Browsing articles tagged with " Rev. Jeri Murphy"

Amanda & Michael ~ Married! {Part 2}

Dec 1, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

If you read Part 1 on the blog about this  fun couple’s wedding, you’ll have learned that the day was H-O-T!  Like record heat H-O-T.  What I love about Amanda is that a week later, when I talked to her, she felt the weather conditions added to the details of the wedding – it did not detract and she feels will be one of the many memories they will carry with them in fondly remembering their special wedding day.  Love that positivity.

The wedding was held at Gold Hill Gardens in Newscastle, CA.  The “cool” ceremony site they chose was creekside in front of the majestic Heritage Oak tree, and once the nuptials were completed, guests headed up to the poolside bar, men rolled up their sleeves and all enjoyed libations. Some cute ladies dangled their legs in the pool, and a few others had a hand at corn hole and other lawn games.  The color palette Amanda and Michael choose was navy blue with “hot” orange accents and being total nature lovers, the flowers (which doubled as ceremony hanging aisle décor) were placed on a wood cut round and a rustic candle lantern accompanied the centerpiece.  Bridal bouquets were placed in vases to add to the head table décor.

As he evening progressed, the sun lowered in the sky, and the temperatures cooled down a bit, those hot guests started to get into the swing of things and really, really enjoyed themselves.  A delicious buffet by Jackson Catering & Events filled their tummies, and of course, just knowing that dessert was a table full of Krispy Kreme donuts (in lieu of a traditional cake), put smiles on the face of many excited guests.  Michael and Amanda enjoyed their quiet time away with photographer Teresa of Teresa K Photography who knows how to set up a “sunset shot” – even with the absence of clouds, these shots are gorgeous!



Love the First Dance between Amanda and Michael, and the emotions showing in this father-daughter dance moment is killer… so sweet.  But once those traditional dances were completed,  Steve Schon with Function 45 Event Entertainment pulled out the stops and this crowd totally forgot about the earlier heat in the day and got their groove on!

Makes you wonder what song these newlyweds were singing.  Such happiness and joy!

I am so thankful for the wonderful team who worked hard, tirelessly and with smiles on their faces through the very hot day.  Great group of professionals:

Venue:  Gold Hill Gardens, Newcastle, CA

Officiant:  Rev. Jeri Murphy

Photographer:  Teresa w/Teresa K Photography

Florist:  Katie w/Ambience Floral Design

Caterer:  Jackson Catering & Events

Dessert:  Krispy Kreme Donuts

DJ/MC:  Steve w/Function 45 Event Entertainment

Calligraphy Donut Sign:  The Calligraphy Girl

Rentals:  Privately Acquired

Amanda & Michael ~ Married! {Part 1}

Nov 29, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Love how Michael and Amanda came into my life… and I was thrilled to be part of their planning experience.  Michael was one of the groomsmen in my daughter and son-in-law’s 2016 wedding, and he and Amanda really enjoyed my kiddo’s wedding and knowing I had a certain hand in the planning (no surprise there!), asked if I could be involved in their 2017 wedding. Absolutely!  A relaxed, non-fussy, lovers of nature couple, I suggested for a wedding venue that they check out Gold Hill Gardens in Newcastle, CA, and it was a perfect fit.  So much so, they stayed 3 days at the Inn at Gold Hill Gardens for a mini-moon!  The spot along the bridge and creek, under the amazing spreading Heritage Oak was ideal for their style and vision of the ceremony site.  The date was set for the Labor Day Weekend, and we were somewhat prepared that it could be a warm afternoon… but we may not have been absolutely prepared for the  hottest day of the summer – predictions were for 110 degrees, but not to worry, during the ceremony, my iPhone app only showed 106 degrees (IN THE SHADE)!!!  We provided the guests with parasols, amusing personalized hand-held fans, water bottle sprayers and battery operated fans.  All were appreciated.

Rev. Jeri Murphy performed a lovely, meaningful and touching ceremony.  Michael and Amanda wanted the tradition of a Unity Candle lighting –  both sets of parents, with many years of marriage between them, were invited to light the side family candles. With such great role models, it was very symbolic.

Once the ceremony was over, guests moved to the poolside reception area for some serious liquid refreshment, Michael slipped off his suit jacket, and the newlyweds enjoyed a private moment with great laughter and love.  Come back in a few days for { Part 2 } to see how the evening progressed once the sun went down and the evening got cooler!  Can you say DANCE PARTY!?

