This years trip to the Deluca Farm's Pumpkin Patch was awesome. Inflatable bounce houses, hay rides, pumpkin picking, and some great shots with these cuties. My dress and shoes listed below are similar but not exactly what I was wearing. Unfortunately, they are no longer available. The scarf was SUPER thick when I got it, so I cut it in half so both Charlee and I had matching ones. Shop our look at the bottom of the blog!
Monster Mash Margarita
The Perfect Apple Pie Martini
Pumpkin Pie Shots
Bloody Shirley Temple
Halloween Activity Kit
Masons FAVORITE Halloween Movie is Mickey's House of Villains. You can download it on Prime video for $9.99. This has been a hit at our house the last three years. So this year, I put together a Disney Halloween Activity Kit for the kids to work on while they watched. Download this PDF to share with your little one! Filled with plenty of spooky activities to keep them occupied for an afternoon! It started with putting together some simple learning games into a PDF, to creating my own Mickey Halloween Art on the ProCreate App to add some character to the packet. Don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the blog to get email updates when new kits hit the blog!
Simple enough.....and the kids LOVE it! Before any pumpkin related activities, have the kids give them a good scrub! Throw some baby bubble bath in the sink, some scrub brushes, and let them go to town on their pumpkins! Charlee washed her pumpkin for almost an hour! She loved it!
Paint, paint, and more paint!
What kid doesn't like to paint?!?! Mine do! And there are so many different things to paint for Halloween.
1. Ghost Foot: Trick or Treat Smell My Feet
2. Potato Stamp: Carve out a pumpkin stamp into half of a potato, paint, and stamp away.
3. Apple Stamp: Cut the apple in half, paint, and stamp into the shape of a pumpkin
4. The classic pumpkin painting!
This is a good one and got SO many laughs! Put on the timer and grab a roll of toilet paper. They have to wrap someone up in the TP for one minute. The person with the best mummy look wins! I folded the TP back up and use it as kleenex. LOL Not like were in the middle of a pandemic right?!?!?! HAHAHA
Climb Through Mummy Maze
Before you fold that TP up, create a maze for the kids to crawl through. If they rip any of the TP then they have to start over and try again. Time them until they make it from one part of the room to the other.
Spider Web Climb
Create a spider web out of tape on the floor. Sprinkle some fake spider all over the web and have the kids collect them all without stepping off of the tape. You can add a timer to make it more of a competition. I put little skeletons on the web that they had to avoid touching. If they touched a skeleton, they got an extra 5 seconds on their time. Best time is the winner!
Since we are all kids at heart, this should be a fun one. Having kids in or at your ceremony can be a blast, both for you and for them. Don’t even get me started on the hype that they bring to your reception, it’s better than any DJ that you could hire. While this may seem like a daunting part of the day I promise that, if done right, kids can easily be one of the best parts and bring so much fun and joy to your wedding.
As someone who is always thinking about every little detail, it’s important that I think of how to make the day great for everyone. Depending on the age range and how many kids will be in attendance, here are a few cute and super fun ideas :)
During the Ceremony…
If you decide to have kids in the ceremony, there are a lot of different and special ways to do this.
1. As a ring bearer
I mean c’mon…
2. As a flower girl
Pretty self explanatory and always a show stopper.
3. As a junior bridesmaid or groomsmen
This is a great option for kids who are a little older and/or have a very special connection to the wedding. The junior bridesmaid or groomsman can also be a part of other wedding festivities like a bachelor or bachelorette outing depending on the wholesomeness of your wedding festivities (or lack thereof ;)
4. Include them in a first look
One of my favorite and unique touches in any wedding is including the little ones in a first look with the bride or groom. The reactions are priceless.
5. Have them do a reading or performance at the wedding
Whether they are reading a poem, a bible verse, an old love note or singing a song, adding this touch at any wedding will make for a very sentimental memory.
Other ideas for entertainment include;
- Board games
- Hiring entertainers like face painters, magicians and more!
Don’t want the party to stop, but have a few kids still around? A “No adults allowed zone” or a “Kids only” area/table is a great way to put aside some space for the kids for toys, activities and for a few pillows just in case they get a little sleepy.
And just like that....our little boy was 6!
Despite the craziness of quarantine, we managed to celebrate in a BIG way! Mason's current obsession, Ryan's World, made the perfect theme for his virtual birthday party! The beauty of this party, is that once the quarantine lifts, it can also be super fun to do in person as well! The kids seemed to love all of the little surprises we had in store for them. We started by dropping off goodie bags to each house the day before, a scavenger hunt for each of the kiddos the day of, a surprise car rally drive by for the birthday boy, and to finish a virtual zoom gift opening and cookie decorating session! It was an amazing celebration for a very excited little boy!
