Top Three Southern California Honeymoon Spots

It is always hard to come back from a lovely weekend and start another week. What a drag right? Well, we still have the weekend on our minds too, and that is why today we today’s post is all about weekend getaways. If you are looking for a short honeymoon trip, and something super romantic, yet close to home, then we’ve got you covered! Get ready to pack your bags and head out to your “staycation honeymoon”. Yep, you do not have to travel too far to have a romantic trip with your love. Take a look at our top three favorite spots in Southern California to honeymoon. All of them are in the downtown areas, and what can we say, we love downtown cities!

  •  Downtown San Diego: San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in California.  What is great about this city is that there are so many things to do, and great places to see! Out of all the places in San Diego, we love the downtown area the best. Downtown San Diego has everything in one spot! From amazing restaurants, hip bars, fabulous hotels, a fantastic ball park, to the sands of the breathtaking beaches. Here is a sample itinerary: Take the train (the train ride itself is super relaxing with stunning ocean-views!) to the heart of downtown, and check in to one of the many lovely hotels. Once you check in, take a stroll down and eat at any of the many places for lunch. There are some pretty darn good places to eat. Our favorite spot? Oh, that will be another post another day! Ask your desk concierge, or yelp it!  After eating, you can head to Seaport Village, which is a tourist spot, but has cute little shops to browse, and can walk along the gorgeous oceanside. Holding hands and enjoying each other is perfect!  If the local San Diego Padres Baseball team is at home, you can attend the game that evening. Following that, you can head to a local bar, or head back to the hotel, where some of them will have live music to enjoy. The next morning after breakfast, you can check out the historic USS Midway Museum, or take a walk to the harbor and have a  romantic picnic. Take the train back home, and do not have to worry about traffic and can relax and browse through the weekend photos together.



  • Palm Springs: We can not get enough of Palm Springs.  Within 1-2 hours of Los Angeles, San Diego, or Orange County, this fantastic dessert destination is the perfect weekend honeymoon location. We personally like to stay in downtown Palm Springs. Stay at one of the many lovely and quaint boutique hotels close to downtown. Most of the hotels have pools, because as you know, it can get pretty hot. But that is the best part! Pool parties, or just relaxing in one of the cabanas.  As soon as you enter Palm Springs, you already feel relaxed. Things to do with your love? Go the pool, lay out, and relax! When is cools down, you can head to the downtown street where all the restaurants are.  Whatever your craving, you will find it! From romantic spots, to funky and cool places, downtown Palm Springs has some great options. It is just fun to walk around downtown and check out the stores, and eat some fabulous food. Best thing about Palm Springs and why it is our choice for a honeymoon spot? Just that you can do absolutely nothing but eat and lay out at the pool, (throw in a couple’s massage and spa day in the mix), and you have yourselves a pretty amazing honeymoon!


  • Laguna Beach: One of the most gorgeous and iconic spots in Orange County, California. Staying in Laguna beach is like a newlywed paradise. We do not even know where to start with this location, as it is really perfect. y at Hotel Laguna or The Laguna Beach Inn, as they are two great hotel locations. Not only do these hotels have breathtaking ocean views, but they are steps away from the beach, restaurants, park, and art museums. After some sunbathing all day, and a lovely dinner, make sure to take a walk and enjoy the beautiful sunset. That in itself is so romantic, that you will want to live in that moment forever.

Whatever destination you choose, make it your own, and make sure to enjoy every moment! Pack your bags and go!




Wish Upon a Wedding Blissful Wishes Ball 2014

On this gorgeous Wedding Wednesday, it seemed appropriate to feature a fabulous event for a wonderful cause. A week ago, the Wish Upon a Wedding Southern California hosted their annual gala at the Hilton, Costa Mesa California. With 180 guests at attendance, and some amazing sponsors, the gala was a success!  You know that I love weddings and not only because they are pretty to look at, but the fact that it  brings two people together to express their love for each other. Then add Wish Upon a Wedding, who provides a wedding dream to couples who are facing terminal illness or life altering circumstances, and I am really touched. I was so excited to be part of this night, and  be surrounded by not only lovely and gorgeous details, but to see how many care so much for this cause. I smiled the whole night, and can not help but smile as I write up this feature.








