real wedding :: paulina & adrian

You don’t hear about it often anymore, but for some, they meet “the one” early on in life.  That is exactly how it was for Paulina and Adrian.  They met in high school, when they both were in the same biology class.  Fast forward 8 years, and the two were married in a classy, elegant wedding at the beautiful Marin Village Conference Center.  Nestled right on the San Diego bay, the wedding featured amazing views of the water, custom cocktails and custom lighting in the shade of the wedding colors, purple and white!  Paulina and Adrian’s wedding was elegant, yet remained traditional. It matched couple’s style perfectly!  With all the special attention to detail, and a DJ that played tunes well into the night, the couple and their guests enjoyed quite a party!San Diego Wedding Photographers_015

Photos courtesy of Shadi Ameri Photography and Studio Carre Photographie

news + press :: february’s meeting at Mt Woodson

This month we got together in the heart of Ramona at the Mt Woodson / Amy Strong Castle. Our site visit included a personalized tour by Tracy…showing us all the work they have put into the castle. From the new ceremony site, to beautifying the remaining structure to keep the history intact. This one of a kind property boasts a natural elegance and hand painted elements by the original owner! Lunch was served up by Personal Touch Dining complete with a bread pudding that was to die for! Vintage florals were the courtesy of Hartworks Floral Design…combining the best of wedding flowers with decor elements chosen from the castle itself!

Along with great networking, we welcomed new members Republic of Music, Coaststyle Events, and First Comes Love. We’re excited to have them as part of the dynamic that makes up Weddings of Distinction!

Photos courtesy of Studio Carre Photographie

San Diego Wedding Professionals_Feb WOD

january networking :: starting off the new year at loews coronado resort

Our group started off the new year with a gorgeous San Diego view at Loews Coronado Resort! With lots of new members and visitors in attendance, we introduced our new Board of Directors. We also received an in-depth visit to the property to get familiar with the different rooms and wedding sites that Loews can accommodate….from small to large ceremonies and celebrations.

Our newest members, Republic of Music and DJ Daniel Peterson gave us a quick intro to the service and music that they offer while our previous president, Andy Hagenah with the Groove, handed the mic over to our new president Elaine with Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. It was a great day of networking, meeting new people, and sharing a fantastic lunch!

Photos courtesy of Maryanne Photo

Jan WOD

 

real weddings :: mylene + ryan engagement session

Mylene + Ryan’s engagement session, shot by Studio Carre Photographie, was captured at the gorgeous Mission in San Juan Capistrano. The Mission has such a rustic and historic charm that added so much texture and perfect backdrops for their images. The two are getting married this weekend at the Immaculata and Hotel Solamar in downtown San Diego and so excited to start sharing their new life together!

To view more images from their session, be sure to visit their blog post HERE.

San DIego Wedding Photography_SC1

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

news + press :: july meeting at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel + Marina

Life is San Diego is pretty spectacular, and when you’re part of a group that takes you to one of the finest wedding venues in San Diego for lunch, life gets that much more spectacular.  For July’s meeting we traveled to the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, located bay front with amazing views of America’s Finest City.

We started the afternoon outdoors, on the Bay View Lawn, with a sunny and warm reception hour with small bites and custom lunchtime cocktails.  The view of the docked boats and the crystal-clear blue skies made everyone’s mood happy.  Then, we moved the luncheon indoors, into the Sheraton’s Harbor Island Ballroom, which still offered stunning views of the harbor with its tall windows throughout.

Our speakers this month: Maryanne McGuire, of McGuire Photography, and Andy Hangenah, of “The Groove,” formerly “Disc-Go-Round DJ.”  Maryanne shared with her start as a wedding photographer, from her beginnings in NY state, to her travels out west.  Andy explained the evolution of his wedding DJ business, and how the re-branding of his company and changing the name to “The Groove” actually came from a client of his!  It was great to gain insight into these two about their starts and to see how they’ve come to where they are today!

Our “Tips-from-the-Pros” series continued this month, and it was the florists in our group, Lois Mathews, Frankie Hartwell, and Dawn Stone, that shared insight into the extent of the work a wedding flower designer can do for a wedding.  Many may not realize that so much more goes into wedding flowers, not just designing bouquets and arrangements!

The meeting ended with a 50/50 raffle and a gracious giveaway from the Sheraton Hotel.  Next month: we travel to Paradise Point Hotel & Spa.  Stay tuned!!

Photos courtesy of E3 Photography

San Diego Wedding Vendors

member spotlight :: bryan miller photography

Recently we interviewed Bryan Miller of Bryan Miller Photography, and lets just say, it is really interesting how he got his start as a San Diego wedding photographer! Read on to find out how this great wedding photographer found his special place in the industry.

 

> How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I first picked up a camera just after high school and had photographed personal projects off and off until 2008.

It was late 2008/early 2009 that I photographed my first wedding.  At the time I was working in the surf and skate industry up in Orange County, (for action sport companies like Roxy + Quiksilver), and a co-worker asked if I could shoot his wedding.  That was an amazing experience!  It got my wheels spinning; ideas started to build about how to do this professionally.

I didn’t jump right into it, though.  I sat on the business idea for a little while and continued to work in the surf and skate industry while also shooting for other photographers and learning the ropes.  It wasn’t long before I realized it was now or never, so I took a leap of faith and initiated the next steps towards starting my business.  I knew I loved it; I just needed to go for it.

 

> So, what was your plan? How did you establish yourself?

