Krista and Ben: a Glamorous “Aussie” Wedding in Big Sur

Big Sur, that stretch of California coastline between the Monterey Peninsula to the North and the Central Coast to the South, is definitely one of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth. It’s famous as a retreat for spiritual seekers, for alternative lifestyle, artists – and celebrities! Model Karlie Kloss comes hiking here to decompress, and actress Natalie Portman got married here at a private estate.

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As did my beautiful couple, Krista and Benjamin! When they first set foot on Wind and Sea Estate in Big Sur, perched high on a cliff above the sea,  it was a done deal for them… this is where they would get married.

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At Wind and Sea, a striking wrought-iron gate opens to reveal a stunning property…

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… even with its own beach access! (It’s a bit steep, admittedly…)

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I am so happy that Krista and Ben brought me in right away to organize it all for them through my company A Day Like No Other. It would be a “long-distance planning” process, that was clear – because these two are living in Australia! Krista had been working in the SF Bay Area and fallen in love with the beauty of California, when she met Benjamin, an attractive young businessman from Australia, at a conference in San Francisco – and fell in love again, right away… with Ben! It didn’t take her long to follow him to Sydney. For their wedding, they chose this spectacular spot to show Krista’s family from Ohio and Ben’s family from Australia the breathtaking beauty of California. We started planning early in 2015 – Thank God for email, Skype and Pinterest! – and couldn’t even imagine that date of September 26. But suddenly, we were there… and it was a glorious day.

Krista had requested a “rustic glam” style for her wedding. We translated that in:  Wooden harvest tables with gold Chiavari chairs (by CHIC Event Rentals), sequined runners in blush and gold (from Napa Valley Linens), cream and blush mixed floral arrangements with a lot of texture and lots and lots of mercury gold votives and vases (by Green Petal Designs). And the “icing” on it? Gilded Australian animal figurines from kangaroos to wombats, doing duty as place card holders and table decor!

The pretty invitations already set the tone for the celebration to come:

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… and finally, the Great Day had arrived. The forty “nearest and dearest” guests who had come from all over the world to be with the couple on their wedding day,  were brought in from Monterey by shuttle bus (from Discovery Charters) and welcomed in style:

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For Krista, the day began with a hair and makeup session with Jessica Morton of Miabel Artistry who transformed a pretty young woman into a glamorous beauty. Krista had chosen a sequined, diaphanous Jenny Packham dress from Nouvelle Vogue, and with that, her crystal-encrusted headpiece and her romantic bouquet (also from Green Petal Designs), she literally moved Benjamin to tears…

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And here come the real stars of the day: the couple’s children! Macy wore a romantic flower crown:

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… and her brother Toby dazzled in an all “grown-up” outfit matching his Dad’s:

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Here’s Krista’s dapper groom Ben getting ready, boutonniere and necktie and all …

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The ceremony was held at a natural amphitheater in the expansive garden of the property, overlooking the endless Pacific, and officiated by a longtime friend of the couple.

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Krista_Ben_September_26_2015__0452It turned out to be a glorious, sunny day with a light breeze – simply perfect!

Finally, it was time – Krista was escorted to the ceremony by her Dad…

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The moment could not have been more beautiful and more intimate.Krista_Ben_September_26_2015__0453

And then it was definitely time to party – on the wraparound patio that follows the house from North to South end with unobstructed views of the Ocean and of the sunset:

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The bride had requested an oyster bar to accompany cocktails on her special day:

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… and that was followed by a farm-to-table dinner by Amy Padilla of Feel Good Foods Catering.

Krista_Ben_September_26_2015__0460Together with the oyster bar, it was, hands down, the ultimate dining experience! The cake was “imported” from Layers Sensational

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… and it was cut as the first official “joint venture” of the newlyweds!

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Guitarist Richard DeVinck serenaded the wedding party from ceremony through Cocktail Hour and dinner and then transitioned seamlessly to DJ’ing for a joyful dance party inside, while dusk fell…

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… and the garden, illuminated by myriad lanterns, turned downright magical.

