Friday, December 12

Lauren + Gar | Oct 4

I just received these photos from the amazing Jen Kloss Heffner, who was the photographer for Lauren & Gar's wedding on Oct 4th. This was such a fun wedding to plan with such a warm and friendly family, as the wedding took place at Lauren's parents home in Geyserville overlooking their private vineyards. It was magical... and then the rains came! We were prepared though, as I had ordered tents in February, and we had Classic Party Rentals working for four days straight to lay subfloor over the pool, install four tents, heaters, lighting and bring in executive restrooms. It was a huge production, but I loved every minute of it, and I actually tear up when I see their photos, as we all became very, very close through this process. To see them so happy makes me so happy! The best part was that even though it stormed through the night, and rained right up until about 1pm, Lauren and Gar got to have the most beautiful outdoor ceremony by 3pm when the clouds cleared. And, the best thing is, that even if it hadn't stopped raining, they still would have had the wedding of their dreams because they are so in love, it could have snowed, and they wouldn't have cared! Here are some of my favorite shots:

The bride and her bridesmaids

Even though the rain stopped, it was still a little breezy
Dining set-up in the main tent
The female guests enjoyed the colorful pashminas that they could keep warm with and take homeI provided the calligraphy, and we hung the place cards from a rustic room divider
The tables were named after different wineries. The marker was the actual bootle from that winery, which was also served at each table
They had a large bridal party
Wonderbread 5 put on a great performance!
The dance floor was packed even after the final encore was played
You can view the entire slide show by clicking here. The other vendors that were a part of this magnificent team were Caridwyn and Sons Catering, Dragonfly Floral, Justin Fone Video Productions, Patesserie Angelica for the cake, A Day In May did the invitations and California Wine Tours provided the shuttle service for all 200+ guests to the private home.

Happy Planning!


Thursday, December 11

Holiday Party Ideas & Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Last night we had our Holiday Open House at our 2001 Fillmore Studio, and it was so much fun! My office mates, Andrew Weeks of Weeks Photography and Nessa Sander of Cardgirl, as well as Kathy Goodman from Well Rehearsed all put on a wonderful soiree to celebrate the end of the wedding season with other vendors and past clients. It was a packed house, but the little details stood out to the guests and I wanted to share a few things that we did to help you if you are planning any events over this holiday season. A special thakns as well to Natalie Bowen Designs for providing the festive floral decor.

1) We had appetizers delivered from Delfina Pizza, which just opened a new little sister restaurant from their Mission location about a block away from our office on California and Fillmore. Don't stress over making everything yourself. Call your favorite restaurant, gourmet grocery store, etc., and have them whip up something easy and that can be served at room temperature. It takes a lot of work off the host!

2) In the winter, have a coat rack/check. I have a rolling one (very cheap from Target) that I keep in my storage unit, and bought nice wooden hangers from IKEA, and there is my coat check. Your guests really appreciate not having to walk around with their coat, or putting it on the floor.

3) Have a bar set-up and ready to go when your guests arrive. I had great glassware rented from Classic Party Rentals, tubs of ice with champagne and white wine, a second tub of ice for our house cocktail, couple bottles of red wine and sparkling water and you're done. We had a bartender, my wonderful boyfriend, but this could also be a self serve bar. Don't have tons of different glassware either. I had champagne flutes and large red wine glasses that we used for the wine, water and cocktail.

4) Have a house cocktail! This is the best cost and space saving tip when setting up a bar. Serve one drink and you will cut your costs by a lot; think of all the mixers, liquor and garnishes you excluded! We served a really cool drink that I was able to whip up that morning (we don't have a kitchen at the office), put into a large plastic jug, and as we had guests arriving, we put it over ice in the pitcher, and it was ready to be served. There was never a line at the bar, as this drink is a simple fill glass with ice, pour and serve. I have added the recipe for this cocktail below, and it's a must try (don't let the last ingredient scare you).

5) Put a personal touch on your event. Some of my staff and I all like to bake, so we each made one of our favorite cookies. We put all the cookies in large glass jars with tongs, and had little to-go containers with a thank you sticker on them for guests to fill up and take with them. The bonus touch to this is to have a little book of the recipes from each of the cookies as a take home item as well. Our guests were thrilled to be able to make these recipes at home!

Enjoy this holiday season, and if you are throwing a party and have any questions, please feel free to send them my way, I'm happy to help out! Here is the recipe for the cocktail we served last night, and since it was such a hit, I thought I would share it with everyone.

Cranberry Chill-ade - Makes about 6 servings (you can double, triple or quadruple the recipe as needed)

1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 cup ice
1 cup vodka
1 red jalapeno pepper (we did half red and half green, for the holiday colors)

1) In a large bowl combine the lemon juice, sugar and cranberry juice
2) Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved
3) Add the water
4) In a pitcher, fill the bottom with the ice
5) Pour the vodka in first, then mixture over it
6) Add the peppers, stir and serve

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 3

Place Card Idea - River Stones

I had done this idea about a year and a half ago at a showcase at the Hotel Vitale, and I just loved it! I even love it more that brides are actually coming to me to do their calligraphy on river stones just like the photo. I've recently done three calligraphy jobs this way, and they all have been very happy with the casual yet unique look of the stones at each place setting. The key with this style is to make sure that you have a table designation by either a list printed nicely on a large easle or by escort cards outside the dining area. The stones are typically too small for full names, so we usually can only do first names. The rocks I did even had meal signs on them for the caterers, very cool!

Photo by Dennis M Photography

Back to planning the 2009 weddings!


Monday, December 1

Dream Bridal Tour No. 2 - Tickets Available

Just announced: The Dream Bridal Tour will take place on Sunday January 18th from 10:30am-4:00pm in San Francisco! Tickets for the tour have been released today, and you may purchase your tickets by clicking here. There are only 10 spots left, so make sure to get them soon! (UPDATE - there are only 7 spots left).

Our first bridal tour took place in September, and was a really fun day. I got to meet so many nice brides and their friends that they brought along, and they got to learn many things that they can do for their own wedding. You can see the
slide show here courtesy of Andrew Weeks Photography.

This tour will include, but is not limited to the following:
Champagne brunch

Shuttle transportation
Bakery tastings
Manicure treatment services
Bridesmaid dresses
Discounts and goodies from most of the vendors
and much much more!

You may email us with any questions regarding the bridal tour at We look forward to seeing you there!

Happy Planning,