The Underground Elephant: A wedding for Jen & Tyler

It's so hard not to become completely obsessed with how cool our clients are.  Especially when you get to see them surrounded by people they love and watched them dance the night away.  I don't even know where to start.  I definitely have to tell you that Jen had a piñata of Tyler.  If anyone wants to make my dreams come true send me a piñata of Mike.  =) . 

What you don't see in these images is that there was a death metal concert a few feet away from the ceremony reception space.  It was a surprise to all of us and unsettlingly loud.  What you do see in these images is the amount of grace that Jen and Tyler had in dealing with all of this.  Imagine it's your perfect beautiful day and someone turns up hundreds of speakers as loud as it goes.  The only reason I mention this is that Jen and Tyler wanted this day to be amazing for them and everyone more than holding on to the idea that it had to be perfect.  I think most people would have been stressed and in tears - but not this crew.  And not their super talented vendors.  We all had the times of our lives and felt honored to be among Jen and Tyler's crew.  Big picture the day is perfect and being loved and loving back was louder than all the craziness just a couple of steps away.

When I think about making the most of things I think about Jen having a piñata of Tyler and their huge commitment to making it a beautiful day for everyone.

Venue: Underground Elephant
Planner: Luxe Events
Photographer: SheWanders
Hair + Makeup: Kissed by AML
Rentals: The Chiavari Guys, Wild Thymes
Florist: The Lavender Rose
Videographer: Black Shutter
Caterer: Wild Thymes
Bar: Snake Oil Cocktail
Music: DJ Hersh
Pie: Pop Pie Co
Officiate: Pam Washburn
After Party: Half Door Brewing

A L'Auberge wedding for Alyssa and Drew

Hello friends,
Prepare yourself for some sweetness. I want to keep Alyssa in my pocket. She is someone you just love to be around and Drew is head over heels. They just fit together. Alyssa told me she wanted the wedding to feel like a romantic candle lit dinner where everyone felt welcome. Her designers made her dreams come true. I love how Cara designed this wedding and let each collaborator shine. I couldn’t pick a favorite part, I just loved how dreamy it was as a whole day. I felt really lucky to get to be a part of such a talented crew and loving family. Congrats to the beautiful couple!!

Wedding Venue: L’Auberge
Coordinator: Luxe Events
Photographer: SheWanders
Makeup: Ashely Fierro
Hair: Katie L’Heureux
Rentals: Archive Rentals, Hire Elegance
Linens: La Tavola
Paper amazingness: Brightly Designed
Florist: Annette Gomez
Videographer: Audrey Alba Films
Music: Bonnie Foster Production
Cake + Desserts: Dessertier
Specialty Coffee: Eurobar
Officiate: Vance Tester

A La Valencia Wedding : Colleen and Kyle

Peonies, Palms, and Popsicles. Oh my.
I’ve been wanting to blog this gem forever. La Valencia is so beautiful and such a La Jolla landmark. I thought it was so rad that Colleen and Kyle wanted to bring all of their New York City guests to our charming part of the world. It felt like a quintessential destination wedding. Picture perfect.

So many of our couples don’t love having their picture taken. It was fun to find ways to put Colleen and Kyle at ease. Super rewarding. They love their friends and family so much, as long as their loved ones were around they couldn’t help but relax. I felt really special to be a part of their day. And Kyle’s brother gave the world’s most epic toast. It was the toast that dreams are made of. I wish I had recorded it so I could have it for all time. I swear I would read it to myself as a bedtime story. What a night.

There were so many talented creatives on this one. This design makes me want to do cartwheels. I can’t imagine a more perfect design for La Valencia. Cocktails by the pool anyone?

xoxo Suzanne

Photography: Shewanders Photography
Location and Catering: La Valencia
Event planning: Luxe Events
Flowers: Isari
Stationery: Brightly Designed
Cake: CAKE
Rentals: Farm Tables and More
Rentals: Concepts Event Design