A few words from Percy Sales, President of Wish Upon a Wedding Southern California Chapter…

The 4th Blissful Wishes Gala was a huge success! The board of Wish Upon a Wedding Southern California would like to thank everyone who attended, our sponsors, donors and volunteers! The evening included a live and silent auction that included a trip to Bora Bora, a ride in a Formula Drift car, and a lively photo booth by The SoCal Shutterbooth Girls. Guests danced the night away to the sounds of The Society Band and a special performance by Frenchie Davis, star of The Voice, American Idol and Broadway. The most heartfelt moments were speeches by our recent Wish recipients John and Jo-Ann which brought the crowd tearfully to their feet. Shining Star honorees were Rev. Clint Hufft. Pauline Parry and Kevin Covey.

With everyone’s generosity and support we have raised over $45,000 for our organization! Thank you all!





















The Board of Wish Upon A Wedding Southern California

The Board of Wish Upon A Wedding Southern California


 All the Fabulous Sponsors:

Media Sponsors
California Wedding Day
Wedding Wire

Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa
Form Decor
Fusion LinensCopper Willow
Christopher Todd Studio
Mission Visual
Reverend Clint Hufft
Ambiance Designs by Shawn Adams
Butterfly Floral
Flowers by Cina
Lotus and Lily
Shutterbooth Girls
As You Wish Events
Timothy Espinosa Entertainment, The Electric Violinist
Frenchie Davis
One Hope Wine
Calligraphy Katrina
Divas and DJs
Freelance Printing
The Society Band


Balboa Pier Engagement Session from David Marano Photography

This California girl is totally in love with this engagement session from David Marano Photography. Growing up in Southern Orange County, California, I spent many summer days at the various beaches, and Balboa Pier was one of my favorite spots. So when I saw the images pop on my computer screen, I soon recognized the scenes, and was instantly hooked. I knew  I would fall in love with this session.  Image after image, and it was so hard to choose which images to feature. Smiling as I chose, I ended up choosing most of the images! Yes, this is a session you will not want to miss. Your Monday is about to get better.  Go ahead, and take a look at the gorgeous photos of this adorable couple in the most beautiful setting.




















From David Marano Photography

I was lucky enough to photograph Jennifer and Aaron for their engagement shoot, I couldn’t ask for a more accommodating couple to work with. We had our date scheduled and location decided at the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach about a month out, and a week before the engagement session Southern California was actually expecting rain. Unfortunately, Aaron is very limited with time since he travels a lot for work so rescheduling was not going to be easy. I asked Jen, if they’d be willing to do the engagement shoot in the rain? She absolutely agreed with my ridiculous but brilliant idea. I gladly started my research, searching through endless amounts of images on Tumblr and Pinterest for rainy day photos. With a shot list scribbled in my journal and excitement in my bones of the unknown (since I had never photographed a couple in the rain), things were looking good. Rain had hit the day before, rain that came down strong and unyielding. Not drizzle. Rain. I awoke the next day, immediately getting out of bed and awkwardly walking straight outside to scrutinize the sky. No rain, just sun, scattered clouds, and wind. Hmmm. I ruminated for a bit; Forecast says rain all day? It will come. Oh well, if not. Shoots not till 5pm anyways. It will come, I know it. As expected in Southern California, when a storm is expected to deliver it typically does not. Regardless, the session must go on rain or shine.  If it were any other engagement session, I couldn’t have asked for better weather. Clouds above creating soft light, and a cool ocean breeze. After the shoot, I had completely forgot about the rain. Too excited over the images we had just got. We said our good byes, and sitting in my car peering through my windshield, the spots begin to collect. All of the sudden-cats and dogs.

