Archives for April 2014

Love at Rancho Las Lomas: Maria & Jon Married!

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Oh Happy Day! This fine Friday I have the pleasure of sharing one of my favorite weddings of all time with you! Almost a year ago, Maria & Jon got hitched at the one and only Rancho Las Lomas. Thankfully, the dynamic duo of Lukas & Suzy Van Dyke Photography was there to capture each and every fabulous detail (for more of our work at this fab space, check out our Give Back Styled Wedding blog post). The venue, the couple, the style: everything about this wedding just makes me swoon with delight.

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maria and jon combined-2

The look & feel direction we decided to take for Maria & Jon’s day was “Rustic Elegance.” Maria chose a visual pallet that incorporated all the colors in a sunset sky. It was also important to our lovebirds that the day had a sense of progression to it, which was partly what made Rancho Las Lomas such a great fit for their fête. The guests started off the event at the ceremony, which took place on a wooded staircase under a canopy of lush trees. The guests then moved to the tiled pool area for cocktail hour (during which time they were encouraged to partake in a scavenger hunt, designed by the groom, allowing guests to explore the on-site zoo). After cocktails and small bites, the guests were brought through a small house, which was littered with cute signs and framed photos of the couple, in order to enter the reception patio where dinning and dancing ensued. Finally, at the end of the night, the guests were invited to join the couple in the lodge (with a fireplace and everything) for post-party dancing and mock-tails! The guests were continually ohhing and ahhing as they progressed through each part of the celebration. There was never a dull moment to be had!

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couple combined

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maria and ring

Maria’s personal sense of style was simply lovely. From her designer blush gown, to those Jimmy Choos on her feet, and everything in-between, there was absolutely nothing ordinary about her look! She gifted her ladies with super cute kimonos for the getting ready festivities and each bridesmaid’s dress captured a different aspect of the sunset sky. But we can’t leave out the fellas! All Jon’s guys were looking foxy in their corresponding (yet not precisely matching) get-ups. Jon looking the sharpest of all in his custom made wooden glasses! When it came to designing the day, the couple and I were a (wedding planning) match made in heaven from the get-go. We organized the whole affair in barely five months and sometimes Maria’s sense of style and my eye for design could be a quite dangerous combination. However, as iron sharpens iron, we worked together to create a day that was 100% fabulous in both the areas of aesthetics and guest experience. PS – I seriously love it when a bride has exquisite taste!

maria and jon combined

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bell thing

Maria had some great friends who pitched in to create a ton of super fun DIY details. For the ceremony, streamer ribbons with bells were created for the post-kiss celebration. The couple loves to travel, so we used colorful old postcards in a vintage suitcase to serve as the day’s guestbook! The floral designer (Judy at Enchanted Gardens) had a great time brining the aesthetic vision to life. We used a combination of big soft blooms with smaller textured pieces to create variety and depth. Judy brought in a plethora of small metallic and crystal trinkets to give the day a detailed, vintage feel. We paired Tuscan wooden tables with neutral burlap runners and a combo of colorful napkins as a base for the floral arrangements. No two pieces, bouquets, or arrangements were identical and it was absolutely gorgeous!

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flower and door

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flower and table

One of the things I just loved about this day was the ample amount of signage! Let’s just say that if people got lost or didn’t know what to do, it was not from a lack of communication on our part! We used a combination of DIY crafted signs, immaculately designed printed items, and chalkboard signage to make everything both cute and informational! Maria’s mom made the wedding cake and hand crafted stacked cookie favors for each place setting (and both were crazy yummy!).


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cake combined

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The couple and guests danced the night away to a live band as the on-site animals watched over the party. Maria & Jon choreographed their own wedding dance and the traditional money dance was most definitely one to remember. Once everyone was all tuckered out, they sobered up by the fireplace at the lodge with good conversation and yummy comfort food. All in all, it was one of my favorite weddings to date, and I have never had a more tiring day of work in my life (it was a huge venue with lots of steps, and I was in heels all day, don’t judge!)

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Happy Anniversary to Maria & Jon!  We at Marisa Nicole wish you a lifetime of happiness! To check out their same-day-edits wedding video, click here!

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Fresh Ideas For Spring Fêtes!

