Miss California's Temecula Wedding at Temecula Creek Inn

"Bree Morse is Miss California 2015 so this wedding was nothing short of spectacular. Bree is a well-spoken bubbly ray of sunshine who has the biggest heart! Working with both her and Mike was an amazing experience. We collaborated closely on the details and overall aesthetic of the event - a natural but chic design in rose gold and white. The guest list was equally fun with some of her Miss America sisters as well as a familiar face from The Bachelor - Sarah Vendal who was a bridesmaid. My favorite design element was the suspended cake and I am so glad I worked with a bride who loved all of my crazy ideas and I had amazing vendor team who pulled everything together beautifully." -Michelle Garibay Events

I would be lying if I said we searched high and low for a venue. I did a fair amount of research online, but when we went to Temecula Creek Inn and saw the venue - we signed the contract on the spot. It is beautiful, rustic, natural, and everything we envisioned when thinking where we would get married. As Mike's family is from San Diego and mine Orange County, it was a decent middle point for our guests to travel to. We didn't have a specific date in mind, so that opened up availability for us. We also went for a Friday which made it more affordable as well. The staff at TCI made us feel special from the first time we visited until the day after our ceremony. We also selected vendors who had worked there before which was such a tremendous asset when it came to logistics and getting the perfect shots. 

Mike and I first met at CSULB when Mike was a Junior and I was a freshman, at my greek life orientation. He was a counselor and I was a pledge, but he says that had his eye on me from that point on. I, of course, couldn't let him into my heart that easy! A year passed with casual hello's and (now looking back) really lame Facebook posts, that we both attended the same event that changed our lives forever. That night we danced, talked and laughed the night away. It was there that I learned that Mike was quite the "dancer," and  that Mike learned that I'm physically unable to pass up a good pun. We joke that our wedding song should have been "We found love in a hopeless place," as there are few things less romantic than a fraternity pref. dance, but its where we began a life-long partnership that has already brought us so much happiness, so we wouldn't have it any other way. 

Mike and I had planned on going down to San Diego to celebrate his mom's birthday on a Saturday morning, but because I had a concert on Friday night, I told him to drive down Friday to celebrate with her then I would take the train down on Saturday to meet them. I woke up to find my train was delayed, but Mike assured me it was okay, to hop on the next one out and that he would pick me up at the downtown station. I got off the train and called him - no answer. I walked into the station - no Mike. I get a tap on my shoulder and turn around - it was my best friend from middle school, Lauren. It was very clear in that moment what was happening. She brought me outside and showed me the first of a series of videos on an iPad that Mike had pre-recorded. Each video was a series of chronological photos from our relationship and then a video of him explaining his favorite memories, why he loves me, all the sweet things a girl would ever want to hear. To top it off (and this is how much he knows me) at the end of the first video he sent us shopping to pick out a new outfit on him. We found an outfit, I lost my phone and have never been so calm about it, we then found my phone, and video #2. We went to go get our nails done! (You guys, I'm telling you - he's a keeper!) At the salon, Lauren also offered me my favorite snacks. Because I love snacks. And he bought them and gave them to her to hand to me so I don't get hangry. (But who could really get hangry when they know they are getting engaged to basically the best guy ever) Video #3, going to an undisclosed location. "This is it!" I thought to myself. We ended up at a bar that we had wanted to go to for a while. As I entered I fixed my hair and checked my teeth from those delicious snacks - total strangers. We had a glass of rose, because "yes way," and left. We started walking toward the waterfront in Downtown San Diego and I thought obviously we were going on a boat. Lauren took me for a hard left turn and we ended up in a park. Video #4 was set to a song we knew would be our first dance, which confirmed my thoughts that this was where it would happen. As I was watching the video, Mike snuck in behind me to catch on live, where the video left off. He had hired Emily Rhem, an old friend from high school who is now a photographer to capture the engagement. After tears and a resounding "yes" from me, we went to a local restaurant where all of our friends and family were waiting. 

