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.

BryanNMillerPhotography29 copy

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:

Advertisements

Happy Belated Anniversary, Marisa + James!

It hit me at this weekend’s wedding that it was already the end of October…  Which meant I had been so busy last week that I totally missed wishing Marisa + James a happy anniversary!!!  Of course I was at a wedding and without my laptop, so this post had to wait until after my wedding “hangover” passed yesterday in order to wish these two lovebirds a belated happy anniversary…  I can hardly believe it’s been a whole year since their Harbor Island wedding.  Marisa was so lovely and they were both so full of happiness on that day…  I just can’t help but grin when I see the photos!  And when I remember James’ dad’s speech: “You’re flying out to Hawaii tomorrow… Tomorrow night you’d best get to workin’ hard! We’re behind the curve on gettin’ grandchildren!”

Of course if you visit my site or my blog regularly you might recognize this photo, but I can’t help it… It’s one of my favorites from the day.

Happy Anniversary Marisa + James!!!  Wishing you another happy love-filled year!

See Marisa + James’ wedding blog post, gallery, and review!

Marisa+James’ Harbor Island San Diego 10*22*2011 Wedding Details:

I got to work with Diane’s Flowers this past Saturday and back in March for Michelle + Dave’s wedding and am looking forward to working again with Sutography in just two weeks! 🙂

Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel, 03*24*2012 (Part 5 – The VIDEO!)

I can’t even say how excited I am to share this video with you!

If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen it already; it was posted way back in April by Liz at Porcelain Rose Productions.  But now that you’ve gotten the chance to see Michelle and Dave’s Ceremony, Details, Stationery, and Reception, it’s only fitting to see the hilight reel!

Liz from Porcelain Rose actually approached me for a one-on-one vendor meeting back in late February.  She’s a friend of my sister-turned-model and saw the photos of our Boho Glam shoot.  She previously worked for another videographer, and asked me if I had any clients who were in need of a killer deal on videography.  Did I?

I’ve now worked with her four times, for weddings and shoots, and I can definitely attest to the fact that she’s not only incredibly talented, but also incredibly sweet.  Seriously!

And just look at this hilight film!  Anyone who is a fan of Bryan’s shots of the groom tearing up when he sees his bride will love this!

She did such a great job with Michelle + Dave’s hilight reel, and then surprised me with a special treat of my own; a video of my team and I (including former bride Marisa, who was my Wedding Day Setup Assistant!) setting up for and working at the wedding!  Now, I’d imagine I’m not the only one who hates seeing the faces she makes while concentrating, or of the self-conscious cheesy smile I flashed Liz (and I swear I wasn’t telling off DJ Dave – I was checking in with him!!).  And considering that this provides a rare look into the chaos that is backstage several hours before a wedding (the shot – you’ll know it when you see it – was taken not long after we all arrived), I’m a little nervous to show you.  But I also think that it demonstrates a lot of what we do on a wedding day, taking chaos and making order and beauty.  And it’s rare to get a chance to show that to anyone.

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 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:

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!!!

Marisa + James’ Harbor Island San Diego Wedding 10*22*2011

I met Marisa and James one day last June.  I was immediately struck by the way James lit up when he talked about his fiance, and I remember tweeting about how I was so excited about their wedding incorporating multicultural traditions (James is half Filipino, Marisa has Jewish roots, and they planned to incorporate wedding customs from both cultures into their ceremony), and about how much I loved them already!  I also was asked (for the first, but certainly not the last!) time if I use a headpiece during weddings a la Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner!  (For the record, I don’t!)

I was thrilled a few days later when Marisa called me to tell me they’d decided to hire me!  Over the next several months, we exchanged hundreds of phone calls and e-mails, I got to know them and their chihuahua Shorty, and because she wanted well-priced chair sashes, I met the girls of Classy Covers!  I feel so lucky to have gotten to know such an incredible couple (boy, I’m lucky – like I’ve said before, my couples are like my kids…  I love them all so much!).  Marisa’s even told me that she’d love to start coordinating weddings herself because of her experience working with me (I’m hoping to have her help me out at some of my weddings this year!!!). 🙂

Marisa and James got married last October at the Sheraton Harbor Island on a breezy cool but perfectly lit day!  Seriously days like this – a bit cloudy, but with filtered sunlight – are THE BEST for gorgeous wedding photographs, and of course Holly Sutor (of Sutography, and yes, we had a good laugh that Suter and Sutor were working together!) produced some beautiful ones!

First off, the details:

Shoes, photo by Sutography

Dress, photo by Sutography

Love this necklace and the pretty shot, photo by Sutography

Invitation, photo by Sutography

Welcome sign, photo by Sutography

Simple Programs designed by Events by Elisa, photo by Sutography

Cake by Eidelweiss, photo by Sutography

Guests signed this photo mat, photo by Sutography

Escort Cards arranged lovingly by Events by Elisa intern Rachael, photo by Sutography

Beautiful bouquet by Diane's Flowers Please, photo by Sutography

Bouquets, by Diane's Flowers Please, photo by Sutography

And our beautiful bride and handsome groom, and their super-fun wedding party (so much personality!):

Beautiful Marisa, photo by Sutography

Beautiful Marisa, photo by Sutography

Handsome James, photo by Sutography

Groomsmen with Attitude! Photo by Sutography

Work it, girls! Photo by Sutography

Such a cute shot! Photo by Sutography

I love when "formals" aren't so formal! Photo by Sutography

I love this little guy!  The ring bearer, photo by Sutography

The ceremony was non-denominational, but they incorporated elements from both Filipino and Jewish cultural traditions!  What you don’t see here is that the groom was choked up as he saw his bride walking down the aisle.  I was watching from behind-the-scenes with my intern Rachael, and both of us were getting teary too!

Pretty ceremony location, photo by Sutography

Flower girl and ring bearer walking together up the aisle, photo by Sutography

Walking up the aisle! Photo by Sutography

First kiss! Photo by Sutography

Married!  Photo by Sutography

As for the beautiful ballroom reception…  The photos speak for themselves!  Pretty purple accents and elegant lines…  I love receptions that suit their space and this one does perfectly!

Ballroom reception at the Sheraton, photo by Sutography

Cake by Eidelweiss, photo by Sutography

First Dance, photo by Sutography

Garter!  Photo by Sutography

These two families knew how to have a good time!!!  Almost every guest was on the dance floor for most of the night, Cha-cha sliding and rocking out to Love Shack…  All the speeches were excellent, too, and full of love.  But hands-down the speech I will never forget was the groom’s father’s.  “You’re flying out to Hawaii tomorrow,” he said. “Tomorrow night you’d best get to workin’ hard! We’re behind the curve on gettin’ grandchildren!”

I can’t speak directly to his request, of course, but I do know one thing: These two are so in love that it’s contagious!

Love! Photo by Sutography

<3! Photo by Sutography

Congratulations Marisa and James!  Wishing you two a lifetime of love and happiness!  And who knows?  Maybe you’ll see more of Marisa as a part of my event team in the future!

Marisa+James’ Harbor Island San Diego 10*22*2011 Wedding Details: