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!

Singin’ and Dancin’ in the Rain: Christina and Cuyler

Christina and Cuyler met at work – a full eleven years ago – as colleagues. Over the years, they became friends… and started dating… and then they realized that they wanted nothing more than to marry their best friend! For their wedding, they envisioned a Spring day at Thomas Fogarty Winery, perched high above Silicon Valley, with endless views… and so they started planning with me and my company, A Day Like No Other.

As we were getting closer to Wedding Day, the weather forecast turned gloomy, and unfortunately, this time the meteorologists were right. We were taking precautions: two dozen huge umbrellas for the couple, the bridal party and their guests were in place, and Christina and Cuyler took it all in stride!

For Christina and her bridesmaids, as well as for the Moms, the day began with hair and make-up services by Sarah Hyde of sHe artists – and all those pretty ladies emerged as stunning Hollywood-worthy beauties! Everyone looked their very best, carried herself with confidence and was just simply happy.

With that, Christina was ready to put on her gorgeous Hailey Paige wedding dress – a modern take on lace with a geometric pattern, a chic little shrug and a feminine tulle bow at the waist:

Florist Indelisa Montoro of Royal Bloom Boutique had delivered a vibrant bridal bouquet …

and matching bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony decor and centerpieces – you’ll see! The winery was transformed into a summer garden…

Meanwhile, Cuyler had dressed up as well, and bride and groom were ready for their official “First Look:”

Photographer Janae Shields and her assistant took the couple around for photos (just wait until you see their professional images! For the time being, all we have are snapshots by my assistant and me). Meanwhile, a small army was hard at work to get everything ready in time for the celebration. Kaitlin Brinton, one of the venue managers at Fogarty, was our guardian angel throughout the day and the evening and supported us diligently behind the scenes. The Toast Catering team under leadership of My-Dung and Gio set up all tables and chairs, put on the table settings and got the kitchen and the bar going. Florist Indelisa installed an incredible arch seemingly overgrown by summer flowers. Ivy Hill Entertainment set up sound systems and provided a duo for ceremony music. Guests arrived via shuttle buses from Corinthian Ground Transportation. We were ready for the ceremony!

The ceremony was officiated by a longtime friend of the couple’s, and it could not have been more personal!

Here comes the bride…

The ceremony was short and sweet – and here they are, JUST MARRIED!

For Cocktail Hour, guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres paired with special wine selections – a really unique idea!

Meanwhile, my assistant Alexandra put the finishing touches on the elaborate setup of place cards and favors on the dining room tables …

Wine corks served as table card holders, and the color of a little flower on top of each cork was the indicator for each guest’s entree choice. So elegant!

Together with the subtly structured linens, silver-rimmed china and Indelisa’s gorgeous centerpieces, this setup was simply perfect.

BUT we have not yet introduced the unspoken star of this wedding: doggie Gigi! She lives with the bride’s sister but is truly the darling of the whole family – and became the darling of the whole wedding as she made her appearance, dressed up with a flower collar, and accompanied by her “Doggie Mom for the Day,” my assistant Melinda.

She is simply too cute for words! (And she has more Instagram followers than most people. Small wonder…)

After a delicious meal…

… the couple cut their cake, a classic white wedding cake by Studio Cake, adorned with flowers exactly matching the bridal bouquet.

After that, there was no holding back from dancing! Christina (a former competitive ballroom dancer) and Cuyler had practiced their elaborate, highly choreographed First Dance to a true classic, Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” sung live by Erin Honeywell, bandleader of “Family Funktion” (through Ivy Hill Entertainment).

Then there were the parent dances and just simple fun on the dance floor! These two were literally “singing and dancing in the rain.” Nothing could dampen their spirits! What a party that was…

Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together, rain or shine!

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!