Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel, 03*24*2012 (Part 4 – The Reception)

I’ve already shared with you photos of Michelle and Dave’s Ceremony, Details, and Stationery.  Now it’s time for the Reception!

After Michelle and Dave’s toes-in-the-sand beach ceremony, their guests were treated to a San Diego sunset on the patio of The Shores Hotel, under big Chinese lanterns!

It was windy during setup, so we used shells at each place setting to hold down the menus and napkins!

Once it got dark, the lanterns truly looked magical!

Michelle and Dave felt very strongly about wanting to dance.  And dance!

And just before sunset, Bryan whisked them away for some truly gorgeous photographs.  Seriously, they look so happy, so in love, and so beautiful in these!

Seriously.

Of course I asked Bryan to take a photo of myself and Rachael with the happy couple…  And a few of their photo bombing friends!

Thank you, Michelle and Dave, for putting your faith in me to plan your big day!  It was so much fun and so beautiful!!!

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

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Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel, 03*24*2012 (Part 3 – The Stationery)

I’ve already shared with you the Ceremony and Details of Michelle and Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding; today I’m sharing their stationery!

I designed every page of the printed materials for this wedding, from the invitations to the programs to the menus, vows, table numbers, guestbook tree cards, candy buffet signs, and even escort cards!

I’m a sucker for matching paper goods.  I love so much to see beautiful coordinating stationery, so it was a ton of fun to be able to provide this design service for Michelle and Dave!

It all started with the invitation.  Michelle and Dave wanted something classic and a little bit beachy, in colors that roughly translated to a light lavender and turquoise.  Working from an inspiration board Michelle and I created on Pinterest, we came up with a simple custom design featuring “California” palm trees (per Dave’s request, the tall ones!).

They liked a pocketfold design, and wanted additional pieces too.  Like this custom map:

I think the whole thing came together well.

Okay, now that I’ve tortured you with my obviously-taken-at-home photographs (sorry; I really do need to make sure to always bring a copy of my couple’s custom invitations for their wedding photographers to take!), here are the “real” ones from the day of the wedding, courtesy of Bryan N. Miller!

 

I feel so strongly that printed goods help to bring together the entire look of the wedding day, so I was so happy to be able to provide all of these!!! 🙂

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

Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel, 03*24*2012 (Part 2 – The Details)

Last time I blogged, I shared Part 1 of Michelle and Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel!  Today I’ve got more photos to share with you… This time of the gorgeous details!  (Yes, even if I do say so myself!)

My favorite ceremony detail was this fun sign that I handcrafted for the event:

On one side it said “Here Comes the Bride,” and on the other, “Happily Ever After.”

Of course Michelle and Dave wanted a candy buffet – so I created this purple and aqua beauty.  The backdrop might be hard to see in this photo (it was on a window, so it was a bit backlit during the day) but I had so much fun creating this multicolored streamer-filled wall, and I think it made the whole thing come together.  It was a total surprise to the bride and groom, who just told me to “run with” the buffet design.

Michelle got Dave an extra-special Groom’s cake with the logo of his favorite baseball team – the St. Louis Cardinals!  San Diego Desserts did an excellent job with the design!

Speaking of the design – Calculated Whisk came through as always with whimsical, beautifully-decorated cake pops!

San Diego Desserts also made a lovely three-tiered wedding cake, decorated by Diane’s Flowers Please.

And since it was a destination wedding, I thought it a totally appropriate use for my vintage aqua suitcase!

Of course…  Let’s not forget a shot of those beautiful rings!

Still more gorgeousness to come!

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

Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel, 03*24*2012 (Part 1 – The Ceremony)

Michelle and Dave were my first clients to hire me sight-unseen.

Usually I meet with potential clients, talk with them in person.

But occasionally, a client lives out of town and isn’t planning to visit any time soon.  So we schedule a phone call or use Skype.

It’s a scary thing, having an initial consultation over the phone.  You can’t see each other.  I mean, it seems obvious.  But as humans we’re so used to paying attention to each other in person that talking on the phone, for something like a “getting to know you” meeting, is just…  Strange.  There’s no way to gauge how you’re doing, no body language to go off of, and no way to recognize that you’re talking too much!

