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La Jolla Beach Engagement Session

Joel SerratoTEAM Hair And Makeup and Laurie Arons Special Events are three people I truly adore. So when they send a sweet as ever engagement session like this one our way? I hop up outta my chair and shake it a little. OK, maybe a lot. Point is, they never cease to deliver the pretty, and this stunning love sesh is just a little taste of what’s to come for this beautiful bride and groom-to-be.

From the beautiful Bride… Jeff and I met in college in 2008, where we actually became friends first. However, friendship didn’t last long when it became apparent to both of us that we wanted more. Over the last seven years, our relationship has endured quite a bit – we dated for about 2 weeks before I left for a summer abroad in London, said “I Love You” for the first time with 5,000 miles between us, finished our degrees (undergraduate for me, graduate degree for Jeff), Jeff moving to Taiwan to pursue basketball & like most people in their early 20s stumbled to establish our careers. However, after all of that we have settled our roots in my home town San Diego, and are extremely excited to get married in this beautiful city. Luckily for us, we have an amazing team working together to make this day more perfect than we could probably imagine. A major thank you to Laurie Arons Special Events, Joel Serrato Photography, Flower Wild, Founders Chapel at University of San Diego, Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, Team Hair and Makeup, Monique Lhuillier, West Coast Music, Elysium Productions, Curlicue Designs Calligraphy, Pitbulls and Posies, Zephyr Tents, Casa de Perrin and many, many more talented vendors!

Photography: Joel Serrato | Event Planning: Laurie Arons Special Events | Hair And Makeup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | Torrey Pines State Reserve: Torrey Pines State Reserve

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

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La Jolla Beach Picnic Engagement Session

Date nights are the best. I still get that same spark of excitement to get all dressed up for a romantic evening out with my fiancé. So when Ashley Kelemen sent this e-sesh our way based on that idea? I could help but fall head over heels in love with this picnic-style beach date, complete with a red dress from Lulu’s and lush bouquet by Plenty Of Petals. Dig your toes into this sweet, sandy gallery for more!

From Ashley KelemenMaria & Chris wanted their engagement session to feel like date night, with a gorgeous picnic on the beach and a perfect excuse to dress up! We met up for a lovely stroll through Torrey Pines, wrapping up on the beach at sunset, and had an absolutely incredible evening.

Photography: Ashley Kelemen | Floral Design: Plenty Of Petals | Hair & Makeup: The Girls Beauty Shop | Groom's Attire: Banana Republic | Bride's Dress: Lulu's | Floral Ribbon: Bellame Ribbon Co | State Park: Torrey Pines Natural Reserve

Marmalade Sky Films + A Discount + A Giveaway!

There is something so special about having your wedding day captured on film for you and your honey to relive over and over again. And when the film is done by the insanely creative Northern California boutique cinematography company Marmalade Sky Films, you’ll find any excuse to press play.

Behind the lens is a team of best friends, Eugene + Matt, who worked in the film industry prior to discovering their passion for wedding cinematography. Thanks to this experience, every film they create is based in a deep love for visual storytelling. Their films capture all the special moments of the couple’s big day, from the kisses to the laughter and tears, in a way that is authentic and genuine, to tell each couple’s individual and unique love story.

Are you head-over-heels yet? Well now’s the time to book your big day with Marmalade Sky Films because they’re giving SMP readers who book before September 2015 $200 off a Wedding Cinematography Package of their choice! Simply mention this post when booking to redeem the offer. Check out their packages here.
Oh and there’s more! Marmalade Sky Films is giving one lucky reader a Save the Date film shot on Full HD ($499 value).

To enter:Comment on this post with why you’d love to have Marmalade Sky Films tell the story of you and your honey!

To win: A winner will be randomly chosen and announced in WIUP on Friday, April 24, 2015.

The details: Session must take place in San Francisco or mutually agreed upon location on mutually agreed upon date. The giveaway includes session time and one Engagement Video or Save the Date Invitation video (30 seconds to 1 minute in length).


Romantic + Colorful La Jolla Wedding

So this is what happens when two golf pros say “I do” in La Jolla: pure, unadulterated pretty set against a stunning golf course setting… of course.  It’s the breathtaking Lodge At Torrey Pines meets vibrant, colorful blooms from Isari Flower Studio + Event Design meets some of the prettiest moments you will ever have the privilege to see from Clove & Kin Photography.  See it all in the full gallery.


From Isari Flower Studio + Event DesignWhen their golf clubs crossed, their game would never to be the same again!

