Posts tagged ‘pavilion ballroom wedding ritz carlton laguna ‘

Ritz Laguna – Pavilion Ballroom

Welcome to 2020 and Anna and Omar’s wedding was our first of the year on March 6 at the fabulous Ritz-Carlton Laguna.  They were just the sweetest loveliest couple, i am so lucky, I rarely get a bride or groom zilla and if I do it just makes us appreciate our normal couples even more, lol, but these two both during the event, the groom once and the bride probably 5 times, kept asking if they were being too much trouble, and i had to keep telling them they were absolutely NO trouble at all, not sure what they were worrying about but they were most definately not!!  We had the ceremony on The Bluff Lawn, cocktails on Pavilion Balcony and dinner/dancing in Pavilion.  Anna started with round guest tables but in the end decided she loved the rectangle table idea so we had some of those and some rounds, best of both worlds.

Thanks to Frank Salas for the pics, some are his and some mine (obviously the bad ones, lol), Impressive Creations/video, Elegant by Design for coming in and making it all work last minute for us (a florist the bride had found/wanted to use ended up flaking on her when it was time to get serious), TMMPRO for the dancefloor/chiavaris/B&G sofa+lighting, Design Visage for hair/makeup, Their friend Tarek who performed the ceremony and did a great job, and DJ Franky for all the music needs we had.

And of course to our friends at the Ritz.  Teamwork makes the dreamwork and we sure do together, for 19 years now xoxox

Till next time



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Comments Off on Ritz Laguna – Pavilion Ballroom April 22, 2020

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 Wedding

This was one of the first weddings after the astroturf was put down on Monarch Bay Sunset Lawn.  Looks awesome and all the questions about ladies heels and the grass stopped, yayy, lol.

till next time



Instagram  @lisasimpsonweddings.

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Add a comment April 5, 2020

Pavilion Ballroom – Ritz-Carlton Dana Point

So this event was actually a couple of years ago, but everything about it was unusual and I have never forgotton i, so thought I would share.

I had had a call from the bff of a very busy bride, we had a great chat, she spoke to the bride, and I was on board.  It was the three of us that pulled a really fabulous looking and fun celebration off for a group of 80ish that all came in from Texas.  The two of them worked side by side/hand in hand  with the tasks to be done along the way, invites etc, and then when they came in for the tasting (yes no groom, just us) we pulled the vision together with furniture/linens/chairs and of course the florals.

I don’t have pics of this celebration, but wanted to post about it because it was a really unusual setup in the Pavilion Ballroom and worked well and looked awesome.

Our bride wanted it to be a party (it was a 2nd marriage for both), so we had a relaxed ceremony on the Gazebo Lawn with that beautiful Pacific Ocean backdrop that I know impressed those Texans!!  Cocktails were held on the balcony with a mix of furniture and cocktail tables and that full on Pacific Ocean backdrop again.  In the ballroom/which is one side 5 sets of french doors looking out to that ocean again,  there was no assigned seating, but we had enough seats for everyone (very important, ladies must have a place to put their things down at and feel this is their home for the night), we did a variety of tables/size/height in the ballroom. We had a furniture setup in the middle of each table setup/ie each end of the room.  We mixed things up, the guests may not have noticed but we enjoyed doing it, we used the same color chivaris in all three areas, ceremony/cocktails and dining room, but put different color cushions on them to match the different mood or linens we were using in that area.

A really great celebration, as I looked at it on the night I realised I would probably do this myself!  That may have been part of why I enjoyed pulling the vision together with them, and couldn’t wait to see it come to life on the night.  A fabulous floral display from Square Root/loved the cake table, we were all excited to see how that came out on the night.   The girls loved Design Visage for hair/makeup so much they used them for pre events too.  Enchanted Evening Strings played elegantly as always for ceremony and then cocktails, my fave band kept the dancefloor full inside – Full Spectrum, just love them and the energy they produce.  Monico Décor did all the rentals and of course we had a gorgeous white dancefloor center.  They were very considerate of those travelling with small kids (as they were) so we had a company come in and setup a daycare in a banquet room and then it turned from fun to sleep for the kids in there, so the parents were really able to enjoy enjoy enjoy.  Of course the team at the Ritz as always helped us bring everything to a five star reality, xoxoxo

