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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Succulents, Sushi, and a Turtle

Abby and Joe wanted a very natural, elegant, and sustainable sort of wedding celebration; one which represented their commitment to the environment, their love of the outdoors, and their appreciation of the simple things of life. Choosing as their venue Fogarty Winery, with its panoramic view of the entire SF Bay area, was the first step in bringing their love of outdoors and natural beauty into the center of their wedding planning.

During the 7 months I worked with Abby and Joe, we had a blast filling in the details! One of the special surprises we had for the guests was waiting to greet them when they came into the Hill House for the cocktail hour...a reminder of Abby's childhood pet, and another of the "green" elements of their wedding day......

...what could be more "natural" than a turtle wedding cake? Abby and Joe's cake, designed by BethAnn Goldberg was make specifically to their specifications, and was as delicious as it was amazingly creative!

This weekend a team of incredibly creative and caring wedding professionals came together to create a wedding celebration perfect for Abby and Joe...one which was savored by the family and guests, because each element so represented the uniqueness of their beloved Joe and Abby.

Leisha Montrose, our florist, caught Abby and Joe's vision right away, and helped design arrangements with many sustainable elements, such as succulents, moss, and lichen, which could be taken home by guests, and planted in their own gardens. Many of the centerpieces were actually miniature gardens, with accents of white dahlias, wheat grass, small apples and artichokes; the escort cards were displayed in a reusable wooden tray of wheat grass, adding to the sense of having a garden growing all around us.

Their guest book was a scrap book, with engagement photos on almost every page, allowing guests to sign around the photos (all of which were taken outdoors of course!). I recommend this type of guest book, with lots of empty pages, and an assortment of colored gel pens, to encourage guests to write, draw, and have fun in their messages to the bride and groom. This kind of guest book becomes a keepsake which couples will treasure for years to come, as they look back, to read the personal notes from their guests, beside photos of them, as they looked at the time of their wedding.

Chocolate brown, cream and shades of green were used through out the wedding decor; one of the bridesmaid's bouquets is shown here, resting on Abby and Joe's personalized guest book. Small green apples, wheat grass and the brown wooden walls of Fogarty Winery make the gift card basket fit in perfectly with the overall theme.

Abby's bouquet included flowers which are not usually seen in bridal bouquets, in shades of green and cream, with strips of grosgrain ribbon holding the stems in a "just picked" design. When I was holding on to Abby's bouquet during some photos, I nestled it in the branches of a rosemary plant in Fogarty's garden, and took this photo, to remind me of the way it fit naturally into the environment of a garden.

Lady slipper orchids, succulents, oregano, Queen Anne's Lace, green hydrangea, white dahlias and roses were part of the unusual selection of flowers in Abby's bouquet.

The linens we chose to use for Abby and Joe's dining and cocktail tables were all of a textured cotton, woven with a basket like pattern, perfect for the natural look of the flowers and containers.

Abby and Joe chose to work with Componere Fine Catering, who did a fabulous job with service, presentation, while providing unbelievably fresh and original taste for each item on the menu. Abby and Joe were pleased that Componere used foods which were organic and sustainably grown, an important aspect to the overall goals of the wedding.
Componere was also pleased to meet Abby's father's one request for the wedding dinner: a "live" sushi bar during cocktails. Componere found some to the best sushi chefs in San Francisco, to come up to Fogarty, and set up a display which kept guests coming back for more, or staying right there to get the next creation! Abby's father was quite pleased!

I caught this shot of Abby's "friend", before we moved him into the front part of the hill house for his "cutting"; he seemed to be keeping a close eye on the setting up of the sushi bar...do turtles eat fish? I am not sure, but he certainly seems interested...

It was hard for Abby and Joe to make the first cut into their wedding cake, so they chose to only touch the smaller cake, which the turtle was carrying on his back..then they went in for dancing while Componere's staff cut and served the lower part of Mr. Turtle, which was lemon cake with raspberry filling; the top layer was carrot cake, which I understand would have been to bumpy for the shell design!

Well it was a wonderful day, and I was pleased to be a part of all the decorations, surprises, and logistics; as I was leaving, I noticed this message, left by a departing guest, which I caught with my camera, just as the sun was setting:
Everyone at the wedding was able to see how much Joe loves Abby, and at the end of the day, that is what really counts!

I want to thank all my wonderful vendors who worked so hard to see this amazing celebration become all that Abby and Joe had hoped for!

Venue-Thomas Fogarty Winery, www.thomasfogarty.com
Caterer-Componere Fine Catering, www.componerefinecatering.com
Photographer-Todd Rafalovich, www.toddrafalovich.com
Videographer-Justin Fone Productions, www.justinfone.com
Florist-Branch Out Flowers, www.branchoutflowers.com
Musicians/DJ-though Joel Nelson, www.joelnelson.com
Cake-Studio Cakes, www.studiocakes.com
Transportation-Pure Luxury, www.pureluxury.com


The Flirty Girl said...

Well that just has to be one of the cutest cakes ever! Am going to cross post and send some readers over to check out the wedding on your blog. What a wonderful couple! I love how everything tied together so perfectly!

ScrubBub said...

Hi Jean,

The cake was made by BethAnn Goldberg at Studio Cake, http://www.studiocake.com/ and not Studio Cakes as you have listed. Studio Cakes is a different company. You can see BethAnn's creation here on her gallery page: http://www.studiocake.com/tiered%20_27.html