Audrey’s and Niko’s Epic Wedding Celebration

After a more than seven-year courtship, Audrey and Niko decided to make their union official – and to do that in the presence of more than 300 guests. An epic party, in short! Their longtime friend, my assistant Quan at A Day Like No Other, had taken on the huge task of planning every detail of their Great Day.

The couple had chosen a venue with spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline: the Seminary at Strawberry in Mill Valley, just across the SF Bay, and last week it all came together on a beautiful sunny Spring day under blue skies and with a slight breeze. Absolutely perfect!

Bride Audrey and her bridesmaids started very early in the day with hair and makeup services by Maya of Dreamcatcher Artistry.

.

She and her bridesmaids definitely had a great time together!

Audrey received a gorgeous diamond necklace as a wedding gift from her groom…

… and it was the perfect complement to her low-cut, elegant lace wedding dress.

Next – high heels (gorgeous lacy ones) and the rings…

Photo: ADLNO

… and finally, her pretty bridal bouquet by Willow Floral Design (who also provided the ceremony florals). Photographer Kat Ma and videographer Jeremy Quans captured it all, all day long! (All photos by Kat Ma Photography, unless noted otherwise).

Niko and his groomsmen were also dressing up “to the nines…”

Ready for the traditional Tea Ceremony (for which Audrey wore a beautiful red lace dress)!

The bride traveled in style to her “First Look” location (her Dad chauffeured her in his fire-engine-red Corvette!)…

… and then it was time for many, many photos of the couple and the bridal party.

Very soon, the first ones of the couple’s 300 guests were arriving…

… an arbor (from Bright Party Rentals) had been set up and decorated with flowers (by Willow Floral Designs)…

… and then the great moment was there: Audrey and Niko were saying their vows in a beautiful ceremony officiated by Niko’s uncle, Father Ringo Perez.

Meanwhile, the teams of A Day Like No Other (assistants Trisha, Stephanie, and myself), Standard Party Rentals (for draping and chairs), Joe Squared Productions (lighting) and Zen Peninsula Catering were hard at work to get the cocktail area and dining room ready for the big party.

Now, how do 300 guests find their assigned tables? Here it was a whimsical display of pretty name lists on vintage shutters.

Time for the Great Entrance of the couple and their bridal party – BUT with a huge, unexpected twist: an authentic Lion Dance by Tenny Lee and his troupe!

The couple presided over it all from their Sweetheart Table.

The groom and his groomsmen had prepared a surprise performance for the bride:

More surprises were awaiting their guests: with reverence for the Star Wars movies (the couple’s all-time favorite), guests received “chop sabers” (light-up chopsticks) for their 10-course Chinese Banquet dinner!

Trulee Memorable provided their photo booth as additional guest entertainment – a HUGE hit!

In between, the newlyweds quietly “stole away” for Sunset photos…

And when they returned and had completed their traditional table visits, they went on to cut their cake (by Tony’s Cakes) …

… toss a bouquet…

… and a garter…

… and then the dance floor was opened to everyone. Oh – I nearly forgot – we had a traditional Money Dance as well…

It was an epic dance party to the tunes of Chemistry DJs!

Everyone had a great time… wishing you a lifetime filled with joy, happiness and many more epic parties, Audrey and Niko!

Suyao and Rui – a Glamorous Winter Wedding at Villa Montalvo

Who says a winter wedding needs snow?! We are here to disprove this myth! Suyao and Rui …

The bride…
… the groom…

… and both of hem together!

… gave my company, A Day Like No Other, a mere three months of planning time – intense and exhilarating! – and that took us to December 15. Right in the middle of winter in California. Since they had chosen Villa Montalvo, a spectacular mansion and park on the SF Peninsula, there was no snow to be expected – possibly rain, though. BUT we made it through a glorious wedding day without rain, with sun and with lots and lots of great atmosphere. Have a look!

Villa Montalvo, surrounded by a huge manicured park

Busy as these two are (they met at a job interview – with Rui interviewing candidate Suyao – and now they are both working long, long hours at the same company!), we pulled everything together in a whirlwind, and in no time, Wedding Day was upon us.

Suyao and her bridesmaids had their hair and makeup expertly done by Tiffany of Design Her Image

A beautiful bride is getting even more beautiful!

