14 Aug

Southern California elopement: Sarah + Lou

categories Real Weddings

Monique Lhuillier wedding dress

We’ll admit it – we’re feeling extra giddy today and our hearts are fluttering all because we’re crazy excited to share the elopement of friends and talented photographers, Sarah Yates + Lou Mora. This pretty lady is no stranger to the 100 Layer Cake family. She’s graced the blog many a times with the prettiest of photos of other brides, and now that’s her turn to be in front of the camera we couldn’t be happier. This has got to be one of our favorite elopements thus far, with an emotional video to go along with it (you’ll die!). Always one to be sincere with words, Sarah is sharing her heartfelt love story with us. Sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful photos by Max Wanger

Plum Pretty Sugar robe

Monique Lhuillier wedding dress

Monique Lhuillier wedding dress

blush peony bouquet

i have no idea how many weddings i’ve attended and photographed, but it has to be well over a hundred by now. so going into our own wedding planning, i thought it’d be a breeze! but what i hadn’t accounted for was all of the decisions that would have to be made. and as it turns out, we’re terrible decision makers. we started out trying to tackle the guest list. and down we went into a rabbit hole of agonizing over who to include, and who we’d have to be ok with not inviting. we knew we didn’t want to have more than 30-40 people, that anything bigger than that would feel overwhelming. but choosing 30-40 people out of two lifetimes of friends and family proved impossible. we were done with the planning before we even started. we quickly realized that it wasn’t realistic for us to have a small intimate wedding with the amount of family and friends we have.  we also agreed that we weren’t willing to compromise the one thing that was most important to us- to be present, with each other, and experience the day without being completely overwhelmed. and so, we decided to elope.


alexander mcqueen suit

Southern California elopement

another thing all my years of experience hadn’t prepared me for was the euphoric, out of body experience that our wedding ceremony would create. lou and i both felt like we were floating. the whole day was like a dream sequence- one fun and amazing moment after the next. it wasn’t until we saw our photos and videos that it all came flooding back. even as a wedding photographer i didn’t understand exactly how much the photos and videos would mean to us and our friends/family.

Southern California elopement

Southern California elopement

Southern California elopement

max surprised us when we were having dinner at their house one night- he put music on, told us there were some photos from a recent shoot he’d done that he wanted our opinion on, sat us down at his computer and left the room. it took me a full 30 seconds to realize we were looking at our wedding photos, i was so confused! but as we were scrolling through we were completely amazed and silent, tears just pouring down our faces as we relived our wedding day through max’s stunning photos. we were speechless, completely overwhelmed with emotion.

Southern California elopement

Southern California elopement

Southern California elopement

Southern California elopement

Southern California elopement

Southern California elopement

beautiful photography from Max Wanger

and then when brian’s video arrived it was more of the same- i think we watched it 30 times that day and at least 10 times every day after. i listened to my dad choke back tears as he watched it on the east coast, the silence after it ended saying everything. lou’s office was right next to mine and i would hear it playing randomly throughout the day and run in to watch it with him again. i can only imagine how they’ll grow in value to us as the years pass by and we get older, weathered by the ups and downs of life. i look forward to being an old lady sitting on a couch looking through our photos with lou, our wrinkly hands holding onto each other and the tears sliding down our cheeks.

And now for one of our favorite videos from Shark Pig (can’t even count how many times we’ve watched this and teared up each time):

So good, right? And a bit of fashionably awesome news for you ladies dying over Sarah’s dress: she’s selling it!!! If you’re interested, shoot an email to sarah(at)sarahyates.com.

Coming up a little later today we’ll be sharing how Lou proposed to Sarah (on Christmas morning!).

Location: Tree People / Photography: Max Wanger / Cinematography: Brian Morrow aka Shark Pig / Floral design: Bash, Please / Hair: Jaime Campbell / Makeup: Nyrie Aitken / Wedding dress: Monique Lhuillier / Lou’s suit: Alexander McQueen / Jewelry: necklace – Kate Spade, earrings: (lou’s initials!) – Maya Brenner, hair clip – ban.do, bracelets – Forever 21, Stella and Dot

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  1. Incredibly romantic elopment. I’m swooning over the brides’ necklace, gown and bouquet. Simply gorgeous!

