Love at Verandas Beach House: Rie & Hiro Married!

Happy New Year Friends!


Today I am happy to share Rie & Hiro’s wedding with you. They are seriously one of the sweetest, kindest, most gentile couples we have had the privilege of working with. It is crazy to think these lovebirds got hitched a whole year ago. And we were all super excited to have Style Me Pretty feature the wedding on their blog recently!






The couple tied the knot at Verandas Beach House in Manhattan beach. The venue was just perfect for the couple. There is an easy elegance about the place, which fit effortlessly with Hiro & Rie’s personalities and sense of style. It is amazing to me that the venue finds a way to be both elegant and laid back at the same time, and with the beach only a few blocks away, the couple was able to get their toes in the sand for a few beautiful ‘love shots.’







We decided to go with an aesthetic pallet of white, cream and blush with gorgeous little pops of gold. We wanted the whole thing to feel simultaneously romantic, classic and modern and I am happy to report that everything turned out simply gorgeous. We brought in satin gold linens as the base for our table-scape. Soft, full blooms and florals were utilized in neutral and blush tones to bring out the romance. Every table number, sign and printed item was designed with a type of pho-calligraphy that helped keep things modern, but also brought in a sense of timeless elegance. Thank God Erin J Saldana was there to capture each meticulously designed detail.





The specialty drinks were particularly fun! Hiro choose a Moscow Mule for his designer cocktail, but Rie’s pink lemonade was super fab with its’ sparkling gold rim. The favors also had their own charm that enhanced the overall vibe of the day. The couple purchased baby French Macaroons from one of their favorite bakeries, cased them in clear boxes and then wrapped them with super cute ribbon and a customized tag. Finally, to make the party space feel more festive, we hung tissues puffs in the couples’ colors at varying heights over the dance floor.





On a personal note, the thing that I most remember about Rie & Hiro’s wedding was just how dang emotional the whole day was for everyone involved (in a good way, I promise!). When they laughed, they did so with great joy, when the bridal party pitched in to help, they did so with great vigor. And when they cried during the toasts, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house (including mine). It was a gorgeous, fun day that no one in attendance will soon forget. Happy Anniversary Rie & Hiro!



Vendor Love:

Love at the Walnut Grove: Missy (that’s me) & Tim Married!

Hello lovelies!
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Today I have a very special wedding to share with you, mine! Tim and I have almost been married a year and a half and I thought it high time you got to see what happens when a wedding designer, with a tight budget and a dream team of wedding creatives get together to plan the most important celebration of my career, oh yeah, and smack in the middle of peak season!
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Albanese_Ronca_Becca_Rillo_Photography_BeccaRillo201210120001_lowTim and I got married at the Walnut Grove at Tierra Rejada Ranch. I actually came to this venue for the first time with one of my clients looking for her ideal wedding location (you know who you are, Peyvand!). From the moment I stepped onto the ranch, I knew this was where Tim and I would tie the knot. The natural beauty of the cornfields, bistro lit brick patio, fireplace and plethora of lush walnut and apricot trees made it the perfect spot to celebrate our love with our friends and family.


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From the very beginning of planning we wanted our wedding to precisely reflect who we are, tell our story and for everyone to have a rad time. Tim is super nostalgic for the ‘good old days’ and I love designing all things vintage, so we knew the whole thing had to have an art deco feel.
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With Tim being a photographer/cinematographer and my background in theater we decided to go toward a ‘glory days of Hollywood/old theatre glam’ direction for our wedding style, with rustic touches interwoven to bring a laid-back feel to the whole thing. We worked to bring these motifs into the life of our wedding by having all our signage and printed materials use theater and cinema jargon (designed by one of my amazing bridesmaids, Morgan). We said our vows to the backdrop of a tasseled red velvet curtain. Tim stole photos of each of our guests off the web, edited them to have a retro look and then we strung them up to an old door. People found their table by finding their photo! Each of our guest tables was named after a play or movie that was near and dear to our hearts. We wanted to give the tables a hint of old school theater lighting, so I set out to create DIY mercury glass that we later filled with candles to make the table-scape glow!
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We choose estate blue, mustard yellow, grey and pops of ruby red for our color pallet (we just like so many colors, we couldn’t choose!). These colors came to life through our flowers, signage, linens and fashion. We wanted to juxtapose mostly dry/rough/sharp textures with super soft/lush petals. Enchanted Gardens brought our ideas to life fabulously! We scoured LA flee-markets and antique shops to gather vintage wine, beer and apothecary bottles to house our flowers. We went crazy with old camera, frames, and lanterns galore to fill in each and every delightful corner of the venue. As part of the gift to my ladies, I gave them each a unique mustard/gold art deco headband to adorn at the wedding.
Tim and I are both proud Italians and it was important to us that we give a nod to our heritage throughout the party. Unfortunately, all the New Yorkers weren’t able to make the long trip to LA. To keep my family close, we tethered my grandmother’s engagement ring to my bouquet for my walk down the aisle. We also stole all the old photos from our grandparents and parents that we could get our hands on to have an homage to our ancestors by the lit fireplace.
We really wanted the whole party to be crazy fun for the two of us, our bridal party and all our guests. Music was a huge part of that. Our guests arrived to the ceremony with the backdrop of the blues. Our whole processional was to instrumental versions of modern songs (our parents walked into ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ and had no idea!). Tim is half Irish, and we both really love bagpipes, so we surprised everyone by ending the ceremony to the Jurassic Park theme song on the bagpipes! We all danced the night away, and for those who aren’t fond of frolicking, we had a photo-booth and s’mores for all to enjoy.
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A weathered dictionary served as our guest book: we had guests ‘reference’ their love for us by choosing a word of well wishes and signing their name… people said the funniest things! One of my personal favorite details of the day was our two wooden love-birds atop our cake. We put together burlap sacks, filled with walnuts and brought together with a cute tag, as our favor. We ended the evening with an Italian tradition, fleeing the scene of our wedding through a sea of twirling napkins. I’ve always loved the old-school wedding getaway car, so we turned my little blue versa into our own ‘just married’ honeymoon vehicle with tin cans and everything. I’m happy to say that it was seriously the most fun, most fabulous day of our lives, everyone had a great time and Tim and I wish could relive every second of it!
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Vendor Love:

