Friday, November 21

Taryn + Greg | Engagement Party | Oct 19

One of my friends, and day of wedding assistants, Taryn, is getting married next August, and I was so thrilled to be asked to be her wedding planner. It's so much fun planning with her, and to start the festivities, I threw them an engagement party last month at Pres a Vi restaurant in the Presidio. It was a great time, and the restaurant is perfect for rehearsal dinners and private parties, as it has different areas to rent out throughout the restaurant. Plus, the food is really good and can be paired up nicely with their extensive wine list. We had Doug Shannon there to do caricature drawings for the guests, signature drinks aptly named after the bride and groom to be and take home wine favors. I had a lot of fun planning this event; I ordered the labels for the wine bottles from My Own Wedding Labels and did the floral and candle decor myself. I rented lounge furniture from Hartmann Studios and brought in some of my own equipment to make the night comfortable and fun for all the guests. Here are some photos courtesy of Amy James:
The happy couple - Taryn & Greg

The flower girl, London, wanting to see her portrait

Greg & Taryn having their portrait drawnTaryn and me

The take home wine favors with custom labels

Happy planning!


Friday, November 14

Vanessa + Matt | Oct 11

I just LOVE getting photos from weddings that I have done, especially when I get to work with great couples like Vanessa and Matt. They wanted, in a way, a non-wedding wedding. It was stunning, as was the bride in her Monique Lhuillier gown, the bridesmaids in vibrant BCBG gowns, and the photos from Becca Henry. It was such a fun night, the guests first walked into the Bently Reserve greeted by a refreshment bar before the 6 o'clock ceremony. Afterwards while the guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the caterers and my team transformed the room for dinner and dancing. The guests then feasted on a family style meal provided by California Rose Catering, before dancing and a dessert bonanza bar provided by Tartine Bakery. The dancing went right up to the 1 o'clock in the morning shut down time, and the couple couldn't have been happier and more in love. I'm excited to share these photos with you from the photographer.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! I have my final wedding of the 2008 season tomorrow, and I am very excited about it, as each of these weddings are so unique and special in their own way. I am so lucky to have this wonderful job where I am a part of these moments in my clients lives, I feel very, very privileged.

With that, happy planning!

Wednesday, November 12

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Recently, I've had the honor of doing so many great outdoor fall weddings. But, in the past month, three of them got a nice wedding gift from mother nature; rain. While I try to prepare for everything, there are some things I cannot control. While it isn't always a happy phone call or email I have to make, the truth is, the earlier you are prepared for the possibility of rain, the better. Here are some tips to help you out:

1) Always have a rain plan: you cannot predict everything, so if your wedding is falling in any months where rain could be a possibility, the best thing to do is to have a plan in place as soon as you begin your wedding planning. It's not worth it to plan an outdoor wedding and hope that it doesn't rain. I suggest finding out from your venue what back up plans they have and indoor options that are available to you. For a wedding I did at the beginning of October, that wasn't an option, as it took place at a private home. I had (thank goodness) placed large tents on hold 8 months before the wedding. You do risk the chance of losing some money with this plan, but if it's your only option, do it. I was relieved to know that we had tents being installed three days before the wedding, while other couples were frantically trying to secure tents. It's not worth the stress!

2) Accept defeat when you have to: I really hate to make the rain call, it hurts me as much as it does my clients, but the sooner the decisions are made to go with the rain plan, the better everything will flow. We've done a few game time decisions, but sometimes, you don't get to make the board room you are being put into look as good as it can. If your wedding is on a Saturday and you see on that the call is for 80% storm weather, take that as a fact. You still have time at that point to make a call to your florist or rental company to secure more items or change your current ones to fit with the new location. You'll be happier and more comfortable knowing that you have made your plan B location look as good as it would have outdoors.

3) Make the guests comfortable: say the weather calls for slight scattered showers for a brief period of time on your wedding day, and you make the call to go for it. Make sure that you (or your fabulous coordinator) secure enough umbrellas, canopys, etc. for your guests to be comfortable. Remember, they are dressed up for your wedding, and to expect them to sit on wet seats doesn't always go over well. When the rain was approachin for last Saturday's wedding, I made a run to Walgreens and purchased 15 umbrellas and came equipped with plenty of towels to dry off the seats right before the guests arrived. The guest were very appreciative and it made the cold, foggy, wet weather not as bad! Even the groom secured some coffee from Peet's and we had a nice little coffee station set-up for guests to warm up by.

4) Protect your dress, hair and makeup: you've spent enough on it all, why let the rain ruin it? Make sure you have a large golf umbrella, and many helping hands to help hold up all sides of your dress. One drop in the mud, and even a shout wipe can't help that! Make sure to also have a small can of hairspray (usually your coordinator will have this on-hand in the emergency kit) for the frizz that usually comes with the damp weather.

5) Stay positive: you don't want the weather to ruin one of the biggest days of your life! Take some deep breaths, put all the worry on your coordinator, and just relish in the beauty that the rainy weather gives you in photos (this isn't a lie, it really is a fact). Also, I've heard just a few thousand times that rain is good luck on your wedding day, so embrace it like my clients below, Loralie and Kevin did and all will come together beautifully. Your day will be amazing no matter rain, sleet, hail or snow!

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the amazing warm fall weather we are having in the bay area currently and wish you all happy planning!


Monday, November 10

Loralie + Kevin | Nov 8

I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful couple this past Saturday who had planned their entire wedding from Indianapolis! They worked with me on getting vendor referrals (which is key if you're planning from afar), but also to coordinate the wedding for them. It turned out to be a very wet and drizzly Saturday, but they embraced it, and had a lovely wedding (I will make another post on how to handle a change in weather shortly). I'm lucky enough to have worked with a few of my favorite vendors on this wedding, and the Joel and Cara Flory (the photographers) have already sent me some photos, so I thought I would share, as they turned out to be breathtaking!

The Details

Ceremony: Upper Terrace at the San Francisco Art Institute
Reception: Florio Restaurant on Fillmore
Photographer: Joel and Cara Flory
Officiant: Hank Basayne
Guitarist: Q Morrow

Happy Planning!

Friday, November 7

Alison + John | Aug 31

I just received these photos from a great photographer I worked with from a wedding up at Trentadue Winery in Geyserville. This wedding was a full planning client, and Alison and John were so fun to work with. We grew very close during the planning process, and I miss working with them, but was so happy to see how their day was captured perfectly. The bride loved cakes, so half of the tables had a two-tiered wedding cake with different flavors, but all in colors to match the decor. The sweetheart table had a larger cake with their monogram on it. Everything was perfect, and the guests had a real wine country experience!

Some of the great vendors that made their day possible:

Venue: Trentadue Winery
Caterer: Caridwyn & Sons
Florist: Passiflora Designs
Photographer: John Griffin Photography
Band: The Cheeseballs
Jazz Trio: The Davis Ramey Trio
Cakes: Jill Branch from Banching Out Cakes
Beverage Service: Bartenders Unlimited

If you want to see the entire slideshow, click here.

Happy Planning!