Posts tagged ‘jeff holmes dj ‘

Church and Island Hotel celebration

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Brian and Rona picked a church in downtown Los Angeles and a hotel in the OC for their wedding reception, so a lot of driving for everyone but worth it, we had a great celebration for this great couple.  The churches in LA are so ornate but we enhanced this one a bit more, Rona wanted the outside entrance doors prettied up, and navy was their color so I suggested that we get a custom runner for the church and Brian made that his task and it turned out great.

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Then the fabulous looking ballroom at the Island Hotel

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We had a martini ice luge, and used it to showcase the blue again. Great job as always, Dan at Carving Ice.

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Don’t see caketops that much anymore, I really loved this one.

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This cake picture was before the lights were dimmed, further up is the pic as the guests saw the cake/room, quite a bit different!!

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Lighting does make the difference.


Details! And my fave napkin fold this season.  Rona and Brian were great and trusting of me guiding them to the right vendors for their style and budget.  Florals/Elegant by Design, Photo/Tony Florez (thanks for the pics), Design Visage for bridal beauty, Jeff Holmes/Moondance Mobile Music-dj, Shane Productions/video, ALS for transportation, Veronika/belly dancer, Monico Rentals/linens and chiavaris, and my pal TMMPRO for our beautiful dancefloor.  Last but not least, Kelly and the team at Island Hotel, awesome to work with, and Miss Kelly folded and placed every napkin in the room this night!!

Till next time


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Add a comment August 15, 2016

Hyatt HB destination wedding

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Kalena wanted an informal cape code feel family wedding celebration, everyone including the bride and groom were coming in from other states and as they were already married it was a good excuse to get everyone together in one place to vacation together.

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There was no ceremony, just the party.  Thanks to Tony Florez for getting group pics for everyone to remember the trip by as well as some nice romantics of the B&G around the hotel.  To Jeff Holmes/dj for keeping that dancefloor floor, this group liked to party.  To Karla/Elegant By Design for understanding the vision and bringing it to a reality, and we got runners and napkins from Monico Décor, and to Courtney and the team at Hyatt HB for as always helping us ensure everyone leaves an event saying it was the best ever!!

Till tomorrow


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Add a comment February 10, 2016

Island Hotel Newport Beach wedding

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This hotel was formerly the Four Seasons and we did a lot of weddings there, since it became Island Hotel I think we may have only done 1 wedding there.  Then they lost their main ceremony site so mostly reception only celebrations were held there.  The hotel has a new team in the catering/sales department and they are open/flexible and making ceremony/reception combinations work using the space they have.  The wedding above was a reception only which my Teri handled on the day.  A lovely older couple, brides first marriage and it was so sweet, her parents were paying and also involved in every decision.

Thanks to the vendor team where everyone went over and above to make this a great celebration, Teresa Taylor/photography-thanks for the pics above, Karla/Elegant by Design-you really are a special person for the love/touches you do that our couples don’t even know/realize to make their vision become reality, to Jeff/Moondance Mobile Music/dj-you kept the dancefloor full which surprised all of us.  Linens by Wildflower, and ballroom lighting/centerpiece pinspots were done by the hotel lighting department, and of course Deanna/Kelly and the great banquet team at the Island Hotel, five star all the way.

Till next time


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Add a comment February 4, 2016

Ritz/Laguna, Sunset Terrace & Plaza Room

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Just so hard to beat, this beautiful backdrop to a ceremony, with a 5 star/5 diamond hotel attached and a wonderful intimate room/balcony to have your lunch or dinner and dancing celebration.

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A lot of my couples take advantage of the private beach cart/driver for a fee to head down to the beach and get some pics down there.

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Great shots by Joe Latter above, I have to say Joe you are the first I know of to do the shot above with the B&G in the window, kudos to you.

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A lot of couples want just one more practice of their first dance, so of course we sneak them in.


Tammy wanted an intimate/gardeny feel and only low centerpieces, great job Karla/Elegant by Design the flowers were lovely.  We also went white chiavaris (which could be my favourite) and white dancefloor to offset the creamy/ivory hotel table linens.  The room really had a lovely feel.  We pulled together a great cohesive vendor team to ensure their day went well and they were looking forward to working with everyone. Elysium Video, OCASV lighting, Noemi/Posh Beauty, Jeff Holmes/Moondance Mobile Music- kept that dancefloor full, Monico Décor/rentals, and of course without them none of this is possible, the awesome ladies and gentlemen at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna.

