Friday, March 25, 2011

Celebrate the Royal Wedding with Save the Children

Spotted this interesting way to celebrate Kate and William's wedding: throw a party and raise money for poor kids around the world! The suggested activities include getting you and your married friends to wear your dresses again or even pinning the tail on the corgi (my chi-corgi, Munch, wouldn't like that!).

Celebrate Kate and William's big day and help raise money for the world's poorest children. Even if the royal wedding doesn't float your boat, you can party for us anyway!


Test your colleagues’ royal knowledge with our quiz. Charge for entry and the winning team get to be treated like royalty for the day. Another cup of tea your Highness?


Throw a fancy dress party with a difference and get your guests to wear their wedding or bridesmaid dresses. The blushing brides make a donation to attend – a small price to wear their favourite outfit again – and you could sell mini wedding cakes to boost your fundraising total.


Play our royal wedding sweepstake to win a cash prize and help save children's lives. Put the poster up at work and get your party guests to guess what Paul O’Grady would buy Kate and William as a wedding gift. Order your royal wedding sweepstake poster using the form at the top of the page.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Inspiration #90: ctrlP Design's invitation suites under $35!

Traffic to my blog has recently been coming from a site called, Pinterest, and out of curiosity, I clicked through to it. What a cool app and site -- basically, you create a profile and then drag the "Pin It" tool to your browser's toolbar and "Pin" images that you really dig. No more having to make screenshots with FastStone Capture, bookmarking or copying and pasting inspirational images. Everything's stored on your personal boards -- and you can share inspiration very easily and quickly.

One of my boards is called "Paper Lust" and that's where I store great invitations, save-the-dates, prints and more that I come across. And I'm stoked to recently pin @luvyourway's invitations from her Etsy shop, ctrlP Designs (love that play on a keyboard shortcut).

Ultra Mod Printable Invites by ctrlP Designs
Mixtape Printable by ctrlP Design

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wedding recap: our photo album scrapbook

A reader of this blog asked me today: "Did you ever share the scrapbook you mentioned? I want to do a guestbook with pictures and am thinking each guest (couple or family) could take a page and write their names and a note and then their picture will be added later. However, I'm not quite sure how it will all work out and I would LOVE to hear what you did! :)"

Traditional guestbooks (where guests just sign their name) aren't my style -- I wanted something more personal. What we did was hire Green Cheeze Photo Booth so that our guests could take fun photos and immediately scrapbook one of the two strips they got after their session. We provided heavyweight black paper, gel pens and scrapbooking trim and baubles (all in the bargain section at Michael's or Target). Some friends even used our program! I had such a blast reading everyone's messages at the end of the night (and for the weeks to come). Here are a few of my favorites:

Wedding Recap: Our Cake

Recently, many of my clients have been asking for my recommendation for a cake designer and I realized I hadn't given an update here on the blog on how our cake turned out -- thanks to the fabulous, Alison Okabayashi of Two for Two Cakes. (See past posts, Cake Tasting Parts 1 and 2)

Alison baked a two-tiered cake with buttercream frosting for us. Fred loves Reese's Pieces so it was only fitting that the bottom layer was the Peanut Butter Cup, made of  Chocolate Butter Cake, Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting and Salted Peanuts. At our tasting, we were both bowled over by the Aunt Bea’s Banana Cake, made of Banana Cake, Heath Bar Toffee Bits, and Vanilla Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, and decided it would be our top tier. [We have a few friends who are still telling us that the Banana Cake was the best wedding cake they'd ever had!]

I had bought vintage type letter caps ($3 each) that spelled VERA and FRED and Alison tied them together with teal grosgrain ribbon and gray felt heart (the heart was her special touch). Two glittered birds in a nest topped off the design, which also feature swags and dots in charcoal gray. The cake turned out to be super cute, don't you think?

To learn more about Alison, see my interview of her here from 2009>>

Cake by Two for Two Cakes (San Francisco) and photos by Davina + Daniel (c) 2010 All rights reserved

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love: please give as much as you can afford

Tomorrow, I will be standing in silence with hundreds of other bloggers to raise awareness and pay respect for the families in desperate need in Japan.

Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours joined forces to create For Japan With Love, which has a direct link on the website to the fundraising page for ShelterBox, one of the first responders to Japan after the quake and tsunami. Each ShelterBox relief package is tailored to the nature of the disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.

So far, For Japan With Love has raised over $16,000 and the number continues to grow with the support of people like you and me. Please give today and also spread the word!

Tweet: Help Japan via @UtterlyEngaged and @Ever_Ours #forjapanwithlove

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dancing under the...umbrellas

A friend of mine gave me 20 red parasols last year when she moved and I've always wanted to do something like this with them...

If you fancy this look as well, you can rent them; the Pagoda style goes for about $20 each -- some of the print ones are $10 each. Head over to Bella Umbrella and reserve your favorites today. [Lucky brides in the Seattle area can save on the shipping cost!]

And for extra credit, check out a 2009 post about Bella Umbrella's retail shop. It's gorgeous!

Photo by Gabriel Ryan Photographers; see Real Wedding on 100 Layer Cake
This is one of my faves -- in green and silver with an amber handle
This one is only $10 and would be perfect for an art deco look
And this would be perfect for an engagement session in the spring 

 Bella Umbrella Shop in Seattle. Photo by Bethany Murphy Photography

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pretty invites for under $100!

Since we had such fab and custom Save the Dates, we skimped on our wedding invites. And sometimes I feel a twinge of regret, especially when I see lovely designs on sites like A Printable Press.

For $70, you can download a PDF of a design you choose and then you can print it as many times as you need -- or want. If you love an invitation but want to change something -- like the dimensions of a card, color, or font -- then you pay an additional $25 per change. After you get the PDF, you can send it off to online printers, like VistaPrint or UPrinting, or to local printers, like Mercurio Brothers and Greener Printer -- both here in the San Francisco/East Bay Area.

Here are some of my favorites. What are yours?

Swallow and Bee, from Birds and Beasts Collection, image from A Printable Press

Amor from the Sheer Whimsy Collection, image from A Printable Press

Let's Make Lemonade, from Modern Vintage Collection, image from A Printable Press

Birch Bark Love, from Into the Woods Collection, image from A Printable Press

Recent features

I'm pretty excited about my event planning business, Va de Vie Events, getting featured on a couple of posts this week.

The first is The Knot's Green Wedding Blog -- thanks to Pilar Zuniga, resident expert green wedding blogger at The Knot as well as a local colleague of mine (owner of Gorgeous and Green Floral Design and Boutique). I've enjoyed working with her as well as shopping at her retail shop, which is chock full of vintage goodies, like mid-century vases and 1940s jewelry. Pilar interviewed me about Va de Vie Events and my tips for couples trying to stay green while planning their wedding. You can read the full post here.
Read the full post here >>

The second is a sneak peek of a photo shoot that I'm excited to be a part of with mastermind, Anna Wu (Photography) and partner-in-crime, Ellen Kim (Gingerleaf Floral). You can take a look at our work behind-the-scenes in pulling together the design concept here. We'll be shooting on location with a former bride client of mine, Michelle, this Sunday in San Francisco. I can't wait to share with you in the coming weeks!

Read the full post here >>

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More favorite photos from our wedding

Realized there's so much more I haven't shared yet! :) Here's a few where Davina, Daniel, Fred and I stopped for ice cream (Loard's) before heading to the fountain in downtown Sausalito. 

Photo by Davina + Daniel Photography (C) 2010
Photo by Davina + Daniel Photography (C) 2010
Photo by Davina + Daniel Photography (C) 2010
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