Create the Perfect Team – and Enjoy the California Coast!

Today I had the honor and the pleasure to coordinate another elegant luncheon for WIPA (Wedding Industry Professionals Association) – as the Events Chair for Northern California it’s my task to do that four times a year, and I absolutely love it!

After our 2014 kick-off meeting at the Mandarin-Oriental SF, it was time for a quintessential Californian beachside retreat… which we found in the quaint little town of Half Moon Bay. Our luncheon was hosted by Cetrella Restaurant, locally renowned for its excellent Mediterranean cuisine, and nominated for a much-deserved Michelin star four years in a row!

cetrella facade


The day began with Cocktail Hour and “Meet & Greet” in the lounge, with wine and hors d’oeuvres and with jazz piano tunes by Lee Allen.


Guests could “shoot” their own keepsakes in Oran Cohen’s Night Owl open-air-style photo booth – not only good for the “goofy” kind, but also for beautiful portraits and group shots.

What’s next? Let’s consult our program booklets! Elegantly designed by Vellum & Vogue and beautifully printed by StationeryHQ, they set the tone for the day.

Program title page

As the program said:  then it was time for “continuous learning!” True to WIPA’s dedication to ongoing education of members (and not-yet members alike), we welcomed the speaker of the day, Tina Moran, event planner extraordinaire at her company Oh So Swank!

Tina Moran Color

Drawing on two decades of industry experience,(and aided by Fantasy Sound‘s A/V set-up) Tina presented, “Creating the Perfect Team.” She touched on how to optimize vendor interactions, how to streamline the workflow with clients and how to navigate the treacherous waters of “legalese…” – we all took a lot of food for thought home!

Speaking of food… that was the reward immediately following Tina’s presentation! And what delicious food that was – beet salad followed by juicy roast chicken on risotto – everyone was simply “digging in!” To enhance the experience, we had a lot of beautiful decor: specialty linens in matching patterns and colors (ivory, taupe, mustard yellow) from Napa Valley Linens and centerpieces by Stems Floral Boutique in vibrant, summery colors and rustic design that perfectly complemented the texture and style of the linens.


WMRphoto_03To top it off, twinkling stars from Glimmers Inc. played party favors – dressed up in little organza bags today; but they are really in their element submerged in champagne (they are fully FDA-approved!) and sparkling from within.

Over lunch, the traditional WIPA raffle took place, with generous prizes: five gift certificates for make-up instruction from Wowpretty Salon, a voucher for a Hornblower dinner cruise, and another one for a stay at Costanoa eco resort. We had seven beaming winners today!

The real treat for everyone, however, was still to come! After lunch, guests were shuttled in a luxurious van (by City Express Limousine Service) to Cetrella’s sister property, Liquid Sky, just 10 minutes south of Half Moon Bay, but seemingly in a different world! And the Weather Gods were smiling on us…


vista point

Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ocean, Liquid Sky is a dramatic wedding venue for up to 25o guests – with breathtakingly beautiful views.

Our guests today could enjoy these views from Liquid Sky’s patio, curled up in chic and oh-so-comfortable lounge sofas and chairs from Hartmann Studios – of course with tables and market umbrellas and colorful pillows and and and… to make it picture-perfect!



Magnolia Jazz Band under band leader Robbie Schlosser (here getting ready) performed …


… on the patio to the delight of the guests, who enjoyed dessert from Sweet Springs Rental‘s sky-blue nostalgic gelato cart accompanied by heavenly coffee from Travelin’ Joe‘s espresso bar.


Last but not least, the memories of this very special day will be kept fresh by Wendy Maclaurin Richardson‘s photos and Michael Loeb‘s video of today’s event. Thank you to all our generous sponsors and contributors – it was wonderful!