Today’s wedding effortlessly blends modern and romantic style, leaving us with a wedding that immediately draws the eye and stirs the imagination. Amanda and Jeff exchanged vows in San Diego before moving up the coast to Oregon, leaving in true style. Thank you to Cavin Elizabeth Photography, To La Lune, and Bloom Babes for putting in such beautiful work here!
Today’s styled shoot is nothing short of the height of romance, complete with touches of soft blues, amber accents, and just a hint of gold. Kylie Chevalier Photography, I Love You More Events, and Blue Bell Florals created a beautiful scene with an ideal tablescape for all lovers of easy California style!
The vibe from this event in San Diego was modern sensibility mixed with a youthful spirit, bringing that pastel trend we’re all loving with the perfect balance of modern and minimal. Lots of wedding ideas to pin and save for later!
Day of Coordination
Floral and Event Design Boutonnieres + Bouquets + Tables 5, 6?
Flora and Event Design Head Table + Tables 1, 3
Floral + Event Design Ceremony Backdrop + Tables 2, 4
Slow Motion Booth
My goodness, how we adore this sweet (real!) dinner gathering. We have no doubt it was just as much a feast for the tummy as it is a feast for the eyes, given that Root Cellar Catering Co was behind the food. This particular event launched the beginning of their monthly dinner series, and we can’t think of a more stylish way to kick things off. Thanks to Jen Wojcik Photography for capturing it all and Isari Flower Studio for the eye-catching array of air plants and succulents!
Flirty and fun and deliberately carefree, today’s real wedding between Caitlin and Josh is definitely one to remember! Cheers to the fabulous wedding vendors that breathed life into this urban chic celebration of love – especially Kelsey Rae Designs, Bloom Babes and Plum & Oak. Vibrant blooms settled in everywhere they could, and a runner comprised of oriental rugs led these lovebirds to their happily ever after. And while the bridesmaids wore bright, mismatched gowns, the boys spiffied up in sleek navy suits – yes, please! Tradition was never compromised for design, and the result is truly electric. We know you’re gonna love this one as much as we did, so be sure to catch the video for the full effect!
Wedding Coordination and Design
Hair and Makeup
Lounge and Ceremony Rentals
Beer and Wine
Cocktails and Bartending
When you come up with a title for your wedding that’s “Bohemian Glam Fiesta,” how could you end up with anything less than amazingness? This is exactly what bride Christina and her planner, Rachel Lunghi of Lace and Likes envisioned, and the result completely hits the nail on the head. Lunghi also spearheaded floral design with her company Siren Floral Co., which delivered a striking array of dusty pinks and orange blooms, a pink carnation ceremony backdrop, and some seriously lusty greenery. Cara Robbins Studio worked magic behind the camera, as usual!
From the bride, Christina: Bohemian Glam Fiesta – that’s basically the title our planner and I came up with to describe the vibe we wanted. Cory and I love tacos/margaritas, so having tacos catered was a no-brainer. Then, somehow, I started running with a fiesta themed wedding and it was tastefully intertwined throughout the night! The beautiful colors, the fun atmosphere, the dancing — all of the things that I wanted definitely came through. We just wanted everyone to feel happy and loved and I think all of the bright colors really helped to execute that.
Event Design and Planning
Signage and Calligraphy
What a delight this wedding was from Victoria Carlson Photography! Rebecca and John’s San Diego wedding is chock-full of goodies and details, and we love all of the full-of-life colors that they used: perfect for their springtime wedding! Their chic bohemian wedding day fused together oranges, pinks, and yellows into the funnest ways imaginable. To aid in the color palette, The Slate Barn and Gardens dished out beautiful floral arrangements, namely the bride’s glorious flower crown and bouquet. We can’t say enough how much this boho glam wedding caught our eye!
From the bride, Rebecca: John and I met while I was living in Washington state (I had moved there after college). We started dating in March 2014, and in April I found out that I had been accepted into San Diego State University’s graduate program in liberal arts and sciences. This was a bittersweet moment for John and I because we had just started dating and I had just found out that I was moving back home in a few short months. So without hesitation and much to my surprise and delight, he told me that he decided he would be moving down to California with me because he loved me and wanted to marry me. And so he did, and we were engaged just six months after we moved!
Floral Designer, Venue, and Catering
Groom's Jacket and Vest
Groomsmens' Bow Ties
Wedding Cakes and Desserts
Decor and Programs
Having grown up in southern California, bride Jasmyn knew that San Diego would be the perfect location to say I Do to her darling beau. The wedding that followed the careful planning process was a blissful blend of traditional and modern styles and ideas, all put together and carried out with the help of Next to Me Studios, Très Chic Affairs, and Bespoke.
From The bride, Jasmyn: I grew up in southern California so the only thing I had completely decided before wedding planning was that I wanted to be married there. We have family all over the country so we chose San Diego because it was somewhere that our relationship had grown over the years. It’s also the quintessential southern California city with beautiful beaches, great food and an easy attitude. I also knew that I wanted to incorporate our modern, creative tendencies into the traditions that we held dear.
When is it ever not a good day for a garden wedding? This gorgeous event was put together by the bride and her ever-so-talented planners/designers Amorology and Devynn’s Garden in control of floral design, and it was up to Jeremy Chou Photography to capture everything for a lifetime of memories. Everything was a raving success, as you’ll see from these images!
From the bride, Corrie: I grew up in the country and I envisioned a romantic and soft look with a old California feel. We chose our venue because it was how I envisioned California during the days of the missions and farmers. I have a childhood memory of my mom’s rose garden mixing in with native California succulents. I wanted my wedding to have that childhood memory. I also wanted to incorporate orange, blue, yellow and pink mixed with succulents and wood because I think the soft colors compliant the darker colors of the wood and succulents. All of my mason jars filled with sand were assembled by myself.
Bouquet recipe: Grey succulents, dried scabiosa, orange and soft yellow dahlias, coral peony, peach roses, dusty pink roses, soft orange and soft yellow roses, soft yellow and orange/peach ranuculus, soft yellow fever few, soft yellow coffee berry, light yellow fever few & yellow pin cushions.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I tried to be economical and plan and design my wedding myself and I relied heavily on Pinterest and Etsy. My advice for working professionals is to just hire a wedding coordinator. I worked with Amorology for the last 30 days and they had great advice and unfortunately I discovered they could have found better deals for me on decor and vendors.
Bride’s Processional: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Recessional: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Reception Entrance: “Chattahoochee,” Alan Jackson
First Dance: “Into the Mystic,” Van Morrison
Last Dance: “Remember When,” Alan Jackson
Event Planning and Design
Venue and Catering
Hair and Makeup
Groom's Shirt and Tie
White and copper make a timeless pair, and they shine like no other for winter weddings. We love that this inspiration is accented with a dose of eucalyptus, the perfect choice to add a bit of cheerful greenery! Singler Photography, Blanc Floral, and So Much Fun Events put together this shoot in San Diego with locally-sourced talent and goods, which makes us love it even more.
From the photographer, Tiffany Singler of Singler Photography: Creativity often inspires more creativity, at least that’s what we found with this winter inspired styled shoot. Luxe Love is a styled shoot incorporating some of San Diego’s local amazing talent. The city is exploding right now with emerging creatives who are pushing the envelope and not afraid to try something new, cool, and different. This shoot incorporates incredible florals, styled decor, a custom marque, beautiful hand lettering, and a wedding cake made entirely out of cheese! What could be better :) As photographers we were excited to be a part of this creative and eclectic shoot! It was awesome to work with this inspirational dream team.
Floral Design, Event Design, and Styling
When we heard the theme of the most recent The Big Fake Wedding San Diego was Paletas de Piña, we definitely did our little happy dance. Just as we expected, the event was full of bright colors, delightful treats, and inspiring ideas for all you couples out there planning your own colorful day!