Till next time


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Add a comment February 21, 2016

Ritz-Carlton Laguna, Gazebo & Pavilion celebration

Another fabulous celebration with the Pacific ocean as close to a wedding here in the OC that it can be. Our bride was very busy and left pretty much most of the planning to her mom, and dad was involved too. Mom had time, so she booked a smaller service from me, but totally used my preferred vendor list and kept in touch with me when she needed advise/referrals etc, so she had put a good team together when I officially began and helped pull everything together.

Thanks to Katie Clark for the photos below, always great working with Katie. We had a dove release from White Flite which the guests always love, lovely string music by Naples Chamber Ensemble for the ceremony and cocktails, and decor/rentals were all done by Fusion Decor, and of course the team at the Ritz-Carlton were fabulous as always (the parents had specific requests due to a previous wedding they had hosted and things the location had not handled well, the RC made sure none of those complaints could be made after this wedding, yay). It was also great working with Jan from Flower Fusion, who had a very tight turn for the ceremony and made it happen.






Till next time
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Add a comment June 9, 2014

Ritz-Carlton Dana Point richness

This couple booked me for a smaller service, and when their service began I was suprised to see how many vendors they had on board providing so many of the elements that it took to achieve this beautiful celebration, but the one they did not have was a florist, still, this close to the wedding. I asked why, and found out they had met with a large number of florists but my bride did not feel any of them ‘got it’.
I immediately knew who they needed, it was Square Root, so off we went to meet with them and of course they secured them, because ‘they got it’.
All turned out fabulously, but a small tip, I am not a fan of vendors that combine services, such a video/photo, florals/invites, djs/lighting etc I always have to wonder which is their passion and which is the element that actually pays their bills which could become their focus, but when it comes to a complete look, when you have many companies providing linens/chairs/dancefloor/furniture/rental prop items etc, you are paying delivery/setup/pickup fees to each of these companies, and this is one time where a floral designer is likely to have in inventory a lot of these items also and you can do a one stop shop, which always makes the floral designer happy as they feel it gives a cohesive feel in all aspects of the look/decor/floral. With this wedding Square Root could have provided everything this couple needed and not only saved them money, but saved them a lot of time and frustration (as some of their vendors were not familiar with the hotel and had to get liability insurance and you could tell were out of their element, the groom admitted he found most of these vendors online), one of their vendors actually hit them with quite a lot of extra charges the week of the wedding when they realised they didn’t have all day to setup so they needed to bring extra bodies in and did not realise how large the property is and load in and out was not direct so added labor for that as well as other things that were just amazing to me, but my couples hands were tied> Some of their contracts had a 30 day out no changes policy so even trying to tweak the contract down to minimum items to cover monies paid and start to move things to Square Root for a more cohesive look, was not an option.

The wonderful suprise vendor, was their photographer, my old pal Victor Sizemore. We had worked together a lot in the mid 2000s and then he moved to LA and then out of state (even though he flies in for weddings all the time) and we just drifted apart. So, yes, they had found him on line, had no idea where he lived, but loved his work and booked him. It was so great to see him again and work with him, hope to do that many more times in the future now.
















Thanks of course to Square Root, Alex as always a blast to work with and have around during setup and he stepped in and fixed some elements provided by one of the vendors (who thought what they had was aok) but it was not up to Alex’s standards and he went over and above to ensure everything was Square Root quality/look in the end. The team at the Ritz of course, my home away from home for the past 12 years.

A note here, no sofreh lady was involved in the creation of this sofreh. The bride has really great taste and she wanted to provide elements that meant something to her and actually put the sofreh together herself as it was that personal to her. So the groom and bride chose to do this together and we gave them time earlier in the day to be able to do that, then go and start getting ready.

I really enjoyed this couple, she was so sweet and cute/pretty, and our groom was just so in love with her, the way he always looked at her melted my heart. I am so pleased they ended up with such a beautiful celebration to look back on.

