Archives for June 2016

California Coast Wedding: Annie & Kevin Married!

Happy Thursday, friends!


A couple weeks back, Annie & Kevin’s beautiful beach side wedding was featured in California Wedding Day (YAY!). We are so excited that their wedding received so much love that we wanted to share more from their special day! Annie & Kevin met in NYC, got engaged in Hawaii and knew that they wanted to get hitched on the California coastline. We scoured the coast from San Diego to Malibu, looking for the perfect right-on-the-beach location (but without the whole toes-in-sand thing) and in the end, the Montage in Laguna Beach was the setting that hit all the marks the couple was looking for: great atmosphere, great food, and a fab location for people coming from all over the world to enjoy!








Together we set out to create a celebration that combined the couple’s love of the easy polynesian island vibe, quite a bit of of class, and a healthy amount of glam. We called it “tropical elegance” and used vibrant tones in peacock blue, magenta, fuchsia, blush, yellow, chartreuse, orange and purple along with mixed metallics to bring our vision to life! “Annie’s bouquet was inspired by all of her favorite tropical blooms and included ginger, orchids, explosion grass, bougainvillea, anthurium, and even mini pineapples.  We worked with Enchanted Garden Floral Design to continue this palette throughout the rest of her wedding and combined the decor with lush tropical foliage such as elephant ears, monstera leaves, song of India shoots, and maranta leaves. Finally, we tucked in large and mini pineapples everywhere and anywhere we could.







Upon arrival, each guest was greeted with a refreshing tropical mocktail to set the tone right off the bat. The couple said their “I-do’s” in front of a simple backdrop of vibrant blooms with the ocean to their right and cliffs to the left. Swoon. A ukulele player serenaded both the ceremony and cocktail hour with smooth Hawaiian tunes. We served themed specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as guest mingled with a 180 degree view of the ocean. During dinner, the guests were entertained by a polynesian dance troupe, who eventually brought the whole bridal party to the dance floor to perform as a group. In the end, we designed an elegant tropical paradise fête with an aesthetic that wowed, a feast that made for happy bellies, and an evening that kept everyone guessing as to what would happen next. A good time was had by all!

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From the blushing bride (Annie)

My favorite moment of the day had to be walking down the aisle towards Kevin to the amazing voice of Tini Grey singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow on the ukelele and seeing our vision become a reality. That was the moment all the emotion just hit me. And I loved that my veil got caught on the bush and Marisa had to rescue me – that moment just got rid of all my nerves and I just felt radiant. Saying our vows to each other was absolutely incredible (and yes!  Kevin shed tears!!!). Being showered with the vibrant colored petals as we walked back down was so much fun. The entire ceremony is one that we will remember for the rest of our lives.


Vendor Love


Cocktail Hour: To Join or Not to Join… That is the Question

Good morning lovebirds!


Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Here at Marisa Nicole Events, we want your wedding day to be your best day ever, so we work with our couples to craft a flow that reflects what each couple wants from their day! We start working out this minutia about three months out and as we walk through this process with our couples, one big question always comes up – “Are you wanting to go to cocktail hour, or take photos during that time?” The truth is that you need to do what is right for you on this front! Some couples don’t see each other before their wedding and spend pretty much all of cocktail hour taking photos. Others get all their photos done beforehand and kick off cocktail hour with shots. And many of our couple do a bit of everything (extended family photos, a few moments alone, and a few minutes with their guests). Today, we want to make that choice a little bit easier by walking through some of the logistics and options for your cocktail hour. So without further ado…

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Left: Glass Jar Photography Right: KT Merry Photography

Newlywed Etiquette

One thing to keep in mind about cocktail hour is that the overall vibe during this time is different than any other point in your day. The ceremony is definitely more serious and the reception has more of a dinner and dancing party vibe. Your cocktail hour will be filled with mingling, tasty appetizers and a more light, easy feel. It is wedding etiquette for the bridal couple to greet all their guests at some point in the day, so that each guest feels as if their attendance is appreciated. We think cocktail hour is a perfect time to do this in a very casual and stress-free way. Other options for greeting each guest individually is to do a little something we call “table visits” during dinner (but then you get very little time to eat). Other couples plan to see their guests on the dance floor (but this can be problematic, as some guests will never step foot on the dance floor and might be missed).

FineArtTemeculaWedding-96 copy

Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian

Photo Logistics

Let’s be honest, we have a ton of photos to take on your wedding day, and sometimes scheduling them all in can get a bit hectic. There are getting ready photos, romantic shots, bridal party photos, family photos, and any special moments that you might want captured. If you are willing to do a first look and get most of your formal/must-have shots out of the way, then cocktail hour is more or less yours to do with what you like. However, if you choose to go the traditional route and not see each other until you walk down the aisle, even if we schedule immediate family photos and separated bridal photos prior to the ceremony, you will still need to get full family photos and bridal party shots after the ceremony. When you add those to a short romantic session, every second of your cocktail hour is accounted for. Unless you want no formal shots at all, there is no way I can magically allot time for you to join cocktail hour. And I know what you are thinking “we’ll just have a longer cocktail hour”… I need you to truth me on this one. That is not a good idea for your guests. All that to say, you need to keep what you want from your cocktail hour in mind when you are deciding whether to have a first look or not.


Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Grand Entrance

A grand entrance is a time to enter together and see all your friends as officially a married couple. But, how can you do a grand entrance into your reception if you’ve already entered as a couple into cocktail hour? Just because you have joined cocktail hour does not mean you can’t do a grand entrance into your reception! You can still make a grand entrance by sneaking out of site from your guests during cocktail hour and coming back in once everyone is seated.  You can even choose to do your grand entrance during cocktail hour. Either way, you will get the excitement and loud applause from your guests! On a side note, you can also choose to ditch the grand entrance completely and just sneak into cocktail hour or the reception with your guests. The day is yours to do what you will!

Ann-Kathrin Koch

Photo Credit: Ann-Kathrin Koch

Cocktail hour is the perfect time to mingle with guests and some couples see it as something they cannot miss (and we kind of agree)! Keep in mind that it is your wedding and you can do whatever makes you happy. You poured tons of time, energy and finances into crafting your perfect celebration and should be able to enjoy every aspect of your day. Therefore, skip cocktail hour, attend it in full, or do a bit of everything… It is up to you! Finally, we encourage you to factor in a bit of flexibility to your day of planning to allow for a few quick photos when the lighting is perfect. Photographers may want to snag you for a few moments during golden hour or as the sun is setting during cocktail hour, dinner, or even dancing. This is usually the money shot, so we suggest throwing the photographer a bone and take a quick timeout from celebrating if the photographer comes up to you and says that the light is perfect (If photos matter to you at all, you won’t regret it!).


Photo Credit: Iris & Light

A Colorful Industrial Wedding: Kelley & Steve Married!

Happy Wedding Wednesdays, lovelies!


It is finally June and to celebrate the warm weather, I wanted to share with you a wedding that has embraced all the colors of summer. Kelley & Steve had the perfect industrial, colorful, DIY wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios. The couple wanted to host a laid-back, super fun celebration for their nearest and dearest that was different from all the other coastal, ranch or hotel weddings that they have been attending together for the past years. Yes, Kelley and Steve were highschool sweethearts and have been together forever. They are one of the kindest and most caring couples I have had the pleasure of working with.





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Aesthetically, the couple wanted to create a vibe that was romantic. We wanted it to feel both soft and bold at the same time. Beauty in variety was more or less the mantra for this wedding. Smoky Hollow Studios has great bones for party space. With it’s mixture of brick and chalkboard walls, hanging edison bistro lights and a garage door to boot, you get the best an urban space with tons of great natural lighting can offer! The couple got married in front of a backdrop of colorful hanging ribbons with the light from the garage door coming through. Swoon.



