I coordinated a wedding at Viansa Sonoma in May 2008 for my friends Lucy & Ross McClennan that turned out to be a really gorgeous event. I think the photos (by the super-talented Catherine Hall of Catherine Hall Studios) say it all. Click here to view their slideshow and be inspired.
Event Professionals Who Made it All Possible:
Location: Viansa Sonoma
Photography: Catherine Hall Studios
Flowers: Wine Country Flowers
Cake: Fiorini Pastry
Hair & Makeup: Clifford Hoshimoto
DJ: Denon & Doyle
Transportation: Royal Coach Limousines
Wedding Programs, Escort Cards & Table Numbers: Unveiled
Videographer: Cory Darayan
When I was planning my sister’s bridal shower, I knew I wanted to make centerpieces that were more fun and unique than the obvious vases of flowers. My inspiration came when I went to pick out the dessert for the shower. While I was at the shop, it dawned on me that those 3 dozen delicious cupcakes from Icing on the Cupcake in Rocklin would make whimsical centerpieces for the party. This was also a budget-friendly idea, since my dessert was going to double as décor!
My next challenge was finding the right item for displaying the cupcakes on each table. Originally I considered simple white cake stands, but they cost much more than I wanted to spend: at least $20 per stand! Luckily, The Container Store had some nice, inexpensive white round tins that were the perfect height and size. I also snatched up some ribbon and double-sided tape so I could add a colorful accent to the plain white containers.
As a finishing touch to my dessert centerpieces, I included some martini glasses filled with candy. I already had the glasses, so that part was easy. I found the candy I needed while I was picking up a gift for my sister at the local mall. The salesgirl even packaged each kind of candy in an individual bag that was measured perfectly to fill a martini glass!
The end result was exactly what I had envisioned, and it was a big hit at the bridal shower. The best part, though, was the cost: The grand total for the four centerpieces (not including the cupcakes) was just $59. The cupcakes—which were already budgeted with the food cost!—were $83, but you could make your own to save even more money.
If you want to recreate this look, here are the necessary materials:
It was 8-8-08, and my friends Betty and Mark decided to make the 1-1/2 hour drive from LA for a weekend in Ojai, which is where I live. They wanted to take me to dinner “someplace peaceful and delicious.” So naturally, I chose the Ranch House, a lushly landscaped oasis at the edge of town. From our seat on the restaurant’s pretty patio, we spied a couple dining alone on the garden terrace, he in formal wear and she in a long white satin gown. They were obviously way past their prom days, and after discreet inquiries, we learned that they were indeed “just married.”
All through our meal, Betty, who is a woman who fully embraces the concept of random acts of kindness, kept saying how we should do something special for the lovebirds. She thought it was sad that they were dining by themselves, but Mark and I guessed they probably preferred it that way. Betty was so taken with the idea of a romantic gesture, she finally requested that an after-dinner drink be sent to the newlyweds with our best wishes. After a few minutes, the manager, bearing a fancy silver tray with an open bottle of fine port and elegant glasses, began a ceremonial walk towards their table—only to discover that the couple had already left!
We had a good embarrassed laugh at our table, but the Ranch House staff sprang into action, quickly locating the AWOL bride and groom (who’d been enjoying a stroll through the moonlit garden), and inviting them to enjoy their port before calling it a night. The couple, Susan and Carlos, stopped by to chat with us afterward. They told us that though they had been together many years, they had just never gotten around to actually getting married. Turns out that the number “8” has special significance for them both, and when 8-8-08 rolled around they made a spontaneous decision to say their vows in a personal ceremony on Ojai’s Meditation Mount. Their wedding dinner at the famous Ranch House was “enchanting,” and they didn’t mind one bit that we’d intruded on their private celebration. We took a few photos before wishing them well.
So Carlos and Susan, this blog’s for you—may you have 8×8 years of happiness together.
How did you choose your wedding date? Does it have any special significance for you as a couple? I wonder if 9-9-09 will be as popular for weddings as 7-7-07 and 8-8-08.