Venice Beach, California Engagement Session from Michelle Lacson Photography

If you have been following BHL for awhile now, you know that we love ourselves a pretty little engagement session. But when there are engagement sessions like this one that has us bursting with joy. It is all because of this sweet couple spending their e-session at the famous Venice Beach, California spot. Don’t get me wrong, I am pleasantly enjoying the lovely California winter days we are having. Cozy sweaters, boots, scarfs, and stylish jackets…my favorite things to wear for sure. Actually I love the cold weather wardrobe way better than the hot, summer wear.  But, I am totally missing the summer months, and it is all due to this gorgeous e-session featuring an adorable couple. How cute are they? Oh my goodness, so cute!  A darling couple beautifully captured by Michelle Lacson Photography. It is because of these images, that I want to push fast-forward and jump into summer.

This engagement session is guaranteed to knock your pretty little socks off. Go ahead, browse through the stunning images. I dare you!

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Check out their love story right here:

How We Met – Kara+Brian from Expressionary Events on Vimeo.

From Michelle Lacson Photography

Meet Kara and Brian,  a couple who are the loveliest!  They chose the famous Venice Beach, California for their engagement session. They wanted to rent a bicycle built for two because thats what they did on their first date. How cute is that? I was totally on board to capture their bicycle ride. Super fun I have to say. Not only was this a unique idea for a session, but they were so sweet doing it. You can tell how much fun they were having. This couple is super sweet, and you can tell how in love they really are. Behind the lens, I would just smile in between each shot.  They made my job so easy by being such an easy going, fun loving pair. They are getting married this Summer, August 1, 2014.  Congrats to Kara and Brian!

Rustic Fall Wedding Inspired Styled Shoot by Manya Photography

I have to admit, I do not want to say good-bye to the fall season quite yet. I just love all the fall details, and when combined with weddings, then I am really in trouble. I love the colors, the smells, the cool weather, the rustic details, and delicious foods. (pumpkin pie!). So, to keep the fall loving details going a little longer, we thought to add a bit of fall wedding inspiration on the agenda this week. Fall in Southern California can be really pretty. Especially when you have talented stylist, Hope Stanley, and fabulous florist, Sarah Toner of Floral Riot on hand to style and design the most romantic and beautifully styled shoot. Oh, and add  Manya Photography to capture it all? Then you have yourself an amazing fall inspired wedding shoot with breathtaking photos guaranteed to knock your pretty little socks off. There are so many pretty details that are competing for my fall loving heart. The lovely trees, the beautiful tabletop, the gorgeous surroundings, the stunning blooms, and the sweet couple adorned with the loveliest of details. I can go on for hours or even days about this shoot, but I think its best if you see what I am so obviously obsessed with.







































The inspiration...

From Event Stylist, Hope Stanley…

What inspired me was the gold on the gown. I wanted something that would keep with more of the retro feel of the gown with out being to formal and stiff. I chose blue shoes to add a bit of personality and to make the gown suited more for a young bride eloping. The tie has touches of the blue and gold in the paisley print. We wanted to keep the setting natural and fall inspired Deer plates with a hint of blue where used and gold antique silver. We wanted the feel of a woodland cabin but outside in the fall.

From Sarah Toner of Floral Riot
I saw the gold embellishments in the dress. They were very detailed. Coupling that with the fall shoot, I started with French marigolds. They have the brown accents just like the beading on the dress. From there I choose fall foliage (maple, oak and ginkgo). Ginkgo has the fluttery golden leaves, which I love. Cream tuberose was added for its fragrance and golden celosia provided the visual highlight for the piece.