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On their special day, the couple and their guests were even treated to a technicolor sunset:

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Photographer extraordinaire Sandra Fazzino captured it all for us … including the couple dancing the night away:

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Congratulations on a truly memorable wedding, Krista and Ben – and enjoy your Honeymoon in Paris!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobi and Yasser – Nature and Elegance at Quail Lodge

Tobi and Yasser were college sweethearts. They had met at UC Riverside early on – in their Freshman/Junior year, respectively – and became inseparable very soon. Despite their very different family backgrounds – Tobi is from a Korean-American family and Yasser from a Persian-American family – they found so much in common that there was never even a doubt that they would stay together. They were both family people, both love nature and animals. And wherever they were not already sharing the same interests and hobbies, chances were they would very soon! Yasser had always been big on playing sports, and soon enough Tobi picked up exercising as well – she would even begin her wedding day with a run! But more of that later…

One of the things they always shared was a love for the outdoors. Hiking, camping in Big Sur, and an engagement in the rain forest in Costa Rica – that way it was pretty clear that their wedding celebration would at least partly take place in beautiful nature. However, for that special day Tobi did not want “rustic” but “classy and elegant.” The solution? Quail Lodge in Carmel.

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Set in the softly rolling hills of Carmel Valley as far as you can see, Quail Lodge has it all: a gorgeous outdoor ceremony site, elegant event space at the Clubhouse, and cozy accommodations at the Lodge. I knew it well, and I was overjoyed when Tobi and Yasser chose my company, A Day Like No Other, to plan, design and coordinate their Great Day.

For Tobi, wedding day began (AFTER her morning run!) with a hair and makeup session…

… in the bridal suite at Quail Lodge …

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under the expert hands of Anna and Soyeoon from Wowpretty Salon. Next step (literally!) – get into her elaborate strapless Maggie Sottero wedding dress, with exquisite lace detailing and crystal embellishment…

Tobi’s bridesmaids, all in midnight blue crepe dresses, had quite some work to do lacing the bride up! Then: jewelry!

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… crystal-embellished bridal shoes…

… and her bridal bouquet (from Janelle Jacky of Green Petal Designs, who created all the gorgeous floral decor throughout)

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–  and ready for First Look on the picturesque bridge at Quail Lodge!

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While the couple had many, many photos and video footage taken (by Patrick Ang‘s photo and video crews), we were all busy getting the ceremony site at Quail Meadows set up for an outdoor Catholic Mass officiated by Tobi’s uncle.

Quail Meadows

altar

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A radiant and expectant bride was waiting upstairs in the “barn” (a rustic-elegant building at Quail Meadows)…

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… until the great moment had come. The bride was preceded by her cute flower girl…

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… and then her proud Dad escorted her all the way to the ceremony:

Isn’t that romantic? Her processional song, played by DJ John Gregoria of DNA Entertainment (who provided music throughout), was the Jurassic Park theme melody, and throughout the wedding mass, friends and relatives provided live music as well.

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Cocktail Hour for the more than 170 guests was held on the patio of the Quail Clubhouse…

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… with baby photos of the couple and other family photos for the guests to reminisce about, and with a photo booth (also from DNA Entertainment) which was a huge hit.

Guests looked up their seating assignment for dinner on an elaborate chalkboard chart by Ryanne Steele of Steele My Heart …

… and were then treated to a wonderful Persian wedding ceremony. Lili Ghazian of Aroosi had created an elegant sofreh-aghd (wedding spread) in the golden and blush pink colors of the wedding:

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… and officiant Niloufar Nouri brought it all to life, walking the couple and the audience through the time-honored traditional ceremony step by step, explaining the symbolic meaning of all elements.

For example, the mothers rub sugar above their children’s heads to shower their marriage with sweetness.

rubbing sugar The couple exchanged vows and rings once more…

It was very moving!

After that, everyone was ready for dinner…

…with tables set in midnight blue shimmering linens, ivory napkins and lots and lots of candle light in mercury glass and rose gold-colored votives…

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The couple was presiding over it all from their sweetheart table…

Following dinner, bride and groom were planning to cut their cake from Patisserie Parker-Lusseau, but that’s not that easy for a Persian groom! First he had to negotiate for the cake knife with a succession of dancing ladies who were teasing him with a traditional knife dance…

during which he had to pay them off several times until he could finally snatch the knife from them!

