Buying Booze for Your Wedding

Last week I pretty much brain dumped everything I know about alcohol and weddings into one big post over at A Practical Wedding. This is one of the topics clients ask me about the most, so hopefully will be helpful to everyone out there currently planning!

photo: Hart & Sol West

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Hey January

Can someone please explain how it’s January 23rd already? Some random things for you:

  • I haven’t actually tried them yet, but I’m excited about this line of colorful compostable ware from Susty Party. Made out of starch and grass fiber, in the US. Rad. (pictured above)
  • If you haven’t seen Dan Savage’s brilliant column on weddings yet, go check it out.
  • It’s a few months old, but Jessica Valenti’s post, She Who Dies With the Most ‘Likes’ Wins?, is a brilliant must read for everyone. “The truth is that we don’t need everyone to like us, we need a few people to love us. Because what’s better than being roundly liked is being fully known—an impossibility both professionally and personally if you’re so busy being likable that you forget to be yourself.”
  • I wrote a piece over at APW on the dreaded Wedding Budget, and answered questions in the comments -  hopefully both are helpful if you’re currently in the thick of things!
  • Great advice when it comes to your home – “Go Ahead and Make a Mistake” via Apartment Therapy
  • Looking for non-cupcake like (or bank breaking?) flower girl dresses? I put together a board full of them over on Pinterest.
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The Caliber Collection

These bracelets are making the rounds, and I really couldn’t love them anymore. As someone who lives Oakland, a city that, like Newark, is deeply affected by gun violence, I am and will continue to be a vocal supporter of passing much tighter gun laws, as well as of gun buy back programs like the one that this project supports.:

“Gun Violence is not something we have to accept, it is something we can do something about and our strategies can reap tremendous results.”
- New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker

“The Caliber Collection is made up of metal from 250 guns and bullet casings seized by the Newark Police Department… The name Caliber was chosen for its two meanings; the caliber of a gun and how the caliber of a city is raised when illegal guns are taken off its streets.”

See more here.

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make new mistakes

Lauren & Brian used this as a reading at their wedding last year, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

Here’s to glorious, amazing mistakes in 2013.

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Stephanie & Woody’s Joy Filled Sonoma Wedding

Stephanie and Woody were living on the East Coast when they originally booked me to plan their wedding, and I didn’t actually meet Steph in person until we’d been working together (over the phone and email) for almost six months (I did, however, meet Woody before we signed a contract – only the second time ever that I had an initial meeting solo with the male half of a hetero couple.) I’m so happy that they moved to the Bay Area shortly before the wedding, because while their wedding was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever done, way more than that is was definitely one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever done. These two are fantastic, and laugh so much that it’s just impossible to not have a great time around them.

I mean, just look at the (incredible) photos – have you ever seen people enjoying themselves SO MUCH?:

The fantastic, eight piece, Wall Street Dance Band provided the music, and it was a dance party to remember.

Congratulations again you two!

photos: the wonderful Jesse Holland

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I have bathroom tile on the mind these days, and the image I always come back to is this one:

White, black and grey. Classic & timeless, will never feel dated, which in my opinion is what one should aim for with difficult-to-change things like tile.

photo: Chloe Sevigny’s bathroom, originally from a Glamour Magazine shoot by Francois Halard. Currently found all over the internet.

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Karen & Stephen’s 40th Anniversary Party

Somehow in the middle of wedding season I managed to throw a party (along with my sister) for my parent’s 40th anniversary.

Forty is the “ruby” anniversary, so we decked out the venue (the Piedmont Community Center, chosen in no small part for the fact that my parents can walk there from their house) in red. My balloon guy brought it with tons of giant red balloons, and a close family friend way outdid herself on the flowers (she’s a corporate VP, but could totally have a second career as a florist, am I right?) But what really made the party were the many, many, many friends & family that came:

Carrot cake (my dad’s favorite) was in order, and inspiration hit me when telling the bakery what to write on it.

My parents were super young (18 & 20) when they got married, so hit their 40th at a place where they still love to go to a great party. As do their friends, as was evidenced by a fantastic dance party backed by two different live bands.

It was an amazing night – I’m so glad that we got to celebrate these two.

photos: the incredible Maddie Eisenhart of Hart & Sol West

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Amy & Greg’s Intimate Evening Gallery Wedding

Amy & Greg’s wedding was at Foreign Cinema, one of my favorite venues in the Bay Area (also, one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area!) It was a perfect blend of close friends and family, incredible food, a beautiful setting, and a lot of love. From the start they were focused on keeping things simple and personal, and were amazingly successful at not straying from that focus (which can be so hard to do with weddings)

I love a good restaurant wedding, and Foreign Cinema is an especially good restaurant for a wedding because of their ability to host guests in multiple spaces. So, ceremony in the gallery:

Cocktail hour in Lazlo (the semi-attached bar):

and dinner and dancing back in the gallery:

You also get to use the Mission as your photo playground, and if urban is your thing, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Congratulations again you two!

photos: K Miller Photographs

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plants & time

A close family friend gave me a Marginata palm/Madagascar Dragon tree as a housewarming present back in 2006 – the photo on the left was taken shortly after that. The photo on the right was taken two and a half years later, in 2009.

And here’s the same plant today, in 2013 (it desperately needs to be repotted, but I’m waiting to do so until I move again this spring):

Time, man. It sneaks up on you.

note: while I’m not terrible at caring for plants, I’m not particularly amazing at it either – this thing is just unkillable. Also, forgive the photo quality, while I eventually found my camera after moving, I have yet to find its battery charger.

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Kate & Richard’s Romantic Napa Wedding

Kate & Richard got married on Kate’s family’s property up in Northern Napa, and you can see from the photos why they chose this amazing location. It was a beautiful weekend, full of family, friends, music, and really great food.

Hog Island Oyster bar? Yes please.

The wedding was catered by Back to Earth, who are incredibly… incredible. Pulling off an event like this without an onsite kitchen isn’t easy, and they more than rose to the occasion.

We worked with Impact Lighting (who are great) to illuminate this entirely-outdoor wedding, and they did an amazing job developing a custom plan for the property (and bringing in a truly silent generator to power it all.)

Congratulations again you two!

photos: the awesome Gabriel Harber

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