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Colorful Summer Wedding at The Villa San Juan

Dressed in the brightest of colors on the sunniest of days, this wedding is what summertime bliss is truly all about. It’s a day kissed by that California pretty and designed alongside the talented Intertwined Events..and those textured blooms by Floral Occasions? Don’t even get me started. Ray Kang worked his photo genius behind the camera and believe it or not, the party is just getting started.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Villa
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride…I never pictured my dream wedding while growing up but the few things I did know were the color scheme – bright oranges, yellows and corals – and a location that had natural beauty. Thankfully, we found The Villa, a turn-of-the-century Spanish home, whose charm and elegance filled in our blank canvas quite quickly. The setting of the Villa and my love for nature inspired our invitations and decor. Every table had a distinct pair of antique brass birds, and at each place setting there was a favor of goat milk soap, handmade by the friendly Camlon Farms who we met at a farmer’s market.

The warm July day was expected and thankfully our wedding coordinator, Katie Webb, suggested program fans coupled with parasols, which helped our guests avoid melting in the summer sun. The Villa staff, Michelle, Rachel and Keith, couldn’t have been better and we are grateful to them for going beyond our expectations with their responsiveness, friendliness and professionalism. The food and drinks from Iva Lee’s were delicious and their service was fantastic. Floral Occasions’ vivid arrangements punctuated the day which was captured by our favorite photographer-in-a-bow tie, Ray Kang, and film crew, 4120 Productions. Our hope is that our kids will enjoy looking at these memories as much as we enjoyed seeing our parents’ and grandparents’ wedding days. All of this was icing on the three-tiered Swiss made cake provided by Sweet Art – heavenly for both our eyes and tastebuds.

For the ceremony, we borrowed and adapted a tradition from the Jewish faith called the Seven Blessings, which turned out to be a highlight of the day. Seven guests, chosen by us, gave their thoughts on a specific word (passion, playfulness, gratitude, etc.) that would help lead to a happy marriage. Not only was it deeply satisfying to hear these blessings, but it finally gave us the privilege to take in the ceremony, as all eyes were on our speakers and not on us.

In the end, all of these details added up to a wedding we couldn’t have possibly imagined but was exactly what we wanted – intimate, heartfelt and fun.

Photography: Ray Kang | Floral Design: Floral Occasions - Stacey | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Cake: Sweet Art | Catering: Iva Lee's Catering | MakeUp: Melissa Hennessee | Hair: Two Tone Umbrella - Denise Empey | DJ: Divel Entertainment - Keith | Harpist: Naomi Alter | Wedding Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Event Planning And Design: Intertwined Events | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals | Video: Pure Cinema Productions

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Classic Romance at Serra Plaza

There’s no denying this affair is dotted with pin-worthy details. But what I love most is the infusion of unexpected treasures that put smiles on guests faces and love in their hearts. My favorite? Old school CD favors with the Bride & Groom’s most-loved songs. So 90’s and sooo fun. And their approach to DIY, or rather, DIWF (do it with friends) is the best idea ever. WINK! coordinated the entire day to perfection and our friends at onelove photography made sure no moment went un-captured.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Outdoor
Styles
Rustic

From the beautiful Bride…Creating a wedding celebration that was fun and personal was our guiding principle throughout the planning process. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in what everyone is doing on Pinterest and the like, but we frequently tried to remind ourselves that what we really wanted was for our guests to have a great time at a celebration that paid homage to the people, places, and life experiences that got us where are today.

First and foremost was the music. We’re pretty big music people, probably a result of the families we come from. There’s always something playing in our household – and usually more than one genre depending on which room you’re in. Naturally our DJ choice was critical and we loved ours. We worked with them to curate the majority of the night’s soundtrack including the 15 minute reprieve of traditional Cambodian dance music that got all the aunties and uncles out on the dance floor.

Then as parting gifts, we gave all of our guests CDs (old school right?) with some of our favorite songs. In the days following the wedding it was so awesome to receive messages from friends saying how much they loved this track or that track. See, who says CDs are obsolete?

