Archive for December 1st, 2009

Hotel Del Coronado & St Regis

This blog will be about two weddings that are very different, and a good way to end the seasons blogging with.  Even though I have other weddings I ddi this year and still come coming up I could blog about, I really am excited about using this forum as a way to help future bride’s on their path to a great celebration, so this will be the end of the wedding pics for this year (well so I say!!)..

First up, Ursula & Norman – Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego

Ursula is a bride who grew up on the east coast, contacted me while living in Switzerland where she had become engaged to a wonderful Swiss man, and wanted a S.CA wedding.

Ursula knew she wanted a beach ceremony, in  August, and on a Saturday night. Hmmm, well in LA and OC during the summer months you can’t do a ceremony on a public beach, unless it is small and no chairs/decor will be done, so I had to find her options where she could stand with her toes between her feet. I came up with a few options, but there was always something that had to be given up, and Ursula really wasn’t ready to give anything up. Thank goodness they were planning on moving back to S.Ca and probably San Diego, which of course then make our choice so easy and natural……..
The Hotel Del Coronado

Around this same time in our research for the perfect location, I was invited as part of a small group of planners from S.CA and surrounding areas to come and see the hotel as they had great new things to show us, their spa, new accommodations, food & beverage, etc, and their timing could not have been more perfect.  It gave me a great chance to see first hand if this really was the perfect location for Ursula and Norman.  I also reconnected with Farrah, one of the catering managers, that I had known from her days as a banquet captain at the St Regis, so it was starting to seem like fate.
This is one of the few beaches in CA I believe, that is privately owned. So here we could do the chairs and decor on a Sat afternoon/early evening in the summer for her on the beach, have cocktails on the sand, and then move into a ballroom where we could have the dinner/dancing/traditional event and service you expect from a famous resort. Fabulous.  A great time was had by everyone, some European traditions played a part in the ballroom celebration, which at first may have seemed a bit strange to the American guests, but by the end everyone was involved.  Ursula and her sister’s have Irish blood in them, and this became very evident during Irish jigs that my good pal Peter of Viv Entertainment dug up for them.  The photos below are courtesy of  You may notice that I worked with Frank a lot this year, we have always had a few weddings a year together, but this year was our year,  a lot of my couples this year really liked his style and him.  Over the years Frank has always gone over and above and jumped in and done things that I am not sure everyone would.  An example of this is; A few years ago I had a client who had booked a photographer his family knew and it was a somewhat cultural connection, but as the days got closer, the groom started to have concerns that he was not going to get the shots or style he was really looking for, so he asked me to get him  a second photographer to be more background but hopefully fill in any gaps his #1 photographer may miss.  Frank was only supposed to meet us at the hotel and cover the reception.  I arrived at the church after leaving the bride’s home where getting ready shots were done and was waiting outside when I saw Frank, I asked him why he was there, thinking he had misunderstood and not realised he was only to be at the hotel.  He said he read the church location on the timeline and decided to come by and just be sure all was aok.  Thank goodness he did.  The groom  arrived, and the family surrounded him and took over the street, singing and dancing him all the way to the church.  Frank got those shots, the #1 photographer had not arrived yet after shooting at the bride’s home.  For this wedding at Hotel Del, Frank shone again;   Frank had left to drive back to the OC and a friend was driving the couple’s baby back to their home in Oceanside but got to the house and realised the house key was not in the baby bag.  Panic and blame took over the event  for the next 10 mins as the couple and well meaning friends tried to work out what to do, it was decided that the only option was for the sitter to come back to the hotel and get the key.  Hold on I thought, I called Frank,’ where are you?’,’ on the freeway on the way home’,’ can you come back we have a situation?’  He did, he got the key, I had him meet the sitter at a gas station at the off ramp close to the house, and off went the baby to her bed, and Frank continued on his way home.   Just love him.  Never a challenge, or a no!! He is a true teamplayer and you get great memories in print of your day, what a great combination and decision to hire Frank.

Pacific Lawn/Ballroom, St Regis

Ah my lovely Stephanie.  A beautiful lady with so much enthusiasm for her special day, and together with her mother in law, kept me laughing throughout our planning time together.

Below you will see photos from their day taken by my new friend John Russo.  He is one of the reasons why I love my job.  Along the way I will have bride’s that find their own vendors and sometimes it is good, sometimes it is not.  Stephanie had booked John, who I did not know, and boy what a fantastic find.  He was a pleasure to work with, as well as fun, and has a great team working with him, and we both look forward to working with each other many times in the future.  He is based in Beverly Hills, only does a few weddings a year, with the bulk of his business being Vogue covers and collatoral pictures for major high end hotels around the world.

Square Root did the decor/floral design and as always a quality event that all the guests could feel.

Thanks as always to the team at St Regis, the lovely Tiffany, supported by David the banquet captain, and the banquet team who handles all the food & beverage needs of the guest’s on the floor.  As always Mr Johnny So, the GM, came by to ensure everything was going well and if I had any needs.   He is the only GM that I know of that does this.  I see him at every wedding I do at the St Regis, and he comes by most of the tastings also.  I have known him for around 12 years, and it is his personal interest and caring that has placed him at some of the top resorts in the world where his ‘being’ shows and flows down to the staff who work under him.

Wow, got wordy again today.  Till next time.


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