Surprise Reception

Posted On June 3, 2009

Filed under Wedding Venues, Weddings

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Melissa over at Operation NiCE posted this hilarious video by Improv Everywhere. According to their website, Improv Everywhere “causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places”. What could be a better definition for a wedding reception? and a surprise one at that!

I love how the newlywed couple just rolls with the punches and totally plays along. It’s a reminder to just enjoy your wedding day no matter what happens.

How would you react to a surprise reception?


Tricking Our Guests

The French Bulldog invitations are off to the printers, YAY! But before we could send them out we had to answer the tricky question of when to start the ceremony and more importantly what to put on the invitations. If you’re reading this thinking, “Um Frenchie, shouldn’t they be the same time?” I envy you for your punctual friends and family.

Papa Frenchie and I are always waiting downstairs for my Mama Frenchie and Sister Frenchie to be ready. I had a friend in high school who we’d tell something started at least an hour before it actually did in hopes of her being on time, and although none of my current friends are that bad I’m selfish and I don’t want people sneaking in, in the middle of the ceremony OR missing it entirely.

There is also the matter of traffic. The majority of our guest will most likely be driving 65 miles from Orange County to Rancho Bernardo, which, according to Google Maps takes a little over an hour. But, that is with no traffic.

The traffic from OC to SD can be hit or miss, you can make it to downtown in no time or it can take you hours. Most the time there is not rhyme or reason for the delay, especially in the summer. We’ve tried to alert our guests on our website and Wedding Map, but not everyone is going to check those sites. 

So what is our solution? We lied. Our invitation says that our ceremony will begin @3:30 (just like the website and the map), but we’re really going to begin @4. Annie, the winery’s coordinator, suggested placing a sign at the entrance to the Pavilion that says something like:

Did you lie about the start time of your wedding to ensure all your guest were on time?

The Frenchies Sniff Around for a Venue

Posted On April 21, 2009

Filed under Wedding Venues, Weddingbee

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Before Mr Frenchie and I were engaged we used to throw around ideas on where to get married. Very early on in our relationship we talked about The Labrador’s city of Savannah, GA. Like I said, I’m a Southern girl at heart, I was born in Atlanta, GA and used to visit my family just outside Baltimore, MD once a year. We dreamt of a wedding with “Southern Romantic Charm”, in a beautiful location such as this.

Look familiar?

But, alas, when it came down to it planning a wedding across the country, in a city neither of us had ever been to, while we both work full-time and I’m in school, just wasn’t realistic. This was about the time we realized we probably shouldn’t plan a destination wedding, even if it was still in CA. That crossed Napa, Los Olivos, and Camarillo off the list.

Napa Source

Los Olivos Source

Camarillo Source

And a venue of a completely different nature, The Del Marcos Hotel, Palm Springs, CA. Along with loving all things Southern Charm, the Frenchies love Mid Century Modern. Mr Frenchie discovered this hotel while looking for places to take his best friend (and now Best Man) for his Rat Pack themed Bachlor party, when he was getting married. Mr Frenchie and his Best Man, B, are all about modernism, Mr Frenchie and my first date was the weekend after he and B had gone to Modernism Week.

Cocktail Hour by the pool.

Getting Ready pics in this cool room

Did you and your Mr dream of wedding locations before getting engaged? Did you dream of a destination wedding only to realize the logistics wouldn’t work?

Inspiration Board #1

This is my first attempt at an Inspiration Board for our Wedding…


First Row:Paigely Maggie Sottero Dress, FH’s J Crew Suit, Cake Buffet
Second Row: boutonnieres from Martha Stewart Weddings, Daisy Centerpiece by Amanda Auer
Third Row: Mrs. Cupcake’s Twigs and Honey flower, Bernardo Winery GazeboBlue Bird from Urban Outfitters, Yellow Cupcake with Flag
Bottom Row: Bernardo Winery Wine Bottles, Yellow After Six BM Dress, J Crew Shoes, HerbsBouquet

Too Late?

