All Posts in Cause We Can Events

July 20, 2020 - 132 comments

Wedding Planning During COVID – A Simple Guide to COVID Weddings

It's tricky to navigate through a pandemic, let alone plan a COVID wedding so we are bringing you a simple guide to see if your wedding is really going to happen in 2020. Seriously, this is an incredibly tough year. Our mindset was originally, let's take the week by week and see what happens. Now here we are in July 2020 and I think we can safely say, it's going to take some time to get back to "normal." Are you still wondering if you should have your wedding? Keep reading for some thoughts and information that may be helpful.

COVID Weddings - Can we still have weddings in 2020

Photos: Evangeline Lane

Corona Virus Regulations - State by State

Simply put, the rules vary state by state for what is allowed. Here in Maine, we cannot have gatherings over 50 for the foreseeable future. It's also quite tricky to navigate what each state has set in place. For instance, I google "wedding rules in California covid" and am getting a bunch of hits but no quick answer. How can you navigate this? If you don't have a planner, reach out to your venue and other vendors. They should be keeping up with the ever evolving mandates. Be sure to also check your local government's website for up to date and accurate information. It's important to stay informed!

Custom Meshika Hats for a wedding in Nashville, TN | Destination wedding for adventurous couple | Cause We Can Events

Bride and groom in matching boho hats. Bride in pantsuit holding wild bouquet with deep reds and king protea | Nashville elopement at Arrington Vineyards by Cause We Can Events

Hipster Nashville Elopement at Arrington Vineyards | Cause We Can Events

Photos: Cody and Allison Photography

What's Your Level of Comfort?

If you're on the fence if you should move forward with your COVID wedding, you're going to want to think it through. I suggest having a conversation amongst your significant other and some family/friends. Survey how they are feeling about going out? Traveling? Attending a larger gathering? Some questions to think through:

  1. How many guests need to get on a plane?
  2. Where you plan on getting married, have they had an increase in cases? Or have they been hit pretty hard with cases?
  3. Have some/most of my friends and family lost jobs due to this? (i.e. spending money attending a wedding may not be priority)
  4. Are any of my 'must have' guests unable to attend due to being more susceptible?
  5. Lastly, how do you really feel?

Small beach elopement in Laguna Beach California with lanterns and boho rug

Skyping in the bride and groom's family on a phone during a surprise elopement on the beach in Laguna Beach California

Photos: Lauren Mihae

Getting Married in the Time of Covid

If you were to ask my honest opinion, I don't think it makes sense to spend top dollar for an experience that just won't be the same. HOWEVER, there are ways to still have a COVID wedding and really enjoy it! If you're okay with the idea of having an intimate celebration then 2020 could still be your year of marriage. Want to still have your big celebration? Then I suggest you wait and reschedule.

Photo: Katelyn Mallett

So, can we have weddings in 2020?

Yes, weddings will still happen in 2020 but be prepared for them to look and feel different. We love a good intimate wedding and can't wait to see what comes out of this year! It's a weird and incredibly disheartening time, our team is here to answer questions and be a part of the conversation. We're thinking our industry will come up with some creative ways to turn a not so fun time into something positive. If you're looking for more ways to still have your wedding celebration, check out Maine Elopement Collective and our Wedding services page. We're here to help get you through a pandemic wedding season.

Need more helpful wedding tips? Read our blog on "Is it ok to leave a tip jar at the bar" next.

July 6, 2020 - 60 comments

Intimate Wedding in Montreal with Geode Cake

So you're having an intimate wedding in Montreal? Lucky you! A while back I had the pleasure of doing a styled shoot with some talented wedding vendors in my hometown of Montreal, Quebec. The shoot was picked up and featured on The Perfect Palette but I wanted to post some of the photos here and hope they give you some ideas for your upcoming intimate wedding or elopement! I'm especially excited for you to see the geode cake!

indigo and white invitation suite

The Ceremony

Vendors and our adorable bohemian couple came together at a cute (and very Quebecois) restaurant called Les Fillettes located in the heart of Montreal. The patio is absolutely perfect for a small ceremony up to 25 guests. I would recommend also serving a nice glass of champagne for everyone to enjoy while you say your "I Dos".

copper arch ceremony scroll on brick patio in Montreal

Let's talk about this ceremony backdrop for a hot second. Joy from Imagine Joy handmade this incredible wedding ceremony scroll which is basically a giant script with the couple's vows and love poems on it. Seriously stunning! What a great way to personalize a ceremony. I would also encourage couples to keep this and somehow incorporate it into their home design after the wedding.

ceremony backdrop with handwritten vows and poems

white lanterns and antlers with fern by ceremony arch

The Table Top Design

We were really feeling inspired by tie dye for this wedding design. Believe it or not, I tie dyed these napkins myself! It was surprisingly easier than I thought. Maybe I can do a tutorial on it someday. Anyway, We wanted to bring in some woodsy elements like the wooden plates and pieces of ferns to decorate each place setting. I really like how it turned out. It has a really cozy yet boho vibe to it, don't you think?

The Dress & Suit

We wanted our bride and groom to look boho but not hobo! Our bride was wearing a gorgeous boho wedding gown with a front slip. We also added a fun hair piece and a hand chain to spice things up. Our handsome groom was in a dark navy suit and white shirt. We skipped the tie to make him feel more casual but added a spiky blue boutonniere for a little pizzaz.

The Geode Cake

No wedding is complete without a little sugar. This couple had one of the coolest geode cakes I've ever seen! This indigo and gold crystal cake has me drooling! At the same time, it's almost too pretty to touch. We topped it off with a "Cheers" cake topper and continued the celebration.

indigo and gold geode cake

sugar crystals inside a geode cake

Hope this provided you with some fun boho inspiration for your own wedding!

Want more wedding inspiration? Check out this blog post next!


Photography: Samantha Roy Photography // Event Design: 'Cause We Can Events // Floral Design & Venue: Les Petites Excuses // Rentals: La Mariée Bohème // Calligraphy: Imagine Joy // Jewelry: It's Well Dunn // Hair: Salon Sweet William // Makeup: Miss Nelly Makeup / M·A·C // Bridal Salon: Ma Chérie Bleue Bridal


June 17, 2020 - 8 comments

Modern Farmhouse Nashville Wedding Venue: 14Tenn

Welcome to 14Tenn, a super rad modern warehouse-style wedding venue nestled in the heart of Nashville. I initially found this non-traditional wedding venue on Instagram and asked my friend and talented wedding photographer, Mallory if she would join me on a site tour! 14Tenn has the most incredible high ceilings and a TON of natural light that will make any wedding photographer's mouth drop. Ready to take a tour? Let's go!

14tenn, a non-traditional warehouse wedding venue in Nashville

The venue is one large open space with an attached wrap-around patio that can open up for cocktail hour. When you first walk through the doors to the building your eyes will immediately want to look up at the tall ceilings, bright skylights and beautiful chandelier. You know what else is cool? When you rent this wedding venue, you get it for 24 hours!

Getting Ready Room

I was excited to find out that this wedding venue had a getting ready room! You can either come to your venue ready or you can have your crew meet you here for hair and makeup. Bring so champagne to get the day started right!
Modern farmhouse room at 14tenn

Ceremony Spaces

Most ceremonies are held right in front of the white barn doors but I can also picture a more intimate ceremony taking place outside on the patio. 14Tenn also includes these modern metal chairs and beautiful long wood tables for any event booked.

14tenn wedding venue metal chandelier

Cocktail Hour

This wedding venue is full of great surprises! When we walked around the cocktail area, the venue manager, Kaitlynn, informed us that they include an actual bar in all of their wedding and event packages. Not only that but this wedding venue is BYOB-friendly. BONUS! Typically, during cocktail hour you would open the large garage doors so guests can mingle both inside and outside. I would also encourage couples to rent some really cute furniture for the patio!

Grey and white wedding bar at 14Tenn

Dinner and Dancing

No party is complete without some good food and good music! While guests are enjoy cocktail hour and you two newlyweds are doing some romantic photos around the neighborhood, our team jumps in to help move the reception tables into place. You can have them set up as family-style which would be long rows of 4-5 tables or make it into individual tables scattered around the room. Don't forget to leave an opening for the dance floor! Oh and if you want a band, there's lot's of room for that too as long as we rent a stage and proper lighting and sound equipment.

Metal chairs and wooden tables for reception at 14Tenn

Wedding Reception set up at 14Tenn wedding venue in Nashville

Kitchen & Parking

While this might not be terribly exciting for couples, it makes wedding vendors giddy with joy! Having a kitchen on-site at a wedding venue is a DREAM. Add to that unlimited parking and this wedding planner is in wedding venue heaven! Show this to your caterer and I promise it will put a smile on their face.

Parking lot at wedding venue 14tenn

Prep kitchen at Nashville wedding venue 14tenn

Prep kitchen at Nashville wedding venue 14tenn

Recap & Video

There you have it! One of the coolest and non-traditional wedding venues in Nashville. Here's a recap of all the incredible things you get in your wedding package there:

  • 24-hour rental (10am-10am) 
  • Market Lighting
  • 300 person seated capacity
  • 200 metal tolix chairs and 20 wooden farm tables
  • Client ready room 
  • Catering prep kitchenette  
  • Supplemental tables (cocktail, banquet, etc.)
  • Client Concierge
  • Beverage Concierge
  • Hangable Rafters
  • Wrap around patio
  • Nearby parking 
  • Vendor flexibility, including BYOB!
  • Walk-Through Wednesdays
  • ALL taxes and service charges (NO HIDDEN FEES)

But wait! We actually did a video tour while we were there too. Check it out and feel free to share it with your vendors who might find it helpful.

Special thank you to Mallory for all the photos and Kaitlynn for giving us a fun tour of this incredible Nashville Wedding Venue! Have questions? You can email me or email Kaitlynn directly about venue availability.

Happy venue hunting!