… and then the bride got into her dress …

… with the help of her bridesmaids.

All that she still needed were her bridal bouquet (from Green Petal Designs, like all floral decor throughout) and the rings…

Groom Rui and his groomsmen had been getting ready next door…

Looking good!!

… and so both bride and groom were ready for their “First Look” in the beautiful Italianate Garden of Villa Montalvo. Their photographers (Toanven Group) and videographers (Dreambook Productions) captured every precious moment.

And now… off to their wedding ceremony in the Oval Garden behind the mansion!

Everything was ready for them, with a beautiful swirl pattern of rose petals on the aisle.

Guests began arriving, greeted by a custom Welcome sign. The ceremony musicians (Amethyst Trio) began to play…

…the bridal party took their positions, the groom was waiting…

Here comes the bride, escorted by her Dad…

The ceremony was officiated by a longtime friend of the couple.

Just married!

Off to more photos!

Guests were meanwhile enjoying cocktails, and the teams of A Day Like No Other, of our caterer (Le Papillon) and our florist (Green Petal Designs) were hard at work to get everything lined up for dinner. Venue manager Caitlin Dieni supported us all throughout the day and evening.

Suyao and Rui presided from their extra-special Sweetheart Table:

Guests were dining from “Limoges” china and gilded flatware from Hensley Event Resources, and after dinner, they were treated to an extraordinary wedding cake (by Satura Cakes).

For this occasion, the bride had changed into a stunning short red dress that allowed for free movement – for their highly choreographed, perfect First Dance to music provided by Henry Kim of Big Fun Disc Jockeys.

With this, the dance floor was officially open for everyone, and the concluding part of the evening consisted of dancing, dancing and more dancing! The newlyweds stole away for a few nighttime photos…

There was, however, one more highlight to come: a festive Grand Send-Off to a stunning vintage limousine (by Elegant Journey).

A fitting start to their lifelong journey together, don’t you think? Our best wishes on your way, Suyao and Rui!

Singin’ and Dancin’ in the Rain: Christina and Cuyler

Christina and Cuyler met at work – a full eleven years ago – as colleagues. Over the years, they became friends… and started dating… and then they realized that they wanted nothing more than to marry their best friend! For their wedding, they envisioned a Spring day at Thomas Fogarty Winery, perched high above Silicon Valley, with endless views… and so they started planning with me and my company, A Day Like No Other.

As we were getting closer to Wedding Day, the weather forecast turned gloomy, and unfortunately, this time the meteorologists were right. We were taking precautions: two dozen huge umbrellas for the couple, the bridal party and their guests were in place, and Christina and Cuyler took it all in stride!

For Christina and her bridesmaids, as well as for the Moms, the day began with hair and make-up services by Sarah Hyde of sHe artists – and all those pretty ladies emerged as stunning Hollywood-worthy beauties! Everyone looked their very best, carried herself with confidence and was just simply happy.

With that, Christina was ready to put on her gorgeous Hailey Paige wedding dress – a modern take on lace with a geometric pattern, a chic little shrug and a feminine tulle bow at the waist:

Florist Indelisa Montoro of Royal Bloom Boutique had delivered a vibrant bridal bouquet …

and matching bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony decor and centerpieces – you’ll see! The winery was transformed into a summer garden…

Meanwhile, Cuyler had dressed up as well, and bride and groom were ready for their official “First Look:”

Photographer Janae Shields and her assistant took the couple around for photos (just wait until you see their professional images! For the time being, all we have are snapshots by my assistant and me). Meanwhile, a small army was hard at work to get everything ready in time for the celebration. Kaitlin Brinton, one of the venue managers at Fogarty, was our guardian angel throughout the day and the evening and supported us diligently behind the scenes. The Toast Catering team under leadership of My-Dung and Gio set up all tables and chairs, put on the table settings and got the kitchen and the bar going. Florist Indelisa installed an incredible arch seemingly overgrown by summer flowers. Ivy Hill Entertainment set up sound systems and provided a duo for ceremony music. Guests arrived via shuttle buses from Corinthian Ground Transportation. We were ready for the ceremony!

The ceremony was officiated by a longtime friend of the couple’s, and it could not have been more personal!

