Let your next party take flight – in a historic airport terminal!

I know – you think that’s a totally crazy idea. I would have said the same, until today, actually. Despite having lived in San Francisco for twenty years, this part of the City’s history was completely unknown to me: an international airport terminal on Treasure Island, built in the late 1930s as a gateway for PanAm flights to the Far East. The terminal and two adjacent hangars is all that is left from these glory days… the days of the Golden Gate World expo!

So here is your history lesson:

Treasure Island is actually an artificial island in the SF Bay! In 1937, the then-revolutionary Bay Bridge was built, and in celebration of this engineering marvel, San Francisco hosted a World Exposition – on Treasure Island – and built an airport right there…

… complete with tower!

Everything is still original in its elegant Beaux Arts style…

… reminiscent of a bygone area when air travel was an exquisite luxury.

The interior features an enormous mural by artist Lowell Blair Nesbitt and authentic terrazzo flooring.

The space can easily accommodate up to 400 guests, and the heart of the party is a gorgeous period piece of a bar, with red velvet draperies and a grand piano…

… complete with a resident peacock!

I can literally see the space transformed into its previous glory – Great Gatsby would have loved it! So many possibilities… and – did I forget to mention? Parties can go on until 2 am!

At Golden Hour, guests are treated to spectacular sunsets over the City and the SF Bay – with a front row seat in the bar, looking out the back windows… the SF skyline is just on the other side of the Bay, and the ferry terminal is literally across the street. Just perfect.

Get ready to plan your next party there!

The Allure of Apricot: Pantone Color of the Year 2024

I can hardly think of any color that’s more uplifting, positive and summery – in short, any color that would make me smile and feel happy – as apricot. We all need this emotional boost right now, so: Thank you, Pantone! Spot on!

Drumroll…. here it is: “Apricot Crush!” It is SO chic…

… and it can be combined in so many ways – both within the color family, from pale peach through coral and terracotta…

… accented with complementary hues – greens, blues, purple – AND grounded with soft neutrals, especially a soft grey.

Henri Matisse: Mme Matisse

How I know that? Easy – at A Day Like No Other, we have worked with this beautiful color many times over the years (and every time in a different way). Want to see?

Photo credit: Sandra Fazzino

For a styled photoshoot, introducing the newly renovated ballrooms in the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco, we offset the central new color of the ballrooms – silvery grey – with apricot, peach and coral. I think it’s a stunning combination!

Photo credit: Sandra Fazzino

Even the wedding cake played along!

Photo credit: Sandra Fazzino

Well – convinced? But this is only the beginning! For a recent late-summer wedding, we combined apricot with sage green for a fresh, summery look:

Photo credit: Studio Ma

For a fall wedding last year, we played up the vibrant side of apricot with orange, rust and fiery red hues in the towering centerpieces …

Photo credit: Frank J. Lee Photography

… and the softer, “peachy” side of the color with shimmery napkins, champagne tablecloths and metallic gold accents.

Photo credit: Frank J. Lee Photography

We also added a touch of pale blue (in the water goblets) – actually inspired by the color combination of the bride’s favorite flower, the Bird-of-Paradise, which was the star in all floral arrangements.

Then, there is, of course, apricot at the center of a palette of sunny, warm hues, like in this outdoor summer wedding a few years back:

… here combined with bare wooden harvest tables and ivory runners (= the neutral hues to ground the whole riot of colors), metallic gold and terracotta for the napkins. (Photo credit: Danny Dong Photography).

You’d rather go more subtle with apricot? No problem: here combined with ivory (flowers), silver (foliage) and a pale mint green (bridesmaids dresses). Pretty, yes?

Photo credit: Frank J. Lee Photography
Photo credit: Frank J. Lee Photography

Didn’t I promise more, bold combinations…. like violet and purple? Look here and be stunned:

Photo credit: Sandra Fazzino

As you can see, the combination with deep purple and pale violet makes the apricot “pop” even more! The “neutral” color in this wedding was the navy blue of the groom’s and groomsmen’s suits.

Photo credit: Sandra Fazzino

A few more inspirations, here with the light green of hydrangeas…

Photo credit: Prof. Matthias Geiger
Photo credit: Megan Reeves Photography

I hope you are now as happy about this new Color of the Year as I am! Off to a joyful, vibrant and uplifting wedding season 2024!