What a fantastic vendor team I had the privilege of working with – who smiled through the hot afternoon:

Photographer: Teresa w/Teresa K Photography

Florist:  Katie w/Ambience Floral Design

Caterer:  Jackson Catering

DJ/MC:  Steve Schon w/ Function 45 Event Entertainment

Officiant:  Rev. Jeri Muphy


Anita & Tim ~ Married {Part 1}

Apr 17, 2016   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Anita and Tim met while attending high school here in Sacramento (40 years ago)! They were “just friends” who would study in the library – Move forward 40 years… after individual lives, living in various other states, raising families, and circumstances that come up, well, they re-connected (in a much different way!)  An engagement photo session was held in that very same library of their alma mater and Tim & Anita held a wonderful wedding for family and some of those high school friends in October 2015 – in Old Sacramento at the lovely Courtyard D’Oro.  Their preparations and the First Look was at Embassy Suites on the River Promenade, then a fun walk over to the wedding site.

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Love this collague of the First Look.!

First Look A Day to Remember


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10 Aisle Treatment A Day to Remember

Aisle treatment A Day to Remembeer

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Right after being pronounced Mr. & Mrs. the couple and guests released many, beautiful large Monarch butterflies.  An Indian legend tells us “If you whisper your dreams to a butterfly, your dreams will come true.”  It was glorious!

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After the ceremony, during the cocktail hour, guests could check out the creation Tim made – this fun collage of articles from their year book showcasing pictures and highlights of their activities in high school. Fun!high school collageStay tuned for {Part 2} to see details of the loveliness and the fun(!) for Anita & Tim’s reception.  My special thanks to Bill of  Quinn Photography for taking so many splendid shots, and for Katie of Ambience Floral Design… fantastic flowers! Jennifer Gilchrist did a beautiful job with Anita’s hair and makeup, along with the other ladies, Rev. Jeri Murphy for doing the most important part(!) and Swallowtail Farms grows the best butterflies!

Allison & Scott – Married! {Part 2}

Apr 30, 2015   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Still bragging on my sweet daughter’s wedding day last month… both ceremony and reception was held at Antiquite Maison Privee, a cool hip/urban art gallery in mid-town Sacramento, and was the perfect venue for Allison and Scott’s intimate, sophisticated (but very fun) event.  The sentimental, tearful and emotional wedding ceremony custom created by Rev. Jeri Murphy was beautiful; even my 89 year old mother shed a tear!  Once the reception started there were lots of laughs and joyful celebration (and yes, that is my husband… the poor bride’s father… wearing photo booth props and being silly (thanks for capturing that Beth!!).  In case you’ve never seen the “shoe game” it’s quite entertaining. DJ Doug asked questions of the couple in which they would raise the appropriate shoe to identify which one the question pertained to… eye opening!  Ending the evening with an ice cream sundae station was the perfect touch to a beautiful and very sweet day.

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The cute gentleman I am dancing with is my next son-in-law.  Yup, Derek is marrying Juliana (little sister) in April 2016.



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It was a wonderful day and I am so grateful for all the vendors who generously contributed… you’re the best. Jennifer Gilchrist for making the ladies look so beautiful.   Jensen Films captured all the footage as did Beth with True Love Photo taking outstanding photos!  Doug and Dara of Music on the Move provided music, lighting and some very fun interactive games, Steve Schon with Function 45 DJ/Shoot Stars Photo Booth added that crazy entertainment element, Jackson Catering served the most delicious buffet and created a yummy ice cream station, and Rick’s Dessert Diner made Scott’s very own groom’s cake.  Sarah, with Cuttings Floral Design, did such a beautiful job at the entire floral palette.  And in order for me to be the Mother of the Bride, my dear friend, Kendra with Pfeiffer Event Planning was my day-of planner (she only had to tell me a few times to leave things alone and be a Mom!!)

Allison and Scott… Dad and I wish you the very best in your future life; may you be as happy as we have been for the last 32 years of wedded bliss!

Planning my daughter’s wedding {Post 3} Getting Down to Business

Jan 19, 2015   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  1 Comment

When Allison & Scott were ready to get serious about wedding planning and setting a date, we gathered over drinks in the backyard and I put on my wedding planner hat.  I gave them my client questionnaires which gives me insight into their “wish list” and what their priority and non-priority items are.  Here they being very serious about filling in my forms.

A&S questionnairess

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I loved reading their answers.  Scott’s #1 priority was the officiant and vows, followed by a celebratory atmosphere.  Allison’s #1 priority was having a specific officiant she was hoping to obtain, followed by beautiful decor, and she wants her guests to be kept engaged and entertained.  These kids have their priorities in order!!

From this point, it was a matter of calling my favorite vendors (and I have many favorites), but this group has been in the wings just waiting for this day to come (pending the date).  Thank you to Rev. Jeri Murphy for filing the bill for a special ceremony, and to my long time florist buddy and creative genius, Sarah Acrich of Cuttings Floral Design, and to another long time friend, Doug Levine of Music on the Move DJs.  Three priority items handled! Check, Check & Check.

