Monday, December 27, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Westin St. Francis this week! A special bonus for me, was having time with my good friend David Beahm, who flew out from New York to be a part of the celebration.
David spoke briefly at the beginning of the evening activities directly to planners and designers like himself. He wanted to remind us that our most important gift to our clients is good service and sincere caring. He emphasized that what we give always comes back to us a hundred fold. The Golden Rule is his basis for life and creative work: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and Life is Golden! This is loving advice we can put into practice every moment of every day...Thank you, David!
For a visual feast of photos and a superbly written description of this Night in the Sky, please click on Stacie Tamaki's blog entry from the Flirty Guide
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Jeff and I were recently able to enjoy one night at the beautiful Four Seasons in San Francisco, thanks to the generosity of Stacie Hallinan and David Robinson, Catering Directors at the Four Seasons. Thank you so much for the gift of rest and re-energizing after a very busy wedding season; Jeff and I had not seen much of each other since May when my wedding began, so we made the most of our time together in SF.
After experiencing the quality of warm, personal attention we received at every point in our stay at the Four Seasons, I can unequivocally recommend the Four Seasons to my wedding clients who are looking for a welcoming and professional location for their family and guests. I also really appreciate the modern and understated elegance of the Four Seasons decor, which is exemplified by this stunning arrangement in the lobby.
View of Coit Tower and the Transamerica Building from the dock just east of Pier 39.
The beautiful Golden Gate Bridge as the sun is setting behind the Marin hills.
The SF landmark Ghiradelli Square, where so many tourists come to enjoy the famous Hot Fudge Sundaes...and speaking from experience, some non tourists love them as well!
We met a Belgian couple who took this photo of us as we were enjoying the sunset...so nice to have a reminder of the beauty we enjoyed on our "staycation" as some people call a mini vacation within your own locale.
Once the sun had officially set, we headed for North Beach, about 8 blocks away for some wine and delicious pasta at Sport, our favorite Italian restaurant in this ethnic epicenter for Italian food!
I ordered the Pesto Pasta, which as the sign says, is a wonderful dish, and I would have to agree, I have never had better, even in Italy!
We had saved the lights at Union Square for the last part of our walk, because those can only be completely enjoyed after dark. We were not disappointed by the action, color, and life of December in Union Square. We were there for the annual lighting of the 4 story high Menorah on the first night of Hanukkah, as well as for the Cable Car Christmas Caroling by local high school students.
No matter what brings you to San Francisco in December, given the right weather and time to explore, you will find something to delight and inspire you.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This was the amazing sunset greeting Kathleen Kirkpatrick, Elisheva Basseri, Elisheva's intern, Amanda and me as we arrived at the Craneway Pavilion for the BAWN event. We were a bit early for the party, but right on time for this gift of glorious sunset color. It was equally a treat to just stand and enjoy the beauty, instead of glancing at such grandeur, and pushing on with my agenda, as I have been doing most of this Summer and Fall during my wedding season.
Elisheva and I have been friends since we first met at a networking event over 6 years ago. We have kept in touch and worked alongside each other when she was catering manager at 2 Bay Area wedding venues, and now, as she has launched her own wedding planning business. As is the case for so many of my friends in the industry, we respect each others work, and enjoy each others company, so it is a win win for our clients and for us when we can work together!
Catherine Hall is someone Elisheva introduced me to at a networking event about 3 years ago; since then Catherine and I have become close friends, great fans of each other's work, and comrades in many ways.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Charlotte and Peter, Fogarty Winery, 2010; Photo by Catherine Hall
You are absolutely amazing. I am so in awe of your talent at making everything (and I do mean everything) come together for the wedding. I really don't know how to put in words how grateful we are to have had you around, and I don't know what we would have done without you.
It wasn't even just the big picture stuff, but also every single small detail. You made it all happen without a hitch. And thanks also to your fabulous assistants for the help with Polaroids, the beautiful guestbook and escort card display (my goodness, I was so impressed and surprised!)
I really appreciated that you made sure Jared and I were taking time to slow down at moments and really absorb everything that was happening and about to happen; this was golden! If you hadn't been there to pull us away at these moments, I could see how the moments would have easily slipped by.
Your calm and your confidence really made me relax and keep things in perspective. And your emergency kit was also great, thank goodness for those band aids!
With hugs, Brenna and Jared
Thank you again for all your help this past Saturday!! What an event! We are still coming out of a "wedding daze" but are so grateful for your assistance. It would not have been such a stress-free event without your work; and the set up at the cottage upon our return was delightful!
We shall provide the most positive yelp review! :-) I do appreciate your picking up the left wine glass favors at the end of the night; it was mentioned to us by one regretful guest on Sunday that she had left hers behind, so we will be glad to have the extras!
I hope that you've had time to recover from all of your work this past weekend. Thank you again.