Plus…  Sometimes potential clients ask scary questions.  It happens.

Still, I really felt like we had a great connection, so I was thrilled when Michelle e-mailed me a few hours after our phone call:

“I had a feeling that you were going to be our coordinator, for some reason I can’t explain, but that feeling was right.  We are very ready to move forward if you will have us!”

Well, you can guess my reaction.  I think my return e-mail had lots of exclamation points in it.  (For anyone who wonders, yes, I talk like I write.  Tons of exclamation points!)

Because Michelle and Dave were planning their wedding long distance, they wanted full wedding planning, and they needed to work with someone they could trust to make everything come together.  I was honored to be chosen for the task!

Michelle and Dave had already chosen their location – the gorgeous La Jolla Shores Hotel – but we were able to work together to put together a vendor “dream team” for their wedding.  For each vendor choice, I gave Michelle and Dave the options I felt were best for their style and preferences, and they made the ultimate choice.  I can honestly say that I have never had a wedding where I worried less about how the vendors would do on the day of the event – because I’d done the “matchmaking” myself I could say for certain that each vendor would work well both for the couple and with me.  And I trusted each vendor implicitly.  They did not disappoint!

In fact, the incredible Bryan N. Miller is now the standard to whom my assistant Rachael holds all photographers, for both his talent and charm!  I think his gorgeous images of the day speak for themselves, and it didn’t hurt that he lived in Illinois while growing up (as did I; the couple lives South of Chicago, so it was kismet!).

As full planner, I also helped the couple manage their budget, designed the details for the day, created the Out-of-Town bags (which included San Diego treats like Chuao Chocolates and Stone Beer!), and attended tastings with the couple when they came out to San Diego for a visit in January (oh yes, it’s a hard life!!). By the time that the wedding day rolled around, I felt as much love, responsibility, and care for their wedding as I did for my own.  And seeing the photos of the day that I had intimately planned was as fulfilling as seeing the photos of my own!

Of course Michelle and Dave were not only totally in love, they didn’t only place a ton of faith in someone they’d met only for a few hours on a weekend in person before their wedding week, and they weren’t only totally adorable in their wedding photos.  They were also incredibly sweet and generous (seriously, the entire vendor team was treated like family!) and ridiculously fun.  I have to admit – I’m sad I don’t get to talk to Michelle nearly enough now that the wedding itself is over!

I not only had the chance to do all the planning for their wedding, I also did all the design – including stationery.  From the wedding and even bridal shower invitations to the menus and programs to the place cards and table numbers to the vows and readings, I was able to make sure that every part of their wedding day reflected their style.  I am so proud of the results.

So without further ado…  Part 1 of Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel!

I’m trying not to narrate these fabulous photos too much…  But of course this is the first look.  I love how happy they are!!!

Of course, no First Look in the world can replace the sight of your bride walking down the aisle.  These next two photos blew me away when I saw them.  I was in the back, where I always am, cueing the bride, so I didn’t see this moment in person.  But it makes my heart full to see this love.

Michelle and Dave had a beautiful ceremony by Rev. Christopher Tuttle.  His advice was straightforward and from the heart: Love each other.  A lot.

This was a real treat – toes-in-the-sand beach wedding.  Just what you’d hope for in a Destination affair.

And of course, they shared a tender kiss at the end!

I’ll be sharing more of this beautiful wedding with you soon! 🙂

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

Photos AND Video of Marisa + James’ Wedding Day Featured on Sutography’s Website!

I just found out that Marisa + James’ wedding photos and video were blogged this week by Holly and Matt Sutor of Sutography, so I had to post a link!  There are so many joyful images in their blog!

My favorite is this one, a shot from right before Holly and Matt left for the evening, when we slipped the happy couple out the back door for some private photos with the San Diego skyline as a backdrop.  Aren’t they beautiful?

And check out their adorable hilight video for some more smiles from these two (seriously they have the BEST smiles ever  – I can’t help but grin when I see them!):

Excited I get to work with Holly and Matt again this fall!!!

