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a wedding at the Santa Barbara Zoo: Adam + Soraya from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

When you’re looking for a destination wedding location and love animals, well the Santa Barbara Zoo is the destination to choose.  What a perfect backdrop for this absolutely gorgeous wedding on the grass and a reception full of white canopies and gold, animal accents.  Guests got to enjoy feeding the giraffes and saying hello to Monty, the little penguin who joined cocktail hour. Adam and Soraya fit perfectly into this setting with their love for one another surrounded by family and friends from all over.  And may I just mention Soraya’s dress.  Unique and stunning!  The heart shape in the back, the collar… I just love.  They drank some wine, broke the glass, and after the Hora, danced the night away!

Venue: Santa Barbara Zoo
Coordinator: Merryl Brown Events
Videographer: Hoo Films
Photographer: Elizabeth Messina
Florist: Mindy Rice
Event Design: Ambient
Makeup: Tomiko Taft
Hair: Brianna Stewart
Rentals: Elan Rentals and Classic Party Rentals
Cake: Butter End Cakery
Sound: Design Sound
Reception Music: West Coast Music

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from the land of Ireland: Courtney + Shandon’s Destination Wedding from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

Stepping into Ireland is like stepping into another world.  A world that greets you with greens as far as you can see and an ocean air you can feel from every city.  Or perhaps that was the drizzle of rain that happened, oh, um, every hour.  At first landing, it was simple to slip into Ireland’s culture as you’re immediately overwhelmed with traditions, theatrical, live music, pubs, outdoor markets, flowers in blooms and fresh trees all around. Upon landing, I decided to go on a jog around Ross Castle, where the trip began.  This is my favorite thing to do upon landing in a new place, as its a great way to sight see without having a plan (not to mention kick that jet lag).  So I end up a couple miles down the road and pop into a local pub to ask for a breakfast recommendation.  The first man that turns around, was a very kind old gentleman, hunched over the bar, enjoying a Guinness.  Pretty much exactly what you would imagine.  It was so classic to me that not only was this moment on point for Irish stories, but the first encounter of mine.  The bartendar entered (its 10am by the way), and the two of them began to compare the best breakfast spots in the thickest Irish accent.  I had no idea the Irish accent would be that hard to understand!  Off I go, and soon enough its time to film Courtney and Shandon’s wedding.

We are all gathered at Ross Castle in Galway for a very relaxing morning of the two of them prepping before they have the biggest moment of their lives.  These two could not be sweeter together!  They had the kindest first look at the castle before we all hopped on those crazy (like really crazy) thin, windy, and hilly roads up to the Cliffs of Moher.  After our 2 hour drive, we hiked 45 minutes out to the edge of the bluffs.  This walk was magnificent.  One of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen!  Also, a scary scene, as  you are..oh,  I don’t know…about 3-5 feet from the edge of the cliff at all times.  We found the cutest little spot where these two lovebirds shared some very deep and poetic words.  And just like that, Courtney and Shandon were married on the Cliffs of Moher — now that is one for the books!  It was so fun experiencing it with our small crew of adventurous folks!  I will never forget what it felt like to be there witnessing someone’s most important days, while also getting dizzy from standing too close to the edge, with a monopod, and filming with gusts of wind surprising me.  At one point, I remember my stance may have been a little strange as I just wanted to stay put.  This is quite literally, the most adventurous shoot I’ve ever done during vows.

Taking in Ireland cannot be done in a short amount of time.  After this wedding, a friend and I made our way around mostly West and South Ireland and it was a quick move from city to city.  Along the way, though, we enjoyed many Guinesses, live musicians, festivals, markets, breathtaking views, castles, ruins, and most importantly, that good ‘ol Irish culture we heard so much about.  Their friendliness (and their accents) stand out with the best of them.  And as I’m reading this, I am really starting to miss our dear friend and personal cabby, Patrick Joseph.  I guess with that, I will have to return to the land of Ireland, one of the most beautiful, historical, and endearing places on the globe!  And something I’ve learned since being back….no one pours a Guinness like the Irish.

Venue: Ross Castle and Cliffs of Moher
Cinematography: Hoo Films
Photography: Julie Paisley
Officiant: Maureen, House of Flynn

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that love will follow forever: Emma + Ben’s wedding day at Ojai Valley Inn from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

Today, I am going to give you a forewarning – Get out your tissues!  This story, this family, and this couple, is why we feel films are so important in capturing real emotion.   It is quite the journey Emma and Ben have been on together.  In that, includes losing Emma’s mom and more recently, losing Emma’s dad.  At the reception, Emma’s brother reads a letter that their dad wrote, while spending his last week with them.  A year ago, they had a private ceremony, just them, so that Emma’s dad could walk her down the aisle before he passed.  (Hand me that tissue box.)  The choices Emma and Ben made to honor their families and loved ones was full of grace.  I cannot even imagine the true emotion that each and everyone involved in this wedding felt on this day.  I can only hope that we have captured the love, the grace, and the memories with from the inside out.  Emma and Ben, you two are a class act and we are so full of joy watching the two of you together, celebrating such a deep love and friendship.  Grab your loved one, hold them tight, and enjoy an a film full of love that is sure to ignite that sappy side in the best way possible.

