It's none of your business!

Since the second round of "It's none of your business" is happening this weekend, right now seems like a perfect opportunity to shed light on why you should attend. For those of you in the wedding industry or those whom would like to be.

About seven months ago I took part in the first of Enjoy Events Co. workshop, "It's none of your business". To re-cap, the workshop was a hefty insight to running and operating a wedding planning business. These girls did not hold back either, they really opened up and shared a ton of resources as well as relationships within their network. Therefore, I wanted to share the three things I walked away with and still hold in regard seven months later.

1. "Social Media OMFG" - Anne Sage. Social media is a no brainer these days. However, learning what is socially acceptable and appropriate for your target market or followers is something rather grey. They clearly outlined what is "acceptable" to post and what you should be posting more of.

2. Bringing clarity to your business plan and how to create your niche. Business plans are not fun, I guess someone out there might think they are, but I personally do not. We all get attached to our brand and think that it's unique or new or hasn't been done before. Emily and Megan were AWESOME at pinpointing ways to guide you in your own direction.

3. The new connections and motivation I found within the industry. Sometimes it feels like you are rather alone or it can be hard to meet others. Let's be real, we are all very busy pro's. It's hard and scary sometimes to establish quality relationships. This workshop was ever-so helpful in making those types of relationships available.

Huge THANKS to Emily and Megan and everyone in the EECO posse, Anne SageEdyta Szyszlo & Tomfoolery SF, Amanda O'Shannessy at OTL Vintage, Myka of Modern Sequins, and all the people I had the chance to meet and become friends with!


The Cream Event LA

This year is quickly starting to speed up and I need to catch up on my blogging! So, really what I am saying is I'm excited to share and post about my most recent trip down to LA for The Cream Event. I believe in staying fresh with current trends and think there is no better way than to experience them than first hand. Back in January I attended The Lab Event at Cline Cellars, which is the Bay Area's wedding industry showcase. The Cream is essentially the same, just on a slightly larger scale. Personally, I adore California's progressive wedding industry and how the west coast movement blends trends across a broad platform. The Cream Event did just that by encompassing all of southern California's gems and this years style projections. To sum the event up; pretty tabletops packed with inspiration, treats that wow some of the most educated palates, tech savvy tools, braid, lash and manicure bars, photobooths, crafty cocktails, and musical talent that enchanted the entire evening. A few of my very favorite vendors;  Yeah! Rentals, Room Forty Catering, Found Vintage Rentals,  Urbanic, Urban Palate, the Flash Dance, Fiore Beauty, Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Primary Petals, Smile Booth, but the list doesn't end there, there are many, many more I loved. We are unique and rich in our resources and I for one and more than excited to tap into those resources! A few photos for your viewing pleasure. 


A San Francisco Wedding

Here is a sneak peak from one of the prettiest weddings of the year I planned! Gladys Jem did an amazing job photographing, yet again! This wedding took over a year to plan and was one of the most joyous unions I've witnessed.  The love that poured out of all the family members and friends at the rehearsal dinner set the tone for the entire weekend. Everything was beautiful! Click on the link below to see a preview from Brianne and Niall's wedding. Enjoy! 


Fall Feature on Style Me Pretty

If you havn't seen it yet, check out my bohemian themed wedding on Style Me Pretty. Now. As in right now!  Click here

