Tag Archives: DIY

Jayme & Luis | Bella Vista Gardens Wedding

The only thing I can really say about our Wedding Day, aside from the fact that we had a blast, was that it was US!!! From the wardrobe, to the music, to the food, to the decorations–every detail was a reflection of both, who Luis & I are as individuals and who we are as a couple. Being a previous Event Coordinator, I made the decision to tackle most of the planning, decorating & coordinating myself. We spent over a year crafting, bargain hunting, building, DIYing & up-cycling as much as we could. Looking back, it was a lofty & time-consuming endeavor, but the hard work allowed us to customize a wedding that was a perfect reflection of us & our personalities–Fun, Quirky, Crafty & Colorful.

Originally, we had planned to have a “Love Is…” themed-wedding; kind of pop-artsy, kitschy, and a little vintage (which is what I love). But as the planning progressed, things morphed into a little less cutesie and a little more classic. This was the best balance between mine & Luis’ styles. We ended up incorporating many rustic elements for Luis, paid homage to 1950’s style that I adore with my tea-length wedding dress, brooch bouquet, classic body-wave hairstyle & vintage luggage accents, and focused a great deal on the food & music. Luis & I are definitely “foodies” and wanted to take our guests a culinary tour of many of the foods we love. So, we melded cuisine from both our Filipino & Mexican backgrounds (Adobo, Lumpia, Pancit, Pollo Norteno, Horchata, Bean & Rice), hired a Taquero “Taco Man,” offered Nothing Bundt Cakes as our Wedding Cake & gave away Porto’s Cheese Rolls as Wedding Favors. Lastly, we had a Mariachi Band during Cocktail Hour &
our Grand Entrance which was a nod to Luis’ heritage.  

***JAYME: A very special moment for us was definitely our First Dance. As the DJ announced us, our wedding guests gathered along the edge of Bella Vista Grove’s beautiful, outdoor dance floor with huge glowing Sparklers in-hand as we made our way to center stage. Can you imagine dancing under a star-filled sky, with your new wife/husband in your arms, to Ed Sheeran’s “Talking Out Loud,” surrounded by a sea of glimmering lights? There was definitely love in the air that night & it was truly magical… 
***LUIS: My favorite part of our big day was, without question, when Jayme walked out of the house and made her way to the alter. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen–she looked stunning! I felt like no one else was there but us… I fell in love again, a million times over, that day.

Once your big day has come & gone and the freshness of your memories begin to fade, all you’ll have left are the pictures/video footage from that special day… A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s why it’s SO important to invest in professionals who will skillfully & stylishly capture all those feelings & experiences & moments for you. As we interviewed many published & notable wedding photographers, Sun & Sparrow climbed to the top of our list because, as a bride, not only did I want beautiful pictures, but I also wanted us to be able to spend our day with people we enjoyed, people we could laugh with, people that would reassure us & keep us smiling, people that we would make our day memorable. We chose correctly!

With my past experiences in Event Planning, I knew how much couples invested (and ultimately OVER-invested) on their Weddings, so it was important for us to keep costs as low as possible. Luis & I spent many weekends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, Ventura Swap Meet & a plethora of antique shops trying to find vintage frames, shutters, barrels, brooches, etc. We literally spent our evenings building & crafting everything we could ourselves: Boutonnieres, Crepe Paper Flowers, Chalkboard Signs, The Bar, All Decorations, Backdrop, Curtains, Photo Booth Props, Bridal Bouquet, Table Centerpieces, Luminaries, Bridal Party Gifts, etc, etc… The list goes on-&-on! We were exhausted, but the sense of pride we felt when it all came together and knowing that everything we made was from our hearts & carried a small piece of us was well worth it.  

The biggest pieces of advice I can offer any couple is to make efforts to slow down & enjoy each moment as they come, because faster than you realize, it will all be over. Also, inevitably, something unplanned will happen, someone will be late, something won’t go according to plan, some part of your master plan will fall through–but that’s okay. Most times, something that seems like a “big deal” to you will go unnoticed by your guests (as they were not part of the planning process), and at the end of the day, you are marrying the person you love and that’s what counts! And lastly, don’t focus on pleasing others (mother-in-law, friends, family, etc) or make decisions that you’re not comfortable with; its your special day and should be yours & your fiances vision–no one else’s.

