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Sunday, May 29, 2011

There is no Rainbow without Rain!

Wedding wisdom, learned from experience....

You can't have a rainbow without.....

..the rain!

This saying became quite real to me at my most recent wedding; as I began the wedding processional from the patio at Rosewood Sand Hill to the Vista Lawn for the ceremony, what had been gathering clouds in the distance suddenly became a cloud burst...and I had 140 guests already seated on the lawn, with the ceremony music playing....yikes!

This is the exact situation wedding planners work very hard to avoid, but ultimately it is the experience gained over the years which allows us not to panic when change is needed, but to move quickly and confidently into Plan B...I have learned that a wedding planner must have a Plan A, Plan B and even a Plan C!

Early in the day, when there were only a few scattered clouds in the sky, the Banquet Manger and I came up with a Plan B; her staff gathered the entire stock of Hotel umbrellas to have near the Vista Lawn, "just in case". I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Rosewood staff rushed out with umbrellas for the guests and the wedding party; as soon as the processional was finished, and the bride was walking down the aisle with her father, I joined in to help distribute umbrellas as needed.

As you can see by the photo above, the rain clouds passed over quickly, the umbrellas were folded and put aside, and the ceremony went on with smiles and a good sense of humor displayed by everyone, including Alice and Mike. The bonus of the cloud burst, and momentary discomfort, came as everyone stood up to transition to cocktails...they were stopped in their tracks by an amazing rainbow...a beautiful gift that was only possible because of the unexpected rain.

The flower girls and their father enjoyed the gift of a rainbow after a rather damp wedding ceremony. I know neither these young girls, or any of us, will ever forget this wedding day!

My wedding team for Alice and Mike's wedding day are as unforgettable as the weather at the wedding! I am so thankful for the cohesiveness of our vendors; as we changed plans several times between 1pm and 5pm, there was no evidence of stress or even surprise...this is just life as we wedding professionals know it, and we were a team of professionals!

Priska Jayme and Lisa Boone gluing orchid blossoms onto branches at the ceremony site.

This was my first opportunity to work with Lisa and Priska, the talented design/floral team making up Atelier Joya. Through increasing wind and changing plans, they were never daunted as they creatively set up for the ceremony, cocktail reception, ballroom dinner, and after-dinner lounge.

The lighting in the ballroom, cocktail area and after dinner lounge was all done by reFRACTion, a wonderful company I was introduced to by Lisa and Priska. I as well as Alice, Mike and all of their guests, was delighted with the warm ambiance created by Ben Davis and his team from reFRACTion.

Alternating low lush arrangements of peonies, with tall displays of the "hand-made" flowering branches created lovely textures and variety in the Rosewood Sand Hill ballroom, and served as an elegant backdrop for the decadent dessert bar set up in the lounge area after dinner.

Included in the dessert buffet were gourmet cupcakes, mini panna-cottas, carmel popcorn, and hand made chocolates, all created in-house by Rosewood Sand Hill's amazing pastry chefs.

Another wonderful team member for Alice and Mike's wedding was the photographer, Vero Suh. This was the first time I have worked alongside Vero, and it was a joy! Coming from a fashion back ground, Veronica has a studied eye for composition and style which leads her to see backgrounds and photo opportunities which might be missed by others. She is a warm and technically precise photographer, who supports her clients' vision and goals, as well as respecting the overall priorities for the flow of the wedding day. Vero, I look forward to working with you again and again!

Vero (short for Veronica) Suh in action taking family photos before the ceremony, on the stairs at Rosewood Sand Hill.

The results of Vero's family group shot; her personal touch with the wedding party during the day helped everyone to develop a a relaxed naturalness in front of the camera.

Vero's groomsmen and bridesmaid shots have a flair reminiscent of her background in the world of fashion.

After dinner, Alice changed into her stunning traditional Chinese dress to toast the guests at each table.

As Vero was taking a photo of Alice and Mike before they went back into the Ballroom, she snapped an image with my camera of Alice, Mike and me. Somehow I know the one taken on her camera will be of higher quality, but this one is a good reminder of how a day full of changes, from rain to rainbows, can end with smiles, warmth, and gratitude.

Thank you to the amazing members of Alice and Mike's wedding team:
Rosewood Sand Hill
Atelier Joya Boutique Designs
Vero Suh Photographer
Rich Amooi, Hey Mr. DJ
Mori Achen, Ceremony/Cocktail Musicians
Wow Pretty, Hair and Make up

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