The Treasure Hunt Instructions and Clues: These included a set of 10 clues to be hidden by the parents around the house. I also included 10 party favors so that with each clue found, came a little surprise. The parents were so awesome hide the clues and gifts for us! We requested the kids finished their hunt before they signed on for the zoom meeting in the afternoon. That way, they could talk and share their findings. I printed out the treasure hunt instructions and burnt the edges of the paper over the stove top so it looked more like an old treasure map. You can see the outcome in the overview picture above
The Cookie Kits: These were one of the prizes on the treasure hunt. I asked the parents to have the kids decorate their cookies while they watched Mason open presents on the zoom meeting. A few of them sent us pictures of their masterpieces as the meeting was going on. So fun! The kits were created by Courtney's Creations and included two cookies, a frosting pack, and 2 sprinkle packets each. She picked cookie cut outs that matched the characters in Ryan's World. They were as tasty as they looked!!!
I sent out an email to everyone involved that we would be playing outside for the couple of hours before the zoom party started. Since we could not throw flow blown parties for the kids this year, we decided to get them a bouncer with a slide. This thing is awesome!!! They use it almost everyday! If guests wanted to stop by and wave while the kids played, they were welcome too. Boy, did people go all out and make our little boy feel SO loved!!! And even though we requested no gifts....a lot of people dropped off the BEST presents!
When it was time to zoom, we logged on a little early and gave the kids a few minutes to chat and catch up. Then it was time to open presents. I set up a box wall as Ryan does on some of his toy review and hid Mason's presents that we got him in each of the boxes. I placed a different Ryan's World character picture on each box and we let each of the kids pick which picture Mason would punch in and reveal the next present! It was so much fun for him! It did not take to long to get through...but just in case, the kids did have their cookies to decorate during the process.
Finally, we cut the cake with everyone still on Zoom and sang Happy Birthday! Gina and the Bean did a fantastic job of making the perfect cake and it was absolutely delicious! The perfect ending to a perfect birthday celebration!
Well...Charlee is officially 3 and I threw her the cutest Disney Princess Tea Party! I LOVE details....and so does Charlee! She notices every time I change my nail color, every piece of jewelry I have on, and every time I spend a little extra time doing my hair and makeup! Charlee loves to compliment peoples outfits, hair styles, and fashion accessories!
"Remember, you're the only one that can fill the world with sunshine." - Snow White
I also made a coloring book area. Thank you DOLLAR TREE! Different Disney coloring books, crayons, paints, etc. a little $20 touch that was a huge hit at the party for the kids!
Gina with Gina and the Bean and her daughter, Kelly, did such a fabulous job with the treats, food, and tea. The kids and adults both had a little different menu.
What adult doesn’t love pairing their food with wine? Just a fun spin I added in for the ladies....I wrote out which wines paired best with each food item so we could make a little wine tasting experience out of it! So fun!!!! And SO delicious!"
We laughed, we ate, we played, we opened presents. It truly was a party fit for a princess.
Desserts, food, tea party accessories: Gina and the Bean
Charlee's Outfit, Mom's Outfit, and Decor: Amazon Baby! Message Us for Specific Links
Coloring Books, Activities Center: Dollar Tree
A lot of us had to quickly adjust to a distance learning system back in March. I must admit, when we went online at the end of last years school year, we did not develop much of a routine. We signed on in bed some mornings, in the car if we were driving somewhere, sprawled out across the living room floor. The goal was to get through the zooms and lesson plans as quickly as possible so we could enjoy the rest of the day on the lake in Big Bear at our vacation home. Then, I had no idea how long we would be online.
Now that it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, which I (like most of you I am sure) was not happy about at first, I must admit setting up a good learning space for Mason (my 6 year old) at the start of this school year has made a WORLD of difference. So I turned my home office space into our 1st grade classroom/office space for both Mason and myself. Mason's school, Mary Star of the Sea Elementary, has done a fabulous job zooming with the kids and training them to do everything on their own. I pretty much need to sign him on in the morning and that is it. Which is AWESOME!!!! At the end of last year I literally had to sit with him the entire time and help him maneuver through the school day. Now, he does it all on his own LIVE with his teacher everyday from 8:30am until 1:30pm. She even leaves the zoom on for break time and lunch so he can walk away, play, eat, and then she sets a timer and rings a bell when he needs to be back in front of the camera. His schedule is
8:30-8:45 Morning Announcements with the Principal and Entire School
8:45 -10:00 Math (Live ZOOM)
10:00-10:20 Break Time
10:20-12:00 Language Arts and Religion (Live Zoom)
12:30-1:30 Science and Social Studies (Live Zoom)
This schedule gives me plenty of time to answer emails, respond to inquiries, and put together blogs like this one :-) After he signs off at 1:30, I do my best to work out and get the kids outside and active. Were jumping into the second week of school and I feel really good about it. This is definitely a schedule we can stick to and also one that is legitimately the next best thing to him physically being in class.
