California weddings


Weekend Destination Wedding at Mandarin Oriental San Francisco, California

From a rooftop wedding to a distinguished gathering, Mandarin Oriental San Francisco makes sure that every event is unique and unforgettable…

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Weekend Destination Wedding At Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Fall in love all over again at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. This distinctive Southern California beach wedding location sets a new standard in romantic elegance, with the natural grace and beauty of a coastal retreat. From bridal showers at afternoon tea to martini nights for bachelor parties, they offer the most comprehensive services. As the premier setting for special events and beach weddings in Southern California, they specialize in creating uniquely perfect experiences. Thank you Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel and Grover Photographers for sharing this wedding!

ritz-carlton-laguna-niguel-weddingGO: If you had to describe the property in three words, what would they be?
RCLN: Excellence, Iconic and Oceanfront!

GO: Food is such an important element at a wedding; tell me about your menus/culinary team?
RCLN: Part of The Ritz-Carlton experience is being able to custom design the culinary desires of the wedding party. If you need fusion of two cultures or the recreation of a family recipe our expert culinary team and pastry chefs put their hearts and expertise into creating a memorable culinary experience.

GO: Service is huge in the destination wedding business, what do you do for couples and their guests that set you apart from everyone else?
RCLN: At The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel we say, “Let Us Stay With You”. The Ritz-Carlton service is so unique because  all of our ladies and gentlemen strive to create unique, memorable, personable experiences for every guest, every day. These moments leave indelible marks creating long lasting memories that stay with our guests, long after they’ve left.

GO: Do you have selected areas where a couple can elect to take images?
RCLN: The magnificent backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and the California Riviera are not only the background in photographs, but also the backdrop of the event itself, for all of the guests. Other unique choices for photographs include our grand staircase with a luxurious crystal chandelier. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is highly sought after by many brides and grooms from all over, as the setting for their wedding photography.

GO: What are some of the amenities/special activities that you offer for a couple planning to have a weekend wedding? 
RCLN: The choices for special activities are endless. They can choose from couples massage, bridal party yoga classes, grooms golf or tennis tournaments, cooking classes, wine tasting or toasting the sunset from our 150 foot bluff top lounge “180blũ” and many more.

GO: Do you have unique guest spaces, where out of town guests can feel like they’re also on vacation?
RCLN: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is the premiere destination for travelers who desire a playful approach to Southern California oceanfront luxury. This iconic resort is world-class destination. The resort is perched 150 feet on a bluff and all the spaces and guest rooms embody ocean inspired décor and the Southern California lifestyle. The “must see” 180blũ bluff top oceanfront lounge with its panoramic view of the California coast, is just the beginning of a uniquely memorable weekend for all.

GO: What is the first thing a couple should do if they are interested in getting having a destination wedding at your property?
RCLN: Call our wedding professionals at 949-240-5054 and visit

GO: Any other information that you would like to share with our readers that is related to weekend destination weddings?
RCLN: With the extraordinary service and spectacular beachfront location of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel we are the perfect weekend destination wedding. We offer something for everyone with a full service spa, salon, ocean view golf and our eco-adventure center Jean Michele Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment. Two pools, tennis courts, kids play structure, four restaurant concepts and incredibly memorable ceremony and wedding reception sites.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
1 Ritz-Carlton Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
T: 949.240.2000


Photographer of the Week: Tourine & Trevor Johnstone

Grace Ormonde picks Tourine & Trevor Johnstone of Johnstone Studios in Lake Tahoe, California as Photographer of the Week.

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For more of Tourine & Trevor’s work click here.

Leyna & Tho’s Engagement Shoot Video

There are engagement sessions and then there are engagement sessions. This is an e-session for the books … all 14 hours. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did and who knows, we might just be featuring more of this couple’s events. Picture a Chanel bridal shower and an over-the-top California wedding. Need I say more?

Leyna Tran and Tho Doan
Engagement Shoot

According to the bride: Everyone always told us that the entire wedding process happens very fast. So we wanted to make sure that we captured the entire experience so that we can enjoy it after the wedding and on anniversaries to come. The whole production team had so much fun doing this engagement shoot that we finally had to call it quits at 2 a.m. The engagement video may just have been the longest engagement shoot in history: 14 hours.

Cinematographer: Misael Herrera; Photographer: Ernesto Olivares; Second Shooter: Nancy Ramos; Creative Director: Wally Gonzales; Wardrobe Stylist: Danielle Muraco; Hair: Jenn Ever; Makeup: Tatyana

Thank you so much for letting us share this incredible engagement shoot Leyna and Tho and a big thank you to Misael Herrera of Misaek for letting us share this video with our viewers!

Love to Dance: Eldine & Keith Get Married

If you don’t know me well, you may be surprised to learn that I love to dance and have been known to throw a few epic disco parties over the years. While we may not all have moves like Jagger … or Shakira, sometimes it is just a willingness to get out there that makes for a night that we will never forget.

When I saw Eldine and Keith’s wedding video and read their love story, I was impressed with their eagerness to try something new and entertained by what came next. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Eldine Rada and Keith Mogensen
Married in Riverside, California on February 12, 2012

Although Eldine Rada and Keith Mogensen attended rival high schools in Florida, it wasn’t until they were both taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray that they met and fell in love. A couple of years later, during one of their performances, Keith proposed and six months after that they were celebrating their February nuptials.

On their wedding day in southern California, their love of music and dance was evident when the reverend paralleled marriage to dancing in his homily. To honor their different backgrounds, they had Ninongs and Ninangs, which are essential in Filipino culture, and Keith’s grandfather, a retired Chilean pastor, gave a blessing in Spanish during the mass.

