This North County Outdoor White Wedding is a Study in Classic Wedding Style

This gorgeous North County San Diego outdoor wedding, shot by local wedding photographer and artist Maryanne McGuire, is a study in classic wedding style wedding! The green and elegant Twin Oaks Wedding Estate is the perfect venue to bring this bride's vision all together in style.

Says the bride" I had always dreamed of getting married outside in a forest-like setting.  In looking for venues, we wanted a forest-like/ garden-like feel that was close to our California family and easily accessible to our out-of-state family.  Twin Oaks was the perfect combination of greenery and elegance.  The old school house was also perfect for us, as we started our careers teaching across the hall from one another.  We could not have asked for more a perfect venue.  Everyone was extremely helpful and kind. It was the perfect day!" Our favorite touch? The best kept secret, awwww-inducing, moment when the Groom brought out the wedding ring from the Bride's great grandmother (her grandmother snuck it to the Groom without her knowing it even existed :)!] Now that's a really classic touch by a true gentleman in love! 

Unforgettably Cool Wedding Reception Table DIY Ideas from IKEA, yup IKEA

You know you love IKEA for every single item in your kitchen, bath, bedroom, and study but IKEA can also help you DIY the coolest most unforgettable wedding tabletops and decor for your wedding reception! Check out what their Interior Designer Emma did for this couple, wth dramatic elements, a dedicated cake area, a super inviting table for guests and a stunning, stark white palette of IKEA gems mixed with greens and nature! LOVE! 

IKEA has an amazing Wedding Registry that makes it so easy for your guests, friends and family to get you what you want [with many very affordable options]. Source out tons of items for your reception that will then work for you for years to come at home! Editor's note: we already bought two of the Solig net

What's a Flip Book Photo Booth Station? I want one! (And you will too!)

In a world gone crazy for photo booths at weddings and events [for good reason!], we think that A Little Scene's super cool flip book station is their most popular product for good reason!

Party goers and guests will forever have a customized keepsake from your event. I want one!! 

A Little Scene's fun experts activate at weddings, music festivals, trade shows, branded events and other parties to make their super cool custom flip books within minutes!

We dig their cool, clean and modern set up that would look great at your wedding reception! 

5 gorgeous photo booth backdrops that will make your images pop

Photo booths are the must-have addition to any wedding reception! They add a fun ice breaker for guests and get you tons of amazing [sometimes silly] photos of your guests at play. But a photo booth's backdrop can make or break the photos. The right backdrop not only matches your style of event, it elevates the photos from a bland 'mugshot' to a feast for the eyes that inspires your guests to new heights of play and fun! Here are a few of our favorite trending photo booth backdrops...

Gold Sequins- the classic photo booth backdrop for 2017! This rich sparkly backdrop by Shadowcatcher Photobooths adds glamour to any event! 

Colored Sequined Backdrops - adding an extra flair to the sequined back drop these fun color palettes of iridescent pink, blush, silver, red, and more, by Indybooth are the perfect on-trend way to frame your guests’ happy faces and antics!


Black Rosette - this dark and rich backdrop makes any event more formal! Did you know that a textured backdrop like these beautiful black fabric rosettes by Shadowcatcher Photobooths, adds dimension to your photos and avoids that 'we just hung a bed sheet for a backdrop’ look! 

The Garden Hedge - 2017 has been the year of the garden hedge prop at weddings and event and for good reason! These versatile, bright green, outdoors comes inside hedges - like this one by Indybooth make the perfect complimentary photo backdrop. 

Giant White Roses - talk about dimension! These huge bold paper flowers will have your guests looking as amazing as flowers in a garden! Shadowcatcher Photobooths offers this incredible backdrop that will have your guests lining up to bloom!  

Black and White Damask - in case you hadn't noticed black and white [always a classic] is having a major renaissance in weddings! This classic damask pattern in contrasting black and white by Shadowcatcher Photobooths adds excitement to your photo booth photos! Their damask pattern is also available in purple and black and red and black - awesome for holiday parties!

The well appointed wedding reception dessert table by La Dolce Idea, Wedding Designer and Planner

We love this wedding reception dessert table!

Dessert tables can make your reception festive, fun and engaging for your guests, like this beautiful roaring 20s style dessert table by San Diego luxury event planner Sabrina Cadini of La Dolce Idea. Rich with golden accents, blingy rhinestones, rock candy, metallic gold cake pops, yummy cupcakes, and beautiful colorful Macarons, this dessert table is the cats meow! 


And check out that rhinestone covered silver wedding cake! 


