Jennifer and Darrell- Let Sparks Fly!

by Jessica on May 9th, 2014 in Real Weddings | No Comments

Today we have something REALLY special.  Jennifer and Darrell’s wedding was over the top gorgeous, and so ridiculously detailed and well thought out, it will bowl you over.  The pretty-factor should come as no surprise, given Jennifer’s food industry background and the couple’s true love of entertaining.  Additionally, as a special treat, they are also sharing the photos of their casual picnic event, and holiday cookie baking party in the Cavallo Point Cooking School. Lovely floral design by Kate’s Blossoms, photography by Kelly Puleio, and in the spirit of treating you, dear readers, here is a description of the day, in the beautiful bride’s own words:
It was a complete surprise when my boyfriend, Darrell Rodriguez, brought me to Cavallo Point on December 30, 2012. We had visited the Lodge a couple of times for drinks and brunch.  It had been a dream of mine to stay at the resort. As we pulled up to the lodge that beautiful day, my only hope was to sip champagne, enjoy the view and toast the new year with the love of my life. 

As New Years fast approached, Darrell told me to dress up.  We were heading to Murray circle for dinner and then to the water front to watch the fire works at the stroke of midnight. Dinner was a beautiful seven course meal with wines paired with each course. At 11:45, Darrell asked me to walk to the water front. I gently requested that we drive. Thinking of saving my beautiful high heels from the “long” walk in the dark. The car was quickly brought from valet.  We pulled up just as the fireworks began. 

Darrell proposed, in the car, as the fire works began, and not exactly as planned! A water side proposal was much more romantic than the one inside the car, he said.  But I was surprised and thrilled nonetheless. New Year’s Day, as we enjoyed breakfast on the restaurant patio, we began to discuss where we wanted to get married. Coming back to Cavallo point, exactly one year to the day to mimic the proposal seemed like the most amazing of options.

By March, we were booked.  It would be a small wedding for forty special family and friends. An event centered around food, wine and the fireworks of New Year’s Eve. It was the fireworks that provided the theme for the wedding. The sparks of the fireworks. The sparks we felt when we met.  The sparks that would fly when we got married. “Come See Sparks Fly”. And so it began.

We lived in a home of similar style to the lodge. All of the planning, flowers, colors and theme centered around honoring the integrity of the property. We entertain all of the time. Serving multiple coursed dinners paired with wine. That part was easy. The first piece was to ensure that everyone saved the date and booked a room. It was New Year’s Eve after all.  We didn’t want to risk anyone making other plans. The Save the Date notices went out by May.  A simple menu card. With a matchbook saying ” Save the Date-December 31, 2013-Come See Sparks Fly” It was threaded with three silver sparklers. All hand written, including the fireworks on the top.

 

Another beautiful weekend for a wedding at Cavallo Point!

by passport_admin on May 4th, 2014 in Real Weddings | No Comments

Join me at Piatti’s on June 2nd

by Jessica on May 15th, 2013 in Real Weddings | No Comments

Join me on June 2nd at Piatti Risorante & Bar in Mill Valley from 12-3pm for the Piatti Wedding Expo.

 I am so excited to spend time at this gorgeous venue alongside many top party and event specialists. Enjoy sparkling drinks and delicious bites from the Piatti kitchen and interact with all the top vendors who create unforgettable events including florists, photographers, design and staging professionals, and so much more.

Attend this one-stop event for all the essentials in planning the perfect birthday parties, sweet sixteens, graduation parties and whatever celebration you have in mind!

 Plus, there will be thousands of dollars worth of amazing raffle prizes given away!

 No entrance fee, but you must RSVP to be entered into the raffle.

 RSVP to Kristin Lehmkuhl: 415.306.1514 | klehmkuhl@piatti.com

 For more information visit: http://bit.ly/16xXFRT

Jen and Jeff

by Jessica on May 6th, 2013 in Real Weddings | No Comments

It’s a simple story of a set-up by a friend.  This friend knew two people from Michigan and figured- how could they not be a match?  Turns out, this silly logic was absolutely right- cut to 5 years later, Jen and Jeff’s wedding at Cavallo Point.  These two have some seriously adorable chemistry, and I feel so lucky to have been a part of their special day, along with two of my favorite vendors- Sarah Peet behind the camera and Kate’s Blossoms on gorgeous flower detail. Bright spring green prints and natural flowers in beautiful blue bubble glass showcased the season.  To honor Jeff’s career as a bar manager the couple gave adorable mini bottles of St. Germaine with a specialty drink recipe attached as favors.  Jen and Jeff, I miss you already- congratulations!!