March 5, 2020 - 7 comments

How Hiring a Virtual Assistant Changed My Wedding Business

Last year we took the leap to finally hire a Virtual Assistant for our wedding planning company. We’ve had assistants in the past but never one dedicated to working on all the behind-the-scenes and making sure things were running smoothly from an admin position. I always get tons of questions about hiring a VA, what it’s like, and how I found my team; so we decided to dedicate an entire blog post to it!

girl typing on white laptop with notebook

Why did you hire a Virtual Assistant?

I hired not only a Virtual Assistant but a whole Online Business Management team because I was noticing that I was spending too much time working IN my business rather than ON my business. My role as a CEO of a wedding planning company is to push the business forward and think of ways to keep it growing. I need to focus on marketing strategies, getting new business, keeping the brand fresh and outsourcing certain tasks when needed. This is where my Virtual Assistant team came in.

Where did you find your Virtual Assistant?

I found my Online Business Manager (a high level Virtual Assistant that is more like a COO), Tamara and her team through the recommendation of a fellow wedding planner. What I loved about Tamara is that they knew the wedding industry but also knew a lot about online businesses.

At the time, I had just started my 2nd business which is a Pinterest Marketing company where I help wedding pros attract and book their ideal clients on Pinterest. I knew I needed a lot of help getting my processes in order there too!

Before officially hiring Tamara and her team, I did interview a few other Online Business Managers. I really enjoyed all of them quite frankly but the knew Tamara was the one who was going to take my businesses to the next level.

What Does your VA do for you & your business?

Tamara and her team do everything under the sun! For my wedding business, we have been going through creating or updating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), automating questionnaires and emails to client to help make the booking process stress-free.

They've also help transcribe some of my YouTube videos into blog posts, set up an affiliate/marketing calendar, create email funnels to help sell some digital product and so much more.

If there's something you would like your virtual assistant to take on you should ask if they are familiar with that task ahead of time or even purchase a training for them once hired.

What has been the most beneficial part of hiring a Virtual Assistant?

Not only do I have more free time to enjoy with my friends and family but my time is also put to better use. I don’t have to spend hours working on scheduling, instead I can focus on higher level tasks that will move the company forward. 

I've been able to juggle two businesses, accept more clients and hire more planners because our business is running like a well-oiled machine!

What has been the hardest part of having a Virtual assistant? 

Like any new employee there’s a learning curve. The hardest part for me was getting all of my processes that are normally just in my brain onto paper or capture it in a video. We don’t realize how many little processes we have in our business. From onboarding new clients to sending emails, it’s important to record them so that your whole team can follow the same processes and save time!

What advice do you have for people thinking about hiring a Virtual Assistant?:

Rip the bandaid and do it! I remember being worried about having to commit to paying someone every month but, let me tell you, it’s been well worth it. Not only that but you can do as little as 5 hours per week which is what I started with and increased from there. It also made me want to work hard in my business because I knew I had to pay someone else other than myself every month.

There you have it! Do you have any other questions about making the move to adding a Virtual Assistant to your team? Feel free to reach out to Tamara, I can't recommend her and her team enough!

January 23, 2020 - 10 comments

Alternative Wedding with Tattoos, Arcade Games and Smoke Bombs!

If this wedding doesn't make you want to party, then I don't know what will. They had everything you need for a killer wedding party: good food, good drinks and good music. However, what really made their reception go from good to EPIC was the surprise entertainment for guests at the end. Check it out!

Tattooed bride in sweetheart ball gown at Smoky Hollow Studios. Warehouse wedding with arcade games, smoke bombs and moody florals

Getting Ready

The bride and her tribe got ready in the cute loft area of their wedding venue, Smoky Hollow Studios. The bride did her own makeup because, listen, when you know how to do good makeup you just do it yourself amiright?! Can we talk about those leather jackets tho? Holy smokes! The bride printed the pattern and painted them herself.

Painted leather jackets for bride and bridesmaids at wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios



Tattooed bride getting into dress in industrial wedding venue in southern california. Smoky Hollow studios is a great industrial warehouse that serves as a photography studio and a venue for weddings and events

Bride in front of window with tattoos and texture wedding gown

Bride and bridesmaids in leather jackets and moody bouquet at industrial warehouse venue Smoky Hollow Studios

The guys don't require quite as much "getting ready time" so we took them out for a little photoshoot after they got their suits on. You might be thinking "wow these guys look like they could be in a band together". Spoiler alert: they are! P.S Tyler is a fellow Canadian so I really appreciated his socks.

Groom in dark red suit getting tie on

Canadian flag socks for a Canadian groom at Smoky Hollow Studios

Groom and groomsmen in dark suits at Smoky Hollow Studio. Industrial warehouse wedding venue in Los Angeles

Groomsmen in black shirts and groom in dark red brown suit posing in front of plant wall at Smoky Hollow Studios

Groom and his groomsmen at Smoky Hollow Studios

The Ceremony

The walk down the aisle was both dramatic and romantic. I love that Katy chose a really glam ballgown with a sweetheart neckline to show off her tattoos. Her moody bouquet with deep tones paired so well with the edginess of the venue too.

