Today's guest is Christine Ong from Lavish Weddings. Christine is passionate in her endeavors, and coordinates marvelous weddings! Here's a little background info on Christine.
xoxo... Suzanne
1. What got you started in the wedding coordinating business?  
I've always enjoyed planning events for my family and friends when I was younger. Ever since I watched "The Wedding Planner", I knew it was my dream job.
While in school, I started working as the Event Director for a local catering company in San Diego. I fell in love with the industry and started Lavish Wed shortly after.
2. What makes Lavish Wed so wonderful?
My Team. I honestly have the best group of girls who are so hardworking, talented and they all have the same passion for weddings & design as I do. We also go over and beyond for every wedding we plan and coordinate!
3. Most rewarding part of your job?
It's a privilege to be the one they trust to assure that the most special day of their lives is as beautiful, memorable and flawless as they imaged it to be. It's an amazing feeling to see the couple so happy and enjoying the night with their loved ones.
4. Where do you draw inspiration from?
EVERYWHERE!! But mostly the couple themselves. When I meet with them, I try and find out as much as I can about them individually and as a couple. Their love story, how they met, favorite food and desserts, and what they love to do together..
Their unique love story and personalities inspires me!
5. A piece of advice for brides to be?
I always tell my brides that the whole wedding process should be a wonderful experience. You only plan your wedding once, so enjoy the planning as much as you can. The day of, try and enjoy each moment, relax and think about the most important reason why all of your loved ones are there- because of LOVE.
6. If you could have a profession other than yours, what would you do?
I would love to plan events & charities for the San Diego Chargers because I'm such a die hard fan. Or a Weather Girl on TV.
7. What do you do to unwind and recharge?
I like to get a mani and pedi with my mom or girlfriends, spend the afternoon at the beach, or go to the shooting range to let out the unnecessary stress.
8. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?
Oh my.. I LOVE to travel. I would take a couple of months (of course during off wedding season) to travel around Asia. I would start in beautiful Thailand, making my way to Vietnam before moving down into Singapore and Malaysia. During my visit, I would love to go explore the different cities, go jungle trekking in Malaysia, and end the trip by attending the largest one-night party in the world- Full Moon Party in Thailand. Of course my number one goal for this trip and dream is to fall in love with Bali. I heard it's the most artistic and beautiful place to visit.


Today's guest is Staci Pearlman of Staci and Evan fame.  We are so so thrilled to share with you here newest venture.  Staci is the definition of style and fun.  Her new venture Urban Botanicals is sure to be a huge success.  Here's a little bit about one inspiring lady.xoxo Suzanne


What inspired you to open a floral business?

We met all the way back in high school, but the idea of urban botanicals came upon us way later in our friendship. We had always wanted to start a business together, and had brainstormed a lot of fun ideas. We had a mutual love for floral design, and after we realized we could turn our bloom obsession into a business, we just went for it!


What are some floral combinations that you just love?

We LOVE anemones, garden roses, kale, ranunculus, peonies, and dahlias. The more unique, the better!

What do you think will be the most thrilling aspect of having a floral business?

So far, the most thrilling part of having a floral business has been seeing photos from events and the homes of our clients. Recently, we’ve done some pretty big events, and seeing our work come to fruition has been super rewarding.


A piece of advice for brides to be?

Relax, and trust the people you’re working with. Vendors are there to help make your day special, so relax, and enjoy the moment – it only happens once! And, if something goes wrong (and it probably will), no one will notice but you – trust us! A dream event?

Living in LA, we’re within arm’s reach of some pretty inspiring designers. It would be so cool to collaborate with a brand we love and look up to someday.


What makes you so wonderful?

We’re real. We’ve truly become friends with each and every one of our clients after working with them. We love that they feel they can trust us, and be real with their needs and wants.

What is another job besides florals that you would like to do?

Well, urban botanicals is actually not our only job! We both have full-time careers in the fashion industry – Staci as a copywriter, and Niki as a merchandise planner.

What do you do to unwind and recharge?

We live down the street from each other, and coincidentally, our significant others are close friends too, so we hang out a lot as a group. We love trying new restaurants in Santa Monica and Venice, wine nights, working out, and having long brunches with friends. Three things you can't live without?

Flowers (a given), our significant others, and family. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

EASY! We’d rent a massive house on the beach in Tulum and invite our closest friends and family to spend a few weeks there with us. And, we’d go all out on the extras – daily massages, home-cooked meals, jet skis, snorkeling sesh’s, and all-you-can-eat guac!! Okay, now we need a vacay!

