Belated Happy Anniversary, Michelle + Dave!

I have been SO busy lately, most notably dealing with an internet outage at home that really knocked me off my game (three weeks without internet = a VERY tough time getting anything done!).  My mobile data is almost used up for the month (I’ve never done that!!) and I’m thisclose to my maternity leave…  But I had to leave a little love note for Michelle + Dave, since it’s been a year since their wedding (their anniversary was Sunday)!

They found me on Yelp and hired me sight-unseen to plan their wedding for them, long distance, from Chicago.  From the minute we had our first phone call, I knew they were going to be the kind of clients planners always wish for; the kind that have their own mind about things (you’d be surprised how difficult it is to plan for someone who has no opinion!) but have lots of trust in the people they hire to do the best job they can.  We had so much fun planning and creating their wedding together, and assembled a dream team of vendors.  And THIS happened.

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Yup.  Pure bliss.  Nothing makes a planner happier than to see her couple so happy that they don’t care who else sees them nuzzling. 🙂

This is another one of my favorite photos from their wedding:

BryanNMillerPhotography19

Seriously?  When the groom tears up seeing his bride coming down the aisle?  This planner melts.  I was behind the bride, way in the background, and didn’t see this happening.  When I saw the photos later on, it took my breath away.  It’s also a great reminder that the First Look (which they had) does not spoil the Coming Down the Aisle.

You can see more photos and videos on my blog:

And on my website Gallery.  You can also read what Michelle had to say about my services in my Happy Clients section!

I’m lucky enough to have been able to stay in their lives this year and I’m thrilled to say that things are going well for them – and I hope that next year we can celebrate their anniversary together, with our daughters! 😉

Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel Wedding Details:

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Happy Anniversary Alex + Allen!

Oh my goodness, this is EXTREMELY belated!!!  I thought I’d hit “schedule” on my post (to post on November 19th) but apparently I didn’t…  So this is a month and a half belated!  Alex + Allen, I still wish you both a lifetime of happiness and love!

It’s yet another anniversary around here… Last fall I was SO BUSY…  The week before this gorgeous wedding I had a baby shower and a 1st birthday party; the day after, I participated in a bridal show! 🙂

I met Alex + Allen through a referral; a friend of mine worked with Alex across campus from my day job.  We joked it was the official University wedding, since both Alex + Allen work on campus, as does Jason Almazan, their photographer.  The music at the ceremony was provided by one of the campus’ a capella groups, and the sound equipment was provided by another one of the couple’s coworkers.

Alex + Allen are SUCH a joyful, loving couple.  They’re both very reserved and quiet, although I wouldn’t say “shy” is the right word to describe them.  Both were extremely open, warm, and caring.  I’d never done a wedding without dancing before, but none of their guests missed it – they were having too much fun in the photo booth area and giggling and telling stories!

You’ll definitely recognize some of their photos from my website too…  Love the energy these two had and this picture of them giggling at their ceremony is still one of my top photos I’ve ever seen of one of my couples.  SO much love!!!

http://www.jasonalmazanphotography.com/

Check out more photos from Alex + Allen’s wedding on my blog and website, and while you’re there, look at the amazing review Alex wrote!

Alex + Allen’s Modern Rustic Wedding at Olivenhain Meeting Hall, 11*19*2011 Vendor Details:

Happy Anniversary Liz + Juan!

photo by Stephina Photography

One year ago this week, the day after Thanksgiving 2010, I was blessed to be able to coordinate the wedding of friends.  This is the wedding that changed my whole trajectory in life.  This is how it often happens – you’re trucking along, minding your own business, and then something happens out of the blue to make your life new.  Changed.  Better.

I’m about to confess something and I’m a little scared to.  I don’t want you to think any less of me for my unwillingness to see what I should have started doing years ago.

You see, I didn’t always want to be a wedding planner.  In fact, I was patently against it for many, many years.  I’d joke in the quiet moments of my gala planning job that I should just start doing weddings (I’d been planning events of all shapes and sizes, on a professional basis and as a volunteer, since 1998), but would always follow it up with, “But I don’t think I could deal with brides” or “I just don’t think I could go without having my weekends to relax.”  Also, I could never come up with a good name.  Seriously, that was one of my biggest excuses.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember that I coordinated Lynn + David’s wedding last April.  It was something I wasn’t really expecting to do, but I knew I could step in and help out because I knew how to run an event.  I loved it, but I still had a mental block against planning weddings on a professional basis.

But Liz saw the photos I’d posted on my personal Facebook of Lynn’s wedding, and asked if I’d help with her wedding planning.  I’d known Liz since high school, and had me Juan at our 10th high school reunion.  They had been engaged for a few years, but couldn’t ever quite make a wedding actually happen for one reason or another.  I agreed, and we started planning.  We planned the whole day in three months, and did all the decor and florals together (Liz is AMAZING with a bouquet!).

At the end of the day, Juan gave me a huge hug and told me that I needed to do this.  This wedding planning stuff.  And that they’d support me 100%.

Hmm.

