You're Going to Swoon Over this Torrey Pines Beach Elopement!

We love a good elopement! Sometimes just the two of you and all the love you share is plenty. And it's even better when you capture it all with professional wedding photography [the one essential besides the officiant at any elopement]. Check out this Elopement Styled Shoot [this couple is not quite married yet - but this seems like great practice!!] full of the natural inspiration of the beaches,  cliffs and windswept vista of Torrey Pines State Park. Enjoy and swoon away! 

Photographer and stylist Bria wanted to put together a beach elopement shoot in San Diego that would bring to light to some of the amazing local cliff formations and the power [and slight wildness] of pristine California State Park Torrey Pines beaches. Kaylee and Jay [real couple!] have a deep love for nature and loved the idea of having a ceremony in a state park so we made it happen! We wanted elegance while not competing with the natural scenery. We pushed that to the limits with a black suit and veil, and the results were breathtaking! The deep rich tones in  the flowers and her makeup complimented the etherial  grey skies. For florals we combined pepper berry, protea, cappuccino roses, and three varieties of ranunculus to get a tropical yet elegant and unruly bouquet. " We think they fully captured the raw, untamed power and beauty of our gorgeous Torrey Pines State Park with this shoot don't you agree!? 

Photographer:   bria peterson photography//Event Venue:Torey Pines State Reserve//Floral Designer: Flora & Fauna//Dress Designer: Marry Me Bridal//Equipment Rentals: Mad.Love.Collective//

VENUES Liberty Station: So Many Amazing San Diego Wedding Locations in One Place!

There’s no denying that San Diego has a lot of really beautiful wedding ceremony and reception venues but did you know there’s that VENUES Liberty Station has tons of wedding locations all in one place?! VENUES Liberty Station offers 28 acres of incredible, historic surroundings at the former Naval Training Center San Diego. Their unique location encompasses beautifully restored buildings and lush landscapes, ideal for weddings of all style!

Sweeping lawns and trees in open parks make for great photo opps and extra large weddings. 

We just love all the historic buildings [they make fabulous photo backdrops!] sprinkled around Liberty Station! 

The people at VENUES Liberty Station really love what they do and want you to have an amazing day full of memories, family and friends, as you step forward into your new life! 

Love and Marriage in the Digital Age: a Dream Wedding Home Full of Color and Love

Like many couples these days, Shakira & Nevada met in the digital wonderland. According to Shakira, she fell in love with Nevada at first click! She was absolutely smitten over his responses to all the match questions, his writing style and the fact that they had similar interests. After 5 years of courtship, on their way back from a mini vacation in Palm Springs, they made a pit stop in Julian where Nevada proposed in the crisp mountain air.

When Shakira & Nevada described how they envisioned their wedding, they described it as laid back, sweet and romantic. They held their wedding in Nevada’s sister’s backyard in an intimate and beautiful ceremony surrounded by their closest friends and family. Shakira was given away by her father and her brother, Luis and Nevada’s brother officiated their ceremony. Shakira’s sister-in-law, Veronica, with Gilded Roses Weddings & Events orchestrated every detail perfectly proving that even small weddings can be stunning and elegant

Photographer:   Paul Douda Photography//Other:Etsy-Lovelydayprintshop//Veils and headpieces:Etsy-GorgeousComplements2//Equipment Rentals:Cruise Party Rentals//Ring Designer:EMBR//Ring Designer:Jared Galleria of Jewelry//Shoes:DSW//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Mens Warehouse//Dress Store: Davids Bridal//Makeup Artist:Ulta-Denise Nuno//Bakery: Frost Me Gourmet Cupcakes//Caterer:The Pita Guys//Floral Designer: The Gilded Rose Weddings//Event Planner: The Gilded Rose Weddings//

Check Out this Sweet Cookie & Wedding Dessert Wall and it's Just for the Boys!

Lavish Candy Life knows their desserts! These sweet experts brought the donut wall to So Cal and they just keep raising the bar  ... the dessert bar that is!  Check out this totally awesome cookie and donut wall just for the guys just in time for Father’s Day ;)! 

