Meet our Associate Chelsea

Today’s blog post is the second of three blog posts to introduce you a bit more to our team. The About Us page can be a little sterile, so we wanted to give an opportunity to our readers to get to know us a bit more casually! We went interview-style, so enjoy this week’s interview with our beloved associate Chelsea, or check out our previous post on our intern Sarah.

Chelsea picture collage

What does a weekend day look like in the life of Chelsea? Depending on the time of the year, this can vary drastically. During wedding season I’m usually working for one of my amazing couples or assisting Caitlin with one of hers and I love every moment of it! During football season I’m either rooting for my Oregon Ducks or my beloved San Francisco 49ers. My husband and I have game day rituals that we take very seriously which include putting on our jerseycs (he wears Davis’s #85 while I proudly sport Gore’s #21), popping some champagne that we drink from our Niners glasses, and tuning out the world while we tune into the game. Any other weekend in the year beyond football and wedding season I spend with my husband relaxing and getting our to-do’s done or going on a long hike at some of our favorite local trails, finished off with cooking a delicious meal together and opening up a great bottle of wine.

What is your hands down favorite activity? Watching my Niners! (Are you sensing a common theme yet?) Preferably at the stadium so we can cheer them on with all of our fellow 49er Faithful fans. I am football obsessed and love watching anything football – college, pro, the combine, the draft, and I even play fantasy football which is so much fun!

What’s your favorite city you’ve ever visited? This is a hard one! My husband and I love to travel and did a Europe trip where we covered 12 countries and fell in love with cities such as Paris, France; Fiesole, Italy; Pag Island, Croatia; and Ljubljana, Slovenia to name a few. However, our honeymoon destination to Savusavu, Fiji takes the cake since it was so romantic and memorable – and it was well deserved after the wedding! We stayed at an amazing resort called Namale which I highly recommend to any couple looking for a fabulous honeymoon destination.

What are you most looking forward to in 2015? Besides my amazing 2015 couples? Probably the trip my husband and I have planned to Alaska and then Victoria Island in British Columbia. We’re going to a small lodge near Port Alexander that you have to take a sea plane to get to – I’m nervous about taking a plane that lands on the water! We’re going to do a ton of fishing – which I’ve never done before – and hiking and enjoy the wildlife and scenery. After that, we’re flying into Victoria for a spa retreat and relaxation before we head back to reality.

What is the biggest lesson you ever learned about events? This may seem obvious, but that every client is different. I think that all too often professionals in the industry can see a wedding or an event as just another one they have to pump out. However, I know that the CAWE team looks at our clients differently, which I love! It’s important to see each individual wedding/event as unique and help our clients to make their wedding one that truly reflects who they are as a couple. I think what I love hearing the most is when guests see the chopstick escort cards or the post card guest book or whatever personal touch it may be and they say, “That is so them!” It instantly stops me in my tracks and brings a huge smile to my face. I also love being the one behind the scenes helping my clients brainstorm what those personal touches may be.

What is your favorite beverage (at all times, in all circumstances)? Wine. Always wine. My family is big into wine and we go wine tasting all the time. While in the south of France on a family vacation, we took a wine blending course at one of the wineries and did a blind taste testing with the finished products we made. I’m pretty sure my husband won but they were all delicious!  

What’s your favorite cuisine to eat? Japanese. Sushi bars, Izakayas, Yakitoris, etc. It’s all so good! My husband and I like being adventurous when we eat at restaurants and don’t get scared off easily by anything out of the ordinary. Grilled beef tongue and monkfish liver is one of our favorites.

What’s your favorite cuisine to cook? California Fusion. I love to cook with fresh local vegetables and try different recipes with all kinds of influences. We’re so lucky to live where we do and I love taking advantage of the resources we have. My husband also loves to grill so we do that a lot when I’m busy with wedding season. I’m also obsessed with beets and seek them out in recipes and restaurants all the time.

