The wedding day has come and gone but it’s still on my mind! Last week we received our wedding photos from our amazing photographer, Carrie from McCluskey Photography. I wanted to share some of my favorites here as well give a shout out to all of my amazing vendors! September 28, 2013 was the BEST DAY EVER thanks to them!
Every single one of my vendors were a referral from a friend so I knew they’d all be great (and they were!).
Venue – The San Diego Rowing Club’s Garty Pavillion. This venue is hidden gem in San Diego. It was completely private and directly on the water in Mission Bay! The venue doesn’t have any required vendors so you can create your perfect vision. Auriel, the onsite coordinator is amazing to work with as well.
Day of Coordinator – Auriel O’Neill. Auriel is the coordinator for Garty but for an additional fee you can hire her as a day of coordinator. She was absolutely amazing and made our day run completely smoothly. We had a ton of vendors and Auriel worked with all of them to set up and get everything ready for our big day.
Photography – Carrie McCluskey. I can’t say enough about how amazing Carrie was! She was easy to work with, affordable and most importantly, produced AMAZING photographs! We can’t thank her (or recommend her) enough!
Engagement Photos – Denice Woyski of Woyski Photography. My Step Mom is a talented wedding photographer and did an amazing job at capturing our relationship for our engagement photo shoot.
Florist – Karen Mallory, From the Garden (located in a whole sale flower market in Carlsbad). Karen was incredibly accommodating with my budget (I didn’t want to spend a lot on flowers) and still produced absolutely beautiful arrangements and bouquets. She was actually the one to tell me to nix the arch since the ceremony backdrop and line of bridesmaids and groomsmen adorned in flowers were beautiful enough on their own, saving me hundreds of dollars.
DJ – Mike Farmer. Mike is a great DJ who worked well with our friend who played and sang for our ceremony and seamlessly transitioned from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception. He got the dance floor going all night and was a pleasure to work with!
Cake – VJ’s Donuts and Bakery. We loved our cake and even better, on our one year anniversary we will get a FREE cake in any flavor to enjoy so that we didn’t have to freeze our top tier! Also, the tasting includes 3 huge cakes to try and you can add on additional flavors to try for $5 each. We chose banana, carrot cake and chocolate raspberry flavors.
Photobooth – Instant Memories Photobooth. Everyone loved the photo booth because it was large enough to fit several people (maybe up to 8 if you realllly squeezed?!), included a ton of crazy and fun proper, and provides an attendant who will help operate the booth as well as encourage guests to put one of their copies of their photo in the provided guest book. It was so fun to go back through the guest book and look at everyone’s photos and read their comments! Also included is a disc with all photos taken that night.
Lighting- Blake from Promotion Entertainment. Blake was our coach when we trained with the Vavi Running Club to train for our first marathon so it totally made sense to hire him to do our string lighting. He did a great job and was reliable and great to work with!
Catering/Rentals Coordination/Bartending Services – Lisa from Epic Catering. Lisa is an awesome woman and a great chef. She works mostly out of her home (she has a warehouse and kitchen in a separate location as well) and will provide anyone with a totally customized and delicious menu at a really affordable price. Lisa also can provide bartending services and will coordinate all rentals with a 3rd party provider which reduces some of the work on the bride. I liked Lisa and her food was really good (she had us to her house for an amazing tasting complete with wine) but unfortunately she lacked good communication skills which stressed me out quite a few times. Her food is great but I am not sure I would recommend her to any Type-A brides as you may lose sleep over her business acumen. In addition, her bartender poured really strong drinks and got very drunk and then complained to all our guests when we ran out of vodka!
Makeup – Gina from Glamorous Brides. I loved Gina –she was one of my favorite vendors! She is great at what she does and incredibly welcoming and generous!
Hair – Amber Shy. Amber was really awesome and even let me come back for a 2nd trial when I ultimately decided the first one wasn’t going to work for me. On the day of, she was on time and she and her second stylist got through 11 hair styles! I absolutely loved my hair!