Posted On March 10, 2009

Filed under Wedding Venues

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With less than three months to go, is it too late to change my venue and move my wedding to the East Coast?

I just saw the DREAMY ceremony site on Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Blog. It is straight out of a fairytale!

 These photo is from the wedding of Mikel and David, in St Michael’s, MD… I have family in MD, I could totally move my wedding… right? I love our country/bird themed wedding, but every once and awhile I run across a drool worthy wedding and I wonder – “What if?”

If you could change your venue, where would you move your wedding?

Visiting Our Venue

Posted On January 19, 2009

Filed under Wedding Venues

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This Saturday FH and I took my mom down to see our venue (we took my dad before Christmas, but I forgot my camera at home – bad blogger!), meet with the caterer and choose our wines for the Wedding… so I guess I should officially tell you where we’re having the Wedding (ceremony and reception) – The Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA. FH grew up near RB and we’d visited the winery a few times while dating and always threw around the idea of getting married there.
bwwebsitepic source

After visiting a TON of venues in OC and SD (and even one in LA) we decided to get married at the Bernardo Winery for a few reasons…
1 – Wine
2 – It is a place we can visit after we’re married.
3 – It is outside (this was one of our must have wedding requirements)
4 – Is was considerably cheaper than everywhere else we looked.
5 – The caterer and bakery were on site 🙂

Our meeting with the caterer went fantastically, Toni with Cafe Merlot, a dream come true! First thing she did was get us each a glass on sangria (which was delish, but sadly not something we can serve at the wedding) and let us choose our linens. After reading and hearing about what so many brides pay to have different linens than the standard white/off-white/black their venue carries I was blown away by all our linen color options! There we at least 30 colors options in the book.
Since FH and I had picked-up a copy of their catering menu before we had a good idea what we wanted…
1 – Pass Appetizers – Endive with BLT Salmon Mousse, Mini Ruebens, Phyllo Triangles and Prosciutto with Melon.
2 – Stationed Appetizers – Cheese, sausage crackers and breads etc
3 – Salad
4 – Salmon and Steak option – they will both come with Ratatouille and the Steak will come with herb mashed potatoes while the Salmon will come with rice.

We didn’t get to sample the menu this time, but we’ve eaten there before and LOVE the food 🙂

After our meeting and lunch, we walked over to the florist on site, but I was only able to get her card because another bride had beat me there and had be monopolized… by the way that bride’s wedding is in April of 2010! She is WAY ahead of me!

Realizing we weren’t going to get to speak to the florist FH and I showed my mom the Bon Bon Bakery. At the Bakery we were able to meet with the owner Joanne and put a deposit down to reserve our wedding date. Since they obviously do events other than the weddings at the winery I didn’t want some else to snatch up our date… the only book 300 servings for a day and she already had 1 cake for 80 servings.

Finally for FH, we went to the tasting room to select our wines for the wedding. We get to choose 2 whites and 2 reds and the champagne toast is included. They were out of our 2 favorite whites, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, so we tried the Pinot Grigio, which neither of us were very fond of – we’re just not a sweet wine bunch. Since the rest of the whites were sweeter we moved on to reds and tried little tastes of all those – Burgundy, Merlot, Cab and Carignane. The burgundy was good but not a favorful as the rest; the merlot, while very good, was a little to red for me for a summer wedding; the Cab was very full-bodied and had a great finish; and the carignane was spicey and very woody. Here are the wines we chose:
Whites – Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc – although we didn’t taste them on Saturday, FH and I have tasted them before.
Reds – Cab and Carignane – the Carignane is a red wine drinkers wine, and although gutsy we have wine loving friends that I believe will also appreciate it. After all what is the point of having your wedding at a winery if you go with all standard wines.

