Posts tagged ‘ritz carlton dana point pavilion ballroom wedding ‘

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



catch me on insta   @lisasimpsonweddings

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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

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

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/wedding – Ritz Carlton Dana Point

I have found over the years that the key photographers in the OC each have an icon shot that they do at each wedding using an area at the different hotels, with Frank Salas the marble floor at the base of the Ritz-Carlton grand staircase (Dana Point) is his.  The original shot always looks great to me, then he does his magic and you end up with a very dramatic feeling new version of it as above.

Thanks to for the photos of the wedding you are going to see below.  We love recommending and working with Frank, nice, calm, unobtrusive and always in the right place at the right time, no ego or demands to deal with for our couple or us.  

Loved my bride and groom for the wedding below, our groom was Italian (2011 was quite international, I had a few Italian and other European brides or grooms as well as some from downunder), and Nicole was just a beautiful, calm, decisive bride.  The vision for the ceremony was perfect and different than I had seen done out there before (think that Italian influence showed here) and for the first time in the 11 years that I have been doing weddings in the Pavilion Room, she wanted it draped.  As you can see from previous blog entries (think there are 3-4 other Pavilion ones with pics, since I started blogging so make sure you find them to see also, and I have another one coming showing a few more from 2011 just waiting on 2 photographers to get me the pics, hint hint) this is not something you need to do in this room, but it was nice to see how it turned out and it did give a different feel, however in saying that you have to be careful, a lighting guy is always going to suggest more than less uplighting, but it causes light, I go the other way, less to give the feeling, not become the feeling unless it is a huge room and it doesn’t affect the actual dancefloor area, so as I do and did with this wedding too, we kept the lighting for the nice effect when the guests came in and during dinner, but when dancing started I pulled what lights I could around the dancefloor to allow that darkish feel on the dancefloor that everyone likes. 

Florals were by Square Root, their signature look/feel, video was by Elysium (the best of the best), we did the 100 dove release at the end of the ceremonyand had my fave EPOD photo booth on the balcony, and for mceeing and dinner/dance get it going, Nicole and her dad listened to me and booked Full Spectrum Band/Adam Jackson, and what a party they had.  Add the food/service by the wonderful Ritz team and the view mother nature provided, this was a celebration to remember.

Another thing I was going to mention, and I had 3 brides use it this season and by the looks of things my brides for 2012 are liking the look too, the platinum silver linens, very striking and I think creates a sophisticated elegant feel.

Till next time


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Add a comment January 2, 2012






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