Brides looking for a Magical venue to get married in Los Angeles
Wayfarers Chapel Palos Verdes, CA
Every time we photograph weddings at Wayfarers Chapel we are reminded of all the beauty and magic this place has to offer. Getting married in an all glass chapel is so enchanting not just for the bride and groom but for wedding guests as well. The exquisite Rose Garden is a perfect background for wedding photos.
The unique architecture was created by Lloyd Wright son of Frank Lloyd Wright. If you haven't been to this stunning Chapel on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Palos Verdes, Ca. you should definitely take the drive and check it out.
Our photography studio offers mini portrait sessions once a year. This is a great opportunity for families and couples to refresh their portraits for the year. This is simply a 20 minute session all at one location. A mini session is not a discount on a family portartait session, rather, it is a smaller version of our full session. We only have 12 slots available for each day, so space is limited. This year we are offering two dates and two different locations to choose from.
October 30, 2016 at the Seal Beach Pier
November 13, 2016 at The Lab in Costa Mesa
Seal Beach Pier offers a fun, classic, Californian beach theme, while The Lab is a fun, quirky, urban setting, with an artistic vibe. These two locations have convenient parking and easy access. We can't wait to see new and returning families at our Holiday Mini Sessions.
How will you benefit from a mini session:
you have been wanting to try out a new photographer for the first time with minimal investment
great for families with young children
want new family photos to show off or use for annual holiday cards
The Jonathan Club is this beautiful historic club with old European charm in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. A members only club, where cell phones are not allowed and business attire is required. This historic club has been around since 1894 so when you enter the building you can expect beautiful architecture and classic decor. Members and guests are treated with such care and hospitality.
When I first met with Tiffany and Christopher to talk about their wedding plans I was thrilled to find out they were having the reception at the Jonathan Club. I knew their wedding would be elegant, classy and the details would be stunning. Such a lovely couple and so thankful to be an important part of their wedding day. The whole wedding team was fantastic. Trina Schmidt Weddings & Special Events made the evening flawless. The Floral design by Flowers by Cina was spectacular as always.
Tiffany and Christopher exchanged wedding vows at ST. John Fisher Catholic Church. After the ceremony I took the couple for a quick bridal shoot around the Disney Concert Hall. We headed back to the Jonathan Club and the newlywed couple made their grand entrance into the ballroom.
Walking into the historic ballroom at the Jonathan Club was like stepping back in time. The balcony here has amazing views of bustling downtown LA. Such a unique venue and so appreciative to be apart of it all.
Congrats to the beautiful couple on your wedding.
What was the most memorable part of your wedding day? What details did you like the most?
Most memorable part of the day was getting ready with our friends and family, the anticipation of what the day was going to bring. We loved all of the details, the details were important for us.We were especially mesmerized with by the richness in the renaissance architecture and decor, the dreamlike tablescapes with unreal floral and candles, and the romantic lighting throughout the room.
We love Samantha and John-David's unique fairytale love story. Where else would such a story begin but at the happiest place on earth! Disneyland! Having met as employees at an orientation in 2006 it wasn't till a couple years later that they began dating. They were both working in Disney's A Christmas Fantasy Parade John-David a trumpet playing toy soldier and Samantha the music box ballerina. On their 7th anniversary he proposed at Disneyland after they watched the Christmas Parade. It was a total surprise and her family and friends were all in on it. Check out the video
John-David and I met in 2006 at employee orientation at Disneyland. We didn't really "notice" each other until a couple years later, and we started dating in December 2008. We both worked in Disney's A Christmas Fantasy Parade, where John-David was a trumpet playing, toy soldier and I was the music box ballerina.
How were you engaged?
John-David proposed on our 7 year anniversary at Disneyland, of course. It was a huge surprise! His friends came up and grabbed me after we finished watching Christmas Parade. They put a mic on me and pulled me out to Main Street where all our family and friends came out and gave me roses. My dad turns me around to face the Christmas tree and there is John-David! It was also all caught on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOttcYUGD28
What do you love most about your husband?
I love how passionate John-David is in everything he does. He always gives 100% and goes the extra mile. He has a wonderful sense of humor and is possibly, the most loyal person I have ever met. Not only is he my best friend, but he loves me unconditionally and balances me perfectly.
The two chose to get married where Samantha's parents exchanged vows at the Chapel of Orange. A cute Chapel in the heart of Orange just off the Orange Circle. Family and friends filled the Chapel to witness the bride and groom exchange their very own vows.
