Happy news today! We’re so thrilled to share that one of our weddings has been featured on Carats & Cake! Kristin and Zach’s destination wedding at the Four Seasons Hualalai is full of pretty little details that you’re sure to love. You can view the full feature on C&C here and read all about the design and planning that went into creating this memorable wedding weekend. We love destination weddings especially when our clients get a little love from the wedding bloggers too. Congratulations Kristin and Zach!

carats and cake featured wedding kristin and zachcarats and cake featured wedding kristin and zach

At Morgan Events, we love planning life celebrations. Those milestone birthdays, anniversary parties, baby showers… if there’s a celebration, we make it happen. Today’s blog entry features a very special life celebration… a sweet young lady’s bat mitzvah bash. We first met little Sophia back when she was a 1 year old flower girl in her aunt’s wedding which we planned and designed. So it was such an honor when her family called to say little Sophia was all grown up and being called to the torah.

If you’re not familiar with the bar/bat mitzvah celebration, it is a Jewish coming of age ritual for boys/girls at the age of twelve years. This is the age at which the young boy/girl has reached religious maturity and is considered a full-fledged member of the Jewish community. And certainly achieving this milestone is definitely worth celebrating!

For Sophia’s bat mitzvah bash, the decor scheme was inspired by a chic nightclub atmosphere. We transformed a ballroom space at the Claremont Club & Spa – A Fairmont Hotel into a sleek, modern yet fun night club aka “Club SK”.

The club entrance was lined with hot pink velvet ropes and a seamless hot pink carpet – fuchsia uplights transformed the walls and created a club-style entry. Inside the ballroom, we used swanky white leather sofas adorned with bright pillows to add stylish and comfortable lounge seating for kids and grown ups alike. Hot pink, fuchsia and gold set the color palette, fitting for a vibrant young lady with a sparkling personality. The tables were sleek glass, paired with acrylic ghost chairs for a very modern ambiance. Along with a trio of satellite floral arrangements and floating candles, tables were topped with clear glass orchid-filled lamps and set with gold chargers, fuchsia napkins and custom printed menus. But perhaps the most special area of the ballroom was the VIP suite. This section was reserved for Sophia’s VIPs and of course, no adults allowed.

A few other details that made the event unique included a magnetic acrylic escort card display; a blooming custom pink floral paper wall photo booth with fun props; a custom engraving station; a sweet Sophia donut bar and a sweet endings candy bar; and of course let’s not forget about the custom monogramed bars – a VIP Suite Bar for the VIPs and Bar 21 for those adult over 21. Throughout the evening, kids and adults alike were entertained by Aaron David and his amazing team of dancers and emcees. Continuous dancing, food and fun throughout the evening made Club SK the “best celebration ever” for our sweet Sophia! We are so proud of you! Mazel Tov!

We hope you enjoy viewing the photos of Club SK, open for one night only! Special thanks to our team who created such a memorable celebration for Sophia, her family and friends.

Event Design & Planning: Morgan Events | Venue & Catering: Claremont Hotel | Photographer: Richard Mayer | Video: AMYX Video | Flowers: Revel Floral | DJ & Entertainment: Aaron David Productions | Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Lounge Furniture: Blueprint Studios | Lighting: Got Light | Linens: Napa Valley Linens | Invitation & Stationery: Penn & Paperie | Calligrapher: Lewes Lettering Co. | Hair & Makeup: Artists by Sherrie Long  Engravers: The Vanity Plate Co. | Photobooth: Heirloom Photobooth Group

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menorahentrance to club bat mitzvahclub sk sign candlelit tableclub themed bat mitzvah partybat mitzvah party decor inspirationbat mitzvah celebration table decorglass table decor with lamp
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December! The last month of the year… the beginning of a busy holiday season. Are your calendars filling up with parties and celebrations galore? Are you hosting a chic soiree for friends, family or colleagues? If so, its time to get planning! And we’re here to help with a Classic Black & White Design Inspiration for you!

