news + press :: june’s meeting at stone brewing company

Stone Brewing Co. is one of San Diego’s finest beer breweries, yet many do not realize that at the brewery’s main location in Escondido, CA, there is ample indoor and outdoor space for weddings and events!  So, for June’s Weddings of Distinction meeting, the group traveled to North County San Diego and enjoyed a spectacular buffet lunch and beer pairing in one of the brewery’s main meeting rooms.  Not bad for a Tuesday afternoon!

Upon arriving in the space, guests were welcomed by the vocals the group’s newest vocalist, Celeste Barbier.  She is an amazing Jazz/Blues/Retro-style singer and performer.  Her voice is soothing, and her style was the perfect accompaniment to the meeting’s “cocktail” and networking hour!

After some time to talk and tour the grounds, lunch was served, buffet-style. Pairings and tasters were available to those that wanted to day-drink, and for those that had to go back to work, non-alcholic options were available!  We had a guest who spoke to the group about managing money for small business, so besides being social, we also learned something to take with us on our ways.

It was a great afternoon.  We ate; we drank; we networked.  We are thrilled to have Stone Brewing Co. as a member of our group!  Not only does Stone offer delicious craft beer, but for those beer enthusiasts getting married, a wedding at Stone Brewery, whether in Escondido or one of their other San Diego locations, may just be the perfect fit!

Weddings of Distinction_June 2016 Meeting

Photos courtesy of McGuire Photography

news + press :: april meeting at the kona kai resort

What a beautiful day, in a beautiful resort, all in America’s Finest City.  For April’s Wedding of Distinction luncheon we visited the newly remodeled Kona Kai Resort, a beachfront property boasting not only a private marina and beach, but also views of San Diego’s city skyline.

Our networking luncheon was served outside, in one of the Resort’s open spaces just by the marina and pool.  The day was hot, but it was so nice to be outside, in the sun, getting our Vitamin D.   We were all blown away with the level of class and sophistication of the Resort’s decor, and the reason being that it was only recent that the hotel has recently undergone a major overhaul and renovation.  Before we actually sat to lunch, we got a tour of the grounds, inside and out, so we were really able to gather the extensive level of renovation.  It is such a beautiful transformation!

During our meal, we heard from Lois Mathews, of Lois Mathews Design, wedding florist extraordinaire.  She told us of her start with wedding flowers, and interestingly, she stumbled into her special niche.  We also heard from Carmin Cermak, known in our group as a wedding coordinator, but what many do not know is that Carmin also has experience designing wedding flowers and arrangements.  It was not until her speech that many in the group learned that part of her business!

All in all, the day was perfect.  The meal was delicious. And the company was enjoyable.  It was great to see just how much this resort has transformed, and with it, the grounds have become the perfect: modern, yet beachy…truly perfect for any San Diego wedding!

San Diego Wedding Professionals_Kona KaiPhotos courtesy of Eddie Garcia | E3 Photography

news + press :: march’s meeting at bernardo winery

Just when we think our meetings can’t get any better, we go to a winery, the Bernardo Winery to be exact, and we completely out-do ourselves!   To sum March’s meeting up: outdoor luncheon, historic charm, and of course, wine!!

While admittedly it was hard to focus (:)), there were two, very informative speakers this month: the first, Marc Lehman from Emotion Picture Studio.  His company has transformed into so much more than just videotaping weddings.  Emotion Picture Studio works with a couples’ budget, and they not only offer professionally-manned coverage, but they’ve developed a service that sends cameras to a couple for them to distribute and use on their own, and then once returned, the Studio edits and creates the final memories.  Convenient and innovative, for sure!

Following Marc, we heard from Shannon Henry & Janine Abdallah (who manage marketing for the Weddings of Distinction) about Facebook Targeted Ads.  Albeit a brief synopsis, they offered the group a lot of information, that in turn, can be used to promote individual businesses.

When it came to lunch, it was a pretty warm, sunny day, s0 lunch was served in one of the vineyard’s outdoor pavilions.  The combination of the shade of the gazebo, the view of the vineyards, and the old-world charm that transports you back to the 1800s, made this afternoon one of our more memorable lunches!  After all presentations were presented, lunch was served, the group was escorted through the Winery.  We learned about it’s history (many of us didn’t know that Bernardo Winery is Southern California’s oldest operating winery); we toured the grounds, and, of course, had a tasting!  It’s a tough job; someone has to do it! 😉

San Diego Weddings; Wedding Professionals; Wedding Planning; Wedding Venues; Wedding Cake; Wedding Coordination; Wedding Flowers; Wedding DJ; Networking; Wedding Photography; Wedding Videography

Photos courtesy of Maryanne McGuire Photography

news + press :: february’s meeting at the bali hai restaurant

It was a perfect afternoon on the water, and with February’s networking meeting graciously hosted by the Bali Hai Restaurant, we had amazing views of the San Diego Bay Harbor.  We dined outside, underneath the restaurant’s “Hawaiian Village” outdoor pavilion.  It was just the right amount of space for our rather large group, and with spectacular views of the Bay and downtown San Diego, it almost doesn’t seem fair that our meetings are part of “work!”

