I found out about William Innes through a postcard that he sent me and I'm very glad I found him! He's extremely professional and fun to work with. He did landscape photography for years prior to entering the wedding photography sector and won a national geographic award in the past. I found his packages to be comprehensive and reasonably priced (for wedding photography at least). He provides you with a nice leather bound proof book for you to choose your album photos from and gets it to you within a month of the wedding. I had my album within 3 months of the wedding, which is pretty fast. One of the main reasons I chose him was because I wanted a high quality album and he uses Leather Craftsmen, which is one of the top two album makers in the business. Some other photographers in his price range do not use as high quality album makers. I think my album is beautiful and he does a good job helping you design it. We also had an engagement photo shoot with him at El Matador State Beach and I think our photos turned out beautifully. I would highly recommend him to anyone for wedding photography.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Delicious, delicious cake! And beautiful as well. I love this bakery and they did such a good job on my cake. They are also reasonably priced compared to other bakeries and they throw in a free one year wedding anniversary cake. They have a wide variety of flavor choices, but my favorite was the white cake with vanilla bavarian cream and bananas. My husband liked the marble cake with fresh whipped cream and blackberries. You can pick 3 flavor combinations for the cake tasting. I also decided to go with danish buttercream, instead of fondant, but they were able to make it look so smooth I couldn't tell the difference (except that it tasted better!). I was so glad I found them!
Lake Forest, CA 92630
I got chair covers from Fusion Linens and they were easy to work with, reasonably priced, and did a wonderful job. I think the chair covers really added to the overall feel of the wedding reception and would highly recommend them. I had ivory chair covers with a gold sash and the cost was $4.35 each, which included tax and delivery. Chivari chairs are also very in style these days and Fusion has them as well, although I hear they are not very comfortable for guests to sit in. The best part is that once you book what you want, you don't have to do anything. They will call the reception site, deliver the items, set them up, and pick them up without you having to call anyone or do anything. They are very professional. I was very happy with their product and service.
Monarch Beach, CA 92629
I had my wedding ceremony here and it was beautiful. The church is close to the beach with a view of the ocean, although not right on the beach. The wedding coordinator, Fran, has had lots of experience and was easy to work with. She made me feel comfortable that everything would work out the day of the wedding. The $1500 cost includes the church for 3 hours (one and a half for pre-ceremony prep, one and a half for the ceremony and clean-up), wedding coordinator, rehearsal, sound tech, custodian, a pair of columns for flowers on the stage area, candelabras (3, including unity candle), and pew hurricane candles (5 pairs). Extra costs include an pianist/organist and pastor. One downside is that the schedule wasn't very flexible, so I had to have the ceremony at 3pm on Sunday (I think it's at 10am and 3pm on Saturdays). But that timing actually worked out well for us. Overall, a great ceremony site.
Marge is such a fun person to work with and an awesome makeup artist! She works for MAC, but has done lots of other work for ads and magazines. She also used the airbrush foundation on me, which she used on my face, neck, and upper body to create an even look with my strapless wedding dress. Me and my bridesmaids looked gorgeous and my hair and makeup stayed put all day. She also gives you a little touch up kit, which was helpful. I would highly recommend her.
Laguna Beach,, CA 92651
I had my wedding reception at the Surf and Sand in Laguna Beach and it was a wonderful experience. It's a great place for weddings with 180 people or less and it is right on the beach, although there is no direct view of the ocean from the ballroom. Still, I thought it was a beautiful venue. Shannon, our catering manager, was extremely helpful, organized, and accommodated all of our requests. She did a great job setting up the wedding reception (along with some help from my day-of-wedding coordinator). The reception was set up just how I had imagined it and maybe even better! We had the italian buffet for our menu with roasted beef tenderloin and a seafood medley that were delicious. You should definitely do a tasting if you can because the food is so good, as well as the wine and the dessert. We got a lot of compliments on the food. One downside was that towards the end, they ran out of the main ingredients to the seafood medley and had to use smaller shrimp instead of the large shrimp and lobster they had in the beginning. But I still thought everything was great.
Some basics about the venue. You normally have to have the ceremony and the reception there, but since I planned my wedding 4 months beforehand and it was on a Sunday, they were willing to let me have the ceremony elsewhere (South Shores Church, another awesome site). Otherwise, the terrace where the ceremony takes place directly overlooks the ocean, which is awesome, but the site is a bit small for 170 people and you have to rent all the rooms on the terrace, which can be expensive. But if you're looking for a unique ceremony site, this may be the place for you. One plus about the site is that valet parking is only $6 per guest. You also get a conference room to get ready in the morning of the wedding, which is pretty spacious and you can leave all your items in the room till after the reception. Another plus, if your guests don't drink a lot of alcohol (which may be a rare thing), is that alcohol is paid per drink with a set limit. Our limit was $2000 for 170 guests and we just barely went under that. They also have bulk drinks you can buy per gallon (like mojitos, champagne punch, mint lemonade) to serve to your guests, which can save you some money. A hotel suite is included with the package and it was a beautiful room right on the beach. A nice surprise was the champagne and chocolate covered strawberries that were in the room waiting for us after the wedding (and rose petals arranged in a heart shape on the bed!).
Overall, I had a wonderful experience at The Surf and Sand and would highly recommend it to anyone.
Some recommendations for vendors if you're having your wedding there: Fusion Linens for chair covers, The Great Dane Baking Co for the cake, and Innes Photography.