And last but not least the Champagne – their champagne is my favorite! FH and I are still deciding whether to keep the Sauvignon Blanc or serve champagne the whole night… we’ll see 🙂

On our way out we stopped in and met Annie, our onsite coordinator, who I hadn’t met in person yet and then we took a picture in front of the sign for our Save The Date… hopefully I can talk our invite friendor (story to come) into some photoshop magic.

Finals – CHECK!

Posted On December 3, 2008

Filed under Five for Friday, Wedding Venues

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Hi all 3 of my readers (okay four I just found out about a new one) I just finished my finals today so I have not excuse and I’m back to blogging – YAY!
First things first last Friday’s 5 for Friday, then venue shopping and selection, engagement party invites (I DIY’d something) and the conclusion of Brandon and Lindsay’s wedding.
I know you’re all on the edge of your seat 😉

Checking Venues Off The List

Posted On November 20, 2008

Filed under Wedding Venues

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Months before FH and were engaged I posted about venues we were considering. Now, that we are engaged and we’ve started the official venue search I thought I share the ones that have been crossed off the list.

1 – Park Ave, Stanton, CA – Still our favorite restaurant in the whole world and would actually be our venue if there outdoor space was larger. Now that we’ve been able to compile a guest list, we know we’re looking for a space for roughly 170 people. Park Ave could accomodate us but that would involve our guest in separate rooms durning the reception and we’re just now down with that, so bye-bye Googie Goodness.


2 – Napa, Ca; Solvang, CA; Camarillo or Palm Springs, CA – FH and I decided it would be MUCH easier on us to have a wedding that was local… you’ll see in posts to come that local for us can still be an hour away.

3 – The Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA – Unfortunately the city of Newport Beach no longer allows them to have weddings. Stupid city of Newport Beach, you crushed my wedding dreams!

4 – The Sherman Library and Gardens, Corona Del Mar, CA – I decided that no, I did not want a fountain in the middle of my ceremony.


Even if I didn’t have my ceremony and reception in the same place, they wouldn’t be able to fit all the guests in one space. Some guests would be outside while some were inside, but to be fair I didn’t asked them about that I just figured it out from their website, so if you’re interested in The Sherman Library I’d ask them first.

Power of the Internet

Posted On July 31, 2008

Filed under Wedding Venues
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Through the power of this internet I was able to “meet” a bride who had her wedding at the Del Marcos Hotel. She was kind enough (VERY KIND) to send me the link to her wedding photos and tell me about her experience, and while her wedding was lovely and her experience was wonderful it helped me rule the Del Marcos out as one of our options. Thank you MidModLover 🙂

Okay maybe another location (or 2)…

Option 7Del Marcos Hotel, Palm Springs, CA

Del Marcos Hotel

Del Marcos Hotel

How Cool it that!?!
FH discovered this hotel while looking for places to take his best friend (we’ll call him B) for his Rat Pack themed Bachlor party, FH is the Best Man. FH & B are all about modernism, FH and my first date was the weekend after they went to Modernism Week.

I haven’t been able to find pictures of other couples who have had their wedding here, so you’ll have to use your imagination along with me…

Cocktail hour by the pool maybe?

Del Marcos Pool

Del Marcos Pool

Getting ready pics in room like this…

Room w/ Kitchen

Room w/ Kitchen

Option 8
Bella Victorian Gardens and Vineyard, Camarillo, CA

One of my future BMs suggested this location after hearing that her Brother and SIL were attending a wedding on a vineyard in Camarillo, a location neither of us had ever considered. The very next day The Knot had a wedding in Camarillo as their Real Wedding of the Week and Mrs. Bird of Paradise featured ChelseyMiller‘s Knottie Bio of her wedding at the SAME LOCATION. Someone is trying to tell me something.

Beautiful Location…

Bella Victorian

Bella Victorian

Beautiful outdoor Ceremony…

ChelseyMiller's Ceremony

ChelseyMiller's Ceremony

Trolley for a GREAT photo op…



Fun outdoor Reception…

I'll take it!

I'll take it!

Decisions, Decisions…

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