Metal arch with dark florals and deep reds against brick wall at Smoky Hollow Studios

Bride with ballgown and tattoos walks down the aisle at industrial wedding venue Smoky Hollow Studios

Groom in dark red brown suit waiting for his bride at the altar at Smoky Hollow Studios

Cool industrial wedding against a brick wall at Smoky Hollow Studios. Bride and groom with tattoos and moody florals.



The Details

When designing this wedding I knew the couple wanted to incorporate deep red tones, greenery and use the industrial vibe of the venue to their advantage. We opted for black dinner plates, deep red napkins and edgy glassware on long wooden farm tables.

Black plate and gold charger with dark red knotted napkin. Green garland with dark red flowers is perfect for an industrial wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios

Black plate and gold charger with dark red knotted napkin. Green garland with dark red flowers is perfect for an industrial wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios

Chalkboard wall with seating chart and hanging edison bulbs at Smoky Hollow Studios

Love sign with lights

Surprise Entertainment

Ok so I know you're really wondering "what was the surprise entertainment"?? Well folks, here you go! Feast your eyes on what made this wedding the MOST fun: ARCADE GAMES! They had everything from skee ball to Jurassic Park and even Mortal Combat!

Arcade games at wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios

Chalk wall top score for arcade games at wedding

Basketball arcade game at wedding

Cake cutting for tattoo bride and groom at Smoky Hollow Studios

Cake cutting for tattoo bride and groom at Smoky Hollow Studios

Epic guests dance moves at wedding

The Grand Exit

This wedding was all about having an epic time and after tearing up the dance floor, playing arcade games, eating cake and desserts, it was time to say good bye. Don't worry, the bride and groom went out with a BANG...literally!

Sparkler grand exit at Smoky Hollow Studios

Sparkler grand exit at Smoky Hollow Studios

Bride and groom kiss at Sparkler grand exit at Smoky Hollow Studios

The end.

Photographer Matt and Jess Photography // Planner 'Cause We Can Events // Catering TGIS // Florals Rosewater Florals // Venue Smoky Hollow Studios // Desserts Susie Cakes // DJ DJ Will Gill // Videography Silver and Soul Weddings // Rentals La Pinata Rentals // Photobooth Hollywood Photobooth // Invitations Think Make Design // Chalk Art Fiber and Dye // Arcade Games Fun Time Arcades

August 19, 2019 - 10 comments

My Secret To Getting on Preferred Vendor Lists

If you're new to the wedding and event industry, you may have heard the words Preferred Vendor List floating around. It's basically the holy grail of client inquiries for wedding professionals. What I mean by that is that a Preferred List is something a venue or wedding planner has on hand that has all his/her favorite vendors. These lists are handed to potential clients during site tours and meetings and are an amazing and easy way to get more inquiries. But, getting on the list is hard.

Event Planner, Gabby Pinkerton of Cause We Can Events with branded mug and logo on wooden sign. Succulent garden with concrete walls for lifestyle shoot in Long Beach, CA

What NOT to do

Getting on the list is hard, you guys. Vendors work really hard to build these relationships and it takes time. That being said, I'll still share with you my little secret on how to get on that list but first, here's what NOT to do.

You never want to just send a generic cold email out asking to be on a list. Nope. Don't do it. It's so lame and so frustrating. Venues and wedding planners want to have a preferred list filled with vendors they trust, that offer high quality service or product and who they really vibe with. That last one is super important believe it or not. Vendors who are on preferred lists come back to that venue over and over again and if the personalities don't match, it makes for a really tough working relationship.

I'm not saying you CAN'T send an email but if you do, make is personal. Try to poke around and learn the names of the Events Team. Perhaps, take a look at the venue's Instagram account and see if there's something new happening that you can mention in your email. Ask genuine questions about them and their venue. Be a human, not a robot ok?

Getting on the List

It's not rocket science but here's my little secret to getting on preferred lists. I'm not saying it will always work BUT it will give you an advantage. Ready?

Schedule a Site Tour.

That's right. You heard me. Pick up your phone, call the venue and schedule an in-person tour. First of all, you can't get on a preferred list if you've never seen the place. This will allow you to get familiar and be able to educate your clients on offer professional recommendations whether it be for a good First Look photography spot or the best place to have place your speakers for the ultimate dance party.

Second, you get to face-to-face time with the venue manager and events team. This is where you can let your personality SHINE! Get to know the faces behind the venue, ask about them and why they love working there. Ask about who their favorite vendors are and why. Ask them what they wish vendors did or didn't do. Ask all the questions!

Now the third thing is a little bonus that REALLY sets you apart in my opinion.

Bring a photographer with you and blog about your tour. 

You guys, put yourself in a venue's shoes for a minute. You get a call from a DJ let's say who wants to come in for a site tour. She mentions that she would like to bring a photographer with her so that she can:

  1. Blog about the venue and then add these to Pinterest where the content will continue to be shared forever and ever and ever.
  2. Post on her social media accounts and therefore share with her community of potential clients as well as fellow wedding professionals.
  3. AND share these beautiful photos with the VENUE so that they can share on their website + social pages!

Who can say no to that?!! Of course, this requires teaming up with a photographer who agrees to do this at no charge to you but they also get to benefit but having their photos on so many platforms.

