news + press :: start to 2016 at the manchester grand hyatt

When you’re in a group as special as Weddings of Distinction, there is no better way to start off a new year than with a networking meeting, and when its at the Top of the Hyatt at the Manchester Grand in downtown San Diego, there is no classier and more beautiful way to kick off a new year!

With stunning panoramic views of the bay and of downtown San Diego, the Top of the Hyatt in the Manchester Grand is one of our more urban wedding locations in the group.  The location boasts the label as the tallest waterfront hotel on the West Coast, and as such, offers guests a truly unique and special view of America’s Finest City.

We dined on a four-course meal, which started with appetizers and drinks (on the patio and inside), and ended with a custom dessert made by the Hyatt’s world-renowned chef.  We heard from the Hyatt about the packages they offer couples getting married, locations, and more.  We also heard from the newest rep from Sensational Treats, Sheri Kapinski.

The afternoon was cheerful, informative, and as always, it was great to reconnect with colleagues. February’s meeting will take place at the Bali Hai Restaurant.  Stay tuned!

San Diego Wedding Professionals_Jan_Manchester GrandPhotos courtesy of Studio Carre Photographie

news + press :: september’s meeting at la jolla women’s club

Sometimes last minute changes are a good thing, and in September, the last minute change to have the monthly meeting hosted by the La Jolla Women’s Club proved to be one of those instances. Nestled in the heart of the the village of La Jolla, the Women’s Club boasts some beautiful garden landscapes coupled with tons historic charm, and all with an ocean view… Talk about a perfect location for a San Diego wedding!

We networked and mingled on the Club’s terrace, where we enjoyed small appetizers and fresh lemonade.  Then, we dined in the Club’s main hall, with a delicious late summer meal provided by Crown Point Catering: fresh summer salad, followed by another 3 courses!  We handled some important logistical matters, like the upcoming Board (re)elections, and enjoyed the company of one another in a truly beautiful and historic San Diego location. If you haven’t been there, it is definitely worth a visit.  Stroll through the gardens; make your way to the beach; and if a wedding is in your future, contact them for details and information!

San Diego Wedding Professionals_September 2015

Photos courtesy of Studio Carre Photographie

news + press :: the US Grant Hotel for June’s monthly meeting

It may be considered “June Gloom”outside in San Diego, but inside the US Grant Hotel, it was quite a different feeling.  It was the first time the group has been to the US Grant Hotel in quite some time, so our hosts from the US Grant, Kanani Ching & Mark Higginbotham, outdid themselves and placed the group in one of the most beautiful and historic rooms in the hotel, the Crystal Ballroom!

As usual, we handled all business, and then the group was given a special treat: instead of two speakers this month, we had one topic for the presentation…. social media, specifically an exploration into Instagram.   Shannon Henry, of Studio Carre Photographie, and Janine Abdallah spoke to the group about this extremely useful social media application and how various wedding vendors can use this tool for their business and work!

We dined on some delicious seasonal food, learned a thing or five about social media, and of course, networked with one another post-meeting.   Next month we head to the Sheraton on Harbor Island!  Stay tuned!

wediquette :: venues

One of the foundational elements of every wedding event is the location. Get the foundation right, and everything else will follow. The wedding ceremony and wedding reception location will help emphasize the magic, character, and vigor of your wedding day. San Diego has amazing scenic and desirable locations for any type of wedding – high quality resorts, ocean and nautical, desert and mountain, tropical and botanical, and all types of religious venues.
In your minds eye, where do you picture the perfect spot to honor each other and celebrate? — A traditional church, by the water (ocean, waterfall), in a floral garden, in a scenic countryside, in the clouds (skydiving), in a sports venue (stadium), on a high vista view, or in an exotic ethnic atmosphere?
As you may have guessed, usually the location works with the style or theme of the wedding. If you want a Victorian style wedding, you might select a serene garden or countryside location. For a Tropical wedding you might want a boat, waterfall, or a beach location. In a Southwestern type wedding, you might select a scenic sunset desert or a colorful Hispanic / Spanish style location.

Elbow Room
Think comfort and elbow room; this will help facilitate a celebratory atmosphere. When you visit a potential wedding or reception location, picture where everyone will be situated and how you and your guests will feel. For the ceremony, there should be enough room for the bride and groom, the wedding party, the supporting cast (officiant, musicians), and the total number of guests you invited. For the reception, there should be ample space for the guests, the activities you have planned (dancing, band, activities), and the amenities (gift table, food tables, cake / dessert table).

Before choosing a location, you should attempt to visit the wedding and reception location at exactly the same time of day as your event, to make sure there are no surprises. If it’s a private venue, perhaps you can attend prior to its start. On rare occasions, your venue might be in a more public area allowing for viewing while an event is in progress. It is, though, inappropriate to “crash” another person’s private affair.
• Look at the lighting and shadows. Is it too light or too dark? If the weather is raining or overcast will that make a big difference in the lighting? If outdoors, what is the contingency for inclement weather?
• Look at the colors. Will your wedding colors and theme go with the room? If you add your own personal touches of candles or unique centerpieces will they coordinate with the room?
• Listen to the sound. Is there an echo or are sounds muted? With microphones, music, and speaking will everyone be able to hear well?
KEY QUESTION – Ask the location vendor what options they have for incorporating your own unique touches – color, special items (e.g. candles), and music.

Private or Public
Decide if you want absolute privacy, a public environment, or a combination of both. Having the general public in your area can be either fun or a nuisance, depending on how you view it.
KEY QUESTION – Ask the location vendor what the public vehicle and foot traffic is like during the time of your event. If you want privacy, ask if there are any controls of the public that they can facilitate. If you want the public involved, ask how you can include everyone!.

Transportation and Parking
Make it easy for you and your guests to get to and from the location. Plan how you and guests will get to, from, and between the wedding and reception sites. Everyone should be focused on you and your day, not anxious about getting lost or having their car towed. There should be close and safe parking where it’s legal to park. If parking is a problem, alternative solutions like shuttles, limos, and trolleys can be delightfully memorable.
KEY QUESTION – Ask the location vendor what transportation and parking alternatives are available.

Combination Sites
Couples can simplify the wedding planning process by choosing a location that offers both a wedding ceremony and wedding reception site. Not only will this make things easy on you, but it will also save time and money. Combining wedding ceremony and reception sites:
• Saves time and money
• Decreases planning and coordination issues
• Allows for a seamless transition from ceremony to celebration
• Eliminates driving and parking stressors for guests unfamiliar with the area

Guest Lodging
Venues that offer guest lodging may also offer discounts towards the venue cost. Your guests will enjoy the convenience of going to their rooms after the reception has concluded. By choosing a wedding location with lodging options, you will:
• Maximize the time that you have with your family and friends
• Add fun and excitement to your wedding weekend
• Ensure that your guests will arrive on time for your special day
• Allows a safe option for guests who drink a bit too much at the reception

May you find the location that matches your special theme and style, to make your wedding amazing.