Give a brief description of your family. Currently my little family consists of my husband Alex, our cats Sushi and Nacho (full names Sushi-Cat and Nacho-Gato), and our Roborovski dwarf hamsters Ham and Eggs (full names Rum Ham and Eggs Benedict). We’d love to get a dog soon and are open to food-based name suggestions! My husband and I met at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and got married on 9.10.11 in Malibu. He’s a graphic designer who specializes in web and apps and is just as big of a Niners fan as I am.

What is your favorite event design element? I really love the element of light and how it can set the tone of an event. Whether it’s uplights, candles, chandeliers, luminaries, or so on, I believe that investing in lighting really pulls everything together!

Give us your travel bucket list. 

- Thailand – which we’re going to in 2016!
- Either Iceland or Finland to see the Northern Lights 
- Maldives
- Seychelles
- Japan

Last but not least…

What’s your favorite part of your job at CAWE? My clients! My clients are all amazing and I love working with them. I enjoy working with them on a professional level but also getting to know them and having a personal relationship as well. I also get really excited when I’m able to start working with them from the very beginning of their planning and help them procure a venue and work with them through the design process. Design is my favorite part of the planning process and I love bringing their ideas to fruition and see it all come together beautifully on the day. Throughout all of this we build a relationship and it makes the day so special. I get sad when the event is over because I never want to say goodbye to a couple and I always love hearing from them afterwards and getting updates – which I do from a lot of my couples! I get really excited when I hear from previous clients :)

Jennie and Dave

Jennie and Dave | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

Jennie and Dave finished out our 2013 wedding season at the Mountain Winery, a stunning venue with perfect late fall weather and a great combination of touching, sentimental moments with laughter and pure fun.

 

Jennie Getting Ready | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Shoes and Bouquet | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Mr. and Mrs. Rings | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

Their ceremony would have brought anyone to tears, as dear friends of theirs played guitar and sang the processional songs, and Jennie’s nephews walked the rings down the aisle in their adorable bowties.

 

Ring Bearers | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events   Ceremony Florals | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Ceremony | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

The wedding was a classically elegant affair with good food, amazing dessert and a lot of dancing!

 

Dessert Table | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Desserts | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events   Desserts | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Desserts | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events   Desserts | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Cake Topper | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

My favorite image of the night was Jennie in her picture-perfect princess gown sitting at the sweetheart table with Dave, and they were both clearly just so into each other and their day – it was as if everything and everyone else just faded away as they looked at each other and out at their wedding reception. Yes, I know I’m being cheesy but hey – I’m a wedding planner, I better be a hopeless romantic too! :)

 

Sweetheart Table | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

The guests’ favorite touches were the thoughtfulness Jennie and Dave gave to their parent-guests by providing a daycare downstairs, complete with crafts, games and a TV with movies, as well as the giant faces of Jennie and Dave to use in the photo booth – I’m pretty sure those props were used in almost every booth session!

 

Chevron Centerpieces | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Reception Tables | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Puzzle Pieces Guest Book | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events   Puzzle Pieces Guest Book | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Djanikian1140-v2

 

We loved being a part of a wedding that was simultaneously peaceful and happy, while also being a total celebration at the same time, with families that were honored to be there and see Jennie and Dave become husband and wife!

 

Jennie and Dave | Photo by Mike Danen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

Thank you to all the vendors who helped us pull this day off!

Venue and Catering: Mountain Winery

Photography: Mike Danen Photography

Dessert Table: Honeycomb Events

Bakery: Icing on the Cake

Florist: Fujii Florist

Music: MK Mobile Sound

Linens: Napa Valley Linens

Hair Stylist: Janet Lopez

Makeup Artist: Beauty by Anna

Photo Booth: Smile City Photo Booth

Babysitters: Sitters Unlimited

Andrea and Sere

Andrea and Sere | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

Andrea and Sere were so laid back about the planning of their wedding that we barely got to see or chat with them throughout the process – and you know what, they were one of the calmest couples on the day ever! So content, happy to be with their family and friends, and honored that everyone was there to celebrate them!