Till next time
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Add a comment November 24, 2013

Fabulous Pavilion Ballroom, Ritz-Carlton, Dana Point

I could not wait for this celebration to happen, I had seen in my mind how I thought it could look/be, after my first meeting with the MOB. She had great taste and the inspiration was tiffany blue with a pop of damask, I saw more damask & black with a pop of tiffany, and ultimately that is what we ended up doing.

You can always tell when a photographer is inspired or loved how things looked, it can take weeks/months to get pics from the photographers to post (in fact I am still waiting on some from a photographer from a year ago in this same ballroom where we really did a cool setup/playing with colors) but Tony ( )
got me these pics within 7 days, and I didn’t even ask. So even though I was not planning on doing this post so soon, here it is.

Lots of details, and that always means more time needed on the day and more bodies, they understood that you pay people for time to get things done right, so we had people at/doing what needed to be done so they could relax and enjoy their day. They had me start earlier than I would have normally, as they were getting married in a church (Our Lady Queen of Angels in NB which has just reopened, so beautiful and I will say, really nice church ladies!) and I would normally just start at and handle the hotel reception portion, but they had had #1 daughter’s wedding two years ago in another area, and realised they needed someone to keep them on track pre cere. When I arrived they were on plan to my timeline, I kept them moving with photos, and luckily we could get into the ballroom nice and early (it was a Friday wedding which means, more chance of this happening than on a Saturday or Sunday, fyi), so I had everything we were handling moved to the ballroom, the vendors started arriving, and I was able to oversee and leave for the church knowing we were in fabulous shape. I followed the girls/parents suv limo to the church and then sat with them pre cere in the brides room (sometimes nice to have a calm person in there) then the bride went up the aisle, my assistant and I switched, she took over church shadowing and I headed to the hotel where everything was pretty much done and I could focus on the little things. When assistant called and advised they were close to the hotel, I grabbed Hailey (Ritz) and we went up to gret/congratulate them, and I got them off doing romantics around the hotel now. Guests started arriving, earlier than the start time on their invites, but we let them into the cocktail around 15 mins early and the party began.
The dancefloor decal was the last detail we added and I had it so it was the first thing the guests saw when they entered the ballroom, it got rave reviews and was the bow on top of the package.
As I said to mom/dad at the end, I am sad, they said ‘we know’, I said, no I am really sad you don’t have more daughters for us to do more weddings for. They said guests said the same thing, but their reasoning was for the party they got to enjoy. Such a fabulous family, group of guests and beautiful bride and fun groom. In fact one of my Sept brides was a guest which was fun, I didn’t realise she would be there.
Lot’s of details, stunning end result, love it












As always, takes a good team to pull a fabulous event together, thanks to Nisies Enchanted Florist for the gorgeous florals (I had them consider one other florist but knew Nisie was the perfect fit for them, and they worked that out also), Fusion for the linens/chairs/furniture/dancefloor, Lake Forest Limousines for providing 3 different vehicles for the different needs we had and as always the drivers getting in touch with me and keeping me in the lop (never a lost or late driver/vehicle with them), PSAV for the lighting in the ballroom (they are in nearly all the hotels now and the team/guys are there to please), Design Visage for as always great hair and makeup on everyone, Hailey Hawkinson at the Ritz Carlton and the always wonderful team/family I work with on the floor – the banquet dept, from Carole & Jesse who lead them, to the banquet captains to the service staff (ladies & gentlemen) most who have worked there for the past 12 years I have done weddings there, and just further reinforce why this hotel was just voted #1 in the America’s – well deserved and earned.

Till next time
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1 comment July 2, 2013

Pavilion Ballroom, Ritz Carlton, Laguna, 2 nights in a row

This doesn’t happen very often but so fun when it does.  I happened to have two weddings two nights in a row in this wonderful ballroom, that doesn’t have the normal cold/big feel associated with the word ‘ballroom’.

Two different looks, both fabulous, two fabulous brides (and grooms), people who travelled from all over the world to each, two similar setups (not the normal setup for this room and funnily enough both these brides were about not splitting the tables up, so we had dining all together and dancing at one end – and the major item they had in common – great guests who danced and danced and danced.  Both events ended around 1:15am with sweaty, happy people, who were there to celebrate and enjoy, and they sure did.