Purple and Gold Boho Glam Inspiration Shoot, 01*28*2012

Warning!!!  TONS of photos in this post.  Please be patient and let it load…  I promise they’re each more gorgeous than the next, so it’s totally worth it! 🙂

I’ve already teased this wedding inspiration shoot once.  And it’s been featured already on Ceremony Blog.  And heavily on my website, along with the sites of most of the involved vendors.  But I haven’t had the chance to fully blog it.  And I’ve been wanting to.

I’m basically caught up with backlogged posts (now, two months after starting to post on a more regular basis!).  But this one has been a long time coming.

Almost a year ago, Desiree from Penny Blooms Floral Design and I decided that we wanted to do a styled shoot together.  We started discussing it in earnest in the Fall, and in December decided on a January 28th date.  We originally had a completely different idea in mind.  Eventually we’d like to see that one through, but at the time we couldn’t find all the pieces we’d hoped to use.  So a week and a half before our scheduled shoot, we made the painful decision to cancel.

Only, we already had planned to do something that day.  We’d already spoken with Iliana Morton Photography about taking pictures.  And we had a lot of other ideas in our heads.  Why not try to make something else happen?

So we sat together at one of our favorite restaurants (funnily enough, it was a favorite of both Desiree and I well before we met each other) and brainstormed.  The design flowed fast and easy, and we knew we had a good idea.

Our Boho Glam inspiration shoot was born.

In just a week and a half, we were able to organize the entire shoot, from rentals to makeup to the amazing dress provided by FreePeople…  Let’s just say that things just fell into place.  And working with Desiree was like sharing a brain with someone else.  We disagreed (ever so slightly) on one single point (out of hundreds) during the entire planning process.  And even that was only a difference of opinion and resolved quickly.  The rest of the planning went so smoothly it really did feel like ESP.  More than once one of us would say something that the other had just thought.  It really is an amazing feeling to design with someone who “gets” you!

Our original models were perfect for our original shoot idea.  But once the look of the shoot was changed so dramatically, we had to look elsewhere.  We simply didn’t have time to find a “groom,” but we were extremely lucky to find the perfect “bride.”  Of course I’ve known her for an awfully long time.  Because she’s my sister. 🙂  We started to discuss what look we wanted and I realized she fit it perfectly.  So I asked if she was available that day, for fun photos in a pretty dress with professional hair and makeup.  Who could pass up a proposition like that? 😉

Of course Desiree would provide the OMG!AMAZING! florals.

She and I also spent much of the week leading up to the shoot shopping for just the right pieces to use for the shoot itself, including the fantastic fabric we used for runner, accents, and napkins.  Desiree also found the plastic horse figurines used at each place setting, and spray painted them purple to match our colors.  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical (this was actually the point of disagreement; I voted for gold paint!), but she stuck to her guns.  And I’m SO glad she did.  They brought the perfect element of unexpected whimsy!

Since we didn’t have a lot of time to plan, it was a long shot to get any fashion.  We actually went to a few thrift stores but couldn’t find what we liked.  So I took the chance and contacted FreePeople Clothing.  It was the day before the shoot when I got an e-mail from the Director of Marketing asking if we were still interested.  WERE WE????

I drove up to the nearest store (a 40 minute drive) that evening, after grabbing a few last finds from a thrift store and stopping by Classy Covers to pick up tablecloths.  And the store manager and her staff could not have been nicer.  Seriously, what an excellent find!  The dress we chose had literally just arrived on the shelves.  It fit our shoot to a “T”, not to mention our model.  She loved it so much that she bought it!

Her fabulous shoes were another find.  After Desiree and I searched high and low for the perfect pair, our model stumbled upon them at Kohls!

The jewelry came from a variety of sources.  But the big center necklace with the purple stone belonged to my grandma Noni.  She was so stylish!  The “engagement ring” is an Alexandrite from my great aunt.

Of course, outdoor settings don’t come with rentals in place.  Since we were at Pioneer Park, we basically had an open slate.  Desiree and I had a quite a few pieces, but Abbey Party Rentals filled out the rest, including the amazing amber glass goblets.

