The Association of Bridal Consultants’ annual wedding planner conference was held in sunny Southern California and I was ready for a dose of inspiration, motivation, and education. It’s been a wonderful year for Southern Glam Weddings & Events but right around the Fall, I’m in need of new and fresh ideas in the wedding industry. My California loving husband tagged along with me so we extended our time to make the most of our time while we were across the country.
Redondo Beach, California
The first time I met my surfing husband, he looked straight out of a Hollister store. He was completely shocked I had never seen the show, The O.C., so our first summer together, we binged watched every season. And I loved it. Naturally our first stop in California was the Redondo Coffee Shop where MANY scenes were filmed for the show.
The Redondo Pier was great for a laid back afternoon of local eats and sights. It’s a hardcore fishing pier so at times the smells were … authentic! Be sure to snap a photo with the resident pelicans!
Huntington Beach, California
On the way to the conference hotel, we stopped at Beach City Brewery so Sean could add another pint glass to his collection.
Costa Mesa, California
Conference was held in Costa Mesa and opened with a party and let me tell you, parties for wedding/event planners planned by planners are always amazing! It started at 7:30pm and at 9:30pm, the DJ’s music went silent and the headphones turned on to continue the party. This is a fabulous option for venues that have noise ordinances or those looking to bring a fun tech-savvy touch to an event!
The next two days were filled with education, motivation, and inspiration. It’s always SO great to catch up with fellow planners around the country who I met a conference many years ago. I was incredibly lucky to meet Sasha Souza (!) and learn from other luxury wedding and event planners.
Also, I re-took the Certified Sandals Specialist training again to learn about the new and exciting things Sandals and Beaches has to offer couples and families. I’ve helped many newlyweds honeymoon in paradise so who’s ready to travel to the Caribbean next? Let’s chat!
Laguna Beach, California & Newport Beach, California
Costa Mesa was right down the road from Newport Beach and Laguna Beach and oh my gorgeous, if I wasn’t set on living in the South, I would live in Laguna Beach, California. The views, the boutique shopping, and the restaurants were incredibly amazing! I was convinced that I was coming back to Tampa alone because Sean was seriously in love with this part of California.
Does it get any more gorgeous? The photo above was taken at Crescent Bay Point Park. Another photo opportunity is Top of the World (top right photo below.)
Places I’d recommend dining:
The Cliff – BEYOND GORGEOUS views but be prepared for a wait!
And for delicious gelato, pop into Gelato Paradiso!
Los Angeles, California
When my conference had come to a close, it was time to head up to Los Angeles for the next part of our West Coast trip because it had been too long since I had seen Hollywood and Sean had never experienced it. Our first night we had a laid back dinner at Golden Road Brewing which had SO many vegetarian/vegan options for me so I definitely give it two thumbs up!
It’s no secret I like the Kardashians and watch TMZ, and read People magazine; it didn’t shock Sean much that I wanted to take one of those tours around Hollywood and Beverly Hills to see the stars’ homes and maybe see someone famous. Finding the right tour though took a bit of research. We settled on Glitterati Tours and called to make a reservation . A friendly answer by a Jeremy confirmed our “Whirlwind Los Angeles” two hour tour and gave us directions to meet at The Grove.
On tour day, a classy black Navigator picked Sean and I up for our tour with Colin as our guide. I felt like a celebrity riding in style!
Up first, we drove through old Hollywood to see the original filming studios which included the neighborhood where Lauren Conrad’s house was used for filming The Hills AND Jamie Lee Curtis’ house used for filming Halloween. Then we drove into the hills to take a photo with the iconic Hollywood sign followed up by seeing celebrity homes. Y’all, had we taken a tour by bus, we would have never been able to get into the hills. Some of the homes we drove by are owned by Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Matthew Perry, Rhianna, Jennifer Aniston, Keanu Reeves, and Ashton Kutcher. We then drove down Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue to see famous restaurants and bars. We ended the tour driving through Beverly Hills and through Rodeo Drive. Colin was an amazing tour guide and I highly recommend Glitterati Tours!
Sean and I wanted to go back to Hollywood Boulevard to see the Walk of Fame so we asked Colin if he had any suggestions as to where to park. He recommended parking off of Orange Street in the Hollywood & Highland Center parking garage. We took his suggestion for easy parking and it lead us right in the middle of the action on Hollywood Boulevard.
We saw a group of people standing at the exit and I overheard someone say, “I cannot believe he’s here!”
I tapped her shoulder and asked, “Who’s here?!”
Her: “Daniel Radcliffe!”
Me: “Daniel Radcliffe? THE Daniel Radcliffe? Like Harry Potter?!”
Her: “Yes! He’s here getting his star on the Walk of Fame!”
Oh man, our first celebrity sighting and we had a front row seat!
We had lunch at the original Mel’s Drive-In and found both Audrey Hepburn’s and Britney Spears’ stars on the Walk of Fame!
After Hollywood, I was on the hunt for cupcakes and not just any cupcakes, the original Sprinkles Cupcake ATM which just so happened to be in Beverly Hills. It was life changing and the song is the now the theme song of my life! I love Sprinkles! Yes I do, yes I do!
I might have spent a little time shopping off those cupcakes on Rodeo Drive.
While driving on Sunset Boulevard, I spotted Duff’s Cakemix – I’m always down for cupcakes so on we went and discovered Bravo was filming inside. We decorated cupcakes and signed a waiver to be in the background of the show. Could this day be anymore “Hollywood?”
Actually yes, because we ran into Fred Savage at our hotel where another show was being filmed!
Our last day was spent on the Santa Monica pier, driving through Malibu, and Sean surprisingly taking me to Calabasas to see if maybe, just maybe, I’d run into a Kardashian. No such luck!
I’d say it was a successful trip to the other coast!