Venue: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
Coordinator: All You Need Is Love Events
Cinematographer: Hoo Films
Photographer: Erich McVey
Florst: JL Designs and Events
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Band: Teahouse Music Company

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Haylee + Dee: wanna be with you everywhere from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

Hayley + Dee’s love is an infectious love. You can’t help but smile around them.We loved all the aspects of this weekend, from the Hindu ceremony to the crazy speeches Friday night, to an emotional ceremony, and many great dance moves.  These two kept everyone smiling all weekend and everyone dancing all night long..like all night long!

Venue: The Bacara Resort & Spa
Planner: Jeannie, Details Details Wedding and Event Planning
Florist: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design
Cinematography: Hoo Films
Photography: Ira Lippke Studios

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building a life together: Kim + Michael from Laguna Beach from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

What a perfect match Kim and Michael are together.  These two are soft and genuine with each other in way that makes you swoon.  Many special moments with these two were held near the Laguna Beach coast at a beautiful private villa.  It was the most romantic setting with a stunning view. And a perfect fit for these two to start building their life together!

Coordination: VIP Events and Weddings
Cinematography: Hoo Films
Photography: Victor Sizemore

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Becky + Jabez: swept away at Monarch Beach Resort from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

Here’s a fun and flirty story of two people who have mastered the “perfect balance of business and pleasure” since the day they met!  Becky was on a work trip, while Jabez was hanging out at the pool with friends.  He invited her to bring her laptop over to his cabana and join their party, while she could continue “working.”  I love it.  Becky and Jabez bring out the best in each other and can’t seem to stop laughing and smiling in each other’s presence.  A unique and touching addition to this love story…the story of Becky twirling around as a little girl in her grandmother’s wedding dress.  They considered cutting out a piece of it and sewing it into Becky’s wedding dress, but she says that just didn’t feel right.  So low and behold, 64 years later, Becky walked down the aisle to marry her soulmate in her grandmother’s wedding dress!  Our team went the extra step to find Grandma and capture this dress story directly from her…and oh my, it is so touching!!!  It is clear these two cherish family, friends, and love living in the moment.  And don’t miss the fun 1920’s style dancers at the end!

Venue: Monarch Beach Resort
Coordination: Samantha, Details Details
Cinematography: Hoo Films
Photography: Gina & Ryan
Band: West Coast Music
Magician/Dancers: Elan Artists

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Somoh + Mike’s Destination Wedding in Crested Butte, Colorado from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

Oh, that crisp, fresh, Colorado air!  I can smell the fresh mountain air just reliving this weekend for Mike + Somoh’s destination wedding in Crested Butte, Colorado.  Friday kicked off with a ski lift ride followed by a 15 minute hike through the beautiful mountains up to Uley’s Cabin. They welcomed family and friends for dinner, drinks, and the start of a mountainesque weekend.  This spot is so unique, you forget anything is around you!  Saturday, after everyone was ready, we headed downtown for some pictures before heading the most gorgeous, green scene in Crested Butte. We enjoyed a sentimental ceremony outside on the grass, and then the fun kicked off….starting with these two completing the Dirty Dancing “lift” in their first dance!  It was amazing!

Venue: The Club at Crested Butte
Cinematography: Hoo Films
Photography: Virginia Stiles
Coordination: We Tie the Knots

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Debbie + Eddy’s Vibiana Wedding from Los Angeles: Same Day Film from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

We had a great at Vibiana with Debbie + Eddy! Nothing like a fun couple and a beautiful day in downtown Los Angeles. Enjoy the Same Day Film we aired at their reception!

Venue: Vibiana, Los Angeles
Coordinator: CLOUD29 desserts & events
Cinematography: Hoo Films
Photography: Brian Leahy Photography
Florist: OF THE FLOWERS
Band: Élan Artists

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Jenna + Nick’s first draft picks: a fun Santa Barbara destination wedding from the Four Seasons from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

What a uniquely fun day in Santa Barbara!  Its obvious these two a great team. So much love and energy from the Hora to wee hours of the night…nothing but dancing and celebrating! And don’t miss the cutest little pups coming down the aisle. Congrats to these two lovebirds!

Venue: Four Seasons Santa Barbara
Coordinator: Mindy Weiss
Cinematography: Hoo Films
Photography: Amy and Stuart
Florst: Mark’s Garden
Decor: Edge Design Decor
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Photo Booth: The Collective You
Band: West Coast Music
DJ: DJ Irie

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Rohit + Anita’s Same Day Film from Newport Beach from Hoo Films | Shannon Avery on Vimeo.

What an amazing weekend in Newport Beach it was with for Rohit and Anita’s festivities!  We started the weekend at The Venue for their entertaining Sangeet.  On Saturday, we celebrated their wedding day, where they exchanged personal vows in between all of their traditions.  These two just look like they belong together…and their outfits…just stunning.  We started the reception with a viewing of their Same Day Film to get the party started!!  Check it out above!

Venue: Newport Beach Marriott
Coordinator: Blue Lotus Insights
Cinematography: Hoo Films
Photography: Lin & Jirsa
Florist: Shawna Yamamoto
Hair and Make Up: Dolled Up by Lulu

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