Truly “At Last…” – Traci and Steve are Tying the Knot!

After nearly a decade together, Traci and Steve were finally ready to “make things official.” Both divorced with children, they had been introduced by a mutual friend, and the attraction was immediate. They’ve been together ever since. But they both wanted to give their children time to heal and time to get to know and appreciate the new “parent” in their lives. All their (combined) five children literally grew up with the person who would eventually become their step-parent. By and by, they became one big, blended family. Now that all their children are grown-ups, Traci and Steve felt they could make their longstanding union official – and all their children were enthusiastically “on board.”

I feel so honored that they chose my company, A Day Like No Other, for help with the planning and execution of their special day. And in fact, a lot of planning went into it!

Finally, the great day had come, and for Traci, her Maid of Honor (her daughter Sofia) and her junior bridesmaids (nieces Lisa and Annie) the day began with hairstyling (by Traci’s friend Melissa) and makeup services (by Cassandra McClure).

Florist Neli (of Floral Art & Decor) delivered the bridal bouquet, a dream of ivory and blush pink roses with the tiniest hint of “something blue” – and Traci absolutely loved it!

Then it was time for the bride to get into her dress (from Nouvelle Vogue Bridal Boutique), a breathtaking “mermaid” style with illusion neckline, lace applique and an endless train, a gown that fit her like a glove and highlighted her model figure.

Maid of Honor Sofia helped her Mom get into her dress – a true “mother-daughter moment!”

Both ladies were very happy with their bouquets!

The ceremony and reception were held at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, a historic Spanish-Mediterranean style compound with courtyards, gardens and little art galleries and studios. It was a glorious summer day under blue skies and with a slight breeze – simply perfect!

To music by DJ Mark, the bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her son Liam.

The ceremony was officiated by Chris Thielen (Personal Weddings by Chris) against the backdrop of an arch covered in a profusion of lavish flowers (by Floral Art and Decor).

“You may now kiss the bride!”

Just married!!

Now it was time for many, many photos with photographer Teresa Halton and her colleague Vitalyi (for the time being, all we have are my iPhone snapshots – wait until you see the professional photos!) – while guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in one of the cozy courtyards of the venue.

The venue staff under the expert leadership of Events Director Tiana Wong and Catering Manager Angel Kleiner had set up beautiful wooden dining tables and chairs and set these tables with elegant gold-tone chargers and flatware (all rental items: Hensley Event Resources).

Green garlands with blush roses (from Floral Art and Decor) were placed down the middle of each row of tables for an elegant yet casual effect.

Flowers were simply everywhere…

… and of course, the couple’s Sweetheart Table received “special treatment!”

With all preparations in place, the couple came back from their extended stroll on the property to join their guests..

… for a Grand Entrance, dinner, mingling, and after that, for dessert and dancing inside.

Traci and Steve had wished for a photo display honoring their loved ones who are no longer with us, and so we designed a remembrance wall with all their favorite photos, flowers and candlelight.

The dessert table was right in front, with vegan cupcakes in a variety of flavors (by Cakes by Ricky). The showstopper was, of course, the “naked cake” (with layers of Tiramisu and banana cream) by Studio Cake, which was as delicious as it was beautiful to look at.

Bride and groom completed their traditional first task as a married couple – cutting the cake – with bravura.

After that, they opened the dance floor with their First Dance to (of course!) “At Last…” by Etta James:

An elegant celebration like theirs simply deserves an equally memorable conclusion – and so the couple left through a tunnel of sparklers…

… cheered on by their guests, to their waiting getaway car – a breathtaking vintage Stutz limousine (by Elegant Journey).

That’s what we call a PARTY! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness, Traci and Steve!

Hannah and Matt: A Glorious Fall Wedding on the Coast

Here is my last wedding of the 2019 season, and a beautiful one at that! Hannah and Matt decided to tie the knot pretty much on the day of their two-year anniversary. Matt had nearly sworn off relationships completely, and Hannah had simply taken her time – but when the two met, the attraction was instantaneous. Very soon, the two became loving parents to rescue dog Kiki, a 10-lb furry white ball of love. One thing led to another – and ultimately everything led them to getting married!

Many months of planning with my company, A Day Like No Other, did pay off last Saturday at Mavericks House in Half Moon Bay, beautiful, nautical-inspired event space right on the water.

Hannah got ready next door, at the Inn at Mavericks, with gorgeous views over the Half Moon Bay harbor. Hair and makeup stylist Hanh Cao worked her magic on a bride who otherwise rarely wears makeup – and the results were downright stunning!

Hannah admitted that every time throughout the day when she looked at herself in the mirror – she smiled. That says it all!

Her bridesmaids dressed in beautifully coordinated seaglass colors…

… then they all, including the bride’s sister/Maid of Honor, helped Hannah into her wedding dress…

… elegant, timeless and unfrilly as Hannah prefers it, with a lace top and a soft and feminine tulle skirt – so pretty!

A true “sister-to-sister” moment!

Then there were Hannah’s princess slippers with a LOT of “bling…”

… and her stunning bridal bouquet (from Green Petal Designs – who created floral decor throughout) in Fall colors.