The very grateful and appreciative Prices
Megan & Will
And this year, I have even received thank you notes from some couples whom I was NOT able to work with because I am already booked for their wedding date in 2011! The one below, from a May 7th client, particularly made me smile:
Thank you so much for calling this morning to check in with us. I really appreciate it! We really loved getting to know you; you have a rare gift for connecting with people and making us feel like you want the very best for us. If you can recommend any vendors with whom we would be in good hands, especially ones who connect with and care about their clients as much as you do, we would be so grateful
Thanks again so much for your advice and help; we want to reiterate once again how sad we are that we can't be planning this process with you. You are a wonderful person, and I am sure you will continue to make other brides' dreams come true for as long you remain in this profession!
All the best, bride and groom for May 7, 2011.
What is most important to me about my wedding planning work is the strong bond and friendships I am able to make with my clients, and now even some I am not able to have as clients!
I can't wait to get to know and love my 2011 clients in the months ahead!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Uncle Jimmy was born deaf, as a result of his mother having German Measles when she was pregnant with him. In 1918 when he was born, deafness was considered a handicap which required constant care, so Jimmy was not able to go to public school or college and he never married because his family thought he would not be able to support a wife.
This group of neighbors, community store owners, friends from the Senior Center where Jimmy eats lunch daily, my daughter Kim and husband Jeff, all wished Uncle Jimmy a happy 92nd birthday and helped blow out the candles.
My daughter Kim chose an expensive bottle of well-aged bourbon for Jimmy's birthday gift...here he is making one of his familiar exaggerated grins to let her know how much he will enjoy the warmth of a good glass of whiskey on the cold winter nights ahead!
This photo exemplifies the way my Uncle Jimmy had found love in the community where we live; this hug is coming from the woman who works at the Senior Center, and sees Jimmy every day when he comes in for lunch. They tell me that he always has a smile and a joke for them at the desk. Without hearing a sound for 92 years, Jimmy has learned how to communicate with humor and genuine care for others. I am so proud to be his niece!
This was the gift I gave Jimmy: a framed enlargement of his meeting with the clown and the clown's 1 year old son, at the Zoppe Family Circus, in Redwood City last month.
I wanted to take Jimmy to the circus because so much of a circus is entertainment without words...that is what a deaf person needs! The owner of the Zoppe Italian Family Circus noticed Jimmy's enthusiastic applause and intense involvement with every moment of the performance, and actually came up to Jimmy at the end of the show to give him a high five...again, communicating without words a connection that needed no words.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I am forever in Awe of Photographer Catherine Hall! she captured the joy and beauty of my beloved couple Peter and Charlotte perfectly, and made Fogarty Winery, and the wedding day stand out as one of the most enchanting weddings of my 2010 season. Thank you Catherine, for the images, and peter and Charlotte, thank you for trusting me to guide you in your wedding planning adventure. The work was so worth it, don't you think! Congratulations!!!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
But, speaking of bling, the bride's bouquet was a statement of the grandeur of old Hollywood, and took her breath away when she first saw it. All the florals and colors for the ceremony were in rich shades of magenta, deep purple, lavender and maroon; a dramatic background for what was referred to as Act One of the wedding day.
The Guest Book was an actual book with photos of the stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Guests could write a note to the newly weds using the picture of their favorite Hollywood star as the background.
This view of the guest book, open to invite guests to write a note, also shows the hand made, over-the-top style of the escort cards...feathers and bling were everywhere, yet always presented tastefully and in an understated way. Great job, Gloria and team!
Awaiting the guest to enter from cocktails was the amazing wedding cake, created and designed by Perfect Endings Bakery in Napa, with black and white edible feathers. I can say from first-hand experience, this work or art tasted as wonderful as it looked!
Gloria and Nancy's staff, putting finishing touches on the Head Table before the guests are invited in from cocktails. An elegant combination of hundreds of white roses, feathers, bling, and silver accents....as they entered, the bride, groom, and all the guests, were captivated by the design and detail of the reception room where they would have dinner, and then enjoy dancing to the sounds of SBX Dance Band.
This was the entrance into the Casa de la Vista, where guests were welcomed into a scene of beauty and old Hollywood charm.
White branches, decorated with thousands of crystals, hanging lights and and abundance of white flowers, provide the background for one wall of Casa de la Vista.
After dinner, the dancing went on until midnight, when the guests returned to their hotels via chartered shuttles and limousines, and the bride and groom were transported back to the Mark Hopkins in a Classic vintage Packard; one last detail requested by the bride and groom...a grand Hollywood exit!
I took this photo from the outside Casa de la Vista, during the beginning of the dancing portion of the evening. The bride and groom redefined the classic parents' dances, by having the Mother/Son dance be the bride dancing with each of her adult twin sons, and the Father/Daughter dance being the groom dancing with each of his adult daughters; just another way this wedding told a story, by honoring the children of the bride and groom, since their own parents are not here...now the romantic, Hollywood-like story continues, with a new chapter to be written by them as man and wife!