Fresh Ideas For Spring Fêtes!

Happy Good Friday Friends! Spring is in full swing, Passover has begun and Easter is in the air! Wedding Season is so close I can taste it and the excitement is almost more than one can bear. Today we thought we’d give you some ideas on taking the best the season has to offer and translating new versions of these motifs to  your wedding.

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Pick-a-Pallet

It goes without saying that in any spring themed celebration, pastel colors tend to dominate the visual story of the day. Don’t get me wrong, we adore spring weddings, but today I’d like to encourage all you spring brides to think just a touch outside of the box. Of course, I would never ask you to completely forsake your pale pallet, but instead of pairing pastels with one another (thus recreating that old Easter basket as the color base for your day), put your pastels to use in a different way: try choosing just one, your favorite, and pairing that color with pale neutrals. Trust me when I tell you that your affair will feel more elegant by coupling your fave pastel with a grey or tan. Check out these color pallets to see how well this works!

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Visual Motifs

For spring celebrations, we love the idea of using fresh potted plants. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE flowers and spring is the season where many of the best are actually local and available, but bringing in some terracotta potted herbs and flowers could go a long way in bringing the freshness of the season to your table. You could implement them in your table-scape or give them out as favors, either way your guests will love it.

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We also love the idea of bringing eggs into the visual story of your wedding. Getting married at a farm? Try talking to the owner about collecting eggs from the hens on site and bundling them in a cute basket to give out as favors. Chocolate pastel colored eggs can also be super fun. Find pale egg candies in your colors and nestle them in tiny vessels to add to the overall décor or indicate the guests’ table assignment.

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Feast Like It’s a Holy Day

Décor isn’t the only place where senses of the season can come alive at your wedding. Ditch the normal fish and steak based menu and work with your caterer to create a family style feast. Try offering rack of lamb or brisket as your proteins, serve scalloped potatoes or mint cous cous as your starch, and top the meal off with sautéed spinach and roasted carrots for your veg: Crazy yummy, super original and just plain great for a spring themed celebration!

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Spring doesn’t have to be all bunnies and floral prints (although we love those things too). We hope today’s post has inspired all you spring brides to think outside the ‘easter basket’ and find ways to bring all the lovely things this season has to offer to your fête in a fun and classy way.

Making Your Day Your Own (At Venues With Little Flexibility)

Happy Spring Friends!

The first moment you walked into the wedding venue you chose for your day, you felt at home. The location, the style, the price, it all seemed to be a match made in heaven. You quickly signed the 10 page contract, submitted the deposit and selected a date. The world was at your fingertips, nothing could go wrong, and then… wait, we’re not allowed to do that? Oh, so we can only use vendors from your approved list?  But how do we make our celebration distinct and our own if we are only allowed to do things the way every other couple who has gotten married here before us has done?

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I can’t tell you how common this story is. Many of the most gorgeous and coveted venue locations have crazy strict guidelines.  Everyone wants their wedding to be deeply personal; from the aesthetics, to the day of flow, and from the music to the menu, it is important that your wedding actually reflects who you are as a couple and tells your story, even if you are getting hitched in a spot with very little flexibility. Today we’re going to share some ideas on how to do this, particularly in the areas of food and entertainment, despite getting married at a beautiful, yet strict venue.

mezze 1The biggest struggle some of my couples face is getting to serve the food they want on their day. Many times, a venue will only work with one specific caterer, or you will have to choose from a very limited list of preferred caterers. If you find yourself in this situation, do not fret; you may have more options than you think. Yes, most of these places have set sample menus that they prefer to stick to, but try talking with your contact to explore the possibility of altering the normal menu to include specific items that are important to your story.  For example, let’s say you want to give a nod to your mother’s Middle Eastern heritage and serve mezze after the cocktail hour, as guests enter the reception area. There is a high possibility this will not be on the pre-set menu. If you share the importance of this tradition with your caterer (and remember that you catch more flies with honey, so be nice), there is a good chance that for a few dollars extra per head they will be able to accommodate you.

