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Hard to believe it has been a year since this dashing couple said “I do!” Their special day was recently featured on the Borrowed & Blue blog, and we were reminded of all the heartfelt details we adored. Held at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point CA, the couple wanted a beach-inspired celebration that reflected their fun-loving personalities. The thought and effort that they put into crafting a memorable celebration for their closest friends and family was evident from the incredibly meaningful gifts chosen for their parents and bridal party, to the fun choice of gourmet doughnuts instead of traditional cake. I still remember those doughnuts very fondly! Ashley Williams Photography did such a stunning job capturing everything from the big moments to the tiny details.
Jessica explained it all best. Please enjoy some insights from the stunning bride…
“When beginning this crazy ride, we weren’t too specific with what we wanted, but had some broad strokes of a vision. We wanted to be close to the ocean, to keep things intimate, to have the boys in suits, the gals in black, but most of all we wanted to have a really fun party.
After hunting up and down the coast of Southern California, we discovered the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. The modern, sharp architecture up against the stunning Harbor meant we got to keep décor simple and really let the venue do the talking. As San Diego natives and Los Angeles locals, the beach is a definite constant. That being said, we did decide to stray away from a barefoot on the sand wedding, and instead used the ocean as inspiration for the day.
We kept our colors simple — blues, dark greenery, black and cream, and pulled from the elements of the beach and the venue to bring it all together. Beach stones, driftwood, candlelight, and a suspended whale skeleton above the head table brought it full circle. Instead of table numbers, our guests sat a tables named after various beaches from our lives. I walked down the aisle to Van Morrison with a bouquet wrapped in lace. The lace was a keepsake from a bouquet I caught at Sean’s cousin’s wedding, our first year of dating.
We also wanted to include ways to remember my older sister, Meagan, who passed away. A bridesmaid bouquet and stain-glass candleholder was placed on the first chair of the bride’s side. We wanted to make sure she had a good seat to the show. I also had a bracelet of hers broken up into (4) pins — 1 on my bouquet, and the other 3 given to amazing women in my life to wear in her honor.
We asked my Uncle Gary to officiate the ceremony (an idea we shamelessly stole from a cousin of mine), where we shared vows that we had written together. He told the story of how we met, read quotes from throughout history, and saved a quote dear to our hearts for last: “I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding.” As an event producer, this was my mantra throughout the wedding planning process. As beautiful and fun as planning such a special day is, I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose sight of the purpose. I didn’t want planning our wedding to feel like work, and I didn’t want to get so caught up in making everything perfect that I was missing the big picture. So, when I spelled my new last name wrong on our Save the Dates, I sent them anyways. I shed some minor tears, but we decided to travel this whole journey to have a marriage, not just a wedding. If he could forgive me for the spelling typo, I figured I could and should get over it, too.
At the end of the day, our wedding was filled with romance and laughter, but most of all it felt sacred to who we are. We watched the sunset over the water, toasted our beautiful family and friends, and danced the night away. Our guests were happy and full — we couldn’t have imagined a better day.” -Jessica
Meet the Team:
Event Planning & Design: Events by Cori
Photography: Ashley Williams Photography
Venue: Ocean Institute
Cinematographers: Honest Films
DJ: California DJ’s
Catering: The Sundried Tomato
Florist: My Flower Affair
Hair & Makeup: Vow Studio 101
Invitations & Caligraphy: Birch & Main Letterpress
Photo Booths: Optic Booth
Rentals: Signature Party Rentals
Hotel Accommodations: Laguna Cliffs Marriott
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With one look, it’s pretty easy to understand why Casa Romantica Cultural Centers & Gardens in San Clemente is one of my favorite venues! Steeped in history and classic spanish charm, simple and rustic weddings pair very easily with this space. This gorgeous bluff-top estate shines on its own! I loved working with this sweet couple, Michelle & Jake. Their big day was filled with beauty, loving family & friends, and some of my favorite wedding vendors in Orange County!
The couple kept things refreshingly simple, yet included a few thoughtful details and personal touches to lend an intimate feel to the affair. The bride spent the morning surrounded by best friends, mimosas flowing, donning adorable robes! Such a great idea: it won’t mess up freshly done hair and makeup, and makes a bridesmaids gift that they might actually wear again!
The grooms party spent the day in congratulatory toasts! Koman Photography captured the moments, incorporating all the details on film.
Jeff Tackett with OC Wedding Officiants is an absolute pro. San Clemente weather, known to be rather spectacular, cooperated, offering a comfortable cloud cover and a colorful sunset. The Beach Flower celebrated peony season with this beautiful bouquet!
After the ceremony, guests were treated to a beautiful meal in the courtyard, catered by Iva Lee’s Restaurant. Iva Lee’s (one of the preferred vendors at Casa Romantica) offers upscale cajun cuisine. Guests dined on bourbon braised short ribs, seared salmon, creamy risotto and herbed vegetables.
