I know I’ve said it before, but I just love Isari Flower Studio so much that I have to say it again. To a black thumb like myself, when someone has such an amazing, green thumb and uses it to create pure artwork, I am in total awe. One look at the floral design from this California wedding, and you will be right there with me. Especially those absolutely gorgeous bouquets. See what I mean about the works of art? The day, as seen by Chelsea Anne Photography, was so beautiful, I almost feel sad I wasn’t there. But luck of all lucks, there is a whole gallery filled with more to make me feel right at home with this affair!

I have always been a true believer that everything happens for a reason and timing is everything.  Jason’s mother informally introduced us in 2006 while I was working as a buyer and personal stylist for a clothing boutique.  He had recently moved to California from NYC. Instantly when I heard this, the California native in me felt the need to be his official welcoming party committee, and like that we became instant friends.  We were both going through a time in our lives when we first met, friendship was all that we needed and for the next five years that was purely what it was.  Both being workaholics we hardly ever saw each other but for some reason we always stayed connected.

The idea of transitioning from friends to dating came about one night when I introduced Jason to my friend Jennifer. I remember, like it was yesterday. She literally grabbed both my arms and shook some sense into me.  With her head tilted to one side and a confused look in her eyes the words came out… “Girl, are you serious, the guy you should have been with all along is right in front of you!”  She continued bantering on lists of all the wonderful qualities she found in Jason after only one night of introduction, I couldn’t have agreed more.   It was like a light had finally turned on in my head…  But how would we transition from friends to dating, did he feel the same for me, and how would I even know?

I decided to make more time in my life for Jason because I cared to find out the answers to all my questions.  The answers came quick from small things like a helping hand through a crowd of people that held on a little longer, to an invitation of a home cooked meal when we had always grabbed meals out.  I knew when I looked in his sink after he cooked me pasta and saw that a huge label sticker was still affixed to his strainer, that Jason had probably never cooked a meal and he was trying to impress me. Confirmed by my mother in-law now, my theory was correct!

After five years of friendship Jason proposed after only five short months of dating, following in the footsteps of his father. From a journal that he had spent time cutting a perfect square out of the center of 400 pages, he placed the ring in.  Written down were all the reasons he loved being with me. Then there they were the ultimate words… “We have an exceptional life together will you marry me?”  “Yes, I cried!”  That is when all the wedding planning began…

Our wedding day went so smoothly; it felt as if we were attending someone else’s.  Jason and I knew that we wanted a non-traditional, very intimate, mostly family wedding.  Realistically we knew between the both of us we could easily have had over 300 people if we didn’t keep to our formula.

Our wedding planning journey all started with our visit to the stunning Isari Flower Studio of Tam Ashworth. She is true talent with her incredible eye for detail and art of floral styling.  Being in her studio environment just makes you smile and feel like the options are the skies the limit to what she can create. Tam’s services did not stop there.  She gave us endless literature of other vendors and even helped in suggesting wedding sites by showing us beautiful photographs.  There was never any pressure just description of what was out there for us to choose from. She helped us paint a picture of what we envisioned and then the reins were released to let her work her magic; that is how much we trusted her skills.

Jason and I wanted to walk into our wedding and have it be a wonderful visual surprise and that it was.  Missoni inspired, bright colors like chartreuse green, bright orange tones, bold magentas, a modern twist with an organic blend was what we decided on. On my wedding day Tam walked in with my bouquets and it literally brought tears to my mom’s eyes and mine.  They were the talk of the wedding and even after the wedding!

The venue we picked was the number one pick for both our families and us.  There was no comparison to the beauty of the grounds and options that they offered. Ironically Tam had been the resident florist prior to opening her own studio, this fact made our decision that much easier.  The gorgeous Park Hyatt Aviara (formally the Four Seasons) is still the best hands down hotel service we have ever experienced in all of our travels.   Peter Ho, Kelly Smorzewski and the staff of Park Hyatt went above and beyond what was expected in a big day like this.  Jason and I could not believe how much they were willing to work with us on every aspect to make sure we were more than satisfied.  No matter when I looked around I could always spot Peter or Ryan White ready and able to help us with any requests small or large.  They honestly blew away any expectations that we had and more.  Thank you Peter for getting the baby wipes out of our car for cleaning the mud of my dress!

