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Whimsical La Jolla Wedding by We Heart Photography

We heart We Heart Photography in a big way. Why? Because they send us beauties like this wedding at the crazy gorgeous Estancia La Jolla. Planned to to perfection by the beautiful Bride and Joyful Weddings and Events, it’s literally overflowing with all the things that make my heart beat a little faster. And you can see just what I mean here

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Hotel
Styles
Whimsical

From The Bride…Kevin and I met through my sister and brother-in-law on New Year’s Eve 2010. After talking all night, we had our first kiss at midnight. Kevin is very methodical and rational; I’m a bit more emotional and creative. We just work.

From the start we had two different visions. Kevin wanted classic and I wanted some whimsy. It was important to me that we started our marriage by combining our two aesthetics as they speak so much to who we are as people. Our wedding slowly evolved to be what I like to think of as an indoor garden party. From the farm tables, to the soft color palette, we were able to create the perfect atmosphere. I never felt like I was compromising. By combining our different ideas, our wedding became more than either of us could have imagined on our own.

Initially I wasn’t planning on doing much DIY. I had done a lot for my sister’s wedding, and wanted to simplify. Of course, I ended up adding an extra stamp of us to everything and, in some cases, probably obsessed a little too much over the details. Etsy of course became my best friend. One of my biggest DIY projects was the cake topper. Kevin really wanted a custom topper of us and our dog, Patrick. I looked into getting one made, but found them extremely expensive. So instead, I bought a plain laser woodcut of a bride, groom and dog (off of Etsy), and painted it to look like us.

Other things I did were all about creating the atmosphere we imagined. I bought very classic wedding invitations and ended up die cutting a floral design around the edges to give it a little bit of romance. I did the same thing on the programs I created. For our escort cards, I ordered these beautiful paper flowers off of Etsy in different colors and glued them to Avery business cards. (This let me print them off of my computer after I realized my calligraphy wasn’t the best).

Favorite Moments: This is hard. Kevin and I differ on this. Kevin’s favorite moment was our first look. As he says, “it really blew away any preconceptions I had had. It made everything real.” For me, it was after the ceremony, and after we finished taking all the photos. The photographers left us to go shoot details and we weren’t sure if we were supposed to go towards the cocktail area or wait for someone to come get us. Instead we just decided to take a minute and to sit on a bench and view the cocktail area from afar. It gave us a chance to take it all in. It gave us a chance to joke around. It was really our first moment alone as a married couple.

Advice for other Brides: Also hard. I would say the best advice I got and took, was that as much work as I put into the planning and prepping (over 15 months) I made sure to have a cut-off point and just be a part of the wedding. My sister came to stay with us the Thursday before the wedding and was very insistent that everything be packed and ready to go before we went to bed. Friday was to relax. I felt rushed Thursday, I won’t lie. But Friday came and I was just able to enjoy. Even when little things happened (I forgot the ribbon bouquet for the rehearsal; candles weren’t lit at the reception) I just enjoyed it all.

Musical Choices – Processional and Recessional: My brother, Alex, and his old music teacher played acoustic guitar. | Grand Entrance: Huey Lewis “The Power of Love” – We wanted an 80s rock anthem to set the tone for the night. | First Dance: Jack Johnson “Better Together” – It’s a lovely song. And if you listen to the words it’s the perfect balance of silly and serious. Just like us. | Father/Daughter Dance: Tom Petty “Wildflowers” – This was perfect. I actually remember my dad playing it for me when I was a child. | Mother/Son Dance: Fleetwood Mac “Landslide” – You have to pull at the heartstrings a little.

Kevin’s favorite photo is where I am losing it during the ceremony. He loved the moment it captured.

My favorite photo is the one where we are about to be lifted in the chairs during the horah and Kevin is whispering in my ear. I don’t remember what he said but I love that it’s a special moment just the two of us in the midst of all of our family and friends.

Photography: We Heart Photography | Event Design: Joyful Weddings and Events | Floral Design: Modern Bouquet | Cake: Babycakes | Bridesmaids : Jenny Yoo | Hair and Makeup: Angela Smith | Groom's Attire: Rocky's Custom Clothes | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Ceremony Music: Victory Mori | Wedding Venue: Estancia La Jolla | Bride's Gown: Pronovias | Live Band: Groove Factory | Rentals: Forever Vintage Rentals

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Colorful Spring Wedding at Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Considering the Groom works for Rachael Ray, it’s no surprise that the food at this fete was on point (the fantastic chef herself was even in attendance). But delicious dishes aside, every single aspect of this bash beamed. Wedding Kate orchestrated it all, from the bright blooms to the never ending parade of plates and Marianne Wilson snapped away; these pics are guaranteed to leave you hungry for more!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Rustic

From Wedding Kate… When I first met with Katy and Andrew I knew they were special. They laughed easily and playfully yet had sharp senses of humor and impeccable taste. Katy obviously works in Public Relations (gorgeous AND smart) and Andrew works for chef, philanthropist and talk-show host, Rachel Ray. We talked about Chicago’s cold weather and how their Santa Barbara wedding was going to be a much needed spring retreat for their guests. We planned sweet thoughtful details, amazing food and dreamed about the warm evening festivities. But then came spring, and so came the rain. We were all shocked to feel the drops that morning, especially as our iPhones showed the chance of rain at 0%. We scrambled and unset the tables, the linens, the china. After a few prayers and rain dances, just before the invitation time, the rain subsided. We hustled and bustled and placed each item in just the right spot. Guests arrived to be welcomed by refreshments and live acoustic guitar, almost as though the poor weather had never happened at all!

The bridesmaids carried beautiful bouquets bursting with bright peonies and ranunculus, sweet silk ribbons trailed down and caught the wind perfectly. The groomsmen all had sprigs of the groom’s favorite herbs attached to their lapels.

The ceremony was set beautifully with a meandering aisle, sweet floral bunches and billowy white chiffon draping the alter. The celebration was officiated by the bride and groom’s best friend, a television producer from New York (yes, he is both of their best friend!). He had all the wit and humor one would expect from someone who works on some of TV’s most popular shows. Just as the ceremony ended and the couple turned to come down the aisle, a professional singer in the crowd popped up and surprised the couple with a flash mod-style serenade. The guests had all received (secretly!) the lyrics to one of the couple’s favorite songs and the group of 150 sang their best version of “All You Need Is Love.” Cocktail hour featured corn-hole boards with an artist’s rendition of the couple hand painted on them. Signature cocktails named after the bridal party were passed and appetizers from guest Rachel Ray were devoured almost as quickly as they came out of the kitchen. The wood dining tables were covered with handmade lace and burlap runners, crafted with love by the bride’s mother. Bright floral hues popped against the dark mahogany and gold accents. Short Ribs, Santa Barbara Rockfish, Mac n Cheese and Gourmet Green Beans were served family style and it was as delicious as it was abundant. Guests danced to Motown hits and drank from an authentic Spanish Porron, which provided some guests with entirely soaked outfits and lots of laughs. Flip flops and hoodies came out towards the end of the night to keep the dancing strong and to make sure all the Midwestern folks were warm on this cold, gusty evening. Guests walked to the after party but not before stopping at the Walking Taco Bar which consisted of all the traditional taco fixings poured into a bag of Fritos. Hot sauce was brought all the way from Chicago’s famed Mexican Restaurant, Antique Taco. Although they didn’t have their dream of a warm Santa Barbara wedding, the wedding they DID get sure was dreamy.

Photography: Marianne Wilson Photography | Event Planning: Wedding Kate | Floral Design: Camellia Floral Design | Catering: Duo Catering & Events | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | Wedding Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum | Music: Gavin Roy

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Event Planning
Wedding Kate
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Romantic San Ysidro Ranch Summer Wedding

For these longtime loves, their idea of the ultimate lovefest meant one major outdoor celebration. Planning a stunning affair complete with ocean views and a mountain backdrop, this whimsical hometown fete from Jill and Co. Events will leave dreaming of the Golden state. It’s the ultimate sunny celebration from the lens of from Diana McGregor and it’s blooming with perfectly pink details that have us redefining romance.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
GardenRanch
Styles
Romantic

From Jill and Co EventsThe Bride and Groom both reside in Santa Barbara, and knew they wanted to share the specialness of their hometown with all of their guests on their big day. After touring multiple venues with her sister, Jenn knew after visiting the San Ysidro Ranch that nothing else could quite compare with the history of the love stories there, as well as the location being nestled between lush gardens with the majestic mountains in the background.

Having a sister as an event photographer, photography was of the utmost importance, and we were thrilled to have Diana McGregor Photography on board with her team to capture all of the moments and details. Anna LePley Taylor created magic with her florals, adding to the ambiance of the San Ysidro Ranch and creating a romantic atmosphere in the Hydrangea Cottage where the intimate group of 60 dined by candlelight. The guests danced the night away under the stars and the beautiful chandeliers provided by Bella Vista Lighting to tunes spun by Gavin Roy of Gavin Roy Productions. It was a perfect day in May with a dream team assembled, and personally so special to be entrusted on executing a beautiful day for a colleague and good friend’s sister.

From the beautiful Bride… Steve and I met in 2003 in the Bay Area when we were 16 years old. We were friends and dated throughout high school, and then moved to Santa Barbara together to attend college and start our careers. The vision for our wedding was soft and romantic, and inspired by the beautiful gardens of San Ysidro Ranch. Since we’ve lived in Santa Barbara for 10 years now, we knew we wanted our wedding to reflect Santa Barbara and what it means to us, and San Ysidro Ranch was it. With a rich history, beautiful backdrop, it’s close relationship to nature, and awesome antiques throughout the location, we knew this was the perfect spot for us and all things we love.

We added soft blues, golds and blushes into our color scheme, and allowed our small wedding party to choose the clothes that were right for them! Our guest list was just right at 60 guests. We initially started out at over 200 guests and decided we wanted to have our wedding for us, and not for everybody else. So, we invited our closest friends and family and had the time of our lives! It was the best decision we could have made!

We wanted to be surrounded by nature, and beautiful gardens are definitely my weakness, so getting married outside among San Ysidro’s beautiful flowers, draping vines, large magnolia and citrus trees, rose bushes, and the Santa Ynez mountains to one side of us, and the Pacific Ocean to the other, was more than enough for us. The minute we stepped onto the property, smelled the floral and citrus scents, heard the birds chirping and the butterflies floating by, we knew it was right for us.

Also, the rich history, beautiful architecture and antiques that surround the property were all reasons why we couldn’t step away from San Ysidro Ranch! The stories that surround the 123 year old property make it all that much more special and closer to Santa Barbara and why we love it here so much. Additionally, the staff, food and wine list at San Ysidro were all added bonuses to what we call our perfect venue.

The flowers were soft and romantic with touches of white, blush and greenery throughout. We used garland on our banquet tables and large arrangements on our round tables during dinner. We also included olive branches on each table setting inside with a matching large olive branch garland along the fireplace inside the Hydrangea Room for dinner, along with large olive branch arrangements during cocktail hour and outside on the patio for dancing. We also included touches of soft draped flowers on our wedding cake with cut green figs and textured frosting.

Photography: Diana McGregor | Coordination: Jill And Co. Events | Floral Design: Anna Le Pley Taylor | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Cake: San Ysidro Ranch | Stationery: Lazaro Press And Designs | Necklace: Zoe Chicco | Catering: San Ysidro Ranch | Makeup Artist: Luna Bella Make Up | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | DJ: GRP | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan | Officiant: Jon Ireland | Transportation: SB Trolley | Bridal Boutique: M Bride Salon | Bride's Shoes And Clutch: Jimmy Choo | Ceremony & Reception Venue: San Ysidro Ranch | Earrings : J. Crew | Guitarist: Ybarra Music | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Photography - Assistance: Michelle Boyd | Rentals: Town And Country

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Romantic Summer Wedding at Kunde Vineyards

Stylish sweethearts, s’mores and Sonoma Valley weddings, these are a few of my favorite things. This beautiful bash hit a home run with all of this and more, planned and designed by the talented Alicia K Designs. With La Tavola adding lovely linens and It’s A Date At The Powder Room helping the Bride shine even more, Jessamyn Harris’s pics are too good for words. Get in on this fun right here!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Winery
Styles
Rustic

From Jessamyn Harris… Michelle and Tom traveled to Sonoma County for their sunny, romantic wedding day at Kunde Family Estate winery. Michelle is a personal stylist in Chicago, so she’s got great style and she knows what she wants. That combined with her Midwestern kindness made their wedding wonderful and easy to photograph! We traipsed off the beaten path to a big white cow barn that I didn’t even know Kunde had, despite shooting there often.

Before the ceremony, Michelle and Tom took advantage of the cool air and perfect light in the wine caves to have a first look and take some pictures. We also made sure to do portraits in the golden evening light at Boot Hill (where the ceremony and reception were at Kunde), overlooking acres of vineyards in every direction right at sunset.

Typically I am not a big romantic or fan of pink, but this couple incorporated different shades of pink; Michelle’s long veil and lace wedding dress, soft pastels with bright pinks in the florals and for the bridesmaids – and I loved it! Just like the bride and groom, the whole wedding felt beautiful, joyful, very sweet with whimsy and surprising bold pops, and romantic but real. It was gorgeous, and we’d all do it again in a heartbeat! :)

From the Bride and Groom… Both of us are natives to Chicago. We wanted a wedding that was unique and a moment in time to always remember. We wanted to create a sensory experience for our guests that celebrated the love we feel for each other and our family. Kunde is magical place and to us, is a peaceful setting that felt like home. It’s rustic sophistication and intimate vibe, was exactly what we were looking for. All of our vendors are so talented and a pleasure to work with. They all worked so hard to create the intimate wedding of our dreams.

