Creating your own Photobooth!

Photo stations have become part of the wedding reception culture. Without a doubt when you attend a wedding these days, there will be a photo booth or photo station! They are interactive, fun and a great way for guests to meet one another.

If a professional photo booth is not in your budget, don’t worry! There are many cost effective ways to create your own photo station without breaking the bank. The first step is to scope out your venue and decide on the best location. The ideal spot is somewhere with a solid wall or a place to hang a backdrop. If you choose to use a backdrop you can purchase a solid or designed sheet, curtain or tapestry. You can even make your own by ripping different solid colored sheets into strips and hanging them. Use a bamboo curtain for a tropical themed wedding or make a sparkly curtain with little round mirrors glued to string. Not too crafty? Choose a shower curtain with a map on it and have guests color in where they’re from with markers!

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Floating Lanterns at weddings!

We’re excited to share a current wedding and event trend with you: floating lanterns! Floating lanterns are very unique and create an enchanting experience. We wanted to share this because firstly, they look magical and secondly, we want to inform our readers of the safest and best way to incorporate them into events.

The floating lantern was created centuries ago by a Chinese military office as a signal beacon. Ever since they have been part of the Asian culture and are released on the Chinese New Year into the sky as a symbol of good luck for the coming year. The Thai people believe the floating lanterns will carry away their problems. The look these floating lanterns create is spectacular. It’s like floating, glowing balloons are rising high into the night sky. A former client and her family recently released floating lanterns in memory of her brother who passed away a year ago.

The release of lanterns here in the U.S. initially had some environmental concerns. The wires inside were not considered safe for animals and there was also a safety concern due to the large open flames. There are now companies selling wireless and eco friendly lanterns with guidelines on releasing. This includes releasing in an open area (away from both city and farmland). The lantern climbs until the wax fuel cell burns out and once it does, the air inside the lantern cools and it returns down. Getting eco friendly lanterns is important because it is safe for the environment with biodegradable materials.  You can find eco friendly lanterns at Event Lanterns and Sky Orbs.

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A Lovely Birthday Celebration!

Catherine’s birthday celebration was so many things: fun, impressive, and most importantly, enjoyable for the birthday girl herself. Catherine is a former event planner so we knew that in order for her to relax, she would need to see that At Your Side Planning had everything covered. We assisted Catherine in planning her perfect celebration; an environment of excitement and entertainment. The theme of the night was family, friends and wine. Catherine’s guests entered into a home lit with radiant ambient lighting and electrifying music provided by Steve from Unique Mobile Sounds. Steve played a wonderful mix and had the adults and children grooving all evening.

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We also loved seeing the children dance wearing props provided by Lovely Photobooth.

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The bar was stocked with many selections from Wilson Creek Winery.  We brought on Royalty Staffing to handle the bar for the night, who we adore working with. We placed the cutest signage throughout the home which had fun quotes such as, “Life is too short to drink bad wine.” The highlights of the evening included three casino tables from Casino To You where the guests were able to enjoy blackjack and roulette!

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The games were so popular and at the end of the night, any guests who had “money” remaining were able to purchase raffle tickets and win fabulous prizes such as dinner to Mortons in downtown San Diego!

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Another popular highlight was the delicious dessert buffet created by Deborah of Your Mind’s Eye. This station included so many tasty treats like cookies, mini cupcakes, candy, and more!

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Catherine had a slideshow created by Bob Hoffman Photo and Video of her life up until now which played on the big screen during the party. This let her guests learn fun facts about Catherine, like she was actually a Polynesian dancer as a youth! The food was prepared and served by San Diego Catering and the backyard looked terrific with rentals from Raphaels, including the space heaters that kept the guests warm. The entire night was captured by Autumn Bradshaw Photography who were a joy to work alongside with. We loved seeing Catherine and her husband enjoy themselves throughout the event.

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It was truly a pleasure planning and coordinating this birthday celebration! Thank  you Catherine for allowing At Your Side Planning to make your birthday amazing!

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Spotlight Alert! We are featured on San Diego Style Wedding’s blog!

We are so happy to share that one of our favorite weddings was featured yesterday on San Diego Style Wedding’s blog!

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See their blog here: Jenelle and Ryan Montijo – Wedding Featured on San Diego Style Weddings Blog

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We adored this couple and are thrilled that they are in the spotlight. If you would like to see the full gallery of their wedding, please visit the gallery here and to read all about this adorable wedding’s details here. Thank you Jenelle and Ryan for allowing us to plan and coordinate such a beautiful day for you both!

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Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!  We hope everyone is having a wonderful first day of 2013. It is said, the way you spend the New Years Day sets the tone for how the entire year will be! We are very excited about 2013 and all the amazing couples and clients we will be honored to be working with. Have a wonderful, joyous and enjoyable January 1st!

Cheers!

Diana Romero + At Your Side Planning Team!

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Wedding Trend Watch: 2013

The 20’s

Localized Food

Hipster

I am ecstatic to share some of the trends predicted for the coming year’s wedding market. And, if you don’t know what a hipster is, please continue reading!

1920’s Style
We predict the hottest wedding trend will be a 1920’s vintage style.  With the Great Gatsby being released, this era will make it’s way back into our culture. This will be especially true for wedding fashion and will include dropped waist dresses and lace. Pearls, feathers and headbands will accessorize this lovely look. I love accessories and can’t wait to see how my brides include these beautiful touches into their wedding look. Black tie and top hats are a nice touch for the gentlemen too. One of my favorite decor pieces is the chandelier, fabulous to use in the ceremony under the chuppah or wooden arch. Look out for influences from the 30’s and 40’s as well. I am designing a wedding with a vintage inspiration which will include lace, pearls, red lipstick, chandeliers, a vintage limo and more. I am loving the bride’s impeccable style, so creating something breathless and extraordinary for her will be a blast!

