2010 10/18

Kendra Renee Jewelry


By Erin Frank

If you’re planning to give a thank you gift to your bridesmaids, think about selecting some great jewelry. Not only can they wear it on your wedding day, but if you play your cards right, and get pieces with character, they’ll end up wearing them for years to come.


We here at Bay Area Bride Guide love shopping local. I just spotted this gorgeous handmade sterling silver jewelry by San Francisco-based Kendra Renee. I love the mix of hard metal with a sense of romance. It’s perfect for a wedding and bridesmaids with a little edge. Find more pieces at Kendra’s Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/KendraRenee.


2010 10/14

A New Version of the Wedding March

Is anyone tired of the typical march up the aisle?  Maybe you should consider doing what this couple did:

2010 10/13

Let them Eat Cake!

What girl doesn’t love her sweets? After all, it’s an essential part of our daily diet! (Of course we all do extra mileage on the treadmill to work it off…. Right ladies???? Yep… that’s what I thought….)

Bridal Showers are about all things girly. Some do special Mani-Pedi outings, some will have games like “Make a Bridal Gown from Toilet Paper Contest”,  but just about every single Bridal Shower will have (in some shape or form)…. Wait for it….. CAKE! So, why not have a cake and sweets only Bridal Shower? Talk about a bunch of giddy women on a sugar high! Watch Out!

A table full of cake!

Vines and small objects are great way to accent a table that already has a lot going for it.

Now, you can’t just have your cake and eat it too… you MUST have flowers! Have your bride-to-be pick her favorite flower or color, take a look at the location of the party, and come up with some fun whimsical placement of flowers, leaves, and objects to set the tone for your fun filled shower.

Oh, and um… please save me a piece of cake. Thanks!

Pretty Peonies

Texture and color are equally as important.

Floral highlights set the mood.

Place flowers in and around the venue to bring the whole event together

2010 10/12

Pretty in Purple

Hi Readers! I have been loving all of the purple wedding details I have been seeing lately in the wedding world, so I thought I would pull together a pretty little inspiration board for you. The one image that inspired it all was the top left photo of the bride with the stunning bouquet. How amazing is that photo?! The bouquet is from the incredibly talented Natalie Bowen of Natalie Bowen Designs and the image is by the fabulous Joel Flory of Flory Photo. Taking that one image as my lead, I then went searching for images with a romantic yet modern and clean vibe in purple and and lavender hues. Enjoy!

Photo source clockwise from top left: 1) Flory Photo via Natalie Bowen Designs, 2) Photographer unknown via www.Idoinspiration.blogspot.com 3) East Six Invitation via Style Me Pretty, 4) Susan Stripling via Green Wedding Shoes, 5) Natalie Norton Photography via Green Wedding Shoes, 6) Photographer unknown via www.ComfortandLuxury.Blogspot.com

2010 10/11

In Case of Emergency: What to Have on Hand at a Wedding

By Erin Frank

Wedding Emergency Kit

“Be prepared” may be the scout motto, but it’s great advice for a bridal party as well. Maids of Honor and Mothers of the Bride (or any well prepared family member or friend) can save everyone a lot of grief by packing a well-stocked emergency kit. At a recent wedding I was blown away by the level of preparedness shown by the photographer. Check out the amazing emergency kit pictured here! Here are just a few of the items they pack for every event:

Allergy Medicine
Tide Pens and Shout Wipes
Hair Spray
Contact Lens Case and Solution
Mole Skin
Hairbands / Bobby Pins
Eye Drops
Floral Pins
Safety Pins
Nail Glue / Nail Clippers and File
And, of course, booze! Miniature bottles of alcohol can work wonders to calm an overwrought bride or groom.

Obviously, these folks are prepared for a multiple weddings per month. A tackle box full of items doesn’t make much sense for your one day occasion.

Emergency Kit

Here’s what to pack for your one-time only event:

Band Aids
Safety Pins
Concealer — go one further and bring tiny pots of the bride’s makeup with you
Bobby Pins
Listerine Spray
Emery Board
Fashion Tape
Small Folding Scissors
Pepto Bismol Tablets — they handle both heartburn and nausea
White Chalk — for covering up small stains on a bride’s dress
Q-tips — if you or your bridesmaids will be handling your own makeup
And last, but not least, tissues for the inevitable tears of joy.

With just a little bit of planning ahead everyone will enjoy a less stressful wedding day. Be prepared—your bride will thank you!

2010 10/09

Great Tips From Tahoe’s Finest Wedding Vendors!

What are you doing next weekend?  Nothing?  It is not too late to go to A Day in the Mountains from Tahoe Unveiled!  A phenomenal group of Tahoe’s vendors have gotten together to bring you the ultimate wedding fair experience, focusing on inspiration and the luxury side of Tahoe.  As a preview to this event I have some fantastic tips from a few of these vendors.

annie X photo

One Fine Day – Tips for navigating a bridal show!

Research, research, research! Before the event, determine what your wedding style is, i.e., modern, shabby chic, vintage, rustic elegance, Martha Stewart backyard bbq, etc. Create an inspiration file that features your favorite colors, flowers, foods and more. When you are meeting with vendors it’s great to have a picture that you can point to.

Johnstone Studios on How to Prepare for an engagement shoot

Johnstone Studios

To prepare for an engagement photo session, Johnstone Studios suggests that you ask yourself the following: how doI want to remember this day? For many this means dressing your best on a casual day. Have fun with your clothing selection, incorporate a flirty fun look into your outfits, maybe even invest in a new pair of great fitting jeans! In terms of hair and makeup, go a bit beyond your everyday look. You will be amazed at how natural you look on camera! Enhance your best features to stand out in your engagement photos. Enhancing the eyes compliments every girl!