I think one of the biggest game changers, was getting his iPad Screen mirrored to a Big Screen. It took a little bit of googling to find out how to do it without an extra device like an Apple TV or Roku, but I found an app called AirScreen. It downloaded directly to our Samsung Smart TV. If you swipe down from the top corner of your iPad or device, (where the flashlight is located) you simply click "Screen Mirroring" and then select AS-AFTKMST12[Airplay] and you are all set. Different brands of smart TVs have different screen mirroring apps to download (for example; this app is not offered on my LG Smart TV). Google your TV brand and it should pop up.
My little work area is so cute and cozy. I find myself at my desk each day until 6:00pm or 7:00pm just working away. My desk was gifted to me from a friend, but I believe she got it at IKEA.
My daily planner sheets are great. I get a huge satisfaction of checking to-do items off a list. These sheets allow me to time out our day (I normally fill them all out on Sundays for the entire week), make to do lists, plan work outs, meals, etc. They keep me super organized and I love it! I also have Mason on a Star system that he is really into. On my daily planner I mark stars throughout the day when he is good during that zoom. He gets a star for:
Language Arts/Religion Zoom
Science/Social Studies Zoom
Completion of All Seasaw Activities
As soon as each subject is finished, he runs over and asks, "Do I get a star for that one?" It is the cutest thing. 5 stars means he gets to put one big star up on the monthly calendar board. Once he gets 10 big stars (so essentially it will take him two weeks), he gets to pick out a prize. He hits 10 this Friday (if all goes according to plan) and has already picked out a Spiderman toy on Amazon. Well worth the $1 a day to have a well behaved child.
I display his spelling words on a black dry erase board. Anytime I over hear something I think he should practice outside of his zoom class I throw it up on the board. I love that it is black and framed in wood. Goes more with my rustic vibe than a regular white dry erase board. He uses it to draw on during his breaks as well.
I definitely knew I wanted to set up a little reading corner. The chair I had in my office before, so I repurposed that. There are jewels on mine. I purchased those on Amazon as well and stuck them into the buttons myself to add some bling. Mason was so excited to see the circle rug. "Mom, is this where we do criss cross apple sauce and read stories?" It sure is buddy! I got the white tubs and plastic bins from Dollar Tree.
The block letters we use when were practicing spelling and reading. It came with several copies of each letter. Mason loved punching them all out. We have them all stored in one of the Dollar Tree bins. I figured I can even use them for spelling words and things on his dry erase board.
If you know me or have been following me for some time now, you know I am ALL about ambiance. So of course, I had to set us up a space that was organized, practical, and pretty. I have linked several of the products that I ordered on Amazon below. The rest of the items shown I had around the house and reused.
By far the most special part of the room is his art door. His teacher taught him how to draw an American flag on zoom and then gave them a history lesson on a few other patriotic things. Mason came running upstairs telling us we needed to come look at what he did. He not only did his assigned flag but also drew The Liberty Bell, an American Eagle, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty. I was thoroughly impressed!
I am an Amazon Associate and may be eligible to earn from these listed recommendations.
Everything about this wedding was a spitting image of this beautiful bride and her amazing personality! How do I know?!?!?! Well, she happens to be one of my oldest friends. Nicole and I met in grade school and have remained friends ever since. I have had the pleasure of growing with her, laughing with her, crying with her, attending her epic Bachelorette party in Nashville. And witnessing her fall in love and marry the most perfect man for her, Darin. Now, I regularly get to watch her beautiful family grow and flourish on social media and witness her slay the #momtreprenuer world. And though they don't happen often enough, I thoroughly enjoy our life chats over dinner and cocktails.
Before we dive into their wedding details, lets take a look at how cute their save the date music video was!
Bandy Canyon Ranch is an awesome venue. They have multiple cabins to rent out on the property that you and your family or bridal party can stay in. It has a very country feel to it, which is totally Nicole and Darin....also known as Sweets and Studs!
I love it when couples write each other letters to read right before the ceremony. One last time to tell the other how much you love them before the biggest moment in your relationship. When there is gifts along with the letters....its even an extra bonus! And the bride and groom gifted their groomsmen with the cutest selfie bobble heads. LOL Classic!
The ceremony was perfect. Her adorable pooch Bentley strutted down the aisle right in to dads arms. Her brother walked her down the aisle. The moms gave short speeches. They personalized their vows. It was just perfect!
You know I am ALL about the details! Nicole's mom did a fabulous job crafting different display areas. They were all so unique, beautiful, and fitting to the theme. My ALL time favorite Photobooth, the VW bus, pulled right up tot he reception spot and acted like a decor element as well as a fun activity for the guests.
Walter with Walter Wilsons Studios did an amazing job capturing the most beautiful pictures.
