Like so many couples who had planned to get married in 2020, Linnea’s and Curtis’ plans had to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They decided to get married as planned (in a small ceremony) and to postpone their party… and for that party, they enlisted the help of my company, A Day Like No Other.
For their venue, they had chosen Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, a historic Spanish-Mediterranean-style compound amidst lush gardens, housing boutiques, art galleries and studios.
The bride got ready onsite in the bridal suite… with photographer Trung Hoang capturing all the precious moments throughout the day.
Groom Curtis had likewise dressed up and was ready for the First Look.
As they already WERE “Mr.” and “Mrs.”, Linnea and Curtis skipped a ceremony and jumped right into Cocktail Hour with their guests. Two caricature artists sketched guests’ portraits – a beautiful favor for everyone to take home.
These two were one of the many couples who had to reschedule their Great Day by a full year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And many things can happen in a year! For example, moving to the other side of the continent, buying a house, getting settled… and so, the Mother of the Bride shouldered many of the necessary planning tasks together with my company, A Day Like No Other, to ensure a seamless, perfect celebration.
The couple had chosen Nestldown Estate for their nuptials – a true dream location. Nestled deep in the Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains and appointed with any luxury imaginable, it was the perfect venue for a truly memorable celebration.
The bride and her bridesmaids used the elegant onsite guesthouse for getting ready in the morning. Photography wife-and-husband “Team Bre Thurston” and videographer William Cook of Kindlewood Films captured every moment.
Hair and makeup stylist Violet Herod and her team “The Makeup Dolls” transformed these pretty ladies into drop-down gorgeous red-carpet beauties.
Next: the DRESS! An ethereal lace-encrusted confection that fit the bride like a glove.
Then – the shoes! Definitely the right dose of glamour to go with that dress…
… and, not to forget: the rings.
Once the bride had gotten into her regal outfit for the day, all that was still missing was her bouquet (like all florals by Emily of Flowergirl Em),
…and she was ready for official photos. After emotional Mother-Daughter…
… and Father-Daughter photos…
…the venue’s famous original London taxi took Courtney to the location of her First Look, a romantic spot under towering Redwood trees.
Groom Jesse had also gotten ready with the help of his groomsmen…
… and was waiting for permission to finally see his bride in all her finery!
Time for photos and then – time to proceed to the ceremony! This time, Courtney and Jesse rode the London taxi together.
The ceremony spot at Nestldown is the “Chapel” – a natural Redwood clearing of breathtaking beauty. Florist Emily had worked her magic to make it even more special…
After nearly a full year of long-distance planning, Sarah’s and Patrick’s big day finally arrived. Living and working in New York, they had chosen my company, A Day Like No Other, to help them with the planning and coordination of their wedding.
For the bride, her bridesmaids and the mothers, the day began with hair and makeup services by Tiffany Chiang of Design Her Image – and the results were truly stunning! Here is the bride, with a beautiful glow…
… and here are her bridesmaids!
Her two Maids-of-Honor helped her to get into her lace-encrusted, ballgown-style dress…
… as well as bridesmaids bouquets, wrist corsages, boutonnieres (and the floral decor for the reception), and with that, the bride was ready for her First Look.
Corinthian Ground Transportation took her and (separately!) the groom and bridal party to the church where both the First Look and the wedding ceremony would be held: Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley, a spectacular church set in a Redwood grove where the bride’s parents had gotten married 35 years ago.
Nearly there – as Sarah is approaching Patrick, videographer Martin Meyer of martinFILMS and photographers Manali and Kaitlin of Manali Anne Photography are capturing every moment (just wait until you see THEIR photos! For the time being, all we have are my snapshots…)
Very soon, guests were arriving (all transported in style by Corinthian Ground Transportation), and the ceremony began. Following tradition, the bride was escorted in by her father.
The apse of the church behind the altar is all glass, looking out onto the Redwoods. It is truly a spectacular sight.
