Chris And Vanessa wedding ceremony at the the Westgate Hotel Ballroom

Chris And Vanessa wedding ceremony at the the Westgate Hotel Ballroom

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Let me start by talking a bit about the location. You see? Christopher and Vanessa chose The Westgate Hotel -precisely the Versailles Ballroom -for their union. However, the ceremony took place outside of the premises. If you’ve lived enough in San Diego, you must know this place is a jewel lavished with mesmerizing crystal chandeliers and artwork that depicts valuable heritage, tradition, luxury, and elegance. Opening its doors for the first time more than 50 years ago, the event was called a “contribution to San Diego’s steps toward a metropolitan city.” 

Just as fun trivia, let me share that the building (considered ultra-modern back in the 70s) cost $14.5 million. The complex has many amenities, including Roll Royce limousine service back then). It is understandable why it was dubbed “America’s most beautiful hotel.”

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I feel at home when I’m around you.

You know how I’ve been mentioning the elegance and lavishing details about this wedding? Well, let’s add something to this note. Despite the luxurious location, the chandeliers, the roses, the interaction between groom and bride couldn’t be more natural, fluid, and charming. I love to witness that at weddings. There was no façade, no rehearsed movements; Christopher and Vanessa went with the flow, enjoying every single moment of their day, from the most solemn to the “leave-everything-in-the-dance-floor” part. 

For instance, during the cake ceremony, it turns out the cake was hard to cut! Which is not that uncommon. Instead of showing a worried face or stress about such a menial detail, Vanessa and Chris had tons of fun, laughing, and putting their whole bodies into it, until that stubborn first slice came out. 

Isn’t what weddings are supposed to look like? Two people who enjoy each other’s company so much want to share their happiness with their beloved ones. 

Christopher and Vanessa

And we’re on our way to glory.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that no matter what, love always prevails. Through the peaks and valleys of our lives, our existence carries on. And with those thoughts in mind, I wrapped up Christopher and Vanessa’s magnificent wedding. What better way to start fresh this 2022 than being part of such a fun, charming event?

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With that preamble, you can imagine what kind of event was Vanessa and Chris’s wedding. The ceremony -held outside -featured rose petals everywhere, including the aisle where Vanessa walked looking stunning, but most of all, looking like a woman in love. And speaking about love, it was such a cute, fun moment, when Chris (as he was saying his vows) repeated the part of “I promise to love you.” The crowd laughed as the officiant pointed out how much he liked that part.

After the ceremony, Vanessa and Christopher were officially pronounced husband and wife; the crowd moved inside for the reception. 

There, the royalty-vibe continued, not only because the ballroom is stunning itself but also the tasteful decoration that adorned it. The sweetheart table was one of my favorite parts, with lots of white roses, candles, and breathtaking details. 

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Now there’s time for us to spend

Let’s talk music.

The newlyweds chose the song “Pluto Projector” by Rex Orange County for their first dance. In this song, the author confesses his love for his significant other. He also is hopeful these feelings will last forever. The second verse of the song actually talks about marriage because Rex -in his own words -said he imagined himself in wedlock with his partner.

He calls for an encore on this life again. He also does not shy away from admitting his mistakes and failures while admitting that he can be a ‘boy’ in his thoughts at times. The song reaffirms that where there is understanding, compromise, and communication, “forever” is possible. And with such amazing lyrics, Christopher and Vanessa swayed, looking into each other’s eyes. 

The father and daughter’s song was no less emotional. Vanessa and her father danced Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. Carlisle, a contemporary Christian singer and author wrote this song for his daughter. He was looking at some family photos and suddenly realized his daughter Brooke was bound to leave the household in a few years. Bob Carlisle said the lyrics just “poured out” of him, and he immediately recorded the song. The melody and lyrics are not only about fatherhood but reflection and gratitude. Like when we look back and see we’ve done pretty good, despite all odds. It also triggers appreciation for time well spent. 

And if someone spent their time very well, were the guests at the wedding. Because once the lights were dimmed and the hip hop began, the dancefloor became a stage. 

