Katherine and Jarrod

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Katherine and Jarrod took awhile with us to pick the perfect venue, but when they did, it suited them so well! Thomas Fogarty Winery, particularly in the fall, is stunning and we livened up the autumn colors with Katherine’s favorite bold purples and blues.

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The colors, mixed with gold accents, were our more bold statements, while the rest of the design and choices we made aimed for the classical and traditional.

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Katherine and Jarrod really wanted to be personal with each and every guest, so every guest’s seat had a placecard with a picture of them and a wine charm, and our wishing tree asked guests to offer the couple marriage or “date night” advice and ideas.

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Their son Bretteric was closely involved in the ceremony and decorations, as they became one family, and every family member was honored in one way or another throughout the event – a beautiful way to start a marriage!

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Thank you so much to all of the vendors who helped pull this wedding together into a beautiful way for us to end our season! Congratulations to Katherine and Jarrod!

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Venue: Thomas Fogarty Winery

Photography: Mike Danen Photography

Videography: Mike Danen Photography

Florals: Lani Elizabeth

Catering: Schumann’s Four Seasons Caterers

Rentals: Hartmann Studios

Music: MK Mobile Sound

Officiant: Father George Aranha

Photo Booth: Archival Photo Booth

Hair Stylist: Parlour 17

Makeup Artist: Michelle Medeiros

Megan and Steve

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Megan and Steve’s wedding gave us the opportunity to work at one of our favorite venues – the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay – and to make it even more amazing, this couple was so sweet and wonderful!

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Throughout the entire process everything was laid back and about the two of them having a good time. We even had one meeting I remember while watching our dogs play together! The design itself was also fun – sunflowers, driftwood, and perky greys and yellows decorated the already elegant space.

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Small and intimate, every guest at Megan and Steve’s wedding was able to feel spoiled and down to earth, complete with a great band, lounge area, gaming area (yes, Mario Kart brought this couple together, so Mario Kart shall be played at the wedding!), hot chocolate bar, dessert bar and photo booth all made for more of a casual evening by the fire pits than a formal wedding reception – and it was lovely!

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Thank you to the team who helped bring Megan and Steve’s dream wedding to life!

Venue: Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

Photography: Ian Martin Wedding Photojournalism

Florals: Sweetness and Light Floral Design

Music: Entire Productions and Goodnight, Texas

Dessert Bar: Honeycomb Events

Photo Booth: Smile City Photo Booth

Hair and Makeup: Lux Image Agency

Kayla and Andy

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Kayla and Andy’s wedding started when I asked them during their consultation “What have you liked and disliked about weddings you’ve been to in the past,” and they revealed how much they love to mingle, feel the cocktail hour atmosphere, and not sit at an assigned table for the night, listening to boring toasts and watching awkward Grand Entrances. So, we designed a wedding that was a massive and unique cocktail hour!

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Stations of live action sushi, sliced pork, quesadillas and all sorts of fun treats, combined with the amazing MC leading of Jason Spencer to liven up the more traditional elements like the Grand Entrance and toasts, made for a night of laid back fun for Kayla, Andy and all their guests.

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Probably the winner of the unique and super fun elements to all of us vendors was the surprise piñata wedding cake. The cake on display was a three tiered nicely decorated cake – or looked like one until we hoisted it high, handed the bride and groom a baseball bat and let them swing it open!

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The couple was great throughout the process of voicing their personality, which in our opinion always makes for the most personal and intimate weddings, and everyone left to the sparkler Grand Exit glowing that they had had the privilege of celebrating with Kayla and Andy.

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We’re grateful we got to participate with them as well, and thank the vendors that helped make the day a success!

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Venue: Ainsley House

Photography: Andre Nguyen Photography

Florals: Sweetness and Light Floral Design

Rentals: Hartmann Studios

Catering: Michi Catering

Music: Spencer Weddings and Entertainment

Bartending: Best Beverage Catering

Lighting: Saier Services

Bakery: Icing on the Cake

Hair Stylist: Opus Salon

Makeup Artist: LaBelle Day Spas and Salon

Wendi and Ben

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Wendi and Ben’s wedding was such a special one for us to plan and coordinate, since we’ve had the privilege of working with Wendi for years as one of our preferred floral designers! Throughout her years in the industry, she has surely met so many talented vendors, that it can make it very tough to finally be planning your own wedding and choosing only ONE vendor in each category for yourself! We’re so honored that we were one of those!