Portraits of Rachel in Pacific Beach

“A photograph is a secret about a secret” is a famous quote from the also famous photographer Diane Arbus. Meeting Rachel is also like meeting someone who is both revealing and has such depth to her I can’t imagine how long it would take to truly know her. I always have the feeling with Rachel that I am both in on the secret and have barely scratched the surface. Rachel is one of our interns and I’ve loved every minute of getting to know her. She communicates with ease the most complex of emotions and I often find myself staring at her thinking “Who are you? You charming captivating puzzle. She is one of those people that my new age friends would say has lived many lifetimes and I hope that this lifetime falls at her feet.
Here are some of images that I just love of one of our intern shoots. I had such an awesome time mentoring Rachel and Claudia.
Cheers to unexpected delights! Suzanne

Estancia La Jolla Wedding for Hope & Julian

I wish we were all having a beer.  I would tell you the 600 ways that Hope and Julian are awesome.  This was our last wedding of the year and we went out with a bang.  
Hope is so articulate.  I loved her answers to the questionnaires before the wedding.  I had the sense that I knew her and what was important to her.  So rather than search for words that will never come, I'm going to share with you some of Hope's answers from after the wedding. 
Your favorite moment? < I can't pick one of these either: 
1. Julian's touching and hilarious personal statement during our wedding ceremony... especially when he paid homage/punked my brother and new sister-in-law by stealing an analogy from their wedding ceremony this past summer... "In closing, I'd like to share an analogy I thought up all by myself..." They (and we) were cracking up. 
2. Our guests - impromptu - donning the decorative ivy garlands on their table place settings and wearing them as flower crowns. It was amazing. 
3. Our Best Man and Maid of Honor gifted us with multiple Polaroid cameras and asked the guests to take photos of the evening - they all went nuts. There are some seriously amazing shots from those - so many fun memories. 
4. My Maid of Honor's toast was the toast to end all toasts. She killed it - there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  
What part of your wedding makes you smile just thinking about it!? 
The surprise confetti bomb as we exited the ceremony (courtesy of our friends Nick and Brian) - Mike captured that moment perfectly. 
And also looking around at our beautiful guests around the wedding table, watching everyone laughing and making merry together, rocking their impromptu ivy crowns - that was pure joy and bliss. <3 
What was your favorite detail? <  Only one? I can't. even. Our wedding was and a sumptuous, richly textured tapestry of details: The heart-achingly beautiful florals; the amazing rustic reception tables dripping with candles, Moroccan star lamps and amazing textiles; the sumptuous place settings and menus; our gorgeous wedding cake and dessert table, the beautiful flamenco guitar. It was a feast for the senses. 
Everyone had an incredible time.  The design looked like a magazine shoot and Hope and Julian so obviously cared for each guest.  My favorite moments were the same as Hope's.  She has a way with words.  
All the best,
Mike

Photography: Shewanders Photography
Location and Catering: Estancia La Jolla
Event planning: Luxe Events
Flowers: Flowers by Annette Gomez
Stationery: Brightly Designed
Cake: Michelle Coulon
Rentals: Archive Rentals
Rentals: TBD Rentals
Musician: Anthony Garcia

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Wedding for Sarah & Anson

Being a wedding photographer is such a cool way to live your life.  I feel so grateful to have gotten to know Sarah and Anson.  I wish I could insert the speeches from the rehearsal dinner here.  These two are ridiculously smart, fun, and kind -doctors, Harvard, soccer - the lists were long.  I love how their friends and family talk about them.  They are obviously loved and as the speeches can jokingly attest - a lot to live up to.  How wonderful can two people be?

Citrus is my jam and the creatives on this team are just so ridiculously talented.  They had a few "doctor" moments in the design.  I loved the jean jacket that Sarah's sister gave her - Dr.Snow., the illustration of the intertwined stethoscopes, and the cute doctor figurines on top of the cake.  Sarah's mom also made 1000 cranes for her that made a beautiful backdrop for the head table.  I think there is something for me to love in every image.  The citrus florals and the relatives from abroad wearing traditional kimonos gave us plenty to photograph.  The main attraction was of course Sarah and Anson.  They couldn't take their eyes off each other or attempt to hide how happy the other one made them feel.  That's my favorite way to spend the day - photographing people who must have done something right in their life - to have found someone that they can love and be loved in return.