Recently, I brought to life one of my wedding designs at the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol. Collaborations are the perfect opportunity to gain insight on working with different types of venues. It was day full of laughter and shooting with the oh-so talented Gladys Jem, whom I absolutely adore. The lighting was perfect, everything moved along schedule smoothly, every element came together seamlessly and harmoniously. My main goal was to shed light on a lesser ventured style of weddings. I wanted to create a medium between the tavern's gorgeous beer garden and a rustic wedding. The tavern's beer played a spotlight in many of the styling elements. My favorite part of the shoot was pairing wedding cake flavors to beer profiles. The day was filled with creativity and plenty of hoppy things! Spending the day with Gladys, Lyndsey, and Juna was a blast. I was very fortunate to have an amazing team for the day. Lots of love and labor went into creating all of the right elements for our vision. I can't even begin to describe the sincere appreciation and gratitude for everyone that stems from my heart from our joyous collaboration.  A HUGE THANKS to Gladys Jem, Lyndsey Corzine, Juna Demavivas, Stacey Orozco, Kim Schubert and Hopmonk Brewery, Kimmi McKenzie of Hermia's WishesLa Tavola, Beka Cote and Lily Lim for contributing and making this such a gorgeous shoot! Of course, a special thanks to Style Me Pretty for featuring it! Check out the post to read more about it. 


Love to share photos? There's a wedding app for that!

Next weekend Lyndsey and I are producing a wedding here in San Francisco and we are very excited for a few reasons! First, since I brought Lyndsey on board a few months ago, this is the first wedding we will be working on together. Yipee! I'm elated to have her and to finally work a wedding with her by my side. Second, we are encouraging all of the attendees to use the  Wedding Party App throughout the whole day. The app is a concept I personally love, especially since I'm an instagram addict. Upload and stream photos live and the app will sort them chronologically between your photos and all the other guests whom are logged into that wedding. It does far more that that though, it is linked to mywedding.com which is a great wedding website resource, it creates online albums, and makes sharing a breeze. A new way to share fun!

Style Me Pretty also really loves the Wedding Party App, click here to see their post about it.



Wedding Websites

Why you need one and choosing one that is right for you.

My clients often ask me if they really need a personal wedding website. They don't doubt they do, but often seem perplexed by the idea of essentially needing one. I believe their biggest concern is building a website will incur time and maintenance. Once the news of your marriage has been broadcasted, you can expect a ton of questions, phone calls and emails from all the people you've just invited. Your guests will want the details all at once. Hence, why you need a personalized wedding website. A wedding website is going to be one of the most powerful tools you can utilize in the planning process. You will want to share all of your relevant details in a timely manner, but, a website does much more than that. Wedding websites are a fantastic way to communicate with you guests, they share your registries, honeyfunds, day of activities, photos, stories, and most importantly your wedding day information. They are especially resourceful for destination weddings and communicating information, suggesting hotels, and details on your locale.

I have spent a ton of time registering myself on wedding websites and personally trying them out. There are a few different methods of obtaining a wedding website. First, there are free hosted sites that are fantastic. They offer templates for all of your wedding details and some of them are customizable. Many of them offer themes where you can purchase matching paper products. One in particular that is easy to use and is straightforward is www.mywedding.com. Which links to Hello!Lucky, a personal favorite wedding invitation and letterpress company in San Francisco.

Another approach to this is to create a blog. Blogs are a great resource because you can customize them and build them from the ground up. They do take a little more time to perfect. If you are web savvy then it should be a breeze. Blogs are generally free and can be customized by a designer for a fee. Google's blogger is straight forward and very user friendly.

You can also purchase your very own domain name for about $10-15 and have this routed to the site or blog. It could look like "www.yournameandpartnername.com" This will make your site even more personalized and direct. 

The final method of building a wedding website is to contact a designer and have them put together a site for you. This method is my favorite because if you work with the same designer, you can match it to all of your paper products and theme for the wedding. Then when the invitaions are sent out, everything will be uniform, from your invitations, escort cards, programs, to the website.  


The Sweetest Bite

For the love of cupcakes, this is nothing but the sweetest. 

A few years ago, I was put in touch with the lovely Lily Lim of The Sweetest Bite. Let me rewind and tell you a few years ago I was impressed by her baking, namely, her cupcake passion. Today, this girl is a major talent in the kitchen. She's adventurous with her craft, and I'm into it.  
What I personally love most about Lily is the fact that she is open minded to new creations. If you have a flavor in mind, Lily will test drive new ideas in a heartbeat. For example, a recent bride requested a vanilla cake with caramelized pears, cinnamon buttercream and pecans for a fall wedding, it did not disappoint.