Looking for a venue that offered Old California Spanish look they chose Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. A perfect Summer night for guests to enjoy an al fresco evening under the stars. The bridal party broke out into a flash mob and surprised the groom with a fun choreographed dance routine.
Margaret & Cleo Key Courtyard was the perfect outdoor historic early-California garden setting for such a fun filled party full of love and laughter.
We love Laguna Beach. Best described as a small coastal city in Orange County, California. Known for its many art galleries, coves and beaches. You can find tide pools at Main Beach along with a boardwalk that leads to the gardens of nearby Heisler Park. Looking for the local surf spot, check out Aliso Beach Park. The waters off Crystal Cove State Park are designated as an underwater park. Take a stroll down the trails here and enjoy the canyons in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. All these locations are beautiful backdrops for your engagement session.
Laguna Beach has it all for your engagement portraits. A stroll with your fiance down the main street will surprise you with gorgeous photos. We will take you on a photo walk throughout Laguna, often times starting at the parking structure getting that urban vibe and ending up at the beach for a stunning sunset. We want your experience to be fun, relaxing, and intimate. Let us lead the way and your engagement photos will take your breath away.
Allison and Sean's Engagement session
A few months ago I had the pleasure of photographing Alison's birthday celebration at Big Canyon Country Club. Last week we met up with Alison and her fiance in Laguna Beach for a beautiful engagement session. It was finally nice to meet Sean. We had a great time strolling around town capturing spontaneous moments that will make lovely wall art. Making our way down to the beach we continued to snap pictures of the two at Shaws Cove, one of my favorite spots to take couples who are getting married. The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful afternoon to document the love that Allison and Sean share with each other. Can't wait for their wedding at Big Canyon Country Club this Summer 2017!
This fairytale all glass chapel set amongst a grove of redwood trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean is one of Los Angeles' most enchanting places to exchange wedding vows. Wayfarers Chapel is beautifully landscaped on 3.5 acres of land with panoramic ocean views.
Also known as the "Glass Chapel" Wayfarers has welcomed couples of all religious backgrounds the opportunity to celebrate their wedding for over fifty years.
Chapel Architect Lloyd Wright, son of the pioneering American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, conceived the design of Wayfarers Chapel as a “tree chapel”, a natural sanctuary set in the midst of a forest.
“I wanted particularly to allow those trees and those trunks to be seen and the space beyond and into infinity to be observed, so those who sat in the sanctuary would perceive the grandeur of space out beyond and around them.”
Kira and Aaron's Wedding Day
The morning of a couple's wedding is filled with so much excitement and energy it's one of my favorite times to photograph people. Getting ready might not seem like an exciting part of the wedding day, but we get momentous photos while the bride is getting hair and makeup done with all her bridesmaids by her side. This is a perfect opportunity for the bride to write her groom a love note, we love to photograph this moment followed by the delivery of the note to the groom. You can imagine the photos of the groom reading the note, tears of joy.
We suggest to the bride before the ceremony to do a first look with her father, this is a precious moment and we love capturing these images. We can't forget the groom and his groomsmen, the scene in their suite while getting ready is always festive full of laughs, sometimes accompanied by a customized flask for sipping.
The bride and groom chose Portofino Hotel to stay at and get ready for their wedding. Great choice to stay at when getting married at Wayfarers Chapel.
Onto the Chapel where we photographed the groom and his groomsmen amongst the redwood groves outside the chapel.
A beautiful ceremony in the glass chapel, followed by bridal party and family photos in the gardens and around the property. The bride and groom had a vintage 62 Rolls Royce waiting to escort them to the reception at Trump National Golf Club where they would continue to celebrate with family and friends.
The Trump Room is a stunning banquet room with large window that overlook the Pacific Ocean you can step out on the balcony and enjoy sweeping views of Palos Verdes and the coast.
Kira and Aaron's Love Story
We met at the dog park shortly after Kira moved to Houston for the first time and Aaron moved back to Houston. It was in 2012.
How were you engaged?
We were both in California to run the Mountains to the Beach Half Marathon over Memorial Day weekend 2015. Aaron had flown to California in February to ask my dad's permission. He wanted to go to the beach the evening after our half, and since it was our last night in California before flying back to Houston, we went. Aaron proposed on the beach at sunset.
What do you love most about your husband?
