Fazeli Winery Temecula Wedding
There are a lot of popular wedding venues in Temecula wine country, but one of the hidden gems in the area is a venue called Fazeli Cellars. What makes Fazeli Cellars different from other wedding venues in Temecula is the architecture offering elegant towers and a jaw-dropping dual grand staircase. And of course the location still gives any bride and groom the iconic vines that are symbolic of Temecula wine country. However, this blog post is not a advertisement for Fazeli Cellars, but rather a post about Kam and Elizabeth’s Temecula destination wedding! So we will just take a step back and let the amazing photographer who captured the wedding tell you more. Below are the photographs and words of Brittney from Astray Photography who documented Kam and Elizabeth’s wedding day at Fazeli Cellars!
Was This Your First Temecula Wedding?
No, we have been shooting in Temecula wine country for a little over 5 years. However, this was our first wedding at Fazeli Cellars, and we LOVED every moment of it! The Temecula wedding venue was fantastic but the best part was the diversity of this religious wedding. With the groom being Indian (Kam’s parents came from India), capturing the ceremony with so many traditional Hinduism practices was really amazing. I also was obsessing over this stunning two piece wedding dress Elizabeth rocked! From the stylish bride to the architecture of Fazeli Cellars, we loved everything about this Temecula wedding!
Favorite Part About Temecula Wine Country
My favorite part about Temecula wine country has to the sunsets for sure!!! In our opinion Temecula has some of the most amazing sunsets! The way the sun glows as it drops behind the mountains is breathtaking! BUT nonetheless … the vineyards, I have this weird obsession with the vineyards. You can always create some sort of story even in the winter months when the vines are bare and a bit eerie.
Bride & Groom
The bride (Elizabeth) and groom (Kam) were both from Chicago, choosing to travel to Southern California for a destination wedding in Temecula. They shared a bond of not only love but enjoyed just having fun together. They really were awesome people. Not to forget their love for ice cream, instead of having a wedding cake they had Cold Stone Creamery during the wedding reception! This might sound cliché, but there were no struggles on this wedding; everything went smooth and the bride and groom had an amazing time with their guests.
Favorite Moment From The Temecula Wedding
My favorite moment of this wedding had to be the first look with the bride and her father. She was his only daughter and they shared this connection that was so sweet and priceless. They even shared this pretty epic hand shake that they did after the first look and when he handed her off at the wedding ceremony.
Getting The Bride & Groom Comfortable With Wedding Photos
One of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer is capturing the organic and real moments that the bride and groom share. I love to pose them enough to feel comfortable however direct them to he engaged with each other so I can capture the real laughter and moments that occur. I love to have my couples move often, not to stay in one position for long so that the moment does not look staged (walking/running toward me, talking to each other, laughing, expressing their love …etc.
About The Temecula Wedding Photographer
Hello!! My name is Brittney of Astray Photography and I have been shooting weddings for a little over 5 years and I’m totally obsessed! I LOVE capturing “the best day ever” for so many couples. I love capturing moments that tell a story, I am all about organic and natural moments (no 80s prom poses over here!). I have so much fun with my couples because it is important to me to not only build a business relationship with them but to also create a friendship! I am married to my high school sweet heart for almost 3 years now, we both grew up in Temecula, Go Golden Bears! But now live in beautiful San Diego, in north Pacific Beach and totally loving it. We love to travel and of course, take thousands of photos along the way. Xox
Those interested in viewing more religious Temecula weddings can check out this Jewish wedding at Temecula Creek Inn Stone House.
Mansion Wedding In Temecula Wine Country
Most people planning a destination wedding in Temecula probably first start looking into venues out in wine country, and that is a really great place to start! However, what many people outside of Temecula may not know is that the “Napa of Southern California” also has many other unique locations perfect for hosting a intimate wedding. One of those awesome locations is a private estate/mansion located out in Temecula wine country which recently was the backdrop for a Ryan and Jeanine’s cozy wedding. The wedding details were perfect, the bride+groom looked fantastic and that checkered floor at the wedding ceremony was freaking awesome. But we won’t take up any more of your precious time talking about Ryan and Jeanine’s Temecula wedding when you can view the photos below that were flawlessly captured by Uriel Photography! We will let her tell you more about this lovely couple and the wedding day now!
The Bride & Groom
Jeanine and Ryan were absolutely MADE FOR EACH OTHER! They are both engineers: Ryan designs Rockets and Jeanine designs children toys. They are both adventurous and love to travel but have demanding jobs that require them to stay close to home in Los Angeles. The couple found me through Instagram which is where most potential clients come from. And truly this is a hug compliment considering there are thousands of wedding photographers on Instagram and they choose ME. As soon as Jeanine found me on social media she told Ryan to seal the deal. He contacted me and booked right away!
Getting The Bride & Groom Comfortable
Ryan and Jeanine had never been in front of the camera before their engagement session. In fact, they thought it would be an awkward experience but felt it needed to be done. Engagement sessions are such an important part of the wedding process. We laugh a lot, sometimes drink, and dance like bafoons! When I act like a fool my brides/grooms tend to have no problem coming out of their comfort zone. When the wedding day comes they have already done the hardest part and they trust that I will capture them in the best way because we have established that friendship. They can focus more on their wedding and less on if they look okay on their wedding day.
Favorite Moment From The Temecula Wedding
My favorite moment from this Temecula wedding was when Ryan danced with his mother which had a hard time getting around. She was able to enjoy the wedding from afar for most of the day but this special moment was her time to really be fully emerged in her son’s wedding. There were lots of tears and full hearts.
This whole wedding was basically all DIY, the flowers were made by the brides mother, the dress was from a small boutique in Los Angeles, and the DJ was the bride and groom, they hand selected each song for a 4 hour period so they would love every song that was played. These two could not have had a more perfect wedding! They had a beautiful location, with the people that matter the most. They also didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen which I thought was awesome because it took off so much stress because they only had to worry about themselves and each other.
Was This Your First Wedding In Temecula
The vineyards are the main reason people come to Temecula (and of course those fermented grapes), but another reason couples choose to get married in Temecula is because of the private estates like this wedding venue. This was my first time shooting at this specific venue, but I shoot in Temecula often. My favorite part about this Temecula wedding venue was the fact that you could have your out-of-town guests stay at the private mansion. Even though this wedding venue/private estate was huge it really was designed for intimate weddings. There were about 45 guests which was more than enough for the ceremony and reception site.
About The Temecula Wedding Photographer
Rachael of Uriel Photography
I have been a full time wedding photographer for the last 2 years, and before that I refused to do weddings because everyone told me they were the scariest thing to photograph. However, the first wedding I shot I absolutely fell in love with the style of shooting. I couldn’t get enough of the thrill of all the emotion, the dancing, and the beauty that comes out of one day after months and months of planning. My mom was a photographer and I grew up modeling for her classes and workshops she would teach. I became her editor after hours and hours of YouTube tutorials before I even picked up a camera. The moment I got a camera in my hand I have not stopped learning more and more about photography. I am constantly educating myself and traveling the world to get more education from other photographers. You could say I am addicted to education because there is always more to learn! This year I have been pushing destination weddings, my dream is to travel the world photographing weddings and teaching workshops. I would love to travel every country before I turn 30.
Winery Engagement Photos At Wilson Creek
Fresh up on Temecula Wedding blog we have a Wilson Creek Winery engagement submitted to us from “Weddings by Adrienne and Amber“, a fabulous team of Michigan wedding photographers. I can honestly say that we are LOVING this story just as much as these photos that go with them. Its the kind of thing that as adults, hanging out with your buddies, you dream of. [or maybe not. depending on who your buddies are]
As the story goes, Alysse’s mom and Nick’s dad go way back. In fact, they went to high school together. The two of them and Lisa’s first husband were “the three best friends anyone could ever have.”
Yet somehow Nick and Alysse had never really met or hung as kids growing up. Even though their families were together at numerous family gatherings and parties… Pretty crazy, right? Well, let us fast forward ahead many years later in life. Both Nick and Alysse were out of college. Nick was already living in San Diego and now Alysse was moving there too. And why not? Its a great place to live! I’ll give you one shot to guess where they moved to… think the typical place where most college kids in SD wanna be during the summer time? did you say Pacific Beach? If so you win a shot of fireball redeemable at PB bar and grill. Put it on Nick’s tab, he said its cool 😉
Back to our story: Sooooo just a few days after Alysse’s dad had dropped her off in Pacific Beach, he found himself at a graduation party in Michigan reunited with Nick’s parents. They got to talking and realized that both families had children in San Diego. Now they might not admit to this but its pretty obvious what happened next, they secretly hatched a plot. Its like that movie parent trap but with adults instead of kids. Pictures and phone numbers were exchanged. Then came the embarrassing messages from the parents encouraging the two to get together. Eventually for the satisfaction of the parents it resulted in a Facebook message — Nick asked Alysse to meet for drinks and [after a few jagerbombs ;] .. as they say, the rest is history.
They knew their Temecula engagement session had to take place at one of their favorite vineyards, Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula, California! This is where their love started.
Tell us about the memorable and special day you were proposed to 🙂
“We had just landed for a a trip to Hawaii, Maui specifically. He had gone out of his way leading up to this trip to give me ZERO indication this was happening. It could not have been farther from my mind actually. We landed and we walking to get food along the ocean and he said “let’s go look at those rocks” These were rocks leading out into the ocean. Me being the adventure spirit that I am, I immediately took of my shoes and ran toward the rocks only to hear him yell at me from behind “Alysse…!” and I turned around and he was on one knee. It was beautiful.”
We asked Alysse to share something with our readers to help in regards to the wedding planning process. Heres what she had to share:
“The biggest tip that I have is to visit a venue that you would never pick because it might surprise you. I was all about a beach ceremony and coastal view wedding. The last venue we looked at was our enchanted, romantic, whimsical garden and it was the one that melted our hearts. We knew with just one walk through that this is where our wedding had to take place.”
Why Wilson Creek Winery For The Temecula Engagement Photos?
“Early on, Nick introduced me to red wine. Wine nights quickly became “our thing.” The obvious next step was to take a trip up to Temecula. Well, we were blown away by our experience and kept coming back for more. A few wine club memberships later, we began frequenting Temecula Valley once a month for a date day or date weekend. It only made sense for us to return to our favorite winery to capture our Engagement photos in Temecula.”
Wedding At Galway Downs Equestrian Park
When most brides and grooms choose a destination wedding in Temecula they usually opt for one of the popular vineyards in Temecula wine country. However, there are many other wedding venues in Temecula that are just as amazing, and that is what Andrew and Janet discovered when they accidentally stumbled upon the city of Temecula. When this engaged couple from Texas were traveling through Southern California they made a random stop in Temecula and instantly fell in love with the area. But even though they enjoyed sipping on some reds and whites in Temecula wine country they were not making a connection to the area in terms of a perfect wedding venue. Eventually, they would come across an equestrian park in the area and the rest, as they say, is history. But we will let the bride and groom tell you more about it! Enjoy!
Galway Downs: What Made You Choose This Temecula Wedding Venue?
Great question! Before we get to the meat & potatoes of why we chose Galway Downs as the wedding venue, there’s some context you might need to know. We are from the great state of Texas. We also currently live in Texas. We have zero ties to California, much less Temecula. So yes, we’re random as hell. Spontaneous. But we suppose there is a method to the madness, purpose to the chaos.
