More than a one-night affair…

Posts tagged “San Diego Wedding Planning

Herb Infused Wedding Inspiration Board

Although my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has looked over its shoulder and said “I’ll see ya next year,” the images and smells of my sage butter roasted turkey, thyme andouille sausage stuffing, rosemary red potatoes, and lavender pound cake are still lingering in my mind…and definitely on my waist. When you’re a foodie, like me, there was no denying what I’ll be sharing on our  Inspire Me Monday blog post: An herb-infused wedding!

There’s so many fun, creative ways to put together a herb themed wedding! The scent of rosemary, sage, basil, mint, thyme, and lavender can invigorate the senses visually and aromatically. As the board suggests, bundles of herbs can serve as a name or place card holder. For favors, the options are limitless! You can concoct a salt and herb rub or seasoning. If you’d like a sweeter approach, get a little gourmet by marinating herbs such as rosemary or thyme in honey and include a food or drink recipe that incorporates your personalized gift. Herbs are a beautiful and surprising addition to floral arrangements as well; centerpieces, boutonnieres, bouquets, and even ceremony decor.

During my wedding planning, at the consultation with the florist, we discussed how I LOVE herbs and wanted a natural look to the arrangements and bouquets. I shared with her how I envisioned the dinner napkins to have fresh sprigs of rosemary tied-on with colorful plaid ribbon….the ribbon complimented the flannel shirts worn by the  groomsmen. Our venue was surrounded by pine trees that hovered over a beautifully manicured garden area. I wanted  my flowers to embrace the allure of our natural setting; therefore,  elaborate floral decor was unnecessary. The florist did an amazing job with my requests! There were sprigs of sage, mint,  thyme, and lavender accenting the gorgeous bouquets, and at the ceremony, bundles of herbs wrapped in twine designated family seating.

Foodie or not, flirt with all sorts of herb inspired ideas for your wedding…it can make for a tantalizing experience for your guests!

Happy Wedding Planning and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!



P.S. – Remember that these ideas are not only inspiration for your wedding but for your everyday occasions too. At my 30th birthday luncheon, I baked a bag of lavender shortbread cookies for all of the guests to enjoy. They were yum yum!


Mint Bout | Herb Centerpiece | Peach & Rosemary Sprtizer, Herb Infused Honey, Herb Place Card, Rosemary Sea Salt Favor


Inspire Me Monday: A Trip Back Home

Last week, I was fortunately able to take a trip back to my amazing hometown… San Francisco! My family lives in the Mission District, just walking distance from awesome vintage stores and to-die-for restaurants. One of my favorite things about home? The food!  San Francisco is so culturally diverse… unlike anything I have ever experienced anywhere… aaaand all available at your beck and call too! Mexican, Japanese, Cuban, French, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, American and the list goes on…

(Picture of Oakland Bay Bridge below)

First thing on my agenda was food of course! I found a very small & unassuming restaurant where I ordered fresh ice tea and a goat cheese, roasted-veggie sandwich, with seasoned crispy potatoes and caramelized onions. It was delectably delicious! We all know a meal isn’t complete without dessert, so I headed off to my favorite ice cream shop that specializes in unique flavors where I ordered my favorite flavor…salted caramel! Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!

After my tummy was full with yumminess, I went to the most amazing antique store I’ve been to yet, called “Big Daddy Antiques”. Set in an old warehouse this store was filled with old barn tables, rustic birdcages, large pots filled with succulents, farmhouse candles, and knickknacks galore. There was even a cool vintage bicycle hung high up with succulents adorning it. A stunning high beamed ceiling housed these array of engaging visual displays.  It was high style Ralph Lauren meets shabby chic barn. It truly took my breath away and reminded me of what I love…Weddings of course!

Because weddings are always on the brain around these parts, I began to think; “How would I incorporate these organic, one-of-a-kind pieces into a wedding?” I began to envision a lush field turned into an altar, a bride struttin’ her stuff down the aisle in a short dress while carrying a bouquet of succulents, a beautiful old barn transformed into a reception hall glowing with sunlight and a fresh iced-tea welcome for the guests.  During our Swann Squad meetings, we often discuss the importance of encouraging all of our clients to seek inspiration for their wedding in the things they enjoy everyday.  A wedding is a day not only to rejoice the love they both share for one another, but also allow guests to experience the celebration more intimately by having guests enjoy what the couple loves to do, see, and eat.