***JAYME: My favorite part of being married is knowing that I have someone, a forever “partner-in-crime,” who made a decision & promise to always stand beside me, support me, act silly with me, share in my adventures, love me, protect me, inspire me, and build a life & family with me. When I wake up in the morning next to my husband, it’s the best knowing that he adores me & thinks I’m beautiful even though my hair is messy and I have no make-up on. Love & Commitment are things many people spend their whole lifetime searching for, and I feel lucky & blessed to have found mine.
***LUIS: My favorite part of being married is feeling the bond we have get stronger and stronger with each new day. Being able to come home every night, knowing that my wife will always be there for the rest of our lives, is incredibly heart warming and a blessed feeling. 

Officiate: Warren Geisler
Venue: Bella Vista Groves | www.bellavistagroves.com
Dress: Dolly Couture | www.dollycouture.com
Hair: Kristen Thompson of Salon Rouge | www.salonrouge.net/home
Make-Up: Lindsay Dickenson of Kiss The Bride | www.kissthebridemakeup.blogspot.com
Women’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | www.tiffany.com
Men’s Watches: Fossil | www.fossil.com
Acoustic Guitar: David Komski
Photography: Tiffani, Ellie & Claudia of Sun & Sparrow | www.sunandsparrow.com
Disc Jockey: Jerry Gutierrez of GTZ Entertainment | www.gtzentertainment.com
Catering: El Pollo Norteno Grill | www.elnortenogrill.com
Catering: Del’s Sweet Creations 
Taco Man: K.O. Tacos | https://www.facebook.com/pages/KO-Tacos/228855383793584
Favors: Porto’s Bakery | www.portosbakery.com
Wedding Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes | www.nothingbundtcakes.com
Photo Booth: Caught Up In The Moment | www.caughtupphotobooths.com
Mariachi: Mariachi Estrellas de Jalisco | https://www.facebook.com/mariachiestrellas.dejalisco

Scott & Candace // Apple Creek Ranch Rustic Wedding Photographer

how she did it

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR WEDDING? // Chic, Cozy and a vintage feel. We also really wanted an intimate wedding. The people closest to us!


WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE/FAVORITE PART ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY? // We both agree- THE CEREMONY! For me it felt like time stood still for Scott and I. I remember be so wrapped up into him, I truly didn’t notice anyone else! For Him- He loved the very first part of my vows. “I absolutely Love you”. I delivered it with a laughter and warmth and he says he knew It was the most organic thing I have ever said to him.


WHY WAS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO YOU? // For me Capturing this moment in a way that told a story was super important. I have also seen the same wedding photos over and over so I wanted something truly artistic. Scott felt the same way. He is actually a pretty great photographer himself (he dabbled in photography in college).


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SUN & SPARROW?  //  Sun and Sparrow captured me with their magical photography and sincere hearts!


DID YOU DO ANY DIY PROJECTS? IF SO, WHAT? // Yes, I made all of my chalkboards, bridesmaids gifts and collected all of my own glassware. I purchased some Vintage pieces but also used a lot of recycled glass from my work and home.


WHAT WAS YOUR SOMETHING OLD, NEW, BORROWED, BLUE? // OLD– My Pearl Earrings I got from my Bridesmaid Brooke’s Wedding this Summer. It was my Bridesmaids Gift and I loved wearing them on my wedding day and I also rocked a sparkle jacket I wore on our first NYE in LA. NEW– My Dress, Veil and after party outfit. BORROWED– My Nana’s Gloves she wore on her wedding day and I Headband I got from a friend. BLUE– I wore Blue panties and blue heels! Haha =)


DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BRIDES WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THE PLANNING PROCESS? // A TON- but really everyone has their own journey. There were things I would say don’t spend your money on but those things might be important to someone else. So ROCK your wedding!  Ok, One thing- DONT RENT THOSE HORRIBLE Tux’s – It was cheaper to buy and tailor a suit then to rent a tux or suit that didn’t really fit. Brides always have top pick when it comes to their big day and so should your man. Let him wear what he feels sexy in!


