Archive for March 2016

Second Pelican Hill wedding of 2016 for me


Was so thrilled to help Sara and Jeremy with their wedding celebration.  We had a great time planning, pulling the vendor team and vision together, gonna miss them!!

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Sara wanted elegant and calm, think we nailed it!!

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Vendors we love: Karla/Elegant by Design-florals, TMMPRO-dancefloor, Chiavari chair rentals-draping of rotunda, McCune Photography – but the pics above are mine, fyi everyone, lol, Design Visage-Sara and the girls all looked fabulous all night long, Monico Décor-napkins&chiavaris, and of course our team at Pelican Hill Resort, excellence doesn’t even begin to describe how you all are.

Till next time


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Add a comment March 21, 2016

Newport Beach Marriott-Indian Wedding

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Teri and I had the pleasure of helping Ben achieve a wonderful wedding celebration for his lovely daughter, her new husband and all the family and friends that came to celebrate last weekend.   Above is the Rose Garden Gazebo turned into a mandap and our groom arriving on his horse.

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The rickshaw above is how the bride and groom left after the vidai.

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The florist/decorator dad had hired did a great job, very creative.

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Dad had made contact with me a year before but pulled everything together himself with us starting a month out, double checking everything and pulling our detailed timeline/order of events together.  Great working with the team at the NB Marriott again, Teri is normally the one working there so it was fun for me to be there for a change also.

Till next time


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Add a comment March 14, 2016

Brides be very careful!!!

Social media has done great things for brides planning weddings.  It allows them to see/get inspiration from other people’s weddings and google anything you want to have it pop up and as well we have instagram and pinterest at our finger tips.

Over the past couple of weeks either someone has followed me or liked something on my instagram and as we do I have gone to look at their instagram where I may have stayed or depending on what pics I see I may end up on 1 or more other people’s instagram pages.  What I have come across in looking is really bothering me, so new brides look carefully…

If you are not seeing a lot of wedding pics, ie a bride or pics from a ceremony and reception being posted that are on the same day/event, just a picture of a brides shoes then maybe the look of the event is not that good.  You don’t have to have big budgets to have nice looking weddings, its all about the right vendors working with the budget to give a great look that makes people think you spent more, so not sure why someone starting out or having been in business for a while would not be posting more actual wedding ceremony/reception pics.  For a lot of these planners I had noticed this with, what I did see them posting was, stylized shoot pics, this has been kind of big for the past couple of years.  I have not done one because, I don’t have time and most of the time what is being produced is not reality for a normal bride/budget, yet these planners not showing many actual weddings have done quite a few shoots but they don’t say its a shoot and normally the shoots are done at a really nice hotel, which if you are an uneducated bride in what you are looking at, you could think this is the kind of wedding this person produces and that they work at that location, in most cases NOT!!!!  Also I noticed pics of brides at the really nice hotels in their room or out on the grounds (which they actually should not be doing, most 5 star hotels you/your photographer must check if its ok to take pics on the grounds and there is normally a fee) but no pics of the wedding ceremony or reception there, hmmm now why would that be, well its because the wedding was not there.  That is where the bride was staying and getting ready, but again to the uneducated bride flipping through an instagram you are seeing nice hotels mentioned and your mind starts to assume this person does weddings at this hotel some or a lot.  Again, probably NOT the case.

I actually came across something last night from a really established planner that shocked me, it was a setup/location I have seen many times and I know where it is, this planner posted the same pic I have seen and mentioned it as a Wednesday inspiration of a lovely CA wedding.  Now in looking at that and the caliber of that planner you would assume that was one of her weddings, she never said it, but you would.  When reposting other people’s pics/locations they should be referenced or wording such as, would love to do a wedding here, should be used so a bride is not getting the wrong idea, or is that what the person posting is hoping so by being allusive they hope to gain new business.  That location is not even in CA.  I just went in to get the actual wording they used, but the post is gone, so maybe the location contacted them!!!!!!!!!!!!  But how often or who really has that kind of time to monitor their own pics being reposted without credit on other peoples social media.

