news + press :: may’s meeting at continental catering

photos courtesy of ABI Photography

Weddings of Distinction paid a visit to fellow member Continental Catering‘s facility in La Mesa for the most recent WoD meeting/luncheon. Decor, service, food, beverage… they rocked it! Kristie Emmons & company took great care of us. Their kitchen remodel is fantastic. Officiant Patricia Coleman showcased and shared some of her talents and stories with us, as well. Many guest wedding vendors attended to check out our offerings as one of San Diego’s oldest & most successful wedding networking groups (17 years). Welcome to our newest members ~ Darla Mercer and Humphrey’s on the Bay and the collection of The US Grant, Westin Gaslamp Quarter & W San Diego, represented by Kimberley Winninger. Good networking was had by all!

news + press :: april’s meeting at the prado

photos courtesy of Kristina Chartier Photography and Janine Whittaker for Studio Carré Photographie

The Prado at Balboa Park was our location for April’s all-industry networking event…and it was a hit! This month we opened the doors to everyone to have lunch and all around great networking. Live entertainment was provided by arguably one of the more versatile and talented bands on the West Coast ~ Sensation Show Band with their array of music from 80’s pop, jazz, rock, and disco…which kept the crowd lively and chatty. This was our first open door meet & greet and we were excited about the turn out and hope to do it again! Kudos to all of the members who worked hard to put this huge event together. Thank you to all of the fabulous area industry peeps for turning out.

real weddings :: jenny and andrew

images courtesy of kristina chartier photography

Jenny and Drew’s wedding took place at the beautiful Scripps Seaside Forum in La Jolla. Although the wedding was around the 4th of July, they stayed with a neutral palette of white with hints of green and yellow with linens provided by Concepts Party Design. They also included their super well behaved dog Sadie who got to take place in the photos taken by Kristina! After indulging in Guiseppe’s food and gelato, everyone got cozy, enjoyed the ice luge for shots, and took in (an almost personalized!) fireworks show.

real weddings :: ross + katie

images courtesy of Studio Carré Photographie

Ross + Katie were married at the beautiful Ponte Estate Winery in Temecula. Originally from the east coast, they wanted to wine and dine their families and friends and show them a unique southern California winery experience. Their wedding was photographed by Weddings of Distinction member Studio Carré Photographie, and officiated by Patricia Coleman. With LOVE as their theme, each colorful detail and special moments were a highlighted and everyone danced the night away!

news :: wow the prado at balboa park shines!!

images by elle.g photography

Weddings of Distinction paid a visit to fellow group member The Prado at Balboa Park this June for their monthly luncheon and…in a word…WOW! Hats off to Catering Sales Manager Andrea Pena and her crew for greeting us in the Terrace Garden with champagne and sparkling cider and dazzling us with an incredible meal prepared by their fantastic new chefs. Seared scallops, a duet of steak and slipper lobster tail with a salad splash and a lemon cake dessert left no one wanting. Even our attending member caterers offered glowing praise.

To start our luncheon/meeting, Mary Noriega from Humphrey Florist was honored by the group in a touching farewell ceremony celebrating her 16 years of loyalty and support of Weddings of Distinction. An original group member, all of us will miss you Mary!

Showcasing members on the day were florist Lois Mathews and flamenco guitarist Anthony Garcia. Both gave impressive updates on their respective businesses and shown brightly with samples of their craft. A big thank you goes out to Lois for her beautiful centerpieces and to Anthony for entertaining us with his wonderful music as we did our meet & greet and during the luncheon.

Our beautiful day was embellished with loads of networking, sunshine, referrals shared and excellent camaraderie amongst San Diego wedding professionals. The Prado at Balboa Park provided quite the display and is an awesome venue option for wedding ceremonies and receptions, rehearsal dinners, corporate parties and family functions.

Board business was shared. New members officiant Patricia Coleman and invitation specialist Tiffany Lord Arnaldo with Cali Cards were welcomed into the group. Birthdays were acknowledged. Raffle prizes were awarded. A warm, beautiful day in Balboa Park was enjoyed by all!

The Weddings of Distinction 2010 Board:

President, Bob Brichmann, DJ & Emcee from Artistic Productions; Vice-President, Ann Strobel, Coordinator from Ann’s Plans; Treasurer, Merrylin Brichmann, DJ & Emcee from Artistic Productions; Founding President, Susan Ashley from Romantic Honeymoons; Membership, Andrea Pena from The Prado at Balboa Park; Secretary, Diane Wilson from Silverwood Music Ensemble; Marketing, Lisa Gisczinski, Elle G Photography. Committee Members: Shannon Henry, photographer from Studio Carre.

Weddings of Distinction is a non-profit networking group specializing in weddings and special events. They meet monthly at various San Diego County hotels, resorts and special event facilities. The group’s goal is building professional relationships and networking to give clients the best advice and services to choose from.

real weddings:: elisabeth + brad

Brad and Elisabeth met on E-Harmony in 2007 and felt an immediate connection!  Their wedding at the Powerhouse in Del Mar showed off the gorgeous Pacific Ocean to the many out of town friends and family who joined them from New York and Washington.

