Wine Country Wedding Video from Reel Eyes


This wine country wedding from One Fine Day Events exudes sophistication and elegance. Their romantic ceremony site incorporated draping and greenery with the vineyard as the backdrop. After a rockin' al fresco cocktail hour the guests moved inside the barn, which looked glam and chic with a canopy of overhead lighting and a lot of gold accents. Check out all the stunning details in their wedding video from Reel Eyes. You can feel the emotion behind this stunner of a wedding that took place in the very place Alex and Marissa first fell in love. 


Lake Tahoe Wedding Vendors:
Planning & Design: One Fine Day Events | Photographer: Jon M Photography | Videographer: Reel Eyes Media | Dessert: Momofuko Milk Bar | Catering: Beth Sogard | Florist: Botanica Floral Design | Music: Tainted Love & Steve Moon Sound | Paper: Forever HeyDay, Heart Paper Soul, & Stylish Scribe | Rentals: Botanica Floral Design, One Fine Day Events, Celebrations & La Tavola | Venue: Amador Cellars | Hair & Makeup: Jill Briggs and Krystle Sheehan 


Day 2 of the Wedding Festivities ~ River Rafting

To start the celebratory week, we have arranged for all of the guests to enjoy a lazy float down the Truckee river with the bride and groom. Guests met in a parking lot where we arranged for buses to drive them to the starting point. Sunscreen was lathered, liability forms signed, and cold beverages ready to be cracked open. After the 2 1/2 hour long float, guests enjoyed lunch and cocktails on the River Ranch's patio.

Design Inspiration from Wedding 360

As promised, here are a few pictures from the Wedding 360 design seminar I attended a few weeks ago. I don't want to say too much about the first collage, as the pictures speak for themselves. The images walk you through the Museum of Petals dinner, which was held at the St. Regis San Francisco. The theme was 5000 petals, which is the amount of petals used to create this beautiful room. Gloria Wong and her team did a fabulous job.

Clockwise: Top images ~ the entrance to the Museum of Petals dinner. A modern display of white couches, floating candles, silver tables, and pink lighting create a fun and unique setting. The ice bar, courtesy of Chisel It, consists of beautiful arrangements on top of the bar as well as frozen inside the waist of the bar - super creative!

Middle ~ Petals blanket the dinner tables, while floating candles in clear vases add a warm touch to the setting. A man made tree (courtesy of Gloria Wong and her team) stands elegantly in the center of the room with petals hanging from every angle. It serves not only as an eye catching design, but also as the focal point that justifies the surrounding accents.

Bottom ~ Petals carefully sprinkle the linens including the floor-to-celling fabric, which creates a warm atmosphere and soaks up empty space.

A few of our unbelievably inspiring educators. Pictured here: Youngsong Martin of Wildflower Linens, Catherine Hall of Catherine Hall Studios, Tara Guerard of Tara Guerard Soiree, champagne for our tasting compliments of the Henry Wine Group and Componere Fine Catering, the fabulous Jean Marks and Jubilee Lau (hosts of the event and producers of Wedding 360) pictured with Grace Ormonde of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, our seminar room in the St. Regis San Francisco, and one of the panels featuring Youngsong Martin, Catherine Hall, and Grace Ormonde.

Inspiration Board | Accessories

Oh how I love accessories. There are so many ways to dress up a room/space/yard/estate. One of my favorite roles as an event planner is working with my clients to find their vision and design the colors and theme, while implementing accessories to boost the personality of the event. Here are a few of my latest finds: Simple Whimsical Elements

Implementing nature is a very popular theme today. It is especially great for those on a tight budget. Why? Because there are many things you can collect in the forest, on the beach, in your backyard, etc. that are free. They just require a little crafty DIY!

This inspiration board is made up of fresh accessories that elude an organic feel. The place cards wrapped around a wooden post and held in place with clothes pins is such a simple, yet decorative display; the wooden lantern is used to collect gift cards and decorated with river rocks; a collection of recycled paper hand tied with raffia is used as a unique guest book; potted plants and popsicle sticks create a very whimsical means for seating guests; a beautifully decorated belly belt is used to hold the napkin in place while adding a punch of color to the table; and rustic lanterns hang from tree branches over hay stacks, which are covered with colorful blankets. Each of these images are pretty simple, yet so prominent.

Creative Twist on the Traditional Wedding

Traditionally, weddings were pretty straight forward and the decorations minimal at best. The focus of the wedding was mainly on the ceremonial matters and gathering loved ones together. While these two fundamentals are still huge in today's wedding world, the decorations, theme, and design of the wedding have become almost just as important. You want your wedding to stand out and be memorable - what other way to do so than in your accessories. Thanks to the abundance of magazines, websites, and creative minds there is an infinite amount of ideas at one's disposal. Simple things like signs created out of a plank of wood or chalk boards to direct guests are incredibly trendy at the moment. But, the creative part is not copying a picture, it is implementing this picture and twisting it to reflect your theme, personality, and design. This is the inspiration behind this board. Each item is very simple and somewhat traditional, but they are almost reorganized to produce a fun and different image.

Raffle Winners!

Congratulations to Amber Gurney and Kim Hollar for winning the "New Website Raffle!" Amber has won a floral arrangement from Floramor in San Francisco and Kim has won a floral arrangement from Bellissima Floral in Lake Tahoe.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Marry Me Live | Inspirational Interview

At the San Francisco Wedding Fair last month we stumbled upon a very interesting and new service to the wedding industry - Marry Me Live! It's a pretty ingenious idea - guests who are unable to travel to your wedding can view a live streaming on the internet. As we are on a role with our inspirational interviews, I saw it only fit to interview owners Stacy and Chris!

1. Tell us about your company - Marry Me Live was founded by Chris Anderson and Stacy Yamaoka (myself). By bringing live video streaming to the wedding industry, Marry Me Live is changing the wedding landscape and breaking down pre-existing barriers, enabling everyone to share in the couple's special day.

2. What inspired you to start Marry Me Live? Our inspiration came from family experience and is constantly reinforced by those who come to us for live wedding streaming. Last year, my partner and I both had very personal experiences with family getting married. These experiences were hindered because family and/or close friends were unable to attend. One of these weddings was for my sister, who was having a destination wedding. She was so disappointed because not a single one of her friends were able to attend the wedding. We immediately set to the task of solving this problem. As we did the search, we realized that there was not an easy solution, nor was it easy to find a company that addressed the problem. That was the birth of Marry Me Live. We could not ask for a more fulfilling job than to connect everyone on such an important day - not just for the wedding couple but those special to them.

3. How long have you been in business? We have been in business since July 2009 with our first wedding in August 2009. In the short time our company has been in business, we have been lucky enough to take on weddings in multiple locations including a private estate in Hawaii, California Coastal Wedding and even a wedding at Ft. Myer in Virginia.  For 2010, we feel very lucky to have calendar bookings that include SF, LA, and DC.

4. What can brides do to customize their Marry Me Live video? Anything that is physically possible! As a start-up, we are nimble and work with clients to come up with a solution that works for them. Everyone has their wishes and we do our best to match those requests. For a wedding in October, we came up with a mobile solution because the bride wanted multiple angles of the wedding ceremony. For an upcoming wedding, we are providing guest book options and chat capabilities for "guests" who login to view the wedding.

5. Do brides get to keep the video? Marry Me Live provides both the live video stream as well as on-demand video so that viewers can watch the wedding for 30 days following the event. The wedding couple can even wake up the next morning following their wedding and experience it all over again. Upon request, we also provide unedited DVDs as a keepsake.

6. What are some unique ways people have used Marry Me Live? Something that has been extremely successful is adding the personal touch of connection that is so often overlooked in web casting. It could be a little "wave" from the bride, or even relatives talking into the camera to loved ones across the world. Or, even a text sent from someone stuck at work, but who is able to connect by watching the video online. There are so many mediums of connection in the world, but it is tying those all together and connecting everyone that makes this service so special.

7. Anything else you would like to tell us about your company? Marry Me Live's goal is to transform the traditional wedding planning process. It isn't just the family or friends unable to come to the wedding, but an upfront guest list solution that is budget friendly and eco-friendly. Marry Me Live is part of the US Green Wedding Consortium and The Green Bride Bride. We support green practices empowering weddings couples to have a large weddings without a large carbon footprint.

Marry Me Live Website Facebook Page Phone: 877-233-4541 Email: info@marrymelive.com

Squaw Valley Wedding in the Winter

Words can't even describe how elated I am for Jon & Jessica. They had the most magical wedding I have ever coordinated! A huge amount of planning, organizing, and strategizing was involved with an outdoor ceremony in the middle of winter during a series of storms. But, it was beautiful and so worth it! Thanks to the fabulous photographer, Mike Larson, and his team, here are a couple sneak peaks. More to come soon! 01_cu8c5558_mikelarson2


Venue | PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn Photographer | Mike Larson Florist | A Bud and Beyond DJ | Ty with North Shore Entertainment Videographer | Ever After Creations

T-Party Photo Booths | Inspirational Interview

This weeks inspirational interview is with Theresa Parillo, owner of T-Party Photo Booths. Photo booths are ultra popular right now, providing a unique form of entertainment for your guests. T-Party Photo Booths takes the traditional photo booth and turns it into a professional entertainment center. They are based in San Francisco, but travel throughout Northern California.

Tell us about your company

T-Party Photo Booths offers commercial photo booths built for high-volume shooting. Our booths generate photo-lab quality prints and a high level of print customization, so the photos are a perfect fit for any event. Depending upon the type of event and clientele, we can provide props and customize the design of the prints. T-Party Photo Booths are a great addition to any event providing guests with a souvenir they can enjoy for a lifetime. Our friendly staff ensures a fun, unforgettable, and hilarious event!

Photo Strips

What inspired you to start a photo booth company?

I have always loved going to weddings and big parties. When I was little I thought I wanted to be a wedding planner, I changed my mind a few times and eventually found myself in the industry I have always loved. I first discovered my love for photo booths after a wedding I attended with my cousin. We had a great time taking pictures in the booth and I thought it would be so much fun to have one at my house. The man who was running the booth said, "you know you can get your money back in a short amount of time." At first it didn't cross my mind that I would be able to have my own business in an industry that I absolutely love being a part of.

How does the photo booth work?

Different prints are designed for each event based on the event colors or the design that is of interest to the person throwing the party or wedding reception. We have black and white photos or color and you can choose to have 4x6 prints or photo strips. We always have a friendly member from our team to monitor the booth and add to the fun. The price includes four hours of unlimited photos and each guest receives a copy of the pictures within 10 seconds. They can go back as many times as they want throughout the party.

What are the requirements for the photo booth at an event?

My space requirements vary depending on the client. The booth can be made for 2 people sitting and up to about 10 people standing. Standing booths have become pretty popular because you can fit a lot more people in the booth. For about 3-5 people standing I would need about 4 feet by 6 feet. As for power, I just need a 3 prong plug.

Can you customize the photo booth?

I can customize the prints for the booths. There are a lot of sample prints on my website. Each event has it's own customized print with the event colors and special design. I also have a prop box that can be rented for the night. I bring props that fit the event and the people attending.


What is your favorite type of event?

WEDDINGS! I love being a part of weddings because it's so great to see how happy the bride and the groom are on their special day!

T-Party Photo Booths |  415.400.5164  |  Facebook

New Website and Raffle!

Mulberry Photo | Bellissima Floral Creations We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website! Our new logo and design are featured on every page, along with a sophisticated navigation style. We'd love to hear what you think of the new look, so please leave us a comment! As an additional incentive, all commenters will automatically be entered into our New Website Raffle. Just tell us what you like/love/dislike about the new site and you'll be eligible to win a flower arrangement from Bellissima Floral or Floramor. We will put all the names of the commenters into a hat and draw a name on February 15. The winner will be notified via email and announced in a new post. Stay tuned to this spot, and please join the conversation!

Thank you to Claire Anderson Creative for a fabulous website!

Inspiration Board | Winter Part II

For part II of our Winter Inspiration Board, I decided to focus on the dinner table. More specifically, three different types of Modern - Classic Modern, Rustic Modern, and Modern Glam. Everything shown below represents a different style, yet still captures the warm, inviting, romantic feel. TheKnot.com

Classic Modern - the pure and subtle color palette combined with dark wood and candle light creates a soft and romantic feel.

WeddingStyleMagazine.com | Theknot.com

Rustic Modern - incorporating elements of the outdoors while dressing them up with color and sass.

Modern Glam - multi-colored and textured linens, dramatic decor, vivid lighting, and a touch of Hollywood!

Inspiration Board | Winter Part 1

My office today consisted of a desk in front of floor to ceiling windows overlooking Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Whenever I needed a break, I looked up to see skiers and riders carving turns down the mountain - not bad! As I was watching over the joys of winter, I decided to put my view to work and create a Winter Inspiration Board. For whatever reason I feel winter weddings tend to have a much more intimate feel. Perhaps it's the frost on the windows paired with a warm fireplace, or the rich warm colors, or even the comfort foods that are common of a winter wedding. Whatever it maybe, here are a few ideas and images that inspired me today!

Photo Momentum

Winter Inspiration


Aiko Designs | Inspirational Interview

This week we interviewed Aiko Designs. Owned by Christine Aiko Beck, Aiko Designs is a jewelry company producing fresh, gorgeous works of art for weddings, celebrations, and everyday life.


Tell us about your company

My jewelry is a combination of opposites - simplicity and richness, ethereal and organic, strong and subtle.  I'm mostly self taught in jewelry design, and am always creating new pieces and seeking out the best stones and materials. My work has been included in exhibitions in the United States, Hong Kong and Japan. You can find my pieces at stores in San Francisco such as Egg & Urban Mercantile in Cole Valley, Circle & Square in Laurel Heights and Adorna Bella in North Beach.

What inspired you to start a jewelry company?

It all started when I was working in the tech industry and going to grad school -- jewelry was a creative outlet for me, something I did purely for fun. Generally I get bored with things or just move on to another hobby or interest, but jewelry stuck with me and turned into a passion. It took a while to go from the hobby to the business, but it grew organically and got to the point where I just wanted to do what I love -- create pretty things that other people love as well.

Tell us about your style of jewelry

I describe my style as sophisticated and elegant, organic yet ethereal. My designs are very simple and subtle, but strikingly pretty and feminine.

What is your favorite style/stone/etc?

Oh, such a hard question to answer! I love labradorite, tourmaline, moonstone, sapphires and diamonds!  I also love topaz, kyanite, green amethyst and lapis lazuli. It really depends on the quality of the stones -- I have a hard time choosing one favorite.

Do you ever custom design jewelry for clients?

Yes! Most of the custom pieces I have made have been for brides and bridal parties.


What differentiates you from other jewelers?

There's something about my jewelry that is quite thoughtful -- details are important to me and those who notice this understand what I put into my designs. The subtlety and simplicity of my jewelry is special. It's not always easy to create simple designs that are unique, interesting and pretty -- some designers just can't do simple and tend to over-design.

What type of event do you feel your jewelry is best suited for?

My designs are quite versatile and generally can be worn by someone going to a black tie event to someone going to a picnic in the country.


Who is your typical client?

My clients tend to be women with a sophisticated sense of style that are looking for something special and unique.  My customers have ranged between girls in their teens to women in their 70's and they appreciate the little details and simplicity and beauty of my designs.


After our interview, I did a little research and discovered that in addition to producing stunning jewelry, Aiko Designs also contributes to The Princess Project and Nest. The Princess Project is a non-profit organization that collects and distributes prom dresses and accessories to teen girls in the Bay Area that couldn't otherwise afford them. Nest is a non-profit that provides micro-credit loans to women artists and artisans in the developing world to create and maintain sustainable entrepreneurial businesses.

You can find Aiko Designs at the following places:

Personal Website


Egg & Urban Mercantile

Circle & Square

Adorna Bella

The Box SF | New Venue in San Francisco


I recently discovered this new venue in San Francisco located on the 3rd floor of the historic 1920's William Randolph Hearst former printing plant. It has a New York loft like feel to it with floor to ceiling windows, high ceilings, and gorgeous wood. An antique table, seating up to 30 people, proudly reflects the culture of the building. The surface of the table is made up of 2 doors that are over 300 years old and originate from a Chinese village. Clear globe lighting hangs above creating a fun, romantic ambiance. The space is urban, historic, and complete with antique posters and pieces. The design and decor make for a very unique and warm environment.

The building can hold up to 200 people for cocktail parties, weddings, wine tastings, fashion and film nights, seminars, speakers, conferences, social networking event, meetings, concerts, and the list goes on. The possibilities are endless! The owners of The Box SF have an extensive personal network and a fantastic track record in promoting and producing events around the country. They are incredibly easy and friendly to work with!

Upcoming events:

Saturday | 1-16-10 | 8pm - Midnight - Fundraiser for Jessica Ann Bucher

Monday | 1-18-10 | 6pm - 9pm - Active Networking

Wednesday | 1-20-10 | 7pm - 11pm - The Matt Eakle Band

Monday | 1-25-10 | 6pm - 9pm - Active Networking

Tuesday | 1-26-10 | 6:30 - 9pm - Eco Tuesday

For more info on upcoming events and renting the space go to The Box SF.

The San Francisco Wedding Fair | Four Seasons Hotel

The San Francisco Wedding FairThe San Francisco Wedding Fair was a tremendous success. I was really impressed with the overall design and our fellow exhibitors. Hartman Studios, the Four Seasons, Connie Kearns, and Karla Tibbets created several looks in the various rooms - each reflected possible wedding designs and the high caliber of this event. The main ballroom featured a modern lounge in the center of  the room - a perfect place for the guests to relax. One of the adjacent rooms featured "Late Night Munchies" by the Four Seasons - I didn't have a chance to walk through here, but there was a consistent long line of hungry brides. The remaining room featured several unique table setups ranging in design from rustic elegance to modern classic. I was really happy with our table, which was complete with yellows, greens, and chocolate brown. We displayed our portfolio, a few collages of past weddings, magazines that we are currently featured in, and our raffle. Thank you to Bellissima Floral for the fabulous flower arrangements. The 3 lucky winners of the raffle will be notified on Wednesday!


The Julia Morgan Ballroom | San Francisco

The Julia Morgan Ballroom

I love this venue! The staff - personable and friendly without losing an ounce of professionalism; the aesthetics - stunning and unparalleled; the wow factor - huge!

Named after the famous architect of the Hearst Castle, this recently renovated ballroom is stunning. Yet, describing the Julia Morgan Ballroom as simply stunning is a vast understatement. It is an architectural gem tucked into the upper floor of the Merchant Exchange Building. It is chic, classy, and booming with style.

The Lobby

The lobby, which is often used for ceremonies, features gold leaf, polished marble walls, and a vaulted-barrel ceiling.  It has a very fresh and graceful feel, which allows for a variety of styles and colors for décor. Couple's are invited to personalize their wedding by displaying interchanging pictures of themselves on the LCD screens, which are located at the entrance to the ceremony. The tall ceilings and gleaming marble provide an exquisite backdrop for a romantic event.

The Lobby

The reception space has quite a different feel, yet is equally as grandeur. As guests arrive, they walk into a warm and inviting foyer. It feels as though you are walking into the living room of an affluent friend's home. Leading from the lounge is the Daniel Burnham Bar and the Ballroom. Deep mahogany wraps around the perimeter of the ballroom, arching floor to ceiling windows reveal the city's sites, and the honeycomb ceiling creates an unprecedented romance.

Dinner in the ballroom

When I first walked into the ballroom I fell in love! It is simply breathtaking and unlike any other venue I have come across. The dark browns and deep golds create a rustic, yet classic feel.

To top it all off, owner Clint Reilly has recently opened Credo, a Northern Italian restaurant just down the street from The Julia Morgan Ballroom. After completing such a work of art, it would be uncanny to open a standard restaurant. As expected, the restaurant and private dining room are booming with style and eye catching accents. The wall is covered with inspiring quotes from historical figures and celebrities. Each quote begins with "I believe," which is Credo in Latin. The Chef is Mario Maggi, who also oversees catering at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. His Italian upbringing compliments the urban trattoria perfectly.

The Ritz Carlton Highlands | Northstar, Lake Tahoe

The Ritz-Carlton Highlands The Ritz-Carlton Highlands has most recently become Lake Tahoe's premiere luxury hotel. Nestled amongst the Sierras and situated on the mid-mountain of Northstar at Tahoe, this stunning property provides comfort with sophistication, service with first class staff, and design with contemporary mountain-home elegance. The fine attention to detail and architectural design throughout the hotel is phenomenal.

Ski-in, ski-out access, a downhill mountain bike park, hiking trails, a swimming pool, full service spa and salon, and an exquisite restaurant provide endless possibilities for guests and visitors.

The LobbyI could write at length about the ever-impressive features throughout the lobby, living room, hotel, and restaurant, but my main objective here is to tell you about the event space. However, I will tell you this - the designers have done an incredible job of implementing all things Tahoe throughout the hotel. Corporate hotel chains tend to instigate the oh so familiar, plain, and lack of personality connotation, but the Ritz-Carlton Highlands has pushed that aside with a unique, stylish, and unparalleled resort that all guests will thoroughly enjoy.

ManzanitaManzanita, the resorts on-site restaurant is a culinary delight! Reclaimed wood beams straddle the ceiling, various muted shades and textures of leather adorn the overstuffed booths, and an open kitchen stretches along the restaurant showcasing the chef's at work. The San Francisco renowned chef, Traci Des Jardins, sources an organic and sustainable cuisine with entrees for $30 or less.  Private dining space is available for parties up to 25ppl and a semi-private space is available for parties of 40 or less. In the summer, the outdoor patio is also available for dining and cocktail receptions. Fabulous furniture, atmosphere, and food will make for a perfect rehearsal or welcome dinner!Manzanita Chef's Table

The fine attention to detail doesn't stop there - the banquet space has been carefully designed and structured allowing for ample storage, a large banquet kitchen, prep-space, an array of setup arrangements, and loud music! Everything a customer, event planner, and banquet team longs for to provide a perfect evening of dining, wining, and entertaining!

The Ritz-CarltonIndoors, the two ballrooms (The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom and the Pines Ballroom) offer floor to ceiling windows, fruitwood chivari chairs, lounge furniture, cocktail tables, round and rectangle dining tables, staging, and up-scale linens. The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom is 6600 square feet, comfortably seating up to 300 people with a dance floor; the Pines Ballroom is 3000 square feet, comfortably seating 120 guests with a dance floor. Both ballrooms can be partitioned off for more intricate planning options, as well as to create a smaller space for fewer guests. In addition, both ballrooms offer separate outdoor patio space with panoramic views of the Sierras. The banquet space was strategically built on the opposite side of the hotel from the lodging rooms to prevent noise complaints and allow groups to rent the space until 2am!

To compliment Lake Tahoe's outdoors, The Ritz also offers two outdoor ceremony locations: the Meadows, accommodating up to 300 people; and the Woods, accommodating up to 120ppl. Both spaces have hard ground, a path accessing the location, handicap access, and furniture for your ceremony.

It is possible for the sales staff to book two weddings in one day; however, both the indoor and outdoor event spaces are completely separate from one another. Rest assured, you will feel like the one and only bride on your wedding day!

Weddings at The Ritz-Carlton Highlands aspire to be complete, hassle-free, elegant, and seamless. The staff is dedicated to providing you with the utmost professional service.

Bellissima Floral | Inspirational Interview | Lake Tahoe Florist


Bellissima Floral Creations has been part of the Lake Tahoe, California community since 2002. They are a full service wedding and special event floral design company, creating distinctive arrangements with unique and personal touches for clients' most treasured occasions. Bellissima was founded by Sara Spurlock, who takes great pride in providing thorough, hands-on service for her clients. She is the lead designer and is involved in all aspects of the design and creation process. She considers her design style to be whimsical and resonate with updated elegance.

Bellissima has been featured in Modern Bride, Today's Bride, Destination I Do, brides.com, and San Francisco Bride Unveiled

What inspired you to become a florist and start your own business?

Artistic talents run in my family and I've always been drawn to creative and crafty activities. As friend's started to get married, I wanted to contribute to their special day. I decided to put my creative drive to work as "florist" for these engaged friends. All it took was one time and I was hooked! Considering all the different varieties of flowers, vessels, presentations, and each client's unique personality, I realized the possibilities are endless.

Do you have a unique style or specialty?

These are some catchphrases that characterize the Bellissima Floral style: unique, personalized, unexpected, whimsical, organic, festive. I love to think outside the box and to create something different each time. I spend hours researching and brainstorming for ideas that either might match a client's personality or may pose as interesting ideas that I can present to future clients. I also pride myself on getting to know my clients and the personality for their event so that their vision can be understood and translated into an amazing reality.

After working with hundreds of clients, I am sure you receive an eclectic variety of requests. What is the most interesting? What is the most common?

I've definitely had some interesting visions to translate: ostrich feathers in the centerpieces, enchanted elegance, black and white wedding, vintage Hollywood Glam, woodland chic, contemporary whimsical, "007" theme.

Enchanted Elegance

 Hollywood Glam and Woodland Chic

 Enchanted Elegance

These nontraditional concepts have been some of the most fun to brainstorm and create because the clients really wanted something unexpected that pushed the limit.

The most common request I receive is that the flower decor reflects the Tahoe surroundings and contributes to the setting. I find that this is important regardless of the theme. I never want anything to look out of place. It needs to compliment and be cohesive with the venue and personality of the event.

What do you love about being a florist?

Since Bellissima specializes in floral designs for weddings and parties, I get to meet a lot of different people and get to know my clients pretty well. Because I am trying to make sure that each even resonates with the client's personality, I am always creating original designs and arrangements. The work is never dull and always innovative! I love that I can contribute to such a memorable day in people's lives.

Do you have a favorite event that you designed?

I have so many, it's hard to choose. One that sticks out is a wedding last fall at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn. The clients wanted the florals to come across as organic, yet contemporary, warm, and elegant. The colors were eggplant, white, and green with accents of matte silver and brown. The floral and design elements were eggplant calla lilies, white orchids, gardenias, white tulips, dark purple lisianthus, green grasses, moss, polished natural stones. It was important to the clients that the dining tables be welcoming and warm, while articulating their modern, simple style. The tables were set-up in long, family-style rows. Flowers spilled down the center of each long table, individual types of flowers filling various sized clear glass, cylinder vases. The centerpiece layout included TONS of votives scattered among the florals. Half of the votives were presented in taller footed candle holders so the candle-light was dimensional. Half of the tables were dressed with ivory satin linens, and the other half with a beautiful brocade "oyster shell" (soft grey).

The menus, tucked into the deep plum napkins at each place setting, were printed in brown on ivory cardstock and we used mahogany brown chivari chairs. The seating cards were displayed on soft beds of moss stuffed into dark brown wooden boxes. The guest book/memory table was edged in dark brown wooden boxes planted with wheat grass. For the cocktail tables and powder rooms, we floated gardenias, orchids, and floating candles in bowls lined with little river stones.

Due to the thunderstorms, the ceremony had to be pulled indoors at the last minute. Luckily we had ordered some up-lighting, originally intended for lighting some large arrangements in the corners of the room during the late night, dancing portion of the reception. Instead, we used the up-lights to highlight the altar arrangements: square matte silver urns stuffed full of moss, pampas grass, and steel grass. This, along with a lot of extra candle-light, really added drama and romance to the indoor ceremony. Regardless of unexpected circumstances caused by the weather, the event came out beautifully: romantic, warm, welcoming, lush, elegant, and organic.

Venue Review | Testarossa Winery, Los Gatos, CA

Jen Good Photography Testarossa Winery is nestled above the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Gatos in a serene and peaceful setting in the historic Novitiate. Testarossa combines a romantic and incredibly unique venue with unbelievable service. Their staff proudly performs as the icing on the cake. Nothing is too much to ask and everyone is very personable.

As you enter the winery, you walk through a grand double doorway into the long stone cave. The brick imprints, arching ceiling, and esoteric design bestows an unparalleled romantic atmosphere. During a wedding, this space is used for the ceremony or the cocktail/reception. Regardless of the event, the cave provides a dramatic, romantic, and unparalleled space.

Ceremony's can also take place outdoors on the patio, which is decorated with wooden wine barrels, clear globe lights, and sandy gravel. It has a modern farm-like feel combining nature with simple elegance.

Jen Good Photography

The Castello Room is used for dinner and can accommodate up to 150ppl. Instead of a standard square or rectangle room, the Castello room has wide pillars (perfect for pin spot lighting), sconces, and an elegant ceiling canopy. Due to the shape and pillars, 60" round tables (seat 7 - 9 people) are best suited for this room. However, there is ample space for a long double-sided head table or family table.

The tasting room, also known as the Palazzio Room, is warm and inviting with a long wooden bar, a glowing wine barrel wall, and tall wooden pillars. The dance floor is long and narrow, but is sufficient for a party of 120 or less. A large wooden antique table, sitting next to the wooden door, is perfect for a guest book or dessert station. But, this table comes with Testarossa accesories and a charge is incurred to remove the items.

Jen Good Photography


Price per person  · $100 - $150

Rental Fees  · $4000 - $6500

Items Included  · 60" rounds, fruitwood chivari chairs, cream floor length linens, 6' and 8' banquet tables, tall and short cocktail tables, white wooden ceremony chairs, votives in square and round vases, hurricane vases, sound system in the Castello room (not equipped with microphone), dinnerware, glassware, dressing room for the band, and room for the catering company.

Food  · Catering company required, which is limited to companies noted on Testarossa's vendor list.

Bar  · Per person packaged pricing for bottled beer and wine.

Timing  · Dinner setup can begin as early as 3pm; ceremony and reception setup begins at 5pm, allowing the event to start as early as 6pm. Events are contracted for 5 hours.

Staff  · Impeccable! Fabulous, friendly, and very easy to work with.

Setup  ·  Easy load in and load out areas with ramp access.

Power  ·  Ample power for bands, dj's, and lighting.

Lighting  · Provided lighting is subtle with dimming options in the dining room and reception room. Hiring a lighting company to up-light the pillars provides a glowing ambiance.

Liability Insurance  · $1,000,000 special event liability coverage is required.

Overall Cost  ·  Pricing is very reasonable. The rental fees include most, if not all of the furniture you will need. There are no hidden fees - all prices are noted in the contract.

Candy Buffets ~ The pros and cons of candy favors

Theknot.com Candy Buffet The perfect assemblance of a color coordinated candy buffet  will evoke "oohs and ahhs" when your guests first enter the room. The cohesive architecture is intended to portray somewhat of an entertaining decoration. But, consider the alternate vision as the evening ensues and more guests dive into their sugar craving, leaving half full containers and candy spilled all over the table. Before you purchase infinite amounts of candy and varying vases and jars, consider the following pros and cons:

Pros ~

1. The look is dramatic, organized, and colorful - you can easily accentuate your colors in a bold manner.

2. Not only does it serve as a favor, but it can also serve as a late night snack.

3. The cost can be relatively cheap, as you can reuse the vases and jars in your house.

4. Kids will love it!

Cons ~

1. During the reception, the table will look messy and disorganized, which in essence negates the purpose of the display.

2. Requires someone to repeatedly refill the containers and clean up the mess ~ not a task for a guest, as their favorite song may drag them to the dance floor, stealing their "candy attending" attention.

3. Requires you to also purchase coordinating bags or boxes for the candy.

4. If you're reception is outdoors, the animals may devour it prior to your guests!

5. If kids attend your wedding, they will occupy the table.

6. When you run out of candy the look turns from fab to drab.