Archive for the ‘Weddings’ Category

Cathy and Ray – Orfila Winery – October 10, 2009

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

CathyRay1CathyRayCake
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

Saturday, 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!

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

Wednesday, 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

Saturday, 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!

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

Wednesday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Wednesday, 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.

Amber and Johnny – The Grand, Long Beach – January 2009

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Amber and Johnny are the cutest young couple! They needed someone to direct their January 3, 2009 ceremony at Rosewood Church and the reception set up immediately following for 300 people at The Grand Event Center in Long Beach. So, their photographer, Kendra Duerst, referred them to me. I thought Amber’s mother, Robin, was a very brave woman for tackling a wedding of this size just a FEW days after the holidays, but it turned out fabulous! The wedding colors of black and red provided a very elegant theme to their day – what a gorgeous group of bridesmaids in their long, black gowns! Friar Tux dressed the guys in style and Rossmoor Pastries provided the beautiful cake. We were constantly restocking the very popular black, white and red themed candy station. Kids and adults alike were enjoying the sweets. Amber and Johnny’s day is one of the Real Weddings featured in the current issue of OC Bride Magazine. Click here to check it out!

Kim and Jim – St John Vianney Catholic Church -April 2008

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Cathy, Me, Kim, & Jim

Cathy, Me, Kim, & Jim

I am way behind on blogging about all the wonderful weddings with which I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved. So I thought I’d start from last year and work forward. Last year, my friend, Kim, announced that she and Jim were going to be married. It was going to be a small family wedding, so she was certain that she needed no help. After all, her Maid of Honor would be there to help her with everything, right? Wrong! Of course, I insisted that she needed ME! Bridesmaids are too busy being PART of the wedding, not overseeing the entire day. So, I finally convinced Kim to see it my way. Their ceremony was at the beautiful, quaint St John Vianney Catholic Church on Balboa Island. It is a tiny little jewel box of a church, tucked in between the shops on Marine Ave. Kim is a casual beach girl, so she chose white flip-flops to go with her formal gown from David’s Bridal. Jim’s family flew in from Texas for the week, so she let Jim’s nieces and nephews decorate her shoes with ‘wedding decorations’ and bling. They thought that was so cool -and so totally Kim! Kim also thought she’d do her own hair that day, but Cathy ended up styling Kim’s hair AND her Maid of Honor’s hair. After the ceremony and pictures, we all headed over to the yacht, The Spirit of Newport at American Yacht Charters in Newport Beach for a reception on the harbor. Kendra Duerst of Kendra Duerst Photography captured the beautiful ceremony and romantic dinner cruise around Newport Harbor. Kim’s ’small family wedding’ was very touching and elegant. And after it was all over – I got her to admit she was very happy that she had my help that day! P.S. Did I mention that Jim and Kim have a mutual love of golf?

Christina and Drew – Laguna Cliffs Marriott – September 2008

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Last April, I met Christina and her mother, Lois, at a photo shoot that Kendra Duerst was photographing at Casa Pazamor on the Balboa Peninsula. Kendra’s shots were to be used in the brochure that was being printed to promote Casa Pazamor as an event venue. Kendra had asked Christina and April to be her bridal models to display the home as a possible location for smaller weddings and receptions. We got to talking about Christina’s upcoming wedding and the need for someone to oversee the day’s events. The following month, I met with Christina, Drew, and Lois and was hired as the couple’s wedding coordinator. Christina and Drew are so cute, and I was very excited to assist them with their wedding day at the beautiful Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa. The ceremony and reception were both held outside, overlooking the ocean. Their seashell and ocean-inspired wedding theme complemented the romantic view. K.C. of VOX DJs kept the guests rocking! He was out on the floor leading the crowd to the moves of “Thriller” and the “Electric Slide.” Kendra Duerst was out on the floor dancing along with the guests, shooting with her fisheye lens from the ‘inside’ of the dance crowd. The couple departed at the end of the evening in a tunnel of sparklers held by their happy guests!