Here is part of their beautiful story from Elisabeth:

“Brad proposed on the night before a big trip to Italy (he was going to do it in Italy but was nervous about carrying the ring around).  I was completely surprised, and it made an already romantic trip to Italy feel like a honeymoon!  I am from Syracuse, New York and Brad is from Tacoma, Washington, so San Diego really felt like a vacation wedding to our guests.  All of our vendors did such a great job and EVERYTHING was perfect – including an amazing sunset over the Pacific.  I can honestly say that our wedding was the best day of my life.  We are now so excited to be married and feel closer than ever.  It’s amazing to know that we each get to spend our future with our best friend.”

Some of the fine Weddings of Distinction members shared in this gorgeous day: Studio Carre’ Photographie took some fantastic photos, seen here – all shot by Shannon Henry. Concepts Event Design created an indoor oceanic landscape with beautiful silk linens in shades of aqua and teal.  Sweet Cheeks Baking Company created an ocean-inspired cake of this delicious combination:  blackout chocolate cake filled with peanut butter mousse and Belgian chocolate whipped cream, tiered with red velvet cake with cream cheese filling, all frosted with Italian Butter Cream under the final layer of fondant, sugar bubbles, and white chocolate shells.

news:: Luncheon at La Jolla Cove Suites

wod_august-mtg-templateimages courtesy of www.studiocarre.com

San Diego Weddings of Distinction was invited to La Jolla Cove Suites, www.lajollacove.com, for their August luncheon meeting. With LJ Cove Suites celebrating its 50th year, our host and former member, Senior Sales Associate Joy Richards welcomed us to their stunning rooftop venue.

Several members contributed to the beauty and culinary delights for the day’s meeting. Lois Mathews, www.loismathews.com, provided floral centerpieces. Showcaser Katrina Lacape from Magical Party Rentals, www.magicalpartyrentals.com, offered incredibly colorful linens for the table décor. Our other showcaser, who actually provided food and beverage on the day, was Authentic Flavors Catering, www.sdauthenticflavors.com.

Director of Catering, Carrie Esparza, introduced a delicious menu for the day that included scrumptious appetizers and tasty beverages to greet guests as they arrived. Also visiting us were the newest owners of Authentic, Mark Vogel and Justin Fitzgerald.

After being dazzled by Katrina’s linens and Carrie’s crew for lunch, Cheli Madrid from St. Tropez Specialty Cakes & Desserts, offered up an incredible dessert to close the afternoon. St.Tropez and Authentic are subsidiaries within the same company.

Board business was briefly shared with the masses. Exciting news from member Krista Murphy – baby Kaylin Grace Murphy was born 8/20/09. Some incredible raffle prizes were doled out including a night’s stay at the LJ Cove Suites, won by member Elaine Ardizzone, www.sweetcheeksbaking.com, and box seats to the Del Mar Races, courtesy of Katrina Lacape, and won by florist Paula Rae, www.raeflorae.com.

Dozens of referrals were exchanged. People bonded. Another prospective member – coffee man David Wassermann, www.joesonthenose.com, paid us a visit. Fun and sun were had by all!

We’ll see you next month at the Baumann Estate in Point Loma with our own member Continental Catering, www.continentalcateringsd.com, providing culinary delights.

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, wedding photographer from Elle G Photography (www.ellegphotography.com); Shannon Henry, wedding photographer from Studio Carre (www.studiocarre.com)

San Diego Weddings of Distinction is a non-profit networking group specializing in weddings and special events (www.sandiegoweddingsofdistinction.com). They meet monthly at various San Diego County hotels, resorts and special event facilities.

real weddings :: paul and angie

theorie photographyimages courtesy of theorie
 
Angie and Paul were married in San Diego at the Prado at Balboa Park. The couple hired Theorie photographers Amy and Maurice Wright to provide professional photography for their wedding. The ceremony was held at the Prado’s picturesque outdoor garden terrace, the perfect venue for their summer wedding. The reception was held in the Loggia Room, one of the Prado’s more intimate banquet rooms, which features an adjacent outdoor patio where guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. Though the couple lives in San Diego, it was a destination wedding for many of the friends and family, who traveled to San Diego from as far away as Hawaii, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. Something fun that Angie and Paul do for each other for birthday presents is to give each other an activity they can do together, like whale watching … or first dance lessons! And as Paul would leave soon after the wedding for an overseas deployment with the California Army National Guard, learning to dance together was some extra special time they could spend together.
Paul left for deployment soon after the wedding. As Angie wrote in a note to Amy and Maurice upon viewing the wedding photographs together for the first time, “It meant a lot that we got to look at our pictures together before he left.” The photography beautifully captured their celebration, including all of the special and memorable moments, flowers and other wedding decorations, plus the essential portrait photography to complete the photos.

tips from the pros :: 10 tips for planning a wedding

Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting and rewarding things a person will ever do, but it is also one of the most stressful.
The following is a list of tips for brides planning weddings in San Diego or anywhere else…

1. Start planning as early as possible. Places and service providers are booked earlier and earlier each year. So to ensure that you get exactly what you want, start early. It also gives you plenty of time to find and investigate other options if your first choice does not work out.