Fun Facts about Lavish Candy Life founder Kate Dutka: 

  • Sweet and simple I carry an immense passion for all sweets, style and design.

  • As far back as a child I was the party planner always filled with ideas and eager to celebrate even the simplest occasion.

  • In college I studied event planning, color and design.

  • I’ve been called a perfection snob.

  • My fresh French macaroons must be displayed beautifully.

  • The candy selection for our candy bars must be color coordinated to my clients color scheme.

  • The donuts must be soft, fresh and tasty perched delicately on lovely pedestal platters or our donut wall.

  • To create a stunning candy or dessert bar and watch my clients joyful reaction gives me pure happiness!

  • Quality and presentation in my work are of utmost importance to me.

  • My favorite part of the process is meeting my clients and unveiling their visions.

  • I love my sweet and savvy daughter that makes my life complete.

  • I love donuts, Greece, and my three dogs Rocky, Cassidy and Stella.

Looking for a Private Outdoor Wedding Venue? Check out Willow Creek Estate in North Country San Diego

Looking for a beautiful and lush outdoor wedding venue with lots of privacy? Willow Creek Ranch is a gorgeous private-estate style, outdoor wedding site for ceremonies and receptions located in Valley Center. At Willow Creek they offer a personalized wedding experience and love to work with clients to create a wedding design that reflects their style & personality.  Check it out!

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Coronado Wedding Celebrates the Marriage of Indonesian and Mexican Cultures with Flair!

This San Diego wedding day was classic and romantic, with a Catholic Church wedding ceremony followed by a family and friend filled reception at he Coronado Community Center. A celebration of two cultures, the bride is Indonesian and the groom's family hails from Mexico. The wedding colors were a confetti like mix of grey, white, green, gold, rose gold and the bride's beautiful dress was handmade in Jakarta, Indonesia by a family friend. The food was catered by Mexico City Cuisine, to honor the groom's Mexican heritage, and oooooh there was a churro station for dessert! This gorgeous couple was nothing but smiles throughout the day and we can't help but smile along.

Photographer:   Bob Hoffman Photography & Video//DJ: Universal Weddings and Events//Veils and headpieces: BHLDN//Caterer:Mexico City Cuisine//Floral Designer: whimsey florals//Ceremony Location:St. Patrick's Catholic Church//Invitation Designer: Design by Laney//Calligrapher: Design by Laney//Reception Venue: Coronado Community Center//

It’s the Name Your Own Price bridal gown sale at M Bride!

Savvy San Diego brides be sure to save the date June 13, 4 to 8 pm for the name your own price bridal dress sale at M Bride salon of La Jolla!! This top of the line dress salon for discerning Brides has set aside 25 to 30 of their finest dresses for this one of a kind sale where you can call the shots and name your own price on the dress you really want. Any reasonable offer will be accepted! Click to the Facebook event page for more info or call M bride Salon at 858-551-1718 or see website

Celebrating Kate Spade's Influence on Weddings, Style and Fashion

With the news of Kate Spade's passing we wanted to make a post in her honor. We found this wedding inspo photo shoot, inspired by the stylings of the iconic designer, art directed by A Sweetpea Event & Celebration and felt it was the perfect way to say thank you to a woman who influenced so many with her talent.  Says A Sweetpea Event & Celebration owner Ashley Bemis; "A while ago I had the honor of planning my first styled shoot. Everyone said 'find something that inspires you and build the theme of the shoot around that!'.  Well during a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond I saw a Kate Spade navy blue with white polka dot table runner that I just fell in love with! I immediately knew this was the piece of inspiration I wanted to use and ran with the idea, creating a Kate Spade inspired wedding style shoot. I stand firm that weddings should be fun and playful as they are celebrating 2 lives becoming one! So I told the vendors to trust me and designed a style shoot that had vibrant, fun colors, polka dot patterns on the table and the bride and groom doing a 1st look with balloons...  it was playful, it was different and very Kate Spade! But it was all inspired by a designer who loved to use vibrant colors, and be fun and playful! So in honor of Kate Spade I encourage everyone to be bold, be playful, be sparkly and don't be afraid to play outside the box!"

