Last week, months of planning came to fruition in a spectacular event: the WIPA 2016 kick-off meeting at historic Hamlin Mansion in San Francisco. To me, this was extra special because it marked the conclusion of nearly four years as Event Chair and the Regional Director of Programs for the WIPA SF Bay Area Chapter. I absolutely wanted to conclude my tenure on a high note – and that’s what happened.
Our speaker set the theme: Kate Patay of Creative Coverings, acclaimed wedding industry expert and frequent speaker around the nation, presented “Forecasting Trends” – based on a multitude of media channels and, of course, social media. AND in her capacity as Director of Sales and Marketing at one of the area’s pre-eminent linen rental companies, she also set the tone for the design by sponsoring exquisite linens which I used as the jumping-off point for the rest of the event design. True to her theme, she chose from the Pantone Colors of the Year, mainly a dusty rose with lots of sparkle, expanding both into lighter hues up to ivory and down to an elegant mocha and chocolate. It was perfect both for the rich wood paneling in the Mansion’s Great Room – where we enjoyed both Cocktail Hour and later on coffee and dessert – and for the light-filled dining room overlooking the San Francisco Bay.
- Heavens were literally smiling on us with blue skies and a slight breeze, and the venerable mansion presented itself from its most beautiful side. Misti Layne of Images by Misti Layne (photography) and Kien Nguyen of Kien Pictures (videography) made sure not a single moment was lost!
A mock ceremony setup demonstrated what it could be like for a real wedding… with chairs from Stuart Event Rentals (who also sponsored lounge furniture and the dining setup). Living hedges from Interior Plant Design gave the scene extra polish and elegance.
Guests were serenaded by Matt Roads Trio from Ivy Hill Entertainment and could hang out in the elegant lounge…
The bar was stocked with world-class wines from Wente Vineyards…
Time Capsule Party provided a totally different photo booth experience: guests received their photos printed on vintagey- looking aluminum plaques – outfitted with magnets! I am sure, countless ones are now gracing fridges around the Bay Area!
Two of the most important attendees: caterer Elaine Bell and speaker Kate Patay
And here are some of the delicacies that Elaine treated our guests to at Cocktail Hour:
We had even more to offer to our guests – our own gold-metallic (temporary…) tattoos with the WIPA logo from AnnaBee! They are fully customizable and are such a pretty idea for weddings!
That’s me greeting guests at the door – with Mr. Shin from Michi’s.
Everything was prepared for the educational part of the day, with Fantasy Sound providing A/V services.
When Kate Patay began her presentation on “Forecasting Trends,” our guests were riveted. Kate is such an engaging speaker, lively and funny, that you don’t even notice how much you are learning while being entertained! Everybody took home a lot new insights and “food for thought.”
After the swearing-in ceremony of the incoming Board of Directors…
… a festive luncheon was awaiting our guests, with tables covered in sequined linens from Creative Coverings, glistening with china, glassware and flatware from Stuart Event Rentals, and gorgeous spring flowers from Green Petal Designs.
Every guest found a pretty favor box at their place setting, chock-full with samples from Kiehl’s.
Lunch presentation was so artful that one hardly dared to touch it – but on the other hand, the food was way too delicious NOT to dig in!
Following lunch, we all returned to the Great Hall where dessert was waiting for us: delicious fresh meringues from Le Grand Meringue:
… and fantastic cakes from Perfect Endings:
A lucky winner takes home one of the gorgeous centerpieces…
… and guests just didn’t want to leave!
A shuttle bus from Destination Systems took guests back to their cars in comfort and ease, and everyone agreed: that was a great start into the WIPA year 2016!
Thanks again to all our generous sponsors!