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Southern California elopement: Sarah + Lou

August 14, 2012
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.

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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.

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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.

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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