We arrived in the evening, stopped at our airbnb in the adorable Pacific Heights neighborhood and walked straight to Delfina for a little midnight snack because when you’re on vacation carbs don’t count.

We woke up extra early Saturday morning, grabbed an uber and headed straight to our favorite breakfast spot in all of the land, Plow (get there before they open to get a good spot in line. They fill up FAST!) Seriously, if you haven’t been you are really missing out. Get the buttermilk biscuit and honey butter (my mouth is literally watering just typing this).

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After we filled our stomachs to the brim we walked it off by wandering our favorite neighborhoods. We first stopped by Big Daddy’s Antiques, one of our favorite spots to browse really cool antique pieces. They have a store in LA too!

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A few of our favorite spots in SF:

Plow (always our first stop)

Sutro Baths

Legion of Honor Museum

Bi-Rite

Hops & Hominy – GET the gin and jam. Don’t ask, just do it.

NOPA – be sure to make a reservation for brunch!

Smitten Ice Cream, of course. And that entire area.

Jane – the cutest coffee shop

also, this made me laugh but it’s pretty true.

and really so much more. Every neighborhood in the city has so much charm!

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I had a few shoots while we were in the city which led us to some really great spots that we hadn’t explored before. First up was the gorgeous Cavallo Point which has the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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The next day we headed to The Presidio, a magical, magical tree lined spot in the middle of the city. It may be my new favorite spot there. And Adam is the best stand in light tester model.

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Later that evening we drove to THE most incredible place ever, Mount Tamalpais to photograph some of our dear friends. The views are INSANE and the fog that rolls in and the light and the hills and all of the things. Basically, we couldn’t stop snapping away here.

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A big thanks to our talented friend, Gladys for grabbing the camera after their shoot and snapping a few shots of the two of us.

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Was such a great trip and we are so looking forward to our next visit!

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