I went back to basics: word-of-mouth networking and face-to-face connections.  It was all about sharing the enthusiasm for what I was doing and how I approached documenting weddings. It’s difficult putting yourself out there for everyone to judge but I was (and still am) confident in the images I had created and that I could help couples remember a very important day in their lives.

 

> How are you different from then to now?

I’ve definitely grown more confident as a photographer and I feel I’m always pushing myself to become a better photographer.

 

> How would you describe your photography style?

Before I started, one of my biggest frustrations with wedding photography was the stale and rigid approach. I’d love to help change the perception that wedding photography should be all posed.  I want to provide an experience that is organic and unique and showcases the emotions from the beginning of the day right down to the very last dance.

I would say that my style is that of a storyteller than anything else. I’m not sure how to define it, exactly, but moment-driven and journalistic are close descriptions.

 

> Do you have a business mantra or philosophy?

‘Capturing moments between moments…’

 

> How do you convey this approach to your clients?

My work tends to attract a certain type of clientele.  My clients are very laid back, very organic and sentimental.  I am not a formal person nor am I am formal photographer. So when I talk to clients, I tell them that if they want photographs that encapsulate the spontaneity of real life and that capture and tell stories of them as a couple at their wedding, then I can help.

 

> Do you shoot other events besides weddings?

My entire calendar revolves around weddings and engagement sessions for my couples. I actually try to encourage couples to have an e-session with me if I am shooting their wedding.  The engagement session gives me a chance to learn the couple more intimately, learn what their likes and dislikes are, what their personal chemistry is.  All are very important things leading to the wedding day.

 

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

It’s flattering.  I learned of the group from Paula Rae, of Rae Florae.  I worked with her on a project that received a lot of exposure, and since then she has really supported my career and me.  She’s the reason I am in WOD.

Since Weddings of Distinction is an invite-only group, I know I am amongst high-quality wedding vendors.  I would love to work with everyone in the group in time.  Together we help couples create a wedding day for them to cherish and together we can all help each other create businesses and lives that we love and that reward us.

 

> Any interesting facts or tidbits about yourself that people would be interested to know?

Well, being 6’ 6”, people always notice my height.  But I’m from the Midwest, grew up in Illinois, and I moved to California in 1995.

I also am a pretty outdoorsy person. Recently, I hiked 9 miles of the Lost Coast with my now fiancé. I proposed to her during the hike, which was a memorable time for us for many reasons.  Its interesting, now that I’m engaged myself and going through the engagement process, I am able to walk in the same shoes as my couples, and I think it’s great to have that shared experience. (Blog post: http://www.bmillerweddings.net/blog/the-lost-coast)

 

> What advice do you have for those planning a wedding?

Enjoy your engagement.  It is a pretty short period of time and the majority of it will be spent planning your wedding.  Enjoy your engagement and the experience of being together during this brief time.

 

fall is in the air :: seasonal engagement photography

Fall is upon us, and with the season’s brisk nights and vibrant colors come Thanksgiving and other joyous holidays!  Fall also happens to be a great time to get married in San Diego!

Being that Weddings of Distinction is a group of San Diego wedding vendors, we naturally love to showcase our REAL Weddings!  Yet, there are also times when we come across fun and interesting engagement photography.  Jen and Eddie’s e-session was one of those amazing shoots!

Set in the beautiful mountain town of Julian, this couple’s fall photo shoot allowed both the couple and WOD photographer, Studio Carre’ Photograpahie, the chance to enjoy the great outdoors.  They cruised around this tiny mountain town and found the perfect spots for their engagement session.  Studio Carre‘ did a great job capturing this couple’s playful personality, while also taking amazingly gorgeous shots (who doesn’t love fall lighting and colors?)!

So why not take advantage of the season that is upon us?  Whether it is for a wedding or an engagement photo session, fall is a great time to get outside!

Engagement Photography

 

real weddings :: Katy+ Dan

Images courtesy of Betwixt Studio

 The Prado Balboa Park is truly San Diego’s guiltiest pleasure for wedding venues. The beautiful history which enriches the architecture of the museums and the botanical gardens, is a wonderful backdrop for any wedding. The famous San Diego Park, is enriched with art and culture; it offers seventeen museums and multiple gardens that not only attract tourists from all over the world, but it has become a hot spot during wedding season.

 Katy and Dan expressed their warm love for each other in the late summer, and used Balboa Park to their advantage. Shades of purple and splashes of yellow, were the color scheme for this romantic wedding; having it all tie in with the Prado’s blue doors and wood floors, all photographed beautifully by Betwixt Studio and coordinated by CZ Events

Showered with candles, packed with vintage suitcases and the brass covered decor all contributed to the romantic setting. A sweet detail that the bride added was the remembrance of her little flower girls; giving them each a little suitcase of their own, beholding crayons, stickers, and other treats. This sweet idea is always fun for the invited children to keep them entertained meanwhile the adults are at play.

“To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.”
Mark Twain

This quote truly fit in with the theme for Katy and Dan’s celebration. Before tying the knot, the love birds traveled around the world; everywhere from the evergreen Seattle, WA to the buzz worthy streets of Hong Kong in China. Traveling with your loved one is sincerely practiced in this couple’s hearts. If you notice how adorable their cake-topper is; the bride stands on vintage suitcases as she smooches her other half.

2012 San Diego A-List

The polls are open and many of our members are nominated to be #1! Please take a moment and cast your vote at the A-List website under weddings….