Archive for April 2013




Temecula Wedding

I had been looking forward to a Temecula wedding, and have taken a few couples to a variety of locations there, but they came back to the coast, until this couple came along. We looked along the coast and about 10 locations in Temecula, and for the Arizona couple it was a Temecula location that won. The interesting thing is the location was not even a winery, it was an all-inclusive/one stop shop type location that normally would not appeal to my couples, but we all loved this location, you are the only event there and it had a villa/home type feel to it. We adjusted the package and upgraded most of the inclusions, and we rented chivaris (which they had never had anyone do before), and for this couple because of the inclusions we actually saved money in the budget and they got a really lovely celebration, in fact some of the catering staff told me this was the nicest wedding they had seen at this location.
From our first meeting my lovely bride had an inspiration photo that had a sunflower centerpiece and she loved it. It immediately gave me the feeling of bright and a happy event/celebration and we used the sunflowers in ways that made it elegant.
The location and vendors who are part of the package at this location don’t work with many co-ordinators and it seems the interactions with other co-ordinators they had were not good, thank goodness they all liked me and my team, and I got thank yous and they hope to work with me again, from quite a few of them later, including the location.

The ceremony is held on a lovely lawn with a great wrought iron backdrop and vineyard beyond. Cocktails were held on a lovely patio, then the guests made their way around the building to the grass courtyard where the wedding dinner was held. The headtable is situated under a lovely pagoda and they include a chandelier and draping to match your colors. As daylight turned to night all the twinkle lights in all the trees around this area came on and it was really pretty. Cake cutting is held off to one side with the moon in the background and everyone follows the bride & groom into a ballroom that was built specifically for dancing. It has a great rustic/high end winery type feel. If the weather was bad it would be a great room to do everything in also.

Enjoy the photos

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Thanks to Leah Marie Photography based in Temecula for the above photos, we really enjoyed her and her team.
Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment April 13, 2013

Anguilla Destination wedding

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I just had my second trip to Anguilla in the Caribbean.  This really is one of the most quiet/beautiful water/sand islands, everything you imagine an island paradise to be in the Caribbean or world, so if you like what you see in the photos above, then the beautiful island of Anguilla could be the place for your destination wedding.

If you  have been looking at islands in the Caribbean for your weddings, and Anguilla crossed your mind but you read about the different resorts and seemingly exclusive weddings done there for only high end couples so crossed it off the list, I have news for you, on this trip I came across a lovely boutique property located on Meads Bay that is just lovely, intimate, friendly and relaxed feeling.  I think it may have been built to be a timeshare originally but stayed as a ‘hotel’ nightly/weekly accommodation option.  Only about 30 units, and the great thing is for your guests, groups of friends and family that can’t afford $500 a night per room for two, at one of the three top properties on Anguilla, here you can get two bedroom units with living rooms so two couples or four friends or a couple with 2 kids can have their own space and only steps from the water.  They have one bedroom units also that have the living rooms, and all the units have complete kitchens so you can even cook dinner or have lunch or breakfast foods on hand to keep costs down.  If you had a group of 40 coming in for a wedding you would pretty much have the resort to yourself and it would be fabulous.

The beach where you would have your ceremony is right infront of the resort, beautiful backdrop of gorgeous ocean on white sand, so quiet at this end of the beach, you could feel like you are on your own island.  Next door is a beach bar that has nice furniture where you could do a relaxed outdoor cocktails/dinner right after (or a pre-celebration beach party the night before), or if wanting a bit more formal feel you could buy out the restaurant behind the beach bar, and do a dinner/dance inside, or shuttle everyone over to the Viceroy or either of the two top other resorts that are close by.

On another note, I have come to the conclusion after three trips to St Maarten, the Westin on Dawn Beach is the only place to stay/be.  Easy access by rental car (you have to have one no matter where you stay) to downtown in one direction and to Orient Beach or Grand Case in the other.  As a lot of the resorts on St Maarten are not ‘known’ brands to us here in the US, you go by the photos/descriptions and reviews, but even then on some of the islands what we consider ok here is not the same standard there.  The minute you walk into the Westin, you do the aaaah, meaning this is familiar/feels good, and when you get to your room it has the normal amenities/look/feel we expect to see.  Now if you are wanting the more island feel there are lots of options, but you just have to be prepared for service that is quite relaxed and cleanliness or the presence of mosquitos not being what you expected!!!

