Darlington House wedding is pastel perfect celebration of love, family and multi cultural wedding style in San Diego!

From Jenna and Kaj's proposal in Spain at the Parque del Retiro in Madrid to the beautiful European like village of La Jolla, California, this couple celebrated their love and family with a lovely, and love-filled, wedding. The historical Darlington House with its beautiful and rich, multi cultural decor [Andalusian Patio modeled after the style of Southern Spain with Roman arches, and benches and flooring made with Azulejo tile, Egyptian Patio with a fountain and colorful classic Egyptian tile lining the pool, classical English style Rose Garden and our favorite the Library with its dark wooden bookcases, Moroccan fireplace and a gorgeous staircase that invokes Moorish architecture] was the perfect wedding venue to represent these two and their adventurous spirits, with the inspiration for their weddings' theme coming from their travels in Spain. And to top it off, Jenna and Kai's accent of pastel colors of Pinks, Corals, Sage Green and Gold perfectly reflected the colors of the Venue.

Of course we all love how weddings bring families and friends together and collectively we all are there to witness and help create a new family. From sweet loving speeches, to tender moments with parents, and dancing and celebrating with friends, it's all a whirlwind of over-whelming and happy memories. And with extra special touches like the beautiful DIY items like hand made pottery, made by the groom's mom planted with succulents for guests gifts, and heirloom items like Jenna wearing her grandmother's bracelet, this wedding was one of kind and chock full of moments to last a life time! Enjoy and congrats to Jenna and Kai!! 

Photographer:  Great Woodland Photography//Reception Venue: Darlington House//Caterer: 24 Carrots Catering//Event Planner: Blue Stocking Events//Makeup Artist: Bridalbyhaydee//Lighting: Brilliant event lighting//Second Shooter: Brittanee Taylor Photography//Cake Designer: Cakes to Celebrate!//Reception Venue: Darlington House//Shoes:INC International Concepts//Bridesmaid Dresses:J. Crew//Floral Designer: Lois Mathews Design//Equipment Rentals: Raphael's Party Rentals//Dress Designer:Stella York//Dress Store: Tour of Elegance//

Wedding Crush Wednesday Heads North with Ian + Michaela and a Lighthouse Wedding

The Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Simeon, CA is a beautiful spot on its own. And when you add in a couple like Michaela and Ian Robbins to the scene, you get a breathtaking affair. The two chose this destination for their wedding day, and what a perfect decision that was. Their first look was captured in the lighthouse before the ceremony which made the event that much more intimate and special. The ceremony took place on the edge of a cliff-- how cool is that? It gets cooler. They got all of their guests to gather at the bottom of the hill and walk up together while Michaela's father played the flute. Those are images that they will cherish forever! 

Photographer: Kay Mitchell Photogrpahy // Dress Designer: Willowby by Watters // Floral Designer: Annie Gillespie // Beauty: Caitlin Heckathorn // Bakery: Carrie Wheeler // Beauty: Dedra Seavers // Caterer: Haute Skillet // Event Venue: Piedras Blancas Light Station

San Diego Featured Wedding: High School Sweethearts Celebrate a Family Affair Wedding

For Staci and Nathan Staton, marriage was a long time coming. The two were high school sweethearts and had been dating for over 12 years when they finally got married! What really made this fall wedding so special was the importance of family. Staci's maid of honor was actually Nathan's sister, and Nathan's best man was actually Staci's brother. On top of that, they are all best friends. To top it all off, the maid of honor and the best man are actually married! So, this wedding was a family affair to say the least! 

Photographer: MKL IMAGES// Dress Designer: Alfred Angelo// Cake Designer: Cute Cakes// DJ: Pro Sound DJs//Reception Venue: Twin Oaks Golf Course

San Diego Featured Wedding: a Lovely Church Affair Shines with Family, Love and Mexican Traditions

Jeff and Susana Smith both held one thing to a high standard when planning their wedding-- their family. There are many, many factors that go into wedding planning (as you may have already figured out), but family was the one that the two agreed upon should be held at the utmost importance. Susana had just recently lost both her parents, so her brother stepped in to give her away.  With her in spirit, Susana's parents were kept very close to her throughout the wedding. She had their pictures sewn into her bouquet. Her dress was also custom designed and hand made by her family's business in Mexico. After the ceremony, family and friends joined the happy couple for a reception dinner in Old Town Historic Park to capture the love in photos with a traditional Spanish rustic backdrop. Susana's daughter was also in the mix as her Maid of Honor. On the other side of the aisle, Jeff asked his son to be his Best Man. Be sure to check out this truly family affair resplendent with spirit, joyful yellow florals and details and tradition. 