The brother of the bride, a classically trained Baritone, gave a moving performance during the ceremony.
While the couple had many more “official” wedding photos taken with their family members, guests were shuttled to the reception at Thomas Fogarty Winery, high up on a mountain ridge overlooking all of Silicon Valley.
The teams of Continental Catering, Green Petal Designs and Just De’Lights (lighting installation) as well as my tireless assistant Stephanie had been hard at work for hours to get everything ready in time. The weather gods threw us a curveball – low-hanging clouds settled on the mountain ridge, and it got chilly, foggy and wet… so we had to move cocktails inside. But that did not dampen anyone’s spirits!
With space heaters in place, dinner could still happen in the open Pavilion…
… with elegant place settings and cute candle favors for each guest.
When darkness fell during dinner, the scene turned really magical…
… and the couple enjoyed their First Dance as husband and wife right there, on a balcony overlooking the vineyard.
After that, the whole party moved inside for Cake Cutting (cake by Susie Cakes)…
… and a lot of dancing to tunes by DJ Paul Burchfield of Big Fun Disc Jockeys. Everything eventually comes to an end… but this party ended on a decidedly high note with a private Last Dance for the newlyweds while guests were gathering outside for a spectacular sparkler send-off!
What a night! Sarah and Patrick are going on their Honeymoon – to Hawaii! And then off to a lifetime of joy, laughter and happiness… that’s what we are wishing for you!
These two were among the many couples whose wedding got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Undeterred, they tied the knot in an intimate ceremony close to their originally planned date (so meanwhile they have already been legally married for a good year!) and my company, A Day Like No Other, had the honor of planning afresh with them in 2021. The venue of their choice was still Thomas Fogarty Winery, perched high atop a mountain ridge with million-dollar views over all of Silicon Valley and up to the San Francisco skyline to the North.
Once the bride and the mothers had completed their hair and makeup styling (by Brides by Lydia), the bridal party and closest family was taken to the venue by shuttle (Destination Systems) for pre-ceremony photos (by Hazel Photo – all photos in this blog post except otherwise noted) and video (by Weddings on Film).
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.
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!
This is the setting these two had chosen for their Great Day: Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside, perched high on a ridge above Silicon Valley, with breathtaking views across a vineyard, all the way from the San Francisco skyline to San Jose. No wonder they fell in love with this spectacular spot – but like so many other couples, the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to postpone their nuptials by nearly a full year. On July 10, their special day finally arrived – and fortunately, nobody had to wear a mask or abide by any restrictions any more.
For Stacey and her bridesmaids, the day began with hair and makeup services by Hanh Cao and her team, and then the bridesmaids helped Stacey into her elegant wedding dress. Photographer Gavin Farrington and his assistant and videographer Ron Tse (of Filmore Productions) captured every precious moment (for the time being, all we have to offer are our own snapshots… wait until you see the professional photos!).
And then, the great moment had finally arrived: Stacey was escorted down the aisle by her parents:
… preceded by her two super-cute flower girls who actually stole the show!
Stacey was carrying a summery colorful bouquet by Green Petal Designs (who had created all the stunning floral arrangements for this wedding).
Kirill was already waiting for her in front, together with 100 guests …
… under clear blue skies, with a slight breeze and with endless views. It was perfect! The brother of the bride officiated – it does not get any more personal than that! – and Henry Kim of Big Fun Disc Jockeys live-streamed the ceremony for those guests who were unable to attend in person.
Just married!! And off to a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony – while their guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the open Deck.
As a special showstopper, guests found their table assignments NOT on a printed board or via little tented cards – they found them on a glass of champagne! Here is Stacey’s and Kirill’s “champagne wall” (all rental items from Bright Event Rentals) which everyone will most definitely remember!
Meanwhile, the catering crew (of Toast Catering) had been hard at work not only to prepare delicious dishes, but also to set everything up to perfection.