Till next time


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Add a comment January 30, 2016

Plaza Room-no dancing, Ritz Laguna


Erin and David were just wanting an intimate daytime celebration of their getting married with close friends/family, great location, excellent food/service, then when it was over everyone got comfortable and went/did what they wanted to for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

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These pics show that you can spread out and have a lovely event, no dancefloor needed, thanks to Frank Salas for these pics and for being a gem.  To Design Visage for beautifying the ladies, to Karla/EBD florals for as always getting the vision and making it happen, the florals/vases were beautiful, Monico Décor for the benches on the balcony which were well used and the other rentals, and to Jeff/Moondance Music for handling the ceremony music and providing great luncheon/socializing background music.  We did a bouquet toss where the bride was on the balcony and the girls at the balcony doors, that wonderful Pacific ocean made a great backdrop for those pics.  To keep it intimate Uncle Edward officiated the ceremony.  A really lovely celebration for a lovely couple for sure!!

Till next time


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Add a comment January 25, 2016

Balboa Bay Resort-Newport Beach

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My lovely Stacy,so enjoyed helping pull her vendor team and vision together, just a lovely special person.  Unfortunately it was raining on her day, that doesn’t happen to me very often, but the weird thing is, when it does we all agree in the end the backup we did ended up looking better than we think the original plan would have!!  Is that fate stepping in again??!!  The ceremony was supposed to be held on the Fountain Patio which I never really liked because there is an exercise room with people in it working out on one side and no blinds, the view above the wall/backdrop to the ceremony is the hotel building, but the neither of the harbor view sites were available so she booked it, but on the good side she was one of the first weddings in the upstairs room that was a restaurant that got turned into banquet space now called the Bayview Room, great views, great dancefloor area already in there and you feel alone up there not in the middle of a busy hotel.

So 1 hour before the wedding the rain just came down, it did stop but by then the ceremony tile area was going to be wet and slippery and I just felt dangerous for everyone, so I ran around the hotel trying to find a room or area that was covered, in case the rain came again, but also with a view or nice backdrop, the banquet room the hotel had as a backup wasn’t doing it for me.  I found an outside cocktail area to the ballroom which due to no event in the ballroom could be used, and the ballroom had beautiful chandeliers/high ceiling so we set chairs in there also to give a cathedral kind of feel, and I took the bride down to both areas so she could decide where she wanted to get married, I felt good about both.  She picked the outside cocktail area, we then used the comfy banquet chairs instead of the white folding chairs to give a warmer feel and set it up.  It turned out aok, the other wedding that was there stayed outside and the guests got wet!!  When the ceremony ended and the bridal party had exited, I gave the signal and the mariachis started playing and they then led the guests through the hotel up the stairs to the balcony where the cocktails were going to be, everyone was smiling as they followed.

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Stacy wanted all low centerpieces and karla/Elegant by Design did a great job in making them lush, as well as working with us while we waited to work out where the ceremony was going to be.  The silver and white palette looked great in this room, it really is a pretty/friendly room.  We had the dining all on the carpeted area and the dancefloor was the area infront of the inside bar, giving lots of space and making the dining portion seem more intimate/everyone together.  Thanks to Tony Florez/photography, Susanna/Fine Art for another work of art cake, Harpist through Essence Entertainment, and of course Jeff/Moondance Mobile music/dj-always good working with him, rentals through Monico Décor.

Till tomorrow


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Add a comment January 17, 2016

Many looks to the Plaza Room, 2011

Well, this spot at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel/Dana Point is still hard to beat if you are looking for ocean/5 stars/intimacy – here are just some of the many looks my lovely brides chose for this wonderful location:

Thanks for the photo above, florals were by the fabulous Square Root, both vendors always fab to work with & have on the team.