The $40,900 Question: Samantha Saad from the San Diego Museum of Art

When a bride and groom set out to search for possible locations for their special day, people like Samantha Saad help woo the couple over with their extensive knowledge of their venue. Samantha knows the beautiful and versatile venue that is the San Diego Museum of Art from the inside out. Who wouldn't want to get married surrounded by masterpieces? Read on to find out more about Samantha and the San Diego Museum of Art!
1. What makes the San Diego Museum of Art such a wonderful wedding venue?
The San Diego Museum of Art sits in an enchanting setting within Balboa Park, with Spanish Architecture and the views of the California Tower in our Sculpture Garden. It has the capability to be customized to any couple's vision, opportunities are endless.
2. Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the art collections we have on display, Balboa Park, and trends I see brought into the venue weekly. We work with really great coordinators who are consistently bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to our space that we have utilized in future events, both internally and externally.
3. Describe your signature style.
I love modern, contemporary styles. Clean lines, splash of color, and unique layouts that excite you when you arrive to an event.
4. What is the most thrilling aspect of your job?
I love the wide array of events we get to work on, from exhibition openings, weddings, Art Alive, and so many more. There is never a dull moment, and we get to create lifetime memories for these people both attending and hosting the events.
5. How did you get into the coordinating business?
I studied Event Management in college, it provided me with a hands on learning experience and I found passion in utilizing creativity on a day to day basis.
6. If you could have another job, what would it be?
I honestly love what I do so much, I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I hope to have the opportunity to broaden the types of events we plan even further, and to be a leader in curating new concepts within the museum.
7. What has been inspiring you lately?
I've been inspired by the increase in interest in the culinary side of events lately. We are so fortunate to live among some of the most talented chefs in the country, and you are starting to see those trends emerge in the catering/events side.
8. Color pallets that you have been loving lately?
I love black and white weddings with a little pop of color.
9. A piece of advice for a bride to be?
Spend the money on a full time coordinator and photographer. The full time coordinator will help you have fun with the planning process and your photographer will capture all these memories. Everything else will fade over time, so from there prioritize your dollars on the details that matter to you.
10. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?
I would spend two months travelling throughout Italy. I have always been a fan of Italian wines, and am enamored by the culture and sights to see throughout that country.IMG_8220

Published! The Knot

Congratulations to Gillian and John.  They are being featured in this months Knot magazine.  Their wedding was such an amazing day.  Full of fun and joy.The design team absolutely out did themselves and I was thrilled to capture it. all.  In case you missed it you can catch their wedding post here.


xoxo Suzanne

Venue: San Diego Botanic Gardens

Coordinator: Luxe Events

Flower Arrangements: Isari

Catering: Tender Greens

Rentals: Archive

Photography: SheWanders

Music: Ragged Jubilee

DJ Rentals: SGM Events

Lighting: Bright Ideas

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An invitation suite by Brightly Designed

One of my favorite things to do is work with amazing and talented people. Recently, I shot these beautiful invitations made by Courtney from Brightly Designed. Having the opportunity to work with not only a talented artist, but also a dear friend, warms my heart and ignites my creativity. Courtney also styled this shoot herself, fusing earth tones with a sense of understated elegance and familiarity in her invitation design. Courtney's one of a kind invitations set the tone for her client's unforgettable day.Xoxo...

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The $40,900 Question: David Wasserman from Joes on the Nose

If you've ever been to one of the many farmers markets in San Diego, such as the Little Italy Market on Saturdays or the Hillcrest Market on Sundays, then you've probably seen that bright orange truck complete with a large gathering. That would be Joes on the Nose, a coffee mobile. Not only do they show up to the farmers markets of San Diego and bring smiles to our faces with their organic coffee and espresso, but they cater as well. Read on to see what else is going on with these guys.
1.What is the most exciting thing about catering coffee to events such as weddings?
I love watching guests’ excitement as they realize they can get espresso drinks at a wedding, then (even better) their reaction when they receive a beautifully made drink. I love that our Espresso Bar can help be a part of a such a fun creative event- that will be remembered for a long time to come. 
2.What makes Joes on the Nose so wonderful?
Aw, you’re too kind. Our entire staff really loves coffee and only wants to serve drinks that are good enough for them to drink. We use great ingredients, and train our super cool staff intensely. I’m serious about that- have you talked to our barista staff? They’re awesome, and not just at making coffee. We do our best to offer consistently great service from the first phone call or email to our clients’ wedding day or event..
3.What brought you into the coffee business?
After working over ten years in TV, film, and commercial production I was ready for a change, and wanted something a little bit different that allowed me more time to pursue other interests- one of which being coffee
4.We love that your business is mobil. What made you decide on a coffee truck instead of a traditional cafe?
I originally built the Big Orange Coffee Truck in 2007 to offer drinks to surfers and other beach goers in the morning. The only way to do this (and access a variety of locations) was to be completely mobile. It was also a much more efficient way of checking the surf. It’s quite difficult to run a profitable (and high quality) brick & mortar cafe. I’m proud that our Truck is the longest running “gourmet” food (er, coffee?) truck in Southern California- if not the entire state
5.If you could have another profession other than what you do today, what would you do?
Surf filmmaker. Or potter. Or think tank thinker. One new profession is not enough, sorry.
6.Three things you can’t live without?
Salty air, Family, Laughter
7.What do you do to recharge and unwind?
Surfing, pottery, and spending time laughing with Maya, my wife.
8.Is there a type of coffee or tea drink that you could have every day and not get sick of?
Espresso, a cup of (good) black coffee, or a drink I fell in love with in Israel: Tea Nana, or black tea with fresh mint leaves. So good.
9.If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?
I’d head south on a surf trip through Baja, take the ferry across to mainland Mexico. Ikeep heading south through Central America. Trip would be filled with surfing, visiting coffee farms, exploring, eating, and more surfing. This is assuming I have a few months to spare, a tough concept with a baby coming soon. That being said, when should I expect the check?Joes on the Nose, Shewanders, Shewanders Photography, Wedding photography, San Diego wedding photographer, San Diego photographer

The $40,900 Question: Archive Rentals

We feel so lucky when we get to work side by side with Regina and Krista of Archive Rentals. Their close attention to detail and sweet personalities shine through their work. Thank you both for being so wonderful.1. What makes Archive Rentals so wonderful?

