Amy & Mina

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 Darlington House.  It’s definitely vintage California in style and a true gem.

Amy wanted to create a garden style wedding with vibrant colors, mixing turquoise and pink and yellow.  We started working with florists Chris and Kim of Indulge Weddings and quickly decided that all of the turquoise should be in our glassware and accents and that our flowers should be a mixture of yellows and pinks.  We also chose a fuchsia pink for the bridesmaids dresses and accented with a turquoise hutch.  The hutch first held our luggage tag escort cards (created by the ever fabulous Nic Roc Designs, mixing yellow, pink, and turquoise font on the white tags) and later held our Middle Eastern dessert display (a nod to Mina’s heritage). 

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Above and below: we mixed fuchsia and turquoise into the attire and the flowers and everyone looked so beautiful!

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Below, the ceremony at the Darlington House.  We draped the gate and adorned it with flowers to make it a focal point for the ceremony.

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Below, some of our vintage travel details.  The wedding was considered a destination wedding as only the groom and some of his friends live in San Diego.  Both of their families and the bride and the majority of their friends all descended on La Jolla for the wedding week.  The bride and groom have also done a significant amount of traveling together and we felt a few vintage travel details were a great accent!

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Since we were going “garden” in our motif, I thought we should bring in vibrant patterned linens and of course went to La Tavola to make that happen.  We used a striped linen on the head table and a floral linen,  in similar colors,  on the guest tables.  It’s rare to be able to use a linen that is this “busy” but it was perfect for outdoors. Notice below how the two different linens compliment each other perfectly.  Then we added a yellow napkins and turquoise glassware and it was perfect.  We also mixed the fuchsia and turquoise throughout our paper products in the menus, table numbers, and escort cards.

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Continental Catering provided the amazing food and beverages, Classic Party Rentals the chairs, tables, and market lights, and the always impressive True Photography captured the day.  As the day faded to night, the market lights added a perfect twinkle. And of course, then there was dancing!

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Steal this idea:

If you are throwing an outdoor wedding, don’t be afraid to use lots of color–especially in a vibrant garden atmosphere.  Also, not every color has to be used in the florals. Maybe it works to use one color in your glassware and another in your flowers.  and maybe your linens mix all the colors or just pick up the tones from the flowers.  And don’t be afraid to mix your patterns and textures, as long as they are all the same color scheme.  We used different linens for the cocktail hour, for the guest tables, for the head table, and for the cake table in just variations of the same colors and it looked amazing!  Happy planning!


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!

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John Reidy Photography captured these beautiful moments and Blush Botanicals arranged all the flowers.  Look at the girl’s adorable animal print shoes they wore under their formal navy dresses!

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Because Noelle and David are Orthodox Christian, they were married off site at Saints Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church.  I had never been in the church and it was stunning.  We had four ring bearers, that each held elements of the Orthodox ceremony, and one perfect little 18-month old flower girl who flew down the aisle with her flower wand.  Notice the beautiful floral and greenery swag down the aisle and the large floral pieces that were then transferred to the reception as centerpieces on some of the tables (a great little trick for multi-use flowers)!


Because David is an avid surfer, we created an escort card display around a surfing theme.  Behind the display, we exhibited a surf map that shows surfing destinations around the world.  Then each escort card was attached to a miniature real wood surf board by it’s “leash” and displayed in a box of sand.  It was a fun, whimsical touch, to our otherwise very formal affair.  Below, see the display (for 300 guests!) and the vintage car that carried Noelle and David from the church to the Park Hyatt.

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Inside the ballroom, it was pure magic!  The look was a mixture of gold and ivory/white with layers of texture and tone.  Our linens were a textured gold and ivory shimmer and a gold snake-skin, our napkins were a 3rd color of gold, the menus were customized gold and ivory, and the centerpieces were layers of ivory.  Crystals strung together the centerpieces on the long head table.  We employed the Park Hyatt to focus a pin spot light from the ceiling on each centerpiece so that they glowed, as guests entered the room.  We also rented a white dance floor and gold Chivari chairs from Classic Party Rentals and white lounge furniture, gold bride and groom chairs, and a custom white bar from Hire Elegance.  Add the abundance of candles and it was pure “wow.”