Here comes the bride…

The ceremony was short and sweet – and here they are, JUST MARRIED!

For Cocktail Hour, guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres paired with special wine selections – a really unique idea!

Meanwhile, my assistant Alexandra put the finishing touches on the elaborate setup of place cards and favors on the dining room tables …

Wine corks served as table card holders, and the color of a little flower on top of each cork was the indicator for each guest’s entree choice. So elegant!

Together with the subtly structured linens, silver-rimmed china and Indelisa’s gorgeous centerpieces, this setup was simply perfect.

BUT we have not yet introduced the unspoken star of this wedding: doggie Gigi! She lives with the bride’s sister but is truly the darling of the whole family – and became the darling of the whole wedding as she made her appearance, dressed up with a flower collar, and accompanied by her “Doggie Mom for the Day,” my assistant Melinda.

She is simply too cute for words! (And she has more Instagram followers than most people. Small wonder…)

After a delicious meal…

… the couple cut their cake, a classic white wedding cake by Studio Cake, adorned with flowers exactly matching the bridal bouquet.

After that, there was no holding back from dancing! Christina (a former competitive ballroom dancer) and Cuyler had practiced their elaborate, highly choreographed First Dance to a true classic, Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” sung live by Erin Honeywell, bandleader of “Family Funktion” (through Ivy Hill Entertainment).

Then there were the parent dances and just simple fun on the dance floor! These two were literally “singing and dancing in the rain.” Nothing could dampen their spirits! What a party that was…

Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together, rain or shine!

Stacey and Michael – at Last…!

… at Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside! The two had been together a full seven years, were parents to three cats (the youngest kitten having been adopted two weeks before their wedding!) – so all their friends agreed: it was about time! Stacey and Michael are super busy young professionals, so when they decided in Spring to “make it official” in October of 2018, they were looking for help. A lot of help! My company, A Day Like No Other, was entrusted with all the preparations, and off we went…

The two had chosen their venue, a spectacular winery overlooking all of Silicon Valley with endless views, and a day that turned out to be proverbial “Bay Area Golden October:” sunny, with blue skies, and warm. Just perfect.

The bride arrived at the venue in full hair and makeup (by A-List Makeup) and all she needed to do was get into her gorgeous wedding dress with the help of her bridesmaids…

… pick up her vibrant, Fall-colored, richly textured bridal bouquet (from Laurel & Vine)…

… and here she is, ready for her First Look:

Groom Michael and his groomsmen were meanwhile also getting ready…

… donned their boutonnieres, and the Best Man took care of the rings.

With that, Bride and Groom were ready for their official First Look:

c

Time for many, many photos with bridesmaids and groomsmen (by Sandra Fazzino Photography) and video (by Sway Media) while the teams of Thomas Fogarty Winery, Laurel & Vine Florals, and Toast Catering were busy with preparations. DJ Justin of JustIntertainment set up their sound systems while my assistant Trisha and I set up decorations and made sure that all went smoothly and on time.

Very soon, the first guests were arriving – they were greeted by a vintage baby-blue typewriter to leave their messages and well-wishes for the couple.

In addition to the (already quirky) typewriter in lieu of a conventional guestbook, we had provided a map for all guests to mark from where they had traveled to be with Stacey and Michael on their special day…

… and here they see the first of many kittens that would pop up throughout that whole wedding celebration in honor of the couple’s beloved felines!

Time for the ceremony which was officiated by a longtime friend of the couple, aided by more friends who read passages from Antoine de St. Exupery’s “Le Petit Prince” during the ceremony.

You may now kiss the bride! And here they are, just married… and so happy!

For the couple, it meant… more photos! And for their guests, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the open deck, with gorgeous views.

For “escort cards,” the couple had come up with yet another quirky and unexpected idea: custom cookies decorated in the “College colors” of each particular guest! A smart idea as most of their guests were their friends from college…

Dining tables in the beautiful open “Pavilion” were adorned with centerpieces matching the bride’s bouquet, and the table numbers were another loving nod to the couple’s cat babies.

The couple’s Sweetheart Table got, of course, a little extra-special treatment!

Time for the Grand Entrance of the newlyweds!

… and for speeches…

… and then, for dessert! Another quirky choice: delicious, fragrant mini donuts (by Harvey’s Donuts) – everyone decided to “re-start the diet tomorrow!”