Mariko and Phillip: Glamour and Urban Chic

We all know how much San Francisco has to offer – Golden Gate Bridge, historic mansions, the SF Bay, gritty-industrial buildings, the most beautiful Beaux-Arts style city hall in the nation… What if you are getting married, and you can’t decide where in San Francisco? Then you do what Mariko and Phillip did: all of the above! A ceremony in City Hall,

Photo credit: SF City Hall image gallery

….followed by a reception at Gallery 308, an industrial space overlooking the SF Bay. Their guests even got treated to a little sightseeing tour to historic Ghirardelli Square, on the way from ceremony to reception. That all made for complex logistics – that was what they had my wedding planning company, A Day Like No Other, for – but it was all well worth it.

Mariko’s day began super early – at 6 am! – so she would be ready for her First Look at 9 and her ceremony at 10. Her photographer Kristen Murakoshi of Studio Ma was already waiting for her and for groom Phillip at City Hall. Mariko brought her elegant bridal bouquet in muted summer colors and cascading tiny orchids (all floral decor by Green Petal Designs).

Photo credit: Studio Ma

Then it was time for many, many photos – SF City Hall is just gorgeous! And so was our couple…

Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma

Soon enough, the first wedding guests were arriving (in shuttles by Corinthian Ground Transportation), officiant Maggie Beretz prepared for the ceremony, and pianist Lara Garner began playing prelude music as guests found their seats. The ceremony took place on the Grand Staircase under the soaring rotunda of City Hall.

Photo credit: Studio Ma

It doesn’t get much more grandiose than that… And here they are, “just married!”

Photo credit: Studio Ma

Time for a kiss – one of many…

Photo credit: Studio Ma

While the wedding guests were taken by shuttle on a mini sightseeing tour to historic Ghirardelli Square, the newlyweds had time for many more photos in and around City Hall.

Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma

From there – off to Fort Mason, to their lunch reception for 200 guests at Gallery 308, an industrial space overlooking the SF Bay.

Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma

Exactly Mariko’s and Phillip’s colors! And their style – they had asked me for a design in ’70s style and colors and had chosen their invitations accordingly:

Photo credit: Studio Ma

… and for their table flowers, they wanted Ikebana style in exactly these colors. You think that these design ideas are too disparate to be integrated into one cohesive style? Think again! We made it happen. Here are the beautiful centerpieces by Green Petal Designs.

Photo credit: Studio Ma

When the newlyweds arrived at their reception venue, the venue staff had set up their tables and chairs, the catering staff of Smokin’ Yankees BBQ under the leadership of Bekah Juencke had laid the tables with linens, napkins, and elegant china, flatware and glassware from Hensley Event Resources; with paper cranes folded by the couple themselves for good luck;

Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma
Photo credit: Studio Ma

the centerpieces were in place,

Photo credit: Studio Ma

delicious BBQ food was being served, bartender Will Mar and team had the bar in full swing, and Travelin’ Joe’s coffee and waffle bar was open, too.

Photo credit: Studio Ma

DJ Ron Israel of Spotlight Occasions had the music going, and a delicious dessert bar was waiting for the guests as well.

Photo credit: Studio Ma

The whole reception was quietly and efficiently orchestrated “behind the scenes” by the two experienced production managers from A Day Like No Other, Nimy and Myrtle.

Photo credit: Studio Ma

Bride and groom were happy!

Photo credit: Studio Ma

After the festive luncheon, Mariko and Phillip shared their First Dance as a married couple…

Photo credit: Studio Ma

…. and that brought their guests to the dance floor, too.

When the festivities concluded in the late afternoon, everyone agreed: this was one unforgettable party!

Keep dancing and celebrating on your shared journey, Mariko and Phillip – with our best wishes on your way!

The Wedding Invitation Dilemma…

As a wedding planner, I am asked for advice on a multitude of wedding-related decisions, but one recurring theme is: “what should we do for invitations?” Two decades ago, the answer would have been simple and straightforward: have them designed and printed in a stationery store. Period.