I appreciate the fact that Aaron always keeps me on my toes. I have a lot of energy and always need to be doing something. I love that Aaron shares the same passion for life experiences - whether it's running, riding our bikes, or exploring a new place.
I love having a partner to enjoy all aspects of life with. I love our inappropriate jokes, exercise, serious talks and passion for our beliefs. It's not always an easy day, but I love being together with Kira.
Gold, blush and ivory.
Our wedding is a semi-destination wedding. Kira was born and raised in California, and Aaron served in the Marine Corps, so he was stationed in California for a bit. It's a special place to both of us, and we wanted our friends and family members to experience a place that is near and dear to both of our hearts. (Also, no one wants to get married in Houston, Texas in the middle of summer!)
Dear Kira and Aaron,
Your wedding day was so beautiful and jubilant. We loved being apart of your special day and capturing all the special moments and love that you two share. We look forward to creating a custom wedding album that we know you will cherish and share with future generations.
We received a phone call from this wonderful family from Arizona vacationing at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. They decided to have family portraits taken while they were in town on their summer vacation. They called our portrait studio and we were able to arrange a family session in Laguna Beach. After a brief phone conversation we found out what type of style they were looking for and what they were going to use the images for. We were especially pleased to find out that they planned on making beautiful wall art with their images and they would also be perfect for holiday cards to send to family and friends.
We met the Schneider family including their fur babies along with their two children in Laguna Beach on a beautiful summer morning. They were so excited to be in one of Southern California's most stunning beaches for their photo session.
We started shooting the family and their pups all together on the beach with the pacific ocean in the background. After a few minutes everyone warmed up to being in front of the camera and we captured many spontaneous and candid moments.
Some of my favorite shots were of the mother and son together, and the daughter and father together. The Laguna Beach Cliffs are so beautiful and create the perfect backdrop for family portraits, engagement sessions and bride and groom pictures.
We can't wait to see which photos the Schneiders choose to have hanging in their living room as the perfect piece of art. Canvas photos, acrylic, and wood prints make for beautiful custom art. When families cant choose one image we recommend having a custom coffee table album made of the photo shoot to go along with the printed canvas art. This way the memories will last for future generations to enjoy. We love to think of our custom books as treasure waiting to be found by grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Thank you Schneider family for letting Christopher Todd Studios capture your beautiful family. We hope your family vacation is filled with wonderful memories.
We love photographing vow renewals, they are just as sentimental and emotional as a young couples' wedding day. To honor your wedding vows after five years, ten years or decades of marriage is a true testament to one's love for their spouse. What better way to do this then in front of family, friends, but most importantly your children. They weren't there when you two first said your I do's and now you have the opportunity to celebrate your marriage in a festive atmosphere. Take your wedding anniversary to the next level with a vow renewal.
It was an honor to capture all the sweet moments at Gracie and Lee's wedding vow renewal ceremony at at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. Celebrating eleven years of marriage they chose to have a sentimental ceremony followed by a celebratory reception in the Catalina Room.
The bridal party consisted of the couples' adult children. They exchanged renewal vows officiated by the one and only Alan Katz of Great Officiants. A beautiful moment during the ceremony was when the officiant led the couple in a sand ceremony followed by the couple exchanging new rings. Gracie and Lee participated in the traditional cord ceremony (yugal) a silk cord placed over the couples' shoulders in the sign of infinity symbolizing their mutual everlasting fidelity and that they walk the world as equals. Lee gave his wife 13 wedding coins (arras) symbolizing mutual prosperity.
The reception party was beautifully done. Full of speeches and champagne toasts. Vibrant floral center pieces decorated each table arranged by Flowers by Cina. A four course sit down dinner was served to guests. A lovely tiered cake and a bouquet toss added a nice touch to the party. Lots of festive dancing and laughter made this a wonderful evening.
Vow Renewal Etiquette
Tips for those looking to renew wedding vows or hold a vow renewal ceremony.
1. This is not a wedding ceremony so no need for a license or marriage certificate
The officiant also does not have to be licensed making the option easy to use a close family member or friend
2. You have reached a marriage milestone.
Five, ten, twenty five or fifty year anniversary. These big anniversaries are a perfect time to celebrate your love.
Treat your family and friends to a beautiful ceremony and reception.
3. You got married in a courthouse or eloped for various reasons.
Now you want a more traditional wedding experience.
Vow renewal Ceremony and reception is a perfect way for couples to have a more formal celebratory affair.
