Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

2010 was filled with milestones at Laurie Arons Special Events. We formed a new partnership with celebrity Chef Tyler Florence and added a stunning private estate in the Napa Valley to our exclusive venues list. (Not to mention, we planned so many fabulous events this year, everywhere from Palm Beach to Napa!). With 2011 fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to share with you all of the places I am hoping to work in the new year. Part of what I love about being a wedding planner is experiencing all of the new and exciting places around the world where spectacular weddings can take place. Here's to resolutions! See you in the new year! xo Photo by Meg Smith.

* Blackberry Farm - a charming, gourmet farm retreat in Walland, Tennessee
* Brush Creek Ranch- a stunning property as grand as the Western sky in Saratoga, Wyoming
* Blue Hill at Stone Barns - a gorgeous barn location in Pocantico Hills, New York
* The Rock House at Harbour Island - a pristine beach front property on Harbour Island, Bahamas
* Inn at Palmetto Bluff - a classic Auberge resort in Bluffton, South Carolina
* Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc - a breathtaking grand estate hotel in Antibes, France

Sunday, December 12, 2010

As Seen In: People Magazine

People Magazine featured our Cranberry Champagne Cocktail recipe in their "Great Ideas" section of the latest issue. Specialty cocktails are a simple and easy way to get people in the holiday spirit - and our riff on the classic Champagne Cocktail could not be easier (or more delicious!). Be sure to scoop up a copy to check out the full "Great Ideas" Holiday Special for more great tips. I've posted the full recipe below. Chin-chin! xo

Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
Serves: 1

1 sugar cube
1/4 teaspoon pure cranberry concentrate
2 dashes of bitters
3/4 cup chilled champagne or sparkling wine
1 orange twist for garnish

1. Place a sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute.
2. Pour cranberry concentrate and shake bitters over sugar cube. Top with champagne.
3. Garnish with orange twist.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Love Story: Jason + Laura

We're so excited to share Jason and Laura's gorgeous Sausalito wedding with you in the new year, but until then, we thought we'd share the Love Story that the talented Joe Perez of Jose Francisco Creative put together. Aren't they the cutest? xo

Monday, November 29, 2010

Big News: Exclusive New Napa Valley Private Estate

 I'm so thrilled to share our last big announcement with you! Laurie Arons Special Events has an exclusive arrangement with a new private estate in the Napa Valley. The Z Modern Estate has breathtaking views of the Napa Valley and surrounding vineyards. Z Modern Estate is the perfect place for a wedding or celebration - not only can it accommodate over 400 guests, it allows music and dancing much later than most Napa Valley venues. I'm getting goosebumps just picturing all of the spectacular weddings that will happen here! The Z Modern Estate is fast becoming my new favorite venue. Interested? Email me for details. Photos by Meg Smith.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Big News: Tyler Florence & Laurie Arons Special Events Weddings

I'm so excited to share with you that I've partnered with Chef Tyler Florence to bring weddings and events to a new level. A Tyler Florence and Laurie Arons Special Events Wedding offers a spectacular experience for my clients and their guests - I take care of all the planning and details, while Tyler designs and prepares a signature menu. This partnership is perfect for couples who love food and want it to be a truly memorable part of their wedding day. I had the pleasure of working with Tyler on Nikki & Chad's spectacular Palm Beach wedding and the meal was phenomenal. Plus, Tyler is so charming and gracious, he brought an amazing energy to the wedding. Interested? Email me for full details. Photo by John Lee.

In the Bay Area? Be sure to visit Wayfare Tavern (best fried chicken I ever had) and soon, Tyler's new Napa restaurant, Rotisserie & Wine. I can't wait!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love This: Kathleen Deery Design Holiday Shop

The exceptionally talented Kathleen Deery has taken her impeccable style to the world holiday decor. Kathleen is offering a beautiful selection of one-of-a-kind wreaths and stunning ceramic tabletop accessories, plus a lovely array of paper goods. How incredible is that Manzanita & Rose Cone Wreath above? I cannot wait to hang one on my front door! You can shop Kathleen's wonderful holiday collection online right here. All pieces are limited edition, so hurry and get your holiday goodness before its all gone! Photos by Kathleen Deery Design.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Q + A: Lisa Berglund of Olive & Cocoa

Lisa Berglund of Olive & Cocoa and I go way back. In fact, when I was on the verge of starting my own wedding planning company 16 years ago, Lisa’s was the first wedding I planned. It was a beautiful affair in Key West, Florida and she was a radiant bride. Lisa is such a vibrant and thoughtful person -  I find her enthusiasm for life down right infectious. So, when she embarked upon her new venture with Olive & Cocoa, it seemed like just the most natural fit. Each and every gift at Olive & Cocoa reflects Lisa’s thoughtful nature. Now that gift-giving season is upon us, check out Lisa’s tips below for great gift ideas and be sure to sign up for Olive & Cocoa’s beautiful catalog. Photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdy.