WEDDING VENDOR LOVE:

DESIGN/COORDINATION || A Sweetpea Event & Celebration
FLORIST || Upton Grey Floral
PHOTOGRAPHY || Halleigh Hill Photography
VENUE || Rancho Las Lomas
BRIDAL SALON || Mary Me Bridal
GROOMS WEAR || Friar Tux Shop
HAIR & MAKEUP || Designed-Elegance by Emily Barton
STATIONARY || River & Bridge

Modern James Bond Meets His True Love in our Exclusive Wedding Styled Shoot

We love gathering together a group of super talented wedding artists and making something creative and fun and fashionable! First we start with a theme: "Modern James Bond Meets His True Love" think 1960's Sean Connery Bond in an Apple Store - except even better we got to play all day at Tower 23 one of the hippest, most beautifully designed wedding ceremony and reception venues (and hotels) in San Diego! The bridal fashions of Viktor & Rolf and Justin Alexander and the latest men's fashions from Gentlemen's Tux for our modern day Bond, enhanced with a vintage black Jaguar and Pacific Beach's fun and youthful backdrop were the perfect way to celebrate this space.  Enjoy. Please see full credits and gratitude at end of post. 

A big thank you to Tower 23 for inviting us in for the day to see and portray your incredibly special space. Designed by the uber talented architect Graham Downes, who we knew personally and admired tremendously, Tower 23 is alive with vibrant details and light and space like no other venue. The hotel's design is super clean and modern with playful 1960's 'mod vibe' elements infused into fun little areas that surprise and delight at the same time. It's welcoming, with a smooth, defined style that soothes and refreshes like a tall, cool glass of ice water on a hot day, It's so enveloping that we were surprised every time we looked up to see the unobstructed view of the white sand beach, the pier and the incredible sunsets of PB. There's a reason this location is so respected and sought after as a wedding venue!

This is what a perfectly tailored suit looks like on a man, by John Jaques at Gentlemen's Tux.

While art directing a shot in this shoot we were overwhelmed by the feeling that Graham Downes had designed into the space and the lightbulb went on. We got it. Architecture, like other forms of art, is designed to induce a feeling - and this space makes you feel more alive and alight and at peace, it was almost meditative in it's simplicity, yet playful, bold and youthful at the same time.

Spectacular hair by Lia Runs with Scissors of Kuthaus Glendora and makeup by Alta DeKoven all topped off with just the right amazing vintage jewelry by Carolyn of Vintage Jewelry Lounge!

And last but not least the man with the eye Justin Hulse of Hulse Photography - thank you for capturing our 'vintage mod' vision so flawlessly. 

Wedding Artists Credits and a Big Thank You to....

Venue: Tower 23
Photographer: Hulse Photography
Art Direction: Love Your Show, Inc.
Her Fashions: Justin Alexander, Viktor & Rolf, Nurit Hen
His Fashions: Gentlemen's Tux
Hair Stylist: Lia Runs with Scissors of Kuthaus Glendora
Makeup: Alta DeKoven
Her Jewelry: Vintage Jewelry Lounge
His Jewelry: BeComb
Her Shoes: "Lady" by Hey Lady 
Vintage Jaguar: Private Collection
British Flag Parasol: Pamela's Parasols
Dog Model: Tony the Wonder Dog

Everything We Love About Wedding Videography is in This Video: Vanessa and Stacy's San Diego Wedding

Take a moment and look at this video and think of the thousands [up to even tens of thousands!] of frames of photos and moments that a great wedding video like this one brings together. You know we love photos! Especially wedding photos - but take a second to play this wedding video by Stockham Media. Listen to the beautifully spoken vows, hear the subtle intake of breath as the groom is overwhelmed by emotion, and join in the guests' laughter as the bride make a sweet little joke in her vows. This is something that your grandkids will watch over and over and cherish forever.  Thanks to the creative team at Stockham Media for bringing us into the heart of the day with all the sights and sounds and feels that an amazed wedding guest experiences! 

