Friday, August 13, 2010

It’s thanks to the ever-creative and competitive, ‘yes’ driven rental world that wedding planners can be as trend setting as we are. This shout out to the rental folks is long over due. This small tribute comes on the heels of a long couple of days spent ‘designing’ and brainstorming with a fabulous client. I want to tip my hat to Classic, Michael Prichett who leads a driven and dedicated team, Julie Peacock (so how many tents has she put up???) Alice with La Tavola who is the epitome of class, the ever-lovely Irish sisters Deirdre and Moira, Neil with Blueprint who never ceases to go the extra mile. Marshall with Wine Country Party and his super buttoned up group and top-notch product, Betsy Stone (how darn pretty can a linen get???) the welcoming ‘Classic’ ladies in St Helena who make their studio feel like home, Jeff Mills who exceeds expectations every time….the list goes on and on. And I mean that….Got Light? Stephanie Curtain, Napa Valley Linens, lovely Lily from Wildflower….

These fellow service providers make us look good, and they work hard. They work long hours, they care, and wow am I thankful.

Did I mention how much I love Peonies?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We just completed a romantic, heavenly, peaceful, imaginative, inspiring, challenging, super duper duper creative, thankful wedding. I know, every wedding planner's dream, right? The Silver Oak Winery team, and my own team, were perfection. Again, back to my promise to educate. I'll share two treasured secrets, two of my own little tidbits that I really shouldn't keep in my back pocket. Because, I love these two service providers and if I love them, I want the best for them. Wanting the best for them means more bookings....

#1: Great calligraphy chalk board writing by Trish Pudewell. Wow.... is she awesome.
#2: the absolute BEST homemade ice cream sundae bars (and all organic and local to San Fran) by Three Twins. You can find them at Oxbow market in Napa.

Happy almost weekend....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I read in a business coaching publication that the intent behind blogging is to teach, educate, serve a purpose other than talking about oneself. Ok, taken to heart. Today, I am going to turn you on to a St Helena treasure....David and Mimi Katz of Panevino, Food for Wine. A boutique catering and fine food company, run with old fashioned ideals and great, yummmyyyyy ingredients.

We partnered on a wedding together, and their food quality and presentation was lovely. I am also hopelessly in love with their breadsticks, the olive oil sea salt ones. Two things I love, salt and olive oil. They can be found at Dean and Deluca, Whole Foods and our very own Sunshine.

There, I educated.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chuppah! I am the Irish Catholic wedding planner who knows quite a bit about awesome Jewish traditions. I love Chuppahs; I respect their history and what they symbolize. Here's your Tuesday morning tidbit from the Wine Country. A Chuppah symbolizes the home the bride and groom will build together, it's open on all sides to reflect that their home and hearts will be open to friends and family. What's not perfect about that????

Here are of few of my most recent Chuppah's. Thanks to Damion Hamilton and Meg Smith for the talented photography. And thanks to Kathy Hoffman for her amazing floral and design work.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lounge Time

This morning, I am going back to my promise to focus on images and pictures more than words - so I'll make this short and sweet.

Over the last few years I've had lots of fun creating one-of-a-kind lounges. Here are three favorites. The first is just fabulous, custom benches with a huge fire pit, stacked wood behind the benches, and coffee tables made of upside down half barrels; it was popular 'til all hours. The second is comfy and plush with crisp, clean blues and whites; the gorgeous throws came from Michael Holmes Designs, wow does he have lovely taste. The third was in an old apple barn, we used props and furniture from around the property and 'cozied' it up with fabrics, flowers and candlelight.

I am always searching for the perfect banquette, the perfect lounge, coffee table or fire pit. Any ideas?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good morning,

We're officially 4 days in to Spring. Yipppeeee.

Today's post is kind of long, but I love this topic, I hope my fellow service providers out there get something out of it. Here goes....

Right Client, Right Price, Right Property

My husband is in commercial real estate. I am biased, but I think he’s the best agent this valley has ever seen. He’s also my rock, cheerleader, counselor. He says, having a great wedding planner is like having a great quarterback; you just need one to win the game. I love thinking of myself as a quarterback. Have you ever seen my throw a football?

Jeff’s coined this cool idea in real estate: his clients have to fit three criteria: the right client, the right price, the right property. If one of those is missing, folks, it’s not a fit. About three years ago I kind of stole this concept, and frankly, it turned my Wine Country business around. That, and 13 years of working my tail off.

Try it out. We’re all out there meeting potential clients; this article couldn’t be timelier than early Spring. What are we doing but conducting interviews and popping out proposals? Hmm, right property, right price, ill-fitting client. Next. Right property, right client, and wrong price (no room in the budget for you to make a fair living).

You get the drill. I could go on and on about this topic, I love it. The whole idea really frees one up to absolutely excel at their career. When we are working with the right clients, at the right price at the right property (provided you’re a great ‘quarterback’), we are blowing their expectations away and giving them service that will keep them talking for years and years and years to come. Super simple, no advertising needed.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Carrie and Secin's wedding was amazing, stunning home-location, awesome family, great vision and imagination, just an all around dream client. Thanks to Brides Magazine for choosing to feature it!

Happy Friday

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hello glorious sunny day. Wow, it could not be prettier outside, it's a shame you're all looking at a screen and not breathing in the 'new blossom, clean dirt, fresh breeze' air. With that said, here's a bit of Spring inspiration from a wedding we did a few years ago at the glorious Beaulieu Gardens. This was such a special wedding to me, so boutique and heart felt - our floral designer Susan Carr lovingly grew most of the flowers and pulled the darling white containers from her own collection and home.