Floral + Event Design (Personal Flowers + Table 5)
Floral + Event Design (Head Table + Tables 2, 3, 4)
Floral + Event Design (Floral Installments + Table 8)
Floral + Event Design (Tables 6, 7)
Floral + Event Design (Bar + Ceremony Backdrop)
Hair + Makeup
Catering + Bar
Catering + Event Design
Desserts: Rice Krispies
Lighting + Marquee Signage
Health + Wellness: Skincare
Wedding Invitations: Papaya, Lime and Orange Fiesta-Inspired Letterpressed Suite
Wedding Invitations: Floral Suite with Decorative Banner Design
Paper Good Silhouettes
Señor and Señora Thank You Suite + Accents
National Sparkling Wine Sponsor
National Travel Vendor
Natural decor elements inspired by the sea are always right at home in beach weddings, but today’s team (including Ashley Williams Photography, Urban Shindigs, and Luxe Botanique) went in the opposite direction and placed them amidst the sand dunes of Southern California. Using sea glass and non-floral bouquet elements, this styled shoot blends the best of both beach-y and desert wedding inspiration for a look that’s keeping us deeply inspired.
From the event designer, Urban Shindigs: It all came to me in a “Blue” haze. Luxe Botanique was wanting to create something with simple natural elements like sand, grape wood, cotton, and air plants. Most minds would immediately go to the beach… but mine went to the blue skies over the majestic California Sand Dunes. I wanted to embrace the raw elements the dunes had to offer. I pulled some natural items from Witty Rentals. We used cowhide for the table linen, equipale leather chairs, and of course a collection of bone skulls.
For the fashion styling I wanted a slate blue look. It first started with the the slate blue Adrianna Papell gown from Bella Bridesmaids. The cap sleeves, beaded sharp lines, and glittering sequins combined to create the stunning look. To top off the brides look we pulled the natural metal/stone jewelery from Kim Egel Jewelry. The groom’s slate blue Allure Suit by Allure Men came from Friar Tux. Hair & Makeup was done by the amazing Erin Dunaway. To keep this shoot raw and natural we wanted a real honest couple. Ashley and Bryan were a perfect match! No flowers were used at all in the bouquet. Instead, Luxe Botanique used rustic textiles like cotton, dried mushroom, seed pods, blue thistle, foliage and an air plant to complete the look. Twinkle & Toast designed a blue water color handwritten invitation to go along, as well as custom sea glass escort cards. It paired perfectly with our stunning cake designed by Hey There, Cupcake. This shoot was all captured by the very talented Ashley Williams Photography & Audrey Alba Films.
Hair and Makeup
When you’ve got a couple who’s setting out for a “California cool” kind of wedding with a color palette of sunshine yellow and pops of muted greens and blues, you can consider my attention immediately captured. Newlyweds Matt and Ashley enlisted the talents of San Diego vendors Jackie Wonders, Beau & Arrow Events, and Sweet Marie Design to bring together their relaxed + elegant day, which fused modern design with plenty of botanical details for a truly fresh event.
From the bride, Ashley: We were going for a feeling that was California cool, relaxed yet elegant. The style and design was meant to reflect a celebratory get together rather than a formal dinner. Our colors included sunshine yellow and muted green hues with pops of orange and subtle hints of blue that accented the warm and free spirited color palette.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Wedding planners are worth every penny! Kate & Ellen (from Beau & Arrow) were an absolute delight to work with and made the planning process incredibly fun. We couldn’t have been happier with the end result.
Bridal Party Processional: “The Way I Am,” Ingrid Michaelson
Bridal Processional: “The Luckiest,” Ben Folds
Recessional: “You Are the Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne
Newlywed Entrance: “Howlin’ For You,” The Black Keys
First Dance: “You’re the One,” The Black Keys
Cake Cutting: “Livin’ a Dream,” Dr. Dog
Father/Daughter Dance: “Waltz for Debby,” Tony Bennett and Bill Evans
Mother/Son Dance: “Moondance,” Van Morrison
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Jackie Wonders / Event Design: Beau & Arrow Events / Floral Design and Flower Crown: Sweet Marie Design / Ceremony Venue: Embaradero Marina Park North / Reception Venue: Luce Loft / Wedding Dress: Saja “HB6979” / Wedding Shoes: Seychelles / Earrings: BHLDN / Bracelet: Tai / Clutch: Anthropologie / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Groom’s Pants and Vest: Macy’s / Groom’s Tie: JCPenney / Caterer: MIHO Gastrotruck / Wedding Cake: VG Donut and Bakery, Miho also did a dessert bar with polvorones (Mexican shortbread cookies), chocoflan (flan nestled on moist chocolate cake) and cafe de olla (spiced Mexican coffee) / Ceremony Music: Tolan Shaw / DJ: Injoy Entertainment / Rentals: Witty Rentals / Wedding Invitations: Odd Daughter Paper Co / Transportation: Big Woody Limos
Today we’ve got the third NotWedding San Diego event, and hold onto your hats because it’s a doozy. The inspiration was “Eastern ikat,” and some of San Diego’s best vendors came together to create a stylish faux wedding influenced by the theme. Prepare yourselves for some stunning floral design and centerpiece ideas!
Photos above by Brooke Photography & Design
Photos above by Mala Hyder Photography
Photos above by Natalie Bray Photography
Mr and Mrs Wedding Duo (Highlight Video):
Event Location: San Diego, CA / Photography + Save the Date Shoot: Mala Hyder Photography / Photography + Styled Shoot: Brooke Photography & Design / Photography + Vendor Head Shots: Natalie Bray Photography / Day-Of Coordination: Amber Lay Events / Floral + Event Design (Bridal Party Flowers + Tables 2, 6, 10): Leaf it to Lexi Floral Design / Floral + Event Design (Ceremony Backdrop + Tables 3, 7, 11): Organic Flora / Floral + Event Design (Bar/Registration + Tables 4, 8, 12): A Gypsy Fête / Venue: The San Diego Museum of Art / Wedding Dress: The White Flower Bridal Boutique / Hair: Jamie Dana Hairstylist / Makeup: Elena T Beauty / Bridal Party Jewelry: Flawed Perfection Jewelry / Catering: Coast Catering and Root Cellar Catering Co. / Rehearsal Dinner: Panama 66 / Cotton Candy: Cotton Clouds For A Cause / DJ: Musical Journeys / Ceremony Music: So-Cal Wedding Music / Rentals: Crown Rentals / DIY Accents (Tunnel of Love Sign, Hashtag Signs, Aisle Sign, + Parasols): Something Turquoise / Photo Booth: ShutterBooth and Mobile Photo Booth, Inc. / Transportation: Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego / Stationery (Invitations + Programs): Barney Design / Stationery (Invitations + Menus): Twinkle & Toast / Stationery (Paper Accents + Event Details Cards): Ink & Knot / Stationery (Save the Dates): Nic.Roc. Designs / Videography: Mr and Mrs Wedding Duo / Wedding Website Builder: Squarespace / National Travel Vendor: Bliss by Luxury Concierge Travel / National Linen Vendor: LinenTablecloth / National Sparkling Wine Sponsor: Ferrari / Media Partners: flower Magazine, The Knot, and Something Turquoise
A bohemian wedding with plenty of artistic details and handcrafted accents is always welcome in our book, so when we saw this wedding from Continuum Wedding Photography and Coastyle Events, we knew you’d love it too. Equal parts boho and loft chic, Brittney and Nick had the ideal day for their love story right down to the tequila shot toasts!
From the photographer, Melissa of Continuum Wedding Photography: Brittney and Nick are one of the coolest, most laid back couples out there. Their story has been nothing shy of extraordinary. Nick is originally from a small town in Pennsylvania and moved to San Diego for his service in the Navy. Brittney was born and raised in San Diego city girl and works as a Hair Stylist. It was unlikely that the two would ever cross paths but when they did it was love at first sight. They had their wedding planned for an earlier date at a very traditional venue and due to unforeseen circumstances, they had to cancel and postpone the date. This became a blessing in disguise as they had booked the original venue on a whim (it was the first place they looked). Now had the opportunity to start fresh and really plan the dream wedding they always wanted and a killer party to celebrate. The new plan: Boho chic meets a Loft of love.
