Creativity Tell All // Chelsea White of Maderas Golf Club

Chelsea is such a beautiful soul. I met her years ago at a wedding she was coordinating. She is grace under pressure. One of the coolest experiences we've had together is when Alex hired me to photograph their proposal at the Marine Room in La Jolla. I fell in love with both of them in that moment. I know she will bring that joy as a wedding specialist at Maderas Golf Club

How do you continually stay inspired and creative?

You would think that planning weddings and events every day would mean that I would avoid doing it in my free time, but the complete opposite is true. I love planning dinner parties and summer BBQs at my house. The satisfaction I feel when I see all my friends and family enjoying the food and details that my husband and I put together for one of our get-togethers is all it takes to remind me why I love what I do. That’s why I strive to make sure all my clients get to see that reaction from their guests on their special day.

Is there anything special or unique about your morning routine?

I am absolutely a creature of habit. My alarm goes off at 6:30 every morning. My mastiff Oden comes over for his morning snuggles, i.e. slobber kisses, and then I roll out of bed to have my morning java with my husband (this part is key; no matter what the agenda for the day, I always crave a warm cup of coffee to start it off).

If someone wanted to break into your industry, what advice would you give them?

Do it! It’s so rewarding and beautiful! The details are crucial. I think after awhile some people in this industry find that weddings can be a little repetitive. When you’ve seen one blush themed colored ballroom, you’ve seen them all. But here’s the thing - it’s our jobs to be detectives and find out the little details that make each of our couples unique. It’s those details that are going to cut through the chaos of the day and make it unforgettable.

Did you always know this career path was ‘the one’?

I went to college to learn the art of advertising. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It wasn’t until after moving back home and waitressing to support myself that I was forced to really evaluate what would make me happy in a career. One day I was at home thinking about the things in life that I really enjoy; entertaining friends and family, making and enjoying great food, meeting new people and pretty things like flowers, art, love, etc. Then I had this epiphany; like a full blown, stop you in your tracks moment. I wanted to be a wedding planner.

What season inspires you most?

My knee jerk reaction is to say Spring, but if I really think about it, Autumn is my favorite. I spent the majority of childhood in Wisconsin where the change in season from summer to fall was truly magical. There is something so refreshing about crisp air, leaves crunching under your boots and a hot cup of coffee (all the greatest things involve coffee.)

Do you have any funny short stories or embarrassing moments from when you first got started?

I can’t think of any one particular moment off the top of my head, though I do recall that when I first started out, I thought it was always better to have an answer to everything, even if it wasn’t 100% true. I’m pretty sure a few mothers of the bride and grooms had their corsages on the wrong wrist for quite a while.

I’ve learned that there is no shame in saying, “You know what, I’m not sure the correct answer for that, but let me find out for you.”

What is the best advice you have been given?

Be yourself and don’t be afraid to say no.

What is your dream project?

I’d love to create a successful blog that people actually want to read, or write a novel. I’ve always loved to write. If I’m honest with myself, it’s probably the way I communicate best. The tricky part is figuring out what to write about that you think people would be interested in. Or maybe the hard part is just deciding not to care if anyone isn’t. I’m working on it.

If there was a song that played every time you worked on your craft, what would it be?

I have the most spastic collection of Pandora stations ever! My mood and energy always reflect in my music choices, so it’s not unusual to hear Norah Jones if you walk by my office in the morning, “Country Love Songs” if you walk by in the afternoon and “Today’s Top Hits” if I’m about to head out for a wedding. You know it’s a really good day, though, when I’m blasting the Justin Timberlake Radio.

Is there anything in particular you are obsessed with these days?

Gardening and finishing the puzzle that I started last weekend. Life can be hectic, so I relish the moments where I can zone out, but still get something accomplished.

What would you do if you had $40,900 for a vacation?

I’d take off a year and plan an around-the-world excursion with my husband! I have this sometimes overwhelming urge to travel and I’d love to have the opportunity to let go of adult responsibilities for a bit and just get a taste of what the world has to offer.


Creativity Tell All // Luna Wild Design

Aly with Luna Wild Design fills me with wanderlust and a laid back vibe that inspires me to be more creative and design my life with greater possibilities. You can often find Aly on some exotic beach in Mexico making couple's dreams that much cooler. I once asked her a dream related question and she said she'd like to spend a couple months of the year working remotely practicing yoga in a jungle in Central America dreaming up designs for cool people. Yes to that!