Diana’s Floral Design – Tips and Trends

Dianas Floral Design

Tired of the floral wreaths we’ve all seen before, but need something as a focal at the alter or archway? Consider your initials, hand-painted or adorned in a color and style that matches your and your groom-to-be. Whether it’s vintage-chic ivory with distressed accents, elegantly adorned platinum with diamonds, or green, organic flower covered beauties, your initials can add the personal touch that your guests will remember. Not only that, but take them home and use them as keepsakes from the best party of your life!

Swoon Bridal

The wedding of the summer was most certainly Chelsea Clinton’s and she was on-trend in every respect. Right now, we are seeing brides love skirts with texture. Also, popular are skirts with movement — made from floaty fabrics(and so much …fun to wear).

Swoon Bridal

Sashes are also very popular and when done right, as on Chelsea’s dress, make such a beautiful statement.

Swoon Bridal

For more of these great tips, you should head up to Tahoe next weekend for some fun in the sun along with a little wedding planning!

2010 10/08

Lessons Learned

This is our last post on the Bay Area Bride Guide, and we want to thank you for following. We have really enjoyed writing, reflecting, and sharing the wedding planning experience with you. Our last piece will focus on our closing lessons.

Our biggest recommendations are to…

  • Have a wedding vision, financial and communication plan
  • Make sure to say thank you in public and/or in private to family, friends, wedding party, cook and staff, coordinator and other key individuals
  • Take the time to reflect (throughout and after the process) and take mental pictures
  • Keep communications simple, clear, and open with your guests, wedding party, vendors, and others
  • If you need people to help, make sure you tell them in advance and explain what you need help with
  • Take time for yourself as a couple

In short, make your plan and work your plan. A little thinking in advance will help you enjoy your special day!

2010 10/07

3 days and counting!

My friend, Patrina, gifted these Anthropologie monograms and they were perfect props for our engagement shoot with Steve Hughes at Piedmont Community Park. We’ll be tying the knot this Sunday, October 10!

Here are a couple more photos from our e-session…

Photo by Steve Hughes

Photo by Steve Hughes

2010 10/06

$80 Wedding Flowers!

I was introduced to a bride that was looking for a bouquet and a few other arrangements by a great San Francisco artist whose mother owns a flower distribution shop at the SF Flower Mart. (If you ever need fantastic roses, you MUST check out “Sunshine International” )

The bride and I spoke over the phone a couple of times, and we went through her special day. The wedding was going to be intimate, with a total of 6 people attending (including the bride and groom) in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais.  The bride had antique blue Hydrangeas in mind as her dress had silver accents on it and she felt that the blue hue would look nice against her dress. She also mentioned that she likes non-traditional flowers, as she’s not a very traditional person, and was adamant that we use the signature Nafis Designs yogurt tubs wrapped in wax paper as her vases! A truly low cost, environmentally friendly wedding!

Total material cost: $80.00

Shopping list: Antique Blue Hydrangeas, Green Hydrangeas, Fig Branches, Sedum, Bells of Ireland, Star of Jerusalem, White Roses, Scabiosa  Seed Pod.

The bride’s bouquet was made up of Star of Jerusalem flower, Sedum, Green Hydrangea, Blue Hydrangea, and Scabiosa Seed Pods, and was wrapped with light silver satin ribbon at its base.

The Groom’s boutonniere was crafted with three Scabiosa Seed Pods and some interwoven silver wire.

There were enough flowers left over for three really full arrangements that could be used as alter pieces, and or table arrangements.

Once again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get some great looking flowers that will leave a lasting impact in your wedding photo album!

Tip of the day: If you want Hydrangeas to be in full bloom for your event, place the flower head in cold water and watch the blossoms burst open!

2010 10/05

Dancing the Night Away – The Importance of an Emcee

Once the band or DJ kicks things into high gear, you envision your guests having a blast out on the dance floor. It may seem like this is the part of the evening where things are less structured – the champagne is flowing and you are moving and shaking to Brown Eyed Girl with all of your favorite people. But I want to throw a little advice your way about a very important person – the emcee. Whether band or DJ, when interviewing your musical choice, please ask about their emcee abilities.

Once dinner starts, there are a number of special moments that happen – the wedding party announcements, the speeches, the first dance, parent dances, the cake cutting, the bouquet and garter toss, and sometimes the Bride and Groom send off. How will your guests know that a transition is being made from one moment to the next? How will they know to get those cameras ready for when you take your moment on the dance floor as husband and wife for the first time?

Michelle Wells Photography

This is where the emcee comes in. Finding a band leader or DJ who can command a presence in front of 10o+ people without taking the limelight away from the Bride and Groom is talent! Correct name pronunciation, timing, and being likable and suave without using the baseball announcer voice or being Mr. Big Shot is a skill. Let me jump back to timing. It is true – timing is everything! Depending on when and where throughout your reception you have speeches, for example, are different speech givers aligned with certain courses? Or is the First Dance immediately after your Bridal Party announcement? Timing is huge – and when planners and emcees collaborate it makes these special wedding moments simply flawless!

Here’s a little tip, Denon and Doyle, one of my FAVORITE DJ companies in the Bay Area every few months has a Showcase where you can watch different DJs perform. This way you can get a taste for each one’s personality and style under “wedding like conditions”. I have had so many Brides and Grooms thank me for sharing this tip with them! Good Luck!

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