Rob & Liz: A La Valencia Destination Wedding

     The La Valencia Hotel is truly one of my most favorite destination wedding venues!  I love that it is located in the heart of downtown La Jolla (and being a native La Jolla gal, there pretty much isn’t a better place to be!) because not only is it in a gorgeous location, but it creates a great guest experience. 

Liz & Rob

    Liz was sure that not more than 50 guests would come, but in typical La Jolla style, 85 made the trip.  It’s hard to turn down a trip to La Jolla!  Liz wanted to create an event that would just be a super fun family gathering with simple but elegant décor.  With the help of her cousin and aunt (the planning team!), she decided to use tones of ivory, blush pink, and gold, and brought in a touch of a beach motif with the starfish escort cards.  And for a nostalgic whim, they felt like The Beatles “All You Need is Love” would be the theme of the day.  Check out the adorable ring bearer below, the nephew of the groom.

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Ice cold Pellegrino greeted the guests as they arrived for the ceremony on the hot August afternoon (above).  Liz created two focal points of bright white flowers on clear pedestals for the ceremony.  The backdrop of the Pacific Ocean provided the rest of the ceremony décor! Below, the starfish escort cards welcomed the guests into the ballroom for cocktail hour.   Then for the dining room, a simple yet stunning décor of ivory and blush pink linens and flowers, complimented by the gold chivari chairs, created a clean and romantic look.  Love this sweet cake by Michele Coulon!  We put blush pink linens on the cocktail tables and belly bars and ivory dotted linens on the guest tables.  I love using a look of white on white as long as you create interest with variation of tone and texture.

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Liz and Rob were such a wonderful couple and the whole family was so fun that it was truly a treat to work with all of them!

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Use the location of your venue to create the décor for your wedding!  Pink tones, as well as ocean and beach colors (since you pretty much stare at the beach during the wedding) work really well at the La Valencia.  As do romantic, nostalgic, and particularly Old Hollywood nuances.  If you use the sense the venue exudes, you can actually get away with less décor as you are simply accenting what is already there.  I wouldn’t do “rustic” at the La Valencia and I wouldn’t do “beachy” at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.  Perfect décor compliments it’s space.


Michelle & Hyatt-An Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Wedding

Michelle and her mom Liz met with me probably 18 months before their proposed wedding date.  Though Michelle is from Rancho Santa Fe, she met Hyatt while at Yale and was living in the south while the two of them worked on graduate degrees.  Michelle wanted to find a venue that could accommodate up to 300 people, since they expected family and friends from all over the country, where everything could be outside.  She pictured an outdoor ceremony, with a big wooden cross as a focal point, and a tented reception with hanging chandeliers.  She also pictured a décor that mixed in vintage elements with a very upscale look.  Michelle wanted vintage but not country!  I suggested the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe to Michelle as I knew they had the outdoor space to accommodate her wishes and the venue carries a wonderful sense of high end comfort and care.  Michelle and Liz thought it was perfect and we dove into our planning.

Michelle & HyattAbove, Michelle and her beautiful bridesmaids and below, Hyatt and his team of groomsmen. The super hero shot is seriously one of my favorite wedding photos ever.  Seriously amazing!

Michelle & Hyatt1Below, our vintage-themed welcome area, with a birdcage for cards to the bride and groom, trunks to hold gifts, a basket of sunscreen since the ceremony was outside, and a vintage medicine trunk for programs.  Cocktails would follow on the adjacent green lawn so we had a gold and ivory bag toss game made to look like the couple’s invitation.  Also, to ward off the sun, we placed paper parasols in dark pink, light pink, and ivory on the ceremony chairs.

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Below, the gorgeous ceremony on the lower lawn with the tree and wooden cross, constructed by Indulge Weddings and Events.  Michelle and Hyatt really wanted to do a unity candle ceremony but we tend not to do them for outdoor weddings due to wind.  Michelle and her mom cleverly figured out they could use lanterns, and did a mock up with a fan blowing on the lanterns, to ensure that the plan worked!

Michelle & Hyatt2Below, the beautiful and super fun bride and groom and their wedding party!  We decided on blush pink dresses for the girls with mixed bouquets of pink tones and ivory.  For the guys, Hyatt really wanted a classic, modern look and the black tuxes were perfect.

