Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wedding Venues in California- Tip & Venue 2- Rancho Las Lomas

My January 2009 Rancho Las Lomas wedding was just featured in Januray 2010 issue of Ceremony magazine. This is my second favorite wedding venue in California. It is secluded and tucked away in beautiful Silverado Canyon, Orange County, California. The rest of my favorites are in Orange County mainly as that is where I shoot the most. I will post some venue pictures of this venue, but I have dedicated an entire gallery to it in my wedding galleries on my website. Please see wedding gallery, Sarah & Martino,  to see more of this venue. It has a Spanish feel to it. It is very classy but also rustic, eclectic, and unusual. There are 3 tigers on the premises, zebras, parrots throughout, and levels to the venue so it is spread out and the ceremony, cocktail, and reception are done on the different levels utilizing the entire venue. This venue is at a premium. I urge you to look into a daytime wedding here if budget is an issue. You can also do a wedding here in off season which is December-February, or a Friday or Sunday to negotiate costs. Don't skimp on your photographer at this venue! Florals were done by Lavenders Flowers in downtown Fullerton, Ca. DJ was Andy Nation with Just Imagine DJ. Video was done by Jason Daniel Productions. Had the pleasure of shooting with David Tosti a Laguna Beach based wedding photographer and my favorite 2nd shooter. His work can be found by searching Tosti Studios.

See this wedding gallery on my website:

Rancho Las Lomas Website:

Event Coordination, Desing, and Florals:

Southern California's Best Wedding DJ: Andy Nation
Cinematic HD Videographer:

Florist: Kelly with Lavenders Flowers (Dowtown Fullerton)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wedding Venues in California -Tip & Venue 1 - Nestldown

I am going to start blogging tips and ideas so hopefully they help someone out there. Since I have seen weddings every weekend for the past 5 years and I am around the age of most brides I know I have some info to offer. There are quite a few wedding venues in California that I highly recommend. Most nice or high-end wedding venues in California can have minimums at a premium and cost upwards of $50,000 for the venue, food, and beverage especially for a Saturday night. However, my first tip if you want a unique, classy, or specific venue that may be over budget.....consider some options. To keep the budget down one way is to have a daytime wedding. Most venues do not book a lot of afternoon weddings and therefore do not have the minimums that the night weddings have. In the wedding below, Wendy & Justin decided to do a Saturday daytime wedding, and then do the reception off site. They could not have afforded this venue on a Saturday night, but she knew this was the dream place as soon as she saw it. On the same line, consider a wedding on a Friday or Sunday, many venues and vendors will budge on price as 70% of weddings are held on Saturday.

One of my favorite wedding venues in California is Nestldown, Los Gatos. I know it is Northern California for all the Orange County brides, but it is truly a hidden gem. It is quaint, cute, and unique. It is like walking into a fair tale. There are huge trees, lakes, bridges, a miniature fairytale house and even landscaped maze for kids. If you are considering doing a destination wedding and don't want to go out of the country, consider this location! This wedding was featured as a Real Wedding in Orange County Bride Magazine and can be viewed on a link at the bottom of my homepage!   Wendy & Justin - 10-18-08

                            I saved my favorite for last! LOVE this image!

Wedding in Los Cabos San Lucas- Los Cabos, Mexico

Congrats to Sarah & Ray! I just got back last week from shooting their wedding in Los Cabos, Mexico.....what a blast!!!! Perfect for a January wedding.....the weather was amazing! What a colorful fun wedding.....the Canadians treated us like family and included us on everything, even the staguette, we call it a bachelorette. They took me out with them, and man they can party Americans under the table! :) It was a great time and wanted to share some of my favorites from this one! Quick note about whether or not to take a photographer with you or hire one out of the country. First, if a photographer travels with you then you get a lot more out of them. Typically I can document the entire trip and you get me unlimited hours on the wedding day. Most photographers will work with you with the packages and extra expense of plane tickets and hotel rooms. I would think with all the horror stories you hear about wedding photography and then Mexico, put those together and it could be a disaster. If you do not get your images or album from a Mexican wedding photographer, what could you do about it? Definitely take a photographer with you if you care about your wedding pics or memories at all! It is worth the little extra travel expense, and you get a lot more for your money!

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