Instead of a traditional wedding sign-in book that would probably get shelved away, we thought we’d change it up a little bit and have guests sign a poster frame we could mount on our wall. Vi is an optometrist so we created a Snellen eye chart that read, “And they lived happily ever after.” Now whenever we’re walking down the hallway we can glance through great words of advice from friends including, “Happy wife, happy life.” :)

Last but not least was our tribute to the city that really transformed our relationship from boyfriend-girlfirend status to marriage material. Over the course of three years, Philadelphia became our second home. There, in our little one bedroom apartment on Ben Franklin Parkway, we squabbled over dishwashing duty and cooked our first grownup meals. In honor of Philly and the wonderful friends we made there who were flying cross country to celebrate with us, we had a cheesesteak station during happy hour, complete with an instructional “How To Order” sign a la Pat’s King of Steaks. We also topped off our cake with a mini version of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, a replica of which stands in the center of Philly’s Love Park, located only minutes from our old apartment.

All of the decorations were DIWF (DO IT WITH FRIENDS). I had the best bridesmaids a girl could have ever hoped for, truly. They flew into town from all over and showed up at my doorstep with glue, scissors, double-sided tape, etc. in hand and got to work. There were separate stations set up all over my house and I floated through each of them, never ceasing to be amazed at their artistic eye and craftsmanship. These ladies are tax accountants, doctors, marketing and business consultants by day, and Martha Stewart by night! Everything actually turned out even more amazing than I had envisioned. That night doing crafts and drinking boba with my girlfriends was definitely one of my favorite memories from our wedding weekend.

Photography: Onelove Photography | Videography: Mellow Entertainment | Coordination: WINK! | Florals: Elegant Thorn | Cake: Jay's Catering | Catering: Jay's Catering | Hair And Makeup: Susie Chhuor | DJ: DJ Puffs | Ceremony And Reception: Serra Plaza

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Vintage-Inspired Garden Wedding in San Juan Capistrano

Truth be told, San Juan Capistrano churns out some seriously pretty soirees. And one lovely gem that we’ve come to adore whole-heartedly is The Villa. It’s a quintessential locale for love stories and garden-loving duos, just ask The Youngrens who were behind every sweet moment of this pink-splashed day. Get your romance on in the gallery!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Villa
Styles
Vintage

From the beautiful Bride? The moment we walked into the Villa San Juan Capistrano, we knew that we had to get married there. The venue was so serene, with its enclosed courtyard and sweet chapel. The perfect place for a peony-infused garden party.

As we thought about planning our wedding, we wanted the day to be a celebration of love. Not just our love, but the love and support of the family and friends who would celebrate with us. As such, we tried to incorporate personal touches. Jeff’s dad officiated the ceremony and his mom hand stitched the pillows that were laid around the venue. My family helped to make much of the decor, including the seating chart and chalkboard-like drink menus. A piece of my grandmother’s wedding dress was wrapped around my bouquet, and on the inside of the cottage we displayed our family members’ wedding photos.

One of our favorite memories occurred just as dinner was winding down. Jeff and I sat at a sweetheart table in the corner of the courtyard, and we looked out at our guests, then at each other, and took a moment to take it all in. We were married! We were so grateful for these wonderful people who chose to celebrate with us. It was such a feeling of joy!

Thank you to all the lovely vendors for your kindness and talent. You were a dream to work with. And a special thanks to the Youngrens for capturing the day so well!

Photography: The Youngrens | Videography: Paperback Weddings | Floral Design: Primary Petals | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: August Press | Stationery: August Press | Ceremony Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Reception Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla Of Boston | Caterer: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | DJ: Fedora DJ

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Romantic Inspiration Shoot in San Juan Capistrano

Fashion might be one of our top pinned, most favorited, always talked about parts of a wedding post. And for good reason – who doesn’t love the thrill of a gorgeous wedding dress? And this inspiration has three totally drop dead looks to fawn over along with images by Brian LaBrada Photography, design by  Isaura, styling by Nina Fleurina and florals by Enchanted Fine Florals  that showcase elegance paired with a soft muted palette and, of course, lots of great fashion. See even more right here.

