Our wedding day came so fast and although the magical day went by quickly, the memories of the day will stay with us forever. I’m so excited to share some photos, my experience planning the big day and being involved every step of the way. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always wanted a romantic outdoor wedding with our closest friends and family. Let’s face it, closest friends and family sometimes means over a hundred people. ;/ Our guest count totaled to 175 and it was the perfect amount because every person at our wedding meant a great deal to us.
We picked a beautiful location called Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana, CA and kept our ceremony and reception both outdoors. The day was perfect and the weather was just right. We started the day getting ready at the main villa inside the 123 acre ranch. I decided to do my own makeup while my friend Karen did my hair. I also had a few people doing hair and makeup on my bridal party to make the “getting ready” part of the day fun. (I have a video coming soon where I will elaborate on things I should have done differently etc… stay tuned)
I wore a beautiful Monique Lhuillier dress, while Kasra (groom) wore a Ralph Lauren tuxedo with a Tom Ford bow-tie. The first time I tried on my dress, I fell in love with it, no dress came close to how this one looked on me. Without a doubt, I knew this was the one. Although I loved my dress design, if I could go back in time, I would not get my dress altered at Monique Lhuillier, as they didn’t make the dress to fit my body perfectly, in addition to a few other issues I had with alterations. Of course I still highly recommend Monique Lhuillier, as her designs are out of this world, but I would probably look elsewhere for alterations.
Kasra and I went back and forth between a few photographers and cinematographers and found our perfect match. We chose Duke Photography as our photographer, who did a spectacular job with both our engagement photos as well as our wedding photos, and Tim & Co as our cinematographer. (Can’t wait to share a short clip of the wedding with you all) Both vendors were so easy to work with and made our day a lot of fun.
Our “day of” wedding coordinator was Susan Tosounian from Especially For You, who did more than I expected. What a professional and sweet person to work with. She made sure everything went according to plan and did a phenomenal job coordinating the entire day to perfection. I couldn’t be happier with her services.
My friend Melina from 17 Catering & Events was there to help with the design of the wedding. She made so many cute suggestions and even hand made some pieces for the cocktail hour to make it interesting for the guests. She suggested I order personalized napkins, bride and groom sign for the chairs, cocktail menu and more… Some things I ordered and some she made herself. She decorated the dessert table and made sure the event design came together beautifully.
I used Wedding Paper Divas for our stationary and ended up ordering most everything from them. I started with our save the dates, then got everything I needed for my bridal shower and moved on to the wedding. The personalized napkins I mentioned above, our invites, sign in book, thank you cards and much more, were all ordered from Wedding Paper Divas. I ordered clean place cards to match our invites and had a sweet lady in San Diego named Lisa from Calligraphy by Lisa handwrite each person’s name, which made it very personal and really special for us. Lisa did such a wonderful job and even delivered before the due date. (This was a sweet touch at the wedding, everyone loved it.) I also ordered a few things from etsy like the bride and groom sign, and the place card holders from Target to complete the wedding décor.
At a venue like Hummingbird Nest Ranch, rentals play a very important role as the ranch doesn’t provide anything at all. Kasra and I did a lot of research and found Harry’s Party Rentals who had worked at this venue multiple times. I used Harry for my bridal shower to make sure we worked well together and that things were delivered on time and in great shape. We loved the experience so we hired him for the big day. Harry and his team did a fantastic job with my rentals and made sure everything was to our liking.
Flowers are suppose to be a big part of the wedding and just like any other bride, I wanted my flowers to look perfect. Unfortunately I didn’t do enough research on my florist, as it was a referral from a friend. One thing I learned is that you should always do extra research and pay attention to the most important vendors, like the florist, to make sure you’re not disappointed the day of. Although most everything turned out beautiful, (mainly thanks to having an awesome photographer, who moved things around to make sure I got great photos) I wasn’t too happy with the flowers for a few reasons. I rather not get into it, as I don’t mean to bash another business. My suggestion is to pay attention to all your vendor’s customer service skills and make sure you have a clear understanding of how things should go the day of.
Entertainment was also very important to us so Kasra and I spent a lot of time talking to DJ’s to find the perfect one for our wedding. After crashing about 5 different weddings and hearing all these different DJ’s, (we didn’t technically “crash” since we had the DJ’s permission, but I can assure you it was very weird attending a strangers wedding just to hear the music lol the things you do for your big day :)) We finally found a DJ that we were so excited about. Sammy Flash is the name he goes by and he made our night so much fun. We loved how he was able to read the crowd and make sure everyone was dancing.
M O R E V E N D O R S W E L O V E :
♥Both my engagement ring and wedding band is by Irelia Fine Jewelry in San Diego, CA. Fernando did an amazing job designing both my rings and I’m so happy with how they both turned out. We also got matching yellow gold bands from Tiffany’s for more of a traditional type band.
♥My bridesmaids dresses were so classy and cute, I got them from Nicole Bakti.
♥I wore a White Maxi Dress by Daily Look to get ready.
♥We had Reverend Barbara Laughray conduct part of our ceremony and she was so sweet and very engaging with the crowd. We really loved having her be a part of our special day.
♥Our cake was so beautiful. I took a inspiration photo to Nazeli from Dress My Cake and she did an amazing job with the design and provided two yummy flavors.
♥We also had cupcakes from Sprinkles, which people loved and other desserts from a few different places.
♥I also have to thank my mom’s friend who made homemade napoleon which was so yummy.
♥Our catering was provided by Anoush.
All in all, we had an amazing time and I hope you enjoy the photos below. All photos are by Duke Photography