Rainy Day Wedding

On this rainy summer day I can’t help but wonder about this weekend’s brides, their planners and vendors, all scrambling and working out possible weather backup plans!  Luckily it looks to be a beautiful weekend ahead, but I’m thinking back to Karla and Chris’s amazing wedding at The Vintage Estate where we DID have to deal with an emergency backup plan.

A wedding in May in the Napa Valley…what could be more perfect?  The green lush vineyards, sunny warm weather, summer just around the corner…unless you are hit with an unexpected storm on your outdoor wedding and reception!  Luckily, Karla and Chris are one of the greatest couples a planner could hope for, and we smiled, and jumped right into planning for rain, wind, cold and anything else the weather gods could throw at us.

The heart of their wedding was the focus on friends and family, celebrating with a large group of loved ones.  These two love to have fun, and they scheduled a weekend of great events for their guests.  Most of the guests stayed at one of the two hotels on property in Yountville, and enjoyed all of the town’s amazing cuisine, wine and shopping.  The band, candy and dessert display, and food and beverage menus were all crafted to create a fun party, with an emphasis on celebration!

Karla and Chris selected an elegant mix of cream, black and green tones for the wedding, highlighting the green surroundings of the venue.  The bridesmaids were striking in black cocktail dresses with the maid of honor’s dress mirroring the bridal gown’s fit and flare silhouette.  The ceremony took place under an arch created from curly willow and oak branches, highlighting cream garden roses and blackberries.  A meaningful touch for the bride was her bouquet, wrapped in a beaded ribbon cut from her grandmother’s wedding veil.

The morning of the wedding the skies were clear but cool, and three large event tents were installed, with heating and beautiful lighting, to keep everyone comfortable for the night.  As guests moved from the outdoor seated dinner to the barrel room for dancing and desserts, the rain started to fall, making a beautiful night even more romantic.

Photos courtesy of Molly Watson Photography




Wedding Coordination by Suzy Berberian Weddings & Events, www.suzyberberianweddings.com

Photography by Molly Watson Photography, www.mollywatsonphotography.com

Location/Catering by The Vintage Estate, www.thevintageestate.com

Officiant: Family Friend Domingo Garcia

Hair by Kien Hoang, Umbrella Salon, www.umbrellasalon.com

Makeup by Emy Vo, Umbrella Salon, www.umbrellasalon.com

Floral by Traci Terrick Weddings, www.traciterrickweddings.com

Desserts by Penelope Jane, www.penelopejane.com

Music by Busta-Groove, www.busta-groove.com

Rentals by Classic Party Rentals Napa-Sonoma, http://napasonoma.classicpartyrentals.com/

Transportation: California Wine Tours, www.californiawinetours.com

A Twist on Brides and Moms

In honor of Mother’s Day I was going to write about brides and their mothers.  As I was looking through photos from weddings I’ve worked on, I realized that many of my brides ARE mothers, and I wanted to write a post to celebrate them!  Planning for a wedding can be difficult, and these wonderful women all prepared for their big day while also raising kids.  All of them wanted to include their children in the wedding in various ways…more on that in another post!  For now, some beautiful photos of these brides and their sweet children!

Bride, son, dress, vineyard, winery

Photo by Richard Wood Photographics


I adore this photo!  Tammi and Michael celebrated their wedding by including their baby Jack (the photo doesn’t show his beautiful red hair).  Jack, along with Michael’s four older children, were a key part of their day in Calistoga.  He was such a cutie!


Mom, bride, daughter, orange, dress, window

Photo by Richard Wood Photographics

Mom kids winery vineyard bride daughter son

Photo by Richard Wood Photographics


Jenifer’s three children were included in the wedding party at Jacuzzi Winery last October, and her oldest son walked her down the aisle.  I love this family portrait…later Groom Ryan joined the photos to capture the new blended family.


