This travel themed wedding was inspired by the groom's job as a corporate pilot. The dusty rose, navy blue, ivory, gold colors highlighted the great decor of suitcases and handwritten signs of destinations around the world. The bride and groom decided to have a very romantic "non" first look where they held hands and prayed through a curtain before the ceremony. They had a special cord ceremony during the wedding where they tied a rope together to symbolize their union as a couple.
So you say you're ready for another exciting and glamorous royal wedding?!Congratulations to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their engagement! Everyone is a buzz about the proposal of our favorite royal ginger [that's redhead to us Yanks] and the American actress and humanitarian.
Here's a look back at the beautiful wedding gown and recessional of Queen Elizabeth as she married her dreamboat Prince Philip in 1947. The couple are, of course, Prince Harry's grandparents and we bet they are very happy for Harry as he heads to the altar with a [gasp!] American bride.
9 Things You Will Forget To Do at Your Wedding [aka: just a few of the things a pro event planner knows to do for you!]
Settle Up with All Your Vendors in Advance. Many vendors require you pre pay them so they can arrive at your wedding fully focused on you without having to have their hand out. But if you have vendors that accept payment the day of your wedding, make sure to write final-payment checks for your vendors a few days before, and have your planner pass them out on the big day. And for tips; put checks or cash in envelopes (with a hand written thank you card for those who went over and above their contract) ahead of time and give to your event planner or the best man, so they can be easily distributed.
Pin your Bustle. To keep your reception from being a total drag, make sure your mother, maid of honor or another friend will be available to bustle your gown. Give them a crash course in the complicated hook-and-eye configuration days before the wedding so you can hit the dance floor without getting dragged down. You should also practice going to the bathroom in a huge gown with help from your maids in advance, it's harder than it looks!
Grab some fuel! Just like your favorite glamorous movie starlet does on red carpet awards night, after weeks of watching calories it’s finally time to eat!! But it may be the one thing you don’t get to what with all the fanfare of friends, family and fun. Ask your planner, banquet manager or your best pal to remember to bring you a plateful of those fabulous hors d’oeuvres and keep your champagne glass filled because odds are you’ll never make it to the bar during the cocktail hour and it’s going to be a long wedding! Be sure to eat healthy so you don't have any unwanted repercussions.
Get a Private Room. Ask your planner if your wedding reception venue has a separate room to leave your bags and change into your trousseau of going away clothes. A restroom will serve in a pinch, but you’ll probably want a little more privacy and a secure place for bridal party purses.
Lose any Bags. Put a reliable pal in charge of getting your luggage into the honeymoon suite...or at least into the getaway car if you are leaving straight from the reception.
Grab a Midnight Snack. Have your caterer pack you and your new spouse a picnic basket of leftovers. You probably won’t be able to eat more than a bite of the gorgeous meal you spent months planning what with all the celebrating and connecting with guests.
Give away the leftovers. Tell your caterer what to do with the rest of the leftover food. With gorgeous food and wedding cake and desserts by Tastries Bakery like that shown here, you may not have much leftover but just in case... ask your caterer to take the extras to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. And if you aren’t giving your centerpieces to special guests, arrange for someone to drop them off at a hospital, women’s shelter or nursing home.
Farewell. Your coordinator, the wedding shown here was planned by wedding coordinators Fairy Godmother Weddings, will know to stay and get Lyft or Uber rides for guests who need them, and make sure your valuables—the gifts, cake knife, toasting glasses, etc.—get home safely.
Don't forget the Day After Details! You will probably be exhausted the day after your wedding or even be planning a day after brunch for out of town guests! It is wise you assign a few people to take care of the little details the next day. Your Maid of Honor can take your dress to the cleaners, return your husband’s tux to the rental shop and make sure your bouquet gets started on the road to preservation, if you’re saving it, especially if you leave for honeymoon right away.
We always always always recommend a professional event planner so you, your family and guests enjoy this powerful celebration of love without distraction or chaos. There is quite frankly so much you do not know!! Check out our list of San Diego event planners.