Photography: Shewanders Photography
Location and Catering: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
Event planning: Coastyle Events
Flowers: Flowers Anette Gomez
Videography: Quixotic Pictures
Stationery: Paperless Post
Calligraphy: The Bloomery Co.
Cake: Come On In Café
Donuts: VG Donut & Bakery
Ceremony Music: Caprice Strings
Cocktail Hour Music: David Adele
Rentals: Farm Tables and More
Rentals: Concepts Event Design
Hair: Audra Rene
Makeup: Elizabeth Root
Transportation: San Diego Charter Company

The hotel Del coronado wedding for Johanna & Drew

The hashtag for this wedding was #JohannaSaysIDrew how cute is that? I remember sitting across from Johanna and Drew during our first interview. They sat close together and always seemed to be holding hands or toughing shoulders. Their energy was so awesome and I couldn’t help but smile and imagine what the wedding day would be like. I had my fingers crossed that they thought I was a good fit - because they had me at hello. They both love photography and wanted to create something really special for their guests. Their was such a genuineness from our first conversation. This wedding has all the feels. It felt so good to be a part of it. Johanna hugged me in the getting ready room and I just knew it was going to be an epic day.

On top of all of that I got to collaborate with so many of my favorite people. Double yay. Cara from Luxe out did herself. She transformed the Hotel Del into this beautiful garden that echoed the charm that Johanna and Drew have.

Coordination & Design: Luxe Events
Photography: She Wanders Photography
Venue: Hotel Del Coronado
Florals: Isari Flower Studio
Rentals: Hire EleganceBBJ Linens, Chiavari Guys, & Farm Tables & More
Cake: CAKE
Invites & Paper Amazingness: Brightly Designed
Hair: : Audra Rene
Makeup: Elena T Beauty
DJ: Still Listening
Officiate: Bride’s Brother in law
Photo Booth: Magic Mirror

The Prado An old world wedding for Eulia & Jimmy

Eulia and Jimmy are such a fun couple. Although the day looked like a gorgeous old-world wedding it felt like the most fun ever. My cheeks hurt at the end of the night from smiling. Love looks like a whole lot of fun for these two. Make sure and check out the cocktail hour at the wishing well and the champagne tower. I loved this design.

Published In Exquisite Weddings

The team:

Coordination & Design: First Comes Love
Photography: She Wanders Photography
Ceremony: Balboa Park Patio A
Reception: Prado at Balboa Park
Florals: Organic Elements
Rentals: Classic Party RentalsBBJ Linens, & La Tavola
Cupcakes: Heavenly Cupcakes
Paper Elements: Whimsique
Hair & Makeup: Three Ways Beautiful
Photo Booth: The Foto Box

A Winter Wedding With Basic Invite

Winter weddings are completely underrated, right?! Spring, summer, and even fall are full of wedding after wedding and yes, the blooming buds, warm weather, and the changing colors of autumn all provide ideal backdrops for weddings as opposed to the chillier atmosphere that winter brings. But if couples and their loved ones are able to get out and face the cold – a winter wedding can be magical!

During the brunt of wedding season a lot of the styles and themes can blend, but during the months where holiday parties and cozy nights in are more prevalent a winter themed wedding will be an event to remember and there are a few different ways to pull this off flawlessly.

We’ve teamed up with the stationery experts over at Basic Invite to come up with a few festive winter wedding themes that all include top notch winter wedding invitations ideas.

Silver Bells

When winter comes and the snow starts to fall there is something extra special about the way the lights glisten. Using that visual as the basis of your wedding theme will yield spectacular results. Choose gold and silver accent colors throughout your entire process. Start with gold or silver foil save the dates and wedding invitations and carry that classy and traditional wedding and holiday inspired glam all the way down the aisle.

Drape your tables with shiny runners and cover them with delicate candlelight. Keep your décor simple and romantic letting the touches of glistening light and the love that’s in the air stand on its own. Champagne and decadent desserts are a must!

Classic Holiday

A themed wedding is another way to get your guests excited to get dressed up and celebrate your love. Who doesn’t love a good holiday party? Incorporate traditional Christmas colors and ornaments into your décor. Plaid, holly, and pine accents are all staples of this theme.