Jennifer at Plumeria Cake Studio kept guests smiling with a custom dessert buffet and gorgeous textured buttercream cake featuring fresh roses, peonies and freesia.
Inside the Casa Romantica estate, Orange Box Photo Booth captured guests getting wacky. Outside, the couple offered a cigar bar down on the point, while Kevin Miso kept the crowd dancing. He played guitar for the ceremony, offered some acoustic cocktail hour entertainment, and DJ’d the dace party at the reception!
A beautiful celebration of love for a vibrant and happy young couple. Thank you for letting me be a part of your day! I wish you all the happiness in the world!
Coordinator: Events by Cori
Photography: Koman Photography
Officiant: Jeff Tackett
Floral Design: The Beach Flower
Catering Iva Lee’s
Cake: Plumeria Cake Studio
Entertaiment: Kevin Miso
Ice Carving: Carving Ice
Photo Booth: Orange Box Photo Booth
Association of Bridal Consultants , Events by Cori , Los Angeles Weddings , Orange County , Wedding Planning Services , Wedding Services , Wedding Tips , Wedding Venues Orange County
I must confess to you, there are many days when the life of an event planner is rather charming. The monthly meetings of the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC-OC) definitely qualify as one of those “tough days in the office” (said with a wink). I have served on the board for several years, providing an opportunity to meet and work with some of the finest venues in the area. Monthly meetings, held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, range from educational meetings for wedding consultants to wonderful celebrations of the latest trends at the best locations in Orange County.
This month’s meeting was held at a new venue for Sundried Tomato Bistro in San Juan Capistrano called Plaza de Magdalena. The property is both spacious and elegant, as well as conveniently located. I adore the food at Sundried Tomato and have worked with Patti Pracht, the sales manager for weddings and outside catering, for years! In fact, we have an upcoming event at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point and they will be providing the catering for the rehearsal dinner.
The team of sponsoring vendors and collaborators changes from month to month, but without fail, is a showcase of the top wedding industry professionals in the area! This month’s coordinator, Keri Underhill did an amazing job. Floral Occasions created a stunning scene with the arrangements and hanging succulent details.
My friend Jennifer at Plumeria Cake Studio provided the most adorable party favors: a perfectly packaged slice of cake! I was dreaming of Champagne Orange Cake with Vanilla Whipped Mousse filling that night.
This month’s speakers included a panel of couples/newlyweds that spoke about their experiences finding vendors for the their big day. It was very helpful to hear how they went about finding vendors. Some couples used the vendors their coordinator had recommended, while others used websites like The Knot, Wedding Wire and read Yelp reviews.
Education and networking are the main objectives of ABC. I make it a point to meet 2 new people at each meeting! The benefits of my membership have been numerous and rewarding: ongoing education, networking opportunities among industry peers, plus the fabulous soirees aren’t bad either.
- Venue: Plaza de Magdalena
- Planner: Platinum Weddings by Kerrie
- Caterer and Bar: Sundried Tomato American Bistros & Catering
- Photograper: Brett Hickman Photo
- Videographer: Perryfield Films
- Florist: Floral Occasions
- Stationery: Jen Simpson Design
- Linens: Luxe Linen
- Vintage Furniture/Glassware: Sundrop Vintage
- Chargers: Something Borrowed Party Rentals
- Entertainment: Hey Mister DJ
- Lighting : 3J Events
- Favors: Plumeria Cake Studio
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A few months ago, we had the distinct pleasure of coordinating a styled photo shoot at the request of Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens for their new brochure. Perched on a bluff overlooking the historic San Clemente Pier, the magnificent Casa Romantica is a living demonstration of California history, culture and ecology – a showplace for the region. A wedding or styled photo shoot here is a event planners dream come true! Perhaps even more exciting, I had complete creative freedom for the design and details! Seriously, someone pinch me
The most successful styled photo shoots are bound by a clear vision and style inspiration. I wanted the styling to reflect the timeless and authentic feel of this exquisite bluff-top estate….romantic, elegant and classic.
Recruit the top Industry Professionals
Styled photo shoots are an exciting chance to inspire creativity and work with my favorite preferred vendors. These vendors are experts in their respective fields. Their collaboration and input was instrumental in the overall success of this project! I also wanted real couples as models for our photo shoot…I think you can feel that authenticity.
Bensten Photography was a natural choice. I love working with this husband and wife team. Not only are they fun and upbeat, they really understood my vision for this shoot and captured all the tiny details we spent months planning.
Steve Moses with Vantage Point Productions is one of my favorites..gorgeous work and so easy to work with!
My first stop was at Casablanca Bridal Salon & Friar Tux to secure our show-stopping fashions. The handsome grooms donned Michael Kors 3piece suits with modern skinny ties. The bridal fashions showcased some of the hottest silhouettes in wedding dresses: trumpet and mermaid. Delicate lace and beading accented with gorgeous accessories provided by Styled by TC, the details were both simple and chic. Lauren from Design Visage provided professional makeup & hair styling.