Location: Horsethief Canyon Park

Event Styling and Design: Hope Stanley & Sarah Toner of Floral Riot

Photography: Manya Photography

Hair & Make-up: Beauty by Lucy Han 

Flowers: Floral Riot

Bridal Gown: Mary Me Bridal

Bridal Stylist: Hope Stanley

Models: Lauren Dea and Felipe Bezerra de Menezes

BHL Vendor Hot Pick: FormDecor Furniture Rental

I know it is pretty hard to say goodbye to the weekend and hello to the week. Mondays can be a total drag, but when you have a fabulous new vendor added to our “Vendor Hot Picks”, Monday just became my favorite day of the week. I am so excited for this very talented company, that I kind of want to scream. Okay, I just did. Yep, it is the type of vendor who seriously knows how to impress. One that has me saying “O-M-G” at all the jaw-dropping gorgeous furnishings they have to offer. All beautifully delivered by FormDecor Furniture Rental. I had the pleasure of visiting the stunning warehouse where all the incredibly fabulous pieces are are.  I have to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the amazing details present in each and every aisle. My head kept turning, as I did not want to miss a single fabulous thing! I love all the modern and mid-century details. A total swoon moment which will forever last in my mind. Thank you FormDecor Furniture Rental for making our Monday pretty awesome. We hope your Monday just got a burst of energy as you view these breathtaking images.



True Photography

True Photography

True Photography

True Photography

Stephanie Williams Photography

Stephanie Williams Photography

Candice Benjamin Photography

Candice Benjamin Photography

Christopher TODD Studios

Christopher TODD Studios

True Photography

True Photography

True Photography

True Photography

True Photography

True Photography

Stephanie Williams Photography

Stephanie Williams Photography

Niloufar Gibson, Owner and Chief Editor at BHL with Kellie  Form Decor's Account Executive, Kellie Migliaccio

Niloufar Gibson, Owner and Chief Editor at BHL with Form Decor’s Account Executive, Kellie Migliaccio

About FormDecor Furniture Rental

 FormDecor is America’s largest event rental provider of authentic, iconic 20th Century furniture and accessories, specializing in the Modern and Mid-Century Masters. With unique and stylish selections for set designs, trade shows, wedding ceremonies, extravagant corporate parties and social events — including designer furniture rental needs.Based just outside of Los Angeles, FormDecor Furniture Rentals offers hundreds of premium quality pieces for your wedding. Additionally, FormDecor’s design consultants can help you and your wedding planner decide what to rent and how much to rent. Their DeliveryDudes deliver all over Southern California, as far north as Santa Barbara and as far south as San Diego. Professional. Personable. Reliable. These are just a few adjectives to describe the FormDecor DeliveryDudes.

Whether you’re looking for an opulent chandelier or cocktail tables and low-slung plush sofas evoking a VIP lounge feel, FormDecor has what you need and then some!

Unveiled Orange County: A Day of Wedding Inspiration

Happy Monday lovelies! It probably comes to no surprise that I am obsessed with all things wedding. I mean, I get to write about pretty wedding things all the time. Oh, how I love my job! Things really got better around here this weekend. I attended a fabulous wedding event right in my hometown of Orange County, California. Unveiled  stopped by the South Coast Plaza Village on Sunday April 7, 2013, showing off the best of what Orange County offers for brides and their grooms. So when I laid eyes on the incredible collection of Orange County’s finest wedding products, my obsession went into overdrive.  If that was not enough, the day got even better when a couple of fabulous TV stars stopped by. By this time, I could not stop smiling.  I am literally smiling from cheek to cheek.   Kelly Nishimoto and Sam Saboura from TLC’s hit show, “Something Borrowed, Something New” shared bridal trends with us. I was so impressed with what they were sharing, that many times I said to myself, “oh, I never knew that”, or “wow, that’s a really good idea!”. Stay tuned, because we will be sharing some of these bridal trends with you soon! So, now it is time to pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, get real comfortable, and get ready to be inspired!