They chose Luce Loft because of the unique, bare canvas they had to use to create their vision of gold, white & eucalyptus leaves. They wanted their guests to party the night away with them as they hosted a cocktail style reception with a food truck outside. Their bars were themed accordingly: A moscow mule bar made out of vintage trunks to celebrate the bride and groom’s love of mules and travel & let’s not forget the shot of tequila that went around to all of the guests for the toasts! They love frozen yogurt so it was only natural that they have a frozen yogurt bar for desserts. To tie in Nick’s country background they chose antlers and quail feather accents. All the furniture was vintage rentals and each piece was handpicked by the bride. Brittney and her Dad Kim are extremely close and so she chose to do a “first look” with her father. It was an emotional and beautiful intimate moment for her that she said she will never forget. Their wedding party was also unique in that they chose those most important to them, unafraid of being a little different. I love that the bridesmaid to groomsmen ratio was 2:1. And let’s not forget to mention how fabulous both ladies and gents looked! Their bouquets were nothing short of stunning with hers showcasing two gold honeycombs that gave it a beautiful and unexpected wow factor.
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Continuum Wedding Photography / Event Planner: Coastyle Events / Venue: Luce Loft / Caterer: Curiocity Catering / Lighting: Brilliant Event Lighting / Rentals: Lauren Sharon Vintage Shop Rentals / Signage: Twinkle & Toast
Hands down, one of our absolute favorite wedding venues has to be San Diego’s New Children’s Museum. It’s full of bright colors, playful decor, and simply exudes fun – what’s not to love? SheWanders, Root 75, and Luxe Special Events were available to make Christina and Jonathan’s dream day a reality in this modern space.
From the bride, Christina: We wanted something beautiful, fun, casual, and for our wedding to be a day filled with love for each other, our families and our friends. Our wedding planner coined the term Industrial Glamour/Industrial Chic to describe our style. Our colors were gold, silver, champagne, white, blush, grey.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Hire/find a great wedding planner, they will make your lives so much easier and stress free. Enjoy the day! Everyone is there to celebrate you — bask in the love, have fun and take time to cherish the moments throughout the day.
Bridal Party Processional: “Run Away With Me,” Tyrone Wells
Bride’s Processional: “This Moment Now,” Tyrone Wells
Recessional: “I Do,” Colbie Callait
Presentation Bouquet to Parents: “I Choose You,” Sara Bareilles (live)
Bridal Party Introductions: “Timber,” Pitbull
First Dance: “Never Stop,” SafetySuits
Father/Daughter Dance: “Butterfly Kisses,” Bob Carlisle
Mother/Son Dance: “Song for Mama,” Boyz II Men
Bouquet Toss: “Single Ladies,” Beyonce
Garter Toss: “What a Man,” Salt n Peppa
Last Dance: “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” Wham!
From the stylist, Jennifer Minns of Luxe Special Events: Christina & Jonathan’s love for each other is simply tangible in a room. They are the kind of couple we just want to work our tails off for to create a warm, fuzzy, intimate ambiance to surround their sweet selves in on their wedding day. They met almost 5 years ago through Jon’s sister at their church. After a few years of dating, Jon proposed on Windansea Beach with boxes of mementos of their relationship. He sang a song for her and she accepted his proposal. Christina and Jonathan chose the New Children’s Museum as their wedding venue to host an elegant and interactive adventure. Upon entering, guests were provided a map of the museum to guide them to hidden surprises and favorite playful exhibits. The urban industrial backdrop lent a blank canvas for the soft, romantic blush flowers and gold accents. Linens and Versailles chairs were chosen in white for a clean finish. Although Christina & Jonathan had a definite opinion on styling, this couple had their hearts and wishes right where they should be – the sanctity of the ceremony. “It’s all about the vows. “And so together with Root 75, we brainstormed the stunning garland draped altar structure to frame them during their ceremony. Over-sized balloons guided guests to cocktails near the bounce house after. Downstairs, a stunning reception including long white family-style tables with ikat polka dot and stripe runners held miles of romantic arrangements and candlelight. Guests enjoyed a creative foodie dinner (ancho smoked gun chicken in a mason jar, yum) and a generous display of desserts created by a dear friend. The wedding day was playful, dreamy, and romantic all at once.
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: SheWanders / Florist: Root 75 / Coordinator: Luxe Special Events / Venue: New Children’s Museum / Wedding Dress: Casablanca Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s suit: Zegna / Caterer: Continental Catering / Wedding Cake: Valerie Tang / Ceremony Musician: Jessica Liao / DJ: Walter Ko / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: Brightly Designed
What could be more romantic than filling your wedding day with subtle nods to how you and your love met? In Minh and Jimmy’s case, the two met while working at a small tea shop in California, so they added darling details like a tea bag seating chart and glass teapot centerpieces. Thanks to Sarina Love Photography, Bzzy Bee, and Isari Flower Studio for sharing your work on this one!
From the bride, Minh: This love story started when I was an undergrad trying to pay for tuition and books, and all I wanted from a job was the paycheck. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would meet my future husband at a small tea shop in San Jose, CA. Jimmy and I hit it off instantly, and although we were both diligently pursuing our degrees, work was always something we looked forward to, which can be a rarity in the retail world. It was only a matter of time until we were a couple, and without realizing it, months turned into years, and our relationship evolved so much more than boyfriend/girlfriend. Not only did I get that paycheck, but I left with so much more, my soul mate. When Jimmy popped the question, a rush of excitement came over me. Not only would I be spending the rest of my life with the love of my life, but I was so excited to jump feet first into wedding planning. I can’t say that we had an immediate vision of what our special day would be like, but we both knew that we wanted it to be fun, easygoing and very “us.”
Enter Y-Co Nguyen-Viveros and her fabulous team at Bzzy Bee. We were having a hard time settling on a theme for our wedding and Y-Co suggested that we start from the very beginning. With that suggestion, I had what Oprah would call an “Ah Hah!” moment and Y-Co and I started planning our tea themed wedding. From there, the ideas started rolling in and we found cute ways to incorporate our theme without over-steeping our guests in tea. As a long time crafter (just call me Minh-tha Stewart), I jumped at the opportunity to make our table numbers and origami tea bag escort cards. The overall look showcased many handcrafted elements that were beautifully contrasted by rustic, simple surroundings.
At the forefront of the color palette was a bright tangerine, supported by soft neutrals of light grey, mint and burlap. Our tables were dressed simply but elegantly with ivory linens, with a custom Mad Lib at each setting. On top of the burlap and lace runner sat whimsical floral arrangements designed by Isari Flower Studio. The florals were displayed in tea tins that Jimmy and I had collected from our friends and family, we love up-cycling! To complete our centerpiece, we purchased glass teapots and tea blossoms from the store in which it all began, they doubled as keepsakes that our guests loved. I also made an orange and white feather lei that I wore during the hula. It was always a dream of mine to make and present my husband with a feather lei on our wedding day. The lei itself is made from over 2000 individual feathers, but contains my hopes/dreams for our future and, above all, my love.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? 1. At the very least hire a day of coordinator for your big day! Ours played an instrumental role in the execution of our wedding, it was the best day of our lives! 2. Have faith that everything will work out and take time to soak it all in. It was thrilling to see all the work we put into the wedding come finally come together, it was all worth it!
Bridal Party Processional: “A Thousand Years,” Christina Perri
Bride’s Processional: “At Last,” Etta James
Recessional: “Marry You,” Bruno Mars
First Dance: “A Little Less Conversation,” Elvis
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Sarina Love Photography / Event Design and Planning: Bzzy Bee / Flowers: Isari Flower Studio / Venue and Caterer: Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa / Wedding Dress and Veil: Nicole Miller via Nordstrom / Hair and Makeup: Susie Chhuor Studios / Wedding Shoes: Tory Burch via Neiman Marcus / Bridal Belt: DIY by bridesmaid & her mother / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Bride and Bridesmaid Robes: ComfyClothing / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Groomsmen Suits: Jos A Bank / Wedding Cake: Flour Power / DJ: Playtime Attractions / Officiant: Mary Bowerman / Photobooth: Pixster / Wedding Invitations: Minted
Whenever we have the chance to see an anniversary session from a couple we’ve featured in the past, I’m utterly beside myself. Taryn and Justin’s anniversary session was just as stylish as their own wedding, thanks to the help of Twinkle & Toast, Danielle Ehrlich of Francine Ribeau Events, Penny Blooms, and of course Melissa Biador Photography.