Lily is quite the mixologist, some of her signature cupcakes include:
Salted Caramel: caramel cake topped with salted caramel buttercream
Peanut Butter Dream: chocolate cake with chocolate peanut butter ganache
Irish Car Bomb: chocolate Guinness cake with a Bailey's buttercream
Haupia: (most popular) sponge cake with coconut pudding, fresh whipped cream and shredded coconut 
Chocolate Caramel: chocolate cake filled with caramel with chocolate ganache

Lily also has a vast variety of cupcake flavors, most of which most translate nicely into wedding cakes. A few that stand out: Lemon, Red Velvet, Almond Roca, Chocolate Chip, Carrot, MochaChocolate Strawberry, Banana, Mint Chocolate with Peppermint Buttercream. In addition to the cupcakes listed above Lily also offers dessert bar items and other baked goods. She's crafty with fondant cupcake toppers and fondant cake decor. However, if fondant's not your thing, she also uses chocolate and gum paste for decorations and flowers.



Photographer Love: Stephanie Simos

Photography, brains, and fun? YES please.

I am more than thrilled to share one of my dearest friends with you, Miss Stephanie Simos. Not only is she a bundle of fun to be around, but she has creative eye for photography,  she's witty, and a hoot to banter with.

Stephanie has made wondrous leaps and bounds in the world of photography in the last couple of years. I deserve to gush because she really IS that wonderful. She's not your average photographer. She's on the board for Women's Initiative for Self Employment in San Francisco as their lead photographer. She also has a full time job. It takes a super organized and dedicated person to do all the things that she does. Photography is her passion and that's what makes her more than amazing. She has been photographing weddings for the last year and a half and is starting to produce some incredible images. Keep your eye out, you just might see some collaboration work pop up in the near future from the two of us.

You can view her photographs here: 
Facebook: Stephanie Simos Photography 
Flickr: Photos

Stephanie also shot images for Meggie, a boutique shop on Union Street in the Marina. Ahh-mazing.  


Destination Weddings


Recently I flew down to Tulum, a personal favorite place in Mexico. Scouting a wedding is always a joy for me. After this recent excursion, I am more in love with Tulum than any other destination I have worked on yet. Dreamy beaches + ruins,  vibrant eco-chic hotels, and an array of creative minds make it hard not to love. Many of the hotels and restaurants popping up are geared toward being eco-friendly or are locally sourced only. See Playa Azul and Hartwood, for example. Tulum is home to one of the most amazing culinary experiences in Mexico. There is not a chain restaurant even remotely close to this quiet get-away. Nope, no way, no how. Tulum ignited my mexican love affair. 

A few of my favorite things: fresh squeezed watermelon juice at Playa Azul. Swings for barstools and a pool table on the beach at El Bistro at Ziggy Beach. Free salsa lessons on the beach at La Zebra'sBikini Bootcamp + Yoga at Amansala, renting bikes around the hotel zone, and wind surfing in front of the Om Hotel. Perfect for a laid back romantic getaway, also great for the adventure seeker. Day trip ready? Try diving, rescuing baby sea turtles, or wind surfing. Cenotes are plentiful and the ruins of Coba and Chichen Itza make great day adventures.

Scouting Trip

Madrid, Spain
 Better late that never. Here are a few pictures from my scouting trip to Madrid last April for the wedding in Spain. The bride and I spend almost a week searching for all the right elements to plan her destination wedding. Not only were we site visiting the wedding location, but we also spent time searching the city for all the other events and elements that led up to her wedding. From the rehearsal dinner, a day trip to Segovia, trips to the flower mart, and the locals favorite restaurants in Madrid, we had to sample it all! Enjoy!


