Posts tagged ‘ritz carlton plaza room wedding ‘

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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714 305 7112



Add a comment February 22, 2017

Plaza Room U Shape setup

I was looking forward to seeing this wedding come to fruition.  Juliana is English/Australian, and I knew there were going to be a bunch of Australian’s there, and even though I am a New Zealander, it warms my heart to be in a room with accents that makes me feel like I am at home, plus Julianna is just an elegant, lovely person and her taste is elegant and the feeling she wanted to create was soft/warm/elegant and we achieved that.

She wanted everyone who had travelled from all around the world and USA to feel as important as everyone else (she was also my second bride in a row to add up all the miles people had come, I thought I was having deja vu for a minute), so we did a U-shape in Plaza/double sided.  I have done this a few times, but not so recently, so good to do it again.  We had to make room for my  fave band so the U was slightly off center, but that gave us room to place, yes another non-wedding cake wedding (seems to be the trend this year), a dessert station!!

The ceremony was beautiful, her vows were so sincere and beautiful, and poor Lonnie he started his by saying he now regretted being a gentleman and letting her go first, that gave everyone a giggle.  The room was lovely and warm, and the right people were in it.  From  the time Adam and the Full Spectrum band started their first dancing song (yes we put a 7 piece band in here, again the upside of using a co-ordinator who works with vendors that makes things happen, Adam has done this for me before, they only have a postage stage space and are on the floor, and he makes it work) until the last song, 80% of the crowd was on the dancefloor the whole time, thank goodness for the U shape, it gave them more dancing room than the normal setup, they were on the carpet/dancefloor and even on the balcony.  Love that band and loved how much this bride and groom LOVED their wedding celebration.

Juliana and I put this wedding together with me here and her in Chicago, no trips out here.   She trusted me with the vendor selection, basing it on her style/budget and vision.  As they were leaving they both thanked me again (they were such a thankful couple the whole way thru the event and to each of the vendors) and she touched my heart by saying she would miss our communicating and that I was a really special person.  That ladies and gentlemen is what has me smiling all the way home and sleeping well.  Aaaah.

Thanks to the fab James Johnson from Venice Beach for these pics, he is one of the few that loves film but does both, but really has the artist in him still and is soooo passionate when shooting.  Full Spectrum Band, Adam, every wedding it only reinforces to me why I love you and the band so much, you kick butt.  James Vita who did the great ceremony and cocktail guitaring (such a word??) I love James he comes/does his thing (and does it well) and off he goes, such a european feel hearing the different styles of music he switches to/from during cocktail time. And of course the lovely Pam Wolter at the RC and the banquet team I call family, we all work hand in hand to ensure the best experience for all in attendance, and it shows.

Aaaah, another wonderful celebration I am so happy and proud to have been a part of.  All my hugs to Juliana and Lonnie for a long happy future together.

Till next time


714 305 7112

Add a comment September 16, 2012

Sunset Terrace/Plaza Room, Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

I so enjoyed Suzanne and Eric, both very busy with their lives/jobs in Dallas, and her three lovely children.

When they contacted me they weren’t sure where they wanted to get married, just knew they wanted it here and that the ocean was important, and that they would probably have 60 of their most favourite people in the world with them.  So we got clever, we gave them the experience of two five star/five diamond resorts for this multi day celebration.

Everyone stayed at the St Regis, did the wedding celebration at the Ritz Carlton, and then the after wedding brunch for nearly everyone back at the St Regis.  How lucky are we to be able to run between two such fabulous resorts with no inconvenience at all.

Suzanne had a vision and some inspiration pictures to start us off with, I personally wasn’t feeling the look, but she loved it and that is all the matters (we got things started by emailing photos back & forth and interviewing two of my florists by phone then she chose who she wanted to work with),  and as I have learned over the years, where we start with vision/thoughts etc can be very different to where we end up.  The journey/process is all part of the fun of the planning, so just let things reveal/unfold as you go along. 

The look was in place, and we were at the tasting (this was their only trip here, first time we met and we had all vendors in place by this trip), ready to go and see the floral sample/do that meeting and then confirm the linen/chair order after, when we got to the cake design.  Suzanne just wasn’t seeing anything that jumped out at her, so I pulled out my ipad in case some of the cake pictures I had gave us some direction (I only have a few on there, and they tend to be the more different/unique look ones).  Sure enough something so different to anything we had planned for was jumping at her and she loved it, a gray cake with black swirl designs on it on a silver stand.  She loved it.  That was the cake.  And thus, 6 weeks before the wedding a whole new vision was created, using the cake as our inspiration our whole linen/floral look changed, and boy how fabulous it looked.  We were all so happy, and all agreed that by not being stuck on something and letting things happen, we ended up with the perfect look for them, which we all just loved, and so did the guests.  When we started the journey I can pretty much guarantee that that cake picture would not have had the impact it did and we would not have ended up where we did.

Love my job, never boring and always a beautiful end result, and always for such lovely couples. Aaaaah.

Thanks to Karen French for the photos below:


Very hard to beat that backdrop!!

This is where the guests go to cocktails and through out the night can keep coming out and hearing those waves and looking down at them.  The pelicans-it seems that at every ceremony we have a couple of fly bys, all the guests ooh and aah a bit.

Such an elegant lovely look and feel.

Till next time


714 305 7121

Add a comment June 1, 2012






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