For this light, fancy-free, afternoon affair, I’d serve what I had for lunch earlier in the day, that yummilicious goat cheese, roasted veggie sandwich accompanied by roasted potatoes, and of course… salted caramel ice cream for dessert! What better way to personalize your wedding than to use your daily life as inspiration!

Oh how I love visiting home…


Intern Jess

Blue & Taupe: Surf meets Sand | Del Mar, California Real Wedding

Upon first meeting, Shaina described herself to me as the anti-bride. I tried not to giggle, but I failed… for in her voice I heard an all too familiar quiver from many other brides I’ve met before. “It’s ok, let’s hear why you think that…”- Believe it or not, I’d say there is a 50/50 ratio to brides who have never thought about what their wedding would be like to the ones that have been dreaming about it since they were five. There is nothing wrong with either one {or anything in-between}. Dreams, like ocean waves, are all different.

Like many newly engaged women, she didn’t know where to start (and was being given all kinds of ideas & opinions by everyone around her). She hadn’t been dreaming of this day her whole life and was certainly overwhelmed by all the choices, decisions, and how quickly costs added up. She did however know that it had to be a reflection of her & her fiancé; both could be described as enthusiast of wine, the outdoors, and all things simple… so the planning began.

Shaina & Eric selected Seagrove Park in Del Mar as their backdrop for the interfaith ceremony. Neither of them minded being in a busy area frequented by tourists year-round, not to mention all the locals that can constantly be found strolling through the beautiful setting, AND the coaster that rides past at least once an hour. Many people stopped to watch her walk down the park to the beautiful chuppa where Eric & congregation of about 70 guests awaited, some even took pictures, but you didn’t see the slightest of concern or peeve in Shaina’s face, she was ready for it all to happen!

The Bridal Party was small, three to be exact:

Those cliffs at Seagrove Park make for some stunning pictures!

The theme (“I have to have a theme?!?” Shaina asked), colors, & flowers: Organic and complimentary of our surroundings. Christine of Fancy That! Flowers used familiar blooms in white, ivory, shades of blue, fun monkey tails, along with blue & brown ribbons to represent the sand & skies which surrounded us. Easy, simple, clean. Eric really liked his boutonniere!

It was a lovely ceremony. Sunny skies kissed the faces of all the guests (many who traveled here from Chicago), and it was probably a lot nicer than our summer turned out to be this year!

The reception was held at Pacifica Del Mar restaurant, in their outdoor patio where guests could enjoy the beautiful scenery we are so spoiled with here in San Diego. The food was delicious, staff incredible, and costs…reasonable. I highly recommend considering a restaurant as an alternative to your “typical” wedding reception venue, especially when you have a small guest list. Many restaurant venues will allow you to have the “standard” wedding elements such as a DJ, outside baker, florist, favors, etc.

There was little that had to be added to the restaurant inclusions. For centerpieces, Shaina inherited sea-glass vases from a previous bride of mine who had used them at her wedding… I just love being able to recycle items among my brides! The same vases are being used by one of my September brides too! Her paperie was all designed by her sister, a design replicated perfectly on the cake. The tables were named after favorite wines & were adorned by photos of the many adventures her & Eric have shared. Favors: Costa Rican Coffee (where Eric & Shaina would Honeymoon).

It was a lovely wedding… one that perfectly celebrated who Eric & Shaina are as a couple. I am so grateful to have been part of it! My words of advice to future “anti-brides” – plan to celebrate this next milestone in your life the way that makes YOU BOTH happy. There are no rules or guidelines to what you can or should do for a wedding.



~Encouraging & Inspiring Ideas that will fashion your celebration!~

Shout-Out to the Wedd Pro Team by my side:

  • Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Miles Moynier
  • DJ: Joe, JMC Events
  • Cake: Sumi’s Oven
  • Flowers: Fancy That!
  • Photography: Pasion Photography
  • Videography: Cloudbreak Films
  • Ceremony Rentals (including Chuppa): Platinum Party Rentals
  • Getting Ready Room: L’Auberge

Black & Ivory: Timeless Beach Elegance | San Diego Real Wedding

Every single time I look at this wedding it makes me go back to the day it happened. It was such a beautiful day all the way around from planning to execution and everything in-between.  Given I am behind on blogging, why not go back to my favorite month last year, October, specifically to when Maribel & Uriah tied the knot at the St. Francis Chapel in Balboa Park then partied the night away at La Valencia in la Jolla. This wedding meant a LOT to me, for I met Mari & Uri through one of the nurses at the San Diego Hospice where I drop off donations on the weekend. Needless to say, Mari’s left over flowers went to the Hospice after the celebration too. Yay! You can see the “Live” shots from the day on the SS Facebook Fan Page, but since Michelle was awesome & sent me more of her amazing shots it would be horrible not to share!

