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Bayfront tropical garden wedding

bride and groom walkingKelli and Clay wanted to celebrate along the San Diego bay where they could marry the open-air feel of nature with a chic and clean wedding vibe. Their enclosed garden ceremony was filled with the most joyful and personalized ceremony from Clay’s grandfather that had everyone overflowing with smiles and laughter. The couple incorporated their personalities through sweet treats like custom labeled Hershey’s Kisses, a sweet painting of their beloved furry family member Frankie, and powerful song choices like “All For You” by OAR and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder.

wedding invitations, vow books, wedding rings

Bride and groom with wedding party

tablescape, table setting, floral centerpiecebride, bouquet, flower girls

These two were in sync every step of the day. From their vows where they each mentioned Kelli’s very okay obsession with Taco Bell to how they got the epic reception dance party started with glow batons! You never saw them sitting down for too long, instead they spent time truly being present with their guests making joyous memories all night long.

wedding cake

Venue:  The Dana on Mission Bay

Photographer: Muse Moments Photography

Coordinator: Kindred Weddings and Events

Florist: Ruby Bloom Floral Designs 

Rentals:  Cedar + Pine Rentals

Bridal Gown:  Robert Bullock Bride from Blush Bridal Couture

Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell Shoes

Menswear:  Mens Warehouse

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Lulus

Matching Robes: Lamariee New York

Bridal Beauty: Taylor Haupt Makeup

Cake/ Dessert:  Baby Cakes San Diego

Invitations: Minted

Entertainment & Photobooth:  Diamond DJs Entertainment

Etched Flasks: Tooned Up Gifts

Wedding Submission Service: Published + Pretty

 

Third time was charming for this micro-wedding at an intimate Spanish style casita.

bride and groom with wedding party

Allison & Aaron found their venue when COVID caused them to go a different direction. Like many couples over the past year they rolled with it and came up with a plan B. But then again they had last minute cancellations due to COVID in February and had to try again. With a wedding date of April 10th they needed to find another venue and FAST. Allison searched airbnb and found a very cute Spanish casita named Villa Francesca. She reached out to see if the owner would allow a wedding. Luck would have it that they were just starting out trying to market the home as a wedding venue, but due to COVID had to pumped the breaks on promoting the space.

wedding invitation, wedding ringsThey got back to her so fast and said, “it was funny she had asked and yes, yes she could get married there!” She was so enthusiastic when they spoke, it gave them hope that they would still have the wedding of their dreams. Having downsized from 100 people Allison wanted to make their now 26 person wedding feel extra special, so they decided to splurge on the details and believes it was so worth it. With the help of her incredible wedding planner they were able to get married and created the most beautiful space. People are still telling them how beautiful their wedding was and how much fun they had.

bride with wedding dress

bridal bouquet

wedding cake

bride and groom on the beach

bride and groom kissing

 

Venue: Villa Francesca

Photographer: Laurie Ashley Photography

Coordinator: Always Flawless Productions

Florist:  Moonlight Floral

Rentals:  Folklore

Linens:  La Tavola

Bridal Gown:  Sarah Seven from The Dress Theory

Menswear:  Friar Tux

Jewelry:  The Diamond Daughters

Bridal Beauty: KC Witkamp

Catering:  Coast Catering

Cake/ Dessert:  Heritage Desserts

Invitations: Lonely Bones Paperie

Entertainment:  Moses Lin

Videography:  Leave of Timbre

Officiant: SoCal Wedding Officiant

Cozy Winter Wonderland Microwedding

bride and groom in the snow

Lindsey and Christian were set to be married March 21, 2020 after 2 years of planning their dream wedding. The flowers were ordered, the food count was in, and family & friends were getting ready to get on flights to come celebrate as they were to say “I do”. Then the whole world stopped. COVID put a sudden halt to the day we had been imagining for so long.

wedding invitation, ring box

bride admiring wedding gownwedding ring box, wedding vows books

bridal bouquet boutonnière

bride and groom in the snow

After two venue changes, and with the unknown of when large gatherings would be allowed again, they decided to proceed with a micro wedding in Lake Tahoe. They had 25 of their closest family members there as they exchanged their vows. It was an intimate, cozy winter wonderland, and although not what they had originally pictured for themselves, it ended up being more than they could have ever imagined.

groom bride with bouquet

wedding reception, table setting wedding reception, table setting, place setting

bride and groom in the snow

COVID has been exceptionally difficult for California wedding vendors, but we have so many incredible vendors in San Diego that have been there for their couples trying to have a wedding during these difficult times.  A perfect example is Savanna the make-up and hairstylist, Joe Cardillo and Iron & Fern all stuck with the bride throughout her 2 prior venue cancellations due to COVID restrictions that happened in the beginning. These vendors also decided to travel to the third venue for a micro wedding.  The bride is also the niece of Prema from pbStyle Photography who was there for the couple and found it to be one of the most emotional weddings to edit in her career.

