Real Wedding :: Nicole + Sean | La Valencia Hotel

“I don’t know how Lois Mathews did it, but I felt like she went into my head and found every memory of my grandmother…my mother and my family’s elegance, warmth and tradition. [She} put it together to create the most amazing feeling and atmosphere.  I felt like I was surrounded with all my favorite things in my life.  Every table had different elements and the most beautiful flowers and lace.” 

Real Wedding San Diego

Sometimes it helps to hear from the bride’s mouth exactly what she thought of her wedding, and the above comments came directly from Nicole about the work of Lois Mathews Design, a special and talented wedding floral designer with Weddings of Distinction.  She, along with fellow WoD vendors, Bryan Miller Photography and Artistic Productions, plus other great San Diego wedding vendors, made Nicole and Sean’s day magical.

The story of how they met is pretty awesome: Nicole (living in Detroit at the time) was visiting her parents over Thanksgiving.  During her stay, she decided to take the dogs to the dog park in Little Italy.  She was in her PJs, mind you!   Upon entering the park, one of her dogs ran up to play with a doggie friend.  Much to her embarrassment and surprise, both the other dog and its owner were pretty cute!  Nicole was so embarrassed, but it didn’t matter, Sean thought she was beautiful.  While she left CA the next day, 6 months later she had a chance to move to San Diego.  The two connected at that time, and the rest is history.

 They were married at the end of December last year.  Their wedding and reception were at the historic and iconic, La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, a Weddings of Distinction venue.  They were treated to food and service that was truly First Class.

The ceremony took place on the terrace, and Lois designed an amazing lace and floral chuppah, under which the couple exchanged vows.  The day started out beautiful, yet at about 3:00 in the afternoon, right before the ceremony was to begin, dense fog rolled in and made everything dark.  Yet as luck would have it, just as the wedding party lined up, the fog retreated and the sun came back out!  The couple, and their family and friends, thought it was an interesting circumstance, and the couple’s Rabbi, who was a long time family friend, joked during the ceremony that he could take the credit!

Everything, from the details in the bride’s dress, to the flowers, to the details at the reception, made this wedding better than the couple could have ever imagined!  Wedding DJ, and WoD vendor, Bob Brichmann of Artistic Productions, played tunes that ranged from classics of the 1940s to modern pop of today.

The wedding may have been intimate (only 40 guests), but the combination of great music, good food, and the company and friends and family made this wedding extra special.  That, combined with professional and talented wedding vendors, made the couple feel “so blessed.”

San Diego weddings


Ceremony String Music: Elian Strings

Wedding Cake: Cake in Mission Hills

Bridal Gown: Isis

Starting the year off right ~ January meeting at Chaplos Restaurant

We started 2014 in grand style, and to kick off another year of networking and nuptial bliss, we traveled downtown to Chaplos Restaurant.

Being as it was the first meeting of the year, there were some important logistical matters to address: so first, we were introduced to the 2014 Board Members, then we welcomed the newest Weddings of Distinction vendors, and then finally, we took the opportunity to re-acquaint ourselves with everyone, so we went around the room and said what each of us does.   It was good in many ways because, unfortunately, we lost some members, we gained a few, and then others expanded and elaborated on new business specialties/endeavors!

Our host, Kelly Brady, Director of Sales at Chaplos, introduced the space to our group.  The restaurant is new to the downtown scene, but their focus for weddings, at least, is mainly directed at rehearsal dinners, showers, and small receptions.   The decor reminded us of an old bar/saloon, complete with stained glass windows/lighting and a wine rack that would make any wine enthusiast weak in the knees.  The food: outstanding.  We had three courses, with a main course option of chicken marsala, gluten-free pasta, or pork ribs.  The highlight, though, was the dessert.  It was a chocolate lava cake, complete with vanilla ice cream.

Our presenter this month was one of the newest Weddings of Distinction members, Eddie Garcia III, of E3 Photography.  He shared his story and his specialties and unique style.  One thing we all didn’t know about him: Eddie doesn’t just photography weddings!  He also teaches a photography class at UCSD!

The afternoon was a great way to kick start 2014.  We reconnected with some familiar faces, but we also learned so much more about our industry friends, especially the new members! Special thanks to Frankie Hartwell for the floral centerpieces, and to Kristina Chartier for the photos.

Next month, we head back to the Dana Point Resort on Mission Bay.  Stay tuned!

Weddings in San Diego

happy valentine’s day! ~ our love story winner is….


In honor of Valentine’s Day, we promised a love story, and the one that moved us the most was the one that Katy shared.  The love between her and her fiancé began early on…. early on, like in elementary school!

