I wanted to write a little about a wedding that was recently featured on one of our favorite blogs, Style Me Pretty. I have a hard time playing favorites with my clients – because they are all pretty amazing, but Jenni and Evan’s wedding was so incredibly special and enjoyable to plan…I have to say that it was one of my more memorable events! It did not hurt that this gorgeous couple was so incredibly sweet and fun to work with. They had so much love and admiration for each other!
The event took place at the historic Haiku Mill on Maui’s north shore. This venue was the perfect backdrop for their concept of the ultimate romantic affair. The historic rustic elegance of the venue set the stage for our design concept. We focused on neutral tones such as white, ivories, blushes, with hints of soft grey greenery accents. We used gold, silver, and metallic blush accents to bring a little air of finery to the mix.
The guest experience is always a focus, and we had so much fun with signage and accents. engaging the guests a bit more. Miss B Calligraphy was able to duplicate fonts and illustrations used by the stationary designer, Wiley Valentine to make fun boards honoring the bride and groom’s families, as well as some fun facts about the couple.
Favorite moment of the day: The look on Evan’s face as Jenni floated down the aisle in that stunning Vera Wang gown was priceless – he could barely keep it together as tears streamed down his face. I completely started to cry…yes, I am a sap! It was an incredible moment!
The Show Stoppers: The bride and her Vera Wang gown…wow! The gorgeous stationary designed by Wiley Valentine, and the signage artfully mimicking the stationary by Miss B Calligraphy. And the Flowers!!! Oh the flowers, by Teresa Sena.
Here are some highlights from the wedding day, shot by the amazing Tamiz Photography
Photography: Tamiz Photography | Florist: Teresa Sena Designs | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Catering: Maui Executive Catering Company | Hair & Makeup: Maui Mira | Entertainment: Jamie Lawrence & Clay Mortenson | Grooms Attire: Hugo Boss | Officiant: Pastor Tino Rosete | Cake & Sweets: Maui Sweet Cakes | Custom Chalkboards: Miss B Calligraphy | Event Planning & Design: Belle Destination Weddings And Events | Lighting & Furniture: Signature Boutique Event Rentals | Rentals & Furniture: PIR Maui | Stationary / Signage / Wedding Swag: Wiley Valentine | Wedding Venue: Haiku Mill
Here at Belle Destination Events, we have been planning weddings for quite some time and we have just about seen it all. There are some crucial things that we feel are important to remember when planning your wedding and so we decided to begin a new series of Destination Weddings Do’s and Don’ts that may help along the way. Here are a few tips that we feel are important.
DO: Set up a Group Block at a Centralized Hotel
In the beginning stages of planning, it is a great idea to decide on what we refer to as a “centralized” hotel accommodation. In most cases, our clients guest list represent a wide variety of budgets; and therefore, our clients typically look for a hotel that will please everyone. We recommend booking a room block at one hotel in order to offer your guests discounts that would not otherwise be available. Most hotels have a simple criteria to qualify for a room block – such as meeting a minimum number of rooms per night, and in most cases this is quite attainable with large groups. Yes, you may have to make a commitment, but trust us when we say that your guests will likely want to be a part of the whole wedding group, and most importantly, be close to the Bride & Groom. Guests will appreciate the additional discount that you have arranged on their behalf. Gathering everyone in one central area can also be extremely helpful when it comes to transporting your guests to an off-property location for the wedding itself and can assist you in saving time, money and the extra hassels that come along with trying to pick guests up at multiple locations.
DO: Arrange for Group Transportation
The safety of the guest is always one of the top priorities for our events so we think that it is important to provide a safe and convenient way for your guests to arrive and depart the event. When providing an open-bar at your event, there is a good chance that most of your guests will be drinking…in some cases heavily, and the last thing that you want is for those guests to have to get behind the wheel afterwards. This can be not only unsafe for your guests, but also for the community in which you decide to hold your wedding. A DUI or an accident can put a very big damper on an otherwise joyous occasion. In addition, for destination weddings, it is likely that guests may decide not to rent cars, or may not be familiar with the destination location that you have chosen. Group Transportation can be a great convenience for those who are unfamiliar and is a nice thing to provide for your guests who have traveled from afar to be with you on your big day.
