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Modern San Diego Engagement + WIUP

I’m just going to come right about and say it – this San Diego duo is easily one the most stylish couples we’ve ever come across. It’s what happens when two creatives (him a photographer, her a producer) fall in love, and the snaps from Studio Castillero pretty much speak for themselves. Have a peek in the gallery and keep scrolling for this week’s lucky winners!

From the Bride-to-be… One of the first things my fiancé, James, and I did when we got engaged was book our photographers. As both of us work in creative fields, he’s a photographer and I’m a producer, it was essential for us to find people who’s work was unique, fun, and interesting. That is why we knew we had to go with the brilliantly talented photographers at Studio Castillero. In planning with them on where we should do our engagement session, we decided to shoot at two locations: our downtown San Diego loft that was converted from a 100-year-old church, and our wedding venue, The San Diego Museum of Art.

Regarding the locations, we decided to use our loft for a few reasons, the most obvious being that we love our home and it’s where we feel most comfortable. Another reason was that we wanted something unique to us as a couple (who doesn’t?). I mean, how many people live in a converted historical church and have their bedroom in a former confessional booth (complete with heavy 20 ft. tall doors with slats that open and shut in the middle)? It seemed fitting that while we’re not getting married in a church, we could at least include one in something wedding related.

The next reason is that if we shot at home we could include our dog, Whiskey (or as we like to call him, Whiskey Mittens) in the photo shoot. Boy, did he ham it up! When we normally try to take pictures of him he usually finds a way to move right when the shutter goes off, but the moment Megan and Brent start shooting you’d think he was born to be a puppy model. Seemingly, this was his shoot and his humans were just their as supporting cast members. The final reason is that it gave us a (semi) legitimate reason to jump on the bed, because well, why not?

After 30 minutes of shooting in and around our loft we headed over to our soon-to-be wedding venue, The San Diego Museum of Art. Once we arrived we made a bee-line for entrance. If anyone has ever been to Balboa Park they know that there are about 20 wedding related events going on at any given moment, especially during sunset. On our short walk up to the steps, we passed 3 other couples doing their engagement shoots. Once we made it up to the front entrance, chilled as I was in my slightly ripped dress, I grabbed James’ hand and stared at the sign. It was emotional and exciting and I think that came through in the photos.

I have to say, I think that is what is so great about our photos. While this location is very popular, Megan and Brent did an incredible job making our photos feel distinctive and special. Their images perfectly convey the tone for us as a couple and for what our wedding will be. Every time I look at our pictures, me in a white dress and James in a suit, in front of our venue I can’t help but get a flutter of excitement for our big day and I couldn’t help but want to share our praise for Megan and Brent’s phenomenal photos.

Photography: Megan And Brent With Studio Castillero | Black Suit: Cotton On | Blue Dress: Urban Outfitters | Blue Suit: H&M | Red Skirt: ASOS | Union Jack Pillow: Timothy Oulton | Venue: The San Diego Museum Of Art | White Dress: For Love And Lemons


Macy’s Registry to Reality Giveaway
Something Blue Prize pack from La Marca Prosecco
Something Blue Nile Pinterest Contest

This week’s DISCOUNTS…
Vino Backyard Designs

For our California brides… Mark your calendars for the Hayley Paige Trunk Show at JLM Couture Boutique, August 22-24th.


Congratulations to Veronica! You’ve won a bridal robe package valued at $499.00 from Homebodii!

Congrats Jenny C., Lauren Maristela and Heidi Gifford on winning Dasherie’s premier issue!

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Pastel Infused Winery Wedding in Sonoma

Give Esla Events a pastel color palette and she’ll rock out one heck of an affair. But this Sonoma shindig goes far beyond the beautiful details and floral finery by Poppystone. It’s got a whole lot of heart and a coming together of culture and family that only Em The Gem could capture so beautifully. See this full affair in all its pastel glory right here.


From Em The GemNicole and Myron – and their romantic wine country wedding day – are a beautiful example of how fluidly cultures blend in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nicole’s family comes from Mexico. Myron’s family comes from Sri Lanka. They met in San Diego and, fast forward eleven years, tied the knot in Sonoma Valley. His family is Hindu; her family is Catholic; and the reverend who married them is Presbyterian.

Weaving aspects of their cultures, values, and families into the wedding day was important to Nicole and Myron. From subtle touches like Sri Lankan treats as part of the dessert bar, to central moments like performing the Mexican Lasso ritual as part of the ceremony, they personalized every aspect of the day. They also wanted to honor those who could not attend in special ways, such as with the “Pepsi and Peanuts” station that Nicole put together in honor of her grandfather, who always gave the children of the family these items on their birthdays.

