Tammy & Andrew's L'Auberge Destination Wedding

We were so ecstatic when Tammy and Andrew contacted us to help plan their special day! This wedding took place at L’Auberge Del Mar. A beautiful coastal hotel located on the historic site of The Stratford Inn; a sophisticated centerpiece of the Del Mar Village. We were even more excited when we found out this was going to be a destination wedding, with the couples friends and family traveling from all over to get to the beautiful city of Del Mar!

Tammy and Andrew came to us with so many great ideas they wanted to incorporate in their big day! Our collaborative style matched perfectly with this couple that wanted to be actively involved and have fun with the planning process. They wanted to have elements of their wedding make it feel “destination” and nailed it with their invites, sign in table and escort cards.  We loved their pink and red color scheme and all the decor items they chose. 

We knew this wedding was going to go smooth once we dialed in all the vendors! Sharon, with Organic Elements, created some really fun and unique designs for the wedding. And, the bouquets were truly perfect.

Luckily, they had a great photographer, Alex W Photography, and videographer, Blue Tiger Films, that captured this day beautifully!

Check out these amazing photos!

The boarding pass invitation couldn't have been more perfect for this for this destination wedding.

This lush green setting and lighting was perfect for Tammy and Andrew's first look photos. They were both giddy and so excited to see each other and you can definitely tell from these photos. 

Manazita trees were used at the ceremony altar, with added jewels and florals. 

We loved this ombre, red to blush, aisle floral design.

This cute mirror program was placed on the sign in and gift table as an alternative to paper programs. The bride, Tammy, made this herself.

In place of a sign in book, Tammy and Andrew used a personalized wood world map for their guests to sign in on. This was perfect for their destination wedding. The mailbox, pictured behind the sign in was made by Tammy and Andrew for their guests to put cards in. 

Tammy's sister composed music for Angelica Strings to play during the ceremony. The songs were all Disney songs, because Tammy and Andrew love Disney.  All custom versions songs, Tale As Old As Time, Kiss the Girl,  Someday my Prince Will Come, and the Sleeping Beauty Waltz. This was such a special sentimental touch to have for their ceremony. 

The newlyweds pictures after the ceremony turned out adorable! We love these beachside photos!

Another great touch for this destination wedding, paper airplane escort cards.

Each guest got a teacup in this cute little box that Tammy and Andrew got in Taiwan.

The most perfect sunset for their grand entrance and first dance! Nothing beats this L'Auberge coastal view. 

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After dinner, the guests were moved down to the Platinum Ballroom for more dancing. The couple provided another favor for guests, sandals for tired feet. 

Tammy did an outfit change for the second half of the reception. This red dress looked phenomenal on her!

Sugar and Scribe desserts always look extremely tasty! 

Alex W with Tammy and Andrew. 

We couldn't be more happy with how this day turned out! The beautiful weather made this destination wedding even more perfect. Thank you to all of our awesome vendors that made the wedding flow smooth.

We wish Tammy and Andrew years of happiness and love. We had fun planning your wedding! Thank you for letting us be a part of it!

XOXO

Sweet Blossom Weddings Team

Vendor Love:

Venue: L'auberge Del Mar

Hair and Makeup: Luna Bella Beauty

Desserts: Sugar and Scribe Bakery

Ceremony Musician: Angelica Strings

DJ: Pro Motion Entertainment

Florals: Organic Elements 

Photography: Alex W Photography

Photo Booth: Pixster

Videography: Blue Tiger Films

 

 

10 Important Tips for Wedding Invites

In an electronic world, it can be hard to figure out all the etiquette that should be associated with your wedding invitations. It’s essential to have well worded invitations and to be organized during the process of invites, but where do you start? Sweet Blossom Weddings put together the 10 most important invitation tips that you need to know to make sure your wedding invites aren't missing any important details. 

Send the Save the Dates Right Away

It is never to early to send out your Save the Dates! Even if you are a year out, it is still good to send them out so that all the people closest to you can start planning the logistics to be at your wedding. 

Send Out Your Invite 3 Months Before Your Wedding

Three months gives your guests plenty of time to accommodate to their schedules and book flights, hotels and transportation in advance. It also gives you the opportunity to start working on your guest list early so you aren't rushed to put it together. 