Hannah had requested a loose, effortless, feminine style, and florist Janelle Jacky-Litt “delivered” with an unexpected combination of rust-colored orchids and roses, astilbe, grasses and even air plant in the bouquet, all finished with a teal wrap around the stems as a little peek preview to the couple’s favorite color as the star of their decor.

The groom and groomsmen got matching boutonnieres – just as pretty (only a lot smaller…).

Ready for their “First Look” – always a very emotional moment…

The wooden ceremony arch (with its spectacular backdrop of endless views over the Pacific) was decorated in similar style with large sprays of Fall flowers.

The ceremony was officiated by a family member who found the most personal words – half fun, half gravitas – for Hannah and Matt, while their favorite music was played by DJ Ron Israel of Spotlight Occasions.

While the couple was taking many, many photos with photographer Frank J. Lee (wait until you see HIS photos! So far all we have are my cellphone snapshots…), guests flocked to the Cocktail patio and the fire tables and heat lamps as the sun began to disappear and it was getting quite chilly.

The Mavericks team under leadership of Lisa Graye, florist Kelly of Green Petal Designs, and my assistant Melinda and I were busy putting finishing touches on the dining room decor.

The couple had chosen their favorite color, teal, for table cloths, a perfect complement to the colors of the sea outside and the muted blues and greys of the venue; and Fall colors in hues of rust and orange with lots of candlelight for their table decor – a beautiful combination.

Seasonal pumpkins played table card holder…

… and gourds and mini pumpkins “rubbed shoulders” with exquisite roses and rustic leaves, grasses and thistles.

The couple’s delicious all-vegan wedding cake (by Christian Roeder of Krumbs Cakes) played along with textural details… and unexpected flowers!

The couple’s First Dance opened the dance floor…

… and DJ Ron kept the joyful, upbeat vibe going for the late-night revelers.

The newlyweds were headed to their “mini moon” (to be followed by their “real” honeymoon later), and guests were shuttled back to their hotels in style (by Le Grande Affaire Transportation).

What a party! Wishing Hannah and Matt a lifetime of happiness!

Audrey’s and Niko’s Epic Wedding Celebration

After a more than seven-year courtship, Audrey and Niko decided to make their union official – and to do that in the presence of more than 300 guests. An epic party, in short! Their longtime friend, my assistant Quan at A Day Like No Other, had taken on the huge task of planning every detail of their Great Day.

The couple had chosen a venue with spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline: the Seminary at Strawberry in Mill Valley, just across the SF Bay, and last week it all came together on a beautiful sunny Spring day under blue skies and with a slight breeze. Absolutely perfect!

Bride Audrey and her bridesmaids started very early in the day with hair and makeup services by Maya of Dreamcatcher Artistry.

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She and her bridesmaids definitely had a great time together!

Audrey received a gorgeous diamond necklace as a wedding gift from her groom…

… and it was the perfect complement to her low-cut, elegant lace wedding dress.

Next – high heels (gorgeous lacy ones) and the rings…

Photo: ADLNO

… and finally, her pretty bridal bouquet by Willow Floral Design (who also provided the ceremony florals). Photographer Kat Ma and videographer Jeremy Quans captured it all, all day long! (All photos by Kat Ma Photography, unless noted otherwise).

Niko and his groomsmen were also dressing up “to the nines…”

Ready for the traditional Tea Ceremony (for which Audrey wore a beautiful red lace dress)!

The bride traveled in style to her “First Look” location (her Dad chauffeured her in his fire-engine-red Corvette!)…

… and then it was time for many, many photos of the couple and the bridal party.

Very soon, the first ones of the couple’s 300 guests were arriving…

… an arbor (from Bright Party Rentals) had been set up and decorated with flowers (by Willow Floral Designs)…

… and then the great moment was there: Audrey and Niko were saying their vows in a beautiful ceremony officiated by Niko’s uncle, Father Ringo Perez.

Meanwhile, the teams of A Day Like No Other (assistants Trisha, Stephanie, and myself), Standard Party Rentals (for draping and chairs), Joe Squared Productions (lighting) and Zen Peninsula Catering were hard at work to get the cocktail area and dining room ready for the big party.

Now, how do 300 guests find their assigned tables? Here it was a whimsical display of pretty name lists on vintage shutters.

Time for the Great Entrance of the couple and their bridal party – BUT with a huge, unexpected twist: an authentic Lion Dance by Tenny Lee and his troupe!

The couple presided over it all from their Sweetheart Table.

The groom and his groomsmen had prepared a surprise performance for the bride:

More surprises were awaiting their guests: with reverence for the Star Wars movies (the couple’s all-time favorite), guests received “chop sabers” (light-up chopsticks) for their 10-course Chinese Banquet dinner!

Trulee Memorable provided their photo booth as additional guest entertainment – a HUGE hit!

In between, the newlyweds quietly “stole away” for Sunset photos…

And when they returned and had completed their traditional table visits, they went on to cut their cake (by Tony’s Cakes) …

… toss a bouquet…

… and a garter…

… and then the dance floor was opened to everyone. Oh – I nearly forgot – we had a traditional Money Dance as well…

It was an epic dance party to the tunes of Chemistry DJs!

Everyone had a great time… wishing you a lifetime filled with joy, happiness and many more epic parties, Audrey and Niko!