Jessica and Tony

By: Chelsea Hudson

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When I first met Jess and Tony I instantly fell in love with their love for one another and the vision they had for their wedding day. Our goal was to create an outdoorsy yet intimate environment where guests felt connected and were excited to celebrate a truly momentous occasion. Once they toured Asilomar in Pacific Grove, they knew it was the ideal venue to bring their vision to life.

The ceremony and cocktail hour were held outside surrounded by redwood trees with the beach in the background and the fire pit was going to keep guests toasty. Personal touches were abundant, from the #Hooray4TJ step-and-repeat, to the cake toppers handmade by the bride herself, to candy bar favors of the couples favorite chocolate, to photos of the couple hung all around the cocktail space, and of course their favorite Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake wedding cake! They were also super clever in planning some fun posed photos for lasting memories and laughs – including a surprise first look that the Tony didn’t see coming!

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

-Chelsea

A big thanks to all of our amazing vendors:
Venue, Catering and Bar: Asilomar
Photographer: Taken by Andre
Florist: Sweetness & Light Floral Design
Dessert: Baskin-Robbins
DJ: Big FUN Disc Jockeys
Photo Booth: Night Owl
Napkins: Chic Event Rentals
Accommodations: Asilomar Lodge, Pacific Gardens Inn, Rosedale Inn

Breanna and Alex’s rustic and modern wedding featured in The Knot!

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We’re finally announcing that Breanna and Alex’s modern July wedding was featured in The Knot! I could not believe how much I fell in love with this couple and their families. They were kind, excited and just FUN from start to finish – and so romantically perfect for each other! Take a look at their gorgeous feature!

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A big thanks to all of our amazing vendors:

Venue and Catering: The Vintage Estate

Photography: Jen Philips Photography

Officiant: Reverend Michael LeBlanc

Videography: W Video Productions

Bakery: Sift Dessert Bar

Florals: Flower Designs by Karen Brown

Music: DJ Jose Miguel

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Photo Booth: Purple Monkey Photo Booth

Hair Stylist: Lynnae Emery

Makeup Artist: KG Makeup

 

Katie and Adam

By: Chelsea Hudson

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Katie and Adam tied the knot at scenic Nestldown in the chapel beneath the soaring redwood trees. The day was filled with laughter, celebration, and the natural beauty of the venue around them. The couple’s dog, Kylie, even made a special appearance down the aisle with the rings and joined the party afterwards for some dancing in the barn. As the sun began to set, the fire pit was lit and guests indulged in s’mores, cake, and letting loose on the dance floor. Congratulations again to the happy couple!

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

-Chelsea

A big thanks to all of our amazing vendors:
Venue: Nestldown
Caterer: Toast Catering
Photographer: Rhee Bevere Photography
Florist: Plan Decor
Bakery: Icing on the Cake
DJ/MC: Sound in Motion
Hair and Make Up: Lux Image Agency
Lodging: Hotel Los Gatos
Transportation: Corinthian
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Hosting with Grace in 5 Steps

This week we thought to just provide some basic nitty gritty tips for hosting an event (these also apply to a wedding!). While you can probably Google “how to host an event” and find all sorts of advice and tips, our goal was to provide some perhaps often-overlooked perspectives and thoughts, as well as keep the ultimate host or hostess’ composure in mind. A stressed host is not a good host, and a host that is happy but has unhappy guests has failed, in our opinion.

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  1. Remember that if you are relaxed, happy and having a good time during your event, your guests are much more likely to also.

This advice was actually once given to me by my mother-in-law before hosting my first Christmas party as an adult, and it has stuck with me ever since – I also remind brides and grooms of this before each wedding! Your guests are coming at your invitation, they care about your opinion and at least to some degree, care about the purpose of your event. You need to intimate to them that the party is fun, a great place to be and you’re enjoying their presence. You should not be acting stressed, obsessed over details or focused on your planned timeline, but acting like you want your guests to feel.

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  1. Think of your guests’ comfort at each stage.

Put yourself in their shoes from the moment they park (or are looking for parking) all the way to the moment they leave to go back to their car or ride. What would inconvenience them or put them in a stressed or uncomfortable state? The more you can do to alleviate or address each little detail will all add up to an overall enjoyable experience for them – even if it’s things they don’t even notice (like the temperature during the event). They will notice if it’s NOT there.