In the Ceremony: Seeing a pet strut down the aisle is a guaranteed way to make your guests smile. You run the risk of being out shined by a fur ball, but I think it’s pretty worth it. Using a pup as a groomsman, bridesmaid or ring bearer is a common trend in weddings these days and for good reason. Ever thought about having a “Dog of Honor” because well, you should. Better yet, dressing them up or having them carry something down the aisle is an added bonus and a perfect photo opportunity.
Photos, Photos and more Photos! Speaking of photos…If including your pet in the ceremony is not an option, photos outside of the ceremony are always a great way to savor the memories with your pets. Depending on how well behaved your pet is, you can include them in the getting ready process, first look photos, and so much more. Remember not all photos have to be picture perfect and sometimes the most candid ones end up being our favorites.
Consider the Decorations: Maybe the venue doesn’t allow for pets or your animal does not do well with crowds of people....well, fret not! Tying your fur baby into your decorations, favors, and stationary is still a very cute and viable option. Maybe name a cocktail or two after them. Include them in your cake topper or send your guests home with some treats in their honor.
Reception Entertainment: As much as you would like everyone to get off of their feet and dance at the end of the day, not everyone is confident enough to bust a move. Luckily, dogs are a great alternative source of entertainment for anyone not willing to hit the dance floor. On the other hand, if people take in enough liquid courage and the dance floor is filled, dogs love to shake their tails too. If you have kids at the event a sure fire way to keep them occupied is with an animal. I like to think of it as free childcare and pet sitting all in one.
I’m sure the pictures have spoken for themselves and you have a little bit more of an idea on how to share some of your special day with your pet. If you have decided to have your pet in your wedding, make sure you consider the following:
Does your venue allow for animals? And if so, at what cost?
Is the venue big enough for your furry friend(s)? Remember, they will need a place to do their business.
Let your photographer know in advance so they can think of cute photo-ops.
Who will be watching your pet during the day? Do you need to hire a pet sitter?
How many squirrels will your pet try to chase on the big day?
What is your pet’s personality like? Will they be behaved or is there a chance they will bark for the whole ceremony?
How will your guests feel about animals? If you are going to bring your lil loved ones to the big day make sure to let your guests know in advance… allergies could get crazy.
Do you need to train your dog on how to walk down an aisle?
The most important question of them all… what will they wear?
Check out this wedding that we had the pleasure of coordinating at The Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach. Christina and Ray have the cutest little fur child named Baby and did such an amazing job of incorporating her into their big day. If you as obsessed with this little bundle of cuteness as we are, you can follow her on her Instagram @furbabybaby . Her mom and dad are always taking her on the best adventures!
And our All American Wedding we were so happy to be a part of at Bandy Canyon Ranch. How adorable is this little pooch Bentley?!?!?! For more details on this fabulous day, check out our All American Wedding Blog Post.
And we can't sign off without a throwback to Desiree Carol's wedding in 2010 and her little yorki-poo, Martini Joy, being walked down the aisle by her flower girl <3
Thanks for reading!
Approved and Edited by Desiree Carol
To put it simply....this couple is #goals. I caught them all day long, gazing and smiling at each other, even when the other one wasn't looking. They call each other baby. They are absolutely STUNNING! And their love shined through on the most beautiful wedding day at The Ebell in Long Beach!
Perfection. The pictures speak for themselves on this one. Figlewicz Photographers did a fabulous job of capturing the day.
THE FIRST LOOK
The Ebell truly is a beautiful venue. The open space ceremony area, the chandeliers in the reception room, the vintage feel in the cocktail room, the elegant bridal suite....the list goes on. This couple deciding to do their first look, ceremony, and reception all at the same place, gave them a chance to take advantage of all of the beauty this venue has to offer. Not to mention the ease in the flow of the day with having everything in the same spot. It made it out to be one of my favorite weddings to both coordinate and decorate.
Now do you believe me about those looks!?!?!? How adorable is Neil's first look reaction?!?!?!
I am a sucker for family oriented ceremonies. Her sister was her Maid of Honor, her brother was their Officiant, and their nieces and nephews were the ring bearers and flower girls. They were such an amazing family to be around....and none of them shy to hop on the dance floor when the music started playing!
As I mentioned before, this venue holds beauty in every corner. Melissa stuck with a classic and elegant look.....white blooms, lemon leaf, gold accents, and candles.
Courtney's Creations did a beautiful job on the cake. During my decade in this business....this was by far my favorite cake display! When The Ebell offered for us to use their gold circle shelves as a decor piece....I immediately knew where I wanted it and how I wanted to decorate it. So unique and perfect!
Just to stunning not to post them all! <3
Verandas Beach House has to be one of my favorite wedding venues in Southern California. It's intimate, beautiful, and you have the option to have your ceremony on site or on the beach. It is perfect!
