Archive for April 12th, 2014




St Regis/Ritz-Carlton Laguna combo celebration

Well as you can probably guess, I hear a lot of really good stories on how couples met/got engaged etc, and I love hearing them. Mine involved meeting in a bar in a country I was not from and him following me back to NZ, and a ring in a box of my fave chocolates which was in the fridge, and 27 years later we are still married!! Exciting, fabulous, not really, but it’s my story so it is endearing.

Well the wedding you see the pics from below, is what I would call a fabulous story, kept me on the edge of my chair, and our planning process was even exciting, as it involved three way calls with me, the bride at the Pentagon and the groom on base in Afganistan!!!! Can’t reference their names or I would have to kill you (lol), but the bride was flown in to a base in the war zone for a meeting and the groom happened to be their consulting for the US government, a friend of the grooms happened to take a pic on his phone of them from a distance as they were meeting which is really cool, because at that time, no one had any idea what was going to happen in the future. The chemistry in this photo is incredible, she looks like Laura/Tomb Warrior (or whatever that Angelina character was) and he is just a really good looking, debonair English gentleman, that all the vendors and hotel staff feel in love with, believe me if this wedding wasn’t going to work out, there was a line of woman ready!!! So a long distance relationship started, with rendevouz in various parts of the world, India, Morocco, Scotland, I mean this is a fabulous story, and it ended up with the three of us coming together (everything is fate) to help plan two very special events to celebrate them finding each other.

So to find a location was pretty easy, her parents and some family live in the OC, but there were friends and his family flying in from all around the world, so no brainer, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel it must be with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, but we needed to do a pre-event celebration where everyone would get to meet for the first time, well ……….. I do this quite a bit and it is so fabulous, we have two 5 star/5 diamond hotels within a mile of each other, different ambiances/views etc, so of course the pre-event needed to be at the St Regis, but do we do the wine cellar (which is awesome) or a smaller banquet room that has a balcony that looks out across property, well, as luck will have it, and how often does this happen, Club 19 was available on a Sat night in the middle of the season (great for my couple but not for someone else, if you get my jist) and we got it. So the best venues at both locations were ours for a group of our size, check!

The pre-event was the grooms, he wanted a Raffles/Singapore type feel without going over the top in spending as he did not want to take away from the actual wedding event. Having been to Raffles myself, I knew exactly the feel he was looking for (it’s a very English/downunder thing, the whole Raffles/Singapore thing), so I called in Keith Laverty/floral designer who I knew would get it and could pull it off, and then be able to come up with something that would be fabulous for the Sunday day time wedding at the Ritz. As you can see below, he did a great job, and they were soooo happy. Pulling these two events together with the bride and groom and the three of us in three different parts of the country/world was not a problem, I actually do it a lot with the couple in one part of the country or world and me here, and sometimes we are in different parts of the country and the wedding is in a totally different part of the country, so thanks to technology, email, websites, etc, it’s so much easier now than it ever was years ago, which is why years ago intimate/un local weddings had to have so much time for planning.

For the Sat night pre-event, we had my fave band/Full Spectrum playing, and they danced and danced (Teri oversaw that event as I was doing a wedding elsewhere), for the wedding day we had my fave dj/Peter of Vive Ent, Katie Clark did the photography for both events, Fusion Decor supplied the linens/chairs/furniture etc for both events. We had Naples Chamber Ensemble for the cere/cocktails on the wedding day, we had a Catholic style ceremony with Father Brian, Design Visage had my bride looking fabulous for both events. My teams/family at each hotel from the office to the staff on the day helping us orchestrate both events, as always did a top-notch job, as you would expect, never have to worry about the food or service with both of those hotels.

For the Sat night event, we had everyone at the one table on the outdoor feeling dining patio at Club 19, and on the Sunday lunch wedding, we were inside the more formal/yet not stuffy Plaza room with a chandelier and fireplace and had everyone at rounds and the B&G at a sweetheart table. So between the music, room layouts, floral look/feel, we were able to create two very different events, and everyone loved both of them. Great, great compliments from everyone, including two beautiful letters, one from the bride and one from the groom, afterwards.

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Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
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lisa@lisasimpsonweddings.com
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