Rock candy is so in style for wedding receptions; it's fun, it's glam, and it's sugar!! 


Seriously... the little bow ties on the gold cake pops!! LOVE!


This dessert table would have every one of your guests enjoying themselves for hours!


Unique and beautiful stands and platters to display the desserts add to the drama! 


And who doesn't love a fun custom cake topper with the couple's fave hobbies?!


Macarons, say no more. 


Chocolate and salted caramel are just a few of the guest favored flavors.


Cupcakes...we just do not want to live in a world without cupcakes... and why should we?


How to Totally Spoil Your Wedding Guests (and not go broke doing it!)

We believe that your wedding should be a totally special day - obviously for you and your partner, but also your wedding guests. After all, this is a group of people you’re choosing to share the happiest day of your life with! Your guests deserve to be spoiled and there are plenty of ways to make them feel treated on your wedding day that won’t blow the budget. Here are a few fun and memorable ways to do just that...

photo by Paul Douda Photography

photo by Paul Douda Photography

Wedding favors that wow

One of the most obvious ways to make your guests feel special is with some fabulous wedding favors. There are so many different avenues you can go down with wedding favors, and the great news is you can do many of them affordably. Our advice is to channel your love for your guests, and give them something from the heart. A personalized, home-made gift will mean so much more to them than splashing the cash on excessive wedding favors…. get creative and channel your inner craft goddess, or bake something - or brew something! Fill little jars with home-made chutneys, or vintage mini glass bottles with home-made punch or elderflower champagne. There are lots of great ideas for wedding favors out there... And don’t worry - if you’re not super creative, or don’t have the time to make your favors, there is help around! Quirky websites like have a wide range of wedding favors to inspire you at a bargain price - a smooth way of taking the stress out of making your wedding favors while still allowing you to personalize and create cute little gifts for your guests.

adorable  customized wedding favor  playing cards by

adorable customized wedding favor playing cards by

Show or write your appreciation

It’s your special day, and you’ve asked your guests to help you celebrate it. But often as the bride and groom, you’re simultaneously off playing host to everyone, making sure everything is going to plan, and trying to keep a creepy uncle from coming onto the bridesmaids. It’s a juggling act, and it sometimes means you don’t get to see enough of the people you most want to. Let them know how much you appreciate them being a part of the big day with handwritten name places for tables - maybe include a word of thanks or a reason why you love them so much!

image by Paul Douda Photography

image by Paul Douda Photography

Let your wedding guests pick the music…

Risky, oh so risky… But it’ll shake up the music that the DJ plays in the evening, and means that no one is sat in a corner all night wondering why they never get to hear a song they like. Obviously it’s a good idea to vet the music suggestions first, so you can stop any inappropriate choices before they hit the dance floor… but why not! It won’t cost anything extra, and your guests will have a great time!

Great idea alert: why not make everyone little mixtapes of your wedding playlist so they can listen to songs from the wedding and think back to what an amazing day it was.

Give your wedding guests something useful

If you’re getting married in California, chances are it’s going to be a beautiful sunny day. This is why sunglasses wedding favors are such a great idea if you’re having a summer wedding. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony or reception, personalized sunglasses that your guests will actually be able to use on the day are fun, cheap, and easy to do. They’re also a a cute reminder of your sun-soaked special day. 

Other fun but practical ideas are sunscreen, handheld fans or parasols for your guests. No one wants to leave a wedding early because they’ve got sunstroke! Lemonade anyone?

photo by Paul Douda Photography

photo by Paul Douda Photography

Set up a candy corner or wedding reception dessert bar

Treat your guests to treats! Pretty much everyone has a sweet tooth…Setting up a candy store is a sure-fire way to delight your wedding guests (and spoil their inner child) - fill yours with vintage candy, mini popcorn buckets, cookies and milkshakes, baked goods… Check out our previous posts and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots more inspiration. This is your time to shine if you love your making and baking!  Any kids that are coming to your wedding will love you forever as a result, and the adults taking a rest from the dancing for a late-night snack will definitely feel the same…

image by Paul Douda Photography

image by Paul Douda Photography

Don’t forget the kids at your wedding!

Your little weddings guests deserve to be treated just as much as your big ones. Think about what they’d enjoy too, and how you could make things like your wedding favours suitable for children too. For example, if you’re giving your adults guests home-bottled cocktails, use the same bottles but fill them with milkshakes or hot cocoa for the kids.

