Monday, October 31, 2016

Mangia Monday: Rehearsal Dinner

Photo Courtesy of The Chart House Cardiff

Your rehearsal dinner is the precursor to your wedding so you want it to set the tone for the wedding weekend! Normally a smaller affair for the bridal party and immediate families of the bride and groom, this event is traditionally paid for by the groom's parents. You can do a backyard barbecue or a formal affair, just make sure to communicate to your guests what the level of dress is. 

If you want to invite out of town guests, it's always a nice gesture but not a mandatory one. One you set a budget for your rehearsal dinner, you can figure out how many additional people you can invite should you choose to.  It can be as fancy as the wedding itself or it can be a laidback evening to spend with your loved ones to thank them for all of their help with the wedding and their support. Because who doesn't love being paid in food?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Dessert of the Week: A Touch of Bling

We love how each tier of this cake incorporates the concept of sparkle in a slightly different way!

Cake by Perfect Wedding Cake // Photo by Julie Anne Photography LLC

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Insiration Thursdays: Love at the Estate

Love at Humphreys Estate. A styled wedding session from Shyla Marie of Shyla Marie Photography. This water color and blush inspired shoot takes place at the Humphreys Estate in Temecula, California.

Location: Humprey's Estate
Photography: Shyla Marie Photography
Other: Always Turning Woodowork
Reantals: CC Vintage Rentals
Calligrapher: FourThings Paper
Hair: JLM Couture Flagship Salon
Cake: Laura Marie's
Makeup: Make Up by Lizette
Models: Marisa Gomez & Josh Infante
Dress: Mary Me Bridal
Rentals: Not My Dish
Florist: Tre Fiori Floral Studio

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wedding Wednesday: Melanie & Dan

12/6/2014 |  La Valencia Hotel

It was the wedding of Melanie and Dan's dreams! The chapel at La Jolla Presbyterian Church was the perfect size for their guests--we wanted it to be an intimate winter wedding. CZ Events decorated with tons of white pillar candles everywhere. The chapel is a beautiful historic building with stained glass and a traditional organ. The couple went with a Christmas theme because it was December, and the organist played "Greensleeves" as their families and attendants proceeded down the aisle, to reflect the holiday. Then the bride's processional was "Canon in D", because that had been her parents'. The organist did a beautiful job. Their guests got to enjoy a sunset cocktail hour after their ceremony on the garden at La Valencia, with the background music of an instrumental Spanish guitar (part of JP Hunten's band). They were lucky--it was a beautiful, clear evening. Their wedding reception was dinner and dancing in the terrace room at La Valencia. JP Hunten and his band did a wonderful job--they played Sinatra and other jazzy music during dinner (and some upbeat Christmas songs), and then pumped it up for the dancing. To reflect Christmas, guests' place card holders were Christmas ornaments with their name and table number, so they got to keep the ornaments after. The ornaments were hanging on a tree when they walked in. The table numbers were bookmarks inside of antique (looking) editions of "A Christmas Carol." Melanie and Dan also had a bird theme, because they both love birds. Their cake toppers were a bird bride and groom, their menu had a photograph Dan had taken of birds at sunset, and they put some bird ornaments in their place card holder tree. In addition to this, their wedding favors were Swedish Christmas cookies (called Spritz cookies), because Dan and Melanie share a Swedish heritage.

Ceremony Location: The Chapel at La Jolla Presbyterian Church
Reception Location: La Valencia hotel
Coordinator: CZ Events
Photographer: Sara France Photographers
Videographer: Shawn Lloyd
Florist: Indulge Weddings & Special Events
Entertainment: JP Hunten Band
Catering: La Valencia hotel
Wedding Cake: Michele Coulon Dessertier
Invitations/Stationery: Love Notes Stationery
Hair & Make-up: Three Ways Beautiful
Men’s Formalwear: A Better Deal Tuxedo

Ask Abby: How Should I Focus My Budget?

 Photo by Holly Ireland Photography

Your wedding should be the event you've dreamed it would be for years. When it comes to your budget, there are a few important things that factor in and can make a difference on how much of your budget you spend where. Whether your budget is $1,000 or $50,000, you can still have an amazing wedding!

The first start to forming your budget is to determine where the money is coming from. Are you parents helping out or are you paying for it all out of pocket?

From there, you should begin to formulate a guest list. The number of people on the guest list will help determine how much your food and alcohol budget needs to be.

If there is a specific photographer or venue or other vendor you've had your eye on, you should look into their pricing first. Most vendors are willing to work with your budget and can tell you what packages they have available in your budget.

Prioritizing the budget with what is most important to you and your fiance down to things that don't matter as much will help you stick to budget on the big things.

Added tip: try to keep 5-10% of your budget for miscellaneous things you haven't thought of. Those do come up when planning and purchasing decor and if it's already been worked into the budget, it's easier to take it from there than try to come up with the funds elsewhere.