Natalie and Tyler were a wonderful couple to work with. These two love birds met on the dating app "Plenty of Fish". What a happy and adorable couple. Natalie had a pretty good idea of what she wanted for her wedding. She loved succulents. But also wanted to go more towards the beach side with her centerpieces. It was fun pulling all of her ideas together to create this magical day!
I always encourage my couples to do a first look. Especially with early evening ceremonies. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy the full event instead of rushing through pictures right after the ceremony is over!
I LOVED how the bouquets turned out. If you follow me, you know that one of my favorite things in a bouquet is hanging amaranthus! The drooping greens look so pretty up against a wedding dress. I loved all of the different blooms we used in the brides bouquet. Such a good pop of color. And of course, the brides FAV, the succulents! Ghaaaa just beautiful!
This venue is just STUNNING!!! The decor options here are absolutely endless. I think any style would be a good fit! The ceremony was beautiful. My favorite part is the brides decent down the stair case. I love a GRAND entrance!
There cake cutting was SO fun! I love a good cake fight!
One of my FAVORITE photographers to work with is Kelly Mendoza with True Bliss Photography. She makes the day so much smoother and has a great eye for good shots. Here are some more clips from the day!
Hi everyone! Happy February! Who else feels like things are finally back to normal after the holiday crazies?! I know I do! January was such a “catch-up” month, and then once February rolled around it’s like, “Okay, 2019, let’s do this!”.
So, in honor of February, I want to reflect back on a wedding from February a few years ago! The couple, Ray and Erin, were absolutely amazing to work with and the day turned out to be a dream!
However, it did not start out that way. The original ceremony was planned to take place outside at a beautiful Southern California marina called The Plaza. That was until it started to pour rain. And this rain was like anything I’ve ever seen before! It turned out to be the biggest rainstorm Southern California has seen since the 1980s!
Thankfully we were able to throw up a tent and move the ceremony indoors because the show must go on!
Ray and Erin were so happy with how everything turned out, and they were so in love that nothing could ruin their big day, not even the most unfortunate weather circumstances since 1980!
Everything turned out absolutely beautifully. PLUS we had the romantic sounds of the rain pitter-pattering outside in the background. Life truly is what you make of it!
Full Coordinator and Florist: Desiree Carol Special Events
Photographer: True Bliss Photo
Venue: The Plaza at Cabrillo Marina
This lovely couple decided to have their wedding at the beautiful Sepulveda Home in San Pedro. Sheila gave me a good amount of design freedom. She knew she wanted a couple of things incorporated into the design: simplistic arch draped with a hanging chandelier, wedding colors, and a budget that was important for us to stick with. Together, we designed a beautiful backyard wedding! Her bouquet, continues to be one of my all time favorites!
It is ALL about the details! And LOVE was definitely seen through the beautiful photos by Sheena Wilkens. I am obsessed by the letter exchange pictures! The beautiful bride, her stunning dress, the supportive bridesmaids….what a great moment that can be remembered by these photos!
Lets talk about how awesome and unique The Sepulveda Home is! Built in 1929, this French Colonial was designed to resemble the majestic plantation homes of the South. The backyard is absolutely gorgeous with a stunning view of the harbor. The owners have decorated the interior of the home with vintage furniture which also offers a ton of great photo opportunities! The idea of turning their back yard into a venue came to them when the owners daughter was looking for the perfect venue for her own wedding. She was the first to make it happen and now runs the show at The Sepulveda Home for other couples!
HELLO AND WELCOME
This job requires organization, problem solving,
friendliness, and creativity. In my eyes….it’s pretty perfect…
I paid my way through college giving softball pitching and hitting lessons to 20-40 kids per week depending on the season. I had a great college life! Coaching a sport that I loved, making my own schedule, and of course…the money didn’t hurt….LOL.
I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be an
My cousin (and also one of my best friends) got engaged about a year before me back in 2009. She was the first of 13 very close knit cousins to get engaged….and let me tell you….we were excited for our first big family wedding! I was fascinated and intrigued by her entire planning process. I loved all of the details! I remember chatting with her one day. Skimming threw checklists of what needed to be done. She had been disappointed in her hair trials. She has a full head of thick, luscious, locks, that could be somewhat difficult to deal with but are the most beautiful curls I have ever seen! Every trial she went too, her hair would turn to frizz in an hour or two from leaving the chair. I had done hair and makeup for a lot of my cousins for proms, homecoming, special events, etc. I told her I could give it a try…..and it stuck! Was this it?!?!?! A hair and makeup stylist? Well to be honest…I enjoyed our conversations talking about the wedding plans far more then I did actually doing her hair and makeup.
