I stumble across many a gorgeous soiree in my day to day. It’s the best part about being a wedding blogger – finding those weddings that literally stop me in my tracks due to their utter gorgeousness. Well Meagan Ramirez of Collective Photographers captured such a wedding, and I am floored. Still. I’ve been pouring over the amazing Cinco de Mayo affair for days trying to figure out how best to set up this wedding, coordinated by LVL Weddings & Events. I’m still not sure I was able to capture the FULL beauty of the day – so you simply must visit the gallery as soon as you’re ready for even MORE!

Click here to see the gorgeous soiree in the gallery!

The inspiration for our wedding stemmed from the date we selected for our celebration and from a styled shoot that was posted on Green Wedding Shoes. We chose to celebrate our wedding on Cinco de Mayo for several reasons. For one, it’s a very easy date to remember. Aside from that, that date comes very close to mother’s day and several of our family member’s birthdays. We liked the fact that we could recognize our mothers and those with upcoming birthdays at our wedding…we could make our wedding a celebration and gathering of many occasions. Once we had the date, I started playing with the idea of incorporating Spanish and Mexican décor. I searched online and came across a blog post in which talented vendors came together to create their vision of a pastel, Cinco de Mayo wedding. The results were gorgeous to say the least! Alan and I both loved this vision and decided to take from it what we liked and essentially create our own personalized version of a pastel Cinco de Mayo wedding.

The first step was finding the right venue. The church was a no brainer since we wanted to get married at the church we regularly attended. We wanted our reception venue to be outdoors so that we could enjoy the natural beauty of plants and the night sky in the evening. We looked at several venues and fell in love with Franciscan Gardens in San Juan Capistrano for several reasons. For one, the venue was outdoors and the landscaping was beautiful! Rose bushes, vines, and succulents covered the perimeter of the venue. It also had this Spanish, rustic feel with its iron details, fountains, and large wooden doors. It was a gem we found hidden within a block of historic San Juan Capistrano Mission. Of course we loved that the Mission was only steps away. It was the perfect location for portraits and intimate pictures of Alan and I. Franciscan Gardens also worked in conjunction with 24 Carrots as their catering company. In was ultimately our one stop shop for good food, linens, drinks, and cake. Very convenient! Once we had the date and the venue, we worked with Asha Kircher from Letterpress and Design to create our custom made letterpress invitations. She did a fantastic job of designing according to our vision. Our invitations were beautiful, elegant and classy thanks to her!

As a wedding photographer, the next big item on my to do list was selecting the perfect photographer to capture our special day. I had my handful of favorite photographers and ultimately decided on Meagan from the Collective Photographers. We are soooo extremely happy with our photography and feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Meagan. She helped us feel comfortable in front of the lens and captured all the important details and moments from our day.

Instead of getting our guests traditional gifts they could take home like candles and candy…we wanted them to have some fun with their gift and essentially take home a memory from the wedding. We decided to get a photo booth in which our guests could have fun taking pictures. I came to know about Francisco and his business known as the Mobile Photo Booth by shooting various weddings. He had amazing client relations and delivered a high quality product with efficiency and finesse. It was a huge success at our wedding and made the day extra fun and memorable for us and our guests. I also came to know about our DJ while photographing other weddings. Of all the weddings I had done, only one DJ stood apart from the crowd. Roderick from VOX dj’s not only played amazing music, he held his ground with such confidence and professionalism. We loved that he was bilingual and was familiar with Spanish tunes that were appropriate for our Cinco de Mayo wedding. He was also amazing and helped make our wedding very special.

Once many of the vendors were set, the next big item on my list was floral. We knew right away that we wanted to incorporate succulents because it’s Alan’s favorite type of plant. I also have this thing about vintage knick knacks…more specifically, wooden cigar boxes. Alan and I wanted to be un-traditional with our centerpieces and wedding details, so we got the idea to put our flowers in these boxes. We met with several floral designers and found that several of them were very traditional. Luckily, we found Pamela Babbage from the French Bouquet. She’s an amazing floral designer that took our concept of a pastel, rustic, Spanish wedding and ran with it. She was excited about our vision and was very open to trying out new things. She and I met a few times to brainstorm ideas and play with flowers and different setups. I even went to the fashion district in Los Angeles and bought burlap and lace to use as table runners. Pamela went above and beyond our vision and expectations. All the floral and decor at our wedding was beautiful thanks to Pamela and her creativity.

As we came closer to our wedding date, we found that all the final details were a bit overwhelming. We knew from the start that Alan and I did not want to be burdened with all the last minute details the day of the wedding. We also knew that we didn’t want our families and parents concerned with such things either. For that reason, we decided to look for a day of coordinator that could help the wedding day go smoothly. Hope from LVL Events was our angel sent from heaven. She was absolutely amazing at keeping the day going smoothly and perfect! She was so easy to work with! Very professional, organized, punctual, polite, everything and more you would ever want in a coordinator. She made our vision come together beautifully by creating a schedule of events, communicating the details with all the vendors, and handling all last minute details.

Our wedding day celebration was a complete blessing! Alan and I feel so honored, special and lucky to have worked with such talented vendors. We could not get over how amazing everything turned out and how blessed we are to start our new life together with such a wonderful celebration. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts to all our amazing vendors!

Photography: Meagan Ramirez of the Collective Photographers / Wedding Coordination: Hope of LVL Weddings & Events / Ceremony Venue: Santiago de Compostela Catholic Church, Lake Forest / Reception Venue: Franciscan Gardens, San Juan Capistrano / Catering: 24 Carrots Catering & Events / DJ: DJ Roderick of Vox DJs / Florals: Pamela of French Bouquet / Cake: Sweet Gems / Photo booth: Mobile Photo Booth / Hair & Make up: Flawless Faces / Limo: White Rose Limo

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