Posts tagged ‘st regis hotel monarch beach weddings ‘

Last St Regis, Monarch Beach wedding


Here is the new Grand Lawn Ceremony site at the Monarch Beach Resort, formerly the St Regis Monarch Beach, and these pics are from a wedding that was planned for around 15 months and happened a few days before the name change.  So as things happen along the way, the vision our bride had for her ceremony changed with hotel changes and she didn’t end up with her final vision until a few days before, I think it looked lovely.  By taking away the rotunda somehow the ocean seems right there, and I now get more of a Caribbean backdrop feel, where the pool seems to end at the ocean.

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Down at Club 19 we did a mix of round and rectangle tables.  This was a daytime wedding, so the colors really worked well and gave an elegant feel.  The ceiling treatment turned out perfect for Jennifer’s style, our original vision was about 15 chandeliers hanging in a variety of sizes and styles but that really was too shabby chic for her, and this more elegant ceiling was done by a vendor Jennifer found OCLA events, they really did a great job.

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Jennifer and Brook lived out of town/northern CA but are fortunate that they come down often and always stay at the hotel, in fact their fave butler came down and sabred the champagne bottle for them prior to the toasts, so they were able to keep an eye on how the changes at the hotel were coming along.


The hanging cake

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My new fave vendor for 2016, TMMPRO, I love their dancefloors

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The new more open look into Club 19

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These last two pics are mine.  The one above shows the chandeliers on, and the pic on the right show how huge the ceremony florals were that were repurposed to some of the dining tables.

Other members of this great vendor team were, Joe Latter photo/thanks for the pics above, Krieger Style dj (they had a guy they knew who was the dj, he let them down so they then spent time on a band that didn’t work out and ultimately ended up with my dj David,  the right guy, as always), Vantage Productions/Video, Elegant by Design/floral, Paul Uhlar/officiant, Wendy Smith/harpist,  Laura at the ST Regis and of course the setup/banquet team on the day.

Got lots of lovely weddings coming up this year, can’t wait to share them all with you.


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Add a comment June 25, 2016

St Regis Monarch Beach-Botanical Garden & Club 19

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My lovely Brooke, a journey that lasted 1 1/2 years until the big day arrived.  We had such a great time and Brooke went through a lot of changes, left her job and went back to school, by the time the wedding came the groom was back at school too.  Moving from New York to another state, Brooke spent a month backpacking through Europe with her brother, 2-3 trips out here, which were always great and mom and Brooke and I enjoyed champagne a few times together, loved everything about the months of planning on this one and could not wait for the big day to be here and see everything become a reality.  The dancing/inside area of Club 19 was important, so we created a club feel inside and got a great band who kept the dancefloor full, Uncover Live under the direction of George.  Brooke wanted to do something different in the Club 19 area and I came up with the cabana idea on the lower patio, which Brooke loved and became a huge talking point of the celebration, and as the celebration went on more and more people went down there to relax and be comfy!!

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Brooke wanted to do a round menu card and I immediately said, fabulous, it can sit under the charger all night, perfect.  Classic Party Rentals created the cabanas and provided the furniture/benches down there, loved it.

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We had a sweetheart table, rounds and had a great of 14 we could not break up so we had a rectangle table center stage, it all looked great.

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From the beginning Brooke wanted to do edible placecards.  So on the cocktail lawn our placecard table was center and the trays of hors d’oevures with guests names/table #s were easy to find and then enjoy!!

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One of my favourite parts of the day, especially when I have lived and breathed a vision with a bride and gone through months of helping her get it started, finesse it and then see it become a reality, when I get to show my couples how it all turned out.


Fabulous chandeliers hanging, moss table numbers and beautiful flowers, Elegant by Design/Karla you are wonderful, thanks for bringing my words/thoughts to the reality I tell my brides they are going to see and for backing up what I tell them, they are in great hands and have nothing to worry about, their expectations will be exceeded.

Thanks to Julie Cate/their photographer they flew in from New York, for some of the pics above. To Paul Uhlar for doing a lovely ceremony as always. To Naples Strings for ceremony/cocktail music, and to Monico Décor for the rentals we used in the dining and dancing areas.  Last but not least, to the beautiful Kelly O’Dell and the team at the St Regis, you are all awesome, thank you.