A few months later…my mom and I were sitting with her…chatting about plans…..again. We asked what the decor was going to look like. “We are tapped out on our budget and do not want to spend much on decorations….so, very simple.” My mom and I raised our hands up…..we will handle that part for you! So with a little financial contribution from a few family members, and a lot of creativity and hard work, my mom and I got busy on creating a dream Winter Wonderland wedding on New Years Eve of 2009 for my cousin. It was then that I knew, I wanted to work in the events industry.
My husband proposed to me on hook and later, X-Mas Eve of 2009 as well. (Dreamy right…LOL) We were married at our forever family cabin in Big Bear Lake in July of 2010. Mark is amazing. He has supported me through thick and thin, good times and bad. Our wedding was EPIC and so much fun to plan! I spent late nights googling inspiration photos (no….Pinterest was not a thing then LOL), countless days strolling the Los Angeles Marts, and long weekends working on the smallest of details. With my team of friends and family, I did hair and makeup (including my own), the flowers, decor, and full coordination of my wedding from start to finish. Was it a lot of work? YES! But I LOVED every minute of it!
After all of that planning, designing, and coordinating…..my day of coordinator….was a NO SHOW! There were plenty of lame excuses….none of which constituted her or any other person from her staff to miss my wedding day! But with the help of my mom, sister, family, friends, and even the friends of my parents….our wedding day was absolutely perfect!
Even outside my wedding....my mom is my rock and best friend! I love and admire her so so much!
Shortly after that….Desiree Carol Special Events was born.
And here is my vow to you, friends.
I vow to not only have THE BEST plan, but a plan to back up that plan, and a plan to back up that second plan. I vow to make everything as perfect as humanly possible on your special day. Whether it be a wedding, engagement party, milestone birthday….or even a “we just got off a long stint of quarantine and need to rage” party. I take extreme pride in every 5 star review, thankful hug from the mother of the bride, or sigh of relief from a worried groom.
6 years ago, Mark and I became parents! Eeekkk! It has been the scariest, best, and most rewarding journey I have been on thus far. I have two amazing children! My 4 year old spunky, girly girl; Charlee Joy. Who would rather carry a purse, wear pretty shoes, and twirl in a tutu then anything else. And my 6 year old dinosaur loving, cuddle bugging, too smart for his own good son; Mason Anthony. When I am not designing, coordinating, marketing, or putting flower arrangements together, you can catch the four of us hanging out at all the local hot spots, our cabin in Big Bear, or traveling around the world!
In June of 2018, my dad passed away. He was a 20+ year cancer survivor and fought to the bitter end with a smile on his face and a positive attitude. I like to think I have gained my ability to stay calm in stressful situations from him. We are problem solvers. I saw him almost everyday. He was not only my advisor, mentor, and dad.....he was one of my best friends.
So there you have it….this is ME! I love pairing wine with my food, strolling through the LA flower mart, watching a couple see their venue all done up for the first time, dressing up Charlee in different princess outfits, googling dinosaur facts with Mason, sharing different relatable memes with my friends and fellow wedding vendors, and sitting on the couch sipping a cocktail with Mark and watching one of our favorite cooking shows. This is me….Desiree Carol. I hope to be working with all of you very soon!
Many thanks for taking the time to visit my website! I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Planning a destination wedding or even a local wedding including a lot of out of town guests? A welcome bag is the best way to show your guests how much you truly care for their presence on your big day and make their weekend even more enjoyable! I have put welcome bags together with a variety of different goodies and in a variety of sizes. Here is a list of some of my top ingredients to the making of The Ultimate Welcome Bag!
1. The Actual Bag: It’s the first thing people see….the first impression your guests get at your welcome bag! Why not choose something resourceful. Don’t get me wrong….I love the look of a basket. You can organize all of your items inside so they look nice, neat and presentable. However, are they realistic? If you have only 10 baskets….maybe. But imagine toting 50 welcome baskets into a hotel the day before the wedding! That is a LOT of room in your car, and a lot of man power to load, unload, and deliver. Not to mention your guests having to fit them into their own luggage to potentially fly or drive home. The majority will clear out the basket and leave them behind. I am going to advise a nice tote. Something your guests can use as a pool bag, or even for their weekly grocery store trips after the wedding is over. A constant reusable reminder of the AWESOME time they had at your wedding! I love when couples add a little welcome note to the outside of their bags. Thank you’s always go a long way!
Check out these totes on Amazon!
2. Hangover Remedies: These are surely to come in handy over the weekend if your friends and families are anything like mine LOL We LOVE to party! The list goes on in this category and they offer the CUTEST bags for all of your hangover remedies on Amazon!
Personalized water bottles. Anything with your name on it….just makes it THAT much cuter and special!
