Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Thank you from the Bride and Groom! The Jones Victorian Estate (714) 343-1964


At the Jones Victorian Estate, I am always striving for the best day ever for my Bride, Groom and their event. 

I just received a thank you from Becca and Dave Ward and I was thrilled. You see it rained all morning and just before Becca was to walk down the aisle, the sun came out in all it's glory!

Here is what they wrote:


Hi Michelle.

I just want to thank you again for a beautiful wedding. The rain and the pandemic threw us some curve balls but you handled them beautifully. I am so impressed with all you did to ensure that our day was safe and people kept healthy. You had our masks and hand sanitizer ready and easily accessible for the guests. I never saw a staff member without a mask either. You kept the tables far enough apart to be safe, yet it still looked gorgeous. I constantly saw staff wiping down common areas and restrooms. I was sad to have to give up the buffet option, but you plated the food wonderfully and your staff was so professional. I loved how it turned out. 
My day wasn’t what I had originally planned, but you gave me the best memories while keeping everyone safe and not a single person was sick! No Covid , not even one complaint of symptoms! Truly a success! You followed the regulations set out to you and still managed to make the wedding feel just perfect. 
We so appreciate you and all you did for our beautiful day!
Thank you!!

I don't know what we did to get so lucky to find you and the Jones. You have been such a steady source of encouragement and security in an already stressful day. All through it al, you have been a Rockstar! You're amazing and we are so incredibly grateful for you! Love, Becca and Dave Ward" 

Sooooo much fun! Thank you Becca and Dave!

Love Michelle

Monday, March 22, 2021

Are Place Cards Necessary? The Jones Victorian Estate (714) 343-1964


Are place cards necessary?  Yes, Assigned seating is so much better but are you really asking if you should have assigned seating or free seating? 

Whether it is place cards, a seating board display (windows, poster board, mirror etc) or a list, it is one of those details that can make your event run more smoothly. An arrangement of cards might become disheveled if they are not secured, so plan ahead on the design you love.

The free seating option is awkward and messy.  For example: if the parents are busy taking pictures and arrive late, they could be seated in the back. Or, if friends are saving seats by tilting chairs or placing napkins on the chairs, it looks unorganized and be dangerous. Or, if someone has a larger party, they might be forced to split up into multiple tables. 

However, the best reason to have assigned seating is that the guests are now free to mingle and enjoy the day without worrying about where they will sit and who they will sit with. 

Here's what to do to make the process easier. Create a schematic of the tables and how they will be arranged.  Have the parents assist you  arrange who should sit with who. Inevitably, there is a family member that requires a little extra assistance, having that addressed prior to the wedding will keep you stress free and the guest (s) happy.

At the Estate, I work closely with each Bride and Groom to create that  special seating presentation.  Here are just few:

Mirrors! One or many, they are all crisp, clean and elegant.
A shutter display with place cards (in alphabetical order), flowers, photos and seating!

French doors painted for seating!

 By bringing out your style and creativity into the seating plan, it is sure to work out nicely.



The Jones Victorian Estate (714) 343-1964

Saturday, March 20, 2021


The love of crystals and everything that sparkles was the order for the day for Carissa and Lee.
 For Carissa, it was all about the details! And did we have details!
It was so much fun creating vignettes that were not only beautiful and elegant but  playful as well.
The weather cooperated and Carissa and Lee had a fabulous day. 

The Ivory Silk Organza Arch with the chandelier, crystal strands and large floral arrangements made this Wedding Arch just what she had envisioned. 

It's all in the details and these crystals were just what Carissa wanted...
the perfect accent to the drape.

Black and White photos were hand tinted for a beautiful aisle chair decoration. We added ribbon and a broach to complete the look. (Each chair was a different photograph!)

Did she say crystals? Yes she did, so our crystal curtain was just the piece to decorate our Gazebo!  

Crystal cake stand, crystal drapes, crystal vases, pretty flowers in white vessels, white frames  and an adorable paper sculpted cake top finished the look! (The cake topper is in its own glass dome!)

The gorgeous arch was a spectacular backdrop for the first dance!

The clean and crisp French door seating doors allowed the guests to find their special seat assigned by the Bride and Groom.

A special Thank you to Gina and Ryan Photography for these wonderful photos!
Congratulations Carissa and Lee!
Michelle Gregory
the Jones Victorian Estate

Friday, March 19, 2021


Have you given any thoughts about where you will be seated and on what?
I have!

Kaily and Aaron wanted something different. Even though Chiavari chairs a grogeous, they were looking for something else...something special. 
Their theme colors were green, brown/black and gold.
We just happen to have a vintage green couch that we offered to them. 
It worked perfectly! 
I couple of comfy pillows added and an instant hit!

Kaily's centerpieces were made of fresh Magnolia leaves. 
The contrast of the leaves were just what she was looking for!
They carried her theme throughout the decoration!