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And for the party: amazing!  Noelle’s family is Palestinian, so after heartfelt toasts and first dances to That Vibe, a great variety band, we set the stage for a little cultural fun.  As soon as Noelle and David cut their cake and kissed, a thunderous boom began from behind them and in paraded a Middle Eastern live drummer with accompanying music.  David was carried on the shoulders of friends to the dance floor and everyone joined in the fun.  We also set up a beautiful display of Middle Eastern pastries in the foyer to add another personal family touch.

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The band was hired until 10:30pm and then we had another fun transition.  I had one of my favorite DJ’s, J Soul, set up and waiting in the wings.  As soon as the band finished their last song and waved goodbye, we dropped the lights, and J turned on his electric display of dance floor lighting.  He kept the dance floor full for two more hours in a great “after party” type atmosphere.  We of course then had to add mini fish tacos and pizzas for a late night munchie display.

This wedding, with its authentic religious ceremony, gorgeous decor, and crazy fun crowd, was truly a momentous affair and I was honored and thrilled to be its coordinator and to get to know two amazing and lovely people in Noelle and David.

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

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 San Diego Bay and therefore provided a perfect backdrop for their upscale beachy motif.  Navy and white stripes, accented by bright pink tones, wove throughout the decor–from the invitations, to the linens, to the stripes on the men’s ties (and awesome argyle socks!).  Sara’s attire of lace and pearls added a touch of formality to the affair.  I think decorating in nautical is a great way to go “beachy” while still adding class.  And this wedding was definitely all class!

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Above: Sara’s “something blue” in her shoes and earings, the cute and creative garter she wore, and the gentlemen getting ready for the big moment!

Below: I adore the gentlemen’s attire!  The tan linen suits are perfectly complimented by the bright navy and pink ties (and of course, the socks)!

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Below: the beautiful couple and the ceremony, facing the bay.  Sara’s mom came up with the idea of the baskets to decorate the aisle.  I LOVED it!  My team then transferred them to the railing that framed the outdoor balcony adjacent to the ballroom.

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Below: our gorgeous cake, invitations, and nautical ballroom!  Sara chose a light wood chivari chair to complement the beachy driftwood look of the centerpieces.  My team hung candles and table numbers from the arms of the wood.  The delicate pattern of the cake with the pink and ivory flowers was perfect!  And the invitation wonderfully announced the theme well in advance.

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Below: Sara and Brian share their first dance.  A perfect moment for a perfect couple!  And special thanks to Shannon of Studio Carre for the amazing photos!

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Will and Laura

For Laura and Will, they had me at bagpipes!  Will’s family is Scottish and that meant full kilts and yes, a bagpipe.  Laura and Will had their ceremony at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, where Will’s grandparents have been long time attendees.  I will never forget the moment we sent the gentlemen down the aisle.  We swung open the doors and had our bagpiper positioned perfectly at the head of the aisle.  Then slowly he led Will, shoulder to shoulder with his father, the officiating pastor (in kilt), with his two brothers (in kilts) and the rest of the groomsmen following in single file behind.  One of my favorite wedding moments yet!  The sound of the bagpipe echoing off the walls of the sanctuary was amazing!


Laura looked gorgeous and her entrance, to a booming organ, was pretty grand itself! Laura’s bridesmaids wore navy dresses and we offset the navy with ivory and peach bouquets, created by Indulge Flowers.  They were all gorgeous!

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I LOVE the photo of Will and his groomsmen below!  And this one of Will and Laura in the street together!  Thank you to Maurice of Betwixt Photography!
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After the ceremony, guests headed up to the La Jolla Country Club for the reception, just minutes away.  The room was stunning and the atmosphere of the Country Club was, as always, wonderful. I always love being at the La Jolla County Club simply for the experience it provides.  It is what I call a “yes” venue.  For our decor, we used the Country Club’s own ivory linens and rented gold chivari chairs and gold chargers.  Indulge added gold lantern centerpieces to the guest tables and these large mirrored arrangements to the head table.

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Though the Scots won the ceremony, my favorite part of the reception, lay in the court of the bride’s family.  Of Scandinavian descent, they decided thy wouldn’t be outdone so for the father-of-the-bride’s welcome speech, Laura’s parents rushed into the ballroom in full Viking attire and the Club brought out sips of scotch for the toast.  The toast and attire were a surprise to all the guests–including the bride and groom!   We ended the night with a sparkler send-off (and fire alarm that brought the firemen!) and a getaway in a fabulous red convertible!  All in all, this wedding was a wonderful event!
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Ann & David-A MCASD La Jolla Wedding!

Ann and David created a wedding in La Jolla with a wonderful mixture of tradition and modernity.  They held their ceremony at the gorgeous La Jolla Presbyterian Church (think super long aisle, organ booming, stained glass windows) and held their reception at the beautiful Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.  Cocktails began on the ocean view Terrace (like you’re practically IN the ocean-view-terrace!) and adjacent Garden and the reception was in the Axline Court–known for its high arched ceiling and modern art pieces on display.

To start the day off, Ann and her bridesmaids got read at the Grande Colonial’s Little Hotel by the Sea.  This is one of my absolute favorite hotels in all of San Diego–I am in love with it.  And the Little Hotel is such a gem.  It’s a stand alone building on the property of the Grande Colonial with 8 all suite rooms with kitchenettes.  If you rent out all 8 suites, you get two additional common spaces, including an ocean view terrace, and a rate that is an absolute steal.  Renting the Little Hotel for sleeping rooms is an absolute perfect accompaniment for a La Jolla wedding (and I’ll mention that they have great spaces for rehearsal dinners or Sunday brunches–all catered by the fabulous 910 Restaurant…ok, I’ll stop pitching it now)!

Okay, let’s start with Ann’s getting ready photos at the Grande Colonial-I LOVE the picture of her on the staircase!

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Time to get married!  La Jolla Pres provides such a gorgeous backdrop to a wedding.  Below, David and his guys get ready for the big moment.  And look at the children waiting in anticipation–that’s one of my favorite photos from the day!

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Whew, we’re married!  Ann and David decided not to see each other before the ceremony so they allowed a little bit of time between the ceremony and the cocktail hour so they would have some time to get some great photos together and of the wedding party.  I think it’s okay to leave a short break but I stress to clients they then need to put the actual time the reception begins on the reception card.  It can be a little awkward to turn away guests who have wandered over early–we don’t want them coming in until the bar is open and the setting is perfect!

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Above and below: beautiful pictures of Ann and David and their wedding party.  Below left is in front of the Museum. Below right is the sea wall just below the Museum.

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Party time!  Ann chose a palate of purple and white with silver accents.  She wanted a lot of glassware with floating candles and flowers suspended in high glass vases.  It was gorgeous.  She chose a silver floor-length linen, white chairs and napkins (I personally think your chairs and napkins need to be the same color-or variation of the same color-as that ties your look together), silver frames for table numbers, and then the mixture of high and low glassware with white candles and white and purple flowers.  Classic Party Rentals provided all the rentals and Ginny with Adelaide’s did the beautiful flowers.  CAKE provided the cake and the amazing Giuseppe the food and alcohol.  Ann and David actually chose an all-star vendor team. I really love working with all of these vendors because they are so professional, so enjoyable, and so good and what they do.  I had no worries about this event coming together perfectly–not when you have this team!  See below for a few of the details.

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And thank you to Erika Kyte Photography for the great photos!!!

Steal this idea:
Whether you live in the town where you are getting married or not, you can create a destination wedding feel by booking a hotel or house where everyone can stay together. With relatives often living all over the nation, and even the world now, weddings have become family reunions.  As much as they are a big party, and the biggest decision you will ever make(no pressure, really), they are also an opportunity to spend time with your family and friends. By all staying together, and possibly creating a fun itinerary of meals and activities (which you don’t necessarily HAVE to participate in yourself, you can create a wonderful gathering for your family and friends.