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Downtown San Diego Styled Shoot | The El Cortez Don Room

Hello, gorgeous!!!

This incredible styled shoot at the El Cortez Don Room features vibrant jewel tones and rich golden hues for a truly jaw-dropping, luxury wedding. The outdoor fireplace on the terrace was the perfect setting for a stunning lounge designed by Breezy Day Weddings with rentals from TBD San Diego. Breezy Day Florals created some of the most spectacular arrangements I have ever seen! I'm still reeling over the incredible bridal bouquet!

With dark wood floors and a real 24k gold ceiling, the Don Room is one of the most romantic venues in San Diego. We ran with the romance and the gold theme to create a sweetheart table for the ages! From the floral arrangements to the gold flatware, this table is full of delicious colors and is sure to give you all the warm fuzzies.

In short, this shoot is one for the books! Every single detail created by the incredible team of vendors is perfection! Be sure to check out the entire list of vendors below! Enjoy!

Photography: Weston Bennett Photography

Coordination: Breezy Day Weddings

Florals: Breezy Day Florals

Venue: El Cortez Don Room

Hair: Laura Claire

Rentals: To Be Designed, Tavolo Chaise & Lighting

Linens: Patty's Linens

Cake: Frost Me Gourmet

Calligraphy: Orange and Melrose

FEATURED on The Black Tie Bride!

I'm absolutely THRILLED to announce that Jené and Nick's 1920s-inspired wedding at The Avalon Hollywood has been featured on The Black Tie Bride today! Cue happy dance! The Black Tie Bride is one of my absolute favorite bridal blogs because it celebrates classic elegance and vintage bridal inspiration (read heart-eye-emoji for days). I loved every second of Jené and Nick's gorgeous wedding and I'm so excited that their lovely images have been published! You can see the feature right here

Venue: Avalon Hollywood | Catering:Avalon Hollywood | Wedding Planner:Neighborly Events | Dress Brand:Maggie Sottero | Dress Point of Purchase: Karoza Bridal | Shoes Brand: Chase & Chloe | Shoes Point of Purchase: ModCloth | Flowers:It’s Me, Karley | Bridesmaid Dresses Brand: Erin Fetherston | Bridesmaid Dresses Point of Purchase:Rent the Runway | Hair: Chrissy Lynn | Make Up Stylist: Daniela Bernotas |  Make Up Salon & Products (including perfume): Besame Cosmetics | Rings: Blue Nile | Groom’s Attire Brand: Michael Kors | Groomsmen’s Attire Brand: Jean Yves | Groom’s/ Groomsmen’s Attire Point of Purchase: Friar Tux

Michelle & Robert | Pine Hills Lodge

Michelle and Robert met the old-fashioned way; her mom set them up! And it turns out that mother really does know best, because these two very quickly realized that they were head-over-heels in love. Nice job, mom!

Robert and Michelle's wedding was the perfect blend of tradition and uniqueness! I loved the juxtaposition of Michelle's pearls (passed down from her grandmother) and her incredibly beautiful sleeve tattoo that she designed herself! And don't let the tattoos fool you. It was an all pink wedding for this self-proclaimed girly girl, including her absolutely stunning engagement ring!

There were tears all around when Robert first saw Michelle before the ceremony. A first look for the books! You can see his deep love for Michelle every time he looks at her! What an amazing moment!

Their wedding party was full of friends, family, and of course, Michelle's sweet dog in a tuxedo! Can every wedding please include dogs? That would be great! The Pine Hills Lodge in Julian, CA was a perfect fall setting for this beautiful wedding! It was a fantastic day from start to finish!

Michelle and Robert, I wish you all the best in this incredible new adventure! It was such a joy spending your wedding day with you! Best wishes, my friends!

It Smells Like Paris

Paris by Yves St. Laurent is one of my favorite fragrances. Don't get me wrong, it smells like old lady. But it also smells like mischievous giggling and sneaking cookies at midnight. It smells like squeezing in close to cuddle in her overstuffed armchair and feeling the remarkable softness of her aged and wrinkled hands. It smells like decades of family portraits and school pictures in mismatched frames lining the narrow, creaky-floored hallway. It smells like an Arizona sunrise and waking up early to watch the quails eat the bird seed Papa scattered every morning. And it smells like the birthday cards she wrote me every year, intentionally spritzed with her perfume so I would know, without even looking, that it was from her.

I like to think that this tradition of spritzing birthday cards with perfume started with the love letters she wrote to my grandfather during World War II, but I can't be sure. I am certain, however, that Grandma got it. She understood that her precious perfume carried with it a lifetime of memories. That, just the slightest hint of her signature fragrance, felt like eating cookies and telling jokes and holding hands.

Fragrance is powerful. Our sense of smell is so strongly connected to our memories that it has the ability to transport us through time and space. That's why my favorite bridal detail to photograph is the perfume. On occasion, a bride will tell me that her perfume bottle is nothing special and doesn't need to be photographed. And in those cases, I politely disagree and say, "Your perfume is the fragrance of your wedding day. It's the scent of the anticipation you feel building inside your belly right now. It's the smell of laughing with your bridesmaids as you reminisce about college and try to keep from smudging your makeup with happy tears. It's the memory of walking down the aisle, holding his hand, saying I do, and being pulled in close for your first dance. Trust me. It's special."

I no longer receive birthday cards from my grandmother, and when I visit her in the Alzheimer's facility she lives in, she's not wearing Paris by Yves St. Laurent. We don't sit in her overstuffed armchair. She doesn't remember the Arizona sunrise or the creaky floor in the hallway, but I do. And when I hold her soft hands and hear her still-mischievous giggle, I think back to sneaking cookies at midnight, and it smells like Paris.

Jessica & Eric

Jessica and Eric met when he, a speech therapist, started working with her students in her special-education classroom. As the only young people working at the school, they quickly hit it off. And while Jessica knew very early on that Eric was interested in her, she wasn't quite ready to date. As far as she knew, he would be moving to another city soon enough anyway. But, as seems to be a common trend among the wonderful couples I get to photograph, Eric's persistence paid off. With his sights set on Jessica, Eric decided to stay in Monterey and even had his friends help him find a new job in the area, allowing them to start dating. And just as it didn't take long for these two to become close friends, dating quickly taught them that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

Their wedding in Monterey, CA was a joy to photograph. I loved the way they were able to tie in Eric's Chinese heritage with beautiful red florals and lanterns. And the backdrop for their first look at York School was stunning! Plus, Jessica all of the tables at the reception had musical theatre-themed table marker. Right up my alley, folks! I was humming show tunes all night long! But more than any of that, Jessica and Eric have the sweetest hearts, and that's what made sharing in their day so special. Their love for one another and everyone who shares in their story is palpable.

Jessica and Eric, my deepest congratulations and best wishes for your marriage. I love the way you love others. It's inspirational. Keep doing that and you're sure to have a very happy life together!