Let's be real, I would be lying if I said I didn't have this wedding planned in my head 6 months after that pref night. But as trends changed through the years, as did my vision. However the most important thing to both Mike and I was that it would be just as fun for us as it was our guests. Both of our styles air on the side of casual with special attention to classic details, and I think Michelle and the team did a great job of capturing that. I joked that we had "bland" colors, sticking to natural whites, creams, greenery, wood, but classed it up with pops of rose gold. The venue is gorgeous on its own, and I wanted our florals to be just enough that it dressed it up without going overboard. 

Bree: I knew I wanted to do a dress change since I was like 7, and could not be happier that I followed through with it. One of the most frequent comments I received was "You've worn so many beautiful gowns - how will you ever choose THE gown?!" I saw it as a process of elimination. Poofy? No. Beaded? No. Corset? Heck no! This girl is trying to eat CAKE. Mia Bella has designed and made all of my gowns for Miss California and then Miss America, so it was a no brainer that I would visit them again for the "final" dress to finish off the trifecta. I saw this Pronovias gown on Pinterest and could not get it out of my mind after that. I went to Mia Bella, tried on pretty much every other dress, and saved the Pronovias for last. Needless to say, I wasted my group's time because the second I put it on it was absolutely the one. 

Dress #2 was something fun I could dance in but still feel like a bride. I wanted to add a little something special and had seen a painted leather jacket on Instagram, saw it was WAY out of my price range, and thought - hey, I could do that! I found the blue suede jacket at H&M and had a friend who paints do the personalization on the back. This was honestly one of my FAVORITE decisions. It made for some great photos, AND kept me warm!

Bridesmaids: As someone who has a number of long dresses in their closet that I will never wear again, there was no way I was going to ask my girls to purchase an expensive dress that would be out of style within the year. I gave them all a paint swatch and basically told them to find something full-length and flowy in that color - the results were perfect! Everyone had a dress that fit their body type but that still looked great in union. 

Mike & Groomsmen:
Mike and his groomsmen went to Grooms Grotto in Costa Mesa for their suits, who again did an incredible job fitting each of them with a custom suit. We picked blue because it was less formal than black, but dressed it up with black shoes, belts, and ties. To differentiate Mike, he wore a bow tie. 

I. love. dessert.  And Laura Marie at Laura Marie's Cakes did not disappoint. It was clear by the looks of our plates at our tasting that we were very happy with our vendor selection, and through the design process she captured our ideas beautifully. We ultimately ended up with a 4 tier cake with an "ombre" line design from the bottom tier up to the top, then incorporated some of our florals as a cake topper. Temecula Creek Inn has beautiful trees, and at some point in the planning process with Michelle we had come across a picture of a suspended cake and I remember her calling me and saying, "we should hang it from the tree." I agreed immediately and then thought to myself, "wait, open bar, dance floor....this might not be a great idea," but Michelle assured me it would be worth it. She worked with Laura Marie and the team from Jake Duke to make both a cake and suspense system that would hold the cake in place throughout the night, and it was probably one of the biggest hits at the wedding. Everyone wanted a picture with the floating cake, and couldn't wait to eat it!

As Miss California, I was a brand ambassador for American Pistachio Growers and traveled the state and to China promoting the many health benefits of this tasty green nut. I had gotten to know one the pistachio farmers quite well, and when thinking of a wedding favor that wouldn't be thrown out the next day, thought I would see if we could get some nuts to hand out. He asked me my wedding date and I thought he was confirming that they would make it to us in time. However, when we received the package and opened the nuts, each nut was personalized with our names and wedding date. I think in this moment both Mike and I felt that we were the definition of the slang term "extra." 

We purchased brown bags on amazon, I designed a stamp that said something about our love being "nuts" (the puns are back!), packaged them up and we were good to go! 

Neither Mike nor I are very well educated on types of flowers, so I can only imagine how entertained Michelle and the team at Soiree were when we first tried to explain our vision. "Greenery, but not the pointy kind. It's kind of a grey color. I don't want to be carrying weeds."  Needless to say, they somehow knew exactly what I was talking about and brought our vision to life.  My bouquet was a loose and natural arrangement of garden roses, white peonies, ranunculus, lisianthus, eucalyptus and dusty miller greenery. Our wedding party sat at a beautiful wood farm table with a long center garland of greenery and white blooms. Round tables were decorated with pedestal vases with coordinating florals. We saved some money by reusing the floral arrangement that decorated our altar arch for our Photo Booth later. 

