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!

Our First Post-COVID Wedding: Trisha and Bryan

Trisha’s and Bryan’s wedding had been in the making for a full twelve years! That’s how long these two have been together. To be fair – they decided to get married after ten years, started their planning, found their venue – and then COVID hit. Everything came to a halt. They postponed their wedding date, and then had to postpone again. They had to cut their guest count dramatically – then, they were suddenly allowed more guests again. In short, it was a rollercoaster ride.

As a longtime friend and collaborator of the bride (who used to be the Director of Events at a venue where I frequently work), I was honored that she chose my company, A Day Like No Other, to coordinate her Great Day, and so I took that rollercoaster planning ride with her, from start to finish.

Last weekend, we finally hit the finish line – on a glorious day and with a perfect event. Trisha (and Bryan) were truly overjoyed!

For the bride and her bridesmaids, the day began with hair services by Shawna Jarnagin, the “Girl with a Curling Iron” and with Makeup by Nett.

Once that was done, the bride was ready to inspect her glamorous wedding dress:

… which she combined with delicate, blush-pink Badgley-Mischka princess slippers:

Her bridesmaids (and “bridesman”) helped to put her in her dress.

Star photographers Danny and Julia Dong and Wild Atlantic Films videographers captured every precious moment – for the time being, all I have to offer are my snapshots; just wait until you see THEIR photos and footage!

The couple’s chosen venue – The Club at Ruby Hill, an elegant golf and country club in the SF East Bay –

is nestled in an elegant parklike setting…

… of utmost privacy and tranquillity. It feels like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A true oasis!

The ceremony took place in the open courtyard of the venue…

… with over 100 guests in attendance (all vaccinated!) – a relief after COVID regulations allowing for just a handful of family members to participate in wedding ceremonies, for more than a year. Impressive altar arrangements by FlowerStory flanked the ceremony spot.

Finally, the great moment had arrived. With music provided by Big Fun Disc Jockeys, the bride was accompanied to the ceremony by her parents.

And after a full twelve years, Trisha and Bryan said “I Do!”

Just married!

The ceremony was live-streamed by Kevin and Megan of Fantasy Sound to allow remote guests to witness the festivities and offer their well-wishes to the newlyweds.

While Trisha and Bryan had many more photos (and video footage) taken, their guests enjoyed cocktails, and many work crews put their finishing touches on the festive setup – the venue team headed by Events Director Janan Ali, the florist team of Kim’s FlowerStory…

… the lighting team of Fantasy Sound. Primrose Bakery delivered the cake …

… and The Joyful Whisk delivered cupcakes; friends of the couple installed a Sweetheart Table backdrop of hundreds of handmade paper cranes and a photo booth backdrop for the booth by The Black Tent; my assistant Quan and I were busy helping to set up the dessert room (yes, a whole room!) …

… and keeping everything organized and on track. But it was all so worth the effort – have a look:

In lieu of place cards, the couple had prepared personalized favor boxes for the guests – containing a scented candle with their favorite fragrance (an enticing aroma of a fresh latte!)

After dinner, the newlyweds opened the dance floor with their choreographed First Dance:

… and the rest of the evening was spent dancing, enjoying desserts and wedding cake and having fun with the photo booth. Everyone agreed: what a wedding!!

Wishing you a lifetime of happiness, Trisha and Bryan!

See it all on film here!

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!

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!