Wedding Dress – Mikaella Bridal (designer), purchased at Isis Bridal, an absolutely amazing bridal shop in Sorrento Valley in San Diego. They have a huge shop with a nice stage for the bride to show off all her dresses on. There is only one bride per session so the whole place is yours! I also had my alterations done here and they were very affordable. I can’t recommend this place enough. They have a great selection of dresses in all price ranges, including under $2,000 and everyone was so friendly and welcoming every time I came in.
Invitations and Stationary – Stephen Sampson. Originally we were going to use an Etsy vendor for our wedding invitations but she bailed on us last minute (we got our money back luckily) and a good friend stepped in. He ended up not only designing our invitations for $100 less but he also designed all of our stationary (thank you cards for each table setting, s’mores favor tags, thank you cards for sending, our table name cards which were named after races we have raced together and included a photo of us) and a really awesome poster board.
Mike’s Suit –Purchased from Joseph A Bank.
Groomsmen’s Suits – Rented from Friar Tux. We didn’t want tuxes, we wanted suits and found it incredibly hard to find! Friar Tux accommodated us easily and it was incredibly affordable for the guys!
Bridesmaid Dresses – Love Lane (Designer), Purchased at Bella Bridesmaid La Jolla. The bridesmaid dresses were cute and affordable without looking cheaply made. Liza, the owner, was great at communicating order status and helping me get all the girls in the correct dresses and sizes (they all wore the same color but there were 4 different styles).
Hotel & Rehearsal Dinner– The Catamaran Resort and Spa. This hotel was a ½ mile down the boardwalk from the venue and served as the perfect getaway for our guests.
Officiant – Bret Harris, a good friend.
Acoustic Guitarist – Phil Roliz, a good friend. I walked down the aisle to Better Together by Jack Johnson, one of Mike and my favorite songs.
Honeymoon Registry – Traveler’s Joy. We live in a small apartment at the beach and do not have room for a lot of new home goods! Instead, we registered for our Italian honeymoon via the amazing website Traveler’s Joy. It was easy to use (it does take a small fee from your gifts but it doesn’t charge your guests the fee which is nice) and people really enjoyed giving us parts of our trip. It’s set up so that you can map out all the items you would like purchased for your honeymoon however you like and add photos from the Internet or their database of photos so that people get a better idea of what you’ll be doing (for example, we registered for “Dinner in Cinque Terre, a region known for its pesto” and we chose the price of $70 for each meal. In the end, you just get a lump sum of money but we really did do nearly everything on our registry!
Craftiness and Personal Touches
We really wanted our wedding to personal and part of that was crafting! I tried not to go too overboard with the crafting, but here is what I made:
- 15 table name cards, one for each race Mike and I have raced together (no repeats!). Each card had the race name, a photo, a brief description of the race.
- Escort cards were a photo of at least one member of the party attending (we tried to get one for everyone if possible) which were strung on string on empty frames. I made a sign that said “Find your face to find your place” and people were to find the photo of them and it would say which table to go to. This was a labor of love project that took many, many hours but was totally worth it!
- Personalized vows. This is probably my favorite thing that Mike and I did. We wrote each other vows and it was the best part of the day when we read them to each other.
- Gift card box in chevron, grey, yellow and white
- Standing sign that said “Best Day Ever” with an arrow pointing to the venue.
- Signs for our Instagram hashtag #TheDobys, “The Dobys Est. 9.28.13” and for the bar, “I be your glass of wine, you be my shot of whiskey,” a quote from a Blake Shelton song that was a favorite of mine and Mike learned to sing and play on the guitar for me!
- Sign to block off the aisle that said “The Dobys”
- S’more Favors with personalized tags
- Signs for the back of our chairs that said “I’m his Mrs.” and “I’m her Mr.”
- A “Thank You” card that we personalized (got the idea from Pinterest of course) and put on every place setting, thanking our guests for spending the Best Day Ever (so far) with us.
- The Doby Wedding 5k! You probably already saw the post about it, but instead of a post wedding Sunday brunch, we asked our guests to run an informal 5k race with us!