I promised I would blog again! My goal is to make a blog not only fun to read and dream of, but I also want the story to serve a purpose. Either to educate or help in a process that you, dear reader, might be in the midst of yourself! So, this week I’m going to tell you about a celebration we were honored to be part of, in October of 2012. The bride and her family and I ambitiously embarked on this journey early in the year to plan three events: a Welcome Party, a Rehearsal Dinner & a Wedding! How would YOU handle it? Tons of guests coming from the 4 corners of the world and no one knows each other! My clients wanted everyone to relax, have fun, and enjoy the love that their daughter had found with this man, their new son in law!
My clients wanted three very different experiences with each of these events. By the time they came to see me, they had selected all three venues, so it was up to me and my team to create a fabulous memory in each of those venues!
So, let the fun begin!
A night on a Moroccan Terrace – The Welcome Party!
We started the design plan with a canopy that was a clear ceiling structure that would serve as our dining room for the party. The clear ceiling allowed guests to be able to enjoy the late summer sky as they first arrived at the event….We added beautiful Moroccan styled lamps floating from the ceiling frame of the canopy, which in the day time caught the sunlight, and at night glowed from within!
We covered the ground under the canopy with a golden shade of tan carpet to resemble the sands of the dessert and repeated a similar color in fabric swags in the ceiling of the tent.
The tables popped with vibrant tones of color…magenta, citron and gold tones in an intricate pattern on a chocolate background. I added lots of gold candles to the table tops, and a one/ two punch of color in a simple low centerpiece (the linens were the show stopper!) Then for authenticity I added small vessels of various spices on the table tops to enhance the olfactory experience! Fragrance is an important element, but select it wisely so it does not interfere with the dining experience!
My clients and I picked charger plates for the table that resembled a basket weave pattern (I could see Alibaba’s serpent appear from the baskets in the old town market place!) and the napkins wrapped around them in a vibrant tone of citron green! While charger plates are sometimes thought of as an ‘extravagance’ they are truly an element of fine dining! The purpose they serve is to keep the place setting clean for the arrival of the main course!
Carol Smith from Invitation Factory in La Jolla created beautiful dye cut menu cards in a shade of purple that added a slightly different shade of color to the table top, and it finished the place setting perfectly! Carol is an artist at her craft! Every detail is attended to, and her work is perfection!
Each table was named after several familiar sites in the Middle East…this one was named after the famous hotel in Dubai! Carol created all the social stationery for all the events
Jeffrey Strauss from Pamplemousse Grille in Del Mar catered the party. The food followed the décor theme and his sugar cookie camels, dusted with powdered sugar, were a hit on the over the top dessert table
Décor lighting is an event designers’ best friend! The sun set over the party, and the ambient lighting created a colorful and inviting setting for dinner in the canopy! Everyone enjoyed one anothers’ company in this relaxed atmosphere!
Party Number 2 The Rehearsal Dinner
When you visit San Diego, one of the first things you think of are our beautiful beaches! Who doesn’t want to party on the beach? One place that this can be done is on the beach at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club! The sand is perfect and the beach is sublime! This was the site of the rehearsal dinner, and after the previous night filled with intoxicating colors and aromas, we decided to cool down the palette for this evening of steel drums and firepits!
My clients told me that they really wanted to create a picnic style feeling for this party…and so…we did! We used various lengths of long tables so that large family groups could sit together and friends, new and old, could gather. The brides’ dad really wanted a neutral color palette so we obliged with taupe linens for the tables. As usual, Father did know best!
We chose a khaki colored linen with crisp white napkins, tied with raffia and shells and starfish. Not only did they look pretty at the place setting, but the shell helped to keep them on the table top in the breezy setting! We lined the tables with organic shaped glass vases in shades of green and aqua glass; spikes of white miniature cymbidium orchids filled the vases and large glass hurricanes helped the keep the candles from blowing out! The wind is a formidable foe to people such as me when working right on the shore line!
The grills were hot, and the food was perfection for this grilling party on the beach! The chefs at The La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club created mouth watering treats for everyone to enjoy!
Everyone had a good time…the kids faces say it all!
Carol Smith from Invitation Factory helped again with all the stationery products and created custom napkins for the party too! Again, shells were the anchors to hold them in place! Good little weights, those shells!
Carol also made these adorable drinks straws with custom flags! So clever.
As the sun set, and the lights came on, I had to wonder, did the guests know that their next day, wedding day, would be sheer magic!
Party Number 3! It’s the Wedding Day!
Dum, dum, di, dum, dum, dum, di dum…Here comes the bride!
What a magical evening lie ahead for this beautiful bride and her groom, their families, and all her wedding guests! The beautiful, ethereal and amazing Grand Del Mar was the location of this special wedding!
Linda Howard of Sensational Celebrations in Los Angeles, brought all the elements together for this wonderful wedding! Linda is pretty sensational herself! Working with her was a breeze, and it was a seamless process! Just like a well choreographed dance!
The wedding ceremony took place in The Capella at the hotel, a romantic chapel, designed with a distinct feeling of a small European chapel, with high wood ceilings, and stained glass windows that cast wonderful shadows of colored light as the sun beams thru them!
As usual the kids stole the show, until the bride made her appearance, and then jaws dropped! She was gorgeous!
Once the pronouncement had been made, and the bride and groom kissed, everyone headed to the terrace for cocktails.
One hour later the moment had finally come…the doors opened to the ballroom and the party started!
The bride told me from the first day we met, “I want a night club feeling in this ballroom.” Well, if you have ever been in this ballroom, the place exudes the personality of a grand room in a large room in an Italian villa….a night club in a villa? Sure, no problem!
I sat down with my design team and we drew up the plan! Just had to show the bride and her family how this all would create that perfect night club…see what you think? Did we do a good job?
Glistening mirrored tables with mylar and crystal chandeliers floating over them!
A ‘super bar’ that reflected light all around! We solved the problem of long lines at the bar (which the brides’ dad was really worried about) and created an amazing visual as guests entered the space! Some guest tables were draped with floor length white rosette linens and encircled with clear ghost chairs while other custom fabric wrapped tables, some square and some round, were set with Italian leather covered dining chairs. Some of the tables were set taller with bar stool height chairs. And other tables were set in vintage 1940’s style cabaret booths! Lush bouquets of white flowers everywhere! The scene was set with a night club atmosphere. The walls of the ballroom were draped in white and a gleaming white dance floor reflected the stage lighting!
Now all we needed was the entertainment! Wayne Foster Orchestra to the rescue! What a fun floor show they provide to amaze your guests!
But there were the timeless elements in this wedding too!
A bridal bouquet of gardenias and stephanotis…understated elegance…
Romantic rhinestone frames holding seating cards
A traditional tiered wedding cake…from the talented pastry chef at The Grand Del Mar!
And a very apprehensive young boy…every time I see this photo I wonder what he was worried about? Perhaps his own wedding some day?
Three magical days…one amazing family…many talented professionals and me! The luckiest designer in the world! I’ve said for years, it’s the people that keep me coming to work every day! My team was so good that day! They are good everyday, but that day they were superstars! My partners outdid themselves…the detail they saw in every single aspect of the planning of these events! They made me look like a superstar!
Without acknowledging Aaron Feldman of True Photography would be a huge oversight! Thank you Aaron for capturing all the magic that I created and for helping me tell this story of love!