The incredible Ashley of Unbridled Beauty (whose logo is next up on my “to-blog” list!) had no good place to work.  Without power or mirrors, she rolled up her sleeves and started doing our model’s hair and makeup – in the car and in a chair outside!  But the results?  STUNNING.

We also enlisted the services of Nicki of Calculated Whisk and Jessica of Sweeter by the Dozen, to make us cake balls and an unfrosted layer cake, respectively.  Without much direction (and both dealing with tough mental and physical weeks), they demonstrated that they truly are both artists!  (Side note: I actually designed both of their logos too!)

I spent much of our setup time perched on a ladder.  I should mention that I’m not such a big fan of heights.  But ribbons, frames, and Moroccan lanterns don’t hang themselves.  And this?  This was worth it.

Stationery was our biggest road bump.  We had actually talked with two separate up-and-coming stationery designers, both of whom agreed to design our pieces and both of whom backed out.  With just five days before the shoot, we realized that if I didn’t design the stationery, we wouldn’t have any.  So I started designing.  I stayed up late, got up early, and pretty much didn’t leave my computer.  My printer did a super-rush job for me (thank you so much Derek!).  Like every other part of the shoot, though, the design just flowed.  I have to say that I think that this is my favorite stationery set that I’ve done to date.  I adore it.  Every part.

I can’t say enough how much I love the stationery.  And I can’t believe I designed it in such a short amount of time!

The overall look of the shoot was really whimsical, incredibly gorgeous, and quite unified.  I’m extremely proud of it, and of all the fantastic vendors who worked with us to create such a magical shoot!

I can’t help it…  I need to show more photos!!!


Purple and Gold Boho Glam Inspiration Shoot 01*28*2012 Details:

Vendor Table at the Inspired Bridal Bowl!

Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design and I not only shared an Inspiration Table at last November’s Inspired Events {San Diego} Inspired Bridal Bowl, we shared a vendor table too!  I had to share some pretty photos of our vendor table (featuring Desiree’s florals and linens by Classy Covers) with you, taken by Sunday Romance Photography! 🙂

There was a fantastic caricature artist set up at the show, Julia of JK Expressions.  She offered to sketch some pictures for us!

First, myself and my Assistant Rachael!

Aren’t we cute?

And then me with Desiree. 🙂

Rustic Modern Snow White Inspiration Table at the Inspired Bridal Bowl!

Last November I was honored to be asked to participate in the second Inspired Events {San Diego} event, the Inspired Bridal Bowl.  The intimate bridal show at North County Tavern and Bowl was full of hand-picked vendors from throughout San Diego (all members of the Inspired Network went through a rigorous screening process) and, along with my good friend Desiree from Penny Blooms Floral Design, I was able to design the featured showpiece of the event – a modern rustic table inspired by Snow White!

I’d worked with Desiree a few times already at this point, and when we found out that we’d been assigned to create the tablescape together, we were thrilled!  Nothing is better than the synergy created when you’re working with a good friend who also happens to be a creative partner and an excellent match for your creativity.  I can’t say enough for working with someone you feel truly comfortable with, to design something greater than you could alone!

At any rate, we started discussing our ideas and Desiree hit on the modern rustic trend (this show actually took place the day after Alex + Allen’s wedding, but we started planning before Alex hired me – by luck it was a modern rustic weekend!).  We started thinking of moss and pine trees and acorns and…  The table just sort of built itself.  And then I realized that I’d already done a table based on a fairy tale – my Vintage Cinderella table at the Alfred Angelo show last year.  I guess maybe I’ll always be a dreamer at heart?

We were working with an oversized table – a pool table, to be exact (huge thank you to my husband who stood in line at Home Depot for an hour the day of the show to get the large piece of plywood we used to create a flat surface, and then brought it to us in the rain!).  And an oddly-lit room with lots of busyness behind and around the table, since the bowling alley itself has large windows that look out onto the mall.  That said, I think that the photos taken by Stacy and Melissa of Sunday Romance Photography give you a taste of this stunning table.  And we just might have another taste of it coming up in a few months. 😉

Of course Desiree and I worked together on the design.  She also created the gorgeous floral arrangements (including the fantastic birch-wrapped bouquet!!!).  We also got amazing support from our friends at Classy Covers and Calculated Whisk.  We also made a new friend – the incredible Nicole of paper | scissors | print, who provided us with gorgeous stationery!