We teamed up with our fellow San Francisco event professionals to create this sophisticated style at the St. Regis San Francisco. With a beautifully sleek aesthetic, the styled shoot showcased below is perfect for any number of celebratory occasions. From birthdays to fundraisers, a black & white table design is a tried and true classic. Pair the dynamic duo with one other color to change up the mood or add festive flair. We promise, the color combo never goes out of style!

To keep this styled shoot fresh and modern, we put a few twists on the classic. First, we chose white block tables with massive bases that looked similar to concrete sculptures. Then we paired the the tables with clear acrylic chairs evoking a contemporary art vibe. Lush, monochromatic greenery divided the width of the tables by creating a strong line down the center. Using greens in this way kept the design clean and sleek without overpowering the simple styling of the place settings and glassware. Finally, we added simple place settings with circular silver detailing around the dinner plate, black napkins and custom printed menus. The end result was an elegant blend of materials creating a new modern classic design perfect for entertaining in style. We hope you find this design inspiring. Happy Holidays!

Photography: Arrowood Photography | Design & Styling: Morgan Events | Floral Design: Revel Floral
Venue & Cake: St. Regis San Francisco | Tables & Tabletop Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Chairs: Blueprint Studios
Menus: Dependable Lettepress | Calligraphy: Papineau Calligraphy

backlit modern white table designblack & white wedding table design inspirationtall green reception centerpieceblack & white menu place settingblack & white table place settingsblack & white place settingmodern dinner receptionblack & white table designblack & white table decoroverview black & white table designpoppy in vaseblack & white wedding cake detailcake display on black standcustom lighting on table shootmodern white tablegreenery centerpiecesclose up place settings black & whiteblack & white styled tabletable centerpieces verticalwhite poppiesblack & white menu close upclear acrylic chairsside angle table shotplate detailvertical 3 tier cake3 tier black & white cake

This one’s for all the pet lovers out there! For those of you who consider pets your family, here are our Top 5 Tips for including pets in your wedding celebration.

1. Consider Your Pet’s Personality – A pet can be a guest of honor and simply stand with the wedding party during the ceremony, or your pet can have a specific role (ring bearer or flower girl are common roles) in the ceremony. But before giving your pet a starring role, think about whether this will be an enjoyable experience for him or her. Will your pet feel comfortable around your guests? Is he or she obedient and well behaved? There’s no guarantee that your pet will behave exactly how you want them to on the day of the wedding. Even the most outgoing and friendly pet can be overwhelmed by a crowd of guests, so always have treats and water on hand to curb unwanted behaviors. 

2. Confirm That Pets are Allowed in Your Ceremony/Reception Facility – With everything else on your to-do list, it’s easy to forget this simple—yet important—step. You don’t want to show up on the day of your wedding, four-legged ring-bearer in tow, only to be told that pets are not allowed on the property, etc. Can’t bring your pet? You can still include him or her in the wedding! Include your pet in your portrait session before and/ or after the ceremony.

3. Book a Pet Sitter – You have enough to worry about on the day of your wedding—hire a pet sitter to be responsible for bringing your pet to the ceremony, taking them home after, or watching them during the reception. That way, you won’t need to worry about who’s feeding the dog (or keeping him away from the chocolate). Let your pet sitter be your pet’s guide. And if your pet is especially skittish, consider having someone carry him or her or letting them catch a ride in a wagon or stroller. And if your pet is overly affectionate or easily distracted, be sure to use a short leash.

4. Don’t Jeopardize Safety for Style – Make sure your pet’s attire (tux, dress, etc) fits properly and doesn’t create any discomfort. Keep the accessories simple—a bowtie, ribbon and/or flower attached to the collar is a fun way to dress up your pet. Ensure that any accessories won’t come loose and pose a choking hazard. And most importantly, be sure to check if any flowers or plants being used at your wedding are toxic to your animals.