A remarkable way to start my year. Christopher and Vanessa, I wish your journey together be as your wedding day did: filled with laughter, joy, and tons of love.

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Grant And Shyanne wedding at beautiful Sacred Mountain at Julian, California.

Grant And Shyanne wedding at beautiful Sacred Mountain at Julian, California.

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There goes my baby

Shyanne and Grant opted to have their wedding at beautiful Sacred Mountain at Julian. California. The whimsical place provides several spaces for weddings, from the ceremony to the cocktail hour and the reception, celebrations are guaranteed to be beautiful. Romance and nature blend through these 61 acres of untouched land. Sacred Mountain is a preferred spot for elopements, family reunions, retreats, and weddings. 

The place looked fantastic with a great selection of lighting, chairs, tables, and décor. Family and friends arrived at the location, but beforehand the photoshoots happened. Grant and Shyanne decided not to see each other before the ceremony, preserving a little mystery for the big moment. 

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By far, Presley’s most famous song is about love even though in the movie he doesn’t sign it to his love interest, but to his grandmother on her birthday. The movie soundtrack topped the US charts in #1 and stayed there for 20 weeks! Until Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours reached #1. George Weiss -the song’s author -was a military bandleader in WWII; he also wrote other iconic hits such as “What a Wonderful World.”

It was indeed a wonderful day for Grant and Shyanne, as the ceremony ended, and they officially became husband and wife.

Until I’m ready… Crazy Little Thing called Love.


After the ceremony, the reception area was all groomed and ready to receive the guests. The details in cream, light pink, and tropical flowers matched the ambiance and the relaxed vibe of the groom and bride. Dinner was served in a taco buffet -which the guests much appreciated! And every single of them was ready to enjoy and celebrate. Grant and Shyanne decided to skip the sweetheart table and, instead, sit among their loved ones. The whole area felt cozy and comfortable. 

Grant and Shyanne

Once I stepped into the ceremony area, with the magnificent circular arch and the beautiful wooden and green deco, I knew Grant’s and Shyanne’s wedding would be fantastic -I was not wrong.

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This thing called love.

One of my favorite things about this wedding was that the officiant was the father of the groom. How immensely cool is that? Every single word uttered by Dad was said with deep emotion and the highest sense of love. It was a fantastic experience. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The wedding procession walked down the gorgeous aisle, when suddenly! Oh! The family dog walked as well! I am a firm believer that a wedding should be the reflection of a couple’s personality -not following a script designed by a stranger. Grand and Shyanne nailed this part; everything about the wedding said a bit of them as a couple and as two people very much in love. 

Shyanne appeared, looking stunning beyond words, arm, and arm with her father. The song they chose for the grand entrance was “Can’t help falling in love” by Elvis Presley’s King of Rock. This song was included in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii. The funny thing is that no one of the movie producers wanted to include it; Elvis insisted on recording the melody for the motion picture. Since then, the song has been featured in many movies, such as Coyote Ugly, Only Fools Rush In, and Disney’s Lilo & Stitch. 

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It was time for Shyanne and Grant to take the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple. The song they chose was a lovely tune called “Butterflies” by Macey Musgraves. Macey was inspired to write this song when she met her future husband, Ruston Kelly. Macey confessed: “Everything from the lyrics down to the production really represents this floaty, dreamy feeling that I got as soon as he came into my life. I had just met Ruston, so my world had been completely flipped upside down, so this is a great sonic representation of that.” Ruston Kelly must’ve felt the same way as he proposed to Musgraves on Christmas eve.

I loved the way the songwriter expressed it because it was the same type of experience one got from watching Grant and Shyanne as they looked at each other’s eyes while dancing. As if they couldn’t wait for the rest of their lives to begin, but at the say, they wished to stop time and enjoy this dreamy feeling. And guess what?… the family dog was present at their first dance as well!

It was 6:30 pm, and the husband and bride took advantage of the golden hour to take some fantastic photos together. From that moment on, everyone dedicated themselves to having fun! The dance floor was packed and alive until the wedding day reached its ending. Family and friends said goodbye to the newlyweds as they marched away with Freddy Mercury singing “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” 

Grant and Shyanne, we loved being part of your wedding -may all the blessings and happiness accompany your journey as a couple.