Obviously, that has changed – there is now so much more to choose from! In recent years, many of my clients have opted for online invitations (an unthinkable breach of etiquette still not too long ago…) which have become attractive and very convenient AND increasingly accepted. Be it Paperless Post or (my favorite) Greenvelope – the option of including all necessary information and even photos and music into a wedding invitation, and to integrate RSVPs and meal choices in that same process, is definitely attractive.

But even clients who choose printed invitations have a decision to make – and that is: custom or template?

Honestly, the foremost consideration here is price. Custom invitations are expensive – no wonder, considering how much talent, creativity and work go in there! Here are a few examples from previous weddings of mine and from styled photoshoots.

Custom invitation suite by Ruby the Fox, beautiful floral motif, tied with leather string
Custom invitation suite for nature lovers, getting married in the Redwoods – by the very talented mother of the groom

Custom invitations for a styled photoshoot by Monks of Age Calligraphy

Custom table numbers for clients from Southern China, showing classical painterly motifs from their native country, by A Day Like No Other

Custom invitation for styled photoshoot, by Hyegraph San Francisco

So, now you see the whole range of custom invitations – from traditional to modern, from romantic to whimsical… Is it possible to achieve a similar effect with online templates? You will be surprised – even I as a real “design purist” have to admit that YES, it is possible to achieve something quite unique and beautiful by using premade designs and customizing them. My all-time go-to website for this purpose is minted.com with its myriad options, some of which I will show you in the following – real ones that have been used for previous weddings that I designed. (And the best thing: you, the clients, can get discounts at minted.com as well!). Here we go:

Beautiful floral motif – one could use a folding style and a matching ribbon to achieve a similar look as in the first custom invitation I showed above
A rustic style for an outdoor wedding in Big Sur
An invitation suite that I designed from a minted template for a wedding in the style
of the South of France
A shuttle sign based on a minted design for a Chinese wedding
An alternative design by minted.com for the same photoshoot for that I used the Hyegraph custom design instead – also Letterpress and quite close

Well… impressed? I hope that’ll give everyone a lot to think about, AND a lot to choose from!

Canyon Ranch – my Discovery of the Year!

Lately, I had to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area for work and needed a hotel to stay. Someone recommended Canyon Ranch in Woodside, and to my great embarrassment, I had not heard of it before despite the fact that I had lived close by for fourteen years. I decided to give it a try – and I am so happy that I did!

Canyon Ranch is different from any hotel I have known so far – it is actually a wellness retreat, geared at the relaxation of body and mind. Hidden behind a dark, solid metal gate, you would never guess what’s beyond: a true oasis of peace and tranquillity with all the creature comforts you can imagine.

The entrance to the hotel already sets the tone: a grey, three-story siding-clad building that literally melds into the surrounding Redwood Forest, respectful to undisturbed nature; a modern, streamlined water feature displaying the hotel name, accompanied by the gentle sounds of splashing water – nothing fancy or frilly that might distract from the simplicity and tranquillity that is the guiding principle of this experience.

My room was located in one of several “tree houses” – small cabin-like structures built right into the forest, some clinging to a steep incline, supported by stilts (like mine) which house two units on top of each other and balconies hovering among the tree tops.

You really feel you are in a tree house. All you hear is birdsong and the rustling of the wind in the leaves. Peace and quiet.

My room itself was an interior design marvel illustrating just that – peace and quiet. Simple shapes, balanced proportions, quiet colors and top-notch materials: all came together to form the perfect cocoon to calm down and relax.

As a designer myself, I was delighted. Every little detail was – just right. A joy for the eye as much as for the soul.

A backdrop of an enormously enlarged wood slice, a comfy bed with down pillows, bedding of all natural materials, a dimmable bedside lamp, a juxtaposition of textures (stingray skin and glass top on the bedside table!) – I could go on and on. I also had a beautiful leather sofa with a cuddly sheepskin cushion – again, clean lines, great comfort and a contrast of textures. The same for my bathroom with a big soaking tub, modern, minimalist fixtures and oh-so-fragrant toiletries…

In the words of Apple founder Steve Jobs: “Simplicity is the utmost sophistication.”

Wrapped up in the most comfortable and soft hotel robe, I did my work lounging with a view of the forest. It was as close to the full retreat experience as I could get!

