Country Club Elegance and French-International Flair: Valerie & Andrew!

Valerie and Andrew are true citizens of the world – they met in New York City, and then they  lived in many different places all over the world: Paris, Denver, Vancouver and Toronto  only a few of them. And since they are the most kind and charming young couple you can imagine, they made a lot of friends wherever they were living. When it came time to get married, I had the pleasure and the honor of being their wedding coordinator.They chose a beautiful country club in one of the most beautiful landscapes you can imagine to celebrate their love with their extended families and with all those friends, many of whom had come from Canada, the East Coast, even Europe.

And where is that magical spot where the two ultimately said their vows?


Inland of Monterey – the Pasadera Country Club, an exclusive golf club whose Clubhouse is actually a Spanish-Mediterranean estate dating centuries back. Impressive architecture, original wood beams, frescoes, antique furniture and cobblestone courtyards surrounded by mature trees and the lush, rolling landscape of the Monterey Peninsula combine to transport you to another place and another time.



front door resizedThe wedding celebration began with the ceremony under the iconic Big Oak Tree behind the mansion…


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The bride, resplendent in a one-shoulder trumpet dress

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with cathedral train and veil, and in hair and makeup by Jonathan Reisfeld, walked in on her mother’s arm,

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preceded by the couple’s two doggies, Pastis and Milo. Valerie and Andrew were officially married by a longtime friend of theirs, under a gauzy “chuppah” of organza draped across the branches of the oak tree.

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They came dancing down the aisle as “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and were immediately whisked away for photos, photos, photos – by another longtime friend and artistic photographer, Prof. Matthias Geiger.

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Their guests meanwhile enjoyed cocktails in the romantic courtyard with a whispering fountain in the middle… and white camellias gently floating in the water. It doesn’t get much more romantic than this!

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With the evening chill rolling in, guests gathered inside the artfully furnished mansion…



and nibbled on hundreds of delicious handmade sweets – dozens of trays filling a whole table, a labor of love of the Mother of the Bride, until it was time for dinner and dancing!

In accordance with Valerie’s elegant color scheme of eggplant hues and silver, the dining tables were adorned with tall arrangements of gladiolus, curly willow, and hydrangeas, all artfully created by her closest family members. Talk about everyone contributing!


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Dancing began right away with the Hora Dance to the rousing melody of “Hava Naguila”- with the newlyweds being hoisted high up in the air on chairs while the wedding guests were dancing around them, picking up speed (and joy) by the minute!

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And dancing continued throughout the evening – expertly paced by DJ Kevin O’Scanlon from Sound in Motion.

The only little break the new husband and wife took from visiting tables and from dancing was – cutting the cake! The cake – an exquisite confection by the local Parker-Lusseau bakery, airy, moist, and intensely flavored – a true revelation!

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And here is why I love my job so much:

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Congratulations, Valerie and Andrew, and many happy years together!

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The Dogs in our Lives – and our Weddings!

Dear Canines, I have to offer you my sincerest apologies. I have shamefully neglected you lately, writing about your humans only. Which is not right – among other things because of the name of this publication: Wedding Woof!

So here’s to the “woofs” in Wedding Woof – and especially to those who were or will be stars in my weddings at A Day Like No Other! After all, I am the only wedding planner in all of Northern California specializing in dog-friendly weddings… so, now I’ll finally live up to that reputation and give all my readers a glimpse of how my couples have included (or will include) their beloved companions in their weddings.

Let’s start with Natasha and Fabian. They had a very traditional wedding with a full Catholic Mass for their ceremony, followed by a huge celebration for close to 250 guests. Their beloved boxer girl wasn’t allowed at the Church (of course not…) nor at their venue. But the two found a way!

Natasha and FabianThey headquartered in a beautiful dog-friendly hotel very close to their reception venue – and that’s where they spent the night before their wedding, the morning of their wedding day and later on their First Night (Inn at the Presidio). That way they had their pretty canine with them most of the time (and for the photos, of course!) – and while they were away, she was lovingly being taken care of onsite, just waiting for her humans to return to her at the end of the day, “just married!”

“Lucky” was even luckier! Her people (Peggy and Jose) got married outside, so their rambunctious puppy was allowed to stay onsite – but the waiting time until finally she was allowed close to her master and mistress again, stretched to near infinity for her…

Peggy and Lucky

Now it’s time for a walk – off to married bliss!

Next up: Pastis and Milo! They were allowed to accompany their humans (Valerie and Andrew) all the time at their very dog-friendly wedding venue (Pasadera Golf Club, now Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, in Monterey). They even were the pro-forma ring bearers…

Milo and Pastis

Now come – two Cody’s!

