Sunday, October 18, 2009

Once Upon a Time....

Once upon a time I lived in LA and was a wedding coordinator. Actually I was more of a hotel catering manager, but for one gorgeous August day....I was a wedding coordinator. Having just planned 3 parties in the last month, I have been reflecting on the life I used to have in the wedding business. I thought that I would share with you a little insight into the wedding that was my first one that I took upon, outside of my day job. The bride was a good friend of mine. In fact, she worked at the same hotel as I did in Redondo Beach: The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club. I was the catering manager and she was the wedding coordinator.

Here is the gorgeous couple: Shawn & Katie

Now let me back up a tad....I moved to LA to be in the TV industry, but the first year I moved out there I found myself planning my own wedding and falling in love with doing that. I quickly realized that the wedding business was my passion. The Portofino was known for weddings due to our location on the ocean and we averaged about 4-5 weddings a weekend. Most were just receptions, but I would say a good 40% were ceremonies too!
So here I am...someone who had planned her own wedding (big TX wedding with 300 guests), someone who currently managed about 200 weddings a year, and someone who was ready to take on the "big day" for someone else...all on my own!

So Once Upon a Time...Here is where she decided to have her wedding!

The gorgeous St. Regis Hotel Monarch Beach in Dana Point, CA! It doesn't get much better than this folks.... She had a gorgeous August day, she had a perfect sunset, she had all her close family and friends there, and she had planned the perfect wedding! I felt like I was more than prepared, but wow...I clearly was not 100% flawless on my wedding planning duties. I attribute most of my short comings to the fact that I didn't not hire an assistant. I thought with all my experience that I didn't need one, but quite the contrary. Having had all my experience, I should have known that I needed a helper. The location, although spectacular, was S P R E A D O U T! The bride was getting ready on the opposite side of the property from where the reception was which was in a different location to where the ceremony was. I also had the photographer taking photos all over the place. Being the one woman operation I was, I didn't have any fancy "Walkie Talkies" or anything, nor anyone else to be sending commands too. Had I had an extra person, I could have cut down on my cardio time running around everywhere and could have double checked the details more. We had a small snafu with the seating (which could have been avoided had I had an extra 20 minutes to go over it one last time) and we had a near miss with the surprise bag-piper almost not becoming a surprise anymore. All in all it went as smooth as it could, and luckily the wedding was at a 5-star hotel and I had an easy going bride that was my friend. At least I wasn't too worried she would hate me forever if I made a few small mistakes. I just of course didn't want to make any!

Katie, had very good taste and knew what she wanted. If I had to pick a theme for her wedding, I would say Shabby Chic. It was so much fun thinking of ideas together and thankfully we both liked this look. Here are some of the details we had fun planning.

We also had a great photographer. He was also a friend to both of us. I knew that photography was one area that was particularly important to Katie. I went with her and we interviewed easily 5-6 photographers before she decided to go with Troy at Epic Imagery. In the end, we both new he was professional, did beautiful work, and was was all around great to work with. We knew what "we" were getting. There is just a good feeling you get when you know you can count on the photographer to be on time, do good work, be fun to be around, and capture the moments! Here are some of my favorite shots that he took. I am sure Katie has her own set of favorites, but these I really love.

I love how he captured the detail on her dress, the flowers, and her ring. So Pretty!

I love this one of Katie and her mom. They both looked gorgeous that day!

Here are a few of the beach shots taken at sunset

Now the reception was tons of fun. I mean planning wise....I didn't really partake in the party! All the guests seem to have had a blast, though. We had fun playing with the romantic roses, the crystals and all the shabby chic muted colors. We mixed dark brown into the scheme and it balanced it out nicely. Especially since there was a lot of dark brown in the room to begin with. Most times when you have a hotel wedding you have to consider the colors on the walls and the chairs.....unless you plan to pipe and drape the entire room and create a whole new space. In this case we decided our colors worked well the color scheme and we brought in chivari chairs. Here are some of the other reception specialties:

The signature drinks! Yummy!

Her cake was gorgeous and was so pretty sitting on the crystal cake stand.

"How sweet it was of you to have come" was what the sign read at the candy bar!

I had the most fun doing this wedding and helping Katie plan her special day. It confirmed 2 things for me...1.) that weddings are a lot of work and don't tackle a big one all by yourself, and 2.) that I love weddings and always will. Maybe one of these days I will get back into it. In the meantime I will just enjoy planning parties of any kind for my family and friends!

All photos courtesy of Epic Imagery, Los Angeles.


Holly said...

Beautiful wedding Tamara and Katie. Oh I miss those days. Thanks for sharing the story.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I'm kinda stunned that you haven't done any in TX! Your passion, experience, and sweet spirit make you a natural!

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