What do you get when you take an awesome event designer and give her virtually free reign to create an amazing wedding? You get this year’s San Diego’s Ultimate Wedding and I had the awesome opportunity to work as the documenting photographer for this year’s Ultimate Wedding sponsored by Bridal Insider and Star 94.1.
Above: Courtney Tibbets from After the Engagement was selected by Bridal Insider to be this year’s wedding designer, and she started with the concept of a fun colorful brunch themed wedding. Incorporating bright colors at with an outdoor ceremony, mimosa and bloody mary bar along with brunch themed appetizers, build your own omelets, french toast, eggs benedict and much more! The Mt. Woodson Amy Strong Castle served as the single location for this year’s wedding and reception.
Courtney’s vision for the reception came together with the bright colorful kings tables dressed by Party Production Rentals, beautiful flowers by Exquisite Blooms, and fantastic favors by SoBelle. The dark wood room in the Amy Strong Castle was bathed in light throughout the day with the cheerful colors of the table cloths and flowers as well as the bright white and silver chiavari chairs.
Cinnamon roll skewers, deviled eggs and fruit kabobs were among the hors d’oeuvres that were served during ‘cocktail hour’ after the ceremony.
OK … seriously!!! How awesome is this cake by Hey There, Cupcake!? The whole time I’ve been working on this post all I can think about is running downstairs and cooking up some pancakes. I don’t know if I’ll finish this up without shoving some pancake and syrup in my face!
The sweets room continued the brunch theme that Courtney envisioned by including among other things, Mini Mimosa Trifles, and Pancakes and bacon pops! Sprechen Sie YUMMY!!!?? Cake Ball Love, Sumi’s Oven, The Cookie Chew, A Candy Store, and Tailored Sweets all provided treats in the sweet shoppe as well as edible chocolate mustaches and lips for the photobooth!
Cameras, cameras and more cameras. Yes, I was actually a fifth wheel at this particular wedding (not including guest cameras and vendors iphones of course!) Being the documenting photographer, part of the job was actually showing the behind the scenes of the other photographers at work. Jeff and Betsy as well as Jared and Danielle were the photographers and cinematographers respectively. It was fun taking the backseat at the wedding and watching these four work, as well as trying to incorporate a feel for what goes on behind the scenes at a wedding. To get a better perspective, check out Jeff and Betsy’s Ultimate Wedding Post, as well as Danielle and Jared’s video on their blog.
Above, Jeff and Betsy setting up Janell and Matt along with their bridal party in front of the Amy Strong Castle. Note the harsh lighting falling on Betsy, while she has the bridal party in soft even light in front of the wooden doors and beautiful stone castle. Meanwhile, Jared documents the action as well as the portraits. Inside, Betsy continues to direct while Janell looks on.
Before the ceremony, guitarist Nick Weiss picks his location to set up with Courtney that allows him to provide the processional and ceremony music as well as music throughout the cocktail hour.
Attending to every detail and making sure the day went off without a hitch, Courtney Tibbets helps send the bridesmaids and Janell down the aisle for the ceremony. Ensures Matt’s boutinere is on and watches like a mother hen throughout the day.
OK, I’ve been friends with Bethel Nathan for a long time now, and believe it or not, we had yet to do a wedding together before San Diego’s Ultimate Wedding. It was really great to see her officiate for Janell and Matthew, to recount their story of what makes them as a couple unique, and truly create a special personalized ceremony for these two. After the ceremony, Bethel hugs Courtney, and poses for a photo with newlyweds, Matt and Janell.
Bill Calhoun is a fantastic DJ and part of every great DJ’s job is ensuring all the moments of the reception go as planned. One of the times I love photographing the bride and groom as well as the bridal party is while the DJ gets them lined up for the introductions. While everyone is distracted by Bill making sure everyone is prepared for their introductions, and making sure that he has everyone’s name correct on his notes, the people lined up are distracted and having fun. Adding to this at the Ultimate wedding was fantastic light!
Like I said, cameras, cameras, cameras! This gives you an idea of how photographers and cinematographers should work together to document all the special moments without interfering with each other’s vision. While Betsy, Jared and Danielle document from different angles of the dance floor during the first dance, Jeff hops up into the balcony to get a unique view of the couple. The last image shows just one image of what’s possible to get even with four other photographers working to get their images.
Beautiful, fun, bright flowers were provided by Exquisite Blooms throughout the reception and ceremony.
Courtney poses above with just a few of the fantastic people that made the day possible. Links to all the wedding professionals involved in this year’s Ultimate Wedding can be found below.
Photographers: La Vida Creations Photography • Ceremony Venue: Mt. Woodson Amy Strong Castle • Reception Venue: Mt. Woodson Amy Strong Castle • Event Design and Planning: Courtney with After the Engagement • Catering: Personal Touch Dining • Cinematography: Side by Side Cinema • Rentals and Linens: Party Production Rentals • Officiant- Bethel Nathan, Ceremonies by Bethel • Rehearsal Dinner- Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club • Florist – Exquisite Blooms • DJ- Bill Calhoun Mobile Music DJ • Live musician- Nick Weiss • Stationery and Paperie- Nic.Roc.Designs • Limo service – Elite Image Limo • Tux rentals- Friar Tux Shop • Bridesmaids‘ Necklaces- KChicDesigns • Bride’s and Mother’s Hair and Makeup – Marisa Von Sheere • Bridesmaid’s Makeup- Gerine Coronado • Bridesmaid’s Hair- Rebecca Hainline • Bridesmaid’s Dresses- Nordstrom • Documenting Photographer – Evan Bishop • Honeymoon – PS Riviera • Favors- SoBelle • Photobooth : Jasper with After the Engagement • Boudoir – Modern Boudoir by Allie Lindsey Photography • Cake – Hey There, Cupcake • Donuts- Sensational Treats • Cake Balls- Cake Ball Love • Mini trifles- Sumi’s Oven • Cookies- The Cookie Chew • Candy buffet- A Candy Store • Chocolate photobooth props- Tailored Sweets • Paper photobooth props – Fresh Invitation Studio • Sponsored by Bridal Insider and Star 94.1