Real Wedding: Kimberly and Alan, Rancho Las Lomas

Vendors: {Coordination & Stationery: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Rancho Las Lomas} - {Catering: 24 Carrots} - {Photography: Barnet Photography} - {Videography: Parallel Media Productions} - {Florist: Flowers by Cina} - {Entertainment: Elevated Pulse Productions} - {Hair & Make-Up: Design Visage} - {Bakery: Simply Sweet Cakery}

The Tanning Van

INTRODUCING….(drum roll please) a NEW and FUN way to spray tan!!! The Tanning Van is the way to go!! Staci & Michelle, the owners of the The Tanning Van, drive to your doorstep with their fully converted van to tan you in a matter of minutes! The Tanning Van boasts 2 private rooms that are fully equipped, well lit and temperature controlled. Perfect for just one tan or for large parties! If you need an instant glow for your special occasion, or JUST BECAUSE you wanna show off a beautifully tanned bod, call the girls at The Tanning Van at 714.460.8640 to schedule an appointment or to book a spray tan party! You can learn more about them and their services on their website at

Tools For Aspiring Planners

We are so excited to have a new tab for aspiring planners! The wedding industry has been so rewarding, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to give back by guiding planners in the right direction. We have created three fantastic PDF files that will allow planners to get started:

  • How to Get Started as a Wedding Planner - Inside you will find answers to aspiring planners' most frequently asked questions. This is a great way to uncover quick advice when getting started!
  • How to Run a Wedding Rehearsal - Here we provide step by step instructions to efficiently and effortlessly orchestrate a wedding rehearsal like a pro. Having the perfect wedding rehearsal will allow for less stress and more fun on the wedding day!
  • How to Confirm Vendors for a Wedding - This will provide you with step by step instructions to accurately and efficiently gather and confirm pre-wedding details for a wedding or event. Confirming logistics will make a wedding or event run that much more smoothly!

Real Wedding: Danielle & Samer - Franciscan Gardens

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Franciscan Gardens} - {Catering: 24 Carrots} - {Photography: Sue Wheelock Photography} - {Videography: Element Wedding Films} - {Florist: Lavenders Flowers} - {Entertainment: Elevated Pulse} - {Hair: JenniferHair} -{Makeup: Ashley Gannon Makeup & Hair} - {Desserts: Simply Sweet Cakery}              



7 Bridesmaids Gift Ideas

Every bride knows that who she has by her side is almost as important as the man she is meeting down the aisle on her big day. Your bridesmaids are there for you during your nervous breakdowns, your bridezilla moments, and when you are stressed and just need some emotional support. Here are some great bridesmaid gift ideas to thank them for all of their help leading up to the wedding!

Brian Leahy Photography

Brian Leahy Photography

  • Spa Gift Bag, lush has amazing, unique products. 

What are you giving your bridesmaids as gifts on your wedding day?  Anything good that we missed here?!



Wedding Tip Tuesday: How to Tie a Bow Tie

It seems like a simple task until the oddly shaped piece of fabric is lying limp and hopeless in your hands. These step by step instructions will make you a pro when the time comes.

1. Place the bow tie around your neck situating it so End A is two inches longer than End B

2. Cross End A over End B.

3. Bring End A up and under the loop. 

4. Now double End B over itself to form the front base loop of the bow tie. 

5. Loop End A over the center of the loop you just formed.

6. Holding everything in place, double End A back on itself and poke it through the loop behind the bow tie. 

7. Adjust the bow tie by tugging at the ends straightening the center knot.

Need more visuals? Charles French has a quick and easy video here. 

Like anything else, keep practicing!

Bridal Fashion Week Recap

That's right-- while we are still riding out the summer breeze here in Orange County, our favorite designers are showcasing their Fall 2015 designs. Capturing the essence of a bride is possible. Making it new, fresh and couture is a different story.  Creating a successful line requires updating traditional shapes with current trends and appealing to the ever-evolving taste of the modern bride . Take Nicole Miller's modified halter/tank neckline paired with a crowd-pleasing mermaid. The gown is refreshing and modern but still maintains a bridal essence. Theia went with a more romantic take and ornate beading. 

