Posts tagged ‘dana point ritz weddings ‘

Bye 2019, hi 2020 wedding – Ritz Laguna

It seems every 2 years or so I get a NY eve wedding and the years I want to be in NZ or elsewhere I don’t even get an inquiry, so works out aok from my end.  Andrew and Erika were a blast to work with, they asked for direction/got it and did their own thing and followed direction perfectly to where we had the best vendor team on to work their wedding and spend that evening with.  They were a joy and pleasure to work with and be a part of their wedding celebration, we all loved them and were honored.

TMMPRO for the dancefloor/custom gobo/balcony benches/lighting, Square Root did the florals and had to improvise for the ceremony as the original plan for the front was not a good idea as it was a bit windy, but what they did by turning the pedestals sideways was brilliant, David I love you xoxox

The gentleman who handles majority of the wedding tastings and follows me without question on the In N out burger parade, ladies and gentlemen, I present Chuck xox

Joe Latter was on board for the night taking photos, some of these are his and some of mine/the bad ones, lol, are mine.  De Capo players/5 piece strings, provided beautiful ceremony/cocktail music, and my pal Peter/Vive Entertainment brought in the NY 2 times, East coast and West coast and kept people there/dancefloor full inbetween, kudos to him, I had my doubts, lol. OC Flower Wall for the champagne hedge we used at one end of the room for the 9pm NY champagne toast and after that for a selfie backdrop, Viralbooth OC for the surprise Photobooth that opened after dinner at the other end of the ballroom, Design Visage for hair/makeup (never a late bride for me unless the bride says she wants to be late, whaaaaaaaaaaat?? lol) Luxury Lifestyle Studio/video & drone, our rectangle mirror tables came from Chiavari Chair Rentals, and Luxe Linens provided the napkins.


As always thanks to our partners at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna, teamwork always makes the dreamwork.

Till next time



catch me on instagram   @lisasimpsonweddings

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Add a comment April 22, 2020

Ritz Laguna Terrace Salon wedding

It’s funny how each year there are the ‘hot’ spaces for weddings, well for 2019 at Ritz Laguna it was combining the Monarch bay Sunset Lawn with cocktails next door on the Monarch Bay Sunset Terrace, all oceanfront/view, then up to the Terrace Salon where the ballroom is unique in shape and wall coverings and has a very cool large balcony with wicker furniture and fire pits that guests love, in face most weddings end and there is a group sitting out there not ready to leave!!

So this wedding was the same space, our bride was very excited about everything and her fabulous groom was always happy to see her happy.  From the beginning Katy had said her wedding was going to be pink, and our groom was aok with that, so pink it was.

The picture above was Katy seeing the doves they would release at the end of the ceremony on its way to her ceremony and she was chatting with it, thanking it.  There was also a 60 dove release after they each released their doves.  Guests loved it.

Great vendor team on board, Luxe Linens for the perfect pink linens/napkins, Flowers by Cina for the beautiful florals, Jim Kennedy & Amber-photo (none of these photos are from them, all are mine), Luxury Lifestyle Studio/video, Wendy/Orange County Harpist for the ceremony/cocktail music, Peter/Vive Entertainment for the dinner/dancing music & excellent mceeing as always, Design Visage for hair/makeup, TMMPRO for the dancefloor+decal & lighting-just the right pink, and of course to the ladies and gentlemen at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna for always helping us make wedding dreams come true xoxo

Till next time



catch me on insta  @lisasimpsonweddings

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Add a comment April 21, 2020

Ritz-Carlton Laguna intimate celebration

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So I get a lot of calls saying, we are just doing a small wedding!. Not sure if they think that means the same decisions are not needed to be made or thought put into it, as larger weddings.  WRONG. The same decisions are needed and from a planner standpoint its the same work, just ‘moving’ less people around.

We do intimate weddings all the time and its becoming more the norm that couples wanting a Pacific ocean backdrop here in beautiful sunny S CA are cutting their guest lists down to be able to do their celebration at one of the top 4 hotels we have here in the OC, they may spend the same as a wedding elsewhere for 100 people, but for those lucky guests that are invited to one of these weddings, they get a more foodie or special celebration they are attending, plus with the smaller guest list you tend to invite guests that are coming no matter what day of the week you are getting married, they make a family vacation out of it, and that means for you with that flexibility great things, it could be a lower food/beverage minimum that you could now work with, it could be a bigger room that you would not have been able to get/use/afford for a Fri/Sat/Sun night event.

