Wedding Moments that Matter More than Likes

Just imagine 50 years from now looking through these and understanding just how much these moments really mattered!! they may not matter for likes, but they sure do matter to the people who love you enough to celebrate life with you. Thanks to Bree at Parallel 33 Photograhy for loving people and for seeing and capturing amazing real moments!!

1️⃣ wedding party getting TURNT

2️⃣ guests celebrating

3️⃣ bride’s dad interrogating the groom during the garter toss

4️⃣ grandma & grandpa relishing in their own love and marriage

5️⃣ families growing up (they won’t stay little for long)

6️⃣ Jake being a charismatic goofball

7️⃣ party bus

8️⃣ holding hands on the way to ceremony

Beautiful El Cortez Don Room Wedding Celebrates with Love, Adventure and Sparkle

What more could you want from a wedding than love, adventure and sparkle?! This happy and beautiful wedding at the El Cortez Hotel's Don Room in San Diego gives us everything we want and more! We especially love the way the florals [by Studio 2053] work with the bride's amazing sparkly gown to create an adventurous take on classically glamorous wedding style. 

Bride Mia tells us "We were mismatched from the get-go or so we thought based on looks/style alone, however, we could not be more alike. We met online and both went into the date thinking that it would go absolutely no where but decided to give it a go because we had nothing to lose. From there, it was adventure after adventure, with the two of us trying to best one another with the next big idea. I (Mia) used to be a nomad, and would hop on a plane to a mysterious destination without any convincing needed. Two months into dating, Curtis mentioned a downhill mountain biking race in Chile that he dreamed of attending, which was a mistake. Before he knew it I (Mia) had purchased tickets and they we jetting off on a trip that would either break or make them. Obviously things turned out just fine and we still share the same taste for adventure spending Christmas in a rundown trailer on the edge of Area 51 scouting for aliens, hopping around some of the most remote islands in the Philippines or in the center of a Luchadore ring wrestling with the locals. 

Mia and Curtis' favorite memories of the night are from every stage of the dancing.  Says Mia "for the father-daughter dance we started with an 40's jazz ensemble, then 30 seconds into it we came to a screeching halt and KC and the Sunshine Band's "Shake Your Booty" started and my 74-year-old father went nuts- people were laughing instead of crying which was absolutely our intention. This was my favorite song to sing and dance to as a toddler with my parents so it brought back so many great family memories. And when the official dancing kicked off, the dance floor was packed until the very end. I've never seen that happen before! Usually it takes people time to warm up but that was definitely not the case - not one person was sitting down. My 90-year-old grandmother got out of her wheelchair to get down to Too Short's Blow the Whistle and my mother even got low, low, low... oops, too low."  And Grandpa getting down with the Bride is something you will remember forever. We hope you enjoy looking at this wedding as much as we did!

Mia and Curtis added some fun wedding ideas like custom drinking games to loosen up the crowd including "Drink When…" which listed common things that happen at a wedding such as people tearing up, as well as things unique to the wedding party's personalities. Rather than a guest book, the couple used vintage postcards and asked guests to give their best road trip advice for their upcoming honeymoon which was a road trip through the South. There were major breaks with tradition with the groom's 5-year-old nephew serving as the best man and the bride's 90-year-old grandmother serving as the flower girl. The groom also took the bride's last name.

Wedding Vendor Credits: 

Wedding Photography: Cassy Smith Photography
Wedding Ceremony Venue: El Cortez Don Room and Terrace
Wedding Reception Venue: El Cortez Don Room and Terrace
Event Planner: Jessica Beiriger
Wedding Florals: Studio 2053
Wedding DJ: DJ Dan Peterson
Catering: Continental Catering
Cake: The Cupcake Store
Officiant: Pam Neidert
Hair and Makeup Bridal Beauty: Mirza Batanovic, Ammon Carver Studio NYC
Bridal Gown by: Parker Black
Bride's Second Dress: Marchesa Notte
Private Collection: Antique Snake Brooch, Antique Snake Comb

Local Brewery Proves to Be the Perfect Backdrop for a Richly Colored San Diego Wedding!