The prospect of a wedding is so exciting - its like when you think of your favorite Christmas morning, them multiply that by 10, and know that it is going to happen in approximately 6 months, 4 days and 2 hours (or wherever you may be in your wedding countdown). That being said, engagement is one of the most charmed times of your relationship - so don't let planning get in the way of that! Have nights that are solely dedicated to you two, celebrating this exciting phase in your lives together. Not getting mad because your soon to be hubs won't look away from the game to tell you his thoughts on menu card font color. 

Also, it is OKAY to be on a budget! Don't compare your wedding to other peoples. Weddings are expensive, and it was important to us not to go into debt for our special day. Do your best to pick and choose things that you need or things that you can do on your own. Consider your network and resources, as you may know someone who can help by giving you a deal. 

I said it prior, but it was really important to us that our guests had fun. We wanted them to celebrate this day with us, and always remember that they were a part in making it so special. This meant putting our hands into every aspect of the process from music selection to table placement. It took more time on our end, but was so well worth it in the end. The other important thing was that we did it TOGETHER which can be difficult! Although napkin colors might not have been important to Mike, I found out that other things were and it was important to have his input on that. 

We highly recommend NOT choosing between either videographers and photographers, and instead investing in having both. Allie and Le Reve had worked together prior, and we LOVED seeing how the photos and video told a very seamless story. 

Another thing not to skip: A PLANNER! Mike and I both work full time, and people are not joking when they say wedding planning can be a full time job. Michelle was INCREDIBLE at walking us through the process, giving us expert advice, and lets face it, calming me down when I'm trying to process how many decisions we still had left to make. 


SoCal Bride Recommends:

Photography: Allie Lindsey Photography | Ceremony Venue: Temecula Creek Inn | Reception Venue: Temecula Creek Inn | Wedding Planning: Michelle Garibay Events | Floral: soiree floral design | Menu Cards: meldeen | Videography: le reve Films | Wedding Cake: Laura Marie's | Rentals: Jake Duke Studios | DJ: C squared events | Hair: StATIC Salon | Makeup: Daryl Rene | Bridal Salon: Mia Bella Couture | Photo Booth: C squared events | Invitations: Minted | Laser Cuts: Happily Ever Etched | Wedding Dress: Mia Bella Couture

A Fun DIY Greenhouse Wedding in Santa Barbara

"We wanted our wedding to feel like an epic house party. As designers, we were excited about the challenge to work with a tight budget and a headcount of 200. The whole thing was super DIY if not a little bit scrappy. We had friends & family mixing drinks and putting together cheese boards and final touches while I finished seating chart signage hours before the aisle."

Romantic Darlington House Wedding

"From Jenna and Kaj's first encounter at a Frat formal, to a proposal in Spain at the Parque del Retiro in Madrid; this couple topped it all off with a stunning wedding at the historical Darlington House. The Darlington House is a great representation of these two and their adventurous spirits, with the inspiration for their weddings' theme coming from their travels in Spain. With accent colors of Pinks, Corals, Sage Green and Gold , that all perfectly reflected the colors of the Venue. With beautiful DIY items, like hand made pottery made by Kaj's mom and planted with succulents for guests gifts and heirloom items, like Jenna wearing her grandmother's bracelet, this wedding was one of kind and chalk full of moments to last a life time!"

Tropical Bohemian Handmade Wedding at The Casino San Clemente

"Ellis and Elliot's wedding day was absolutely breathtaking. From the perfectly curated, radiant florals to the quirky, metallic pineapples there wasn't a detail that went unnoticed. Not to mention that the entire day was designed and brought to life by Ellis, Elliot, and Ellis' parents themselves. Talk about DIY pros! The escort card display was handcrafted by the groom and father of the bride to hold their candle favors for their guests. It's safe to say it wasn't a small project to tackle but they made it happen and quite beautifully, if I do say so myself.