California Ranch DIY Details: How Two Part 2 – Signs!

Happy Tuesday Friends!

Last month we started a series on guiding you in achieving aspects to a DIY ranch wedding, using Shirley & Spencer’s wedding as a case study. Today we are sharing with you the second part of that series and it is all about signage!

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Sure, people can probably figure out what your desserts are, the process of how to ‘sign’ your guestbook and and the components of those fancy blue cocktails all on their own, but what’s the fun in that? Over the last several years, chalkboard artwork has become (and remained) a staple in the whole rustic, handmade wedding movement. I myself am a sucker for great signage. As you can see, Shirley decided to go with a combo of chalkboard signs with a few handmade-strung signs, and I just love how they all turned out. There are just 3 simple steps to having amazing DIY signs at your wedding, and here they are:

Step 1: Nail Down Your Jargon

Figure out the content of what you want each sign to say, then cut it down to the bare minimum. For my sake, please keep it concise. None of your guests want to have to squint to read a whole sentence on a small chalkboard. Once you figure out what needs to be communicated, determine if you want to keep the language traditional by just coming out and saying what needs to be said, or if you want to find a way to say it in a cheeky way (I almost always go for cheeky, but that’s just me; NOTE – being clever takes time, if you want to be witty with your signs, make sure you start thinking through this sooner rather than later!).



Step 2: Practice Makes Perfect

With any DIY projects it is very unlikely that you’ll get it perfect on the first try. Once you have your language down and you know what medium you want the sign to be crafted on, don’t think that you can just grab your writing utensil and be done with it in 2 minutes.  Sketch out your design and wording in pencil until you are happy with it, then carefully go for the real thing! Remember to keep something handy to quickly make minor mistakes disappear as you work to create the final product.




Step 3: Display With Purpose

I can’t tell you how often brides spend a ton of time creating super cute signs but then forget to think through the logistics and on the day there are gorgeous signs but with no way for them to stand upright (so guests will actually be able to read them). With every sign you make, you have a great opportunity to display your sign with flare!  Whether you choose an easel that fits your style or some kind of twine for hanging, please remember two things: 1) every sign you make needs to be able to be seen by your guests and 2) remember to keep with the feel of your wedding and choose a way to display your signs that fits your overall style.



Be Warned: A Note Regarding Chalkboard Markers

Finally, I leave you with both a warning and a tip specifically regarding writing on chalkboards. Warning: if want to use the chalkboard sign again without repainting it, do not use chalkboard markers. Yes, they make your signs look amazing, but you will not be able to get the marker remnants off the board, no matter how much elbow-grease you put into it (trust me on this one). Fear not, you have another option to get a similar look: wet the edge or your chalk before using it to allow the chalk to go on smoothly and create clear lines of font for your signs.


I wish you the best of luck in creating fabulous signs for your big day!

California Ranch DIY Details ‘How-To’; Part 1

Happy Tuesday friends!

Everyone loves a rustic, California ranch style, DIY wedding and here are Marisa Nicole, it is kind of our specialty! Shirley & Spencer’s Napa Valley celebration over labor day weekend was just such a wedding and I am happy to say that everything turned out simply gorgeous! After spending nine months with the couple planning and designing their day, and then finally bringing all our dreams and ideas to life, we thought this wedding would serve as an ideal case study that could help those planning weddings for next year see exactly what it takes to create this kind of fabulous fete. Therefore, for the next few weeks, we’ll be breaking down some of the various DIY details of this wedding and sharing some fun and easy tips on ‘how to’ achieve the perfect rustic California wedding!


Part 1 – Simple Yet Elegant Table Runners (that won’t run away)!

Step 1: Cut a long strip of a fabric of your choice (12 inches wide please, burlap is pictured) to act as a table runner to spice up and frame  an already super cute wooden farm table (or banquet style table with linen of your choice)! Make sure it is longer than your table by a few feet but not exactly touching the ground (most banquets are 8 feet long, so making each runner 11 feet long usually does the trick nicely). Gather all other materials that you will need (twine, lace ribbon, scissors) and we can begin making your tables look rustic fab!

securedownloadStep 2: Grab each end of the cloth and gather it into pleats. Be careful not to just gather the cloth to avoid a clumped mess later! Using twine, tie the pleats together and secure with a knot.

securedownload-1Step 3: Beautify the knot by covering it with lace ribbon and tying it into a bow that sits right over the pleats.


securedownload-3Step 4: Repeat the above steps on the other side of the table runner.

photo 1Step 5: Place all other fun DIY items (candles, table numbers, favors) over the table runner to keep it from blowing away!

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We hope that your guests love your DIY tablescapes. Stay tuned next Tuesday for Part 2 of the ‘How-to’ Series!