Then it was dinnertime. Did I already mention that all meals are included? So easy – a short walk to the dining room and terrace in the golden light of the sunset…

Meals are served either on the terrace or in the adjacent dining room; either at a table or while sitting around a fire table (in this case, you’ll dine from a wooden tray on your knees – they’ve thought of everything!) – whatever you feel like. And while I am on a continuous strict diet, I had to relent while at Canyon Ranch: their food is just heavenly, and it would have been a sin not to enjoy it! Food is a big part of the “feel good” experience, and mealtime brings together the guests for leisurely conversation.

A few delicious examples:

Corn ravioli in an artistic presentation…

Maitake mushrooms with greens and nuts…

… everything served in beautiful ceramic bowls in the soothing soft shades of grey that dominate the whole property. Talk of design!!

Next morning, my breakfast was just as fantastic…

I chose the freshly pressed orange juice (best juice I ever had!), coffee and blueberry pancakes…

… outside on the patio, with a glorious view. What a way to start the day! The other guests (the ones who did not have to work!) went off to nature hikes, yoga and massages or headed to the state-of-the-art gym. I allowed myself 30 minutes of hard swim in the spectacular pool – after all, I had to work off all those delicious calories, right?!

In short – I loved it. I will definitely be back – but in addition, this would be a fantastic location for an intimate wedding, a quiet bachelorette party, a “Mini Moon,” a spa day (and night) for bride and bridesmaids, and a wonderful place for wedding guests to stay. With 43 guest rooms, Canyon Ranch can definitely accommodate enough out-of-town guests and the newlyweds themselves – with regenerating activities for everyone. Meditation, yoga, painting, fitness, kayaking, Tai Chi, Ikebana – guests will be entertained and at the same time achieve perfect relaxation. There are patios with views of the forest which would be the perfect spot to say “I Do” in an unforgettable setting. The food would be equally spectacular. There would be a wedding cake and dancing. What else could you desire…?

So now you understand why I am calling Canyon Ranch my personal discovery of the year. Do go and experience it yourselves. You will come back a believer, I guarantee it!

Taylor and Sheldon’s Joyful Summer Wedding

Taylor and Sheldon are a busy professional couple, living out of state – and for planning and designing their wedding, they enlisted the help of my company, A Day Like No Other. They had chosen a venue close to where the bride grew up and where her parents are still living: Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside. Simply perfect for the garden-themed summer wedding the couple was envisioning, elegant and romantic in ivory and lilac hues, with a few metallic gold accents.

Their invitations set the tone:

The bride and her bridesmaids were getting ready at the house of the bride’s parents, with hair and makeup services by Aqua Beauty Lounge.

A timeless mother-daughter moment…

Not to forget the jewelry…

And here she is… dramatic!

Lastly – the bridal bouquet (all florals by Laurel & Vine):

And with that, Taylor was ready to present herself to her husband-to-be.

Sheldon had meanwhile also dressed up…

…. and was ready for the “First Look.”

Always such a touching moment…

Time for many, many photos with photographer Kevin Chin and for video with videographer Martin Meyer!

Official wedding photo, right?

Meanwhile, the ceremony area had been set up, officiant Chris Thielen had arrived, and DJ Paul Burchfield of Big Fun Disc Jockeys had the music going as guests began to arrive (via shuttles from Corinthian Ground Transportation). It was the perfect summer day, warm and sunny under a cloudless blue sky, and with a slight breeze.

The ceremony lawn offers endless views, from the San Francisco skyline all the way to Silicon Valley.

And here comes the bride, on her father’s arm.

After her father formally “gave her away” to Sheldon, Taylor joined him and officiant Chris Thielen for the ceremony.

Ring exchange…

… and “You may now kiss your bride!”

Just married!! And off to many more photos and video …

… while guests enjoyed Fogarty wines and hors d’oeuvres (all food and bar services by Melons Catering) on the open Deck at Fogarty Winery.

The Melons Catering team had meanwhile set up dinner in the open Pavilion…

… with elegant china, placemats, glassware and cutlery from Hensley Event Resources, on beautiful linens by Napa Valley Linens.