So without further ado…  The photos by Sunday Romance Photography!!!

First, the whole table.  Desiree and I spent lots and lots of hours searching for just the right pieces (like our mismatched flatware and glasses, and our fantastic “wood” chargers!

And the details…  Like Desiree’s STUNNING birch-wrapped bouquet and the arrangements in hollowed-out pieces of wood:

And the stationery Nicole created for us!  She’s truly an artist, and came up with this amazing design with just the words “modern rustic.” Love her!

Nicki of Calculated Whisk created the cutest little apple cake pops for us!

And the most.incredible.gem-shaped cake balls.  Seriously they were perfect.  Everyone was amazed that they were cake!

More details!  Desiree and I had a fantastic time decking out the table with whimsical elements!  I adore the moss runners and the little moss squirrels and rabbits, as well as the little acorns we scattered like jewels.  🙂

You’d never know that this entire place setting (not including the napkin, generously provided by Classy Covers) cost under $5 to buy.

I’m so happy to finally be able to share these with you!  Next up, more photos from the Inspired Bridal Bowl!

Modern Rustic Snow White Inspiration Table at the Inspired Bridal Bowl Details:

Emily + Jeremy’s Modern Handcrafted Wedding at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, 11*05*2011 (Part 2)

When last I posted, I gave you the ceremony portion from Emily + Jeremy’s gorgeous wedding in Rancho Santa Fe last November.  Today I’m sharing the reception with you!

But first…  One more photo of the couple, in a quiet moment between the ceremony and the reception. I love the relaxed, ecstatic expressions on their faces!

For starters, here are some shots of the setup, featuring table runners by Classy Covers and florals by Suzan M Florals.

I’m a huge fan of rectangular tables at weddings.  I’m not really sure why.  I just like them.  Feasting tables too.  I also love mix-and-matching table shapes/sizes so that each one is a little different.  Emily did just that, mixing circles with rectangles and creating an extra-extra long head table!  Being flexible with table shapes and sizes helps accommodate guests with different sized groups.

Remember how I said this dessert table was one of my favorites?  Here’s a shot of the whole thing, including the “Sweet Love” banner Emily made!

And more pictures of my mini bunting.  🙂  Each piece was less than an inch high.

YUM.  My mouth is watering!

My assistant Rachael makes the most gorgeously perfect escort card setups.

We also added some fun touches from the Events by Elisa inventory, including this gorgeous card cage:

And our guestbook tree.  Complete with one of my favorite pieces, the little metal bird.

I love these photos of Emily and Jeremy’s first dance:

And their “cake cutting” (really clinking together cake pops):

And let’s not forget the garter!

Of course I said before that the Chinese lanterns were some of the biggest parts of the decor at this wedding.  I do love a good lanternfest.  Here’s the archway near the dance floor – this is where we used up the extra few that we had.  It just made the whole thing festive, and was a nice surprise for the bride!

And my Chinese lantern sculpture.  Seriously, this took three people FOUR hours working together (perched on ladders!) just to put it together.  But it turned out so amazingly.  I could have stared at it all night.

It looks relatively small in that big photo, but it really made a huge impact on the entrance to the reception.  And that GIANT lantern?  Fabulous.  Especially after dark.

The guests were such fun, too.  Not all weddings end up having a breakdancing party on the middle of the dance floor!  Of course YES Productions kept the tunes coming.  🙂

My assistant Rachael and I got a chance to have a quick photo with the bride and groom. 🙂

It was such a stunningly beautiful, fun wedding, with such an incredible team!!!  I just have to leave you with another of my favorite photos from the day.  🙂

Emily + Jeremy’s Modern Handcrafted Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Wedding Details:

Emily + Jeremy’s Modern Handcrafted Wedding at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, 11*05*2011 (Part 1)

Now that I’ve finished up my website (finally!) I can get back to blogging!  And I’ve got quite the backlog of gorgeousness to show you!