Photography: Jessamyn Harris | Floral Design: Alicia K Designs | Wedding Dress: Alvina Valenta | Cake: Costeaux French Bakery | Invitations: Letterpress By Lydia | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Catering: Park Avenue Catering | Hair And Makeup: It's A Date At The Powder Room | DJ: Four Leaf Entertainment | Groomsmen's Attire: Vera Wang | Officiant: Reverend Michael Ireland | Transportation: California Wine Tours | Wedding Venue: Kunde Vineyards | Event Planning & Design: Alicia K Designs | Linens: La Tavola | Mother Of The Bride Dress: Pronovias | Rentals: Wine Country Party | Sash: Enzoani | Stylist: My Chicago Stylist, Michelle Jeremias (Bride) | Veil: Miss Allaneas

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Romantic Vintage-Inspired Surprise Wedding

Surprising dozens of guests who think they’re attending an engagement party instead of the actual nuptials is tough to pull off — especially with as many thoughtful and beautiful details as this gorgeous lovefest. Lucky for us, Megan Welker Photography was there to capture every moment, from the Groom’s ecstatic reaction to the first look, to the beautiful Bride’s walk down the aisle. See it all in the gallery here!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Villa

From Chloe+MintMark loves to surprise Vanessa any chance he gets. So it was only appropriate that Vanessa and Mark would plan a surprise wedding! Family and friends of Vanessa and Mark were invited to an “engagement party”, only to be revealed to right before the ceremony that they were going to be witnessing a wedding! Alongside Chloe+Mint, Vanessa and Mark designed a beautiful wedding, inspired by a romantic setting with a vintage flair. We brought in some beautiful pieces of furniture from Mint Vintage and created a romantic floral design. The venue itself was just beautiful as is but Vanessa and Mark wanted to incorporate a few sentimental pieces as well.

We loved Vanessa’s blush colored dress! And with Mark’s black and blue attire, it went perfectly with our theme. Although the Bride and Groom asked the wedding party the day of to walk down the aisle, everyone was dressed to the nines.

From The Bride… It’s almost impossible to describe the energy the moment of walking down the aisle. I’ve never felt so much love, support and excitement like that ever before. Walking down the aisle to Mark was definitely the best 3 minutes of my life! And really, the entire night was just a dream. After planning so long in secret and seeing everything come to fruition and in action, was all just amazing. The whole night was just magical — maybe too crazy of a party since my sisters water broke 24 hours later!

Photography: Megan Welker Photography | Videographer: Jordan Schulz | Floral Design: Chloe+Mint | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Invitations: Mashee Suites | Catering: Tres L.A. Catering | Hair and Makeup: Lauren | DJ: Prestige Event Pros | Wedding Venue: Carondelet House | Bridal Bouquet: Ellamah | Cake and Desserts: Semi Sweet Bakery | Coordination/ Design: Chloe+Mint | Furniture: Mint Vintage

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Romantic Black Tie Engagement Session at Sunstone Winery

This engagement shoot is just too good; I can’t help but wonder how absolutely amazing the wedding will be. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because these snapshots deserve plenty of love all on their own. Trini Mai captured the romance between these cuties and this gallery has too many Pinterest pics to keep count (the dress! the bouquet!). Prepare to have your breath taken away right this way!

From the Bride-to-be… Trieu and I are both volunteer youth group leaders and we met in February 2005 at a leadership training camp. That summer we hung out often with a big group of mutual friends but I had no idea he was “into” me. Given that he was a very shy person, I was shocked when he called me a few months later and asked for a one-on-one date. Now, almost a decade later (oh boy!), we’re engaged and absolutely cannot wait to be husband and wife.

Although we’ve been together for a while, the proposal came as a surprise as there were no signs of it happening just yet. Towards the end of December, Trieu asked me to go with him to watch his niece’s Christmas photoshoot where Trini was also the photographer. As they were wrapping up the shoot, Trini asked us to get in for a family photo and while she was clicking away, Trieu got down on one knee and proposed. He was shaking like a leaf so I had to put him out of his misery with a quick “YES!!!” ;)

Since we love nature and stunning landscapes, we chose Malibu and Sunstone Winery as the backdrops for our engagement. While searching for what to wear, I fell in love with this Marchesa dress at first sight and just had to have it. Initially I didn’t expect much from the photoshoot because it was our first time being photographed – we had no idea what we were doing! On top of that, we had very limited daylight since it kept raining on and off and we literally waited out the rain sitting in our car. But boy Trini sure delivered! She walked us through the whole process with ease and the pictures turned out perfect. We are so happy with our engagement photos and look forward to saying “I do” later this year.

Photography: Trini Mai Photography | Floral Design: Flower Allie | Dress: Marchesa | Hair And Makeup: Vincent Tran | Venue: Sunstone Winery