Dream Bridal Tour Tickets

San Francisco and Wine Country | March 27
2 • 15 • 2011  |  Tours
We are excited to announce that the Dream Bridal Tours tickets are going on sale today, Tuesday February 15 at 9am PST. The best part is that we are not only offering one tour, but two locations to choose from!  
 
Our bridal tours are a way for a small group of brides and friends to meet with exceptional vendors in their area, and get focused presentations and demonstrations, as well as discounts and giveaways. The tour starts with a meet and greet, then we get on our shuttles to attend a champagne brunch. From there, we stop at vendor shops and locations to meet them, view, touch and taste their products, and get a wealth of information. The gift bags at the end are full of goodies and discounts, and you will be able to speak with a planner throughout the day on any wedding planning questions that might come up. 
 
If you would like to purchase tickets to the San Francisco tour, taking place on Sunday March 27th at 10:15am-3:15pm, please click here
 
If you would like to purchase tickets to the Wine Country tour, taking place on Sunday March 27th at 10:15am-3:15pm, please click here
 
Tickets are selling fast, as the pre-sale started last week. We only take 20 people per tour, so quantities are limited. If you want more information, please visit the Dream Bridal Tours website
 
Looking forward to another great tour!

  Kathryn

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Rachel + Gary

Culinary Institute at Greystone | September 5
2 • 10 • 2011  |  Real Weddings
Rachel and Gary's wedding was such a treat! Not only did I get to know this spectacular New York couple over the course of planning their wine country wedding, I had the pleasure of working with our office mate, Andrew Weeks Photography, who is always a pleasure to work with and captured the amazing atmosphere of this wedding. 
 
The ceremony took place at Charles Krug winery looking out onto St. Helena and the beautiful building housing the Culinary Institute of America, where the reception later followed. We were so lucky to have Gary's childhood Rabbi and canter come all the way from Alabama to perform the most beautiful ceremony.  
 
The barrel room at The Culinary Institute looked gorgeous thanks to the wonderful floral talent of Julie Stevens Design. The celebration was a blast from the beginning all the way until the bride and groom's sparkler exit. 
 
Enjoy checking out the photos! 

Venue: Culinary Institute
Photographer: Andrew Weeks
Florist: Julie Stevens Design
Band: Pride & Joy
Musicians: Exeter Quartet
Videographer: Thomas Hughes

Lighting: Five Star Prod.
Photo Booth: Photoboof!
Beauty: Meaganne McCandess
Transportation: CA Wine Tours
Classic Car: Classic Convertible
Ceremony: Charles Krug

  Brittani

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Award Show Inspiration

2 • 7 • 2011  |  Tips & Inspiration
I hope I'm not the only one that does this, but when watching the award shows, I really find inspiration from watching the red carpet. Seeing what Hollywood fashion is doing often translates to what wedding fashion will be emulating, and vice versa, as this year, I have seen a few wedding gowns made into award gowns. I saw a lot of emerald greens and royal blues while watching the Golden Globes, but while watching the SAG Awards, I really saw a few dresses that in the right color, could easily be seen as a wedding gown, and even one specific gown that is a wedding dress made into a black dress. 
 
The first one that stood out to me was this Carolina Herrera worn by January Jones. I really think this cut and style is very bridal, and in a soft ivory, it could easily be considered a wedding gown. I do like the color palette though for a late fall/early winter wedding!
The next gown that I really liked was this nude Greek Goddess Versace worn by Hilary Swank. So pretty! The one shoulder style has been very popular with weddings, and I think that this one does that look very well and classy. Another thing to note is how well these dresses are tailored. That can make all the difference in the world, so remember to get your final fitting as close to your wedding as possible.
This red Oscar de la Renta dress worn by Tina Fey resembled a dress by the same design house that I was instantly drawn to while looking for wedding gowns (yes, it was the dream dress, but, everyone has a budget!). It is such a flattering cut, and the photo of the bridal gown in the similar look is below.
Here is the Oscar de la Renta wedding dress. Gorgeous!
This Anne Barge gown worn by Amber Riley is really a wedding gown, and was made in black for the awards show specifically for her. I think she looked amazing, and the fit was so flattering. It is great to see how much can translate from weddings to Hollywood, and back again!
Photo from brides.com
Inspiration for weddings can be found anywhere, but when you happen to be watching the Oscar's in a few weeks, see what stands out to you, and keep a look book of what you like. You never know if you might see a dress that could be translated into a wedding gown (or an actual wedding gown!), or your personal wedding style. Styling your wedding is one thing, but styling yourself for the big day is just as important. 
 