Photographer: Paul Douda Photography// Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church of San Diego// Hair and Makeup: Aura Aveda Day Spa// Ring Designer: David and Sons Jewelers// Men's Attire: Friar Tux Shop

Gorgeous San Diego Shipboard Wedding Ceremony Celebrates Love with Our Men in Uniform and a Beautiful Bride in a Red Dress

It was a beautiful summer day in San Diego, California when Andee and Aaron exchanged vows and beautiful handcrafted wedding rings. Surrounded by their closest family and friends and serenaded by seagulls in the background, this gorgeous Navy wedding was also a real show stopper when not only does the bride wear a gorgeous crimson red wedding gown, but the wedding takes place on world’s oldest active sailing ship. 

Photographer:  Randy + Ashley //DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Bella Luna’s Flowers//Beauty: Bernadette Siscon//Cake Designer:Big Joy Family Bakery & Cafe//Ring Designer: elk joaillerie//Officiant:Pastor Mike Mitschke//Culinary: Rei Do Gado//Ring Designer: Rob and Lean//Museum: Star of India - Maritime Museum of San Diego//

3 things you should say over the microphone at your wedding reception

Say 'Thank You' to your wedding guests

"Thank you all for being here at our special wedding day!" Your mom was right; you should always say thank you. Gratitude empowers everyone at the event to feel welcome and special and enjoy themselves fully at your big day (even the uninvited plus 1's and the 'other side of the family' you rarely speak to). You should also make a pointer getting around your entire reception in person to say 'Thank you!' and give hugs. But make sure you have a plan to keep it brief so you get to everyone: the buddy system works well for this so if you notice your partner getting caught up with a particularly wordy guest you can say "oh honey look there's Uncle Fred who flew in from Florida!" to keep momentum (and they can return the favor) to keep you both moving through the event as a team. This also comes in real handy when you cannot remember someone's name. Make sure you and your partner have a signal for "I can't remember this person's name or who they are" or "I need help moving on".

The old tradition of a receiving line served an important purpose; guests could file past the entire wedding party and say "Congratulations!" and you could say "Thank you!" in return! But most couples today prefer to make the rounds out to their guests in person once they are seated for dinner. But however you say 'thank you' know that it will mean a great deal to your guests.

photo by Shelly Anderson Photography

photo by Shelly Anderson Photography

Tell your parents you love them at your wedding reception

"I love you Mom and Dad!!" Nothing gets a tear in everyone's eye like taking the time to publicly tell your parents you love them and why.  Be specific to have more impact and emotion like; "Mom I love you for your sense of humor (which helped me get through wedding planning!) and your kindness and patience. Dad I love you for being so open to my changes in life and for supporting my career path when everyone else thought I was crazy. You both have given me such incredible examples of unconditional love and paved the way for me to love Brian with all my heart."  You can lead off this easily by saying "I would like to take moment to give some thanks and attention to the two people I have respected and loved most in my life....and I've known them  my whole life!.....Mom....." Families are not always perfect so if you've had issues in the past with family this type of public message can be very  healing and even start a brand new chapter of relating and closeness.

photo by Sh  elly Anderson   Photography

photo by Shelly Anderson Photography

Thank your newlywed partner's family (and friends) for all the love

Another moving and import thank you must go out to the people who raised your partner to be the person they are. Again specificity adds impact and it goes without saying always be positive. Do this one right after you thank you own parents or family ...."And I also want to say a heartfelt 'Thank You' to (your partner's NAME say Brian for example)'s family [NAME and NAME] for raising such an incredible person whom I love with all my heart. Brian is such a good man thanks to you. I see your family's integrity and honesty in everything he does and in the way he loves me. I am so glad to be a part of your family now too."

photo by Sh  elly Anderson   Photography

photo by Shelly Anderson Photography

photo by Sh  elly Anderson   Photography

photo by Shelly Anderson Photography

TIP: if you get nervous thinking about speaking over a microphone ask your DJ if you can practice for a second before the guests fill the reception room. And remember if you fill yourself with the emotions of gratitude and love towards others and how you will be making them feel with your words it can take away a lot of your nerves since this is all about putting the focus on your families for a few moments of love and emotion. And don't worry about getting emotional - your feelings are the true gift of love here for all.