I have to admit that the idea was intriguing to me, but that I didn’t actually make the decision to do it until the photos, taken by the amazing Tina of Stephina Photography, came back.  Then, as someone once said to me, “it hit me like a ton of bricks.”  I HAD to do this.

I HAD to be a part of the happiest day of peoples’ lives.  At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was my calling.

That very day I purchased my domain name.  I was over the idea of coming up with the most impressively creative business name.  I just wanted to plan weddings.

And now I do.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I’m so, so thankful for the ability to do what I love.  And for the couple who really kicked it off for me.  They’re still super supportive of my business, and we’re still friends.  In fact, I am so excited to visit with Liz – and her infant son Oliver, born this August – later today!  It was even through a connection with Liz that I met Desiree of Penny Blooms (who is now a good friend and design partner in addition to being a colleague).

And that whole thing about not being able to deal with brides?  Let me just say this: brides are amazing.  Brides are lovely.  So are grooms.  Couples are lovely.  I love every one of my couples like they’re my children.  I can’t believe that I was so wrong for so long about the way I’d feel planning weddings.  The only thing I don’t like is that after a couple’s wedding day I don’t get a chance to spend nearly as much time with them, or even talking to them, as I would like.  I get so close to a couple, get to experience the joy of their wedding day, and then have to let them go.  Which is incredibly hard and sad.  But incredibly amazing.  Oh, and totally worth giving up my weekends.

So I’ll conclude this extra-lengthy Thanksgiving post with a TON of beautiful photos of the gorgeous autumn-themed red, orange, purple, and yellow wedding of Liz + Juan, courtesy of Stephina Photography.  Some of these will probably look familiar if you’ve visited my website!

To begin, the dress and shoes!

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

And the gorgeous DIY bouquets, with flowers from Wholesale Flowers and Supplies San Diego!

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

You know I’m a fan of adorable details.  Like the autumn fruit and vegetables and the multicolored leaves in and around the centerpieces:

photo by Stephina Photography

And these adorable miniature pumpkins I found to decorate the sweetheart table!

photo by Stephina Photography

And the adorable little touches everywhere, like photos of Liz + Juan and their “furbabies” on the escort cards.

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

Or the whimsical handmade chair decorations!

photo by Stephina Photography

Let’s not forget the pretty program I designed for them!

photo by Stephina Photography

Not to mention the delectable cake by Flour Power, decorated with autumn leaves and flowers left over from Liz’ bouquet!

photo by Stephina Photography

I have to tell you, though, that the highlight of this day was the bride and groom themselves.  They are so in love.  It’s obvious by the way they are looking at each other in this photo.

photo by Stephina Photography

They had a gorgeous bayfront ceremony.

photo by Stephina Photography

And then it was time to PARTY!

photo by Stephina Photography

I love how they got into the cake cutting!  And the cake got ONTO them!

photo by Stephina Photography

photo by Stephina Photography

SO much love.  Don’t these two just make you smile?  Their feelings for each other are impossible to mistake.

Congratulations on one amazing year of marriage, Liz + Juan!  Wishing you tons of love and happiness in the future!  Thank you SO much for everything you’ve done for me, and I’m so blessed to have worked with you! ❤

photo by Stephina Photography

P.S. Can you spot the coordinator in the picture above? 😉

Liz + Juan (11*27*2010) Wedding Details:

Happy Anniversary Lynn + David!

One year ago tomorrow was the backyard wedding of Lynn and David!  I’ve known Lynn for a looooong time and was actually an invited guest.  But, when a series of unfortunate events happened that made the wedding preparations that much more difficult, I was honored to step in as her Day-of-Coordinator.  Lynn and David’s family and friends really came together to make this homegrown wedding a happy day.  It included homemade everything (wedding gazebo, ring pillow, bouquets, cake, oh – and wedding DRESS, not to mention a potluck dinner, a serve-yourself bar, and an iPod music selection).

Potlucks are the most difficult thing to pull off at a wedding, but these two and their friends had it perfectly orchestrated.  Backyard weddings, too, are so tough – because your venue isn’t actually a “venue” at all – and stepping in to Day-of-Coordination within a week of the wedding is something I prefer not to do under most circumstances.  But the awesome guests at this wedding really did make my job easy!

While I love weddings dripping with details, this simple, relaxed wedding was a real celebration of love.  This is still one of my favorite weddings ever, because you can just see the love between these two!!!

All of the photos below were taken by myself/my husband with my camera; you can see more of their photos, taken by their friend/photographer, David Bean, on my website!

Sammy, the Ring Puppy!

Sammy, the Ring Puppy!

Married!

Married!

Cutting the cake!

Cutting the cake!

No cake-smashing here!

No cake-smashing here!

The First Dance!

The First Dance!

Dancing with her daddy to "I Loved Her First"

Dancing with her daddy to "I Loved Her First"

The garter - and that million-watt smile!

The garter - and that million-watt smile!

Myself with the bride!

Myself with the bride!

Lynn and David, Happy Anniversary!!!  Here’s to many, many years of happiness in your marriage, and love!