Sheida and Homer – a Fairytale right out of 1001 Nights

A whirlwind wedding planning project for a superbusy couple and a fairytale wedding – that was my first task in 2024! Sheida had contracted my wedding planning and design company, A Day Like No Other, after I had planned her older sister’s wedding a few years back – and her first surprise for me was that we only had 7 weeks until the Big Day. The venue (Boulder Ridge Golf Club in San Jose) had been booked… but that was it so far. So we went to work! And time literally flew by…

On the morning of Wedding Day, Sheida and Homer woke up to a gloomy sky and light rain – it was such a disappointment… but they kept their high spirits and got ready for the festivities.

Sheida’s day started with hair and makeup services by Adelina Eidelman, and bridesmaids and mothers simultaneously enjoyed services by Faces by Emily.

Danny Dong Photography

Sheida had chosen a romantic Savin of London wedding dress with lavender rose applique… a real dream! (One that we were lucky enough to secure at such short notice, thanks to our friends at Nouvelle Vogue Bridal Salon).

Danny Dong Photography

Isn’t it fabulous? All her other accessories played into this theme of romance, elegance and soft lavender hues.

Danny Dong Photography

Photographers Danny and Julia Dong and Frame Story videographers were there from the get-go to capture every beautiful detail throughout the day.

Danny Dong Photography

With help from her bridesmaids, Sheida got all dressed up …

Danny Dong Photography
Danny Dong Photography

… and groom Homer got into his elegant dinner jacket – ready for their First Look!

Danny Dong Photography

That happened at their getting-ready location, the historic Dolce-Hayes Mansion in San Jose.

Danny Dong Photography
Danny Dong Photography

Then a little meteorological miracle happened, and the skies literally smiled on our couple: the sun came out, and the rain stopped! Just in the nick of time to prepare for their elaborate ceremony outdoors, as originally planned.

And here is their stunning sofreh-aghd (by Aroosi by Lili), honoring the bride’s Persian heriage, with every single element full of symbolism:

Danny Dong Photography
Danny Dong Photography
Danny Dong Photography

Here comes the bride, on her proud Dad’s arm, serenaded by violinist Pourya Khademi.

Danny Dong Photography

During the ceremony, female family members rub sugar over the couple’s heads – symbolizing the sweetness of marriage (over a thin cloth, actually – to prevent everything getting too sticky…)

Danny Dong Photography

It was a beautiful scene – with the sun coming out behind the clouds… drama!

Danny Dong Photography

After the ceremony, guests were treated to unforgettable entertainment – starting with an authentic Lion Dance, a nod to the groom’s Chinese heritage.

Danny Dong Photography

Meanwhile, a number of vendor teams had been working their magic behind the scenes to transform the dining room at the Club into a gorgeous scene – with draping all around, ceiling swags and twinkle lights, and suspended greenery and chandeliers over the dancefloor (all by Fine Linen Creation)…

Danny Dong Photography
Danny Dong Photography

… and stunning tall centerpieces from Blackistone Florist (all personal flowers and all floral decor). The couple’s Sweetheart Table received special treatment, of course!

Danny Dong Photography

DJ AMP had the music going, and the kitchen at Boulder Ridge Golf Club was ready to serve dinner.

Danny Dong Photography

On their place settings, guests found a traditional Persian bowl as their keepsake, and there were elegant chocolates as well…

Danny Dong Photography

… in addition to all the delicious Persian sweets from the sofreh.

True to form, the couple’s Grand Entrance to dinner was anything but standard: Niosha Dance Academy, a Persian dance troupe, performed to the delight of all their guests.

Danny Dong Photography

After dinner, guests were treated to an elegant wedding cake

Danny Dong Photography

… which the bride and groom cut expertly, as their first official task as a married couple.

Danny Dong Photography

Finally, what everyone had been waiting for: dancing started! The newlyweds opened the dance floor with a choreographed routine…

Danny Dong Photography
Danny Dong Photography

… and that was the start of a wild dance party for everyone – including a Bouquet Toss! To keep everyone energized, Bun Me Up served bao buns as late-night snacks.

Danny Dong Photography

Sheida and Homer snuck out for a few moments with photographers and videographers for some more nighttime photos…

Danny Dong Photography
Danny Dong Photography

Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together, Sheida and Homer – and keep celebrating!

Lauren and Darren: An Elegant Affair at Villa Montalvo

When these two decided to tie the knot, they were looking for a venue with character, something special and unique, and they turned to my company, A Day Like No Other, for help. I had an idea, and they loved it: Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, a grand historic mansion surrounded by a manicured park – a really unforgettable setting. And so we begun to put together the myriad details over nearly a year of planning time. Finally, the Great Day had come – the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

After her hair and makeup session (by Nicole’s Vanity), the bride got into her diaphanous, lace-and-tulle dress, and the groom dressed up as well…

… with photographer Julia of Danny Dong Photography capturing all these precious moments.

The wedding flowers in the bride’s favorite muted Fall colors (by Laurel & Vine) had arrived…

… and it was time for the couple’s First Look.

The Italianate Garden at Villa Montalvo with its “Love Temple” was the perfect backdrop for many beautiful portraits…

… as well as the site for Lauren’s and Darren’s wedding ceremony under an elaborately decorated chuppah.

Soon, guests were arriving (via shuttles from Corinthian Ground Transportation)…

… and musicians from the Lucky Devils Band began playing as guests were being seated. Rabbi Dana Magat conducted a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.

Just married! Mazel Tov!

