Bridal Soiree

 It was a perfect night!  This year’s Bridal Soiree, held at the beautiful Westin Hotel – Gaslamp District, welcomed brides and family and friends for an evening of wedding inspiration.  About 65 attendees enjoyed the night, and many San Diego wedding vendors, including six Weddings of Distinction members, were among those showcasing their amazing talents.  

San Diego Weddings

Mary Hager of the Westin hosted, and the space was perfect for such an event.  Brandi McMillian, of Beauti-on-the-Go, and Sandra Busczek, of Sandra Nicole Designs, helped plan the events.  Then, Maria Harmon, of San Diego Events Lighting supplied the up-lights that created the gorgeous purple hue that turned the outdoor space into a regal bridal environment.  Concepts Event Design provided beautiful draping to make the space unique, and finally Artistic Productions played the tunes and created the upbeat vibe that kept the guests’ toes tapping and smiling.  

This event was not the typical wedding soiree.  Upon entering, each bride received a shopping bag filled with goodies from every vendor, and inside each were products and incentives that could be used/redeemed for their wedding and/or the planning process. While the opportunity was for talented wedding vendors to showcase their work, it was by no means intended to solicit or pressure.  The intent was to inspire, and that was what it did!  

Hor d’oeuvres, signature drinks.  It was an opportunity for brides to get hands-on experience with the wedding process: from hair and makeup demos, to accessorizing fun, to bridal gowns, decor, photography and video and more!

The event was a huge success, and the feedback we got from brides was so positive.  What we heard most: it was a relaxing event, among beautiful surroundings, and a great opportunity to spend quality time talking with vendors.  All around: a really, really good time.  Talks are already in the works for next year’s soiree!

Weddings in San Diego

Bridal Soirée :: An Exclusive San Diego Bridal Event

 Many Weddings of Distinction vendors will be participating in an upcoming event for local brides: the Bridal Soirée.  Taking place on Thursday, October 24th, from 6:00 – 9:00pm, at the Westin Hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, this event will feature some of the top wedding vendors in San Diego.

Six of our amazing wedding vendors will be in attendance: The Westin Hotel (Wedding Venue), San Diego Events Lighting (Lighting + Effects), Artistic Productions (Wedding DJ + Emcee), Beauti-on-the-Go (Hair + Makeup), Sandra Nicole Designs (Bridal Accessories), and Concept Event Design (Event Decor).

Brides-to-be are welcome to join in for an evening of fashion + beauty inspiration.  The evening is sure to be lots of fun!

Register today for your spot to one of San Diego’s exclusive bridal events!

Bridal Event in San Diego

:: style + inspiration at the US Grant’s ‘swoon 4’ bridal show


Spring is a season of new beginnings.  It’a a time when people begin to get out more, and enjoy the outdoors. Well, for those in the wedding industry (and for those getting married), spring is the unofficial start of wedding planning season!

At the beginning of March, the US Grant hotel hosted its annual “Swoon 4 Bridal Event“, and in true fashion, they truly outdid themselves.  Many of Weddings of Distinction’s vendors (the US Grant included) took part in this special day, and in doing so, claimed themselves among the finest San Diego wedding vendors.

 The day-long bridal event spanned three floors and three ballrooms with loads of inspiration for couples.  Whether one is getting married in the fall, or in the winter, the event had special rooms dedicated to inspire the fall or winter brides!  Whites and silvers adorned the “Winter” room; vibrant colors and outdoorsy furniture decorated the “Spring/Summer” room.  There was a room specifically for groom’s, and there were others for the brides and even the ceremony itself!  Food and drink was plentiful, so couples were able to enjoy specialty cuisine from local San Diego wedding caterers.  Also, thanks to the donations from local wedding boutiques, brides were able to visualize different bridal looks during the fashion show finale!

There was so much to see and touch and experience; no stone was left unturned.   One could have spent the entire afternoon, and many did just that!

So, if you’re getting married in San Diego, there are many reputable San Diego wedding vendors to choose from.  Weddings of Distinction is likely to have many of the as a part of our group!

WoD vendors representedLois Mathews DesignSan Diego Events LightingSweet Cheeks Baking CompanyConcepts Event DesignAnn’s PlansHartworks FloralArtistic ProductionsBryan Miller PhotographyPink Star DesignStone Brewery, and of course, the US Grant Hotel!


Photos courtesy of Kristina Chartier Photography

For more pictures of the event, please visit the US Grant’s Facebook page!

news + press :: bowling to the classics at the december “meeting”


The holidays are for celebrating, celebrating with family and friends and just having a good time.  So, that is exactly what we did for Weddings of Distinction‘s December “meeting”: we celebrated the holidays with friends and loved ones, but we also added the Parkway Bowing Alley into the mix!

Attendance was a record-high for this festive night, and most everyone came decked out in “ugly” Christmas/Hanukkah sweaters!  An award, at the end of the night, went out to the ugliest of them all, and the husband of Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.’s owner took home the prize.