Photo by Moments to Remember

Melisa’s daughter was so excited to be the bridesmaid for her mom, and spent time with her as they were getting ready.  This photo is so sweet, and they were so happy!


Photo by Briana Marie Photography

No, the bride didn’t have a newborn, but her Matron of Honor / Twin Sister did!  I adore this wedding, because up until the rehearsal we didn’t think Diane’s sister would be able to attend the wedding, having had her baby just days before.  She was willing, but the paperwork to travel internationally with the baby wasn’t ready in time (from Canada).  At the last minute, it was announced that the new baby’s passport arrived that day, and they flew in to attend the wedding.  Happy tears all around (and yes, wedding planners get emotional too)!


Photo by Blonde Tulip

Being escorted down the aisle by your two sons must be an amazing feeling!  Traci’s happiness shined all day, and Max and Oliver did a wonderful job as escorts and groomsmen.

Thank you to all the wonderful mothers I’ve had the pleasure of working with.  Enjoy your special day!

Junebug Feature!

Kirsten and Bryon were married last fall and their wedding is featured on Junebug today!  It was an amazing fall day, full of love and light and wine and casual attire.  The couple’s four children were their wedding party, and the bride’s two sons walked her down the aisle.  You MUST look at their wedding cake, by Amber at Sweet On Cake (the caterers walked past it four times while looking for the cake to prepare it for cutting..they thought it was a real wine barrel)!

I loved how the menu reflected their carefree spirit, with paella pans set down on the family-style dinner table.  Their favorite winery was represented with a large-format bottle for all the guests to sign.  The party continued late into the night with this fun group.

It was an honor to be part of their day…congratulations you two!

Please go visit Junebug for the full article and more pictures, by the fantastic Jennifer Kloss Photography.




Why A Wedding Planner?

As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to work as an organizer of events. When I watch television shows that recommend looking back at what you liked to do when you were young for inspiration about what you should be doing now, I know that I am doing exactly what I was meant to do. In my memory trunk, I have a calendar for each year, with every single day chronicled, starting around first grade (with lots of stickers and doodles), through college. From then on, it is detailed in my various Palm Pilots, smart phones and laptops…although I do print a summary of each month just in case. Recently when my parents were cleaning house they found this and brought it to me. It is the Party Book I created when I was around nine years old, with pages and pages of party outlines. Who to Invite (including a section for “Maybe”), When, Where, Time, Other.

Unfortunately I only completed the first page; I guess the limited budget of a third-grader doesn’t go far. I keep the book on my desk and it is a daily reminder of how much I’ve always loved putting together a great event!

When I attend class reunions (that I help to plan, naturally), no one is surprised about what I do now. And that makes me happy, because they must remember me as good in that capacity, whether chairing Prom committee, organizing the graduation trip to Mexico or running for student government.

Early in my events career I worked on a multitude of events, both fun and exciting, and grubby and thankless. I remember setting up radio promotions at a corner gas station, getting ready for the “talent” (DJ) to arrive for his live broadcast. Vivid in my mind every Halloween is the day that I had to hollow out more than 50 large pumpkins for a client carving party, and couldn’t fully flex my fingers for at least a week. Just as memorable, though, are the great, once-in-a-lifetime events I’ve been a part of. Bringing my sister along to a concert of our favorite country music star, pressing the “fire” button for the San Francisco 4th of July fireworks show (colored fog, we call that), and helping to coordinate the Auberge du Soleil 25th anniversary celebration…those were all highlights of my career.

Working with couples on their wedding day brings an even more personal connection and commitment to the event. Now, I’m not producing a huge holiday event for thousands of people, I’m helping to create one of the most important days of someone’s life. I take that very seriously, and every day recall how I felt getting ready for my own wedding. I’m honored to be a part of something so wonderful, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a couple have a fantastic day, and to receive their wonderful texts, emails and letters after the wedding. Except, maybe, receiving their Christmas card or birth announcement one, two, five years later. Thank you for letting me do exactly what I’ve always dreamed of!