Nicole Miller, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy 

Nicole Miller, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy 

Theia, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Theia, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Hayley Paige made hearts swoon over her Spring 2012 collection taking back detail to a different level. How did she make Fall 2015 any different? Oh, just a sparkle harness. Who needs a bolero when you can alter any gown with tasteful jewels? Take a look at some of our favorites from this past week. Some dresses have taken a serious 'evening wear' vibe, a la Theia's crystal encrusted halter column dress. Meanwhile, Claire Pettibone maintains her bohemian taste offering the sweetest sleeves and cascading flower crowns. Toying with current trends while keeping lace, satin and chiffon in the mix masterfully updates bridal fashion. Other notes? Cut outs and crop tops. In bridal, you ask? It works! 

What calls to you this year? Did any of your bridal visions change with the times? Or is your heart still set on that first daydream? 

Hayley Paige Spring 2012. Photo courtesy of 

Hayley Paige Spring 2012. Photo courtesy of 

Hayley Paige, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of 

Hayley Paige, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of 

Theia. Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Theia. Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Claire Pettibone, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Claire Pettibone, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Angel Sanchez, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Angel Sanchez, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Badgley Mischka, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Badgley Mischka, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Reem Acra, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Reem Acra, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of

Real Wedding: Kelly Wilson and Nick North

The quintessential autumn wedding! Kelly and Nick executed fall perfectly with pumpkins and burlap galore. The decor was sweet and refined with rustic touches like escort cards strung with clothespins and a wine box ceremony. That fabulous dresser photos are featured on? Kelly's own. Her individualistic touches remind us to interject our own style into standard features. Such a simple and bold way to personalize your day! 

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Highland Springs Resort} - {Photography: Whismie Photographie} - {Videography: Boffo Video} - {Florist: The Bloom of Time} - {Entertainment: Scratch Weddings} - {Hair & Makeup: Tessa Stull} - {Linens: La TavolaGBS Linens } - {Photobooth: Night Owl Productions}

Real Wedding: Jenna Nelson and Ali Mortazavi

Jenna and Ali met at Loyola Marymount University both as active members of Alpha Phi and Sigma Chi, respectively. The couple displayed impeccable taste and a clear goal for the evening: have fun. Unique touches, like the creation of a painting of the ceremony, added a special sentiment and keepsake.  The Resort at Pelican Hill was the perfect venue because it was the half way point for Jenna's past in Carlsbad and present in Los Angeles.

A gelato bar, great food, cigars and a live band-- it was certainly an entertaining event that guests still reminisce about. The Mortazavi wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty with insightful tips from Jenna.

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: The Resort at Pelican Hill} - {Photography: One Love Photography} - {Videography: Cloudless Weddings Video} - {Florist: Oak and the Owl} - {Painter: Chris Potter Painting} - {Entertainment: Bonnie Foster Productions} - {Hair: Jonathan Moss Hair} - {Makeup: Ashley Fiero - My Girls On Film Studios} - {Late Night Snacks: The Fry Girl, Inc.}

We both love trends, but overall, I tried to keep our wedding design fairly timeless... My one major piece of advice to brides is to choose your vendors wisely... I will forever be thankful to those who worked so hard to give me my perfect day!
— Jenna, Little Black Book Blog

Vendor Spotlight: fitlosophy, inc.


Wedding season is officially here, so whether you're getting ready for your wedding dress or bikini, our friends at fitlosophy, inc. has a great product to help you get reach your fitness goals!  The perfect addition to your bridal workouts!  The “fitbook" helps you create a plan, track your progress, and attain your goals.  Research shows that by jotting it down and physically writing your activities and dietary intake, you are more likely to stick with a program and achieve your goals.  See the right hand column of the blog to see where you can purchase your own fitbook, or scroll down to the bottom to see how you can win one! The Plan: 12 weeks is a great time frame to get in shape!  With the fitbook, you can set weekly goals making your long term goal of three months more realistic! The fitbook is a great size too! It is 5.5 inches so you can bring it in your purse when you're on the go!