Cody no. 1 is living with Amy and Tec who will get married in San Francisco in August. I happen to know because I am their wedding planner! And Cody happens to know, too – he actually mailed the “Save-the-dates:”

Amy Tec CodyIsn’t that cute?!

And here’s one more cutie: Cody no. 2. He is living with Pamela and John, and he will definitely be the star at their wedding in July:

Pams furbaby codyHis humans went to great lengths to find a totally dog-friendly venue so he could be with them all the time. Diablo Ranch in Walnut Creek proved to be the perfect choice for a wedding celebration equally kid- and dog-friendly, with a carnival theme and lots of fun for everyone.

Last but not least there is Buzz, an Australian Shepherd, without whom his Master’s wedding would have been – unthinkable! So Philipp, his loving Dad, and Michelle, his Mom-to-be, went on a quest to find an elegant but dog-friendly venue. On a hot day in August, they and their constant companion Buzz visited and instantaneously fell in love with Stonepine Estate in Carmel Valley. Said the groom, “Buzz used the first moment we were distracted to escape and jump into the reflecting pool – to emerge dripping and dirty, shaking vigorously, a total mess… Michelle and I were sure that that was the end of our wedding dreams at Stonepine! They would never let us come back. In a word, we were heartbroken. But – miracles still happen! Instead of being shocked, someone appeared with a stack of fluffy white bath towels for the canine visitor’s convenience… needless to say, that’s where we got married, with Buzz in attendance!”


Please share your story –

My Portfolio

I am not only the author of Wedding Woof, I am also planning and designing elegant, personalized weddings at the most beautiful venues in the San Francisco Bay Area and all of Northern California. My business is “A Day Like No Other,” and that’s what I design for my couples – a dream Wedding Day! As a Professional Wedding Consultant,  trained and certified by the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants, and as the Events Committee Chair for the SF Bay Area Chapter of the Wedding Industry Professionals Association, I bring experience, expertise and enthusiasm to my wedding projects – and I would love to do yours, too! Please contact me at

Inspired by Spring, sunny weather and blue skies, I just created an engagement video shoot to capture the magic of young love – with nature in bloom and a radiant couple. This could be your engagement! And for your bachelorette party, I came up with an elegant “Roaring Twenties” theme… enjoy! For the groom, I created an Andy Warhol-themed bachelor party, complete with an original vintage Mustang convertible, an Andy Warhol look-alike, and Sixties/Seventies hits on the karaoke machine in a hip bar… And what comes after engagement, bachelor and bachelorette parties? Wedding Day, of course! And here it is – what yours could be like: Pamela and John’s Wedding by A Day Like No Other! And here are two more: Alexa and Sean’s Wedding, Tara and Mike’s Wedding, and Valerie and Andrew, also by A Day Like No Other, of course… Now, I hope you are getting inspired!

Please look up my reviews and praise from my clients here.

Michelle & Philipp

A true fairytale wedding at a country estate, complete with a horse-drawn carriage and a French Chateau surrounded by formal gardens.

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Angie & Michael

An elegant wedding at a historic mansion on a sunny day in May, with friends and extended families from all over the world.

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Alexa & Sean

The two had a dream wedding with a “vintage glamour San Francisco” theme at the General’s Residence at Fort Mason overlooking the Bay.

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Diahann Brent title reduced sizeDiahann & Brent

A happy union of feminine romance and urban chic in a hip downtown hotel, surrounded by iconic San Francisco architecture.

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Jane & Greg

Sophisticated elegance and Art Deco glamour at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown San Francisco for an unforgettable wedding celebration.

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Katherine & David

“A Midsummernight’s Dream” was the theme for this truly romantic wedding in beautiful Carmel Valley.

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Jeff_Adam_October_11_2014_0589 copyJeff & Adam

A four-day wedding weekend at a vineyard for closest family and friends, with a ceremony under a 100-year-old tree and alfresco dinner.

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Pamela John swing copy croppedPamela & John

A working ranch high up on a mountain overlooking San Francisco Bay was the romantic setting for this joyful, carnival-themed wedding.

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Vannie Richard 2 smallVannie & Richard

Unusual, quirky and sunny and unique – that’s how this couple had envisioned their wedding day. Have a look!

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Tara - SunsetTara & Michael

The quaint town of Carmel-by-the Sea was the romantic setting for this lavish destination wedding.

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Catherine Jithun croppedCatherine & Jithun

A sunset ceremony with a view of the San Francisco Bay, an Italian gourmet dinner and a joyful dance party to follow.

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Natasha - rolls-resized croppedNatasha & Fabian

A traditional wedding celebration with a full Catholic Mass, a lavish dinner and a Latin dance party to follow.

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Shaina 2Shaina & Erik

An elegant affair at the famous Four Seasons of San Francisco – with Tea Ceremony, dinner and a ball.