Lovely California wedding photography by Boone and Stacie Weddings
Sherrill Kinsler Gilford and Rachel Wood bring over 30 years of experience to the event world. Sherrill and Rachel are both owners of RSVP Events of San Diego, a full service event design company which specializes in weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, corporate and non-profit events. Their experience ranges from small intimate events for 10 people to large scale corporate events and expos for over 5,000 people with everything in between. These two can do it all!
wedding photos of RSVP Events planned wedding by Kathleen Geiberger Photography
More about the RSVP Events team: Sherrill holds a certificate in Meeting and Special Event Planning, is a certified Bridal Consultant and Co-Founder of BESA, The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Event Services Association. Sherrill is also Co-owner of Charming Expressions, a unique party entertainment company. She started her career working for a Fortune 500 Company, planning meetings, special events, and expos, and has been awing clients with her events ever since. When she is not busy planning awesome events, she’s working on new and innovative event ideas. She is the creator and original producer of San Diego’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Expo and Showcase. Sherrill and her husband (Scott) enjoy spending time together with their dog (Spencer) and traveling the globe.
Rachel was a student at San Diego State University in 2004 when she began interning with Sherrill. While in college, Sherrill mentored Rachel and taught the business to her, inside and out. Rachel graduated from SDSU in 2008 with a Bachelor Degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management, with an emphasis in Special Event & Convention Management. Rachel worked at an upscale, boutique hotel in the seaside town of La Jolla and managed all of the hotel's wedding and social events. Events are Rachel's passion -- but so is helping others -- so she left the hotel world and entered into the non-profit world and planned major fundraising events. She now serves as a Gala Committee Member for Home of Guiding Hands, which raises money for infants, adolescents, and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. When Rachel isn't planning events, you can find her hanging out with her two daughters (Madelyn & Emily) and husband (Jesse) at a local park or San Diego attraction.
Sherrill and Rachel stay quite active in the Special Events industry. Sherrill has taught Hospitality classes at a local community college and is an annual speaker at the Special Event Convention. Both frequently attend seminars and workshops to stay current in the industry and ahead of the trends, and belong to multiple special event associations. Sherrill and Rachel have been working with each other for over a decade so it was a natural transition to become come partners and thus, RSVP Events was created.
Italian Dream Destination Wedding Becomes a Reality!
Spring has sprung! Flowers are blooming; birds are chirping; and temperatures are rising. With the perfect Southern California weather in full force, we find ourselves daydreaming and wanting to fill that wanderlust that Spring can bring! Now, after seeing Sharlene and Craig's picturesque Italian dream wedding photos, we are itching to travel to where this story takes place: Florence, Italy. When asked what she would change, Sharlene said that she wouldn't change a thing. After browsing through the gallery, we couldn't agree more.
Sharlene and Craig had been dating for 8 years when Craig took a knee in their favorite city on the Santa Trinita bridge with the sun setting over the Arno River. The story could end there and still be striking. However, that wouldn't be all of it. Nine months before their planned wedding in Melbourne, Australia (Craig and Sharlene's hometown) both of Sharlene's grandparents passed away. With such devastating events weighing heavily on Sharlene's heart, the couple decided to rethink what was important to them and how they truly envisioned their perfect day to be. All previous plans were scratched, and the couple had 40 of their closest friends and family travel from Melbourne to Florence to share with them the most magnificent wedding the two could imagine.
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//
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!
Steven and James met while stationed together in Japan while in the Navy, so it came as no surprise that their wedding was 'photobombed' by planes flying by during and after their ceremony, serendipitously celebrating their personal connection with the Navy, planes, and flying. With so much love and joy evident in this lovely, intimate wedding - held at a private residence then moved to Juniper and Ivy to celebrate - we think you will enjoy this featured wedding as much as we did which features happy people, a beautiful San Diego day and our favorite wedding guests....adorable dogs in bow ties!!
Couple: Steven Barber and James Stokes
With such a small wedding, Steven and James wanted an intimate space and beautiful views that highlighted their incredible new hometown... San Diego! The ceremony took place on the roof above their home downtown San Diego with incredible views of the ocean, downtown, and airport.
Photographer: Derek Chad Photography
Ceremony Venue: Private Residence
Reception Venue: Juniper and Ivy
Florals: La Belle Bloom
Men's Fashions: Joseph A. Banks and Lim's Custom Tailer
Bow Ties and Ties: The Tie Bar
Sometimes bad things happen to good weddings! Like a cake-decimating accident right before the reception. (little warning: this image may be upsetting to cake bakers, chefs and experienced wedding pros!)