Afterwards, a dance-themed reception kicked off at the historic Mission Inn Hotel and Spa when Eldine and Keith performed a choreographed waltz to a song by Eldine’s nephew Cole. In the middle of the reception the couple changed into professional ballroom attire and surprised their guests with another performance: a specially choreographed Tango/Hustle.

Thirty days later, at their second wedding reception in Orlando, this wedding film was played for their guests.

Cinematography: Godfather Films, Riverside, CA; Wedding Location: Redlands Adventist Church, Redlands, CA; Reception Location and Caterer: Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Riverside, CA; Cake: Michelle’s Custom European Bakery, Redlands, CA; Event Planner: Mary Jo Gallegos, MBC, An Affaire of the Heart, Riverside, CA; Floral Design: Cupid’s Arrow Wedding & Event Floral Studio, Rancho Cucamonga, CA; DJ: Entertainment Express; Dancers: Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Redlands, CA; Hair and Makeup: Vivian Tran, All Made Up Team, Ladera Ranch, CA; Photography: D2 Photography, Riverside, CA

We wish you countless years of happiness Eldine and Keith and a big thank you to John Goolsby of Godfather Films for letting us share this with our viewers!

Photographer of the Week: Jana Morgan

Grace Ormonde picks Jana Morgan of Jana Morgan Photography in La Jolla, California as Photographer of the Week. Jana splits her time shooting between southern California and Hawaii.

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For more of Jana’s work click here.

Photographer of the Week: Welson Sarkis

Grace Ormonde picks Welson Sarkis of Forty10 Studio in Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan and San Diego, California as Photographer of the Week.

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For more of Welson’s work click here.

Weekend Destination Wedding at Montage Beverly Hills

The Montage Beverly Hills is graced with Mediterranean-inspired architectural details, dramatic inlaid tile, lush gardens, and this 5,000-square-foot terrace making it the perfect spot for weddings, receptions and special events, each with sophisticated city style. Look at this wedding; it’s absolutely gorgeous, don’t you agree?

Montage Beverly Hills

GO: Food is such an important element at a wedding; tell me about your menus/culinary team?
MBH: We offer an exclusive customized menu for each wedding. Each bride and groom has an opportunity to meet with our Chef to discuss their menu preferences. Our culinary team is very creative and talented in creating a unique dining experience.

GO:  What do you do for couples and their guests that set you apart from everyone else?
MBH: We offer one wedding a day allowing our brides and grooms to have full use of our property for wedding photos.

GO: Do you have selected areas where a couple can elect to take their pictures?
MBH:  Yes, we highly suggest our rooftop with its panoramic views of the city, including the Hollywood sign, Hollywood hills, downtown Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.

GO: What are some of the amenities/special activities that you offer for a couple planning to have a weekend wedding?
MBH:  We offer discounted cabana rentals at our rooftop pool and we offer discounted massages/soirees for the wedding party. We also have some great options for private dining and wine tastings. A recent addition is our “Something Borrowed” program, where brides have the opportunity to borrow diamonds from the famed jeweler, Beaudry.

For more information on this program click here.

GO: Do you have unique guest spaces, where out of town guests can feel like they’re also on vacation?
MBH: Yes, all of our out of town guests enjoy our rooftop pool and in particular we offer our rooftop conservatory for rehearsal dinners or post wedding brunches. This room offers the best views in town! We are also within walking distance from famed Rodeo Drive.

GO: What is the first thing a couple should do if they are interested in having a destination wedding at your property?
MBH: Come by and see this beautiful property first hand!

Montage Beverly Hills
225 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
T: 310.860.7800

Montage Bevely Hills

Montage Bevely Hills

Montage Bevely Hills

Thank you for sharing this beautiful wedding!

Location: Montage Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, CA; Wedding Planner: The Special Day, Rowland Heights, CA; Floral Design: The Mille Fiori, Los Angeles, CA; Decor: Revelry Event Designers, Los Angeles, CA; Linen: Wildflower Linen, Buena Park, CA; Lighting:  G2 Audio & Lighting, Los Angeles, CA; Ceremony Music: Strings by Reiko; Reception Music: Dash Entertainment; Invitations: Paper Girl; Hair and Makeup: Joyce Luck Style; Wedding Dress: Vera Wang; Photography: Adam Sjoberg and Samuel Lippke for Ira Lippke Studios

Unveiling the Cover of our 2012: Fall/Winter Issue

So it is finally that time … here is the much-anticipated release of the cover we chose for our 2012: Fall/Winter issue on sale August 7th. Much Love to Yitzhak Dalal and the rest of the team that worked so hard on this shoot:

Producer: Tracy Trouf; Stylist: Laura Duncan; Assistant Stylist: Sally Lanners; Hair: Christophe Saluzzo at Cloutier Remix for Redken; Makeup: Marco Berardini at Cloutier Remix for NARS Cosmetics; Location: Brentwood Residence

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style 2012: Fall/Winter Cover

Gown: Romona Keveza; Earrings: De Beers; Tuxedo, Bow Tie and Shirt: Anthony Franco

Gold Gate Bridge

An Unforgettable Trip to San Francisco

Just over a month ago (before we went into deadline with our newest issue), I had the luxury of sneaking away from the office and headed to San Francisco to meet my niece for the very first time. Like any good tourist venturing to a new destination, I talked to friends and colleagues about all of the “musts” in this incredible city by the bay…

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