Wedding Cake

bride and groom playing slot machine

Venue & catering: The Chateau at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, NV

Photographer: pbSTYLE Photography

Florist: Wilderland Studio 

Bridal Gown:  Martina Liana Bridal Designs from The White Flower  

Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse 

Jewelry: Honey Jewelry 

Bridal Beauty: A Toast to Beauty

Cake:  Happy Tiers

Entertainment:  Joe Cardillo

Videography:  Iron & Fern Film CO

Officiant: Justin Pena 

Calligrapher / water color artist: Lavender and Sea

Modern, Stylish, Boho

Micro Wedding

bride and groom, just married

Mariah and Reggie’s wedding was a mix of modern boho and fun. Mariah loves pampas grass and knew she wanted that as the focal point. They had a huge pampas arrangements at the alter and as a hanging arrangement and it sure was a wow! They didn’t want to go too over board, so they kept the bridesmaid and groomsmen attire modern and clean. 

Their reception had some corky boho decor which highlighted her personality. Their cake was such a fun twist. Very corky and bright colors! Mariah swears it tasted amazing!!!

wedding ring, engagement ring

pampas grass, wedding alter

pampas grass, flower girl

table seating, place cardsbridal bouquet

bride with bridesmaids and bouquets

Although Mariah & Reggie were able to keep their original wedding date, COVID did affect their wedding planning.  Coasterra was outdoors and accommodating while at the same time, being really careful with making sure there was a set seating chart so households that were not living together were 6 feet apart.  Their original reception site closed so they found an alternative, but had to cut their guest list in half.  As with all catering these days, buffets with people serving themselves are no longer an option. And of course there was plenty of hand sanitizer everywhere and mask wearing guidelines.

groomfather of the bride, bride

father of the bride, bride and groom

bride and groom kissingbride and groom jumping broom

bride and groom, flower girl

Mariah’s advice for planning a wedding during a pandemic, “Do what is best for you and your family! If you have family that you really really want/need to be there, but are high risk for COVID then Yes postpone. Most of my family agreed to the date and some did not because of COVID because they were unsure. However, those people did not stop me. Not saying I did’t care about them. I just knew that I wanted to get it done. I didn’t care if it was a small wedding or big. If you are fine with some people not coming and want to keep the wedding this year, then do it! That’s what I did. I knew lots of people would not want to come. I still had so many people there. I invited 65 people and 57 people showed up.”

table setting, receptionwedding cake

bride and groom

Ceremony Venue: Coasterra

Reception Venue: SpaceCase Studios

Photographer: Genesis Imagery Photography

Coordinator: Events By B+D

Florist:  Green Fresh Florals

Rentals:  Cedar & Pine Events 

Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero from Prevue Formal and Bridal

Menswear: Black Tux  

Bridal Beauty: Timas Beauty Bar 

Catering: Pyramid Bistro 

Invitations: Folk Street Co. 

Entertainment:  MY DJs

Officiant: 2 Wed 4 Life

Videography: Tony J Productions

Fourth Time is a Charm!Stacy & Melissa Grant staying with a friend 2 bride, groom, boat, sunset

Hannah and Nick had to reschedule their wedding 3 different times at 3 different venues, before finally being able to have their wedding. It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least.  Canceling their original plan for May 9th was definitely the hardest part since they had been planning their ‘perfect’ wedding for over a year and a half.  Their original venue, didn’t supply anything but the room, so they had to personally hire all vendors and thought they had pulled together the perfect team for their wedding.

wedding rings

Planning a wedding under the best of circumstances can be stressful, then add in COVID and it definitely makes everything more stressful. Since there was no end to the shelter-in-place in the foreseeable future and it was completely out of their control, Hannah and Nick made the decision to cancel their original wedding date four weeks before the wedding. There were so many mixed emotions, they were thankful their family & and friends were healthy, but also so sad and disappointed after planning every detail for two years.

