Cathy and Ray – Orfila Winery – October 10, 2009

October 17th, 2009

A winery wedding! I was excited to coordinate their wedding at this venue – who doesn’t love wine? Cathy’s and Ray’s wedding had over 300 people in attendance. The ceremony was held at the historical, San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside. Beautiful artwork, architecture, history, and the LONGEST aisle I’ve ever seen – it was standing room only! After the ceremony, the guests proceeded to Orfila Winery in Escondido. The cocktail hour and reception were held outside in the arbor and in a tent decorated with tiny, sparkling lights overlooking the gorgeous vineyards. What a view! The bartenders poured great wines from Orfila’s vineyard, while the staff circulated with delicious appetizers. Cathy’s father surprised her with a song that he wrote and sang for their father/daughter dance. It was so touching! Atmosphere DJ provided the dance tunes that kept the crowd rocking the rest of the night. Once again, Kendra Duerst was in the midst of the dancing crowd, capturing it all on camera. Joel from Pristine Visual caught all the key and spontaneous moments on video. Cheesy Photobooth was also a BIG hit. They provided scrapbooking materials for the guests to make their own pages with their pictures for the bridal couple’s memory book. Everytime I passed by the booth, there was a laughing line of guests offering boisterous encouragement to those posing in the photobooth. I’m sure Cathy and Ray will enjoy the creativeness of the book when they see it! Great wine, food, music, entertainment and cheers to a great couple! The only complaint was that the evening went too quickly!

Jessica and Mike – Calamigos Ranch – Malibu – October 4, 2009

October 17th, 2009

JessicaMikeDanceJessicaMikeCakeJen SteamingApril Makeup
I am always excited to go to a new venue and couldn’t wait to see Calamigos Ranch. Jessica and Mike started planning their wedding well over a year ago and picked this beautiful location. It’s in the Malibu Canyon area and has the feeling you are entering an elegant ranch. A small lake, bridges, trees, hills and vineyards provided lots of photographic opportunites for Kendra Duerst, who was very excited to shoot at this location. Jen, April, and I headed up to their hotel early the morning of the big day. April did the make up for Jessica, her sister, and her mother. Jen steamed the wrinkles out of the bridesmaids’ dresses and we made sure that everyone ate and had plenty of water (or champagne) to drink. The ceremony was held outside in an area surrounded by trees. The reception area felt a little like a cozy lodge, with a large fireplace, comfy couches, and a continuous ‘waterfall’ running outside the windows. Lots of candles added to the ambiance. The dance floor was continuously packed with celebrating guests. As always, the evening passed too quickly!

Jenny Lee Bridal VIP Grand Opening – Newport Coast

October 17th, 2009

Last week I was invited to the grand opening of Jenny Lee Bridal in Newport Coast. I visited the shop about a month ago and at the time thought, “What a great location!” It is located in Crystal Cove, with a magnificent ocean view. The red carpet event featured Jenny’s bridal and evening collections, but the star of the evening was Jenny’s dog, Bebe. Bebe wore a specially designed pink ‘gown,’ complete with train! I am familiar with Jenny’s fabulous dresses from the Pelican Hills bridal photoshoot I assisted with last April. That fashion spread is in the current issue of OC Bride Magazine. Jenny also designs custom gowns for the bride with a vision of her perfect dress. Stop by and check out her elegant salon!

St Regis Bridal Fashion Shoot – Mon Amie – Kendra Duerst Photography

October 7th, 2009

I assisted with the recent photoshoots at St Regis in Monarch Beach of the fabulous gowns from Mon Amie. Kendra Duerst organized a large group of make up artists, hair stylists, models, stylists, lighting crews, photography interns and others to make this happen. Shawna and Jennifer from Mon Amie transported a very large supply of gowns from their store for our models. They were very long days of shooting, but what magnificent shots! The St. Regis has so many beautiful areas for our models to show off the gowns. Friar Tux outfitted our ‘grooms’ in style and Jacque and Destiny from Mon Amie’s accessories dept added the most striking hair decorations and jewelry to accent the dresses. I can’t believe how beautiful our models looked!

