Posts tagged ‘Wyndham Orange County Weddings ‘

St Regis Monarch Beach-Botanical Garden & Club 19

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I got way behind in my blogging and it has taken nearly a year, but this is my last wedding I am blogging from 2014!!!  A couple of 2015 have got in the mix, but Chenine’s fab wedding ends my 2014 blogging.

Loved working with Chenine and her mom, we got a vision going pretty quickly, bling was important, blue and white.  Then we got our great vendor team pulled together.  On the day Chenine’s reaction when she saw her dining area I will never forget, it was wonderful.  The only thing missing and it was more my wishlist than their’s was a white dancefloor, oh well, lol.

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Thanks to Karla/Elegant by Design, for as always listening to my brides so their wedding is their wedding and does not look like any others we have done, thank you thank you.  Paul Uhlar/officiant, Al/Alvarron Ent-dj, Monico Décor for the rentals, and to my wonderful Frank Salas for always being a joy to work with and for making my couples memories even better when they see their photographers after, and thanks for the photos here.  And it goes without saying but I must say it, to the team at the St Regis for being five star/five diamond all the way.

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Till next time


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Add a comment December 10, 2015

Out and About

Part of what I do is to attend events/accept invites to go and see locations/vendors that I may not be familiar with, or get updated/new info on, this of course can be fun, but it does make me more valuable to you if you are wanting options/thoughts for your wedding location or even rehearsal/pre wedding dinners.
So for the past couple of months it has been tough fitting the lunch/dinners (I officially call them food tastings or quality control!! LOL) around my lovely brides whose weddings are coming up, but someone has to do it.  So here’s some of the latest ……….

Maestros Restaurant by South Coast Plaza, who knew that you could consider them for your wedding event. They have partnered with the courtyard behind their restaurant so you can have your ceremony there (quite modern, artsy look) then your guests go upstairs at Maestros to the balcony (passing the cool bar that is yours on the way, then you can either do dining tables inside and on the balcony or more of a cocktail table type setup in and out and the dancing is held indoors which has a cool club type vibe.

Warner Brothers Studios – I have checked out Universal and Disney for backlot weddings before, but didn’t realise Warner Brothers also had a cool backlot with a bunch of backdrops, jungle/outdoors, 50s, a NY city street with the stoops/steps folks sit on, a business/shopping street which you could via your table linens/florals/decor turn into Paris or the mid west and you can even personalise the shop windows. There are a couple of nice town square areas which have gazebos and grassy lawns, great for a ceremony or the cocktails or even the dining/dancing, and there is a really beautiful lawn area where you can do it all. You can arrange small trams to take the guests on tours during cocktail time around the backlot, how unique an experience and what great memories and after wedding talk your wedding would give the guests.

Hotel Portofino
I have done a wedding up here where you got married at the pool area (they had to close it to hotel guests) and then we went to the smaller banquet room overlooking the Redondo beach area. I have been to a wedding here, and I have stayed here. The great news is, they have really hipped up the restaurant/bar area and now are using a side lawn by the ballroom for the ceremonies. So if you are looking for water surroundings and great food, and a feeling of really being somewhere else, this could be the place for you.

TP-Bayside Ballroom THE KNOT.COM - WEDDING


Surf & Sand Hotel Laguna Beach – it’s hard to beat the ceremony backdrop at this property and the banquet rooms not having ocean views has always bothered me a bit, however if you do a sunset ceremony then when the guests go into the ballroom/banquet room, it won’t matter as it will be dark and now the focus can strictly be on the celebrating of what they just witnessed – you getting married. Why I bring this up is, I stayed the night and was really impressed with the quality of the room, the balcony and the view. We were overlooking the pool area with the ocean behind/beside, so I could see the cool cabanas around the pool, and see the waves crashing on the beach. We kept our balcony door open all night so we could hear the waves, being the water/ocean girl I am, that was heaven. So even if not considering having your wedding here, for some of your guests or even for a special night for you, do check this out, I don’t believe there is a hotel in S CA as close to the sand/waves as your room would be here and this level of quality.

