Beautiful Traditions Abound in Hindu American Wedding at Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

Ruchi and Abhi’s beautiful and colorful wedding at The Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa overlooking Mission Bay is one of our favorites! Rich with tradition, this Hindu American wedding brought life, love, and gorgeous jewel tones of brilliant hot pink, glittery gold, rich saffron, navy, red and more, to one of San Diego’s most iconic settings, and brought everyone’s family together for an amazingly great time truly fit for royalty! We especially love the artful Mehndi work on the bride’s hands! …read more below….

How we began. Our story started with an intercontinental connection! We have our moms to thank for bringing us together...a little exchange of a phone number here and a picture there and we were off and running! story continued below gallery…

Facetime is our friend. We got to know each other mostly through many Facetime calls thanks to our long-distance status, but on the bright side, those calls produced lots of screenshots of one another looking goofy or falling asleep (*ahem* Abhi). 

Eventually, we met in-person in the Bay Area...and later in the motherland (India, of course)...and shortly thereafter, talk started to turn toward something more...our future. Conversations often touched on a ring and when to get engaged...though we didn't always explicitly discuss the "when," we both knew about when it was coming since we only got to meet so often...

story continued after credits…

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Photography by True Photography Weddings

Ceremony and Reception Venue by Hilton San Diego Resort

Wedding Decor by Blush Moments Events

Wedding Cake by Baby Cakes San Diego

DJ and Music by G2 Entertainment

Event Planning & Coordination by Sweet Love Designs

Hair, Makeup and Henna by Reena Threading Center


The Art of Bridal Mehndi

Mehndi is an ancient form of body art that has been practiced in India for thousands of years. Mehndi is the art of applying designs to the skin through the application of pastes made with henna powder on different parts of the body. Mehndi started in the Middle East and Northern Africa over 5,000 years ago and has been used for artistic, ritual and ceremonial use. Archeologists have even found mummies with hennaed hands.In the different cultures where the practice of Mehndi flourished, different styles and patterns, like the rays of the sun or intricate patterns, developed, like the fine lines of designs of Pakistan and India and the geometric patterns and designs of Morocco, or the bold geometric shapes from various parts of Africa. This ancient art form celebrates a bride’s wedding day and special religious festivals.


the bride and groom’s story continued…. "No, not yet" (aka The Engagement - as told by Ruchi). We met one weekend in Chicago thanks to my work trip. Abhi never explicitly told me that this was the weekend, but I had a feeling this was it! I was anxious and doing my best to make sure the engagement would be a surprise as much as possible...I didn't want anyone to say anything to me about it and I didn't want to somehow hear any details about it...but our very excited families made that a bit difficult. ;0) No, peeps--not yet...it hasn't happened yet!! Next to the engagement, the best part about the weekend was that our families seemed to get us engaged before we did!

But it was all worth the wait. We both got jazzed up and Abhi drove us to a lovely little Greek restaurant for dinner. We took pictures together, and then I assumed we would head back to the hotel. But instead, Abhi drove us to the Bean in Millennium Park. It was late, it started to rain just as he parked the car, but he had a plan and he was going to execute it! He led me by the hand to stand under the Bean. But yeah--that rain--no one wanted to get wet, so anyone near the Bean moved under the Bean. So much for privacy! I could tell Abhi was stalling a little...I think he wanted a chance to get away from all those people...so when the rain stopped, he pulled me a few feet away from the Bean...he pulled out a white tissue and unwrapped this beautiful ring...he slipped it on my finger, and with that cute little shy smile he has that I love so much, he asked me to marry him. :0) We took more selfies to commemorate the evening, and after getting soaked in a downpour, we eventually ended up in the car. This time it was our turn to call the family!

San Diego Mountain Wedding in Julian Celebrates Charm, Amazing Views and Pie!

Here comes the slight sweet clear feeling in the air that say Fall is coming! This is the time where San Diegans’ hearts and minds travel east to Julian for crispy evenings, beautiful mountain vistas, and, of course, pie! Today to celebrate the beginning of Fall you need not make the trek to the mountains as we show off this utterly charming Julian wedding! Allee and Taylor met at college orientation when they were freshmen at California Polytechnic-San Luis Obispo, and as graduation neared, the couple knew they were meant to be together. So when they married in April, they chose a location in the mountains east of San Diego, reminiscent of the mountainous Lake Tahoe area where Allee grew up. Among their favorite memories of their wedding day were reading their vows, which ended up being almost the same in wording even though the couple didn’t discuss them beforehand, and when Taylor got a little flustered after cutting the wedding pie, Allee shares that he ate her piece by mistake! They also loved their circle arch, beautifully decorated by their florist.

Wedding experts will tell you that although San Diego has an amazing year long ‘wedding season’ of fabulous weather and options, September, October and November are the most popular wedding months for good reason. Happy Fall San Diego!