A gift exchange allowed guests to open, swap and/or keep small presents, and many went home with random trinkets along with bellies full of “tasty bowling food.”  It’s OK, though.  We had the chance to work off the holiday treats by playing multiple games and dancing in between turns. Many of our vendor have some impressive moves, that’s all I can say!

At the end of the night, we all had a blast.  We also realized that many of our vendors are much better at bowling than they led us to believe!  It’s good to have options.





news + press :: november meeting at humphreys half moon inn


Photos courtesy of ABI Photography

Wedding of Distinction’s November meeting took place at Humphreys Half Moon Inn + Suites.  Taking place just after the Thanksgiving holiday, November’s meeting was was our traditional sit-down meet and eat.  We heard speeches by Sandra of Sandra Nicole, we met some new faces and potential new-members, and we enjoyed a delicious meal and dessert.  All that, and we had an amazing view of the pier and boats on Shelter Island.

Humphreys Half Moon Inn + Suites is known for their fantastic concerts by the bay, and with its ample outdoor space and views of the “colorful marina,” if you haven’t been there yet, we highly recommend a trip there!

afr ‘passport to design’ event – san diego wedding vendors

Photos courtesy of Bob Hoffman Photography

Recently, one of Weddings of Distinction’s members, AFR Event Furnishings, hosted a spectacular event for those in the wedding industry.  As one of the premier San Diego wedding vendors, AFR offers stylish furniture rentals, and for this party, they showcased the extent of their design capabilities.  Taking place in the posh San Diego wine-bar, 57 degrees, the “Passport to Design” event was a great oppotunity for San Diego wedding vendors to meet, network, and have some fun!

Inside the expansive bar, attendees had four different styles of both wine and food to sample: France, Mexican, Californian, and South African.  To compliment the two wines that were offered at each station, cuisine (native to the region) was cooked up right in front of guests, offering them the freshest food, perfectly paired with wine.  The French Gourmet, another Weddings of Distinction member, provided food for two of the four stations!  In addition, many other WOD members helped make the event happen.  San Diego Events Lighting provided the gorgeous lighting, and Embellishmint Floral, Hartworks Floral, and Rae Florae provided the stunning tabletop centerprieces.

The night casual, yet lots of fun.  It was a great chance to enjoy some great eats and wine, to meet friends, and meet some new ones!


AFR Event Furnishings offers its clients high-end furnishing options.

Whether you’re planning a wedding, or any other social event, the right furnishings can definitely add to the ambiance!

Contact them for more information! >

news + press :: “spooktacular” october meeting

October Meeting - WOD

Photos Courtesy of Studio Carre’ Photographie

Weddings of Distinction‘s October meeting was non-traditional, and in the spirit of Halloween, we would not have had it any other way.  With the help of San Diego Events Lighting, the studios of Hartworks Floral Design + Pink Star Design were transformed into a dark, yet vibrant space for a casual networking party.  Complete with fluttering bats on the wall, a spooky-faced tree, and a plethora of candy/treats that would make a dentist mad, October’s WOD meeting put the fun into this function.

The French Gourmet provided delicious comfort food, ranging from fall soups, to nachos and cheese, and the collection of local wine and champagne kept the mood light.  Many vendors came in costume, and if you are Jenn from Pink Star Design, you came in your child’s!  Bag-lady, Batman, Cat-woman, 50’s woman, Maurice from Betwixt Studio: all the costumes were great!

Special thanks to ABI Photography for providing the photo-booth!  Everyone in attendance had the chance to play with props and be goofy for the camera!  It was a perfect addition to the Halloween festivities!


member spotlight :: san diego events lighting

The owners of San Diego Events Lighting are passionate about event lighting, and it is this passion that has turned this young business into one of San Diego’s leading wedding and event lighting companies!  Co-owners, Maria Harman (the technical genius), and Sharon Cole (a former wedding planner), partnered together and fused their technical and creative energies to create a company that is truly unlike other lighting companies in the San Diego area!

Avatar Tree

> How did San Diego Events Lighting get its start?

Sharon: We started in 2010.  Maria was a CNC Machinist, (working with computers and robotic machines) manufacturing parts for the aerospace industry.

Due to cut backs and a very poor economy, the company she worked for had to downsize.  So, Maria decided to go in a new direction and create a company of her own.  Both her and I knew that lighting was up-and-coming as a major focus for brides and grooms, so we decided that this was a perfect fit for both Maria’s talents and my experience as a former wedding planner!


> What events/areas do you specialize in?

We can do lighting for any and all events and/or parties; we are open to any type of event that needs quality lighting.  Wedding lighting is so special to us, because one’s wedding day is usually one of the most important days in his/her life, so we want to make sure that the lighting is beautiful.  We want the lighting to have a lasting effect on the couple as well as their guests.


> Talk about wedding lighting…how do you work with a couple?

We meet with couples typically twice, once in our office and once at the venue.