Happy 1st Anniversary – Kelly & Brian!

Jul 15, 2013   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  1 Comment

One year ago, Kelly and Brian were married in Carmel-by-the Sea at Mission Ranch… a unique and picture perfectsetting.  I so enjoyed working with this couple… both perfectly on the same page and so in love.   They selected the Meadow Lawn with the backdrop of Point Lobos and the fabulous grazing sheep (both the venue and the sheep are owned by Clint Eastwood).  The dinner reception and dance party occured in the two historic barns on property.

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And yes… one of the sheep became the star as he decided to  enjoy a fresh nibble from the flower bucket!


This was a wonderful destination weekend and I enjoyed working along side my friends and great Sacramento vendors… Rev. Jeri Murphy, Bryan Greenwalt of Music & More Entertainment (who photographed the thieving sheep) and especially Rachelle of Rachelle Photography!

Weekly Wedding No Nos

Feb 1, 2013   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  7 Comments

Each week I will be continue to post Wedding No Nos – things that might make your guests (or YOU) irritated.   As a planner, I  hear guest comments all the time (muttering under their breath).  I know what works and what might need some improvement.  So here are just two in today’s post.

#3 – A COOL BEVERAGE and SHADE –  Summer heat in an outdoor setting … ahh, the Sacramento Valley!  Garden weddings are a must and we love them, but if the sun is beating down on the guests, they will be grumpy (as will those alter or aisle flowers!).   If at all possible, adjust the ceremony start time and the exact location so the sun is not so intense.  Provide market umbrellas or cute parasols for some shade, and set up a water or juice station nearby.  Programs as hand-fans are fun and help with our summer heat.

Wedding Parasols A Day to Remember


 #4 – AMPLIFY THE OFFICIANT –  If your guests cannot hear the ceremony they are annoyed and feel cheated!  After all, they came to hear you profess your love to each other.  Your reception DJ can certainly provide amplification, either via a mic stand, a hand-held mic (as is shown here with our very own Rev. Jeri Murphy performing the nuptials), or a lapel mic (which I do prefer so the officiant is hands-free and the mic is not noticed in the photos.)  If amplification is impossible to do (or not allowed in some  venues), ask the officiant to speak as loud as he/she can. The same for any readers.  Turn off any garden fountains and perhaps for a brief while, have the A/C turned off in any close by reception rooms, etc.  “White” noise (even birds chirping) can be a big issue.

Officiant with microphone

 More Wedding No Nos next week.

Kelly & Brian ~ Married {Part 1}

Nov 27, 2012   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  1 Comment

One of my favorite weddings this summer… you can’t go wrong with spending the weekend in Carmel-by-the Sea and being at a venue that is drop-dead gorgeous!  When Kelly & Brian were doing their wedding venue site search, they fell in love with Mission Ranch.  Brian had proposed to Kelly in Carmel and they adore the ocean (both are major snorkel lovers), and when Kelly saw the sheep that graze in the meadow of Mission Ranch – SOLD!

Mission Ranch has a fantastic history… on Monterey Bay, with Point Lobos proudly watching back to the Ranch, it was one of California’s first dairies (built around 1850). The creamery supplied the gold miners with cheese and butter and hay.  Through the decades the property went to ruin before Clint Eastwood bought the ranch, rescuing the property from becoming a condominium development!  Many original buildings were renovated and remain, such as the farmhouse (where our groom and his men dressed and hung out), two barns (we used for dining and for dancing) and the bunkhouse (accommodations).


































Flowing  Merlot colored bridesmaids dresses with “rustic” flowers of similar shades and pops of limey green was perfect and blended well in this setting.  Florist Kathryn Smith did a beautiful job with Kelly’s vision.


The wedding ceremony took place on the Meadow Lawn.  There is little need to put large florals in this space.  Point Lobos at a distance and Clint Eastwood’s mascot sheep are a perfect backdrop.   Kelly & Brian participated in a symbolic wine ceremony during their ceremony.  My fav officiant, Rev. Jeri Murphy from Sacramento, does an excellent job of comparing the sweetness of life (white wine) to life’s challenges (red wine) and blending the two for a perfect marriage.

And this curious little fella actually did come up to the fence just prior to the ceremony, and thought the fence pail flowers was the perfect nibble!


Be sure to check back in a few days for Part 2… about the details and the reception.  the sweetest and very talented photographer, Rachelle of Rachelle Photography was a great weekend buddy.  Wonderful photos and perfect team player!  Thanks a million.