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Casual San Diego Engagement with Hints of Red, White & Blue

If you’re in need of some red, white and blue inspiration this Fourth of July, look no further than this seriously stylish duo. Taking to San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs and Presidio Park with Whiskers and Willow Photography, this bride-and-groom-to-be looked the epitome of California Cool in easy silhouettes and summery prints. Get inspired by their fashion and romance here.


From Whiskers and Willow Photography Kiah and Derrick are a couple from San Antonio, Texas who are getting married in Temecula, CA spring of 2016. Kiah and Derrick were engaged on the famous Love Locks Bridge in Paris, France, so these two know a thing or two about romance. Kiah has family in San Diego so they are both familiar with the area and wanted to take photos at Sunset Cliffs, a dramatic cliffside backdrop for dreamy engagement photos. Complimentary to that, they chose Presidio Park as a second location, which boasts the beautiful, historic Junipero Serra Mesuem.

Photography: Whiskers And Willow Photography

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Elegant 4th of July Vineyard Wedding

This weekend is for celebrating, with friends and family, summer sips and sparklers. And what better way to get the party started than with a little love from Caroline Tran and one breathtakingly beautiful bash from the 4th last year. Sterling Engagements orchestrated it all with Shawna Yamamoto’s fabulous florals spread across every inch of Triunfo Creek Vineyards. Pour yourself a glass, settle in with all these pretty pics, and don’t miss Fiske Film’s video below – some good vibes are about to begin!

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From Caroline Tran… Ellie and Rob had a romantic vineyard wedding on the 4th of July. They had an elegant wedding where they exchanged vows under a huge oak tree. They had a few subtle nods to the 4th of July, but kept everything elegant and romantic, highlighting the beautiful vineyard and cute farmhouse. 

From Sterling EngagementsAmerica and us, this was the phrase Ellie and Rob used for their wedding website to detail their 4th of July wedding. It really was the perfect definition though of what this day truly was and their love story. Ellie and Rob met because their friends for months and month insisted that they must. Two brilliant like-minded financial professionals, with a knack for life, love, family and travel. When they finally connected, the spark was undeniable and their journey together began almost instantly. I was introduced to them by a client and from our first meeting their intentions were so clear. They wanted to plan a day that was elegant, whimsical, classic yet incredibly fun. They both have an extremely modern yet eclectic style but were practical, and it was such a pleasure to design their day together and infuse their taste with the beauty of their venue.

Triunfo Creek is one of my most favorite hidden gems in Los Angeles. This charming vineyard farmhouse tucked away in the Santa Monica mountains was truly the perfect venue for Ellie and Rob. Upon visiting they knew right away this was their place and 4th of July became the best date to pair with their wishes for a summer wedding. Ellie had an assortment of ideas right from the beginning, of her desired ambiance and setting that she wanted to create for their guests. Together from the invitations, to the menu, to the décor, every last detail was deliberately thought out and developed to capture their vision.

One of my favorite details from the day was being able to incorporate these sweet butterflies Ellie had collected and wanted to infuse somehow but wasn’t quite sure where. As we designed the components for the day, I assured her we would effortlessly land them in places to become what truly was the very best of natural fits. They were the perfect accent of golden elegance, whimsy and sweetness we could ever hope for. We also of course loved being able to bring in the big tassel adorned balloons for her adorable flower girls. Walking down the aisle with them in hand – was one of my most favorite moments to watch, they were so proud, so excited and also maybe a touch of nervous, but I told them to let the balloons lead the way to Ellie and they did so well!

Ellie and Rob’s day truly was one of the most special ways to spend the 4th of July. It was stunning, memorable and so fun. The sweetest of celebrations, Ellie said on multiple occasions, the adventure is just beginning and I’m so honored we were able to be a part of it.

Photography: Caroline Tran | Videography: Fiske Films | Event Planning: Sterling Engagements | Floral Design: Shawna Yamamoto | Cake: Sweet Lady Jane | Stationary: Prim And Pixie | Catering: Justine's Private Cuisine | Hair & Makeup: 1011 Makeup | Lighting: Stage Labs | Band: Jay Sterling Music | Officiant: Dream Day Weddings | Bar Catering: Cocktail Concierge | Linens: Designer Specialty Linens | Rentals: A Rental Connection | Wedding Venue: Triunfo Creek Vineyards

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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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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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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

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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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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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

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here