Krista:  Our team is constantly working together and drawing inspiration from one another as well as our clients. I feel so lucky to also get to share in a partnership that makes me excited to come to work every day. Of course our furniture, florals, and events design is pretty special, too, but the personal satisfaction I feel working with amazing people everyday is what really sets this company apart to me.

Regina: What I love most is the culture we have built our company selecting people that are collaborative, free thinking, and highly creative. We may all have varying ideas and opinions, but we all always agree that the clients needs are our number one priority and when we all come together, magic happens. Krista and I have been successful because of the support of our team.

2. A piece of advice for brides to be?

Krista: Enjoy every moment of the process. Savor all the memories and planning up until that special day, and then on that day, so be in the moment that you are able to soak it all in!

Regina: Enlist people to take care of your big day that you know are amazing and trust. Then let go. Let the pro's work hard to make your vision happen while you remain stress free, get lots of beauty sleep, and then bask in the glow of your amazing day!

3. What is the most thrilling aspect of your work?

Krista: Getting the opportunity to travel and design events!

Regina: Seeing something I envisioned in my mind become reality. I have an active imagination, so this aspect is so gratifying...especially when things turn out even better than I imagined.

4. Color pallets you are loving lately?

Krista: I am loving neutral and soft tones like nude with dark saturated undertones like dark red. Actually, I am loving red in any way it comes.

Regina: After a season of bold mixed colors (which I have loved), I am coming back around to white. But not white in the tulle and organza kind of way, but more of a diverse pallet of warm earthy whites, with lots of textures.

5. Where do you draw inspiration from?

Krista: Nature and sometimes I have to dig way down deep into the pit of my belly.

Regina: I draw inspiration from places and experiences. Brief but unforgettable moments. Maybe it was a hayride when I was 7, a roadside picnic with my hubby in the wine country, ordering beers from a beach shack in Mexico, or the moment you round the bend at the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Little fragments of those sensory moments resurface in the details of every event I design.

6. Most interesting client request?

Krista: Wanting a barn on an empty plot of land! We made it happen and it was gorgeous!

Regina: The most interesting request by a mile came from my partner, Krista. "Can I tear open this velvet sofa and stuff it with succulents?" Yes, yes you can.

7. What would you be doing if you weren't in the wedding/event industry?

Krista: I would still be an artist of some sort. I am ruled by color and light and find inspiration everywhere I look. I don't think I could ever be without exploring color, flowers, and design in some form.

Regina: I am a writer and have dabbled in film making. I would and probably will be doing it sometime in the future. Right now I am enjoying telling stories through design.

8. Three things you can't live without?

Krista: Family, friends, nature

Regina: Family, human interaction, a good nights sleep

9. What do you do to unwind and recharge?

Krista: Unplug and spend time with my husband and family. We love the beach and camping in the mountains. Nature and good family love always does the trick for me. I also love to spend time at home gardening in my free time.

Regina: My family and the ocean. Did I mention the good nights sleep?

10. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

Krista: I would be happy to explore beaches on the Fijian Islands with my family and just be.

Regina: France & Italy, the extended version. I like travel where you stay put in one spot for long stretches and really get to know the place and the people. And who am I kidding? I would eat every delicious thing I could get my hands on, so $40,900 would mean I would two airplane tickets to fit in the seat on the way home.Archive Rentals, Shewanders Photography, San Diego wedding photography, Wedding photography, San Diego photographer



The $40,900 question: Donna Urban

1. What got you started in the wedding coordinating business?Owning an art gallery for ten years put me in the business world as well as the creative world. After the sale of that business, it was not a stretch to use the creative and organizational skills to move into the wedding world. A passion for design and customer service was put into a whole new arena.

2. Most rewarding part of your job?

Taking a wedding or event from conception to completion and seeing the satisfaction and JOY of my clients as they realize it with me!

3. Is there a specific style (vintage, shabby chic, rustic, etc.) that you love?

I love all styles, but I probably gravitate towards the warm themes that the outdoor weddings bring. Using nature as the canvas and getting creative by bringing sophisticated elements into that are some of my favorites.

4. Where do you draw inspiration from?

My clients, most of all. Each couple is so different and bring something new to each wedding.

5. A piece of advice for a bride who's wedding is coming up?

Make sure that you have a planner who is not a family member or well meaning friend to do the hard work. You are spending so much time, money, and effort to create your special day...have someone who knows exactly what should be happening, when it should be happening, what should NOT be happening, and make it ALL happen with a peaceful yet "get it done" attitude.

6. What do you do to unwind and recharge?

Walk with my friends, read, go fly fishing with my husband!

7. Three things you can't live without?

Besides water, shelter, and food? (: God, my family, and chocolate. (:

8. If you could have a profession other than yours, what would you do?

I would renovate and redecorate houses!

9. A tip for somebody looking to get into the wedding coordinating business?

Work for free. Honestly...shadow people whose work you admire and be willing to do whatever you are asked to do. No job too small. There's no substitute for on site experience.

10. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

First, I would find another $1,000 to make it an even $50K....something about that sounds like much more, doesn't it? (:

I would buy a used RV and spend a few months traveling United States with my husband visiting all of our friends and family situated around the country.