 

Limo Ride | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

St. Anselm Church | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

The Bride's Bouquet | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

From Sere’s Nigerian friends and relatives to Andrea’s Bay Area-based side, you would have thought everyone had known each other for years, because they were all brought together by a happy couple, stunning Bay views, and the excitement of experiencing a classic San Francisco wedding.

 

Family Portrait | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Groomsmen | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

The live crab cake station was a huge hit, and we entertained guests with wall to wall window views of the bay from the Corinthian Yacht Club after the ceremony.

 

Centerpiece | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Head Table | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Bride's Bouquet | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

The smiles continued when we pulled back the drapes to reveal our reception space – amazingly decorated by Nicole Ha and Hartmann Studios, complete with gorgeous linens, lighting and draping florals.

 

Reception Space | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Gold Chiavari Chairs | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Escort Cards| Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

The Dance Floor | Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

 

Andrea and Sere’s wedding was classically elegant and classically San Francisco, and we loved being a part of it!

 

Cutting the Cake| Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Conga Line| Photography by  Andre Nguyen Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Thank you to all our vendors!

Venues: St. Anselm’s Church and Corinthian Yacht Club

Photography: Andre Nguyen Photography

Florals: Nicole Ha Design

Rentals and Lighting: Hartmann Studios

Bakery: Glass Slipper Gourmet

Ceremony Music: Erin Hurley and Maryliz Smith

Reception Music: Amos Productions

Photo Booth: Party Booth

Hair and Makeup Artists: Champagne Salon and Spa

New Changes to Expect at CAWE in 2015

We have so many new changes and exciting things happening at Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events that my head is spinning! All exciting, and all a result of the awesome growth we’ve experienced in the past couple years, but sometimes a bit overwhelming nonetheless. I’m sure anyone planning an event could relate to how a mounting list of “projects” can feel :)

We wanted to take this opportunity to briefly share with you some of the big changes that have been occurring and what you can expect as a current or hopefully future client of ours!

New planning software! We’ve partnered with a great planning website that is focused on wedding planning to customize and tailor the platform you all get to use as you get to planning. Our non-wedding clients will still use some more well known or classic planning softwares with us such as Box, Asana or Project Bubble, but for our couples, we have a new way for you to keep track of your checklists, budget, style guides (like a private Pinterest!), guest list and RSVP count, as well as many more tools. So far the feedback we’ve gotten from clients has been great, and we continue to make adjustments and improvements such that in 2015, we’re hoping to have a perfectly designed tool to improve your “at-home” planning experience with us.

 

Aisle Planner screenshot

 

We have also been busy at work creating a vendor tool for our clients. While our preference is of course to work with each client to make personalized referrals and really discuss the nitty-gritty details and pros/cons of each vendor, what about those clients who just want to get to work on their own, or book some of our smaller packages? For them, we’ve created a database of all our preferred and most tried and true vendors, complete with contact information and pertinent notes from our experience with each, just for you to have and utilize as you wish! We’re hoping this tool becomes as useful to our clients as it is to us here in the office.

As if those two projects were not enough, we wanted to add some personal additions to our company as well, so meet Christa, Sarah and Alex! Chelsea thankfully joined our team full time at the end of 2013 and this past year with her on board has been wonderful, but we felt room for more talent and more perspectives, so Christa and Sarah came on board as interns, training to be associates in 2015. You can learn more about them on our About Us, or keep your eyes peeled for separate posts in weeks to come with interviews of each of them! Alex also joined our team as a new in-house designer, to assist our clients in custom stationery, website work and any other general graphic design needs for any of our events. We’re excited to have his talent and expertise on the team!

 

Christa   Sarah

Alex Headshot

 

Of course, we always spend the “off-season” working on updating our budget template (now new and improved with more categories and options for you to personally customize to your event tastes and priorities!), vendor list (coffee dates to get more acquainted galore!), and general business projects (have you been noticing how much happier our blog and Facebook pages are?), so every year our clients are getting fresh and applicable information and tools, not us sitting back on our heels of previous experience.