Hyatt Irvine – they hosted a luncheon where they brought a lot of us in who had not been there for a while, so we forget. Their ceremony area which is against a back wall of the hotel was decored beautifully and the tent was setup/decored really well. Hard to beat their weekend rates for your guests and it is in such a central location right off the 405/Jamboree that you can do pre and post events anywhere.

Talking about Hyatt’s, Hyatt Newport was the location for an Assn event I belong to, always good to see Eddie. They are undergoing some remodelling which will bring the rest of the property into the cool vibe look/feel their lobby/bar area has had for the past year or so. This is really a boutique property where even if you weren’t the only wedding you would not know it and feel that you were.

Five Crowns, Corona del Mar, everyone knows of this restaurant, you have either passed it or eaten there. But not many people know they have a really sweet ceremony site in the back and a couple of dining/dancing options for intimate weddings under 75. I have had a couple of looks and now have a wedding that has booked there, can’t wait to show you the pictures, you will be suprised.

Wyndham Orange County (behind Performing Arts Center) has just remodelled their restaurant/bar area, everyone is going hip/cool, love it, you just want to sit back in a couch with a mojito and enjoy the chill music playing. Again, great for pre/post events and then use their lake backdrop ceremony site and go into one of their banquet rooms. They have a ballroom that gives the ballroom feel but is perfect for the wedding of 150 without the cavernous empty space.

Back up to LA, had another Assn event at the Intercontinental Hotel on the West side, always makes you feel big city hotel/cosmopolitan when you are here as opposed to the resort feel I am fortunate to spend so much time at. In fact the speaker at this event was from New Zealand, I had no idea until he started talking. You can’t forget that this hotel has a lovely ceremony location and some great banquet space also.

There were a bunch of other places I had been to/checked out, but this is enough for today.

If you are interested in knowing more about these properties, let me know, and if you are already booked at any of these or other properties don’t hesitate to make contact about my helping you with your celebration.
Till next time

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Add a comment June 1, 2013

Out & about in 2011

Well you can’t be of use to your current couples, let alone future couples, if you have no idea what else is out there, or what seems to be the ‘in’ thing etc.  So if I get an invite, I am there.  Below is a smattering of some places I was invited to events at in 2011 that I normally don’t get to do weddings at, and any comments/thought I may have.

Fairmont Newport Beach, a really nice yet I think forgotton property on MacArthur Blvd close to John Wayne Airport.

Dove Canyon Country Club, a really lovely area tucked up under the Saddleback Mountain.  A couple of hotels about 10 mins down the toll road for your guests to stay at.  If a canyon/nature backdrop that comes with a feeling of elegance and specialness is what you are looking for, this could be the spot for you.

The Waterfront Beach Resort – also in the past known as the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, still under the Hilton umbrella, just rebranding the name.  Had a couple of events to go to here this year including just recently their first every xmas tree lighting which I was honored to be part of a very small group invited to.  The girls who handle the weddings here, Vanessa and Danielle are a blast, love their jobs, brides, and having a good time.

Bella Collina Golf Club – this is a  pretty new facility that has got such a lovely italian feel to it, from the long driveway lined with the olive/cypress trees to the view from the ballroom/restaurant and the lovely ampitheatre area they have created for wedding ceremonies.  But the big secret here is, just off the main parking lot is a lovely little organic farm called Villa Romano Green farms.  They sell produce and everything is so fresh and good.  I happened to enjoy a dinner on the farms land where we were up above the golf club, sitting at vintage style tables and items that had been placed there for our dinner, with views to the ocean in the distance.  We ate fresh beautiful vegetables and meats and drank some lovely wines provided by a couple of the chefs that buy their food from Farmer John.  I see this for a never to be forgotton rehearsal dinner or a group of friends that enjoy good food, wine & views but can’t get to italy together, or a special birthday or dinner celebration.  Really inspiring and memorable.