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San Diego Wedding Venue Spotlight: Sacred Mountain Julian

Sacred Mountain is located in the quaint historical town of Julian in Southern California and is a short drive from San Diego. Sacred Mountain consists of two unique ranches; Sacred Mountain Retreat and Sacred Mountain Private Ranch.  Each of these two private ranches have distinct rustic elegance and charm.  Our property is “awnatural” in beauty, extremely private and with a dreamy atmosphere of  character and tranquility. This country estate celebrates four seasons with distinct natural beauty creating perfect spaces for your wedding vision!

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Photography: Classic Photographers
Wedding Venue: Sacred Mountain Julian
Catering: Jeremy’s on the Hill
Pie: Candied Apple Café
Flowers: Florals by Maher Haroun
Signage: Yuki Ishii
Invitations: DIY
Hair and Makeup: Say I Do Updos

A Secret Garden Theme and Two People Overflowing with Love Make for a Wedding to Remember

We just love featuring weddings that show this much love! Especially when our favorite wedding pros had the honor in sharing in the love all day too. Check out this perfect sunny day San Diego wedding with two people so in love [love their first peek around the corner images!] it will make you feel it too!

Says San Diego wedding photographer Paul Douda, “We cannot say enough wonderful things about Katie & Stormie. Spending the day with them, their family and friends was nothing short of magical. Their love for one another is inspiring and represented so vividly with those who surrounded them. This madly in love couple fully committed to their 'Secret Garden' theme that was carried throughout their whole wedding planning process. From Stormie's proposal to Katie during the 'Garden of Lights' Christmas celebration at the Encinitas Botanical Gardens, to their engagement session we shot at Felicita County Park in Escondido, and finally to their romantic garden inspired wedding by the sea in Oceanside at Spring Hill Suites by Marriott. Katie & Stormie's day was full of so many special family details. They were married by Stormie's Aunt Liz, Katie's sisters completed her bridal party, they shared a double father-daughter dance and we know they were joined in spirit by Stormie's late mother and Katie's late second mom. The day was perfect and we are so honored to have captured it. They truly showed that love surely WINS in #KatiesPerfectStorm!” Editor’s Note: Paul Douda Photography is one of So Cal’s favorite LGBTQ friendly wedding photographers and you can sure see why! #loveislove

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Bridesmaid Dresses: JJ's House//Ring Designer:Weisfield Jewelers//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Men's District//Dress Store:Poppy & Rose Bridal//Dress Designer:Justin Alexander//Makeup Artist: Mobile Beauty Team//Musicians:Celeste Barbier Events//Cake Designer:Kiki's Custom Confections//Caterer:Hello Betty//Floral Designer: Kendra's Floral Design//Cinema and Video:Paul Douda Photography//Reception Venue:SpringHill Suites by Marriott//Photographer: Paul Douda Photography//

Magical San Diego Wedding Weathers Rain and Sunshine with Style!

Linda and Edgar had a rainy and cold wedding week – even in Southern California -- but the sun came out for the ceremony and reception. “Everything was so magical,” Linda says. “We were so blessed. We could not ask for anything better!” 

After meeting at work and falling in love quickly, Edgar and Linda dreamed of a rustic and elegant wedding – like a fairy tale. Their favorite memories include their first dance and “just seeing everyone enjoying themselves.” With a color scheme of dusty rose and different shades of pink – including Linda’s reception dress -- as well as wooden details and strings of lights, and lots of magical bubbles to celebrate this magical day, the couple made their vision come true. In a sweet, unique touch, their guests wrote their wishes for Linda and Edgar on small river stones as keepsakes. What a lovely day to celebrate love with family and friends!

For couples getting married soon, Linda advises, “Remember to give yourself time to take everything in, and have your photographers take pictures of everything!”

San Diego Wedding Venue Spotlight: Twin Oaks Weddings:

This secluded vintage venue features artistic and poetic gardens inspired by love, imagination and tranquility.

Nestled among tall forests, vibrant floral, and cascading streams, San Diego’s premiere wedding venue is host to one beautiful wedding per day and currently accepting reservations through 2020.

Once you stroll through the garden gates you will be surrounded by twinkling rose arbors, soothing waterfalls with lush established landscape that take you back to a time of the elegant English garden.

This turn of the century historic landmark estate is set in total seclusion with an Old San Marcos Schoolhouse dating back to 1891 nestled among a towering forest that dates back well over 100 years. The unique statuary, flora and fauna encompass every corner of this magnificent garden and it’s totally private garden gazebo are set in the shade of the landmark forest.

The grand tented pavilion showcases towering peaks of chiffon gathered over head with crystal chandeliers and intimate lighting. Surrounding it are cozy garden nooks and soothing sounds of the waterfalls setting a tone of peace and tranquility.

The Twin Oaks House (circa 1891) is exclusively restored as a wedding estate. With its Grand Parlor reserved for the bridal party, towering tin ceilings, fainting couches and rich antiquities make this an ideal space to relax before the wedding.