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING MARRIED NOW?  //   Being Married and he Sex. =) Maybe TMI but its the truth.


©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Apple Creek Ranch Rustic Wedding Photographer
Big thanks to CLAUDIA NAVARETTE for second shooting & White Orchid Productions for coordinating! //

VENDORS  //   Apple Creek Ranch- AMAZING Location, Great Staff.. Breathtaking Views!  //  Photography – Sun & Sparrow  // Coordinator & Florals- White Orchid Productions// The Border Grill- Saved our wedding Day. We had to fire our caterer ( Epicurean Cowboy) Two weeks out from our wedding Day. Border Grill and Lauren rescued us and was so awesome! The food and service was great. //   Dress: Essence of Australia but I got all my accessories from ETSY  //  My veil – was about $800 cheaper on etsy that in a regular boutique. I also bought my belt, MOH Gift and Glassware on Etsy.


©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers // Apple Creek Ranch Rustic Wedding Photographer

How to ask your friend to be a bridesmaid //

Finding the perfect wedding photographer for you can be challenging. But when you find a photographer you connect with, someone who sees your vision, then you will have the right match.

Hello Sparrows! My name is Claudia & I’ve been working with Sun & Sparrow for over a year, helping at weddings and building my portfolio.  I’m very excited to be part of the Sun & Sparrow team! One of the best perks to working with Sun & Sparrow is that I am able to share one of my favorite pastimes…. DIY crafts for parties and weddings. In this first edition of my SIMPLE DIY IDEAS, I wanted to share a little bit about my upcoming wedding and how I asked my friends to be my bridesmaids. With that, I’d love to share how to ask your friend to be your bridesmaid.

My fiancé and I have been dating for 6 years and engaged for about a year and a half. That being said, I have had alot of time to plan my wedding in my head. That may sound like an advatage, but it has left lots of room for changing my mind about it very often! It wasn’t until I decided to stop trying to copy every idea that’s out there on Pinterest or wedding blogs (and changing my mind after anything new came out) that I finally came to a design idea that was totally ME and US.

We are both simple people that love to hang out with family and friends. This is how we decided that casual and easy-going was the best style for our upcoming wedding. I love crafts, both doing them and the final outcome. I have titled the style of my wedding “Sweet, Crafty Romance” because it sums up the girly touches, the DIY approach, and the love between us both and our loved ones. I chose to mainly DIY my wedding so that my fiancé and I could have fun selecting and working on projects, as well as getting my fairly large bridal party involved in the process! So far, we have had a couple projects where we’ve worked together and it has been so fun reminiscing on old times and getting excited for our big day.


The majority of my guests speak Spanish (in fact, many of our family members speak ONLY spanish), so we decided to use strictly Spanish in both our stationary and our wedding day activities. I wanted to give my guests a little peek at what’s to come with my Save the Dates. I had a quick shoot with my sister with some outfits coordinated to our wedding colors for our cards (pink, blue, ivory and a hint of gold). The card itself was something quick and simple that I came up with on Photoshop, ordered it as a postcard from www vistaprint.com, and put together with a little heart-shaped confetti and sparkly ribbon. I also added our favorite bible verse to the back of my card, as we are dedicating our marriage to God, even starting from the planning. It was so simple, inexpensive, and it has really made an impact. My guests are so excited to get a first glimpse at our wedding and plans.


I mentioned that I have a large bridal party, 13 girls that are so special and dear to me. I wanted to make something extra special for them as a way to ask them to be my bridesmaids. I looked around on Pinterest for some inspiration and decided on a goodie box for each girl (see my inspiration board here: http://pinterest.com/claudiaandalex/the-girls/). I purchased some inexpensive boxes from Joanne’s and used the same materials I used for the save the dates to dress them up. I made some quick cards on photoshop and had them printed at Costco as 4X6 and trimmed them down to the size I needed and included information about their dresses, our wedding day, and their roles in the wedding. Everyone that knows me knows that I LOVE nail polish. It’s a serious addiction! So I thougth it would be so fitting to gift them each their own shade of pink polish to wear at the wedding (my MOH’s got a shade of blue). I also included some gold candies in the box, first of all because they are my favorite, and second because they matched our wedding colors! I enjoyed giving each bridesmaid their gift as a small thank you for being such great friends, and a plus was that I got to explain alot of questions they may have had for me after I asked them to be part of my day.

Thanks for reading about my projects! I look forward to working with Sun & Sparrow and bringing you more how to’s on simple projects that are cute and budget friendly. I’m so excited to marry my best friend, and to spend time with those that I love so dearly getting ready for my magical day!

©2013 Sun & Sparrow Photography //  photos by Claudia Navarette {a Sun & Sparrow associate photographer}


1 comment
  • BeckyJune 16, 2013 - 10:45 am

    Your so creative! Your ideas are so cute! Love it!ReplyCancel

Rustic Desert Wedding // Kyle & Molly // Palm Springs wedding photographer


ENGAGEMENT STORY  //  Kyle and I got engaged on an incredibly special Saturday. We spent the morning in our final session of an eight week long ‘seriously dating and engaged’ class. We had talked about getting married but not when exactly we would be getting engaged. We spent the afternoon in San Clemente on the beach and walking around downtown. We love San Clemente and Dana Point and it was a warm and beautiful October day. All day I kept telling Kyle how perfect the day was, not knowing how much better it was going to get! We had dinner at a favorite Mexican food place near my apartment and planned to go back to my place, watch a movie and cuddle- our idea of an ideal Saturday night  . When we arrived at my apartment, it was filled with hundreds of roses. It was so beautiful, all lit up with all kinds of candles. I was completely shocked; I couldn’t even go into the apartment at first. I couldn’t understand what was happening until Kyle got down on one knee and asked me to marry him- with a gorgeous diamond ring! We spent the rest of the night calling our friends and family and excitedly coming up with ideas for our wedding day. It was such a surprise to me and the day was so special because we just enjoy being around each other so much- we were able to spend the morning working on our relationship, the afternoon enjoying each other’s company in one of our favorite places, and the evening eating delicious food and planning our lives together. An absolute perfect day and perfect proposal!


MOLLY’S FAVORITE DIY PROJECTS  //  I planned and designed the whole wedding myself.Often times during the process I thought I was totally crazy to do so. I felt a little overwhelmed with the projects, but I had soooo much help and support! My mom came out from Colorado for a week to help us with planning and details and my wonderful in-laws, Bob and Robyn, took on the huge task of making all of the chalkboard signs that we used for the ceremony and reception. We also had Kyle’s family and my younger sister help us out with the favors, live succulents in terra cotta pots. Not to mention all of the help from family and friends the weekend of the wedding!


One of my favorite DIY projects that we did for the wedding was the fabric ‘bunting’ we used as a backdrop for the dessert table. After choosing Palm Springs as our wedding destination, we knew what wanted the wedding to have a desert theme and really focus on the fact that we were in Palm Springs. Palm Springs has such a wonderfully retro yet modern feel to it and I wanted to use a coral to bring that out- contrasting with the desert around us and highlighting how fun Palm Springs is! Coral seemed like the perfect color to me. We also knew we wanted to use yellow because of the Craspedia we used for flowers and a little turquoise- my favorite color and oh-so-deserty. The bunting brought all our colors together in one place and I loved making it! It was something I felt totally in control of during the planning process!
We knew we wanted to incorporate a lot of terra cotta- so we did the favors as well as made the dessert stands out of terra cotta pots and plant stands. That was something we felt was unique and added a lot to the feel of the wedding.  The best DIY project, in my opinion, was the one that lasted! Our guest book was made by my very talented sister, Jade. She made the pages of the book by dipping the sides in watercolor to make them coral and bound the book with turquoise ribbon. We had guests write on chalkboards and have a Polaroid taken of them to paste into the book. It’s something really special that we love having and was a fun way for guests to interact during the cocktail hour.


VENDORS  //  Venue: The Cree Estate  //  Photography: Sun & Sparrow Photography  //  Catering: Ana’s Taqueria, Corona, CA  //  Rentals: Signature Rentals, Indio, CA  //  Flowers: David Rohr Floral Studio, Cathedral City  //  Cakes and Cupcakes:  Susie Cakes in Newport Beach, CA  //  Macarons: ‘Lette Macarons in Beverly Hills, CA  //  The Dress: Enzoani


©2013 Sun & Sparrow Photography // DIY Rustic Desert Wedding //  Historic Cree Estate Wedding


  • Casey FiglewiczJune 19, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    Love it. Epic job you guys! Best wedding yet!!ReplyCancel

  • alicynJuly 4, 2012 - 4:22 pm

    YES! This is the best capture of the Cree Estate I’ve seen yet! We are getting married there in Oct. and I haven’t seen many pictures that really capture the amazing energy and spirit of the venue.

    Lovely couple, gorgeous wedding! Love it!!!!ReplyCancel

    • photosisJuly 9, 2012 - 4:00 pm

      I wish that we could be there for you. Let us know if you need a photographer. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • SarahAugust 4, 2012 - 7:38 am

    This is a beautiful wedding! I think I’m going to copy some of your awesome ideas for the desert theme 🙂ReplyCancel

JT & Sheva // Boho chic desert wedding // Joshua Tree, CA

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR WEDDING? // While we were dating, we loved visiting the desert. We had been to Joshua Tree many times and had some of our closest & most favorite moments as a couple in the desert. We absolutely loved the idea of using the paradox of massive open space to highlight the intimacy on our wedding day. We knew that we had to share some of our most special moments with all of our family and friends. Simply stated, in the remoteness and isolation of the desert, we found our inspiration 🙂


WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE/FAVORITE PART ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY? // I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the Persian dancing with our friends & family was our favorite! It was important to have that element of culture on our wedding day and it was so nice to see all our friends embrace it by cutting a rug to our Persian playlist!


WHY WAS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO YOU? // We wanted to capture the beauty of the day; the best, most important day of our lives! We want to share these photos with our children someday so it was important that the photographs captured the love and happiness of the day.


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SUN & SPARROW? // We saw a couple weddings they had photographed on their blog and we were blown away! Sun & Sparrow captured all of our moments and details beautifully. One of the best parts about the girls, is when we met Ellie & Tiffani we connected with them immediately. We knew we wanted them to be a part of our day.


DID YOU DO ANY DIY PROJECTS? IF SO, WHAT? // One of my favorite DIY projects were our escort cards. These were beautiful pieces of bark that I used a wood burning tool to write our guests names & table numbers into bark. It took forever, but it was so worth it to see all of the excitement from this personalized touch. // Another DIY project was that I designed & made the statement necklace I wore. I absolutely love building new jewelry from old items. By reconstructing antique jewelry and brooches, I made my amazing wedding day jewelry! // The final project was to make & create our bouquets. I wanted plants & florals that would last through the day. So I put together some beautiful drought resistant plants together with some beautiful burlap wrapping and it made a beautiful & wonderful!

// Something Old: An antique locket I pinned to my bouquet that had pictures of loved ones who have passed // Something New: My shoes // Borrowed:My wedding dress! Borrowed from my generous sister-in-law // Blue: My garter was embellished with a blue rose.


DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BRIDES WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THE PLANNING PROCESS? // Keep it simple and delegate tasks as much as possible so you can enjoy your special day. And remember- the planning is part of the fun- do your best to approach it that way.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING MARRIED NOW? // I love knowing that we are a family now- its a subtle shift but it feels different and good. Also, I love saying “my husband”- it still feels so new and exciting every time!

VENDORS // Venue: Le Haut Desert Aerie // Photographer: Sun & Sparrow // Desserts & Confections : Plants Party // DJ : Dan Goldstein


©2013 Sun & Sparrow Photography // Boho chic desert wedding // Pioneer Town in Joshua Tree, CA

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