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  1. Don’t forget that hosting used to be called “entertaining.”

Providing food and drink isn’t all you need to host a great event. I think this has been forgotten at a lot of parties. You want each guest to feel “entertained” in some way – this doesn’t have to mean jugglers or anything extreme, it could just mean entertaining conversation. But you do want each guest to feel engaged, and at least momentarily distracted from their lives outside your event.

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  1. Think small but well done.

You do not need to go big to be impressive, especially if it means you’re spreading yourself, or your budget, too thin. A few small well-planned dishes, drinks, activities and décor touches will be more memorable than a lot of “noise.”

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  1. Don’t step outside your skill set.

In the era of Pinterest, we all tend to suffer from the “I can do that!” problem. Your guests know what you do well, and want to see that from you at your event. For the rest, hire professionals or utilize someone who isn’t trying out an idea or Pinterest creation for the first time at your event. Your guests don’t want to be your guinea pigs, and ultimately it will probably cause you to stress if you are struggling to create something new.

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Photography credit:
Anna Kuperberg Photography
Danny Dong Photography
Jen Philips Photography
Kate Harrison Photography
M&Him Photo and Video

Stephanie and Mark

By: Chelsea Hudson

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I began working with Stephanie and Mark from the beginning of their planning which allowed us to build such a strong foundation and made the planning process so much fun! From finding their perfect venue, to selecting an amazing florist, to doing table mock ups to select just the right rentals – we worked together to bring out vision to life.

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Stephanie and Mark loved the idea of going with blush and creams with hints of gold to add some sparkle and my suggestion of adding emerald green brought richness to our palette and everything came together seamlessly.

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The couple wanted a traditional and elegant day which started at Mission Santa Clara and lead guests to The Mountain Winery for a classy and fun reception. Views of city below the venue wowed guests and as the sun set, the party really amped up! Mark and his two brothers, who were groomsmen, even partook in a family tradition of a push-up contest as part of their toast to their younger brother. Of course, our studly groom came in first place!

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Our nine-piece band got the dancing started and had guests dancing the night away along with a dessert table that would satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth! To top off the evening, guests were surprised with to-go boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts as they left the party.

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I was so honored to be a part of Stephanie and Mark’s special day and throughout the entire course of planning! Their day was so memorable and made a lasting impression on all of their guests.

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Congratulations again, Stephanie and Mark!

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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:
Reception Venue – Mountain Winery
Ceremony Venue – Mission Santa Clara de Asis
Catering/Bar – Mountain Winery
Photographer & Videographer – Acorn Films
Bakery – Honeycomb Desserts + Design
Florist – Soulflower Design Studio
Reception Music – Lucky Devils Band
Favors – Krispy Kreme
Hair and Make Up – Sorelle Salon
Accommodations – The Juniper Hotel, Cupertino
Linens – Napa Valley Linens
Rentals – Stuart Event Rentals
Guest Shuttles – Corinthian
Bride and Groom Transportation – Elegant Journey
Stationary – Sleepy Hedgehog Press
Gown & Veil – Bridal Galleria
Bridesmaids Dresses – Nordstrom

An and Evan

By: Chelsea Hudson

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An and Evan wanted to highlight the day with a romantic tone but ensure there was a true party to celebrate their love for one another as the night went on. We used soft colors and lots of lush textures that came out in our fabrics and the flowers.

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Natural elements of the day were highlighted as the couple said their vows beneath a towering oak tree and the party got underway with cocktail hour in the garden of the Los Altos History Museum. Specialty cocktails were used to showcase the couples personalities and adventurous side with one drink in particular, the “Around the World”, which symbolized their love for traveling the world together.

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Our dinner space really pumped up the party atmosphere with specialty lighting, sequined linens, and an outfit change for the couples’ choreographed first dance mash-up which featured hip hop, salsa, and two-step.

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Guests danced the night away in the main hall of the museum and enjoyed a surprise slide show.

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Congratulations again, An and Evan!

 

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 – Los Altos History Museum
Catering – Ginger Café
Beverages – Best Beverage Catering
Photographer – Diana McGregor
Bakery – Friend of the Bride and Groom
Florist – Friend of the Bride and Groom
DJ/MC – Caliber DJs
Linens – Napa Valley Linens
Rentals – Hartmann Rentals
Photo Booth – Memento Strip
Hair and Make Up – Travis Vu

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