And off to more photos…

… in the beautiful park surrounding the Villa. Guests were invited to cocktails in the Spanish Courtyard.with a full bar (by Best Beverage Catering).

Meanwhile, the teams of A Day Like No Other, of La Bocca Fina Catering and Laurel & Vine florists were busy putting the finishing touches on the dinner setup on the front verandah…

… under string lights installed by Brilliant Event Lighting.

Guests were treated to delicious dishes…

… and everyone had a good time – especially the newlyweds!

After dinner, guests were invited to a mouthwatering dessert buffet and ice cream from Scoop Microcreamery.

Following dessert, there was no holding back on dancing. Beginning with Lauren and Darren’s First Dance as a married couple…

… to music by the Lucky Devils Band

… followed by the traditional, exuberant Hora Dance, with the couple being hoisted up in the air…

… and culminating in an epic dance party for everyone. When it was finally time to say good-bye, the newlyweds’ send-off was equally grand: with guests cheering on them with bubbles and glowsticks as they were leaving…

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DannyDong_20230903_L_90-copy.jpg

… in a gorgeous vintage limousine (by Elegant Journey) into their married bliss.

Again, congratulations and Mazel Tov to you, Lauren and Darren!

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!

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!

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?

Gianna’s and Kyle’s “heavenly” nuptials at Nestldown

Gianna and Kyle had something like a whirlwind romance – Kyle proposed just a year and a half into their relationship, and a month later, the two had brought my company, A Day Like No Other, on board for their wedding planning. Their dream venue – Nestldown Estate in Los Gatos – was booked, and off we went on a yearlong endeavor to make their wedding celebration truly special, memorable, and above all, uniquely theirs.

Last October, the big day had finally come. Bride and groom were getting ready at Hotel Valencia in San Jose …

…. and the bride and her bridesmaids enjoyed hair and makeup services by stylists from Wowpretty Salon.

Gianna had chosen a very feminine, romantic wedding dress.

Photographer Melissa Floriano and videographer Sean Kurtela joined the bridal party to capture all the precious moments – AND the gorgeous details!

As avid “stargazers,” bride and groom chose a celestial motif for their invitations – a glittery starry sky, actually, and the bride’s earrings reflect the same “heavenly” taste!

Bride Gianna got into her dress with the assistance of her bridesmaids …

… while in a suite at the other end of the hotel, groom Kyle and his groomsmen were likewise dressing up.

Time to transfer to the venue (via Corinthian Ground Transportation) for the couple’s First Look and many photos and video footage! As their First Look location, Gianna and Kyle had chosen the charming Fairytale Cottage onsite.

Next up: couple’s portraits and bridal party photos.

Gianna wore a star-studded hairpiece to complement her earrings, and for her bridal bouquet, she had chosen ivory and dark red blooms in an effortlessly feminine style (all florals by Lotus & Lily Floral Design). Dark red was also the color of choice for the bridesmaids’ dresses…

… while the gentlemen wore classic charcoal grey (with honey-colored dress shoes!).

And here is the whole impressive lineup of 8 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen plus officiant!

Bridal party having fun!

In the meantime, the ceremony area in the “Chapel,” a dramatic redwood grove, had been set up and decorated with a circular arch, embellished with gorgeous flowers.

At the entrance to the aisle, little containers with bubbles waited for the guests, to blow bubbles on the newlyweds after the ceremony.

And here is the “aisle” – a dramatic stairway descending down a wooded hill into the Redwood clearing.

Soon enough, guests began arriving, greeted by a customized Welcome sign.

The ceremony, officiated by a close friend of the couple, began on time, with the processional of the groom…

… and HERE COMES THE BRIDE!

Los Gatos DJs provided beautiful wedding music (and for the groom’s entrance, a march out of “Star Wars!”)

“You may now kiss the bride!”

Just married! The parents of the groom walked out with the “guest of honor” of the day – the couple’s puppy dog “Muffin.”

While the newlyweds had many more photos and videos to take…

… their guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (by Eisenhauer’s Catering) and to musical entertainment and photo booth fun (both by Los Gatos DJs). When it was time for dinner, guests found their seating assignments on a pretty seating chart…

… on the way to the Great Lawn where dinner tables had been set up. There were also baskets with cozy blankets to keep everyone warm.

Dark blue and maroon, accented by metallic gold, set an elegant tone. The newlyweds presided over the whole “congregation” from their special Sweetheart Table, adorned (like all guest tables) with lavish floral centerpieces by Lotus & Lily.

As dusk was falling, the lights in the surrounding trees came on, and the atmosphere turned magical.

After dinner, guests were invited to dancing in the Barn, the central building at Nestldown. A “barn” only by architectural style, it is a truly unique and elegant event space…

… crowned by an enormous crystal chandelier. This is where Gianna and Kyle enjoyed their First Dance as a married couple…

… and where they cut their “heavenly” cake (by Cake Expressions).

A photo gallery on the antique hutch displayed family photos from several generations back…

… and an open-air bar under twinkling lights and the photo booth provided entertainment in addition to dancing.

The evening came to its conclusion on another high point: an (LED-) sparkler send-off to the “Nestldown Trademark” vintage London Taxi to whisk the newlyweds away into their married bliss!

Off to a lifetime of shared happiness – that’s what we wish for you, Gianna and Kyle!

Sarah and Patrick – an elegant Fall wedding

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…

… and sparkly wedding shoes.

Green Petal Designs delivered a gorgeous bridal bouquet…

… 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…)

Happiness!

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.

Just married!!

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!