Vacation in Southern California: Ideas while I was away

It’s proof I love my job when I have a hard time even going away for vacation! All last week in Southern California, I would honestly rather have been working, even though I did have an irreplaceable time with friends. But to entertain my coordinator side while I was traveling and visiting new places, I let my mind think of ideas for events, weddings, engagement shoots, etc etc. Here are some of my thoughts from last week’s time off!

Great venue: Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. Extremely romantic for a wedding (especially around sunset – I saw how stunning a view it was myself!) and classy enough for any type of reception (think anniversary party, reunion, cocktail party), I hope that I get the chance to coordinate a wedding or event here someday! The location is great for feeling secluded enough to have privacy and get rid of the “city feel,” but yet it is so central to Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, etc and is not hard to find. Guests would be able to choose from a variety of hotels if they did not want to stay at Shutters, although the level of accommodation at Shutters is top notch. The food, which I so happily tested myself, was delicious and would be another impressive feature of an event or wedding here. They have plenty of vegetarian and eco-friendly options as well, for those hosts or couples interested.

Shutters on the Beach
Shutters on the Beach at sunset

Great place for engagement shoot: Venice Canals. I was surprised that in all my visits to the coastal towns of Southern California, I had never heard of these or visited! Once I started walking around, however, I realized how frequently these canals and their bridges are used as sets for movies and TV shows. With some beautiful houses, some very, um, unique houses, and a variety of bridges, I think it would make a stunning engagement picture locale. Fairly secluded, couples could add this location to their beach pictures or other L.A. locations without having to fight to keep people from walking through the pictures. The foliage along the canals tends to be mostly floral and green, which also adds a nice backdrop. I’d like to think this is a unique location – has anyone had their pictures taken here??

Venice Canals
Venice Canals
Venice Canals

Great idea for a wedding “unique touch”: While catching up over coffee, a friend shared with me an adorable idea she witnessed at a wedding that I hope I get to share and see redone! This couple got married on a dock on the coast, but I believe this can really be done anywhere. As an end-of-ceremony act, much like some couples like to release doves or butterflies, they released handfuls of red, heart-shaped helium balloons. The cute touch was the notes attached to each balloon that guests and the bride and groom wrote and attached with their addresses to see if someone who found the balloon coming down to earth would write back. If I were going to implement this myself, I would recommend that the bride and groom set up a P.O. Box and have each balloon have a pre-stamped, pre-addressed postcard attached to each, with instructions for the recipient to write best wishes for the couple or perhaps even marriage tips. Can you imagine how interesting it would be to see where someone wrote from (how far do helium balloons make it??), or what they would write? And what a keepsake to add to your wedding memories!

Couple holding red heart-shaped balloons to release after ceremony