This is why I love my job, never the same wedding, the vision/bride/vendors always different, because I recommend those I know are right for you and throw in a few others so you also know who is right for you. Quality and the right style, working with the budgetted $$ (even if really big) always makes it a fun process, and as with all my weddings, on both these nights I drove to the hotel in anticipation of how wonderful they were both going to look and how happy I knew both my brides would be.  I can see how it will be, but I know for a bride, it really takes for her to come into the room to really realise the full impact of what we spent months/weeks pulling together.  My lovely bride last night, walked into the room and only said one word, but that one word was huge ‘PERFECT’.     Aaaah,

When there is a great sunset, can’t beat the Pavilion & Plaza balcony views 

We did a mix of round/square and long tables for this celebration.

For both we did white ‘south beach’ looking furniture/candles etc on the balcony.

Thanks to Katie Clark for the photos above.  I smiled a lot when I saw these, such a great couple and I know Susie the bride has got to be loving her album and the memories of their fabulous celebration it brings back.  Thanks also to Nisie and her team from Enchanted Florist, I knew you were the right choice for her from the get go, Peter/Vive Ent for being just a pleasure to always see and work with, Elysium/Julie for being always so easy to work with.

 For the wedding below, the bride & her parents are French Canadian, and they suprised the guests by having the music for start of dancing be by a band/singer/entertainer who is very famous in Canada.  His name did not mean anything to me or it seemed to the grooms side of the family in the room when he came on, but when I saw all the Canadian ladies look shocked, then start to swoon and get their cameras out, I immediately googled him, and yes he is a pretty big deal up there.  Too funny. 

Note in the picture above the shape of the dancefloor, this is when you need someone in the room during setup on your side (ie me!) to handle any challenges logically and make it work.  The band had huge equipment and had had the stage made bigger taking up more space into the room and then had huge speakers (this was like concert equipment) that were on the floor infront of the stage.  Band would not move anything, dancefloor guy was at a loss as to how he was to setup the floor as if he started it past the speakers there would be a big carpeted gap between it and the stage, but the space he had to the tables was now not enough space for the size ordered/needed, so he ultimately came to me with his hand up in the air.  Hmmmm, David from Square Root and his team, helped me move every table in that room (some already had the big centerpieces on them) away from the stage area, only by inches for some, but by doing that we gave ourselves the ability to use all the dancefloor pieces and as I was not really into the carpet space infront of the stage, I got creative & had the dancefloor guy work out how to create the T-shape you see.  I loved the end result,

Thanks to Karen French for the photos (she always manages to get a pic of a gazebo lawn cere from above even when the couples room was not in that wing, wonder how??!!  She’s good!!),and  Square Root for the beautiful floral design.

Common to both weddings was my/our use of Fusion for helping me create the right look/feel with the excellent quality chairs/linens/furniture & dancefloor they deliver/setup & same night pick up, all with no drama or excess fees for the couple,  and to Angel the owner who listens and orders new stock of items I know my couples will love/use, and to Design Visage for doing all the hair and makeups, as always keeping everyone on time, and looking great right through to the end of the event, and enhancing my already beautiful two brides .

Till next time


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Add a comment August 19, 2012

Pavilion Ballroom/Ritz-Carlton-Laguna, two days, two different looks

I had the fun recently to have two weddings in two days in the same room and also got to work both weddings with the easy to work with photographer, Katie Clark.  Love her.

So here are some pics to show how one room can look so different, all based on what you bring in/do with rentals, colors,  or what a location provides:

The tabletops:

The ballroom, two top are one wedding, two bottom are the other:

So no rights, no wrongs, just what is right for you, it all looks beautiful.

As always, thanks to my lovely ladies Teri and Peni that are my left and right hands and my bride’s love them!! And to the ladies and gentlemen of the fabulous Ritz Carlton Laguna who we love.  Eryin Choi as always did a fabulous job and what a fun tasting we had with Scott and Gloria!!!

Till next time


Add a comment November 8, 2010






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