Despite saying goodbye to one of our favorite members, Mike Hogan. We had a fabulous meeting kicking off the New Year at InterContinental. From a private ceremony to a spectacular reception at InterContinental you will experience stunning backdrops, exquisite catering, and impeccable service orchestrated to ensure every moment is just as you’ve always imagined.
If you are not familiar with Loews Coronado Bay Resort it is set on a private 15-acre peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. Isolated from the hustle of the city it is made even more magical with views of the city skyline. The resort can host your event, from a group spa day to an oceanfront wedding ceremony, to a post-celebration brunch on the Bay, and beyond. San Diego Weddings of Distinction very much enjoyed the views, the service, and the property at our October meeting.
Photos by Brant Bender Photography
It was a first for Weddings of Distinction as a group to visit Tom Hams Lighthouse, and while some of us have worked at this beautiful coastal wedding location (and restaurant) with our respective businesses, for many of us it was our first time!
With a seaside theme, entitled “Let’s Fla-mingle,” all decor and florals were provided by wedding florist extraordinaire, Embellishmint Floral & Event Design. Everything from the flowers, to the tablecloths, to even the desserts, united the theme in shades of pinks, plus golds and creams! Speaking of desserts, our after-lunch treats were supplied by no other than Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., one of San Diego’s finest dessert and cake bakeries!
These two special wedding vendors not only supplied our networking meeting with decor and desserts, but the two companies took the opportunity to present to the group, elaborating on the scope of their work and sharing some details and info that many of us do not already know!
The day really was great, and despite the “May Gray” typical to San Diego this time of year, every detail came together perfectly. From service, to location, to decor, to company, we felt pampered at this spectacular bay-front property. The staff there did a phenomenal job! And, a little bit a trivia: Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, to this day, is still a functioning lighthouse! Share that with your friends, or better yet, go visit yourself!
Photos Courtesy of Laura Christin Photography
Spring into wedding season with some spring/summer wedding inspiration!
One of San Diego’s leading wedding magazines, Exquisite Weddings, is hosting its spring issue launch party, and this year, it will be held at the amazing Maderas Golf Club on Tuesday, May 6th. Located in the heart of Old Poway, this venue boasts not only amazing event space, but lovely historic charm.
If you are a bride/groom, or if someone close to you is getting married, this evening of wedding inspiration is an event not to be missed!
What a year 2014 was! There was change; there was loss, and, we imagine, like many organizations and groups, Weddings of Distinction dealt with its share of curveballs.
We began the year with high hopes and big plans. The board in 2014 was the same as in 2013, so the consistency in leadership helped keep the group on course for the plans in place.
However, in March, our small group got an unexpected and sudden shock: the death of WoD President, Bob Brichmann. As President, Bob was an integral part of the group, but as a long-standing WoD member, he was also a friend and trusted wedding vendor. Bob did so much, and he knew as a member since WoD’s inception, he understood the inner workings of our non-profit. His death came so suddenly, and in many ways, left the group in a state of confusion.
Yet, it was as a result of this tragic event, that the resiliency of the group and its members prevailed. Board members reshuffled responsibilities, and normalcy soon returned. By the middle to end of 2014, great things returned to WoD, just as Bob would have wanted.
In March, we partnered up with another San Diego-based wedding group, NACE, and had a joint luncheon. Many of our WoD members are also members of NACE, so the combination of vendors allowed for ample opportunities to network.
Also in 2014 was the chance to explore other venue and locations that are newer to the wedding industry, i.e. the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. As a group, we traveled to the Wild Animal Park in October, and many of us were astounded with the space, the possibilities and the potential! Who would have thought that use a space like the park for wedding, but based on the luncheon they hosted for us, it truly is an amazing wedding space.
Weddings of Distinction is a non-profit networking group, and the groups ultimate focus is on its members and the opportunity to network. 2014 was a stellar year in that regard. We welcomed many new vendors, and said goodbye to a few. Those remaining into 2015 continue to be among the best in the wedding industry!
What to expect from us in 2015….a new board. Beginning January 1, the new governing board is:
- Elaine Ardizonne (Sweet Cheeks Baking) – President
- Frankie Hartwell (Hartworks Floral) – Vice President
- Merrylin Brichmann (Artistic Productions) – Membership
- Scott Milnes (Officiant) – Secretary
- Tracy (Mt. Woodson/Amy Strong Castle) – Treasurer
- Shannon Henry (Studio Carre’ Photographie) – Marketing
- Ann Strobel (Ann’s Plans) – Industry Education Lead
What’s really great is that many in the new board are new members and/or new to leadership. This transition should bring a fresh perspective to the group!
All in all, while 2014 was difficult in many ways, the tests and tribulations have brought about a stronger group and one more willing to protect the integrity of our special affiliation.
Weddings of Distinction members are special. We all work hard, and as many of us realized at the holiday party this month, we all play hard, too. Our members know and trust that membership in the group means we all are among the best in the industry, but what’s truly special, is that we all truly enjoy each others company outside the job. Friends and vendors…no matter what may happen, Weddings of Distinction will remain the same and remain as strong. After all, that’s what Bob Brichmann would have wanted. So, going into 2015 and beyond, that is what we intend to stay!
Are you a bride and in need of some top-notch wedding inspiration? Or maybe you are not part of the couple, but involved in some aspect of the wedding planning? Either way, there is an event coming up that you will sure not want to miss: the Exquisite Weddings Magazine Fall Launch Party!
On Tuesday, October 14th, from 6:30 – 8:30pm, The Westgate Hotel will host some of San Diego’s best wedding vendors, including some of our amazing Weddings of Distinction members! There will be loads of inspiration, amazing displays to see, and an opportunity to meet many San Diego wedding professionals that may or may not be part of the actual show!
Hosted bites and dessert will be available, as well as complimentary beer and wine. If you are a bride and register as such, you get in free, so be sure to RSVP for a night of inspiration and giveaways!
See you there!
Cynthia is a native of La Jolla, a graduate of La Jolla High, and an alumna of UCLA. She began event planning through non-profit work in her early 20’s, planning conferences and both national and international philanthropic projects. In her late 20’s, she took a position at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla as Catering Manager and continued to develop her event planning expertise. Then in March 2005, Cynthia launched CZ Events. Because of her hotel experience, Cynthia sees each event as one that involves a community of creative people. She excels in bringing together the expertise of various vendors to create an event that together showcases their individual talent in a triumphant whole.
What Cynthia had to say:
“Why weddings? People ask me this a lot. Simply, I love weddings! I love being part of a family’s most memorable occasion. It is wonderful to plan and create and then step back and watch the joy on the faces of those gathered. Celebrations are one of the most basic parts of humanity. We have celebrated rites of passage since civilization began. I feel connected to what is most important in life when I create the wonderful occasions that are part of each family’s story. I hope to able to create your wonderful occasion for you.”
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.