Fortunately this couple had hired a truly amazing dream team of Amy Ulkutekin of First Comes Love and Sharon Mintz Organic Elements florals and the wedding was being held at one of our favorites the La Valencia Hotel [who has a pastry chef with some serious skills]. And voila! Here is the fixed up cake ready to be celebrated and enjoyed with no one the wiser. Whew!
What couples do not know about wedding planning is a lot.....Like we always say: hire the best then let them do what they do best!
The Fairy Godmother Foundation in Bakersfield, Ca grants wishes by providing a deserving couple in need with a wedding at little to no cost to them. They provide one wedding a year to a couple facing a serious life altering circumstances or facing a terminal illness. What a sweet way to care for others going through really troubling times.
How it works: couples must be nominated by others [you cannot nominate yourself] here... and then the Fairy Godmother Board reviews nominations and votes on who will get a wedding! Check their website (click image above) for more info.
Photographer Paul Douda knows how to capture love! When Paul photographed Veronica and Luis' intimate and very personal wedding, he knew that by following the wedding KISS theory [Keep It Small & Simple] they were able to really do whatever they wanted. This charming couples wanted above all to celebrate from the heart with just their family, which we think is pretty special! They kept the ceremony to family only then included their whole world for a celebration a few months later. We love this wedding because it may be small but it's mighty full of love!
If you are heading towards the coast for The Del Mar Fair be sure to stop by Highway 101 in Solana Beach and see the friendly people at Del Mar Flower Company.
The Del Mar Flower Company is a trusted local florist with professional designers who create lovely florals for weddings and any other special event. They offer an expanded selection of beautiful, seasonal, local and imported flowers. They even offer complimentary event and DIY bridal (who does that!?) consultations. Be sure to stop by and say hi to the friendly folk at this long time iconic shop and take some flowers home just because!
A true classicist, the designers at Winnie Couture has been the go to bridal gown designer for brides who want to reflect a beautiful, abundant elegance on their big day. Offering two collections; Blush and The Diamond collection, Winnie Couture offers brides a multitude of styles that all bring glamour, elegance and classic grace to any wedding.
Painstakingly handcrafted with the finest imported fabrics and Swarovski-crystal embellishments, these extraordinary creations rise above bridal fashion into the realm of artistry. - See more at: http://www.winniecouture.com/wedding/collections
Based in Beverly Hills, California, Winnie Couture is a high end attire brand with a modern mix of classic elegant and sophisticated couture. It blends femininity and luxury to create bridal attire silhouettes that are flattering and timeless.
Winnie Couture is founded by Winnie Chlomin and Chris Lee, a wife and husband team in 2001. Their passion and devotion to the bridal industry have gained them continuous success. After just a few short seasons, Winnie’s incredible sense of style and Chris’ business and entrepreneurship skills have positioned the Winnie brands as one of the fastest growing, most-in-demand bridal collections across the country and overseas in places like Europe and Asia. In fact, in just less than five years, the brands have become available in over 150 stores. The company progressively developing a range of distinctive luxury attires consistent with the brand’s values and is internationally regarded as a prestigious leader in the bridal industry.
Featured in prominent high-fashion publications such as InStyle, Brides, Modern Brides, The Knot, Modern Luxury, People, etc... plus numerous appearances on National TV shows and Hollywood films, Winnie’s designs quickly became known for their immaculate craftwork and impeccable fit.
Winnie’s profoundly feminine gowns have become favorites amongst industry insiders, celebrities and fashionistas alike, as seen on Kelly Clarkson, Lea Michele, Giuliana Rancic, Masiela Lusha, Helen Hunt and many more.
Antique doors, vintage rentals, beautiful florals and Jack Daniels Groom's cake ..Kelsey and Robert's charming outdoor wedding at The Inn At Rancho Santa Fe was a lovely (and fun!) celebration of style, love and family and friends.
This thoughtful Bride considered every aspect of the day to make their guests comfortable and entertained throughout their celebration; as guests arrived they found lemonade, bottled water and parasols waiting for them. The ceremony site was beautifully decorated with vintage rentals (oh that gorgeous double door!), cascading floral arrangements, and a metal arch with a chandelier. At cocktail hour, vintage seating areas were scattered on the lawn for guests to mingle and enjoy. Handmade bar signs listed the signature cocktails, bride’s and groom’s favorites.