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Guests had the choice of dessert – wedding cake or mini red velvet Bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes with ice cream. And then everyone couldn’t wait to get up and start dancing!

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Dance partyPersian and American hits took turns and got the crowd going… and after a stop at the late-night snack bar, everyone was tired and happy, but nobody really wanted to go home. Everyone had such a good time!

And here is a little live preview of their wedding video:

tobi + yasser from Patrick Ang on Vimeo.

Many happy years together, Tobi and Yasser!

 

A Snapshot of the Fanfare Summer Show

“Plan Your Dream Wedding In One Elegant Evening!” – the motto of the Fanfare Weddings summer show 2015 – is that possible?

Well… in fact, it is! Fanfare Weddings is a group of SF Bay Area luxury wedding vendors, one of each category (my business, A Day Like No Other, being the wedding planner), who put on a super-elegant wedding fair twice a year – at an equally elegant wedding venue, historic Kohl Mansion in Burlingame.

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So… what do we need for a spectacular wedding, in addition to a stunning venue?

Let’s start with the planner, from Day 1! (Okay, I admit it – I’m somewhat biased…)

BoothAnd then: Great food …. check! Guests were treated to a delicious sampling from La Bocca Fina Fine Catering,

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accompanied by wines from Mills Wine Group …Mills… and followed by super-fresh cake bites by Have Your Cake …

cake… with fantastic coffee choices from Travelin’Joe Espresso Bar.

All that to be enjoyed at a gorgeous table set by Classic Party Rentals in silver and eggplant colors,

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… and topped by elegant floral arrangements from Plan Decor (who supplied all floral decor throughout).

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… and beautiful lighting and draperies were provided by Enhanced Lighting and Sound for the perfect, festive ambiance.

What else do we need?

An officiant, of course – that’s why we have Minister Maggie Beretz in our group who specializes in highly personalized ceremonies. And of course the bride needs THE DRESS!

She’ll find an Haute Couture collection of wedding dresses at Nouvelle Vogue…

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and she and her bridesmaids need hair and makeup services, expertly provided by Miabel.

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And music! And there was a lot to choose from…

Brassworks Music and Gabriel’s Trumpets for the royal announcement and entrance;

fanfaresAria Bella and Premiere Harp Songs as the ne-plus-ultra for the ceremony,

aria bellaand Big Fun DJs for the dancing part of the evening. All of these artists performed a selection of their repertoire – a whole show in by itself! Speaking of which… dance instruction for a choreographed First Dance? Check! “On the Dance Floor with Cynthia Glinka” was one of the performance highlights of the show.

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And then there are all the extras and the details. Hyegraph for invitations and calligraphy;

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Wedding bands from Padis Jewelers – a guest at the Faire –

jewelerand a custom perfume bar for the bachelorette party from Perfume Bar Soiree

Soiree Custom Perfume

stylish dresses for the mothers by Siri

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and a wedding registry – courtesy of Bloomingdale’s.

bloomingdalesFor guest accommodations, there was the SF Airport Marriott Waterfront Hotel, and CatalystArts, another “Friend of Fanfare” provided guest entertainment: a whimsical photo booth in a vintage Airstream Trailer!

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Not to forget, of course, a great photographer (Teresa Halton) and videographer (Thomas Hughes Films) for lasting memories of an unforgettable day!

Now, do you believe me that it is, in fact, possible to book your whole wedding in one elegant evening?! Happy planning – with Fanfare!

 

 

 

 

Urban Chic and Elegance at the Four Seasons, SF

The shoot focuses on two grooms, Brad and Tom (also a couple in real life!), and takes place in the Presidential Suite of the Four Seasons overlooking the twinkling city lights of San Francisco. We hope you like the cool, chic city style and  the sweet intimacy of the celebration. Truly the perfect combination!