The above pics were courtesy of the dj/Steve Shanahan using his Iphone. I can’t say I have ever seen a photographer do a pano of this room like this, so dark, but love it.  The brides inspiration for this look was a photo on my office wall from a previous wedding, she loved the airy feel of the tall calla lillies.  We used the hotels black linens and brought in black chivaris which looked so elegant and then gave a pop by doing the fabulous black & white pattern napkin, lots of candles together with the fireplace being on, voila, a fabulous look.  Then look below, same room but earlier in the day, so you can really see the detail, these photos courtesy of my lovely bride, and guess what, she never got any photos by her photographer inside the room with the fireplace on/that atmosphere before people came in, so I was able to forward her over the djs pics so she had those to enjoy/remember how fab it looked.

What a soft fresh feel/look, the photo above, courtesy of, was a daytime wedding, and when you walked in it just looked pretty, soft, fresh, and made you smile.  Exactly a reflection of how this bride was and how she made everyone feel around her.

For the above wedding (pic courtesy of wonderful the bride went with a really nice rich red linen with black runners and napkins, some tall centerpieces and some low.  Very dramatic when you walked in.  A great reflection of them, comfortable and warm.  We used a red uplight in each corner, when you have a strong color in the room you can do that to add a pop/further enhance, but in a smaller room you want to be careful it’s not too much.  We use amber a lot to continue the warmth/feel from the fireplace and candles, otherwise the bride’s ‘color’ if she wants that to be enforced.  During dinner just outside the room in the foyer, we setup the EPOD photo booth (it talks to the guests and it’s words match the guests, when they are sober it’s nice and normal, the more tipsy they get and funny/amorous, the more the words comment on what they are doing, it’s hilarious.

My bride for the above wedding wanted her color/theme to be Tiffany Blue  but she was a lovely elegant woman and I knew we had to watch how much we used the color and where.  It’s a hard color for flowers so we stuck with champagnes/ivory/blushes which is a very romantic palette,  Instead of chivaris we covered the hotels chairs which gave a rich/romantic feel along with crystals and candles.  It was a warm/loving feel in the Plaza which was a total reflection of the couple and not only how they felt about each other, but also the intimate group that had been invited/had come from afar to celebrate with them.  Thanks to for the pics and always being just a pleasure to work with, we love him, plus of course, Nisies Enchanted Florist for the beautiful signature look of her florals/style (I knew from the moment my bride and I started talking and working on budget, we must have Nisie). Cere/cocktail music by my fave string group Naples, and dinner/dancing by fab Jeff Holmes/Moondance.  Hair/makeup by Design Visage, and a dove release by wonderful Pam with White Flite, always a successful timely release that has everyone wowed.  For the favors we went to Luisa Chocolatiere based in Laguna Hills, she got the boxes from Italy and inside had made 2 swans (the brides favorite icon for the wedding, because swans mate for life!!), one was dark chocolate with raspberry filling-the brides fave, and for the groom – got to  love it – milk chocolate with tequila inside and sea salt on the outside, yum. I had to do the final taste test due to B&G being in Texas, and it was a chore, but I okayed the end result!!! LOL. Inside the box was a note saying whose chocolate was whose fave and the description.  Nicely done as always Luisa.

My couple from above came with all their guests from Sacramento to celebrate.  A nice change to see a bold color in this room this year.  Thanks to Katie Clark for the above pics, and always being fun to work with. Alicia booked me for Month of service, but used my preferred vendor list in her planning and my advise during her planning months (two) and ended up with a great team and didn’t spend a fortune, but made it look/feel like she did.

The above wedding (thanks for the pics Nancy/bride) was so soft and pretty, no wonder it was published on Style me Pretty.  The end result was well worth the pain we went through to get the florals right on the day.  6 tables, 3 different style of centerpieces and the ceremony was angled giving a straight aisle, rather than the flat to the ocean positioning most couples choose for this site.  All these tweaks made this wedding theirs.  The wonderful Peter Papadopolous/Vive Ent, was our dj and mcee and as always a pleasure.

These weren’t all the weddings we did in the Plaza, but gives you a good feel for how that room works no matter what your colors/feel/theme, as this is a nice variation of looks/styles/florals/colors for you to see.