5. Prepare Your Photographer- If you already know your pet will be joining your celebration when you’re choosing a photographer, make sure you choose someone who is comfortable around animals. Don’t assume just because you have the sweetest pup that your photographer will love them. Tell your photography team of your intent to include your pet in advance. It’ll help your photographers prep for those unplanned moments, like when your dog leaps up to kiss you during the vows! Your photographer can also help you brainstorm fun photo ideas with your pets for the portraits after the ceremony or during the initial getting ready time of the day.

And now, time for some fun furry friends photos! Thanks to the following photographers for catching our furry friends in action!

Michelle Walker | Gertrude & Mabel | Arrowood Photography

corgi in wedding

shakespeare gardenpet corgi in weddingpoodles in sf weddingpet guest bookmini schnauzerpug in hawaiian shirtpet cat in strollerpet cat in weddingcats in weddings

Here at Morgan Events, we LOVE a destination wedding. There’s something extra special about gathering your friends and family and jetting off for a weekend (or more!) to celebrate love. That’s what it’s all about, right? So, this blog entry is dedicated to our clients, Kristin and Zach, who dreamed of a destination wedding at the Four Seasons Hualalai on Hawaii’s Big Island. We’re using this wedding to give you a glimpse as to what it’s like to host a destination wedding. You can read our short summary of the events below but rest assured, our actual ‘notes’ (read: playbook!) is quite a bit larger for a wedding of this scope! But space is limited and a photo is worth 1000 words so read, browse and DREAM about your very own destination wedding.

Destination Wedding Design

Let’s start with the color palette. Gone are the days of one or two colors dominating the artistic vision. Today’s couples are creatives in their own right and envision a myriad of hues working together. Our color palette for the wedding included coral, bright pink, peach, cream, white, green and gold. Each weekend event, from the Aloha Cocktail Gathering on the Beach Tree Lawn to the Mahalo Brunch at the Beach House, featured this color combo in a seamless design. The aesthetics played a role in evoking ambiance for each event- from festive and lively during pre-wedding events to romantic and elegant during the formal celebrations.

Pre-Wedding Events

If you’ve read our blog before, you know we’re all about creating a warm welcome for guests during destination events. In this case, guests were traveling to the Big Island for Kristin and Zach’s wedding. It was important to the couple that guests make new friends but also reconnect with old friends and thoroughly relaxed and enjoyed all the delights of the island. The kickstart to the weekend was the Aloha Cocktail Gathering. We set the festive Hawaiian scene for two hours of a meet and greet with passed canapés and cocktails. The following evening, a more formal Seaside Welcome Dinner was set where guests were treated to live music and an unforgettable seaside feast.  The Ulu Ocean Grill was the perfect spot for outdoor dining and catching the sunset.

Wedding Day

At last the wedding day arrived and the spacious Ke’ Olu Green at the Four Seasons Hualalai was transformed into an intimate ceremony location. The ceremony aisle began with two large urn arrangements on pedestals while floral planters continued down the aisle through to a custom 16′ wide staircase to a second ceremony level.  The altar floral structure featured asymmetrical cascading florals.  Lush florals of David Austin roses, peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, and hydrangeas kept the color scheme in tact and on point. After the ceremony, guests were escorted to an elegant cocktail reception and seated dinner in the Ke’ Olu Clubhouse Garden. Tables were set in more vibrant colors with tall centerpieces surrounded by satellite floral arrangements.  A sea of candles were added to a create a warm romantic glow. Place cards were held in stunning sea urchin shells and gold flatware framed each place setting. There was cake cutting and dancing, music and moonlight and even a sparkler send-off for the newlyweds.

Post-Wedding Events

As a final thank you and farewell to guests, a Mahalo Brunch was catered at the Four Seasons Residence’s Beach House on Sunday morning. Lasting three hours to accommodate even the late night partygoers who may be oversleeping, the brunch was a casual flow of guests reminiscing about the weekend events and bidding farewell before catching flights to the mainland. This last event is always a crowd pleaser as our couples get one more chance to connect with their guests.