Shewanders, Shewanders Photography, photography, wedding photography, weddings, San Diego, San Diego wedding photographer, Donna Urban

The $40,900 Question: Pure Beauty by Danielle

We had such a wonderful time working with Danielle from Pure Beauty at one of our weddings last month. Her sweet personality brought so much fun into the room. She was professional with everybody she had contact with and always had a smile on her face. Thank you Danielle for being so fantastic.1. When did you first decide that you wanted to be a professional makeup artist?

Well I started doing makeup and hair when I was 16 years old professionally, and I knew it was always something I loved doing. But it wasn't until my last year in college that I decided to start my own business and pursue makeup as a career.

2. What is something that you love about your job?

I love making people feel good about themselves. So the most satisfying part of my job is bringing someone's vision to life and making them feel confident and beautiful.

3. Is there a specific hair or makeup style that you absolutely love?

I always loved a classic nude lipstick. Its natural and sexy on anyone and can be paired with a more dramatic eyeshadow look or softer colors for an everyday look.

4. A tip for somebody looking to become a professional makeup artist?

Get your hands dirty! I think the best way to learn is hands on with experience in the real world. Try new things, push your limits, and always be willing to learn from other artists.

5. What has been inspiring you lately?

Lately I've been inspired by the fashion industry. Looking at all the new trends has been inspiring me to use colors I don't normally use and pair things together that are unique and yet classic. Seasonal colors in makeup are usually the same, but in fashion it always changes. So grabbing inspiration from the runways can truly pull together an amazing head to toe look.

6. What do you do to recharge and unwind?

I love to be outdoors, so a few hours at my pool with a good magazine or book is the best.

7. Any summer activities you have been enjoying?

This summer I really have enjoyed going to my local farmer's market to get fresh vegetables to cook some great summer meals.

8. If you could do another profession other than yours, what would you do?

I grew up doing acting, dance, and music, which is my other passion in life. So anything in the performing arts field would be amazing.

9. Three things you can't live without?

Scrambled eggs, music, and great family and friends!

10. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

That's a tough one since there are so many places  I want to travel. But I would have to say Bora Bora, since I have been dying to stay in one of those bungalows out on the water. I would do any and all water activities there, relax on the beach, and explore the nearby islands.

Shewanders, San Diego wedding photography, wedding photography, Estancia, La Jolla, Pure Beauty


The $40,900 Question: Lydia from My Sweet Lydia's

If you don't already know, here at Shewanders we have a bit of a sweet tooth. We are really excited to interview Lydia, owner of My Sweet Lydia's, a delectable bakery that caters to all of your sweet tooth needs. From wedding cakes to dessert tables, My Sweet Lydia's does it all.1. What makes Sweet Lydia's so wonderful?

Sweet Lydia's can do pretty much anything dessert related. So in addition to our menu of cakes and petite desserts, we can customize just about anything sweet!

2. What inspired you to go into the baking business?

Quite a few things have inspired me to go into the baking business...for one, my family of entrepreneurs. I have always wanted to own a business and I was lucky to be able to own a business that I am so passionate about. I was also very inspired by my grandmother who was an excellent baker. I was also inspired everyday while attending pastry school in New York. I was very lucky to learn and be inspired by so many amazing chefs over the two years of school.

3. Most interesting client request?

I had a client request for a full tasting for their entire 20 person bridal party at their home to decide on desserts for the wedding. They had more desserts during their tasting than some weddings that I do! They had the best time and their bridal party loved being a part of the planning process.

4. What about the baking process do you enjoy the most?

The finishing touches. Garnishing and decorating is so enjoyable, especially when it puts a smile on a customer's face.

5. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

When I see everything come together t weddings. When the cake or dessert bar is completely set up with all of the other details like florals, lighting, cake toppers, etc. It is so much fun seeing the bride and groom's visions come to life. And nothing better than seeing the photography afterwards. And nothing like positive feedback afterwards. I especially love to hear when my client's received compliments from their guests that do not even typically like sweets. I strive to be a really memorable part of the wedding.

6. What has been inspiring you lately?

I find inspiration all around in nature, fashion, interior design, etc.

7. A piece of advice for somebody going into the baking business?

Be prepared to work long hours on your feet and in a hot kitchen. It is definitely not the easiest of jobs at times. However, it is incredibly rewarding when delivering a finished product.

8. What do you do to recharge?

Spend time with family. I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Charlevoix, Michigan with my husband and family at the end of July. We had the most beautiful and relaxing time on the lake. At that point, I was exactly halfway through my weddings for the year. It was the perfect recharge before the last half.

9. Three things you can't live without?

In work, my valuable assistant Melanie, my 6 quart mixer, and my iPhone. In life, my husband Cote, family, and good food and wine.

10. If you had $40, 900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

I would love to eat my way through France with my husband.

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The $40,900 Question: Jesenia and Caroline of Ooh La Love Events

Jesenia and Caroline are the sweet girls behind Ooh La Love Events. Their close attention to detail and genuine love for weddings shows just how much they care about what they do. Read on to find out what inspires these girls and what they would do with $40,900.1. A piece of advice for brides to be? Don't try to plan your whole wedding in one day. Decide what is most important to you, and make that a priority. Surround yourself with wedding professionals who you trust, and who understand your style and vision, so that you can let go of everything and enjoy your wedding.