Gatorade, Anacin, Tums, Eye Drops, Gum, Emergency, Tylenol, and do not forget the Blowfish!!! This stuff works SO good. I say that with experience LOL Drop some of these in your water in the morning and all is right in the world again! You can find it in bulk on Amazon here:
3. Kids Treats: I have to give a huge shout out to one of my favorite couples, Matt and Meghan! They got married in Lake Arrowhead in the fall. Complete with 130 guests….about 40 of them being kids and teens under the age of 18. They totally NAILED this part of their Welcome Bags (along with just about every other aspect of them….seriously the best welcome bags I have ever seen). Kids love to be busy, and lets face it….us parents love for them to be busy even more! Throw some coloring books, markers, crayons, activities, snacks, glow sticks and games. You can find an entire slew of fun stuff at your local dollar tree or 99 cent store. Matt and Meghan, took it to an entire other level. They created personalized coloring books for each of the kids, complete with mazes, such as “Help Matt’s Best Man Find the Wedding Rings”, coloring pages of wedding festivities, the list went on…..and they were absolutely adorable!
4. The Cheesy Swag: No welcome bag is complete without some cheesy swag inside. “Mint to Be” – mints, “Our Love is the Balm” – chapstick, and/or M & M’s with your picture and initials on them.
5. The Favors: I love the idea of incorporating the wedding favors into the welcome bags. I can not tell you how many weddings I have worked, or attended, and at the end of the night, about half of the wedding favors are left on the tables. People just forget them! In the welcome bag, it is guaranteed to get to their room! My favorite favor is a personalized glass….wine glass, water cup, shot glass. Something that every time your guest drinks out of it, they think of you and your special day! The most cost effective way to do this is hit up your local dollar tree. They have ALL sorts of glassware. Use glass writing, dishwasher safe, felt pens to write everyone’s names on each glass, your initials, future last name, wedding date, etc. I have even used this technique and used the glasses as the guests place cards.
You can find the markers here:
6. Weekend Itinerary: The best part of a destination or even a stay-cation wedding is that you get to enjoy your guests for more then just the wedding day. A weekend itinerary is the perfect way to let them know what you will be up to all weekend long. Plan a welcome dinner or welcome cocktails the night before your wedding, a buffet brunch the day after, make it an entire weekend of memories as opposed to just your 4-6 hours of a reception!
I have to also tip my hat off to one of the best bridesmaid and groomsmen entrances ever. Full flip on the dance floor…..AWESOME!
The Portofino Lobby is one of my FAVORITE spots to take wedding day pictures and True Bliss Photography knocked those photos out of the park, as they always do!
The beach side photo shoots, seamless white dance floor, stunning floral arrangements, laughter, singing, and dancing all contributed to one amazing day!
Wedding Day Coordination: Desiree Carol Special Events
Venue: The Portofino Hotel
Photographer: True Bliss Photography
Videographer: Buckley Videography
Flowers: Flowers by Felicia
DJ: DJ Carl 1
Makeup: Nicole Bubica
Trolley: Sunset Trolleyhttps://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/sunset-trip-trolley/
Dance Floor: Imperial Party Rentals
Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Mark and Ali!
I love you guys and that beautiful baby girl Victoria! (who I just could not resist to include in the blog post)
There’s nothing better than witnessing young love! Working with Simon and Savannah was an absolute dream. They were so cute, young, and in love.
They both had a love of dinosaurs which ended up setting the theme for their wedding! To go with their love of dinosaurs, they chose the Natural History Museum as their venue! It was so fun creating with them. They gave me free rein and were extremely accepting of all of my ideas!
It is not only the first thing on your to do list when you get engaged, but it is the MOST stressful, and the MOST expensive item to book in your wedding planning process! So lets talk about
How to Choose the Right Venue & Stay in Budget
How much of my budget goes to the venue?
Things to look for in proposals from venues:
I hope this information was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below or DM me on my Instagram @love.marriage.babycarriages
If you didn’t get your question answered today, or just simply want to chat about any and all things wedding, I am an open book and would be happy to answer your question personally. It may even become one of our blog topics in the future.
When I sat down with Krystle to design her wedding she made a couple of key points that went something like this:
A. “I hate flowers. I like greens….but I don’t like flowers.”
B. “I want a lot of candles….I want the room to look like it threw up candles!”
C. “I want my primary color to be black, it’s my favorite color.”
D. “But elegant and classy!”
As her mother and grandmothers jaws dropped to the floor…..my eyes LIT up! Something unique, different, but still so beautiful. I could not wait to design this wedding with her! There were so many special elements at this event. It was SO Krystle and Corbin!
One of my favorite set ups that I have done. Classic and elegant. An arch draped with all greens across the top, floating crystals, mirrored columns, white candelabras, and of course candles…..lots of candles! Each of the bridesmaids got to pick out their own dress with the only rules being black and long. They all looked STUNNING! The green bouquets just made them all pop and look so naturally beautiful! It all just blended so well together!