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Hotel – Presidential Suite at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco / Model Couple – Brad And Tom / Hair And Make-Up – Nicole Perez / Wedding Props – Everything But The Wedding Dress / Calligraphy – Sarah Hanna / Custom Diamond Wedding Rings – VAS BIJOUX / Dessert – A Spoonful Of Sugar / Event Design Rentals – Classic Party Rentals / Grooms’ Attire – Selix Formalwear / Invitations – Bella Figura / Floral Designer – Janelle Jacky / Event Planning & Design – Jutta Lammerts at Day Like No Other / Photographer – SHHIVIKA CHAUHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Timeless Elegance and Luxury: A Stylized Wedding Shoot at the Westin St. Francis

Both my friend, photographer Shhivika Chauhan, and myself cannot sit still. Ever. We both always have ideas… so during the short “lull” in wedding season – between December and January – Shhivika suggested we do a Styled Shoot together – A Day Like No Otherand Shhivika Chauhan. Theme: timeless high elegance and City lights at dusk. Great! I love high elegance. I love the City. And I love the Westin St. Francis. We were so lucky that Catering Director Lauren Schardt invited us to the gorgeous Alexandra’s Ballroom on the Imperial (32nd) Floor high above the lights of the City. So I set out planning and designing… And here is the result  (published today on The Black Tie Bride blog). Hope you love it!

Let’s start with a dress fit for a princess…

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… and a bouquet to match…

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… as well as an Art Deco diamond and platinum bracelet and a South Sea pearl necklace.

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Custom-made wedding bands…

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… and timelessly elegant, luxurious invitations.

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A stunning altar piece with matching aisle decor …

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.. and a gilded harp to serenade the couple.

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China, flatware, glassware and linens were chosen to complement the blues and golds in the ballroom decor…

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… and a glorious, towering centerpiece of orchids, roses and hydrangeas anchored the look of the sweetheart table.

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Elegant bride and dapper groom:

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And here – comes the bride!

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Just married!!

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After that, it was time for THE CAKE! For that, the bride changed into a more modern, yet equally stunning dress, complemented by an antique brooch worn as a hairpiece:

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WestinStFrancis_StyledShoot_SHHIVIKACHAUHANPHOTOGRAPHY95For me,  the dessert table was sheer designer bliss and fun…

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Thanks to all who collaborated with us and made it happen!

Model Couple: HM Model Agency  | Hair And Make-UpNicole Perez | Wedding Props: Everything But The Wedding Dress |  Calligraphy: Sarah Hanna | Custom Diamond Wedding Rings: VAS BIJOUX | Fine Estate Jewelry: Gleim Jewelers | Dessert: A Spoonful Of Sugar | Cake Pops: Sweet Lauren Cakes | Event Design Rentals: Stuart Rental | Bridal Gown: Novella Bridal SF | Groom’s Attire: Selix Formalwear | Invitations: Bella Figura | Floral Designer: Janelle Jacky | Live Harp Music: Anna Maria Mendieta | Venue: Alexandra Ballroom, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco | Event Planning & Design: A Day Like No Other – Jutta Lammerts |  Videographer: Ewa Samples | Photographer: Shhivika Chauhan

 

 

 

Whirlwind Planning for a Beautiful Wedding: Catherine and Jithun

Last December, Catherine and Jithun enlisted my company, A Day Like No Other, to help them plan their wedding in August of this year, complete with traditional elements from Jithun’s native India – a Sangeet (dance party) a day before, for example… and of course a big Western style wedding. The even bigger Indian wedding would then follow shortly after, organized and hosted by the groom’s family in India. We were already right in the middle of all this planning … when the unexpected happened. A serious illness in the family forced Catherine and Jithun to move their wedding date up: to the following Sunday! Suddenly, we did not have another four months for planning, but a mere four DAYS.

Definitely a challenge! And definitely time to call in favors within my network of fantastic vendors – many of whom have become my friends over the years. I started making phone calls, and what happened was nothing short of a little miracle- everyone was immediately on board, and everyone agreed: we will make sure that these two wonderful young people will get more than an “emergency affair.” No, we would give them a joyful, memorable wedding celebration with all the bells and whistles we’d be able to muster!