In the office meeting, we go over the client’s colors and lighting designs.  Some clients do their homework online, so they come into the first meeting knowing what they’re looking for.  When they show us something they like, we educate them about how to achieve that look and also educate them technically about different lighting elements that will affect the mood, style and overall ambiance of their ceremony or reception space.

If a couple is not sure of what they need or want, we have a photo-book of past events, held at their venue, that can help guide them.  By using this inspiration book, we can help them create a lighting design that will work for them.

Our second meeting is very important, so if it is possible, we want to meet the client at the venue.   There, we walk the space with the client and take note of any architectural elements, which may add to the beauty of the space, so we know how we can illuminate them and maximize their beauty.   We also want make sure that we know how many fixtures will be used to light up the space perfectly.  This way we can plan accordingly.

If a couple is inquiring about outdoor lighting, we use our meeting at the venue to also walk the outdoor space.  If they’re interested in string lighting, for example, we take measurements to make that happen.  If there is natural foliage, we determine how to make it beautiful illuminated.

Our meeting at the venue also gives us the chance to meet with the onsite coordinator and make sure there will be enough power to run our lights without disrupting the power for other vendors, such as the DJ and/or Band.  We go over logistics such as power outlets, time of day, and time of year to make sure that the lighting requested will work for them.

In the end and based on our walkthrough, we create a ”wish list” for the couple.  We present them with a quote that lists everything that we discussed at the venue.  Then, based on their needs, desires, and budget, the couple can then tailor their lighting package.


> What sets your company apart from your competitors?

We are dedicated 100% to lighting only.  We do not offer any other services because we believe it is important to stay true to our passion: lighting.   We want to advance not just our business, but the industry as well, so we actively seek out opportunities to become lighting dealers.  Currently, we sell for two amazing lighting manufacturers, Blizzard Lighting and Rosco Gobo.  As dealers in San Diego, we can offer other industry professionals excellent products and services.

In fact, we’re excited to announce that we recently partnered with Blizzard to create a prototype light!  Staying current with trends is important to us. The idea of creating new designs and setting new trends is so interesting.   It is amazing to have the newest and best lighting fixtures available to us!  No cutting corners or sacrificing quality for quantity. We truly believe in nothing but the best, and that means both quality lighting and superior customer service.   It is very important to us that we deliver quality to our clients because in the end, we want them happy with not only their wedding or event, but with us!


> What is your business philosophy or “mantra?”

“Bringing your lighting vision to life…” Clients have their lighting vision for their wedding, so we help bring their ideas/vision to life.   We want our passion and creativity for event lighting to get our clients excited about what we can do for them.

We also believe in showing our clients we appreciate them!  They are the key to our success, so we have ways to show we care.  For example, if a client happens to come up with a brand new color for their LED up-lights, and it is one that we haven’t used before, we’ll name that color after the client!


> What does being a member of Weddings of Distinction mean to you?

The group is quality-driven, and we are so impressed with that.  WOD members share the same philosophies we do, and that is important to us.  WOD is made up of other family-owned businesses that are like-minded in their business approach.  We’re all passionate about what we do and focused on quality, quality, quality.

It was an honor to have been accepted into the group, and we intend to never take it for granted.  It’s an amazing support network for those in the wedding industry.


> What advice would give those planning a wedding?

Lighting can add to the ambiance of a room, just like flowers add color and texture.  Lighting can also add dimension to a room/event.  Therefore, proper lighting is a design element that can affect mood and beauty, visually and emotionally.  It is very important for a couple to choose a color that ties into their wedding theme.  Proper colors will only add to the experience their guests have.

When it comes to timing, our services, unlike other wedding vendors, do not require months or weeks of planning, so we are able to cater to tight timelines, if need be.  Lighting colors can be chosen rather quickly, so we can cater to couples that are even days away from their wedding.  If the couple wanted a custom gobo (projection pattern with initials, etc.), that would take little longer, so they need to plan accordingly.

For pictures and more information, visit our blog or ‘Like” us on Facebook @sandiegoeventslighting!

Market Lights


Market Lights | Paper Lanterns

real weddings :: jenn + eddie

Photos courtesy of Studio Carre’

We’re so happy to blog about this couple…and their wedding!! They are great friends of many in the group, and it was such an honor to be a part of their day and capture all the lovely details.

Jen + Eddie are both outdoorsy people, with a love for the beach, so for their wedding, they chose L’Auberge Del Mar as their backdrop for their special day.   The couple and their guests were able to enjoy an awesome view of the ocean, while also relishing in the east-coast casual elegance that the property offers.   Rae Florae handled the floral designs for the wedding, and they did such a great job, mixing lovely colors and texture together. When it came to cake, this couple choose wisely when hiring Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.  Cupcakes are typically everyone’s favorite, and this “cake” did not disappoint.  After the ceremony and dinner, which were outside on the terrace, the night officially began in the ballroom, where friends and family hit the dance floor!  Amazing lighting was provided by San Diego Events Lighting.

WOD Vendors Involved: Studio Carre’, Rae Florae, Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., San Diego Events Lighting