Till next time


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Add a comment December 30, 2011

Hyatt Huntington Beach, Vista Ballroom – 2011

My ladies and I love this ballroom at the Hyatt HB.  Just the right size, and the team at the Hyatt is so great to work with.  We are fortunate to have been on the preferred vendor list from the day the hotel opened.  Again this year we found ourselves in the Vista Ballroom quite often, sometimes with the CA Courtyard Cere site and sometimes with the Lighthouse Courtyard site.  See below for some of the different looks we saw/created this year, as you can see, our brides are so different in their colors and style, our job is never boring and no two weddings are the same, we love it:

Thank to for the above pics.  When Ramona and Doug and I started planning their wedding they lived here, then Doug got a promotion to Boston, he went first and Ramona followed and all the while we were getting things done.  Then he got transferred back about a month before the wedding.  It was a great, loving celebration with a lot of family celebrating with them.  For this one I matched Victor from Invisible Touch djs to them for their event, and he was perfect, he had to keep up with the different requests and styles of music being asked for, he was a trooper.

Please look below.  Isn’t this a beautiful look.  This was a Persian/Iranian cere I did at the CA Courtyard.  Picture courtesy of Elegant Sofrehs by Taraneh.  We have done a few weddings together in the past few months.  

The wedding below, photos courtesy of Katie Clark photographer (love her), was just a labor of love for me.  ‘My double A s’ I called the bride & groom, Alexander/groom meet Alexandra/bride!!   Too fun.  Something happened on this one when we were interviewing photographers that made me stop and really live in that moment, we had met with Katie re photography, she was the first we met with and we had 2 more appts following hers, Alex the groom normally has quite a bit to say (but not in an obnoxious way) but he was quite quiet during the meeting.  When we left he said to me ‘she is it, she is our photographer we don’t need to meet with anyone else’.  I said to him wow, what makes you so sure and his response to me was ‘I can’t explain it, but her work spoke to me’.  I think that is the greatest compliment any photographer would like to hear someone say about their work/passion, this person ‘got’ them and their style or what their eye saw.  Fabulous.  Well I did make the three of us go to the next meeting, who happened to be a fabulous photographer and I just needed to be sure Alex knew what he wanted, and after that meeting he was still adament Katie was for them, so I cancelled the third meeting.  The pics below are what I need for my blog/portfolio, but I know from the xmas card I just got, that they got the artsy look/feel from katie in their photos of them they were looking for, it was a beautiful xmas card.

This was also a wedding where I was already booked for another wedding on their date, so they met with Peni and me at the initial meeting/interview and were aok moving forward,  with me from budget through every aspect/detail of their event, vision to reality, moments, food/beverage choices, and then had Peni orchestrate the actual event on the day itself (per the detailed timeline/order of events we had all created together).  The neat thing was, my wedding was at the Hyatt also, so I was able to pop over a couple of times and say hi and get/give hugs.

Well I loved my time with the bride and groom from the wedding below, my bride was Italian and just sweet and pretty and kept me laughing.  I had trouble pronouncing her name and at one of our first meetings told her I was renaming her and called her a new name and low and behold she liked it!!  I was kidding.  From that time on, each vendor we met and I would say her real name she would correct me and want them to call her the name I gave her.  Cracked me up.  One night we sat in the office while on her IPAD she showed me where they were going on their honeymoon and by using the google earth or whatever it was we were able to actually see the sand/clearness of the water and feel like we were there.  So then we got suckered in and I took her via IPAD to my home in New Zealand, the street I grew up on, my parents houses, and then we ‘drove’ around my neighbourhood where I was suprised to see how many of my neighbours have pools in their yards!!!  That was when it became scary and I decided maybe the internet/computer age has gone a bit far and privacy really is a thing of the past.  Good for honest/usefeul/normal research, but that is where it should stay, right!!  Anyway, she loved butterflies, so we incorporated them into everything but to where it was just right/not too much (no butterfly release tho, have yet to see a ‘good’ one, doves no problem), we had so much fun taking the words (I have all couples I am starting from the beginning with use words to describe what they want their guests to feel or what they want to feel when they see their event in pictures) and making them a reality.  Thought we were done, and suddenly a week before the event the groom said to me, Lisa she really hates those drapes in that room what can we do, the only thing we can do is drape the room I said, so drape it we did.  It looked fabulous, first time I have since the hotel opened seen anyone drape here, we do it further south a lot, just don’t seem to get the op here, so I was thrilled with the end result and so were they.  Also this cake exceeded the amount alloted in the package, so they did have to pay more to get more tiers and the look she wanted, but it was worth it, it was a stunner.    Thanks to for the photos, great working with Jeff Holmes/Moondance dj as always and linens/dancefloor/draping, chairs were all thru my good friends at Fusion Linens, never any suprise charges to get things done when they need to be done, and you will notice we also added some seating areas on each side of the cake table which were well utilized once the dancing began and people started moving around and chatting.