Do you have a question you want to Ask Abby? Send an email to

Wedding Wednesday: Carmen & James

7/31/2015  |  Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

Carmen and James are a biracial couple, James is originally from upstate New York and Carmen is from San Diego. They met in Atlanta, where they now reside. They had a contemporary wedding with a touch of my ethnic roots of Ugandan dance performances.

Location: Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
Photography: Joshua Killeen
Coordinator: Sofreh Ye Aghd
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
Cake: Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
Entertainment: Magical Harps / DJ Tempoe
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
Menswear: Men's Warehouse

Wedding Wednesday: Lindsey & Sean

7/11/2014  |  Stone Garden Events

Lindsey and Sean's wedding was 6 years, 1 month, and 19 days in the making. They wanted it to be personal and an event that everyone would remember. Everything was handcrafted even down to their ceremony (they wrote the entire ceremony themselves, including their vows, and a long time friend married them).  As guests entered the ceremony they were taken down a white carpet, to have their picture taken in front of the monogrammed repeater (the couple was going for the star treatment). During their grand entrance the couple surprised their guests with a fun choreographed number that Lindsey's sister (the maid of honor) came up with. There was not a dry eye during Lindsey's now step-daughters speech, her Dad's speech was hilarious, and her sister even rapped. Their guests can't stop talking about the speeches! The favors were white "stunna" shades (they made the sleeves ourselves), the idea came from the grooms bday and they knew they had to incorporate them somehow. They ended the night with a sparkler send-off. The day was truly amazing and one that was filled with love and joy and the blessings of their friends and family. It is a day that they will truly never forget! 7/11/14 Forever!

Location: Stone Garden Events
Coordinator: Lisa Carusa
Photography: White Haute Photography
Florist: Moments In Bloom
Linens: Event Party Rentals
Entertainment: My DJ's
Catering: Encore Catering
Cake: Desserts by Noelle
Invitations/Stationery: Tanya Dimapindan
Hair: The Loft
Makeup: Melissa Rae & Co.
Dress: Vera Wang
Photobooth: Epod

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mangia Monday: Vegetarian Options

When your invitations go out, nine times out of ten, you will include a box for a vegetarian option. When it comes to vegetarian options, keep your friends in mind when picking the option for them.Whether they're vegetarian for health conscious reasons or for personal reasons, they are most likely excited about the food choices too!

Coordinate with your caterer so the vegetarian options appeal to your friends and family. Normally caterers have several options for vegetarian dishes that are sure to please your guests' tastebuds!

Photos from Eco Caters

Friday, October 21, 2016

Dessert of the Week: Sweet and Sassy

Who says your cake has to be uniform throughout? We love the amazing icing job on this gorgeous cake from Sugar and Scribe!  It's the perfect combination of sweet from the pink icing and sassy from the glitter cake topper.

Cake from Sugar and Scribe

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Inspiration Thursdays: Iced Coffee Vintage Romace

Their styled shoot was very unique filled with extraordinary details of incorporating our inspiration of iced coffee into our theme! The team had a lot of planning this shoot balancing the coffee elements with a classic, timeless, romantic and touch of vintage style. Each stage of their shoot presented a unique element and consistency from displaying the cute signage "Love is Brewing Wipe Your Tears" with handkerchiefs at the ceremony site, highlighting coffee beans into the boutonnieres, offering an iced coffee & tea bar, displaying coffee beans in the candle holders and escort cards tray, using coffee beans in the amber filled jars as holders for the cake pops shaped as coffee cups on the dessert display, having custom made coffee sleeves for the bridal party to enjoy, using coffee sugar scrubs as the guest favors with the tag “one to be yummy”, and another favor filled with coffee beans with the tag “one for the tummy”, and having their bride & groom hold a “thanks a latte” sign in front of a classic 1929 Durant Vintage car. Absolutely in love with the calligraphy detail on the vintage mirrors on the dessert bar, having old newspaper print love letters embedded into the wedding cake, and coffee cups airbrushed on half of the macarons and the other half with a coffee bean in the middle. Loved having a whole separate cake display honoring our groom! The groom loves motorcycles, football & whiskey! Why not have all his favorites incorporated into a topsey-turvey coffee mug cake!?! The fresh flowers were so romantic on the tablescape & sweetheart table with the gorgeous vintage furniture pieces! The collaboration between Soirees & Showers & Four Things Paper with all the stationery and calligraphy details were incredible! Love the gorgeous braid on our bride! A lot of creative details to draw inspiration from!

Location: Hilton Mission Valley
Photography: Taylor Abeel Photography
Videography: Carry On Studios
Florist: Flowers by Erin
Cake: Cute Cakes
Invitations/Stationery: Soirees & Showers Stationery / Four Things Paper
Hair & Makeup: Beauty Bar
Dress: Katie May / Paper Crown
Menswear: Friar Tux Shop
Rentals: CC Vintage Rentals / Not My Dish
Favors: Liefy Solutions