2. Know your service providers. The reputation of the service providers you choose is of the utmost importance. Avoid unpleasant surprises on the day of your wedding by selecting service providers with impeccable records.

3. Put everything in writing. When you book your service providers, anything that you discuss, including special arrangements or deals that you want included in your package for the quoted price, make certain is written in the contract. People can’t remember promises they made to you a year ago verbally, so make sure all the details are written in the signed contract.

4. Be organized. In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks ahead of you, stay organized. Make an action plan (by week) of what you are going to do, and keep track of progress. This will help you to keep your thoughts and plans in order.

5. Pursue proper etiquette. Following proper etiquette has two advantages. Firstly, you will avoid embarrassing social blunders that can ruin your special day. Secondly, weddings are an emotional event for everyone involved, not just the bride and groom. It is important to keep all relevant parties happy and excited. By following the proper rules of etiquette, you can never go wrong.

6. Invite people to participate in your wedding party because they care about you, not out of obligation. I can’t tell you how often a bride asks someone to be in her wedding out of obligation, and is only frustrated by that individual’s lack of interest and participation. This is one of the most important days of your life. Only involve people who genuinely share in your happiness and love. If they don’t, there is no way they can behave the way you might expect them to. It is impossible.

7. Watch your budget. It is very easy to get drawn into spending more on your wedding than you planned or may be able to. There are so many wonderful choices available to brides that you should not have to put yourself in debt to have the wedding you want. If you start out with a budget, stick to it and find alternatives that allow you to do that. You do not want to start your new life with your partner paying off wedding bills for years to come!

8. Compromise. Knowing how to compromise will save a lot of stress through the planning process. You, your groom, and families all should enjoy the wedding and be proud of it. The bride and groom should do what makes them happy, but also be open to suggestions and sensitive to the feelings of those around you.

9. Confirm and follow-up. Make sure as the date gets closer, about 2 months before, that you follow-up with your service providers such as the band or DJ, limos, photographer, florist, and videographer to confirm your arrangements and provide any last minute instructions. It will make you feel secure and will ensure that they understand your expectations. This is also a task a good wedding coordinator can assist with.

10. Relax and enjoy! It is a fun, happy, beautiful time, especially in San Diego! Do not let the planning process mask that for you. Take moments to step back and enjoy what is happening, especially the day of your wedding. Just enjoy it. You have done all you can and it is in the hands of the trustworthy people you have hired.

news :: an urban chic luncheon encounter at Studio Carre’

abi photographyimages courtesy of abiphoto.com.

Who would have thought a loft-like experience existed up the I-5 in cozy Del Mar. Shannon Henry hosted our July Weddings of Distinction luncheon/meeting at her Studio Carre in the heart of Del Mar.

Fulfilling the ambiance for the day was WoD catering member Renee Hirsh and The French Gourmet. Renee and crew were totally on top of it with Mimosa’s, iced water and iced tea, scrumptious tray passed appetizers and a filling, family style served assortment of salads. Everyone left healthy and no one left hungry!

President Bob Brichmann, DJ and Emcee from Artistic Productions, greeted everyone to start the luncheon. Bob welcomed Gloria Paris’ guest Norman Phillips, a good friend, and Matthew Flint, Operations Manager for Plush Lounge, a guest of Karen Kluchonic’s from Plush.

Our showcasers on the day were obvious choices, our host Shannon Henry of Studio Carre and caterer Renee Hirsh from The French Gourmet.

Shannon shares studio loft-like space with other coastal photographers. The feel of Studio Carre is both warm, modern and cool. Shannon offers wedding, lifestyle and intimate/boudoir photography services. Shannon displays a definite passion for her craft through her work. Her demo slideshow was fantastic. Shannon’s clients love both her and how she makes them “pop” on film. Shannon is a very valued member of WoD and serves as co-marketing director for the group.

The French Gourmet almost needs no introduction, but definitely mega-kudos for the quality of their service and food they present. Renee Hirsh has been with them for years and doubles as an event/wedding coordinator. Their reputation is excellent as social and wedding event caterers. Our luncheon featured incredible couscous salad, Dijon mustard green bean salad, a Mediterranean green salad, chicken satay and more and a finishing touch of custard topped with fresh seasonal berries. French Gourmet also crafts exquisite wedding cakes, pastries and desserts.

General group business was handled accordingly and, most importantly, our new web site was officially unveiled for the group members and launched to the world (www.sandiegoweddingsofdistinction.com). Other marketing ideas were shared, Real Wedding testimonials with fellow members were offered up and raffle prizes were doled out to the lucky few.

We’ll see you next August 25th! Stay tuned for the location!

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. They meet monthly at various San Diego County hotels, resorts and special event facilities. The group’s goal is building professional relationships and networking to give clients the best advice and services to choose from.