Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Opulent Indian Wedding: Priyanka + Chaitanya

Priyanka and Chaitanya are a young and modern couple to whom family and tradition are very important. This stunning bride and her handsome groom dreamed of a colorful, elaborate affair surrounded by their loved ones ~ with all the ornate details that make Indian weddings so special and fun. We enlisted design genius Stanlee Gatti to create a spectacular setting for this 600-person event.

Wedding day festivities began with the Baraat - the traditional procession where the groom arrives at the wedding accompanied by music, dancing and celebrating by his family members. A white horse carried Chaitanya to the venue doors, where Priyanka's family greeted the procession with flower garlands. The bride walked down a lush and dramatic petal aisle to the ceremonial mandap, covered in thousands of flowers.

Guests then moved to a poolside cocktail reception, sipping refreshing Caipiroskas {a cocktail of lime, vodka, soda and mint} and nibbling traditional Indian fare and sweets passed by the bride and groom's mothers.

Jewel-like tones of rich purple, royal blue and vibrant green filled the ballroom for dinner, where guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal catered by Amber India. Chaitanya and Priyanka, dressed in a couture gold ballgown for the reception, were toasted with good wishes as they sat in a custom swing. The celebrations continued into the late-night hours, with dancing to Indian and American music woven together by DJ Salim.

Photography by Alisha + Brook Photography. Venue Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. Catering by Amber India. Event Design by Stanlee R. Gatti Designs. Cake by Perfect Endings. Baraat Horse by Hackney Horse + Carriage. Reception music by DJ Salim. Bride's hair and make-up by Nellie Muganda. Wedding day printed materials from PS Paper. Videography by Bliss Video Productions.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Love This: TOMS Shoes

Thanks to everyone for the kind words following the lovely Style Me Pretty feature on Dabney + Rob's wedding! I'm so glad you all loved seeing it as much as I loved planning it.

I couldn't wait to share this fun follow-up post today. Remember those amazing embroidered napkins, custom made by Kathleen Deery Design? The bride and groom's dear friend Blake Mycoskie, the philanthropist and entrepreneur behind TOMS shoes, decided to take a few home {with a little covert assistance from my staff} to surprise them with special TOMS shoes on their anniversary.

The sentiment was already so sweet of him...but as we all know, a lot can happen in a year. The couple recently welcome their adorable daughter into the world too!

So Blake made sure she had her very first pair of TOMS, just like her mom and dad. Take a look at this gorgeous family and tell me your heart isn't melting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

As Seen In: Style Me Pretty

Waking up on a sunny morning to find one of my favorite weddings posted as the feature story on Style Me Pretty...can this day get any better?

Dabney + Rob are such a wonderful couple (you may remember their rehearsal dinner at Calistoga Ranch). Working with them to create this special wedding is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my career. I'm so happy the ladies at Style Me Pretty wanted to share it with the world too!

In a couple days, I'll be posting a fun follow-up feature to this wedding...check back soon, you won't want to miss it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

As Seen In: San Francisco Brides

My team and I are very excited by the wonderful feature mentioning LASE in the latest issue of San Francisco Brides magazine.

SF Brides features the oh-so-charming wedding of Kathryn + Ryan in San Francisco. Their cozy December ceremony at Swedenborgian Church, followed by a vintage-inspired reception at the Presidio Social Club, was so unique yet so timeless. Kathryn, of Snippet & Ink, was such a joy to work with that we just love reliving her wedding on the pages of the magazine. Congratulations to Elizabeth Messina too, who not only shot Kathryn + Ryan's day, but the cover photograph for this issue as well.

Thanks to the lovely ladies and San Francisco Brides for thinking of us.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tyler Florence's 40th Birthday Party

If you picked up this month’s C Magazine, you hopefully caught the fun feature about Chef Tyler Florence’s 40th Birthday Party.

Tolan Florence, Tyler’s lovely and talented wife, wanted to plan something memorable for the celebrity chef’s milestone birthday in March. The two of us began brainstorming blowout party plans, but with the opening of El Paseo {Tyler’s latest restaurant with music legend Sammy Hagar} just around the corner, we decided there was no better way to celebrate than to bring the couple’s closest friends together in the new chophouse.

It was exciting for me to be part of El Paseo’s debut. It was a race to the finish but General Manager Adel Bukary, Director of Services Cory Lane and the whole El Paseo team managed to pull it off flawlessly. Last minute touches to the Mill Valley restaurant were put on just minutes before the first guests arrived!

The cocktail-style party allowed guests to mingle through the restaurant’s several dining rooms, bar and outdoor patio while sipping rosé Champagne and Floc de Gascogne. Music from Michael LaMacchia's trio strummed throughout the party, with candles and lanterns lining the restaurant’s charming brick pathway.

Tyler and chef de cuisine Preston Clark fired up the kitchen for the first time that day and treated everyone to a sneak preview of the menu to come. If you’ve had a chance to visit El Paseo since it opened, you know that means incredible food made with fresh local ingredients.

Inspired by the steakhouse’s classic rustic décor as well as Tyler’s southern roots, Jill Sassa from PS Paper and I designed a dessert buffet with petite treats from Paula LeDuc Fine Catering. Custom wooden risers displayed homey desserts like mini bourbon pecan pies, banana trifles, apple turnovers and caramel corn with Tyler's birthday cake at the center.

As the trio died down, DJ Dojah turned up the volume and El Paseo’s main dining room turned quickly into a dance floor. Dojah even put the headphones on Tyler and had him spin some tunes for the last set - something Tyler always wanted to do.
Photography by Meg Smith.

Friday, June 10, 2011

As Seen In: C Magazine

This spring I had the pleasure of planning the 40th Birthday Party of my friend and event partner Tyler Florence, at his new restaurant El Paseo in Mill Valley. C Magazine's latest issue has a great feature on the party....not to mention the photo finish getting the brand new restaurant ready for guest arrival. My favorite part of the event {besides the delectable Angry Lobster Tyler prepared} was the amazing rustic dessert buffet. The collaboration between Jill Sassa from PS Paper and Paula LeDuc Fine Catering never ceases to impress.

Check back next week for more from this fun event.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Weekly Inspiration: Beautiful Lounge Furniture

One of my signature event design philosophies is 'layering' ~ keeping portions of the event a surprise to guests and revealing them as the night progresses. I especially love to do this with a dance lounge after dinner. The drama of unveiling the space gets guests excited to hit the dance floor.

This beautiful lounge furniture is so chic, in the style of a fashionable supper club. While we used to have to custom-create a look like this, I'm so happy that rental furniture has come a long way in the past few years. Brides now have more to choose from - whether they want their space to feel like a cool nightclub (like Laura + Jason), a vintage parlor (like Kathryn + Ryan) or an over-the-top afterparty (like Nikki + Chad).

Photography by Kathleen Harrison

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