Nina, of Love and Lemonade Photography was our amazing photographer. She is such a superbly talented photographer and is so incredibly easy to work with. We picked Love and Lemonade right away because we had been looking at website upon website of wedding photographers that made us groan and roll our eyes. We really didn't want a stage-y style and so many photographers had that feel. As soon as we saw Nina's portfolio, we knew she was different. What is more, Nina was so easy to work with and was so flexible in working to fit our needs. Many other photographers we contacted had a take it or leave it approach to their packages, but Nina really listened to what we wanted and never once tried to up-sell us.
For us, Nina was the perfect wedding photographer. She captured candid moments and also coordinated the right amount and type of group shots. Her vintage style is so beautiful and her photographs are expertly edited. Also, she is so pleasant to work with and is an incredibly caring and thoughtful person. Nina was also an invaluable source of recommendations and wedding tips. Because we liked her and her style, we knew we could trust her recommendations. She recommended our fabulous wedding coordinator and DJ.
We forewent the traditional floral arrangements because the wedding was outside and we felt flowers were unnecessary given the gorgeous backdrop. Instead, we created about 30 succulent arrangements of varying size with the help of the California Cactus Center. This was much more in line with our aesthetic and the bonus is that we still have the plants on our patio!
We don't remember how we first learned of Saddlerock Ranch, but we were living in New York at the time and asked my Los Angeles-based sister and brother-in-law to go take a look. They filmed a short video on their Flip camera and emailed it to us. We signed a contract shortly thereafter! The venue is truly amazing. Our particular wedding site (one of three options at Saddlerock Ranch) can only fit a maximum of 100 guests, so it's not for all weddings, but it was perfect for us.
Helen Sun Ban was our day-of wedding coordinator. We actually had a full-service wedding planner who we stopped working with months before the wedding because she would not listen to us and would only give us her canned recommendations for vendors regardless of our style and budget. We decided to replace her with a simple day-of coordinator but many of the ones we considered were very strict about what they would and wouldn't do. Not Helen. Helen went above and beyond her day-of duties. She is extremely organized, which is essential to her job, and is also very proactive. We met several times before the wedding -- at her suggestion -- and the result was that every detail was thought of in advance. She stayed in constant communication with us. Unlike our first coordinator, when we asked Helen for recommendations, she listened to us about what we wanted and gave us thoughtful responses. And if we chose not to go with a recommended vendor, it was absolutely a non-issue and she would come up with something else. Helen was also fantastic on the wedding day and stayed until past 2 a.m. making sure we left the venue the way we found it.
I used Kelly Zhang Makeup and Hair Studio for my beauty needs as well as our family. They did a fantastic job. Kelly and her team use the best products and take a lot of time making sure each person looks their best without looking like she is wearing a ton of makeup. They are also excellent at doing makeup for clients of a variety of ethnic backgrounds, something not all make up artists do well.
Start with one vendor whose advice, demeanor, and aesthetic you like. Then, trust his or her opinions and recommendations for vendors and the rest will fall into place.
Venue: Saddlerock Ranch
Photographer: Love and Lemonade Photography
Flowers: California Cactus Center
Wedding Coordinator: Helen Sun Ban
Catering: Primal Alchemy
Wedding Cake: Black Hound Bakery
Stationery: J. Sherman Studio
Bride's Dress: Amsale