Tell me a little bit about Olive & Cocoa.
 Olive & Cocoa is a catalog and internet purveyor of flowers and gifts.  Our unique floral arrangements and gifts of décor, edibles, fashion and spa items are designed to be chic and elegant with a touch of whimsy.  All of our gifts are always mindful of the recipient and every gift is beautifully wrapped, most often in our signature hand crafted wood crates with luxurious satin ribbon.

Your wood crates are such a great touch and really elevate the gift experience. Can you tell me more about them?
 We really wanted our packaging to be as thoughtful as the gift inside. Not only did we want it to be beautiful, but we also wanted it to be functional beyond a cardboard box and wrapping paper. I love to hear stories of Olive & Cocoa gift-recipients using those crates to store anything and everything, from knickknacks to DVDs. We also do our share to be environmentally friendly - our wood crates are often made of reclaimed wood and contain a custom paper shred made from recycled paper, which protects the precious contents inside.

Each box can be custom branded with a logo or monogram. Once we create the custom brand, you can brand any box in the future for no charge. It’s yours to use for life – even on one gift at a time.

Why the focus on gifts?
 I’ve always been the person who remembers everyone’s birthday (and I mean everyone!). I think gift giving is an art, not an afterthought, and that both giving and receiving a gift should be a beautiful experience.  We want every interaction with Olive & Cocoa to be a reflection of our passion for giving, and have designed our catalog and website to be not just practical but pleasurable to browse and read as well.  In today’s world, we think it is more important than ever that we take time to acknowledge each other, and gift giving is a unique opportunity to do that well.

We also like to share our thoughts about how to use our products and how to navigate today’s complex social world.  We get lots of compliments on the etiquette, design, gift giving and entertaining tips we sprinkle throughout the catalog!

The Olive & Cocoa brand is so unique and fun.  As a wedding planner, I love how you will customize a gift with a design or theme from the wedding, while putting your own spin on it.  What are the top items you think I should suggest for my brides?
 We love to customize welcome gift crates to be reflective of the couple themselves, while being mindful of the fact that out-of-town wedding guests are likely to have to pack up their goodies to travel home.

For Gourmets? Our favorites include our Gourmet Fudge Infusion for something sweet, Fastachi Pistachios for a little crunch, and our Bistro Lunch, which features wine-infused salami with crackers and cheese for savory nibbling.  We also like to incorporate a small cutting board, to make sure that guests will be able to enjoy their snacks “en suite.” Our favorite presentation to date was a collaboration with you! We made a cutting board that we custom branded with the bride and groom’s monogram – a lovely touch that was both practical and provided a take home memento.

Want a more playful touch?  Add some gummy candies – maybe in a color that coordinates with the wedding theme – perhaps a bright, sunny yellow, or maybe all red or pink.

Olive & Cocoa is a great place to find gifts for all occasions (not just weddings!).  What is your best selling item since your debut in 2009?

Our floral designs are so beautiful and unique, our best customers come back time and again for everything from congratulations to thank you, birthday, sympathy, get well, new baby, business and hostess gifts.

As far as housewares, our wine and champagne glasses have been a big hit – maybe something to consider for the newlyweds as well!

And perhaps our biggest surprise?  The wonderful customers who just have to have our beautiful flowers, jewelry, fashion and décor items for themselves!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Love This: Perfect Endings Halloween Cakes

Apparently I've been feeling the love the past couple posts, but I can't help myself! Look at these adorable Halloween creations from Perfect Endings! I'd skip all the trick-or-treat candy just to eat one of these. (Well, maybe I'd still sneak a mini Snickers when no one was looking.) Isn't this ghost the cutest? The Witch's Hat and Jack-o-Lantern are also to die for! Order now to receive one in time for Halloween. Perfect Endings is also offering free 2-day shipping when you order a Halloween cake.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Love This: Small Ceremony Programs

Those who know me know I love almost anything in miniature form. These ceremony programs are no exception. I love programs that fit into a gentleman's pocket (or woman's evening handbag) without having to be folded. Not only are programs a great detail opportunity, they are helpful for guests to know who is in the wedding party and also what to expect during the ceremony. Photo by Miguel Fairbanks.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Napa Valley Engagement Shoot: Kathryn + Ryan

Kathryn and Ryan are really just the sweetest couple. When they are together, they both exude happiness and love and are really so much fun to be around. For their engagement shoot, we head up to a private estate in St. Helena with Elizabeth Messina for a picnic lunch and photos amongst the vines. Kathryn wore two stunning dresses - one of which happened to go perfectly with the yellow cabanas on property. (How cute is that?) In between shots, the couple nibbled on a simple picnic lunch that we sourced straight from the San Francisco Farmer's Market that morning - check out the menu below. I think Elizabeth Messina did such an amazing job of capturing all the sweet little moments between Kathryn and Ryan. You can see more photos on Kathryn's blog, Snippet + Ink, and on Elizabeth Messina's blog, Kiss the Groom.