This wedding started with Angela’s mom calling and chatting with me because Angela was busy (as is also the norm, busy brides with work/life/families) and off we went, and bonus (because it was close to xmas and a weeknight the vendors that could, were more flexible with rates/offerings), it was a Thursday wedding.

I am seeing couples wanting to do unique seating with the smaller weddings, one row of chairs with a gap, one row no gap, spiral around the couple, circle around the couple, above you see another version.  And to make this even more intimate, our bride’s dad was the officiant, and he did a great job.

You also see that when its intimate  you can spend money on items you may not have had the budget for with a larger group, and you can get creative with the table setup in the dining/dancing room also.

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After we did the budget and I understood priorities and vision/style, I was able to guide them to a great group of vendors to consider/select from, and these were the ones I was lucky enough to work with that night: Frank Salas/photo (thanks for the pics above), CA Bride for the over the top round florals, huge I mean huge!! Peter/Vive Ent my dj for many many years, Design Visage for always making the ladies look fabulous, TMMPRO for our seamless glossy dancefloor with decal/lighting and chivaris, and to our friends at the Ritz-Carlton who we have had the pleasure of working with for the past 15 years and really consider the banquet/setup team our family we are lucky enough to see often!! xoxoxox

till next time


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Add a comment February 22, 2017

Wedding Season has begun

Hmm, I thought this would happen, as the weddings begin to happen and the details for the weddings that are coming later start to be worked on, plus all the normal things we must be involved in/do as co-ordinators, my blogs are down to about once a month right now.

Had a couple of lovely weddings since I last blogged at my lovely Sunset Terrace & Plaza Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna.  So hard to beat the spectacular backdrop to this site, it’s the Pacific Ocean in your face and being above it just gives this fabulous view/feel to what is being celebrated – your vows.  Then the Plaza Room where the dinner/dancing is held is so intimate (max 74) and elegant (fireplace & chandelier) and opens right to a balcony looking down to the crashing waves.  A very memorable experience for all those lucky enough to be invited and share your day with you.  My pal Tony Florez was the photographer for one, love him, so easy to work with/calm and captures everything without you even feeling his presence.  Now with both weddings florists, something for you brides to keep in mind, it’s hard for a co-ordinator to hold a florist to the same demands as normal, when you refer to them as your friends, you trust them, they have done other events for you etc.  When it is a normal florist I work with or a known or unknown company, I  get a copy of the order/proposal from them directly (normally nicely typed and easy to read) and then I can catch if something is missing or if something doesn’t read right.  When I get handwritten orders and there is no descriptions or colors mentioned all I can do is come back to you and let you know that the components are there, but as for holding them to anything on the day I can’t, so I have to leave it to you the bride to ensure you and the florist are clear with each other.  To me, the easiest way to do that is have it written on paper.   With both those weddings, very nice florists, they showed up, did what they were supposed to do, but with one wedding the bride said her bouquet wasn’t right, yet it was exactly as the paper said, and the mom said there was supposed to be pink in the bmaids bouquets (there was no pink mentioned on the order) when I showed them both the order and that the order matched what I was giving them, they said the differences had been verbally discussed.  With the other wedding the bride’s bouquet was gorgeous, peonies/gardenias/freeshias/roses-talk about elegant and fragrant.  When the bride saw it for the first time her comment was, where are the hydrangeas.  There was nothing on the order about hydrangea and this bouquet was stunning.  But maybe hydrangea had a place in her heart for some reason and this was important, at this time it is too late, so those are things you must be sure a noted on your order.  They were in her centerpieces, I ran right back and made sure of that (as there would have been time for the florist to rectify that, but the bouquet, not so much.   Ladies, remember this, paper is the king/queen.  Until your wedding day all you have for all the money you are paying everyone in advance, all you have is what is written on paper to hold them to.  So check colors/descriptions/items/people florals and make sure they are all right or as expected and if something is not clear, have it written down.  If you end up in front of Judge Judy you are going to lose if they delivered what is written on the paper but it wasn’t what you expected.  These things never happen when I hold a normal florist to my normal expectation of information, so please be really careful that you don’t have disappointment or a friendship is ruined because you assumed your ‘friend’ knew what you wanted or got it, and I will say, sometimes the pricing I see is more than what you would be paying if you used someone who doesn’t know you, you aren’t always  getting mates rates – they are probably a business for profit situation also.  Anyway, both beautiful weddings in spite of those ‘oh’ moments.

