Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pretty in Pink Feature on Green Wedding Shoes

Today, Va de Vie Events is featured on Green Wedding Shoes for Katie + Peter's "Pretty in Pink" glitter-glam, woodland themed wedding at the Axis Cafe in San Francisco. We had coordinated a friend of Katie's wedding (Britta + Kyle, see ) and we were honored when Katie reached out to us to do hers.

Katie is an artist and sculptor so she was up for the challenge of handcrafting the beautiful details of her wedding -- and her mom is equally as talented. On the day of the wedding, Axis Cafe's modern barn and patio were dripping with beautiful pink details; nearly 1,000 handmade pieces made this wedding extraordinary thanks to Katie and her mom's diligent work throughout the year (and I made the terrariums!).

Check out the rest of the gallery at: http://greenweddingshoes.com/pretty-in-pink-wedding-katie-peter/

All photos: (c) 2012 Michele Beckwith Photography

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Featured on Style Me Pretty!

Va de Vie Events was so thrilled to be part of Megan and Amit's journey to the altar. The bride and groom had a wonderful sense of style (helps that the bride is a fashion blogger and marketer) and pulled in a great team of vendors that I love like, like @Onelove Photography, Chestnut & Vine Floral Design, @Beauty Bug Makeup (@kansinee), @Event Magic, @Big Fun DJs, @Torino Cakes, Green Cheeze Photobooths and my lovely associate @Brittany Piehl. Cheers to Megan and Amit!!


Megan and Amit used Etsy for a lot of their pretty details and we had fun putting them all together:
Dessert bar; vessels provided by Va de Vie Events; cupcakes by Torino Baking
Custom kippah
Don't you love the bowtie napkins?
Wedding tunnel! They are such a lovely couple!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hot Spot: Palace of Fine Arts

Congrats to my most recent clients! Leah and Josh got married Memorial Day weekend at an intimate ceremony held at Fay Park and celebrated their marriage with an intimate group of friends and family at the San Francisco Art Institute.

The day was perfect despite a disaster that happened one hour before the ceremony: the photographers' cameras (two D-800s), laptops and peripheral equipment were stolen with less than 60 minutes to get new equipment! I was quick to dial pro shop, Calumet, in Potrero Hill and my day-of assistant drove one of the two photographers there so they could purchase new equipment -- and got back just in time. Leah and Josh got hitched without even knowing about the mishap (and how much of a nail biter the whole incident was) until two days later. Whew!

The photo below is from their "Trash the Dress" session a week later with Sierra Blanco Photography. Here's to Leah and Josh!

On a recent Saturday, newlyweds Joshua and Leah S. seemed oblivious to the world as their big day was documented amid the Palace's grandeur.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Inspiration: Larger than life chalkboard program

Photo by Dana Tanamachi
Isn't this amazing?!?!? DANA TANAMACHI is a graphic designer and custom chalk letterer based in Brooklyn, NY. See more of her beautiful work here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Easy Cinco de Mayo Centerpiece

Last summer, my friend (and 2010 bride-client), Sugi hosted a fiesta themed housewarming. I was happy to help create the centerpieces for her tables -- all you need is to buy cacti, succulents or flowers and plant them in large and small cans from the "ethnic" aisle of your local grocery store.

More ideas on our Pinterest board, "Fiesta"!

Photo by Vera Devera (c) 2011

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oinks & Hops: A Teal & Green Ombre Beer Tasting & Whole Hog Roast

I turned 34 last Wednesday and wanted to throw a party that reflected the things I love: (1) the colors teal and green, (2) pork and bacon and (3) beer!

When I looked at other "beer tasting" parties for inspiration, everything I saw was masculine. I thought, hey girls like beer too! So that's why I decided to do a beer tasting with a feminine touch -- i.e. lots of pretty paper, flowers and teal and green. In addition, I love pork! My friend has a caja china -- which is one way to roast a pig above ground. We placed 80 pounds of pasture raised pork from Marin Sun Farms inside the wooden caja and put hot coals on top -- the radiant heat from the coals slow roasted the meat over four hours.

Putting Pork + beer together, I came up with a clever name for my party theme: Oinks and Hops! I asked guests to bring a 6-pack of beer (assigned by first name) of varieties ranging from lager, stout, wheat beer, amber ale, and more to share and taste.
Caja china for hog roast - photo by Brittany Piehl (c) 2012
 Alison of Two for Two Cakes baked my desserts and I styled the spread. My cake was a chocolate Guinness stout cake with cream cheese frosting and a chevron pattern topped with a mini bunting banner from Etsy shop, Potter and Butler. I happen to have a "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster in our living room and love the saying so much that I had Lush Prints make a custom rubber stamp with the saying, "Keep Calm and Eat Bacon," which I used to decorate craft paper favor boxes for mini chocolate donuts. Alison also made "Oinks" -- usually called Twinks -- that were made of Devil's foodcake with maple buttercream and candied bacon. And continuing the beer theme, we had mini root beer float cupcakes -- vanilla bean cake with a sarsaparilla extract. 