2. Something brides don't often think about when planning a wedding but should? As a bride, you put so much time and energy into the preparation for your big day and making sure every detail is perfectly planned, but it's also important to remember your guests. People travel across the country, and sometimes even across the world to see you say 'I Do', so it's always nice to keep their comfort in mind. Greeting out of town guests with welcome bags or small touches like providing throw blankets on a cold night, or flip-flops for ladies who just can't take those heels any longer are all great ways to make your guests feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.

3. What makes Ooh La Love Events so wonderful? Being partners, we bring different strengths and styles to the table, and we have so much fun working together. While Jesenia is super organized and drawn towards more classic and on trend designs, Caroline is a bit more creative and drawn toward bohemian styles. By working together, we are able to come up with both designs and solutions that one of us alone might not have thought of. We fully embrace the motto that two heads are better than one!

4. Is there a particular wedding tradition that you love seeing? As a rule of thumb, if your dad is crying, chances are we are crying, too. We just can't help it!

5. Color pallets that you are loving? Neutrals with a twist. Blush, ivory, and taupe, with a pop of something unexpected like emerald is always fun.

6. Three things that inspire you? It's hard to narrow it down to three! Fashion and nature are daily sources of inspiration for us, and we are always inspired by our brides (and sometimes grooms, too!). 7. What do you do to recharge? We are always trying to plan our next girl's trip! Getting time away together to brainstorm and have some girl time really helps us recharge. If we can't carve out a couple of days to get out of town, then a hard workout followed by a bottle of wine is a great substitute. 8. A tip for somebody wanting to go into the event planning industry? Find a planner who you admire and work for them, even if you have to intern without getting paid, to gain experience. This is a great way to get to know the ins and outs of the industry, build a solid foundation of knowledge, and really figure out if this is your passion.

9. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do? We would do a couples trip to the Maldives! It's rare that we get to have downtime together with our husbands, so a couples trip with beautiful beaches, relaxation, and a little adventure sounds perfect. Shewanders Photography, Shewanders, Wedding Photography, San Diego, San Diego wedding photography, Malibu, weddings, Ooh La Love Events

The $40,900 Question: Denise Jermyn-Continental Catering

We are pretty excited to have landed an interview with Denise Jermyn, the president of Continental Catering. We always have a good time working with Continental Catering, and we think it is about time you meet the lady who is behind it all. Thanks for sharing, Denise. 1. Are there any cocktail trends that you currently love? As a big coffee lover, I have to say that the addition of ‘java juice’ to cocktails is really resonating with me. Talk about taking something good and making it great!

2. What is your ideal picnic basket? My ideal picnic basket would have a really nice cheese course to start, a savory salmon salad to continue, and a chocolate and peanut butter confection to end on a sweet note.

3. What is something that people don’t know about you? Hmmm...most people don’t know that raw carrots make me hiccup.

4. What do you attribute your success to? Over the course of the years, we have developed lasting relationships with our clients. We don’t see our clients as another name on the calendar but rather as individuals that we have enjoyed getting to know. We are genuinely grateful to be a part of their special event, and I think this translates to the service that they receive.

5. A wedding tradition that you love to see? Even after 30 years in the business, the father-daughter dance is still very touching.

6. Best part of a wedding day? I like the moment that the bride and groom are able to see the reception site for the first time. After months of planning, they are finally able to see their vision come to life and that’s very exciting.

7. How do you unwind? I can’t think of a better way to unwind than with a glass of red wine in my hand and a piece of chocolate in my mouth.

8. Dessert you could never give up? The truth is that I love all things sweet so giving up dessert in general would be a challenge, but if I had to pick one it would be dark chocolate.

9. What would you do if you weren’t in the catering business? Oh gosh. I haven’t really given this much thought before. I think I would be a professional chocolate taster. Is there such a job?

10. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do? Anyone that knows me knows that I’m constantly chasing the sun so where ever I went would have to be a sunny location. Cinque Terre in Italy sounds really nice right now. It would be a challenge to spend that much money but I would probably spend it on amazing meals. I might walk into a quaint restaurant and invite some of the locals to dine with me. Actually, it might not be so hard to spend that money after all...Continental Catering, Shewanders Photography, San Diego Wedding Photography, San Diego, Weddings, Wedding photographer, Vendors, Catering

The $40,900 Question: Alexandra Wise-Blush Botanicals

1. How did you get into the floral design business?I was working in finance at Merrill Lynch out of college and I wasn't happy with my job, so I began throwing parties for family and friends. I soon realized that the floral and decor portion of the event took up most of my focus so I figured I would try starting a business doing what I love, and the rest is history.

2. What makes Blush Botanicals so wonderful?

I'd say what makes Blush special is that we're always trying to stay ahead of the trend and create new pieces. We have a fabricator that can create anything we dream up and we are trying to do things that are on a larger scale (physically larger) and are trying hard to focus on getting an emotional response from guests and clients. We want clients to see the value in exactly what we are producing for them, so we want each piece to be unique and sophisticated. I think working with other fabulous vendors elevates us as well and we are so lucky to be able to do that.

3. What is something brides should ask about in regards to florals but often do not?

We wish more of our brides would ask us about ways to donate the flowers at the end of the evening as it is such a great thing to do!

4. Color pallets you are loving lately?

I'm a huge lover of the mixed metallic tones paired with fresh, soft greens and whites.

5. Is there a wedding tradition that you just love to see?

I enjoy when a bride asks me to incorporate a family heirloom on their bridal bouquet. It personalizes it and makes it a bit more special.

6. If you could do another profession other than yours, what would you do?

I would probably go to culinary school to be a chef or potentially go into interior design.