Was up at the Bel Air Bay Club for a dinner.  Wow.  I love Malibu but my past experience has been you are either right on the water or way up on the hills looking at the ocean in the distance, this club is just up the hill off PCH and the view is awesome.  Had a very Amalfi coast view/feel until you saw Santa Monica and realised you couldn’t be in Italy.  Great space, reasonable rates, there are even 9 hotel rooms you can rent to stay in.  The way the ceremony site is setup you have complete ocean behind you.  Really unique and only been open to non-members to use for weddings for the past six months, so this is one to remember.

This is a beautiful way to dress a napkin, you can either do this yourself or some of the more upscale linen companies do have items like this and will provide them and put them on, for a fee of course.  Just gorgeous.

Went to a viewing by Elysium Productions where they demoed their new demo.  Fabulous.  The music, the words, the picttures, there was a couple of times I had to not blink so the tears wouldn’t start, and I didn’t even know the couples they were showing!!!  They really know how to capture the emotion and that is why they are so successful and get to travel the world with their service.  The demo that really captured my eye, was the vintage demo, I loved it, that would be what I would have done if it was me getting married, so timeless and elegant and just such a great feeling.  The fun part of the showing was, they had rented out a movie theatre and you sat there with beer and popcorn (well I took Junior mints) watching!! Don’t think there are many theatres around here you can do that at.  In New Zealand when I am home we have a theatre where you sit in home theatre style chairs and you can drink your wine or champagne or whatever your pleasure, have appetizers or more to eat while you watch, it’s very civilised and grown up.  Don’t know why those kinds of things don’t seem to be around here, unless you are in someones home.

One of the weddings did have a nice dj that they knew, haven’t had such great experiences with this situation so far this year, but I have to say, I went in lery, and came out with a guy who did a great job, was easy to work with, and will be referred by me from now on.  Love it.

Then I was at 7 Degrees for the launch of a new program called ‘Wish upon a Wedding’.  A great organisation with chapters that are spreading all over the US.  A couple of my fellow co-ordinators are running the LA/OC chapter and this was the launch party.  It is all about us wedding vendors, from djs to caterers, to wedding co-ordinators providing our services at no charge for a couple who are getting married, one of whom is terminal and does not have long to live.  Don’t think there was one person of the 300 odd who attended that did not volunteer product or themselves.

Then I was very fortunate to be part of a small group to be picked up at my home by limo and whisked out to Riverside for a 24 hour Mission Inn experience.  I have done a couple of weddings there over the years and have taken the in-laws out at xmas so they can experience the wonderful light display and done the carriage around the block thing.  For anyone wanting to feel like they are in Europe but don’t have the time or want to fly, this is your place.  Time to go back again and create some more memories for someone/s.

Did my first wedding at Muckenthaller Mansion in Fullerton.  Have been to a few events there over the years, but not had a bride look there until now.  The caterer/handler of the mansion was lovely to work with, got to see my friend Larry Crandall while he worked doing the photos, such a gentleman and his work/end result is just beautiful.  For intimate events of no more than 60-80 you can use all the space inside for various parts of the event, the grounds are lovely, there is a great balcony for a ‘special’ picture that they seem to be known for, and a lovely courtyard for the cocktails.  Again, a touch of Europe or early America right here on our own doortep.  We did the sparkler exit with them getting into a vintage car and driving away.  They weren’t going to do the car, just leave with a friend driving, but it was easy to persuade them that my way was going to be the perfect end to a perfect day.

Have a great wedding coming up at Club 19, St Regis with a bunch of fun elements to it, so will report on that next time.  Have met and booked some great couples over the past few weeks who are going to be getting married in the next 3-4 months and we have some really great things in mind for their weddings, so keep your eyes open.

Till next time, Lisa

Add a comment May 7, 2010






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