If you’ve just started dreaming about your very own destination wedding, congratulations! The fun is just beginning. If we can be of help, please get in touch with our team and let us guide you every step of the way. Mahalo!

Wedding Design & Planning: Morgan Events | Photographer: Sylvie Gil Photography | Venue & Catering: Four Seasons Hualalai  Floral Design: Flowers by Heidi | Invitation & Stationery: Lettered Olive | Calligraphy: Papineau Calligraphy | Hair & Makeup: Beauty Lux Salon | Linens: La Tavola | Lighting/Rentals & Lounge: Hawaii Island Events, Inc. | Band: Hip Service Band | Hawaiian Music Entertainment: Kevin Kealoha Trio | String Quartet: Magic Strings | Audio Visual: PSAV | Videographer: Techy3 Studios

*Updated February 2019: This wedding has been featured on Carats & Cake. Click here to view.

wedding invitation suite bride with attendantsbride and groom first lookbride and groom first lookpink bridesmaids gownsgroomsmenbride and groom portraithawaii beach weddingbride and groom on beachfour seasons hualalai wedding ceremonyfour seasons hualalai wedding ceremonyconch shell ceremonygroom and momfather walks bridekiss the bridejust marriedbride and groom portraitbride and groom on golf coursecocktail party at four seasonstiki torch at four seasonshula dancershula dancer floral hairpiecewedding reception at four seasons hualalaiwedding reception at four seasons hualalaireception centerpiece pinkpink tablescapewedding at four seasons hualalaitable number 7seashell escort cardsbride's place settingsunset at four seasons hualalailounge seatinglaughing during toastwedding cake posecake cuttingwedding dance 2wedding dance 1custom light dancefloordancefloorwedding sparklerssparkler exit

When planning any event, our goal is to exceed our client’s expectations of their desired outcome for the event. Whether it’s a surprise birthday party, a celebratory bar/bat mitzvah or a destination wedding, we listen to what our clients want and we make it happen. One of the first requirements on our client’s lists is to create a unique and memorable experience for their guests. Before colors or types of flowers, our clients explain that the attendees of the event are first and foremost in their hearts. They want to ensure their guests feel welcomed, loved and most of all, have a fabulous time.

Today’s blog is all about creating a warm welcome for guests. Over the years, we’ve had several destination events that we’ve planned and produced from start to finish. Often, the events take place over several days and we move guests seamlessly from one event to another. Offering warm hospitality is key to making guests feel welcome and appreciated. It’s your way of saying “thank you” to your nearest and dearest who have committed the time and resources to attending the celebration. Here are a few tips that help create a warm welcome:

Reserve a hospitality suite: Similar to an Executive Lounge area in a lux hotel reserved only for members, reserving a suite that all your guests have access to is a thoughtful touch. Have light refreshments on hand at all times, stack the tables with local maps or site-seeing adventures, and even use it as a gathering point for meeting before any scheduled off-site activities.

Greet with Welcome Swag Bags: Gift baskets have come a long way since fruit and wine. From flowers to artisan sodas, healthy snack kits to sweet slumber accessories – so many options are available to fit your event theme. Any guest will feel instantly welcomed by such a token of appreciation greeting them upon arrival.

Host a Mix & Mingle: If you’re asking guests to travel for several days, they’ll be spending time with other guests that they may not know. Hosting a cocktail party, coffee bash, or dessert hour on the arrival day is a great way for guests to mix and mingle in a relaxed setting.

Plan Fun Events: Aside from the formal celebrations, plan a few extra things for guests to do as they choose. These non-obligatory events bring people with similar interests together for shared experiences. For example, if your friends are runners – schedule a group run; or if yoga is your way of starting off an amazing day – schedule a group private yoga session atop a hilltop for anyone wanting to join in.  