From the bride, Taryn of Twinkle & Toast: The inspiration for our anniversary shoot was the idea of “what a difference a year makes.” Like many couples, my husband and I have had our fair share of obstacles this past year. I loved the idea of seeing the same couple and the same wedding dress in a whole new light to reflect the challenges we’ve faced, but our love has gotten even stronger through it all.
Our wedding was full vibrant feminine colors and gold, an aesthetic I tend to gravitate toward. I wanted this shoot to be the opposite and play up darker colors and masculine details. Mister Brown’s allowed us to use their incredible barber shop, the new go-to place for grooms and groomsmen to get ready at in San Diego. The talented Melissa Biador captured this dark and dapper setting perfectly. Desiree from Penny Blooms created lush arrangements and garlands with flowing greenery and Witty Rentals completed the look with their fantastic mid-century style handmade furniture items and woodsy details.
Our team of vendors worked together to bring this vision to life and this shoot was truly so special to the two of us. I recommend all couples do a first anniversary session. I jumped at the chance to wear my beloved BHLDN dress again and it was an exciting opportunity to document how we’ve grown in just a year. One year down and looking forward to more memories and milestones with him!
From Melissa of Melissa Biador Photography: Anniversary shoots are my absolute favorite. Normally I would be photographing my clients for the third time (after the engagement session and wedding day) and seeing them again always makes me really excited. I have photographed anniversary sessions before, but photographing Taryn and Justin was completely new for me, as I’ve never photographed them before. The experience shooting a new couple in a new environment was humbling experience as a photographer. Anniversary sessions are more laid-back, stress free and the main focus is the love between the couple. Brides chose their dress for a reason and why not wear it again a year later? I love Taryn’s modern BHLDN dress and mixed it up with some combat boots. Just as Taryn and Justin did for their session, you can make everything completely different from what you had at your wedding. It is the opportunity to get creative, do the things you couldn’t really do (or get to do) during your wedding day. As their photographer, it was such a fun opportunity to work with a different team of talented vendors and to photograph a milestone for Taryn and Justin. I would highly recommend couples to have an anniversary session, whether it is a one-year or 5 year… it’s just another opportunity to have more memories captured for yourselves.
Shoot Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Melissa Biador Photography / Shoot Concept and Paper Goods: Twinkle & Toast / Event Styling: Danielle Ehrlich of Francine Ribeau Events / Floral Design: Penny Blooms / Venue: Mister Brown’s / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Hair: Brittney Ehler / Makeup: Kelsey Doonan / Rentals: Witty Rentals / Glassware and Flatware: Hostess Haven / Videographer: Honest Films
Every year, as soon as the weather starts to warm up I develop an immediate attraction to the color orange. Luckily for me, this styled shoot from Salt Creative Co. and Michael and Kate Photography is chock full of heavenly orange tones, from the tulips to the kumquats used as cake decor.
From the event designer, Evoke Event Design and Coordination: The idea for this shoot was born over coffee with Michael and Kate Auda of Michael and Kate Photography. We wanted to create something a natural yet still elegant with pops of color. They suggested Lake Hodges in Northern San Diego County as a location. It has such a wild Californian beauty to it. When we visited the site and saw the beautiful stand of eucalyptus trees, we knew the soft grayed green would be our color jumping off point. I have always wanted to do something inspired by California poppies, so orange was an easy second choice. The idea of using copper as a metal accent blended better with the orange accents then silver or gold would.
Once we had our inspiration I got to work on planning the table décor. I searched local antique stores for the green glass plates and mismatched clear etched glasses. I used oil paint pen to draw patterns on the plain linen napkins, making each one unique. Riffing on the idea of personal salt cellars I found these cute white spoons at Sur La Table and filled them with Hawaiian Alaea salt. To make the table numbers I used a stencil to cut the number from thin copper sheeting and then crumpled it to make it look more rustic. The amazing farm table is from Farm Tables and More who hand build all of their furniture rentals. The cross back bistro chairs add more of that elegant yet relaxed mood to the table.
All of the flowers came from the LA Flower Mart. Huge bunches of fresh kumquats were the base for the table flower box mixed with dusty miller, white ranunculus, orange tulips, and large baby’s breath. For the bouquet I wanted something large and free using the white ranunculus, orange tulips, eucalyptus, and large baby’s breath. The boutonniere was made from a single orange tulip and dusty miller leaf wrapped in copper.
For a ceremony location that is so natural and wild, bringing in décor that is too perfect sometimes stands out too much. The single hanging grapevine wreath with flower accents is the perfect frame for the bride and groom while also being cost effective (wreath and flowers together cost about $35!), natural and elegant. A burlap aisle runner painted with white flowers leads the way along simple wooden benches. For the cake, we were all in agreement that a naked cake would fit our theme the best. Kumquats were in season in April and they were the perfect accent to the beautiful cake made by Kate the photographer! Kate met the gals from Sable and Snow at an industry mixer, and when I saw their Vintage Garden invitation suite I knew it would be perfect. They customized the color scheme to match the shoot and added their fun and stylish hand lettering to the envelopes. The welcome bag was created with the color scheme in mind and includes local San Diego beer with yummy treats. It would be a perfect way to welcome out of town guests to a relaxing and fun wedding weekend.
The bride was styled to exude the vibe of the shoot. The leather belt and necklace add fun personal touches to her soft lace dress. The groom has a formal grey suit, but when the jacket comes off, the bow tie and suspenders signal that it’s time to let loose! We had such a fun time creating the DIY details of this shoot to give it a natural and authentic feel with a relaxed Californian vibe. Truly every aspect of this shoot was DIY and something that any bride or groom could re-create on their own. We wanted to highlight wedding ideas that had visual impact while still being fairly easy to accomplish.
Shoot Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Michael and Kate Photography / Event Design, Coordination, and Floral Design: Salt Creative Co. / Venue: Lake Hodges / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang for David’s Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Jessica Simpson / Necklace and Bow Tie: Nordstrom Rack / Hair and Makeup: Cheriene Galley / Groom’s Suit: Jos A. Bank / Groom’s Shirt: Kohls / Groom’s Belt: Marshalls / Rentals: Farm Tables and More and Raphael’s Party Rentals / Flatware and Chargers: World Market / Glassware and Plates: Antique / Copper Mule cup favor: Home Goods / Grapevine Wreath: Michaels / Paper Goods: Sable and Snow
Has there ever been a more gorgeous location for a wedding or event than San Diego Botanic Garden? One glance at this wedding from Allie Lindsey Photography and we’re hard-pressed to say no. Krystal and David’s wedding was relaxed, filled with incredible wildlife, and featured a taco feast – and we’re pretty sure it doesn’t get better than that!
From the bride, Krystal: We wanted our wedding to be romantic, simple and California casual. Although we live in San Diego, and love the beach, I knew I did not want to get married on the beach or have the beach be our backdrop. We wanted to be outside, and I envisioned having a big oak type tree to say our “I Do’s” under. After touring several beautiful ranch type venues that did not fit our needs, we finally stumbled upon the San Diego Botanic Gardens. It was perfect! The venue is so beautiful in itself that we knew that we would not have to fuss to much with actual décor, and it had a trees! We also wanted to have tacos for dinner, which ultimately inspired the theme of the dessert table and décor.