First order of the day: find a new venue! On our first day of emergency planning, I received three offers, and Catherine chose the elegant Casa Madrona Hotel in Sausalito …

IMG_20150412_143440~2… just across the Golden Gate Bridge …

IMG_20150412_142412~2… and overlooking the San Francisco Bay and the Sausalito Yacht Harbor:

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Catering would be provided by Poggio Trattoria next door – they cater all of Casa Madrona’s special events, and their food is simply stellar.

Catherine’s childhood Rabbi made himself available for an evening wedding ceremony, and florist Deidre Rastelli of Tutti Fiori provided a beautiful antique chuppah which she decorated over and over with the flowers of the bride’s choice.

IMG_20150412_175013~2And of course she made a bridal bouquet exactly as Catherine had envisioned it, in a saturated maroon color (her second accent color, together with an aquamarine blue). And boutonnieres. And bridesmaids’ bouquets. And centerpieces. Everything!

Jira of Wowpretty Salon sent two senior stylists…

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and a wedding dress (the original one won’t get ready until May…) and pretty sandals were rush-ordered; the bride would wear her own stunning aquamarine jewelry…  here we go! Catherine, more beautiful and radiant than ever…

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And what a dapper groom she has!

Preview_CatherineJithun_Sausalito Wedding_SHHIVIKACHAUHANPHOTOGRAPHY Page 5My assistant Kelsey jumped in at the last minute and accompanied bride and groom and their families and guests throughout the day, from setup and hair/makeup session to ceremony, dinner and dancing – and provided our first photos of the day, until we get all the “real” ones from our photographer, Shhivika Chauhan. (We got a few from her already as a little preview – you see how fantastic they are!). Shhivika was already booked by another couple until early afternoon of that same day, but for her there was no question whatsoever: she headed over directly from her morning job to shoot Catherine’s wedding!

The Casa Madrona staff under the guidance of catering manager Stacey Turner did a beautiful job setting up the ceremony with a view of the yacht harbor, with the chuppah outside and the guest seating sheltered, inside.

Preview_CatherineJithun_Sausalito Wedding_SHHIVIKACHAUHANPHOTOGRAPHY Page 4Cellist Suellen Primost gathered her Espiritu Ensemble for elegant ceremony music, and then the great moment had come…

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Thomas Hughes Films live-streamed the ceremony for all those who hadn’t been able to attend at such short notice (and of course, they covered the festivities following the ceremony as well…)

Just married!

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Aren’t they a handsome couple?!

Cocktails were served on the adjacent patio, with guests watching the golden light of the sunset.

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Meanwhile, my assistant Kelsey, catering manager Stacey and her team set up the dining room…

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complete with Catherine’s dream cake by Cake Coquette and favor boxes with French macarons from Chantal Guillon, all in her favorite wedding colors!

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DJ Paul Burchfield of BigFunDJs got his equipment ready first for soft background music during dinner and then exuberant dance music, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Bollywood hits (yes!) and, of course, the Hora Dance:

Preview_CatherineJithun_Sausalito Wedding_SHHIVIKACHAUHANPHOTOGRAPHY Page 10It was a magical night…

IMG_20150412_202352~2Thank you to all who made it possible, and congratulations and many happy years together to Catherine and Jithun!

 

Fanfare Wedding Faire at Kohl Mansion: One-stop Shopping for the Elegant Bride!

Never heard of Fanfare Weddings? No? Then it’s about time!

Fanfare Weddings is a group of luxury wedding vendors in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area whose specialties cover everything a couple might ever need for their wedding celebration – one high-end business of each category (me being the wedding planner/designer). And for more than two decades, this group has hosted its own elegant, well-curated wedding fairs twice a year, mostly at the historic Kohl Mansion in Burlingame.

kohl mansion The Winter Show 2015 took place on January 29 – and it was the best-attended winter show ever. Nearly a hundred brides, grooms, future bridesmaids and proud parents came to sip champagne, find  elegant vendors for their upcoming wedding, win prizes and enjoy performances. It was more an elegant soiree than a classic wedding fair and everyone literally wore a big smile along with a goodie bag packed with glossy magazines and little favors.