Brunch: We love planning farewell brunch for any destination event. While it falls at the end of the trip and wouldn’t be thought of as a “welcome event,” brunch serves the purpose of showering guests with gratitude for their attendance one last time.

Below we’ve chosen some photographs that capture the spirit of our tips above. Being hospitable never goes out of style so however you choose to create a warm welcome, your guests will certainly appreciate your efforts.

Photo Credits: Michelle Walker Photography | Arrowood Photography | Sylvie Gil | Molly Landreth

hospitality suite olivesreserved welcome suitewelcome tote bag monogramwelcome tote bagswelcome mix and minglewelcome partyproteacocktails on trays'more dessert bardessert barwelcome dinnerhawaii run maprunnersbrunch menuwelcome brunch pastriesmimosa toastfour seasons hualalaihawaii farewell brunchbrunch at four seasonsla valencia restaurantbrunch at la medbrunch tableguests at brunch

At Morgan Events, we believe in celebrating life to the fullest. How many days go by so quickly that we forget to stop and pay attention to all the details that make life grand? One of the best ways to celebrate life is to start with the milestones. That’s right, we’re talking about birthdays. Birthdays don’t have to be about getting older; they can be celebrations of life’s little journeys that we achieve along the way. Remember the excitement of turning 16 and finally getting a driver’s license? Or turning 30 and realizing the pieces of your life are falling nicely into place? Well, we salute you! Celebrate those birthday milestones! Might we suggest a destination birthday bash? Our client Darren (whose wedding we planned back in 2014) decided years in advance that when it came time for his 40th birthday, he wanted an all out celebration with his nearest and dearest in the City of Light. That’s right, buckle your seatbelts, we’re taking you to Paris!

The theme for Darren’s Parisian Birthday Bash was Ready, Set Jet! We captured the travel element of the event in a very simple phrase. We then set ourselves to task planning and executing the event from start to finish, and managed local logistics for traveling guests. The design theme was fun and fabulous, just like Darren. Colors and patterns were inspired by the 1970’s and specifically, the fashions of Emilio Pucci. Our concept took a modern twist to a retro design.

So, are you ready to jet? Check out all the details below and get inspired to plan your next destination birthday bash.

Special thanks to our amazing client, Darren & Brian and to the team that made Darren’s Parisian 40th Birthday Bash a most memorable celebration.

Photography: I Heart Paris | Event Production: Morgan Events | Invitation: Twig & Fig
Catering/Rentals: Potel Et Chabot | Floral Design: Madame Artisan Fleuriste | DJ & Lighting: Dance Police with DJ Vincent Bechet | Menus/Escort Cards/Favors: Morgan Events | Venue: Private Loft

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Hello dear readers! Today we have an oh so lovely wedding to share. With an overall ambiance evoking romance, elegance and a touch of whimsy, Maggie and Kyle’s celebration is simply enchanting. Let’s jump right into the details.

Maggie and Kyle’s wedding ceremony took place in the lush Shakespeare Garden in San Francisco, California. Is there anything more enchanting than a beautiful garden wedding? The chosen color scheme – spindrift (bright sea foam green), soft pinks, ivory, blush and rose gold – were integrated seamlessly into the natural setting of the garden. (Even Peanut, Maggie’s Corgi, dressed with color-coordinating ribbons!) As guests approached the ceremony area, lavish floral arrangements in stone urns marked the aisle entrance. Lining the aisles, small hand-tied floral bouquets matching the varieties used in the lavish arrangements and ceremony structure were tied to the end chiavari chair of every third row. The team of Michael Daigian Design also created a magical canopy under which Maggie and Kyle would stand during the ceremony. Using birch wood, greenery, and clusters of florals in white, ivory, soft pink and blush, the structure added a soft element to contrast with the garden’s beautiful brick wall and bust of William Shakespeare. All the florals set the tone for romance, while cascading greenery added the whimsical element the couple desired.