Happy Good Friday Friends! Spring is in full swing, Passover has begun and Easter is in the air! Wedding Season is so close I can taste it and the excitement is almost more than one can bear. Today we thought we’d give you some ideas on taking the best the season has to offer and translating new versions of these motifs to  your wedding.

easter tablescape 1


It goes without saying that in any spring themed celebration, pastel colors tend to dominate the visual story of the day. Don’t get me wrong, we adore spring weddings, but today I’d like to encourage all you spring brides to think just a touch outside of the box. Of course, I would never ask you to completely forsake your pale pallet, but instead of pairing pastels with one another (thus recreating that old Easter basket as the color base for your day), put your pastels to use in a different way: try choosing just one, your favorite, and pairing that color with pale neutrals. Trust me when I tell you that your affair will feel more elegant by coupling your fave pastel with a grey or tan. Check out these color pallets to see how well this works!


Visual Motifs

For spring celebrations, we love the idea of using fresh potted plants. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE flowers and spring is the season where many of the best are actually local and available, but bringing in some terracotta potted herbs and flowers could go a long way in bringing the freshness of the season to your table. You could implement them in your table-scape or give them out as favors, either way your guests will love it.

flowers for blog

daisy wedding favors

We also love the idea of bringing eggs into the visual story of your wedding. Getting married at a farm? Try talking to the owner about collecting eggs from the hens on site and bundling them in a cute basket to give out as favors. Chocolate pastel colored eggs can also be super fun. Find pale egg candies in your colors and nestle them in tiny vessels to add to the overall décor or indicate the guests’ table assignment.

eggs photos

Feast Like It’s a Holy Day

Décor isn’t the only place where senses of the season can come alive at your wedding. Ditch the normal fish and steak based menu and work with your caterer to create a family style feast. Try offering rack of lamb or brisket as your proteins, serve scalloped potatoes or mint cous cous as your starch, and top the meal off with sautéed spinach and roasted carrots for your veg: Crazy yummy, super original and just plain great for a spring themed celebration!

rack of lamb 5

Spring doesn’t have to be all bunnies and floral prints (although we love those things too). We hope today’s post has inspired all you spring brides to think outside the ‘easter basket’ and find ways to bring all the lovely things this season has to offer to your fête in a fun and classy way.

Making Your Day Your Own (At Venues With Little Flexibility)

Happy Spring Friends!

The first moment you walked into the wedding venue you chose for your day, you felt at home. The location, the style, the price, it all seemed to be a match made in heaven. You quickly signed the 10 page contract, submitted the deposit and selected a date. The world was at your fingertips, nothing could go wrong, and then… wait, we’re not allowed to do that? Oh, so we can only use vendors from your approved list?  But how do we make our celebration distinct and our own if we are only allowed to do things the way every other couple who has gotten married here before us has done?


I can’t tell you how common this story is. Many of the most gorgeous and coveted venue locations have crazy strict guidelines.  Everyone wants their wedding to be deeply personal; from the aesthetics, to the day of flow, and from the music to the menu, it is important that your wedding actually reflects who you are as a couple and tells your story, even if you are getting hitched in a spot with very little flexibility. Today we’re going to share some ideas on how to do this, particularly in the areas of food and entertainment, despite getting married at a beautiful, yet strict venue.

mezze 1The biggest struggle some of my couples face is getting to serve the food they want on their day. Many times, a venue will only work with one specific caterer, or you will have to choose from a very limited list of preferred caterers. If you find yourself in this situation, do not fret; you may have more options than you think. Yes, most of these places have set sample menus that they prefer to stick to, but try talking with your contact to explore the possibility of altering the normal menu to include specific items that are important to your story.  For example, let’s say you want to give a nod to your mother’s Middle Eastern heritage and serve mezze after the cocktail hour, as guests enter the reception area. There is a high possibility this will not be on the pre-set menu. If you share the importance of this tradition with your caterer (and remember that you catch more flies with honey, so be nice), there is a good chance that for a few dollars extra per head they will be able to accommodate you.

cotton candyAlways dreamed of having a cotton candy machine at your wedding? This is not a service that most caterers have the equipment for and are set-up to offer. Share how important this aspect of your day is with your venue and catering contacts and request that you be allowed to bring in a specialty vendor just for this purpose. Nine out of ten times the venue will let you bring in who you want simply because it is not something their preferred caterer is able to do! And it doesn’t stop there: frozen yogurt, churros con chocolate, popcorn, taco trucks, there are a ton of specialty dessert or late night snack vendors that will help create a lasting memory for you and your guests that your venue is likely to sign off on, despite their strict guidelines, because the preferred caterer isn’t able to offer something that is important to you.

cigar bar

Really want to spice things up? Feel free to try going outside the standard forms of entertainment for moments that leave a lasting impression on your guests. This could be as simple as creating a cigar or scotch bar in a loungy area of your reception. Once again, even strict venues usually allow you to bring in specialty vendors like this, particularly if you hint at the angle of this being an important cultural tradition for your family! Decided to get married at a venue that won’t allow a live band? Usually this has some kind of direct correlation to the city’s sound ordinance and the sound being amplified. True, the venue probably won’t budge for the reception, but they will generally  let you bring in a small live band (without amplification) for the ceremony and/or cocktail hour. Or think outside the box completely and bring in something  unexpected: check out one of our past blogs about belly dancing & bagpipes for a bit of inspiration! Whatever the choices you end up making, we encourage you to work to wow your guests. Even if it feels like the venue is saying “no” to everything (we’ve worked at many places like this), don’t give up! Make your day yours!

