Over this past summer, I had the privilege of photographing Emilie & Christopher's beautiful wedding in Malibu, CA. Guests were invited to stay the weekend and celebrate at the beautiful Serra Retreat center overlooking the pacific ocean.

We began the morning by photographing all the beautiful details and the bustle of the bride and groom getting ready for the big day to start.

The Boffo Video team and I worked together to find the perfect spot to hang Emilie's beautiful sweetheart neckline bridal gown. This armoire had such a nice look to it, and the light was great here too - this was our perfect spot!

Emilie's mother, sister, and friend helped her get into her dress and accessories before the first look. I always love this part of the day because you can feel the anticipation of it all, everything finally coming together, and it makes for great story-telling images and album spreads.

Remember how I said there was great light where we hung the dress? It got even better as the morning progressed! We were able to put our bride into this same spot and get one of my favorite bridal portraits of 2021 as she put on her shoes!

While I photographed Emilie, my second shooter was with Christopher documenting all the things happening in his suite. I love it when we can have two photographers on the wedding day because it gives the bride and groom a chance to see so much more of their wedding that they might have missed on the big day.

Emilie surprised her husband with a lovely pair of cufflinks. So sweet!

Once the bride and groom were all dressed and ready, they opted to have a first look so that they could share a quiet moment together before the ceremony. I love photographing first looks because it allows the couple to savor that first moment together and spend a little more time together than they're able to during the actual ceremony.

Since they had a first look before the ceremony, we were able to make the most of our portrait time as well so that the couple wouldn't feel so rushed after the ceremony ended!

Serra Retreat wedding in Malibu, CA

The ceremony had an incredible view of the ocean. Such a romantic place to say "I do!"

Ceremony site for Serra Retreat wedding in Malibu, CA

As guests made their way in to the retreat they were greeted by a champagne wall and invited to leave a note of well wishes to the couple.

Emilie and Christopher chose to sit across from each other during part of their ceremony and I love how it gave me the perfect opportunity to catch their expressions as and flirty glances!

ocean view ceremony wedding in Malibu, CA

After the ceremony ended, guests were invited into an adorable fountain courtyard for cocktails and the reception. The decor was simple but elegant with farmhouse-style tables, adorable succulent centerpieces, and hand-decorated Spanish-style tiles as place markers. The couple also named each table after a place that held significance to them, such a sweet personal touch! Guests enjoyed fresh cocktails, lively conversation, a live mariachi band, and decorated fabric squares that would later become a personalized quilt for the couple.

Wedding reception memory quilt activity for guests
Signature cocktails for wedding reception
Succulent wedding reception centerpieces in wood
Simple one tier vegan wedding cake with orange and pink florals
Simple black and white seating chart for wedding reception
Costal Traveling Bar onsite bar service for events and weddings in Southern California.

Just before sunset, the couple had scheduled some time to sneak away for a few more photos and private vow exchange. The sunlight was much softer by this time of day and made for some gorgeous photos!

sunset portraits for wedding in Malibu , CA

While the mariachi played, grandpa stole a quick dance with the bride and all eyes were on the two of them as they tore up the dance floor together!

During the first dance, Christopher and Emilie seemed to forget anyone else was in the room. They couldn't take their eyes off each other!

Serra Retreat courtyard wedding in Malibu

After the sun set, the dance floor was lit up by string lights and guests danced the night away to their favorite tunes!

Special thanks to the amazing wedding vendors for this event:

Planner: Glamorous Events & Decor
Venue: Serra Retreat Malibu
Photographer: Photography by Belinda Philleo
Videography: Boffo Video
Cake: Top Tier Treats
DJ: Mindscape Entertainment
Makeup: Angeleno Beauty
Gown Boutique: Luv Bridal
Florals: Lavish Events
Bar: Coastal Traveling Bar
Shuttle Service: Limo 805
Live Music/Singer: Anthony Bryant

Are you planning a wedding in Malibu? I'd love to chat with you about photography for your big day. Contact me for availability and pricing information.

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