Pro golfers Amanda and Michael met on the golf course, of course. So it was an easy choice to select the picturesque Lodge at Torrey Pines with it’s famous Torrey Pines Golf Course located in La Jolla, California The Torrey Pines Lodge and Golf Course sits on the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is recognized as the premier municipal golf course. (It is named after the Torrey Pine, a rare tree that grows in the wild only along this local stretch of the coastline in San Diego County and on Santa Rosa Island.)

Catherine of CBS Lifestylist was first on the scene after selecting the Lodge at Torrey Pines. Listening to their love story was inspiring and romantic. I knew with Amanda’s classic beauty that her wedding would be classic, elegant and delicate.

We started with a traditional invitation with navy script font and gold trim. Their crest would include their crossed golf clubs because none of us would be here without their importance.

We assigned the flowers and decor to the essence of classy, herself, Tam of Isari Flower Studio. Tam designed a lovely and tasteful bridal bouquet. Touches of white ivory and blush accented her blush/lavender silk belt. For the ceremony, the alter was flanked by enormous arrangements of lavender colored flowers. Cream peonies, purple butterfly bush and magenta Canterbury bells along with lavender roses and greenery. A small draped table was adorned with a small bouquet of like-minded florals.

For the reception, Tam married purple tulips, white dahlias, lavender hydrangeas, & pink fresia for the simple and elegant centerpieces adorning each guest table. The cake was topped with lavender dahlias and flanked with romantic and generous flower explosions–so wonderful for photos.

Sharing a love for the game of golf and for each other was ever-present throughout the planning process and the wedding day. Clove & Kin Photography captured their amor on film (digitally), Sumi’s Oven baked the wedding cake with love and DJ Dougie Mobile DJ Service rocked the house. Sweet Paper designed the invitations and Team Nicole (hair and makeup) enhanced everyone’s God-given beauty.

Photography: Clove & Kin Photography | Wedding Coordinator: CBS Lifestylist | Floral Design: Isari Flower Studio + Event Design | Cake: Sumi's Oven | Hair & Makeup: Team Nicole | DJ: DJ Dougie Mobile DJ Service | Wedding Venue: The Lodge At Torrey Pines | Guitarist : Jeff Brown

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

I love California, that’s a given. The sun, the sand, the ocean  — it’s all swoon worthy in my book. So when it comes to booking a West Coast wedding destination? I’d look no further than Laguna Beach’s Surf & Sand Resort. Featuring stunning accommodations, gorgeous views and unique event spaces, Surf & Sand Resort is the perfect spot for a dreamy beachfront wedding.

From the creative and exceptional cuisine at the venue’s on-site restaurant, Splashes to the endless local Laguna Beach activities right out the front door, your guests will be thanking you for saying “I do” in such a fabulous locale. Surf & Sand Resort has gorgeous spaces for every wedding weekend event — from rehearsal dinner to farewell brunch. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the venue’s award-winning pool and luxe 15fiftyfive Lounge that offers up incredible sunset views! My dears, this spot’s got it all.

I don’t know about you all, but my bags are already packed! OH! There’s more — if you book your big day at Surf & Sand Resort by March 31, 2015, you’ll receive an extra night stay for the bride and groom! Offer good for wedding reception of 50 or more guests and/or minimum $6000 spent in catering food and beverage. For new bookings only. Simply mention this post when booking your wedding date. Happy planning! xo



La Jolla Mexican-Inspired Wedding

What happens when two Grooms set out to host a whimsical fiesta wedding day? Crazy good things – just you wait and see. With the talented ladies of Beau & Arrow Events by their side, they pulled off an event elevated with design surprises, from gold foil invites to handmade tile escort cards, and every detail in between. See more from Honey Honey Photography and the The Yodsukars’ film below!


From The Couple…In Spanish, the word “milagro” means miracle or wonder. We chose the milagro, a folk charm in Mexico, Latin American, and the Iberian Peninsula, as one of the stylistic elements for our wedding because of its symbolic meaning–it connotes wonder, healing, and surprise. These were the recurring themes of our special day. One of our vows, in fact, was a promise to “laugh, restore, and surprise.” Because wonder and surprise are so central to our relationship, we wanted elements of surprise throughout the day, and boy did we accomplish it with the help of some amazing people!

We wanted a whimsical fiesta feel for our La Jolla wedding (neither of us hails from Mexico, but that didn’t stop us!), and the fabulous ladies at Beau & Arrow Events totally ran with it (more on this amazing duo in a bit). They put us in touch with Odd Daughter Paper Co., who did a bang-up job turning the festive whimsy feel we were going for into gorgeous, unique invitations. We knew we wanted hand lettering and an invitation that invitees could cherish, so our stationer’s suggestion that we go with a gold foil technique was perfect! We had certainly never seen a gold foil papel picado design. When our invitees opened the invitations, they felt like they were opening a golden ticket. This was exactly the wonder and surprise we wanted our guests to experience from our very first communication.

The second surprise we wanted guests to experience upon arrival was the already breathtaking Darlington House in La Jolla decorated in an elevated Mexican style. In preparation for the wedding, we took a trip across the border to Tijuana to source colorful sombreros, decorative tiles, papel picado, milagros, and other fiesta-related decorations for the big day. (Our story of walking back to the U.S. with eleven sequined sombreros and multiple garbage bags full of other fabulousness is one for another day–and another blog.) The girls at Beau and Arrow incorporated these elements into a remarkable, elevated, colorful, and earthy Mexican-inspired design. A few of our favorite design elements: The inspired milagro escort display. Kate and Ellen at B&A personally hand made each tile so guests could take home a unique work of art. The striking dessert display of delicious pies by Elizabethan against colorful sombrero backdrop? Genius!

These ladies at Root 75 took some of our favorite flowers–dahlias, zinnias, proteas, and succulents–to level of beauty and whimsy that we never thought was possible. There are so many beautiful details that B&A and our vendors executed flawlessly; our guests were stunned, as were we.

The ceremony was certainly an unconventional one. Each of us had both parents walk us down the aisle. We thought it was important to make a statement, both that this would not be a traditional wedding and that we had the support of our entire families. Our little niños carried signs reading “Love Equals Love” to lead the procession with a statement of the universality of love. We felt this was important for those of our guests who had never been to a wedding in which both of the participants happen to be men.

Very early in the ceremony, we completely surprised guests with a dramatic reading of a poem that spoke to us. Our amazing officiant acted as if she was about to recite a poem, and suddenly our theatre friends pop out from various locations around the ceremony courtyard, each performing a stanza for our audience. This set the tone of wonder and surprise for our guests that continued throughout the night.

We also invented new traditions that night. Didn’t think that two men would do a garter toss? Think again! We surprised our guests with a sock garter toss! We also invented a musical send-off where guests gathered around a grand piano inside the house for a couple of songs. Jason sang a surprise duet with Aaron’s friend, Laura Bohn, who is a professional soprano. Then Jason and Aaron sang a duet of My Funny Valentine as a musical farewell to guests.

However, the most surprising aspect of the wedding was Aaron’s remarkable father-son dance, that occurred just when guests thought all of the surprises were over. You have to check out the video to believe it. Backstory: During the planning process, when we were brainstorming ideas, Aaron professed his love for Bollywood dance. Jason said in no uncertain terms: no. Aaron insisted. Jason said no. Aaron gave up. Or did he? During Aaron’s father-son dance, a troupe of Bollywood dancers emerged to the amazement of our guests — and to the astonishment of Jason, who never saw it coming. It was a jaw-dropping sight that we don’t think any of our guests will ever forget.

We can’t say enough positive things about all of the people who worked tirelessly to make this day of wonder happen so seamlessly. Everyone seriously needs to know how remarkable the ladies at Beau and Arrow Events are. This was the best investment we could ever have made in our wedding. B&A connected us with incredible vendors. From our florist to our photographer Honey Honey, who made us feel relaxed and captured our essences perfectly. Our videographers, The Yodsukars. (We dare you not to get the chills when you watch the highlight video.) Every detail of our big day was both flawlessly executed and a wonderful surprise to our guests and to us.

Photography: Honey Honey Photography | Videographer: The Yodsukars | Florist: Root 75 | Invitations: Odd Daughter Paper Co. | Catering: Coast Catering | Calligraphy: Dear Darling | DJ: DJ JP McLeod | Officiant: Lissa Anne Gundlach | Aaron's Jacket: Hugo Boss | Aaron's Tie: Alexander Olch | Aaron's Trousers: Giorgio Armani | Bollywood Dancers: Bollywood Tranz | Event Planner/Designer: Beau & Arrow Events | Grooms' Custom Cufflinks: White Truffle Studio | House: The Darlington House | Jason's Fiesta Bowtie: DanceCHICKENdance | Jason's Shoes: Ted Baker London | Jason's Suit: DSquared2 | Linens: La Tavola | Pies: Elizabethan Desserts | Rentals: Abbey Party Rentals | Spanish Guitar: Justin Helland | Women's Hair: Jax & King

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