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We brought in rectangular tables, and dressed them in a champagne colored linen with a bit of shine. We used gold-toned flatware, clean white china, and yellow-tinted glassware to create the base of our tablescape. We used a mix of wooden and colored vessels, along with simple bud vases to house florals with in an array of vibrant colors and varying sized and textured blooms. Turquoise, coral, muted peach, pops of gold, and soft yellow, we simply could not be limited by a three hued color story!


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resized for blog-5Kelley loved succulents and Smoky Hollow has a succulent wall on its patio, so we used desert plants whenever and wherever possible. With chalkboard walls at every turn, we felt it would be a disservice to the space to not incorporate chalk-art into the day, so we brought in an artist to create our bar and dinner menus, a welcome sign, and more.

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Family is super important to the couple, so we created a family tree wall. Since Steve’s family is Chinese, we thought customized fortune cookies to be the perfect wedding favor for this celebration! The guests feasted on barbecue (which was smoked before their very eyes during cocktail hour), danced the night away, and a great time was had by all…


Vendor Love

On-Point Specialty Cocktail Ideas

Hello friends!

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

Cocktail hour is probably our favorite time in every wedding (especially when the couple joins in on the fun), as it is always a wonderful time for all your friends and family to mingle, enjoy a refreshing beverage and nosh before the reception officially begins. Amidst the traditional passing of champagne and small bites, this is the perfect opportunity for a couple to show a bit of personality or give a nod to the wedding theme by serving up a few specialty cocktails. We at Marisa Nicole Events seriously love a fabulous beverage designed especially for the couple for their guests. Although you can always choose your go-to cocktails and serve those, we suggest spicing up the common cocktail with a tweek here or there to make it seriously on-point for your celebration. To help you in this pursuit, we have decided to share some fun specialty cocktail ideas for your big day!

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The Love Potion

All you need…

  • 1/3 cup blackberries, plus 8 more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle of prosecco or champagne
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • …For the full recipe check out Jacquelyn Clark

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Left: Bridal Musings  Right: Vegan Miam

Rosemary Vodka Lemonade

All you need…

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 (8-inch) rosemary sprigs
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • Chilled club soda or seltzer
  • Garnish: 8 (3-inch) rosemary sprigs
    …For the full recipe check out Epicurious

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Blueberry Mojito Royale

All you need…

  • 1/3 cup blueberries (plus extra for a fancy blueberry swizzle stick)
  • 6-8 leaves fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon sugar in the raw (I’m into slightly tart cocktails, but feel free to add an extra teaspoon or two of sugar if you like a sweeter drink.)
  • 2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces light rum
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 ounces chilled Prosecco or champagne
    …For the full recipe check out Domesticate Me

bourbon peach

Bourbon Peach Smash

All you need is…

  • 3 medium ripe yellow or white peaches, pitted and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup unrefined granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 slices cling-free ripe peaches
  • 1/6 medium Lime
  • 4 to 6  fresh mint leaves
  • plus more for garnish
  • 1 ounce peach shrub
  • 1 1/2 ounces good-quality bourbon
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • ice
  • Splash chilled ginger beer
    …For the full recipe check out Salt & Wind

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Grapefruit Rosemary Mule

All you need…

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice (That’s about ½ a grapefruit.)
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
  • 3 ounces chilled ginger beer
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Sliced grapefruit (optional)
    …For the full recipe check out Domesticate Me

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Campfire Cocktail

All you need…

  • 1 marshmallow
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • 1 tablespoon graham cracker crumbs
  • Ice
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces Baileys
  • 2 ounces 2% milk
    …For the full recipe check out Jacquelyn Clark


Cotton Candy Cocktail

All you need…

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Left: Sposto Photography Right: Jasmine Nicole Photography

We hope to have inspired you to add some flavor to your bar and make the drinks you serve on your big day just a little bit more special than a standard cocktail. I mean, who doesn’t love a good cocktail? Make sure you don’t forget about the cute bar menu signs that can complement your specialty drink.


Photo Credit: Iris & Light