It’s also super easy for kids to get bored and grouchy over the course of a long wedding, so why not combat this by keeping them happy with plenty of games and fun things to do? If you’re having a beach wedding, how about making a beach games box full of bats and balls and other toys, or maybe setting up a scavenger hunt? (Obviously getting a responsible adult to supervise while you’re hunting out the canapes.)This is a great opportunity for your smaller guests to make some new friends and have fun with people their own age!

These are just a few ideas on how you can totally spoil your guests on your wedding day without breaking the bank... Do you have any you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments below...

image by Paul Douda Photography

image by Paul Douda Photography

Article by guest editor Hollie Jones: Hollie is a freelance writer and co-writer for the Hollie and the Ivy blog. She is passionate about upcycling, interior design, crafts and weddings. Hollie enjoys writing about these topics and spreading her knowledge and experience to others.  

**Want to see more of this awesome wedding photography? Visit expert San Diego wedding photographer Paul Douda's website

An Old School Spanish Haceinda and Vineyard for Your Wedding is Right in San Diego's Backyard!

How did we not know about Hacienda Vineyards wedding venue before now??! All this time we've been sitting here on the coast, thinking about driving to Temecula for a fun winery experience, not realizing that there was a gorgeous, old school, Spanish styled hacienda and vineyard just twenty minutes from downtown San Diego! It's like stepping back in time to a beautiful, relaxing, abundant era of riches and style. Take a peek at this gorgeous styled shoot by Photographer Amy Millard on site at Hacienda Vineyard and tell us you don't want run down there for a glass of wine and a relaxing day of soaking up the trees, with the surrounding hillsides lush with 9 acres of foliage framing a never ending sky that watches over their vast lawns 1930's era Spanish House.

The grand Vineyard Hacienda-style residence at Vineyard Hacienda wedding ceremony and reception venue was carefully constructed in the 1930s in true old-style Spanish tradition; adobe, red Spanish tile, and authentic hardwoods add an element of history and tradition. Vineyard Hacienda offers an extensive variety of locations, both indoor and outdoor, to meet the needs of even the most discriminating guest, and is above all fabulous secluded, private, secure, and peaceful gated property in a unique and beautiful event setting.

Wow Your Wedding Guests at Your Reception with indybooth Photo Booths!

indybooth photo booths are San Diego's newest modern photo booth. The North Park based photo booth company was founded Nicole and Paul Herzog while they were planning their own engagement party!

For their event, Nicole and Paul created a DIY photo booth using their DSLR camera, floodlights, a PVC backdrop frame, and some wrapping paper. Surprisingly, the jerry-rigged photo booth set-up was a huge hit! After seeing the enjoyment their guests got out of the homemade booth, Nicole and Paul decided that their new mission in life was to offer a top of the line photo booth to everyone they could in San Diego. 

So, riding the wave of inspiration, they started their own photo booth rental company. They decided on the name indybooth, as they felt that captured some of the North Park style they loved. The indybooth photo booth set up is a far cry from the old DIY booth from their engagement. They now offer a social media integrated, video, and GIF booth with professional lighting equipment and one of the best printers on the market. 

The two soon-to-be-married business owners claim that the best part of each event they do is watching people let loose in the booth.  Nothing brings a smile to their face more than seeing the bride’s solemn father hopping into the frame with a huge smile rocking a sweet prop mustache and cowboy hat. They know that those pictures will be cherished.  Every event is crazy in its own way, at that’s exactly what they hope indybooth helps capture- those silly moments that will make you smile for years to come. And yes, they will be bringing the indybooth photo booth with them to their own wedding this October.

Temecula Wine Country Vineyard Wedding Shines with lots of Love and Bright Colors

From bright orange florals and bridesmaids, to indigo suits and paisley ties, add in a darling mint green VW bus, gorgeous vintage rental elements and an eye popping view and you get this Wine Country Wedding in Southern California's Temecula Valley that really stands out for its style and color! 


Photographer:  Leah Marie Photography//Ring Designer:Ernesto Rassi Design//Musicians: OC String Ensemble//Bakery: TRULY MADLY SWEETLY BAKE SHOP//Officiant: Your Custom Ceremony//Bridesmaid Dresses:Zara//Hair Stylist: Beach Bridal Beauty//DJ: DJ Ross with Ross Creations//Floral Designer: Soiree Design & Events//Dress Designer:Stella York//Caterer: villa de amore//Reception Venue: villa de amore//

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.

Beautiful, contemporary white Military wedding wows at MoCA La Jolla

There's nothing quite like a modern white wedding and what better place to have one than overlooking the ocean at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla ?