Progress: The first week of any diet or lifestyle change is always the toughest. You learn to give up the bad choices you've been making and learn to love new ones you make! The fitbook also has space for you to record all workouts and food intake. This is great because having it on paper makes you feel more accountable.  As the saying goes, "It takes four weeks for you to see changes, eight weeks for your friends and family, and 12 weeks for the world." The fitbook is great for keeping you on track an measuring your progress, and keeping you motivated.  You'll begin to find yourself being held accountable for your workouts and for what you eat!

Goals: After 12 weeks you'll be in better shape and feel great! For brides, you can add the fitbook to your wedding keepsakes and reflect on the journey and progress you made.  Aside from before and after pictures that give you a visual of your transformation, the fitbook will show you changes through measurements and the food choices you've made!

Contest: fitlosophy, inc. was nice enough to give us a free fitbook to give to one of our readers looking to improve their health and fitness in preparation for their wedding!  To enter, leave a comment of your favorite workout to outside of the gym!  Do you like hike or go bike riding by the beach? Tell us your favorite "fun" workout for a chance to win a free fitbook.  All comments must be made by Friday, June 14th and the winner will be announced on Monday, June 17th.

Wedding Etiquette for the Parents of the Bride and Groom

Two words: In-laws; for both the bride and groom. As you plan to tie the knot and share your entire lives with one another, keep in mind that your families will be intertwining, which means you both will be having a new set of parents (sometimes two new sets)!  InsideWeddings gave great advice on how to approach and include your parents and new in-laws up to big day! Reaching each other: Woohoo! You’ve announced your engagement to your families and friends, but now what?  Traditionally, the groom’s mother would call the bride’s family to arrange a get together and celebrate.  Nowadays, your announcement is much more important that who does what; you’re getting married!  So it could be the groom’s family, the bride’s family, or as a couple you and your groom can invite both side’s of the family to a gathering where everyone can meet, congratulate, and welcome you and yours to the family!

Money Matters:  Financials are always a very personal and sensitive subject, so proceed with caution. Traditionally the bride’s parents paid for  majority if not all of the day of wedding day arrangements and the décor as well as the engagement party.  Traditionally the groom’s parent’s paid for everything that leads to the wedding day with a few additional décor costs "(the rehearsal dinner, the bride’s engagement and wedding rings, the marriage license, and officiant fee, and the flowers)."

Today, wedding expenses and finances are divided up in any way that best fits everyone’s budget. It important though to give everyone notice prior to discussing the finances of your wedding. As the bride, who wants only the best for your big day, keep in mind that they are supporting you and you may need to compromise with some of their wishes.  Never expect someone to financially support your big day, be grateful for those who can and those who can't, either way you will be with the ones you love.

Lines of Communication: After your parents meet your future in-laws, encourage them to communicate directly with one another! This will make planning and coordinating with both sides of the family much more simple and fewer questions for you to answer!

Proper Attire: Your mom and mother in law will of course want to look fabulous on your big day. Traditionally the mother of the groom will ask the mother of the bride what she plans to wear, giving her the option to choose first. Regardless, your mothers should wear their personal preferences; but colors and styles that complement one another, and the wedding colors are always a plus!

Roles on the Big Day: On the day of the wedding, your parent's and the groom's parents should act as hosts throughout the day. They should all be included within the procession at the ceremony and greet guests at the reception. Your parents and in laws should also prepare to give a toast as well (usually father of the groom at the rehearsal dinner and father of the bride at the reception).  This will be a very happy day for them as well, so be sure they enjoy, have some bubbly, and celebrate with all the guests.