After having met Melina Ruiz, the MUA, a few months earlier on another styled shoot, she and I decided to work together – brainstorming and assembling a team for our own styled shoot. The look we were going for was elegant, timeless, and sophisticated. We approached the shoot with the end of Summer and Fall in mind. We wanted a soft, muted palette and aimed to create something beautiful that any bride could see herself doing. The whole team had am amazing time working together and we plan on doing it again very soon.

The flowers are my favorite, we wanted a late summer/early fall bouquet and Floral Halo. Starla Bork from Enchanted Fine Florals had this to say about them,

“The bridal bouquet was classic and timeless using romantic garden roses. To pull in the beauty of the season I just love how the silver tones of the tillandsias and brazilia berries contrast with the dark begonia foliage. A floral halo is a must for a bohemian bride. It was created to mirror her bouquet using begonia blooms, garden spray roses, chocolate lace and dark ivy.”

The Dresses for each look were custom-made specifically for this shoot by Isaura. Here is what she said,

“We wanted three very different looks for our bride. For our first look I created a mermaid cut, modern elegant style dress using Jaguar Silk Chiffon. The second look was more of a Bohemian style, so I made a slightly loose-fitting, straight-line dress with belled sleeves, a signature look of mine. I made the dress from knitted lace. For the third look, I hand died silk chiffon using terra-cotta to get the perfect soft blush hue and created a very romantic A-line dress.”

The furniture, tables, and pillows were provided by Heather from Storied Rentals. She, along with our stylist Ebony from Nina Fleurina, styled and dressed the set.

The makeup was provided by Melina Ruiz and the Hair Styling was done by Brenda Barron. We had discussed the looks we were after and they could not have been a more perfect team. They worked so fast and so well together – after we finished a look, within 5-7 minutes, the next look was ready to go. I couldn’t believe it. It was important to have them on the same page so we could get a completely different look every time instead of just changing the dress. Their collaboration definitely tied the entire shoot together.

Photography: Brian LaBrada Photography | Florals: Enchanted Fine Florals | Hair Stylist: Brenda Barron | Designer: Isaura | MUA: Melina Ruiz | Stylist: Nina Fleurina | Vintage Furniture Rentals: Storied Rentals

Whimsical DIY Garden Wedding at Franciscan Gardens

A custom, ombre dress that has us all drooling, darling DIY details with just the perfect touch of whimsy, and a couple that can’t take the smiles off their pretty faces – it’s safe to say we are eating up every gorgeous image from Perpixel Photography sitting in this gallery. It’s happiness defined, and it’s all waiting for you here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Garden

From the Bride…What was your favorite, most memorable part about the wedding? Everything was so memorable! But I think the most memorable was our grand entrance when gabe showed off his moves =) (*his move is called the thunder clap)

Which details were DIY? So many! DIY stuff: programs, menus, the pompom + flowers curtain hanging from the arch, the “cards” sign at the sign in table, instagram sign (at the sign in table), pink pompoms on top of the plates, the wedding favors (square glass (with faux flowers + moss) photo holder), the hot air balloons hanging from the pergola at the wedding party table, mr & mrs sign behind our chairs, the wedding cake topper (gold wire hot air balloon), the gold candle holders (play on mercury glass), photobooth backdrop (pink streamers with gold circles), and brown flowers hanging in the greenery wall where the coffee station was.

Where did you get that gorgeous dress!? It was custom made! It’s a place in LA called Atelier! The designer’s name is Dawn. She’s the best!