It was so wonderful to be a part of this day – all the families came together and had an amazing beautiful day in Sonoma. The weather was perfect, everyone enjoyed multiple trips to the dessert buffet and danced the night away.

Photography: Em The Gem | Floral Design: Poppystone Floral Design | Wedding Gown: Ines DiSanto | Cake: Perfect Endings | Invitations: The Aerialist Press | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Park Avenue Catering | Hair And Makeup: The Glamourist | Calligraphy: Kathryn Murray | Lighting: Twilight Design | DJ: Boutique DJs - Josh Dukes | Grooms Attire: Hugo Boss | Ceremony + Reception: Cline Cellars | Dessert Bar: Batter Bakery | Furniture, Tables: Classic Party Rentals | General Rentals: Wine Country Party + Events | Groomsmen Attire: Indochino | Planning And Design: Esla Events | Quartet: Synchronicity | Shrubbery: Hartmann Studios

Indochino Custom Apparel and Ines Di Santo are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Kathryn Murray Calligraphy, Esla Events and PoppyStone Floral Couture are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Kathryn Murray Calligraphy

Esla Events

PoppyStone Floral Couture

DIY Santa Cruz Wedding at Rancho Soquel

Can you even imagine the pressure two wedding photographers must feel when it’s time to pick the perfect person to capture their big day? Talk about a hard planning desicion. But these two talents (he’s the genius behind Patterson Films and she of Majesta Patterson) knew exactly what they were doing when they asked Evynn LeValley to capture the magic of their big day. Their DIY wedding is one you’ll want to spend some serious quality time with, and you can do so here.


From The Bride…Being wedding photographers, we’ve seen A LOT. We knew what worked, what didn’t and were able to make our wedding personal and meaningful. So when we started planning, we knew we really wanted our wedding to be an elegant but fun event that kept some tradition with crafty, organic and romantic touches. That being said, we took on a lot of projects! Once we knew where we wanted to get a married, a lush garden/country estate, I grew my list of ideas:

From chalkboard signs made from thrifted picture frames & window panes to making our apricot jam from my parents backyard; we made it all! We made the wood ceremony arbor out of trees from my parents yard and $30 worth of supplies; we thrifted an old wooden ladder to paint fun signs with directions (since the estate was large and we held different events across the property); and made all painted signs from old wood and palettes on my parents property. Yes, I wrote all the signs with a paint brush.

I made our guestbook from an antique photo album featuring all of our engagement pictures; as well as, our cake topper, table numbers and we bottled and labeled our own wine from a local winery. It really was a labor of love.

My advice to future brides: make a list and ask for help. Know what’s a priority and if you can’t handle it all, delegate! Aside from our ceremony arch and jam favors, our other BIG task was to create our table runners. I simply didn’t have time and while it was cheaper to make it in supplies, it was worth the money to pay a rental company and relive me of my stress! We ended up loving our tables with the pink runners versus my original plans.

Lastly, put your time into the decor and hire someone to bring your vision to life. While we built, painted, ordered, boxed and prepped everything, I could not have executed my vision without my wedding coordinators. They really brought my vision to life and I’m so thankful!

Our wedding came to life beautifully. Our guests loved our signature drinks, bluegrass band, amazing DJ and our perfect ceremony. It was also really important to us that we included our guests in our ceremony and we wanted them to feel special. After all, they are our most loved! We asked a close friend to marry us, made sure we took a minute to look around when we finally stood at our ceremony arch, wrote our own vows and LAUGHED, cried and just had an amazing time. Even forgetting my vows back in the bridal suite (my brother ran and got them for me), our ceremony was nothing short of perfect and it’s one of my favorite memories from our wedding.

The whole day, it was just the best. And now, we have amazing pictures and video to look remember it by!

Photography: Evynn LeValley Photography | Wedding Coordinator: Nicole Audrey Events | Florist: Natasha Kolenko | Wedding Gown: Pronovias Benicarlo From Trudy's Bridal | Cake: Heathers Patisserie | Caterer: Feast For A King Catering | Hair Stylist: Yvette Guerriera | DJ: Paul From Big Fun Disc Jockeys | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Makeup: Cherise Gowan | Party Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals | Site Coordinator: The Wedding Connection | Suit Rentals: Selix Formalwear | Venue: Rancho Soquel

La Tavola Fine Linen Rental is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental