I’m always interested in how an industry pro arranges her own “I Do” bash, and recently I chatted with Il Fornaio’s former Marketing Director Tammy Bradley (née Karpenko) for the details of her elegant garden ceremony at the incomparable Kohl Mansion. One romantic touch she incorporated into her ceremony was a butterfly release. Naturally, the sit-down reception was catered by Il Fornaio (yes, they now bring their award-winning Italian to you! Mmmmm…) and the turquoise blue-and-cream décor was inspired by Tiffany’s. Following suit was the beautiful two-layer fondant cake by Sonja Hong of Butterfly Cakes. Meanwhile, guests swayed to music provided by Soundsation. Tammy says The Guide was a great help in organizing all the elements: “Here Comes The Guide was my daily ritual when planning the wedding of my dreams.”
Recently, I decided to treat my sister to a fabulous 30th birthday (it’s a long story as to why the splurge, suffice it to say, I wasn’t a good big sister when we were young and I have a lot of latent guilt), and so we headed to the quaint town of Half Moon Bay. There we surrendered to the pampering embrace of the ever-fabulous Ritz-Carlton (trust me: everyone should stay at a Ritz at least once in their life!), and dined at Cetrella, an upscale yet welcoming bistro that’s been a top choice of Here Comes The Guide for some time. Cetrella is a wonderful place for a rehearsal dinner or any intimate celebration. The gorgeous interior and stylish décor set just the right note of casual elegance, while the staff treated us like long-time regulars. Also getting raves from us is the food, which is, in a word, superb (and my sis is one picky eater!). Cetrella, the Ritz and stirring ocean views…Half Moon Bay should be on everyone’s radar, whether for getting hitched or indulgent weekend getaways!
The arrival of Spring, the traditional time for renewal, prompted me to make some quality time for personal rejuvenation. I began at the Spa Village in Ojai Valley Inn. This supremely natural and uplifting oasis never fails to connect me to nature (as well as my inner flower girl!). I delighted in my Ojai Orange Scrub and Aromatherapy Massage, followed by a peaceful respite lounging poolside. (A stroll through the Herb Garden, redolent with lavender and rosemary, reminded me what a wedding wonderland the Inn is!)
The Beach Bunny in me reveled in ONE, the popular spa at Santa Monica’s Shutters on the Beach. Extraordinary treatments and products draw tourists and celebs alike (I spotted LeAnne Rimes & her hubby looking relaxed and romantic in matching fluffy-white robes!) Don’t miss ONE’s Tropical Rain Treatment, an array of ceiling showerheads that sends a cascade of warm drops over your (nearly naked) body!
Feeling a tad selfish, I treated my girlfriends to a Spa Party, courtesy of Indulgence The Home Spa. We had a blast getting pedicures, make-up lessons and chair massages right in my friend’s living room! This spa-to-go is an amazing discovery for busy brides who want to bring the pre-wedding prep to wherever they happen to be. Indulgence experts will color, cut and style your hair; have your make-up picture perfect; even wax your delicate areas! Make ho-hum bachelorette parties a thing of the past—invite Indulgence to pamper you and your attendants. (They even brought champagne!)
For more Central Coast spa tips, visit spadefined.com, which has all the scoop on mud, massage, manicures and more (and tell Melissa we sent you!)