The couple “wowed” everyone with their elaborate First Dance …

… which opened the dance floor to everyone and to an epic dance party!

Everyone – young and old – had a great time, and then we gave the newlyweds a Grand Send-Off in style, with glowsticks:

Dance on, Stacey and Michael … for a lifetime of happiness!

The glorious St. Francis Heights Reveal at the Westin St. Francis

Exciting news! One of SF’s most storied landmark hotels – the Westin St. Francis on Union Square – just completed the remodel and renovation of its equally famous “Imperial floor” ballrooms. It took three months, and the result, as revealed two days ago with an elegant cocktail party for event professionals, is just gorgeous!

The way time-honored traditions go is that they hold on to the glories of the past – and that is good and comforting for a long time. Here are the two ballrooms on the “Imperial” (32nd) floor before the remodel – Alexandra’s in golden hues…

… and Victor’s, a folly in soft pinks and baby blues…

Holding on to this turn-of-the-century glamour was a comforting tradition and had become a “gold standard” in San Francisco , until, of course, it was time to bring everything up to today’s standards and esthetic sensibilities and start a new tradition and standard of excellence! And that is exactly what happened here.

Riding up the glass elevators to the 32nd floor and taking in gorgeous City views has not changed…

… but once you step out on the “St. Francis Heights” floor ( that’s what the 32nd floor is called now) – everything is breathtakingly new!

Mirrored walls with a subtle etched Art Deco pattern with matching consoles set the tone in the elevator lobby – everything now in elegant cool shades of silver, grey and shimmering glass and mirror.

Turn to your right, and there is the new “Golden Gate Room” (formerly Alexandra’s) transformed into glamorous modernity:

… with boldly-patterned grey carpeting, silvery-grey draped curtains (reminiscent of the flowy gowns of silver-screen goddesses…) and stunning modern chandeliers creating a “sky of glittering stars” overhead. The views are, of course, gorgeous as always!

But you haven’t even see half of it! Return through the elevator lobby to the other side of the building to where Victor’s Ballroom used to be – now it’s called “Mission Bay” …

Mission Bay has a large foyer, spacious enough to be a function room in its own right, for example to host a good-sized Cocktail Hour:

… and maybe offer wedding cake, dessert bar (delicious verrines and mini desserts by the onsite patissier) or a candy bar (here by SF Candy Bar):

… of course, everything with that breathtaking “million-dollar” view!

Now – isn’t that drop-dead gorgeous?!! I can only recommend to go and see it for yourself. It’s even more impressive in reality, and I can’t wait to design events in this new beautiful space. “St. Francis Heights” is definitely the new gold standard for elegant events in the City.

Iris and Roger – the Ultimate Party in Ultraviolet

Iris and Roger’s wedding celebration was as funky and as elegant as their wedding color of choice – ultraviolet, Pantone’s color of the year. Given that they had taken care of the “legalities” beforehand, these two were free to focus on sheer fun and party on their Wedding Day! They took full advantage of it. Iris wore a succession of no less than THREE dresses. For her nails, she chose an ice-blue polish, and in lieu of the standard (highly uncomfortable) wedding high heels, she wore plateau sneakers! The ceremony was sheer fun and laughter, and a good part of the reception was reserved for wild dancing.

They had chosen a spectacular venue – Thomas Fogarty Winery in the hills high above Silicon Valley – for an indoor/outdoor celebration. Given that their date was in early October, we were hoping for great warm and sunny weather, but there were no guarantees. We got lucky! It was a glorious Fall day, as beautiful as they come!

Iris arrived for photos fully made up (by Urban Beauty Loft) and dressed in a traditional Chinese dress, picked up her elegant purple bouquet by Green Petal Designs

… and had her bridesmaids put a few finishing touches on her (after all, that’s what you have bridesmaids for!)

Here she is posing with her chic entourage, wearing dress no.1.

… all of them in fashionable shades of purple, of course, and Groom Roger and his groomsmen were likewise getting ready…

… sporting matching purple neckties and boutonnieres.