 

bride and bridesmaids in robesThen they moved their date to December 6, 2020 at the same venue reasoning that in seven months things should be getting back to normal. In August the venue informed them that they were not allowing any receptions due to COVID restrictions.  So, they were forced to start the venue search all over again! They found an alternate venue, but had to settle on December 4th.  Three weeks prior to their third wedding date the new venue cancelled the event due to additional restrictions being put on their business. Hannah and Nick were devastated once again.

bridal shoes and bouquet

They did not to give up and started yet another venue search! Their closest friends and family had already made accommodations for December 4th so they were determined to make it happen then. They were fortunate to find the San Diego Mission Bay Resort.  They were available on December 4th and helped them plan their dream wedding in just three weeks!  They feel eternally grateful to the San Diego Mission Bay Resort and everyone who made their wedding better than their original plans!

groomsmen on jetskis

Their original guest count was 180 and they had to narrow it down to 60, with 55 guests actually at their wedding.  Besides a much smaller guest list, due to the pandemic their were other things that they had to adjust for.

bride and groom's first kiss

At the venue, everything had to be fully outdoors due to COVID restrictions.  Guests had to wear masks during the ceremony and any time they were out of their seat at both ceremony and reception.  There was no dancing or mingling allowed.  All ceremony seats were spaced 6 feet apart.  They had to group tables by family/household for the reception, ceremony, and rehearsal dinner. They had to create three different seating charts for all of those events.  And of course, they had individual hand sanitizers at each seat as well.

bride and groom in beach buggy

bride and groom cutting wedding cake

Hannah’s advice for any brides planning or rescheduling their wedding during this time is to be patient, flexible, and grateful for the little things.  It’s so easy to focus on things that may go wrong or may not go as planned, but a wedding is all about your love and commitment to each other–that’s all that ultimately matters.  Be patient with venues, vendors, and guests since everyone’s situation is different.  Be willing to make changes and adapt away from your ideal plans.  Enjoy your time being engaged because that only happens once in your life and it’s a very special time!  Even if hiccups or disasters happen along your wedding planning journey, you and your spouse will become stronger by getting through those tough times.     

back of bride in wedding dress

Venue: San Diego Mission Bay Resort

Photographer & Videographer: BE Studios

Coordinator: Holly Kalkin Weddings

Florist: Camellia Wedding Flowers 

Bridal Gown: Stella York from The Bustle 

Menswear:  Ralph Lauren from Neiman Marcus

Jewelry:  David & Sons Fine Jewelers

Bridal Beauty: Hair Art by Lily

Cake/ Dessert: Babycakes 

Invitations: Minted

Entertainment:  Party People San Diego

 

Even during Covid

Love Never Fails

bride and groom walking

The months before Ciera & Bruce’s wedding were some of the most overwhelming and stressful in most of her life. She felt like she didn’t even recognize her own wedding plans and was grieving the wedding the wedding that she had dreamed of.  Ironically, the wedding ended up exactly what they would have wanted.

wedding invitation, wedding ring, flowers

They loved their more intimate setting and that they could be fully present in the day. During their little dinner reception, nearly everyone in their families did a speech or toast, sharing funny inside jokes and teary gratitude that they had found each other. These beautiful moments, of which were Ciera’s favorite from the day, wouldn’t have happened in their original big reception. It really ended up being a perfect day for them.

invitation, wedding rings

bridal bouquets, sunflowers, roses

In Ciera’s brother’s speech, he added a quote from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that just really summed it up.

Ginny – “Seems silly, doesn’t it? A wedding. Given everything that’s going on.”
Harry – “Maybe that’s the best reason to have it. Because of everything that’s going on.”

bride twirling in wedding dress table setting, centerpiece, sunflowers

What made you decide to not postpone your original wedding plans, but keep your wedding date & make it smaller?
“We felt from very early on that we wanted to get married on our intended day no matter what. The important part of the event was marrying each other and that was what we kept as our compass. Early on in April, before we even knew the pandemic would affect our wedding, Bruce’s Dad (who was unable to travel to our wedding) had encouraged us to still proceed with the ceremony as best we could. He said that terrible things have happened in history and people still got married. His blessing meant so much to us and helped us proceed with our date. While we considered postponing our full wedding plan, we felt that we didn’t know when life would be “normal” and that felt uneasy to us. Of course, everyone’s opinion is different but this was how we coped and adjusted our plans.:

bride with bridesmaids

puzzle piece guest book

Are you happy with that decision?
“1000%! It was the perfect, intimate wedding we didn’t know we needed/wanted. Our wedding, to us, will forever be the light in a dark time. The skills and strength we used as a team to get thru wedding planning in a pandemic are resources we can tap into later in our relationship when we come across challenging times. There were many of times I cried about the “dream wedding” that felt stolen from us and all the planning and replanning that was required. Bruce was so supportive. On our wedding day, we felt such JOY that we had each other and were getting married…it was the best decision for us that we got married when we did.
I also would like to say we had wonderful vendors that did what they could to make the process easier on us.”

playing cards party favor

bride and groom, sweetheart table

What advice would you give to other couples that are trying to figure out what to do about their upcoming wedding?

