A Bride's Best Friend - wedding coaching and consulting


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21Jun/114

A Winter Wedding in Red and White


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Working in the melting pot of cultures that is the Bay Area, I have the pleasure of working with diverse couples. Tamar and Venkat hired me to plan their American wedding, while at the same time preparing for two other weddings in India and Israel.  (Wow!)

The days started out with Tamar and her bridesmaids getting ready at her parent's home on the Stanford campus:

I love it when couples make time in their day for a few moments to themselves.  Here a few of my favorite snaps from their first look:

Tamar is a graduate student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where both her parents are professors. With the Cardinal blood coursing through Tamar’s veins, the Stanford Faculty Club was the perfect venue choice.

Because of the size of the wedding and the season (they married in December), we had to flip the room from the ceremony set up to the dinner seating plan while guests enjoyed cocktails and a collage of videos of Tamar & Venkat at different dance competitions in another room.

Whenever a room flip is involved, careful planning and a well-staffed event is key.  We repurposed the chuppah from the Jewish ceremony and used it as a canopy to showcase their cupcake tower at their reception. The ABBF team, the amazing staff at the faculty club, our lighting designers and floral team worked double time to transform the ballroom in 60 minutes!

Tamar and Venkat met ballroom dancing, so it was a no brainer that they would choreograph an amazing first dance. But they also wanted their guests to experience their love for dance firsthand, so we hired one of their teachers, Jen, to give a swing dance lesson after dinner and spread the love around to everyone.  Having Jen there to teach the lesson and having Ron Grandia as our emcee was a perfect fit.  We got double the music libraries, and the smoothest flow from each part of the evening to the next.  The cupcakes were a big hit, as was their wedding albums which we displayed from their India wedding (which had just taken place a few short weeks before!)

Congratulations and Mazel Tov to Tamar, Venkat, and their wonderful families!

XO,

Elle
P.S. I couldn't resist throwing in my fave goofy shot of the bridal party.  Love that they took the rain with good humor!

The Wedding Team:

Venue : Stanford Faculty Club

Photography:  Teresa Halton Photography

Lighting & Draping:  Enhanced Lighting & Sound

Emcee & DJ:  Ron Grandia, A Different Kind of DJ

Dance Instructor & DJ:  Hep Jen

Videographer:  Andy Hirsch, Blue Moon Productions

Hair & Makeup:  Christina Felix, Christina Hair Artistry

Cupcakes:  Sibby’s Cupcakery

Flowers:  Shawna Futagaki, Flower Divas

Linens:  Classic Party Rentals

17Jun/112

This time, it’s Personal: Jonthan and Dione’s Wedding Day


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As a wedding planner, I get invited into very intimate moments in my client’s lives.  I always feel honored to be there, especially when I end up getting “adopted” by them and their families even after the wedding day.

How does a wedding planner prepare for her baby brother's big day?  With many planning hours, loads of helps from her "friendors" and lots of laughs!

A year ago, I was very wrapped up in my own family, as I prepared to get my little brother and his fiancé down the aisle.  It’s such a different experience planning a family wedding, and it gave me a window into what my clients and their families feel and experience as they approach their big day.

As the Big Sister of the Groom, I was careful not to overstep by offering too much help.  I was honored though, when they came to me and asked for my full involvement, since secretly, I really did want to help them plan their wedding!  As the day approached, I pulled in a good friend and fellow wedding planner, Tony White of Extreme Elegance, to take us to the finish line.  We recruited some of our favorites in the industry, and it was great to work with good friends on such a personal level.

Having Tony to nearby to handle all the details and emotions was a godsend – he allowed me to be fully present at their wedding, which is a priceless gift!

In honor of Jonathan & Dione’s one year anniversary, here are some of my favorite pics taken by and showcasing some of my favorite people.

Enjoy!

Looking at these photographs remind me to be present in every moment, love and appreciate your family, and celebrate every ocassion possible!

Be Well,

Elle

Photographer- Tim Sohn Studios

DJ- Ron Grandia

Florist- Amy Burke Designs

Planning Team- A Bride’s Best Friend and Extreme Elegance Events by Tony

Cake- Cake Expressions

Linens and Lighting- Classic Party Rentals-San Francisco

Venue and Catering- Sheraton Sunnyvale Hotel

18Feb/110

Real Wedding Spotlight: Melissa and Mikey’s Red & Black Ritz-Carlton Celebration


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I can’t think back on Melissa and Mikey’s wedding without grinning ear to ear.  They were both just brimming with excitement to become husband and wife, and reveled in every single detail of their big day.  You can read Melissa’s account of her big day here.  We had been planning their Labor Day celebration at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay for over a year, and decided to incorporate a bold color palette of red, black and silver.   Here are some of my favorite moments of their weekend:

Melissa and Mikey even made their rehearsal a party, dressing up to begin the festivities early.  The day before the wedding was also Mikey’s birthday, so at the rehearsal lunch, Melissa surprised him with a birthday cake from Just Cake to be an exact replica of the cruise ship they met on!

We started the day by creating a beauty lounge for the ladies with the bride's favorite breakfast foods, her soundtrack playing and fave show, "Say Yes to the Dress" playing on the big screen.

It had been foggy and cold in Half Moon Bay the day before, but the sun came out for our ceremony.  We had pashminas with custom labels for the ladies, just in case, and paper cones with white rose petals for guests to sprinkle as the happy couple recessed down the aisle.  Love the kiss!

Some of my favorite details of the day...

For the reception, we incorporated loads of crystals and candlelight into the décor, including an uplit ice luge at the bar.

We ended the night with a candy bar (complete with toothbrushes and a reminder from Dr. Melissa, who is a dentist along with her father and sister.)  The terrace is all set for our tres fab late night S’mores and cigar party.

Wishing you a lifetime of health and happiness!

XO,

Elle

Photography: Geoff White Photography

Floral Designer: Amy Burke Designs

Lighting & Dancing: Enhanced Lighting & Sound

Hair & Make Up: Bloom Bridal Boutique

Video: Justin Fone Productions

DJ: Ron Grandia, A Different Kind of DJ

Reception: Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay