California (particularly Southern California) is an amazing place full of creative and caring people. Including the wedding world! But let’s also be real – there are soooo many of them. If you don’t have a wedding planner to help you sort through the chaos – or your month-of coordinator doesn’t offer that service – it can be challenging to know where to find the best wedding vendors that match your vibe and budget.
It’s a daunting process. But I’m here to help!
From bakers and florists to wedding planners and caterers, these are the talented vendors I recommend most to my couples. And from the experiences both I and my couples have had working with them, I feel pretty confident you’ll be glad you hired them.
Nicolette, owner and event planner for Sparkling Soirées, started her company three years ago after doing an internship with an event planner. And from that experience, she knew she wanted to dedicate her professional life to making wedding dreams come true.
With attention to detail and an abundance of positive energy, Nicolette’s goal is to make sure your big day is as unique and joyful as your love story. Wedding planning should be fun! And Sparkling Soirees’ goal is to make it a joyful experience for all.
The first thing that happens when working with Nicolette and her team is identifying the overall vibe of the wedding day you envision. When you book, they send you a questionnaire to ask what’s most important to you for your wedding. Then, they build off of that to find the right vendors and create the overall design – ultimately, turning your vision into a reality.
Nicolette’s advice to couples: “Follow your heart and try not to let too many opinions influence what you want for your special day. It is your day, after all!”
The first thing Crystal ever asked me, at the first wedding I ever worked with her, was what extra florals I needed for detail photos. I knew then that I would love working with this girl. And ever since, she’s my personal and professional go-to for anything floral-related.
I would describe Crystal’s style like I would describe a romantic garden. She loves mixing many different textures, heights, and flower species to create a colorful kaleidoscope of foliage.
She loves getting to know her clients, researching, and planning how to bring a couple’s wedding vision to life. She can work with a variety of styles – from classic and traditional to contemporary and modern – and is passionate about delivering the exact look her couples envision.
She’s got the floral business down pat. Not only does she own Studio C Florals, but another floral and gift shop in Newport Beach.
Jenerations is a full-service event planning and culinary service company founded by head chef Jennifer Crocker. Hence, the J in Jenerations!
They are truly a one-stop shop, offering everything from homemade food to floral arrangements. And always leave guests commenting how amazing the food and services was – which I know first hand from both hearing what guests have to say at weddings and tasting the food myself.
Jennifer’s entire team is phenomenal. Just how phenomenal? I’ve worked at many weddings where the caterer (not Jenerations) serves us vendors a lackluster meal consisting of a room-temperate, squished sandwich and a bag of chips. But not Jennifer. She takes care of her couples and their vendors. Which as you’re working a 10-hour day, is much appreciated!
She’s super engaging with everyone, and present from day one until the end of the event. She also makes sure I have everything we need for photos, which is a huge help to get detailed pictures for you.
Hair and Makeup
Eng Yi is a highly talented makeup artist who has been in the industry for a little over ten years. She’s worked with a ton of cosmetic brands, including MAC, NARS, Lancôme, and Sephora. And has recently gone on her own to focus on weddings and events.
When creating a look, Eng will start by asking how you want to feel on your wedding day. Then, you’ll schedule a trial run where you’ll talk about colors and tones. And what you’re comfortable or not comfortable with. Armed with all the information, Eng will create a custom look and make any adjustments based on what you like best.
She has a true passion for artistry and cherishes the connections she makes with the people she meets.
And in case you want glowing skin on your wedding day, Eng says the secret is to drink lots of water! It’s the best way to hydrate your skin and help it to look fresh all day long.
Sisters Tarah and Madison Brinkerhoff started Blushed By Brink after years of loving the beauty world and doing hair and makeup for dances and events. They were both working full-time corporate jobs but wanted something else to fuel their passions and creativity. So they decided to join forces and create the HAMU (hair and makeup) company of their dreams.
Not only is this dynamic duo in the business of beauty, but they love the confidence and power hair and makeup provide. “To glam them up so they feel like their absolute most gorgeous and confident selves,” says Tarah, “It’s the best!”
Whether you are a bride that knows exactly what looks she wants, or you need some help deciding, Blushed By Brink helps you comb through all of the options. And excels at explaining the differences between an inspiration image and what’s realistic with your own hair and skin. I’ve seen them time and time again suggest styles that will best compliment a bride and bridesmaid’s personalities, dresses, and accessories. And create looks that are individual to everyone yet still cohesive and complementary to each other.
Born and raised in the heart of LA, it has always been Julie’s dream to become a makeup artist.
Now, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and an Esthetics License, she’s had 8+ successful years in the beauty industry.
Julie primarily focuses on enhancing the natural beauty of brides and clients in an effortless and feminine fashion. She curates bridal looks based on a combination of client inspiration and her professional expertise.
As a client, she’ll ask where you draw inspiration. And then create a look based on your features, and what she believes (and knows from her years of experience) will best enhance your natural and best characteristics.
You can expect an authentic experience when working with Julie. She’s an open book, and questions are always welcome. Even if she doesn’t have the answer at that moment, she’ll help you find it. All of her policies and procedures are very upfront, so there are no surprises along the way.
Although she is based in Los Angeles, she offers both hair and makeup services all around Southern California.
Based in Orange County, BVT Visuals is a videography studio that specializes in telling wedding stories.
Bradley Toms is BVT’s creative director, resident movie buff, and, most importantly, the guy behind the camera on your wedding day.
I met Bradley in college, where we took the same photography class. Although he sees more eye to eye with video than I do with photos, we’re the same in the sense that we are go-with-the-flow kind of people. But, he’s also willing to take charge and give direction – both of which are qualities you’ll want on your wedding day.
And if you’re not a fan of formulas, then Bradley is definitely your guy. Rather than trying to cram your wedding into a preset mold, he incorporates creative shots and edits your video to highlight the unique connection the two of you share.
Also, like me, Bradley sees himself as not just a vendor but a helpful resource. He says, “Don’t be afraid to ask Chelsea or me for help with other vendors or ideas for the big day!”
Michelle is the kind of girl who was a typographer before she even knew what the word meant. You know the type – that super artistic high schooler who spent her free time doodling emo song lyrics in the prettiest hand-written fonts. That kind!
Michelle’s professional journey began around 2014. She started off with pencil and pen, moved onto brush markers, and now uses only the best calligraphy pens money can buy.
To help create a couple’s vision, Michelle starts with a questionnaire and a call. During this time, she’ll take the time to get to know you as a couple, your personalities, and your likes and dislikes. And, most importantly, the wedding trends that you hate. Based on those details, she’ll design an invitation suite that speaks to who you are as a couple.
Michelle is very much a people pleaser. So when I asked her what advice she gives to couples, she said, “You do you, boo! Well, you and your fiance, of course! Everyone will have an opinion on what you should do for your wedding (whether you ask for it or not), but remember, do what will make you and your partner happy.”
One of the coolest things about Natalie of Butter & Cream Bakery is that she stays on top of the trends. As in, the second a new tv show comes out, or the latest fashion style hits Instagram, she’s in the kitchen baking something – while putting her own spin on it.
The best part about this bakery is that they don’t just sell pretty cakes. They create an experience too. And with their most popular flavoring being blue velvet, it’s not hard to understand why.
Butter & Cream Bakery has two locations: Laguna Niguel and Los Alamitos. How I see it, this means that no matter where in Orange County you live, it’s easy to schedule a menu tasting without sitting in an hour of traffic to get there. And! For you to get your wedding cake delivered – and delivered on time – based on which location is closest to your wedding venue.
Reach out to me if you’d like to learn more about my preferred vendors and hire me to capture your day!