First Dance Choreographed to Beauty and the Beast

Kaitlyn and Austin's Wedding

A little romance is always good for the soul!  Six years ago, Kaitlyn and Austin began their love story when they met in high school. Recently they took the next step together on their wedding day exchanging those life long vows. They chose a beautiful wedding venue for their special day at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, California and used rich deep purples in the banquet room which looked so elegant.  

There was a hint of Beauty and the Beast throughout their decor with the rose under a dome at the sign in table, Beauty and the Beast statues, and of course Kaitlyn's beautiful wedding gown that screamed Princess!!  But quietly they kept one surprise under wraps.  They made it even a more magical evening when they surprised their guests with the First Dance choreographed to Beauty and the Beast!

They turned to Pam Rossi at Pam Rossi's Dance Ten in Moorpark, California to help guide them.  Originally meeting with her for their first dance choreography, they turned it into a choreographed dance that included their bridal party.  With only a few hours of lessons, they were ready to show off their skills on the big day.

Gliding beautifully across the dance floor gazing in each other's eyes the whole time, Austin lifted and twirled Kaitlyn like he had done this many times before.  They truly looked like a prince and princess and when their bridal party came out dancing around them in the end, it simply took everyone’s breath away! Many wishes for their beautiful love story to continue forever! The full version of this beautiful First Dance can be watched on YouTube at this link Enjoy!


When it comes to music for your wedding, bringing in traditions is something that makes your wedding just that more special.  This last year it seemed to be the year of the Mariachi.  We had the pleasure of listening to a half dozen Mariachi bands playing lovely ballads during the prelude (music before the ceremony), playing instrumental songs during the procession and ceremony and then playing more traditional songs as they lead guests to the cocktail party.
Mariachi music can be tricky if you are not fluent in Spanish.  We sometimes find ourselves liking the melody or beat of a song, not realizing that the words may be less about love and more about unhappiness so you need to be careful with song selection.  Mariachi bands also usually offer a couple of selection of dress color and can be 4-5 members or many, many more.  They usually charge based by the hour with many having a four hour minimum and prices can vary.  They are not inexpensive but they are definitely a wonderful addition to a wedding especially if it is part of you or your fiance's heritage.
After much experience with having so many weddings featuring Mariachi music and with a lot of research, we've narrowed it down for you.  Below is a list you might find handy.  We have worked with several different Mariachi bands and provide our clients with referrals to them.  Many of the more popular bands have websites but if you have a chance to listen to them at a restaurant or they have some you tube videos, check them out to find one that is a great fit for the two of you.
Ava Maria
Besame Mucho
Bridal March by Wagner
*Canon in D
Cielito Lindo
Cien Anos Contigo Aprendi
El Rey
Es mi Nina Bonita (father daughter dance)
La Gloria eres tu
Mi Linda Esposa
*Que Bonito Amor
Sabor a mi
Si Quieres
Solamemte Una Vez
Somos Novios
Te Amare Toda La Vida
Tre Regalos
Wedding March by Mendelson

 *Used for bridal entrance
Remainder are good choices for prelude or recessional


As I look back at some of the wonderful weddings we were honored to be a part of, I think of Ali and Luke Simon.  A stunning private home of a friend situated on a hilltop above Simi Valley, California was the location site for this beautiful wedding.  A close friend of the bride’s family, the host not only made this spectacular home available to them, she upgraded everything from landscaping to lighting every single tree to make our bride’s fairytale wedding come alive!

Ali and Luke were just destined to be.  Upon attending their first day at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the first people Ali and her Mom met at the school was Luke and his Mom.  Little did they know that that first acquaintance would end up in marriage 5 years later.  Later at the reception, Ali’s Dad recalled how that day they said how they would love Ali to meet someone like Luke and Luke’s Mom said they had the exact same feeling about Ali.  It was certainly fate that these two were meant to stay in contact and grow their relationship throughout the years to come.

Both Ali and Luke wanted to incorporate their faith in the wedding.  As guests walked through the arch down the aisle to theirs seats, they were greeted by handmade signs with scripture readings.  The rows of rose petals lead you up to the magnificent 7 foot cross that Ali’s Father Steve made for the occasion which was perched on the hill which provided a stunning view of the entire city. 

Ali caught everyone’s eye as she came down the aisle with her Father in her gorgeous lace dress.  Her natural looking makeup by Bliss Bridal Beauty and her long soft curls created by her friend Dana made her look just stunning.

Cocktails followed at the point, as they call it, which is a large area that was filled with seating where guests could enjoy the view while sipping sangria and listening to the easy going music or taking a moment to write their favorite scripture on a card for the Bride and Groom.  An additional lounge area was set up in what normally is a volleyball area.

As guests entered the reception area, a large fountain encircled with candles and florals greeted them.  Blush, ivory and gold accents highlighted various areas and the tablescape incorporated this palette with gold chargers and blush napkins and blush thank you cards with sprigs of olive atop.  The centerpieces by Elizabeth Papadopoulos were perched in gold containers and showed off a blush and ivory mix of florals.

Wanting something unique, they opted for LA Paella Catering.  Ben, the chef, prepared on site three different types of Paella.  Not only did the flavorful fumes waft throughout the air during preparation but the pans of Paella cooking in front of the guests were a colorful addition to the dinner.

From the coffee cart setup on a wagon to the cake set upon an antique dresser, no detail was spared in this wedding.  The three tier cake from Skiff’sof sumptuous buttercream with flowers perched on the top with the bride and groom’s names on the topper looked elegant. 

Away they went in the end with a sparkler send-off offering a perfect ending to what was a perfect wedding and a fairytale that any bride would have loved!  See their love story and all of the details of their wedding in our Galleria!

Event planning/coordination by Karen Marie Events; Photography by Jennifer Jasso Photography; Makeup by Bliss Bridal Beauty; Hair by The Redhead Dana; Catering by LA Paella Catering; Bartending by Gold Star Staffing; Florals by Elizabeth Papadopoulos; DJ by DJSota



Many wedding venues with banquet facilities have an event manager on staff.  They will book the venue for you, assist you with menu planning and usually handle the setup of the tables and chairs as part of their responsibility. Today, many of the wedding venues, also have on staff a wedding coordinator that they include with your wedding package. 

The important thing to remember in both cases is that these venue coordinators are employed by the venue.  Their responsibilities are to the venue who employs them and is limited to taking care of the venue itself, their food service & staffing and in some cases, depending on the venue, tables and chair set up.  They have not worked with you closely over several months getting to know you on a more personal basis, helping you to create your vision and getting to know how you want your day presented.  Their services are also limited. 

An outside wedding planner is like your general contractor.  Beyond the basics, they manage all of the vendors confirming with them prior to the wedding, providing headcounts, coordinating arrival and set up times and to assure that everyone is on task during the event.  Your personal wedding planner is there not just to coordinate the day but to set up your décor to create your vision, make sure guests are greeted, assure that the cake cutting and other events of the day are done in a timely manner, music is getting your guests on the dance floor, etc.  They are also there to also take care of things that may not go so right – like the wrong flowers being delivered, the cake not delivered on time, getting an emergency keg of beer when you run out, etc.   Their services are over and above a venue coordinator’s normal responsibilities. 

Your own personal wedding planner also relies on your happiness as their business is built on referrals.  The venue coordinator is an employee and their goal is to facilitate the wedding for the venue.  Their desire to make your day as special as can be may not be at the same level as your wedding planner who hopes to have you as a lifetime client who will refer their friends and families.

Photo Credit:  Lucas Rossi Photography