cotton candyAlways dreamed of having a cotton candy machine at your wedding? This is not a service that most caterers have the equipment for and are set-up to offer. Share how important this aspect of your day is with your venue and catering contacts and request that you be allowed to bring in a specialty vendor just for this purpose. Nine out of ten times the venue will let you bring in who you want simply because it is not something their preferred caterer is able to do! And it doesn’t stop there: frozen yogurt, churros con chocolate, popcorn, taco trucks, there are a ton of specialty dessert or late night snack vendors that will help create a lasting memory for you and your guests that your venue is likely to sign off on, despite their strict guidelines, because the preferred caterer isn’t able to offer something that is important to you.

 
cigar bar

Really want to spice things up? Feel free to try going outside the standard forms of entertainment for moments that leave a lasting impression on your guests. This could be as simple as creating a cigar or scotch bar in a loungy area of your reception. Once again, even strict venues usually allow you to bring in specialty vendors like this, particularly if you hint at the angle of this being an important cultural tradition for your family! Decided to get married at a venue that won’t allow a live band? Usually this has some kind of direct correlation to the city’s sound ordinance and the sound being amplified. True, the venue probably won’t budge for the reception, but they will generally  let you bring in a small live band (without amplification) for the ceremony and/or cocktail hour. Or think outside the box completely and bring in something  unexpected: check out one of our past blogs about belly dancing & bagpipes for a bit of inspiration! Whatever the choices you end up making, we encourage you to work to wow your guests. Even if it feels like the venue is saying “no” to everything (we’ve worked at many places like this), don’t give up! Make your day yours!

Love at Adamson House: Talia & Bennett Married!

Happy Friday Friends!

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Today we’re excited to share Talia & Bennett’s wedding from last August with you. Their wedding is just the sort we love to be a part of: great couple, fab venue, and tons of personal details!

Pier T&B

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These lovebirds got hitched at the Adamson House in Malibu. Not only does the venue have an incredible view, the house and grounds of the estate are equally gorgeous. With a backdrop as stunning at the Adamson House (which is a historic estate, you should go visit!), we didn’t have to go over board with décor to make everything look lovely. Thankfully, Kim Fox Photography was there to capture each and every detail beautifully.

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We chose to replicate the feel of the coast in our aesthetics, from the custom designed printed items (compliment of a friend of the couple) to bringing the colors of sand, water, and driftwood into our table-scape! We introduced this look to the dining tables by using matte tan lines as our base and adding satin aquamarine runners to frame the table. Then we placed a chocolate napkin atop white china plates to bring the look together. Talia wanted the floral designs to have a wildflower, fresh picked from the field, feeling to them. We used a variety of vibrant colored flowers, small to mid sized blooms and textured greenery to bring this vision to life. A mixture of white washed pails and almost milk-glass style vessels were used to display our “hand-picked” arrangements. Finally, Talia added touches of red to her personal style to keep things spicy (check out her shoes, super foxy!)

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funny couple with vases

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beer and olive oil

One of the aspects of this wedding that I appreciated the most was just how invested Talia & Bennett were in making the day truly reflect their story, style, and personality. They weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and took on many a DIY project…my kind of couple! They got engaged in Italy, and brought back with them some crazy good olive oil; so it was only fitting that they divvy it up into small bottles, tether a cute tag around them, and make them their favors. Bennett has been known to brew a keg or two in his day, for the wedding, he doctored up a specialty “I Do Brew”. It was served with the weddings featured beer. On every guest’s plate was a small box of caramels made by Talia and Bennett’s friend and amazing pastry chief, Justin Chao of Le Bon Garcon (his caramels made Oprah’s favorite things list a few years ago!).