Lastly, we’re going to welcome a new baby to the family! Lisa had her darling son Robbie earlier in 2014, as our first CAWE addition, and now I’m expecting my first in May! Not sharing what this little one’s name is yet, so you’ll just have to come check back in a few months to find out who our newest member is!

 

Lisa's Son Robbie

 

Any changes you’d like to see? We’re so open to hearing them! We love new ideas, particularly from our wonderful clients and vendors, so please share in the comments or shoot us an email with your thoughts and ideas for this coming year!

Erica and Grant

Erica and Grant | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Erica and Grant’s wedding was quite spectacular – so much so that it has been published in Ceremony Magazine, and blogged about many times! It really was a San Francisco dream wedding, and the best part was getting to design it, AND bridal bootcamp train Erica.

Ceremony Magazine Publication

Erica and Grant desired a theme that was “modern elegance,” combining the old world aesthestics of the Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco, with their more modern tastes, and a little bling. The peacock was our inspiration for the rich colors, thanks to the Peacock Court at the venue, and there was even a touch of feathers in Erica’s bouquet.

Wedding Shoes | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Erica and Grant's Ceremony | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Peacock Themed Tree | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Sequins and mercury glass provided our glittery backdrop, while lamour linens and Erica’s stunning dress kept the design blend we were aiming for.

Tabletops | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Gold Accented China | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Head Table | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Having such a great design team working together (Diana at Napa Valley Linens and Emily at Soulflower Design Studio) was such a dream for me as a wedding coordinator/designer, as it streamlined a process into a breathtaking final product – from the original design discussions I had with Erica, to the creation of a design proposal, presenting that proposal to Emily and letting her take her spin on it, walking the venue with all these brilliant design minds together, and finishing off with a sample table meeting just to cement the littlest details. Event design is an amazing process.

Floral Arrangements | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Tabletop Place Settings | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Dining Room | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

In a different sense, Erica and I were hard at work designing something else – her amazing wedding dress arms! :) Early mornings in the park doing bootcamp, chatting about life and otherwise trying to just picture that stunning dress turned into pushups the morning of her wedding in her wedding robe, with hair and makeup done – just to prove to me she could do it. I loved it!

Erica's Wedding Arms | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

The Dance Floor | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Bride and Groom | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Now Erica and I have another privilege together – being “baby buddies,” as we’re both expecting in May! We love when we get to continue a relationship with our couples after the wedding, and it’s so great that even after this gorgeous wedding is over, I still get to have these folks in my life!

Wedding Party Cable Car | Photography by Rhee Bevere | Wedding Planning and Design by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

We would not have been able to design and execute such a spectacular wedding without our talented vendors.

Venue, Catering and Bakery: Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco Hotel

Photography: Rhee Bevere Photography

Rentals: BluePrint Studios and Hartmann Studios

Linens: Napa Valley Linens

Florals: Soulflower Design Studio

Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Golden Gate Music Quartet

Reception Music and Sound: Sound in Motion

Hair Stylist: Salon 77

Makeup Artist: Lux Image Agency

Jen and Jeff

Jen and Jeff | Photography by  Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

I think the thing we all remember most about Jen and Jeff’s wedding was the scare of rain! Here we were, in beautiful Indian summer September, flanked by gorgeous days on both sides, and this wedding day had rain! Thankfully, our team of vendors was so superb that we could make adjustments and keep pushing on with no problem at all. You would have thought our Plan B was Plan A all along!

Rainy Day| Photography by Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Umbrellas at Ceremony | Photography by Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Our DJ played “Here Comes the Sun” during the prelude music, as we did the rain dance hoping for an outdoor ceremony – that was the one promise I made to the couple, that we would have the ceremony outdoors no matter what! Guests are huddled under umbrellas, our team and the extra staff from other vendor teams were wiping down chairs repeatedly, and we get the processional lined up. Then what happens but the second I cue the processional to start, the rain stops, the clouds part and the sun starts shining. I think we all shed a tear at that moment.