In accordance with their “midcentury modern” esthetic, the couple had chosen a streamlined design with silver grey linens, dark grey china, blackened flatware – and gorgeous floral centerpieces as an uplifting pop of color.
While the country is celebrating Fourth of July – Independence Day – the annual remembrance of gaining independence from the British Empire in 1776, we at A Day Like No Other especially celebrate all those who are voluntarily giving up their individual independence for something much better: the lifelong union with their best friend and lover. Cheers to all our wonderful couples who are about to embark on this adventurous, arduous and supremely fulfilling journey!
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!
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!”
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…
… 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!
As every year, the Pantone company has published its Color of the Year – or, to be exact, TWO colors of the year – for 2021, and I have to say – this year they are particularly beautiful and applicable to wedding design. A sunny yellow and a soft neutral gray…
… and here is how beautifully it works, actually at an early-summer wedding in 2014. These two were just wayyyyy ahead of their time!
Vannie and Richard at the Los Altos History Museum
A love story more than a decade in the making – and today, finally, it’s official: Vannie and Richard are Mr. and Mrs.! With more than a hundred guests as their witnesses, the two tied the knot at a very historic and romantic place – the History Museum in Los Altos,
surrounded by all that used to constitute rural life in the area in the last century or two; from ancient ploughs to … well, not quite so ancient tractors! Guests learned, among other things, that a plot for a single-family home in the heart of what is now Silicon Valley went for $ 55o – in the year 1917… That has changed! So much for the charming historic backdrop. Vannie’s and Richard’s personal history began exactly 11 years ago when they met in college, at UCLA.
They were assigned to the same dorm, and Vannie immediately felt intrigued by this attractive, slightly withdrawn “brooding artist” (Richard was majoring in Design) with that oddball sense of humor. “He seemed so … mysterious,” she muses when looking back. It took all her willpower and persistence (“or, what my parents call stubbornness,” jokes the bride) to win Richard over. But since Richard never does anything half-heartedly, his commitment was absolute, and that they’d be getting married at some point was a foregone conclusion. Well, finally this point did come, and the two chose a cozy and romantic venue (Los Altos History Museum) – and my company, A Day Like No Other, as their coordinator. Truly an honor!
Vannie had devised the decor theme and handmade most of the decorations herself in her wedding color, a sunny bright yellow. She fashioned a backdrop from strips of fabric and various hues of yellow, she made paper garlands with white, silver and yellow pompoms, and more big and small pompoms to hang from the mature trees shading the courtyard for Cocktail Hour.
A clothesline strung between the trees was hung with snapshots from the couple’s decade-long courtship, and in lieu of a guestbook, guests signed a vintage globe.
Even the flowers were “designed by Vannie!” The bouquets for herself and her bridesmaids were simple bunches of Queen Anne’s Lace,
and the centerpieces consisted of stacks of books, topped by cream English Country roses in mason jars, complete with a little yellow flag for table numbers.
Guests found their way inside the courtyard, guided by cute yellow pinwheels lining the path, and signage was, of course!, likewise handcrafted by the bride: chalkboards for the program, the menu and the table assignments.
While my assistant Angeliki and I were busy putting everything up in their assigned spots, Vannie had her hair and makeup masterfully done by Susie Chhuor. Photographer Bre Thurston orchestrated Vannie’s and Richard First Look and many, many more photos throughout the day! The bride wore a spectacular ivory silk Reem Acra gown with beaded cap sleeves.
And here comes the Bride!
The short and very personal ceremony was presided over by minister Daniel Kennedy,
outside under romantic string lights, as dusk was falling.
Then it was time for… cake cutting? Not quite! The bride and groom did this part of their celebration again “their way:” they cut a giant donut tower, and finished the dessert phase with ice cream sandwiches for everyone.
DJ Jeremy (who had already played beautifully for ceremony and cocktail hour) was now gearing up for the “dancing part” of the evening! After Vannie’s and Richard’s romantic First Dance, the crowd got inside for a wild dance party and really let it rip.