Vanilla bean root bear float mini cupcakes - photo by Vera Devera (c) 2012

Some of the stands were metal fruit baskets (with honeycomb die cut) that I turned upside down to place the cupcakes on top of. Porcelain pigs with mini cards denoted the flavors. For weeks, I toiled over making tissue paper fringe -- which I strung together with fishing line. I hung them from a curtain and tied glitter glass numbers, "3" and "4" to the middle. The backdrop for my desserts was comprised of the fringe curtain, honeycomb paper flowers and white tissue paper poms tied with teal fringe and gold foil centers.

Outside we strung bistro lights and decorated the tables with teal-green ombre linens. I tied green-blue striped napkins with twine and paper hearts for the lime green cutlery. For the buffet, I potted succulents in bargain bin silver pails from Target and I wrote the names of the dishes on chalkboard garden markers with a wet erase chalk pen. Green paper lanterns covered some of the bistro light bulbs and a fringe garland hung above paper mache "CHEERS". I also set out a mini bucket of paper mustaches on straws -- for guests who wanted to have a little fun drinking their root beer.
Keep Calm & Eat Bacon Custom Stamp by Lush Prints - photo by Jill Kunishima (c) 2012

At the end of the night, my friends lit sparklers and dainty candles and brought my cute chevron cake out to me. One of my favorite photos of the night is of me blowing out the candles, hands clasped as I made a wish.
Make a wish! - photo by Alison Okabayashi (c) 2012

Being surrounded by my wonderful friends and eating and drinking a delicious spread was the best ever!

Mustache straws

Beer tasting!

Menu window

Solar lantern


Devil's foodcake twink with maple buttercream & candied bacon by Two for Two Cakes

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easy, DIY vertical succulent garden

Vertical succulent garden by Vera Devera (c) 2012

If you're planning a wedding with succulents, I'm sure you've seen lots of inspiration for vertical succulent gardens. I'm hosting my own birthday party in a couple of weeks and that has motivated me to get our backyard in shape.

First thing on my list: salvage a pallet and turn it into a kickass garden. And that's just what I did!

  • 1 salvaged pallet (i.e., rescue an abandoned pallet off the street, usually outside a warehouse or store)
  • Burlap
  • Upholstery staple gun
  • 3 cubic feet of soil
  • Compost
  • Lots of plants
You can follow the tutorial at Life on the Balcony, or you can do what works best for you. I basically stapled the burlap to the back (at least 100 staples) and around the sides and bottom of the pallet. Then with the pallet laying flat on the ground, I worked from the bottom up filling the pallet with soil-compost. The first row was comprised of sedum (best to buy a flat of ground cover sedum at Home Depot for $14), the next row was heirloom Bull's Blood beets with coleus and lamb's ear, followed by a row of petunias and more coleus and ecchevaria. I topped off the vertical garden with more beets, oregano, thyme and other varieties of petunias.

This is a great backdrop not only in your backyard, but I can see it used as an escort card display, especially for a garden wedding. The cards can be "sown" into the soil with wooden seedling markers Or it can be a cool architectural feature as part of the setting the scene for your succulent-themed wedding.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My fringe obsession

Since throwing the Old School Party last month, I've been obsessed with fringe, especially since I made this fringe garland!

Now, I'm in the throes of planning my birthday bash and I've been collecting a ton of ideas for using crepe paper (not tissue paper streamers or sheets) to decorate our backyard.

The giant fringe pinata idea (from Jorday Ferney's Oh Lovely Day) can be used for your e-session as well -- especially if you're planning to use the photos for your save-the-dates. Otherwise, it's perfect for a birthday celebration.

via Oh Happy Day: DIY Monogrammed Fringe by Michaela of Blissful Fete
If you're not up for DIY, then you can purchase these Wish Cupcake Toppers for $12 on Etsy:

See more at my Pinterest board, Pretty Paper Lust: http://pinterest.com/10kbride/pretty-paper-lust/

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Work in progress: vintage LP record cake stands

Vintage LP Cake stands (c) 2012 Vera Devera
I'm planning a surprise party with a vintage college prep theme at the end of the month and the birthday boy digs his hi-fi collection. I couldn't think of a better way than these vintage LP cake stands to display the awesome dessert bar that Two for Two Cakes is creating!

Materials include: LPs of various sizes ($0.50-$2.00 at Half Price Books), super glue and candlestick holders (I got mine for an additional 40% off at the Salvation Army) to serve as the base. I spent less than $10 for 4 cake stands.

And below is the inspiration (Oh Happy Day). I did go to TAP Plastics as their tutorial suggested and considered using their plastic cake stands but the records I bought were thicker than those made in the 1960s-70s so I didn't think I needed the extra support from a plastic round.

via Oh Happy Day

Friday, February 10, 2012

DIY Classes for the DIY Bride

I am a big fan of Workshop SF because they help you tap into your inner-craft-child!

This past Tuesday, I took Sewing 101 at Workshop SF. For a DIY-liter like me, I needed to refresh my skills on how to sew by hand and machine. Carmen, the teacher, is also a visual manager for Anthropologie on 4th and Market and teaches this class in her spare time. After 3 hours on the Janome, I now feel more comfortable with sewing by machine (it's easier than I expected) and I can't wait to start making my own pillows and baby shower gifts. In fact, I went out and bought a Brother (35 stitch) on HSN the next day for $99!