Guest tables... with mini herb bouquets tied with gold twine for Aaron! His love for plants made this match elegant and earthy.

Their seating display?
A magnolia leaf and asparagus fern garland was added to accent their gold mirror!

What is your dream? 
Let's get together and have some fun!
the Jones Victorian Estate


I was reviewing all the amazing photographs from the past weddings and thought...
The Kiss! 
It seals the deal and the party begins. 
What a lovely way to start a new life together!

I just love our weddings!
Michelle Gregory
the Jones Victorian Estate

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Does a "First Look" Make Sense For Our Day? from the Jones Victorian Estate (714) 343-1964


Does the "First Look" make sense for our day?

 I have been asked that many times. Let's break it down a bit to offer as many details as possible. 

1. Make sure you have a schedule of events for your bridal party and family that will be part of your "first Look" photo session. If the bridal party and family are included too, then everyone MUST be on time for this pre-wedding photo shoot to work. If anyone is late, it will throw off the completion of the shoot. Suggestion: have everyone carpool or a couple of cars ready to go and make sure snacks are available!

2. If your "first look" is just for the Bride and Groom, give yourselves extra time to arrive at your destination. This will give you a less-stressful beginning to your day. As the finishing touches are being made, have one of your bridal party or family check with the photographer and the coordinator (if you have one) to be sure the location is ready and all props are in place.

3. This first look is precious. Remember to take in each moment and enjoy it.

Do I recommend a first look? Generally no but each situation is unique. I work very hard to make sure that that moment is the best it can be if that is the decision made. Sometimes, it really helps eliminate the wedding jitters if you see each other before hand. 

I prefer the moment when you first see each other for the first time down the aisle. At the Estate, we have the Bride and her father or escort stop at a designated spot so all the guests will rise. The entrance is dramatic and showcases the Bride before the final "approach" to the Alter and allows that eye to eye contact. 

Whatever you decide, make sure it is your decisions not based on the photographer. All due respect, but it is your day and making it easier for them seems silly. If your photographer is organized,  fast (with the cameras today, it is fast!) has an assistant and/or is creative, the photography can be completed after the wedding and still have time to enjoy the day. 



the Jones Victorian Estate - (714) 343-1964

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


Going Vintage!
Vintage is the “new,” “hot,” and “fresh” idea for this wedding season. Today, Bride’s are reinventing the old and turning it into something innovative! When thinking about the word “vintage,” what vision comes to your mind? Do you think old-fashioned and historical? How about fashionable and glamorous? What about warm and cozy? Vintage can be so many different things. Vintage can be an era, a particular piece of furniture, a memory, and even a style.
Because finding Vintage items and ideas to enhance your theme can be like finding a needle in a haystack, here are some options I have put together for you, the Vintage Bride!
1. Vintage Location: As a vintage Bride, you may want to create your vintage look by first and foremost hosting your wedding at a historical site. Some examples in the Southern California Area are the Jones Victorian Estate in Orange, the Centennial Museum in Santa Ana, and the Grand Tradition in San Diego, to name a few. In this way, your Vintage look begins the moment you book your venue. When guests arrive, they are instantly brought back in time to a period when hospitality and gentility reigned.
2. Vintage decorations: When buying vintage and antique items, you can begin at Antique stores, but don’t limit yourself there. Although going into an Antique store, where you are guaranteed to find an abundance of vintage items from broaches to furniture, can feel like you have found the pot of gold, these items may come with a heavy price tag.
If you’re ready for some adventure, try bargain hunting! Flea markets and antique swap meets have a wealth of vintage items that you can pick through and choose from. Keep your eyes pealed because there can be a fabulous one-of-a-kind find hidden under a mound of items. Remember, you can barter, so find the best deal! In addition to flea markets and swap meats, try Salvation Army and Good Will stores, which have new items arriving practically every day! At these stores, you’re always guaranteed a good price.
Tired of run-around shopping? Try Ebay, Craigslist,, or “Google” the word Vintage, where you can find everything from a vintage bridal gown to trunks, chairs, vases, and more!
3. Worried about the cost of acquiring these Vintage items when everything is all said and done? Rent vintage items! Vintage rentals are becoming more and more popular. Vintage Rentals come from specialty sources like “FOUND” based in Fullerton, CA, whose owner, Jeni Maus, finds joy in discovering that collectible item you’ve been searching for! From trunks, chairs, couches, and decor, you can style your photo-shoot and wedding vintage and bring guests back to another time period.
4. Ask a relative! Remember going into your Grandmother’s, Great Aunt’s, or another relatives house and admiring all of their nick-nacks and pictures? For your wedding, bring some vintage memorabilia that will represent your family, such as black and white pictures of your grandparents, an old quilt, dishes, teapot, or your Grandmother’s broach or locket to pin on your bridal bouquet. One thing to remember when asking your relative for these items is that these may be heirlooms or important artifacts of his or her past, so take good care of them. Any items that the relative will lend or give you for your wedding need to be written down on a checklist. To make sure everything is organized, print two check lists: one for a check-in and one for check-out.
Michelle Gregory, Wedding Coordinator and Event Planner at the Jones Victorian Estate recommends, “In order to make sure everything gets back to the owner, choose a reliable family member with a vehicle that will be responsible for those items. He or she will have the list and the coordinator or site representative will have a copy of the same list to make sure everything is collected and packed safe and correctly.”
5. Make your own! Vintage can also be a style and not specifically an item found in an era, so be bold and try creating your own! For a picture frame, get a brown frame and white wash it, or spunge gold, bronze or silver patina onto the frame to make it vintage or vintage glam. Do you have some extra costume pearls or jewels? Think about incorporating those into an idea too! Is there a box in your attic of discarded fabric or materials? Why not make some original vintage looking quilts or napkins? All these ideas and more can create your “vintage look” and can help minimize cost.
Whether going “vintage” shines through your location or your vintage memorabilia, make your Vintage Wedding your own! Reflect who you are and where you come from by creating your very own vintage theme. Going Vintage can lead you to all kinds of new and exciting destinations. Think about Vintage Glam, Vintage country, Vintage shabby-chic, Vintage garden, and more! Keep your eyes and mind open. Happy planning!
Stay tuned for a Vintage photo shoot from the Jones Victorian coming soon!
Erica May Gregory