Kathryn + Ryan's Picnic Menu

* Frog Hollow Farms fresh peach salad with shaved Cowgirl Creamery Parmigiano-Reggiano and a touch of local organic olive oil

* Yellow and green bean salad with a lemon vinaigrette and chives

* Mini sandwiches on toasted asiago baguettes with Savannah Bee acacia honey, cream cheese and sopressata

* Fresh figs drizzled with local honey

* Perfect Endings mini wedding cake
*Jackson's Ice-cycle lemon- gingersnap ice cream sandwiches

* San Pellegrino Limonata 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Coming Soon: Kathryn + Ryan's Engagement Shoot

I'm working with the sweet and lovely, Kathryn, of Snippet & Ink on her upcoming wedding. A couple weeks ago, we spent the day in the Napa Valley for a picnic lunch engagement shoot with her adorable fiance Ryan and the oh-so talented, Elizabeth Messina. I'll be posting pics from the shoot on Monday, so check back then! xo Miniature cake by Perfect Endings. Photo by Elizabeth Messina.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weekly Inspiration: Considering Your Guests

Even though it's your big day, it's still important to make sure your guests are comfortable. For a wedding in Hana, we placed a basket full of sandals for guests to switch into during the recessional down a muddy hillside. Guests (especially those clad in stiletto heels!) really appreciated the gesture. At the end of the trek, they were greeted with warm towels to wipe their feet before putting on their dancing shoes.  Another one of my favorite ideas is providing shawls for chilly evening celebrations. You can get great quality pashminas in a multitude of colors to coordinate with your wedding colors or (my favorite) a simple, creamy ivory, which is beautiful with almost any outfit.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Calistoga Rehearsal Dinner: Dabney + Rob

Dabney and Rob hosted a simply elegant rehearsal dinner at Calistoga Ranch the evening before they said "I do" in the Napa Valley. Calistoga Ranch is one of my favorite venues - it's luxurious and lush and each part of the property blends seamlessly with the breathtaking surroundings. (I also love to escape for a weekend for a little R&R at their spa!) For Dabney and Rob's rehearsal dinner, we played off the resort's amazing scenery with a fun moss and stone escort table and lots of wood details. The whole look was stunning!

Photography by Meg Smith. Venue and Catering Calistoga Ranch. Floral design by Kathleen Deery Design. Printed materials by PS Paper.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Coming Soon: Calistoga Rehearsal Dinner

I'm working on a stunning rehearsal dinner at the Calistoga Ranch to show you next week! Check back soon. xo Photo by Meg Smith

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Love This: Jackson's Ice-Cycle

Meet Jackson. He's a fifteen year old entrepreneur from San Anselmo and together with his old-fashioned ice cream trike, he's taking the dessert world by storm. Jackson creates some of the most delicious ice cream treats using ingredients from local artisans like Miette Patisserie and Three Twins Ice Cream. Think ginger lemon ice cream sandwiches... yum! I think Jackson's Ice-Cycle would make the perfect addition to almost any party. Don't you agree? Follow his route here and fan him on Facebook!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Perfect in Pink: Kate + Brandon

Kate and Brandon recently relocated to Seattle and wanted to get married somewhere fun that would create a relaxed atmosphere for their friends and family. After considering Hawaii, they finally decided upon the Napa Valley for their nuptials. Napa is a fantastic destination wedding location - it's easily accessible, has amazing food & wine, and is the perfect place to relax and kick back. Kate and Brandon selected the stunning Beaulieu Garden property for their ceremony and reception. Kate really wanted pale pink peonies for the wedding flowers and fortunately, her wedding date fell at the height of their season. We incorporated the flowers everywhere from their invitations to her bouquet to the cake. I loved how the peonies were just the perfect shade of pink - so subtle and elegant and not overly feminine. Just perfect! 

My favorite detail? I still can't stop looking at the dessert buffet by Paula LeDuc Fine Catering. I love the cake stands and how everything on it tasted as amazing as it looked! The stunning centerpiece cake is (of course) Perfect Endings. Oh wait, the strawberry shortcake station made fresh before your eyes? It's a close second. Be still my heart!
Photography by Angie Silvy. Ceremony and Reception Location at Beaulieu Garden. Floral design by Kathleen Deery Design. Catering by Paula LeDuc Fine Catering. Escort card display and menu cards by PS Paper. Cake by Perfect Endings. Reception music by DJ Solomon. Ceremony music by KLC String Trio. Bride's gown Vera Wang.

Related Posts with Thumbnails