4. Have that tiered cake and eat it too.
If you missed out on a tiered cake or just want one then do it. Go crazy, guests will love it.
5. Exchange new rings at renewal ceremony
This is a great opportunity to give and receive a new ring. Keep in mind you are not replacing the original wedding band just adding to it.
You can choose your original wedding rings as well to exchange.
6. Speeches and toasts are always a great way to celebrate the couple in this new phase of their life.
It is a perfect opportunity for the married couples' children to say a few words.
Vow Renewal Do’s
Wear a vow renewal dress, any color is acceptable, its your day including a white dress if you desire
Involve your children and other family and friends during the ceremony
Write each other a love letter or custom vows
exchange new rings
Include a special bouquet
Create new elements that suit a married couple.
Have a wedding reception-like party including toasts, speeches, cake cutting, bouquet toss etc.
California is one of the best places for a destination wedding. The year round mild weather makes Los Angeles and Orange County ideal for your wedding day. Guests from all over will enjoy the beautiful coastline that California has to offer. For a rustic feel plan your wedding at any number of world renowned wineries from Napa to Temecula. If you are looking for a more remote venue off the beaten track California has many of those venues as well.
Our past wedding
We had the honor of photographing Hannah and Brian's wedding at Trump National Golf Club. One of LA's best destination wedding venues. With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island this club is great choice for the ceremony or just the reception. The Grand Ballroom features seating for three hundred or more guests. For a more intimate celebration the Trump Room seats over one hundred guests located on the top floor of the clubhouse. The Vista Terrace is a stunning site for the ceremony with three hundred and sixty degree views of the ocean as its backdrop.
Hannah and Brian's Love story
Brian grew up in Irvine, California. He has been living in Chicago for the past 12 years where he went to college and has been working. Hannah is from Pasadena, California. She also went away to college, and ended up doing her graduate studies in Chicago. Hannah and Brian two native Californians living in Chicago met one day at a Church they both went to on a regular basis. The two hit it off right away having so much in common. And the rest is history. Although they both still live in Chicago the decision to have a destination wedding was easy since they have made friends that live all over the States. They chose California to say their "I do's" as the majority of their family still lives in Southern California.
The two exchanged wedding vows with family and friends in attendance at St. Andrews Presbyterian church in Redondo, Ca. With the help of close family and friends to arrange the flowers and bouquets every one looked stunning. The bridesmaids wore gorgeous silver gowns with sequins and the bride looked amazing in her gown with cathedral veil. Of Course, Brian was quite the dapper groom standing at the alter waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle. It was a beautiful ceremony.
The festivities carried on up the street to The Trump National Golf Club located on the bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula where the guests enjoyed a fine cocktail hour. Sweeping ocean views made for irresistible images. I just had to take the newlyweds on a photo shoot around the property. The sunset was absolutely amazing and the couple was again stunning.
As the couple danced their last dance of the evening guests sent the bride and groom off with well wishes as they prepared for the departure of their honeymoon adventures in Italy.
Dear Hannah and Brian,
I knew your wedding was going to be spectacular after I had the privilege to photograph your amazing engagement session in Chicago. You left no detail out and you guys were amazing.
Congratulations again to this sweet dynamic couple and thank your for letting Christopher Todd Studios be a part of your wedding day.
Daniella and Brandon's wedding was a stunner. Still can't get over how gorgeous her cathedral veil looked blowing in the wind. The two got ready for their big day at Terranea Resort Palos Verdes, California. Photographing the bride and groom's first look in front of the Casita was a beautiful moment.
Then it was off to the ceremony held at Trump National Golf Club. We love working here, in fact it is starting to feel like our second home these days. The views of Catalina and the ocean from Trump National Golf Club are a great backdrop for portraits. Taking the bride and groom on a photo walk after they exchange wedding vows is one of our favorite things to do here. This is the time when the newlyweds are full of excitement and emotions are flowing. With gorgeous views, water fountains, and beautiful landscaping, wedding photo opportunities are all around.
On to the reception where the couple greeted their guests with a grand entrance into the Trump Room located on the top floor of the clubhouse. Here they enjoyed panoramic sunset views, dancing, and fine dining. The couple was showered with great speeches and toasts from family members, the best man, and maid of honor. The father of the groom's speech was one of the best speeches I have heard, well done. Another surpise was when the groom got out his guitar and performed a beautiful love song that he composed for his bride.