Monday, April 26, 2010

Design Inspirations {Mixed Media}

One of my favorite things about working on weddings is helping people to design their perfect look. Inspirations can come from anywhere - I have designed entire events around the lining of an envelope, the look of an Anthropologie store, or the clipping from a fashion magazine. The sky is the limit when becoming inspired for your wedding, so this series called design inspirations will focus on what is inspiring me at the moment - inside and outside of the wedding world.

I am always walking around in my daily life when something will just stop me in my tracks...and grab me...and I know that I have to have it on my own office "inspiration board." This may be picked up by a client, or may just be there to make me happy for months on end. Either way, it's something that can be pulled into an event in touches as small as a texture on a table or as large as an entire color theme.

Take a look at what I found walking through Joanne's Fabrics when purchasing supplies for a recent wedding. The cover image by Kelly Rae Roberts (shown above) literally stopped me in my tracks on this day, and I was in love with what I found inside the magazine pages. All images are from Somerset Studio, a paper and mixed media magazine.

"One & One" designed by Chrysti Hydeck

"Breathe" designed by Raquel Joya with elements courtesy of Roben-Marie Smith

"With One Palette: Aqua, Cadmium Red & Indian Yellow" by Danita

Monday, April 19, 2010

Camano Island Wedding: Nancy & LaDeana {07.04.09}

Planning Nancy & Deana's wedding was such an honor for me. A vehement supporter of same-sex unions, I believe that all couples deserve the "happily ever after" wedding day of their dreams! A ten-minute phone consultation sold them on my services, which seriously must have been a record for me.

From California, where they live, we set up a follow-up conference call - during which I took notes furiously while they fired ideas at me like a shotgun. Lemonade Stand! Black and White Theme! Seafood Buffet! Unusual Food Displays! Polaroid Guest Book! Local Musicians! Group Photo a Must! Red Velvet Cake! Now...Go!! The complete freedom to "make it happen" for them was refreshing...the trust level was so high and this enabled me to really take their ideas and run. I was able to pull from my resources and propose some ideas that might not have flown with every bridal couple.

The Venue: Camano Country Club. This venue came with the couple and has a spectacular view and nice, large outdoor space. It is, however, quite dated in a 70's rec-club kind of way. The site evaluation uncovered all of the hunter green and brass in it’s splendor – and our newfound plans for covering it all with luscious white drapery from The Prop Gallery.

The Food: This was a MAJOR focus of the event. I knew after speaking with the brides that I had to have The City Catering Company and their ultra-creative staff on-board to help come up with some amazing ways to make a seafood extravaganza modern and exciting. The "Potlatch Celebration" - which is a Native American gathering that is native to Camano Island - inspired both the menu and the styling of the buffet, which included Native American blankets and a wooden canoe filled with local flowers. All of the seafood was sourced directly from Nancy's brothers, who just happen to be fishermen in Alaska.

The Fun Touches

Prior to the wedding ceremony a “Lemonade Stand” was set up outside for guests to refresh themselves while waiting in the hot sun. Both a spiked-vodka lemonade and a virgin formula were available.

A Polaroid Guest Book (yes, still real Polaroids!) was executed throughout cocktail hour, which is always a fun activity for guests.

The simple yet utterly delicious red velvet cake from Simply Desserts in Seattle (one of my favorite bakeries around) were displayed on a variety of artisan black cake stands from local tableware designer Rosanna.

The flowers were an assortment of lush and textural yellow flowers anchored by NW greenery pulled from the gardens of S*Scents Designs' Susan Snyder. Garlands and fruit were also used to give everything an abundant, summery feel.