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Photographer: Classic Photographers | https://classicphotographers.com/
Venue: Twin Oaks Garden Estate | https://twinoaksweddings.com/
Florist: Flowers by Erin | https://www.flowersbyerin.com/
Musician/DJ: Pete Goslow | https://www.petegoslow.com/
Dessert: Churros El Tigre | http://www.churroseltigre.com/
Makeup: Lyly and Stephanie Velazquez
Wedding Dress: Panache Bridal | https://www.panachebridals.com/
Officiant: Chad Richards | http://www.socalweddingofficiant.org/

Two Hearts Beat as One in this Lovely Romantic Hacienda Wedding

Rich colors, fabulous taste in styling and florals, a gorgeous outdoor setting with so much character and history and a couple madly in love! What's not to love about this featured wedding!! Brad & Erica are a beautiful, loving couple with [obviously] fantastic style and tons of personality that come through in their wedding photos. Their wedding in Santa Ana at The Hacienda was intimate, incredibly romantic, and a joy to behold.  

DJ: Extreme DJ Service//Event Designer: Christin Wilson Events//Location: The Hacienda//Apparel: Dreamers & Lovers//Floral Designer: Penelope Pots//Photographer: Aaron Monroe//

This Coronado Wedding is a Sweet Serenade of Love and Spirit Between Two Very Lovely People

A vintage VW bus, a beautiful, heartfelt serenade by the groom, a movie-like exit on a gondola boat ride… just a few highlights from Son and Karli's charming Coronado wedding. The groom wrote a personal song for his bride, and sang it to her,  so you know this was an awesome day overflowing with emotion and spirit! Karli and Son tied the knot overlooking the San Diego skyline and Pacific Ocean at the Coronado Cays Yacht Club, surrounded by family and friends. How these two met is also inspiring. Karli, who grew up in Northern California, became a nurse and full time missionary in Rosarito, Mexico where she met Son who was also working as a missionary. Son was born and raised in Haiti and left to help others here in the states, before being called to Mexico where the two met. These two love birds ended the night by exiting to a shower of bubbles and confetti leading to the doc where a surprise gondola was awaiting them to take them to their hotel.... that's true love and the island of Coronado for you! 

Watching a couple laugh and genuinely care for one another the way Karli and Son do is so inspiring. Here’s a look at a few of the moments that made up such an eventful day filled with love and friendship.

San Diego Wedding Venue Spotlight: Coronado Cays Yacht Club

Rich in history, the Coronado Cays Yacht Club upholds the highest traditions of the Yachting spirit. Established in 1972, the Club has gained a reputation for warm hospitality.

Members and guests value and respect this tradition of excellence; a gathering place for avid boaters, it is also one of Coronado Cay’s most prestigious social venues.

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Friars Tux//Dress Store:LuLus//Event Venue: Coronado Cays Yacht Club//Photographer: Astray Photography

A Decade Long Engagement Leads to a Decidedly Lovely Wedding in San Diego's Countryside

Itzela and Juan Enrique celebrated their ten year anniversary by tying the knot at the Hacienda venue on a beautiful day in countryside of East San Diego California. We love it when couples bring this much love, depth and connection to their wedding day to make a special celebration with loved ones just like this one! 

Guests celebrated with a cocktail hour after the ceremony and then welcomed the new couple who danced the night away as they face forward to celebrate any more decades of love and happiness. 

San Diego Wedding Venue Spotlight: La Hacienda

La Hacienda is a beautiful rustic outdoor, farm-house venue perfect for memorable weddings, quinceañera, and private parties. Paris Hall is a classic indoor venue suitable for banquets and birthday celebrations. Last but not least, La Casa Bonita is a smaller venue ideal for intimate social gatherings such as bridal showers, baby showers, and pool parties! Check them out!

Bakery: Flour Power Cakery//Hair Stylist:Michael Ducreux//Ceremony Location:La Hacienda//Caterer: La Hacienda Catering//Reception Venue: La Hacienda//Photographer: CR Photography

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//

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! 

Al Fresco Ambiance Makes this San Diego Wedding at Green Acres a Must See

For their extra special San Diego wedding, Kate and Bud loved the urban yet green ambiance of Green Acres, and strived for a outdoor and nontraditional reception.  She loves moody colors so the florals range from different shades of red with lots of textures of greenery all of which paired beautifully with the velvet mauve linens. The outcome was an urban, romantic, al fresco ambiance that we just love!

Do you believe in fate? In lovers that were meant to be together no matter what? When we heard about Bud & Kate, we just knew they were meant to be and it gave us goosebumps!  In her early 20's, Kate was in a bad car accident where, thankfully, a good Samaritan [hero!] bystander pulled her out of the car where she was unconscious. Flash forward a couple years to one night when she was out with friends and spotted a guy that she was very attracted to....they ended up chatting, (he felt the attraction too), and they exchanged numbers.  On their first date they discovered it was Bud that had pulled her out of the car!  You can't call that coincidence! Their connection was instant and so powerful, and they've been inseparable ever since.