Friday, December 21, 2012

Housewarming Holiday Party

With Christmas just days away, I wanted to share one of my favorite seasonal events I had the pleasure of planning. Former wedding clients of mine wanted to throw a housewarming party in their new and newly renovated San Francisco home. So we selected the first weekend in December and began planning this stunning holiday cocktail party for family and friends.

The halls were decked in tones of gold and copper, accented by acorns, pinecones and magnolia leaves for a nod to nature. Petite wreaths hung in every window of the house, with a beautiful statement wreath on the front door.

Guests arrived to the sound of a boys choir caroling by candlelight in the entryway. They were then met with trays of beautiful seasonal cocktails and a spectacular dinner buffet by Paula LeDuc Fine Catering. The highlight of the meal (and my favorite detail of the night) was the unforgettable White Truffle Risotto station. Having recently been to Italy during truffle season and knowing my client's Italian heritage, I suggested they serve this at the party. I must say the dish was every bit as delicious as those I tasted in Italy.

Of course no holiday party is complete without sweets. Paula LeDuc and Jill Sassa from PS Paper teamed up to design a winter wonderland dessert buffet featuring Egg Nog Pot de Cremes, Miniature Coconut Snowballs, Caramel Lady Apples and more.

But just so no sweet tooth went unfulfilled, each guest took home a charming stocking favor stuffed with Recchiutti S'mores Bites. A merry Christmas indeed.

Photography by Kristen L. - Meg Smith & Associates.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tyler Florence Catered Sonoma Wedding Menu

Celebrity chef Tyler Florence prepared a spectacular Italian-inspired wedding meal for Mia and Kendrick's Sonoma wedding. Mia herself is an entrepreneur in the food and wine industry so the collaboration between them resulted in a truly memorable meal. The family's personal wine collection also provided inspiration, for a four-course tasting menu that still makes my mouth water.

Wedding Dinner in Honor of Mia + Kendrick

Burrata and Caviar
cherry tomato, roasted corn, chervil and truffle emulsion

Farmers Market Wine Company, Sauvignon Blanc 2012


Capay Organic Beet Carpaccio
mia's playground compressed strawberries, fromage blanc, poppyseed and kumquat

Mia's Playground Pinot Noir 2006


Italian Lamb Pie
grilled and braised lamb, anson mills polenta, spinach, six-minute egg

Treefort Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma 2012


Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam
roasted apricot, sicilian pistachios, grilled toasts and lavender honey

Glen Carlou Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2012

Photography by: Meg Smith

Friday, December 14, 2012

Beautiful + Bright Sonoma Wedding: Mia + Kendrick

Mia and Kendrick are an adorable wine country couple who planned their wedding at the bride's parents' spectacular Sonoma home. The estate's stunning architecture and manicured grounds were the perfect canvas for an elegant affair. But the bride's playful personality was ever-present throughout the event, creating the seamless marriage of formal and fun. 

Guests witnessed the couples vows amid a classic palette of pale pink, white and brown. But when they moved to cocktails, the decor was injected with bright bold pink for a punch of colorful fun. Charming escort buttons hung from young maple trees replaced formal seating cards. 

Mia's Italian heritage and love of good food and wine meant the wedding dinner had to be a show-stopper. So the couple enlisted celebrity chef Tyler Florence to create their dream meal. A four-course affair featuring Italian favorites like burrata, carpaccio and lamb (more menu details to come, check back soon!). 

The dancing under the stars was one of the most memorable parts of the night. Mia and Kendrick took their first dance surrounded by sparklers, which continued to burn while Mia danced with her dad. Chef Tyler even came out of the kitchen for a spin around the floor with the bride. 

The crowd then moved inside the home's magnificent foyer for wedding cake by the Perfect Endings. More dancing to a DJ followed, then a late night party in the wine cellar kept things going into the wee hours.

My favorite decor detail from the day were the lovely individual wreaths on the ceremony chairs, so charming and perfect for the setting. But my favorite moment has to be the bride and groom's first dance surrounded by sparklers. Instead of the usual sparkler send-off, the whole wedding encircled them with light in such a romantic, memorable way. 

Photography by: Meg Smith

Friday, October 19, 2012

All-Star Bar Mitzvah

Please forgive my hiatus from the Laurie Arons Blog this summer. I had one very full event season and had to put my brides before the blog for a few months. But fortunately this means I'll have many exciting events to share with you soon. 

With the beloved San Francisco Giants in the NLCS right now, I couldn't miss a chance to post the amazing bar mitzvah I had the pleasure of planning earlier this year. The guest of honor Ashton is a huge Giants fan, so his parents celebrated his right of passage with a blow-out bar mitzvah at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The Giants-inspired design featured black and orange, and an "AF" logo (his initials) to replicate the Giants' SF logo. We had a great time carrying this throughout every imaginable inch of the event - from the "orange" carpet grand entrance, to the custom hotdog wrappers, to the over-the-top baseball-themed dessert buffet (complete with a spot-on replica World Series Trophy cake).

The night kicked off with cocktails in the dugouts, serving specialty drinks like the Splash Hit, the Ground Rule Double and the No-Hitter. A special surprise awaited the kids in the Giants locker room - their names on lockers stocked with great personalized gear. The Jumbotron then played an ESPN-style profile montage of Ashton, produced by Hart Pictures. It was one of the most spectacularly produced videos I've ever seen.

For dinner, the kids enjoyed ballpark fare straight out of the working Giants concession stands, while the adults were treated to an elegant sit-down dinner on the Club Level of the park. The DJ turned up the music after dinner to get everyone on the dance floor, and the kids enjoyed visiting the graffiti artists, airbrush tattoos, caricaturists and photobooth set up around the stadium.

Photography by Angie Silvy
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