How do you continually stay inspired and creative?

Traveling and making sure I'm always exploring is one way to always stay inspired.  It's hard not to feel inspired when you're visiting new places; a city, restaurant, coffee shop or the outdoors. I also learned early on that overbooking myself and being too busy is the fastest way to kill creativity for me.  I need time to breath, think and process my ideas rather than rushing through them. I find that my best designs come in my 'slow' seasons because I have more time to truly dedicate towards each idea and the client, instead of treating creativity and design as a check list.

Is there anything special or unique about your morning routine?

My husband and I always get up and make coffee and breakfast together. Especially Monday through Friday. I need an hour of slow time just sitting next to him on the couch with coffee before I get started with anything. Sometimes we'll go on runs, and sometimes we'll just sit in silence, but I love starting off my day with quality time with him.

If someone wanted to break into your industry, what advice would you give them?

That's a good one. Start connecting with your fellow industry-mates. This industry is so personal and for the most part very supportive and helpful. Truly get to know those around you and treat them with mutual respect. Naturally, if there's a connection, people will want to work with you because they like you. I would suggest working your butt off and start helping people and learning from them. Connections and opportunities will naturally happen when they're supposed to.

Did you always know this career path was ‘the one’?

I knew from pretty early on (when I was about 20 years old) that I loved this career.  I still haven't gotten sick of it and I don't plan on doing so. The best part about the design and wedding industry is that it's so big and there are so many different areas and types of things you can do that it never gets boring.  I love that I get to start fresh every year with new clients and new challenges.

What season inspires you most?

I'm a summer girl through and through, but I would say my soul is drawn to spring. Fresh life and the muted tones. I guess I'm a spring/summer mix. :)

Do you have any funny short stories or embarrassing moments from when you first got started?

My most embarrassing moment was setting a center piece on fire. The centerpiece had pampass grass wildly growing to one side of it and right after I lit a candle, the wind guided the pampass grass to the flame. I'm terrified of fire, so I just stood there paralyzed and I couldn't move or speak.  One of the guests saw what happened and ran over and dumped his drink on the fire in front of me. It was so embarrassing because everyone saw it and all night I was that girl who lit the table on fire.

What is the best advice you have been given?

I would say to know that you're worth it. I struggled a lot first getting started about discounting myself and overworking myself, but a few people told me to stick to my prices and know my worth.  Telling myself that my time is valuable and that I deserve to get paid my set rates allows me to be more selective, work less and truly enjoy my clients and my life more. I'm more focused, more inspired and I feel respected and appreciated.

What is your dream project?

My dream projects are design projects where I get to travel, and use local sourcing and vendors to create experiences. I love the pressure and excitement of sourcing things locally and creating something that's truly unique. And, of course, traveling is always an added bonus of fresh inspiration and materials to play with.

If there was a song that played every time you worked on your craft, what would it be?

I love listening to Buena Vista Social Club when I'm working or cooking. It's soothing yet playful and always puts me in the best mood.

Is there anything in particular you are obsessed with these days? 

Definitely Frosé, but what girl isn't!? I'm also obsessed with cold brew + lemonade - I love the bitter mixture and have been drinking it nonstop to get me through busy days.

What would you do if you had $40,900 for a vacation?

So much! I would spend one month traveling in Central America, two months in South America and one month in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and some other places around there. I would spend my time exploring, finding local spots and getting to know the culture. I'd probably sign up for some cooking classes, run, do yoga a lot, walk all day and eat and drink a lot too.


Inside Out {Video Edition} : All About Water

Hey Wanderers,

We thought it would be fun to share some casual, behind-the-scenes video interviews about us, our process, and other important things like our favorite dessert. :) Talking about ourselves, especially in front of a camera is way out of our comfort zone. However, I think as an artist it's important to share your process with others in hopes that something along the way will spark inspiration. Discovering photography for me felt like coming home. I have never felt a better way to express myself and my vision. I hope you find your way, and I hope these little video chats give you exactly what you need; even if it's just a smile. 

