Sunday, January 31, 2010

A run-down of last week's Eco-Beautiful Weddings launch party in NYC

We were thrilled to attend this super fun soiree at 632 Below in NYC last week for the Eco-Beautiful Weddings E-Zine.

Nick and I had a smashing time (great food, excellent company, and a really outstanding idea!) and were so happy to put faces to so many names we've known for awhile!

The Valleys with the super sweet Katie Martin (voice behind Eco-Beautiful Weddings)

Hudson 632 is so cool - check out their speakeasy cafe in the basement!(and scroll back a few posts - we showcased some photos and their site last week)

Nick + I with Dana + Hunter AKA the Broke-Ass Bride and Fresh Hubby of LA - can't wait to hang out with them again soon!

*stay tuned for more adventures in NYC posts and of course, photos from Preston Bailey's amazing party!

Vibrant New York wedding: Christian Oth Studios

I am a sucker for color in weddings and while I love natural, smooth, and calming palettes as well, pops of color just make a statement. I absolutely love this NYC wedding captured by the infamous Christian Oth - a bride in a bright citrus veil! How daring and beautiful! In continuing our NYC blog posts, we wanted to showcase these gorgeous images.
Stay tuned this week for some amazing NYC finds we discovered, pictures from Preston Bailey's Celebrations launch party, and much more!

Friday, January 29, 2010

An amazing night at Preston Bailey's Celebrations Launch Party

Wow. That's all I can say at the moment! Nick + I were extremely fortunate to attend Preston Bailey's Celebrations launch party (you must pick up this awesome book!) at the Armory in NYC last night. While we aren't sharing too much today, we wanted to say what an amazing man Preston is. He's the warmest person we've met in this industry and boy, does he know how to throw a party!

While we have tons of photos to share, I wanted to post some teasers shots taken by Lisa Barr at the Examiner in NYC (stay tuned for some amazing photos and our full write-up of the fabulous event).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I couldn't help but share these killer images from the always awesome Seattle based photographer Laurel McConnell. Not only is she so cool, but her work rocks!!
Check out these shots from an art soiree and be sure to check out her site: http://www.mcconnellphoto.com/

Don't you LOVE this furniture??

Last night we attended a fabulous launch party for the Eco-Beautiful Weddings Magazine launch (thank you so kindly to the awesome and sweet Katie Martin (the voice behind the magazine) for inviting us. While we'll be sharing photos when we return, we wanted to spotlight the magazine and the awesome venue, Hudson Below. The atmosphere was so charming (there was a super cool speak easy cafe downstairs!) and a kick-ass band! There were loads of lovely industry friends and we had a ball! Looking forward to the rest of our week in NYC!
*be sure to check out Eco-Beautiful's blog - they spotlight some pretty sweet stuff!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monday Coffee with Fantasy Frostings

Stay tuned to the blog this week as we'll be posting from NYC and including fun finds, party pics, and lots of cool goodies!

Today we thought it would be so fun to have a guest Monday Coffee post from the team at Fantasy Frostings in Pasadena. With decades in the business they offer up some superb insight and advice. Thanks, guys!

1. Are you seeing any new trends in wedding cakes (dessert buffets, mini cakes)?
The fun thing about wedding cakes is that yesterdays style becomes the hot new trend of today, if you can just wait long enough. I read a great tweet today from someone who asked if we could just PLEASE come back to soft, warm looks and colors. Enough with the stark, hard edge look of the last few years. Which does not bode well for the cake designers out there that only know fondant, and couldn’t pipe a cake to save their lives. I also read a blog about Mad Men style weddings with a early 60’s look. Our customers seem to reflect that also. The hot new thing seems to be the hand decorated, warm and affectionate look we all remember. Buttercream is back, hard edge, sharp contrasting colors seem to be out. For awhile anyway.
Dessert tables are a fun way to go, and adds variety, but takes away a little of the shared dessert moment that a cake provides. I like the mini cakes, and individual table cakes a lot. It’s fun for us to do, but not very cost effective for most brides. It’s fun for small weddings of 4-6 tables. People can get up and share all the different flavors.

2. What advice do you have when brides and grooms come in to chat about their wedding cake?
The first thing we ask regarding design is “what is your dream cake.” Forget cost, lets talk about your dreams. Then we try to find that cake within your budget. Cake design is all about converting that dream into reality. There are so many ways to make that happen when you have a bakery that is willing to spend the time with you.
We try to make your cake appointment the fun part of the wedding planning process. You get to sit down, sample some great cake, and design the cake together with us. Everything else is so stressful, this should be the fun part.
We also try to have plenty of referrals available if you need a trusted source to recommend a good Photographer, or Florist. We do a lot of weddings, and we know all the great vendors. If the Bride or Groom asks us, we try to help.

3. have there been any long-standing traditions you've seen over the years?
Being a sentimentalist two traditions are close to my heart. One is a bride and groom wanting to re-use their parents original cake topper. I think this is so sweet and such an honor to build a design around this tradition. The other one I love to see on the cake table is a framed photo of the bride and grooms parents from their wedding. It really states how wonderful it is to watch a family grow.

4. what is the most unique or off-the-wall wedding cake you've designed?
This would have to be the wedding cake we did in Saudi Arabia for King Fahd. We created a pagoda shaped cake standing over 5 feet high, decorated with hand piped snowflakes to create a winter wonderland. We partially created this here in the states and flew the cake and 3 of our crew to finish at the palace in Riyad. It was an amazing cake and quite an overall adventure.