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Wendi and Ben are both free spirits, who were determined to host a wedding that was characterized only by who they are as a couple and without being tied to any tradition they didn’t cherish. Wendi’s darling feathery short dress was a perfect way to encapsulate this approach to their fun wedding, and started off the atmosphere right!

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Having played Scrabble during their first date, Scrabble tiles had to be an integral theme element, but taking the idea of incorporating who they were to the letter, the main inspiration for much of our stationery, monograms and centerpieces were their professions – Wendi a florist and Ben a chemist.

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While this idea wouldn’t work for every career set, what an amazing blend for these two! Test tubes, graduated cylinders and periodic elements (tied into the Scrabble letters of course!) held gorgeous unique florals, all the florals that Wendi doesn’t often get to use in wedding flowers, but still so appropriate for the venue, the season and the vibe of the wedding event.

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The barn was graced with so many touches that made this wedding very Wendi and Ben, and all their guests got wrapped right up with them in the fun – partying until we had to shut the music off!

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Thank you to the vendors that made this wedding what Wendi and Ben had hoped for, and a truly great day!

Venue: Grace Maralyn Estate

Photography: Andre Nguyen Photography

Florals: Sweetness and Light Floral Design

Catering: Stein’s BBQ and Catering

Bakery: Icing on the Cake Bakery

Hair and Makeup: Tigerlily Salon

Officiant: Rabbi Janice Mehring

Beverages and Bartending: Cork Mobile Bar

Music: Ron Grandia

Rentals: Napa Valley Linens and Taylor Rental

Meet Our Junior Associate Brenda

Today’s blog post will introduce you a bit more to the newest member of our team: Brenda! She will be training with us over the next few months and we wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know her more since chances are you’ll see her at our meetings or receive an email or two from her!

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What does a weekend date look like in the life of Brenda?
Most weekends I am working weddings because I cannot get enough of them. If I do happen to have a weekend off, you can probably find me huddled on my couch with my dog Nike and a blanket binging on Netflix. If it feels like a productive day, I like to explore places I have never been to in the Bay Area. On occasional Sundays, you can find me running a half marathon that I signed up for months ahead of time and neglected to train for.

What is your hands down favorite activity?
Road trips for sure. I love spending hours in a car with someone I enjoy being with, driving through different sceneries with the windows down and the music playing. I especially enjoy them when I can end my trip at a campsite just roughing it.

What’s your favorite city you’ve ever visited?
New York City. My dad grew up there so I have gone there a handful of times. I do not like cities because of how busy they are but I absolutely love New York City. There is so much culture everywhere. My favorite is walking through Little Italy and inhaling the smell of fresh pastries. I must admit that I have only been there during the summer. It would probably not be my favorite place during the winter.

What are you most looking forward to in 2016?
I cannot wait to hit the ground running in 2016 with all my wedding couples. I hope to help create, organize and execute a day my couples will never forget. I am also very excited to graduate from CSU East Bay (and plan my graduation party).

What is the biggest lesson you ever learned about events?
Communication is crucial. Your clients want to be informed on the planning process and the planner needs feedback throughout the planning process. Communication is just as important during an event. You have to maintain communication with all parties involved with the event whether you are on time or something has changed. There are many vendors involved in an event and they are all necessary to make sure it goes flawlessly. They cannot do that unless you communicate what is needed to do that.

What is your favorite beverage (at all times, in all circumstances)?
This one is easy. Hot chocolate. There are so many good moments associated with hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is what you drink during cold winter nights. It is what you give kids when they want a treat. Hot chocolate is just an innocent and classic drink.

What’s your favorite cuisine to eat?
I love all foods that include meat in their menu. I am a lover of food. My favorite cuisine would be Korean BBQ. I think it is really fun when you get to cook your own food and I always try to do the All You Can Eat option.

What’s your favorite cuisine to cook?
I am not much of a chef. I would call my favorite cuisine to cook “broke college student cuisine”. This would consist of bacon, eggs and warmed up Eggos for breakfast. Lunches include spaghetti, PB&Js, and rice plates. Dinner is a pan-fried medium rare steak. Needless to say, I enjoy eating out.