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hanging flower and chuppah

When it came time for the ceremony, family members were super involved, which made the whole thing feel deeply intimate and personal. The couple got married under a chuppah built by Bennett and his new father-in-law; the top of the chuppah was a piece of Talia’s mother’s wedding dress, and both sets of parent’s wedding anniversary dates-as well as the wedding couple’s anniversary- were embroidered onto it. We hung wildflower arrangements in mason jars from the large tree that anchored their ceremony. Bennett’s aunt, a professional French horn player, played the music that accompanied the bride and groom down the aisle. Talia’s grandmother also officiated the ceremony. The Ketubah, a reminder to the couple of their vows to each other, was signed by Talia & Bennett’s 5 siblings and siblings-in-law.

couple under house and signed thing

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Once our lovebirds were officially hitched, the whole party feasted like kings via a family style dinner by Whoa Nelly Catering. Just thinking about the food on their wedding day still makes my mouth water. Talia & Bennett didn’t feel tied to many reception traditions, so we threw out the old rulebook and just focused on everyone dancing and having a great time. Bennett’s been a member of a few bands throughout his life, so it was an extra special treat for the wedding quests when he, with two of the bands he is a part of, were able to have a live jam session during the celebration. At the end of the night, the happy couple hopped on the last shuttle with their friends and family (and the left over alcohol) to get the after-party going. It was definitely a night to remember for all!

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couple dancing and random

After the wedding, I asked Talia if she had any advise for those in the midst of planning their weddings, and here is what she had to say: “Treat the entire planning process as a celebration. Whether you’re a natural planner or not, celebrate each decision; it takes away some of the pressure from having to get just one day totally perfect, and by the time the wedding is here you feel like you’ve been celebrating for a year already—a truly great feeling. (And if you have Marisa by your side, you really can feel like you’re celebrating all year long!).”

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Vendor Love

Wedding Invites Part 2: The Last Hurrah!

Hello Lovelies!

Last week, we shared with you the first half of a two-part post on steps to getting your invites designed, printed and in your guests hands. To jog your memory, the first three steps involved scoping out structural options, establishing esthetic details, and getting the jargon just right for your suite. Today, we are giving you the second piece of the puzzle, the final hurrah to make your invitation nightmares disappear. So here goes:

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Step 4: Proofread The Heck Out Of It!

This step is crucial; so don’t let yourself feel rushed! Having a spelling or grammatical error on your invite, or accidently giving incorrect information to your guests can cause confusion and make you look less than ‘on top of ‘ the situation! Upon receiving your proof, don’t let yourself be distracted by the design and how gorgeous they turned out. Pour over every part of the suite to make sure there are no errors (believe me that your guests will be sure to notice if there are). Here is one trick that will put those mistakes to rest: read what you have written out loud. You may think this is silly but trust me; you will be able to hear if something is out of place. Also, be sure to have three pairs of eyes meticulously look over your invites before sending them to print. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

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Step 5: Finishing Your Invites Off With Class – Envelope Etiquette

Once you have received your beautiful invites in the mail, it is time to start addressing and assembling them. Now is not the time to get complacent, so stick in there and finish your invites off with class! Wedding etiquette says that guest addresses should always be hand written (please don’t break my heart and use office labels!). This does not mean it has to be done by a professional calligrapher (of course if this is in your budget, go for it!). Have a family member or bridesmaid (with good penmanship) looking for a way to help out? Send them your completed invitations with guest list and ask her to pitch in by personally addressing them for you. Also be sure to assemble your invitation neatly. You want to make sure that when your guests open their invitation it looks just as you designed it to appear: clean and precise, not as if it was stuffed carelessly or without thought. You spent so much time (and money) working on these invites, don’t let it all go to waste by sending your guests crumpled invitations or envelopes with tacky addressing.

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Step 6: Take A Trip To The Post Office

Now, it is finally time to take that long awaited trip to the post office to get these beauties in the mail.  First, bring one completely assembled invitation up to the counter and get it weighed. Once you know how much postage you will need, the real fun will begin. Ditch the forever stamps and go with vintage or wedding inspired postage. Tracking these down will be worth the added time and energy as the envelope is the first esthetic detail your guests will see regarding your wedding. After all your invitations have been properly stuffed and stamped, wait in line and ask to have your invites hand processed (this is so they won’t get that ugly line on the envelope). Now my friends you are all done!

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Getting those invitations in the hands of your guests can be a daunting process, but it will be so rewarding once the project is finished. We hope these steps have made the whole situation easier and more fun! Now get to it my friends!