Freshly engaged, we were on vacation to California last December, and we stumbled into Temecula on our road trip from San Diego to Los Angeles. In our starved stupor to find the nearest In N’ Out, we found ourselves in the heart of So-Cal wine country. Wineglass after wineglass, laugh after laugh, & wedding venue after wedding venue, we realized that we loved Temecula. Our favorite Temecula wedding venue ended up being Galway Downs, an equestrian ranch, as it offered a perfect blend of natural beauty and rustic charm. Said another way, Galway Downs offers the most beautiful property in the Temecula area. Trust us, we visited many, many, many of the wedding venues around. On top of that, Galway was now managed by Wedgewood Weddings, which offered packages that were both all-inclusive and customizable at the same time.
Tell Us About The Temecula Wedding Ceremony
Faith. Family. Friends. From the opening moments to the recessional, these three themes were interwoven into every detail of the wedding ceremony. As Janet walked down the aisle with her father, Merrie, one of the bridesmaids, soulfully sang Brook Fraser’s “Hymn.” Coupled with the raw emotion on Janet’s father’s face as he symbolically gave her away, the opening moments were powerful & amplified by the presence of faith, family, and friends.
After the processional, a dear friend begin with a reading from the officiant was a friend who knew the couple and their relationship quite well. He started with 3 descriptive words that the bride & groom had secretly provided the officiant. Janet described Andrew as a Leader, Generous, and Thoughtful. Andrew described Janet as Playful, Persistent, and Magnetic. Soon after, Janet & Andrew shared fiercely passionate wedding vows that they had written themselves. Andrew’s vows were an oddly provocative mix of self-deprecation, heavy breathing, and raw emotion, while Janet’s vows gave you goose bumps and made your eyes sweat with her eloquence and sincerity. The couple then proceeded to partake in communion & prayer. Concluding the ceremony with what can only be described as an aggressive kiss, the newly married couple frolicked and pranced down the aisle to the euphoric tones of Marvin Gaye.
Did You Have First Dance?
First Dance. Our first dance begin with a simple sway to the falsetto of Jamal Moore* that eventually culminated in a sweaty, sizzling whirlwind of hip hop. No seriously. Using a money mix of 32 songs, where we awkwardly attempted to display the evolution of hip hop dancing from the 80’s until now. From MC Hammer to Beyonce, we did the Humpty, Tootsie roll-ed and Dougied till we about collapsed.
* First dance song was the Jamal Moore’s cover mix of Major – This Is Why I Love you & Joe Cocker – You are so beautiful. Click it. You might get pregnant after listening.
Wedding Details & Events
Guestbook/Photobooth. We used an Instax printer, which is essentially an instant printer that will print out a polaroid of any photo from your phone. After taking a selfie or using another photo from the wedding, our guests printed out polaroid snapshots of themselves, pasted it into our guestbook, and signed a note underneath. On top of that, this Instax printer functioned as a mobile photobooth for the rest of the night, where guests could take goofy, serious, and glamour selfies any time and take home polaroid print-outs as tokens from the night.
Candy Bar. We had buckets of favorite candies for our guests, filled with a seemingly endless supply of what some of our guests described as cocaine or meth. But if anyone asks, they were buckets of sour belts, sour patch kids, gummy bears, sour worms, peanut m&m’s, and assorted Kit-Kats. Actually yeah, let’s go with that last description.
Father-Daughter Dance. Janet and her father danced tenderly with one another to Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” About 3 minutes into this sweet scene, these two troublemakers damn near cracked the dance floor with their emphatic moves to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem.
Garter Toss. As the sultry beats of Ginuwine’s “Pony” echoed throughout the reception hall, Andrew rhythmically made his way across the dance floor, where a nervously giggling Janet sat. After one too many pelvic thrusts into the air, Andrew finally did his best Magic Mike impression and slid under Janet’s dress to claim his prize. Get your mind out of the gutter, he was just awkwardly trying to find the garter. But behold, instead of pulling a garter to toss, he instead pulled out a gleaming, golden, WWE championship wrestling belt. Contrary to your typical garter tosses, the unmarried men begin boxing each other out for the belt, instead of slinking away in the shadows from the usual fear of marriage.
Our Temecula wedding DJ was quite good & responsive to our likes/dislikes. He was incredibly helpful in planning the wedding, and he made us really realize & appreciate how important a DJ is to the wedding. He played exactly what we wanted, which was a mix of 80’s, 90’, early 2000’s, and current hip-hop & R&B music, and he was the perfect emcee, as he kept the flow going & added spice when needed.
Most Memorable Moment From The Galway Downs Wedding
Andrew: My most memorable moment were the exchanging of vows that Janet and I had written for each other. In a matter of minutes, I was able to : (1) bare my heart to the love of my life, (2) hear that same very soul affirm her love to me, and (3) share that moment with our closest family and friends.
Janet: When Andrew and I finally had a peaceful second at the sweetheart table during the reception, we were able to just take in the sights, the sounds, and the moment that was our wedding. I thoroughly enjoyed observing all the laughter, dancing, and nonsense that spread across the room. There’s something about having all your loved ones come together that makes you melt.
Were There Challenges Planning A Wedding In Temecula
Well. As a Texas couple planning a wedding in Temecula, California…..the hardest challenge was probably wrangling & pinning the ADHD-groom down and getting him to engage & contribute to the wedding planning, which yes, had nothing to do with the distance. In all seriousness though, the most challenging part was really organizing the big picture. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of decorations, flowers, bridesmaid dress choices, etc., but having a structured, overall game plan to keep things moving along was key.
What Advice Would You Give To Other Brides On Their Wedding Day?
Put the whip, the hammer, and the pen down. As soon as you wake up on this day, no amount of planning, logistics, and last minute worrying is going to change anything about your wedding on the day of. You have blazed a trail of thoughtfulness, problem-solving, and creativity in the months & days preceding your wedding day, and therefore now, you should trust in all the hard work you & your groom have done up to this point. Lean heavily on your coordinator, groom, and wedding party for any last minute concerns, but just breathe, relax, and smile. Your wedding day is a chance for you to be loved, to be pampered, and to simply be in the moment in this most precious day. Enjoy the laughter, indulge the tender, intimate moments with your best friends as you get ready, and appreciate every second of the entire day, because trust me, it passes by so fast, like all the best moments in life do.
Temecula Wedding Vendors
- Temecula Wedding Photographer: Ryan Horban
- DJ & Emcee: Austin Murray
- Temecula Florist: Soiree Floral Design (Sheila Alonzo)
- Wedding Cake: Bo Cakes (Kathy Stringer)
- Videographer: Alexander Mo Photography
- Caterer: Galway Downs (in-house)
- Makeup Artist: Salon De La Mariée (Kori Hayne)
- Hair Stylist: Salon De La Mariée (Carolyn Godina)
- Temecula Wedding Coordinator: Wedgewood Staff (Mikayla, Diana, Alex)
- Transportation: UBER Events
Temecula Creek Stone House Wedding
Abbie and Evan met on the couch at a mutual friend’s house. They talked the whole time while a game was on in the background. Evan tried to get Abbie’s number, but his friend was pursuing her too so UH-OH! Believe it or not, 5 weeks later Abbie and Evan ran into each other in the lobby of a hotel on Christmas Eve at a Jewish single’s event. This time they were able to exchange numbers, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Evan proposed on our 3 year anniversary at the Huntington Library and Gardens. Though I was expecting that we would be engaged at some point that year, the day it happened was a total surprise and was FULL of surprises. There was even a hidden photographer in the bushes at the gardens. We celebrated at dinner with both of our families that night, followed by a weekend at the hotel where ran into each other for the second time 3 years beforehand. The Huntington Gardens is now a very special place for us and we plan to return there every year on the anniversary of our engagement weekend.
Why Did You Chose The Stone House As Your Temecula Wedding Venue?
We chose The Stone House at Temecula Creek Inn because it is outdoors, rustic, beautiful, and has a backyard wedding vibe. We loved the layout and the feeling of the old antique Stone House. It had the right feel for a Springtime, outdoor, bohemian, rustic wedding. Our Temecula wedding was a Jewish wedding officiated by a Rabbi. We included rituals which are explained in the attached wedding pamphlet which we made for our guests
Wedding Details: TELL US ABOUT THEM!
Wearing my wedding dress which was my grandmother’s and my mother’s! Also the beautiful outdoor setting in Temecula, being surround by our dearest family and friends, the gorgeous flower arrangements, and some of the handmade decorations from my coworkers. We also had an awesome band called the Royal Jelly Jive! They are a jazzy band with brass instruments and a female vocalist. We had a first dance – it started with a slow song (called Build a Home by the Cinematic Orchestra) as this was the first song Evan ever shared with me (we looked back through our first messages and he had sent this to me the first week we started talking). Then it cut out to one of our favorites – Old Crow Medicine Show (another song we’ve always called “our song”) at which point we invited all of our guests to come join us on the dance floor.
What Was Your Favorite Moment From The Stone House Wedding?
Walking down the aisle for sure. It was a completely surreal moment. I remember trying to take everything in. As soon as I saw my grandparents stand and turn towards me, I totally lost it and started crying. It was like watching a movie of my life with all the important people there. And now I have a permanent picture of that moment in my mind!
Any Wedding Planning Challenges?
There were so many challenges when it came to our Temecula wedding planning! It’s hard as a couple to suddenly become event wedding planners together. It was also especially hard because Evan was working full time and in graduate school at night during the time we were planning, so having time to make decisions or talk about plans felt nearly impossible. We were challenged to improve and sharpen our communication skills, and we learned to work together as a team. I think the whole wedding planning process and engagement period is good practice for life as it involves a ton of communication, making sacrifices, compromising, and learning to be partners.
Advice From The Bride
Look out to the crowd of your loved ones during the ceremony and take a mental picture of everyone looking up at you and your partner. This is a memory that will stay with you if you take it in! Also don’t sweat the small stuff – not everything will be perfect, but don’t get too caught up in those details and don’t let it take away from the sacredness of the day.
Wedding Program Info
The Wedding Dress
Abbie (the bride) wore the dress that her grandmother Phyllis wore when she married Abbie’s grandfather Bill in 1951. Abbie’s mother Gretchen also wore this weddingdress when she married Abbie’s father Danny in 1982. It is a true antique heirloom gown and it has come through three generations of love. It was re-styled and updated for the wedding day. Hanging in the Stone House on the wedding night also was an oil painting of Abbie’s grandma Phyllis wearing the dress on her wedding day!
The Wedding Songs
Evan’s processional song was Ravel’s Bolero by Pink Martini. Abbie’s processional song was a traditional Hebrew song – Erev Shel Shoshanim – meaning, “Night of Roses”. It was sung on the wedding day by Abbie & her dear friend of many years, Talia Katzir. They recorded it at Abbie’s cousin Alex’s music studio for this special occasion!
Jewish Wedding Traditions
The Ketubah is the Jewish marriage contract that outlines the reciprocal responsibilities and promises between husband and wife. Abbie & Evan signed their Ketubah earlier on the wedding day in a private ceremony attended by witnesses and family.
The chuppah is a canopy that symbolizes the home that Abbie & Evan will build together. The chuppah is open on all sides, also symbolizing that friends and family are always welcome in the newlyweds’ home.
Jewish weddings traditionally begin with the bride circling the groom seven times. In ancient times, circling was known to be a means of protection, building an invisible wall around the groom and protecting him from evil spirits. Abbie and Evan have chosen to modernize the tradition by circling each other, as a statement of balance and reciprocal respect. By circling each other seven times, Abbie and Evan intertwine their lives and form a new family circle.
In Jewish tradition, wine sanctifies an event. The first Kiddush cup that Abbie & Evan used on the wedding day was given to them by Abbie’s parents, to be used for that special purpose. The second Kiddush cup is one that Evan received and used at his Bar Mitzvah.
According to Jewish custom, the exchange of an item of value in front of family and friends is the act that seals the marriage contract. The ring is a complete circle representing the wholeness achieved by marriage, and the hopes of an unbroken bond of love between Abbie & Evan.
