Mendocino Barn Wedding :: Sarah & Ritz

Sarah & Ritz got married in Mendocino, which if you’ve ever been there you know is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and very much worth the drive.  Spring Ranch‘s 170+ year old barn was the perfect venue, and even a generator outage at one point just turned into a candle-lit conga line. It was a gorgeous day full of lots of laughing, good drinks and good food!

Congrats again you two!

Photos: Deborah Huber Photography

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Long Beach Wedding :: Liz & Norio

Liz and Norio got married in the middle of a Southern California heatwave that caused us to push the ceremony back to after cocktail hour so that their guests would be out of the sun. They created one of the hands down most personal, meaningful inter-faith ceremonies I’ve had the honor of witnessing, and followed with family-style dinner, dancing, and sparklers, all at Liz’s parents lovely house in Long Beach. It was an amazingly joyous day!

Congrats again you two!

photos, digital and film: the incredible Diana Rothery Wedding Photography

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Yay 2014!

While I’m not a big fan of holidays in general (they often feel a little forced to me) I actually love the turning over of the calendar every year – it makes things feel fresh, which is especially needed in winter, even one as sunny and dry as the one we’re currently getting in the Bay Area. That said – how is it 2014 already? (really, can someone please explain to me where exactly last year went?)

2013 was wonderful in a kind of crazy way – I bought a house, moved the business (and myself) into it, started writing a regular columnexpanded the team, expanded the business to LA and started driving down there monthly, lived through a six+ week bathroom remodel (in a one bathroom house), celebrated turning 30 by having 75 people to my house for brunch, hosted Thanksgiving for the first time, and planned what will probably be the last big party ever at my parents’ current house (they’re planning on moving in the spring.) Not to mention personally coordinating 26 weddings, throwing big birthday parties for both my best friend and my mom, and somehow maintaining a fairly active social life (if you’re wondering, the thing that gets lost in the schedule is sleep.)

In 2014 I’m hoping to slow down, at least a little bit. More dinner parties and less take-out eaten in front of the computer at 10pm, more coffee in ceramic cups consumed while sitting with people I enjoy and less to-go cups in the car, more walking slowly through neighborhoods and museums and parks and less rushing to back-to-back-to-back appointments, more mornings reading books in bed and less nights answering emails until 2am. I adore my job, and when you love your job and run… slightly towards the high-energy side (ha!), it’s very very easy to slip into workaholism. We have 44 weddings on the books already for 2014 and are taking 50 total this year, and sometimes that makes slowing down feel impossible, but then I remind myself that I have an incredible staff who handle everything given to them beautifully. And that I once did 32 weddings in a year by myself, so 50 between three people is actually really, really manageable. We have so, so many amazing clients this year that I’m pretty much pinching myself constantly – most of the time I can’t believe how lucky I am to get to do work that feels meaningful, keeps me engaged and challenged, and continually connects me to some of the best people (both clients and colleagues) I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. But I also know that the schedule I’ve been keeping for the last few years isn’t sustainable in the long run, and that if I want to keep adoring my job I need to figure out a way to find some balance. It turns out that I’m not sure that I’m someone who actually likes vacations – after more than 2 or 3 days of not working at all I’m itchy to get back, but I do love half days off, and even whole days here and there, and that occasionally a week or two of a reduced work schedule is lovely (yes, I know how bad it sounds that I essentially just said I rarely take whole days off. It’s true. and I’m working on it!)

We’re kicking weddings things off super early this year with a New Year’s Day wedding (take a look a look my Instagram later today for pictures) and then get another short break before things get busy in February. And, if you’ve been paying attention, then yes! We do still have 30+ weddings from 2013 to blog, and rest assured that Alyssa and I are getting on that stat in the New Year, and I promise not to let it happen again this year…

Wishing you all love and joy and the space to slow down in 2014!

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Lowe House in Los Angeles

I am so happy to finally announce this – we’re expanding to serve the Los Angeles area wedding market!

Starting immediately, Lowe House Events is offering free travel for weddings in the greater LA area, and I (Elizabeth) will personally be down there every 4-6 weeks starting in late September to meet with clients in person, as well as work actively on continuing to build up our LA area vendor network (if you’re an LA area vendor – please get in touch – I’d love to buy you coffee/drink and chat!) So, if you’re currently looking for a wedding coordinator or planner in LA, please get in touch! – we’re starting to get close to booked for 2014, but I’ve been saving some slots for LA area weddings in preparation for this announcement.

