Before you plan your wedding ...


The most important questions to ask before you start planning for your wedding

Guest blog by OutReach Mama


Getting engaged is a turning point and life-changing event in a person’s life. As soon as you tell your friends and family, you are bombarded with questions. But before you can answer these questions, there are a few decisions you have to make together. Let’s go through a few of them.


How much can you afford to spend?

Before you begin pricing venues, interviewing wedding planners, and selecting a gown, you have to know how much you can comfortably afford to spend.


One of the first things you should do is set up a Honeyfund. The Honeyfund account can be set up, and the details can be added later. This allows family and friends who choose to gift you with monetary gifts time to decide where to apply it. Some family may choose to fund your honeymoon travel or your baker or florist. As you make decisions for the wedding, these funds will free you financially for other things.


How much time do you have?

Before you can answer this, you must first decide on your venue and wedding planner. You will need to know their availability. Once you manage to find the dates that work for each of you, you can begin the planning.

What will your wedding planner take care of?

You need details of what she is expected to do. WIll she coordinate the vendors? Does she have experience in the type of wedding you are planning? Does she have a back-up plan if she is taken ill or has an emergency? How well is she connected with wedding vendors in the community?

How many guests will be invited?

This is a serious issue. The more guests you have, the more money you will need. You will need sitting room (which may mean a larger venue), more food, more alcohol, a larger cake, and other things. Be sure to sit down and make a realistic guest list.

What is your vision for a wedding gown?

There are many styles, colors, and types of wedding gowns. There are also many colors and styles of bridesmaids gowns. A bride deserves a professional that will find the perfect dress for her and her party. The gown of your dreams is waiting for you. You simply have to find it.



Do you have any non-negotiables?


This is something only the two of you can answer. It is not silly or frivolous. Is there something that means so much to you that you cannot imagine it not being part of your wedding? Maybe you want a band to play at the reception and not a DJ. Maybe you have always wanted a champagne fountain, or your dream is to be brought to the wedding venue in a horse drawn carriage. Perhaps your dream is to be married in the same church where your mother and father took their vows.


If you have something that is simply non-negotiable, you must put it at the top of your wedding plans. Set aside the money to pay for it. List it on your honeymoon registry. Most of all, decide what you are willing to give up in order to get it if your budget runs low.



Once these questions have been addressed, you can begin the fun of planning your wedding. By planning ahead, you will have less stress and more time to attend to small details before they become demanding problems.



Gorgeous Tented Wedding on Harbor Island in San Diego

What a spectacular day this couple planned! With the help of Molly at Tres Chic Affairs to bring the details together and make sure the day ran smoothly, and some amazing weather, Mike and Nicole's day went off without a hitch.  A customized bar from TBDesigned San Diego, an elegant tented with chiffon draping from Classic Party Rentals, and Coast Catering's delicious recipes - this day was seriously spectacular.  We loved adding the soft and classic floral design to this go-all-out affair.  Thank you Mike and Nicole!

Check out these gorgeous photos from Aga Jones!

Floral Workshop with Tulipina and Jose Villa in Los Angeles

Kiana from Tulipina Design is one of my favorite florists and huge inspiration of mine ...

Once in a while I get the opportunity to meet various people I'm a fan of and quite honestly, through these experiences, I've learned to avoid meeting people I admire because more times than not I end up disappointed.  This era of getting to know people over social media leads to the realization that a lot of people are just not authentic, they are genius at self promotion and marketing but in person they can be a little lack-luster.  Well - 

The Tulipina workshop definitely did not disappoint, Kiana is sweet, authentic, and very real.  Her talent and eye for tone and texture are the real deal. 

 bouquet by BLOOMS by breesa lee for the Tulipina Workshop  photo by Jose Villa

bouquet by BLOOMS by breesa lee for the Tulipina Workshop

photo by Jose Villa

I had initially contacted Tulipina Design to assist with the workshop that was held at Hedley & Bennett's production warehouse/office in Los Angeles.  My intention with offering to assist was really that I just wanted to hang out with Kiana, I wanted to get to know her as a person, and understand how she works.  She welcomed the help for day one of set up and encouraged me to still partake in the workshop the following day.  