Following the Shakespeare Garden ceremony, Maggie and Kyle invited family and friends to celebrate at the California Academy of Sciences. If you live in California and have never visited this fine museum, please do! It’s a fantastic center for research and education as well as a natural history museum.  Wedding guests strolled from the enchanting Shakespeare Garden to the twilight Aquarium inside of the Academy of Sciences for the cocktail reception.  In the twilight Aquarium, guests noshed on tasty canapés and specialty cocktails –  the Maggie’s Mule and Kyle’s Lemon Drop by Taste Catering.  For the seated dinner in the Piazza, the tablescapes were designed in the same color scheme as the ceremony. The florals were soft and romantic. To add a touch of elegance, the place settings – including chargers, china, flatware and table name frames – boasted rose gold details.  On each dinner menu, a colored monogram wax seal was pressed to note the guest’s entrée selection. Every detail of the table design was a nod to Maggie’s favorite colors with a hint of romance and whimsy.  After dinner, guests were invited to the dessert lounge, where sweet treats and swanky leather sofas from Blueprint Studios created a blissful merriment ambiance.  Heirloom Photobooth Group provided instant group photo fun while Denon & Doyle kept the dance floor full.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about the design details of Maggie and Kyle’s wedding. It’s time to move on to the picture perfect photography by Michelle Walker. Happy browsing!

Photography: Michelle Walker | Design & Planning: Morgan Events | Ceremony Venue: Shakespeare Garden | Reception Venue: California Academy of Sciences | Flowers: Michael Daigian Design | Invitation & Stationery: Yonder Design | Catering: Taste Catering | Cake: Jasmine Rae Cakes | Gown: Jinza Couture | Hair & Makeup: Fancy Nancy Artistry | Rentals: Hensley Event Rentals | Lounge Seating: Blueprint Studios | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen | Lighting: Got Light. | String Quartet: Synchronicity Strings | DJ: Denon & Doyle | Photobooth: Heirloom Photobooth Group

wedding invitation

ted baker shoes   maggie's bouquet

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maggie and kyle first look

maggie and kyle first look   forehead kiss

maggie and kylemaggie and kyle portrait   maggie and kyle with corgi

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Today’s blog entry is all about wedding photography. Whether a striking portrait or beautiful emotional catch, we’ve all seen photos that make our hearts skip a beat. The team at Morgan Events has been so fortunate to work with some of the best pros in the industry! So, when writing this blog entry, we asked three San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographers- Tara Arrowood, Kevin Chin and Michelle Walker– what advice they’d give our clients when it comes to wedding photography. Based on their responses, we’ve organized some important information for you below. Here’s what you need to know about hiring your wedding photographer and how choosing the right professionals will impact your wedding day.

Style. Over the years we’ve worked with many amazing photographers. They all have different approaches to the art of photography, different personalities, different styles of shooting and different methods of catching exactly what they wanted in the shot. Notice our trend of using the word “different”? That’s because it’s absolutely true- all photographers are different- which is why photography is such a beautiful, creative and varied form of art. When you interview photographers, they will undoubtedly tell you their style of photography up front, and you’ll notice it while flipping through sample albums. Here’s a breakdown on a few types of photography:

Photojournalism: The style that focuses on storytelling through images. This style captures the moments of the day exactly as they happen- the emotions, the spontaneity, the real story as it unfolds.

Portraiture: A classic style of wedding photography consisting of formal posed portraits, subjects specifically in or out of focus, dramatic composition, creative backdrops and silhouettes.

Fine-Art: This wedding photography style focuses on the photographer’s reality and is very much about the framing of the shot. Photographers often use creative lighting and create images with dramatic flair.

Fashion: This high-society style evokes visions of editorial and magazine glossy pages. Dramatic, bold, edgy and often ideal for cosmopolitan urban weddings.

Hiring Your Photographer. While it seems like a daunting task, there are a few things you can do to narrow your choice of photographers and find the perfect fit for your wedding day.