Impressive centerpieces (by Laurel & Vine) were the stunning focal point of each table.

All elements had been carefully chosen to complement the overall look of summery elegance and luxury – including the seating chart for guests…

… and beautifully packaged favors in the wedding colors.

The Head Table, of course, got extra-special treatment!

After a delicious dinner (by Melons Catering)…

and many toasts and speeches…

… AND a group photo with all their guests…

… it was definitely time for dancing and for cutting the cake (by Susie Cakes)!

The newlyweds completed this time-honored first task in their marriage with bravura.

For her choreographed First Dance, the bride had changed into an “easier” (but no less stunning!) dress…

Applause!! Next up – Bouquet Toss…

… and Garter Toss!

And what followed then, was a truly EPIC dance party!

What a celebration! Our best wishes on your way, Taylor and Sheldon!

E & D – a very private wedding celebration at Thomas Fogarty Winery

Disclaimer up front: we are only allowed to show you the beautiful details of this wedding celebration – not the couple, not their bridal party, family or guests. The couple are very private people, and we have to respect that, so all names on signage and stationery are redacted, and we cannot share photos showing recognizable faces. BUT there is still a lot to see!

While planning her wedding with the support of my company, A Day Like No Other, the bride gave me clear directives for my design process: the color scheme – the whole spectrum from periwinkle, light and dark blue to purple hues, accented with a small dose of metallic silver – and the overall style of the event – everything classic and feminine. What a brief to work with! Have a look how all this turned out:

The bride had her invitation suite and most of her wedding day stationery custom-designed (by Momental Designs), based on watercolor artwork showing the beautiful venue and its surroundings and accented in her chosen colorway. It was the perfect way to set the stage for what was to come!

For her bridal bouquet, the bride had specified a “hand-tied, symmetrical, contained” design – and here it is in all its beauty (all florals by PlanDecor):

The altar arrangements were a reflection of both the natural beauty of the venue and of the bride’s preference for classic wedding flowers in her favorite hues.

Cocktail arrangements and centerpieces played up the same theme – it was all one perfect harmony of design and colors across all decorative elements.

The dinner setup in the open Pavilion came together beautifully, and heat lamps ensured the comfort of the guests.

Linen and napkin colors as well as the silver chargers were the “supporting actors” in our design scheme…

… and even the table numbers were following along!

Guests found their seating assignments on a board that OF COURSE kept to the blue and lilac hues and floral motifs we already know…

The couple was busy taking post-ceremony photos with their photographer extraordinaire, Megan Reeves...

… while guests were indulging in hors d’oeuvres (all catering and bar by Continental Catering) and Fogarty wines.

Finally, the newlyweds rejoined their guests at dinner, presiding from their Sweetheart Table. After that came dancing, dancing, dancing!!!

So – have I promised too much? The design and decor of this wedding celebration were so cohesive and beautiful… I hope you’ll all get inspired!

Liz’ and Doug’s Joyful Wedding Day at Fogarty Winery

Liz and Doug engaged my company, A Day Like No Other, early on to support their planning for their wedding day, actually, more than a year in advance. It felt like a long time! Little did we know what would be happening… among other things, buying a house, renovating it, moving in, all the while working full-time AND working on wedding planning! When we first met, the couple had just decided on their wedding venue: Thomas Fogarty Winery, high up on a mountain ridge overlooking a good part of the San Francisco Peninsula – on clear days, the views encompass the San Francisco skyline to the north all the way to Silicon Valley in the south. It is absolutely spectacular.

A fantastic starting point – and especially bride Liz was not to compromise on everything else, either! Every single vendor and every single decor element were thoroughly researched and chosen with care. The result? An unforgettable celebration where simply everything was just right.

It started with Liz’s wedding dress…

… diaphanous – and as romantic and feminine as the bride herself.

Here are Liz’s “princess slippers”…

… and here are the wedding rings!

Liz had had her hair and makeup done by Christina of Makeup by Quis before arriving at the venue. There , Liz got dressed with the help of her Maid of Honor …

… and very obviously, she is already having the time of her life.

Meanwhile, groom Doug was getting ready as well.

Ready for their First Look – both of them! Photographer Danielle Gillett captured every precious moment of the day.