 Photo by Kiana Underwood at the Hedley & Bennett studio in Los Angeles

Photo by Kiana Underwood at the Hedley & Bennett studio in Los Angeles

The first day of helping with set up was like Christmas, box after box of amazing flowers and foliage.  We unwrapped, fresh cut, and processed each bunch of product that was delivered and with each bunch we ooh-ed and ahh-ed.  Zinnias, poppies, peonies, parrot tulips, garden roses, on and on - just so much beauty! All in tones of pink, peach, white, and coral.  Seeing the display of flowers come together was stunning!  Another assistant, Kiana, and I all went out to a gorgeous lunch and had a lovely conversation about flowers, running businesses, travel, and future plans.

The next day was the workshop and we got to work.  Kiana started with basic logistics of how she starts her centerpieces.  I learned how to use a floral frog which, somehow in almost 15 years of designing, I had never used before.  It seriously changed how I make my arrangements now.  I've always used oasis or tape to secure florals in low vessels.  I hate using tape so avoid that at all costs.  Oasis foam is wonderful but you always have to use vases that are not clear to avoid seeing the foam inside and there's more waste when using Oasis.  Now, with floral frogs, I can use my favorite clear crystal urns and the frogs slowly disappear from sight as flowers are added.  The frogs are reusable so that takes care of the extra waste!

 Workshop set up at Hedley & Bennett  Photo by Jose Villa

Workshop set up at Hedley & Bennett

Photo by Jose Villa

Additional workshop topics covered bouquet making and wreath installations - another new favorite of mine.  Once each student was finished with our various projects we walked our finished products over to the photo area where the amazing Jose Villa photographed our work.

Throughout the day Kiana answered any and all questions open and honestly.  She never hesitated to share information the students were seeking and encouraged conversation and partnerships between attendees.  

After the workshop concluded, we cleaned up and got the studio back in order.  Kiana let me take home some of the extra product that I used for the art class I volunteer at the following day.  We ended our day with a delicious dinner and lively conversation over tacos and margaritas with another Los Angeles based floral designer she knows.  

I left the whole experience with new friends, connections, inspiration, and new excitement for my own work and the direction I want to take BLOOMS.  Thank you Kiana and all involved for such an amazing experience.

 Arrangement by BLOOMS by breesa lee for the Tulipina Workshop  Photo by Jose Villa

Arrangement by BLOOMS by breesa lee for the Tulipina Workshop

Photo by Jose Villa

Westgate Hotel San Diego Photo Shoot

Inspired by the Netflix series, "The Crown", this wedding inspiration features royal details and luxury design.  Lush and full without being overdone, timeless, tasteful, and romantic.  The Westgate Hotel in Downtown San Diego offers the perfect backdrop creating an environment of a grand European Chateau perfect for those San Diego couples that don't want the typical beachy wedding.  It would be a glorious venue for an elegant black tie affair to whisk guests away to a very different time and place.  

What's additionally exciting about this wedding inspiration shoot is that Southern California Bride loved it as much as we did and featured it on their blog, you can see the full feature here.


Creative Team:

Photography Cavin Elizabeth

Venue The Westgate Hotel San Diego

Florals BLOOMS by breesa lee

Hair and Makeup Unveiled Bridal Beauty

Coordination Luxe Events

Stationary Four Things Paper

Cake Sweet Cheeks 

Ring Trumpet and Horn

Dress Ysa Makino

Vista Valley Country Club Wedding

OOH - one of my favorite San Diego venues.  This place is a serious dream especially if you like garden ceremonies and grand European buildings.  From the bridal suite to the cocktail bar to the ballroom with the grand wooden hearth - it's seriously stunning and each detail is spectacular.  Here I have my favorite photos for my fall wedding with Leif Brandt and Kelsey Rae Designs.  If you're considering Vista Valley Country Club as your wedding venue - book it! And seriously give me a call because I'm obsessed with flowering this place up.  

Intimate Beach Wedding.

Who would have expected a rainy wedding day to be so perfect?  This beautiful couple said their vows with toes in the sand and their family and closest friends standing by.  The photographer, Scott Chebegia, caught each sweet glimpse between the bride and groom while the clouds parted just at the right moment for their first kiss as husband and wife.  The rest of this New Year's Eve beach wedding was spent at the couple's home with an intimate dinner decorated by Folklore Rentals and catered by Root Cellar Catering

Wedding Inspiration in the Meadow

After being asked to participate in a bridal inspiration shoot styled by Blush and Adore and photographed by Acres of Hope Photography I knew the final product was going to be exactly what they are - STUNNING.  

Check out our Trendy Bride blog feature here!