Is That Really A Gate? The Jones Victorian Estate (714) 343-1964

During the winter months when the wedding bookings are slow, there are always all kinds of activity at the Jones Victorian Estate. There are engagement photo shoots, anniversary photo shoots, visiting with past Brides and their precious new babies as well as replanting, repairing and redesigning. 
Today is just one of those days!
We transformed our old, white gate into a lovely garden backdrop.
 This particular area 
is our smoking section... away from the crowds. 

With the real large trees in the background accenting the artwork and newly covered bristro sets for comfort and conversation, this area is sure to become a favorite! 

Come see why the Jones Victorian Estate is like no other!
Let's have fun!
Michelle Gregory
the Jones Victoria Estate

A Family Reunion at The Jones Victorian Estate (714) 343-1964 - The Gavrilovic Family

Here are the new Gavrilovics, April and Milos on their wedding day over 18 years ago!

And here they are 18 years and 6 children later!

The same love with the same pose, timeless.

More locations at the Jones Victorian Estate

My Favorite of April and Milos!

Our Drive never looked so good!

All the kids are here at our wine cellar. Thank you for the new memories!

What is your dream?
(714) 343-1964


Chandeliers! Offering the Events even more sparkle. The Jones Victorian Estate (714) 343-1964

I am in love again, but this time with the ever so exciting Chandelier. This gorgeous accent piece is perfect for any decor... just like a great purse! It goes with everything!

This Arch was accented with hanging crystals, a floral center with a Chandelier below. Where is the photographer when you need one?

Here, the Chandelier was added above the head table for more romance!

Cake display? It's a great place to add the crystal magic that only a Chandelier can bring!

You say you are decorating with Burlap? So Whatap! A Chandelier goes with everything!

So, no matter what your design, remember the beauty and romance of the Chandelier! 
It's one single item that glows... Wedding!
We have three!!!
Have fun planning!
Michelle Gregory
the Jones Victorian Estate

You just got engaged!! What's next? The Jones Victorian Estate to the rescue! (714) 343-1964

Congratulations, you just got engaged! Wow, how did he do it?

It doesn't take long at all for family and friends to ask, "What's your date? 
Are you planning a spring or summer wedding? 
Where are you getting married? 
What's your theme?
 Have you figured out your budget? 
 How many are you going to have in your Bridal party? Who's going to be one of your Bridesmaids? 
What color are the bridesmaid's dresses? 
Dates are booking fast, when are you going to start looking?"
 YYYYIIIIIKKKKKKEEEESSSSSSS! "I just got engaged, I don't know!" your must be thinking. The stress starts creeping in. You are already starting to get overwhelmed and you haven't even begun the planning!

S T O P!

You just got engaged!! Before you start anything, please take a least few weeks off and enjoy this special time. This is the time to dream together. This is the time to find out what each other really wants. It's the simple things that mean the most. There is plenty of time for the planning and finding the perfect site for you! So, if you feel stressed already, stop!
If I can help, please let me know. Simplify the situation by thinking it's just like deciding to buying a car. 
You both do a little research on what color, style and make and see what the budget is all about. Simplify!
Enjoy this special time in your lives!!
the Jones Victorian Estate
(714) 343-1964


On this rainy day, what is the best pick-me-up?
Beautiful flowers!
(Thank you so much to Flower Allie in Fullerton... the best florist)




What is your color scheme?
Do you want just a floral accent?
Whatever it is, the Jones Victorian Estate will work with you to create your dream wedding and reception.

Michelle Gregory
the Jones Victorian Estate
(the caps are excitement!)