Order Extra Invites

It’s always a good idea to have extra invites on stand by. It’s expensive to print more invites after the initial first time printing.  Have enough invites for your guest list,  and 25 extra just in case you need to resend an invite. Also, note that you will want to keep a few for yourself. The photographer usually takes pictures of your invites on your wedding day so bring one with you to the wedding and leave one at home for your scrap book.

Check With The Post Office To See How Much Postage Will Be

The price to mail your invite can widely vary. Wedding invitations sometimes weigh more than the standard postage weight. Make sure you weigh your invite to see if it is going to require more than a normal postage to send out.  

Postage RSVP Cards

Having the RSVP envelope ready to roll is the best way to go! You will have a better and quicker RSVP time by putting a stamp on all your RSVP cards that is already addressed to your home address.

simple wedding invitation with rsvp

Put the Actual Start Time

It’s understandable to want to put the wedding ceremony start time 30 minutes before the actual start time to ensure all your guests are there on time. However, this can be problematic to ceremony set up and can leave the early bird guests upset. You will always have the guests that show up 30 minutes early, so if your invite is 30 minutes before the actual ceremony you will have some guests lingering around an hour before the wedding. This can be ok if there are things for the guest to do ( Photo Booth, games, sign in table). Also make sure there is water and some light snacks if you decide to go the early route. Most people know the wedding etiquette of showing up before the ceremony start time and will be respectful, so you are better off putting the actual ceremony start time on your invite. 

Tell Your Guests to RSVP 6 Weeks Out From Your Wedding Day

Telling your guests to RSVP six weeks out will give you enough time to make seating charts and finalize guest counts for your venue and catering staff. 

Still Send an Invite Even if You Know Someone Can't Attend

After you send out your Save the Date’s you will be informed of all the guests that won’t be able to attend. Proper etiquette is to still send out an invite, to make sure they know they are still included and that you didn’t forget about them. 

Number on the back

When mailing out your invitations, make sure to write a number really small on the back of each RSVP response card that corresponds with each guest. This way, if someone forgets to write they name on the card or if you can’t read their writing, then you will know who has responded. This will keep you extra organized so that if you are missingnumber, you will know who to call to see if they can come to your wedding. 

Photo Credit: Evelyn Clark Weddings

Photo Credit: Evelyn Clark Weddings

Have Your Guests Initial their Entre Selection

Write on your invite to “Please Initial next to the Entre they want” I.E (Steak, chicken, fish, vegetarian). This will keep you organized in knowing what each guest is having. Once you get your RSVP be back and document what each guest is having it will be easy to make sure there are no mistakes on what each guest is getting. Your wedding planner and catering crew will appreciate the organization of this!

You are officially set up for success if you follow these 10 invitation tips! And remember, you don't have to lick all your envelopes. The most efficient way is using a wet sponge or glue stick. 

XOXO

Sweet Blossom Weddings

SBW February 2017 Featured Wedding

Great vendors and loving family members can make any wedding perfect, and Michelle and Nathan luckily had both for their big day! Michelle and Nathan’s wedding was our first Estancia La Jolla wedding of 2017, and we were lucky enough to be the first wedding in the newly remodeled Grande Room! We love this quaint room and can’t be more thrilled on how it turned out. Their ceremony took place at the beautiful church, St. Therese of Carmel. This church has stunning views of the green mountains which created a truly majestic ceremony. We adored the personal touches in this wedding. It was a wedding where you could truly see two families becoming one. This wedding went incredibly smooth with the help of all our awesome vendors!

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These flower girls were so sweet and cooperative. Urban Garden Floral did a great job on their flower crowns and mini bouquets. 

Michelle looked absolutely stunning. Her hair and make up were done by Salon Bordeaux and she bought her dress from Bridal Showcase

Michelle couldn't have picked a better floral arrangement for a February wedding. Once again, Urban Garden Floral nailed it. 

We loved the maroon bridesmaids dresses! Michelle gave her bridesmaids the option of picking any style dress they wanted from Show Me Your Mumu. We love their bridesmaids dresses!

