Southern California weddings

Surprise Elements: Leyna & Tho Get Married

Leyna Tran and Tho Doan
Married in Costa Mesa, California on June 30, 2012

According to Leyna:

Being the owner of Leyna’s Kitchen, where I specialize in cupcakes, having a sweets table just wasn’t enough, so I created a pink and white “Sweets Lounge,” which consisted of a custom chandelier cupcake tower filled with my award-winning Strawberrilicious cupcakes, an attendant making fresh organic cotton candy, 40 glass domes filled with pink and white Parisian macaroons and imported Valrhona chocolate truffles.

Wanting to do something equally extraordinary for my husband, I reached out to my friends at Hennessy and they surprised us with launching their newly-remodeled VSOP bottle and gifted us a stunning custom bar with our monogram right across the front to match our wedding. It was spectacular!

I am naturally very detailed so almost everything was custom. We created surprise elements throughout the evening for our guests, as well as for each other. My husband was in a music video for a famous Vietnamese singer, Trish, called “Ever After.” We chose that song for our first dance, and I had arranged for her to make a surprise appearance. Tho in turn, pleasantly surprised me with fireworks.

My sister, Kim Meredith, is the owner and floral designer of Letu Floral Design. She did such an incredible job creating my Chanel bridal bouquet purses, a floral chandelier for the ceremony, and had hanging miniature chandeliers inside the vase of every centerpiece at the reception in addition to the breathtakingly beautiful large bouquets on top. 

Our venue, Turnip Rose, allowed me to bring in my own chefs. Our menu was entirely custom to us, “Bride’s Pink Soup” which was a chilled beet soup with crème fraîche and caviar, table side service, and the “Groom’s Bacon Salad” which was actually Pork Belly and heirloom tomatoes. To show our gratitude we gifted our chefs with jackets with our monogram embroidered with their names.

southern california weddings

southern california weddings

southern california weddings

southern california weddings

southern california weddings

southern california weddings

southern california weddings

Cinematographer: Jose Ortiz Films; Location: Turnip Rose, Costa Mesa, CA; Cupcakes: Leyna’s Kitchen, Beverly Hills, CA; Floral Designer: Letu Floral Design, Torrance, CA; Aerialists: Ruby Karen Project; Groom’s Tuxedo: Bespoke Couture by Muraco, New York, NY; Stylist: Danielle Muraco; Hair: Jenn Ever and Catherine Mai; Makeup: Catherine Mai and Tatyana; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Wedding Gown: Renee Strauss, Beverly Hills, CA; Ao Dai Gown: Calvin Hiep; Reception Gown: Herve Leger; Photography: Ernesto Olivares

We wish you countless years of happiness Leyna and Tho and a big thank you to Jose Ortiz of Jose Ortiz Films for letting us share this with our viewers!

You could say that it was the wedding they had both always dreamt of. What do you think?

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.

Megan & Kyle Get Married

pelican hill wedding

Here is a teaser for Monday’s wedding of the week on

While it may seem as though I favor a more modern aesthetic, I am still a huge fan of lavish, garden-style designs, and I think this wedding has the perfect balance of whimsy and romance.

Things I love: I absolutely love the setting of Pelican Hill Resort, Victor Sizemore’s photography is amazing and masters Christopher Aldama of Christopher Aldama, Fiori Fresch Special Events and Jeannie Savage of Details Details, did such an incredible job putting it all together..

A special thank you to Christopher Aldama of Christopher Aldama, Fiori Fresch Special Events and thank you so much to Victor Sizemore of Victor Sizemore Photography for letting us share it with you. Be sure to look out for the full feature on Monday. Have a great weekend!

In case you missed the feature click here.