Here is a video about incorporating water into our shoots. Water always seems to inspire us. Our shoots are often near it, in it or under it. Thanks for spending time with us as always. 


Suzanne, Mike and the Wanderers

4 Things // Creative Muse

Happy Sunday wanderers. I'm listening to this interview with Austin Kleon on Creative Live.  He mentions Elizabeth Gilbert and her idea of genius being more of the Greek concept of the muse.  I love this idea of thoughts visiting you if you give them space in your daily practice.  He also mentions an interview she did with Tom Waits.  Tom would often get great ideas while he was driving. He would look up kind of frustrated and say, "Hey can't you see I'm driving".  I'm looking forward to finding this interview.

Listening :Creative Live

Reading : Just wrapped up Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond FearbyElizabeth Gilbert recently - so good.

Adventuring : Mike and I drove from San Francisco to San Diego along the coast earlier this week.  We took the time to create some beautiful images and try out new techniques along the way.

Dreaming of : Looking to get some good news for my dad at the doctors this week. 


Suzanne, Mike and the Wanderers

the $40,900 question: Quixotic Weddings

Today I thought we would share a little bit about one of our creative partners. Quixotic Weddings.  Couples ask us all the time about wedding filmmakers and you know we love to collaborate with talented folks.  Here is your chance to get to know an inspired San Diego couple Scott and Jenny Hoops.xoxo Suzanne

1.What drives your wedding films?
The couple and their love! Once we've had a chance to get to know the couple, see their day unfold, and look through hours and hours of footage, there is a moment where it becomes clear what their film should be.
2.What fascinates you about weddings?
A wedding is such an intimate moment. There is so much intensity and emotion surrounding the day - relationships with family and friends, organizing the details, and ultimately the commitment that the two people are making. We are truly blown away at every wedding we film - people say the most beautiful things and it's so amazing that we get to be part of such a special moment in someone's life.
3.What is the most thrilling aspect about your work?
S: The moment in editing when a piece starts to take shape and you can see what it is going to become - something totally unique that didn't exist beforehand.
J: After experiencing firsthand how incredible it is to have so many special moments of my life captured through video (childhood, family vacations, our wedding, travel & adventures), I love that we are able to record such an important moment in time for someone and that they'll be able to look back on those memories and share them with family and friends for the rest of their lives.
4.What is your get-ready routine for wedding days?
We try to prep everything the night before so that the morning of we can go for a leisurely walk, stop for coffee, and then come back home and watch an episode of the Colbert Report. And, though you did not ask, our routine for after each wedding is to celebrate with a shot of tequila!
5.What is your favorite scene to capture at a wedding?
J: The groom's reaction just before and while the bride walks down the aisle. I also love doing video messages from the bride to the groom (and vice versa) before the ceremony - it's such an honest moment.
S: Speeches and personal vows are some of my favorite moments because they are always unique and the voice inflections and facial expressions say so much in addition to the words. I also love being on the dance floor with a 50mm lens while everyone is dancing like crazy all around me!
6.Dream wedding venue?
S: I've loved shooting all over San Diego  - - so many amazing venues! With that said, we still have not been part of a vineyard wedding so I would say that is my dream venue at the moment.
J: Anywhere in nature (beach, mountains, forest, etc) and with lots of stringed lights and candles!
7.What details most capture your attention?
J: Smiles, tears and babies.
S: It's true. Jenny always films the babies - I'm in trouble! :) For me, I would say my attention is drawn to anything I haven't seen before. And at every wedding, there is ALWAYS something I haven't seen before.
8. I heard you two love to road trip, what place did you explore on your last adventure?
Las Vegas! And since videography is our passion in addition to our career, we brought a lot of gear with us on our trip. As a result, when the people in the elevator at our hotel saw us lugging in so much camera equipment, they thought we were making an adult film!
9.Must-have snack on every road trip?
S: Does wine count as a snack? But only when Jenny is driving of course! :)
J: I'm not sure why Scott said wine because he is always driving... :) Although he definitely brings wine to the drive-in theater! I love to stop at a gas station and get whatever I'm in the mood for... probably chocolate and coffee!
10.Finally, If you had $40,900 to spend on traveling, where would you go and what would you do?”
We've just spent the past twenty minutes debating the best travel route but have yet to come to an agreement... so here's the gist of where we'd go and what we'd do in no particular order: We'd head to NYC to live it up in the city and visit family and friends, stop by South America to drink wine, hike the Inca trail and explore Easter Island, fly to Africa to go on a legit safari, travel around Europe stopping by London & Geneva to see family, Spain & Italy to drink, eat and be merry, Greece to see the architecture, Czech Republic for a romantic night out, Germany for beer and lederhosen, followed by an elephant ride and yoga lessons in India, then off to Australia for some fun down under, an opera and to see a dingo, next we'd hit up Japan for some sushi, and end the trip with a road trip from Vancouver to San Diego stopping at every amazing place along the way! We calculate that that should come to around $40,000 leaving us with $900 which we would take to Vegas and place a bet on 17 on a roulette table and if it hits we'd do it all over again!