How gorgeous is St. Therese of Carmel! The green mountains in the background were stunning. SBW loves this Catholic church for Catholic ceremonies. 

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Michelle and Nathan got to ride in style to the reception in a Rolls Royce.

The dark grey tux with the maroon tie was a perfect suit for the groomsmen. Nathan and his groomsmen rented their tux from Men's Warehouse

Instead of a standard guest sign in book, Michelle provided us with this custom wood sign in for guests. It has their names and wedding date on it as well as all their guests loving comments. This is going to look amazing hung in their new home!

A simple, yet classic, "Wish You Were Here" table, to honor loved ones that would have been at their wedding. 

Michelle and Nathan moved to Georgia after their wedding, so for their favors they gave each guest a custom Georgia peach Jam. 

Sugar and Scribe did the desserts and they looked so delicious. We love working with Sugar and Scribe because they are always on time and set up efficiently, not to mention the guests always rave about how good the dessert was. 

This cake topper was an antique that Michelle's grandparents used in their wedding in the 1920's. We had never seen this type of personalized cake touch before and absolutely adored it!

Michelle surprised Nathan with this special grooms cake. Nathan had done volunteer work in Africa and has a huge heart for Africa. This what such a sweet personal touch to add to the dessert table!

These mini glazed chocolate donuts look too good to resist!

We are in love with new flooring and lighting fixtures in the Grande Room at Estancia La Jolla. Michelle and Nathan went with Estancia's in house linens and chairs to give a more simplistic rustic look to their wedding, which went perfectly with their style. 

Michelle's Maid of Honor made Michelle and Nathan a personalized wedding slide show in lieu of giving a speech. It was so special and the newlyweds loved the surprise!

The SBW team can't rave enough about DJ Frank Pompeo. He got in a minor car accident on the way to set up for Michelle and Nathan's wedding. He somehow still managed to arrive on time and demonstrate upscale professionalism despite the car accident prior. He was a great MC that qued all the songs on time and he got all the guests on the dance floor. A wedding planners dream for a DJ!

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This wedding was filled with love and we wouldn't be able to share how awesome this wedding was without the awesome photography of Amy Lynn. We love the trending style of Amy Lynn Photography. She captures every special moment perfectly and we have never been disappointed with her photos. 

We couldn't have been happier to be apart of Michelle and Nathan's wedding. Working at two awesome venues, St. Therese of Carmel and Estancia, as well as all of the amazing vendors made this February wedding one for the books. 

 

XOXO

Sweet Blossom Weddings Team

 

Vendor Love:

Photographer: By Amy Lynn Photography

Florals: Urban Garden Floral Design

Dessert: Sugar and Scribe

DJ/MC: DJ Frank Pompeo

Ceremony Site: St. Therese of Carmel

Officiant: Father Nicholas Dempsey

Cocktail Hour and Reception: Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Resort

Brides Hair and Makeup: Salon Bordeaux

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse

Bridesmaid Attire: Show Me Your Mumu

Bride Attire: Bridal Showcase

 

10 Essential Questions to Ask a Florist Before Hiring

Wedding florals are a big factor when choosing how you want your wedding design to appear.  Hiring a florist is one of the most crucial parts of the planning process for your wedding.  If you don't have a wedding planner or if you are a "Day-Of" or "Month-Of" coordination couple that has to do the florist hiring process on their own, it can be overwhelming thinking of the most important questions to ask. You want to make sure you are getting good quality florals, the attention your wedding needs and the most bang for your buck depending on what your vision is.

Sweet Blossom Weddings has listed the essential questions to ask your florist so that you are able to leave your florist meeting feeling confident that you got all the information needed to have flawless florals on your wedding day. 

1.    Do you have a minimum? What type of deposit do you require to secure your services? How do you do your pricing? 

Budget and how your florist prices their items are some of  the first things that should be brought up for discussion when having your first correspondence. There is no need to even meet with a florist if their minimum is higher than what you are budgeting for florals. Some florists do their prices in packages, some do their prices individually on each piece(arch,bouquet,centerpiece etc.) and some individually price by each flower you want. No matter what their pricing style is, make sure that you have the money accessible in your budget in order to put down the deposit to secure your date.