My secret pinterest board’s official name was “Romantic, Spanish, Garden Wedding”. I constantly fumbled when people would ask me, “What are your colors?” I usually answered with a “ummm, well, the groomsmen are wearing grey and the girls are wearing a pink type color.” I hated telling people my girls were going to wear pink. For me, the color pink conjures up a bubble gum/cotton candy type pink image, and it was not what I was going for. I usually told them it was a rosewater pink color, which ultimately got me confused looks. With that being said, I really focused on playing off the San Diego Botanic Gardens setting and wanted to make the reception have a modern, romantic Mexican style. As far as my invites, programs and information cards went – we used a floral print that brought in color and romance. We did as much DIY projects, as possible. My sister had a graphic designer friend that graciously helped us design the wedding invitations, ceremony programs, and reception cards. My bridesmaids made their own bouquets. The directional signs, the Mr. & Mrs. signs and the guest book sign were made by my step-mom, and dad. The whole desert table was done by a good friend, she even made the churros!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Everyone should have a really awesome big sister who plans events for a living! She really made my vision come to life and handled my a million and one questions, thoughts, pins and breakdowns. If you don’t have a big sister, you really need a day of coordinator and a detailed day of plan. My “day of” plan and day of coordinator saved my life! Everyone had a timeline, the bridal party, the photographer, the DJ, the venue, and the day of coordinator everyone! This made our big day really easy and stress free! PS. my day of coordinator was also my dessert table baker. Friends and family are so willing to help for this big day, and although it might be hard to relinquish control, let them help!
I am a music junky! I love making playlists, and picking our wedding music was one of the first things I started on, and while I tried to get David’s input, ultimately, I was the music decision maker.
Bridal Party: “Your Hand in Mine,” Explosions in the Sky
Bride’s Processional: “Hallelujah,” Jeff Buckley
Recessional: “You Are the Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne
Newlywed Entrance: “Treasure,” Bruno Mars
First Dance: “Into the Mystic,” Van Morrison
Father/Daughter Dance: “Wildflower,” Tom Petty
Mother/Son Dance: “Words of Wisdom,” Jump Little Children
Last Song: “Lover of the Light,” Mumford and Sons
There were 2 must play songs on my list for the reception: 1. MMMBOP by Hanson, because I am a forever Hanson fan. I had a friend bring me “Hanson” beer all the way from OK to drink at my wedding. It is called MMMhops and made by the Hanson Brothers. 2. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. In college at UCSB, my friends and I had a tradition of singing this song at a local bar, and every wedding I have been to with a fellow Gaucho has played this song, and we all get in the middle of the dance floor and belt it out. It’s very nostalgic.
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Allie Lindsey Photography / Wedding Planner: Amber Brown (AKA Best Sister Ever) / Florist: Franco’s Flowers Inc. / Venue: San Diego Botanic Garden / Wedding Dress: Eden Bridals via Ferndale’s Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mishka / Bridal Hairpiece: Eucca Floral Studio / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Radical Thread Co. / Groom’s Suit: Macy’s / Groomsmen’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse / Caterer: I Love Tacos Catering / Wedding Cake/Dessert Table: Jean Avner / DJ: San Diego Party Time DJs
Hold onto your hats, because this next wedding is one heck of a doozy — after all, what would you expect when a team like Amorology Weddings, Twigg Botanicals, and Joielala comes together? Prepare yourselves to be overwhelmed with endless beauty, inspiration, and more color than you could ever hope for in a wedding or party:
From the bride, Gina: We really wanted our wedding to be a unique experience for our guests- one that they would remember forever and one that represented who we are as a couple. We love bright colors and wanted everything to be a little different but still with a classy feel to it. We are also foodies and having delicious food was definitely important to us!
The flowers at our wedding were one of my favorite pieces of the whole wedding! Since I totally trusted Heather with her style and taste I let her collaborate with her mom, Robin of Twigg Botanicals, and the flowers were kind of a surprise for me! I was in absolute awe when I saw my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ – it is one of my favorite memories of the details of the entire wedding – just being so pleasantly surprised by the bouquets. The flowers for our reception were so amazing too! The description of my bouquet: “Loosely structured hand-tied style bouquet may be composed of ruffled garden roses, café au lait dahlias, stock, feathery astilbe, velvety dusty miller and other textural elements designed in a grouped color style in a palette of pink, coral and grey hues finished with a soft ivory wrap.”
Our incredible wedding planner, Heather from Amorology, gave our wedding the name “Work of Heart” which describes our special day perfectly! It was whimsical with a bohemian vibe, water color details and lots of color. We wanted it to be artsy and creative but not tacky, combining some of our favorite things. We wanted lots of color and different elements to really make it a unique experience. Our escort board and cake table are a couple of examples of how that shined through. We decided on this theme for the obvious reason of choosing an art museum as a wedding venue (plus I was an art education major in college) and we just told Heather everything we wanted and she pulled it off better and more creatively then we could have ever imagined! Mint, Coral, Teal, and Gold is what I specified “my colors” as. But I love all color as you can tell!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? The biggest piece of advice I have is get a wedding planner!!! For me that was my saving grace as planning a wedding is a full time job and I have my own full time job! Plus my mom lives in Florida (we live in San Diego) so she couldn’t really help me either. I am so thankful for Heather and the Amorology team.
Seating of Mothers: Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Processional: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Bride’s Processional: Wagner’s Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin
Musical Interlude: The Prayer, Sayer/Foster
Recessional: Beethoven’s Ode to Joy
First Dance: “Better Together,” Jack Johnson
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Joielala / Event Design, Styling, and Coordination: Amorology Weddings / Flowers: Twigg Botanicals / Venue: San Diego Museum of Art / Wedding Dress: Reem Acra “Eternity” / Wedding Veil: Renee Pawele “Aria” / Headpiece: Renee Pawele “Marie” / Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo “Bergen” / Reception Shoes: DV by Dolce Vita “Archer” / Hair and Makeup: Swell Beauty / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan “Emily” / Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Anthropologie / Wedding Rings: Harold Stevens Diamond and Jewelry Studio / Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire: A Better Deal Tuxedo & Formalwear / Groom’s Shoes: Ferragamo / Bow Ties: The Tie Bar / Socks: Happy Socks / Caterer: Giuseppe Restaurant + Fine Catering / Wedding Cake: Sweet Cheeks Baking Company / Music: Ceremony music was family friend and LA Philharmonic Harpist Sylvia Ré and Sarah Tuck on the flute, cocktail hour/dinner/reception was The Heroes / Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals and Classic Party Rentals / Ring Pillow: Groom’s mother / Officiant: Derek Rice (derek.rice @ crmleaders.org) / Save the Dates: The Invitation Factory / Wedding Invitations: Pitbulls and Posies / Calligraphy: Wendy Ware Designer / Videographer: 618 Studios
One thing I absolutely adore about my job is getting the chance to hear brides gush so enthusiastically about their wedding days, and hearing Diana talk about her wedding day, you get the undeniable sense that it was the best day of her life. Diana, from Mexico, and Ian, from Scotland, met while in Spain and fell in love shortly thereafter. With this background, it’s no surprise that their wedding day was a fusion of culture and love, all captured perfectly by SetFour Photographers.
From the bride, Diana: I went to Spain for an exchange program and met the most awesomest Scottish guy ever (named Ian) and after a 6 month love affair we decided that an ocean was not enough to keep us apart. So 4 years and a few trips back and forth I got to marry him, and I’m oh so very happy!
Our wedding was on August 16th 2013, in San Diego, California at the Prado Restaurant in Balboa Park. We couldn’t resist the Spanish feel the venue had and decided it was perfect for our wedding since it reminded us of where we met. Our wedding was an explosion of love crafts and everything nice, a romantic evening and a merge of both our cultures while paying homage to where we met, all while keeping it small and intimate so everybody felt like an important part of it (because they were).
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t be afraid to say no to people, and don’t be afraid to ask for help of family and friends (especially if you know they are particularly good at building things or crafts). Also give them tasks you know they will be good at, but always know and be aware that they are putting their time and effort into helping you to make your dream wedding happen so be grateful for that. Have a clear idea of what you want and have fun with it! And enjoy every second of the planning because it goes by so fast and don’t stress too much at the end of the day even if everything goes wrong it’s still the happiest of days for the bride and groom (at least it was for me). Finally, do a LOT of research and have a realistic budget.