 Delicate acacia framing this vibrant bouquet

Delicate acacia framing this vibrant bouquet

 Kumquats, protea, and fuchsia ranunculus - love this surprising combo!

Kumquats, protea, and fuchsia ranunculus - love this surprising combo!

 Delicate silk trailing ribbon.

Delicate silk trailing ribbon.

 Bridal bouquet using Pantone color inspiration.  Full of peach Juliet roses, Mauve Quicksand roses, blue thistle, pink tulips, lavender scabiosa, eucalyptus, ruscus, fern and more. 

Bridal bouquet using Pantone color inspiration.  Full of peach Juliet roses, Mauve Quicksand roses, blue thistle, pink tulips, lavender scabiosa, eucalyptus, ruscus, fern and more. 

 Classic soft gray Mrs. Box

Classic soft gray Mrs. Box

This is a shoot I keep coming back to.  It's simple, classic, and elegant. The perfect inspiration for a spring wedding. 


Beauty  blush and adore

Photography  acres of hope photography

Florals  blooms by breesa lee

Wardrobe Styling  mish mucho styles

Calligraphy  yours truly calligraphy

Cake  sweet cheeks baking co

Gowns  here comes the bride

Models  @bri.dietz @ashleeeymorgan

The Labor and Raising of Love

I was lucky enough to be one of the working moms that our friends at Sweet Cheeks included in their blog post about moms in the wedding industry.  It was so awesome for them to reach out to me and a wonderful group of women to be included in. Click here to read about how we're raising our families amidst the demands of our working lives.  Luckily, for most of us, they can generally coincide thanks to weekend events and understanding peers.

Dark Inspiration : Photography by Cavin Elizabeth

So happy to share this unique and dark Hannibal inspired shoot photographed and designed by Cavin Elizabeth.  She gets so much inspiration from television and movies and it was amazing to see this whole thing come together.

This scene was set in the front dining room of The Lion's Share in Downtown San Diego.  It had the exact moody vibe we needed with the dark walls, taxidermy, and artwork that is stunning while being a little "off".  The flowers used ranged in color from deep crimson peonies, dahlias, ranunculus, and spray roses to blush Quicksand roses.  And because I'm obsessed with getting as much texture as possible in each piece, I threw in some cotton still on the stem for good measure.

Twinkle and Toast provided the hand lettering for the invitation suite, quote cards, and place cards.

Two more of our favorites, CC Vintage Rentals and Not My Dish provided the tapestry chairs, glasses, place settings, and sweet details.

And look at this cake!! Hey There, Cupcake! stunned, as always, with this black cake decorated with hand painted and sugar flowers.  Not to mention the edible gold foil - so clean and sophisticated.  More details were brought in to the table scape from Not My Dish's collection as well as a vintage perfume bottle that used to belong to my grandmother.

Erin Luce at Unveiled Bridal Beauty dolled our lovely models up.  Love Tatum contributed these amazing raw gems - how amazing is that huge ring?

See the feature on 100 Layer Cake!

Photography/CoordinationCavin Elizabeth Photography @cavinelizabeth

Venue/CateringThe Lion’s Share @thelionssharesd

FloristBlooms by Breesa Lee @bloomsbybreesalee

Dinnerware/Decor RentalsNot My Dish @notmydish

Chair RentalsCC Vintage Rentals @ccvintagerentals

PaperTwinkle and Toast @twinkleandtoast

Hair/makeupUnveiled Bridal Beauty @erindluce and

CakeHey There, Cupcake @heytherecupcake_

DressPaolo Corona Paris @paolocparis

ModelsChandlar Walby @instachangram + TJ Herman @theteej13

JewelryLove Tatum @lovetatum


Shades of Red for Arlyne and Weston

Last year, I was contacted by Arlyne Sanjines (now, Mrs. Bales) to provide the flowers for her outdoor wedding at Secluded Garden Estate.  The meeting we had was awesome and we were definitely on the same page.  I got to know her style really well since she happens to be a YouTube sensation and shares all her favorite style secrets and hints. 

 Arlyne in her gorgeous lace dress and Weston looking dapper in his blue suit.  

Arlyne in her gorgeous lace dress and Weston looking dapper in his blue suit.  

Arlyne walked down the aisle under the venue's greenhouse arbor.  We decked the top of the arbor with draping lace and chiffon and hanging glass orbs.  A massive floral installation at the vow site held a mix of willow branches, olive branches, king protea, blue delphinium, terra cotta roses, white stock, and lots of other textural details.

