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

real wedding:: teresa + benny

Romance, romance, romance!  That is what the wedding of Teresa and Benny was all about! Uplighting, flowers, tablescapes, and a custom monogram…all featured in pinks and blush tones that would make the most resistant person a romantic!

Their wedding paid respect to both their backgrounds, Italian, and like many traditional Italian weddings, the wedding of Teresa and Benny was big, blingy, and a ton of fun!

The reception was at the luxurious Marriott Coronado, so the couple and their guests had epic views of the San Diego city-line.  And inside the venue, opulence that fit the couple’s style perfectly!  Truly, all the details of this Italian wedding were perfect.  With the help of two Weddings of Distinction members, wedding decor rentals from Concepts Event Design and wedding photography by Studio Carre Photographie, this wedding was so beautiful and elegant that Ceremony Magazine featured it on their blog!

Teresa + Benny REAL Wedding

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

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.

 

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

news + press :: august luncheon at the dana on mission bay

Photos courtesy of Betwixt Studio.

The Dana Resort on Mission Bay hosted Weddings of Distinction’s August luncheon.   While August is typically a very busy time for wedding vendors in San Diego, this month’s meeting had a great turnout, with over 20 in attendance.  The round-table discussion, while informal, gave those present the opportunity to share stories with the group and offer one another tips and tricks for managing the end-of-summer bustle.   A special thanks is due to the catering staff at The Dana, specifically Keith and Kaylee, for not only sharing their space with the group for this meeting, but for the great meal and the tours of the property afterwards.

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….