Bridesmaids’ Processional: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Bride’s Processional: Wedding March
Recessional: “Love,” The Beatles
Couple’s Entrance: “Love,” Zoé
First Dance: “And I Love Her,” The Beatles
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: SetFour Photographers / Flowers: Cherry Blossom Floral Designs / Venue and Caterer: The Prado at Balboa Park / Wedding Dress: Pronovias via Here Comes the Bride / Second Dress: David’s Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Mojo Moxy via ModCloth / Veil: Il Lusió Accesorios / Cake and Cupcakes: Flour Power / DJ: Legacy Sound DJs / Stationery: Cards & Pockets / Videographer: Rustic Red Studio
Hearing these words from the bride is like magic to our ears: “I have always been a very crafty and creative person so in my mind there is almost nothing I can’t do.” What’s better than a bride who fearlessly tackles creative projects to make her wedding day more personal? Get ready to delve into this stunning wedding from Rock This Moment, filled to the brim with amazing floral design from Cozy Posies:
From the bride, Quinesha: I would describe my wedding as whimsical, romantic and full of fun. Although we are both very spiritual, I did not want to have a traditional church wedding. I wanted the wedding to have the feeling of a big party and what better place than San Diego’s Gaslamp District. We wanted our personality to show in every aspect of the celebration. We picked the Hard Rock because it reflected our Rock & Roll attitude and we loved the industrial feel of Luce Loft. We transported all our guest to the reception in a yellow school bus which we thought it was very nostalgic (and budget-friendly).
Bouquet recipe: My bouquet and my maid of honor’s arrangements included white David Austin roses, Peonies and Dusty Miller leaves. We used ranunculus, Dusty Miller and seeded Eucalyptus for the corsages and boutonniere. The groom were a single David Austin rose with Dusty Miller and Eucalyptus.
I did not have a true theme but I could describe it as kind of southern rustic with a twist of modern elements. I wanted it to be Classic, Timeless, Youthful, Stylish, Modern, Entertaining and Fun-loving. My wedding colors were antique gold, white, charcoal and black. We decided to provide flip books as favors to our guest. We experienced it at a work event and said that we would definitely have to have it at our wedding. We thought the photo booth was a little played out. We had the cover custom made to match the design of our wedding invitations and guest book.
Like most particular budget brides, I researched everything to see what the world had to offer and then if it was something I could do for cheaper. I have always been a very crafty and creative person so in my mind there is almost nothing I can’t do. A few things I DIYed for the wedding were: I hand wrote the wedding backdrop and attached the branches to the pole stand, designed and created the wedding programs and signage (welcome, seating chart, table and bar signs), spray painted all the votives, created the guestbook, glued all the envelopes to the pages, designed and created the custom table menus, added glitter to the MR and MRS signs on the sweetheart table, made the draping pearls chair necklace (pearls were on a roll), painted and accessorized the wooden doll cake toppers, and lots more.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? My advice would be to make your wedding personal; it should reflect both of your personalities. It’s okay to compromise on some things and not to sweat the small stuff (no one will even notice).
I really wanted live music at the ceremony so I found a young lady by the name of Jasmine Commerce (singer/guitarist). During the prelude she played love songs such as Georgia on My Mind, I Just Called to Say I Love You, More Than Words, You Send Me, Cupid, One Love and The Way I Am.
Bridal Party Processional: “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”
Bride’s Processional: “Angel,” Robin Thicke
First Dance: “All of Me,” John Legend
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Rock This Moment / Second Shooter: Alicia Q Photography / Event Coordinator: The Best Wedding For You / Florist: Cozy Posies / Ceremony Venue: Hard Rock Hotel San Diego / Reception Venue: Luce Loft / Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore “Isabella” / Veil: custom made / Wedding Shoes: L.A.M.B. / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy / Groom’s Suit: Andrew Fezza / Wedding Caterer, Cake, and Desserts: Ranch Events Catering / Ceremony Music: Jasmine Commerce / Reception Music: DJ GB / Wedding Favors: A Little Scene Flip Books / Transportation: Grand Pacific Charter / Wedding Invitations: Designed by co-workers
One of our all-time favorite wedding themes is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” There’s just something so positively romantic and whimsical about the play set in the woods that translates perfectly into wedding design. Absolutely Events, Rae Florae, and Jackie Wonders recently collaborated to bring together this stunning shoot, which includes not one but two flower girls dressed as fairies. Love!
From the shoot stylist, Angie of Absolutely Events: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the inspiration for our “Sweet Dreams” shoot, showcasing a newer property for Estate Weddings and Events. We wanted to create a look that wasn’t too “over the top” and would be realistic and relatable, while still including some of the fantasy and whimsy of Shakespeare’s great work. Our photographer, Jackie Wonders, did a fantastic job in capturing it all.
My favorite area of the property was where we designed the ceremony space for this shoot. The trees that line the courtyard and provide a natural canopy, along with the urn at the head of the space lend to a lovely setting for an intimate ceremony. Our amazing florist, Rae Florae, was able to enhance the romance of this space and the existing foliage with gorgeous Dendrobium orchids, Spanish moss, and delicate hanging votive candles. Once completed, the space provided a subtle nod to the fairy lights and the fairy hollow that may be imagined from reading parts of Shakespeare’s play.
Sugar and Scribe created whimsical treats to be highlighted in the dessert display. While all of the heart and fairy shaped truffles were fun, and while all of the sweets sparkled with “fairy dust,” I simply adored the candied fruit that the baker provided for the shoot; it was gorgeous and something truly unique. The tabletop display was set against the backdrop of a beautiful, expansive boxwood hedge wall on the property. Urns placed down the center of the estate’s gorgeous long wood tables housed a mix of roses, tulips, ferns, hydrangeas, and other vegetation. Charger plates at each place setting provided a base for a layering of mismatched china plates, napkins, and the charming place cards which had been nailed to thin wood slices.
The invitation suite, ceremony programs, and place cards all also featured details attributed to our inspiration. Moira Design Studio did an incredible job in incorporating so many elements of the play to the paper pieces; the little fairies, the silhouette of “Bottom” (the Craftsman with the head of a donkey), trees and flowers from the woods where the “dream” take place… the details and artwork put into all of the pieces were thoughtful and delightful. Our two sweet “fairy-girls” enjoyed frolicking and playing together across the expansive lawn of the property in their adorable tutus and wings. We were lucky to have such fun little girls take part in the shoot. I imagine that by the time we were wrapping-up our Sweet Dreams shoot our delightful little fairies were tucked in their beds, having their own sweet dreams.
Shoot Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Jackie Wonders / Event Design, Coordination, and China: Absolutely Events / Floral Design: Rae Florae / Venue: Tuscan Del Mar property via Estate Weddings and Events / Wedding Dresses and Jewelry: Sparrow Bridal and Dahlia Bridal / Hair: Bethany Catalfamo of Lotus Den Hair Studio / Makeup: Ann DeNicolo Makeup Artist / Fairy-girl Tutus: Lilly James Co. / Wedding Cake and Sweets: Sugar and Scribe Bakery / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Plywood Bunting: Brad of Against the Grain, via Scoutmob / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: Moira Design Studio / Models: Alex-Andra Nicholson, Jon Reid, Leighton Walker, and Lexie Melton
Make sure you’ve got a few minutes to spare, because I don’t think I’ve ever had such a difficult time narrowing down images for a feature as I did for this killer wedding from Bethany Carlson. Cody and Molly married at San Diego’s Luce Loft, a venue which is quickly gaining popularity and stealing my heart completely.
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Bethany Carlson / Coordinator: Mary Carr / Wedding Flowers: Plenty of Petals / Ceremony Venue: Christ United Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue: Luce Loft / Wedding Dress: Isis Bridal Boutique / Groom’s Suit: Neiman Marcus / Wedding Caterer: Sifnos Greek Catering / Mini Pies: Groom’s mother / DJ: Chad Loftis / Officiant: Bride’s father
A loft wedding at one of our new favorite venues, San Diego’s Luce Loft. Incomparable styling and floral design from Le’ Marie Events and Flowers Annette Gomez at an industrial setting as captured by Next to Me Studios. This intimate + relaxed wedding captures the essence of what we dream a true San Diego wedding would be!