If you want to dive a little deeper, I made a video all about this topic! Take a look:
I hope this was helpful and I would LOVE for you to connect with us on Instagram or comment on this blog post and tell us if this worked for you. If you have any other helpful tips about How to get on preferred lists please be sure to share as well!

Photos by Lauren Mihae and Feathered Arrow // Venue Hotel Figueroa

April 27, 2019 - 10 comments

Unique Wedding Venue in Ojai, CA

A unique wedding venue in Ojai, CA that has sleeping accommodations onsite

We always talk about a "slow season" with event planning but if we are being honest, we are never that slow. We're always working on the future or setting up meetings to scope out new venues. That's where this post about Caravan Outpost comes in! Jessica lives in Ventura, CA and made it her mission to book some weddings local to her. With that, she linked up with Sarah Ellefson Photography to galavant around town to check out some venues.

This blog contains affiliate links. If you click one and make a purchase, I will receive a small commision at no additional cost to you.

Rustic wedding decor with succulents on a metal bar Tropical wedding venue in Ojai with a lots of decor elements


We love that as soon as you step foot on the property you immediately forget where you are in the world. You're quickly transported to what feels like a tropical getaway. This translates to LESS IS MORE! You wouldn't need to bring in a ton of decor to make this space feel complete as Caravan Outpost did the job for you. This space also feels extremely intimate and personal. It's as though you're in someone's lush backyard celebrating! All in all, if you're into van camping and eclectic vibes then this would be the perfect Ojai wedding destination for you. Our recommendation: add pops of color with some floral arrangements but keep it tropical & green.


We get a ton of clients wanting their guests to be able to stay onsite for their wedding day. Caravan Outpost has accommodations onsite, you can see them HERE. The total breakdown being 10 Airstreams and 1 tiny house. All of the Airstreams have a well crafted esthetic that feels less like camping and more like glamping. The tiny house would be perfect for the "getting ready" space! This also makes for a fun opportunity for select friends and family to stay onsite with you, making it a fun & long weekend with those special people in your life.

Airstream decor at Caravan Outpost in Ojai Airstream in Ojai, CA that you can stay in


Outside of the backyard glamping & van camping vibe this place has, we love how accommodating the staff was! It was so easy to setup a site tour and when we were there, Kat had a ton a great ideas on how to best use the space but also encourages you to come up with your own ideas! We also love that Caravan Outpost offers some fun and unique rentals onsite. Take a look at the built in bar below! This venue would be the perfect for a guest count of 100 and easily feel like a very intimate celebration! Ojai has a ton to offer as well so if your guests come up for the entire weekend they have lots they can check out such as Tipple & Ramble, shopping at Novella Fox and a ton of hiking options.


The first thing I check out when entering a wedding venue is how the environment affects the light. Caravan Outpost is a photographer's dream in this regard! Tall palm trees provide plenty of open shade for photos throughout the day and the gravel ground reflects lots of clean light. No complaints here! The second aspect I consider is the diversity of backgrounds for photos. At Caravan Outpost, there's so many beautiful spots. Within steps of one another, there's luscious palm fronds, vintage airstreams, and the Topa Topa Mountains in the distance. This will equip couples with amazing options for photos, all within an arm's reach of their guests, minimizing time spent separated from the party (as well as the bar). With options for ambient lighting as the sun goes down, there's not a bad spot for photos in the entire place! The relaxed, jungle vibes make for a great wedding location in Ojai.

DIY table idea with string lighting and greenery A fun bar idea for a wedding in OjaiA unique venue in Ojai California where guests can stay on property

Firepit where guests can lounge during the wedding with colorful Mexican blankets

Wedding guests can play corn hole outside during cocktail hour at Caravan Outpost in Ojai Rent Caravan Outspost beach cruiser bikes to ride around in Ojai

VENUE: Caravan Outpost
PHOTOS: Sarah Ellefson Photography

Venue Touring Tip!

You might be wondering how to take an effective wedding venue tour like we did for this amazing location. Good news! I know when getting ready to start looking for your wedding venue is so exciting but can also be hard to navigate. What’s included? Can we bring in our own vendors? What does a venue coordinator vs a wedding coordinator do? Help!

We want to make this as easy as possible for you so we are sharing our very own Venue Walkthrough Checklist! This checklist is a tool that we use personally anytime we do a venue walkthrough for a client. 

What’s included in the Venue Walkthrough Checklist?

  • 7 pages of MUST-ASK questions for every venue
  • Questions to help you budget properly
  • Pro tips from experienced wedding planners (us!)
  • Questions to help with your timeline
  • And more!

This is a one-stop-shop doc that will get you excited and feeling confident when doing your wedding venue walkthroughs. Ready to get organized? Grab this 7-page Venue Walkthrough Questionnaire for only $19!

November 29, 2018 - No Comments!

Modern Navy and Grey Wedding at The Colony House

He was from LA, and she was from the Bay. Two different lifestyles over 400 miles apart, but the one thing that bonded them through the distance was their love for basketball. It played a huge part in their relationship as they both grew up playing and watching the game, and then playing with/watching each other as they got older! This past summer, we helped celebrate their love with their old teammates, friends, and family at The Colony House in Anaheim and it was nothing short of an amazing night.