The highlight of my day was meeting Kelly and Sam!  It has been so much fun covering their show on Bridal Hot List, and seeing these two find or create amazing bridal gowns for brides. To finally meet in person, was such a lovely touch, the cherry on top, and the icing on the cake. Every Friday we share a sneak peek of TLC’s, “Something Borrowed, Something New”, and this week is the finale, so make sure to check to tune in.IMG_4209

By the way, they are super sweet and such a delight to be around. Sam is easy going, and sweet. Kelly is real and honest, and so darn cute! I loved meeting them!
IMG_4190The Q/A session where they shared Bridal Trends. I was definitely inspired by what they shared. Thanks Kelly and Sam!
IMG_4145Gorgeous and stunning design! This was a “wow” factor for sure.  (Allure Events Atelier) Do you see the paper flowers on the wall behind the chair? Oh my, simply amazing! (Paper Flowers from Revelry Designs)
IMG_4142Imagine this look for your escort card table. What a beautiful way to draw you in. You see the lovely laced covered vases? Every detail is just gorgeous. (Flowers and Vases from Celios Design)
I loved all the golds, white, and stunning mirrors. Elegant, whimsical, and romantic.
IMG_4157I love how there are different styled chairs around the farmer table. This look is perfect for a garden or rustic style wedding reception. (Classic Party Rentals)
IMG_4158I was really intrigued by these extraordinary boutonnieres. Succulents are the hot trend right now in wedding florals. (Briana Maxson Floral Design)
IMG_4159Cute idea! Hanging photos off a rustic cart. This is a great touch for a vintage romantic wedding.
IMG_4152Gorgeous bridal gowns (The White Dress). 
IMG_4153Do you see that stunning headpiece? I love the intricate details. Beautiful!
IMG_4167Sexy and romantic all in one. Did you know that the train can be taken off, and transformed into a fabulous party dress? So, when the reception gets started, you can change into a fun dress and dance the night away!
IMG_4177Coppers, pinks, and peaches. What a fabulous combo for a sweet and romantic style wedding. (Megan Ondercin Event Design)
IMG_4163Gorgeous Cake (Christopher Garrens Cakes)
Look at the details on this cake, I love it!
Stopped off by the (Happy Photos) booth to see my friend, owner and photographer, Xuong. He is an incredible photographer!
Thank you Unveiled, for an incredible wedding inspired experience.  I love weddings, and I love what I get to do everyday!
Stay tuned for more from some of these amazing wedding vendors right here on Bridal Hot List.

Three Arch Bay Laguna Beach Wedding from Table7 Events

If you have noticed, we at BHL are in love with beach weddings. They have a special spot in our wedding-loving hearts. We simply can’t get over all the beauty and gorgeous details of Southern California beaches. We can’t get enough of it. The Southern California sandy beaches with it’s lovely backdrop of blue skies, and stunning ocean views, just puts a smile on our faces each and every time. Then, when you throw in a couple of lovebirds into the mix, it becomes the perfect beach day.  It’s impossible not to fall in love with this beach wedding.  All effortlessly, and beautifully planned by Table7 Events, this beach side wedding has my Southern California beach loving heart full of joy. How can you capture all these fabulous details? Well, Jessica Bodas Photography captures it all just perfectly. Ready to step onto the sandy beaches of a gorgeous wedding?



















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From Table7 Events:

 Nicole and Kolin were married on September 29, 2012 in Laguna Beach, CA.  This was an intimate black-tie, on the beach, affair!  The guests were asked to meet at the Montage where they were picked up by a trolley to take them to the ceremony destination.  The ceremony took place in a private cove with 60 guests at Three Arch Bay (a gated community in Laguna, so the beach is semi-private) and it holds a special place in the groom’s heart because it is also where Kolin grew up playing.  When the guests stepped off the trolly, they were greeted with flip flops and a decent of 128 steps to the sunset setting.  The couple provided a bar service and a violin player while everyone made their way to the ceremony site.  After the ceremony, the guests were offered a foot bath at the top of the steps which included tubs full of water, red rose petals, eucalyptus oil and towels to dry off.  A complete necessity to rinse off sandy feet and slip on the Louboutins.

