Monday, May 31, 2010

Wedding Venue: Solage, Calistoga

Apologies for being quiet these last few days. I had a wedding yesterday!

Last Friday, I had a meeting at the Solage, a luxurious resort just a minute away from downtown Calistoga, and nestled beneath the hills of the famous Silverado Wine Trail. The accommodations are eco-friendly studios and there's a pair of cruiser bikes parked outside every door. The resort boasts the Michelin star-rated Solbar, which serves up seasonal and local cuisine. Have your ceremony on the lawn and party in the reception hall which feels sort of like a wine hangar.

A wedding at the Solage is not for the $10K bride, but why not a honeymoon? (My motto is "make it work"!) 

Guitar Fred, Munch and I enjoyed having lunch in downtown Calistoga, considered a mud bath at one of the many spas in town, window shopped and cruised in wine country. A lovely way to spend an afternoon with my honey. Click on the read more below to see more photos or click here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Blue Beat

We had a late night call with the leader of the trio performing for our wedding last night to confirm the details (what they're playing, contract, etc). 

Live music just adds a great ambiance to any event and I'm glad we're able to afford Quinn DeVeaux and the Blue Beat Review. Because of the sound restrictions at our venue (no amplification!), Quinn won't be backed by his normal 7-piece band, but he will be singing and playing guitar and accompanied by a pianist and upright bassist. 

Their sound is upbeat 60-70s blues with a dash of gospel, soul and rock. Quinn and the trio will perform original music as well as some standards. Check 'em out online or else at a club in the Bay Area.

Quinn Deveaux @ Chasing The Moon 9.04.09 from Scott McDowell on Vimeo.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Cinderella Story

I love the energy of this wedding video and the bride and groom were clever with the opening sequence! What do you think? I'm looking forward to working with Alumiere Studios next week for a wedding at the Silver Creek Country Club. :)

Mazie + Randy's Music Video Highlights from Vincent Quach on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Eames

Chairs. They are top of mind for many brides and most choose the chivari or else go with their venue's house chair. I had assumed the chairs at our venue would be the standard wooden white chairs or else brown and I learned a couple weeks ago that they weren't. In fact, the church administrator said, "They aren't bridal" and recommended we order rentals. There's no way Guitar Fred would let me spend $600-1,000 on chairs alone. So I asked her what they were exactly and she said the wooden molded Eames chair. I envisioned the stackable chairs you had in elementary school. Ick. But Eames -- that's a fabulous designer that I admire. So guess what, they look awesome and they are truly original Eames and vintage (not new like the updated version in the photo below). I'm actually digging it.

{Photo from I Heart Luxe}
 {Photo from}

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Inspiration #78: A Blank Canvas Goes "Up"

I got a pair of blank canvases at Michael's tonight for only $6. I had thought I'd make a guest book tree like the one inspired by this awesome wedding, but I had another idea. What if the thumbprints were balloons? [I'm sure you saw the sweet engagement session posted on Green Wedding Shoes and Wedding Chicks shot by Wildflowers Photography!]

Should I trademark my idea? ;)

{Photo via}

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I love buying secondhand

I love buying secondhand. Not only do you save money, you prolong the life of an object!

On Friday, I dropped by Mignonne -- a boutique that specializes in giving old furniture facelifts -- especially with bold paint jobs. I picked up a newly painted table in metallic silver for $40 (as-is). I didn't mind its condition because I plan to use it as our cake table, which will be onstage with me and Guitar Fred -- no one will see that the back is missing except for us. Here's the table, including a bouquet from Gorgeous and Green and two bluebirds and a nest I picked up as potential cake toppers (yes, I bought a vintage bride and groom but I'm still attached to the bird motif).

Today, my friend, Brittany, and I met up to do a little party planning. We dropped by one of my favorite places for bargains -- the Center for Creative Reuse in Oakland, CA -- and scored some pretty fantastic deals on photo booth props. We got a lime green "Irish" wig still in the package, 100 sheets of black scrapbook paper, dowels (for our black paper mustaches), Mardi Gras beads, vinyl carnival posters, plastic cowboy hats, a large frame, and goggles for $8 including tax.

If you're planning on making liqueur favors, run over to the Center now! They have petite glass bottles with cork stoppers for $1.00 each (or 25 for $18.00). They'd be fantastic for Meyer Lemon limoncello di crema, or an herb infused olive oil.

Friday, May 14, 2010

DIY: Easy seating with popsicle sticks

Spotted this clever idea on Hi-Fi Weddings. Looks like the bride stamped popsicle sticks with letters and used them to help alphabetize her guests' favors. Thankfully, she also placed an alpha-list next to the favors box.

Inspiration #77: An Altar Made of Bookcases

Happy Friday. This idea is swoonworthy. Guitar Fred reads a book everyday and an altar made of books could be one way to pay homage to his reading addiction on our big day. 

We have our first meeting with our minister today. I doubt he'll let us bring books onto the altar. Boo. 

If I were to achieve this look on a budget, I'd scour second-hand or salvage stores for bookcases and glue gift wrap to the back of the bookcases. Buy a box of old books for $20 from Half Price Books or Salvation Army and decorate with fresh flowers or potted petunias and hydrangeas.
{Design, concept and styling: Megan Gray of Honey and Poppies, as seen via 100 Layer Cake}

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Inspiration #76: My Anthropologie Teacups

A dear friend gave me monogram teacups from Anthropologie for my birthday. I can fill them with ranunculus and roses to get this look using the books I got from Half Price Books:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meet Le's Kitchen Catering

My friend, Patrina, introduced me to Ava Le of Le's Kitchen Catering a couple years ago and ever since, I've been a fan and have even hired her for a couple events. If you're looking for contemporary Asian cuisine, look no further. [By the way, the banh mi, or Petite Asian Chicken Baguettes (see above; sliced and marinated chicken in five spices served with pickled cucumbers, carrots and daikon radish over buttered French baguette) are amazing!]