I like to joke that I’m the only native Northern Californian who loves LA, but it’s true, I honestly do, and I’m really excited about the chance to spend more time there and get to know the city, which I already know fairly well, better through the event planning lens. Also to spend more time driving the 5, because I may be the only Californian period who thinks it’s one of the best drives in the world. I mean – don’t tell me this isn’t beautiful:

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Amy & Remy’s Garden Party Wedding

The Allied Arts Guild is one of my favorite venues, and Amy & Remy’s gorgeous daytime lunch wedding was an amazing way to show it off – the gardens there are truly spectacular.

After a ceremony that included their fathers playing the guitar together, and a huppah made by Amy’s cousin, guests had an amazing lunch catered by the couple’s favorite local Mediterranean restaurant. Their escort cards hung from ribbons inside, and there was a photo of every single guest (often with one or both members of the couple) accompanying them – people loved looking at all of them!

Amy & Remy personally served everyone pie after lunch, complete with amazing wedding aprons! (this is one of my favorite things for a couple to do at a wedding, and is a great alternative to a receiving line.)

Congratulations again you two!

photos: the lovely Allison Andres

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Navruz & Greg’s Classic San Francisco Wedding

post by Alyssa

Navruz and Greg were married last September at one of my all time favorite, classic San Francisco venues.  The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins is an architectural dream with completely breathtaking views – a perfect setting for a lovely wedding.  These two were high school sweethearts, and spent many years engaged before putting together this beautiful day full of family and friends from all over the World.

Their day was full of beautiful, classic details, and my favorite part – a dance party to beat all dance parties!

Congratulations again, you two!

beautiful photos by: Jay Adams Photography

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Ellen & Darryl’s Brazil Room Wedding

Ellen and Darryl are one of those couples who can only be described as lovely. Their wedding was focused on family, great food, and lots and lots of fun, all wrapped in the great venue that is Tilden Park’s Brazil Room (one of my favorite venues.)

Also – can we take a second to talk about how cute Ellen’s dress was? It started as a full length ballgown with a train, and was altered into something with a totally different, and totally her, feel (a great reminder to think outside the box when you’re dress shopping.)

Congratulations again you two!

photos: Akiko Photo

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Remembering Weekends

This weekend is my first one completely off (no weddings, no meetings, no site visits, nothing) since early March, so I’m heading to the beach to catch up on some sleep, some socializing, and some sunshine (although I may be planning to shoot a tutorial on signature cocktails, so it’s not like my workaholic tendencies have completely disappeared.)

Some things I’ve liked around the internet lately:

And: Lowe House Events is now on Facebook! “Like” us over there for more regular updates on goings on in our wedding world.

Here’s to summer weekends and the Pacific Ocean.

photo: polaroid by me, circa 2002, of the road over Mt Tamalpais.

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Tracy & Leo’s San Francisco Cocktail Party Wedding

Tracy & Leo’s wedding last fall was combined so many of my favorite wedding things that it’s almost funny looking back at it. They had their ceremony in the garden of San Francisco’s famous Swedenborgian Church, and their reception in the reception space at the church, which feels like an amazing craftsman house (um… probably because it is.) Except for a few older family members, everyone stood for the ceremony, and the reception was cocktail-party style with only scattered seating. I’m so happy to have these photos because they show how totally lovely this style of wedding can be:

I occasionally mention to clients that cocktail-style is my personal favorite type of reception, and a lot of people have a hard time picturing how it works in a wedding scenario. Here’s what a cocktail-party reception looks like:

I mean, don’t tell me those people aren’t having an awesome time. Tracy & Leo did one of my other favorite ever wedding things, which is personally serve their cake to their guests. It’s a great alternative to a traditional receiving line, and to me is one of the loveliest acts of hosting a just-married couple can do:

Congratulations again you two!

photos: the awesome Maddie Eisenhart of Hart & Sol West

band: the equally awesome Trio Zincalo

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Allison & Kim’s Brazil Room Wedding

Allison & Kim’s wedding was one of those fantastically fun, fantastically hot summer days in the East Bay. The Brazil Room is a Bay Area institution and one of my favorite venues for a wedding – everything is central, and both the outdoor and indoor spaces are gorgeous, and you feel like you’re in the middle of the wilderness, even though you’re actually just above Berkeley. And just take a look at how much fun this wedding was (and, I mean, how gorgeous it was):

The advantage to giving your flowers girls bubble guns instead of flower petals is two fold. 1) It’s awesome when they’re coming down the aisle and 2) you get to take portraits with them later:

(also, a note: do I get to work with rad clients or what?)

Congratulations again you two!

photos: the very amazing Maddie Eisenhart of Hart & Sol West.

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