Beautiful Lighting is an Exciting Way to Glam up Your Evening Wedding

Evening weddings turn so romantic once day is done, now gone the sun, and the twilight hour signals that it's time for the party to begin! But make sure you have enough lighting to take your celebration into darkness [especially if you are outside!] to inspire and wow the night! Thanks to Jamielyn Craft Photography for the great wedding photos and of course the people at SociaLights San Diego's preeminent special event lighting experts! 

Fabulous and Fancy Mexican Fiesta Meets Coastal Cali Styled Wedding Inspiration Shoot

Living in San Diego we are lucky enough to be heavily immersed and intertwined with the rich and historic culture of Mexico. From food, to music, to architecture, we celebrate Mexico everywhere! This wedding styled shoot celebrates the vibrant, the bright, and the bold colors of traditional Mexico that infuse San Diego with a good part of its charm.  This super talented group of wedding artists came together in La Jolla to brainstorm something fresh and highlight elements from our neighbors to the south creating fantastic inspiration for the couple looking to combine rustic elements with a splash of bold color and a hint of Mexican influences. We love this shoot because it takes elements that traditionally represent Mexican culture and weaves them in with a cool coastal California wedding vibe. We could say "Olé!" all day to this beautiful style! 

Photographer:  MKL IMAGES//Calligrapher: Rhonda Mancini//Equipment Rentals:Farm Tables and More//Event Venue: Saltwater Farm//Beauty: Jayden Presleigh Salon//Bakery: Whipped Specialty Desserts//Floral Designer: Bloom Style//

Men’s Wedding Rings take on a Whole New Style with Vitasteel

Tungsten Alloy is super durable and beautiful - making it the perfect metal for wedding rings for the man on the go! VitaSteel specializes in Tungsten Alloy jewelry plated with beautiful precious metals...take a peek and re think that groom's ring 

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Bride and Groom and a Dog Named Toby - an Ocean View Engagement Session in Del Mar California

Every time wedding and engagement photographer Paul Douda was with Ariel & Jeremy, everyone was full of giggles! Says Paul, "We had the best time with them at Seagrove Park in Del Mar, California for their engagement session. We were also joined by their pup named Toby, who is VERY excited that his humans are getting married this September 2018! You can tell just by the look on their faces how happy Ariel and Jeremy are as well." It was such a special moment to close the session out on their very own stadium seats from Fenway Park. These seats are very special to Jeremy not only because they remind him so much of his life in New England attending games at Fenway Park (before the remodel) but also because Ariel proposed to him on these very seats on the balcony of their home in San Diego! Check out their "how we met" and how SHE proposed story below as told by the bride-to-be, Ariel!

How We Met by Ariel Vollero: "I (Ariel) had just moved to San Diego in late July 2016. It was my fourth day at my first real job and my co-worker Noah was taking me around to the different courthouses to become familiar with my role. That Thursday, we were in El Cajon courthouse in front of Department 4 when he stopped to talk to an attorney named Jeremy Elias, who had a client on our program. We were briefly introduced and then I stood by silently as they had a conversation. The next day, I was observing in Department 9 in the Downtown courthouse. I walked in, took a seat in the second to last row and who should be at the podium doing his thing, but Jeremy, the attorney I met the day before. I was so excited because I didn't know many people in San Diego and was excited I recognized someone after my first full week at work! And to make matters even more exciting, he recognized me and came and sat down next to me! He started asking me what I was doing, helped me with my observations, and invited me to spend Thanksgiving with him, you know, casual first conversation stuff. He then gave me his business card and said to text him. we talked for a little more and then he got up to leave and said again, 'no really, text me'. So I did just that, but from my work cellphone. That is, until I realized he was definitely (maybe?) trying to ask me on a date. I eventually gave him my personal cell phone number and we agreed to go out on Saturday night! And we have been together ever since!"