KRISTINA2011WED_MG_2188-EditPhoto by LEAF Photography

Food Stations, Food Truck and Localized Food

The 2013 couple will put more focus on food stations rather than plated or buffet style receptions. We helped design the food stations for an Out Of Africa styled wedding and it was a hit! Stations included items such as mac and cheese, hummus and skewers. Snack stations and after dinner snacks will become more popular too.  Some of our couples have surprised their guests towards the end of the evening with late night snacks like grilled cheese sandwiches. We can expect to see fun sweets emerge such as cotton candy, s’mores and kettle corn, not just the typical cupcakes. Ice cream trucks, taco trucks and food trucks focusing on localized food will continue to gain popularity. Gourmet food trucks are all over the media right now and many people follow their favorite truck (like MIHO in San Diego) on facebook and twitter so they know where to find them for lunch or dinner. Many food trucks buy locally and offer vegan, gluten-free and paleo foodie options that not all restaurants offer. I am a fan of localized food and eating as clean as possible so I am thrilled that this is making more of a statement in the wedding reception.

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Hipster
If you haven’t heard of a hipster is, let me enlighten you.  “Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.” (www.urbandictionary.com)

These couples are in their 20s/30s and will not go with the flow of the current culture. Distinct fashion and original ideas are in for them, tradition is out.  These couples will not be having mint as their color or a 1920’s theme.  They will consider food trucks though if localized and offering menus for vegans, for example.  The music will be different; not your typical wedding DJ but a unique rock band. Hair styles will be edgy and artsy.  Hipsters are about independent thinking so each wedding will be unique and designed to match the couple’s tastes and personalities.  I look forward to planning more wedding with hipster couples as I find it exciting to create a wedding that is non traditional with independent taste!

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Photos by Al Torrico Photography

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Balboa Park Spanish Inspired Prado Wedding

Paulina and Oscar’s wedding was so many things!  Fun, exciting, beautiful, stylish, big and extravagent!  The day was absolutely spectacular! The wedding ceremony was held at the Saint Francis Chapel with the reception at the Prado’s Grand Ballroom at Balboa Park in San Diego. The Saint Francis Chapel is designed with a Spanish Colonial feel, a perfect touch for their Spanish ceremony. Photographer, Tim Hardy, and videographer, Zeke Torres, captured every moment of this couple’s beautiful day. The bride looked just breathtaking. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour at the Prado with fine drinks, delectable hor’dourves, a mariachi band, and a photo booth provided by A Mobile Photo Booth. The reception was truly beautiful! A table filled with indulging cupcakes from Sprinkles, tall floral centerpieces and purple uplighting surrounding the walls provided a very elegant and stylish feel. Family and friends were definitely an important element to make this wedding unforgettable. Guests received custom hand beaded rosaries and personalized slippers (imported from Mexico City) were provided for all the ladies to ensure comfy feet for an endless night of dancing! Paulina and Oscar had the best of both worlds by having a live band and a DJ provide the music for their special event. The couple shared their first dance together to “Baby I Love Your Way” performed by Kalifornia band,with DJ Christian Ruelas, to back them up. Friends and family soon gathered around to party the night away! We are truly delighted to have had this opportunity to be part of the couple’s wedding day. Thank you Paulina and Oscar for this wonderful experience!  We LOVED helping create the wedding of your dreams and we know that you had an amazing honeymoon in Europe!!

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Vendor Thank Yous: The Prado, Mobile Photo Booth, Tim Hardy Photography, Zeke Torres Videography, Mariachi Zapopan, and St. Francis Chapel.

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Special thanks to Tim Hardy Photography who provided all these amazing photos! Tim Hardy is a fabulous photographer in San Diego who is well known in the wedding and event industry.  Tim often shoots for Riviera magazine.  If you need a wedding photographer, we highly recommend Tim Hardy Photography.   His website is shotbyhardy.com

 

Toss Bouquet

In researching history for wedding receptions in Europe, we discovered some great facts!  One item that we found intersting was the history of the toss bouquet.  Today the toss bouquet is a miniature version of the bridal bouquet and it is tossed to a crowd of single women.  The woman who catches the bouquet is believed to be the next one to marry!  In 14th Century Europe it was believed that no one was luckier than a bride on her wedding day.  In hopes to leave the affair with some type of lucky charm, women would tear at the bride’s wedding dress to take a piece as a keepsake in hopes to capture some of her luck and be the next to marry.  Over a period of time and many torn wedding dresses, the tradition of the bride throwing one of her shoes came about, which then evolved into the traditional bouquet toss that we all know and love. Although the toss bouquet tradition is taking a new form, it is still a memorable part of the reception.  One of our favorite things we have seen at weddings today is the bouquet being presented to someone closest to the bride’s heart such as her mother!  Whichever route you decide to go for your big day, your bouquet toss or presentation should be meaningful to you!

Bouquet by Isari Flower Studio

Photography by Flavio of Leaf Photography

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Fun and creative wedding engagement photo shoot!

Balloons, signage, San Diego, the beach and their dog!  What more could a perfect engagement shoot consist of?!  We wanted to share these lovely engagement photos from one of our great couples this year… Caroline and Bart.  These photos were provided by Joshua Word of One Love Photography.  The couple incorporated some creative items into their shoot…including their pug!  We hope you enjoy these photos as much as we did.  Courtesy of One Love Photography

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