Let me help you with your destination wedding to either of these locations or anywhere else in the Caribbean, Hawaii,  or the Pacific Islands, or Europe or anywhere else for that matter!! Love to help and go through the process with you.

Till next time

Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment April 11, 2013

Nearly all-inclusive 82 person wedding in Riviera Maya

Well, if you have up to 82 guests and want to host a destination wedding for them, this may be the perfect op for you.
The Viceroy at Riviera Maya (so you know the quality is there) has created a package for $125,000 that starts on a Thursday and ends on the Sunday which is nice, included are: airport transfers, 41 villas, all meals, pool and beach daily snacks, unlimited domestic drinks, transport to Playa del Carmen (which is a neat town to walk around), and some other neat things that will make everyone feel special. For the actual wedding that will happen on the Saturday at a beach gazebo, they include some florals and the wedding cake (again all food/beverages are included). The bride & groom also get a moonlit couples massage which sounds lovely.
Now you may look at that dollar amount and go whoa, but think about it, for a wedding that size at a 5 star location in S CA you are going to be looking at $50k or so plus vendors, so if you put it out to 41 couples or some singles that would be happy to share and offer them an all-inclusive 3 night trip to come and celebrate your wedding/vacay at the same time, they all pay their own air and then you come up with a reasonable sum to offset the total (if you don’t wish to host the event and just have them pay for their air from the US or elsewhere) and that will bring that dollar amount down.
Destination weddings are great (and 50% of the weddings I do here in S CA are destination weddings to here) not only does the couple relax more because they are separated from the home/work environment and once they arrive they can let all that go, the guests get to experience more than a 6 hour wedding event, they have a vacation with a great wedding celebration thrown in, so it really becomes a wedding to remember and talk to others about.

For this package, you would need to add photographer, video if doing, music for both ceremony and dinner/dance, lighting/special linens/chairs if not wanting to go with what the hotel is providing, and me. I would be involved on this side to be your communicator between here and there (we could certainly take a 2 night trip down so you see/feel confident with what you are booking, and that would not be expensive), keep you on track with the normal tasks that need to be done in the planning months (or handle those for you), help you secure the other vendors/vision you are wanting (I would suggest taking photographer and possibly the dj also from here). By having me involved you will have less frustration with communication and any possible mis-understandings.

Contact me and let’s get your Mexican destination wedding planned.
Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment April 9, 2013

Hyatt Huntington Beach 10th birthday gift to you

If you are looking to find a location and book your wedding in the next 7 weeks (by May 31) and have your wedding by the end of November, and you hope to have a beach backdrop, then check out the Hyatt HB for sure.
It’s their 10th anniversary (I can’t believe I have been on their preferred vendor list and doing weddings there for that long, it really only seems a few years) and as they are saying ‘ you get the presents’:
Based on your wedding guest size and thus your food & beverage minimum , you get to pick between speciality linens or chivari chairs, site fee discounts, spa treatments, wine with dinner, or get Hyatt points (in addition to what you will also earn with what you spend – combined those could cover your honeymoon also!!), there are other items also but the items above in my mind are something you are probably going to be spending money on so seem the best choices to me.

On another note, if you are a groom and want to really wow your bride for the wedding night, I came across a suite at the resort last weekend I have never seen/been in before, didn’t even know it was there. The contemporary Suite. I walked in and was wowed (and I have been in suites in hotels in many fabulous hotels) it has the size and wow factors you see in a Vegas suite. A bath tub on a pedestal in the bathroom, fabulous sitting area with a fireplace, and a dining room, and a kitchen where you could have a chef come in and cook a romantic pre or post dinner for the two of you (or more). I am going to guess that availability is a challenge (corporate groups would pay the going rate for this suite at a snap to have get togethers in etc), so you must be prepared to pay regular money to upgrade if it is available, there would be no comp upgrades for sure.

Having done hundreds of weddings at this wonderful property since the day it opened, contact me re your wedding at the hotel, or let the great team in the catering department when you meet with them to do a site visit or chat, that you read my blog and that is what made you make contact.

I look very forward to helping you with your Hyatt Huntington Beach wedding.
Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
714 305 7112
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs

Add a comment April 8, 2013

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