She surprised him with the Star Wars theme song on their way back up the aisle. Definitely a cause for some smiles 🙂
Love was definitely in the air that day! And not only between Krystle and Corbin…Krystle’s sister, Nicole, could be put up for a sister of the year award. She upgraded the dance floor to a white seamless AND surprised her sister the day of with extra draping in the reception room. Add some uplighting and voil’a….pure beauty and romance!
One of my favorite elements was The Wishing Chandelier we used instead of a guest book. I hung a chandelier in the courtyard entrance and made small business card sized cards out of different pictures from the couples engagement shoot. Guests were asked to write well wishes and sign the back and hang them on the chandelier. Their guest book was turned into a beautiful decor piece.
The CAKE Loved the cake. Elegant, stunning, and pulled all of the elements of the wedding that were so Krystle all together!
The Sweetheart Table Backdrop We went back and fourth on this element quite a bit. The original idea was a ladder with shelves. It was Krystle’s desire to have pictures of her relatives and loved ones on their wedding days sitting behind them! How CUTE is that?!?!?! But a ladder…..to casual for this layout. So I came up with the circle arch! Hit up Home Depot for a coupe of shelves, painted everything to match, and dressed it up with some greenery. Beautiful backdrop for a beautiful couple!
The Shoe Game One of the most entertaining parts of the night…they played a shoe game! Both the bride and the groom took off their shoes. Each held one bride shoe and one groom shoe. The DJ made a series of statements created by a couple of the bridesmaids.
Who is more likely to go on a shopping spree?
Who is more likely to binge watch Game of Thrones?
They had to hold up either the brides shoe or the grooms shoe as to who they thought each statement pertained too…bride or groom….heal or dress shoe. Most they were in sync with, some they were not. The guests were cracking up!
Dance Floor Centerpiece I love a good hanging piece over the dance floor. For Krystle, of course, all greens with hanging crystals. She really likes the scattered look and not perfect in shape. It looked amazing above that white dance floor with the white draping all around the room.
This bride and her mama were two of my favorite people to work with! She LOVED babies breathe which completely went with her choice of wedding theme, rustic.
The Ceremony: We custom built the wine barrel arch by cutting out a whole in the top of each barrel and placing a 4×4 in each one. The lace drape used, was actually one of my moms old table clothes…..who would have known LOL. I loved that we splashed in some pops of pink with the roses, and hanging amaranthus continues to be one of my all time favorites in a bouquet. The tiny pink accents inside her bouquet, are actually pink babies breathe! The aisles were lined with wood plaques that had different love quotes on each one. It was adorable!
They exchanged personalized vows and had a very creative sand ceremony. Love was definitely in the air that day!
The Reception took place in the ball room at Los Verdes Golf Course. The bride and her mother approached me a few weeks before the wedding with a concern for the plain wall behind the sweetheart table. So, I designed and custom built a wood paneled back drop for them, complete with their own initials. To go along with the rustic theme, we switched up the centerpieces on the tables which made the room so much more eye catching.
Matt and Meghan’s destination wedding in Lake Arrowhead was one of my FAVORITE wedding weekends. I love when couples make a weekend out of their wedding. Ultimately, the day goes by SO fast. It gives you so much more one on one time with your guests and the ability to truly meet and greet everyone, making it more of a personalized event.
Every extra you can throw into a wedding, this couple had! Upgraded food, bar, the ultimate welcome baskets, a welcome party (that pretty much looked like and felt like a wedding itself), and a farewell brunch! The majority of the guests enjoyed the hotel and its facilities, and others rented large cabins to share with family and friends that were minutes away from the hotel.
These two’s families combined equaled 5 kids total…..ALL GIRLS!!! They were the sweetest, and so supportive of mom and dad. Matt’s eldest sang with a band, accompanied by her father on drums, at the rehearsal dinner! Her solo was such a treat! Meghan’s eldest, also her Maid of Honor, delivered a speech that had the entire room laughing, crying, cheering, and applauding! If my daughter ever delivers half that speech at a special event for my husband and I…..I would feel like the most successful parent ever!
Pictures say 1000 words when True Bliss Photography is behind the camera. Check out some more details from this gorgeous Lake Arrowhead Wedding! Cheers to Matt and Meghan!
Galway Down has proven to be one of my FAVORITE venues! The creeks through out the property, lush trees, rustic vibes, and beautiful scenery all make this location one of a kind. Andrianna and Frank's wedding was SO perfect!
See the big glass pane garage style door in the photo below? Talk about a GRAND entrance. The guests sat in their seats with jaws dropped as the beautiful glass door elegantly opened up in a V-shape form and the entire bridal party entered to join the reception!
Flowers: Desiree Carol Special Events
Venue: Galway Downs in Temecula
Photography: Mike Arick Photography
Videography: Sun Beat Films
Love this wedding? Check out this amazing rustic SoCal wedding.
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