The grounds at Fogarty winery offer so many romantic spots for photos – it is hard to decide where to go first.

Liz’ bridal bouquet (all flowers by Poppy’s Petalworks) reflected her romantic, feminine style and were the perfect fit both for the beautiful garden setting and for the springtime event.

A whole profusion of flowers then adorned the unconventional “arch” the couple had chosen – a perfect golden circle which would be the backdrop for their vows.

It does not get more beautiful than this!!

The ceremony on the lawn was officiated by a family member, and DJ Woody Miraglia of Big Fun Disc Jockeys together with a musician friend of the couple provided musical accompaniment.

” I Do!”

The moment they had been waiting for so long: “Just Married!!”

While their guests were invited to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (all catering by michi’s) and had fun with the Night Owl photo booth, the newlyweds still had more photos to take. “Stars of the show” were, of course, their adorable flower girls:

Aren’t they looking like delicate porcelain dolls?

And more couple’s portraits, of course…

Meanwhile, both the caterer team and my production crew had been busy putting the finishing touches on the dinner setup in the open Pavilion.

The simple-elegant place settings were accentuated with just one delicate Eucalyptus sprig.

Of course, the gorgeous floral centerpieces were the focal point of each table.

After dinner, an incredible dessert buffet (from La Vie Douce) was awaiting the guests, and in addition to that, a beautiful wedding cake.

The couple performed their official first task as husband and wife – the ceremonial cutting of their wedding cake (also from La Vie Douce) – with joy and with bravura!

The same could be said about their First Dance which they had practiced tirelessly, and it showed!

This opened the dance floor to an epic dance party…

Before it was all over, the newlyweds stole away for a quiet moment out on the patio, overlooking the beautiful landscape.

Wishing you romance and beauty for the rest of your shared life, Liz and Doug!

Beth and Rob: a Celebration of Music, Art and Nature at Nestldown

Artistic talent runs in both Beth’s and Rob’s families. Beth is an accomplished vocalist and music teacher. Rob’s mother is an exceptional painter. But there is more: both Beth and Rob are nature lovers – small wonder then, that they chose Nestldown as their wedding venue. Hidden in the Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this wedding venue on 36 acres has it all: a natural “chapel” in an ancient Redwood grove for romantic ceremonies, rustic-elegant event spaces (think gardens with pergolas and fire tables, a “barn” illuminated by an enormous crystal chandelier) and whimsical touches galore – from a life-size train, a fairytale cottage and a sand sculpture to transportation by authentic London taxis!

After more than a year of planning, the big day had finally arrived, and it was just perfect: warm, sunny, blue skies and a slight breeze. For Beth, the day began with hair and makeup by Carly Wise who brought out the bride’s delicate features with a feminine updo and artfully-near invisible makeup. Beth was positively glowing!

Next: flowers! Beth did not want “traditional” wedding flowers – she wanted wildflowers! Loose, organic blooms in a riot of colors. Only problem: wildflowers are notoriously fragile and would not stand up to the rigors of a wedding day; they would wilt in a matter of half an hour. What to do? Enter florist extraordinaire Janelle Jacky-Litt of Green Petal Designs: she created bouquets and arrangements that look exactly like wildflowers (Beth LOVED them!) but were actually based on hardier varietals. Here is one of the bridesmaids’ bouquets.

And here she is, carrying her bridal bouquet:

Isn’t she gorgeous?!

Groom Rob with likewise getting ready…

Beth and Rob had made it a point to have as many pre-ceremony photos taken as possible – to have more time with their guests after the ceremony – so that’s where they were headed. Photographer Megan Reeves and assistant captured every precious moment – for example, the couple’s First Look.

There were also many bridal party photos on the program…

Soon enough, guests began arriving via shuttles (from Corinthian Ground Transportation), and everyone was preparing for the ceremony.

DJ Woody Miraglia of Big Fun Disc Jockeys had the music going, and three friends of the couple, two violinists and a guitarist, were ready to play for the entrance of the bride.

And here she comes, accompanied by both her parents…

The ceremony was officiated by yet another friend of the couple and as such, was heartfelt and very personal.

It was such a joyful moment.

“I Do!” – and “You may now kiss the bride!”

And here are the newlyweds!