Venue Spotlight: Center Club in Costa Mesa

We are so excited to be featuring the Center Club in Costa Mesa on our blog!  Kaitlin Kuykendall, their fabulous private events director, was so nice to send us the description of this fabulous venue below as well as the gorgeous pictures...and I can confidently say, the club is even more gorgeous in person! We hope you enjoy.  Contact us at if  you would like us to put you in touch with Kaitlin for more information about holding an event at the Center Club. "Be the first to say "I do" at the newly reinvented Center Club in Costa Mesa!  Orange County's premier private business club has gorgeous new decor that would accent any wedding or event. They have recently announced a multimillion dollar make-over that includes: an upscale bar, that would be a wonderful place for your guests to grab a drink and mingle before you and your groom arrive, a brand new outdoor terrace, lovely for taking newly wed photos that provide an intimate touch, and a new ballroom, perfect for anydécor or wedding theme!"

Costa Mesa Center Club 1

"Truly unrivaled to other wedding locations in Orange County – Center Club's new Symphony Ballroom featuring elegant and sophisticated surroundings, floor to ceiling windows offering a view of a tranquil water garden, unsurpassed service and award-winning chef and culinary team creates a perfect and unforgettable wedding day. Have your special wedding day at Center Club and experience an incredible, unparalleled private club atmosphere that will be the perfect backdrop for the most memorable day of your life. Bring your wedding ideas and your creative touch to the Center Club and have your dream wedding!"

Costa Mesa Center Club
Costa Mesa Center Club

Vendor Spotlight: Sara C. Accessories

I have fallen in love with Sara C. Accessories! Her customizable purses add a unique touch to any bride's special day. Flipping through her catalog, I can't help but want to purchase them all! As a wedding planner, I love to see bride's put their own unique, personal touch into planning their wedding day. With Sara C's purses bride's can easily do this.

When you order one of Sara C's handbags you can immediately begin personalizing your very own purse. Sara tells me you can "customize your purse by selecting color, hardware color, lining color, and adding up to two short lines of embroidery text." If you want to take your custom order a step further, you can email Sara, and she will work with you to make all your ideas come to life.

Sara started her purses in 2007, creating tote bags and handbags for her friends and family. After realizing how much she loved designing purses, she decided to take it online. She the created her Etsy store where she started receiving requests for bridal clutches. Sara soon turned her attention to bridal designs.

"I love that my customized purses make great bridesmaids gifts and are pieces that the bride and her girls can use long after the wedding is over."

I love the personalized embroidery that can be put on the inside lining of the purse. They make such beautiful keepsakes and add a unique flare to a bride's wedding look.

Make sure to check out her ETSY STORE, and like her on Facebook! Order your clutch through us and mention this blog post to receive 10% off your custom clutch!  E-mail for more information!

20 Questions To Personalize Your Big Day

We found a great article with 20 great questions to help personalize your wedding in the current edition of  Martha Stewart Weddings magazine by Editorial Director, Darcy Miller. She shares 20 questions to ask yourself to help gather up inspiration ideas in making your day your very own and only.  Darcy says, "Simply sit down with your fiance and write your responses, and you'll soon see that they paint a picture of your ideal celebration."  Check them out below and let us know if you are using any of these questions to help make your personal to you and your fiancé!   Follow Darcy miller on twitter @darcymiller for more wedding tips!

1. Where did you meet?

2. Where did you go as kids (summer camp, family trips, studies abroad)?

3. What did you do on your first date?

4. Where was your first vacation together?

5. What time of year do you love most?

6. What colors do you gravitate toward?

7. Are you obsessed with a certain flower?

8. What family heirloom would you cherish carrying on your day?

9. What song lyric or poem moves you most?

10. Do you have a pet?

11. What's the bar where everybody knows your names?

12. Do you play a sport or root for a team?

13. What's your go-to food?

14. If you could eat at only one restaurant, which would you pick?

15. What guilty pleasure do you share?

16. What are your hobbies, or do you collect anything?

17. How would you describe your dream date night?

18. What are your nicknames?

19. Do you have a desert-island book or a favorite quote?

20. What's your No. 1 film?

New Years Eve Inspired Photoshoot

Happy 2013!  It's hard to believe we already in the second half of January!  For our first blog of the year we wanted to showcase a NYE inspired photo shoot we did last November!  Kira and Tatiana worked with Amanda Doublin Photography and The Bloom of Time to create this gorgeous NYE inspired table setting at Sealegs Wine Bar.  I absolutely love the look, and cannot wait to see this shoot featured on Style Me Pretty soon!  Enjoy!