Here's my interview with Ava:

1.  Why did you decide to go into catering? What are you passionate about?

I was very fortunate to grow up in a large family where the culture of food was a staple in and of itself. My mother has been a chef ever since I can remember, so growing up, I consistently found myself in the family kitchen or at my mother's restaurant watching her create delicious meals that brought so many people together.  Even after graduating from college with a degree in business and economics, culinary arts continued to play a large role in my everyday life.  So it was natural that I ended up back where it all began for me and ventured into business with my mother.  With my business and management background, and her culinary excellence, we created Le’s Kitchen (she is the Le of Le’s Kitchen!); a boutique family-run catering company with a passion for bringing together the very best flavors from my childhood memories and her rich history.  In my experience, nothing brings people closer together than warm and inviting meals, whether you are creating them, or simply enjoying them together.
2.  How would you describe your style? What do you think sets you apart from other caterers?

Traditional yet Elegant and Simple.  I believe Le’s Kitchen has been successful because we have been able to bridge together the gap between today’s chic generation of Asian Americans with that of our parents and ancestors.  We are one of the very few offsite Asian wedding caterers, and we are able to take the traditional Asian wedding banquet out of the restaurant and bring it into our couple’s beautiful venue of choice, whether it is a winery, grand ballroom, art gallery, museum, or even their  backyard. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.  We allow our couples to honor their families with a traditional banquet, and at the same time, the couple can bring in their own contemporary style and sophistication.

3.  What is your favorite part of a wedding?

For me it would have to be the dancing portion.  When all the “I do’s” are said, people are fed, drinks are served, and cake is cut, it’s time for people to let loose and just relax.  By this time of the evening, the bride and groom are fully relaxed with most of the day's activities behind them.  Everyone just gets on the dance floor and you can feel the energy, love, and relief of pressure exuding from the dance floor. 

4.  What has been your favorite wedding so far? What made it so special?

I don’t know if I can pick a favorite wedding, but I definitely have favorite moments from the weddings we’ve catered over the years. I catered a wedding where the couple was probably the most reserved people you’ll ever meet.  But when the day came, they surprised their guests with a live serenade while both playing the guitar. Both had been taking lessons! All the guests were shocked and amazed when they took the stage.  It was a great gift from such an unlikely couple!

5.  What would be your dream wedding to cater?
Over the years we have catered for so many wonderful clients and in many beautiful venues.  But I would have to say any destination wedding would be lovely.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pingg for cool, free online invites

Recently, I've become a fan of It's a free online invitation and e-card service and I'm loving the modern and indie designs. Plus, you can also send the online invitation via snail mail if you like (for $1.50 each in a clear, glassine envelope). 

Their invitations and e-cards look so refreshingly cool because Pinggs asks artists, photographers, illustrators and stationery designers to submit their work so that we can choose unique designs. Now we can save a LOT of money on invitations. Yippee!

Here's an e-card I recently sent to my bridal party:

I am digging the indie vintage feel of this one by Jenean Morrison:

This is a cute one for an engagement announcement:

I really want this one for my bridal shower invitation:

Here's one that would also be fun for a girl's night out:

 ["Bows and Knickers" by Claire Cimbora]

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What else is happening on 10/10/10

I usually don't blog about political issues, but this one hits close to home and also on our wedding date, 10/10/10!

Guitar Fred hails from St. Petersburg, FL, and although he's all for President Obama, he was extremely against the president's support of offshore drilling. As you know, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is devastating not only for the ocean's health and the creatures that live in it, but also for the people and communities whose livelihoods depend on the Gulf. If you haven't already, please sign's petition calling for real leadership on clean energy and a ban on new offshore drilling. is also organizing a national day of action on October 10, 2010, starting at 10:10. We're obviously going to be getting married that day, but if you find yourself wanting to do something and make a difference, consider this.
Working with our friends at the 10:10 campaign, we're going to make the tenth day of the tenth month of the millennium's tenth year a real starting point for concrete action. We're calling it the 10/10 Global Work Party, and in every corner of the world we hope communities will put up solar panels, insulate homes, erect windmills, plant trees, paint bikepaths, launch or harvest local gardens. We'll make sure the world sees this huge day of effort--and we'll use it to send a simple message to our leaders:  "We're working--what about you? If we can cover the roof of the school with solar panels, surely you can pass the legislation or sign the treaty that will spread our work everywhere, and confront the climate crisis in time." 10/10/10 will take a snapshot of a clean energy future -- the world of 350 ppm -- and show people why it's worth fighting for.  It's not too early to sign up here:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Inspiration #75: Retro Disney for table "numbers"

Guitar Fred and I spent our first Valentine's Day together at Disneyland and we both picked up litho prints by the artist Shag. They have a distinct mid-century pop look.

For our seating chart, I'd really love to riff off of Shag's 50th Anniversary Disneyland map (below). We'd use push pins with tags attached (the blue ones I got at the Center for Creative Reuse) so guests could find their seats. Tables would be named after rides or "lands" like Frontierland, the Haunted Mansion, Adventureland, etc. Each table would have a frame with a Shag print denoting their table.

Related Posts with Thumbnails