Jen and Jeff's Ceremony | Photography by  Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Cocktail Hour | Photography by  Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Despite the rain and altered plans, this couple could not be dampened. They were so calm and clearly content to just be getting married, and at a beautiful location to boot – one of our favorites, Villa Montalvo.

Deep purple linens and arrangements | Photography by  Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Hors d'oeuvres | Photography by  Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Having planned this wedding together long distance from Switzerland, it was such a joy for us all to see it come together in material “real life” that day, particularly with the color pops Jen chose – gray and deep purple.

Tabletop Arrangements  | Photography by  Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Guest Book Table | Photography by  Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Tabletop Arrangement | Photography by Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Our little unique twist was a nod to the couple’s favorite dessert – pumpkin pie. Wedding in September? No matter! We served little pumpkin pies with the help of Honeycomb Events that were darling, complete with custom whipped cream cans, and they were a massive hit!

Honeycomb Dessert Table | Photography by Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Honeycomb Dessert Table | Photography by Matthias Photography| Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Honeycomb Dessert Table | Photography by Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Thank you to our vendors, and most of all for your flexibility and awesome professionalism to pull this rainy wedding off – it was a success!

Jen and Jeff | Photography by Matthias Photography | Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events

Venue: Villa Montalvo

Photography: Matthias Photography

DJ: Carl Mindling

Flowers: The Flower House

Catering and Rentals: Le Papillon

Officiant: Rich Menefee (Reverend Rich)

Dessert Table: Honeycomb Events

Hair and Makeup: Salon Mona Lisa

Meet our Intern Sarah

This week’s blog post is the first of three blog posts to introduce you a bit more to our team. The About Us page can be a little sterile, so we wanted to give an opportunity to our readers to get to know us a bit more casually! We went interview-style, so enjoy this week’s interview with our current intern Sarah.

Sarah collage

What does a weekend day look like in the life of Sarah? If it is not wedding season, you are sure to find me spending as much time as possible with Sanjay, our “babies,” and our families. After a long week, we love to sleep in, head to the park with Hudson and Bella, ride bikes to the nearby movie theater, stroll through the farmer’s market, continue with the never ending list of home self-improvements, practice archery, garden, drive to the coast, visit our go-to wine bar, or see a favorite band in concert.

What is your hands down favorite activity? Exploring! I love to explore. Whether it is venturing to an unknown destination or trying out an interesting recipe, I will be happy getting out of my comfort zone to experience something new. There is so much to enjoy in this world, and the unpredictable factor is very enticing to me.

What’s your favorite city you’ve ever visited? Growing up in a very large family with strict ballet training, traveling was not too feasible for us. Truth be told, I have regretfully never left the United States! However, I have traveled through our lovely country, and my favorite city that I have visited so far is Minneapolis, Minnesota. Very fortunate to visit during their most comfortable time of the year, I found the town charming and energetic. With endless trails and paths most were always outside walking or biking along the many lakes, the locals were friendly and kind, and the overall culture was very pleasant. Fun fact, it is also home to my 101.5-year-old great-grandfather! He may have a heavy influence on this answer ;)

What are you most looking forward to in 2015? This New Year brings great excitement in furthering my career with CAWE! Joining as an intern in the tail end of 2014, I am blessed and incredibly overjoyed to see how this year unfolds. I am also looking forward to friend and family announced weddings and pregnancies. Exciting things are sure to come and life’s unknown surprises are out there as well. I am ready to hold on tight and enjoy the ride while pursuing what I love most, planning events.

What is the biggest lesson you ever learned about events? With events, just as with life, some things are out of my control. This is purely natural and unavoidable. That being said, the most important lesson I have learned from previous events, and this may seem a little out there, is that this is ok. How dare I say that as a professional planner you ask? Well, allow me to explain. While I may be in complete control over myself and what has been expertly prepared in the months leading up to this one special day, there are numerous variables that are simply out of my control. We can chalk it up to human nature or Murphy’s law, but in the end it may be inevitable. What is just as important as understanding that it is ok, is understanding how to gracefully regain order for a seamless event. Something may happen that is out of my control, but it will never mean that the event is out of control. Approaching situations like this are challenging as they require composure and poise amidst stress and chaos, however, it is yet another reason why I love what I do.

