Thursday, July 30, 2009

Modern Elegance in the Napa Valley: Susan + Ben

After Ben proposed, Susan looked far and wide to find a unique backdrop for their vows. The college sweethearts reside in New York, but wanted a Napa Valley wedding that reflected their sophisticated style. The couple decided upon a beautiful private estate in Calistoga for their ceremony and cocktails, but really wanted a reception location that would let their guests dance until midnight. Luckily, Solage Calistoga, a gorgeous eco-friendly hotel, had just opened. Solage is one of the only properties in the Napa Valley that allows amplified music until 12am.

The private estate in Calistoga provided the perfect backdrop for an intimate ceremony and cocktail hour. Paula Le Duc Fine Catering created many delicious hors d'oeuvres perfect for the occassion. Following cocktails, guests were transported to Solage, where they dined upon courses prepared with local, fresh organic ingredients and danced to the tunes of The Fundamentals until midnight, of course!

My favorite detail? Susan wanted to surprise Ben with his favorite snack of "pigs in a blanket" at the wedding. The chefs at Solage made a gourmet version: hot dogs from Niman Ranch surrounded by fresh pastry dough. We passed them out as late night snacks and they were devoured. Delicious!

Photography by Miguel Fairbanks. Flowers by Kathleen Deery Design. Ceremony and cocktails held at a private estate in Calistoga, CA. Cocktail reception caterer Paula LeDuc Fine Catering. Reception at Solage Calistoga. Cake by Perfect Endings. Hair and make-up by Wallett Luberich. Printed materials by A Day in May Design.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Words of Wisdom: Bridal Beauty

I know there are millions of articles out there on bridal beauty. The book has been written on everything from fitness boot camps to skin care regimens. However, I wanted to share my tips on bridal beauty since they're short and sweet. Trust me, it doesn't require a year of foresight to be a beautiful, radiant bride!

* Remember to use sunscreen and watch out for tan lines. You want the focus to be on you and your gorgeous dress, not the lingering lines of your favorite bikini.

* Always bring a change of shoes so your feet will be happy, even through hours of dancing. I love a pair of simple ballet flats for an alternate.

* Speaking of shoes, be sure to wear your wedding shoes in advance (inside) to break them in. You want to scuff up the bottoms before the wedding day so you won't slip!

* Be sure the person doing your hair on the wedding day is experienced with veils. If you are getting married outdoors or taking photographs outdoors, the wind could be a factor. Be prepared: have 2 large bobby pins on hand and anchor down the comb that is holding the veil in both directions. This will ensure your veil will stay in place.

* Always bring a someone who you can depend on to the final gown fitting. You will need someone to bustle your gown (usually at the end of the cocktail hour, just after photos). If you have hired a full service planner, many will be happy to attend your fitting and bustle your gown.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekly Inspiration: Ethereal Tent

Isn't this tent heavenly? Stanlee Gatti draped the entire structure in sheer ivory fabric to create the most amazing dance lounge.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Love This: Letterpress Cookbook Kit

Leave it to the talented ladies at A Day in May to come up with this clever cookbook! I think it would make a really special hostess gift or favor. It's personal and elegant and {not to mention} adorable. Even Martha loves it! Available for purchase here. More details on A Day in May's new blog! Photos courtesy of A Day in May.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Candy Land Bat Mitzvah

I loved playing Candy Land as a kid and I had so much fun planning every detail of Tess' Bat Mitzvah. From the game board invitation (complete with the game card RSVP!) to the character inspired drink menu, it was a blast. King Kandy cocktail anyone?

We transformed Ruby Skye in San Francisco into a room fit for Queen Frostine. Guests entered on a multi-colored checked carpet (comprised of FLOR tiles) inspired by the signature winding game board. Inside, kids and adults danced to the tunes of a DJ, indulged in the ultimate candy bar, got custom graffiti sweatshirts, and much more!

Flowers by Kathleen Deery Design. Photography by Angie Silvy. Invitations by PS Paper. DJ booked with Johnson Edwards Entertainment.

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