How SHE Proposed by Ariel Vollero: "It was like any other night, Jeremy and I were sitting outside on our balcony on our bleacher seats. We were talking about eloping, a conversation we had been having for awhile. He then made a comment, 'well, we can't elope yet. We aren't even engaged yet!' So I said, 'well, maybe I can change that!' And I got down on one knee, professed how deeply I was in love with him, and asked him to marry me. He was speechless and just nodding his head. He asked me (jokingly) if I had a ring for him and I, unfortunately, didn't. We found a keychain flashlight, took the key ring off, and I got down on one knee again and asked him again! Of course, he said yes again! The next day, we were going to the Barrister's Ball at his law school, so we were getting all dolled up. Early in the day, we went to Robin's Brothers The Engagement Ring store and I bought him a real engagement ring. That night, before the ball, when we were all dressed up, I got down AGAIN, with a new speech, and asked him to marry me, officially! Later on, once we selected our wedding venue (Tom Hams Lighthouse) Jeremy surprised me at the altar in front of a few of our friends and our moms and returned the proposal with an engagement ring for me as well." 

Come on down to the Catamaran Resort June 6 for a Rum Tasting Party!

Don’t be shy, come have a Mai Tai and join The Catamaran Resort in Pacific Beach as they launch their rum social series, Wednesday, June 6.

This tasting experience is in partnership with Malahat Spirits Co., who have created a vanilla and cinnamon-infused rum that is exclusively available at the Catamaran. Each guest will receive two signature rum cocktails along with perfectly paired bites from Oceana Coastal Kitchen. Seats are limited, so click here to book your spot today!

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Platinum Party Rentals offers all the fun wedding trends for your San Diego wedding!

From lighting, draping, furnishings and decor, San Diego's wedding and event rental experts Platinum Party Rentals brings so much to the table for your wedding! But they also have some of the hottest wedding trends in stock and ready to go - like Peacock chairs, amethyst glass, funky rustic bars, and wood aisle runners and so much more! Check out just a tiny bit of the latest wedding decor trends that they have just waiting for you to add to your wedding! 

The Second Dress - Are You Changing into a Reception Dress at Your Wedding?

We know Meghan (now Duchess of Sussex) changed into a gorgeous Stella McCartney design for her reception -  we’re wondering how do you feel about the “two dress” wedding? If you have an extremely elaborate gown for your ceremony and find it difficult to really move, dance, and enjoy yourself -then a second dress is a nice way to get more comfortable and really get boots on the ground at your reception!

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photo by Getty Images 

Proposal Tips and Trends by Prime Style Jewelry or Getting Him to Propose!

In case you are not where you want to be yet with your honey, the jewelry experts at Prime Style have some great advice: Five Ways to Get Him to Propose!

Sometimes, getting a man to propose is one of the most challenging feats ever. It’s not that he doesn’t love you, but that he may just be clueless about what it is that you want.

Men are wired differently than women are, so he may be contented with your relationship as it is while you’re daydreaming about a forever family. Here are five tips for getting him to propose to you. Try them, and see if they take him closer to popping the question.

Meet His Family

Something about meeting your mate’s family will bring you closer together. Suggest having dinner at his parents’ house if you’ve never met them before. A “meet the parents” meal is sort of a gateway to a proposal because it’s as intimate as you can get with him. If his parents like you, he will be more likely to propose.

Get your family involved, as well. Talk about your beau, and let them know that you’re interested in having them meet him. Take the opportunity to get deeper with him, and let him into your childhood. Your relationship will reach a whole new level at that time.

Probe Him during a Movie

Probing him doesn’t mean jabbing him with an alien analytic device. It just means that you should pick his brain a bit and bring up marriage during something relevant, like a romantic movie.

Interject during the most romantic part of the movie, and say something to drop a hint. You can be blatant if you want as well. “I wish that were us” may work for you if you say it at just the right time.

Take Him Window-Shopping

Nothing says “I’m ready for you to propose to me” like some glistening, affordable wedding ring sets. You’ll have to take him window-shopping for this trick to work. Take him out to your favorite mall, and then stop by the jeweler so he can get a good, close look at what you want. Try a ring on if you want to be a bit bolder, and drop a “How do I look in this?” line.