Handmade Furniture

 My (awesome) roommate is nothing short of a phenomenal artist. With a more industrial approach, she creates pieces that are timeless and extremely unique. Handmade custom wedding or event pieces,

Quick weekend re-post

I spend a majority of my time surfing wedding blogs and websites, after awhile they all somewhat start to look the same. This one caught my eye today. Absolutely stunning shoot and dresses! Take a peek!


Happily Ever After

Surprise Wedding
A note to say congrats to one of my best friends and favorite people on this earth, Trevor, for almost 3 years of marriage! While at work the morning after Election Day 2008, I open a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle to find a half page spread with a center photo of Trevor and Paul. Much to my surprise and everyone who knows them, I was shocked and extremely happy to see the news that they had gotten married without any notice! Spontaneity has always been one of their strong suits.  Today, they are an inspiring couple that is always moving in positive directions. Cheers to happy marriages.

See the article here:



In a week and a half I am flying down to Mexico to do site inspections and scout hotels and venues. Hooray for beach weddings. I'll be spending the week all over the Mayan Riviera researching Tulum, Playa del Carmel, Cozumel and Cancun. Brushing up on my Spanish is in order too. Happy weekend!

Thailand: The land of smiles

The thought of having a destination wedding on a beach on an island in Thailand makes me giddy inside. Aside from harboring a perfect blue sea, powder sand beaches and tropical weather, Thailand is home to the nicest people in the world. Not to mention, it's dirt cheap. Thailand hosts some stunning resorts too. A few pics from my last trip, enjoy!

Grand Palace, Bangkok

Koh Samui

another view of the beach on Koh Samui

Day Spa

Koh Tao

Floating Market

Orchids in Chaing Mai

Offerings to Buddha

Wedding Arbor at the Koh Tao Resort

Koh Tao Resort grounds

Infinty pool at the Koh Tao Resort

Islands surrounding Phuket

Koh Samui waterfalls

Lake Tahoe

Earlier in the year I began planning a wedding for a same sex couple. Choosing the right location and setting was very important to the couple as many of the guests were flying in from the East Coast. Lake Tahoe was high on their list of destinations in California. As we began our first official scouting trips to Lake Tahoe, we all fell in love with the entire lake. Deciding where on the lake became the harder decision. We took a few day trips from San Francisco and a few overnight trips carefully previewing all the potential ceremony and reception sites. A beach ceremony was a must and the reception really needed to "wow" all of the guests. After careful consideration and hours of research, the couple fell in love with the Zephyr Cove and Resort beach for the location of their ceremony. To add the "wow" factor the couple chose to set sail for their reception on board the Tahoe Queen, an authentic Mississippi paddlewheeler.

Zephyr Cove Beach, NV


Same Sex Marriage Preview

For those of you who were just as excited about New York passing same sex marriage on June 24, 2011 as I am, here is a preview of a wedding I did just a few weeks before! Keeping my fingers crossed for California!

Location : South Shore Lake Tahoe
Ceremony : Zephyr Cove, Nevada
Reception : On board the Tahoe Queen


"Timeless?" a solo exhibition by Gianluca Franzese

This Saturday March 5th join us from 7-10pm at Fabric8 (3318 22nd street at Valencia) in the mission to celebrate "Timeless?" by painter Gianluca Franzese and celebrate his first solo exhibition! 
Gianluca Franzese is an oil painter that experiments with different paint mediums. He was traditionally trained in Italy at the Florence Academy of Art and New York City at the Pratt Institute. Recently, he has been applying a modern approach to his painting and working with iconic landmarks from San Francisco. I am more than excited that he contacted me to help him put together his first ever solo show here in San Francisco.
More details about the event here:   Timeless?



Erin and Jacobo's Wedding

Exciting news, I just got photos from the wedding in Spain! Here's a link to view a full album of Erin and Jacobo's gorgeous wedding:   
La Boda  


A few of my favorite pics!

Erin & Jacobo's Wedding
Location: Monasterio de Lupiana, Guadalajara, Spain

Date: July 23, 2010
Photos: Holly Marie Khushal