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!

Stacey and Michael – at Last…!

… at Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside! The two had been together a full seven years, were parents to three cats (the youngest kitten having been adopted two weeks before their wedding!) – so all their friends agreed: it was about time! Stacey and Michael are super busy young professionals, so when they decided in Spring to “make it official” in October of 2018, they were looking for help. A lot of help! My company, A Day Like No Other, was entrusted with all the preparations, and off we went…

The two had chosen their venue, a spectacular winery overlooking all of Silicon Valley with endless views, and a day that turned out to be proverbial “Bay Area Golden October:” sunny, with blue skies, and warm. Just perfect.

The bride arrived at the venue in full hair and makeup (by A-List Makeup) and all she needed to do was get into her gorgeous wedding dress with the help of her bridesmaids…

… pick up her vibrant, Fall-colored, richly textured bridal bouquet (from Laurel & Vine)…

… and here she is, ready for her First Look:

Groom Michael and his groomsmen were meanwhile also getting ready…

… donned their boutonnieres, and the Best Man took care of the rings.

With that, Bride and Groom were ready for their official First Look:

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Time for many, many photos with bridesmaids and groomsmen (by Sandra Fazzino Photography) and video (by Sway Media) while the teams of Thomas Fogarty Winery, Laurel & Vine Florals, and Toast Catering were busy with preparations. DJ Justin of JustIntertainment set up their sound systems while my assistant Trisha and I set up decorations and made sure that all went smoothly and on time.

Very soon, the first guests were arriving – they were greeted by a vintage baby-blue typewriter to leave their messages and well-wishes for the couple.

In addition to the (already quirky) typewriter in lieu of a conventional guestbook, we had provided a map for all guests to mark from where they had traveled to be with Stacey and Michael on their special day…

… and here they see the first of many kittens that would pop up throughout that whole wedding celebration in honor of the couple’s beloved felines!

Time for the ceremony which was officiated by a longtime friend of the couple, aided by more friends who read passages from Antoine de St. Exupery’s “Le Petit Prince” during the ceremony.

You may now kiss the bride! And here they are, just married… and so happy!

For the couple, it meant… more photos! And for their guests, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the open deck, with gorgeous views.

For “escort cards,” the couple had come up with yet another quirky and unexpected idea: custom cookies decorated in the “College colors” of each particular guest! A smart idea as most of their guests were their friends from college…

Dining tables in the beautiful open “Pavilion” were adorned with centerpieces matching the bride’s bouquet, and the table numbers were another loving nod to the couple’s cat babies.

The couple’s Sweetheart Table got, of course, a little extra-special treatment!

Time for the Grand Entrance of the newlyweds!

… and for speeches…

… and then, for dessert! Another quirky choice: delicious, fragrant mini donuts (by Harvey’s Donuts) – everyone decided to “re-start the diet tomorrow!”

The couple “wowed” everyone with their elaborate First Dance …

… which opened the dance floor to everyone and to an epic dance party!

Everyone – young and old – had a great time, and then we gave the newlyweds a Grand Send-Off in style, with glowsticks:

Dance on, Stacey and Michael … for a lifetime of happiness!