Love at Adamson House: Talia & Bennett Married!

Happy Friday Friends!


Today we’re excited to share Talia & Bennett’s wedding from last August with you. Their wedding is just the sort we love to be a part of: great couple, fab venue, and tons of personal details!

Pier T&B




These lovebirds got hitched at the Adamson House in Malibu. Not only does the venue have an incredible view, the house and grounds of the estate are equally gorgeous. With a backdrop as stunning at the Adamson House (which is a historic estate, you should go visit!), we didn’t have to go over board with décor to make everything look lovely. Thankfully, Kim Fox Photography was there to capture each and every detail beautifully.

couple with flower arrangement



blog photo


We chose to replicate the feel of the coast in our aesthetics, from the custom designed printed items (compliment of a friend of the couple) to bringing the colors of sand, water, and driftwood into our table-scape! We introduced this look to the dining tables by using matte tan lines as our base and adding satin aquamarine runners to frame the table. Then we placed a chocolate napkin atop white china plates to bring the look together. Talia wanted the floral designs to have a wildflower, fresh picked from the field, feeling to them. We used a variety of vibrant colored flowers, small to mid sized blooms and textured greenery to bring this vision to life. A mixture of white washed pails and almost milk-glass style vessels were used to display our “hand-picked” arrangements. Finally, Talia added touches of red to her personal style to keep things spicy (check out her shoes, super foxy!)


funny couple with vases



beer and olive oil

One of the aspects of this wedding that I appreciated the most was just how invested Talia & Bennett were in making the day truly reflect their story, style, and personality. They weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and took on many a DIY project…my kind of couple! They got engaged in Italy, and brought back with them some crazy good olive oil; so it was only fitting that they divvy it up into small bottles, tether a cute tag around them, and make them their favors. Bennett has been known to brew a keg or two in his day, for the wedding, he doctored up a specialty “I Do Brew”. It was served with the weddings featured beer. On every guest’s plate was a small box of caramels made by Talia and Bennett’s friend and amazing pastry chief, Justin Chao of Le Bon Garcon (his caramels made Oprah’s favorite things list a few years ago!).




hanging flower and chuppah

When it came time for the ceremony, family members were super involved, which made the whole thing feel deeply intimate and personal. The couple got married under a chuppah built by Bennett and his new father-in-law; the top of the chuppah was a piece of Talia’s mother’s wedding dress, and both sets of parent’s wedding anniversary dates-as well as the wedding couple’s anniversary- were embroidered onto it. We hung wildflower arrangements in mason jars from the large tree that anchored their ceremony. Bennett’s aunt, a professional French horn player, played the music that accompanied the bride and groom down the aisle. Talia’s grandmother also officiated the ceremony. The Ketubah, a reminder to the couple of their vows to each other, was signed by Talia & Bennett’s 5 siblings and siblings-in-law.

couple under house and signed thing




Once our lovebirds were officially hitched, the whole party feasted like kings via a family style dinner by Whoa Nelly Catering. Just thinking about the food on their wedding day still makes my mouth water. Talia & Bennett didn’t feel tied to many reception traditions, so we threw out the old rulebook and just focused on everyone dancing and having a great time. Bennett’s been a member of a few bands throughout his life, so it was an extra special treat for the wedding quests when he, with two of the bands he is a part of, were able to have a live jam session during the celebration. At the end of the night, the happy couple hopped on the last shuttle with their friends and family (and the left over alcohol) to get the after-party going. It was definitely a night to remember for all!




couple dancing and random

After the wedding, I asked Talia if she had any advise for those in the midst of planning their weddings, and here is what she had to say: “Treat the entire planning process as a celebration. Whether you’re a natural planner or not, celebrate each decision; it takes away some of the pressure from having to get just one day totally perfect, and by the time the wedding is here you feel like you’ve been celebrating for a year already—a truly great feeling. (And if you have Marisa by your side, you really can feel like you’re celebrating all year long!).”


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