2.    How long have you been a wedding florist and when did you start your business?

Experience is important with a florist! Doing florals for a corporate event or birthday party can be a big jump from doing florals for weddings. Ask to see pictures of the florists work that you are considering hiring. Hopefully they have done florals similar to what you are envisioning so you can get a better look of what your flowers on your wedding day will look like

3.    How many weddings do you typically do over a weekend?

A florist is a vendor that can do more than one wedding in a day. This is an important question to ask because if a florist is doing more than four weddings in a weekend, your wedding might not be getting the attention it should be getting. If your florist has more availabitlity in their day on the day of your wedding they can be more accessible in troubleshooting situations, just in case you realize you forgot something last minute; i.e a boutineer for Grandpa.

4.    Is it going to be you or your associate designing the centerpieces?

If you are paying high dollar for your florals, then you should make sure that the owner or a lead for the business will be the one doing your florals. If you are getting a good deal on the flowers and the owner will be overseeing an associates work then that can be an option for you, it’s more your preference.

5.    Do you typically set-up the florals or does your team handle that for you?

Some florists have their team setting up everything on the day of and won’t be at your venue on the day of your wedding. This small yet important detail can be easily forgotten to be disclosed during the hiring process.

6.    What design styles do you work with?

Do they do tight bouquets or loose bouquets or both? Is there any types of floral styles they don't do? Do they offer aisle petal designs? Do they work with succulents in their arrangements? Are they open to working with other items besides florals? (I.E Artichoke pictured below)

Just like any vendor, a florist will have different styles. There can be types of styled florals they don't feel comfortable doing. Go on Pinterest before meeting with a florist so that you can show them your vision of design ideas. Show specific pictures and ask if they are capable of replicating it. 

Tight Bouquet - Florist: Organic Elements Photo by: Alex W Photography

Tight Bouquet - Florist: Organic Elements

Photo by: Alex W Photography

Loose Bouquet - Florist: Native Poppy Photo By: Amy Lynn Photography

Loose Bouquet - Florist: Native Poppy

Photo By: Amy Lynn Photography

Loose Aisle Petal Florals - Florist: Native Poppy Photo By: Amy Lynn Photography

Loose Aisle Petal Florals - Florist: Native Poppy

Photo By: Amy Lynn Photography

Flower Petal Aisle Design - Florist: Organic Elements Photo By: Alex W Photography

Flower Petal Aisle Design - Florist: Organic Elements

Photo By: Alex W Photography

Purple Artichoke inside table centerpieces - Florist: Organic Elements Photo by: Ashley Williams Photography

Purple Artichoke inside table centerpieces - Florist: Organic Elements

Photo by: Ashley Williams Photography

Artichoke in a display done by the florist - Florist: Organic Elements Photo by: Ashley Williams Photography

Artichoke in a display done by the florist - Florist: Organic Elements

Photo by: Ashley Williams Photography

7.    Do you offer rentals?  Candles, vases, arch, chuppah, aisle runner, etc?

Many florists offer rentals. Votives are the most common rental to get from a florist. Unless you are buying the votives for your wedding or the venue you are at has in house votives you like, then you definitely need to ask the florist if they have votives they can throw in with your florals that go with the theme/design of your wedding. Since they will already be setting up centerpieces it makes it easy for them to throw in the votives.

Archs are another thing most florists have easily available for brides to rent. If your venue doesn’t have an arch or pretty ceremony backgroung then you should strongly consider going through your florist to get this important piece.

Florist: Native Poppy Photo by: Amy Lynn Photography
The florist, Organic Elements, provided these two tree branches instead of an arch Photo by: Alex W. Photography

The florist, Organic Elements, provided these two tree branches instead of an arch

Photo by: Alex W. Photography

8.    Are you able to pick up at after the wedding is over?  Is there an additional charge for this?

Some florists do not come back at the end of the night when the wedding is over to get their items. If they don't come back at the end of the night they are either gifting you all the floral items used or you will have to return them at a later time. 

There are pros and cons to if they do not come back at the end of your wedding. One of the pros is you and your family/friends can leave with beautiful flowers at the end of the night. The greatest con of this would be the planner bringing all the remainding vases/votives/items to a place where you will have to deal with doing something with them later,  which sometimes isn’t ideal for the newlywed couple. As a planner, we like when the florist comes back at the end of the night to make sure their portion of what they set-up was cleaned up properly insuring the couple doesn't get any additional cleanup fees from the venue. Ultimately, it is the decision the couple.

9.    Do you charge an extra fee if I need you to stay throughout the ceremony to move arrangements to the reception site?

Moving florals from ceremony to reception can definitely save you a lot of money. Just see if the pros of saving the money outweigh the price you are charged for the florals to be moved from ceremony to reception. Some florists charge for this, and some do not.

We have seen many couples use the florals on their archmoved to their sweetheart table as decor. Check with your planner to see if they would feel comfortable doing this. If your planner feels comfortable moving florals with the package you hired them for, then this could be a way to save money instead of paying your florist to stay longer to move the flowers.

Make sure if you are doing florals down the aisle that the florist or venue will be responsible for cleaning this up. Some venues charge expensive fees if flowers are left on the ground of the ceremony site. 

Write here...

Write here...

Sweet Blossom Weddings Team moved this garland from the arch to the Sweetheart Table Florist: Native Poppy Photographer: Amy Lynn Photography

Sweet Blossom Weddings Team moved this garland from the arch to the Sweetheart Table

Florist: Native Poppy Photographer: Amy Lynn Photography

10. Are you able to provide a centerpiece mock-up prior to the wedding?  If so, how much do you charge?

If you want to be guaranteed that you are getting exactly what you envision for your wedding florals, then it is a good idea to set up a floral moc up meeting. Most florists do charge a fee for this.  However, if you saw that this florist already did wedding florals similar to what you are wanting for your wedding then the moc up might not be necessary for you. 

 

Make sure you take good notes when interviewing florists so that you can look back and differentiate between the florists you talk to. Now you have all the essential questions to ask the florist you are potentially thinking of hiring. You can rest assured that you are not forgetting any important questions! 

XOXO

Sweet Blossom Weddings 

 

5 Tips for Planning Your Wedding

You just got engaged!  This is the most exciting time in your lives!  Everyone is asking you a million questions and it can all seem so overwhelming.   When is your wedding?  Where is your wedding?  Am I invited?  What are your wedding colors?  And the questions go on and on.  It can seem daunting starting to plan your wedding day.  This may be the day you’ve been waiting for your whole life, or maybe it’s the day you never dreamed of.  Either way, planning a wedding can seem stressful.  Below I have put together a list of 5 essential tips to get you started planning your special day!  But the most important tip is to remember to try to relax and enjoy this special time.  Your wedding day truly will be one of the best days of your lives together as a couple!

 

1.     Determine the time of year you’d like to get married (summer, fall, winter, or spring) 

Photo by: Alex W. Photography

Photo by: Alex W. Photography

Things to consider:

Seasons (cold v. warm – luckily in Southern California, our weather is mostly sunny and warm)

School or work schedule – Is your work slower during certain months? Or are summer months easier for you since school is out during that time?

 Being “in wedding-season” v. “off-season” – It may sound silly, but this can affect pricing when considering holding your wedding in the wedding-season v. off-season.  If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider getting married in the off-season (for Southern California, generally November-March is considered off-season.  Also, some venues consider a Sunday-Thursday wedding “off-season.”)

 Family schedule - Are there family member’s schedules that may affect when you get married?  Remember, it’s hard to please everyone when planning a wedding, but if you can make sure the important people can attend, they will be very appreciative of your consideration.

Time change – Remember the sun sets earlier between November-March, so it’s best to have an earlier wedding during those months.

Once you’ve considered the above questions, you can start thinking about the next tip

2.  Decide Type of Venue

Photo by: La Vida Creations

Photo by: La Vida Creations

Things to consider:

  What style of wedding do you envision (rustic/ranch, modern/museum, beach, hotel, golf resort, club, etc)?  This will help you with deciding where to begin looking for venues.  The style of venue will impact the overall design of your wedding.

 Do your prefer ceremony and reception to take place at the same venue? Not all venues offer both ceremony and reception sites, so it’s good to consider this when planning.