Karie and Terry – Renaissance Club Sport Aliso Viejo – September 25, 2009

October 7th, 2009

LUCK OF THE IRISH! Terry was listening to an Irish band play at a restaurant. Karie had met her girlfriends for drinks nearby. She was getting into her car to leave, but the music drew her inside the restaurant. She pulled her car back into a spot and went inside to hear the band. Each of them noticed the other right away, but figured they were there with dates….and the rest is fate. Terry proposed during a trip to Ireland while following the performances of the Irish band, The Fenians.

I couldn’t wait to coordinate the wedding day of Karie and Terry. Their wedding was going to be a traditional Catholic ceremony, with the unique addition of kilts for the groom and groomsmen. Ringbearer, Brandon, stole the show in his pint-sized kilt! Father Kerry Beaulieu, whom I’ve known for many years, officiated the ceremony. It took place at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach. After the ceremony, the guests proceeded down to the Renaissance Club Sport in Aliso Viejo for cocktails. Karie and Terry were transported in style by Randy from Lake Forest Limousine in a Rolls Royce Classic Packard. The reception was held in the Renaissance Room, which was decorated in navy blue to match the tartan, with the tables named after Counties in Ireland. Of course, the couple had The Fenians play at the reception and they rocked the house! The crowd’s dancing REALLY intensified whenever Irish songs were played. Of course, Photographer Kendra Duerst caught it all from start to finish. It was a wonderful night – one big Irish party!

Orfila Winery – Cathy and Ray

September 26th, 2009

I am coordinating Cathy’s and Ray’s wedding in a few weeks, so of course, I had to tour the reception venue a week ago. This one just happens to be at Orfila Winery in Escondido. What a beautiful view of the vineyards! Naturally, we sampled a few wines in their tasting room to get a feel of the location. Can’t wait to celebrate with this great couple!

Mon Amie Trunk Show

September 20th, 2009

Mon Amie is hosting the Stephen Yearick/ YSA Makino trunk show this weekend. We had used some of these beautiful gowns at the Pelican Hills photoshoot last April and they are absolutely striking! Most of the dresses are the type they defined as “gasp dresses,” the ones that make your guests jaws drop when you enter. The beautiful brides that I saw today looked so gorgeous, it was hard for them to make a decision on which dress to purchase. The accessories dept supplied over-the-top jewelry and hairpieces that are so unique – I’ve never seen pieces like these! The show continues through tomorrow – stop by and check it out if you are looking for that one of a kind gown!

Natalie and Scott – Terranea – Rancho Palos Verdes – August 2009

September 16th, 2009

Last May, Photographer Kendra Duerst called me and said, “You have to meet Natalie! She needs help with her wedding, and I told her all about you!” Kendra had met Natalie and her sister at a bridal event in Laguna Beach a few months earlier. Natalie and Scott have a ‘blended family’ of 4 adorable dogs and Kendra had told Natalie, “Oh, you’ll love Linda, she’s a dog freak!” So, a quick trip to L.A. was planned to visit Natalie, Scott,….and, of course, the dogs. Over wine, cheese, and doggie belly rubs, we discussed the wedding. Natalie and Scott had booked the Terranea as their wedding venue. It was 10 years in the making and was located on the gorgeous, former site of Marineland in Rancho Palos Verdes. They took a lot on faith, as the site was a construction zone, mainly comprised of dirt, when they booked their wedding. They were only the fourth couple to reserve their wedding there, LONG before it was completed.
Terranea opened their doors to guests in June, so I went up to take a tour. What a FANTASTIC wedding location! Ocean views from every angle – Italian architecture – everything brand new. I couldn’t wait to see how her florist, Joyce, from LA Botanicals would design their ceremony site – Catalina Point, a pergola perched on a cliff overlooking the water. The reception was located in the Catalina Room, a huge ballroom with a full wall of glass towards the sea. My team brought their “A” game and the wedding came off without a hitch. Last minute alterations and ironing of a groomsman’s WAY too short sleeves, locating the little tux & dressing of our cute little ringbearer, and my assistant, Jen, running across the 100 acre property for bridal party hair clips were just a few of our duties. Allie, Roxy, Bubba & Lola (the dogs) were escorted down the aisle with the rest of the wedding party. They were just as beautifully turned out in their flower collars as the rest of the bridal party. Natalie designed her own fabulous gown, which was made by Brides by Liza. Crystal encrusted Jimmy Choo shoes complemented her dress perfectly. Natalie’s parents are the sweetest mom and dad ever! Natalie’s dad, John, had a ‘father’s toasting table’ set up in the reception. I was told it was an Italian family tradition – you MUST have a shot of anisette with the father of the bride to toast the wedding. Of course, I had to comply and had a shot (or two) to toast this fantastic couple. I can’t believe how much we all laughed that night. Natalie and Scott are such a happy, loving, couple and we had SO MUCH FUN being part of their wedding day.

