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:

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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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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:

Boho Glam Shoot Featured on Urban Style: The Wedding Network’s Blog!

I’m not sure if you caught it in the midst of all my posts and tweets about yesterday’s (fabulous!gorgeous!OMGamazing!) shoot, but on Saturday our Boho Glam Inspiration Shoot was featured on the blog for Urban Style: The Wedding Network!!!  This shoot is near and dear to my heart and I amthrilled that other people love it as much as those of us who actually created it!

The hardest part about designing – whether it be a shoot, a wedding, or just a party – is taking that deep breath just beforehand and trusting that everyone involved “gets” it.  It could go sideways – there’s no way I could actually be responsible for everything (I’m not a baker or florist, for example, and I’m a terrible photographer!!!).  So any time that a decent amount of design is involved in any event or photo shoot, trust is a huge factor.  Of course, it’s easy to trust when you have an excellent team – which we did! 🙂

Please head over to Urban Style: The Wedding Network’s blog, and leave us some love!  The owner, Sara, is super duper nice (and asked me to submit more! EEE!!!) and works to connect wedding vendors socially (which sounds a bit weird, but think about how often we’re asked to recommend each other…  Networking = the ability to think “Hey, I have a couple who needs XYZ…  I wonder if Awesome Vendor I Met Last Month would be able to help?”) in addition to showcasing beautiful work!  I’m so happy to have been featured! 🙂

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

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: