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Romantic Summer Wedding at Rancho Valencia

The elegant simplicity of this Bride’s gown, the colors of the romantic venue, her son walking her down the aisle; all these parts came together to create a wedding to remember, warming my heart at every glance of Troy Grover’s photos. LVL Weddings & Events made magic with La Tavola’s linens and Sweet Marie Designs, and Luke Lindgren captured all the live action, making my tear right up – all this way!

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Summer
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Resort

From Troy Grover Photographers… Ranee and Josh met in Basalt, Colorado, when Josh bought Swedish Painting Company, including the condo above it. Little did he know, his future wife lived there with her son. As luck would have it, Ranee’s dishwasher broke about two weeks later. After trying to fix it, Josh ended up buying a new one. The day it was installed, she came home to find a note on it that said, “Let’s celebrate clean dishes with a drink. Say yes!” And the rest is history.

Although Ranee is from Texas and Josh had called New York home, they settled together as a family in Aspen, Colorado. When trying to choose a location for their upcoming wedding, they knew none of those locations were quite right for them, and decided sunny San Diego would be a perfect getaway for their guests. When they stepped into Rancho Valencia, Ranee and Josh fell in love with everything about it. Upon learning that Josh’s parents celebrate their anniversary there every year, they knew it was fate!

The vibe of Rancho Valencia was less formal than Ranee originally envisioned their wedding to be, but using Josh’s love for the color blue, and Ranee’s love for monogramming, they created the perfect theme for their day. Their custom logo they designed ended up being the center of the design for the wedding. It was on invitations, linen napkins, cake, chair backs, guest gift bags, cocktail napkins, and even the ring bearer’s pillow. Ranee’s favorite detail to plan was the navy linen napkins with the white monogrammed logo that was at every seat for the reception. Because the napkins were used after she officially became an “Austin” she changed the logo from “RJ” to just an “A.” Because of that, they were able to give some of the napkins to Josh’s parents, who helped so much with the wedding, and his grandmother.

Above all, Ranee’s favorite thing about the whole weekend was watching her son add the final touches to his very own cake and meeting Lindsey Sinatra and team at A Wish and a Whisk. Her son is an avid watcher of cake designing shows, so the couple decided in lieu of a groom’s cake, to have a special cake designed by her son instead. When Ranee mentioned this detail to Heather Hoesch, their wedding planner from LVL Weddings & Events, she knew Lindsey was on one of the Food Network shows and was available to make the cakes. After enthusiastically creating many ideas, Ranee’s son decided on an Aspen themed cake, with the top reading “Let’s make new tracks.” Lindsey created all the details so he could add them onto the cake himself. Ranee’s son said this was definitely his favorite part of the wedding!

Their main priority for their wedding was for all their guests to feel like they were on vacation and to have a relaxing wedding day. Ranee started the day with just her and her son, laughing and spending breakfast together – her favorite memory of the day. Then the girls took a yoga class before getting ready and the guys took a tennis lesson. Rancho Valencia provided the rest of the atmosphere and the day felt exactly like they had hoped. She urges brides planning their weddings just to focus on the day, family, and friends. All the little things you worry about, no one will notice, they will just remember the ambiance and how fun the day is.

Photography: Troy Grover Photographers | Videography: Luke Lindgren Cinema | Floral Design: Sweet Marie Designs | Cake: A Wish And A Wisk | Wedding Venue: Rancho Valencia | Event Coordination: LVL Weddings & Events | Linens: La Tavola Linen

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Classically Romantic Culver City Wedding

When I see Honey Honey Photography flash across my screen, I know loads of pretty are about to be delivered my way—and not just darling details, but ever so beautiful moments stolen in time, too. This classic affair at The Culver Hotel is filled to the brim with them and I can’t stop staring. Plus, the Bride and Groom, who dated for 10 years and then planned their wedding in just three months are my new heroes. See just how lovely their day was right here in the full gallery.

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Seasons
Spring
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Hotel

From the Bride… “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” -When Harry Met Sally

Sean and I have been together for ten years. We started dating while I was still in high school and he was a shockingly older college man of 19. Although we were just kids, we can truly say we fell in love right from the beginning. There was so much growth to be experienced on both sides, and we never wanted to rush into anything. Over the years we’ve seen each other grow so much, slowly becoming the people we want to be. We had waited to get engaged, but it was the right time for us in our lives. We dove in, and decided to plan our wedding in just three months. Call us crazy, but at the very end we were extremely happy with our timeline. When you know you want to be with somebody… sometimes it’s just time to grab life by the horns and make it happen.

