Monday, June 27, 2011

Behind the Bowtie: Our Venue

So one of the first things you’re supposed to do (according to Alex) when planning a wedding is figure out where. Where will we get married? We didn’t want to make people go from one place to another. It’s a lot easier for everyone to be in one place for the entire evening. The last thing we want is our guest’s complaining about the traffic from the ceremony site to the reception. People in LA love to complain about traffic, and this would no doubt occupy the majority of conversation during cocktail hour, when they should be talking about how shiny my shoes are, or how beautiful the bride is. (Probably the ladder)

Photo Courtesy of Miss Taylor Cast

We only looked at 3 venues for the wedding. The first was Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley. My first thought was “Wow, I can’t wait to put Simi Valley on the wedding invitations!”. But as we drove up a windy, tree-lined road to the estate, it began to grow on me. It’s hidden, it’s quiet, and it should have it’s own zip code. The house itself was not so big, but the entire estate was massive. There are all sorts of lodging at this venue too. Alex liked one of their lower areas with a bunch of trees for the ceremony site called Sitting Bull, and then she wanted the reception in another, which was a nice hike to get to. We would have had to hire a shuttle service to caravan our guests up the hill from one end of the property to the other. It would have been a “Survivor” challenge otherwise. Plus, it’s windy in the mountains, so she wanted to tent. We would have had to spend way too much money ON the venue after spending FOR the venue. In the back of the property is a grass area the size of 10 football fields. Seriously. 10. Maybe more.

Photo Courtesy of Bloomberg Business Week

They probably lost their bid for the 2016 Olympic games, but only because of the Simi Valley address. In the end, the place was beautiful, but too big, and not quite us.

Photo Courtesy of The Back Nine

Then it was off to Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks. Yes, we saw both in the same day. It’s a wonderful place, I go there every year for a golf tournament and love it. It’s very luxurious, high-end, etc. Again though, was not really us. It wasn’t as expensive as I would have imagined, but it was booking up fast and the weekend we wanted wasn’t even available. So we moved on.

Photo Courtesy of Carcano DJ

The following weekend we went to Downtown LA to see Vibiana. This was our winner. It was surprising because it was nothing amazing from the street, but the outdoor courtyard is perfect for a ceremony and the tall vaulted ceilings inside can let Alex go crazy with design and décor. I know she’s going to go absolutely crazy in there, I promise. Vibiana used to be Los Angeles’ oldest cathedral, but has been converted into a venue. The irony of a Jewish Wedding at a former cathedral is not the worse thing I’ve ever heard, just try to ignore the confessionals in the walls if that sort of thing bothers you. My High School actually just had their Senior Prom there. Not quite sure how that makes me feel. There are tall pillars inside, lots of space, and it’s perfect for what Alex wanted. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Inspired by Garden Roses!

I truly love Garden Roses. They're so textured and soft, super complicated yet still fragile and they're very versatile. Most importantly they are one of the best and most economical substitutions for Peonies. While they look beautiful and every color, I think my personal favorite is peach!

Here is some lovely inspiration showcasing these roses at their best!

Photo Courtesy of Ruffled Blog
Photo Courtesy of Real Simple

Photo Courtesy of Every Last Detail Blog

Photo Courtesy of JL Designs

Hope you enjoyed viewing these textured beauties as much as I do! They're just a perfect touch to any summer wedding which I've clearly been seeing lots of lately during our summer season!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Join Experian Tomorrow afternoon for A Wedding Q&A Cocktail Hour

Save the date! The Wedding Q&A Cocktail Hour is coming to Twitter! Join Maxine Sweet, Vice President Public Education for Experian, and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Wedding Planning Expert, on June 14, 2011.

Maxine and Kimberly will be online from 4-6 pm PT (7-9 pm ET) answering questions on how to Live Credit Smart as a couple! It all starts with planning a wedding on a budget which leads to joint checking accounts, major purchases and saving for retirement. The decisions couples make now can impact their credit and financial future, so couples should start their life together on the right financial foot by getting educated!

Those who submit a question will be entered to win one of five $250 American Express gift cards. It’s the perfect little boost for that wedding budget, a helpful extra payment toward paying down debt or it could be used for something fun during this special time!

Tweet your questions by using #happilyeverafter and @Experian_US!

For additional information, please visit the Experian US Facebook page.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sneak Peek: Daniela + Scott

We spent Memorial Day weekend in lovely Santa Barbara at Bacara Resort and Spa for Daniela and Scott's wedding weekend. With a gorgeous ocean view ceremony and beautiful terrace dinner followed by dancing in the rotunda, the lovely Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore had a perfect day with their guests. Here's a sneak peek of this amazing Santa Barbara wedding, check back for more photos soon!

All photos courtesy of Chris Schmitt Photography

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sterling Buzz: We're Nominated for Social Planner of the Year!

I'm so thrilled to share with you that I'm a finalist in my favorite event trade publication's Reader's Choice Awards! Bizbash is seriously one of my all time favorite magazines to read. I love getting their email news and love even more each time the magazine arrives in the mail and I have my regular routine of coffee and a full read.

Which is why I'm so honored to be featured as a finalist in their first ever Reader's Choice Awards. When I received the call from Bizbash President, Richard Aaron, asking me to accept my nomination I was elated! It's such an honor and privilege to be in such good company and be recognized for hard work and true passion for what I do and truly love!

There are 5 days left for you to vote and I would love each of your support, daily if you like, afterall each vote counts! Please head over to the online polls and cast your vote today!

Also, when you place your vote, please vote for our industry friends and colleagues! Nahchey Storer of Dash Entertainment is nominated for DJ of the Year! Lighting designer James Schipper of Kinetic Lighting is nominated for Lighting Designer of the Year! Margaret Launzel-Pennes of Herbalife, one of our corporate clients, is nominated for Corporate Planner of the Year! Chef Joe Melillo of Epicurean Events is also nominated for Caterer of the year! Lastly, Christina Scion of the California Science Center is nominated for Venue Manager of the Year. Each of these industry pros deserves this award and recognition as they are truly fabulous!

Winners will be announced at the Annual Bizbash Expo & Awards on June 14th at the Pasadena Convention Center. If you'd like to attend, please feel free to email us and we can offer you a discount code!

Happy Voting!