**Wow - how is that for a wedding cake?! Thanks so much for lending some ideas and expertise to our readers!
Aleah + Nick
Here are some lovely photos of their creations:
Kendra Wilkinson's beautiful wedding cake

Easy Entertaining: cute + simple Valentine's Day napkins

A departure from our typically more elaborate table stylings, I wanted this little DIY project to be super easy and cute! Why not host a casual Valentine's Day brunch and spruce up each place setting with a sweetly adorned napkin? You don't need much more than some scrap felt, ribbon, fabric glue, and a little gem for materials. You'll also need scissors, a ruler, and marker or white crayon to mark your felt. *I wanted to use some fun and funky colors rather than "standard" red, white, and pink for Valentine's Day.
1. cut a felt square to 4" x 4"
2. fold the felt in half and freehand trace a heart as shown here (think back to elementary school!) 3. cut the heart out (I used a gold pen to mark my felt but you can use a white crayon to trace)

4. use fabric glue to adhere your heart to your ribbon - thick ribbon or thin will work
5. wrap your ribbon around an oversized buffet napkin and glue the ribbon together to secure

6. Use a dot of glue to adhere a little gem or rhinestone for a sweet touch
7. Voilà! For this super easy (I mean super!) brunch setting I used a glass cake stand to elevate our creamer and accoutrements to give space as I used a small pub-style table.

I hope you enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!
*stay tuned to the blog for a week of posts from New York!

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Love: London Nuptials

This London wedding is so stunning for all the right reasons. The bride and groom look so happy, the setting is perfect, and the photography amazing. I hope you enjoy these images from Segerius Bruce

Enjoy! Aleah

An addition to Nick's picks for classic cocktails

Thanks to our reader Shannon for letting us know about a Harvey Wallbanger with orange sherbet! Delicious!
Here is the recipe via www.fabulous-cocktail-recipes.com:
Grab your blender and add 1/2 cup of ice. Add 1 1/2 oz of Vodka. Add a dash of Orange Juice and 1/2 a scoop of Orange Sherbet. Blend until smooth and pour into a tall serving glass. Float 1/2 oz of Galliano on top. Add a finishing touch by garnishing with a slice of Orange.
Thanks again, Shannon!

*photo by channel4.com

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nick's Picks: a nod to vintage cocktails

It's always fun to offer guests a variety of classic and new cocktails at events. Here are a handful of classic cocktail recipes that are simple to make and crowd pleasers:

The Americano
Mix 1 oz. Campari, 1/2 oz. sweet Vermouth, and club soda over ice in a highball. Garnish with an orange slice

The Gimlet
Combine 1.5 oz. gin, 1/2 oz. lime juice, garnish with a wedge of lime in the glass; serve over ice in an old fashioned

Harvey Wallbanger
1.5 ounces vodka, 4 ounces orange juice, 1/2 ounce Galliano, 1 orange slice for garnish
In a highball glass almost filled with ice cubes, combine the vodka and orange juice. Top with Galliano and garnish with orange slice

Pimms Cup *while this calls for more ingredients than the other cocktails, it can be made in large batches well ahead of your event and is a very refreshing drink
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups Pimm's No.1*
1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced
1 orange, halved, thinly sliced
1 6-inch-long piece cucumber, thinly sliced
1 3-inch-long piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 cups chilled club soda
Ice cubes
Cucumber spears (for garnish)
Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Combine Pimm's and next 6 ingredients in large pitcher. Mix in 1/2 cup sugar syrup, mashing slightly to release flavors. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Stir 1 1/2 cups club soda into pitcher. Fill 8 old-fashioned glasses with ice, then cocktail. Garnish with cucumber spears.
*this recipe courtesy of Epicurious
Enjoy! Nick

Photo by myrecipes.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Planning advice from the bride and groom, VOL II

Renee + Alex were such a joy to work with. Renee and I had a close relationship throughout the planning process and I loved each meeting with her - we had so much fun! Nick and Alex got along swell and they lent their advice on planning as a couple and why it's important to join forces on certain aspects of planning:

What parts of the wedding did you want to plan together or decide on together?
From the very beginning, we wanted plan the ceremony together, especially in regards to the prayers, vows and music. We also wanted to plan the food and beverage at the reception together because we are both “foodies.” We wanted to make sure we had great food and drinks to serve our guests. On the other hand, Alex was less concerned about the “aesthetic design,” than Renee was, so we did not worry much about deciding on the flower arrangements, centerpieces or other decorations together.

2. What was most important to Renee? Alex?
In planning the wedding, Renee felt that the overall décor and “atmosphere” of the wedding was the most important (probably no big surprise there J). From the gobs of roses and candles at the ceremony, to the warm toned centerpieces and accents at the reception, creating a comfortable yet unforgettable atmosphere was top priority for Renee. Alex felt that it was important to have a good selection of music, suitable for both the younger and older guests; and songs that would make even the most stubborn guests get up and dance.

All of the things mentioned above actually happened, and not only that, they happened without a hitch because of Nick and Aleah!! Planning our ceremony with the perfect vows, prayers and elegant music was much easier thanks to Nick and Aleah. The food, drinks and cake were all excellent… both in taste and in appearance, on behalf of Nick and Aleah’s suggestions. Renee actually teared up when she saw all of her flowers and candles for the first time, and our guests danced ALL night long (even the “sticklers”), because of the advice and assistance Nick and Aleah provided. In the end, our dream wedding actually happened; and we were never that stressed out engaged couple planning our upcoming wedding… Nick and Aleah’s services are invaluable for that reason alone.

Thank you so much; you guys are so great (and such a gorgeous couple)! Aleah + Nick
*Photo by Alex Studios

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sweet Engagement Shoot, Courtesy of Karina Pires

I was so excited to see this gem of an engagement session this morning from Karina Pires. The bride and groom look like they had so much fun and I love their props! Andrea + Sandy met up with Karina earlier this month at Union Station in LA and the result = a super fun and hip engagement shoot! They'll tie the knot in Tennessee in September! Thanks so much, Karina!


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