A Bubbly Bridal Brunch

IMG_2035-001 A few weeks ago my girlfriends and I threw a rooftop brunch for our friend who is getting married in August. One of the hosts has an amazing spot in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood, so the backdrop was taken care of.

*Note the bus/boat going into the water in the background. We got to watch it drive right into the water about every hour. :-)

Lindsey's Bubbly Brunch3

Inspired by our bride-to-be's french roots, we served dishes like quiche,  and, of course, kept the champagne flowing. Fresh peach and strawberry purees (courtesy of my new Vitamix!) made for colorful bellinis. It was a hot day so we also served french press coffee on ice.

Lindsey's Bubbly Brunch2

Homemade quiche, apple french toast, cheeses, fruit, and fresh beignets. Delish.

Lindsey's Bubbly Brunch

We decorated with pictures of the bride and groom-to-be. We also had guests bring a few pictures of themselves with the bride so she could go home with a little keepsake. In our world of digital pictures, it's fun to have a good, old-fashioned photo book!

Lindsey's Bubbly Brunch1

One of our guests got married last month and had collected assorted china and goblets for her big day, which we were lucky enough to use for the brunch. My friend whose rooftop it is is also a hobby florist and arranged this awesome centerpiece. We tied the napkins with lavender and billy ball sprigs.

It made for a really fun day in celebration of a great friend tying the knot with her sweetie next month!

I can't believe I'll be leaving for my wedding weekend in a week from today. It has really flown by. See you all here next week for my final post before the wedding!

Sweet Succulents

With four months to go until our big day, we have been focusing on locking in rest of our vendors (florist, cake and entertainment). This week flowers have been on my mind and I'm loving a mixture of local wild flowers and succulents. Below is my inspiration for bouquets. I love how the succulents add texture and compliment coral and white flowers.


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Sources: 1, 2 & 3

For boutineers Derek is envisioning a simple succulent with a spring of lavender.


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For our tablescape we plan to fill mismatched vases and planters with local flowers and succulents. To keep our flower costs down we will be planting some of our own succulents to mix in with our florists' creations. We plan to replant these succulents in our garden after out wedding too!


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Did you, or are you planning on using succulents for your wedding? Were you able to reuse them?

I have also been contemplating how to highlight our moms on our wedding day. Did you go with a corsage, wrislet, small bouquet or something else for yours? Would love to hear what other brides are doing!

Iridescent Peacock Inspiration

As I've mentioned before, I have a slight obsession with peacocks--they appear frequently in Art Deco and Art Nouveau artwork, and the bright jewel tones and metallics offer up a to-die-for wedding palette. While there will be no live peacocks at our wedding, there will be a few special details inspired by my feathered friends. Here are some peacock images that have been hovering around my Pinterest board for a while.

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White on Wood {signs}

Now that my invitation designer and I are getting closer to the final version of my invitation suite, it's got me thinking about all things signage! We are doing a lot of white text on colored backgrounds, so when I saw these "white on wood" signs, I knew they would be a great fit.

White on Wood



White on Wood1



White on Wood3



White on Wood4

Source: left, right

There is a simple tutorial, here. And some ideas on where to find old wood, here.

Did you have luck finding reclaimed wood for wedding signage? If so, how did you do it?


Planning a Wine Country Wedding, Part 2: The Design

Laurel here from Esla Events for the next installment of our Wine Country wedding series. This week’s topic: designing and styling your big day. There is no shortage of inspiration out there these days, from blogs to magazines to books (my current favorites are this one and that one). So instead of getting into the style of your design, below I provide some tips to consider when styling your designs. None are rocket science but, as any bride can tell you, it's really easy to get so deep into the specifics of your idea that you overlook some styling basics. Think of this as a 7-point cheat sheet for taking your designs from concept to execution successfully, and for getting yourself unstuck when needed. 1. Ask yourself, “What’s behind it?” Sure, you’ve considered the backdrop for your ceremony, but what about your dessert table? Your head table? Your bar? You’ll want these to be in convenient locations that makes sense for access and flow, but don’t forget about the overall visual experience. If there isn’t a gorgeously textured barn wall or natural feature to help frame the component, create one by hanging something (see point #7).

Photo by MEF Photography | Rentals by OTL Vintage | Design and Styling by Esla Events and Amanda O'Shannessy Creative


2. Incorporate a few specialty pieces. One of the easiest and most surefire ways to enhance the look of your day is to rent a few signature items. Even if you don’t have a huge budget, focusing your limited dollars on one or two additions or upgrades can really help elevate your aesthetic. Some favorite strategies include: creating a lounge area with beautiful vintage pieces from One True Love, Heritage & Craft, or Milk Glass, upgrading your napkins and dinner table linens to La Tavola’s Tuscano line, or switching out basic folding chairs for crossback chairs, available at Wine Country Party, Hartmann Studios, and Classic Party Rentals.

 Photo by MEF Photography | Rentals by OTL Vintage | Design and Styling by Esla Events and Amanda O'Shannessy Creative


3. Use varying display heights. Use stands, wood crates, or other props to create height on your various stations and display areas. Not sure how to do this? Just check out your favorite boutique or coffee shop for ideas on how to execute this well. The end result is a more friendly, engaging, and visually pleasing design.

Photo and Design by Esla Events


4. When in doubt, use the rule of three. Most items look better in clusters of three, especially when they’re varied in height. Not sure why, they just do.

Photo by MEF Photography | Florals by Leigh Okies Design | Design and Styling by Esla Events and Amanda O'Shannessy Creative


5. Consider the white space. In addition to figuring out what should go where, think about what shouldn’t be there. Giving core design elements breathing room can amplify their visual impact.

