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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Peter and Courtney were so fun to work with on their wedding day because they were having the best time of anyone! When you see Geoff and Lara White's photos just posted on their blog, you will see what I mean...as Lara said, the happiness was contagious...towards the end of the evening, I was pulled into the dancing by the mother of the groom, and it felt absolutely RIGHT!! This was a wedding worthy of dancing by all!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

San Francisco welcomes Kelly and Mark!

Cheers for a beautiful San Francisco Wedding!

Kelly and Mark decided to have their wedding in Kelly's beloved San Francisco, even though they are now living in Los Angeles; after only one meeting in January, they chose to hire me as their planning liaison for the wedding day. For the next 7 months, we kept in touch, as Kelly did most of the planning work herself, but wanted me to be available during the last 6 weeks or so, and on the wedding day, to take over all of the details, my Month-of Package. See my blog entry on the day I first met with Kelly and Mark:


I actually had not seen Kelly and Mark again until the day before their wedding, but I had all the vendor contracts, had created and communicated an extensively detailed timeline, and had taken over all the vendor communication weeks before. Getting together at the University Club on Friday before the rehearsal gave us the opportunity to finalize all the placement details...we were a good team!

The ceremony was at St. Patrick's Church on Mission Street, and the reception at the University Club on Powell and California; managing the transportation for the 140 guests from the hotels to the church, from the church to the reception, and back to the hotels after the reception is always a challenge in San Francisco with traffic, but I am happy to say the ceremony began exactly on the dot of 3:30, and the dinner was served even a little early, so there was more time for dancing. I don't know this for sure, but I have heard weddings and receptions without coordinators do not always run on time!

The classic arches, brick and copper textures made beautiful backgrounds for the Lucie Silveira, of LucieXYZ Photography to capture some wonderful shots of Kelly and Mark, and the wedding party, after the ceremony.

Here is Lucy, in action, taking a shot that will be treasured forever.

After the photos at the church, the limo took Kelly and Mark to the beautiful University Club, where my good friend, Barbara Lewis, the catering manager, and I were waiting to greet them with champagne.

The University Club is the brick building seen below, with all the flags out front...I took this photo from Kelly's room at the Stanford Court Hotel, which is just across the street, at the famous cable car intersection of Powell and California...you can hear the ting ting's of the cable cars all day and night...so very San Francisco!

Kelly and Mark couldn't resist taking a walk on the historic Cable Car Crossing before going in for their introductions into dinner at the University Club; note Lucie risking her life in the middle of the street to get the perfect shot! To make this moment even more special, Kelly and Mark's first date had been atop this very hill, and included a ride on the cable car...

...now they have a photo to remind them that a first date can lead to lots of wonderful things...even a wedding!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Buttons, Butterflies and Ice Cream Bars

Brandon and Marissa are a playful, light hearted couple, who put together a wedding celebration at Nestldown that fit their personalities perfectly! It was really fun for me to be involved where they needed guidance, during our year of wedding planning partnership, but to stand back and enjoy all the amazingly creative ideas they came up with!

Marissa used buttons to make the bridesmaids bouquets, the groomsmen's boutonnieres, the family corsages, and even to embellish the ring bearer's pillow.

Marissa started the day by showing us the unique shoes she would be wearing under her Melissa Sweet gown; this was just one of the many surprises she had prepared for the wedding day!

Instead of the traditional guest book, Marissa and Brandon had a Polaroid camera, with props to make the photos more fun (the operative word!)and note cards for the guests to glue on their photos, then write a personal note to Brandon and Marissa, and display it on the bright and fuzzy green poster board Marissa created for the wedding day.

In case people were not sure what to do, Brandon and Marissa created an example of what they had in mind...even their beloved dog was included in the day, via photo!

Marissa's mother was Japanese, and so in memory of her, Marissa made and strung the traditional 1000 cranes, which are a symbol of good fortune; my staff was able to hang all 1000 of them from the arbor in the ceremony site at Nestldown. When I first met with Brandon and Marissa a year ago, Marissa was just beginning to do the origami folding of the cranes. It took her all year to complete the project, and the result was beautiful and heartwarming.

Close up of the rainbow colors Marissa used for her Origami cranes...one more element of bright color which was infused throughout the wedding decor.

Another way Marissa chose to honor her mother's memory was to have each guest release a butterfly at the end of the wedding ceremony; as the Monarch Butterflies flew around enjoying the flowers in Nestldown's Chapel, or winged their way up into the Redwoods, the full rich sound of Andrew Bocelli's "A Time to Say Goodbye" wafted up with them. I was glad I brought a big supply of Kleenex, as the vendors needed them as much as the guests.

One of the butterflies decided to stay for photos with a groomsmen, and remained on his custom designed "button-eire" all afternoon!

After the ceremony, guests were invited up to cocktails beside the Koi pond, then to dinner on the lawn, where once again, Marissa and Brandon had a surprise for the guests...hand made, brightly colored pinwheels, in jars full of candy, were the centerpieces, which would go home with guests as another reminder of the incredibly personal and playful wedding!

The final surprise of the evening was to be the arrival of Aunt Lali's Ice Cream truck...as the guests were inside dancing, we sneaked Marissa and Brandon out to don aprons, climb into the ice cream truck, and be ready to serve their guests.

When everything was in place, I cued the DJ to turn down the music, so the guests could hear the ice cream truck music...then he said, "hmmm...it sounds like dessert is outside...let's go see." As the guests poured out of the barn they were greeted by the bride and groom offering Push ups, Popsicles, It's-It bars, Ice cream sandwiches, and every other kind of ice cream bar we all remember from our childhood.

This photo really captures the spirit of Brandon and Marissa's wedding; they wanted to serve up a generous amount of child like fun and lovingly prepared surprises, to delight their friends and family.
(I must confess, I had TWO It's-It Sandwiches...I could not decide between mint/chocolate, or vanilla/graham cracker, so the kid in me gobbled both! Later the adult regretted it a tiny bit, but they were yummy!)

I am so grateful been a part of this amazing wedding day, and of Brandon and Marissa's lives for over a year; I will miss them, but I know we will get together to view the photos and the video, when Rhee and Justin complete them....and, until then, I did bring home a pinwheel!

Venue, Nestldown
Photography, Rhee Bevere Photography
Videography, Weddings on Film
Caterer, Poetry in Motion
Ice Cream Truck, Aunt Lali
Butterflies, www.amazingbutterflies.com