Right at the entrance, they were greeted by a shiny white Maserati courtesy of Club Sportiva – the ultimate getaway car for the newlyweds!

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And they were invited inside in style by Gabriel’s Trumpets Trio (Brassworks)  – a truly regal sound.

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Step into the grand mansion, and find gorgeous flowers by Plan Decor (and many more breathtaking arrangements to come – you’ll see!)…

entrance tbleRight in the first room, I was waiting at my booth with armfuls of roses for those brides …

my booth

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… and photo books of my many weddings for inspiration.

booth2I was flanked by Jessica Morton of Miabel Hair and Makeup Artistry and by Aria Bella, a classical trio of harp (Anna Maria Mendieta), Violin (Joyce Lee) and soprano (Gloria Mendieta Gazave).

Then there was a display of breathtaking wedding dresses by my friends Saida and Chantal from Nouvelle Vogue Bridal Salon:

Guests admired the beautiful light effects by Enhanced Lighting and got to enjoy yummy food by La Bocca Fina

… accompanied by wine and champagne by Mills Wine Group, with dessert (cake bites) from Have Your Cake:

cake bites… the exact same delicious cake that’s hiding under these gorgeous wedding cake confections:

Bill Choy of Travelin’ Joe served the most delicious coffee varieties to go with these cakes, and guests then proceeded to meet officiant Minister Maggie and the team from the nearby Westin SFO hotel, and to swoon over classic invitations by Hyegraph …

… and a beautiful dining table designed by Classic Party Rentals …

… with flowers from Plan Decor:

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florist 1

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Then it was time for the vendor presentation in the mansion’s soaring double-height Great Room – with Woody Miraglia of BigFunDJs as our MC – but not just some presentation!

There were musical performances by Gabriel’s Trumpets and Aria Bella Trio, there was a mini dance lesson by choreographer and dance instructor Cynthia Glinka of Dance with Glinka (get ready for your First Dance, brides and grooms!) …

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… Plan Decor raffled away a dreamy white bridal bouquet…

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…and Have Your Cake gave away a cake… and, yes, the Westin gave away a weekend stay for two! Of course we also have a world-class videographer (Thomas Hughes) and photographer (Teresa Halton) to round it all off – as I said, one-stop shopping for the luxurious bride… and now we’ll all go to work planning these elegant weddings, and that’s the most fun work ever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trends in Wedding Bouquets – 2014 and Beyond

A “trend” is defined as a direction – and mostly understood as “something new,” like in “Fashion Trend.” Looking back on the 2014 wedding season, and especially on the variety of beautiful and unexpected dress choices my brides had made, I was wondering about their flowers. Trends? Not really. When it came to their wedding flowers, my brides were surprisingly conservative! The undisputed winner of the year 2014 was the classic hand tied bouquet – mostly based on ivory and green, with accent colors. Very, very few exceptions… have a look for yourself.

Here’s the first textbook classic:

bouquetAngie’s ivory-and blush pink bouquet of roses and peonies to accompany her elegant summer wedding.

Here are more in a similar style:

shaina's bouquet

Shaina had likewise chosen pink hues for her accent color, and her and her bridesmaids’ bouquets (see those below) were based on English roses and hydrangeas in ivory and various shades of pink.

Shaina's bridesmaids bouquets

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Erica added fresh green accents with Bells of Ireland and green-tinged hydrangea…

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Pam opted for peach (English roses, dahlias) for her rustic-nostalgic nuptials…

Lauren's bouquet

Lauren added a tina touch of blue to her otherwise elegantly simple and classic bouquet of ivory Vendela roses…

064_laura_tyler_07_19_2014 … and Laura chose hot pink as one of her accent colors, and her hand-tied bouquet consisted of stargazer lilies, roses and hydrangeas all in this color family.

Last but not least, one bride went for ultra-classical with a spherical all-red, all-rose bouquet with a glass handle and matching bridesmaids’ bouquets:

Amy Lin's bouquets

Which shows the versatility of this style! But still – wasn’t there a more adventurous style out there?