Surf & Sand in Laguna – well this is a great hotel (had my 30th birthday on the top floor when it was a restaurant) with a pool area that looks right to the waves crashing/sand, has a lovely spa, great food in Splashes, and very popular for wedding celebrations, the only kicker here, is that the reception rooms don’t have ocean views, but the F&B minimums reflect that, so it evens out.

The Deck/Pacific Edge – I had done a wedding here at the end of 2010 and I had a feeling things were a foot, I was so right.  You can still rent out the house/deck area for a private event, but it really is now set up as a great place for cocktails/food open air looking out to the ocean, cool hip bar & funriture all on the deck.  Then the hotel rooms that connect to the ‘deck’ have been setup now so they can be rented out as loung rooms with cabanas outside or you rent the cabana for the day.  Very unique use of space, but so makes sense and I can see locals even booking a cabana for the day, hanging out on the beach, eating from the Beach house restaurant (they will bring the food & drink to you all day long), nice and comfy and a lot less than owning land along the coast.  For out of towners, if you are in town pre wedding, I see the girls hanging out in a cabana for a day/afternoon, there is a nice day spa just up the road you can utilise too or take the loungey room too and have a masseuse there all day to pamper you all.

Casa Romantica, San Clemente, a view that is hard to beat looking out to the San Clemente pier.  The Villa itself is different, you can make use of the inside or as most seem to, do the dinner/dancing in the courtyard area.  Think everything must be done by 10pm, and my only real thought here is, by the time you pay their site fee, get the caterer, rentals etc, I think you may be just under what it would cost to be at a five star like the Ritz Carlton, so then it really comes down to if this feel/look is more you and your guests and you are okay paying that much.

Was invited to an evening at a Mansion up on the hills in Yorba Linda.  As I was getting off the 91 I happened to look up and saw a blue glow on the top of the hill and wondered if that was where I was going, sure enough.  Right on the peak, surrounded by huge homes/mega homes, this massive white  mansion with a huge glass enclosed pool, an upper ballroom area with a stage, tennis courts and grounds all around that can be used for everything, ceremony thru cocktails to dinner/dancing with views to the ocean that were pretty stunning.  I happened to be in that area again last week during the day and looked up, no blue light as it was daytime, but that house is very hard to miss once you have been there, seen it or know where to look.  Amazing.

Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club & Talega Golf Club, seems to always be a couple of events a year at these properties, very calm, both offer different feel/style of events, very reasonable pricing!!!

Wyndham Orange County – as happens with all/most hotels, the catering/wedding teams change.  We are now with our 3rd lot of new people since I have been showing this hotel to couples as a potential for their budget & style, and doing weddings there.  As this industry is small it is a team I know, and in order for this behind the OC performing arts center hotel to become known, needs this team under the leadership of Terri.  It really is a gem of a hotel in a great location with a water view (may not be the ocean but it is water!!) and a nice modern/contemporary feel.  A small group of us experienced the chef’s creativity at a lovely lunch, very impressive, the service was great also.  Here you can do the cere ‘lake’ side, cocktails also, then move to an upstairs ballroom, very private and a good size for100-150 guests to have a ballroom feel but not feel like they are in a huge cave.

Planet Hollywood – fun fun.  What a great hotel, great rooms, just a cool vibe.  For your bachelorette party or even a quick honeymoon if you considered your S Ca destination wedding part honeymoon too, stop here on the way home for a whole different  feel.  Vegas is soooo great now for excellent restaurants, night clubs, shopping, shows, and of course, around the pool people watching!!

Disney’s Grand Californian hotel, had a end of year dinner there last week.  I was part of the thought process that went into the ceremony and ballroom  areas of that hotel and when it opened had my wedding office with bridal salon right there in the hotel.  I go back quite often, it doesn’t change, keeps to the plan, the different feel/atmosphere it offers to anyone in the area.  Anyway, this is the least Disney of the banquet rooms between the three hotels, excellent food, and funny to say, but after 11 years away, pretty much the same staff there both in banquets and in the wedding team, offering the service you expect from Disney.  It’s like going/being home anytime I am with those lovely folks.  Very comfy.