While Bride and Groom were taking many, many photos with photographer Duy Ho  and video, too, with Martin Meyer of MartinFilms  (see Martin’s teaser below!)…

… the teams of Fogarty Winery, Le Papillon Catering, Green Petal Designs and A Day Like No Other were hard at work to get everything ready in time for the guests.

Ceremony chairs were set up and bunches of flowers tied to them,  a glorious arch was set up and lavishly decorated…

… a pretty Welcome sign set up to greet the guests who were arriving via shuttle (by Destination Systems) …

… and the Bride quickly changed into her Western wedding dress and veil for the ceremony.

Ready for the ceremony! The Espiritu Ensemble was playing wedding classics, giving this ceremony a decidedly elegant touch.

Officiated by a longtime friend of the couple, this ceremony could not have been more upbeat and more personal!

Just married! And off to more photos in the golden light of the early sunset…

… while guests were enjoying cocktails on the open deck

– AND picking up their escort “cards”: cleverly affixed to favor bags (light purple, of course!) containing personalized drinking bottles.

Soon enough it was time for dinner with a dramatic view all over Silicon Valley …

… with beautiful centerpieces in purple hues and tree-shaped table number holders with candy-filled globes (additional wedding favors) adorning the tables.

Le Papillon was cooking up a storm…

After dinner, Iris slipped into dress no. 3, and guests were treated to dessert: a delicious (and just as gorgeous-looking) purple wedding cake from Patisserie Gerhard Michler.

For that occasion, the Bride had changed her dress yet another time (part of the fun on this super-fun wedding day!) to a lucky-red party dress!

Nearly too pretty to cut into!

After that – First Dance…

… and open dancing to the tunes of DJ Stefano Bortolin of Big Fun Disc Jockeys

What else? Bouquet Toss, of course!

But the best was yet to come! A sparkler exit of epic proportions… have a look:

Keep partying and having fun on your shared journey, and our best wishes on your way, Iris and Roger!

Here you can see it LIVE!! A teaser video by MartinFilms… enjoy!

Hotel Nia – the new Game Changer in Silicon Valley

Never heard of Hotel Nia? REALLY? It’s time you did! A brand-new, cutting-edge modern, ultrachic hotel in the heart of Silicon Valley, catering to the young, hip crowd of tech entrepreneurs.

Just opened a few months ago. Top-notch interior design by Colum McCartan in shades of light grey and silver, combined with white oak and many, many beautiful details!

This hotel is DIFFERENT. It starts when you pull up to the valet. You don’t get a paper ticket to retrieve your car later. Paper tickets are so antediluvial!! You share your cellphone number, you get a text with a link – once you want your car back, you simply click on that link, and – voila! WOW…

When you step in, you are immediately surrounded by tranquillity – acoustic (triple window panes, thick carpet…) and visually (light grey and silver tones, light wood, lots of natural light), and it takes a while until the myriad details reveal themselves. The walls in the lobby with their subtle texture and pattern – they are real Venetian plaster. The decor inside the elevator matches the pattern of the custom carpet. And so it goes…

Just step in and sit by the bar, or sit outside in the beautiful courtyard garden – it’s all inside/outside!

Or grab a bite in NIA’s Mediterranean restaurant – just walk down the hallway… no walls that would obstruct the transparency or natural light – just open shelving-like structures that feel utterly modern but certainly not cold. Oh, forgot to mention – don’t be fooled: there are charging stations everywhere. Those mirrors – become TV screens when you switch them on. This is the new techie refuge, after all!

Looking for your meeting room? Just follow the thread…

… up the stairs! That woven thread actually “originates” in a huge (real) ball of yarn on the landing… just one of so many whimsical touches.

Guest rooms are likewise simply beautiful. Have you ever seen a levitating bed? Well, at least it looks like it’s floating…… and a backlit closet with glass doors that elevates your wardrobe to a display in a Dior boutique! It’s serenity, tranquillity, and the luxury of simple lines, perfect proportions and great workmanship. “Simplicity is the utmost sophistication,” as Silicon Valley icon Steve Jobs used to say. He would have loved it…

But the NIA is absolutely not only for work and conferences – it’s for celebrating and partying just as much (their Grand Opening in March was the most coveted event far and wide!). A ballroom for 380 should be good enough for most private parties AND for wedding dinners and dancing!