A little…

Laura's bouquet1

My “other” Laura went for a more relaxed, “wild” style for her outdoors vineyard wedding, with eucalyptus, succulents and berries mixed into the roses and lisianthus flowers. If any “trend” crystallizes here, it’s the succulents which have gained favor not only in table arrangements, but have made their way into the bridal bouquets, too.

Here’s another one:

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Amy fell in love with a combination of succulents, eucalyptus, ranunculus and exotic protea blooms in saturated pinks for her nostalgic outdoor celebration.

michele's bouquet cropped

Michele had variegated euonimus greenery added to her summery bouquet for her garden wedding, with sunny yellow as her accent color…

Vannie's bouquets

… and Vannie took it one step further: her bouquets were really “hand-tied” by herself, and with twine!

Only two couples did something totally unique. One, Alan, was actually a groom in a same-sex wedding who hand-crafted paper flowers:

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… and the other one was bride Courtney’s handcrafted brooch bouquet:

PaCoWedding205What was NOT chosen? Well… no elegant straight bouquet of sculptural flowers (like calla lilies or long-stemmed roses); no cascading bouquets; and nothing “outrageous” like a flower lei in lieu of a bouquet.

Maybe you, dear readers, are up for that? Let me know your favorites!

 

Angie’s and Michael’s Dream Wedding at Kohl Mansion

Angela and Michael are not only deeply in love – they also share values and many common interests. They are both deeply connected to their families. They are both music lovers; Angie is even a violinist in a community orchestra and devotes a good part of her free time to practicing and rehearsing. They both appreciate good food. And on and on…

When they embarked on their first big common project – their wedding! – my company, A Day Like No Other, was honored to be booked for the wedding coordination. Bride and groom are very organized and systematic and had a good part of all the “wedding puzzle” pieces in place already, first and foremost their gorgeous venue: Kohl Mansion in Burlingame.

kohl mansionOn Wedding Day, May 31st, all weather gods were smiling broadly upon Angie’s and Michael’s outdoor celebrations… the day was summery, warm but not too hot, under a cloudless blue sky with a light breeze. Simply perfect!

For the Bride, the day began with a beauty session for herself and her bridesmaids with hair stylist Elaine Nicdao and makeup artist Ally Kennedy. And look what a fabulous job they did:


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The bride wore a diaphanous, etherial, crystal-embroidered couture dress by Rosa Clara from Nouvelle Vogue Bridal Salon, complemented by an elaborate, sparkly headpiece, also from Nouvelle Vogue.

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And the bridesmaids were lovely, too!

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In accordance with her wedding colors of blush pink and ivory, Angie chose her bridal bouquet…

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… as well as ceremony flowers, an elaborate chuppah and centerpieces from Floral Design Studio, and they were all equally stunning.

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The couple’s more than one hundred and fifty guests from all over the world were greeted with music by Turnaround Jazz Trio and DJ CAMS Scott Campbell, and the very personal ceremony was co-officiated by their friends Laura Shih and Suneel Gupta, incorporating elements of both the bride’s Chinese and the groom’s Jewish cultural backgrounds.

Here comes the Bride!

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No Jewish wedding would be complete without breaking a glass (which Michael did) and the guests’ shouting the traditional blessing of Mazel Tov (which they all did)… and here they are, just married:

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Angie_Michael_May_31_2014_596While the newlyweds disappeared for their mandatory family photos…

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…. with photographer Sandra Fazzino, guests enjoyed Cocktail Hour with delicious treats from Toast Catering – and that was just the beginning of all the fabulous food provided by Toast! To keep everyone entertained, the couple had provided a special guest book: a scrap book with cards, markers, stickers… to be completed by the guests; and Say Ya Photo Booth, which turned out to be a true guest magnet.

cocktail buffetAt the conclusion of Cocktail Hour, the newlyweds and their Bridal Party had a truly Grand Entrance, every moment captured by Ocean Blue Videography

Angie_Michael_May_31_2014_847…immediately followed by another honored Jewish tradition: the exuberant Horah Dance…

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Angie_Michael_May_31_2014_871… during which the couple is hoisted high up on chairs to the delight of the cheering crowd!