Getting ready for an intimate First Look

Janet and Chris got ready at the Marriott in Fullerton and then headed over to The Colony House to take some photos. The Colony House has a really cool upstairs loft area which is where the couple had their First Look. Grab the tissues because it was such a tear-jerking moment!

Handsome groom in dark suit and plaid blue tie getting ready for First Look.

Beautiful modern bride with white floral bouquet posing before wedding at The Colony House in Anaheim.

Bride walking toward groom for First Look at The Colony House.

Bride surprising groom for First Look for modern wedding at The Colony House.

Bride and groom's First Look for modern wedding at The Colony House.

Bride and groom's First Look for modern wedding at The Colony House.

Bride and groom's First Look for modern wedding at The Colony House.

Picture-perfect moments

Some things I absolutely love about this venue are the glass walls and windows, plentiful lighting, and beautiful exterior that made for perfect backdrops. Our photographer was able to capture so many great shots of the couple, bridal party, and family.

Bride and groom taking pre-wedding photos surrounded by nature and orange flowers at The Colony House.

Bride and groom taking pre-wedding photos beside brick wall at The Colony House.

Bride and groom taking pre-wedding photos surrounded by hanging lights at The Colony House.

Bride and groom running away together in photo at The Colony House.

Bride and groom taking pre-wedding photos surrounded by hanging lights at The Colony House.

Groom and groomsmen in navy and grey attire for modern wedding at The Colony House.

Bride and bridesmaids in dark navy dresses with white florals laughing before modern wedding at The Colony House

Bridal party for modern navy and grey wedding at The Colony House in Anaheim

Bride and groom with family at The Colony House.


Meanwhile, our team was working on a few finishing touches for the ceremony and reception. Check out some of the beautiful details of this elegant and modern wedding.

Escort cards hung by clothespins for modern navy and grey wedding at The Colony House.

Rustic wooden welcome table for modern wedding at The Colony House.

Welcome table decor with Minnie bride ears for modern wedding at The Colony House in Anaheim.

Decor for the bride and groom on rustic wooden table for modern wedding at The Colony House

Photo of bride and groom printed on rock surrounded by bride and groom dolls.

Rustic wooden box to put cards and gifts in for modern navy and grey wedding at The Colony House.

1,000 Japanese gold cranes for modern wedding at The Colony House.

Reserved seating for wedding ceremony at The Colony House.

Greenery and hanging lights on outdoor patio of The Colony House for modern navy and grey wedding.

Cornhole with SF Giants bean bags for wedding games.

Cornhole with LA Dodgers bean bags for wedding games.

Escort cards replaced with polaroid photos of guests, hung by mini clothespins and string.

Photo of bride and groom surrounded by white florals for modern navy and grey wedding at The Colony House. Wedding favors for modern navy and grey wedding.


We used the upstairs loft area as the staging area for the bridal party. The loft has a large, clear glass window overseeing the entire downstairs space which gave us the perfect view of the entire ceremony.

Indoor ceremony set-up with grey metal chairs and hanging lights for modern wedding at The Colony House

Modern wedding ceremony lit by hanging lights and natural sunlight at The Colony House.

Bride and groom on stage at The Colony House for modern navy and grey wedding before saying vows.

Bride and groom saying vows with rustic wooden wall background at modern wedding at The Colony House.

Bride and groom kiss after saying vows at modern wedding.

Bride and groom walking down the aisle under twinkling lights for modern navy and grey wedding at The Colony House.

Modern bride holding white floral bouquet and walking down the aisle with groom after saying vows.Right after the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour upstairs and on the patio while we flipped the ceremony space into the reception area. 24 Carrots did an amazing job at preparing all of the tables ahead of time so that the break-down and set-up of the ceremony space was super quick and easy!Friends drinking during wedding cocktail hour at The Colony House.

Cocktail hour in the sunlight on the outdoor patio of The Colony House.

Indoor reception set-up under twinkling lights for modern navy and grey wedding at The Colony House.

Grand entrance + first dance

After cocktail hour we welcomed guests to their seats for dinner as Janet and Chris made their grand entrance. Everything about this wedding brought tears to my eyes, but especially watching their first dance.

Bride and groom's grand entrance under twinkling lights at The Colony House.

Bride and groom's grand entrance for modern wedding at The Colony House.

Romantic black and white photo of bride and groom singing to each other during first dance.

Bride and groom's romantic first dance under twinkling lights at The Colony House in Anaheim.


Following toasts to the bride and groom, dinner was catered by 24 Carrots. This crowd did not need to wait for dinner to end for the party to begin! Guests were singing and dancing to each other from across tables and I could not stop laughing. They were having so much fun, and we were having so much fun watching them.

Friends toasting to bride and groom.

Happy friends hugging and celebrating at The Colony House wedding.

Desserts + Cake

Desserts included donut holes from Café Dulce and an ice cream sammich bar from Chunk-n-Chip set up on the patio. Talk about delish! But first, can we talk about how gorgeous this cake from Torrance Bakery was?

