Author Archives: Nina Hamilton-Wilber

Wedding: Kristen & Patrick @ Santa Margarita Ranch

Slater_Richards_Patrick_Ang_Photography_06Slater225_lowWe love being a part of a Santa Margarita Ranch wedding!  Kristen and Patrick had a very romantic spring wedding at the Historic Santa Margarita Ranch in March.  When choosing to tie the knot in the spring, you never know what the weather will bring!!  Typically the ceremony takes place in the garden underneath the beautiful oak tree, but due to the first storm of the season here on the Central Coast, we had to move the ceremony inside the barn.  It turned out to be more beautiful than expected!

Thank you to Patrick of Patrick Ang Photography for the beautiful photos and check out this sweet video.

Kristen & Patrick SM Ranch

A great group of vendors were assembled for this unforgettable wedding, including:

DJ/MC-  Jeremy Ryan with By Request

Floral & Event Director-  Nina with By Request

Caterer- Gusto On the Go

Desserts- Just Baked

Photographer- Trent Buckle with Proimage Weddings

Videographer- Patrick with Patrick Ang Photography

Rentals-  Embellish Vintage Rentals

Bar Service- Cork

Wedding: Amy & Kyle

Amy & Kyle had a breathtaking wedding ceremony under the shade of a beautiful oak tree at the Taft Barn inChristine Sedley Photo-2105 Atascadero.  Surrounded by family, friends and their furry kid, everyone enjoyed the  perfect weather and the amazing barn.

Amy & Kyle are such a sweet couple!  We felt so comfortable with them from the first time we met!  They became instant friends.  We were thrilled to help create the music list, floral design and coordinate this incredibly fun wedding!!!

Christine Sedley Photo-2227

The Taft Barn is a gorgeous venue that has a lot to offer. Featuring a stage for entertainment, bar, billiards, horse-shoe pit and a photo booth backdrop surrounding a dance floor and reception area all inside the barn.  Not to mention, the bridge that makes for great pictures.  Thank you to Christine Sedley Photography for the wonderful shots.

* A special “shout out” goes to the Thrive family who helped make this a celebration to remember!!

Wedding: Kyle & Amy

Wedding : Hillary & Joseph @ Lago Giuseppe

Lago Giuseppe is a breathtaking location in Paso Robles. The quaint lake is surrounded by View More: oak trees, making a gorgeous backdrop for Hillary & Joe’s romantic wedding.

As the sun set, the trees came alive with the magical mood-lighting we provided for the reception.  Hillary & Joe chose some very fun and unique details for their wedding.  Both are avid beer lovers, so we added fresh hops to the boys’ boutonnieres and “growlers” on the tables.  Succulents were added to the bridal bouquets and table centerpieces. Dessert was a donut buffet, followed by the cigar and scotch bar to top the evening off. View More:

Jeremy & I enjoyed working with these two in designing all of the beautiful floral details and great music to keep the dance floor packed… all night long!  Congrats to Hillary & Joe!!

A special thanks to Asia Croson Photography for all the wonderful pictures. Enjoy!

Wedding Hillary & Joe

Wedding: Kelsey & Andy

Kelsey & AndyIt was an incredible day with amazing weather for Kelsey & Andy in San Luis Obispo.  We provided the DJ, Lighting, Floral, Design and Coordination services for this wonderful couple. Kelsey & Andy were a pleasure to work with and their enthusiasm was contagious! The gourmet popcorn bar was a highlight for this popcorn-loving couple.

Reeves-00-278 (427x640)The La Cuesta Ranch set in the hills of San Luis Obispo was the location of this gorgeous wedding. As you can see, the mood-lighting looks absolutely incredible in the barn.  Thank you to Peer Johnson for some of these great shots! The food by Zest It Up was fantastic too!!

Wedding: Kelsey & Andy

Wedding: Evelyn & Tim @ Portola Inn

IMG_1927It was a gorgeous day for a wedding!  The Portola Inn in Atascadero was the location for this beautiful, Paris themed wedding in shades of peach, coral and light pink with accents of grey.  Evelyn and Tim were engaged in Paris and decided it would be the perfect style for their wedding day.  It was such a pleasure working with Evelyn to create the perfect bridal bouquet wrapped in hand dyed silk ribbon from France, her fiance’ Tim’s boutonniere and  floral centerpieces for the ceremony and reception.  Congratulations to the sweet couple!

Portola Inn Wedding

Evelyn & Tim October 2014

10 Thoughtful Ideas for Bridesmaids

It is a great honor to be a part of the wedding party.  It is also a responsibility to take seriously.  Have fun with it and get creative.  The Bride will be very thankful!  Here are some thoughtful ideas for all of you bridesmaids out there.

  1. Take responsibility for the welcome bag for the out-of-town guests.
  2. Have a girls night and help stuff envelopes with save the date cards and the wedding invitations.
  3. Offer to help assemble wedding favors.
  4.  If the rehearsal dinner is a casual affair, arrange the centerpieces for the table.
  5.  Help ward off the pre-wedding jitters by taking the bride out for a movie or a play.
  6.  At the wedding reception keep the bride’s drink filled. She will have a hard time getting to the bar.
  7. Offer to collect the cake topper, champagne flutes and other keepsake elements that have been used during the wedding.
  8. Have snacks and beverages waiting for the newlyweds when they check in to their hotel room.  More times than not the bride and groom don’t eat much at their own wedding.
  9. A honeymoon bag filled with sunscreen, Visine, toothbrushes, romantic items, etc.
  10. When the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, have their refrigerator stocked with food & drinks.

By: Nina Hamilton-Wilber

Wedding: Alicia & Kevin

It was a beautiful day for a wedding in Nipomo, CA.  The Monarch Club is nestled in Nipomo’s eucalyptus tree forest on California’s Central Coast.  Famous for it’s seasonal visit from thousands of vibrant orange and black monarch butterflies, this beautiful setting features rich architecture and chic design.  Views of lush, green rolling hills of the Monarch Dunes Golf Course provided a breathtaking backdrop for this gorgeous wedding.  It was a pleasure working with Alicia to create a romantic & elegant floral design in colors of white, blush & plum.  Champagne ribbon rosette table runners accented with pearls, crystals and lots of candle light finished the tablescapes .  Congratulations Alicia & Kevin!  Such a sweet couple.

Alicia & Kevin

Wedding: Richard & Yolanda @ Pear Valley

It’s no secret, that Paso Robles wine country is a fantastic place for a wedding!  Richard & Yolanda’s guests came from near and far to attend the celebration at Pear Valley Vineyards.  This venue offers breathtaking views, marvelous wines and is a gorgeous location and ideal for an intimate and memorable event.  The staff is laid back and the atmosphere will nourish your soul.   Richard & Yolanda chose to keep their ceremony and reception simple and elegant.  The ceremony was held up on the hill with amazing views of Paso vineyards as the backdrop.  Plenty of time was allotted for socializing in the tasting room, dinner in the reception room and dancing on the patio!   They selected a great music mix of classic R&B hits and some contemporary dance tunes to keep the party hopping.  I guess our secret is out!  The Central Coast is an amazing place to have an event and to come visit! Here are some photo highlights from their celebration.

7 Tips When Planning A Beach Wedding

By: Nina Hamilton-Wilber

Here on the Central Coast of California we have lots of beautiful beach locations to choose from.  When planning your perfect day, here are a few tips.

1.  When choosing a location be mindful of the wind and the tide.  A cove can be a nice spot that is protected from the breeze and be sure to set up where you will have plenty of room when the tide comes in.

2.  Check and see if a permit is needed.  Some beaches do not require a permit, especially if the wedding is small and your reception is at a different location.

0233.  Search for vendors that have experience with beach weddings.  It can be very helpful when they have the proper items that work best in the sand, such as benches, arbors etc.

4.  Rental companies will require someone to be on-site when making a delivery so be sure to assign the job to someone you trust.

5.  Think about who is on your guest list.  It may be a challenge for some of your elders to walk in the sand.  Designate several strong, healthy guests to provide assistance to those who may need it.

6.  Provide things like sunscreen, sunglasses, parasols even flip flops can be helpful if guest wore the wrong shoes to the wedding.  On hot Summer days make sure you provide refreshments for your guests.

7.  Say thank you with a beach themed favor such as a lei or personalized seashell.

Beach weddings can be both memorable and magical.  Remember that you are exposed to the elements of nature, so go with the flow… and be prepared with a backup plan just in case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.  Here’s hoping that your beach wedding is everything you dream of.

Tips for a Successful Cocktail Hour

By: Nina Hamilton-Wilber

Cocktail Hour

The cocktail hour of your wedding may not be at the top of your planning agenda, but for many guests, those 60-plus minutes spent sipping drinks and nibbling on small bites are crucial to the success of your event. This hour sets the tone and warms guests up for your reception. It is a chance for them to visit with friends, family and new faces. Coctails


Create a nice open layout with some low seating along with high top tables. Adding unique touches to your lounge seating such as pillows with your monogram or sweet love quotes can really add to the décor. Another fun idea is to have custom coasters with trivia questions about the couple. Floral can be simple. Smaller floral arrangements will be a sweet touch. Ask your floral designer about the possibility of using the extras to fill in. Floating floral blossoms and candles can go a long way and are quite beautiful.


Wine & CheeseHave glasses of wine, champagne, beer and/or non-alcoholic refreshments ready when guest enter, whether served by tray or set out on a table.  It will help keep the congestion to a minimum at the bar. Your bartender will thank you. Don’t offer too much. Keeping it simple can help if you are on a budget. If you are serving spirits, use middle of the road brands of vodka, whiskey, gin and tequila. Creating a beautiful bar can play a big part in the décor of your wedding.


Your guests will be ready for a snack. Little bites with lots of flavor and easy to eat. Eliminating utensils will make it easier for your guests to drink and eat at the same time if they are mingling. Having passed Hors d’oeuvres as well as food stations will keep the crowding to a minimum. Personalize this hour with a signature cocktail. Something refreshing and colorful can be a wonderful touch. Choosing a cocktail that color coordinates and giving it a special name can make quite an impact.cocktail food


Don’t forget to entertain your guests!! Music and lighting can set the tone for the rest of the evening. Choose music that everyone will enjoy. Instrumental jazz is best for setting a classy, elegant mood and the absence of song lyrics is more suitable for guest conversations.  Mood lighting can add so much to your event and it is most often overlooked.