The seven blessings, recited over the bride and groom, are the heart of the Jewish marriage ceremony.
A tallit is a prayer shawl. Abbie & Evanused a tallit belonging to Evan’s father Robert. The tallit was wrapped around Abbie & Evan during the blessing of the newly married couple.
Breaking the Glass
The ceremony concluded with Evan stomping on a glass. The glass used on their wedding day was given to Abbie & Evan by Evan’s father Robert and his wife Miriam as an engagement gift to be used at their wedding. The breaking of the glass has many interpretations. One interpretation suggests that the glass is broken to symbolize the triumphs and tragedies of the Jewish people throughout history. Another suggests that it is broken in recognition of the fragility of life, even in the happiest of moments. Yet a third suggests an implied prayer: this marriage will last as long as the glass remains broken. After Evan broke the glass, the wedding guests yelled “Mazel Tov!” to the newly married couple as the celebration started!
Temecula Wedding Vendors:
- Temecula Creek Inn (Venue & Catering)
- Diana & Co. (Wedding Planner)
- Soiree Design & Events (florals)
- Madame Palooza (Rentals)
- Sweet Creations by Judy (Candy Bar)
- BoCakes Bakery (Wedding Cake)
- Sage Justice (San Diego Wedding Photographer)
- Wade Koch of Shark Pig (Videographer)
- Royal Jelly Jive (Band)
- L’ezu Bridal Atelier (Wedding Dress Restyling)
Europa Village Wine Country Wedding
Romance can bloom in many different environments, as was the case with Alicia and Sam, two intellectuals who were both randomly brought to a night club by friends and had a chance encounter. The club scene usually involves a significant amount of drinking and dancing, but when Sam and Alicia met the topics of conversation were healthcare and hiking. They had a instant connection and that chance meeting at a night club turned into hiking trips, vacations together, an engagement and then a wedding in Temecula, California at Europa Village Winery. It really is crazy how life works out!
While going through the wedding planning process Sam and Alicia wanted to make things as simple as possible because they both have very busy work schedules. Therefore, it was important for them to find a wedding venue in Temecula that really took care of the little details. After looking at many different wineries in Temecula that offered weddings, Sam and Alicia opted to get married at Europa Village Winery which is located right off Rancho California Road. They loved how the ceremony site was very close to the wedding reception area and how the entire dinner would be served outside under beautiful market lighting that was provided by the venue. This would keep the wedding guests close together, interacting with one another and having a good time throughout the evening.
In terms of style, Alicia wanted a classic and romantic look. Her bridesmaids wore light green dresses that each had a different style so each bridesmaid could show off her own unique personality. Alicia also wanted a wedding dress that was not only elegant but functional so she could dance the night away without having to swap into a reception wedding dress. Alicia opted to have a first look so the couple would have more time for photos after the wedding ceremony, but she still wanted to surprise Sam during the ceremony. Therefore, she did not wear her wedding veil during the first look and his jaw dropped when she came walking down the aisle in all her wedding glory with the veil. It really was a great idea!
Tips From The Bride
One of the things Alicia highly recommended was personally meeting or having a Skype with all the wedding vendors. She explained it was important to not only check the online reviews of wedding vendors they were planning to work with but also get a feel for their personalities. Sam and Alicia wanted to have a good time at their wedding so it was important that the wedding vendors they hired were not only professional and excellent at their jobs, but also cool people they would want to hang out with on a 10 hour wedding day.
Thank you to Temecula wedding photographer Ryan Horban of Rock This Moment photography for sharing this amazing wedding at Europa Village Winery! To see more photos from this wedding and read more about Sam and Alicia please check out his blog post about the Europa Village Winery wedding!
Temecula Wedding At Terra Bella
The Bride & Groom (Olivia & Zane)
Zane and I first met at a church connection group. Zane kept asking me to hang out but I blew him off a few times. It is kind of a funny story we talk about now! My best friend and mother said to keep an open mind about him so I eventually said “yes” when he asked me out on a date night. We went on a few dates, and I knew after a month that my Mom and best friend were right about this man. He really was something amazing. I also knew I would be marrying him. Literally after six months of dating we got engaged and then married one year and a day after our first date! It really was a whirlwind romance!
Terra Bella: Temecula Wedding Venue
When scouting out the different wedding venues in Temecula I knew was looking for a venue that was unique, different from the average wedding venue. Terra Bella was the one that really stood out from the rest of the wedding venues we looked at because the venue offered an outdoor private space with a backdrop of gorgeous mountains. It was definitely elegant within a rustic setting, and the perfect spot for our Temecula wedding!
Our wedding was faith based with Zane’s father being the wedding officiant. Our vows were traditional. Our wedding ceremony was outdoor with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. Terra Bella provided us a very intimate setting, as the wedding venue was located in a private setting. We had approximately 200 guests, and there was still plenty of space for the ceremony, cocktail reception, dinner and dancing with a bar area, photo booth and DJ. Terra Bella was also open to us bringing in our own preferred Temecula wedding vendors for food, music, flowers, DJ and wedding photography.
Tell Us Some Fun Stuff About The Wedding!
We had great entertainment with DJ Dustin with “High End Events” that played awesome music and created a fun atmosphere. We had a photobooth by “Your Photo booth”, and how could I forget… we had a first dance to “Then” by Brad Paisley! However, my most memorable moment was a choreographed dance with my dad to ” Don’t Fear the Reaper”. All the wedding guests loved it!
Any Advice For Future Brides Getting Married?
Thankfully, I had no real challenges planning the wedding because my mom and sister organized everything. They were so great! So the only thing I had to really worry about was picking out a wedding dress! However, if I had to give any piece of advice to future brides and grooms I would suggest taking the time and money to hire either a week of or two-day-before wedding event coordinator. They really do make the wedding day run so much more smoothly!
Temecula Wedding Vendors
- Wedding Venue: Terra Bella
- Temecula Wedding Photography Team: Erin Muller
- Bride’s Dress: Casablanca Bridal
- Wedding Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas
- Wedding Cake: Sweet Layers
- MUA: Tanya Rae
- Wedding Officiant: Gary Martin (Father of the Groom)
- Wedding DJ: High End Events
- Florals: Victoria Ohlwiler (Bridesmaid)
Soon to-be brides and grooms planning a destination wedding in Temecula can also check out our recently published wedding photos at Galway Downs or this amazing Jewish wedding at Temecula Creek Inn Stone House!
Superhero Stylized Shoot
*In my best 1950’s radio announcer voice**
Ladies’ n gentleman, boys n girls… gather round for something totally unique on the Temecula Wedding House blog this afternoon. Today we have stylized wedding inspiration in which many super powers join forces to create something unique, something extraordinary that will not only inspire but entertain you! A Fantasy wedding with class in which Superman and Wonder Woman join forces in the ultimate union!”
The the setting for this marvelous day takes place at one of the newer Temecula Wedding Venues in wine country, Fazelli Cellars. This stylized wedding combines fantasy with class. The decorations are on point right down to the cake. ALL the vendors participating in this did a tremendous job and no doubt had a lot of fun in the creation and execution of this concept. NEVER seen anything like it before and we LOVE it.
From the Wedding Planner- Cristina:
“I planned, designed, and styled the Wonder Woman Marries Superman stylized wedding and did so because of my love for Superman and because I have been a huge fan of him since I was a child. I chose the theme because I am also fascinated with Wonder Woman and because Wonder Woman and Superman share lots of similarities. They are simply perfect for each other! All the elements of the design matched the theme in terms of colors and decor. Everything I chose for the design was associated with the Wonder Woman and Superman characters from the crystals to the lassos to the attire to the comic book relevance and to the Justice League associations.”
From the Wedding Stationary Artist- Adriana:
“Every time I do a new stylized wedding it pushes my limits and my imagination so I enjoy every second of the process. The gold details I used on the invitation cards were very unique and similar to Wonder Woman’s gold tiara which made this suite an exceptional beauty. The gold glitter doesn’t shed and it gives the invitation the extra glitz and glam. The cards were printed on pearl shimmer paper for a dazzling look. This invitation suite is inspired by beauty and romance. Gold and royal blue are the main colors of the suite and it’s perfect for the eclectic bride. I love listening to my client’s vision. My imagination is limitless. I love creating and woRking with paper and all things pretty! Every project pushes my imagination further and further which I enjoy very much. If a bride can envision a design I can make it.”
From the MUA- Jamie:
Wonder Woman’s iconic red lip, was the central focus to the entire look. That classic red, was achieved with a matte lip stick, with ultra pigmentation, to keep the lips looking fresh throughout the day. The main essence of the eyes, was to make the beautiful brown eyes pop and to work along side the classic red lip in achieving the perfect look. Warm brown were swept through the crease, with a deeper brown pin pointing deep in the crease to achieving ultimate definition. A gold shimmery eye-shadow was added to the lid, so not only do the eyes of the blushing bride pop when her eyes are open, but also when she looks down. Along the bottom lash line, all the warm tones were blended throughout to add to the sultriness of the eyes. Eyeliner was a main tool used in the completion of the eyes. Both the top and bottom lash lines, were lined, with a black waterproof liner, to withstand the day. To coincide with the warmth emerging from the eyes, bronzer was added on the high points on the face and on the highest points of the cheek bones, a shimmery highlight was added to accentuate the natural structure of the bride. To finish off the look, a warm rose blush was added. This look is perfect for any superhero but also any bride!
From the Wedding Dress Designer- Deborah:
What would a superhero wear to her wedding?
The Amazon warrior Wonder Woman has been a character empowering to women for decades. Not only an action hero fighting supervillians, she is a feminist who stands for justice and truth. I’m an environmentally conscious designer of clothing, accessories, home decorative accessories, wedding gowns and accessories so in creating her character through wardrobe, I felt that she would also care about the environment.
I chose the sustainable fabrics hemp/silk satin and modal/spandex, a piece of vintage metallic lace, and some rare and precious wild silk called muga to create her looks.
Her wedding gown is a minimalist bias cut gown with a deep v illusion neckline embellished with a simple row of iridescent bugle beads and buttons down the back. Accessorizing the gown are a take on her iconic (and indestructible) cuff bracelets in gold and rhinestone, and a gold jeweled belt at the waist. An understated but elegant wedding look with a reference to her superhero status via the accessories.
For her reception/getaway look, her understated wedding persona disappears. I designed a gold and crème themed superhero look for her transition into her role as the wife of superman using a piece of vintage gold lace in combination with the wild gold-toned muga silk to design the bustier. (Gold is the natural color of this expensive and wild silk due to the wild silkworm’s diet in the forest and is associated with the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity.) The little uneven-hemmed mini skirt is made of modal/spandex, a fabric I use in my Green Queen basics and active line. I kept the accessories from her wedding look, the gold cuffs and belt, but added are her iconic projectile tiara and a gold lasso of truth. Edith is the most perfect Wonder Woman ever and made my part a breeze! I had great fun creating the looks for this shoot. You can see my collections at www.deborahlindquist.com and www.greenqueenclothing.com
From the Baker- Melanie:
I chose two types of cake, a decadent chocolate cake with a smooth buttercream and a moist lemon cake with a delicious trio of berry filling. I tried to envision what 2 iconic super hero’s would dream about for their special day. A replica of Superman’s gorgeous Fortress of Solitude would only be fitting. Brides and grooms are choosing more non-traditional wedding cakes that put a twist on special day to express their personality and I encourage my couples to be creative so that I can give them a cake of no other and love the design and taste for years to come!