Bride and groom cut beautiful white 3-tier wedding cake with navy and silver details.

Bride and groom taking a bite of their wedding cake while friends applaud and celebrate.

Dessert bar set-up including sprinkled donut holes and cake slices for modern navy and grey wedding at The Colony House.

Ice cream sandwich bar set-up for wedding desserts with rustic wooden decor and navy details.

Party time!

Once the plates were cleared and drinks were flowing, the party continued on the dance floor. I don’t know about you, but I could tell that this was a celebration that everyone would remember forever. Cheers to Janet and Chris!

Bride and friends celebrating and dancing during reception at modern wedding at The Colony House.

Friends celebrating and posing for camera during reception at modern wedding at The Colony House.

Friends celebrating and dancing during reception at modern wedding at The Colony House.

Modern bride and groomsmen celebrating and dancing during reception at The Colony House wedding

Groom and friends celebrating and dancing during reception at modern wedding at The Colony House.

Friends celebrating during reception at modern wedding at The Colony House.

Bride and groom celebrating and dancing together during reception for modern wedding at The Colony House.


Photographer JustinElement Productions // Planner Cause We Can Events // DJ Eric Vispares // Catering 24 Carrots // Cake Torrance Bakery // Desserts Café Dulce + Chunk-n-Chip // Hair & Makeup Kelly Zhang Studio // Florals California Petals


November 8, 2018 - 11 comments

Bohemian Wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios

Kate said she wanted a man that was smart, funny, handsome, and from the South. Lucky for her, she found her dream man! Clem checked all the boxes off on her list, and he lived right here in the South Bay. It was only fitting that they celebrate their love locally with their friends and family, and they could not have picked a more perfect venue: Smoky Hollow Studios.

Getting Ready

Kate and Clem got ready at their home nearby, but arrived at Smoky Hollow Studios a bit earlier to take some pre-ceremony photos with each other and with the bridal party. A couple things I love about this venue is the upstairs loft that we used as the bridal suite, and the fact that the exterior is so beautiful and has so many cool places for photos. Check them out below!

Bohemian bride getting ready for wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios

Bride and bridesmaids toast before wedding ceremony

Bohemian bride and bridesmaids in white and pink dresses at Smoky Hollow Studios

Groom and groomsmen having fun before wedding ceremony

Bridal party for Bohemian wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios

The Ceremony

The ceremony took place on the patio right outside the studio. Guests gathered around on the patio while the couple exchanged vows from inside. From where we stood, this was our view. It was definitely cozy but it made for a very intimate setting.

Bride and groom saying vows at Smoky Hollow Studios

Outdoor wedding ceremony at Smoky Hollow Studios

Couple saying vows under sunlight at Smoky Hollow Studios

From guests’ point of view, the couple actually stood above eye-level because the studio itself is on raised grounds. With the sunlight hitting perfectly and the beautiful interior of the venue in the background, it made it so much easier to ooh and ahh about this special moment—and so hard not to cry!

Outdoor wedding ceremony on patio of Smoky Hollow Studios

bridal party on patio of outdoor wedding ceremony at Smoky Hollow Studios

Bride and groom say I do at Smoky Hollow Studios

Bride and groom kiss after ceremony

Happy parents at wedding ceremony

Bride and groom walking down aisle after ceremony

The Reception

Another thing I love about this venue is that we were able to create the ceremony and reception in one space. So after the ceremony, guests came back inside for the reception. Take a close look at some of the details of this bohemian-themed wedding. All the furniture, tables chairs, bars, couches etc. are included in the venue which is really amazing.

Rustic bohemian theme florals for wedding

Rustic themed sign-in table for bohemian wedding

Card box for bride and groom

Seating arrangements on blackboard for rustic bohemian theme wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios

Place setting for BBQ at wedding on rustic wooden table

Buffet setup on long wooden farm tables for wedding reception

Rustic bohemian theme wedding reception at Smoky Hollow StudiosBride and groom grand entrance at Smoky Hollow Studios

Bohemian bride and groom wedding reception at Smoky Hollow Studios

Rustic wedding reception under twinkling lights at Smoky Hollow Studios

Party time!

After a delicious BBQ dinner from Baby Blues BBQ, it was time to party! I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun just WATCHING everyone have fun! This crowd sang and danced the night away to classics and when I tell you that everyone was on the dance floor, I mean EVERYONE!

Bride and groom dancing at wedding reception

Couple dancing at wedding celebration

Happy friends celebrating at wedding reception

Man doing splits at wedding reception

VIPs Entertainment band performing at wedding reception

Friends celebrating at wedding reception

Friends doing limbo at wedding celebration

Bride celebrating with friends at wedding reception

Man dancing and celebrating at wedding reception

The Cake

This couple decided not to have the big traditional wedding cake. Instead, they went for something smaller, tastier, and easier to eat (and cut!) – good ol’ Sweet Potato Pie! They also had several mini pies as desserts for guests, all from Know Reality Pie.

Bride and groom cutting cake at Smoky Hollow Studios wedding

Bride and groom eat wedding pie

Did you like this bohemian industrial wedding at Smoky Hollow Studios? Check out this Winter wedding at Smoky Hollow next!