First, ask you wedding planner for a recommended list. Referrals are everything in the wedding industry. Starting with a tried and true list from your trusted wedding planner takes a lot of the guesswork out of finding your photographer.

Next, start scheduling interviews. During your meeting, scrutinize full wedding albums of the photographer’s previous clients. See if your aesthetic matches the way the wedding was captured. Pay attention to the small details, the framing of shots, the venues and especially the lighting.

Once you’ve conducted your interviews and viewed sample albums, take some time to process your gut feelings and think about which photographer you really connected with. Make sure your personalities mesh and that you won’t mind having them around all day. As Tara Arrowood shared, “Photographers are the only vendor who is with you all day on your wedding day- the most special, well-planned and anxiously awaited day. You want to be comfortable with me, you want to like me, you want to feel like I could be your friend, and honestly, someone you won’t find annoying on this precious day!”

Other vendors that impact your wedding photography. Hiring the right vendors is essential to a seamless event. When we asked our photographers for general advice on what couples should do to make the photographer’s job easier, Photographer Michelle Walker emphasized the importance of hiring a professional wedding planner (she had 2 at her own wedding) and a hair and makeup team. She added, “be the first one to get your hair/makeup done. There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed. Make sure you look like yourself… your most beautiful self.”

Timelines. Let your photographer be involved with the timeline of events. As Tara rightly says, “timelines are in place so that every vendor can do their best job.” While photographers are hired to capture the emotion of the day and candids, they also need time for the details that pull all the elements of the day together. Photographer Kevin Chin advises, “The most common problem I run into is not having enough time to get all of the photos that I want to tell your wedding day story. Hire a great wedding planner and work with your photographer to make sure they have enough time to get all the photos you want.” Michelle suggests a few ideas in terms of managing time on the day-of: “Do a first look and all portraits before the wedding ceremony. That way the rest of the day is just for you.” And at the reception, “Have a cocktail hour and a half. Having time to visit with everyone makes for great candids.”

The Unexpected. Photographers are experienced at managing the unexpected on your wedding day. Even the best timelines can be skewed by unforeseen events. Not to worry though. Tara explains that “being a ‘wedding’ photographer means that I need to be very good at different types of photography (photojournalistic, fashion, food, interior photography) as well as being able to think on my feet…you never know what might come up on your wedding day. Conditions change, nothing is predictable.” And remember, the unexpected is not always a bad thing! For example, a cute flower girl yawning during the ceremony makes for great wedding photography!

Trust your Photographer. Above all, it’s important to trust your photographer. They are masters of their craft and serious professionals. “You are probably not a professional model and don’t know what to do in front of the camera and that is totally OK,” says Tara. “That’s my job… to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, look your best and most importantly have fun!” Leave it to the photographers to direct you as needed and capture all the moments as they happen. “Your wedding day will fly by before you know it and hopefully you have hired a good photographer to help you remember your day. Make a promise with your fiancée that you will take a few minutes out of the wedding day to step back and soak it all in,” suggests Kevin. We completely agree. Your wedding day goes so fast you’ll be glad that someone captured all the things you’ll inevitably miss. And finally, remember: “the best photographs happen when you’re relaxed and happy,” said Michelle. So trust your photographer to capture the memories and you’ll get to enjoy every moment of the day from start to finish. Relax and let go. Let the pros go to work!

In closing, we wanted to send a special thank you to our photographers who contributed to this article. Here are some of our favorite memories they’ve captured for our clients.