From the Hair Artist-Amber:
These particular styles for our Wonder Woman Bride was such an incredibly fun experience! We were asked to create two different looks. Our first style was a wild tousled look. We set the hair wrapping it around a wand curling iron and sprayed it with a heat protecting style spray before and after curling to ensure the style would last . We set the hair by pinning in place and letting it cool while the model had her makeup session started. After the hair was set , we were able to design the bouncy tousled look and finish her style by placing the iconic Wonder Woman headpiece on her and securing with pins to hold it in place. The second look was a classic French twist updo . Her hair was swept up and secured by locking in place our hair pins and strong hold hairspray to ensure it lasted through the night . To complete the look we secured a beautiful gold v-shaped hairpiece below the twist for our second Wonder Women Bridal look. We were very pleased that her hair styles lasted through the entire shoot and can see these techniques being used in many different photo shoots for engagement photos and weddings , or any special occasion! Our salon is located in south Temecula by the Temecula Wineries and we love to provide our services bothon location or in salon for any beauty needs. Please feel free to contact us at Salon Ambre’ 951-395-0177 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Temecula Wedding Photographer- Raelyn:
We all love a good superhero story. Maybe it’s just because I grew up watching the Batman and Superman Adventures on Kids WB, but I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for the Man of Steel. The Wonder Woman craze has been sweeping the nation ever since the big summer blockbuster showed us all just how incredible Diana Prince really is. Of course, we had to bring Superman and Wonder Woman together for a wedding the biggest DC Comics fans would swoon over.
Wedding Photographer: Raelyn Elizabeth Photography//
Equipment Rentals: A Better Party//
Bakery: Bake Me A Cake//
Wedding Invitation Designer: Boxed Wedding Invitations//
Floral Designer: Bridezilla Events //
Wedding Dress Designer: Deborah Lindquist Eco Couture//
Temecula Event Venue: Fazeli Cellers//
Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Friar Tux//
Temecula Photo Booth Equipment: Gonzalez Productions and Rentals//
Event Planner: Hermosa Weddings and Events//
Linens and Coverings: PATTY’S LINEN RENTALS//
Hair Stylist: Salon Ambre//
ALSO, got a little bonus for ya if you are still hanging in here with us. Here is the video of the event as shot by : : Nicholas G Photography//
Fallbrook Wedding With Devin & Andrea
Devin and I met through mutual friends at a party in high school and became instant best friends. About a year later we both finally admitted we had feelings for each other and have been dating ever since. New Years was the night that we shared our first kiss so exactly 10 years later Devin proposed to me on New Years. Each year we take a photo together so he set up the camera on an automatic timer and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The NYC skyline is in the background and it was the perfect moment. I said yes, grabbed the ring box and ran to the street light so I could check out my new ring and was so excited to ring in the new year with my fiancé.
What Made You Choose Los Willows For Your Wedding Venue?
Funny enough I never saw Los Willows in person before booking our Temecula valley wedding there. I had flown out from NJ, where we were living at the time, to look at wedding venues and just wasn’t finding what I wanted. I wanted something private, where we wouldn’t have onlookers but wanted to be outdoors. My mom went and toured the wedding venue, sent me the photos she took and I fell in love and told her to book it. I loved how we would be the only wedding taking place that day, that it was private but romantic with the lake and had a tented pavilion with the most amazing chandelier.
Tell Us About The Wedding Ceremony & Wedding Details!
I loved our wedding officiant, he was so easy going and let me design my perfect ceremony, which included me writing exactly what I wanted everything to say. He memorized it, so it wasn’t like he was reading off a paper and delivered everything with his touch of personality to it. We did a wine blending ceremony that involved mixing a red and white wine together to symbolize two becoming one. And we wrote our own vows, which I highly recommend to everyone getting married because it makes it that much more special for the two of you. I was able to throw in a little shout out to Howard Stern, Devin’s absolute favorite thing to listen to, and he added in a bit about getting me my towel every morning, which is something I would constantly call out for him to do before stepping out of the shower. I found a poem called “He Never Leaves the Seat Up” by Pam Ayres and had my best friend read it. The wedding ceremony had people laughing and crying which exactly what I had hoped for.
I am a paper person, I absolutely love a good wedding stationary so I loved our invitation suite. It was hand lettered by a calligraphy artist and then letter-pressed into the paper, it turned out fantastic. The wedding florals were gorgeous to, they were just what I wanted but not too overly priced, I really tried to be budget conscious when I could. Los Willows has a bridal salon onsite so it was really nice to spend some time with my girls getting ready for the ceremony before moving to the bridal suite where I got dressed and took photos. We didn’t have to worry about cleaning up our mess for the wedding photos because it was all in the salon!
Our first dance was to Everlong by Foo Fighters, it’s been our favorite song and we’ve seen them in concert too many times to count. I had a father daughter dance to a cover of Forever Young and Devin and his mom had a mother son dance.
What Was Your Most Memorable Wedding Moment At Los Wilos?
The most memorable moment would have to be the first kiss! It’s one of those things where I had kissed Devin for 10 years, but something about this time, after we exchanged wedding rings and read vows to each other that I will never forget. It’s also nerve racking having an audience watching you, you don’t want to be inappropriate, but you want more than a peck, haha!
Did You Face Any Challenges Wedding Planning?
I was planning my wedding long distance so I had to make sure to be very thorough and detailed in emails about everything. The venue had a last minute change on the cake vendor that I only found out about after sending several emails about needing to go over the cake design. Luckily I was coming back out to California for my Bridal Shower so was able to do a new cake tasting and meet with her in person, but had I not been following up I could have ended up with a Costco sheet cake!
Any Advice For Future Brides-To Be?
Get that extra hour! My biggest regret is that our wedding ended so soon. With over 170 guests we barely had time to take photos, eat and say hello to everyone. We maybe got to dance to like 2 songs before it was over. I thought 5 hours seemed like plenty of time, but it really does go by that fast.
Those interested in checking out more weddings from Lovisa Photo can check out this awesome ranch inspired Temecula engagement session! Also, check out this recent wedding at Falkner Winery for more Temecula wine country wedding inspiration!
Temecula Wedding Vendors:
- Long Beach Wedding Photographer: Lovisa Photo:
- Wedding Floral: Blooming Grace
- Wedding Officiant: Scott Kirk
- Wedding Dress: Julitte by Watters purchased at Lovely Bridal NY
- Wedding Shoes: Kate Spade
- Jewelry: Handed down from Mom and Grandma
- Tuxedo: John Varvatos
- Wedding Cake: Elegance on Display
- Wedding Invitations: Angelique Ink
Tyler + Zachary Married At Ponte Inn!
Tell us your love story (how you met, the proposal, etc.):
Zach and I met when I was on student exchange from Kansas in January 2013. I was only supposed to be in California for 6 months. We met through mutual friends… and one awkward Facebook conversation. After we hung out for the first time it was like we broke all the traditional dating rules of “don’t call or text for this amount of time” or “don’t hang out every day.” We spent as much time as possible together during the 6 months I was on exchange. When I went back to Kansas to finish out my senior year of college we both agreed to give long distance a try. It was possibly one of the most difficult things we’ve ever done, and definitely put our relationship to the test. After toughing it out for a year and a half I made the permanent move to California in July of 2014 and we bought our first house together in December of that same year.
The day he proposed was absolutely one of the best days of my life, a close second only to our wedding day. I cant say there have been too many times in my life where I’ve been truly surprised, but Zach really pulled out all the stops here. It was Saturday, September 12th 2016 and the plan was to take a trip to the wineries for a friend’s birthday. We had brunch and then headed to Wilson Creek Winery. It was our favorite at the time so when Zach suggested that’s where we should go first it wasn’t unusual. Our friend is a photographer so when we got there and she suggested we take a couple pictures before we started drinking that seemed normal too. What was weird is that Zach was adamant about the spot we took the picture in, but I went along with it. After a couple pictures I randomly turned to wipe my hair out of my eyes and I noticed a crowd of people suddenly standing behind me. When I looked closer I realized it was our family and friends, including my mom, sister and 3 best friends who all lived out of state. I finally knew what was going on, and immediately started ugly crying. Zach got down on one knee and all I remember before partially blacking out due to overwhelming emotions (lol) was he said “remember when we were apart and I would always tell you distance means so little when someone means so much?” I think I sputtered out “yes” here… and he went on to say “well, look how far we’ve come now.” He told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and then asked me if I would be his wife. Of course, I said yes! It was such a special day to me, not only because we got engaged but also because Zach made sure that the people I loved most were involved. It was everything I could have ever dreamed of in a proposal.
What were some of the challenges you faced while planning your wedding?
Planning our Temecula wedding was so fun for me. I truly enjoyed the process. We gave ourselves just over a year to plan and I think that was crucial in being able to make sure I had time to make decisions and just to not feel rushed. However, it of course wasn’t without challenges. I would say the biggest challenge was having to track guests down to get their RSVP’s. The process of figuring out who was coming and who was not was a constant struggle for us for some reason. I also think the centerpieces was another place I struggled. Sometimes too many options makes for a more stressful experience, and that is what Pinterest did to me!
What was your most memorable moment?
The most memorable moment for me was our first look. We absolutely wanted to have a first look so that we could have a moment completely to ourselves before the ceremony began and we couldn’t be happier we did that. It was just really special being able to focus on him and our reactions to seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day.
Why did you choose the venue(s)?
Ponte Winery was honestly the first venue we both could agree on (and we had seen quite a few before it.) We both just knew that we could picture ourselves getting married there. I was also unwavering about the fact that I wanted and outdoor ceremony but an indoor reception and this venue gave us that. We also just had such a great experience with the wedding coordinator, it really did make a difference that she took such an interest in helping us and answering all our questions.
What were some of your favorite details about the wedding?
Some of my favorite details were my flowers, the barrel room where we held our reception and our welcome sign. We had “Welcome to Our Beginning” written in calligraphy on a large mirror and I just loved the way it turned out!
Give us the scoop on the ceremony and the elements that made it special. Please be as descriptive as possible (faith-based, chuppah, ring exchange, ring warming, glass breaking, etc.):
One thing that Zach and I knew from the start was that we didn’t plan to have a huge wedding. We both liked the idea of being able to actually interact with our guests, not just fly by and say “hi” in passing. We wanted it to feel intimate to us and to our guests as well.
Zach’s Uncle married us and that in itself was really special to us. Just having someone who had been there through our relationship and had seen us grow together made the ceremony that much more near and dear to our hearts. One of my favorite things that his Uncle Carl did was, at the beginning of the Ceremony, he asked Zach and I to turn and face the crowd. He asked us to take a second and appreciate the people who were there and who had been there supporting us in our journey. It was so nice because it gave us a second to really be in the moment and to let all our guests know how much we appreciated them.
Zach and I had a wine blending ceremony (appropriate since we were at a winery) where we combined white and red wines, and took a sip of the mixture to symbolize our union. We thought it was a really fun and creative alternative to a more common unity candle ritual.
Another thing that, we felt, made our ceremony really special was that we wrote our own vows. Even though Zach was hesitant at first I insisted that this was the only way to do it and I’m so happy I did. It was funny to see how many similar things we spoke about in our vows, both mentioning our dog Winston and both mentioning my love for Harry Potter.
Tell us about the entertainment (DJ, band, photo booth, etc.) – did you have a first dance?
Our entertainment consisted of a DJ and photo booth. Our photo booth was “open air” meaning that it wasn’t enclosed, therefore allowing more people to get in the photos at once. We had a beautiful rose gold sequin back drop and since it was open air it actually looked like a décor piece.
We had a first dance, we danced to Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rhett. We also had a mother-son and father-daughter dance as well as a mother-daughter dance. I’m really close to my mom and wanted to integrate something that made her feel special and appreciated too. It was a really sweet moment for us.
Arguably the most entertaining part of the night was Zach’s garter toss. He had two groomsmen hold caution tape out in front of me while he walked up to the Cops theme song (bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?) in sunglasses and his police duty belt (he is a police officer.) When he got to me the DJ switched the song to Pour Some Sugar On Me and he proceeded to pull out all his Magic Mike moves in front of all our grandparents.