Now when it comes to vendors, what they post also can be factual but not quite what you the bride are thinking.  I had a couple who in the past many months thought they had their music organized (someone they had known from the beginning and wanted, and there was a bit of celebrity in there, which never does much for me as all I care about is can they mcee and play good music to keep a dancefloor full and my experience is unfortunately no) , I kept asking about his insurance, as we got closer he was not responding to them and they were starting to worry, eventually he did, blamed some confusion on dates or something and was no longer available, they got their money back.  Were they disappointed, you betcha.  But weddings were not what this guy does so from my perspective I think he got a better gig/more what he was looking for, so off he goes.  People who focus on weddings would never do that, especially when a planner is going to be there they are hoping if they do a good job there is a chance the planner will start using them and they can relax on their working so hard to get gigs.  I do find the flakey vendor situation when my couples find or have a one off musician type off music websites, again much easier to give a deposit back when something better, including a vacation or fun night with friends, comes up.  My vendors that get used a lot by me would never do that, weddings is their business.  But I digress, so I gave this couple a really good band to consider, as things happen their budget was changing as pretty enhancements were becoming more important (hey I am all for the look) so they found a very inexpensive band and started chatting with the guy, well he immediately got in his car and drove from San Diego to the location to check it out, now to the inexperienced bride you may think that is service/fabulous wow he is really wanting to do our wedding, what do I the experienced planner feel, this vendor (and this has happened many times and I get this same feeling) is so excited to finally get a chance to play at a really nice hotel/elevate himself through their wedding by being able to list the location as a place they have played or post social media pics of them there, doesn’t mean they were good, but social media will show they were there so that’s going to help business (I see this with photographers a lot where brides are getting ready at nice hotels), so he seemed way to eager/excited to me.  He was not familiar with the space obviously, in trying to sound helpful to the couple he had a conversation with them about band placement which when it was relayed to me, was all wrong and ended up causing the bride all kinds of stress.  Bride and groom were ready to hire them, I emailed them to check on the insurance before they signed anything, I then got in my car to head to a meeting 15 minutes from my house.  Bride obviously emails him right away and within minutes I get a call while I am driving from the band guy, he is saying he does not get insurance until contract is signed as he gets day of insurance, blah blah blah, went on for 10 mins.  I got a really good feel of the type of band this was going to be and could feel this wedding going downhill.  He sent her an email after our phone call telling the bride the same thing.  Bride emails me, are we okay to book them, I said, if you really like their look/sound and we have it on email that he will get the insurance then go for it (if he didn’t then the email would work as reason to get deposit/monies back) but I added, he obviously does not play at 5 star hotels/high end locations as he would have yearly insurance not buy insurance per event, as seriously about 3 events would cover a years worth of liability insurance, my brides response was, yes he does he has all the locations they play at on their website.  Well, who knows how long ago some of those locations were played at.  Actually I had a call from a dj who I do not refer but he felt he could call me to get some advise regarding a location/in house planner who he felt had made him look like he didn’t know how they do things infront of the client who had hired him (based on him saying he definitely had worked there/works there), in asking him questions because I knew not to take anything I was hearing on face value (unlike an inexperienced bride) I find out he has not played there in 8-10 years, so as far as I am concerned it seemed like he was probably saying things to fit his agenda which was no longer how they do/allow things at THEIR location.  On this one the client was wanting to cancel his services and get their money back because they felt he had mis-represented himself, well guess what, he did, as have all my other examples above, from bands to planners.

So brides be very very careful!!!





Add a comment March 10, 2016

Lovely Thank You

Its always so great to get a Thank you from a bride months after their wedding.  By that time I have thought they have moved on, I move on and then voila, I realize I have been on their mind, makes me feel so good

So I went to the PO Box looking for something specific and found this and it made my day.  It’s a handwritten card from a wedding we did in September, Teri actually ran the event on the day………………

Dear Lisa,

I have wanted to write you since the wedding, but the honeymoon, holidays, birthday, and even a car accident, got in the way.  You are among my big ‘thank yous’.  All of your hard work, effort, time, and sincere caring about the event made for a wonderful experience for Joe and I.  The day went exactly how we envisioned and it was so beautiful.  Everything co-ordinated so seamlessly and appeared effortless in the end.  Teri was wonderful at the function and I hardly knew she was there.  The suggestions for vendors were great, and we can honestly say we wouldn’t have done anything differently.

Lisa, thank you for making our day fantastic for us.  It truly was a gift.  You are very talented and we wish you the best.

Nancy and Joe


Till next time


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Add a comment March 3, 2016

2016 wedding specials

Well sometimes brides are in the right place/right time or flexible, and when hotels have space sitting open they are looking to fill them.

Here are a couple of great offerings that I can help you with if you are willing to play:

Want to get married prior to the end of June and just haven’t done anything about it, well this may light the fire.  One of the top hotels/locations in the OC is offering their premium space at very reasonable F&B minimums if you are open to a Mon-Thursday wedding.  Now it may seem strange, but if most of the guests are travelling too and taking extra time, then doing it during the week is not going to be a bother for the guests, in fact air can be cheaper than flying on weekends and I know that a lot of vendors see a weekday wedding as a bonus and are quite flexible with their fees, with the exception of florists of course, they have product that still needs to be paid for.  So small or large, consider a weekday it is really a benefit to you. And if they have Fri-Sundays open yes sirree they are wanting to make it work.  Give me a call, lets chat and see what we can do.

If S CA is not really for you, or you are looking for June-October, then lets head to Mexico, so many great locations, ie Cabo, Cancun, and some of the resorts in the Playa del Carmen region are pretty fabulous, very spread out and you get the beach as well as vegetation to not feel like you are in a concrete jungle like Cancun (which is absolutely fabulous for those wanting action) and you are close to the really quaint restaurant row area of Playa which is what you kind of hope you are going to experience while in Mexico.  So let me know if any of this sounds like you and lets get it going:

If you are 30 people total or under, $15,500 gives you:

For the B&G, airport transfers, Comp room on the wedding night, room upgrade, late checkout, 1 50 minute massage each, access to the lounge, brides hair and makeup on wedding day/including a trial, bouquet and bout

Your ceremony is held at an oceanview gazebo decorated with fabric and flowers, petal aisle, and an officiant/English.

A violinist is included for cocktail time, as well as, 4 hour bar, and a dj

Hors D’oevures and dinner and wedding cake.  They do different levels of food/beverage offerings, so based on your personal preference you could end up at $18,300 for the same size group, and of course they would never turn anyone away, there is a per person rate you can add on if you are 31 or more total.

Your guests get 15% off spa services, 10% off breakfast the morning after the wedding, arse a special wedding rate for accommodations.

Till next time


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Add a comment March 2, 2016






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