Vendor Spotlight: Blush Bridal Couture

What girl doesn't love fashion? And when it comes to weddings, we all know the dress is one of the most exciting parts! For us girls, we have thought about this one item of clothing since we were little, so when it comes for the time to make our dreams a reality, you have to check out Blush Bridal Couture!  I originally met Amy from Bridal Blush, one of the owners, when I participated in a photoshoot as a bride through OurTop5HotList and was lucky enough to wear a few of their gorgeous gowns!   

Best friends Amy and Anna opened their bridal boutique in Tustin, California, where they offer an intimate experience for their brides that is warm and friendly. They are so passionate about what they do, which you will feel just stepping in the door. "We are so thankful to have Blush as our baby! It's our pride and passion." 

Things we LOVE:

Things to know: 

  • Open Tuesday through Sunday
  • Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged
  • Saturday and Sunday visits require an appointment
  • Wear a strapless bra into your appointment (if you forget they do have ones to borrow)
  • Make sure to keep an open mind.
  • Be mindful about how many people you bring, and who they are.

We love these girls, and we know you will too! Amy tells me they love staying connected with their bride's via Facebook, "It keeps us in touch and allows us to see how their lives's challenges etc. and they get to watch us grow."

Wedding Tip Tuesday: Invitation Etiquette - Plus Ones

The topic of plus ones comes up so often, I decided to explain the major rules when inviting guests to your wedding. When are you required to allow a guest to bring a plus one? How do you address the invitation for plus ones? Are you supposed to allow guests to bring a date? These are the questions that brides ask all the time, and I have the answers for you.

Who should I allow a plus one? Etiquette states that you must let your guest bring their significant other if they are married, engaged, or living together. Not only is it proper etiquette, but it is common courtesy to want your guest to feel comfortable on your special day, celebrating with you and the one they love.

What if a guest isn't married, engaged, or living with someone? As a couple, you and your groom can decide where you want to draw the line in the sand, when deciding who will be given a plus one.  Examples of some rules could be:

  • Only allow guests to bring their significant other if you have met him or her
  • Allow dates if they have been together for a set number of years (choose a number and stick to it)
  • Allow anyone who has a significant other to bring him or her

Whatever rule you decide on, make sure you stick to it. Bending the rule for some guests can cause more problems than it's worth and hurt the feelings of others.

How should I address the invitation to whom I am inviting? If you intend to allow your guest to bring a date, make sure to have your guest's name first, and their date's name should go next. If you know their name, it is expected to write it on the invitation. It is always preferred to write the name of their plus one, rather than write "and guest".

The invitation dictates who is invited. The way the invitation is addressed tells the guest who is invited. For instance, if you address the invitation "Mr. and Mrs. Jackson" you intend on inviting two people, whereas if you address the invitation "The Jackson Family" you intend to invite  their entire immediate family. It is important to remember, however, that whoever is omitted from the invitation is assumed to be not invited. For example, "Ms. Sarah Jackson" would mean only Sarah is invited, whereas "Ms. Sarah Jackson and guest" would clearly let Sarah know she is welcome to invite a date.

When you and your groom are going through your guest list, remember these helpful etiquette tips to help keep the decision making easy and stress-free. You have to remember that this wedding is about the two of you. In the end, a plus one shouldn't be taking the place of a guest that does mean something to you, and wants to be there to celebrate your special day.

Also, I wanted to point out that if you are looking to get invitations or any stationery made, one of my favorite vendors is Jen Simpson of Jen Simpson Design. She is the designer of all gorgeous invitations you saw on this post! Be sure to check her out on Facebook and Etsy as well!