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:

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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:

E+D Wedding Invitation

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I promised you that I’d be showing you E+D’s wedding invitation in a future post.  I’ll admit that it took me longer than I’d expected, and I wish that I could show you more of it.  I hate blurring things out because you lose some of the effect.  But I understand the lovely E’s request for privacy!

Before I get to the pretty photos, I want to share the love that she sent me about my last post:

OMG, Elisa!  What a super, super sweet feature!  Such kind, generous, happy, warm thoughts and words — thank you so much!!!  And, thank you so much for getting us and what we were going for — and for helping making it happen!  And, you made it look easy and no stress, how do you do that?  I miss collaborating, talking and thinking with you!  You were always so receptive and supportive of all the crazy ideas from the start, being excited with me about the million cute and creative ideas out there, and talking me through just about all of them.  At the end, the day was so much more than I could ask for — all I could be was happy and overwhelmed.  :o)

E + D, every time I see the photos from your wedding I end up with a big dopey smile on my face.  You guys rock!

And now on to the pretty things!

E wanted a very handmade look to her wedding invitations, so she asked her friend R to make a papercut background for us to use!

R worked magic with her scissors and her scanner, and sent me this.  Seriously, isn’t it gorgeous?

E+DInviteDraft

She even cut out E+D’s names and “hung” them from the banner between the two trees, but obviously that’s been blurred.

The only thing was – construction paper is a different size and shape than invitations.   So I worked with E for about 8 hours, playing with drafts and sending ideas back and forth from San Diego to Los Angeles (thank goodness for the internet!).  It was a marathon session, since E+D weren’t sure until a few days before whether they were actually going to send out paper invitations, and wanted to get them sent out a month in advance of the big day.  But I’m really really proud of what we came up with.

E+D Wedding Invitation

I know it might not mean a lot to anyone who’s not a computer design nerd.  But the original invitation background was made from construction paper.  Working with it digitally involved painstakingly cutting out pieces of the original invitation and blending colors (since construction paper has natural variations).  And since we changed the aspect ratio (landscape to portrait) entirely, I found I needed to create some pieces of the picture that weren’t there, including lower tree trunks, grass, and flowers.  I conjured up tiny shadows to mimic a scanned construction paper page.  In addition (and I know it’s hard to see in the photo), I worked with E to find a font that looked like it, too, was cut from paper.  I also created a reply card and a map to match, taking little elements of the invitation and recoloring and editing them in the style of the original.  This was a true labor of love, but when it was done it was truly beautiful.

But the gorgeousness didn’t stop there.  You’ve already seen the front cover of E+D’s program, but in case you need a reminder, here’s the photo taken by Heidi Ryder:

E+D Wedding Program

This photo isn’t nearly as gorgeous (since I took it), but here’s the cute bird detail we added to the back of the kraft paper program (we wanted it to look like they were stamped, the look we went for on the front too):

E+D Program Back

And inside was a beautiful “medallion” that R designed.  This art was used on the COOLHAUS wrappers too!  Photo by Heidi Ryder (yes, sorry, I blurred out names too).

E+D Program Inside

And R came through during the reception too, creating the gorgeous custom guestbook to match (photo by Heidi Ryder):

Beautiful Handmade Guestbook

Of course I had to get in on the act, adding birds to my chalk welcome sign (photo by Heidi Ryder):

Welcome Chalkboard

E had tons and tons of ideas.  And I love how we were able to in tie many of them – even ones that didn’t seem to go together – using a single motif!  The handmade birds really made the details of this gorgeous wedding!