Till next time


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Add a comment January 31, 2016

Two day wedding/Ritz & St Regis

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I just love it when I can incorporate my two fave locations in S CA, and so lucky I actually get to do it quite often.  Tala and Raj were doing a two day event, incorporating two cultures and traditions.  We chose to do the Indian Celebration/day at the St Regis and day 2 for the Persian Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna.  Lucky guests getting the best of the OC for the celebration of this fab couple and really lovely parents.

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As you can see Tala wanted different colors to the traditional Indian wedding colors (my Indian weddings are rarely traditional colors), we used the existing rotunda at the cere site as the mandap structure and it worked really well.  Our groom arrived on a Rickshaw for the baraat, in the picture above the guests are congregating for the milni.  The tables on the Grand Lawn is where the guests went for lunch after the Indian ceremony was over.  Now what you don’t see/know is there was a threat of rain for the ceremony/lunch time, so the night before we draped a portion of the dinner room as ceremony backup and with the chiavaris I have to say it looked awesome.  The decision to move inside had to be made as 7am, so who could sleep right, I was up at 4am driving downtown Dana Point and the roads was slik, hmmm.  At 6:50am up again looking out my hotel window, talking to the florist who was at the property, and we made the decision to stay outside.  I saw father of the bride while I was having breakfast at the hotel and he said to me, in or out, out I said, he smiled.  And again, on my watch, all was good, in fact it was quite warm/hot towards the end of the ceremony and luncheon!!

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Then the evening sangeet.  We reused the draping we were doing as ceremony backup and moved it (again the importance of vendors who work together a lot and will do things spur of the moment when needed/will make it work for me).


On Day 2 we had a bridal party, and how elegant they look.

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Great shot of the back of Tala’s gown on Day 2, and the sofreh with a pretty spectacular backdrop!!

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Tala was not a Persian bride wanting large/big florals, for the ballroom everything was low for the reception/dinner/dance for 300, when you do low florals in such a big ballroom they get lost in pictures, but believe me the room looked beautiful, elegant and calm, just like our bride.  We had the space in the Grand Ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna to do a mix of long and round tables which is always fun.

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Thanks to Frank Salas for the above photos, to White Lilac for being a great partner for two days and creating such beauty, David Medill/videographer great to meet and work with him for the first time, Flawless Faces for beautifying the girls for both days, and to my favorite Persian officiant, Shahrzad Ardelan – I refer her to everyone and am always sad when a couple doesn’t go with her.  To the teams at both St Regis and Ritz-Carlton Laguna as always, we create beautiful dream weddings together, I appreciate you all.  xoxoxo

Till next time


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Add a comment January 18, 2016

St Regis Monarch Beach celebration

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So many lovely details for this wedding.  I had done Rasha’s sisters wedding at the St Regis a couple of years earlier, so it was lovely to see the family again.  Believe it or not the bride’s brother in law (my past groom) did the basket weave design on the B&G chairs!

Flower Allie did a wonderful job with the florals.  A floral wall behind the sheart table.  I loved the gold vases for the tall centerpieces and the tall floral/vase for the placecard table piece.

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The groom shopped around and around for the ‘right’ food truck and found ‘The Burnt Truck’, their names go on the truck and the food was really good and a variety of options which you normally don’t get for a wedding food truck.  Good job Ramy

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One of my fave things for 2014 and 2015 was a round dancefloor, and I love that the grooms seem to really like it too.

Thanks to Tony Florez for the photos and for always being a pro to work with, and to the team at St Regis, Marissa in catering and the awesome peeps on the banquet floor, I love how we all work together and enjoy working together, that is one huge benefit to the wedding experience that people don’t realize.

Till next time


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Add a comment January 9, 2016

Unique/Personal touches

Well hi there, got quite some catchup to do, we are well into the season and time to blog just seems to not be there.

This blog is about personal touches and things couples have done recently to put their personal stamp or touch on their event, something I really like to encourage.

Had a lovely wedding at the beautiful St Regis early May, a fun couple where the bride had three young adults who we incorporated into the ceremony procession.  Her daughters walked her part of the way down the aisle then her son met them and escorted her with the girls flanking them and then the son gave her away, really special.  It took us some brainstorming to work out how/when to incorporate all of them and it worked out wonderfully.  After the ceremony the guests went to cocktails where steel drummers were playing, very islandy feeling and a relaxing fun reflection of the couple, not your traditional cocktail music at a 5 star/5 diamond resort.  Over the open air dining area we had big paper balls hanging at different heights that as day became night had lights in them, so later in the evening it looked like floating balls over the dining area, again different to the normal ceiling draping/hanging chandeliers or votives.  For the men, and some women too, we had some cigar rollers there which made it very personal for the groom, as he loves cigars.    Another great wedding event that I was honored to be a part of.

