WHEN COLLEAGUES TURN INTO FRIENDS, THEY STAY FRIENDS – BUT SOMETIMES, THEY ALSO BECOME YOUR CLIENTS!
Yolanda and I met in 2014 when I was working at the Jackie Robinson YMCA. I was one of the Office Administrators with one of my primary roles being events. One of our biggest events was the Annual Gala and Yolanda was a new volunteer when I started my position. She and I were still learning the first year but by the second year, she was handling all parts of the auction and while I was no longer working there, I still came to support the event and of course, she was someone who had become a close friend by then – “Yoli”. We hung out and stayed in touch over the years but as life would have it, there was about a 2-3 year period that we weren’t really in touch. I left San Diego and was in the OC when I heard from Yoli in March/April of 2018.
SO much had happened in that time, the most important detail being that she found the love of her life and that they were engaged to be married the next year on April 20, 2019! I must say it was such a fun call getting to reconnect but also a special call because I felt honored that she thought of me/Magical Moments by Megan to help her with wedding planning. We scheduled an in-person meet up and a couple weeks later I got to meet Toan. I knew this guy was different and from our first meeting, he was just so cool. The sweetest guy, SUPER in love with her, and ready to do WHATEVER it took to make sure his fiancée had the wedding of her dreams.
We got to working and based on their guest count of about (200), they knew they needed a big space. I was not part of the venue selection process but they ended up selecting one of my FAVE wedding venues in San Diego – BRICK SD at Liberty Station! BRICK was one of my favorite places back when I was a Rental Specialist with an event rental company in San Diego so I was very familiar with the space. Aside from actually being made of BRICK, this venue offers an open floor plan so there are many possibilities to literally build your wedding or event “brick-by-brick”. We got to working with the most important event detail known as “The Room Flip”. This is a very common practice at certain open space venues where the ceremony AND reception take place in the very same place – the room is transitioned while the guests enjoy cocktail space in a secondary location. Once at BRICK, Yolanda and Toan’s (200) guests would come in to enjoy a beautiful ceremony, head outside for drinks, appetizers and a mariachi, and finally return to the main space to enjoy dinner and dancing! (More about the mariachi later!)
The next most important aspect for this couple was finding a way to showcase their combined cultures at the wedding. Yolanda is Black and Hispanic and Toan is full Vietnamese. FOOD is so important to each of these cultures that the couple knew they needed a specialized caterer that could not only provide for their needs, but offer GREAT TASTING options. I immediately thought of my old friends with TOAST Catering. Since 2012, TOAST and I have worked probably 10+ weddings and events together and I knew they would understand what the couple wanted. Chef Sam quickly got to work creating a custom menu for them and the couple decided on three food stations including comfort food, Pho, and a build-your-own taco bar. I remember knowing that Chef Sam spent extra time perfecting the broth to make sure it tasted as authentic as possible. Also, now you know why there was a mariachi at cocktail hour 😉
Another key detail – the THEME! As beautiful and open BRICK is, it is also a blank space that needs character added. Yolanda had a beautiful vision for her ceremony backdrop that would convert to being their sweetheart lounge for the reception portion but she had no idea where or how to make it happen. I remember the call we had after she sent me some inspiration photos – I *literally* drew a sketch of all the things she told me about and sent it to her to make sure I understood her vision correctly.
Styling and design is an area I continue to grow in so the task of creating Yolanda’s dream backdrop was a challenge I gladly accepted. We got to work and had to do a mix of DIY with some touches of “which vendors do you know”. The frame piece was going to be custom made by Toan himself and the couple planned to buy a small chaise lounge for their house anyway so they would take care of those pieces and the coffee table. We rented the Grecian Columns from Abbey Party Rentals and the florals were provided by Chic Flowers. Finding the exact drape size and colors that she wanted was tricky but the ever reliable Patty’s Linens was able to provide almost everything – with Above the Top Party Rentals coming in clutch to provide a special cut fabric in blush pink – the final piece. We got to build the backdrop for the ceremony and we converted it to the lounge for reception and I must say – it looked truly magical! Getting to build and execute this design vision from start to finish was so fun and gratifying. I am so lucky to have clients that trust me!
One final detail that was very important was wardrobe. Yolanda and Toan wanted to showcase their culture through original clothing and had a plan to change outfits throughout the night. I love telling the story about my bride that changed four times – LOL. It was something we had to specifically build into the timeline with appropriate transitions to make sure everything went smoothly and that no one was left wondering what was going on or why the couple wasn’t around. Everything turned out great and they got all the photos with each special outfit!
This wedding was special for so many reasons but the amount of love, joy and laughter that happened that day is what it is all about. And that my friends, is why we are called Magical Moments (by Megan)!
CONTRIBUTORS & VENDORS
DJ, EmCee + Lighting | DJ Tru | @DJTru619
Hair | Hair by Dana Marie | @HairbyDanaMarie
Make-Up | Angel Face MUA | @AngelFaceMua