Florals by Studio Choo | Photo by Esla Events 


6. Hang something. Many venues in Napa and Sonoma have arbors, wine racks, and other easy-to-hang-from anchor points. Hanging candles, lights, ribbon, signs, and chalkboards are all easy ways to personalize a space, add that romantic touch, and get the most visual impact for your efforts.

Photo by Meg Perotti  |  Florals by Studio Choo  | Rentals by Heritage & Craft  |  Ribbon wall and design by Esla Events


7. If you're not sure whether it will work, prototype it. Sketch it. Count it out. Visit a rental showroom. Make a floor plan. Make a sample. Whatever your strategy, getting the idea out of your head and into a physical form will ensure there are no surprises on the big day, and might even give you additional ideas. And don't be shy! As you can tell from my sketch below, you don't need to be an artist to use this trick—just doodle to get clear on your idea!


Still feeling design-challenged? Consider hiring an event designer to help you flesh out your ideas, help you find all the needed materials and rentals, and handle all the styling on the big day. Or better yet, check out Amanda O’Shannessey’s recently launched workshop series, Styled.


Details in the Heart

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, this week I have been looking at ways to subtly add hearts into our wedding without being overly predictable or cutesy.  I love a sweet heart as much as any other girl, but want to incorporate this idea with an element of restraint so as to keep it from looking like a Valentine's explosion. Here are a few creative ideas I found to add some extra love to your special day.

Wedding attire: I would love to create our own heart patch with our initials and wedding date.

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Add some love to your sole! These awesome heart stopper pads on the right will help you stay upright down the aisle and while you are breaking it down on the dance floor.

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Darling Details: (above) Ring pillow, heart touches on envelopes, photos props, (below) heart confetti, guest book, and garland.

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Are you adding any heart details to your special days? Happy early Valentines Day to you and your sweet!

Here Comes the Bride {aisle inspiration}

This past Saturday I talked with two different florists. Before doing so I gathered lots of inspiration and honed in on the look I wanted. I had been holding off on this because there are so many gorgeous options, I was having trouble committing to one. Creating a board with the things I decided on so far and adding in the flowers I was thinking about really helped me be sure I was going in the right direction. I sent the Pinterest board links to the florists and it helped them see my overall style and, more specifically, the flowers I had in mind (what did we do before Pinterest!?) One thing they both asked me on our calls was what my plan was for the aisle and ceremony space. I had been doing so much thinking about the flowers in terms of the tables and bouquets, I hadn't even thought of the aisles! So I asked them what they recommended and started searching and realizing there are endless options...

Source: left, right

Would love the candle look if I was having a nighttime ceremony.


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Shepherd hooks are really versatile and my venue has some I can use if I opt for this. No extra rentals =  money saved! But, you will be shelling out for the extra arrangements. One good option would be if you could move them to the tables after the ceremony for double duty!


Source: left, middle, right


And then there are petals. I love the look of petals along the aisle because it creates such a strong visual pathway. It's also romantic, timeless and (apparently) pretty cost-effective. One of the florists told me she could use the petals of a less expensive flower along the aisle.

When you have a gorgeous venue, I think you can get away with a more minimal aisle decoration. I'm thinking I will keep the ceremony decor pretty simple (we have Mt. Hood as the backdrop, so I think people will be looking at that), and put more towards the tables.

What are you doing to dress up your aisle and ceremony space? Did you have it figured out already when you talked to florists? Any cost-saving tips?

Thankful for {family}

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (I think I say this at every holiday). I love Thanksgiving because it's all about bringing loved ones together to cook and enjoy a wonderful meal and remember what we are all thankful for. No presents. Just family, football, lazy couch time, cooking together, feasting and a long weekend ahead. ahhh I love Thanksgiving! So this week I've been thinking a lot about family and how we can incorporate our past generations into our wedding day, show a little bit of our families' histories, and also honor some people who will be there in spirit. I love the idea of using pictures, because it adds a personal touch and gives guests a chance to see that you have your grandma's nose or your grandpa's gap-tooth. You can't go wrong with pictures.

Source: all images above

Source: Mason Jar Photos

Source: Lockets on Bouquet

Are you doing something special to honor your family?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you enjoy the holiday with those you love!

Flights of Fancy {feathers as wedding inspiration}

My fiance, Mark, and I have a long-running joke about me walking down the aisle carrying a live white peacock instead of a bouquet. I'll take the flowers, please and thank you. The last thing I need is a frantic animal in my arms during our wedding. Needless to say, I have a strong and deep love of all things feathered, which I've inherited primarily from my mother, who is about as obsessed as they come. Feathers are popping up all over the place in wedding decor, bridal attire, accessories, even invitations. Here are a few of my favorite iterations:

Surely, I wouldn't look this glamorous carrying a bird.




Feathers as decorative details...

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Feathers in your hair...

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How will you be incorporating your feathered friends?

P.S. If you've seen my Pinterest, you know I have much, much more feather inspiration, so just wait for shoes and dress posts!

Let There Be Light!

And lots of it! For our wedding we plan on keeping our decor very simple with lots of hanging lights playing of the natural beauty of our venue.

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 I really love the idea of also combing some lights with colorful streamers and ribbons.

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Since our venue is on the edge of a national park,we cannot have any open flames. Unfortunately means no candles, so we will have to get creative with other ways to add light.

Sources: 1, 2, 3 & 4

Sources: 1, 2 & 3

How did you get creative with your wedding lighting?