From the bride, Lindsey: Johnny and I both have an aversion to the formalities of some weddings so we envisioned our day to feel more like one giant party. We insisted on good music, great food, and plenty to drink. Luce Loft became this perfect blank canvas for us where we had the freedom to choose vendors that would make our day feel intimate and unique. Everything we included in our wedding also had to be meaningful to both of us. From our save the dates to the signage at the bar, our friends + family could be felt throughout the day.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Hire a wedding coordinator. I really don’t know what I would have done without her. Don’t settle. Hire vendors that you absolutely love. I barely needed to approve anything because I had full trust that they were all going to create something amazing. Don’t get lazy. There are moments where you just don’t really care anymore, but force yourself to follow through. Looking back, there are a few things I really wish I had done but got too lazy/overwhelmed to finish them. Utilize your family and friends. Our ceremony musician, bartender, DJ, save the dates/invitations, officiant, desserts, and bar signage were some of the details provided by our family and friends. It added something extremely sentimental to an already awesome day.
From the wedding planner, Le’ Marie Events: Lindsey and Johnny wanted their guests to feel comfortable and ready to have a good time at their wedding and Luce Loft became this perfect blank canvas to do so. For the ceremony, they used mismatched antique wood chairs and benches for seating and commissioned a custom backdrop of flowy tulle and soft fabric that spilled onto the floor. And for an added touch, tons of tall candles resting on rice and encased in glass helped romanticize the space. For the reception, they turned the room and warmed up the urban space with vintage farm tables arranged family style and added tons of candle light. They added touches of antique brass and silver to add a bit of romance and chose large pale pink blooms to soften the wood and metal elements.
I have never seen more smiles at a wedding! You could literally feel the love between not just Lindsey and Johnny but between both families and all of their friends. They insisted on good music, great food, and plenty to drink. There were clusters of guests enjoying their Guinness and telling stories throughout the night. They provided mason jars with flowery straws and added a piece of decorative tape so their guests could write their name and use their glass all night, as well as take it home as their favor. This wedding couldn’t have been more perfect for this couple. Oh, and there have never been sweeter flower girls!
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Next to Me Studios / Wedding Planner: Le’ Marie Events / Floral Design: Flowers Annette Gomez / Venue: Luce Loft / Wedding Dress: ASOS / Flower Girl Dresses: Zara Kids / Wedding Caterer: Wedding Caterer: MIHO Gastrotruck / Rentals: Pow Wow Vintage Rentals
There are a few things in this world I happen to love very much: whimsy, weddings that feel like parties, and lots of color. And this wedding from Jackie Wonders – I think you know where I’m going with this – has it all. Megan and Joey’s wedding at San Diego’s The New Children’s Museum is everything I could hope to see, and I’m supremely excited to share their wedding day with you all!
From the bride, Megan: Family, friends, fun. We knew that no matter what we decided to include in our wedding, it had to represent the love we have for our family, celebrate our amazing friends, and be a time for our party-goers to let loose and have fun! Also, we wanted to make sure that our wedding reflected the strong ties we have to our cultural traditions. Our color scheme was black and white, with a few pops of color. Our DIYs included Passion Fruit butter favors made by my mother, and I made the table runners.
Joseph is Mexican-Scottish, and I am Filipino-Irish, born and raised in Hawaii. It was with this in mind that we settled on the theme “culture-chic”, highlighting both of our cultural backgrounds in a classy yet playful way. Having a mariachi band and Day of the Dead cake toppers, as well as homemade passion fruit butter were just a few of the ways we tried to accomplish that. Overall, it was a magical day, one that we replay over and over in our heads. We will never forget the love we felt for each other and from all of the people that came and celebrated with us.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Enjoy this time! Don’t lose yourself in the details, and allow planning to consume you. Go on dates with each other and carve time out to talk about non-wedding related things. Remember that as long as the people you love are there, it will be an amazing day.
Bridal Party Processional: “How Beautiful”
Bride’s Processional: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Recessional: “Ode to Joy”
First Dance: “Til Kingdom Come,” Coldplay
Father/Daughter Dance: “Happy Ever After In your Eyes,” Ben Harper
Mother/Son Dance: “In My Life,” The Beatles
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Jackie Wonders / Florist: Root 75 / Ceremony Venue: Founders Chapel, University of San Diego / Reception Venue: The New Children’s Museum / Wedding Dress: Tara Keely via Kleinfields / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung / Caterer: Continental Catering / Wedding Cake: Heaven Sent / Ceremony Musician: Casey McKinley (friend of the couple) / Reception Music: Mariachi and DJ Andrew / Wedding Invitations: Minted
We’re so lucky to be able to share so much insight from brides about their wedding day and planning process, but it’s always a little extra special when we hear from the groom. We featured Jade and Susan’s engagement session earlier in the year, and Caroline Tran is back behind the camera capturing their equally-amazing wedding day!
From the groom, Jade: After pure serendipity and 10 years in love with my best friend, I finally married my high school sweetheart on July 27, 2013 at the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego, CA. With the help of our amazing wedding designer, planner, and coordinators from Amorology Weddings, we had a Marie Antoinette-themed wedding, accented with whimsical flowers, busts, books, vintage china, and of course, plenty of cake. Supported by the most amazing bundle of friends and family as our bridal party, we had a magical day in so many respects, with fun-filled surprises throughout.
In the moments leading up to our American ceremony, we were both so anxious and excited to finally join hands at the altar we had been dreaming of for so long. Susan stuck with the tradition and was able to hide all details of the wedding dress from me, so the moment I saw her in her beautiful flowing champagne dress was truly unrehearsed and breathtaking. The reality of being on the brink of marrying the love of my life made it difficult to remember the words that were exchanged, but the feelings of overwhelming joy will never depart our hearts and minds. Through our vows, we were able to share so much of our history and love story with the world. Our Maid of Honor and Best Man also honored us by conducting the “tying of the knot.” We sealed our personal letters to one another (to be read on our anniversary) and retired our high school promise rings into a time capsule box.
After our American wedding ceremony, we then immediately switched into our ethnic/traditional wear made of French and Indian silk and handmade flower garlands for our Thai/Laotian water ceremony. As a symbol of their blessings for our marriage, each guest was invited to pour water from a ceremonial conch onto our hands as they spoke their blessings and wishes of our marriage/love. While staying true to the traditional ethnic ceremony, we incorporated our own unique styles and personal touches as well by adopting a backdrop custom made by Amorology that highlighted the text, “You make my heart flutter.” Our ethnic wedding also featured gifts from Thailand, tagged with our caricatures custom-designed by a professional artist from Thailand – my cousin, Paikaeo!
Our reception began with what we remember as a purely magical and fairytale-like moment – our first dance. Atop a custom-designed vinyl wrapped dance floor with the statement, “May I Have This Dance?,” we felt like we were on Cloud 9 and in a world of our own as we danced to “A Thousand Years” – an unexpected, yet truly fitting song given our story. We learned afterwards that our wedding party swayed and sang along with the music as well to further punctuate the enchanted moment. After a round of heartfelt speeches from our Best Man and Maid of Honor, I toasted to my wife and took down my first ever alcoholic beverage – what more fitting than the glass of champagne to honor my life partner?