The theme was a Classy Beach Elegance, there are sooo many ways to depict that, but Mari & Uri went the vintage & formal route. All the little details, from the sterling silver bouquet holder to the ornate champagne flutes really helped bring to life a romantic and timeless event.

Enjoy the beautiful shots & be inspired!



~Encouraging & Inspiring ideas that will fashion your celebration!~



The Details were my favorite part! Beautifully adorned champagne flutes with matching cake cutters. The tables were named after their favorite beaches, thick, clear acrylic frames held photos of the corresponding beach, each frame nestled among arrangements of roses and beautiful greenery of varying height. The ring pillow was a DIY project, the lace came from Mari’s mom’s dress from her wedding…Love! The favors were wine stoppers with crystal clam shells on top, oh and perhaps my favorite detail? The silver bouquet holder with a little tag that had their names on it… it looked beautiful and kept the bridal bouquet in-tact all day & night. Photos of family weddings were set on the piano of the lounge at The Valencia and really added that romantic touch to the lovely and personal event.

The place cards were held inside a cork-lined tray which was made by one of Mari’s friends, the starfish were a perfect accent!

Cake & topper made by Mari’s sister! It was deeelish!

Wedd Pro Team:

Crimson, Moss & Slate: Twilight Inspiration Board

It’s not easy being a hopeless romantic. The last time I got sucked into a movie to the point where daily viewings were a normal part of my day, was an ancient ten plus years ago, when I was hooked on Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing. I figured I might have grown out of that stage…apparently not!

I am, one hundred and ten percent, team Twilight Sagas!! Talk about beating to the tune of my hopeless romantic heart! Thank goodness for this new found obsession because it became my muse for this month’s inspiration board.

In the movies, there’s an “Edward and Bella” spot in the woods. For those who have never watched the movie {Brenda} Edward is the vampire and Bella is the human who are destined, by the hands of Fate herself, to be together. Their love story is passionate, mysterious, sexy, and most of all… timelessly romantic.

My interpretation of their spot came to fruition through my DIY contribution which is the dinner table centerpiece pictured above: Set in the woods, luscious green grass is a beautiful backdrop to the blooming flowers in hues of blues and purples. I absolutely loved the colors in the first movie, Twilight; Seattle’s gray with muted tones of blues and deep purples, vibrant green landscaping thriving from the little bit of sun that shines through, which also allows for the milky-white pale skins of our lovers to glow. My favorite color in the movie is the crimson-red hue on both Edward and Bella’s lips *insert me blushing*.

I purchased everything but one item of my DIY centerpiece at a local floral warehouse: Vase, river rocks, florist block (which is under the moss), tiny crystals, berry branches, red Sweet William dianthus, thistle (purple), and light Bella delphinium (blue)…go figure I subconsciously pick flowers with the name “Bella” in it? I also bought these toothpick-like things that had floral wire attached to it. I used them to keep the Bellas in place. The only other thing purchased for this project was the tiny, tiny crystals I glued onto the branches, which represents Edward’s glistening diamond complexion.

I appreciate how the movie incorporates old traditions in a present-day world. You’ll see how I’ve tried to achieve that well-balanced mixture throughout the board:

Beginning with the invitation at the top right corner. The monogram is regal and the perfect hue of red while the font and text placement is simple and clean. Continuing clockwise, I envision the table to be draped with a navy blue canvas over a white French brocade linen. The brocade linen is a classic and elegant, softening the look of the masculine, hatch-pattern textured  canvas.

On the table top, the gorgeous mosaic patterned dinnerware is in hues of greens and blues with a light trimming of antiqued gold, it’s classy and charming, perfectly accompanied by the absolutely sexy crystal champagne flutes. The bodice of the flute is wrapped in a Waterford Alana pattern which gives it a crisscross hatching pattern—when I saw the price of these bling-bling flutes it confirmed what I already knew, ”Girl’s got expensive taste”.