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Marissa Jordan Max enhancedMarissa & Jordan

A wedding in a famous recording studio with canine companion Max in starched collar, bow tie and cuffs – and a seven piece band to mix it up.

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IMG_9235 croppedStacy & Ian

Coastal elegance at the Intercontinental The Clement in Monterey – impressionist views and high design.

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Valerie Andrew title reduced sizeValerie & Andrew

French-international flair in a romantic country club setting, a ceremony under a centuries-old oak tree on a picture-perfect day.

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Laura DennisLaura & Dennis

Tuscany came to the Napa Wine Country at this wedding at a secluded private estate with an enchanted garden.

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erica_lincoln copyErica & Lincoln

With both bride and groom professional musicians and the bride an amateur astronomer, the theme of this wedding was: music and the stars!

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Alan Miles croppedAlan & Miles

Smitten by the beauty of the Ocean, this couple tied the knot in the spectacular setting of a world-renowned aquarium.

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Amy&Tec_593 copy smallAmy & Tec

A multicultural wedding, honoring the bride’s Chinese and the Groom’s Korean heritage as well as their connection to San Francisco.

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Amy+and+John+0280-3597522700-O copy smallAmy & John

Rustic elegance in the great outdoors with nostalgic décor and lavish lighting, dinner dancing under the stars.

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Kimen croppedKimen & Rob

A quintessential Californian wedding on a patio above the Pacific, surrounded by family and many friends.

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Lauren and Francisco1Lauren & Francisco

Whimsy, nostalgia and charm are the key words for Lauren’s and Francisco’s relaxed wedding party with kids and family.

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Sherri- Back Window View of Couple croppedSherri & Zenon

A couple from Canada, celebrating their destination wedding in San Francisco with more than one hundred guests.

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dining tbl resizedCassie & Jason

An elegant wedding at a private estate amidst lush gardens, dining under towering trees and dancing under the stars.

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rings croppedCherice & Michael

The charm of a century-old historic venue, handmade decor and a celebration for friends and family under romantic string lights.

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Virgina & Mick

A romantic outdoor ceremony at a historic San Francisco venue, followed by a dance party at the hip, urban-chic “The Box SF”.

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IMG_1742 cropped_2Tina & Eric

A magical day on the Beach for a feet-in-the-sand ceremony and a relaxed reception with traditional clam chowder.

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Nicole & Isaac

A family festivity in a Redwood grove honoring the bride’s German heritage, their Jewish upbringing, and their love of all things handmade.

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Peggy & Jose

A lighthearted, quirky, artsy celebration for friends and family with fun, good food and drink – and the couple’s dog Lucky in attendance!

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Wedding in Green

Inspirations for a wedding theme with green as the accent color. From the bride’s bouquet to emerald jewelry and a rustic dinner spread.

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WestinStFrancis_StyledShoot_SHHIVIKACHAUHANPHOTOGRAPHY126 copy smallWestin St. Francis Hotel

A photo shoot showing high elegance in dramatic wedding dresses, exquisite jewelry and gorgeous floral décor at one of SF’s most famous venues.

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Four SeasonsFour Seasons Hotel

Urban cool and masculine chic with SF city lights as our backdrop was the theme of this stylized photo shoot at the elegant Four Seasons.

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Mandarin OrientalMandarin Oriental Hotel

Wedding Industry Professionals Association 2014 kick-off meeting on the 40th floor Sky Deck of the Mandarin-Oriental Hotel SF.

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Montalvo- villa car largerVilla Montalvo

An elegant luncheon for wedding Industry professionals at one of the Bay Area’s premier wedding venues: Villa Montalvo.

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FHCH reopening croppedGrand Reopening

An animated reopening party at a historic San Francisco wedding venue with food, wine, music and great company.

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Festive Luncheon

The Wedding Industry Professionals Association kicked off the year 2013 with a festive luncheon at the famous Westin St. Francis in San Francisco.

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Great Gatsby Party

In the style of the Roaring Twenties, a party full of elegant extravagance  – from flapper dresses to ostrich feathers and dripping crystals…

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Elegant Invitations

Custom calligraphed invitations in crystal-embellished silk folders set an elegant tone for a Tiffany-inspired dream wedding.

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Antique  Books

Antique books took center stage at a librarian’s wedding last summer. Here are the creative designs for the dinner table centerpieces.

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Soiree smallerLa Soiree

Design with French flair for a gala event of the French-American Chamber of Commerce SF – Paris throughout the seasons.

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Urban Chic

Dark glamour for a dance party in a former factory: mirrors, gems and candles complementing rocks, branches and black velvet roses.

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Peacock Feathers

An stunning escort card display of 220 peacock feathers for an elegant vintage San Francisco wedding theme.

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