You will be noticing that I set this ballroom up a lot where the couples table and the cake are centered and most of the time my couples table is against the service wall looking towards the window – I really don’t see why you should be facing a wall but some of my couples want the windows behind them.  By setting the room this way, all guests are as close to you as each other, nothing is off to the side missed by some or seemingly not important.  Also I had started doing it towards the end of last season for some weddings, but it seemed this year all the brides loved the flat hang fold napkin, very clean/elegant looking,  so you will notice that is the fold used in the majority of the photos I am posting of some of my 2011 weddings.  It’s these little things that each year can be different/make a difference.

Above are just a sampling of the weddings we did in the Vista ballroom, there were quite a few more.  It seems a lot of the lunch time weddings tend to use the hotels standard linens/chairs and are a little lighter with florals/color, whereas all the weddings above were evening, so those weddings tend to want to create a complete environment.  What you think the couples above spent and what they actually did spend, will suprise you.  It’s all about us using the right vendors to match the couples style and budget and that is where I really get to have fun working out who that team should be and then guiding you along the way.

Again, thanks to the wonderful team at the Hyatt HB who we love working with, from the team in the office, Cheryl, Jessica, Sarah, Mark and the wonderful assistants Jamie and Cathleen, all headed by Nancy, to the banquet team we work side by side with on the wedding day, headed by Glenn (who I have known for around 20 years,  he is the banquet manager and very seasoned from a variety of properties in S CA and really leads the team by example),  the great banquet captains as well as the banquet staff/servers and bartenders (headed by Javier who is excellent) some of who we have worked there with from day one when the hotel opened.  Really really nice team, all there to ensure the success of your event, and of course Hyatt style, service and amenities, not to mention, the wonderful location of the hotel for visitors to S Ca but also locals that go to the beach but never wander across the street to the hotel that looks so nice!!

Till next time


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Add a comment December 26, 2011

Aliso Creek Inn Wedding

Another lovely wedding that came from a referral from  a 2010 bride.  This years bride was last years bride’s cousin, I love keeping it in the family.

This is a location I had looked at with another bride for her wedding but we chose to go elsewhere, so I was very pleased to get booked for Negar’s wedding where she had booked Aliso Creek Inn already.

The backdrop is quite wonderful, you are in a canyon and can’t believe how quiet and beautiful it is (we even saw deer on the golf green beyond), even with PCH only a 1 minute drive down the driveway.  You can get married outside, cocktail and dine and dance outside and when 10pm rolls around, move the rest of the dancing inside to a rustic bar type venue they have.

I was already booked for another wedding when I was contacted, so they had Teri orchestrate the actual day, and as always she did a fabulous job.

Enjoy these pictures courtesy of the fabulous James Johnson (, we love to work with Jim.  He used to only do film as he really is into the art format of the end result, but has now come around to offering digital to the couples that love his style and personality, but just don’t want film, so now we all win.  Such a nice nice guy.  We also had the fabulous Naples Chamber Ensemble lead by the fun Elaine, and the cocktail and dinner/dancing (2 locations) music was all done by the fab Jeff Holmes/Moondance Mobile Music.  We love working with Jeff, maturity and elegance is what he brings to the event, it is not about him.   Teri and Jeff seem to get to work together a lot, I am jealous!!

If you are looking for this serene backdrop, no ocean, there are plenty of locations here in the OC.  Let me help you find the right place for you, then pull together you team and vision, all with ease.

Till next time


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Add a comment December 23, 2011






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