What is your favorite beverage (at all times, in all circumstances)? Winter or Summer, and despite my disinterest in regular coffee, I will never turn down a Chocolate Coffee Cream (CCC) from Great Bear Coffee in Los Gatos. This blended beauty is topped with house made whipped cream, making it truly irresistible.

What’s your favorite cuisine to eat? I greatly enjoy eating food that I do not typically cook, or feel I would not be the best at cooking. Greek food would be high up on that list as well as Indian food.

What’s your favorite cuisine to cook? Anything really, especially if I am cooking with Sanjay. We make the perfect team when it comes to cooking. He is the grill master who takes care of the meat, definitely not my strong suit, and I am the kitchen master who takes care of everything else down to the little tasty details. Recent favorite dishes from our kitchen have included honey-mustard chicken kabobs with veggies, grown up macaroni and cheese with bacon, quinoa stuffed acorn squash, baked sweet potato fries, roasted Brussels sprouts, brown sugar marinated salmon, and butternut squash soup.

… These questions are making me salivate!!!

Give a brief description of your family. In our household there is my handsome boyfriend, Sanjay, and our four pets: Hudson the German Shepherd mix puppy, Bella the Chihuahua, Ashton the wise old Russian Blue cat, and Nixon the young black cat. A full and crazy house, we somehow manage the perfect balance and harmony. My immediate family includes five sisters and my parents who are also local and just as lively with the prominent animal loving gene and unique personalities.

What is your favorite event design element? My favorite elements to play with are furniture and mirrors. Furniture adds such a fun twist to any occasion with endless possibilities to experiment with. Mirrors are also an element that excites me. Gold, ornate framed mirrors make me go weak at the knees, but so do older mirrors. There is something so majestic about not knowing who has previously looked into the mirror and what sights it has seen throughout the years. Mysterious yet beautiful, these also add lovely flare to any event.

Give us your travel bucket list. Now that you know I have never traveled, I can easily say that should I close my eyes and point to a spot on an atlas, I would most likely want to go there. Top traveling destinations of my choice, however, would be Sweden, France, Italy, Japan, and Africa.

Last but not least…

What’s your favorite part of your job at CAWE? It is sadly rare to hear that someone loves their job nowadays. Talk of the daily grind is all too common, believe me I have been there, and it is hard to escape. With CAWE, I have successfully escaped and found myself in a position that interests me to the point of looking forward to work, not dreading it. The team could not be any greater or fun to be around, and there is a comfort knowing I am amongst other professionals who dare to color outside of the box. I feel stimulated and challenged, yet encouraged and appreciated while pursuing my goals within the walls of CAWE. Therefore, I must say that the entire experience is my favorite.

Genna and Jim

Genna and Jim | Deanna Graham Photography

Genna and Jim were one of my personal favorite weddings last year, just because Genna is pretty much one of the most adorable brides I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting. Their wedding was everything in the traditional that was good, with the non-traditional that comes from youth, fun families and a lot of life-long friends.

Caitlin assisting the bride | Deanna Graham Photography

Most weddings we do these days don’t allow us the privilege of working with the families closely, but in this case, Genna’s parents were very involved – and it was a great thing! I still remember one meeting where we used the conference room at the Villa, because we had so many people sitting around discussing the timeline. It was fabulous to have so many creative minds pulling together on one wedding.

Genna and Jim's Ceremony | Deanna Graham Photography Candlelit Table Settings | Deanna Graham Photography

The entire day, from the getting-ready time at adjoining family homes, to the formal ceremony at Santa Clara, to the picture perfect Italian-themed reception at the Villa was magnificent.

The Wedding Party | Deanna Graham Photography Genna and Jim | Deanna Graham Photography

Genna and Jim had a very distinct vision in mind that came to life beautifully – with a family photo table, an Italian door-framed, olive leaf-studded guestbook table and menu display, and lots of little details (like an olive sprig at each place setting). It was a great blend of unique without veering away from the classic.

