Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a fabulous new year! Thanks for reading my blog - I have loved sharing my weddings and ideas with all of you. See you in 2010! xo

Monday, December 21, 2009

Save the Date: Gump's Wedding Chic

SF Brides - save the date for Gump's annual bridal event, Sunday February 7th! I'm honored to participate with an elite group of wedding vendors, like the lovely Kathleen Deery. Tickets are available online at Gump's. Don't miss it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Northern California Dreaming: Sarah + Graham

I'm so excited to share this wedding with you! It's full of amazing personal details that really made this wedding spectacular. When I met with Sarah and Graham, they told me they really wanted a wedding that was an experience for their guests. So, together, we created an amazing Northern California experience that reflected some of the great pastimes of Sarah's upbringing near by. Guests were treated to various activities the day before the wedding, including hiking in Point Lobos, kayaking in the Monterey Bay, a walking tour of Carmel, lavender picking, cooking demonstrations and golf. Guests loved the variety of activities and formed bonds that lasted long after the wedding weekend ended. I'll share more pics the Friday events next week. On to the wedding...

Sarah and Graham's ceremony was held in an ancient redwood grove. The massive trees created a spectacular backdrop for their vows. The groomsmen wore ties handmade by a relative of the couple. Each tie was crafted with Liberty fabric - a favorite of the couple and used repeatedly throughout the wedding (we dressed the escort card table with strips of Liberty & decked out the cake table too!). The groom added another personal touch with cuff links crafted from a piece of a map that bears significance for each of the groomsmen. The bride also used Liberty fabric for her bridesmaids' gift - each received a handmade Bermuda bag made from Liberty fabric. Guests enjoyed dinner under a simple, yet elegant Zephyr Tent. Following dinner, guests moved into the barn for late night dancing and dessert. Their parting gift? A sweet treat of homemade salted caramels (courtesy of the bride's cousin) in vintage jars, finished with none other than Liberty fabric.

My Favorite Detail? I loved the gelato bike from Cici Gelato that rolled in during the late night dancing. Guests were offered a choice of 2 sorbets and 2 gelatos that were homemade from local ingredients. Delicious!

Photography by Gertrude & Mabel. Catering by the Santa Lucia Preserve. Flowers by Kathleen Deery Design. Lighting by Illusions Lighting. Dinner tent by Zephyr Tents. Ceremony music by KLC Music. Dinner music by Tim Hockenberry Trio through Innovative Entertainment. Dance music by the Durell Coleman Band. Invitations and printed materials by A Day in May. Cake from Perfect Endings. Calligraphy by Barbara Callow Calligraphy. Gelato bike by Cici Gelato. Bride's gown by Carolina Herrera.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happenings: Kathleen Deery Holiday Shop

One of my favorite florists,Kathleen Deery, is hosting a holiday boutique at her beautiful studio in San Francisco this weekend. Kathleen has put together a gorgeous array of wreaths, garlands, and trees which are perfect for trimming your home for the holidays. Order online here and be sure to check out her shop on Lusk Street this Friday & Saturday.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Martha Stewart Weddings: Destination Weddings

Be sure to scoop up a copy of the special Destination Weddings issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. They featured one of my favorite events - a vintage inspired Napa Valley wedding.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Q + A: Stanlee Gatti

I have been so lucky to work with Stanlee Gatti and his team on countless events and weddings over the last 15 years. I have loved collaborating with him and witnessing his creativity first hand. Stanlee is truly a creative genius- his attention to detail, understanding of scale, and unparalleled eye make him a master of his craft. Stanlee never loses sight of the big picture and that always becomes clear when guests enter a space that he has designed - the drama of his design transforms an event into an unforgettable experience.

* What inspires you to come up with new ideas? The desire to have new ideas.

* Who are the top 3 people who you admire most in terms of style or events? Issey Miyake for his innovation, Johnny Depp for the way he wears jewelry and hold his cigarette, Joni Mitchell for living on all four sides, Mexican peoples for their love of color--that's more than three but I could go on for a long time - my list could be endless.

* In your opinion, what makes a great wedding? Love.

* What trends in weddings do you see are coming in 2010? What I have done in 2009. :)

* Do you have a favorite location or venue for an event? A home.

* What is the best part about your job? New friendships.

* I am always impressed how you approach the initial meetings with brides. How do you reconcile a client's wishes with your vision? I'm intuitive and sensitive-their wishes become my vision and sometimes even before they know for what they're wishing for.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Coming Soon: Q + A with Stanlee Gatti

Check in later this week for a fabulous Q + A with the extraordinary Stanlee Gatti. His event designs and wit will wow you. See you soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wine Country Rehearsal Dinner: Susan + Ben

Susan and Ben hosted a casual rehearsal dinner at Paraduxx Winery to kick off their wedding weekend in the Napa Valley. Paraduxx, part of the Duckhorn family of wineries, was a fun location for guests to kick back outdoors while sampling some of their great wines. Guests tasted all of the wines that Paraduxx has to offer while also nibbling on a fantastic spread of local cheeses. After the wine tasting, guests moved outdoors for a buffet style dinner under a canopy of glowing lights.

