The “dynamic duo” of Nick and Aleah Valley at The Good Life Special Events are joining us today on The Little Black Book Blog with the story of Jennifer and Steve’s beautiful San Diego wedding. And because they’ve got the inside track on this one, we’re turning over the mike to them for all the pretty details!

Jennifer and Steve are one of those oh-so sweet couples that carried a long-distance relationship into a wonderful union. We worked with them for over a year, bringing their vision of an elegant, summery affair to life, complete with subtle nods to Jennifer’s hometown, New Orleans. Jennifer moved cross-country to Ventura, California to join Steve and the rest of their love story starts here.


As nearly all of the one hundred guests were coming from out of town, they chose to house the celebration at Loews Coronado Resort on Coronado Island. It’s a gorgeous venue with sweeping views of San Diego Bay, the Coronado Bridge, and downtown San Diego and offered up fun amenities for their guests. We worked closely with Jennifer to bring her roots to life in a subtle way – the palette we worked with was described as “muted Mardi Gras,” with tones like butter, pale sage, and lavender as the front runners.

A Fleur-de-Lis pattern was incorporated from the save-the-dates and invitations, to the wedding day stationery and the rose petal pattern down the aisle.


We also handmade several dozen ribbon wands that many of the guests waved after they said “I Do” and at the reception. They were a huge hit!

Dark lanterns and frames were present through the decor, bringing a contrast of candlelight and a vintage Victorian feeling to the bash. In keeping with the elegant motif, we used custom satin napkins from Wildflower Linen in canary and lavender. Guest’s entrĂ©e names were spelled out in Creole; another nod to Jennifer’s roots.


We designed the flowers to be aesthetically interesting and unique. Jennifer is one of those sweet brides who really had no preference or any desire to have many flowers. We manged to talk her into adorning half of the tables with non-floral centerpieces and the other half with flowers! We placed light green and purple hydrangea clouds in monochromatic arrangements against more vibrant yellow rose clusters. On other tables we designed centerpieces with an understated shout-out to San Diego. A mixture of tall and short glass hurricanes were filled with sand from San Diego beaches and topped with pillar candles. Moss and small shells were tucked into the displays, alongside table numbers inserted into vintage gold-brocade and dark mahogany frames. Each table was stocked with two custom glass bottles of sparkling water, complete with hand-stamped bronze wax seals spelling out “LOVE.”


Just before the cake cutting ceremony, Jennifer pulled out an amazing vintage tradition that dates back to Victorian time and is especially popular in New Orleans for all sorts of celebrations. The cake pull ceremony was such a hit: the cake baker gently inserts Victorian charms {a vintage key, an alligator, and other goodies} into the base of the cake. The bride calls up 10 of her nearest and dearest ladies and one by one they pull out one charm by the ribbon it’s attached to. Each charm signifies something special and the bride announces what each lady will be granted. For example, an anchor means a steady and true relationship. A a picture frame means a lifetime of memories. An airplane means a lifetime of travel and adventure. One of the ladies pulled the key, which signifies comfort in a new home. What’s amazing: she just bought a new home!


After the cake pull ceremony and cake cutting, dancing got underway. Guests boogied into the night and played with the personalized frisbees that acted as favors. Jennifer’s friends and family are big into pro-type frisbee so it played a part in the bash.

All in all, Jennifer and Steve’s wedding was the culmination of a year of wonderful planning, thoughtful details, and the start of an amazing marriage.


~ Nick and Aleah Valley, The Good Life Special Events

Planning, Coordination & Floral Design: The Good Life Special Events
Photography: Llanes Weddings
Venue: Loews Coronado Resort
Jennifer’s gown and veil: Melissa Sweet
Cake: The French Gourmet
Officiant: Pastor Dave Weber
Music and lighting: Gary Binuya
Napkins: Wildflower Linen
Stationery Goods: Bamboo Star Studios
Hair and Makeup: Char Sanchez
Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy

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