Family Photo Table | Deanna Graham Photography Table Settings | Deanna Graham Photography

This is one of those weddings I know this couple will not regret looking at years from now – it was timeless and we were honored to have been a part of it!

 

Thank you to all of our wonderful vendors!

Venue: Villa Montalvo and Mission Santa Clara

Photography: Deanna Graham Photography

Flowers: Precious and Blooming

Catering and Rentals: Le Papillon

Bakery: Amour Patisserie

DJ: Turner of Elite Entertainment

Videography: Mirar Productions

Limousine: Elegant Journey

Hair and Makeup: Julie Morgan Hair and Makeup

Gelato: Dolce Spazio

Lisa and Tai

Lisa and Tai’s wedding was so classically Berkeley in its every vein – it was beautiful! From the bowties and oxfords of the gentlemen, to the super unique oversized floral pattern on Lisa’s dress, attire, ambiance and guests all embodied this fun-loving couple throughout the day.

Lisa and Tai, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  GEDI Photography

The Groomsmen, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  GEDI Photography

Wendi with Sweetness and Light Floral Design worked beautifully with Lisa and Tai’s desire to be sustainable, local and seasonal in their decor, and incorporated succulents as little favors doubling as escort card holders, and made the flowers pop with textural uniqueness.

Tabletop, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  GEDI Photography

Starting in the Berkeley Botanical Gardens’ Redwood Grove, we set the tone for natural beauty and celebration of simplistic love and beauty, a perfect setting for this wedding.

The Ceremony, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  GEDI Photography

Lisa and Tai with Signage, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  GEDI Photography

We then transitioned to the David Brower Center, a completely sustainable and green art facility in downtown Berkeley. Guests mingled, ate and drank among the modern art on the ground floor, and danced away in probably the most epic dance party we’d seen all summer.

The Reception, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  GEDI Photography

We had so much fun being a part of this wedding! Thank you to everyone who helped make the day special.

Venues: Berkeley Botanical Gardens’ Redwood Grove and David Brower Center

Photographer: GEDI Photography

Florals: Sweetness and Light Floral Design

Catering and Rentals: Carrie Dove Catering

Bakery: Vanilla Moon Bakery

DJ: Spencer Weddings and Entertainment

Hair Stylist: Tetrachromat Studio

Kathleen and Terence

Kathleen and Terence’s wedding was a picture of elegance, from their gorgeous church ceremony to their candlelit Bently Reserve reception.

Ceremony at St. Dominic's Catholic Church, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  Kevin Chin Photography

The best part of Kathleen and Terence’s day were their smiles – so loving and happy, the joy of those around them just complemented the classy spaces and decor.

The Wedding Party, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  Kevin Chin Photography

A larger wedding, the layout was perfect for a venue such as Bently Reserve, filling the grand hall and allowing the uplights and candles to complete the space and make it feel cozy and like a smaller wedding than it really was.

The Bride and Groom's Table, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  Kevin Chin Photography Tabletops, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  Kevin Chin Photography

The best part of the day was Kathleen’s surprise to Terence – after months of practicing, she broke out a traditional Indian dance for him that he didn’t even think she knew how to do!

Traditional Indian Dance, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  Kevin Chin Photography Bentley Reserve, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  Kevin Chin Photography

Their guests were ready to rock the entire night, and everyone stayed until the end to party and dance the evening away!

The Bride and Groom, Wedding Planning by Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events, Photo by  Kevin Chin Photography

Thank you to the tremendous vendors that helped put the wedding together with us!

Venue: St. Dominic’s Catholic Church and Bently Reserve

Photography: Kevin Chin Photography

Videography: Kevin Chin Cinema

Personal Flowers: Tomobi Floral Art

Catering and Rentals: Premier Catering

Bartending: Best Beverage Catering

Cupcakes: Sift Cupcakes

DJ: DJ Jeremy Productions

Hair Stylist: J’Adore Beauty

Makeup Artist: Sydney McIver and J’Adore Beauty