How to Plan Your Wedding with less Stress

How to Plan Your Wedding with less Stress

A tool with you that will CHANGE your life when planning your wedding! As a bride once myself, I know how overwhelming the whole process can be. You don't know where to even begin...when do we start looking at venues? How do we determine a budget? Who should we invite? We could probably chat all day with a list of questions, right?

Guest post: Cerritos Florist & Love Anne Joy

Guest post: Cerritos Florist & Love Anne Joy

Engagement season is in full swing, and with the release of the Pantone color of the year, Greenery, plus the abundance of floral inspiration on the Internet and Pinterest, picking floral design for your wedding can be a bit overwhelming. Do you go traditional, keep up with the all greenery trend, stick to one color palette, or mix it up? There are so many options and we hope that these tips will help you navigate this floral design world a bit.

Top 10 Orange County Wedding Venues

Top 10 Orange County Wedding Venues

As a wedding photographer here in Orange County, I've had so many wonderful opportunities to photograph some of the most beautiful weddings here in southern California.

I've narrowed down a list of my top ten personal favorite wedding venues. There are some sophisticated and elegant or rustic and modern. Let's get started!

Monarch Beach

Website | Phone: 949-234-3900

Monarch Beach (formerly St. Regis Monarch Beach) in Dana Point is one of my all time favorite Orange County wedding venues. This beautiful resort tucked away off Pacific Coast Highway has amazing ocean views, a golf course, restaurants and so much more. There are several ceremony location options that make it the perfect place to get married in southern California.  The resort is also AAA Five Diamond and Premier Resort Gold Medal winners.


My favorite part is this dramatic room. The hand painted ceiling, the staircase and that floor for obvious reasons!


The first kiss as husband and wife overlooking the blue waters in Dana Point!


Club 19 is the perfect setting for an outdoor intimate reception. A terrace wrapped with flowers overlooking the golf course and ocean views. 

Event Design & Coordination: Pure Lavish Events | Photography: Ambre Williams  | Florals: Florals by Jenny | Linens: Luxe Linen | Rentals: Chiavairi Chair Rentals


Franciscan Gardens

Website | Phone: 949-248-1586

In the historic downtown San Juan Capistrano, a blossoming garden is tucked away behind wooden gates. It's an enchanting Spanish garden that has old world charm in an outdoor courtyard. 


The Ebell Long Beach

Website | Phone: 562-436-4014

This gorgeous historic building is a hidden gem in Long Beach, one of my favorite wedding venues in southern California. It has beautiful architecture, tiled floors, chandeliers and skylights that take your breath away right when you walk through the doors. 

The Ebell Long Beach Wedding Photographer

The large rooms can accommodate all your guests for the reception. Look at the gorgeous orb chandilers!

Event Planning & Design: Megan Dileen Events | Photography: Ambre Williams Photography | Floral Design: Bellatula | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen | Rentals: Baker Party Rentals | Cake: RooneyGirl Bakeshop 


Wilson Creek Winery

Website | Phone: 951-699-9463

Tucked away in the heart of the Southern California wine country, hides this breathtaking vineyard. With it's rollings hills and tuscan inspired grounds, it's no wonder why Wilson Creek Winery is a top California wedding venue. 


The 1912

Website | Phone: 800-717-1545  

With upscale flair and vintage charm, it’s no wonder why this downtown Santa Ana building is a top new wedding venue in Orange County. The exposed ceiling, modern chandeliers, tile backdrop, large windows and bridal suite are just a few of my favorites!


The tile geometric backdrop can be for the ceremony backdrop and switched over for the reception while guests enjoy the private bar during cocktail hour. 


There are so many photo opportunities in walking distance of the 1912 wedding venue. It adds to the urban vibe that couples love about the venue.

Photography: Ambre Williams Photography | Design + Coordination: Inconceivable Events | Desserts: Rooney Girl Bakeshop | Cookies: April's Sweet Creations | Bride's Attire: Mon Amie Bridal Salon | Groom's Tux: Friar Tux | Flowers: Love Anne Joy Design and Events | Furniture Rentals: Party Pieces by Perry | Dishware Rentals: Cherished Rentals | Chair + Linen Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Stationary + Calligraphy: The Paper Mint Press | Hair + Make-up: Chelsea of Fuse Hair and Beauty | Jewelry: Estylo Jewelry


The Retro Ranch

Website | Phone: 323-893-3412

This private 10 acre estate is a hidden piece of paradise in Temecula Wine Country. There’s a hillside ceremony spot, red barn, pool deck, modern bridal suite, tree swing and more. I love these views from this ranch and the open space for an outdoor wedding.


The ceremony is underneath the pergola which you can decorate to your style and vision against the trees. 

Retro Ranch Wedding Photographer

Guests can enjoy the views of Temecula while dining for the reception and end the night dancing under the stars.

Retro Ranch Wedding Photography

This modern and rustic bar is inside the home with the pool right outside. There's also a bridal suite for the girls to get ready and a man cave where the guys can get ready, too. You can even start your honeymoon by staying the night at the house...