Chelsea Anne Photography was highly recommended by numerous ladies while I was getting my hair done with my dear friend/hair designer Angela from Bella Villa Del Mar.  Everyone just seemed to know Chelsea’s work and all in unison said “She is just SO sweet and easy to work with.”  Jason and I could not have agreed more after working with her.  We both feel in love with her photo style.  What set Chelsea’s style away from others is that she captures personality and the pictures looked real not over shot or over posed. She also has an eye in capturing those all too perfect moments.  Jason and I expressed how much we were not from the “picture takers”, and she really took our words into play.  With her everlasting smiles and giggles she kept us distracted while snapping away at rapid speed.  Before we knew it the photos were done and delivered. We are still sorting through them because there are too many ones we love!  Chelsea has a caring heart, no pressure personality that we appreciated so much.  Without Chelsea and artistic talent of Natalie Medoff, my makeup magician, I believe our wedding photos would have been a good laugh instead of awes!

Our wedding day Angel came about after numerous conversations with everyone saying, “No matter how big or small you MUST have a coordinator”!  Thank you to all of you for that important detail!  Tricia Bruni seriously was like Glinda the good witch and a guardian angel all wrapped into one.  Without her soothing calm spirit, professionalism, and impeccable organizational skills who knows what would have come about that day.  She always showed up to every meeting way before us, pen in hand, and ready to go.  Her opinions on numerous wedding details were so helpful and honest, while still letting Jason and I ultimately decide.  She never let a moment ruffle any of our feathers, even when my train got stuck before my walk down the isle and she had to undo it!  Tricia is a true expert in the field of event planning and we were so lucky to have her by our sides prior to and on our big day.

Our favorite parts of the wedding were our ceremony and cake!  Jason’s Grandfathers performed the ceremony.  All we did was write a wedding outline and told each one which part was theirs; the rest was up to them.  The ceremony, like the flowers, was another surprise factor.  We did not want to know what they were going to say, and it made the day that much more special.  Words cannot express how perfect in every which way the ceremony intimately turned out.

The two cakes one for Jason and one for all, which my mother made with love, were AMAZING!  Not only the beauty but also the taste blew everyone away.   For two months my mom had been making sugar roses everyday by hand to decorate the cake.  I did not know my request of a cake adorned in roses would be so much work, if I were to have known I would have never made such a grand request.  Honestly the red velvet cake probably weighed more than my tiny mom and we were so grateful for all the heart that was put into making it.

I must slip in one more favorite, my Elie Saab dress from Provence Bride.  They were so helpful and kind when I pretty much begged to buy the sample size 12 dress off their rack.  I think the designer-to-designer sympathy in Allyson Simone could feel the desperation in me.  With time running out to design my own dress, I purchased the dress knowing I would have to redesign it to a size 2 to make it work.  After removing 30 yards in fabrics and redesigning the entire top it was perfectly made for me and it was instant love!

As we looked out at our close friends and family while we danced to our band “Kicks” goose bumps version of “At Last”; Jason and I smiled knowing that our wedding day went just as planned and without a hitch!

Wedding Coordination: Tricia Bruni / Wedding Photography: Chelsea Anne Photography / Location + Catering: Park Hyatt Aviara / Officiates: Grandfathers / Floral Design: Isari Flower Studio / Wedding Cake: Mother of the Bride / Invitations: Sweet Paper, Bella Figura / Calligraphy: Jessica Ford Beltran, Moira Events & Design / Music: “Kicks” Band / Hair: Angela Carlson, Bella Villa Del Mar / Make-up:  Natalie Medoff / Wedding Dress:  Elie Saab, Provence Bride / Bride’s Wedding ring: Cartier / Engagement ring: custom design by Melvin Krumholz of Wedding Rings Original NYC / Bride’s Necklace: Morgan Jean Jewelry / Bride’s Earrings & Bracelet: Bloomingdales Fine Jewelry / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dress: Bloomingdales (pink) & Shopbop (blue) / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Tie: Louis Vuitton / Groom’s Shirt: Gucci / Groom’s Shoes:  Gucci / Grooms Ring: Cartier / Groom’s Watch: Jacob the Jeweler

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