DON’T: Skimp on Important Vendors and Services
While we as planners believe that every element of your wedding is super important, we also realize that not all budgets are created equal. Sometimes tough decisions need to be made to meet budget limitations. We recommend building a basic foundation of quality vendors and services and splurging on items that are important to you as a couple. Keep in mind that some of these are interconnected. For instance, if photography is very important to you and you decide to make a larger investment in this area, also remember to consider hair and makeup as well as decor. These are the elements that will set you up for success with your photos…yes, we are referring to the ones that will last a lifetime.
DO: Give a Gift on the Wedding Day
This one is mainly for all of the handsome and oh-so-sweet grooms out there. What a better way to show your appreciation for your lovely woman in your life and all the hard work that she put into the planning by showing her your appreciation on the wedding day. Yes, of course jewels are the preferred trinket of many brides, but you don’t need to break the bank in order to make her feel special. Something as simple as sending flowers can be a wonderful surprise. We recommend choosing an item that is, or will be, sentimental to both of you and accompany it with a heart-felt note about how excited you are to get married and how much she means to you. This builds the anticipation of the ceremony even more and reminds her that you are thinking of her as she is getting pampered on the wedding day. Not to leave out the grooms, brides, same goes for you. A vintage watch, cufflinks, the cigars he loves…these are just a few ideas, but ladies do not forget the card.
Don’t: Choose for the cash-bar option
Guests make a large investment to be able to attend a destination wedding. They take time off work, book flights, accommodations, transportation, etc. all to stand witness to the best day of your lives. It is essential to make they feel welcome and taken care of for that one day, so don’t save on costs by making guests pay for their own cocktails. A great bar can make or break a wedding event, so we recommend going to town in this area. People tend to remember the drinks over the flowers that you had on the table. If budget is an issue, set up a limited bar offering just wine and beer bar with non-alcoholic beverage options. Always find a way to personalize your bar, whether that is by creating customized cocktails and menus, or simply by adding in fun garnishes. Most bar companies will be happy to assist you with this for a small investment.
When Jane broke the news to me that she & Tristan decided to have their wedding in Mendocino Valley, I was absolutely thrilled! Knowing Jane, I knew it was going to be an amazing celebration that we would all remember for a long time. Lucky for her, all the tools and resources to plan a fabulous wedding were right at her finger-tips; I mean, this girl could have planned it all in her sleep. Jane is so used to handling all of the details for other couples that she insisted on doing it all herself – but who can blame her? She is after-all, one of the most sought-after wedding planners on Maui.
A handful of us came early and kicked off the celebration with a night out in The City for a bachelor/bachelorette party – Naturally, we started at a 1920’s era speakeasy bar called Bourbon and Branch where we sipped on delightful concoctions, buzzing with excitement with the festivities of the nuptials to come. We continued to the financial district to Tropisueno – a charming authentic Mexican restaurant with an urban touch, amazing food and ambiance. We ate to our hearts content, toasted to the Bride and Groom to-be, and enjoyed each other’s company; it was a good time : )
A small intimate group of Jane & Tristan’s closest family and friends gathered for a weekend of fun in the Anderson Valley; everyone was from out of town.The weekend wedding adventure officially began the day before the ceremony. We all gradually made our way along the beautiful drive towards Mendocino. The 1st rendezvous took place at Toulouse Vineyards for our start to some wine-tasting fun – All wedding guests slowly trickled onto the outdoor patio of the wine tasting room. Once everyone had arrived and before everyone had a chance to get comfortable, we were all off caravaning to the next winery of our tasting extravaganza – GoldenEye Winery. We were all graciously greeted with a beautiful picnic-lunch hosted by Jane & Tristan under a large oak tree. No cute DIY picnic detail was spared. Feeling relaxed and slightly satiated we made our way to the last winery of our wine tasting tour: Esterlina Vineyards. This boutique, family owned winery is the exact location where Tristan proposed to Jane some months before. The winery sits high on a hill top overlooking the Anderson Valley, definitely one of the most romantic views I have seen.
We eventually all made it to the boutique Mendocino Valley hotel that we called home for a couple of days. It was perfect. Quaint, quiet, small town vibe with little to no cell reception. We quickly checked in and re-assembled for a festive Southern BBQ rehearsal dinner where we indulged in “low & slow ” Carolina BBQ pork butt, baked potatoes and corn muffins with butter and honey. The night was memorable ending in a game of Celebrity – (I like to call it charades on steroids) in our very own private hotel lobby.