Our thoughtful choices for venue and vendors truly shaped our experience for the day. As a couple, we appreciate things that are an interesting mix of modern and classic. While Sean leans more toward modern tastes and I favor the vintage side of things, we certainly meet in the middle and appreciate all things that are timeless. We share a love of jazz, classic cocktails, and clean white spaces. The only venue I truly wanted to visit was the historic Culver Hotel, built in 1925. Their modern vintage vibe for our intimate wedding was perfection. Looking at the front entrance, you would never know if the hotel was from the 40s or the present, in LA or London or New York. Timeless. With a venue so full of personality, there was no need to choose strong colors or create a theme for the night- much of the decor took care of itself.

In hindsight, I was much more stressed leading up to the wedding than I needed to be. One of the smartest moves I made was choosing a venue that included ALL catering and rentals. At the end of the night we were all able to toddle upstairs to our rooms! I must say the Culver Hotel and Maureen, our on-site coordinator, did a FABULOUS job making sure that everything was EXACTLY how I had wanted it. From the details of the reception layout to the perfectly packed items at the end of the night, everything was spectacular. Maureen and the wait staff truly outdid themselves. We trusted our photographer wholeheartedly, I loved my hair and makeup team and we knew we had chosen the BEST cake ever (Funfetti flavor!). Because we had chosen our vendors carefully, we were able to coast through the day to a certain degree.

As a general rule in life, Sean and I prefer to emphasize quality over quantity. With a very specific budget in mind, we agreed to spend our money where it counted, while shaving off costs in other places. Sean and I hit up the LA Flower Mart at 6am on Friday and enlisted the wonderful floral talents of our mothers to pull together ALL of the florals for the day! Culver Hotel had a wonderful built-in sound system, so we were able to have Sean’s cousin act as DJ with Spotify and our playlists. It was extremely easy to put in a song request! With our shortened timeline, we even sent out our Save the Dates over email- it eased our minds as well as our pocketbooks!

We can admit that all things didn’t get done in a timely fashion. Some pieces were late. We didn’t have an officiant until about 8 days before the wedding! However, we were so blessed to be connected with Walter when we were. He was a wonderfully grounding pastor and made our wedding ceremony articulate, measured, and truly meaningful. Once I walked down that aisle, nothing was rushed here. We wrote our own vows to complement the traditional ones- and in true Sean and Lizzie fashion, we were finishing them up only hours before the ceremony. Yet honestly, there was nothing better to do the morning of my wedding than write a forever love letter to my soon-to-be husband. Things fell into place when they needed to.

Our day was perfect. I can honestly look someone in the face and say that with all sincerity- but perfection truly wasn’t my intention in the beginning! In the end, we trusted that God would allow the important pieces to stand out, and everything that didn’t matter would fall away. Sean and I had stayed loyal to what we really wanted, and it all came together with the help of our loved ones. I’m thankful for every moment and every helping hand that put together the start of the rest of our lives together.

My best piece of advice? Don’t stress. I know there are so many pieces to put together- make your lists, check off your tasks and ENJOY. Choose vendors that you TRUST and make the process easier for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who LOVE you- they are waiting for a chance to be helpful. Trust the work that you’ve put into the day, and don’t expect it to be perfect. Just enjoy.

Photography: Honey Honey Photography | Flowers: Mothers Of The Bride And Groom | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Fantasy Frostings | Invitations: Minted | Rings: Jewels By Joe | Makeup: Make Me Up Alex | Hair: Hair By Tonia Day | Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse | Hotel: The Culver Hotel | Rentals, Catering, And Bar: The Culver Hotel | Topiaries : Take 1 Greens

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Elegant + Intimate Napa Valley Summer Wedding

I love all weddings, every style, shape, season. But there are some guaranteed home runs. Classic elegance is forever chic and add in a stunning Napa Valley vineyard and my heart just about explodes. Bliss Event Productions worked their magic, and with the talents of Paula LeDuc Fine Catering and Sweet On Cake, this was an affair not to be missed, with onelove photography capturing it all. More this way!

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Seasons
Summer
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Rustic

From the Bride… To us, our family was the most important part of our big day. Having a small wedding with just family allowed us to focus on the details that would make them feel special (welcome packages, a jam-packed itinerary, a scavenger hunt for our nephews and nieces, customized menus, music, etc.). A destination wedding in Napa Valley allowed us to take our families away for an intimate celebration at our favorite vacation spot, allowing them to enjoy a mini-vacation at the same time!

The setting, Beaulieu Gardens, was the perfect backdrop for our classic, rustic-elegance decor theme. From the lawn games, to the floral tablecloths, giant peonies, and vineyards just around the corner, we wanted the decorations to subtly enhance the beautiful setting without taking away from it.