After so much excitement, it was definitely time for dinner – and what a dinner that was! In the candle-lit double-height main hall of Kohl Mansion and within a sea of flowers, guests enjoyed their gourmet food…

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… as well as a surprise performance of the groom and the bridal party who sang and enacted a Disney medley for the bride; and a slide show to follow. Dinner concluded with a delicious cake from Cakes by Maggie and an ice cream bar:

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After dessert, Angie and Michael enjoyed their First Dance as a married couple:

Angie_Michael_May_31_2014_1158…opening the dance floor for everyone. The bride quickly changed into an elegant qipao as a nod to her Chinese heritage – and danced the rest of the night away. What a fantastic party!

And here is why I love my job so much:

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Let’s wish the couple what they promised each other in their vows – to build a happy, healthy long life together. Mazel Tov!

WIPA 2014 Kick-Off at the Mandarin-Oriental, San Francisco

It doesn’t get much more elegant than that, you agree, right? The Mandarin-Oriental Hotel in San Francisco’s Financial District is truly the epitome of sleek East-meets-West sophistication… plus: it offers, hands down, the best view in all of the City!

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As the Events Chair Northern California for WIPA (Wedding Industry Professionals Association), I jumped of course at the opportunity to hold our first festive luncheon of the year at this prestigious venue. Together with my co-chair Melanie Leinweber and with Emily Cross,our gracious hostess at the Mandarin Oriental, I dove headfirst into planning – and finally  the Great Day arrived, and we found ourselves manning the registration desk!

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The festivities began with a Cocktail Hour up on the 40th floor Sky Deck with views of the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and with the Transamerica Pyramid seemingly at arm’s length.

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Contrary to all forecasts, the Sun came out, and guests thoroughly enjoyed the incredible setting, enhanced by delicious hors d’oeuvres (by the Mandarin-Oriental chef),

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a selection of top-notch wines (courtesy of Foley Family Winery)

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and wedding-themed music by the Espiritu Ensembles.

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Adding to the delightful experience was a jewelry show with stunning pieces by Gleim the Jeweler

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…  artfully modeled by the gorgeous Aryan Omar:

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Following Cocktail Hour, guests were treated to a welcome by new Board President Kevin Dennis…

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and an inspirational lecture by “radical educator” Cindy Novotny.

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Her theme was, “Building YOUR Brand –

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… more important than ever in the increasingly competitive landscape of the Wedding Industry.  How do I set MY business apart from the competition? “Treat all your clients as if they were the only ones, and give them your full attention;” “Follow up and recap immediately after a client contact;” “It only takes one client encounter with a thoughtless or inconsiderate associate of yours to ruin your reputation…” many valuable insights to take away! And her engaging and entertaining style earned Cindy an instant fan club..

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All of it was captured real-time by Thomas Hughes Films:

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… and by Indulge Wedding Photography (whose beautiful photos you are admiring right now!)

Then it was time for a formal luncheon in the Embassy ballroom:

wipa-5… set with elegant linens by Napa Valley Linens and dramatic floral arrangements by Mandy Scott Flowers:

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SONY DSCPlace settings were adorned with menu cards by Gwenn Connolly Designs (who also created the chic program books) and chocolate favors by ChocoVogue.

wipa-8And the food was simply stellar…

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Cindy, our speaker, was my “Lady Luck” at the biggest raffle in WIPA history…

wipa-82with prizes by Poppyhearts, Nikki Boyle Fitness, Mandy Scott Flowers, Sweet Lauren Cakes, and two hotel stays at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley and the Mandarin-Oriental, San Francisco. That made people smile!

We wrapped up the joyous occasion in the Library, outfitted with chic lounge furniture by Hartmann Studios

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… over coffee and delicious European mini pastries by Patisserie Gerhard Michler:

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It was a wonderful event, thanks to all our charming guests and generous sponsors, and that made the hostess very happy!

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