The mother daughter duo definitely thought of everything. The heart they put into their day was seen in every detail and emanated from the moments caught in between. Ellis and Elliot were warm and welcoming, cool as cucumbers, and truly cared that everyone around them felt happy and comfortable. Come their wedding day, it was obvious that the detail they put into their wedding wasn't for selfish reasons (though, no doubt, they wanted a gorgeous day). Rather, it was their chance to take care of and celebrate the very people that supported them and brought them to where they are now."

Organic Al Fresco Wedding Inspiration at Chateau Adare

"The Chateau Adare venue is found perfectly nestled in a grove of California Oak trees on the dreamy Santa Rosa Plateau in Murrieta, California. Inspired by the colors currently found in the rolling hills surrounding this Southern California venue, our shoot featured a palette of golden organic pear hues, rustic champagne, pale mauves, and various neutral greens.  Our arrangements by Emily Pine of The Fern and Flower included a variety of roses, olive tree branches, and eucalyptus. Emily also designed and crafted stunning, natural garlands for the oak trees and swing. Keeping true to organic textures, we used a champagne colored gauze table runner layered atop gorgeous farmhouse tables by Rustic Urban Events. We absolutely adored the gold silverware provided by Birdie in the Barn Rental Company, which added the perfect touch to our tablescape. 

This real couple was the embodiment of natural, yet simple elegance. The hair and makeup design by Boss Beauty Team focused on loose curls with simple, modern braids and neutral toned makeup. We felt natural, organic elegance come together beautifully with the gown provided by the San Diego Dress Theory. Our invitation suite by Rowley Press centered on beautiful rose gold colored letterpress design. 

We wrapped up the shoot in a lovely open field to cohesively tie together our color palette.  We hope the details and colors of this wedding inspiration shoot speak to your heart just as much as they did to ours!"

Elegant Romantic Outdoor Wedding at the Hummingbird Nest Wedding

"I wanted pure romance and candles everywhere. I always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding with tons of elegance. Whimsical! I chose blush and soft colors. I really wanted a elegant romantic outdoor summer wedding. I'm all about candles and flowers so I had to have them everywhere. I made all my wedding invitations and made signs for my little ring bearers to hold while they walk down the aisle. I added my Mom's rosary to my bouquet. For groomsmens gifts we did engraved liquor carafes with glasses for each guy. A mariachi band serenaded us down the aisle after we were pronounced husband and wife! My favorite moment was walking down the aisle and locking eyes with Bobby! That was the most beautiful moment for me. I was all smiles. I had blush and ivory colors for my flowers. Peonies are my favorite so I had to have them in there! I mixed my tables with round and long wood tables. On the long tables I wanted to have long greenery since I was going for a rustic French style whimsical reception. I handed out multicolor pastel parasols at the ceremony as everyone's gift so they could block the sun and it made for beautiful pictures. For my cake I chose to do a white three tiered cakes with fresh flowers I used in all my arrangements. I purchased my dress at Lovella Bridal. It was an ivory lace with blush. I really wanted a vintage style mermaid dress, off the shoulders." -Bride & Groom

Romantic & Classic Los Angeles Wedding at Carondelet House

"Mat & Ling were gathered by their closet friends and family for their most perfect day ever. The day started at the beautiful Terranea Resort with views of the California coast from their rooms. Everything about Mat's details were classic, timeless and elegant. Even their pup, Splinter, was dressed up for the occasion. The ceremony was held at Wayfarer's Chapel, which I think has to be one of the most beautiful chapel's in California. Made entirely with glass, under green trees and cliff side to the Pacific Ocean. The most romantic setting to exchange vows! After the ceremony, guests made their way to the Carondelet House in Los Angeles. This place is a perfect spot for a wedding, with plenty of space to entertain your guests. Adorned with vintage, yet hip furniture, brings this place to life and gives you that "LA" vibe. The table numbers were made of mini globes. Mat and Ling do travel bloggers as a hobby (www.lingerabroad.com) so this was a brilliant way to incorporate personal touches to their reception. All the delicate blush and pinks kept the mood soft and romantic." - Jessica Lynn Photography

Los Willows Fall Wedding Inspiration

"This Southern California Styled Editorial pairs rich, red, navy, and gold jewel tones with the vibrant greenery of Los Willows Wedding Venue. Located just north of San Diego, Los Willows boasts a unique, secluded charm.