Michelle & Hyatt5The cocktail hour was an easy place to add in some vintage elements so we created a fun seating area from Found Rentals, a place card table of mixed vintage boxes and lanterns, and (my favorite), we had Its A Party Photo Booth provide their open air set-up and we rented a vintage settee and had Indulge provide old fashioned hat, parasols, fans, and mustaches to create a vintage style photo booth.  It looked amazing and everything was so fun!

Michelle & Hyatt6The tent was absolutely my favorite part and where we got to truly create the upscale vintage feel that Michelle wanted.  We had Classic Party Rentals drape the ceiling, add the chandeliers, and provide 10 real wood tables, with mahogany chivari chairs.  The rest of the 16 tables were round with 2 different styles of candelabras (8 of each)–1 was a domineering metal piece, that Chris from Indulge adorned with crystal strands, and the other was a pure crystal  candelabra.  The rectangular tables had a runner that matched the linen on the round tables and collections of mismatched vintage glassware and florals.  Nic Roc Designs provided all of the custom place cards, table numbers, and menus to complete the look, fashioned in the same colors and fonts as the original invitations.

Michelle & Hyatt4Finally, it was time to party!  Hyatt and Michelle started off the evening with their own choreographed dance routine. Then, Hyatt and his mom started out the mother-son dance in a typical slow song format, then cut to a hip hop dance they had choreographed.  Best mother-son dance ever.  Ever. J Soul kept the dance floor full the entire night.  We sent off the bride and groom through a glow stick arch and into a vintage car for their grand exit. It was truly a magical evening!  Thanks to True Photography for the amazingly awesome photos!  We love you guys!!!

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Allison & Adam: A La Valencia Wedding


Alison and Adam are both from the South but they fell in love with the La Valencia and La Jolla in general (who doesn’t?) and decided they needed to throw their wedding here!  Since the ceremony and reception locations at the La V (as we natives call it) overlook the Pacific Ocean, Alison and Adam drew their inspiration […]

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Amy & Mina

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I met Amy and Mina after they were referred to me by my previous fantastic clients, Tad and Tammy (big thanks to Tammy and Tad)! Amy and Mina wanted to throw an outdoor wedding in a venue with a vintage vibe somewhere in San Diego and preferably in La Jolla.  I immediately thought of the […]

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Lindsay and Steven: An Immaculada and Prado Wedding

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Being USD grads, gave Lindsay and Steven one of the coveted opportunities to be married in the Immaculada Church–something only available to graduates and faculty.  Check out the pictures below and you’ll see why it’s so coveted!  Lindsay and Steven started the day getting ready at the US Grant Hotel which was a perfect place […]

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Noelle and David-A Park Hyatt Aviara Wedding


Noelle and David, together with Noelle’s family, planned an amazing affair of a wedding at the Park Hyatt Aviara, just north of San Diego.  Noelle and David opted not to see each other before the ceremony and spent the day at the Park Hyatt with their friends and family getting ready and anticipating! John Reidy […]

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Lesley & Doug-A Heritage Park Wedding


When Lesley and Doug first met with me, they told me they wanted to plan a super fun, casual, outdoor wedding that would be filled with lawn games and local beer and amazing food and oh yay, they didn’t want to spend any money on flowers but they wanted it to be super bright and […]

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Anna & Marc: La Jolla Country Club Wedding

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I met Anna and Marc through Skype as they both currently live in Europe.  Marc grew up in La Jolla and always envisioned a home town wedding.  He and Anna only flew out once together for a full week of wedding planning activities.  Marc flew out one other time for business and worked in some […]

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Sara & Brian: A Nautical Wedding at the Catamaran Resort, San Diego

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Sara and Brian planned a beautiful nautical-themed wedding at the Catamaran Resort and Spa in San Diego, CA. I actually knew the bride, Sara, when we were in grade school (La Jolla Bobby Socks!) so it was super fun to reconnect with her and make her wedding day amazing! The Catamaran Resort is situated on the […]

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San Diego Style Weddings Magazine Photo Shoot 2013


Each year San Diego Style Weddings Magazine asks a number of coordinators to put together a table display to showcase current wedding design trends that they then feature in their yearly magazine.  This is one of my favorite tasks because I get to create according to my own whimsy!  I love creating for my clients but […]

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