Friday, January 25, 2008

Scarlett O'Hara

Photography: Cary Pennington ~ Cary Pennington Photography
Makeup styling: Sarah Price ~ Couture Makeup Artistry

Yes, actually. Yes, it is. Yes, that is her real name. Scarlett said the number one question she's asked is "Did your parents do that on purpose?" Yes! Scarlett's mom knew that the last name "O'Hara," meant a little girl named Scarlett -- nothing more complicated than that. Her mom collects Scarlett O'Hara memorabilia, and took Scarlett to Atlanta for her seventeenth birthday.

Two cool facts: Scarlett went to high school with a boy named Rhett Butler, and while on a trip to Europe, she met a girl named Vivian Leigh! Less cool was often having her name erased from lists and sign-up sheets when administrators thought it was a joke. It's also kind of a drag that her name is always taken already in e-mail programs and other online forums.

So, now that your most pressing question has been answered, you can get to know the real Scarlett, who is great.

Scarlett grew up with her mom in San Mateo and received a degree in communications from the University of California - Santa Barbara. She stayed on in Santa Barbara after graduating and got started in hospitality and events, in the catering department at the Santa Barbara Polo Club. She worked for the event manager and was involved with everything from surprise birthday parties to weddings and corporate events. That position -- one of her favorites -- led to her interest in event coordination.

Scarlett had always wanted to live in San Diego, and eventually moved here on her own, not knowing anyone. She said the first nine months were really tough, but things got better, and now she's doing great. Those first months really were an adventure. She was a banquet server at the Hotel del Coronado and did substitute teaching. And she also lived and worked at Sea World for three months as a residential camp counselor, teaching kids about the animals and taking them behind the scenes. That is so cool!

Travel and education are themes in Scarlett's life. She's been teaching since she graduated and currently works as a substitute teacher in San Diego. The flexibility and variety are just right for her, since she loves traveling and can rearrange her schedule to accommodate trips or events.

In addition to her work experiences, Scarlett's friendship with a wedding photographer in Santa Barbara piqued her interest in coordinating events. So after getting settled in San Diego, she contacted numerous event coordinators as she began building her knowledge base. This included attending the Wedding Party Bridal Show, where she took the opportunity to continue learning about the business.

Following up that industry research, Scarlett e-mailed the coordinators in San Diego Style Weddings . . . and Bek called in response to the message. Scarlett was impressed that she received a phone call rather than just a return e-mail, and even more impressed when she met with Bek and Mia in person and learned about the company.

As she built rapport and trust with Bek and Mia, Scarlett began working events for them. She met the other women of Red Letter Days at one of the first social and educational soirees. (Read about a recent soiree.) Scarlett was impressed again, this time by the level of dedication to training and mentoring everyone involved with the company.

She said Bek and Mia are excellent communicators, very receptive and responsive, and welcome information from everyone to continue excelling: "They always ask, 'How did you feel about working this wedding today? What was your experience?' They really value my input. Most companies are 'What can you do for me?' not the other way around."

As Scarlett continues working with Red Letter Days and receiving mentoring, she's really excited about the future and enjoying each opportunity. "Working events with them is wonderful." With her drive, optimism, and willingness to learn, she is a force to be reckoned with!

Behind the suit . . .

Scarlett is very close to her mom. She goes up to visit for Thanksgiving and Christmas (although she traveled to see her dad's family in Milwaukee this December), and her mom comes down to San Diego in May or June. She's hoping her mother can start spending more time here, and maybe even move.

Scarlett loves to travel and has had a blast on trips to Florida, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Europe. Pacific Beach is her home base right now, and she plans to continue living by the ocean for the rest of her life.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Jackie Gressman to Troy Funk

Oh, happiness! That's what is shining out of these photos of the wedding of Jackie Gressman and Troy Funk at the Rancho Bernardo Inn.

Let's start with the bride -- a beautiful beginning. I love those flowers!

This is awesome. I adore the plants and the wall hanging -- the colors are so lush and the shapes and textures are great. The contrast with Jackie's gown is fantastic.

The chartreuse accents in the bridal-party bouquets are a nice way to link them all together. I love how much fun these women are having!

Ooooh . . . the ceremony! Floating, enchanting, radiant . . .

This cake looks luscious -- yum! I like the way the swirls of the icing echo the shape of the rose petals.

This next picture is the greatest. I can't help smiling -- okay, grinning! -- when I look at it. Aren't you dying to know what the best man just said? (And how often do you see a candid photo of six people where every single one of them looks fantastic?)

Something tells me that a lifetime of happiness won't be a stretch for these two.

Just beautiful.

Venue: Rancho Bernardo Inn
Photographer: Jay Reilly
Florist: Olga Brouwer / Rituals Floral Designs
Officiant: Friend of the couple
Caterer: Rancho Bernardo Inn
Cake: Gloria's Cakes and Desserts
Rentals/linens: Rancho Bernardo Inn
Entertainment: Kris Valentien / Positive Energy Productions
Guest accommodations: Rancho Bernardo Inn
Gown designer: Brides by Demetrios
Bridesmaids' dresses: Bill Levkoff
Menswear: Men's Wearhouse
Hair/makeup: Shelisa Burke / A Beautiful Bride
Invitations: Daydreams Invitations and Accessories, Inc.
Rehearsal dinner venue: Rancho Bernardo Inn

Monday, January 07, 2008

Susan Napier to Matthew Thomas

Susan and Matthew's wedding, featured in Ceremony San Diego Weddings & Events 2008 Magazine on pages 248-249, was so lovely. You can view it online here! The bride is breathtakingly elegant. I actually gasped while looking at these photos.

Beginning with the bride's preparation, every moment looked wonderful.

The white sashes on deep red dresses are unexpected to me -- and fantastic.

I love how luminous Susan is in this portrait, with the light background and her dress forming a glowing frame.

The Darlington House in La Jolla provided the gracious setting . . .

. . . including a staircase for a dream bridal entry. (Just look at her train!)

It was also a great spot to share a kiss.

To me, this image of Pastor David Peterson signing the marriage license communicates much of the beauty of the celebration. I like the quiet reverence of this moment.

The details of the reception contain all care and beauty present in the bridal preparations.

Elegant seating cards, menus, and place cards:

I like the way Susan and Matthew used their married monogram on the menus, and I'm a huge fan of any opportunity to use ribbon. The light weight of the ribbon they chose is a pretty accent to the formality of the place setting.

This serene arrangement really fits the elegant aesthetic of the wedding.

And oh, the cake!

Classic, gorgeous. I love the coffee berries. They provide just the right note of surprise and their deep color matches the wedding palette exactly. (And the stems echo the branches from the white flower arrangement above.)

This was such an elegant wedding. I am amazed by the couple's ability to take classic, beautiful elements and make them even more special. Then again, looking at these wonderful photos of the two of them, it just seems right.

Venue: The Darlington House
Bella Pictures (shot by Genevieve Burruss of The Ambient Image)

Florist: Amanda Baghoyan /
Modern Bouquet

Officiant: Pastor David Peterson
Caterer: Omar Guido /
Crown Point Catering

The French Gourmet

Rentals/linens: Omar Guido / Crown Point Catering

Entertainment: Bill Calhoun / Bill Calhoun Mobile Music

Guest accommodations: Hotel La Jolla

Hair/makeup: Diane Searns / You by Design

Rehearsal dinner venue: Casa Guadalajara in Old Town