My Favorite Detail? I loved the narrow long tables dressed in a fun linen. The tables really enhanced the intimate feel Susan and Ben were striving for.

Flowers by Valley Flora. Photography by Fairbanks and Fairbanks. Location Paraduxx Winery.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Coming Soon: Wine Country Rehearsal Dinner

I'm working on a post featuring the lovely and intimate rehearsal dinner of Susan and Ben. Check back soon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Words of Wisdom: Wedding Travel

Even if you are not planning a destination wedding, there are lots of travel aspects involved in planning a wedding. Booking accommodations for out of town guests and plotting the details of your honeymoon can leave you feeling like a travel agent instead of a bride. I've compiled a few tips and resources to help you through...

* I recently discovered Tablet Hotels - a great resource for booking boutique and luxury hotels. Tablet selects their favorite hotels worldwide (in every price range) and lets you book online at great prices. Become a Tablet Member for a small annual fee and enjoy perks like free upgrades, late check-out, spa certificates, and more. I like to think it's a much chicer version of Expedia and Orbtiz. If you are unfamiliar with your wedding destination and need to book accommodations for your guests, be sure to check out Tablet for great hotel ideas that are under the radar.

* I recommend reserving room blocks at a few hotels if you have a lot of guests who are flying in from out of town. Be sure to select a hotel for every price point (under $200, $200-400, $400+) so that guests will have an option to fit their budget. Look for hotels that will accommodate a "social room block" which lets you hold the rooms without a deposit or guarantee. Be sure to figure out how many guests will be looking for accommodations and block accordingly. If there was a 200 person wedding with 100 guests needing hotels, I would block 30-40 rooms. Many hotels will offer room rates lower than their published rates for room blocks. Be sure to mention that you have reserved rooms at these hotels on your save the date so your guests can book easily.

* I advise all of my clients to leave for their honeymoon a few days after the wedding instead of immediately after. Those few extra days give you time to breathe and relive the memories of the day instead of worrying about catching a flight and packing a suitcase.

* If you aren't able to jet off on your honeymoon right away, take a mini-moon after the wedding. You'll be able to savor the feeling of being a newlywed without taking lots of time off from work.

* If you want an amazing honeymoon without lifting a finger, I suggest you check out Jet Set Travel. They handle every aspect of your honeymoon - from booking the plane tickets and hotels to reservations at insider only restaurants. They'll even handle your spa treatments and tee times. Jet Set has the "in" on more exotic honeymoon destinations like Africa and India, so be sure to check them out if you are planning more than your standard resort trip to Hawaii.

* Resort honeymoon more your speed? Tahiti may be the place you've been looking for. If you go, check out True Tahiti Vacations and let Laurel handle the details. Laurel is a California native and knows the ins and outs of Tahiti better than most locals. Having an expert in Tahiti is a must since travel between islands is a little tricky.

Monday, October 5, 2009

SF Winter Wedding: Alison + Alex

Alison and Alex wanted a really intimate winter wedding in San Francisco. And it was. The evening began with a beautiful ceremony complete with the fireplace aglow at one of San Francisco's prettiest churches. The couple chose Spruce, one of their favorite restaurants (and mine!), as the setting for their reception with their closest friends and family. Event mastermind Stanlee Gatti incorporated deep red tones into the centerpieces and linens which worked perfectly with Spruce's decor. Gatti's genius was on full display with the lush garlands comprised of bay leaves and rosemary that he draped above the dinner tables. The garlands added so much dimension and drama to the space without compromising precious space on the narrow dinner tables.

Spruce created a tasting menu for the evening that guests are still raving about. The dinner began with a shaved fennel and tangerine salad, which was followed by pasta course of chickpea ravioli and a fish course of seared black bass with chanterelle mushrooms. The entree was a delicious Moroccan spiced lamb chop with bulgar and winter vegetables, followed by a cheese course and wedding cake from Perfect Endings. Doesn't that sound amazing? It was - trust me!

After dinner, a cigar roller worked his craft for the groom and his friends. We served Spruce Bakery's famous chocolate chip cookies and milk shots for who preferred sweets to cigars, while guests snapped photos of themselves in a self-portrait booth.

My Favorite Moment?
I really loved the toasts at this wedding. From the father of the bride to the bride and groom's close friends. They were funny, sincere, beautifully spoken, heartfelt and made me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

Photography by Thayer Gowdy. Event Design and Flowers by Stanlee Gatti Designs. Ceremony at Swedenborgian Church. Reception at Spruce. Bride's hair and make-up by Jim Avila. Cake by Perfect Endings. Bride's gown from Joan Gilbert Bride.

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