Not only are we obsessed with this couple's obvious pure bliss with each other, but they also picked one of our favorite, fun and unique local venues for their special day. Kendra and Jason Goda chose to celebrate their wedding day at Stone Brewery Company in Liberty Station. Kendra's inner beauty just radiates through her perfectly executed makeup [we love a bold lip!], lustrous dark hair, and beautifully tailored A-line wedding gown. Jason also caught our eye with his dapper suit and tie. The deep burgundy and wine colored details are the perfect accents to Kendra's 'Snow White' beauty and Jason's his classic tie and boutonnierre matched the wedding floral colors, along with his pocket watch, completed his polished look. The two had a perfect [and gorgeous!] evening with a fairytale-like happy ending, and clearly a really fun party!

Wedding Photographer:  Spotlight Studios//DJ:Dj Daniel Botticelli//Hair Stylist:Joy Tuy//Event Planner: Kristana Marie Events//Makeup Artist:Kristine Guanzon MUA//Cake Designer: Michele Coulon Dessertier//Restaurant:Stone Brewery at Liberty Station//

The Top 10 Wedding Photos You Just Can't Live Without!

Epic, must-have Wedding photos! Everyone wants and needs them, but sometimes certain wedding day photos stand out above and beyond all the others... here San Diego wedding photographer Greg Nelson offers us his 10 wedding photos you just cannot live without!

Thanks Greg for sharing your gift and these memorable essential photos from weddings with us! Check out our directory of amazing San Diego wedding photographers.

A Library Wedding First Look Photo Shoot is Literally One for the Books

We are crushing hard on this Kentucky wedding for Wedding Crush Wednesday! This featured wedding showcases Nathan and Chelsea Burton who won our hearts instantly after viewing some of their wedding photos - we love book and libraries too! Chelsea's love for shades of purples and pinks made a debut throughout her bridesmaids' dresses and florals. The couple wanted to make sure they included not just colors, but all of the things that they love. Apparently, so did Mother Nature. These two love rainy days, and sure enough, a rainy day is what they got. Along with their love for cuddling up during these storms, Nathan and Chelsea share a love for books, so much so that the two had their first kiss surrounded by them, they even returned to that same library to do their first look. That is certainly one for the books!

Photography: Talaro Jo Weddings

Spring Showers May Be Just What Your Wedding Photos Need

Your wedding day is full of constant worry like 'what about inclement weather?' A few tips for your big day...

Whether you choose to let someone else do the worrying for you, or you are prone to being the biggest worrywart, there are many things that can go wrong. So, fact is, worry is a big part of any wedding. Some of these concerns can be controlled, but some of these are way out of our control, like the weather. We can all agree that the weather has the potential to either make or break an event. What is important to remember, is that even if the weather does not work out in your favor, (even in San Diego!) you have the opportunity to make something spectacular out of it.  Chelsea and Courey Marshall's wedding happened to take place during a massive rainstorm.  But this couple managed to not only keep their cool, but also flourish during what could have been a major downer [beside being a downpour!] So, with May showers tickling the part of your brain that catalogs worries, don't have a melt down if your perfect day is accompanied by a little shower. Instead, take a deep breath, make whatever changes you need to make to adjust, and just have fun! If you keep your cool, and focus on the love, no matter the weather, we know that you'll end up with some awesome wedding photographs and memories like these! Scroll down for some tips on what to do if your outdoor wedding is facing possible rain....

Wedding Photography: Patrick Ibarra at Kramer Events

What to do if your outdoor wedding day forecast is rain....

1. Call a reliable rental company and rent a tent we recommend Classic Party Rentals or Intent Productions and have worked with both with incredible results. 

2. Ask your wedding venue what they recommend. A professional reception venue should have an idea or a contingency plan in place.

3. If you are on your own or DIY'd at a park or home reach out to local indoor venues near your reception location {even restaurants) that may be able to accommodate you at the last minute. 

3. Stay calm - and if you didn't hire a wedding planner already see if you can get one now! These people really know their stuff and a professional wedding planner will have handled emergencies far worse than this many times over and will know how to save your day! Plus they may have a few connections with venues to get you warm and dry! 

4. Review the odds....It seems like the local weather services often forecast more precipitation than ever actually occurs... On average San Diego, California sees 21 days with some precipitation while the rest of the country sees about 110. The national average for mostly sunny days is 213 while San Diego's is 267.  

4. Rent gorgeous rain umbrellas from Bella Umbrella and go for it anyway!  It's just rain it won't kill you and you may just have the time of your life! 