  2. Pure magic. Sarah, you could not have been any more gorgeous on your wedding day. This brought tears to my eyes.

  3. SO perfectly lovely and very romantic! Beautiful bride!

  4. Crying over here! That was beautiful. Getting eloped looks like the right choice. Well done once again Sharkpig.

  5. I just cried over that perfect video! Beautiful day!

  6. whoops! crying at work when my boss stopped by.

    this was amazing. easily my favorite sharkpig video ever and the photographs are insanely gorgeous, per usual. i’ve followed sarah’s blog for the last year or so and was so excited when she posted yesterday that she would be sharing the wedding… and it was worth the short wait! they look so beautifully happy!

  7. Magical, yes! My 17 mo. Old daughter was watching with me on my phone and she kissed the screen. That has to mean something good. Congratulations Sarah & Lou!

  8. absolutely stunning and magical. that dress! no words can even describe.

  9. love love love, perfection!

  10. HOLY tear jerker..
    I wish I was engaged, so I could buy that dress.
    Its bad luck to do that..right?

  11. I had the honor & pleasure to work with and get to know Lou several years ago. I haven’t met Sarah in person yet, but I hope to some day. I love these two and I love them even more together — their love is infectious! And yes, the video had me sobbing!!!

  12. So personal and gorgeous. I could feel the emotion in Max’s photos, and then the film – forget about it. I’ve hiked that spot so many times, and the next time I do I’ll think of this. Congrats on having the kind of wedding you wanted & these wonderful documentations of it.

  13. Such abandon in that video – absolutely perfect! Congratulations to you, Sarah and Lou!

  14. This is amazing. The video was lovely, and well made. I love the idea of eloping. I think when most people think of eloping, they think of Vegas, but you did it in an elegant way. Very nice choice, it was beautiful.

  15. thank you all so, SO much! it’s so incredible to share our photos and videos and feel all the love coming at us. big, huge, enormous thanks!! xo – sarah

  16. what a princess gown! and love that pink pop too :)

  17. Oooooooh Sarah and Lou. What wonderfulness this is! Incredible video and photos. Gorgeous dress, suit and accessories. Lovely couple. So happy for you guys! Love, Meg

  18. This is stunning!

  19. sniffle sniffle.

  20. holy gorgeous. love every bit of it all. and that video??! goodness gracious!!! so lovely!

  21. Ohmigosh that is pure perfection!! All of it. The video is so incredibly special!

  22. I love reading Sarah’s blog- she is incredibly interesting and clever. To see such a strong, beautiful love between the two of them has me all choked up. They’re going to have a wonderfully long and happy life together, it’s obvious by the way they look at each other in that video! Congrats you two. xoxo

  23. Just SO perfect… beautiful couple, gorgeous dress, and perfectly photographed – love!!

  24. thank you so much everyone for your amazing comments.

  25. What a stunning post. I had tears running down my face reading both this and the engagement post. And the video! Oh, the video. What magic. It’s so beautiful all my hairs were standing on end! Incredibly beautiful and the love these two clearly share is what I truly hope for one day. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Well here I am bawling my eyes out to some strangers’ wedding video… So, so beautiful, it made me wish they were my friends. Beautiful work, beautiful dress (hair & necklace) and a lovely groom too. Congratulations Sarah & Lou!

  27. so heartfelt. so special. i love how sharkpig captured pieces of them outside the wedding and integrated it. max’s images are beyond. just, wow!

  28. What a beautiful story! The dress is absolutely stunning!!

  29. Every time I see these pics and watch that film i shed a year. Great job max and Brian, you can literally feel the emotion in each pic/ clip. Also super pretty flowers!

    These two are gonna do GREAT things together. Their future is so bright.

  30. Congratulations, it is so beautiful and the video-wow!

  31. Very beautiful n very creative as well…thumb up, looking forward to your blog post.

  32. Could someone post the name and/or season of this dress? I love it !

  33. Hi Luna,

    The dress is from the Fall 2009 collection. You’ll need to do a google search to see where you can find it or contact sarah(at)sarahyates.com to see if her dress is still for sale.

    Good luck!!!

  34. thank you, 100layercake!

    It’s called the “Meriah” apparently (thanks to you and google!)

  35. Beautiful pictures but the video is amazing! It really moved me and without knowing any of you, it’s easy to tell, that you are a fantastic couple! You two look like you really belong togehter. Also if a bit late: congratulations!

  36. Cómo me gustan estos vestidos de novia tan originales.

  37. A romantic beautiful elopement looks like the way to go, amazing <3

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