The trolley whisked everyone back to the Montage to celebrate.  The reception was held at The Studio restaurant at the Montage overlooking the Pacific.  Nicole and Kolin chose to have more of a cocktail reception with a lounge setting which included stations with citrus halibut, risotto bar, and premium bar service.  The couple also offered cigars courtesy of the Cigar Guys.  Family heirlooms and traditions including a photo of each guest at the wedding, an heirloom bowl filled with Jelly Bellies (Kolin’s mom always has them out at home), apple pies were shipped in from Julian, and Nicole also made homemade granola for guest take aways.  At 10:00 pm, the entire wedding moved to the hotel’s piano bar where they continued the celebration.


Ceremony:  Three Arch Bay, Laguna Beach

Reception: Montage Laguna Beach

Hair: Salon Rouge

Make-Up: Carolina Acuna

Rental Company: Persiano Events

Florist: Bella-Blooms

Videographer:  Element Wedding Films

Reception Musician:  Michael Keeth

Ceremony Musician: Krissy Staykova

Officiant: Father Earl Gibson

Transportation: Laguna Beach Trolley

Cigars:  Cigar Guys


A Few Great Engagement Photoshoot Locations in Southern California

If you happen to live in Southern California, there’s no shortage of wonderful places to take your engagement photographs. Typically, couples take advantage of the gorgeous beaches because of the plentiful space and options available. There’s no shortage of beaches in California, meaning there’s no shortage of great shooting locations either. However, that doesn’t mean beaches are the only place to get your engagement photographs done. Let’s take a look at a few locations, some beaches and some not, to give you some ideas if you plan to have your engagement photos done in Southern California.

Laguna Beach, CA

If you’ve never been to Laguna Beach, you’ll want to make it one of your destinations if you are visiting from out of town. It’s a tourist location to be sure but one that even locals in Orange County enjoy visiting thanks to the great beach, plentiful restaurants and overall small beach city charm Laguna Beach is known for. There are literally dozens of great spots to take photographs so if you’re looking for a very versatile beach location where you can go high (cliffs) and low (beach shore) then Laguna Beach might be the place you want to do your shoot. The good news too is that couples can travel to Laguna Beach in the early morning (think 6am) just after sunrise and find ample parking and empty beaches, not to mention some of the best time a photographer could hope for when it comes to lighting.

Union Station, Los Angeles

Union Station, Los Angeles

Union Station, Los Angeles

Union Station is a historical landmark that originally opened up in May of 1939. This rail station is often referred to as the last of the great railway stations to be built in the United States and was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places back in 1980. It’s a very popular spot to have photographs done because of the wonderful architectural design and retro motif. If couples take some time to research this spot, they’ll probably think how familiar the interior of Union Station looks. The reason for that is because dozens of movies have been filmed inside! So if the beach thing isn’t your scene, this is definitely a spot you’ll want to check out that is a historic landmark sure to make for a wonderful setting for engagement photos.


Hey, why not? If Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth and the future bride and groom are both huge Disney fans, Disneyland is absolutely made for a photoshoot. The popular theme park brings together more than a half-dozen different eras (including the future) and settings making it the most diverse photo-shoot setting you could possibly ask for, short of EPCOT park in Orlando, Florida. The staff love to accomodate photographers and there’s literally 20+ historic scenic spots to take photographs. Plus, where else on Earth could you take engagement photos with Mickey Mouse, Princess Aurora and Darth Vader on the same day?

La Jolla, CA

If you are heading to or living in San Diego, La Jolla is a city in the southwest corner of the county that is world reknown for its ritzy lifestyle and breathtaking beaches. There’s a ton of great eating spots (think the 4-star variety) and this is less small beach town and more rich beach resort. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that La Jolla Shores has some of the prettiest spots in Southern California to take pictures from, so if you’ll be heading to San Diego, this might be the spot for you.