The wedding day arrived and the weather was exceptionally nice. The locals in the area said that it was so unusual for it be that warm and sunny without any fog at that time of year – It was a perfect day to get married. Jane & Tristan are a no-frills couple; they both enjoy the finer simplicities in life which definitely projected on their wedding day. Good food and excellent wine was a must with a few simple decor details. A soft -hues color palate of pastels and golds combining beautiful minimalistic decor set the tone for the special day. The girls and I made sure all details were in place before relaxing with Jane sipping on champagne as the final getting ready touches were done. It was so fun being on the other side of the fence, enjoying the anticipation and excitement of what was to come. Everything flowed so nicely and flawlessly sans cell phone or clip-board (the essentials we are so used to having for a wedding day)- it all unfolded organically and before you know it, Jane was walking down the aisle with each parent at her side, smiling from cheek to cheek as she joined her soul mate Tristan at the alter. Tristan’s father Dario performed a heart-felt ceremony. Jane and Tristan exchanged their personal vows to each other and declared their unconditional love in front of their family and friends. The late afternoon cocktail reception progressed into the most amazing California sunset which graced us with the perfect Golden Light that seemed to last forever. Rebecca and Jonathan from Tamiz Photography captured it all so flawlessly – It was so fun to have them there. After-all they are one of our all time favorite wedding photographers.
We were all escorted into the cozy dinning room for dinner at the Inn at Cobler’s Walk. Delicious food smells of goat cheese encrusted rack of lamb and beef bourguignon wafted in the room while the wine was being generously poured. It really was a delightful evening. At the end of dinner, as everyone enjoyed more delicious wine and affogato for dessert, Jane and Tristan stood in front of their 40 guests and individually thanked each one for coming and told them why they mean so much to the both of them. It was a cheerful, heartfelt and loving gesture, clearly the perfect way to start a life time of happiness together.
Venue & Catering: The Inn at Cobbler’s Walk
Photographer: Tamiz Photography
Flowers: Dandelion Flowers
Rentals: Wine Country Party
Event Design: Jane Park/ Belle Destination Events
Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy
Ceremony Music: Marcia Sloan & Marcia Lotter
Hair: Kristin Lindsey
Planning Details Makes Weddings Shine
When it comes to planning a destination wedding, brides must have confidence in their wedding planner’s ability to handle all of the technical and logistical planning. As brides have become more wedding savvy through blogs like Green Wedding Shoes, Ruffled, Pacific Weddings Love Notes and so on, it has challenged coordinators to be stylists as well!
We have always kept a focus on the attention to detail over the years. It’s reflected in every wedding & event that we coordinate and style. It’s fun to challenge ourselves to be at the forefront of the wedding industry trends, as well as, innovators of “never seen before” custom designs (we love a good think tank session!). It’s that extra step that we take to make each bride feel her wedding is right out of a storybook!
Our team is an ensemble of designers that carry the same passion for style and everything fabulous! Attending design Wedding Workshops, Industry Events (The Cream, in L.A) participating in Wedding Design Forums and networking with the top wedding design blogs- we bring that to every planning session! Check out some of our latest weddings & events… it’s all in the details!
More details to come!
Good morning 2012! Okay, yes… So we are a little belated. But, we have been busy little wedding planning bees, preparing for our first event of the new year. We find ourselves in the gorgeous island of Hawaii – a.k.a. “The Big Island,” – for the wedding of Caroline & Phil.
This amazing couple is about to tie the knot at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. It will be a 3-day event extravaganza, leading up to their wedding day, which will be one for the record books. We have loved working with this American/Aussie pair since this past summer, and we could not ask for better clients. We are looking forward to making their wedding day an unforgettable experience. We have an amazing team of Hawaii wedding vendors including the fabulous husband and wife wedding photography team Whitney and Jesse from Our Labor of Love flying in from Atlanta, Georgia, the beautiful girls of Bella Bloom Floral Boutique from Maui and incredible slack key guitarist LT Smooth, just to mention a few. More photos and details to come soon…. Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!