Give a brief description of your family.
There are several parts to my family. I have a single father who parties more than I do. I like to think I am the parent now. We are the best of friends whether he or I is the parent at the moment. I have a half-sister from my mom’s second marriage. I also have a non-blood related brother from my dad’s most recent marriage. My dog Nike is the dog I wanted all my childhood but did not get until I was in college.

What is your favorite event design element?
Beautiful tableware puts a smile on my face. There are so many options when it comes to plates, utensils, glassware and chargers. I feel like beautiful tableware can really make your guests feel special and like they are at a nice affair.

Give us your travel bucket list.
-Thailand
-Australia
-New Zealand
-Greece
-Ireland

What’s your favorite part of your job at CAWE?
My favorite part of my job at CAWE is all the wonderful people I get to work with. We have great clients, vendors and an awesome team. We work with our couples for months to create the wedding day they envisioned which really allows us to get to know them very well. Some vendors we see once and some we see repeatedly at events. There is a mutual respect for each other where we want to help each other in any way we can because executing a great event is on all of our agenda. Lastly, the CAWE team makes going to work easy. I get to be around fun and creative people all the time. They love sharing their knowledge and I know I am growing everyday from my coworkers.

Mia and Eric

By: Chelsea Hudson

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Mia and Eric’s love for one another was evident from the first time I met them and their lovebird theme made complete sense. Mia lovingly referred to Eric as her “Prince” and they way they looked at each other reminded me again and again why I love my job so much!

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Since Mia was a little girl, she dreamed of one day getting married at the beautiful Menlo Circus Club on the lush green lawn. We kept the ceremony space simple so that the natural elements of the venue could shine. Pops of purples and grays brought a fun twist of colors to the space.

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Guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the patio as the bride’s grandfather and his band played music in the background and brought a special personal touch to the day. Specialty cocktails were offered as well; a “Cosmo”-tologist to represent the bride who is a cosmetologist and a Big Apple to represent the Groom who is from New York.

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Everyone gathered in the dinner space that was filled with purples and silver. To go with our theme of love birds, each table had a birdcage filled with lush flowers at the center. Everyone toasted the happy couple during dinner and indulged is sweets such as chocolate lava cake, cake pops, and carrot cake wedding cake.

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I was so honored to have been able to work with these lovebirds! Congratulations again, Mia and Eric!

I can’t wait to share more of my weddings with you! Stay tuned!

-Chelsea

 

A huge thanks to all of our amazing vendors:

Venue & Catering/Drinks – Menlo Circus Club

Photographer – Mike Danen Photography

Videographer – Michael Bulanti

Bakery and Favors – Rachel’s Cakes

Florist – Sweetness & Light Floral Design

DJ/MC – MK Mobile Sound

Photo Booth – Smile City

Hair – Dry Bar Palo Alto

Sarah and Mark

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Sarah and Mark’s first priority was showing their guests a good time, and they had excellent taste in what that meant! Putting their efforts and time into the priorities of food, drink, dancing and a party atmosphere (complete with string lights!), the wedding really did reflect what mattered most to them – all of the friends and family attending.

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Their ceremony was classically Stanford Memorial Church elegant, followed by a Korean Paebaek ceremony that brought everyone laughter and entertained the peeking guests endlessly.

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Our reception showed a sweet tooth with a lovely dessert bar handmade by a dear friend of the bride, and a gelato cart – to go with the cake too of course!

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We so enjoyed getting to work with a couple with priorities that so aligned with ours! Congratulations and thanks to Sarah and Mark!

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Thank you to all the vendors that helped make this day a success!

Venue: Stanford Memorial Church and Allied Arts Guild

Photography: Delbarr Moradi Photography

Catering: PSRT

Florals: A. Hana Design

Reception Music: Endless Entertainment DJ

Linens: Napa Valley Linens

Lighting: Enhanced Lighting and Sound

Hair Stylist: Lina Huynh

Makeup Artist: Courtney Chau Makeup Artistry

Gelato Cart: Pop Up Gelato

Winning at Pinning

We have a special blog for you today! Our intern Michaela has written a guest blog regarding a topic she has come to learn throughout her time with us. Enjoy!

By: Michaela Brady

Planning a wedding can be fun and exciting, but it can also be stressful and hectic. There are so many things to think about: color schemes, bridesmaid dresses, caterers, venues, your dress, flowers. The list could go on and on.