Meredith and Allen first met in flight school when they were becoming military pilots. Allen was swimming a mile for his survival training and Meredith was counting laps for him. Meredith’s friend Liz totally embarrassed her by telling her friends in Allen’s class that Meredith though he was cute. Luckily, Allen thought Meredith was pretty cute as well and the rest is history.... Allen proposed to Meredith on the beach in Del Mar after dining at the beautiful Jake’s restaurant for dinner. They watched the sunset and when the crowds started to disperse, he thought the time was right and got down on one knee and proposed. Their beautiful white wedding was perfect. They exchanged vows at the All Hallows Catholic Church on top of Soledad mountain which overlooks La Jolla. Guests then met up at the stunning Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla for a unique wedding experience surrounded by contemporary art exhibitions and the beautiful styling of Madmade Designs, with delicious food from local favorite Giuseppe’s Catering.


Photographer:  Shelly Anderson 

Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art SD in La Jolla

Church Ceremony Location:  All Hallows Catholic Church

Coordinator and Florist: Madmade Designs

Caterer: Giuseppe's Catering

Cake:  Twiggs Bakery And Coffee House

Hair and Beauty:  Beauty By Stacey

DJ: Party People San Diego

Bridal Gown Designer:  Theia Couture

Bridesmaids Fashions: Amsale

Coasterra Restaurant offers Glam Mexican food and drinks and the best view in San Diego for your wedding celebration

We like to call it 'Glam Mexican' cuisine - we've had delicious classic Mexican dishes elevated to food art at this latest Cohn Group / Chef Deborah Scott success - but Coasterra Restaurant in San Diego offers many Latin American inspired dishes and drinks to please every palette. We think you'll love this beautiful restaurant that has the best view in San Diego hands-down! And they've got breathtaking event space for up to 500 that is both unique and fun.

Coasterra has holiday party specials and great menu and space options for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, day after brunches and more. 

Coasterra has holiday party specials and great menu and space options for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, day after brunches and more. 



At Coasterra you'll notice some old favorites like fish tacos and some exciting twists!

At Coasterra you'll notice some old favorites like fish tacos and some exciting twists!

Their savory dishes are hearty and generous to please all generations of wedding guests.

Their savory dishes are hearty and generous to please all generations of wedding guests.

We call it Glam Mexican but Coasterra's menu is full of Latin American dishes that you will swoon over. 

We call it Glam Mexican but Coasterra's menu is full of Latin American dishes that you will swoon over. 

Delicious seafood and gorgeous presentation make Coasterra a great fit for your out of town guests too! 

Delicious seafood and gorgeous presentation make Coasterra a great fit for your out of town guests too! 

Says Coasterra owner David Cohn of the Cohn Group,  " People celebrate their lives in restaurants.  It is our job to create an experience worth remembering." 

Says Coasterra owner David Cohn of the Cohn Group,  "People celebrate their lives in restaurants.  It is our job to create an experience worth remembering." 

The incredibly talented Chef Deborah Scott of Coasterra has a real gift for creating food that people come back for over and over.

The incredibly talented Chef Deborah Scott of Coasterra has a real gift for creating food that people come back for over and over.

10 Stylish [and delicious!] Signature Wedding Cocktails

Cotton Candy at a Wedding for a sweet, pretty and fluffy special dessert by Sugarii

Happy childhood memories of boardwalks, carnivals, warm Summer nights ... and cotton candy! Who doesn't have fond memories of sweet and fluffy cotton candy and now you can add this delicious and fun dessert [the spinning of colors is mesmerizing!] to your wedding day with Sugarii's Get Fluffed Up Cotton Candy booth!

Fairbanks Ranch Wedding Proves Rain Really Is Good Luck on Your Wedding Day!

These gorgeous photos of Nicole and Ryan's wedding looks like a picture perfect sunny San Diego celebration of love... but this affable couple actually showed they have what it takes to navigate life's surprises with a few exciting twists and turns on the big day! 

This lovely peach and mint green wedding at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club was supposed to be an outdoor ceremony overlooking the waterfront, but some unexpected rain [in San Diego, California!!?] brought the celebration inside to the reception area. 

Although the wedding party and the bride had to work around a few dinner tables, there was nothing but smiles and love and lots of "but rain is good luck on a wedding day!"  Fortunately Nicole and Ryan also had selected a rock star coordinator in Carmel Hemsley. Carmel did the flowers herself and arranged all the catering, bar and DJ. And you know what... it turns out rain is good luck on your wedding day!