What advice would you give other brides about their wedding day?
The absolute best advice I can give to any bride is just to enjoy every single second of the day. From getting ready with your bridesmaids, to walking down the aisle, to the end of the night, it is all so incredibly special. They aren’t lying when they say it goes by in the blink of an eye. Just try not to stress the little things and enjoy the celebration! One more thing I would say is, invest the money into a great photographer and videographer. The day goes by so fast, it’s nice to look back and see things again or things you might have even missed.
Temecula Wedding Vendors:
- Photographer: Alicia Mink, Mink Photography
- Videographer: Kiersten Saharek, Take Heart Films
- DJ & Uplighting: Rick Walker, Pro City DJ
- Flowers: Shabana Fairchild (family friend)
- Photobooth: Fixated Concepts
- Bakery: BoCakes
- Wedding Dress: Panache Bridal Costa Mesa
- Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Friar Tux
- Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
- Draping in Barrel Room & Arbor: Jenelle Jackson, Sweet Flowers
Corder & Ebony
Whenever our friend Erin, a Long Beach area wedding photographer, sends us over an engagement or wedding we know it is going to be filled with laughter and warmth. Needless to say, Corder and Ebony’s engagement photos in Temecula had all of that plus a rad vintage blue Vespa! But we won’t waste any more of your time with the play-by-play of the this engagement session and will instead let you check out the photos! We will also let Ebony share her and Corder’s love story! Enjoy!
Our first encounter with each other came when we both attended a dinner party for a mutual friend. Corder (my now husband) and I never met before that night, but were seated with one person in between us. This was close enough for us to catch each other’s eye and strike up conversation with one another. As the dinner carried on Corder and I were engaged in deep conversation, talking over the person in between us (as we look back on this evening we realized that we were being incredibly rude). As the evening carried on we moved from seated dinner to cocktails. During cocktails we had the opportunity to talk more about life and each other. At the end of the night we exchanged numbers and our relationship continued to grow organically. Now here we are 5 1/2 years later, and we still have no recollection of who was seated in between us the night that we met!
The only recommendation that I can make is find a photographer who you feel comfortable with. A lot of people get nervous when they are in front of the camera. Being able to let loose and just have fun with my husband was the best part of the engagement session, and hiring a photographer that made us feel comfortable allowed us to have that relaxed fun!
When we were discussing locations for the shoot we really had no clue where we wanted our engagement session. We told our amazing photographer Erin that we were planning on having a rustic outdoor wedding, and wanted our engagement session to resemble that theme. We also wanted to incorporate my husbands vintage Vespa in the shoot. She chose a location that meshed wonderfully with our vision of of future wedding.
Ebony’s Advice On Wedding Planning
Remember the wedding is about you and the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. Do not try to make other happy at the expense of possibly making your partner upset.
Thank you to Erin Muller of Lovisa Photo for sharing this Temecula engagement session with us! If you want to check out more of her photography work in Temecula check out this ranch inspired engagement session she captured! Erin also documents weddings all throughout Southern California so check out her Lovisa Photo wedding blog for even more awesome photos!
Wedding At Mount Palomar Winery
Nick and I met through work. He is a firefighter/paramedic and I am a nurse. When we met, I worked in the emergency department that he frequently transported patients to. A mutual friend came up with the idea to set us up. We went out on our first date and the rest is history. Nick proposed to me in the parking lot where we had our first kiss.
We knew we wanted to have a destination wedding in Temecula. The summer before Nick proposed to me, we took a vacation to California. We had an amazing time and once we were engaged it seemed like a great place for us to plan a wedding. Nick has family in Orange County California. We did an online search for wedding venues in Orange County. Temecula kept coming up in the search. We love wine and I thought getting married at a winery would be an amazing idea. We set up a trip to come and tour several wedding venues in Temecula. From the moment we stepped foot on Mount Palomar, I KNEW that is where we were going to get married. The views were breathtaking and there was nothing else that we saw that even compared.
We had our brother-in-law perform our ceremony. He made the ceremony very personal to Nick and I and our relationship. We also had a wine ceremony during the ceremony which involved our parents. The ceremony toasted our parents raising us into who we are today and giving us their blessing to move forward in our marriage and building a life with one another.
Tell Us About Your Favorite Wedding Details
All of our vendors working together to make our day extra special. The floral designs created by Heather Christian. The scenery at Mount Palomar. Our photographer, Heather Anderson and her team. The first dance, cake cutting, spending time with all of our family and friends who made the trip to California.
Tell Us About The Wedding Entertainment
We had a DJ. DJ SureShot (Jim Smith). Our first dance was to Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. Our guests had an amazing time dancing the night away under the Temecula sky.
What Was Your Favorite Wedding Moment?
EVERYTHING!! The whole wedding day was amazing and went by so fast. We could not have asked for a better day, venue, or Temecula wedding vendors. Being able to spend our day with all of our closest family and friends was a memory we will cherish forever. One challenge we did have planning the wedding was distance. We live in Illinois and planned the Temecula wedding from afar. Other than that, Lauren and the team at Mount Palomar made the planning really easy!
Any Advice For Future Brides On Their Wedding Day?
Relax. Take everything in. It goes by so fast. Make sure you take a moment on the day of your wedding to stop and really be present in the moment. It will be one of the most memorable days of your life.
Thank you to Heather Anderson for sharing these wedding photos of Nick and Stacey’s wedding in Temecula wine country at Mount Palomar! And a huge CONGRATS to Nick and Stacey!
Temecula Wedding Vendors:
- Venue-Mount Palomar Winery
- Photography-Heather Anderson Photography
- Flowers-Heather Christian Floral Designs
- Bakery-Bo Cakes
- Makeup-Tilly Looks
- Hair: Salon De La Marie (Carolyn Godina)
- Officiant- Matt Herlihy
- DJ- DJ Sureshot (Jim Smith)
- Rickety Swank
Tera & Brandon Get Married In Menifee!
Brandon and I met 5 years ago at the Lake Elsinore Hotel & Casino. It was my third day on the job as a bartender and he was a blackjack dealer. It was early in the morning and quite slow in the bar (meaning empty haha). He was standing in the pit waiting for customers and instantly struck conversation with me. He invited me to a pool party a few nights later and I told him only if he wore a coconut bra and grass skirt (of course me thinking he wouldn’t, HE DID!). I showed up but made him take me on a real date a few days later and from that point on we’ve been inseparable. Four years later and two kids deep we took a trip to Indiana to see his family and allow everyone to meet our son. The day we landed we went straight to his moms’ house to settle in and shower. He was so hyped and we jetted out the door. He wanted to go back to this oversized tree he took me to the first time I went to Indiana with him by the house he grew up in. He said he wanted to show the kiddos the tree and have a new family photo taken. By the time we got to the tree the kiddos had fallen asleep and his mom was ready to take new pictures of us in front of the tree. I’m smiling and posing (not realizing she is video-taping) as he starts talking about how the tree has blossomed just as our family. Next thing you know he’s on his knee asking for my hand. I couldn’t believe it! I was in utter shock! I SAID YES!
We searched everywhere for the perfect wedding venue within our budget and we couldn’t have chose a better place. With the golf course views, the lake and the awesome chandelier in the wedding reception hall I had to have it for our wedding day!
Our wedding ceremony was outdoors overlooking the golf course and lake. There were lights hung above the seating area and a beautiful wooden arch we stood under. Our family friend (who has been there for us since day 1) married us and will cherish him forever. He guided us in times we were lost and couldn’t have asked for a better minister to commence such a special day. I remember coming up to the glass doors after our children were sent down the aisle watching my husband fill with such joy. He lost it just watching his kids walk down the aisle and then the moment is here for me to take my breathe and have the doors open for me. He was the happiest groom I’d ever seen and the love poured out. I knew I was the luckiest woman to marry such a wonderful man who adored me and our family more than life itself. The wedding was a Kate Spade inspired theme, with black, gold and blush. Our sashes were black and white striped to stay with the modern vibe. My wedding dress was a blush mermaid gown with a train and cathedral length veil. We wanted the blush to be an accent color to the black and gold so we used it in small details like the flowers, napkins, and some of the wedding cake. We also had donut favors that were a huge hit! Everyone stood by the dessert table through the night!
Everything turned out phenomenal! I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day. My first all time favorite moment was when my husband decided to surprise me with a serenade. I have never really heard him sing, just some bits here and there. Suddenly he takes the mic and does the scariest thing he’s ever done, starts belting out Jeremy Passion’s – Lemonade. I was completely in awe of this man. My second favorite part was the surprise he had done on the bottom of my wedding shoes, the secret note he left me <3. We also had a photo booth set up that everyone LOVED and had so much fun taking some awesome pictures to remember such a great party!
Menifee Lakes Country Club provided the DJ as part of our package, he was amazing, aside from collaborating with my husband to create his serenade, he maintained the vibe of the wedding reception. Our main request was to have a huge party for our closest family and friends, and he kept that alive until the end. So well that no one wanted to leave! Our first dance was Dan & Shay – From the Ground Up which is a song that touches us both, not only have our grandparents been married many many many years and still so in love, we knew that we had to grow the love we have and continue to nurture it to allow it to last forever.
What was your most memorable moment?
Walking down the aisle and seeing my soon-to-be husband, and of course when my Brandon performed his serenade to me during the reception.
What were some of the challenges you faced while planning your wedding?
Aside from having a limited amount of people we could invite I’d say trying to find items to match our style. We paid for our wedding on our own, having a family of 4 and near future goals to buy a home we knew we had to stay on target. I did a lot of DIY such as the flowers (thank you to my amazing family and friends).
What advice would you give other brides about their wedding day?
Plan, Plan, Plan ahead! I knew I had time to get things done but I jumped in both feet first. The last thing I wanted to do was have to stress as it came closer to our I Do’s. I made sure to budget and research a lot before buying. I was able to find tons of steals while still keeping it classy and timeless.
Temecula Wedding Vendors
- Vendors: Venue – Menifee Lakes Country Club
- Cake – Brandon Zennedjian @ The Lake Elsinore Hotel & Casino
- Photographer – Julie Doniero Photography
- Donuts – Raised Donuts & Bagels
- Makeup – Nicole Landfield
- Hair– Liela Roth Hair
Those planning a Temecula wedding or interested in viewing more weddings in the area should check out Astrid and Sean’s wedding at Mount Palomar Winery that was recently featured on Temecula Wedding House!
Kris & Julianne’s Temecula Engagement Photos
Kris and I met for the first time in high school. He was friends with just about everyone and I thought he was cute from day one. Several years later we reconnected on Facebook. He was planning to move to Los Angeles (where I was living at the time) and wanted advice on restaurants and bars to visit. The first time we hung out I knew he was the one. Sounds crazy, but it’s absolutely true! From our first connection in high school, a reconnect on Facebook, a wedding proposal, to finally planing out our engagement session in the Temecula area. Things moved incredibly fast! For the setting of the engagement shoot we chose our family friend’s 10 acre ranch up in the hills of La Cresta (Murrieta). The location was also our wedding venue. There are so many special aspects to this place. My husband and I both love animals and have spent many afternoons at this ranch. We wanted to be some place that felt natural.
Advice From Julianne About Planning An Engagement Session
The hardest part of planning our Temecula engagement session was probably coordinating clothing that wasn’t too over the top, or too casual. I also didn’t want to look like a different version of myself in the engagement photos. This is where it can be really helpful to communicate with your photographer. Our engagement/wedding photographer Erin was so helpful in guiding us through this fashion conundrum, helping us choose light colors to compliment the gorgeous nature setting.