Continuing with the table, lighting is a key element to creating the right ambiance at any celebration. I found these enchanting mercury glass votive holders, with a pebble-like texture that repeats the shape of the small round crystals hanging sparsely on branches of the centerpiece. The mercury glass will cast a warm, antique glow on its surroundings.  The more of these on the table, the more dramatic effect will be achieved between the candles and the flickering of the crystals on the centerpiece.

Moving on with antique but including romantic, we have the Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dress in pomegranate. Its red hue draws me in like the passion between Edward and Bella. It will most definitely drape your bridesmaids softly and romantically.

Thanks to one of our favorite, talented baker Sumi, with Sumi’s Oven, I found my ideal cake in her portfolio! I was considering suggesting using different red flowers on the cake but these red roses perfectly match my bridesmaid’s dress. I love how soft and romantic the roses look. It’s elegantly simple with its monochrome filigree icing work. For the cake flavor?  I suggest Blood Orange cake with either light cheesecake filling or guava mousse filling…I’m torn between the two {Brenda will watch the Twilight Saga’s in exchange for a piece of this cake!}

Next are my two Etsy finds; First it’s a handsome bo\boutonniere made with an antiqued brass Rococo broche, natural moss, twigs and white baby’s breath…I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect boutonniere for this special board. It has all the old-world charm Edward encompasses. Lastly, I never knew Etsy carried such sweet, angelic flower girl dresses until I attended a very close friend’s, one-of-a kind wedding, where her flowergirl was donning one of the Etsy finds. What little girl wouldn’t want this dress added to her wardrobe? The silk and organza design is innocent and pure.  My only suggestion would be to replace the sash and flower color to the purple of the thistle or blue of the canvas table linen.

With that, we’ve come full circle on my Romantic Twilight Wedding inspiration board. I hope to have teased your creative appetite with your wedding planning through my obsession with the Twilight Saga movies. You never know when or how your next creative spark is discovered, but when you do, you just gotta run with it!!! Happy Wedding Planning and I’ll see you next month…

SOURCES (starting with invitation and going clockwise):

INVITATIONS – Designer: Wiley Valentine, Callaway Collection in his Luxe Album; LINEN – Wildflower Linen; DINNERWARE – Mosaico D’Italia Mattonella by Lenox; GLASSWARE – Alana Prestige Lime Toasting Flutes by Waterford Crystal; VOTIVE HOLDERS – Mercury Glass Pebble Texture Votive Holders; BRIDESMAID DRESS – Designer: Jenny Yoo, Ainsley in pomegranate; WEDDING CAKE – Bakery: Sumi’s Oven, San Diego Baker; BOUTONNIERE – Etsy Shop: Pomp and Plumage, Chevalier; FLOWER GIRL DRESS – Etsy Shop: Beane & Company, Silver, White and Yellow Satin Organza Flower Girl Dress.

Bridal Nosh!

Together with Bridal Insider, I hosted the first Bridal Nosh this evening- and it was exactly what I hoped it would be!

What’s a Bridal Nosh you ask? Well A nosh is a nibble, snack, or otherwise a light meal. A Bridal Nosh, is where a bride planning her wedding can join me, and other brides, to chit-chat about ALL things wedding, her wedding, my wedding, her friend’s wedding… weddings, weddings, weddings- oh and the life that happens in between our weddings! Because I suppose there is a life beyond weddings… or is there?? Kidding 🙂

There is no agenda or discussion topics, there are no bored friends tired of hearing about the planning, no judging about what you’re doing or what you’re spending on your wedding… Just good ol’ fashioned conversation, yummy snacks, and real brides  to compare notes, and develop relationships with. Good times I tell ya! I had such a blast today, hearing the engagement stories, about the plans, and reminiscing about my own wedding too. In the midst of all the chatter, we only took one picture at the end of the night, sorry for missing the others- next time I’ll definitely have the camera on-hand while we’re laughing away the evening (and watching people crash into their own cars!)

Thank you ladies for joining Lori & I, it was such a blast! We very much look forward to the next Bridal Nosh in March!


p.s. The Noshing will happen every third Wednesday of the month from 6-8pm in the Cerimone Studio in Point Loma. Open to Brides Only~ space is limited, please be sure to RSVP to reserve your spot.

With Kecia & Darah- Wedding Date Twins!