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Erik And Kinsey wedding at the San Diego Zoo

Erik And Kinsey wedding at the San Diego Zoo

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Upon arriving at the place, the first thing I noticed was the lagoon, filled with beautiful birds and other wildlife. The sounds -the chirping and cooing -definitely hinted one was in the presence of nature in all of its splendor. The ceremony took place precisely overlooking this lagoon. The aisle was filled with scattered rose petals; next to the altar, two beautiful floral towers (if that’s not actually an official term, I call dibs on it!). The wedding colors matched perfectly with the surroundings, with many brown shades, burgundy flowers, and other earthy tones. The lovely tiered cake was also adorned with flowers in these earthy shades. 

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Say you’ll love me

After Kinsey and Erik officially became wife and husband, the whole crowd moved to the reception area. Erik and Kinsey entered with the iconic “September” by cherished American band Earth, Wind, and Fire. Do you know what this song is famous for? For making people happy when they hear it -the authors indeed call it joyful music. Just because it is a cheerful song, don’t think it was easy to write it. Actually, the writing process was rich and long. One of the authors, Alle Willis, said they inspired themselves on Eastern philosophies and the incredibly positive views they have about life. Grabbing a bunch of books from a spiritual bookstore in LA, Willis wrote 30 pages worth of lyrics! 

People speculated for long about the significance of the “21st night of September” in the opening lyrics; Maurice White had said it had no meaning. They chose that because it fit phonetically with the rest of the song. However, fast forward to 2018, and Maurice’s widow said September 21 was the due date for their son. So Maurice encrypted a loving message to his son within a song that would be a tremendous hit! Movies that used this song include Night at the Museum, The Ringer, Soul Food, Dan In Real Life, and Babel.

Erik and Kinsey

I’ve found something real.

I had the pleasure to accompany Erik and Kinsey as they became Mr. and Mrs. Swanson -and boy! Did they do it in a fantastic way!

Erik and Kinsey chose the Safari Park, at the San Diego Zoo, as their wedding location. This is a terrific choice for couples seeking a unique celebration filled with romance, adventure, and one-of-a-kind landscapes. Erik and Kinsey’s guests will forever treasure this memory. Moreover, when couples book weddings at this location, they contribute to the support of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s conservation efforts. You get a memorable wedding day, and you help the planet -that’s neat!

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Hold my heart til’ it grows old.

The ceremony began, and the wedding procession entered with a charming song called “Savage beauty” -by Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe (from Planet Earth II soundtrack). The beautiful bride then entered, arm and arm with her father; the song chosen was “Courage and Kindness” from the Cinderella soundtrack. You could say Kinsey is a modern-time princess who loves nature -a combination hard to top.

The officiant’s words were touching and emotional. My favorite phrase from the ceremony was when the officiant said: “A lasting love is rooted upon the fact that God loves you.” And, I couldn’t agree more!

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Musical requests for the rest of the event varied, but the classics were ever-so present, with the Beatles, the Righteous Brothers, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. And speaking of the Chairman of the Board, Kinsey’s father sang “The Way You Look Tonight.” I have to be honest, as I was told this was going to happen, I pictured an emotional but serious moment -I was wrong! Kinsey’s father’s unique voice surprised me, but I was also astonished by this moment’s great vibes imprinted in the ambiance. Everyone was dancing to the iconic song as Erik and Kinsey embraced each other and sang it along!

The whole wedding had too many terrific moments to recount them all! I don’t know what I liked the most, Whether Erik dancing with his two sisters or Grandma rocking the dance floor with her favorite song, “Low” by Flo Rida. One of the best wedding moments I’ve ever witnessed!

Everything about Erik and Kinsey’s wedding day matched. The flowers with the landscape, the music with the dancers, the decoration with the place. But most of all, the bride and groom matched each other. It is always inspiring, and never trite, to witness two people madly in love with each other, vowing to be together through thick and thin. It was an honor to be a part of your wedding. Best of lucks in this new stage of your life, and remember to always keep the music on your side!

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