We heard from one of our new members, Stephanie, from A Perfect Table.  They specialize in, as may be deduced, table decor, but what she and her company offer is really so much more.  She works with the couple, determines their vision and style, and then coordinates with the florists, planners, and caterers to make the reception tables absolutely perfect!

We concluded the luncheon with a presentation from The Knot Magazine.  The Southern CA rep told the group about the publicity they offer advertisers, as well as the benefits of working with the nation’s leading wedding planning magazine.

In the end, we hated to leave the San Diego sunshine and have to go back to the office, but this month’s meeting was not only enjoyable but informative!
San Diego Weddings, Wedding Professionals, Wedding Planning, Wedding Venues, Wedding Cake, Wedding Coordination, Wedding Flowers, Wedding DJ, Networking, Wedding Photography, Wedding Videography

Photos courtesy of Maryanne McGuire Photography

new + press :: august meeting at paradise point resort + spa

The weather was hot, but it was ok; we were in paradise….or at Paradise Point Resort, anyway!  August’s Weddings of Distinction luncheon took place at the beautiful tropical resort, and with amazing views of the bay and an amazingly delicious summertime meal, this networking meeting did not disappoint.

We heard from a couple of our newer vendors, Greg Shibley of G Sharp Entertainment, and Scott Milnes, Wedding Officiant and relationship counselor.  Both are talented and charismatic speakers, so the stories each shared kept people captive and even had people tearing up at some points!

In addition to the logistical matters that were taken care of, many new ideas were discussed for the group.  Many changes have come in 2014, and with the momentum the group has, many more positive changes are in store.  Weddings of Distinction js not just a group that meets monthly for lunch.  Besides networking and sharing ideas, referrals and lead generation are a focus moving forward.  A lot of great things are coming for Weddings of Distinction members, so stay tuned to be a part of the journey with us!

August2014_WOD_Paradise Point

Photos courtesy of Maryanne McGuire Photo

two is better than one :: networking with NACE

We usually like to meet towards the end of the month, but for March, something special was planned.  In a effort coordinated by our beloved past president, Bob Brichmann, a joint networking luncheon took place – bringing together the members of Weddings of Distinction with those from the San Diego chapter of NACE (National Association of Catering & Events).

The luncheon was held at the newly-remodeled Pier South Resort.  Located in Imperial Beach, right on the coast, this hotel offers amazing views of the Pacific, coupled with an exquisite dining experience.  The chefs from Sea 180º Coastal Tavern made us food and drink that satisfied more than our appetites.  All together, the sun, the sea, and the food were quite literally breathtaking.

While this meeting was as much about networking and fun, there was also information and business to attend to.  We heard from NACE member and wedding officiant, Bethel Nathan.  Her topic for the day: the growing number of same-sex marriages in California.  She gave the groups some very helpful information, like the steps to take when working with a non-traditional couple, as well as the attention/awareness that should be placed on these couples.

It was a great change of pace to see so many people in the wedding industry in San Diego, and while many of our Weddings of Distinction members are also NACE members, this meeting opportunity allowed friends and colleagues to come together, and more importantly, for some new connections to be made!

networking in san diego

Photos courtesy of E3 Photography

networking weddings

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

news + press :: sept. meeting at la jolla cove suites

 The beautiful La Jolla Cove was our “office” for this month’s Weddings of Distinction’s networking meeting, and the day could not have been more perfect.  The sky was cloudless, the weather warm, and the views, unparalleled.  The iconic La Jolla Cove Suites hosted our meeting, and with centerpieces from Hartworks Floral, and catering from The French Gourmet,  the scene was elegant and our bellies were filled with wholesome goodness.

We had two presenters this month: Kristina Chartier, of Kristina Chartier Photography, and San Diego business coach, Karie Kaufmann, of ActionCOACH.  Karie gave the group a mini business seminar, giving us, as small business owners, tips and insight into the world of small business.  Then, Kristina presented after, and she brought in samples of her work and informed the group about her unique  photography style.

It was a lovely afternoon, and being as La Jolla Cove Suites is a new member to Weddings of Distinction, it was a pleasure to see the renovations that have been made to the hotel and to see how their amazing rooftop wedding space is truly among San Diego’s finest!

weddings in san diego

Photos courtesy of Studio Carre’ Photographie

news + press :: going back in time in old town San Diego

San Diego Weddings of Distinction

Photos courtesy of Betwixt Studio

It was the most perfect San Diego spring day, where the sun was out, Spring felt like summer, and lunch on the patio made us all realize that life is good.  March’s Wedding of Distinction luncheon was celebrated at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant + Hotel in historic Old Town San Diego, and attendance was a record-high for this month’s gathering.