San Diego Courthouse Wedding Celebrates True Love and a New Life

Vanessa & Brandon are proof positive that love conquers all. These two love birds had a rough start in life and found each other in the Second Chances program located in Chula Vista, California. Through thick and thin they overcame struggles and let their relationship blossom. Vanessa & Brandon have supported each other in the best of times and the worst of times so what better way to celebrate their bond and strength than with their family. They decided to tie the knot in an intimate ceremony at the San Diego Courthouse with the people that supported them the most; their family. It was such an important day for everyone who was a part of it. Vanessa was a style savvy bride, finding designer pieces to show off her vintage bridal princess style. This young couple is truly one of a kind and embodies “love didn’t find us; we found love.” Proving once again that there are second chances in life and happily ever afters.

Photographer:  Paul Douda Photography//Dress Designer:Aspeed Design//Ring Designer:Ben Bridge Jewelers//Floral Designer:Disandras Formal Wear//Dress Store:Okhee S Lee Fashion//Apparel:Price Breakers//Tuxedo and Mens Attire: The Mens Warehouse//Other:Vega's Tailor Shop//Event Venue:San Diego Courthouse//

One of our favorite Wedding photographer's favorite photographs from 2016

Tim Otto is one of our favorite San Diego wedding photographers and it is easy to see why!

Tim Otto Wedding 1.jpg

Tim Otto [one of the nicest people you will ever meet!] is the kind of guy who at the end of the year can't wait to sit back and review all the weddings and engagements he photographed to reminisce about all the love, fun and memories he made with his couples. Here are Tim Otto's favorite wedding photos from 2016: they clearly show the heart and soul he puts into the weddings he photographs.  

When you look at his work you can see that Tim likes to blend a variety of styles when he photographs people in love and weddings:  Tim works with everything from a photo-journalistic editorial approach, to a contemporary fashion edge, to classic romantic style.  Says Tim "I always enjoy photographing people and capturing their individual spirits; I think this is what drew me to weddings. I love weddings! I love telling the story of the entire day by capturing the many personalities and emotions on display as the events unfold.  I want to capture not only what people look like, but show what they feel like.  I want to give the bride and groom real, dynamic and beautiful photographs that they will treasure for a lifetime! I want to create an amazing and fun experience by making my couples feel comfortable in front of the camera without interfering with the flow of the day. A wedding is a celebration of love with family and friends; truly an amazing event.  I am honored and privileged be part of your day."  Yes Tim, we can tell! Please enjoy Tim Otto's favorite photos from 2016!

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//

Camera Camper the coolest retro trailer photo booth yet!

Tish and Paul are a couple who love restoring old things. They brought back to life a 1965 Shasta Trailer and have converted it into a photo booth. You are going to love love love this gorgeous restored trailer now photo booth! 


Grab a prop and climb on into Lola the 12 ft trailer. She is freshly remodeled with new paint, upholstery, even flooring.  Push the start button on the screen and within seconds it will print two 2 x 6 classic film strips. We use professional photography equipment and lighting to ensure the highest quality experience. Check out this video of the remodel in action. Go Lola!! 

Gold and Bubblegum Pink Dessert table wedding decor idea by La Dolce Idea... how sweet it is!!

Super lovely and talented Sabrina Cadini of La Dolce Idea turns lucky brides' and grooms' dreams into reality. With her excellent eye for wedding decor ideas and her very good taste, this wedding expert has an artist's knack for beautiful wedding settings. Check out this Gold and Bubblegum Pink Dessert Table styled by Sabrina at the lovely La Valenica Hotel.  Known affectionately as 'The Pink Lady' this table set is a perfect fit for La Valencia!] 

Says Sabrina, "I styled this dessert table for a fabulous wedding couple; Yajhaira and Ricardo, who got married at La Valencia. The bride wanted to give sweet wedding favors to their guests and what could be better than a dessert bar? A mix of candy and desserts matching the glam and vibrant color palette (gold and bubble gum pink) were displayed on a majestic wooden table provided by La Valencia against a beautiful mirrored wall adding more depth to the final effect." Enjoy! 


The gorgeous cake pops and chocolate covered Oreos (yum!!) were created by the delicious wedding favor experts at Anjolie's Sweet Treats - the cake pops were finished with gold edible glitter and the sticks were covered with gold crystals to make them sparkle. The chocolate-dipped Oreos looked amazing with the sugar paste roses and gold edible glitter and were gone in five minutes. Sabrini offers a smart wedding planning tip for displaying dessert items: "Use ornate picture frames and insert a nice paper as background. Your desserts will look great in pictures!" Gorgeous photos by True Photography Weddings.  And check out Sabrina's blog here.