When we asked Julianne if she had any last tips or pieces of advice for those planning a wedding in Temecula or anywhere for that matter, she could not emphasize enough that every soon-to-be bride should RELAX! Also, as much as it’s “your day” it’s your mom’s too ! Let her put in her 2 cents occasionally, help plan certain details etc. Life is too short to fight about folding chairs and whether she can invite her BFF Carol that you’ve never met!
The Best Part Of The Engagement Session
The best part of the engagement session for us was playing with 2 tiny donkeys and a mini horse! We also had fun sipping champagne and laughing with our photographer Erin!
Thank you to Kris and Julianne for allowing us to share their colorful and gorgeous Temecula engagement photos! You two are awesome!
And we certainly can’t forget to give the very talented Long Beach wedding photographer Erin Muller (LovisaPhoto) many high fives for capturing this lovely couple! Also, those interested in getting some help creating the most epic honeymoon ever should visit Erin’s boutique travel agency Sweet Moon Travel Company! She will get you to that little secluded island you’ve always dreamed of so you can get those tiny buns tanner than Mario Lopez!
Temecula Wedding Venue Spotlight : Plateau Edge
There is a shift going on these days. Ballroom weddings are out, they have been for a while. DIY is in and anything outdoor is hot! Temperature wise [depending on the month you choose] but also in terms of trends!! It’s no surprise that VRBO’s have become SUPER popular wedding venues in Temecula. It’s a major perk when you don’t get kicked out of your wedding reception party at 10pm and can stay late, party in the place where you are and crash out. And it’s for all the reasons above and much more that I am spotlighting a lesser known gem nestled back up in the hills on the northwest side of the Temecula Valley.
I want to introduce you to a place called the Plateau Edge. A lesser known but VERY cool wedding venue situated wayyyy up high on a hill about 15 minutes outside of town near the Santa Rosa Plateau. This charming home overlooks the valley and has all the components needed to be the perfect rustic outdoor wedding venue. It is ideal for the bride who dreams of something different than the norm and has been seeking out something with a much more at cozy at home feeling than your typical Temecula wine country wedding venue. The Plateau Edge gives you the feeling of rustic “DIY” with out all the “Y”. And lets face it “yourself” requires a LOT of effort on the big day. Ask anyone who’s done it. Making a DIY wedding go smooth can be a major feat as every little hiccup along the way can turn into a big deal. Not up here. Laura and Alani are amazing! They have a wonderful staff on hand and the ability to be all inclusive so you don’t have to stress over the minor details which will insure that everything goes off without a hitch.
The backdrop for your wedding is BEAUTIFULLY situated upon 5 acres, at the edge of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve and boasts a massive 6,000 sq. ft. of well thought out indoor space and another 4,000+ sq. feet of wrap around decks, balconies and outdoor patio!! Whoever built this place knew what they were doing as its seriously taking full advantage of the view and keeping the charm of a home. I haven’t even gotten to the BEST part… are you ready? It sleeps up to 30 people!!! I’m not even kidding! Told ya this place is rad! There are 6 bedrooms in total. 3 of the bedrooms are master suites — all designed for maximum comfort and privacy. There is even a hot tub up on the deck for a late night soak! **but good luck fitting your 30 guests in there all at once 😉 **
Are you still reading this? Ok good, just a few more lines of text and then I will release ya to the photos. The wedding I photographed up here had probably around 75 guests. So not too big, but not tiny either. The Plateau Edge easily handled all those guests, provided all of the catering and was able to accommodate a totally vegan cuisine… not only that but the food was AMAZING! Not being vegan myself I wasn’t totally sure what to expect but I can assure you that whoever was rockin that kitchen knows EXACTLY what they were doing!! Oh, the flowers!! Did I mention this already?? Along with catering the full dinner menu, the venue also provided all the floral arrangements you see below!! Beautifully done! The last thing before I release ya to the wedding photos from the day: The ceremony site is beautiful and set up top an adjacent hill and over looks the valley as well and the Barn Pavilion is spacious and nice tall vaulted ceilings, is wrapped in windows which allows a ton of beautiful natural light to pour in during the day… A dream come true for any Temecula wedding photographer ! This will be the place that welcomes your guests for dinner and invites them to joyously dance, drink and party into the night. I seriously could go on and on about this place, you guys! Not only do I want to get back up there for another wedding… I want to LIVE here. lol
Seriously, check out the view from is ceremony site! Such a beautiful spot overlooking the Valley.
Lots of space for guests to spread out and play games during cocktail hour!
Wedding at Temecula Creek Inn, Stone House!
The Temecula Valley is home to well over 30 wineries, and near just as many golf courses. Each of them on any given weekend running anywhere from 1-4 weddings a day!! On top of all those choices there are a large number of private estates and wedding venues throughout the valley doing an events as well. With over 100 options to choose from, finding your perfect spot for your Wedding in Temecula can be totally overwhelming! Which is another reason we started this blog! Leave it to us to bring you some of the most amazing and inspiring places to get married Temecula Wine country and the surrounding areas. Dont be surprised if we leave some of the mainstream [generic] places off the list. With so many options to choose from, sometimes the lesser known gems need to be placed into the spotlight!
For today’s wedding venue spotlight we want to show ya a place that is known in the valley but sometimes overlooked. Temecula Creek Inn‘s Stone House. Seriously, I freakin love the Stone House. Tucked in deep among the oak trees, in one of Temecula’s nicer golf courses, is an old historic house made of stone. Its almost like something a hobbit would live in out in the shire. Its got an old world charm to it… tiny, unsuspecting and isolated up against the rolling hills of Temecula Creek Inns golf course, The old Stone House plays a perfect backdrop for a wedding as it is pretty much exactly the opposite of what you’d expect when a couple says they are getting married at a golf course, which is a GREAT thing!! Its totally secluded to the point where guests park at an outside lot and are shuttled in. There is a tiny stream running through the feel you get when stumbling across it for the first time is “where are we? this place is amazing”. The Temecula Creek Inn does a great job with the space with outdoor market lights and chandeliers for ambiance. There are big open grassy spaces in the reception area where guests often set up cornhole, oversized jenga, photobooth’s, bocci ball etc. But thats not even the coolest part… thats right it gets better. While most outdoor venues make ya shut it down at 10pm due to noise ordinances… at the Stone House you can go wild outside as late as you want!! With this one… you are so far back there you aren’t going to disturb a soul. Then, once the party is over your guests will be shuttled back over to their rooms. That’s right, a safe contained environment for your intoxicated loved ones.. no stumbling home no drunk driving. Temecula Creek Inn has 130 guests rooms at your disposal, not to mention one of the best Sunday Brunches in Temecula and a pretty stellar golf course for anyone who wants to get out and smash a few balls during their visit.
But shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! for real.. lets not let the cat out of the bag completely. This is kinda a secret in the valley and I’d like to keep it that way 😉
Wedding Tips From The Bride:
This wants mentioned above! So Im glad you are here and still reading! The best tip/ advice our bride had for us was about getting ready at Temecula Creek Inn: “We rented out the cottage up front of the property and it made for some REALLY amazing getting ready pics. All of our family and friends [during the getting ready process] were all in one place. Of course my husband and I didnt see eachother during any of this becauase the house has two separate areas. The guys have a cool man cave area to hang and play games in while us girls hung in the main house and had a bright, spacious place to all spread out in. I’ve been to weddings in the past of my friends where 6 of us were all crammed in to a tiny hotel room. I saw here photos and although they were lovely and the photographer was good and did the best they could with the space… everything was just soooo cramped and uncomfortable. Having a house with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen and more to get ready in makes it so much relaxed and comfy. Not only that but out photos were amazing and convey the feeling of the day, rather than trying to make things seem better than they were if we were crammed in a closet 😉 lol.”
I hope you took notes on all that above! And enjoy the photos below taken by local husband/ wife team of Temecula Wedding Photographer‘s: Inner Song Photography ! Bookmark this page and when you are out and about be sure to hit up Temecula Creek Inn and see it for yourself. They have all best stuff that most any Wedding Venue in Temecula has to offer.
Motorcycle Wedding Proposal In Temecula
Kick ass Harley Davidson motorcycles? Check. A stylish and fun couple? Check. An amazing moment documented for us to share? Check. When Temecula photographer Jami Laree sent us over Kenny and Wendi’s incredibly unique wedding proposal we were absolutely stunned by the photographs. The emotion captured in most wedding proposals has an electric feel, but Jami really knocked it out of the park with her documentation of Kenny and Wendi’s proposal. The photos are clean, classic and most important provide a very authentic vibe of who this couple are, and as photographers ourselves it is refreshing to see that essence being frozen in time. But don’t take our word for it, check out the photographs below and see for yourself! Oh and how stunning is Wendi’s wedding ring!?
Words From The Bride-To-Be
A boy from Sacramento and a girl from Southern CA met Memorial Day weekend and felt an instant connection. After our 1st date, Kenny told me he was moving back to Southern California and was going to marry me one day… He said “when you know, you know”. I thought it was sweet, but creepy, lol. He told me that first he would move to San Diego, where his family is, then up to my area when he found work. Next thing you know, within a month he put plans into action. He quit his job and moved down to San Diego where his family lives. We’ve been side-by-side ever since!
We both ride motorcycles and love our Harley’s. On his first weekend living back in Southern California, he brought his bike over with plans to go ride the local mountains. I had wanted to show it to him how beautiful it is around this area, but due to crazy winds, I backed out. For a few months, he rode his Harley up every weekend to stay with me. We’d both go ride around town, and he has been a gigantic help in fixing and tuning my bike up. Together we’ve meet amazing people in the motorcycle community, and we look forward to any bike events while trying to stay active in the community. Without sounding to cheesy, the first thing that truly connected us was the bikes.
After living together for about a year, we decided to do a fun little shoot with Temecula photographer Jami Laree. I’ve known Jami for years and have always admired her work. Also, it feels like anytime I get to shoot with Jami something exciting happens. It’s always a fun time, and needless to say I was excited to bring Kenny in on the fun. Kenny has always been a shy guy around new people but was super comfortable with Jami and her husband Keith. They’ve had us climb mountains in dress shoes, run around the desert in the Summer and stand in 40 mile per hour winds, but it’s always a blast! This is what birthed Kenny’s “perfect engagement idea”. After a past photoshoot with Jami, Kenny contacted her about a secret engagement photo shoot. He loved the idea of riding up to the Santa Rosa Plateau and De Luz, because it’s the first place we where supposed to ride together. Jami had contacted me about setting up a shoot with our bikes, and of course I was excited, but I totally thought it was her idea! I had no idea Kenny was involved. When ‘Photoshoot’ day came around we rode out to the hills, Jami took us to a beautiful look out point to take some photos of the bikes. Kenny was doing a few burn outs for photo ops (show off!) and then parks his bike next to mine. He then calls over to me, “babe, I think I put a hole in my back tire!” I walk over to look, and as I peek around his bike there he is, on one knee, with my grandmother’s ring in his hands…. “Babe, will you marry me?” My whole body was in shock! Following the shoot he had set up a dinner with some of our closet friends at the place we had our first date.
This wedding ring is seriously everything!
Congrats to Kenny and Wendi on their engagement, and a special thank you to the incredibly talented Temecula wedding photographer Jami Laree for capturing and sharing these amazing moments!
Ahhhhhhh hello… welcome to my first ever rants post in Temecula Wedding House! I started this list of wedding do’s and don’ts a good while back and over the years I have slowly added to the list and even cut some things out. What ya see below is a short list of things to consider in order to have a seriously kick ass time on the best day ever!
What!? You say you’ve never done this before?! …you are in uncharted waters and unsure about how to approach or tackle the in’s and out’s of planning your Temecula wedding and details? Well, good news for you.. I’ve done a few of these over the past half dozen or so years… I’ve seen the good, bad and down right ugly:
- Bride falling through her own cake?? check!