An open air photo booth next to cocktails was a real favorite with guests. Photos hung on a vintage velvet backdrop made the perfect photo gallery. Their seated reception featured specialty lace overlays, adorable table numbers and menu cards, and personalized macaron favors and instead of escort cards, Kelsey and Robert rented an antique door to display the seating chart. Cake and dessert tables (one for Kelsey and one for Robert with a bottle of Jack Daniels as the groom’s cake- you gotta love a Jack Daniels Groom's cake!) was a real crowd favorite! At the end of the day the guests went home with a lovely lavender sachet and wonderful memories of a night filled with fun, laughter, dancing and of course, love.
Bride: Kelsey Groom: Robert
Coordination: La Dolce Idea Weddings & Soirees
Photo: True Photography Weddings
Venue: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
Hair & Makeup: Team Nicole
Floral Design: Jolie Fleur Del Mar
Linens (Overlays): Wildflower Linen
Vintage Rentals: Archive Rentals
Wedding Arch and Chandelier: Rhapsody Rentals
Ceremony Music: Vintage Strings
DJ / MC: Vario Productions
What!? Could it be? Is custom event poetry a thing now? Yup consider yourself among the few, the proud, the hip...you lived to see the day something this cool was available for weddings and events.
The Melrose Poetry Bureau (MPB) creates interactive poetry experiences on typewriters. We blur the boundaries between poetry, theatre, and improvisation to create connection through ink in a wired-in world.
Melrose Poetry Bureau brings a team of performance poets with typewriters to your event. Patrons give us a word, and we write original poems on-the-spot based on that word. Patrons keep the 3x5 frameable piece as a memento of the event.
Great for weddings, parties, festivals, etc. MPB also creates pre-written pieces tailored to any event.
Ileana Pagan of Allure Makeup has always loved all things beauty. Especially makeup! She is a certified mobile freelance makeup artist. That means, she comes to you! Ileana loves to "doll up" and makeover her clients. Her motto is "feel your best, while looking your best."
Ileana's goal is to ensure that each client is comfortable and confident that they will be granted with whatever look it is that they seek.
Where do you begin when you decide to plan not just a wedding, but a DESTINATION WEDDING? A wedding which involves travel, overnight accommodations, rental cars, traveling guests, itineraries and luggage! You start right here with all the info and advice you need to get started from destination wedding expert Lisa Lippe of Details Defined Wedding & Event Design!
What is our dream spot? Are you tropical island people or Parisian flea market people or do visions of remote islands visited by sailboat fill your dreams? Do you see yourselves swooshing down the slopes of a snow covered mountain and right onto the aisle or floating around on a raft drifting towards the pool bar?
What is our budget? This may need to be the first question or be decided on simultaneously as the more remote you get the more expensive it may become.
Who do we really want to share our wedding/vacation with? This will help you determine just how far or remotely you want to travel and how many guest your venue will need to accommodate. Picture your Grandmother trying to hike up Machu Picchu with you or perhaps your brother’s 3 unruly kids on an 11 hour flight on the way to your week at a resort, and your remote island destination wedding plans may change a bit.
What time of year do we want to be married? Do you envision a classical Christmas wedding in Vienna with the strains of Mozart in the air or a mid-summer day in Mexico with the sun warming your day, your toes covered in sand? Also important to consider are the weather patterns of your selected destination. The Caribbean and Southeastern US seaboard are beautiful, but not recommended during the late Summer hurricane season!
Where do our hearts lead us? Above all, pick a place that is meaningful to you and your fiancé to share with your friends and family. One of the best things about a destination wedding is the amount of quality time you get to spend with those you care about, all in a beautiful and special place you enjoy.
With the answer to these questions you are ready to talk to a wedding planner who can begin presenting you with suitable locations, travel, accommodations, trusted vendors. Starting with a wedding planner is proactive and wise. Hire a planner who is willing to be onsite for your event.
On to the key elements in destination wedding planning…
Have your passports current in plenty of time. U.S. citizens are required to have a passport for visiting any destination outside of the United States. This includes Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, by land, sea or by air. Existing passports must be valid for at least 8 months beyond your return date to the U.S. For more destination wedding passport information U.S. citizens may visit http://travel.state.gov. (SAFETY TIP: Passport information is constantly being changed or updated so be sure to go right to the source and visit the US Government's website!)