Finally got to the McCharles House in Tustin.  I had heard about this location as a great place to go and have tea, just never had made the time to go.  It is now closed to the public and only open for private events.  Cute house with lovely rooms setup like a tea house with tables/chairs in nooks and crannies, and then really lovely small grounds with a gazebo that actually used to be the main wedding gazebo at the Disneyland Hotel before Downtown Disney came to be.  It used to be white and I saw hundreds if not thousands of couples get married in it, it is now brown and fits in with the landscaping, but will always be the white gazebo I used to look out to from my office while I was working.  I totally see this venue being fabulous for bridal showers and events along those lines for the girls.  Unique and much more personal feeling than a hotel smaller banquet room or a restaurant.

I will miss my Wei and James.  We married them late May at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna, at a lovely celebration with around 100 guests.  It seemed to be the windiest day I could remember for a long time, and my lovely Wei just laughed and used the wind to help make her look more fabulous.  Their ocean backdrop was added to by a screen behind them that had crystals and orchids hanging down, so feminine and soft looking and they swayed in the wind. Inside the ballroom we of course had lovely linens and chairs to enhance the florals and lighting.  Had one of my favorite djs who also plays the saxaphone which adds the element of live music to a dj event.  We had created their wedding in only a few months, they were both very busy with their careers, so it seemed like there were many meetings with just the three of us, some with vendors/hotel, and of course lots of phone calls and emails within a short amount of time, and now nothing!!  They made me laugh and were so sweet and in love.  We did some really unique touches to personalise their event.  The grooms family has their own whiskey so we had some custom chocolates made using the whiskey and some others that incorporated flavors the bride loved.  A great couple with a great group of people there to celebrate with and for them.

I can always remember in my hotel years, one of the biggest bars based on per head basis was for a small group of 16 from Canada.  We were very happy to know they were all staying in house!!  Well I had a group of 14 Canadians recently on  a lovely Monday evening, where I believe they gave that previous group a run for their money.  Last time they came from Vancouver, this time Montreal, so proof that Canadians from one coast to the other are always out for a great time!!  It was an intimate cere at the Botanical Garden Gazebo at St Regis and then they headed up to Motif for a great celebration/dinner in the private room.  They are avid golfers so we incorporated some hitting of balls after the cere to the greens which was very significant and fun for them.  We transported them all over the grounds so they could get some great photos to remember this lovely day by, all taken by Larry Crandall.  Love him.  Anytime you have such a small group you have a very intimate special memorable event not only because everyone feels so special to be a part of the event and honored to have been invited and be able to come, but because the food and beverage is normally over the top, so a great foodie wedding experience too.

Srikant and Shalini got married in India but we planned their celebration for all their friends and families here in S.Ca, at the St Regis.  We had started with a theme that was color based, vibrant/jewel tones, but as the event neared we had become quite French/Parisienne.  Srikant had proposed in Paris, so this theme/feel  had a very personal/special place in their hearts.  We incorporated an  Eiffel Tower martini luge, a crepe station later in the evening and of course late night ….. french fries!!!  We had a red carpet and lighting to carry the colors through from the florals, and added names to the tables from around France and an explanation of why that town or area was special to them.  Their placecards sat on Eiffel Towers the guests got to keep, as well as a parting gift of mints in a container that looked like a suitcase.

One of my new favorite items to add to an event is the Epod photo booth.  This booth blows all booths away.  It looks like a capsule, nice and silver very classy compared to a lot of the others out there, it talks to you and by that I mean it comments on you and your pose.  Hilarious!!  They can do the albums where your guests put a strip of their photos in the book and write a message, as well as other add ons the other companies do, and after the event they create a slide show to music of all the photos your guests had done and what they were doing.  I just saw one and wished I had of been a guest instead of working, they were all just having way too much fun!!  I was laughing and I don’t even know these people.

Boy I love what I do and get to be a part of.

Till next time


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Add a comment June 30, 2010






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