Kick your classic holiday inspired wedding off with fun, festive invitations that will keep your guests in the festive spirit and have them talking about the individuality your holiday inspired nuptials will bring. Be sure to keep the playlist filled with everyone’s favorite Christmas classics.

Blue Christmas

Think the brightest whites accented with silvers and blues. An iced out vibe will keep your wedding fresh and will definitely stand out from any other wedding your guests attended this year. A snowflake detail or swirly illustration featured on your wedding invitations are both the perfect fit for a white and blue winter wedding.


Have you ever been to a wedding where the overhead lighting at the reception is colorful and even the centerpieces seem to be lit up? Choose a venue where you can include a blue sheen over the dance floor or tables and brighten everything up with white and icy blue accents.

Winter weddings can be a fancy affair and the perfect excuse for everyone to get out of the house and beat those winter blues. Stand out on your special day with a winder wedding to remember.

In With The New: A Spin on Classic Wedding Traditions

We’ve seen it all before: three-tiered wedding cakes topped with bride and groom figurines, the bride saying “I do” in an all-white gown, and family-style dinners with only the nearest and dearest. Though many traditions stand the test of time, there’s no shame in putting your own spin on them, or taking the road less traveled and trying something entirely new! Here are just a few important pieces of your big day, and ways to spice them up:

1. Food

Everyone loves good food, and modern-day weddings do not disappoint. Although you can’t go wrong with a dinner catered by the wedding venue, as was the case for most traditional weddings, couples are finding new ways to both feed and entertain their guests. What’s more creative than a mashed potato station or a mini taco buffet? Weddings today are all about having fun and incorporating hints that represent your and your soon-to-be spouse’s personalities. Let your guests know they can expect to party all night long with a late-night open espresso bar; this option will cater to guests who don’t drink alcohol, but still want a fun beverage to sip on, and it will also pair well with some mini coffee shop-inspired desserts. The world is your oyster (and maybe even oyster bar), so go ahead and try something new and exciting when it comes to your post-vow meal!

2. Wedding Day Attire

Traditional weddings typically warranted classic black tuxedos and pure white wedding gowns. Today, traditions are beginning to fall to the wayside, and replacing them are more eye-catching color options and fits. For brides, many are opting for more fashion-forward gowns; two-piece looks, as well as blush and champagne-tinted overlays, are popular for a modern take on a dress. If you’re worried about the taboo that comes with wearing a dress that isn’t white, keep in mind that subtle hues can give you the same bridal look without straying too far from something that doesn’t feel like it screams, “the dress.” After all, the day is about you and what makes you most comfortable. As for grooms, considering gray or tan colored suit can be a unique take on the traditional black suit or tuxedo for your big day. Instead of spending hours at a tailor to purchase a tuxedo and get it fitted, think about getting an online suit and tuxedo rental for an accurate fit with none of the hassle.

3. Venue

There’s nothing wrong with having your wedding reception in a country club or banquet hall. In fact, they are often convenient space-wise and for food options. The downside, however, is that they don’t always allow you to fulfill that dream wedding you may envision. Modern-day weddings can happen virtually anywhere. If you’ve always wanted to tie the knot in a vintage library or a zoo, many venues allow a complete experience, from sharing your vows to dancing the night away, for you and your wedding guests. Gone are the days of being limited to the same-old options, the sky’s the limit these days!

Rebel Rebel PJ

Hello Wanderers!

This was the first photoshoot I went to with Suzanne. Tariq and I got to experience this shoot first hand. Persephone’s mom is a fashion designer and created this piece just for her.

Never would I have thought that I would see a miniature version of David Bowie, but then I met PJ. Channeling Bowie's 1974 performance of Rebel Rebel on Netherlands TV show TopPop, PJ was dressed in the iconic red overalls, black and white blouse, and of course the famous eye patch. And to finish channeling her inner Ziggy Stardust, PJ’s hair was of course painted that bright orange. Set up behind the iconic blue background that Bowie once stood in front of with a red blow up guitar in hand PJ was ready to groove. We had an amazing time shooting with this little firecracker! Maybe even turn on some Bowie as you scroll through these photos...

Xoxo, Rachel