She wanted a really warm and eclectic mix of colors with rich marsala as the color anchor and a variety of blue hues and blush to accent.  We brought in the beauty of the natural fauna of the venue and used lots of greenery in deep and sage tones.  This brought so much texture to each area and it was a treat to the eye as you looked around the expansive grounds.

Garland of broad leaves and seeded eucalyptus decked the bar from Sundrop Vintage (who provided all the awesome furniture rentals) and the gorgeous seating chart hand lettered by Louise Letters.

Two different table styles for the guests.  For half of the tables we used matching greenery garlands.  For the other half we used a mix of metal and glass pedestals holding elongated floral arrangements of roses, dahlias, delphinium, gold orchids and banksia, and berries.  Louise Letters provided custom hand dyed table numbers and these fun gold frames.

 Her bouquet held a mix of garden roses, thistle, orchids, banksia, spray roses, and a ton of greenery. It was absolutely stunning - look at that amazing bauble ribbon!

Her bouquet held a mix of garden roses, thistle, orchids, banksia, spray roses, and a ton of greenery. It was absolutely stunning - look at that amazing bauble ribbon!

Photography: Priscilla Frey

Videography: Kavin Lindgren

Coordination: Samantha Louise Moments

Flowers: BLOOMS by breesa lee

Calligraphy: Louise Letters 

Venue: Secluded Garden Estate

Make Up: Key Beauty

Hair: Allie Does Hair

Featured on Grey Likes Wedding Blog

Bold Hues and Awesome Venues

BLOOMS loves bold interesting color combos! When brides go bold with their wedding colors, we know we're going to love the outcome.  Insert these awesome color schemes into epic scenery and you get some of our favorite weddings (not to mention the clients are pretty amazing too). Here's some of our favorite examples from our sweet clients:


 The bride and groom took personal photos at Balboa Park after the ceremony.

The bride and groom took personal photos at Balboa Park after the ceremony.

Anne's wedding at Moniker Warehouse in downtown San Diego was full of burgundy and rich magenta.  It was important to her husband to have a splash of purples to celebrate his alma mater.  We balanced the deep toned garden roses, dark dahlias, and vibrant spray roses with soft peach roses, blushing bride protea, and lighter toned orchids.  Fragrance was abundant with the lavender sprigs, gardenia greenery, and seeded eucalyptus.  

 The couple and their guests partied the night away at Moniker Warehouse.  Coordinated by  Classically Lovely Events

The couple and their guests partied the night away at Moniker Warehouse.

Coordinated by Classically Lovely Events

When Anne contacted me she said she was getting married at Moniker Warehouse and loved the industrial feel.  Her main concern, though, was making the large space feel warm and intimate.  We accomplished that by incorporating garden style arrangements in two different formations.  Half the tables had a single arrangement on an elevated mercury pedestal.  The other half of the table had a trio gathering; three different delicate glass vases holding their own selection of flowers and greenery.

 Photo by Dan Rice

Photo by Dan Rice

Jennie and Tim's wedding will be featured in the Spring/Summer issue of Exquisite Weddings Magazine.  It was such a gorgeous ceremony in Old Town San Diego followed by a wild night at The Luce Loft in Downtown San Diego (all the amazing furniture rentals were provided by CC Vintage Rentals).  Jennie started with a pretty soft color scheme of white, blush, and deep burgundy accents but as we approached the big day she decided to go all out.  We used a balance of richness and softness with deep dahlias, blue tweedia, latte garden roses, blush and ivory spray roses, fuchsia parrot tulips, and so much more!! It seemed a little wild at first but as everything came together it got more and more stunning.  The delicate textures kept the color combo from looking too heavy and the mid tones of ivory and latte brought together the full color spectrum.

 Photo by Moss + Isaac

Photo by Moss + Isaac

Rachel was another bride that started with a classic and sweet color scheme and eventually went all out mixing soft yellows, blush, pink, and crimson! Who would have though it worked? But it did! Parrot tulips in neutral tones with soft blush sweet peas set the mid tones for crimson peonies, yellow yarrow, and fuchsia globe tulips.  Aside from the texture and color combo - look at all the mint. Can you imagine the amazing fragrance?  This New York wedding is also close to my heart because Rachel is one of my closest friends and favorite people on the planet.