Yes, you see that correctly: built-in mood lighting in any color you want. A dance floor in matte silver, at your request. Chic and modern cocktail tables in the foyer – no need to rent them. So many possibilities!

Speaking of which: the NIA knows how to decorate – even their Christmas trees are in perfect harmony with their overall design theme…

… big, bold and silver! Hope to see you there!

Our Weddings on Film

An image says more than a thousand words – and consequently, a movie should speak volumes!

Enjoy a selection of our wedding movies here on LoveStoriesTV, and get inspired…

starting with a teaser of Iris’ and Roger’s wedding at Thomas Fogarty Winery.

Let us plan and design YOUR Great Day, too!

Contact us today at jutta@daylikenoother.com.

 

Kristina and Kevin: a Romantic Fall Wedding at Villa Montalvo

Kristina has “Italian roots” and loves everything Tuscan and classical Italian, and Kevin couldn’t agree more (their love of Italy is just one of the many things they have in common!) – and so they found a kindred soul in me! They entrusted their wedding planning and design to my company, A Day Like No Other, about a year ago – and off we went in our shared quest for the perfect venue and the perfect decor to create exactly the elegant, unique celebration they were hoping for.

A full year later, with planning updates on every single Monday (!), it all came together exactly as perfectly as envisioned, on one of those enchanted, golden Fall days that the Bay Area has to offer.

For their wedding venue, I had recommended to Kristina and Kevin Villa Montalvo, a grand mansion in the Italianate style, surrounded by gorgeous formal gardens and a park, complete with love temples, marble fountains, cypress trees, putti – and, in short, anything Italian!

Photo: Auey Santos Photography

They fell for this place head over heels, and once that decision was made, everything else fell into place.

And here is how it all turned out!

After hair and makeup styling (by Nicole Tott-Berger and Catherine Clark) for Kristina and her bridesmaids…

 

… the bridal party transferred to Villa Montalvo, where the bride got into her classic white dress…

 

… and gilded bridal heels…

…. picked up her bouquet of white roses and peonies with green accents of rosemary, olive branches and eucalyptus (by Green Petal Designs)…

… and was ready to present herself to her groom for the first time!

Groom Kevin had likewise dressed up, of course…

… and was ready to meet his bride at the Villa’s formal “Italianate Garden,” a fantasy of a classical Italian park come alive.

 

Photographer Todd Rafalovich and videographer Kevin Chin captured every precious moment.

While the couple was taking many, many photos, also with their bridal party…

… my assistant Amanda and I, together with onsite manager Caitlin Dieni and the catering team of La Bocca Fina under expert leadership of Teri Menchini were busy to get the Villa ready for the arrival of our 150 guests (via shuttles by UCT).

Soon enough it was time for the ceremony in the “Oval Garden” behind the Villa, accompanied by beautiful music by the Garden Strings quartet.

And here comes the bride!

 

The ceremony was officiated by Father Charles Regal of The White-Robed Monks

… in his trademark combination of joy and gravitas in perfect balance. “You may now kiss the bride!”

Just married – and so happy!

Guests were invited to cocktails in the Spanish Courtyard which had been prepared for illumination later that evening with Italian string lights (by Just De’Lights)…

… and whose fountains were decorated with floating white flowers…

Photo: Jutta Lammerts

Photo: Jutta Lammerts

A photo booth (by SnapFiesta) provided extra guest entertainment throughout the evening and was in high demand from Cocktail Hour on!

Dinner tables had been set up on the front verandah…

… with pewter-colored Chiavari chairs, shimmering linens in shades of platinum and lilac, glamorous china, flatware and glassware (from Hensley Event Resources) and with floral centerpieces in weathered stone urns, again by Green Petal Designs.

The couple’s Sweetheart Table got, of course, the “royal treatment!”

 

While guests were dining, dusk fell, and the twinkling lights on tall potted trees (from Interior Plant Design) lining the perimeter created a festive, golden glow.

 

Photo: Jutta Lammerts

After dinner, it was time for dessert inside…

 

 

… followed by the couple’s First Dance to  tunes by DJ Henry Kim of Big Fun Disc Jockeys. As a surprise for Kevin’s parents who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year, the couple had chosen the same song for their First Dance that Kevin’s Mom and Dad had danced to – then it had been “on the radio” for just six years; now it has become a timeless classic: Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.