Images 1-15: Arrowood Photography | Images 16-24: Kevin Chin Photography + Cinema | Images 24-38: Michelle Walker

st. regis rooftop ceremonystreet crossing    royal colors bouquet

st. regis ballroom wedding reception

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balcony kiss    place setting

wedding reception tent

outdoor lounge seating

dance floor

first dance black and white

sunset wedding photography

artistic wedding photography cat lighting pattern

sparkler exit

two grooms in white dinner jackets

wedding invitation   heart place cards

bluxome street winery

red flowers

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ombre wedding cake   wedding cake

wedding reception in barrel room

palm trees   hualalai four seasons

same-sex wedding photography

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ritz carlton half moon bay

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Today we’re sharing a fabulous destination wedding with you from La Jolla, California. Mediterranean style architecture, swaying palm trees, a lush garden setting and oh yes, beautiful ocean views. We were thrilled to plan and design a truly unique wedding experience for our amazing clients, Warren and Scott, and their closest family and friends.

First, a little background on the couple. Warren and Scott’s story began in June 2013 when they met on OKCupid, an online dating website. Scott was attracted to Warren’s online profile, which featured many photos of Warren’s two adorable cats, Milo and DJ.

Scott’s pickup line, “Hello, Fellow Cat Lover!” was unusual but very refreshing, thought Warren. Warren liked Scott’s online profile as well, which featured his adopted cat son, Jack. It was clear Warren and Scott shared a love of felines. Warren responded to Scott: “You had me at ‘cat’!” And the rest, as they say, is history. These two greetings are now engraved on the inside of the couple’s wedding bands. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves! Let’s talk wedding plans.

Warren and Scott wanted to make their wedding special- unique, light-hearted, fun- understated and yet memorable. Hosting a destination wedding was a strong desire for the couple as they wanted a warm climate and a weekend of festivities. The chosen location was La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California, July 3-5.

Welcome Dinner: Hospitality is a key ingredient to hosting a destination wedding. What better way to welcome guests than with an intimate dinner party as a kick-off to the week’s celebration. On Monday evening, Warren and Scott hosted a welcome dinner on the terrace of The Med, the hotel’s ocean view restaurant. All guests were invited to meet and greet, including 4 dogs who had traveled with their owners. The tables were set in Beach House Blue linens with 16 floating candles in the center.

The Wedding Design: The couple’s own three cats, DJ, Milo and Jack set the theme for the overall wedding design. Modern and clean design were the key. While the idea of a “cat themed” wedding sounds like it could get terribly tacky, our goal was to design the events with sophistication and class. 

The Wedding Invitations: We all know your guests’ first insight into your wedding theme is the invitation and this event was no exception. The creative team at Yonder Design created a modern “cat herringbone” pattern for the invitation which became an anchor of the wedding design.

The Ceremony: DJ the cat was the honorary ring bearer as he is the best behaved of the 3 cats. His special stroller was adorned with green garland, white hydrangeas and orange roses. He was parked behind Warren for the length of the ceremony, witnessing the whole event.

The Reception: The cat herringbone pattern was repeated over the wedding cake, recreated on fabric for custom monogrammed pillows in the lounge, served as the paper pattern for the dinner menus and was recreated as a light projection onto the dance floor. The wedding colors were orange, white, grey and taupe. The style was modern and clean with a touch of classic elegance without being over the top. Since the couple loves to have fun, they extended the dancing time with silent disco where guests could dance to the DJ’s music wearing headphones. To cap off the night, fireworks lit the sky and guests created a Sparkler Tunnel. After all, fireworks are essential to any celebration on the 4th of July.

Farewell Brunch: As a final thank you to wedding guests for attending this destination wedding, we planned a farewell brunch the morning after the wedding. All guests were invited to The Med for a quintessential California brunch, complete with a mimosa bar. This event was the perfect ending to the week’s celebration. 

Special thanks to the following team who made Warren and Scott’s destination wedding a smashing success:

Photography: Arrowood Photography | Design/Planning: Morgan Events | Venue/Catering: La Valencia Hotel | Stationery/Cat Herringbone: Yonder Design | Floral Design: Isari Studio | Cake: Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. | Videographer: CarrieOnwards!  Harpist: Julie Smith Phillips | Reception Music: DJ Cams | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; Blueprint Studios; Napa Valley Linens

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