An Interview With Cara & Jenny of Luxe Events

In our most recent newsletter we're talking about advice and who we turn to for the best guidance. We decided to interview Cara & Jenny for the inside scoop on two best friends running a successful business together in the industry!Thanks again for sharing all of your wisdom, Cara & Jenny.We LOVE Luxe Events!


What is your number one piece of advice for your brides-to-be?

C: Let everything go the day of your wedding and enjoy. The most important thing is celebrating the commitment you are making to one another! We coordinators will handle the rest.

J: Funny despite my complete infatuation with wedding decor my best advice is "its about the vows". Truth is I will make it pretty and we will make it run smoothly but your love is at the heart of it at all. Sleep well, be at peace, the details have a way of working themselves out. Do not lose site of what the wedding is all about.

Who gives you the best advice?

C: My mom. As a former teacher, she has seen it all!

J: In life or professional wedding planning? I suppose my sister is the answer to both. My touchstone. Am I being crazy? Is my idea brilliant? How do I bring down Oliver's fever? Should I go on a limb? What color is in for a manicure this week? She will always tell me the truth and yet always has my favorite answer.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

C: You only get one reputation in life, so take special care of it.

J:Whatever you are, be a good one

What is one thing brides ask about the most often?

C: That's a hard one, since it is our job to answer all the questions;)

J: How do I stay on budget? hint: 1) reduce your guest list 2) listen to wedding planner's advice

What is one thing that brides don't ask about but should?

C: First look/reveal. I love the tradition of seeing your bride/groom at the ceremony, but with the scope of most weddings now days I think couples will be happy to have the extra time for photos

J: I love recommending my favorite vendors to match their personality and budget.

Design style you're currently loving?

C: Sparkle. From gold leafed table numbers to full on sequin linens, its fun and fresh and puts me in a cheery mood!

J:I just did a design for colorful Bohemian Glamour I am really loving. I like any design I see in a Jose Villa photograph. :)

Favorite "I want to go there" destination?

C:The Greek Islands

J: If I ever ran away from my world to be alone, I'd go to London. Favorite city.

Most surprising quirk about your best friend?

C:One of my best friends has a very girly job in design (guess who), yet she has a very man-like palette and eats only red meat and loves whiskey.

J: Its more of a blessing than a quirk, but she is the most generous person I have ever known- of herself, her time, and her love. Oh the quirk- she does not get hangovers. Ever.

Best design advice in 5 words?

C: Beware of too much DIY

J: Dream, Edit, Decide, Release, Celebrate

Best perk of your job?

C: The thank you hugs from the bride and groom at the end of the night. Oh, and having fresh flowers to take home after.

J: Being an intragal part of someone's love story, its an honor.

Wishlist item you want so bad it hurts?

C: A house so I have more rooms to decorate! I am out of space and every time I leave West Elm or Home Goods empty handed I feel very sad.

J: Got my eyes on a pair of Christian Louboutins

Food you could eat everyday and never get sick of?

C: Tacos, tacos and more tacos!

J: Mexican food

Color combination you're crazy for?

C: The timelessness of black and white always draws my attention

J: Depends on the week! Right now: blush, gold & mint

Three things you can't live without?

C: Mascara, cute flats, and my watch(s)

J: My family, mascara, red wine

Describe Cara in one word

J: Sunshine

Describe Jenny in one word

C: Vibrant

Current obsession?

C: Our puppy, Nala. I am nuts about her:)

J: Making my twin babies Oliver & Isabelle smile