Stacy and Ian – Coastal Elegance at the Intercontinental, Monterey

I just returned from coordinating a wedding that qualifies for the “Dream Wedding” category on all counts – a beautiful couple, a spectacular location, incredible weather… and then some!

So, let’s start at the beginning – with Stacy and Ian: both of them seasoned singles, wildly successful in their respective careers, independent spirits. They had everything in their lives except for… well, that “significant other.” And then, on January 27 of 2013 (yes, 2013!!), Love struck. Suddenly, unexpectedly. Stacy met Ian – and later that same day, she called her mother and said, “I have met the man with whom I want to share the rest of my life.” Love at first sight, nothing less! From then on, the two had a true whirlwind romance.

engagement photoJust eight weeks later, on April 1st, Ian proposed in a historic castle outside Rotterdam, the Netherlands – beginning with: “This is not an April Fool’s joke…” and putting a huge “rock” on Stacy’s finger. Another four months later, the two got married, and I had the honor of being their wedding coordinator.

For their venue, they chose a spectacular waterfront setting in Monterey: the Intercontinental The Clement Hotel, literally built on the water’s edge.

The morning of Wedding Day was dedicated to pampering and hair and makeup appointments at The Spa at Intercontinental, and the results for the bride, her mother and her bridesmaids were simply beautiful!


The ceremony, officiated by John Kelly,  was held on the oceanfront terrace at 5 in the afternoon, in the presence of 70 of Stacy’s and Ian’s closest friends and family members.



An arch, beautifully decorated by Stems Floral Boutique, with the Pacific Ocean as backdrop, and 725 roses in a symphony of sunset colors lining the aisle provided a truly glorious ceremony setting.

cer from above 2
cer happiness
first kiss

With the Abbott Brothers, a bluegrass band, performing Beatles classics for the processional and recessional, bride, groom and all their guests were immediately transported into a festive and joyful mood.

IMG_1426“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…” (with the lyrics ever so slightly modified to “Ian and Stacy”) and for the guests to sing along – I’ve never seen a couple happier than these two, dancing down the aisle!

And that was just the beginning… while Stacy and Ian went off for their requisite photo session, guests were enjoying …


cocktail hour in the ballroom…

IMG_1386… lovingly decorated in the couple’s maritime wedding theme: corals, starfish and sand dollars!


And the icing on the cake: a quirky, one-of-a-kind “sardine tin” photo booth!

IMG_1384For the newlyweds, it was still “photo time!” And look, what incredible photos they got from their photographer, Randy Tunnell…


cannery row

And then it was already time for dinner under the stars – out on the patio with a view of the sunset over the Ocean.


The couple, breaking with tradition, enjoyed their First Dance right then and there!

grand entrance


The couple presided over dinner at their rose-bedecked sweetheart table:




Guest tables were decorated with beautiful antique lanterns from the bride’s extensive collection and with nautical rope, sand dollars and corals. Guests were guided to their tables not by conventional escort cards, but – true to the wedding theme – by sand dollars with their names and table numbers tied on:


Every table setting was topped by a favor: a pretty burlap pouch, decorated with – what else? a mini sand dollar! …and containing chocolate bars to satisfy any sweet cravings until cake-cutting time.

When night fell, the ambiance turned romantic…


Following dinner, everyone congregated in the ballroom for dancing to the tunes of DJ Darion of DNA Entertainment, beginning with the traditional Father-Daughter dance. One of the bride’s earliest and dearest memories is her Dad teaching her to dance when she was perhaps five years old, with her feet resting on his to learn the steps – to the sound of “New York, New York.” Needless to say that this was the song chosen for this special dance, and it became a truly magical moment!

Father Daughter Dance 1

Then there was more dancing, and a cake to cut – a little masterpiece by Freedom Bakery, decorated with rope motifs, seashells and sand dollars – so beautiful and so delicious!


cake cuttingStacy’s and Ian’s first official task as husband and wife: cutting the cake and feeding each other! Guests loved it… and photographer Randy Tunnell recorded every precious moment throughout the day.

It was a beautiful, elegant, joyful, romantic wedding- and I was reminded one more time why I love my job so much!

IMG_1459Thanks, Stacy and Ian, for letting me be a part of your Great Day, and a long and happy life together!



A Year in Glorious Wedding Dresses: All My Brides!

Happy New Year to all my readers, and, of course, to all my brides (and grooms) for whom 1/1/14 marks their first New Year as husband and wife!

Traditionally, the transition to a new year always invites to also look back to the year we just completed, and I’d like to follow that tradition – with a twist! Let’s look back to the glorious dresses my ever-so-creative and chic brides chose for their Great Day.

And the winner is… no, no, that’s up to each and every one of you who the winner is! I can only tell you the winner by numbers, and that is the classic A-line dress with a fitted bodice, still close to the body around the hips, and gently flaring below to a more or less dramatic train. Universally flattering, this style is quite versatile – embellished with ruching, lace, embroidery, appliqués, made from various materials, and with necklines as different as “sweetheart” or “asymmetrical, “with trains of varying lengths, not two A-line dresses are alike. Have a look:

Stacys dress


Kimens dress

Taras dress

Then there are the “trumpet” gowns – basically a more form-fitting A-line close to the body down to nearly knee-height with a flare below the knee.

Natashas dressHere in precious lace – and the next one in silk sateen

with a long, long train:

Tinas dress

Here comes an asymmetrical neckline – quite unique!

Valeries dress

Surprisingly, none of my brides chose a classical ballgown style – nor a “mermaid” dress, either (mermaid dresses are figure-hugging down to mid-calf height and require – let’s face it – nothing less but a supermodel figure! And even then they are not for the faint of heart!). But what else my brides chose definitely deserves your attention.

We had the demure, elegant, covered-up style:

Peggys dress

… and a nostalgic look (a family heirloom dress, nothing less!)

Cherice dress


One of my brides had her dress custom-tailored with a dramatic back and a lace “overcoat” to wear as a cover-up for the ceremony:

Virginias dress backvirginias dress frontAnother one wore a feathery, bead-embroidered confection that could have passed as an elegant cocktail dress:

Cassies dressCassies dress 2

The floor-length shift dress made a come-back in high style and elegance, the first one by Reem Acra…

Alexas dress


… and this one by Jin Wang;Janes dress

And last, but certainly not least, the two “stunners” in our show!

Number one: a Vera Wang dress …

Diahanns dress

and number two: an ultra-luxurious gown of pale champagne silk duchesse with precious lace appliqué and a dramatic train:

Sherris dress


I bet you are! And now – pick your own very favorite!