Meeting with Bonnie Peterson, owner of The Tangled Vine, is always a treat! Together, we designed our inspiration boards to include tones of soft peach, blush pinks and whites with lots of foliage for texture. We gained artistic inspiration from a pair of gold rosette chairs that I purchased at the 2nd Treasure store in San Juan Capistrano. I couldn’t wait to use these chairs for an elegant sweetheart table!
Signature Party Rentals is the exclusive rental company used at Casa Romantica. They are also my favorite…easy choice!
While planning a styled photo shoot is a huge undertaking, one factor that makes it easier than a wedding is that you don’t need to rent tables and chair for hundreds!
For this project, we designed 4 vignettes. This was key in helping us with our rental orders, but also provided a basic ‘shot list’ for our photographers.
Vignette #1: 8ft farm table set for 8 guests in the Courtyard
Vignette #2: Sweetheart Table – Of course we have to utilize that view!
Vignette #3: Cake Table
I love working with Jennifer at Plumeria Cake Studio. She provides a sketch of the cake she’s planning, but the real thing always ends up looking even better!
Vignette 4: Ceremony on Ocean Terrace
Sunset and a warm ocean breeze makes for an unforgettable vow ceremony. Dean Holbein from Ceremonies of Significance served as Officiant. Dean and his lovely wife have been married for an impressive 40 years!
Christina from CarbonaraTrattoria brought her chef de cuisine and did an amazing job on the food and signature cocktails! Peach Martini, Moscow Mules, artisan cheeses, beautiful canapés, along side Salmon and Vegetarian Pasta Penne. We all shared a lovely meal after the shoot! Side perk!
Invitation Design Studio did an amazing job on the invitations, menus and sand dollar table numbers:
Randy Tooker from Lake Forest Limo provided his 1939 Rolls Royce Packard, offering the bride and groom the most stylish of departures on their big day.
An outstanding team, a clear vision, and LOADS of planning was all worthwhile! I am thrilled with the finished product and can’t wait to see Casa Romantica’s 2016 brochure featuring this shoot and all of the vendors who participated!
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What a beautiful day for A Bridal Affair at the Dana Point Yacht Club. We had such a wonderful day with both brides and exhibitors and very special thanks to everyone who participated!
best of weddings 2015 , Bridal Open House , Bridal Show Casablanca Bridal , Cori Sponagle , Day of Wedding Coordinator , Day of Wedding Planning Coordinator , Events by Cori , Orange County , Orange County Wedding Show , Unique Wedding Ideas , Wedding Design and Coordination , Wedding Ideas , Wedding Planner Orange County , Wedding Planners in Orange County , Wedding Planning Services , Wedding Planning Services Orange County , Wedding Services , Wedding Venues Orange County
What a beautiful event it was at the Casablanca Flagship Store in Newport Beach with our beautiful models and tons of excited brides! Thank you so much to all the help we received from Plumeria Cake Studio in providing the tasty treats for our guests, Joan Fuller Photography for capturing these beautiful shots and of course to Casablanca Bridal for continuing to dazzle us with your beautiful gowns!
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best of weddings 2015 , Cori Sponagle , Custom Wedding Invitations , Day of Wedding Coordinator , Day of Wedding Planning Coordinator , Events by Cori , san diego wedding , Unique Wedding Ideas , Wedding Design and Coordination , Wedding Florists , Wedding Ideas , Wedding Planner Orange County , Wedding Venues Orange County
Cristina & Shawn were such a lovely couple to work with. We were thrilled to work at the Twin Oaks Estate location because of its whimsical gardens and beautiful layout- it was absolutely ideal for this fairytale couple. Thank you for having us Cristina & Shawn – we wish you much love and happiness!
Wedding Coordinator: Events By Cori
Venue: Twin Oaks Garden Estate
Photography: Davello Photography
Cake: Cute Cakes
Florals: The Blooming Bud
Dress: The White Dress
Hair & Makeup by Dee at Swell Beauty
Invitations: Invitation Design Studio
Entertainment: Extreme DJ Service
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Brides have the opportunity to win:
GRAND PRIZE: Dana Point Yacht Club Ceremony fee waived with a reception booking
Macy’s Kate Spade Cake & Knife Serving Set
Crate & Barrel Wine Glasses, Cook Book, Cheese set (Value $100)
One HOPE Wine Assorted bottles of Brut and Chardonnay
Friar Tux One Free Suit or Tuxedo Rental Certificate
Plumeria Cake Studio $100.00 Off Your Cake Order
Chloe + Isabel by Jori’s Jewels One pair of bridal earrings
The Event Consultants One Hour of overtime on regular priced DJ
Christiana Photography Complimentary Engagement session
Toka Family Chiropractic Certificate for 1 hour massage
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Very special thanks to all the brides that attended our Pottery Barn Registry event last week! It was such a great experience and we loved being able to spend the day with some great OC vendors like Pottery Barn, Ceremony Magazine, Liz King Design, The Tangled Vine, Plumeria Cake Studio & OneHope Wine.