Do you prefer your wedding ceremony held at a church?  If so, it may be a good idea to consider a venue for your reception somewhere close by to your church.   Don’t forget, your guests will need to travel to each location.

 Do you prefer your wedding held at a venue with accommodations?  If you have a majority of out of town guests, it may be a good idea to hold your wedding at a hotel or resort with accommodations.  If you end up a venue without accommodations, then it’s a good idea to think of hotels nearby where your guests would like to stay.

How late do you prefer your wedding to go until?   If you envisioned your wedding going until midnight, you’ll want to consider this when looking into venues.  Some locations have noise ordinances where you’ll need to be done by 9pm or 10pm.  Also, most venues have a set amount of hours included in their packages, so this may affect when your wedding starts and ends.

Once you’ve decided your answers to the above questions, you can start pulling a list of venues that you may be interested in.  When considering your venue, some venues have minimums you must meet in order to book that venue, so it’s good to keep that in mind and ask those questions up front.    This leads us to the next tip.

3. Put together a budget (even if it’s an estimate)

 

Determining how much you’d like to spend on your wedding is so important when considering the above two tips (determining venue and time of year to get married).  For most people, the budget is not an easy part of planning your wedding, but it will help you tremendously with determining how much you have to spend on the venue, and how much is remaining for each vendor category (Photographer, DJ/Live Musician, Wedding Planner, Florist, Etc).  Typically, we suggest spending about 50% of your budget on your venue (which should include venue, catering, beverages, and rentals).  The remaining 50% should be divided amongst the other vendors. 

You may ask, how do I determine how much to spend on my wedding?  This is the time when you have that awkward conversation with your parents, future in-laws, grandparents or anyone else who may be willing to donate.  It’s also a good time to have a conversation with each other about how much you’re willing to contribute, if needed.  Remember, this is a time where communication is crucial with successful wedding planning. For some couples, their wedding budget is the maximum amount to spend.  And for others, it is a guide for where to begin searching for venues and vendors, but realize their day may go over the budget.  In most of our packages, we include a customized budget spreadsheet for you to follow and help keep you on track.

4. Stay organized

I cannot overemphasize how important it will be for you to stay organized when planning your wedding. The best way to do this is to build a wedding day binder filled with Standard Sheet Paper Protectors and Big Tab Dividers for each category (venue, photographer, caterer, Music, Florist/Décor, Planner, etc).  You can keep your venue and vendor contracts organized in this binder, as well as inspirational photos, email correspondence with vendors, color samples, invitation samples and the list goes on.  Bring your binder with you to every wedding meeting so you can keep track of what is included in each contract with your vendors.  You’ll also want to start a day planner or meeting organizer or phone calendar to keep track of all of your appointments.

One of our favorite organization tools is an online program called Aisle Planner. All of our clients have access to this tool which keeps everyone organized and on the same page. Once you’re organized, each meeting will go that much smoother.  Plus, you’ll really feel like you’re making progress with your wedding planning.  Trust me, planning your wedding can begin to feel like a full time job, so keeping organized will help alleviate any stress.  In most of our packages, we will create a wedding day binder for you to get your started.

5.  Hire a Wedding Planner

Photo by: Tim Otto Photography

Photo by: Tim Otto Photography

I know this seems like an obvious tip (especially from someone like us) but I cannot tell you how important it is to hire someone professional to help with your wedding planning.   Even if you don’t have the budget for a full-service planner, I highly recommend to at least bring someone onboard for the final month-of/day-of planning.  Please don’t expect your Maid of Honor, friend, aunt, or even your Mom to help set-up and deal with all of your vendors on the day-of your wedding.  They will want to be able to enjoy your special day as much as you’ll want to. I promise you when I tell you this, hiring a wedding planner will be one of the best gifts you’ll receive on your wedding day!  I’ve had multiple clients of mine tell me those exact words!   You’ll be able to enjoy each moment of that day without having to worry about all the little details.  At Sweet Blossom Weddings, we have several wedding planning packages to offer to help you with each step of planning your special day.

 

 

We’d love to chat with you more about your wedding!

Give us a call or email us to set up your first consultation meeting!