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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vanessa and Matt-Villa Montalvo

Villa Montalvo in Saratoga is very popular venue for weddings in the Bay Area; I am grateful to be one of the preferred wedding planners for the Villa, so I have become very familiar and at home at Villa Montalvo. I want to share a few images by John Kaemmerling from Vanessa and Matt's Spring wedding celebration at the Villa. John was successful in capturing the playful joy of Vanessa and Matt's wedding celebration, as well as the elegance of the Villa and the beauty of its extensive, well-kept grounds.

After the ceremony in the garden behind the Villa, Vanessa and Matt walk the inviting paths of Villa Montalvo to have some carefree romantic portraits with John.

I love the balcony on the second floor at the Villa where I can look down on the entire reception set up, and enjoy the beauty of what I was able to help Matt and Vanessa create for their guests.

Vanessa and Matt chose blues, cream and purples, with accents of silver, to make a bold statement against the cream columns and off-white stucco walls of the Villa.

In the ballroom of the Villa Vanessa and Matt used their first dance to set the tone for an evening of "foot loose and fancy free" dancing to be enjoyed by all!

A delicious stack of presents---the wedding cake designed by Butterfly Cakes was as yummy as it was beautiful! After a short break to enjoy the cake, Vanessa and Matt's guests continued to dance the night away!

Vanessa and Matt were fortunate to have a warm evening for their wedding; guests who weren't dancing could enjoy the candlelight and warm ambiance of the lighting outside at Villa Montalvo.

Villa Montalvo is lovely from every angle, but this long view from the end of the lawn is especially striking and one Vanessa and Matt will always remember with joy.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Boy meets Girl-Stanford University

Jessica and Lin met at Stanford University, graduated two years apart, and both went on to Medical School in Boston; this Spring they will come back to Stanford to celebrate their marriage before continuing their training to become physicians. I have the privilege of being their West Coast Liaison in the wedding planning process; it is my joy to introduce you to Jessica and Lin!

During the Christmas break we were able to schedule an engagement photo session for with Ammie Wang, their wedding photographer. Of course the location chosen was Stanford; Ammie found some creative ways to weave in their love for their Alma Mater with the cozy shots of them enjoying each other.

Click here to see more photos of Stanford University and Jessica and Lin!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wedding with a Military Salute

Please enjoy the romantic story of how Nancy and Steve met, fell in love, and celebrated their marriage with formality and fun on Catherine Hall's blog; I was blessed to be the planner for Nancy and Steve's summer celebration in Palo Alto California. Catherine captured every element of the beautiful day in hour own creative, very personal way. Thank you Catherine for sharing your talent with us!

Cosmopolitan California Girl Marries Air Force Fighter Pilot

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Sweet Celebration, SF style!

When Shasta and Anthony told me they were going to have a large candy buffet at their wedding, I did not think LARGE enough! Over 35 kinds of candy awaited the lucky guests as they entered the wedding reception; there were as many "oohs and ahhs" about the candy display as there were at the amazing views of San Francisco from the 32nd floor of the Westin St. Francis.

Attractively displayed in apothecary jars, the assortment of candies was as colorful as the Art Deco mural behind it at the entrance to Anthony's at the Westin St. Francis. The boxes and scoops for creating a "perfect personal candy mix" favor were put out after dinner, so the children, both grownups and not-yet grownups, would save the sweets for later.

After they passed the enticing candy buffet, the guests were welcomed in to dinner and dancing in Alexandra's, just as the sun was setting. The 180 degree view of San Francisco was breath taking.

Shasta chose the subtle tones of white, cream and taupe to enhance the elegant decor of the Imperial Floor at the Westin St. Francis. The warmth of the light at sunset pouring through the windows of Alexandra's was the perfect beginning for an evening of celebration and warmth with beloved friends and family.

Shasta and Anthony had the best seat in the house...with a close and personal view of each other, and behind them the beauty of San Francisco at night.
Whenever they weren't enjoying each other over dinner, Shasta and Anthony could be found on the dance floor, celebrating to the sounds of Pure Ecstasy--
It was indeed a Sweet Celebration!

It was my joy to be a part of Shasta and Anthony's wedding day. We had an excellent team of professionals who worked tirelessly to create sweet memories for Shasta, Anthony, their family and guests.

Thank you to:
Jesus Diaz, Westin St. Francis
Grant Rector, Grant and Company
Preston Turner, Pure Ecstasy
Barton Brown Photography

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Beauty Now Unseen-My Garden

Now in the middle of winter as my garden lies dormant, I am going through the images I have taken during the summer so I can make photo cards for friends, clients, and business associates; since it has been cold and grey out lately, at least in the mornings, I want to remind us of what is locked away in the seemingly dead branches of plants, and what lies under the ground within tiny seeds and ugly bulbs, just waiting for the warmth of Spring to bring out their beauty.

This Clematis grows up the side of my workshop; now if you looked for the plant, you would see only a greyish brown stick poking up about 6" tall, against the lattice; seeing this photo reminds me to fertilize and care for that stick because it is full of purple flowers and climbing tendrils, which I cannot
yet see.

On New Year's Day I pruned and tied back the gnarled and bare branches of the climbing rose bushes from which I cut the blooms for this bouquet in May of last year. The small flowers mixed in this arrangement were picked from below the roses, where I have planted the seeds of Forget-me-Nots and Feverfew, which are just beginning to push up from the soil to be ready for the warmth of Spring. For my gardener friends, the the roses in this bouquet are: Climbing Royal Sunset, Summer Wine, and Polka.

My Hydrangea plants now look bare and mostly dead, as if there could never be any life coming out of their branches; but with some good pruning, fertilizer and water, by June, I will have these lush blooms positioned on my front porch steps to welcome
my guests and family members.

For both for its lush peony-like shape and the incredibly sweet aroma, this is one of my favorite roses, The Evelyn (a David Austin Rose). I have two of these healthy plants growing on my deck so that I can smell them whenever I walk in my back door. Crabtree and Evelyn requested that David Austin create a rose with the fragrance of their perfume, and he did! If you look in the Crabtree and Evelyn products list, you will find the story behind the Evelyn Rose.

I have been listening to "The Rose" a lot over the the Christmas break. The last verse always makes me think of my garden in the winter:

Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed
That with the sun's love, in the spring
Becomes the rose

If you have not heard "The Rose" sung by Bette Midler, or would like to hear it again, please join me in enjoying this song of hope and beauty.