Photography: Perpixel Photography | Coordination: The Event Prerogative | Floral Design: Cerritos Hills Florist | Wedding Dress: Atelier | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Ceremont/Reception: Franciscan Gardens | Hair Make-up: Theresa Huang Makeup & Hair Design

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Organic Garden Affair in San Juan Capistrano

A day chock-a-block full of weddings by Erich McVey  is such a good day in our books. His work is art, pure and simple. From London to New York and now Southern California, we’re delving into an affair that blends the airy, outdoor goodness of al fresco dining with organic blooms by Stacey Fitts and the true beauty of old Spanish architecture of The Villa San Juan Capistrano. Dive into the images by Erich, then have a look at the film crafted by his talented wife, Amy McVey below.

Colors
Seasons
Fall

From the Bride… Steven and I loved the idea of having a natural, organic feel set in old California Spanish architecture. The Villa in San Juan Capistrano (a town that has a Spanish Mission from 1776) fit that image perfectly. Since the venue had so much natural beauty, (trees, stone, wood) there wasn’t much that we needed to do to make the venue shine. Our vision ended up being a fresh, clean and organic feeling with natural wood tables and canvas linens.

There are an unlimited amounts of DIY that a couple can do for their wedding. We didn’t want to spend too much time on numerous projects – so we did a few smaller items that took very little time.

The first items were hand stenciled/painted pillows. We bought some large pillows and covered them in a canvas linen material. We then printed out various phrases (Mr. & Mrs., 10.12.13, Amor which means Love in Spanish) in one of our favorite fonts – Bombshell Pro. This was then traced onto wax paper which is cut out with an X-acto knife, ironed onto the pillow and then painted. For an extra touch, the Mr. pillow had a bow tie put on it and the Mrs. had a flower.

The second item was some of our paper items. My computer savvy husband was able to create name cards, table numbers, menus and blanket tags that matched our invitation suite. All the printed paper goods helped keep costs down since we didn’t have to have our calligrapher do them (130+ items can be costly).

One of our favorite elements of the wedding were the flowers. Since there was a lot of natural beauty at the venue, we didn’t need to do too much for florals. We ended up using fresh greenery with classic white and ivory flowers. Olive branches were also placed on the tables as this ties into the California Spanish style.

Another favorite element was all the calligraphy pieces that were spread throughout the venue. We had a beautiful seating chart, bar signs, guestbook, Thank You banner, wood Mr. and Mrs. Chair signs, and a welcome sign. Each piece was completely customized to our taste – even down to the font and olive leaf laurels. These items are ones that we’ll keep forever. In fact, our bar sign (which has each of our signature cocktail recommendations) is displayed in our kitchen!

Advice for other couples:
Two things. First: At the end of the day, your wedding day is about you and your soon to be spouse – a celebration of your journey together through life. After the day is over, everyone is happy and the little things don’t matter.

Second: It’s extremely important to pick a photographer that you’re both comfortable with. During your wedding, this is who you’re (probably) spending the most time with. As this is a very nervous day for many, they know exactly what to do to help calm those nerves. For us, Erich McVey and Amy McVey were the perfect husband and wife team for us. We first met on Skype (as they’re based in Oregon) and knew within minutes that they were our team. Having met them down in Santa Barbara for our engagement session only solidified that we were in great hands.

Most memorable moment:
We were sitting at our sweetheart table and had the perfect view of all of our guests eating, laughing and just enjoying themselves. To see everything we envisioned come together so perfectly and to watch all the love and happiness flow all around us was a magical experience.

Photography: Erich McVey | Cinematography: Amy McVey | Planner: Michelle From The Villa At San Juan Capistrano | Florist: Stacey Fitts | Wedding Dress: Victoria Nicole | Cakes: Jocelyn Jung With I Am The Caker | Stationery: Paper Source | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry: Pigment In San Diego | Caterer: Iva Lees Catering | Hair & Makeup: 10.11. Makeup | Calligraphy: Mon Voir (Jenna Rainey) | Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker | Grooms Attire: Hugo Boss | Wedding Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Ribbon On Bouquet: Frou Frou Chic