Seems strange, but for a few lucky people,  connections can spark that young.  Read their story, as told in Katy’s words…

Valentine's Day 2014

“My fiancé and I have a love story that goes way back to elementary school.  We were in the same first grade class and he signed my school yearbook, which I still have to this day.  In the second grade, my family moved and I had to attend a new school.  However, years later in high school, we had the same math class and made the connection.  We spent the year laughing our way through a class with an awful teacher and a difficult subject matter, Precalculus!  I considered him to be a very good friend and he was the reason why I gained confidence in myself.  He always told me how smart, intelligent, and talented I was in lacrosse and basketball.  Even though we teased each other, I knew he would always have my back and support me.  We had a great friendship for two years and I always thought he was cute and was curious if he felt more for me than just a friend.  I was too shy to put myself out there.  Our senior year of high school, he asked me to prom and our lives have never been the same.  We fell for each other and he told me that he had loved me since our Precalculus class.”


“A few months later, I decided to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson and we wanted to try long distance, because we would rather miss each other then be with anyone else.  Looking back on the four years that we spent in different states, I am reminded of long phone calls, large text messaging bills, crying over the love letters he would write me, and having constant heartache.  As Shakespeare once said in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “the course of true love never did run smooth,” and that is what always kept us going.  Love is worth fighting for and we weren’t going to let a short plane ride keep us apart.  People thought we were crazy, but it doesn’t matter what other people think.  You don’t let the love of your life go because others think you are being stupid or naive that it will last.”


“A few years ago, I moved back to San Diego, and we have been inseparable ever since.  We are such a strong couple and appreciate each other so much.  Anything is possible if we try.  The day before my 24th birthday, I walked into my apartment after a long day of teaching, and he filled my living room with rose petals, stemmed roses, and candles, which were leading to my room.  He showed me a painting that his groomsmen created of the two of us.  On the bottom, it said “Marry Me?” When I looked back at him, he was on his knee with the most beautiful ring.  He told me that I was the love of his life and he knew it when I went off to college. My response? “DUH! Of course!”


“It is now almost seven years after our first kiss when we were high schoolers, and I am thrilled to marry the love of my life and best friend in July 2014.  Some people are shocked to hear that our love story began in elementary school, but it has always felt right and perfect to me.  I met my soulmate when I was 6 years old and can’t imagine a more perfect Prince Charming to spend the rest of my life with.”


There is still time!! ~ Share your love story for a chance to win!!

February is the month of love, and to celebrate, we want to know your story of love!

If you and your honey have a special story of how you connected, share it.  Over the next week, Studio Carre’ will be accepting love stories, all for the chance to win a $250 gift certificate toward ANY photography service of your choice, PLUS the opportunity for your story to be featured not only on this Weddings of Distinction blog, but also Studio Carre’s.

For more information, visit here.

Email submissions will be accepted at:

Valentine's Day 2014

Paula + Mike :: real wedding at the Barracks in Liberty Station

Reunited and it feels so good….well that is what Paula + Mike McCloskey think!  This special couple has a somewhat unique story.  They actually worked together for nearly 8 years!  Paula was hired to work for Mike at the now closed law firm, Baker & McKenzie.  After 8 years of loyal service, though, Paula left to raise her daughter, and it wasn’t until years after that that the two reconnected at Paula’s Christmas party!  They knew that if they connected after all that time and a wealth of life experience, then best not to mess with fate! 🙂

They were married in the old Navy barracks in the Liberty Station area of San Diego, Barracks 17 of the NTC Promenade, to be exact.  The venue was the perfect backdrop for this established couple.  The wedding colors consisted of greens and a rich purples/fuchsia, and even the bride, choosing to be more non-traditional, wore a pale green dress by Custom Made Design!   Her hair and makeup were done by Beauty Carriage.  She truly looked stunning!

Wedding coordinator and florist, Carmin Design, created the perfect ambiance.  The details were simple, yet amazingly elegant and colorful.  Catering was provided by Wild Thyme, and the dessert table, supplied by our beloved, Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., consisted of not just a wedding cake (and a football-shaped groom’s cake), but also cupcakes, bars, and bites, giving the 100+ guests plenty of delicious options!

Wedding photographer, Studio Carre’, captured some great images of Paula + Mike’s special day, and even with a quick glance at the images below, you’ll feel as warm and happy about this special couple as we do just to write about it!



real wedding san diego

SHARE your LOVE STORY | February is the Month of Love!

February is the month of love, and to celebrate, we want to know your story of love!

If you and your honey have a special story of how you connected, share it.  Over the next week, Studio Carre’ will be accepting love stories, all for the chance to win a $250 gift certificate toward ANY photography service of your choice, PLUS the opportunity for your story to be featured not only on this Weddings of Distinction blog, but also Studio Carre’s.

For more information, visit here.

Email submissions will be accepted at:

Valentine's Day 2014