A small group of us co-ordinators get together each month and experience some of the newer/older restaurants in the area that are great for rehearsal or pre/post wedding events, as well as hotels or locations that are a bit more boutique feeling.  So too many of them to mention.  Yes, the seasoned girls of the OC are all friends and share info on great vendors (and unfortunately sometimes, not so good, so we warn each other in order to protect our couples), things we have seen/learned etc.  We are a great resource to each other and that in turn rubs off onto our brides.  We each have different styles and personalities and offer different  services, so very rarely do we get interviewed by the same couple, so there is no competition between us, we have come together due to our passion and love for what we do and our longevity/knowledge.  We have seen many vendors come and go, as well as co-ordinators!!  One of our group is even a guy, so he is great to calm us down when we get a little bit too passionate over a certain situation that may have come up.

And, there are places/events I went to, that I would not mention for various reasons, but none of them good.  So good thing I do get out there or your time may have been wasted also, much better to be my time.

Till next time


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Add a comment December 24, 2011

What variety

The fun thing about what I do, is that even though I am so fortunate to look at the ocean from my ‘office’ (my office being and the most of the time, I do get to work at other locations.  Some bride’s come to me with their locations already set, and some I get to start from scratch with and based on their budget/style and wish list have to get creative and scout out locations.  This is fun and challenging for me at the same time, and I am always surprised at some of the great ballrooms/locations and packages out there that most couples would never find or know about if they didn’t have someone like me .  Those are the celebrations that at the end of the night I can look back knowing where we started and what we were able to create with a certain amount of money, and feel really good that I helped make someone’s dreams or vision come true, even when they may have thought it may not be possible.

Had a lovely wedding at this year with Anosheh and Luis. Both medical students that were about to begin their careers in hospitals. So detailed and in sync with each other. Lots of thought put into everything they did. We enjoyed them, and being back at Rancho Las Lomas again.

The lovely Peni was assisting on this one, and Miss Brittany was the candle girl who lit all the votives in the dining room and then around the pool area/cocktail tables.

Then I had the pleasure to be employed by the mom of a bride who lives in Three Arch Bay and her daughter the bride, who grew up in that colony, was getting married and wanted her wedding ceremony on the beach and then to use the clubhouse lawn for the reception/dinner/dance. Our bride was a very busy doctor and our groom is an actor. So we had a couple who really understood what life was about and how precious it is, and from the creative side of things wanted to put so much of themselves into every component of their wedding, and they did so, beautifully. We did the ceremony on the beach, flip flops for all the guests on the way down and towels to wipe the sand off when they came back up to get their shoes. It was a really personal warm ceremony, and then off to the clubhouse we went. It was a bit cooler than we anticipated for that time of year, so the night before we opted to get a tent canopy (no sides, just the roof) and what a great call that was, it made the event and meant we had people there until the end, which possibly may not have happened otherwise. Thanks to my friends at Classic Party Rentals, Peter especially, that man jumps and makes it happen no matter what the situation is. Everything went off beautifully. This was one I was especially proud of, as our bride really wasn’t sure that they needed a wedding planner, but by the time the day came and then by the end of the day, she was aok with the fact that mom had gone ahead and made that decision and hired me. Whew!!! Confirmed by a lovely note she sent me after the big day.
The lovely Teri was my partner on this one, she kept reminding me I hadn’t told her about all the stairs, but I am sure I had!!!!! LOL.  Peni stopped by to move all the shoes from one location to another and then went home to rest!!! She also seemed to make some comments about me not being fully truthful about logistics, hmmmm!
We used the Laguna Beach Trolleys to shuttle people in from various hotels/lots and then from the cere site to the clubhouse for those that didn’t want to walk, and again at the end when everyone reluctantly had to leave.
Amanda of Fantasy Florals was able to match the bride’s vision of natural and earthy. Fusion did the linens. Ron of Green Effect provided the trees we used to break up the large lawn area and once the tent happened, they turned into a nice backdrop. Rob/Larson Lighting provided the lighting (so reasonable and easy to work with) and the sound for the cere on the beach. Classic Party Rentals provided pretty much everything else you see (including walking those chairs up & down the hundred stairs to the beach). Thanks everyone
Enjoy these pics taken by me, so not that great, but you get the idea:

sc000057a0sc00007a70sc00004b32sc0000669fOk, I am going  to tell you about this placecard table.  It may look a bit strange to you, but this was the most personal placecard table we have ever done.  In keeping with being organic and earthy, the bride & groom wrote each guests name/table # on a rock they had collected from the beach and shells for decor that they had gathered.  The centerpiece is a hat.  Grandma had gone shopping for her outfit to wear to the wedding, and had found this fabulous hat to go with it.  She was very excited to wear it to the wedding.  Unfortunately, Grandma passed away unexpectedly not long before the wedding day.  So we used the hat for our centerpiece on the placecard table and hung it in the tree once we turned the placecard table into the cupcake display table (in lieu of wedding cake), so grandma was always present and central to what was going on, and very much there in spirit.

Then we had Becky and D’s wedding at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana
Such lovely parents, such a lovely couple. So so lucky am I. Becky came to me with the thought she may like to have her wedding at this location, so to be sure, mom, her and I spent a few hours visiting about 6 other locations, and then she knew, this was the place for her for sure. A beautiful ceremony with the building backdrop, cocktails in the courtyard (while the great Patina Staff moved the dining tables to where the cere was and cleaned the area), then dining back on the lawn, then dancing back in the courtyard. All so close, but gave each event a unique atmosphere/backdrop. They were my most emotional couple of the year, it was so sweet, they are so in love. Poor Becki her mom and dad moved out of the area after the wedding which I know was going to be very hard for her, but at least she has her D.

http://www.designvisage did the hair/makeup on everyone, sorry I don’t have any pics to show you, but Becky looked fabulous.

The lovely Peni was with me on this one and she lit all the candles around the dancing area, in fact due to a slight breeze, no sooner would she be done than she would have to do them again!!
Enjoy these pics too, again taken by me, sorry ……………

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Then Aaron and Christa wanted a water backdrop, and we decided that the Wyndham Orange County was perfect for them.
One of the plus’ with this property that I more than anyone else there could appreciate and understand, is that due to the building behind the cere site, everyone is in the shade and no-one is looking into the sun during a 6pm cere.  A friend married them and it was the shortest ceremony I have ever heard, but hey sometimes there are only a few words needed to be said, right!! Cocktails were held on the patio overlooking the lake where everyone could see them having their pictures done, and then dinner/dancing was done upstairs in the ballroom. It’s so nice because you feel like you have the hotel all to yourselves.
Teri was my right hand on this one and created another great placecard table and kept everyone in line.
Jamiee Hubert of is so fun and energetic and created some great shots with the larger bridal party they had, and thank goodness some of them were good sports and walked around the lake to be in the background where Jaimee needed them when she was being creative.
Amanda of Fantasy Florals did another great job for this lovely couple.
A unique cere site isn’t it:


Another wedding that my couple picked Jaimee to shoot also, was Crystal and Peter. After we visited around 10 locations, Crystal fell in love with the ceremony site at the Anaheim Sheraton (the castle one) and this is where their celebration was held. She loved the english garden feel of the ceremony site and the bridge/pond at the far end. The ballroom was a unique shape, kind of triangle which made it hard to center things, but I think we made it all work out in the end. Great parents who wanted the kids to have a really nice celebration, so we got to do linen and chair rentals through Fusion even though that wasn’t the plan in the beginning. Again Jaimee did a couple of really neat shots of the bridal party in the lounge area, that had a movie star 1940s feel to them, I loved them. She is so peppy and cute.
We also used one of the bakers I use a lot at the Hyatt HB, Tomgirl, for the wedding cake, good choice guys!!!
Enjoy these shots

Until next time, Lisa

The Ceremony (156) The Party (10) The Party (8)

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Add a comment November 5, 2009






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