Hosted by the gracious Lynn Simpson, Director of Catering with the Cosmopolitan, this meeting was as much about networking as it was about getting in touch with our San Diego roots.  The Cosmopolitan is a special place in San Diego and the structure and design of the building now are almost exactly as it was back in the 1800’s!  It felt as though we all went back in time.  Prior to lunch, we had access to the full-service patio bar, which made a delicious signature sangria for our event.  While we drank and completed a fun scavenger hunt of sorts, we networked with one another and offered referrals.

A four-course lunch was served on the patio, admist the fruit trees, vegetables and unique centerpieces provided by Carmin Cermak.  After the meal, we heard from two of our vendors: the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and Beauti-on-the-Go.  They shared information about their venue and services, respectively, and Beauti-on-the-Go even offered a special prize to one lucky guest!

It was a great afternoon, one that filled our bellies with food and drink and satisfied our curiosity for San Diego ghost stories!

news :: the san diego sheraton hotel & marina shines along san diego bay

sheraton:: images courtesy of Lisa at www.ellegphotography.com ::

Weddings of Distinction paid a visit to an iconic San Diego wedding property for their June luncheon meeting – The San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina (www.starwoodhotels.com).

WoD President Bob Brichmann, DJ and Emcee from Artistic Productions (www.artistic-productions.com) welcomed everyone to our June luncheon meeting. Honored guests included Stephanie Mason, Catering Manager for The San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina (www.starwoodhotels.com, Lindsey Campbell, Office Manager for Plush Lounge (www.loungefurniturerental.com) and Ariane Pardubsky, daughter of WoD member Cheryl Byrd, Haynes Antique Car Chauffeuring (www.lancedurant.com).

Stephanie Mason gave us a nice brief overview of the Sheraton and its banquet facilities. Stephanie has been in the hospitality industry for 11 years and at the Sheraton for about two years. The hotel is an incredible San Diego venue on the water with gorgeous views of the downtown skyline. They pride themselves on their service, quality and attentiveness to their wedding clients.

Bob introduced a cute icebreaker to warm up the meeting with a “guess who this is” type question and response quiz. Bob encouraged members to get to know each other on a more personal level as they network and share business leads.

Our showcaser for the day was Cynthia Blase, owner and wedding coordinator of Cynthia Zatkin Events (www.czevents.com). Cynthia, a native Californian, has a passion for event planning. Cynthia has planned events for a non-profit organization on the East Coast and has worked as a catering manager for the Hyatt Aventine in La Jolla. Cynthia strives to foresee what is needed to make her client’s wedding a “red carpet” moment!

Cynthia offers a couple of different packages, including full service, day of and month of planning. Cynthia also has a talented assistant – Andrea. Their ultimate compliment is to hear guests say, “The wedding is so the bride and groom!”

The Board shared several items of internal business. The Brichmann’s annual BBQ/Pool Party/Potluck was announced for July 12th. Co-Marketing Director Lisa Gisczinski, photographer from Elle G Photography (www.ellegphotography.com), shared new web site news and progress. Don’t forget to submit “Real Weddings” info for publication.

Raffle winners were: Dennis Way, ABI Photography (www.abiphoto.com) – gift basket donated by Ann Strobel (www.annsplans.com); Amy & Maurice Wright from The Theorie (www.thetheorie.com) – a magnum of champagne courtesy of Cynthia Blase; and, Merrylin Brichmann from Artistic Productions (www.artistic-productions.com) – a family portrait & 8×10 courtesy of ABI Photography.

The Weddings of Distinction 2009 Board:
President, Bob Brichmann, DJ & Emcee from Artistic Productions (www.artistic-productions.com)
Vice-President, Ann Strobel, Coordinator from Ann’s Plans (www.annsplans.com)
Treasurer, Merrylin Brichmann, DJ & Emcee from Artistic Productions (www.artistic-productions.com)
Founding President, Susan Ashley from Romantic Honeymoons, (www.romantichoneymoonsbysusan.com)
Membership, Carrie Esparza from San Diego Authentic Flavors Custom Catering (www.sdauthenticflavors.com)
Secretary, Andrea Pena from The Prado at Balboa Park (www.balboaparkweddings.com)

Committee Members:
Marketing: Lisa Gisczinski, photographer from Elle G Photography (www.ellegphotography.com); Shannon Henry, photographer from Studio Carre (www.studiocarre.com)

Weddings of Distinction is a non-profit networking group specializing in weddings and special events (www.weddingsdistinction.com). They meet monthly at various San Diego County hotels, resorts and special event facilities. Their July meeting will be Tuesday, July 28, 2009, from 11:30am-1:30pm at The Soledad Club (www.soledadclub.com).