“I’d say for you and your future husband to make the decision. Everyone is going to have thoughts and opinions, which you can absolutely put into consideration, but Ultimately, it is your day! Wedding etiquette and traditions are out the window, so you can make the best decision for YOU. Whether that means waiting to have your large gathering, eloping in the desert, or a backyard wedding, there isn’t a right way or one way to do it. I’d also recommend making a decision and sticking with it. By making the decision to proceed with our July intimate wedding in early May, we had time to find a livestream vendor and send our guests Wedding Care Packages. Having time to replan was a huge benefit to us.

When our plans changed, I tried to add some sugar to our lemonade. I had wanted to do carved name tags originally, but for a 200 person wedding it wasn’t a cost I could justify. For 16 person wedding in a pandemic – I think I can give myself that joy of costly name tags! I also bought our guest book puzzle prior to our new wedding plan. I wanted to still incorporate it and feel like our original guests were ‘there’. It’s okay to have some fun with the new plans. It might not be the wedding you envisioned, but you can add elements to your new wedding that you couldn’t have before.”

bride and groom kissing

Photographer: Lisette OC Photography

Venue: Private Residence

Florist: Kevin Reeder Wedding Flowers

Linens: Create A Party Rentals

Bridal Gown: WToo from Love and Lace Bridal Salon

Bridal Beauty: Divine Bridal Beauty;

Menswear: Friar Tux

Catering:  Craftsman Catering

Wedding Cake: Pacific Patisserie

Invitations: Pop Fizzle Gifts

Jewelry: Costco; Manly Bands

Videography: Storytime Motions

 

 

 

Coronavirus can’t stop love!

bride and groom, wedding ceremony

Crystal and Joey’s original plan was to have their wedding at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego July 4, 2020.  They had already postponed it once before and were determined to make it happen this time. With so many of their guests being from out of town, they decided instead to host their wedding virtually from their home to keep everyone safe. They had most of the traditional elements of any wedding, a short, but sweet ceremony exchanging vows, first dance and cake cutting. However, they had to make a few adjustments to make things work. Their wedding arch was made out of a squat rack decorated by the bride with flowers. Crystal had a dress reveal with her bridesmaids, her mother and the mother of the groom by zoom. Speeches from the bride’s family, the grooms family, Matron of Honor and the two co- Best Men had to be pre-recorded. 

After the live event concluded, they took pictures on their property outside and with their handsome dog, Kudo. Having Kudo running around was one of their favorite parts during their virtual wedding. He dressed in his best fur, and totally stole the show! They had a really fun time and were truly able to capture and share their love with their families and friends.

bride and groom with best dog

We asked Crystal and Joey if they were happy with their decision to have a virtual wedding.

“Yes, we are very happy with our decision! Most of our guests were traveling internationally, as well as from the east coast, and with border closures, this way we could include everyone from a safe distance, ensuring zero health risks for all. At the end of the day, we considered that the main point of getting married is to celebrate our love for one another, regardless of life’s obstacles or challenges.”

Here’s their advice for any couples out their considering switching to a virtual wedding:

“The advice that we would give a couple who is considering a virtual wedding, is to remember that the day is about you two and your love. Nothing will be perfect, apart from the moment you celebrate your love for each other, wherever that may be. We felt as though we would feel lonely having a virtual wedding, but we learned that it turned out to be quite the opposite. We got to invite 5 times the amount of guests that our original venue could occupy. We also felt that the virtual wedding allowed the camera crew to get different angles and close ups to make it feel much more intimate, and give every guest a front row seat – kind of like a basketball, sometimes sitting at home on your couch watching the big screen is much better than being stuck in the nosebleeds, not knowing what the score is.” 

 

Venue: Private Residence

Photographer & Videographer: Stockham Media

Bridal Gown: Enzoani from The Bustle

Menswear: Men’s Warehouse

Wedding Cake: Jessie’s Bake Shop

Jewelry: CMR Jewelers