Christie and Scott – St. Bonaventure Church /Waterfront Hilton – August 2009

September 16th, 2009

PRETTY IN PINK. I met Christie and Scott at Christina’s and Drew’s wedding last September. They were beginning to plan their August 2009 wedding and were looking for a coordinator. The couple had booked Sts Simon and Jude Church in Huntington Beach for their ceremony and the Waterfront Hilton for the reception site. The church was being totally remodeled from the ground up, and was to be completed by June of 2009. The couple had been assured this was not going to be a problem – plenty of buffer time for their August wedding! Around May, I was talking with the church’s coordinator. She said that I should tell Christie that they would be putting the flaps up on the tent for all summer wedding ceremonies to get air flow. FLAPS? TENT? What about the CHURCH? Well, since construction was taking longer than expected, city permits, occupancy inspections were required, etc, etc, it didn’t look like it would be done by August. To say that Christie was less than thrilled to hear this news from me would be putting it mildly. (Scott and I started referring to the tent as the “T” word to avoid any extra anxiety.) Luckily, the invitations had not yet been printed, so the next day I was on the phone looking for another church. After calls to several local churches, I found St. Bonaventure was available that day. My family being long-time members of this parish was an extra bonus for me. Things moved along much more smoothly after this glitch. I soon found out about Christie’s passion for the color PINK! I began to email her any pink wedding theme items that caught my eye. Her bridesmaids wore beautiful, long fuschia colored gowns, while the guys sported black tuxes with fuschia ties. Christie’s gown was trimmed in fuschia. The delicious cake was even decorated with fuschia ribbon and strings of bling. Make Up Artist/Hair Stylist Denise Empey glammed up the girls to look gorgeous for the big day. Kendra Duerst got all the shots of an action-filled night. Robert Poff of Station Identification kept the guest moving with rocking music and a pretty hysterical guest-involved musical chair/scavenger hunt. The surprise of the night, though, was Christie’s Michael Jackson dance. She secretly changed into a Michael Jackson costume and, with her back up dancers (Scott, Maid of Honor, Julie, and Best Man, Steven), entertained the crowd to several MJ numbers, included ‘PYT’ and ‘Beat It.’ As always happens at weddings, the evening went very quickly, but what a memorable one it was!

Natalie and Carl – Hush Restaurant, Laguna Beach – January 2009

September 16th, 2009

natalie carl aisle Stacie Truett and I have worked together on several events and projects. She was planning her daughter, Natalie’s, January wedding and needed someone to do ‘day of’ coordination. Being the MOB, she needed to be a guest, not a coordinator, at her daughter’s wedding! So, Stacie thought of me. Natalie and Carl were having their ceremony and reception at Hush Restaurant in Laguna Beach. Hush is very sleek and sophisticated, lots of glass and modern lines. The wedding party (excluding Natalie) and even the guests wore black. Stacey Fitts of Floral Occasions did a wonderful job of providing deep red rose displays and bouquets with black feathers, hanging crystals, and an abundance of candles to accent the venue – transforming it into a very elegant, cozy, and romantic location.