P.S Want to get inspired by other couples and ask questions to professional wedding vendors? Join our Adventurous Weddings & Elopements Facebook group!

Wedding vendor team

Photographer Geoff Rivers // Planner Cause We Can Events // Band VIPs Entertainment // Catering Baby Blues BBQ // Bar National Bar Staffing // Videographer Wandering Study Video // Desserts Know Reality Pie // Lettering Blue Poppy Lettering // Hair Dry Bar // Florals J Flowers

May 3, 2018 - 7 comments

Fall Barn Wedding at the Historic Santa Margarita Ranch

If this is what a barn wedding is all about, I'm ready to do many more! When I drove up the long dirt road through these spectacular wheat fields for Kristen and Scott's rehearsal at the Historic Santa Margarita Ranch, I'm pretty sure I shed a few tears of joy. The sun was hitting the golden wheat so perfectly that I knew their wedding photos were going to be incredible. Ready to see this beauty?

Wedding in beautiful wheat fields in California. This beautiful barn wedding was at the Santa Margarita Ranch

Getting Ready on the Ranch

The Historic Santa Margarita Ranch has a beautiful little bridal suite that works great for getting ready and putting finishing touches on hair and makeup.

Beautiful bride with lace dress and sleek up do. Getting ready at Santa Margarita Ranch

Stunning marquise diamond engagement ring with silver wedding band

Bride and bridesmaids in soft lavender grey dresses at rustic barn wedding in San Luis Obispo

Lace detailing around neckline wedding gown. White and green bouquet for barn wedding

It seems it doesn't take the guys as long to get ready so they made the most our of their free time before the ceremony started. There's a really cool vintage school bus that has been remodeled inside and it was the perfect hang out spot for the boys!

Groom and groomsmen funny poses in front of a school bus at Santa Margarita Ranch

Groom's tie, handkerchief and wedding socks details

Groom and groomsmen having fun in vintage school bus before wedding ceremony

An Intimate First Look

As we crept closer to the ceremony start time, we brought the bride and groom together for their First Look. Get the tissues because the groom's reaction had everyone in tears!

Groom waiting for his bride in Santa Margarita

First Look for the Bride and Groom at the Santa Margarita Ranch

Groom wiping away tears after the First Look with his bride-to-be

The Handmade Details

This couple was surrounded by very talented friends and family members. One bridesmaid put together all the florals and another bridesmaid made all of their wooden signage. Pretty amazing! Take a peek at some of the details inside this barn wedding.

Wooden Ceremony Sign, sit where you want

Ceremony set up outside rustic Barn in California. Wooden chuppah with white flowy fabric and greenery

White flowers in glass jar on Shepard hooks down ceremony aisle

The Best Ceremony of all times

I don't think I've laughed and cried like this at a ceremony in a long time. Kristen and Scott wrote their own vows and made them funny, personal and truly representative of each other as a couple. Most of the ceremony photos we have are of people laughing and crying!

Bride walks down the aisle with her father at the Santa Margarita Ranch in California

Ceremony under a large oak tree with wooden chuppah decorated with white fabric and green garland

Bridesmaids in lavender grey lined up at the ceremony

groomsmen laughing when groom reads his funny vows to his bride

Bride and Groom kiss under a wooden chuppah with green garland and soft white fabric

Inside the Reception Barn

The reception space was nothing short of spectacular. When the sun peeked through the old wooden doors, we could see the rays of sunshine spill onto the dinner tables. Pretty poetic, eh? See for yourself!

The Historic Santa Margarita Ranch has the best wedding venue inside the old barn

Wedding Reception inside old historic barn in Santa Margarita California

Round tables and cream linens with white and green flowers set up inside old historic barn for wedding reception

White plates with gold fern on white napkin and cookies as wedding favors


Bride and groom in field of golden when at sunset

Bride and groom under big oak tree in San Luis Obispo wheat field

Wedding in beautiful wheat fields in California. This beautiful barn wedding was at the Santa Margarita Ranch

Back of bride's dress with veil in wheat field

The Cake

The Grand Finale for a lot of weddings is the wedding cake. I've actually noticed that older guests won't leave until after the cake has been cut and they've had a piece to celebrate the newlyweds! Since Kristen and Scott had a small cake for themselves and some family members, the rest of the guests got to enjoy some amazing ice cream from Negranti Ice Cream in the cutest truck ever!

Bride and Groom make their grand entrance into the barn for the reception

First dance under the lights inside old historic barn

Single tier Naked Cake with white flowers and greenery on wooden wine barrel


Bride and groom posing inside Ice Cream truck

The end!

Photographer Jennifer Fujikawa // Planner 'Cause We Can Events // Hair/Makeup Bright Crystal Makeup // DJ Vox DJs // Catering Chef's Table Catering // Rentals All About Events // Bar Cork Mobile Bar // Videographer Avec Lumiere // Cake Just Baked SLO // Desserts Negranti Creamery // Florals by Kristine Cimafranca // Signage by Alysa Nagatani // Shuttles SLO Safe Ride //