7. A helpful tip for somebody looking to get into the floral business?

Invest in a large, walk in cooler early.

8. Any summer activities you have been enjoying?

I go for beach runs in the mornings.

9. Three things you can't live without?

My dog, living by the ocean, the ability to sketch my thoughts.

10. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

African Safari.




The $40,900 Question: Lisa Lippe-Details Defined

It is always inspiring to see how people use their studies and degrees to make impacts on other people's lives. In Lisa Lippe's case, she took her production background and used it to build Details Defined- a San Diego wedding and event design business. Her careful attention to detail takes your ideas and turns them into reality. Read on to find out more about what is inspiring Lisa and how she got into the wedding and event design business.1. What got you started in wedding and event design?

I worked in Hospitality while studying production for live theater, TV, and journalism. I worked with couples while working at resorts and fell in love with the process. I decided to apply my production skills to live events. I get to apply my story telling journalism background to helping others tell their story through ceremony and celebration and in live events.

2. Favorite part of your job?

Working with people, defining the details and the day it all comes together is like an opening night at the theater in a way.

3. What is something brides should ask about but often don't?

Why certain vendors are referred over others, what makes them good/great, how are they a good fit for them.

4. What has been inspiring you lately?

The clients I work with is where I get my inspiration. Their stories, what they love. The rest comes from time outdoors, and nature, beautiful sunrises. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but Mother Nature has a lot to offer in the area of inspiration!

5. If you could do another job other than yours, what would you choose?


6. Three things you can't live without?

Family, love, and chocolate

7. What summer activity have you been enjoying?

Hiking, driving up the coast, wine tasting, and cooking classes

8. Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mint and chip

9. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

Italy, Greece, and Ireland. Meet the locals, learn about the culture, history, culinary, wine, agriculture, landscape, art, local favorite activities.




The $40,900 Question: Ashley Allison-The Dailey Method

If you are looking for a great workout custom to your body, then look no further. The Dailey Method is an exercise studio owned and managed by Ashley Allison. We are so lucky to have gotten an interview with Ashley and to hear more about The Dailey Method and the wonders it has to offer.1. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Witnessing the amazing healing powers of The Dailey Method, both mentally, physically and spiritually with all my different students. Each person has their own reason and need for coming to their very first class and it is beautiful to watch them gain much more than just an exercise routine as they build a practice with us! I have seen/heard of so many different results from rehabilitation from injury, flexibility, strength, weight loss, to simply just gaining some self confidence and self love. I feel so honored to be a part of it.

2. What first got you started with the Dailey Method?

A friend of mine took me to a class when I was living in San Francisco and I was hooked from day one. Later, I used TDM to rehabilitate from a back injury and that was when I truly started to appreciate the scope of what TDM had to offer and felt a need to share it with more people.

3. What makes the Dailey Method so wonderful?

It’s ability to offer so many different things to people - it’s not just an exercise class, it’s a practice and it’s a community. For me, I was first attracted to the perfect combination of stretching and strength training in one class. Once I really began my practice, I started to understand the importance of prioritizing alignment as we do in all of our positioning and how unique it is from other exercise regimes. As I went deeper into my practice, I could really appreciate the mental/spiritual outlet it provides as well, and the education and connection it creates within your own body.

4. What would you say to somebody who is looking into exercise as an alternative to something like invasive surgery that may not be mandatory?

I would give them a big hug and tell them how amazing it is they are willing to give their body a chance! I would tell them to be extremely patient and kind to themselves because it takes a lot longer to heal your own body from the inside out, but it also lasts much much longer with way less side effects ;).

5. What do you do to recharge? You might not believe me, but honestly, I take class. It’s those times when I feel I don’t have any time or energy to take class that I usually need it the most. If I force myself to get in there, I come out as a new person! Not going to lie, naps are awesome too. I think I love them even more because I rarely get to take one!

6. What profession other than yours would you like to try?

Hard question! I’m a curious person and can find interest in a lot of things, so it’d be hard to pinpoint one profession. It would have to involve helping people (or the greater good) in some way, that has been a huge drive for me in everything I do. Funny enough though, if I had to come up with an answer to this question, I think I’d go with owning an elephant rescue, but I guess they are people in their own right and are definitely part of the greater good ;)

7. Something that has been inspiring you lately?

The human connection and empathy. I have found myself really thinking a lot about wanting to teach people (and myself) to be kind to themselves because I think it would lead to more kindness for others. I’ve started to really notice how we can be mean to ourselves in many different ways and varying degrees and it’s interesting to see how it manifests itself in different behaviors that affect those around us. At the risk of sounding pretty cheesy, I am really sensitive to anger and selfishness and I feel this heart wrenching need every time I watch the news to figure out how to do my part in getting people to recognize that we are all connected and sharing this life together, so why not do it joyfully?

8. A food you couldn’t live without?

Warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven and a cold glass of milk - don’t tell anyone I’m a cookiemonster!

9. Something people don’t know about you?

I want a pet elephant. Seriously.

10. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

Interesting number, why the extra $900? This is another tough question! Hmmmm, I LOVE to travel, and that’s a lot of money to travel on, so I might have to cheat on this one and say I’d buy a round-the-world ticket for my husband and I (and may as well throw one in for my dog too since we have all this money to burn because she would be an awesome travel campanion!) Why not use that extra $900 for a first-class ticket and live it up while we can?! I would make sure that we went to places we have never been before and target the ones that are harder to get to when we don’t have an imaginary fortune :). I like a balance of active exploration and total relaxation when I travel, so I’d probably skimp on hotels/etc in some parts, spending more money on doing things, and then splurge on nice hotels and spa treatments in other parts. I like to see all the sites, but I really love getting off the beaten track. I’m a sucker for natural wonders and beauty, I tend to really lose my breath when I am standing in front of a massive waterfall or at the top of a mountain watching the sunset or just sitting and watching people of different cultures laugh together, especially children. I always love to hear young children speak different languages, there is something so adorable about it!


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The $40,900 Question : Jen-Cake

Jen and Kimberly are the owners of Cake, a bakery located in Mission Hills, San Diego. Their talent and fun personalities are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this bakery. They take a vision and skillfully sculpt it into a reality. Read on to find out a little more about Jen.1. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Creating custom designs for clients that are so into it. I like the personal collaboration aspect of it all.

2. What got you started in the baking business?

I was a chef in San Francisco for 10 years and decided to bake bread for awhile. The bakery Also made wedding cakes.  I ended up falling in love with them... They are one big giant pastry.  3. Most surprising client request?

We were asked to make a 7 tiered wedding cake with over 1,500 flowers and jewels-it was over the top. 4.  A piece of advice for somebody going into the baking business?

Really know your craft. Work in a bakery first to hone in on your skills and go from there. 5. Color pallets that you are loving lately?

Metallic and blacks are popping up everywhere this summer. I'm into it. 6. What makes CAKE so wonderful?

We are authentic. We have a happy animals menu along with a vegan and organic menu. We are also able to make designs in white chocolate.  What that means is no fondant.  We design the whole cake with delicious ingredients.  It makes a really big difference. Your mouth will thank you. 7. What do you do to recharge?

Have a glass of Jameson and a nice dinner. 8. Three things you can’t live without?

Analise, Abram, and Dave.  My two children and my husband. 9. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do? I would go on a rad trip and send anonymous envelopes of money to people.  I would pay for people's tickets into Disneyland, like "I got your ticket today, I got your ticket today, I got your ticket today." If I had that much money, I would impact as many lives as I could. It would be so amazing.



The $40,900 Question : Ashley Hizer

Ashley is a talented abstract artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. We had the pleasure of photographing her stunning wedding years ago, and her sweet personality is still shining on. When we interviewed, we found out a little bit more about her artwork, what inspires her, and what she would do with $40,900. Check out her website here to view her beautiful work.1. When did you decide you wanted to be a painter?

A: I started making art as a young girl – I’ve naturally always been creating in some form, but I started dabbling in abstract art a few years ago as time allowed, then decided to go full-time the fall of 2013. It’s been one of the most rewarding decisions!

2. What has been inspiring you lately?

A: Life itself inspires me. My husband and marriage, music, surroundings new and familiar (travels, my hometown, San Diego, and where I live, Georgia), architecture, nature, style, other art, the list goes on.

3. What medium do you prefer to do your work in?

A: I mostly work with acrylic paint followed by oils, and just lately I have been adding hints of charcoal, graphite and pastels. I love mixing it up and overlapping textures and colors.

4. Is there a specific color palette that you have been loving lately?

A: I tend to evolve with the seasons, so I’ve been particularly drawn to bright colors and pastel hues. Lots of blues and turquoises, pinks, greens, and peaches.

5. Do you enjoy listening to music or background noise when you work, or do you prefer

the quiet?

A: Music and painting go hand in hand for me. I cannot create without a soundtrack to accompany the process. I’ll often adjust the playlist based on my mood that day, which often impacts my art – lyrics, rhythms, melodies, and all.

6. What do you do to unwind and recharge?

A: I love to go on walks or runs with my husband and Goldendoodle, explore new places, read, listen to music, and eat delicious food.

7. What summer activity have you been enjoying?

A: My husband and I just moved to a neighborhood that has a pool, which I cannot get enough of. I do not know how I survived the humid Georgia summers before!

8. Do you have any advice for aspiring painters who wish to sell their work?

A: I encourage them to go for it, and as cheesy as it sounds, believe in their work, as it takes some time to get the ball rolling. Take advantage of free/almost free sites like Etsy and social media such as Instagram.

9. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

A: Man, that would be nice! I would definitely get my travel on – namely Italy and Greece, the countries on my bucket list.



The $40,900 Question : Michele from Before I Do Events

One of the many wonderful things about our job is that we get to work with such rad vendors. We interviewed Michele from Before I Do Events, and we got a little insight on what brides should be thinking about but often don't, where Michele draws her inspiration from, and much more. Read on to hear about what has been going on with the lovely Michele lately.1. What are one thing brides do not think about but should?

M: Tip the "little people". We always ask brides to leave us a handful of $5's and $10's so that we can give them out to the rental guys and the people setting up. They work so hard and appreciate the gesture and often work so much harder for you after receiving it!

2. Design style you're currently loving?

M: Romantic, organic, chic-I love the look of spilling bougainvillea from pots or urns. Warm but bright colors. It gives me a deep romantic feel and has a carelessness about it. I love all things organic but I am a wanna-be hippy, so I have to glam it up a bit. That is where the chic part comes into play.