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Etsy finding wedding details that I loved. For example, the custom embroidered handkerchiefs we gave our parents, the custom corn hole games, the “i do” embroidery on Brian’s tux shirt, the “here comes the bride” sign, and inspiration for our welcome packages all came from Pinterest.

I learned that in the end, you will remember how you felt on your wedding day rather than all of the small details or things that did not go perfectly. My advice would be to plan your wedding around the people and things that make you and your groom feel happy and loved.

The day was simply perfect. From the moment we left the church in the vintage Cadillac, both Brian and I felt a calm come over us. We got to spend some time together before going to the reception just driving and talking; that moment will forever be my definition of happiness.

The first dance was choreographed and I felt so nervous right before. Brian squeezed my hand, said a few words of encouragement and I can’t tell you how happy I am that we did it! It turned out perfectly.

Photography: onelove photography | Floral Design: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Wedding Dress: Cocoe Voci | Cake: Sweet On Cake | Stationery: Black Ink | Ceremony Venue: Holy Family Mission, Rutherford, CA | Reception Venue: Beaulieu Vineyard | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Hair & Makeup: PMA Artists, Maria Chang | DJ: Boutique DJs | Groom's Attire: Tom Ford | Accessories: Cocoe Voci | Wedding Coordination: Bliss Event Productions, Brandy Cabral

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Elegant HammerSky Vineyard Wedding in Paso Robles

As a California native, there is not much more that makes my heart skip a beat than an elegant vineyard wedding. I mean, with gorgeous golden sunlight beaming down, and HammerSky Vineyards‘ rolling hills serving as the most idyllic setting, can it really get any more magical than this?!  Want more? Danielle Poff captured this golden hour affair to utter perfection in the gallery here!

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Spring
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Vineyards

From The Bride…Choosing my color palette was easy with the amazing help of my florist, April. Florals were definitely one of the most exciting aspects of planning for me. I had always imagined a wedding with mostly Ivory and neutral florals/decor, but to ensure everything didn’t appear washed out, we decided to add a bit of peaches and blushes; we then tied everything together with gold accents. I also knew that despite wanting everything to be mostly neutral, I always wanted a pop of color- that’s where the bridesmaid dresses came in. I started noticing in magazines and blogs that although the neutral color dresses are “in,” I couldn’t get over how distinguished the bride and groom looked in photos next to a palette of actual bold color. I chose cobalt blue because it seems to be a classic color that will never go out of style- even multiple wedding guests wore the color out of coincidence! I decided on long dresses to stick with my vision of keeping the night classy and elegant. Plus, spring weather can sometimes be unpredictable and longer dresses add a hint of warmth! Most of all, I wanted my girls to be comfortable so I let them choose their dresses! I was lucky that everyone came to a unanimous decision on the Watters line and each girl found a style they were comfortable in. We all shopped together which made for great memories.

My gown was actually originally made as a typical sweetheart strapless style, but I had the same designer who made my mom’s wedding dress order extra lace from the bottom scallop of my gown and add sleeves. This allowed them to dramatically open up the back which I absolutely loved. They actually worked on my dress for 6 months and I had 5 fittings. Although it was somewhat nerve wracking not having seen the full product of my dress until approximately 10 days before the big day, I loved that in the end, I had a somewhat custom made dress- at a more affordable cost. I would totally recommend this option to future brides who are looking to stand out.

My husband and I stumbled upon HammerSky after a long day of looking at almost 10 venues. It was on our list of venues to see, however we almost skipped HammerSky out of exhaustion and having thought we found a place; I insisted we check it out to be sure. I remember us both walking on the grounds for the first time immediately saying outloud how perfect it was. We felt it was exactly what we were looking for- a winery that was not only rustic, but classy. We loved how quiet and off the beaten path it was compared to other vineyards in the area. The privacy was special.

All in all my biggest recommendation for future brides would be to make sure to take a moment with your new husband during your reception to break away for 5 minutes and escape to a spot that allows you to watch your guests and take in all that is going on. Take a moment to realize how much love you have around you and between you that evening. For us, our spot was the balcony of the farmhouse at our venue where we were able to overlook the entire reception. It was a special moment!

Photography: Danielle Poff Photography | Videography: Fig Leaf | Coordination: Amanda Landon | Floral Design: April Flowers | Wedding Dress: Martina Liana W/ Customizations By Mira Couture | Cake: Cake Cathedral | Invitations: Out Of The Envelope | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Catering: Roberts Restaurant | Hair & Makeup: Sammy Williams | Entertainment: Lance Robinson | DJ: Kramer Events | Groomsmen's Attire: Vera Wang | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hammersky Vineyards | Film Lab: Photovision | Signage: Rosey Calligraphy

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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

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Spring
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Hotel
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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

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