While Beth and Rob were taking just a few more “family formals” photos, guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (by Betty Zlatchin Catering),

…lawn games, train rides and photobooth fun (by Night Owl Photo Booth).

Photo credit: ADLNO

Eventually, the newlyweds arrived by train and joined the party.

Meanwhile, dinner on the Main Lawn had been set up…

… with a Koi Pond as its backdrop.

Photo credit: ADLNO

While all guest tables were splendid with elegant place settings…

… with hand-painted menu cards (like all other wedding stationery and signage, designed by the Mother of the Groom) and vibrant “wildflower” centerpieces…

… the Head Table, of course, received special treatment.

Tables had not been numbered, but named after bird species – the groom is an ornithologist, after all! For entree choice markers, the couple chose various wildflower species, true to style!

And so that guests would not get lost among all the birds, the Mother of the Groom had also created an artistic map showing the location of each table.

Photo credit: ADLNO

Needless to say – the name of each table was displayed as a beautiful painting of the bird it was named after.

Over dinner, dusk began to fall, and the myriad twinkle lights installed in the tall Redwood trees surrounding the main lawn began to sparkle – it was truly magical.

Once dinner and toasts and speeches were done, guests were invited into the Barn for desserts and dancing. Again – never ones to simply follow tradition, the couple had opted for their favorite fruit pies (a huge table full of them!) over a typical wedding cake, and their guests really “dug in.” Then it was time for Beth’s and Rob’s First Dance, accompanied by more of their musician friends. Watching these two gently twirl underneath the giant crystal chandelier was a truly unforgettable moment.

Then the bride danced with her Dad and the groom with his Mom…

and after that, the dance floor was opened to an epic dance party.

with all-time favorite tunes (yes, ABBA, for example!) and glow sticks for everyone… and in the end, nobody wanted to go home! The newlyweds were whisked away into their married bliss by London Taxi… keep dancing, singing and watching birds in perpetual happiness, Beth and Rob!

Viva Magenta – Pantone Color of the Year!

What an optimistic, uplifting color – so full of positive energy! It’s pure summer and sunshine to me… but, I have to say, we’ve been ahead of the curve on this one! Let me show you how we at A Day Like No Other have used magenta in the past – and then fantasize on what else one could do with it!

First up: Erin and Gabe – these two brought the vibrant colors of “south-of-the-border” to their wedding celebration, including Bougainvillea blooms – which are notoriously fragile. The only way to fulfill the bride’s wish for these specific flowers was to bring whole plants to the venue and cut the blooms for bouquets and floral arrangements right there! Florist Janelle of Green Petal Designs pulled it off – have a look at the following photos by Vicens Forns.

As you can see, we went “all-out” with a rainbow of colors – from soft pink to peach and orange – with magenta as the undisputed star. The greyish-green of Eucalyptus leaves and the warm brown of bare wooden tables provided a neutral backdrop for the colors to really “pop.”

Another bride who opted for vibrant summer colors including magenta chose a more elegant/refined setting, and it worked just as well! Have a look at “L and J” at Thomas Fogarty Winery:

Gold-toned chargers, flatware and table numbers, gold-rimmed wine glasses, terracotta-colored linen napkins and blush pink water goblets all played up the soft, feminine and elegant side of the vibrant summer hues of the floral arrangements by Nancy Liu Chin Designs.

Magenta is not only the perfect color for summer weddings – it can easily hold its own in cooler temperatures as well! At Christina’s and Cuyler’s wedding it literally lit up an otherwise gloomy, rainy day through the gorgeous floral arrangements by Royal Bloom.

Please note the bride’s matching lipstick color – isn’t it just perfect?

This gallery (by Janae Shields Photography) wouldn’t be complete without the true star of the day: Gigi! (She has tens of thousands of Instagram followers!!)

Another beautiful magenta flower is the Stargazer lily, here taking center stage in bride Laura C.’s bridal bouquet for her elegant hotel wedding – proof that “all-magenta” does work!!

I hope this gives you all lots of inspiration! What I am thinking of right now … is magenta with shimmering metallic silver, for a glamorous black-tie event. Or magenta with espresso brown. Or or or… What’s YOUR favorite combination?