We L.O.V.E a fabulous traditional soiree here at SMP and this darling Monterey Plaza Hotel wedding is EXACTLY what we needed to kick off the week. With gorgeous florals and event design by Therese Jacinto Design, a pair of stunning Badgley Mischka heels and a breathtaking seaside setting, you’ll spend every last second of your Monday falling head over heels in love. Yep, it doesn’t get any better than a day of pretty, pretty inspiration and with an entire gallery overflowing with brilliant images captured by Michael L’Heureux Photography, you can mark that a guarantee. Click here for more.
From the Bride… When James and I began planning our wedding, we both agreed that we wanted to keep things fairly simple and stress-free. And we were really fortunate in that the vendors we worked with — from our jeweler to our seamstress to Michael at the tux rental store — were just the nicest people! But three in particular stand out above all the rest: our venue, photographer and florist were like the Triforce of wedding vendors. Having a fancy wedding, much less one nice enough to submit to a wedding blog, was just about the furthest thing from our minds during the planning process, and I think it’s really a credit to these three in particular that our wedding turned out as nicely as it did. James and I chose to get married in Monterey because we love the beach (we are honeymooning in the Tahitian islands!), and we chose the Monterey Plaza Hotel in particular because it had such a romantic and elegant beach resort atmosphere, as well as an incredibly helpful and courteous catering manager, Alexis Davis. I think we chose well because, in the end, both of these factors contributed heavily towards our achieving not only a lovely wedding, but an incredibly stress-free one as well! I was fortunate enough to be referred to Therese Jacinto for my wedding flowers. An event/interior designer by trade, Therese had impeccable taste and a flair for floral design. For example, after I mentioned how I’d wanted to incorporate some subtle oceanic elements into our décor but was worried about it being campy or touristy, she put together a romantic driftwood/pearl/seashell design piece for our guestbook table that was so elegant and beautiful, it just took your breath away! Her centerpiece arrangements were classic and timeless, but at the same time modern and fun. She convinced me to consider carnations as a more economical option for the pomander balls I so badly wanted — even though carnations were the one type of flower I was dead-set against — and they turned out absolutely adorable!
One of my favorite parts of the wedding was right after the ceremony when the wedding party took our photos on the beach against the backdrop of an old abandoned cannery building. We waited until after the ceremony for this shoot because we knew there was a good chance my dress would get dirty on the beach, and it’s lucky we did because we ended up getting caught in a pretty big wave at one point! Our photographer, Michael of Michael L’Heureux Photography, was so awesome about it, and I didn’t even realize he probably spent the rest of the evening walking around with soaking wet shoes/socks until much later when one of my bridesmaids mentioned it. It really made our wedding that much better having a photographer who was not only talented and skilled professionally, but someone we all genuinely liked as a person as well. Another highlight was during our dinner reception… James and I love playing games, so we had prepared a pub trivia game where the questions pertained to our lives together, including a music and picture round that got a lot of laughs. Our DJ had never even heard of pub trivia, but he played his role as Quizmaster Joe with relish, and the game ended up being a blast!
At the onset of our planning, James and I agreed that aside from our venue, florist and photographer, we’d be more economical in our budgeting. For example, I bought a gorgeous used Monique Lhuillier dress from Preownedweddingdresses.com for more than 50% off the retail price. As an added bonus, the previous owner of the dress had been the same size as me, so alteration costs were minimal. As another example, James and I made our invitations and programs using resume paper from Target and card stock from Kinko’s. We saved a bundle and got compliments! Hopefully, our wedding gives hope to other brides out there, who perhaps don’t want to spend a fortune or dedicate a stressful year of their life micromanaging every detail, that a lovely wedding can be had without either of the aforementioned issues.
Wedding Photography: Michael L’Heureux Photography / Wedding Venue: Monterey Plaza Hotel / Floral + Event Design: Therese Jacinto Design / Catering + Cake: Monterey Plaza Hotel / DJ + MC: Joe Cannizzaro of Kelly Productions / Officiant: Ken Robins / Engagement Ring: Custom design by Chabo’s Jewelry / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier via Preownedweddingdresses.com / Alterations: Studio Trousseau / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Makeup: Narimi Baek / Hair: Maureen Takano + Nina Wu / Groom’s Attire: Black Tie Tuxedos / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo / Bridesmaid Bracelets: Rachel Leigh