Sarah and Alex-An Estancia La Jolla Wedding

When Sarah and her mom Barbara met with me for the first time, they explained that they needed a venue that could hold around 200 guests, where all of their out of town guests could stay on property (and with the groom’s family and many of the bride and groom’s friends being from New York City, we knew we would have a significant portion of the guests flying in from out of town), where they could have an outdoor ceremony, and that would be both lovely and centrally located.  They visited a number of super classy hotels in San Diego and settled on the Estancia Hotel & Spa in La Jolla.  They loved it’s Spanish architecture, the neutral gold tones of the ballroom, and it’s gorgeous garden area that could be used for the ceremony.  Check out these stunning photos below of Sarah with her mom and bridesmaids!

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For style, Sarah wanted a formal, evening wedding.  She choose floor-length black gowns for the bridesmaids and modern-fit black and white tuxes for the groomsmen.  Love these photos below of the handsome groom and groomsmen!  The guy’s ties were a black and white check pattern.  I adored the mesh overlay part of the bridesmaid’s dresses-so classy!

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I’m in love with these photos of Sarah & Alex together and with their wedding party, taken by True Photography!  The one of Alex holding petite Sarah is one of my favorites!  They are such a stunning couple!

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For design, Sarah dreamed of an almost winter garden look with deep plums, magentas, and greens, contrasted against gold and ivory.  One of her favorite restaurants in New York City is Tavern on the Green and she took her initial inspiration from the look of their garden courtyard.  For the ceremony, Blush Botanicals created this amazing chuppah below!  We wanted to create an off-set garland that wasn’t perfectly centered.  We also draped the back rows in this gorgeous floral and leafy garland.  It was probably one of my favorite ceremony looks ever!  Also check out the beautiful bouquets of the bridesmaids below.  And I adore the joint family photo below!  Check out the two mamas!  One of my favorite things is when the moms where fantastic dresses too!

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To carry on the garden theme, Sarah wanted to create trees for a portion of the centerpieces in the ballroom.  We mixed round tables, where we placed the trees, with rectangular tables, that were draped in a garland and filled with candles.  We used two different gold linens on the tables, a sequined on the round and a dupionique on the rectangles, to create a layer of texture and interest.  Then for the head table, we created a long banquet table where the entire wedding party, with significants, and parents, could sit.  We filled it with candelabras and designated seats with a laser cut out of their name, created by the amazing Nicole of Nic Roc Designs, placed on the napkin.  The result was breathtaking!

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Finally, it was time to party!  I adore this sweet photo of Sarah dancing with her father!  I also love this photo of the groom suspended above the crowd for the Hora (as no Jewish wedding is complete without one)!  We finished the evening with a dessert display of typical New York City items like mini cheesecakes and black and white cookies made by Cake, a great bakery here in San Diego.  Sarah also had her favorite NYC bakery, Magnolia Bakery, that just opened a branch in LA, deliver mini Magnolia Bread Puddings, her favorite dessert ever.  Because on you’re wedding day, you should eat exactly what you want to eat!  I think it’s especially fun to bring in treats with significance to the bride and groom and loved that Sarah wanted to trek down the puddings!  JP Hunten Music wowed the crowd and kept the dance floor full all evening.  It was a wonderful wedding and just a perfect night!

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Melanie and Dan: A Christmas La Valencia Wedding

Melanie came to me last September and was so excited because she had just gotten engaged to the love of her life and they wanted to get married that upcoming December!  Can we plan a wedding in four months? was her question.  And my answer: Absolutely!  Melanie was from La Jolla and, though she currently lives outside San Francisco, wanted to plan a La Jolla wedding.  She chose our quintessential perfect (and pink) wedding venue, the La Valencia Hotel.  And though Melanie wanted to create a Christmas style wedding, she didn’t want a traditional green and red color scheme.  We decided to opt for rich purples and plums contrasted against ivory and gold.  Check out the gorgeous bouquet that Chris from Indulge Weddings created for her.  And look at her gorgeous lace dress!  I died when I saw it!

Spread 1I adore these sweet getting ready photos of the bride and groom!  Check out gorgeous mom and sister in floor length black gowns above –so appropriate for a formal December wedding.  And love the dapper groomsmen below!spread 2

Melanie really wanted a church wedding, and since she had a smaller guest count (approx. 70), she chose the chapel at La Jolla Presbyterian Church for the wedding ceremony.  We decided we would do all green and white for our ceremony décor, to create a very clean look.

spread 3Following the ceremony, Sara of France Photography captured these gorgeous beach moments.  I adore the sunset silhouette! spread 5Following the ceremony, it was on to the La Valencia for the party!  I was so excited about our ballroom décor!  We started with ivory linens and gold chivari chairs then added these super rich deep purples and pinks in the centerpieces.  As guests entered, they were met by a huge ornament tree, crafted out of wood and accented with flowers.  Suspended from the tree were gorgeous ornaments in purple, burgundy, gold, and ivory with tags listing each guest’s name and indicating their table assignment.  It was a perfect Christmas touch!  Melanie adores literature so we also came up with the idea of doing book mark table numbers and found these Christmas Carol books in burgundy and gold–so perfect!  Guests were encouraged to take them home at the end of the night!spread 4

It was a perfect night!  JP Hunten Music entertained guests and kept them dancing all evening!  Michele Coulon crafted a scrumptious cake and also made Scandinavian cookie favors, a nod to Melanie’s family roots.  It was such a blessing to be part of such an amazing event and I loved every minute I got to hang out with this fabulous family!  spread 6

Laura & Greg: A La Jolla Destination Wedding at the Martin Johnson House

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Laura and Greg met with me about a year before their hoped for wedding date and told me they wanted to plan a destination wedding in La Jolla and were looking for a venue with an ocean view that could hold up to 125 people and would be fully customizable, meaning they could bring in […]

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Doug & Victoria: A La Valencia Destination Wedding

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Doug and Victoria live in Las Vegas but wanted to plan a beach wedding somewhere in Southern California. As soon as they walked into the La Valencia Hotel, they fell in love!  Victoria loved it’s old world charm, it’s early California Spanish architecture, it’s interior old Hollywood feel, and of course, that it’s pink.  I happen […]

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Rob & Liz: A La Valencia Destination Wedding

Liz & Rob

     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 […]

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Michelle & Hyatt-An Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Wedding

Michelle & Hyatt

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 […]

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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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