With a last minute venue switch 2 weeks before the wedding, Kira and Erick weren’t sure what their California wedding day would look or be like, but with the guidance and quick work of their planner, Michelle Garibay Events, and their accommodating vendor team, their wedding day was more magical than they could have imagined.
With their new venue, Park Hyatt Aviara, secured, they created a stunning day with a simple and neutral color palette that allowed for intentional details to really shine. The floral design by Soiree Floral Design absolutely stole the show, starting with the ceremony style. As Kira walked down the aisle towards Erick, she was greeted with an incredible entrance and altar design that made for a beautiful visual representation of the moments they shared as they said their “I Dos.”
We love that they kept their reception style fairly simple and classic, with touches of coastal elegance as a nod to their California location, and their decision to make a few splurge decisions in their rental decor seriously paid off.
You are going to love every special moment that was so beautifully captured by paige nelson photography, and you’re sure to be as surprised as we were that they ran into bumps in their planning in those final few weeks.
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding.
We just wanted it to be clean and classic like our normal style with lots of natural florals and some special touches. We didn’t want it to be super trendy or dated in the future when looking back at pictures. Our florist really made our vision come to life. We wanted it to be elegant and modern, but laid back and a little bit coastal. We also wanted it to be in a Carlsbad because it’s our favorite area of San Diego and I grew up spending lots of time at the beach there. Even our rehearsal dinner was at the restaurant we go to every time we go to the beach so it has lots of fun memories with our family and friends.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
Our biggest splurge was the chairs for our guests. Since the theme was very clean and classic I wanted to make a statement in an area that wouldn’t be different and unique. We also LOVED our aisle and arch. They were more beautiful than I ever imagined and it was so emotional to see the ceremony turn out so well after our dramatic venue change 2 weeks before our wedding.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
After the first look my maid of honor and I got lost in the tunnels below the hotel. Neither of us had phones and guests were literally everywhere so we ended up being really late to the staging area…
We went with our photographer to take pictures during the cocktail hour that required a hike through a forest. The pictures were totally worth it but when we got back to the car my dress was covered in stickers and my feet were so dirty from hiking barefoot through trails that I never put my shoes on the rest of the night.
My favorite part of the whole event was our ceremony, it was so personal since both Erick and I are so close to my step dad, Greg. I thought I would be nervous but we were so calm and we had so much FUN pledging our love to each other with all our favorite people there.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
I loved my bouquet, it was so huge and heavy and we tied both my grandmothers wedding rings and a charm with “All You Need Is Love” engraved to represent my dad since he loved The Beatles.
We walked down the aisle to Jack Johnson “better together” to honor my mom and stepdads marriage since that is the song my mom walked down to at their wedding.
What did you do for favors?
We skipped favors and instead donated to the Human Rights Campaign to help advance marriage equality. Love is Love!
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
Our coordinator, Tiana, and Claire at the venue were amazing. I have no idea what they did but I rarely saw them so I know we owe it all to them. Since everything was so last minute, I think it’s a miracle it even happened, so they have to be extremely talented people to pull that off.
We are also thrilled to share a snippet of their sweet day that You + Me Films captured!
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Since we had a really bad experience with our original venue (although very reputable) and had to change venues 2 weeks before, I would say go with your gut if something feels off. Also- don’t stay with your venue if they say anything about construction… even if it is 9 months after you book with them and they promise it will be done. Because it won’t.
We also only hired vendors that we LOVED spending time with and I think that made it feel like they were guests too and like we were hanging out with friends. We had so much fun with Tiana, our coordinator, and our photographers and videographers the whole day. We were so lucky and now consider them all to be friends.
Don’t forget lipstick/ lipgloss.
Have an afterparty or a 2nd location lined up after the event- that was so much fun and really the best time we got to spend celebrating and letting our hair down with our friends.
Trust your coordinator and photographer to do their jobs. They are the professionals and they were right about everything. Only hire people you trust because then you will be able to relax and enjoy the day.
So many great words for future couples. Regardless of the situation, making the most of it, and allowing yourself to live in that moment will benefit you greatly!
VENDORS WHO MADE IT ALL HAPPEN…
Photography: paige nelson photography // Venue: Park Hyatt Aviara // Event Planning: Michelle Garibay Events – Tiana Loyd // Floral: Soiree Floral Design // Stationery: Minted // Videography: You + Me Films // Wedding Cake: Little Hunnys Cakery // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals // Makeup: So Cal Hair and Make Up // DJ: Elite British DJ // Photo Booth: Pixster Photo Booth // Wedding Dress + Veil: BHLDN // Groom’s Attire: Vera Wang // Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way