As we neared the conclusion of the dinner service, my groomsmen and I sat Susan down by the dance floor as we wooed her with a special surprise dance/skit/lip sync to the song “Everything” by Michael Buble. Susan had surprises of her own, as she followed with a special delivery of a cake custom-made by the incredible Stevi Auble of Hey There, Cupcake! – a multi-tiered Despicable Me and Ratatouille-themed cake, inspired by my love for cooking and two of my favorite Disney movies! As a tribute to the happiest day of our lives, “Perfect Day” by Holly Maher played as we made our first slice into our wedding cake as husband and wife – a moment we relive today and hold dear to our hearts. All our guests, from around, from afar, from childhood, from adulthood, danced the night away with us until the very last moment, where my groomsmen and I had one final surprise for Susan. Ushering all the guests out onto the hotel’s fountain terrace, we distributed 50 paper boats decorated with flowers and colorful LED lights, handmade by the groomsmen. The craft was a tribute to a Thai holiday, Loy Krathong, where the locals release boats into a river and make wishes for good luck, new beginnings, and positivity. These boats, coupled with bright sparklers, symbolized the wedding wishes of each of our guests and our final send-off for the evening. Though the evening came to a close, we were so excited to embark on our new beginning as a married couple.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? 1. Plan for the worst when it comes to the wedding venue, then hope for the best! Review all legal contracts in detail, even if it feels awkward. Think of all possible scenarios and make sure that the legal document is in your favor should anything occur (example: possible renovations without the client’s knowledge). 2. Re-purpose decorations between the ceremony and reception to save on costs (floral, backdrop, linens, candles etc). 3. Plan surprises! (The good kind.) ex: Loy Krathong, wedding gifts, involve your bridal party (flowers from the groomsmen to the bridesmaids), letters from the groomsmen to the bride, dances. 4. Even if you have a coordinator or wedding planner, pre-assign your bridal party to be your eyes and ears (especially the dinner service) to help make sure/remind the service is what you paid for. 5. Prioritize food, music, and parking (in that order) – 3 essential things your guests will likely remember most about your wedding.
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Caroline Tran / Wedding Planner, Designer, and Props: Amorology Weddings / Floral Design: Blush Botanicals / Wedding Venue and Caterer: The Westgate Hotel / Wedding Dress: Kenneth Poole from Lovella Bridal / Wedding Veil: Maria Elena / Wedding Shoes: Valentino / Thai Wedding Dress: Phukaw, Hollywood, Aksarapak “Yaya” Bondu / Thai Flower Garlands: Sai’s Malai and Flowers / Hair and Makeup: Kelly Zhang / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Ivy & Aster “Lierre” via Bella Bridesmaids / Bridesmaids’ Necklaces: Kate Spade “Take the Cake” Gold Chain in Pink / Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar / Parasols: Bella Umbrella / Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Suits: J. Crew “Ludlow” / Bow Ties: Fox & Brie / Groom’s Shoes: Gucci / Groomsmen’s Shoes: Hugo Boss “Chesterfield” / Rings: Robbins Brothers / Ring Pillow: Lo Boheme / Wedding Cake, Pink Bow Cake, Faux Cakes, Mini Cupcakes, and Cake Pops: Hey There, Cupcake! / Macarons and Dessert Shooters: Sweet and Saucy Shop / Cake Topper: Lil’ Cake Toppers / DJ, Emcee and Production: Riamu Entertainment / Cartoonist/Illustrator: Paikaeo Insawang, Bangkok, Thailand (paikaeo @ gmail.com) / Dance Floor: Platinum Pro / Linens, Napkins, and Cushions: La Tavola Linens / Vintage Plates: Vintage Table Co. / Officiant: JPR Weddings / Wedding Invitations and Paper Elements: Brightly Designed / Videographer: Rainbowfish Cinema
As soon as I saw this bride’s ruffled wedding gown, I knew this wedding was going to be a smash hit — and the floral design and styling from Adorations and Bellz & Whistlez absolutely did not disappoint. Jackie Wonders captured all the details, including the signage and paper goods which are a new favorite of mine!
From the bride, Christine: The one thing we were 100% sure about from the moment we started planning our wedding was that we wanted it to be an amazing experience for our guests and not just your typical wedding that they felt they could have attended before. So what better way than to have a destination wedding?! I have family in California and knew immediately that was where we should do it. Initially we planned on Palm Springs where my grandparents live, but while I was out there visiting different sites, Tropical Storm Irene hit the East Coast and my mom and I we’re ‘stranded’ in California for an extra couple of days. We decided to make the most of it and go up to San Diego and visit her sisters. While we were there they suggested we check out a few sites in SD and we stumbled upon the Andaz on the last day we were there. We walked up on that roof and I just knew this was it. It was a laid back atmosphere but at the same time felt upscale enough for a wedding. It was the perfect place for us to give our Connecticut friends and family a little dose of SoCal.
The vibe of the wedding was definitely California cool. The roof of the Andaz is beautiful and the downtown views speak for themselves so a lot of decor wasn’t necessary. Everything was black and white, which I picked up from our invitations (which I was, and still am obsessed with) except for the flower arrangements which were vibrant colors with succulents. We had a lot of DIY help with items at the wedding. The chevron runners were something I really wanted and my wedding planner Charmae did an amazing job custom making them. One of my bridesmaids also made all of the groomsmen’s chevron pocket squares. We knew we didn’t want to be wasteful with paper goods for the programs and menus so Rich’s best man Mark, who is a graphic designer and screen printer made the seating chart and program for us on large canvases that were displayed on easels. He also printed our dinner menu on each of the guests napkins and printed the table signs which were named after some of our favorite restaurants back home. My mother-in-law made the guest book on Shutterfly with pictures of Rich and I throughout our relationship which came out amazing.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Make it your own and don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing because you’re told you should. This is your day and should be exactly how you want it. Doing things a little different than your “typical wedding” may throw off a few family members and even guests at first, but it’s actually going to be those details that they remember and admire about your day. Oh and if you can swing it, definitely get a videographer. Obviously wedding pictures are amazing and I treasure mine, but there is something about a video that captures the essence of the day like nothing else can.
Watch the video from Etch Films:
Processional: “Turning Page (instrumental),” Sleeping at Last
Recessional: “From Now On,” The Features
First Dance: “No One’s Gonna Love You,” Band of Horses
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Jackie Wonders / Event Design: Bellz & Whistlez / Floral Design: Adorations / Wedding Venue and Caterer: Andaz Hotel / Wedding Dress: Coren Moore Bridal via The White Dress by the Shore, Clinton, CT / Wedding Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Hair and Makeup: Tiffany Monday / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s Suit: Jhane Barnes / Desserts: Sweet Cheeks Baking Company / DJ: Austin Hendrix / Wedding Invitations: Elum / Videographer: Etch Films
Today’s feature is everything a backyard wedding should be: relaxed, intimate, and cheeky in all the right places. Troy Grover Photographers never disappoint with their images, as you can clearly see with Jenny and Reid’s wedding. Read on for more about the handcrafted details and advice from Jenny for all you other brides out there:
From the bride, Jenny: We wanted our wedding to intentionally reflect us. There were touches of humor, class, elegance, romance amongst a casual backyard wedding. Our vision was to have all of our closest friends and family celebrate our special day in a laid-back, comfortable style.
I loved the pastel color scheme but sense we had the wedding in June, I decided to add a pop of color by using tangerine accents. There were quite a few DIY projects. I hand made all my invitations. The table numbers were hand painted frames with a random fact about us corresponding to the number. I used doilies from my grandma and Reid’s grandma for centerpieces. I hand painted all my signs including a poem written to Reid’s great-grandma. We had a huge burlap wall with handmade paper pinwheels and childhood photos. My dad built a wooden arbor and my bridesmaids arranged greenery and a mason jar arrangement.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Enjoy it! Our engagement was 6 months and I had to piece together the caterer, lighting, sound system, DJ… essentially everything. I loved the planning process and am having wedding planning withdrawals. You spend your whole life looking forward to your wedding day, but you can only look back on it afterwards. Make the most out of the planning process, enjoy the community it can build, and make great memories to look back on.
Bridal Party Processional: “Come Thou Fount,” Sufjan Stevens
Bridal Processional: “A Thousand Years,” Christina Perri
Recessional: “I Feel Good,” James Brown
First Dance: “You Are the Best Thing,” Ray Lamontagne
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Troy Grover Photographers / Day-of Wedding Planner and Florist: Anndrea Boren of Events by Anndrea / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo / Wedding Veil: Jan Kessler (mother-in-law) / Wedding Shoes: Ivanka Trump / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: DressbLee / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Wedding Caterer: Anything But Ordinary / DJ: JD Star Productions