Other honorable mentions: The team at AA Party not only provided rentals on a holiday that they are normally closed on(!), but they added a huge 40x40' tent less than 24-hours prior to the wedding when it was decided that, yes, the NW does get TOO hot(!!). Daniel Sheehan of A Beautiful Day Photography not only eloquently captured all of the beautiful details of the day, but of course got the required entire-group portrait done in a jiffy (which he also happens to be quite famous for...). Dustin of Bugsie Productions spun some great tunes all night to keep the party going.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Seattle Indian Wedding: Shrutika & Dan {03.20.10}

Mostly I want to let these wedding photos speak for themselves because they are SO gorgeous. But, alas, I must say a few words because I loved this wedding so much! This was truly a destination wedding, with only a handful of guests being from the Seattle area. The bride and groom themselves live in New Jersey, so planning was all done long-distance via conference calls and email (love technological wedding planning!) Shrutika and Dan were in point: they brought me cookies after I had an unexpected surgery during their planning trip to Seattle! It was truly MY pleasure to bring their wedding dreams to a reality in late March at Novelty Hill-Januik Winery. They came to me with a different venue in mind, but when I got to know them I knew they had to have their wedding was a perfect match (I hope they agree!) From the saturated colors and the lush textures to the authentic custom Northern Indian menu, every detail was executed perfectly. Prepare to fall in love with Shru and Dan as you relive their intimate day at this modern winery in Woodinville, Washington.

The Cast & Crew:
Planning: Simply Wed
Venue & Catering: Novelty Hill - Januik Winery
Photography: Jamie Hammond Photography
Floral & Decor: Bella Rugosa
Cake: Decadence Custom Cakes
DJ & Lighting: Wavelink Music
Mendhi: Magical Mehendi
Hair & Makeup: Frederick's of Greenwood
Rentals: AA Party

Monday, April 5, 2010

Seattle Wedding Trends {Dogs in Weddings}

Nine years ago I was planning my own wedding, and I wanted to include my baby, my one and only, my first born....Macie the Chihuahua-Fox Terrier. At the time I thought it a brilliantly creative idea to have her act as our ring-bearer, complete with a tied-on ring pillow and flower girl-escort down the aisle.

While I can't say that having dogs in weddings is a new trend, it's certainly a lasting one. Now that I'm a wedding planner all these years later, I do this multiple times per year in various ways for my couples. It makes total sense, as often times engaged couples' first "children" are their beloved doggies. Over the years I've somehow become a resident expert on the subject, being interviewed several times by the press regarding the subject. I have compiled a great list of tips (some of which were learned from my own experiences!) on how to include your pup in your big day - successfully!

1) Assign or hire a dog-handler. This might sound over-the-top at first, but trust me, it's a must. You will be so busy you can't think straight, and you need to have someone reliable that is not a wedding guest dedicated to your dog. This person can bring your baby to the site at the right time, keep them occupied and ready for photos, cue them up for the ceremony, help them schmooze during cocktail hour, and then whisk them away to a comfy doggie bed when their official duties are done.

2) Do not put the actual rings on the dog. Common sense. Or so you would think...I actually tucked our wedding rings into a little pillow on our dog as she walked through the sand. Thankfully they stayed put!! And now I tell everybody else how silly I was!

3) Make a realistic game-plan. Does your dog do well off-leash under normal circumstances? If the answer is no, then she certainly won't do well with 150 strangers staring at her while she is off-leash, so don't expect miracles. Your beloved will not learn new tricks just because it is your wedding day...sorry to break it to you!

4) Be creative with the canine couture. Don't be limited to mini tuxes and gowns. I prefer to go for custom leashes, floral collars, bow ties and bandanas...but make sure it reflects your own personal style so that Fido is sure to be a true part of YOUR wedding party.

5) Make sure dogs are allowed at your venues. Being on the up-and-up with your venue re: your wedding-day puppy plans is definitely the way to go. I have run into venues that do not allow pets and we've made special negotiations with them, but it's much better to run into this hurdle prior to the wedding day. Nobody needs the extra stress of being told "NO DOGS ALLOWED" on their special day.

6) Do a site visit with Rex. Very professional, I know. But this will ensure that he is familiar with his surroundings and won't (completely) freak out when you have him there with his wedding finery on and a big crowd watching. At least you've done your best...

7) Relax and have fun with it! Having your dog part of the ceremony is on par with having small willing to go with the flow and have a laugh!

Photos by , Lauren Kessler and