Photography: Ambre Williams Photography | Coordinators & Stylists: Pure Lavish Events | Rentals: Archive | Flowers: Doily Design Haus | Headpieces: What A Betty | Cakes: Sweet Layers Cakes | Fashion: Mon Amie | Paper Goods: Posh Paper | Custom Sign: Art By Kelly | Beauty: Elisa K. Wilson | Groom: Friar Tux


Oak Creek

Website | Phone: 949-653-5300

Oak Creek is a secluded and serene golf club that's tucked away in Irvine. It's Spanish architecture and stone terraces against the lush greens make it one of the top wedding venues in California.  


Photography: Ambre Williams Photography | Wedding Planner & Event Coordinator: At Your Door Events, Sara Holland | Venue: Los Verdes Golf Course | Videography: Vnext Media | Florist: Flower Allie | Cake: Great Dane Bakery | Paper Goods: Paper Crew | Entertainment: Freelance Event Sound | Photo Booth: Pixel Photo Booth | Officiant: Pastor Danny Moon | Hair & Makeup: Fuse Hair & Beauty | Dove Release: White Dove Release
Transportation: United Royal Coach | Dress: Mon Ami Bridal | Shoes: Benjamin Adams | Jewelry: Adorn


Wedgewood Champions Club Retreat 

Website | Phone: 866-966-3009

This beautiful Wedgewood venue overlooks the Temescal Valley in Corona. Couples especially love this venue because it's all inclusive with a lot of vendor options included with the venue. There are plenty of locations on the golf course that make amazing bridal portraits. A perfect venue for an outdoor wedding.

Orange County wedding photographer
orange county wedding photograhy

Bistro strung lights create an intimate and romantic setting to enjoy the rest of the evening.

Photography: Ambre Williams Photography | Venue: The Champions Club at the Wedgewood Retreat | Florist: Floral Sensations | Cake, Paper goods, Photobooth: Venue | Entertainment: JC Entertainment | Officiant: David Cutler | Transportation: KLS Limo | Dress: Maggie Sottero | Bridesmaid Dresses: Vera Wang | Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse


Los Verdes Golf Club

Website | Phone: 310-377-7888

Los Verdes Golf Club is a beautiful wedding venue in Rancho Palos Verdes. The open ballroom with floor to ceiling windows overlooks the green golf course and ocean views. There's a private circular entrance to wrought iron doors that create an experience for guests when they arrive on the wedding day.

Los Verdes Wedding
Los Verdes Wedding Photography
Orange county wedding photographer


Download our FREE month-by-month guide to help you plan a beautiful wedding!

How to Make Your Own Wedding Snapchat Geofilter

How to Make Your Own Wedding Snapchat Geofilter

Have you been to a wedding or event and seen those cool geofilters you can use on Snapchat? My Brides love when I share helpful resources to alleviate any stress with wedding planning. Last year, I hosted a party for the AW Bride Tribe (a community of newly engaged brides.) We made floral crowns, shopped and I showered them with gifts at Happily Ever Etched.

The Knot Magazine

The Knot Magazine

As a bride once myself, I know how overwhelming wedding planning can be. It’s like the second your boyfriend slips that shiny ring on your finger - you’re not only a fiance but now a wedding planner. You are still on cloud nine and can’t stop staring at your hand. By now your friends may be sick of your #ringselfie but who cares, you’re getting married, girl! It’s time to start picking a venue and settle on a date. But how how do you find the perfect venue? Where do you even begin? You probably have a pile of bridal magazines with colorful sticky note pages sitting on your bedroom floor. So now what?

As a luxury boutique wedding photographer, we give our clients not only an experience but serve them in the best ways possible. I’ve always loved the inspiration and articles in The Knot magazine, so it’s why each of my clients receive a copy of the California issue. They’ve included the best wedding vendors throughout California. So when I discovered they were offering a new (and free!) concierge service to help couples find the perfect venue based on their needs, I had to share!!


As an Orange County wedding photographer, I am so lucky to have had my images grace their pages - it’s a true honor!

I’m all about making my couples life easy...and this is a game changer. You take a quiz and get recommendations based on your needs and location. You’ll be introduced to your personal concierge who will be there for you. You can narrow down options, schedule a tour and book your wedding venue. Plus, The Knot insures weddings booked through this service for up to $27,000 at no cost to you. I haven’t used this service myself, but I would recommend anything The Knot launches to all my clients. Go here to go take the quiz!


I hope you found this helpful as you begin your wedding planning journey. Feel free to share this post with your engaged friends!

Guest Post: Megan Dileen Events

Guest Post: Megan Dileen Events

You’re engaged and wedding planning is in full swing — hooray!  Your Pinterest feed is a constant source of inspiration, and you can’t help but pin, pin, pin as you scroll through the stunning photos.  A wedding dress framed by the perfect blush wall, a carefully styled invitation suite, a bride and her bridesmaids giggling as they fluff each layer of tulle.  With a little careful planning and my six tips, your getting ready photos will be just as Pinteresting!