TO RECON OR NOT TO RECON
Depending on your comfort level of selecting a place sight unseen, most planning can be done remotely with your planner. But if you have the time and budget, visiting your chosen wedding destination-even for a couple of business days- to accomplish the foundation of your event like securing the ideal spot, meeting key vendors (maybe the person who will perform the ceremony) trying out a hair stylist, tasting the menu, will be a huge plus in your planning. Be sure to create [or have your planner do it] advance appointments for as many details as possible. Hire a planner who will be available to do this advance trip with you. Back at home, selecting invitations, music and working out the details can all be done from your computer and cell phone with the help of a qualified wedding planning expert.
SAVE THE DATE [and LOCATION!]
Once you’ve settled on your exciting destination and booked the venue and reserved some accommodations, send your save the dates with as much information as possible to help your friends and family plan their travel.
A wedding [we love http://www.WeddingWindow.com] is invaluable for allowing guests to retrieve all information and check for updates and post comments. A wedding website with weather, things to do, best places to stay if not staying at the same location as the wedding, helpful travel tips, contact information to a travel agent and your wedding planner, and the only place to note your registry information.
DON’T FORGET THE LAW
Passports currently take 3 to 4 weeks to issue so don’t delay. And remember international laws are different and could require you to arrive far in advance to complete blood work for a marriage license. Do your homework here.
LET YOUR PLANNER DO THEIR JOB
The easiest way to plan a destination wedding is to simply push speed dial and connect to your planner and allow them to handle all the details for you! That’s what they’re there for and they love what they do! A wedding planner is your ticket to confidence and calm.
An experienced wedding planner always knows more possible scenarios based on their past experiences and therefore will know how to direct meetings and walk-throughs, and will know exactly what questions to ask. REMEMBER: You don't know what you don't know. An experienced and knowledgeable wedding planner will know how to gracefully hold and keep the entire team accountable for their contracted services including the upgrades or modifications agreed on post contract. And getting the incredible destination wedding you wanted, where you wanted it, with a great time had by all is always a good deal – and who doesn’t want to go there?
HOT TIP: One undeniable fact is that HOTEL AND VENDOR CONTACTS WILL ‘TALK SHOP’ WITH A WEDDING PLANNER more candidly and openly then they will with a client/bride. They may also MAKE DEALS they wouldn’t normally make since a planner represents more overall business to them.
Oh and don't forget to book SheWanders Photography to perfectly capture your wedding (as you can see from all the images in this article) they just loooooove to travel!
Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
Handmade giant flowers are all the rage for weddings this year! Check out some of our favorite artists online and have your own romantic garden at your wedding, in a photo booth, or at home on your wall, anytime of year, indoor or out!
Papers to Petals (above 4 images) makes lovely, work-of-art, paper flower backdrops for weddings and events.
And we are just starry eyed over local San Diegan Starry Eyed Events who not only does gorgeous flowers (above) but can do charming butterflies and giant lettering for personalized backdrops!
Dela Design Studio (above) in England makes jeweled flowers from fabric and a lot more!
And sweet Etsy entrepreneur Rachel Quinonez of Lavish Inspirations (above) makes dynamic floral walls that we love for special events, home decor (hello baby's room!) and anytime you want to feel happy! Imagine getting a bouquet of these on Valentine's Day!
And then there's the bold and brilliant The Bleu Dahlia (above) stopping people in their tracks with her floral walls and obvious eye for design.
Happy Spring from all of us at SanDiegoWedding.com and #lovetotallyplanlocally !
So yes we know we are a website:) But we just love the look and feel of a real bridal magazine and feel strongly that the tradition of perusing through real print will never go away. Sure today you've got your digital boards and all but there's nothing like a bound collection of printed ideas, people, advice and inspiration to woo you. With each turn of the page a new gorgeous photo awaits: a gown, a table setting, a venue, a bouquet.... is a romantic process to spend hours with a magazine as you layout by the beach or fall asleep in bed reading about weddings that fill your dreams with beauty and style.
One of the many totally cool things about attending a bridal show with all the food, fashion and fun right there in front of you like a giant Pinterest Board come to life, is getting access to free bridal magazines! February 14, 2016 at The Wedding Party Bridal Show at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay you can get the magazines you really want like San Diego Style Weddings Magazine (a local fave for years!) for free! And their staff (and sometimes even their publisher) is on hand to chat about all those lovely shoots and styles and pros featured in the magazine too!