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More often than not, the bride turns to Pinterest. It is such an incredible tool, how could you not!? It provides unique ideas, color palettes, pages of dresses and so on. Nowadays, Pinterest is the creative machine. So for that reason, brides start “pinning” away. Soon enough, their boards are full of hundreds of beautiful, inspired pins.

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However, the boards tend to lack consistency. And at the beginning, that is okay! Often, brides are unsure of what they want. Pinterest only becomes the enemy after you make decisions…

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Whether you have the CAWE team helping you make the decisions or you’re doing it on your own, the worst thing you can do after making a decision is scrolling through Pinterest. Suddenly, you see other options, you become unsure and everything is back to square one!

Be confident in your decision. There is a reason you both made the decision! Don’t get me wrong, there are some breathtaking, beautiful other options on Pinterest. But the reason you made your decision is because it speaks to you two and shows both of yours character. And that is what makes a wedding memorable – when your two personalities shine through.

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Just keep in mind when using the creative machine known as Pinterest, that it can be your best friend and also your worst enemy.

To sum up:

Pros

  • Sparks creativity
  • Provides endless ideas
  • Allows you to create a wedding board full of your own favorites

Cons

  • Makes you second guess your decisions
  • Too many ideas provided to settle on one

Thank you for reading! I can’t wait to share more ideas that I have learned with you!

– Michaela

Debbie and Randy

By: Chelsea Hudson

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Debbie and Randy’s held their wedding ceremony and reception at the beautiful Vintage Estate – one of our favorite venues! Debbie wanted to capture and soft and romantic vibe filled with lush flowers and gold to ensure the day shimmered from beginning to end.

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Their guests gathered in the Pavilion and were treated to refreshments to keep them cool on this warm day. Their close friend acted as their officiant and everyone cheered as they were announced Mr. and Mrs.

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Everyone mingled in the cocktail space where they sipped specialty cocktails and relaxed in the lounge that we created with couches and loveseats. They wanted their guests to feel comfortable and taken care of and we accomplished this with the impeccable service provided by the venue and ensuring the day had a natural flow.

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The ceremony space was flipped during cocktail hour and guests toasted the newlyweds over dinner. We moved into the Barrel Room for dancing, dessert, and a surprise video of the day that the videography team put together during dinner!

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I can’t wait to share more of my weddings with you! Stay tuned!

-Chelsea

A huge thanks to all of our amazing vendors:
Venue and Catering – The Vintage Estate
Accommodations – Hotel Yountville
Photographer – Danny Dong Photography
Videographer – Imperial Video Productions
Bakery – Sweetie Pies
Florist – Mints & Honey
Music and Lighting – Fantasy Sound Event Services
Rentals – Hartmann Studios
Flip Book Photo Booth – The Laugh Box
Hair and Make Up – Tammy Do
Bridal Gown – Bo Lee Bridal

Sarrie and Steven

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Sarrie and Steven’s wedding was a design-heavy focus on our wedding planning/coordination, and the months of planning and finessing each element paid off! A beautiful design came together through the linens, stationery, florals and each and every little piece for the guests, such as favors, desserts and specialty cocktails.

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Our main colors to work with were blush and ivory, and Sarrie wanted a nice blend of modern (through orchids, calla lilies and other clean-lined elements) and the classic (through our stationery script, die-cut monogram and delicately sequined linens).

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The Vintage Estate did not let us down either with their always-reliable high class of service, creating a very elegant atmosphere for guests to enjoy the marvelously pop-like sounds of classical strings, and a serenade by Sarrie’s own father.

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After our design-focused ceremony and reception, however, the party really began with awesome DJ’ing by Morgan Kalakosky, live cigar rollers, late night snacks and desserts and the ever-fun flip book station. We transformed the Barrel Room into one big party, and it didn’t seem like anyone wanted to leave!

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We so appreciate having an amazing vendor team to work with when we all put in months of detailed design and logistics work and planning – thank you to all!

Venue and Catering: The Vintage Estate

Photography: Rhee Bevere Photography

Rentals: Hartmann Studios

Linens: La Tavola Linen and Napa Valley Linens

Florals: Plan Decor

Stationery: Union Street Papery

Bakery: Sweetie Pies

Officiant: Rabbi Miriam Senturia

Ceremony and Reception Music: Musical Heart Strings

Reception Music and MC: MK Mobile Sound

Videography: Mirar Productions

Flip Book Station: The Laugh Box

Hair and Makeup: Lux Image Agency

Cigar Rollers: Oye Productions