My PBR Beer Koozy - Project #1 at Workshop SF

A DIY project that requires sewing skills! via Project Wedding
More classes that are geared towards the DIY bride are being taught by one of my go-to wedding floral designers: Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green. Plus, she's just launched her online store, so if you can't get to her brick and mortar retail location on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley, you can satisfy your fix for terrarium or other locally-made prettiness.
Bouquet by Gorgeous and Green Events; (c) 2011 Stephen Hughes Photography

Sunday March 18th:  Fun with airplants  6-8pm
People love airplants.  We love airplants.  If you love airplants, come hang out with us and make fun stuff with them.  We will provide lots of cool branches, wire, secret cool stuff and tools, and we'll show you how to carefully design with them.  $50 donation at the door, $45 donation pre-paid to cover the cost of airplants and materials.  We will have some snacks and drinks as well. We will have this listed on the web store. Space is limited.
Check the online store.

Sunday April 22nd: After hours flower arranging  6-8pm
Featuring locally, sustainably and/or organically grown flowers, greens and branches.  We'll show you some techniques to creating arrangements without floral foam, and you can walk away with your creation! Some snacks and drink will be provided.  $75 donation at the door or $65 pre-paid, 12 person maximum, so book early. 
Check the online store.

Sunday May 20th: Bouquet Making: for the DIY bride, groom, family or friends!  5-7pm.
We do a lot of weddings.  We would love to decorate your wedding. But for some, budget is a challenge, so come to our DIY event to learn some basics on making a hand-tied bouquet (we never use floral foam, terrible for us and the environment, yuck ), and not only will you walk away with skills and a lovely bouquet, but you will also get a special coupon to use with us if you need to order bulk flowers for your wedding!  $85 donation at the door or $75 prepaid. Space is limited.  Check the online store.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Free Wedding Photography Contest: Danielle Capito

Hey everyone: Photographer, Danielle Capito, whose work has been featured on Style Me Pretty is giving away a free wedding photography package. The deadline to enter is this Sunday -- hurry and enter now by emailing Danielle your answers to the questions below! Good luck!!

Entries must be received by February 5, 2012 and final decision will be made by February 8. This free package includes an engagement session and DVD of images, 8 hours of wedding day coverage by 2 photographers, and a flash drive of all edited wedding images.

Must include in email:
  1. Information about your wedding day, from the venue, to the decor, to your inspiration, your vendors, and just your overall vision for the day! Feel free to include any pictures, Pinterest boards, etc. that really show your vision for the wedding!
  2. A picture (or two) of you and your fiance
  3. The story about how you and your fiance met
  4. Why you want to win!
  5. Feel free to include any other information, images, collages, story boards, videos, etc. that could help you win!
  6. Email all the above to daniellecapitophotography@gmail.com

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Engaged, now what?

Happy New Year!!

A little sparkle for the new year! Britta's BHLDN wedding shoes; photo by Stephen Hughes (c) 2011

If you're recently engaged, you're probably wondering now what?

Here are some quick tips to get you on your merry way:
  1. First, congrats! Bask in the afterglow of your engagement.
  2. Spread the word -- tell your parents, besties, update your status on Facebook. But, surprisingly -- you don't have to pick your wedding party just yet -- until after steps #3-5. You can definitely start thinking about who you want in your wedding party. But, having a huge wedding party may not make sense for a wedding where you can only afford (or want) 50-100 people.
  3. Set your budget. Broaching the subject of who foots the bill may be tricky, especially if you're not comfortable asking your family or other relatives for financial help. Or perhaps you and your fiance prefer to fund your wedding. Take stock of what you can reasonably afford without going into outrageous debt. The venue and catering will be 40-60% of your budget.
  4. Based on your budget, set your estimated headcount and start looking for a venue according to your priorities (location, outdoor/indoors, BYO catering or in-house, etc). If you want to get married in 2012, you might find it challenging to book popular venues especially during peak season. Be open!
  5. Hire a wedding coordinator (partial or full).A wedding coordinator can point you in the right direction for securing vendors and/or a venue. They can also offer advice on etiquette, related tasks, and your budget. Believe me -- from firsthand experience -- you will definitely want someone else to handle the details of the day so you can actually enjoy your wedding!
  6. Prioritize line items for each vendor/expense. Consider whether you care more about the food, photos, music, etc and budget accordingly.
  7. Open a Pinterest account unless you already have one. This is my favorite way to curate your wedding wishes and dreams. You can organize your vision by genre (rustic, modern, vintage), colors or elements (sparkly, chevron, faux bois) and easily share it with prospective or current vendors as well as families and friends. Caution: you will get addicted to pinning!
  8. Finally, breathe and enjoy a little "me" time every day. It's easy to get caught up in the details -- and sometimes, the drama -- of planning. Don't forget to do what you need to do to get back to center. Cook, do yoga, meditate, write in your journal...
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