 

 

But that was, of course, only the beginning of a wild night of dancing!

When the party came to an end, the couple’s Grand Send-Off, was also done in high style: with a glowstick parade sending the newlyweds off to their breathtaking vintage Packard limousine (by Elegant Journey)…

 

 

… to take them to their afterparty. Keep celebrating “amore,” Kristina and Kevin, and our warmest wishes on your way!

 

Let us create YOUR unique wedding celebration, too!

Visit A Day Like No Other and enjoy our brochure! 

 

The Honor – and the Cost! – of Being a Bridesmaid

Your bestie just got engaged, and of course you’re over-the-moon happy! But maybe you’re also silently dreading the thought of being a bridesmaid. After all, it’s a big commitment that can potentially mean spending a good amount of money on a dress and on wedding-related festivities. While the bride and her family may be covering costs through savings  or a wedding loan, you should make sure you have the budget to cover your obligations as a bridesmaid.

Today we’re going to break down the cost of being a bridesmaid and share some tips for saving money along the way.

The Bridesmaid Dress – Average cost $150

You might think the bridesmaid dress is a “non-negotiable” in terms of spending money. After all, you have to buy whatever the bride picks out, right? While it is true that you shouldn’t go rogue and show up in a random dress, you can still save money while adhering to the bride’s wishes. You may get lucky!  You can find many popular bridesmaid brands like David’s Bridal, Vera Wang, BHLDN and more on secondhand clothing sites like Tradesy and Poshmark. Most people wear a bridesmaid dress only once, so you can rest assured that it will be in like-new condition. Just make sure you get a clear picture, the name and the exact color of the desired dress from the bride so you can verify that you’re purchasing the right one. If that approach doesn’t work, you can still re-sell or donate your “as-new” dress afterwards.

Bridesmaid Accessories – Average cost $120

Your bride might give you a bridesmaid gift of jewelry to wear on the big day, but you could still end up having to purchase special undergarments or shoes to go with your dress. Borrowing accessories is a good way to cut down costs in this area. Just poll your other friends who have been bridesmaids – one of them is sure to have something to help you out! Online retailers like zappos and discount stores like DSW are insider tips for finding gorgeous heels at an affordable price. And if you’re looking for an extra-special accessory, you can also rent designer pieces from Rent the Runway at a fraction of the cost.

Hair & Makeup – Average cost $125

If your bride is requiring that you get your hair and makeup professionally done, etiquette says that she should pay for it. If your bride isn’t requiring that you get your hair and makeup professionally done, consider skipping this expense altogether or only picking one service to save money. There is a large selection of makeup tutorials on YouTube, so do some experimenting and try to master one go-to makeup look that you can rely on for the big day. If you are planning on splurging for professional services, don’t forget to factor a tip into your budget.

The Bridal Shower – Average cost $50-$150+ per bridesmaid

This is one area where it’s great to get the bride’s family and future family involved to help cut costs. Does the bride’s mom have an immaculate garden and patio at her house? Ask if you can host the shower there. Join forces with your co-bridesmaids. Is one of them an amazing baker? Ask if she’d make the dessert for the shower. Most people will be thrilled to honor the bride by contributing their talents in a small way. Co-hosting the event with several bridesmaids or family members also means you can split the cost which allows you to splurge on a few special items.

The Bachelorette Party – Average cost $80-$300+

You can still throw an unforgettable party for your bride without breaking the bank. Picking a local spot for festivities will significantly cut down on the cost, but can be hard if bridesmaids are spread out. If travel is unavoidable, look into splitting an Airbnb with the group rather than booking a swanky hotel. It will be even more fun for the whole group to be sharing the same house and being in a cool place to have your first cocktails and cook your own “morning-after” mimosa brunch together – all the while saving big! Martha Stewart Weddings has even put together a list of some seriously awesome Airbnbs available in popular bachelorette destinations.

 

As you can see, the cost of being a bridesmaid can really add up fast, but it’s one expense that will be more than worth it. The money spent on showers and parties will ultimately translate into quality time spent with your friend during one of the most exciting, most unique – but also most stressful times in her life. Standing next to her as she says her vows will be priceless and will make it all worth it!