Lush, overgrown florals, paired with a bold navy ribbon were a strong contrast to the soft lace bridal gown. Elegant, calligraphy invitation suites, complete with a hand-drawn map of the venue, were a perfect touch to tie in the rich vibe we were hoping to convey. Instrumentals played softly in the background as the breeze softly rustled the bride's hair. After dinner, we chose to take the bride to the beach to inspire more wedding couples to take a few moments on their own to truly be present together on their wedding day. We think this is a great idea for all SoCal wedding couples getting married near the ocean.

We really wanted to focus on creating a rich-toned editorial that could be functional in any season."

Tuscan Wine Country Inspirational Wedding Shoot

"The inspiration came from the amazing brick wall in Franciscan Gardens' new indoor ballroom and the quaintness of San Juan Capistrano.  It sparked a feeling of being in an old Italian vineyard and family style dining.  The indoor ballroom at Franciscan Gardens has a cozy, intimate feel to it, so we played on that.  Lots of wine to cheers with and bread to break with your neighbor were the main themes we wanted to come across with this shoot. The family style dining element was very important us with this shoot.  We made the tables a u-shape to keep the feeling of unity and sharing.  Each place setting had a small loaf of bread inside a parchment bag with the menu listed on it.  For place cards, we took the beautiful silk ribbon from tono & co. and had our amazing calligrapher, A Fabulous Fete, hand paint each name.  The lace linen and runners completed the winery look with the vintage china and farm tables."

Elegant Greystone Mansion Wedding in Beverly Hills

"We wanted to make sure that our wedding really represented us as a couple, and not just be a collection of cool things we saw at other people's weddings. We love greenery, so we had a ton of dark green leaves as the base of the white flowers, and even had a green hedge background for our GIF/photobooth. We wanted everyone to have the best dinner ever, and Wolfgang Puck put together a menu of all the things we love for dinner and the dessert bar (churros, and strawberry shortcake push-pops included!). I'm Italian, so having every table covered in antipasti (olives, cheeses, breads, etc.) before they sat down was important - we love food, and didn't want anyone leaving hungry! We love locally-made things, so for our favors we went with a variety of the absolutely delicious Compartes bars that are handmade in Los Angeles, and sold just down the street from our house ("Cereal Bowl" and "Donuts & Coffee" were a couple of the flavors we went with - yum!). Our wedding date is a mirror image (6-18-16, same forward as it is backward), so that became an element that we wanted throughout the wedding. Everything was written on mirrors (the welcome sign, seating chart, bar menu, dessert menu, favor sign), and the belly band on our invitations had the mirror image of our wedding date (with the second "16" flipped to be a true mirror image). The black, white, and emerald green color palette we used is beautiful, but we still wanted a bright pop of color, so we used copper as our accent color (charger plates, vases, mirror frames, etc.). All of the bridesmaids chose Halston Heritage for their attire: One wore a jumpsuit, two wore dresses. All the groomsmen wore Paul Smith suits to complement the groom's Paul Smith accessories." -bride & groom

Topanga Canyon Mountainside Wedding Inspiration

"These stunning images are from the Wedding inspired styled shoot taken in the Santa Monica mountains of California. The host My Sun and Stars Co. together with the florist Botanica Muse & Kidgolightly Calligraphy and collaboration of vendors created a look and feel for this session that is effortless and isn’t contrived. The real fascination here is treatment used to create a story with the photos taken in a true wedding style. 

The setting set atop the Topanga Canyon really showcased the gorgeous beautiful light of the California mountains. The idea behind this inspiration is organic, effortless, and timeless the feel was to incorporate everything that nature has provided. Showcased on top of the mountains and watching the beautiful sunset is one wedding that will leave the memories of love burned into the memories of the viewers forever." -Simon Ly Photography