I’m starting off with a wedding that probably looks pretty familiar to you, if you’ve visited my Facebook page, or my new website, recently. It’s Emily and Jeremy!  Just a word of warning: this post is EXTREMELY picture-heavy.  I couldn’t pare it down to just a handful.  There is just so much to show you!  And because I didn’t want to explode your computer…  I decided I had to split it into two posts.  🙂

Their beautiful wedding took place on a perfect day in November; the sun was shining but it was just overcast enough not to create shadows in their photos!  And considering that the day before their wedding, it was pouring down buckets of rain, we were all pretty excited to see it looking so fantastic!  It was a bit cool, but that just encouraged everyone to get on the dance floor and boogie!!!

Emily approached me last June, wanting the service that I now call Design+.  She is a graphic designer herself, but wanted another eye to help keep her wedding vision on track.  I loved her ideas from the start, of course, and we had an excellent time shopping together for lanterns to decorate the entry way to the reception (I’ll get to that in a minute)!

It’s obvious when you see the two of them together how much love Emily and Jeremy have for each other.  There was so much joy in the air!  And SO many gorgeous photos.  Emily had assembled a fantastic team of vendors, from Chaz Cruz Photography to YES Productions and Suzan M Florals to Tailored Sweets…  Really every part of the day was more fabulous than the next.

The couple decided that they didn’t want a traditional wedding cake, and opted instead for a dessert display by Tailored Sweets.  Sarah and my assistant Rachael and I styled the table together, and I have to say it’s one of my favorites so far.

Of course, it might have something to do with the super sweet mini bunting I hand made for the occasion.

Or perhaps the tissue pouf/lantern display we created to hang above it (this photo was taken by Chaz as well; I just realized that his logo isn’t on it!).

Those weren’t the only lanterns we used either.  In fact, when Emily and I went shopping, we purchased 35 white lanterns in sizes from 6 inches to four feet wide.  Yes, four FEET.  Add that number to the lanterns I already owned…  And we had a party!

In fact, we used most of those 35 lanterns in the pool house, which served as the entry way into the reception.  Since it was a jarring orange red (not exactly within the color palate of purple and pink!), Emily wanted something beautiful to draw the eye.  My assistants and I worked for almost three hours to hang each lantern perfectly and I am SO pleased with the results.  Our 35 lanterns turned into a single lantern sculpture.  It looked truly stunning, especially as it got dark and the light (just above the largest lantern) lit the entire piece.

But I guess I’m getting ahead of myself again (I tend to do that with details I adore!).  So I should start over.  From the beginning this time.  First, the dress and shoes.

And our beautiful bride.

And her flowers by Suzan M Florals.  Wowza!

First looks are one of my favorite things about today’s weddings – I wish I’d thought of doing one when I got married in 2008, but they just weren’t as common!  This one is simply adorable.

Look at how happy they are!

Bridal Party photos.  Love them!

And then there’s the wedding ceremony.  LOOK at that backdrop (hanging orchids by Suzan M Florals!).  I officially am in love with ceremonies under trees.

It was officiated by a friend of the bride and groom.  One of my favorite parts of it was the wine box.  The bride and groom sealed three bottles of wine into the custom-made box, each one to be drunk on an upcoming anniversary (1 year, 5 years, and 10 years) along with love letters to be read on each of those years.  Feel free to “awwwww!”  I did.

I can’t handle this level of cuteness.

Because of where I stand during wedding ceremonies (I direct people to walk up the aisle and then am at the back), I don’t usually get to see expressions on either the bride’s face or the groom’s.  I love seeing photos like this!

Stunning!

Sealing up the box!

MARRIED!

And of course this next photo will be super recognizable, since I’m totally enamored of the moment.  The bubbles!  The expressions!  The framing!  Chaz, you did an amaaaaaazing job on this one.

With that expression of ultimate joy, I’ll leave you until next week, when I’ll post Part 2 of this beautiful wedding!!!

Emily + Jeremy’s Modern Handcrafted Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Wedding Details: