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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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!

 

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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A La Valencia Wedding-Debi & Scott

Debi & Scott planned a destination wedding at the La Valencia in La Jolla, CA–one of my absolute favorite venues!  It’s landmark pink color and history of old Hollywood stars vacationing there gives it a warmth and charm that is hard to be matched in San Diego.  I love the nostalgic atmosphere of the hotel as well as the more modern interior and high emphasis on first class food and wine.  I love these opening photos of Debi and Scott, captured by True Photography.  The La V (as we locals call it) sits atop the famous La Jolla Cove and these fantastic green huts line the ocean walkway.Debi & Scott, both being from Jewish families, wove many elements of their faith into their wedding day.  They created their chuppah by combining the prayer shawls they each received at their respective bat and bar mitzvas.  They also did a traditional Ketubah signing before the ceremony and in the ceremony incorporated the elements of the wine, broken glass, and circling each other (they both circled each other as a modern take on the older tradition).  Following the ceremony, they spent a few minutes alone together before they jaunted off for more photos and to join the party.  Since my own father and his family are Jewish, I love coordinating Jewish weddings and really enjoy seeing the traditions woven in.
The ceremony took place in the Garden Terrace (with views of the pacific), cocktails in the front patio, and dinner and dancing in the Verandah Ballroom (also with views of the ocean).  Since the wedding was a destination event, Debi and Scott planned a simple decor.  They used the La V’s own white linens and brought in gold Chivari chairs and chargers, custom menus, lots of votive candles, and simple white centerpieces.  The food and alcohol and the location were their highest priorities.  I thought their look was simple but formal and lovely and they did a really nice job creating their vision.  Debi and Scott also added in some fun elements of a gorgeous dessert display created by the amazing Michele Coulon, a sundae bar with baseball hat bowls from their favorite teams, and to-go boxes with little sweets as a parting favor. The party itself was also a ton of fun with lots of dancing (thanks to Tim Altbaum Productions) and a huge hora to start off the night.  It was a wonderful wedding and we at CZ Events were thrilled to be involved with it. 

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!

An Intimately Grande Affair

Amanda and Mike, exchanged their wedding vows at the historical Grande Colonial Hotel in the heart of La Jolla, CA. Having only twenty-six guests attending the wedding, the Grande Colonial was the perfect choice.  There is no venue I love more for an intimate weddings. The hotel has a wonderful mix of old world elegance and modern flair, and when mixed with the location in the heart of the village, the incredibly gracious staff, and world class food (9-10 restaurant provides the multiple course meals served at all of the Grand Colonial’s events), an experience there is unmatchable.   Amanda came to me just three months before the proposed wedding date and it was a true pleasure to assist her in planning every aspect of her wedding day.  Sara France Photography captured the wedding beautifully.  And Amanda was, as always, stunning.

Shown above, on Amanda’s left shoulder is a tattoo of a pink pixie and “Malinda” in Old-English text. Malinda was Amanda’s grandmother – a woman she adored. Notice how the tatoo and flowers perfectly match!

The ceremony took place just outside the lobby on the terrace steps, with peak ocean views of the La Jolla Cove below.  Patti of Thistle Dew created all of the floral decor.  Amanda wanted to use a mixture of purples and ivories and create a romantic and dramatic look. Cocktails took place in the terrace and by the fireplace in the lobby, and the reception took place in the intimate and beautiful La Jolla room.  We created one long table for all the guests and placed Amanda and Mike in the center.  To create atmosphere and energy, a live pianist entertained throughout the evening.  But the four-course meal and personal toasts were all the entertainment truly needed.  It was a very sweet affair!

The in-house pastry chef from the Grande Colonial provided the cake and I think it is the best wedding cake I have yet tasted!  I was so surprised!  The hotel bills their pastry chef as only providing “simple cakes” so all my previous clients there have brought theirs in.  Never again!  I want Grand Colonial wedding cake from now on! Thank you, as always, to the Grande Colonial for such a wonderful event.

Wedding Style: Country Meets Vintage

For San Diego Style Wedding’s 2011-2012 issue, we created a table with a whimsical design at the Estancia Hotel & Spa in La Jolla, CA.  For the table’s style, I wanted to combine a touch of country with vintage decor–a look that has been super popular in 2011-2012.  I also wanted to use tones of peach and seafoam, which I took straight off the Spring 2011 runways–and which we see popping up again for summer of 2012 as well!   CZ Events worked with Chris of Indulge Weddings and Events, Erin Hall of Hall Vintage rentals, Concepts Event Design for the peach linen (mom’s closet for the lace!), and Nicole of Nic Roc Designs to create a design that my assistant says is very Secret Garden in style (children’s book by Frances Hodgson Burnett). We used a palate of peach, seafoam, and ivory and added lace, mismatched china, and distressed wooden details.  We crowned it all by hanging a chandelier from the tree overhead.

The gorgeous combination of flowers along with the long the wooden crate holding them was provided by Indulge Flowers.  The acrylic designs for the table number and name setting, along with the menus placed on each chair were created by the lovely Nicole from Nic. Roc. Designs.  These little details formed a whimsical bond for the overall photo shoot. Nicole’s inventive new turn on acrylic table numbers and place cards really gave a sweet touch!  The lace (thanks mom!)  softened the peach linen underneath and further added a nostalgic air.  Thanks to all those who participated!  The table turned out so pretty!