- Brother of the bride fist fighting dad and driven away in the back of a cop car!? check!
- Wave crashing and soaking a bride as she walks down the aisle?! yeah, that happened too..
Weddings on the whole are planned events that are often laced with totally unpredictable results. However, all of these disasters that I just listed could have been avoided had they just been planned for even the slightest bit.
Lets start from the beginning. You are engaged and need to find a place to get married. You are thinking somewhere out in Temecula?? So far so good!! Temecula is a beautiful place to get married with a lot of variety. Choose between outdoor rustic DIY or even something on the classy side at one of the dozens of wineries in the area. There are sooo many ways you can take this and we are here to help! Know that once you settle on the Temecula wedding venue that will play the background to your day you will need to determine what is most important to you when it comes to finding all the rest of the pieces of your dream wedding day. A local Temecula wedding photographer, DJ, officiant, cake, flowers, are all primary and essential pieces of the puzzle… not to mention all the added pressure these days for all kinds overly cutesy pinterest type details. Try not to get overwhelmed by all of this and let this list below help guide you to the most excellent wedding partayyyyy ever!
- SET A BUDGET – these things get out of hand REALLY quick if you let them. You can find your self 5 or 10K over budget if you don’t maintain control and keep things in perspective. But how to keep in control?? Keep reading…
- WRITE A LIST – prioritize what is MOST important to you for your wedding in Temecula. Put it up top of your list. then work your way down to least important. EXAMPLE: you are most concerned about having a kick ass party, one that you and ALL your guests will remember!! You will need to start with a venue and lock up a date. For a rocking party you will need either a Friday or Saturday wedding. Don’t even bother with Sunday [even if its a better deal] unless its a long holiday weekend. Guests bail early on Sunday weddings cause they “have to work” the next day. Its the LAMEST excuse on how to slip away from the most expensive party you will ever throw on the biggest night of your adult life. So make sure you lock up a key party night [fri/sat] which allows your guests a full day to nurse their hangover! Annnnd while we are talking about venues.. you might wanna make sure to find one that wont pull the plug on ya at 9 or 10pm cause they are outdoors and have some lame noise ordinance policy. Unless you are cool with that! Cause if you are dropping 10-20K on this party, it needs to end when you want it to and not once it gets primed up for takeoff! Once you figure out the “where” and the “when”, next on your list will probably need to be entertainment and coverage.
- ENTERTAINMENT – An amazing wedding DJ or live band will keep your party rocking till the bitter end. You know when the shirts come off and the ties go around heads like Rambo and people end up in the pool. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen the most cringe worthy, gawd awful DJs out there. No mixing ability. Messing up the couples name. Computer crashes, music dies. no playlist… or straight up NO SHOW. Yeah, it happens and I’ve seen it all. Spend the few bucks extra on someone with amazing reviews online and ask em if you can come pop in on a wedding they are rocking. Most any confident and kick ass band or DJ wont mind you watching them shine. Evaluate how they are not only when playing the music but speaking to the crowd. Some DJ’s can mix but fall short of MC skills. You don’t want a overly polished car salesman cheese-ball, but at the same time you dont want a dude that struggles to pronounce your [new] last name and is stumbling over his own words.
- PHOTOGRAPHY / VIDEO – You said you wanted to remember the day, right?? well then you are going to want coverage. GOOD coverage. Cause I’ve been there before and I can tell you at the end of your wedding day… its gonna be kind of a blur with stand out highlights here and there. Time speeds up and slows down… its emotionally and physically exhausting. When its all done and the cake has been eaten and the flowers get tossed out the ONLY thing you are going to be looking forward to are your photos/ video. A good wedding videographer / photographer not only lands the expected moments… but also the ones you didn’t even know were happening. Make sure you hire someone whose work EXCITES you. Even if that means skipping on your daily latte habit for 6 months and drinking dirty toilet water coffee. You’ll thank me later [once you get the taste from your mouth]. . . . Whats that you say?? someones friend wants to practice on ya?? for free?? no thanks! This is a day you leave to the pros. Someone with proper PROFESSIONAL camera equipment and a few dozen weddings at the very least under their belt. Cause just cause someone says they are a photographer does NOT mean they can handle a wedding. Now to shed light on the other side, cause as photographers developing, we all gotta start somewhere. I know I did… and when I was first starting out in Temecula Wedding Photography tossing $600 packages with 8 hours coverage [including engagement shoot] I didn’t know what the HELL I was doing. The people that hired me liked my portfolio at the time so they gave me a shot. I learned what to do and what not to do on them. I missed a lot of shots along the way to where I am now so if you don’t mind missed moments and blown opportunity then photography will be lower on your list and you will be fine going the cheaper route and letting a beginner build portfolio on ya 😉 I could honestly do a whole post on this part of the budget [so click here –> if you want the scoop on hiring a kick ass photographer for your wedding] just know that when it comes to coverage [most of the time] you are paying for gear and experience… years upon years of it. That experience is knowing where and when to be in order to land epic shots. There are no repeats or do overs on the big day… Soooo if you want awesome moments like the one above, keep that in consideration and choose wisely.
- HIRE A COORDINATOR – If your wedding consists of multiple locations, more than 100 guests + large bridal party you probably want to consider hiring yourself an experienced local wedding coordinator. An experienced wedding coordinator is the difference between your dream wedding and a nightmare. They are your buffer. I’ve seen it. The world could be burning down around you and you’d never know it with a good coordinator cause they know how to roll with the punches and get things back on track. If you don’t want every problem smacking you in the face throughout the evening, do yourself a favor and hire an amazing wedding coordinator to keep things going smooth. Feel free to check out our hand picked wedding planners in our wedding vendors section.. we got ya covered.
- WRITE YOUR OWN VOWS – This is a big one. Remember how I said your wedding day is going to be a blur?? Well, when you come down the aisle is when time slows down. Up in the front of everyone is intense and time speeds back up. It can be so intense that the words you are going to be told to recite by the officiant will go in one ear and right out the other, GUARANTEED. That is if you can even recite them when prompted. You’d be surprised how often this happens.
Officiant: “now repeat after me….”
Groom: “______. ”
Lost in a moment, he never even processed a word that was spoken from the person marrying them. He takes a nudge from his best man back into reality and tries to recover, stammering over words that don’t even compute… trying to push through. Yeah.. it can be brutal up there especially if you aren’t one that likes to have ALL eyes on you. So if you want to connect to the moment and enjoy it you are going to need to be present and nothing makes you more present than writing your own vows. It keeps you connected. Not only that but you will each be hanging on each others every word. It brings tears from guests, from each other and makes for amazing photos. So just pony up and write your own damn wedding vows… even if its only a few short sentences.
- FIRST LOOK – Again, another bit I could do a whole post on… and I think I have in the past but let me break it to ya like this. If you want to alleviate stress on the big day and slow the speed of things down and enjoy your party then you have to do a first look! For those who don’t know what the hell I’m talking about… a first look is when you will see your lovely for the first time on the big day, and it takes place BEFORE the ceremony! A private moment, just the two of you [no brides maids or groomsmen, unless you want them] your photographer will set you up to see each other and document those moments. There are no outside distractions, just the two of you, in a bubble of excitement. Its beautiful and makes for amazing photos. These pics are a slam dunk cause you are all sorts of giddy and excited.. totally in your own world together and some of the best pics of your day will come from here. Bridal party pics and sometimes family photos can follow depending on how much time you allow. Its stress free shooting and you are getting it out of the way early so that after your wedding you can chill with guests, hit your cocktail hour if ya want.. or even slip off just the two of you and decompress and bit. I can’t tell you how many times I am told by our brides and grooms [after the wedding] just how thankful they are to have done a first look and that they had that quiet moment together before it got hectic. The day goes by fast and there are a number of standout moments that will stick with you. This is one of them.
- HOST YOUR BAR – All night is ideal! You’ve been a guest at a wedding, you know how nice that is to not have to buy drinks at a party you were invited to!! At the very least you must host your cocktail hour… Hosting is the best way to keep your guests raging into the early hours of the morning [if you want]. IF you can’t afford to host it after cocktail hour, try a different approach and ONLY host beer and wine. That will keep your tab down and it’ll go farther. I’ve seen entire tables roll up and order rounds of shots on top of premium cocktails. Quick way to kill a bar tab. So unless you brought the booze in yourself to this party and are simply paying the regular cost of things it might be a good idea to keep hard alcohol off your tab. If someone really needs a shot they can buy one, trust me… it becomes easier and easier to do the later the night gets and the more they consume.
- EAT DINNER – Soooooo many times the bride and groom don’t even eat their own dinner. It’s nerves, I think? but I’ll see their plates untouched as they go table to table saying “hi” to 200 guests. Then what happens is they get thirsty and drink.. and after a loooooong day of buzzing around and not eating and then skipping dinner and pack the booze in, you can ruin your wedding night by getting shitfaced on just a few drinks. Remember that bride I mentioned that fell through her cake??? yeah, too much booze.. and it wasn’t even that much. No food on board will do it every time.
- GET SOME SORT OF OUTSIDE ENTERTAINMENT – If having a party to remember is important to ya then consider pulling in some sort of outside entertainment for your Temecula Wedding. Photo booth rentals for weddings are popular as ever.. as are other games like oversized Jenga or corn-hole. Perhaps bring in live music and have them just for a set or two to break things up. Dessert trucks like Cool Haus or even ben n jerrys are popular but I’ve even seen roll your own cigar bars, Chinese dragon dancers, and fire-breathers roll through and perform to liven things up. If having a kick ass party is on your list get creative and have something to break up the night so its not 4 hours of DJ set… unless you happen to lock up a killer DJ, then by all means, let the beat rock! 😉
Alright, alright, enough of the Wedding day do’s.. I’m sure there are more and I can always add to it but how about some DON’Ts ?? cause if you want this party to go off right then there are definitely a few things you shouldn’t do.
- GET MARRIED IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER – This one is pretty straight forward but I’ll use it to move into a few other points as well. Don’t make your guests sit in 110 degree weather to watch you get married in order to save a few bucks. Nobody wants to do that… you know what its like being a guest, just put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, “would I wanna be doing what I’m are requiring of them?” It gets hot in Temecula in the summer.. I swear the desert heat has jumped the mountains and many days can push well past 100 degrees.
- OUTDOOR RECEPTION IN THE MIDDLE OF “WINTER” – On the heels of that I will say if you are having a November or December wedding then you are going to need to make sure you have adequate heating. If your wedding in Temecula is at one of the many outdoor winery locations just know that off-season IT GETS COLD at night out here. Even with a dozen space heaters spread out I can already tell you what your reception photos are going to look like on a cold night >> A bunch of people crowded around space heaters!! THAT IS, unless you have the alcohol hosted. FACT: alcohol makes you warm and fuzzy and may even make your most uncoordinated guests break out on the dance floor [which also makes’em warm] so the more booze the better in a winter outdoor wedding.
- GO AGAINST GUT FEELINGS – This one is obvious but so many times ignored! If you get a weird feeling about something during the wedding planning process or even on the day of, listen to it. This is the universes way of saving you from disaster. I can’t tell you how many times stuff goes down and a bride or groom tells me they thought that it was gonna happen. For whatever reason, they saw it coming. Now there is a fine line between being a dooms-dayer and getting an obvious feeling about something… so you are going to have to know yourself and stay in tune but I do honestly believe that gut feeling is a thing on the big day and in planning everything leading up to it. So from choosing a venue, to meeting with all your vendors along the way… Don’t disregard your instincts.