3. Most rewarding part of your job?

M: The end of the night! The look on a brides face is nothing but one of pure joy! I honestly love seeing them partake in one of the best days of their lives.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

M: To be honest, I am boycotting Pinterest. I feel like it does the opposite of inspire. It clogs my brain and totally overwhelms me. If I am overwhelmed, then everything is forced and nothing really comes to fruition. I like to sketch things out. I am not the best drawer, but from a sketch I then have it in my head and can explain the vision. I often am inspired by clothing...the colors, textures, and patterns in them.

5. Three things that make you smile?

M: My kids being crazy and wild (not in a naughty way), a good dinner party, any form of travel or adventure.

6. What do you do to recharge?

M: Some form of a workout (usually spin or volleyball), followed by a massage and then a fully planned out long day at the beach. Food, drinks, the right gear and no kids!

7. Something people don't know about you?

M: I always get confused about the past...I remember things the way I wished it would have happened and always get made fun of because my stories are way off. They often say I live in "lala land", but my version of life is way better that way.

8.  If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

M: This is easy...there are two trips on the wish list right now and one of them does not cost a ton but the other does. With the family we would: do a week on a boat sailing the coast of Croatia, then we would spend a week following the Tour de France while they travel thru the French/Italian alps. Then we would rent a house on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and invite a group of friends to come and join us.

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The $40,900 Question : Michael Tiernan

We had the chance to interview Michael Tiernan of Still Listening Productions and hear more about the people in his life that keep him inspired, his favorite sounds, and some big news that is coming up for him. His smooth voice matches the artist he is playing remarkably well. Working with talented artists such as Michael always makes us happy.xoxo,


  1. Dream gig? Playing live at Red Rocks in Denver on a perfect Fall evening. That, or headlining the Grammy’s with Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl…. A man can dream, right?
  2. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Gigolo, but don’t tell anybody. No seriously, at some point I hope I can be some sort of monk in a desert monastery and write books.
  3. Ideal summer destination? Stand up paddle boarding in Alaska.
  4. What keeps you inspired? I’m a lucky dude, in that I’m surrounded by people who inspire me daily – my kids, my wife, a ton of amazing songwriters and musicians I get to play with regularly, plus all the incredible wedding vendors I get to work with who have created their businesses and found a way to thrive, plus – my brides and grooms – I’m so incredibly blessed to be a part of their day in enter into the energy of what they are doing, surrounded by their closest family and friends – what a great inspiration!!!
  5. Books or TV? Ideally, books. Actually, the manuals of all the cool guitar pedals I have but don’t know how to use properly!!  But after a long wedding, it’s usually TV for a bit, and a very hoppy beer.
  6. What do you do to recharge?  Songwriting is the most satisfying and recharging activity I can do for myself.  It’s a huge release for me.  But on a more daily basis, I love getting out on the water, whether surfing on my own, or paddle boarding with my wife, we frequently play hooky during the day to get out there.
  7. What sound do you love? Hearing big waves crash from a distance during the night when a new swell comes in.
  8. Advice for aspiring musicians who want to break into the music industry? I’d tell them what a friend already in the business  told me when I started – Don’t delay! Just start doing what you love, writing and performing, and the road will open up. Don’t worry about all the details, just set your intention and be true to your calling as an artist.
  9. Do you have any exciting news coming up that you would like to share?  YES!  After 18 months of working on my new album, it’s ready to be released!  August 17th, a really amazing sunset concert at one of my favorite wedding venues – The Crossings at Carlsbad.  You guys are all invited (if you’re not working a wedding that is!!!).  It’s going to be a super fun party, all ages, communal, w/ great food and drinks – I’m so stoked to finally get this out there!
  10. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do? I would take 4 months off and bring my family to Italy, probably rent a nice hillside Villa in Umbria, travel all over the country, and get my Italian chops back into working order.



The $40,900 Question: Sharon Mintz

Sharon Mintz of Organic Elements is always inspiring us with her beautiful work with floral arrangements. We were able to find a little more out about her trip abroad and some colors and ideas she is loving this summer. We love working with sweet vendors like Sharon. Check out her website here for more inspiration.xoxo,


1. Where did you study abroad?

Well, sort of nowhere and sort of Germany. While I was at UCSD, I really wanted to go study in Australia but I didn't think I could take my cat, so I stayed here. Later, while I was waiting for my now husband to finish his Master's degree in Eichstatt, Germany, I decided to go live there for six months. In that time, I studied the floral industry in Europe while taking some German language and ceramic classes.

2. Five things that are inspiring you this summer?

Color, my family, the sun, summer fruit, and our kick ass team.

3. Do you prefer tea or coffee?

Hot chocolate.

4. Something people don't know about you?

I'm a horror movie fiend. No gore, just ghost stories.

5. What is one summer activity that you could do every day?

Snorkel. If we are not visiting family abroad, every vacation I plan is based on snorkeling with turtles and other sea life around the most colorful coral I can find.

6. Beach or mountains?

Beach! Although, the mountains are a close second.

7. What color scheme are you loving lately?

I love the peaches and corals up against blush, but I'm really excited about vibrant colors returning as well.

8. Do you have a preferred season of flowers?

Spring, absolutely spring! I planned my May wedding based on those wonderful flowers being in season.

9.  If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

Well that could take a while, not a problem! Fiji, Bali, Thailand, one big snorkel adventure! Maybe visit some Pacific Islands, why not? And we'd stay in every cabana on the beach I could find. Sleeping on the water makes this Cancer feel right at home.

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