Cheers!

  Kathryn

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Eva + Chris

Healdsburg Country Gardens | July 10
2 • 3 • 2011  |  Real Weddings
Eva and Chris were married at the lovely Healdsburg Country Gardens, which is one of the most perfectly manicured and cared for venues that we have worked at. The couple that owns the property live on site, and they do all the work themselves. It really is a special place, and with all the on site equipment available to use, it makes it a very easy site for couples to create a beautiful wedding. 
 
Eva and Chris had a limited meeting times, as they both worked long hours, but we were able to get all their vendors and make sure the wedding emulated what they wanted. The atmosphere was fun and free, and the butterflies throughout left a whimsical feeling to the entire day. We had so much fun!
The ceremony takes place under this tree overlooking the vineyards below
Some wigs were brought out when the band came on!

Venue: Healdsburg Ctry Gardens
Photographer: Erica Berger
Caterer: California Rose
Florist: Natalie Bowen
Baker: Laurie Lucov

Hair/Makeup: The Makeup Dolls
Spanish Guitar: Jay Alvarez
Rentals: Classic Napa
Transportation: Beau Wine Tours

  Kathryn

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Wedding Dress Searching

2 • 2 • 2011  |  Tips & Inspiration
In planning my own wedding, things have been going pretty easily, so far. My only hurdles have been trying to choose only one vendor in each category out of all the talented ones that I work with, and two, finding my dress. I would have thought it would be easy for me, since I usually know exactly what I want, make a decision, and move on. This experience wasn't like that, at first, and I wanted to share some things I learned in the past month and a half. 
 
Right after we booked our venue, I found my dream dress online, and I was pretty much done looking after that. I thought I for sure had found the one, and all I needed to do was try it on and I would have another item checked off my list. Not quite! Apparently, the rest of the world was not ready for a bride looking for a dress with sleeves (I was a tad bit early on this trend, but watch, it is coming!), and while the dresses were in the designers collections, they were not ordered by any of the shops because, "no one wears sleeves!". Well, except for a shop in Florida, but at that point, I was not willing to fly across the country to go find my dress. 
 
With my original plan scratched, I decided to just find shops in San Francisco that carried some of the designers I was interested in, and I made some appointments. I went in with an open mind, and tried on anything and everything. It went almost too well, as I ended up with four top favorites, and I had to narrow it down to just one. I am so happy now with my decision, but thought I would share a few tips that helped me along the way: 
 
1) Make a look book of sorts for yourself. Start pulling out images from magazines, and making an online favorite file on sites like The Knot and One Wed are great for organizing this, and seeing what designers and styles you are leaning towards. 
 
2) Organize your inspiration. I downloaded an app on my ipad called Brides Wedding Genius. While it isn't perfect, it definitely helped me have all my inspiration and style photos in one convenient place to be able to show salons or vendors as I meet with them. It also provides a simple checklist to help keep you on task. 
 
3) Try and schedule your appointments during the weekday. I know this is almost impossible for most people, but if there is any way, you will have a much better experience in the end. I was able to be the only one in the store at all three of my salons, and was not feeling overwhelmed or rushed. I was also able to really take my time, and my associates had a lot of time to spend with me. 
 
4) Choose your entourage carefully. I was told over and over, don't take too many people, but in the end, I took four (very opinionated!) people with me; my mother, my 90 year old grandmother, my sister and my best friend. While there were a lot of opinions flying around, it helped me when I needed to narrow down my selections, and I needed true advice. Do what works for you, and this worked for me, and it was also special for me to have three generations of my family with me on such an important day. 
 
5) Choose your venue first. This may be the most important, as you need to look as if you were styled into your wedding, not you stand out as something that isn't like the other. My venue, for instance, is very eclectic and unique, and my dress needed to fit that, as well as the overall look I am designing for the wedding. I have had clients in the past do it the other way around, and ended up having to purchase another dress because it simply wouldn't work at their venue. 
 
In the end, make sure your dress represents you, since you are the one that has to look at your photos for years to come, and you don't want to regret it for any reason. I also hope that my adventures in my own wedding planning are not coming off as annoying, but rather helpful in me sharing experiences that I hope would help others in the future. I love hearing other advice as well, so if you have any to share, please post a comment! 
 
Cheers, 

  Kathryn

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