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!

 

A Prado Wedding: Karen & Eddie

When Karen and Eddie came to me and said they were planning a wedding at the Prado, located in Balboa Park, a historic arts center in San Diego, CA, I was thrilled.  I adore the Prado!  I love the ballroom’s real hard wood floors, authentic wood stage, and decorative ceiling.  Their ceremony by their wishing well and cocktails in the courtyard around a Spanish style fountain make the entire venue a wonderful place to get married.  Plus, the photographic backdrops Balboa Park, in general, has to offer are perfect for creating amazing wedding day mementos.

For colors, Karen told me she wanted to use lavender and peacock blue-green.  She let her bridesmaids all choose their own lavender dresses and then Chris, of Indulge Flowers, created beautiful lavender and white bouquets to compliment them.  We also decided that the gentlemen should have real lavender in their boutenierres–for color and for aroma!  Both Eddie and Karen love the lavender plant, itself, and really wanted real lavender woven into their floral arrangements.

For the ceremony, Chris created a simple bucket of overflowing purple and white flowers in a variety of tones and hung it from the wishing well.  For the cocktail hour, we decided to put together a hanging screen of seating cards in purple, lavender, and peacock colors as our focal point.  Chris made the screens out of old window frames and burlap and it looked amazing!  Chris added buckets of lavender flowers at the base of the screen for more color and texture.

For the reception, Karen fell in love with a blue-green swirl linen from La Tavola linens but to outfit all of her tables in that linen would have been out of her budget.  We decided to therefore use it on the head table, cocktail table, and a few additional accent tables (ceremony welcome table and cocktail hour photo display table) and then use a much less expensive linen, in the same tone, on the rest of the tables.  Karen literally saved $100’s of dollars by making this choice and the look was gorgeous.  La Tavola carries a basic line of linens that are still made of a really nice, solid material and comes in a ton of colors.  I just found one that matched the swirl linen best and we were in business.  Chris then topped the tables with beautiful blue-green and gold candelabras with a mixture of white, purple, and lavender tones for a stunning look.  Finally, we added the Prado’s gold chivari chairs, gold chargers, and pin spot lights on all the tables and the room was breathtaking.  I am a huge fan of well-placed lighting and personally prefer pin-spots over uplighting along the perimeter.  I love how pin spots make the tables and centerpieces glow.

Eddie and Karen didn’t have a huge budget but by making a few good choices, they were able to create the wedding of their dreams. They chose to get married on a Friday which gave them a smaller food and beverage minimum (but at the venue they truly wanted), they chose to host most of the alcohol but not all of it, and they were open about their budget with me so that I could guide them and do research for them to ensure we stayed within it. And for me, they chose to book me for month of services plus hourly consultation along the way–which is a great way to get a full service type package on a smaller budget. And I was definitely happy to assist them in creating such a gorgeous wedding with what they wanted to spend. And to top it off, I don’t think there could be two nicer people than Karen and Eddie. It was such a pleasure to work with them! Special thanks to Eddie Garcia of E3 photography for the great photos!

Journey of Love: A Prado Wedding

The Prado at Balboa Park is truly one of my favorite San Diego wedding venues. The Spanish style architecture of the Prado and surrounding museums makes the entire area a wonderful backdrop for any wedding–and offers such amazing photographic backdrops!  I definitely have a love affair with Balboa Park for weddings!   Katy & Dan fell in love with the Prado from the moment they saw it and decided it was the perfect place for their San Diego wedding!  They decided to begin their day with their ceremony at less known part of Balboa Park, the Administration Courtyard Lawn.  It is a large, secluded area (which present writer happens to love since she also got married there!) just across Park Blvd from Balboa Park proper. 

Katy chose yellows, whites, and purples for her wedding colors.  The bridesmaids wore purple dresses and carried yellow and white flowers.  Katy loved that contrast!  For the rest of the ceremony, we opted for yellows and whites alone.  We decided those perfectly created a garden look.  Then for the more dramatic Prado reception, we brought in lots of purples and accented it with gold.  The look created was rich and dramatic.  Katy and Dan also decided to bring in a touch of an old world travel theme.  Dan had been in the military and had traveled for much of their courtship.  Instead of sending emails, the two of them wrote actual letters to each other througout his stints away.  Those letters, and all the places they traveled around the globe, inspired our decor.  Luggage tag seating cards led guests to their tables and additional tags, hung on each chair, assisted guests in finding their seats.  Pink Star Design created these and postcard table numbers, featuring vintage sketches of places Dan had been or favorite spots the couple had traveled to together.

We also used tons of candles and vintage suitcases to add to the romantic setting and old world sense.   And for all the children, the mother-of-the-bride set little suitcases at each of the place settings filled with crayons, stickers, and other treats. This idea is a really fun way to keep children entertained during a reception and to help them feel special! 
 
“To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.”–Mark Twain. Katy & Dan definitely reached the full value of joy!

La Jolla Love: Heart of La Jolla Wedding

Since Sara and David were planning a wedding in La Jolla, CA, where Sara grew up, they decided to start off their planning by a fun engagement photo shoot all over the village of La Jolla (or what we locals call the heart of La Jolla)!  Look at some of the cute La Jolla landmarks they used for their backdrops!  Since the photos were going to be used on the save-the-date, Sara and David also wanted the pictures to set the tone for their wedding.  They give off a beachy-fun feel and Sara’s shirt is in one of the wedding colors.  The bridesmaid dresses (below) match it almost perfectly!

The wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all took place at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church, right in the heart of the village.  Sara grew up at the church and her parents still attend so it is a very important place for her.  The church also has a large hall AND a liquor license for beer, wine, and champagne so it is great place for both a ceremony AND a reception!  Her color scheme, blended beautifully with the So Cal atmosphere.  Sara wanted a beachy feel but still classy and a little formal.  We chose hues of peach, ivory, and seafoam to create this look.  We accented it with sand dollars and star fish, added a simple shell decor to the cake (created by CAKE–love them!) and created custom day-of products that tied in the theme beautifully.  This is a great way to pull your wedding together without spending too much money.  Custom programs, menus, and seating cards aren’t necessarily expensive.    

My theory is that well placed details–rather than over the top decor–are what make an event look classy.  I had one guest remark to me, on the side, that the client must have spent a fortune.  In truth, they didn’t!  They did choose a really good photographer (Sara France–one of my favorites!), they worked with a VERY good and reasonably priced florist (Indulge Flowers–another favorite!), they created custom day of products (thanks to Pink Star Design) that were simple and elegant but not expensive, and we chose simple but lovely linens and got the chivari chairs from a very inexpensive vendor I know out of OC.  Our choices were specific, beautiful, and lending towards simplicity and I think you’ll agree with me that the overall effect is gorgeous!  Sara gave me a budget and a vision and let me design based on that.  It was a true joy to work with them and I always love making an event look truly beautiful and truly fit the client, no matter what the budget is!  Thanks to Sara of Sara France Photography for the photos!

A Whimsical Prado Wedding

Tammy and Tad had a gorgeous wedding at the Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA. Tammy loves Anthropologie and was inspired by the store as she dreamed up her decor. She added creative, eclectic, personal touches to showcase her own sweet whimsical style (check out the teal shoes!) and to tie in her and Tad’s mix of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese traditions. Tammy commissioned her nurses in her office to assist her with making 1000 origami cranes that we hung in strings from the Prado’s balcony. It’s a cultural tradition for Japanese brides to make 1000 paper cranes for their wedding day to represent their hope for a happy marriage.

The bridesmaids attire consisted of gray dresses, teal shoes, yellow bouquets…and these fantastic yellow balloons!  Tammy loved this idea and had the balloons delivered to the Prado as a perfect prop for some of her photos. The wedding began with a traditional American ceremony (where Tammy wore a gorgeous white gown with teal shoes) and then proceeded to a Thai ceremony, known as a sinsod (which of course included an outfit change!), in which the couple are interlinked by their elders and community. For the Japanese side, Tammy (and her nurses) made 1000 origami cranes that were used as seating cards and which we strung from the balcony during the cocktail hour. She added Japanese tea tins to further incorporate a little Japanese culture in a nostalgic way. Tammy wanted a whimsical garden feel to her decor so we focused on bird cages, natural wood, and lots of candles to create natural light.  Check out the bird bath cake table that Chris, from Indulge Flowers created!  I am now completely over standard cake tables.  The bird bath was amazing!  The centerpieces were a mixture of bird cages, wood lanterns, and these amazing ginormous trees!

During the reception, Tammy & Tad further honored Tammy’s Chinese side by doing a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.  The newlyweds served green tea to their primary family (which involved another outfit change!). At this point Tammy had, yes, count them, three dresses (each of them unique and gorgeous on their own).  And then she added a fourth!  Tammy finished the evening in a tea-length 50’s style dress which perfectly accented her and Tad’s choreographed swing “first dance.” We heart Tammy & Tad and are so inspired by Tammy’s love for nostalgic details and whimsical touches!