And here is why I love my job so much!
What a fantastic celebration… congratulations, Vannie and Richard, and our best wishes for a long, happy life – “growing old together…”
Yes, that’s right – this is the breathtaking view from Caroline’s and Kendall’s ceremony spot! But – getting there was quite a journey … and one that would never have occurred to these two!
Caroline and Kendall had known each other for years, and it was a journey in itself for them to get from friendship to a firm commitment – but when they did get engaged at long last, they enlisted the help of my company, A Day Like No Other, to pull off a truly epic wedding celebration. That was in July of 2019, and the plan was for a ceremony and reception for 180 guests at Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside. We would go overboard with flowers, have floral chandeliers, and a whole wonderland with candlelight and music on a crisp Fall evening – 10/10/2020, to be exact.
It was not going to be – the COVID-19 pandemic intervened. In the Spring of 2020, we were still hopeful and were booking all our vendors for the “wedding of all weddings.” Caroline selected her wedding dress, a dramatic Vera Wang confection appropriate for the grand celebration we were envisioning. In Summer and going into Fall, it became only too clear that the big celebration the couple had been hoping for was impossible. They were deeply disappointed, and it took a while to “regroup.” They decided to hold on to their original wedding date (and then, maybe, have a big party later) – even if that meant that they could only have their parents and siblings in attendance. Instead of a huge party, it would be a very intimate gathering. A family friend graciously offered her spectacular beach house, perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, for this small wedding. And with that, we again began making plans!
Finally, the long-anticipated day arrived, a little hazy as is often the case on the Northern California coast – with magical clouds and fog.
For Caroline and her two bridesmaids, as well for both mothers, the day began with hair and makeup styling by Elizabeth Chang of Skyla Arts.
After that, the glamorous wedding dress was taken out – looking closely, a fascinating combination of a Rococo silhouette and deconstructed, asymmetrical elements, even including a hint of horsehair underpinnings. Simply breathtaking. Photographer extraordinaire Kevin Chin documented every precious moment.
Time for a Champagne toast!
All that was missing now were the flowers: the beautiful bridal bouquet and bridesmaids’ bouquets by Green Petal Designs.
While the ladies were getting ready, the groomsmen and fathers had their own bonding time…
The groom is now ready for his bride!
Bride Caroline was adamant: here groom would NOT get to see her before the ceremony! In that aspect, she really clung to tradition. And so we kept the two strictly separated for the time being.
Meanwhile, decorations were set up…
… and several teams were hard at work behind the scenes to prepare everything for the ceremony and reception. Florist Janelle Jacky-Litt of Green Petal Designs had reinterpreted the bride’s vision for floral chandeliers and an effortless, boho-elegant look for the (very different) beachfront location.
Her stunning arrangements with Pampasgrass, Eucalyptus and roses in the most delicate shades of dusty rose playing into nuances of green made the scene look even more gorgeous.
Everything was now ready for the ceremony, and here comes the bride!
Since Caroline and Kendall could not have the huge open Pavilion at their first-choice venue (Fogarty Winery), we prepared for them an open tent structure and adorned it with arrangements resembling the floral chandeliers she had so much hoped for… She made her way to the ceremony on a lily-white plush runner and past enlarged wedding photos of all mothers and grandmothers of the couple – truly a memorable and unique experience!
The ceremony was officiated by a close friend of the couple who found the most heartfelt words for this one-in-a-lifetime occasion.
With darkness falling and a slight mist descending on the coastline, the whole wedding party boarded their waiting limousines for a short trip to their afterparty at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. And OF COURSE the newlyweds got a proper exit in style!
What a day… and, by the way – Caroline and Kendall loved their intimate wedding celebration so much that they ultimately decided against having “the big party” they had originally planned, at a later date. They are married, they are happy…. because “All You Need Is Love,” right?