Another trick you can use is asking for a specific piece. If you see something you like, look at him with puppy-dog eyes and say, “Can I have that one . . . now?”

Discuss It Over a Home-Cooked Meal

You already know that a way to man’s heart is through the meal that you prepare. Therefore, you will have to create a masterpiece of a meal for him. Wait until he’s full and content, and say something like “How would you like to have meals like that for the rest of your life?”

Sure, it may sound like you’re proposing to him, but you're not. You're just helping to increase his awareness of your desire to wed. You’re just giving him a little hint as to what to do next. He can still give you an amazing experience when he asks for your lovely hand.

Just Be Honest

Finally, if all else fails, just tell him outright that you’re thinking about marriage. The most important thing in a relationship, whether or not it’s a marriage, is honesty. When you’re expressing your most candid thoughts on the subject, you may discover if you’re envisioning the same thing for your future.

Sometimes, the conversation may reveal some differences in your outlook and personalities, but knowing those early on will help you decide if you can strike a compromise at all and how you can settle these differences. A serious conversation about marriage may be unpleasant, heavy, and intense at times, but knowing your partner’s real thoughts is worth the discomfort, as you don’t want your marriage to be written off as a regrettable decision later on.

Those are just a few good ways that you can introduce the idea of a possible marriage to your man. Try all those on the list. If they don’t work, you’ll be able to think of some additional creative ones. 

Photo URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/Goa8mFLZHQ8

Handling Nerves on Your Wedding Day a Word to Meghan and to You!

So how nervous do you think Meghan Markle is right about now? Every bride deals with nervousness on the day of her wedding - whether your wedding is 4 friends at the beach or the millions watching an American girl wed a Prince at tonight's Royal Wedding. We at SanDiegoWedding.com #lovetotallyplanlocally have been a part of over 500 wedding ceremonies and helped many couples through lots of nerves, so here's a few tips for Meghan and for you! 

1.  Nerves are Natural and They're a Good Sign

Your wedding day is a turning point of leaving one life for another - even if you've been living together for years there is something magical and deep and invisible that happens at a wedding. You are psychologically and physically transitioning from a single person, or an "I", to half of a partnership, or a "We".  You are also joining a whole second family [or third] and will be woven into their past and future forever. If you are not feeling at all nervous as you shift this deep understanding of who you are as a person, something is actually missing. So embrace your nerves and step into your new life and new self! 

2. Nervousness Means the Power is Building

Nerves signal a large amount of energy is building and a personal power shift is happening. Think of big wave surfing. That is a lot of power building but what a ride it will be! If you were to get up and speak in front of 2 people you would feel different than if you were going onto Oprah or Ellen in front of millions. So really more nerves you are feeling, the more power you are building so instead of being afraid of nerves ride the wave! 

3. Get Grounded by Those Who Love You

If you are really getting into anxiety attack level of nerves pre wedding find a rock. Sadly, sometimes this may not be your immediate family. If other people are causing a little more stress than centeredness [remember your family is nervous and full or emotions too!], then seek out someone who really grounds you and loves you the way you are. This may be your bestie or even the very person you are about to marry! We know you're not supposed to see each other before the ceremony but seeing your true love in a sweet moment may just make all the fears disappear as you remember why you are getting married and what it's all about. 

4. Eat Some Comfort Food

You would be amazed at how many brides go down the aisle on an empty tummy! And your chance to eat anything [or go tot he bathroom!] diminishes as the day goes along as you never get a second to your self! Eating some comfort food - even a little - will really help ground you - there's no sense in having whacked out blood sugar from not eating distorting your mood on top of every thing else so pass the mashed potatoes! 

So stay cool - okay maybe have that pre ceremony mimosa - but seriously not too much alcohol though- the power of being the recipient of a ceremony of marriage is, in a word, intoxicating, and you want to feel and remember every minute of this amazing, powerful, big wave ride of when you transformed into someone new! Congratulations!!