Thursday, January 28

SF Dream Bridal Tour No. 4 - Part II

So, after we had seen everything in SOMA, we headed to the Marina District and directly to Habit. This is a super chic waxing studio that also does make up application for wedding day or other special events.

We then walked into the always lovely Haute Bride showroom, and the girls mouths were open the entire time! From designer gowns to vintage styled hairpieces, this place really shines as the go to spot for the hottest bridal accessories and jewelry.

By this time, we were burning some calories, and a stop at Cocoa Bella was just the thing we needed. The shop houses over 100 different artisan chocolates from 7 different countries. The giveaway boxes were opened and eaten quickly!

We then walked two blocks down to Bella Bridesmaid and Nick Brown Photography. This quaint little shop is the spot to get your bridesmaid gowns in San Francisco. The personal service, quality and availability of designer dresses and colors make it easy for the busy bride to find just what she wants.

We then headed to Pacific Heights to check out the La Tavola linen showroom on Sacramento Street. Not only do I love going to this shop, I absolutely love their linens. Everything in this place is perfect, and they make the daunting task of picking linens so much easier!

We then went to Lora Dukler. She does handmade gowns as well as alterations. Sweetest little Russian woman who you know will not have you looking frumpy on your wedding day!

Our last stop on the tour was Shu Uemura. I am lucky enough to have an office across the street from this amazing store, and the best thing to share with brides is their lash bar.

We then headed back to our studio for yet some more champagne with cupcake tasting and presentation by Gaby of Cake Coquette. Then Kathy of Well Rehearsed discussed the rehearsal dinner planning, and how it can sometimes be an overlooked event surrounding the wedding. Andrew from Weeks Photography discussed how to choose a photographer and then I talked about what I offer for brides in my studio from calligraphy, vendor referral sessions and up to full planning wedding services.

We had such an energetic group, and they really walked away with a large bag full of goodies and discounts, as well as information and knowledge that they didn't have four hours earlier.

We will be announcing future tour dates and *new* locations for the tour in the coming months, so stay tuned! The best way to be informed is to follow the tour on Twitter and get the upcoming dates, ticket releases and giveaways.

As always, Happy Planning!

SF Dream Bridal Tour No. 4 - Part I

I just received the disk of photos from the Dream Bridal Tour we completed on Sunday, and I am so happy with how the pictures that Andrew Weeks of Weeks Photography came out! He captured the fun and the excitement of the day so perfectly. So, here are a few of my favorites, but there is a full length slide show of our entire day here.

Our day went a little something like this:
We started with our group of about 18 at our studio in Pacific Heights. Everyone got their large Knot canvas bag to hold all their goodies from the day.

We then all headed downstairs to board our cable car shuttle provided by Events West. The shuttle drove us to our awaiting lavish brunch at the swank W Hotel.

We had everything from bellini's to mini parfaits. It was done so beautifully, and they really know how to start a day off right.

After brunch, we moved into their Industry room which I had worked with Hartmann to decorate with lounge furnishings and some simple up lights.

Natalie Bowen Designs then did a very informative presentation on flowers. Everything you needed to know about when your favorite flowers are in season, and in case they aren't, some great alternatives. The Allison Fox with the W Hotel gave us a quick tour and talked about the property for events and blocking guest rooms.

We then boarded our shuttle again and headed to Cocoon Urban Day Spa. This place is heavenly, and I just wanted to sit in their lavish mani/pedi chairs all day! We learned about their services, hosting private parties, and yoga sessions.

After Cocoon we headed to Hello Lucky! This is one of my favorite places ever, and the group got to look at all they do from Save the Dates to invitation suites. Some even got to play around in their photo booth and watch the press actually in action.

I'll be posting Part II in my next blog post!

Tuesday, January 26

Difference Between Day-of and Month-of

As January hit this year, so did a huge influx of new inquiries! It has been great to meet with so many new couples and learn all about their weddings and their stories. One thing we have been faced with though was the question of why we don't offer a package called "day-of." The answer to this question is that there is simply no such thing as day-of, and if someone is offering to just be at your wedding on the day with no pre-wedding coordination, meetings, planning, etc., then it would be something you might want to stay away from.

To put it plain and simple, every wedding, no matter how meticulously planned, has something go wrong. It might be small, or it might be a complete catastrophe. The way to make sure the latter doesn't happen is to have someone be your go-to all knowing coordinator for vendors, family and guests, as well as solve tricky problems that come up. This person should be meeting with you about month or so before the wedding to go over all your final details, at the final venue walk through and ultimately putting together the final vendor timeline and vendor lists. This is an extremely crucial part to making sure that all weddings go smoothly and that everyone is on the same page. The final venue walk through is one of the most important meetings surrounding a wedding, and I couldn't even imagine walking into a wedding not knowing the venue/vendors/family/couple and thinking that I could pull it all together without a hitch. I'm good, but not that good!

The key is to sit down as a couple and work out what your needs are for your wedding day and how much you want to be able to enjoy the day, as well as who will be taking care of your guests, bridal party and families. You could then meet with a few coordinators and look over all they offer with their packages. Find out if they charge you separately to call or email them. Find out how many hours will they be on site during the day; do they leave when the cake is cut, or stay until the very end? How many coordinators will be at your wedding, and who your lead coordinator will be. You will find that pricing for a month-of or basic package can range significantly. This usually is because of coordinator experience, staff, hours spent on the day and before the wedding, etc. It is important to look at all of those factors and not just the price. You want to be comfortable with the person you are hiring because they are your eyes and ears during your wedding day, and you need to have full trust in them and their services.

Hope this helps when considering a planner, as there are so many pros to having one! There are many stories out there regarding bride regrets for not having someone else in charge, and I feel it is a crucial part of the wedding. As always, leave a comment or drop me an email if you have any specific questions for me or need a referral to a planner in your area.

Happy Planning!

Sunday, January 24

SF Dream Bridal Tour Today!

Today is our first bridal tour for 2010, and we couldn't be more excited about the stops we are going to be making along the way today! We will be visiting everyone from Hello Lucky to La Tavola Linens, and everyone in between.

We are about to head out to start our day by hopping on a cable car charter bus en route to the W Hotel for a champagne and bellini filled brunch, complete with a floral presentation from Natalie Bowen Designs. Follow us on Twitter today as we update along the way with our fabulous participants!

Happy Planning!

Thursday, January 21

Lilian + Scott | Palace of the Legion of Honor | Oct 3

When Lilian had first come to meet with me she described what her dream wedding would be: fall in San Francisco, sheer tent with beautiful lighting making it glow, and simply for it to be fabulous. Well, she got the lighting and fabulous, but soon realized that a tent can be a lot more then some would be able to squeeze out of the budget. We did, however, transform the cafe in the Legion of Honor into a lighted, sheer draped wonderland. Taking gunmetal pintuck linens against deep red florals with crisp white candlelight everywhere transformed that cafe into exactly what she wanted! It was just lovely, and even through gale force winds and a visit from the SF Fire Department, this wedding was simply unforgettable.

All the photos were taken by F.C. Wong, and the other vendors that made this day happen were:
Venue: Legion of Honor
Caterer: Melon's Catering
Florist: Passiflora Designs
Rentals: Hartmann Studios
Lighting: Got Light?
Hair & Makeup: Blow Salon
Djay: Henry with Big Fun Djay's
Transportation: Coach America

Happy Planning!