- MAKE YOUR GUESTS DRIVE MILES AND MILES TO DIFFERENT LOCATIONS – Sometimes you have a couple that gets married in a church but wants the party wayyyyy the hell out in the hills for a rustic vibe. Guests have to navigate treacherous windy roads to get to your next spot. Blame Siri but they often get lost, sometimes break down and most every time are guaranteed to be running late for one reason or another. Make life easy for your guests. Find locations that are nearby hotels or other lodging facilities. Book a shuttle if the distance between hotels and your venue is far. That way they can enjoy the party, have a few drinks and not be burdened by the fact they drove to your party !!
- SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF – I know it gets crazy the day of and if you are a nervous person and have anxiety its important to keep yourself in check. Things are going to go beyond your control. Did you hire an awesome coordinator?? If you did, you’ll be fine. If not… well best of luck in the events of the day and I hope things go smooth. But listen, if things start to unravel its important not to fixate on them and let them ruin your day. Especially something as trivial as a boutonniere missing or not enough centerpieces. Nobody really cares about the details. I’ve had brides lose their shit over stuff that didn’t matter in the scheme of things and in turn totally waste their day/night upset about something they no control of. Be gracious and be in the moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
AND THAT IS THAT! YOU FOLLOW THESE GUIDES AND YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO AN AMAZING DAY
MY FINAL BIT OF ADVICE I LEAVE YOU WITH:
BE IN THE MOMENT! Pinch yourself if needed! You will likely never again have all your favorite people in one place like this celebrating you… so it is important to be present and enjoying what you do have… not dwelling on any tiny detail that didn’t come together. Yeah, this is your day but you are hosting the party. BE A MOST EXCELLENT HOST!! Make it a night to remember. Take these tips above into consideration and I guarantee you will have the most amazing wedding! One your guests will remember and talk about for years to come.
5 Things You MUST Know About Wedding Photography
One of the hardest parts of the wedding planning process is choosing the right wedding photographer. You want awesome photos, images that will help you remember how amazing your wedding day was and basically photos that will get hundreds of Facebook and Instagram likes. You know the type of photos that make your single girlfriends want to get married and your married girlfriends hide their sepia-toned, dip-kiss wedding photos out of embarrassment when you come over to their house for Sangria Sundays. Yes, every bride wants and deserves kick ass wedding photos, and thankfully that task is more than possible with a little guidance. So here is that guidance and the top 5 reasons why it is important to find the right, kick-ass wedding photographer for your big day.
1. Photography Is Like Music
What many people may not realize is that photography is very much similar to music. What that means is that styles can be very different from one another, but each style has its own audience. There is no right or wrong “professional” music or photography, only different. Some people enjoy punk rock music, some people prefer country. I hate country music, unless I am drinking an Old Fashioned that is heavy-handed with good ole’ American bourbon. But that is just me. I also do not like wedding photos that feel staged or are void of emotion. You know when a couple is side-by-side starring at the camera with an absolute blank expression on their faces. But maybe you like that style? Remember these are your photos so choose the style you want. This is your car so play the music that makes you happy.
2. Personality Matters
Have you ever seen the movie Wedding Crashers? If you haven’t I feel sorry for you because you really are missing out on something amazing, but if you have you know who the character Todd Cleary is. Todd is a artist who in the middle of the night paints a nude photo of Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) called “Celebration”, which Todd describes as both sexual and violent. The moment is both funny and creepy as hell because Todd is a pretty much an absolute weirdo. The reason I mention Todd Cleary is because many wedding photographers share a similar personality as him. What I mean is wedding photographers are artists and artists can be a little introverted, artsy and sometimes just plain strange. If that is the sort of thing you are cool with than awesome! However, personality matters and it certainly is going to make a significant way on how someone views and documents your wedding. For example, a wedding photographer with a more passive personality might have a photojournalistic approach where they don’t want to talk with guests, wedding party members or basically anyone. They might opt for the “fly on the wall” approach. This can be a great fit for some brides and grooms, but couples who are a little timid or nervous having their photos taken might prefer a wedding photographer who is more active or engaged in the moments. For example, photographers who aren’t afraid to socialize, mingle or get on the dance floor to capture epic party shots. Also, remember your wedding photographer is going to be around you ALL DAY so it is important that you have a good vibe with each other.
3. Focus On Value NOT Price
Do you want to know why I am not driving a black Ferrari with limo tint windows right now? The answer is really simple: I prefer driving a Porsche….and I can’t afford a Porsche or a Ferrari as a wedding blogger. So I drive a Hyundai, a reliable vehicle at a solid price point given my current socio-economic status. Every bride and groom planning a wedding have different budgets to work with and that is very important to recognize. However, just because a bride has to work on a tight budget does not mean they should have crappy wedding photography, and one of the ways they can get a good deal on a kick ass wedding photographer is by focusing on value not price. What that means is skipping many of the bells and whistles such as wedding books, maximum hours of coverage and maybe even an engagement session. The value of a good a wedding photographer is in their time so focus on that. Find someone whose work you really love and try and see if they will offer 5-6 hours of coverage instead of 8-10 hours. Tell them you will also write them a awesome review for being accommodating. And explain that you just love their work and it would mean a lot for them to photograph your wedding (I mean we all loving hearing nice things right?). Having a kick ass wedding photographer for 5-6 hours is still way more valuable than someone with limited experience/skills offering 8 hours, engagement session and wedding book.
4. Preferred Vendor Doesn’t Mean Best Vendor
So you just booked your wedding at some swanky winery or hotel and the next thing on your to-do list is find a wedding photographer, but before you even start the search your wedding venue tells you they have a preferred vendor list of photographers that “know the property” and who “are very excellent photographers”. So what do you do next? The answer is a little more research because preferred vendors are NOT necessarily the best vendors. Often times, venues only have preferred vendors who fit their style and brand, or maybe they simply like those people on a personal level. Maybe they are on the same bowling team? Who knows really? But one thing is for damn sure and that is they are not preferred because they are necessarily the best photographers for you because there is no such thing (see point 1 about music being like photography). For example, say you always dreamed of getting married in a vineyard, but you are young, hot and like to Turn Up so you want photos that capture your energy and awesomeness. Well guess what? A winery is most likely NOT going to have a photographer like that on their preferred vendor list because their brand wants to sell classic, elegance and basically boring. They want photographers who capture staged dip kisses in the vines not bridesmaids slamming champagne on the dance floor. When a venue hands over a preferred vendor list you can totally check those people out and scan their art, but if it does not connect with you don’t give up. Do some google searches for wedding photographers in the area or even check on Yelp to see who has good reviews. Remember this is YOUR WEDDING so don’t let the venue decide what is best for you.
5. Meet Your Photographer BEFORE Booking
As we mentioned earlier, wedding photographers have different styles and personalities so before booking a wedding photographer you should totally set up a Skype or face-to-face meeting if possible. Chatting over a coffee or a couple beers is a excellent way to catch the vibe of a photographer, and that is important because your wedding photographer is the only vendor you hire that will literally be with you all day. When you get into your wedding dress they will be there. When you spill champagne on that wedding dress during the reception they will still be there. Snap, snap, snap, snap, all, day, long.
This article was authored by Palm Springs wedding photographer Ryan Horban
Temecula Wedding At Mount Palomar Winery
When Astrid and Sean were planning their November wedding one of the top priorities for the bride and groom was to make sure everybody had a great time. This was important since there would be roughly 200 guests attending the event, many of which would be traveling as far as Norway for their Temecula wedding at Mount Palomar Winery. With fun at the top of the agenda, they hired a live band to get the wedding rocking until 10:00p.m. where they would later transition from the outdoor wedding reception area into the barrel room where the DJ would then take over the party. The music was played by a worship band they found at their local church and the wedding ceremony was officiated by Astrid’s father, giving the wedding ceremony a very intimate and religious touch. Everything about this wedding was simple, elegant and most importantly fun (just take a look at the wedding reception photos!). Let this be an inspiration for any future brides who want to combine that elegant/romantic wedding ceremony with an awesome/energetic wedding reception. It can be done and as you will see below in Sean and astrid’s wedding photos, totally worth doing!
Wedding Tips From The Bride
Astrid opted not to do a “first look” for her wedding so that meant things had to be very efficient post-ceremony in order to get all the photos she wanted. Astrid suggests cutting the family photos down to the absolute minimum in order to maximize time for photos of the wedding party, but most importantly having extra time for portraits with the bride and groom. This allowed the Temecula wedding videographers and photographers to utilize different areas of the property in order to get many awesome shots!
Thank you to Temecula wedding photographer Ryan Horban of Rock This Moment for sharing Astrid and Sean’s epic wedding at Mount Palomar winery!
Engagement sessions are a great way for a couple to get familiar with their photographer before the actual wedding day, and in fact most wedding photographers will encourage a future bride and groom to invest in this type of photo session. This is why it is important to for any bride and groom not to simply shop around for a photographer who might have the best pricing, but rather focus on a trifecta of quality, cost and personality. Yes you want good images and yes you want them at an affordable price, but personalities are different and so are shooting styles so it is critical that your personality meshes well with the photographer. Because that is ultimately going to be a very strong determining factor of the quality of images you will receive. But we will talk about how to find the best wedding photographer for you another time and instead focus today’s blog post on a Temecula engagement session featuring Sam and Alicia that was submitted by Ryan Horban of Rock This Moment Photography!
The engagement session started at a tavern/restaurant in Old Town Temecula where Sam and Alicia had a couple drinks to loosen up and get comfortable with the photos. After that Alicia and Sam cruised around Old Town, stopping at different spots along the way when photo opportunities presented themselves before finally heading off to Mount Palomar winery to finish off the engagement session. The weather was a little cold, which actually was nice because it sort of forced the couple to huddle together to stay warm, which provided a more intimate feeling in many of the photographs. But then again capturing that intimate feeling wasn’t very difficult considering Sam and Alicia were both attractive and madly in love.
Thank you to Temecula wedding photographer Ryan Horban of Rock This Moment for sharing Sam and Alicia’s engagement session with us!
Elegant Temecula Winery Wedding
When Jay and Lindsay were looking into the different places available for their July wedding they quickly narrowed the search to wine country Temecula. They liked the idea of having their wedding ceremony outdoors while being surrounded by a vineyard, and since they did not have the budget for Italy or Napa Valley, Temecula made a logical choice. After checking out a number of different venues in the Temecula area and needing a spot that was not only amazing but somewhat on the affordable end of pricing they ended up choosing Falkner Winery. Falkner had greenery, an outdoor wedding ceremony site and most importantly a team professionals.
Jay and Lindsay got married at the lower wedding venue but since no one had the other ceremony site booked they opted to have their wedding reception outdoors in the garden area instead of the Pinnacle Room so guests could dance under the stars. The DJ played a mix of 1990s top 40, the toasts to the bride and groom were filled with emotion and the party rocked until around 10:00p.m.
About The Temecula Wedding Venue:
One of the more unique wedding venues in Temecula, California is a winery located about a mile off Rancho California road called Falkner. One of the coolest parts about this Temecula wedding venue and winery is that it offers prospective brides and grooms two ceremony locations to choose from. The garden venue is surrounded by trees and greenery, perfect for the coulee who wants that lovely outdoor vibe. The wedding reception is also held in the same area. However, Falkner also offers a second ceremony site on the lower half of the winery grounds. This secondary venue has more seating and has a beautiful view overlooking the entire Temecula wine country. Brides and grooms who opt for the lower ceremony site typically have their wedding reception in the Pinnacle Room, which is a modern venue that has spectacular views of the valley. The Pinnacle Room is also indoors, making it perfect for those wanting to have a wedding during the Summer months and don’t want to get too hot from dancing and partying!
All images are copyright protected and courtesy of Temecula wedding photographer Ryan Horban of Rock This Moment.