Planning a Wedding in 6 Months or Less!

by Jessica on April 3rd, 2013 in News & Events | No Comments

In honor of the fabulous dates in September that are still available (September 7 & 14), I thought that it might be helpful for a seasoned planner to share some words of wisdom on how to plan a wedding in the blink of an eye, without creating too much stress for you, your fiance, and your families.  Read on, and then call me ASAP to secure on of these sunny Fall dates at the Lodge!

How to Plan a Wedding in Six Months (in Six Little Steps)

Rebecca Pfiffner of Be Hitched, Event Planning & Design


1. Repeat After Me: Big Decisions Don’t Have to be Difficult Decisions
I recently came across an article about the way in which our brains function when we’re faced with a big decision (choosing a new house, buying a car, planning a wedding…). We naturally assume that if the decision is important, we must go through a grueling and arduous process to get to the right choice. Which is all fine and good, except for one small thing — it’s not true.  The number one struggle I see drain couples of their time and energy isn’t a struggle with families or guest list.  It’s the struggle they have with themselves when they know what they want, but keep hemming and hawing and researching and meeting because they think the big decisions need to be hard. Before you dive into planning, remember this: you know when it’s right (I promise).  Be smart and do your homework of course, but remember to listen to your gut.  If you and your partner meet with a photographer and you love their work, they fit your budget, have great references, and it just feels right, it is. Let big decisions be easy decisions.

2. Start With Budget
The advice I’d give a couple planning a wedding six months out is the same advice I’d give a couple planning their wedding 18 months out.  Start with budget.  Sit down with your families and determine a budget that everyone is comfortable with.  This will help guide all of your planning decisions going forward, and help keep everyone’s expectations realistic.  And it should actually make things easier for you — you won’t waste time meeting with that florist whose work you loved on Style Me Pretty if they have a minimum of $6K when you know the budget for your small, intimate wedding is $10K!

3. Seek Out (The Right) Support
Okay, okay, obviously I’m biased (I *am* a wedding planner, after all), but if your budget allows for it, consider working with a professional wedding planner who is experienced in the city or town where you’re hoping to get married.  A good wedding planner can not only help you get started and put together a planning roadmap for you, but they will be a huge time saver for you when it comes to venue and vendor research.  They’ll be able to provide you with custom (and trusted!) recommendations based on your needs, taste, and budget.  If your budget doesn’t allow for a planner, seek out support from friends and family who do have the time and energy, and who you trust to make decisions based on what you and your partner want, not what they like. Be specific about what tasks you need help with, and when you make the ask, be clear about deadlines. You might ask your friend who works at a restaurant to help you research caterers, but if you need a list in the next 3 weeks, ask if that’s doable for them. The people in your life are really, really excited about your wedding, and want to help — don’t be afraid to ask!

4. Place Before Pinterest
As much as I love Pinterest and recognize it as an amazing tool for planners and couples alike, at six months out, I recommend putting the kibosh on pinning for a while.  Pinterest can easily make you lose focus and feel overwhelmed, and your focus should be on finalizing the next big item on your to do list — securing your venue. To help ensure smooth sailing in the months to come, seek out a venue that hosts weddings consistently throughout the year, with a full-time staff member dedicated to supporting special events.  The venue and location should be one that you and your fiancé love and one that inspires you exactly as it is. You want to avoid a space that has to be completely reinvented to match your vision.  Another tip: a venue with an exclusive caterer can be a huge benefit, since it means one less vendor to research and choose.  But just make sure to do your homework.  You want to be sure the food and catering/bar service are of the caliber and quality you’re hoping for!

5. It Takes A Village – Secure Your Wedding Team
After venue comes securing what I call the Big 7: Caterer, Photographer, Officiant, Music, Florist, Hair/Makeup, Dessert.  Especially in the Bay Area, some of the earliest vendors to book up (besides wedding planners) are caterers, photographers, and florists.  And let me tell you, securing these seven will be like breathing in a huge sigh of relief.  You’ll have more flexibility to think about creative DIY projects and soaking up this time with family and friends once your vendors are secured. A planner can do the work of checking availability and pricing for all of your vendors, but if you’re doing the work on your own, remember to reach out to your village (friends, family, peers in your area) rather than the internet as your starting point. A personal recommendation from a trusted source is always the best place to start.

6. HAVE FUN and Remember What It’s All About
Guess what — being engaged is fun (no, really!). Yes, it can be stressful, and yes, there are a lot of decisions to make.  But if you’re feeling a lack of joy in the process, use that as a signpost to stop, step back, take a deep breath, and be honest about what’s giving you the most stress. Then see Step 3. Take a look at your to do list, and think about how you can make those tasks more enjoyable.  If you have to choose a signature cocktail, try testing recipes at home with your fiancé.  If you need to choose a rehearsal dinner location, invite your parents out to dinner and while you’re taste testing a possible prix fixe menu, ask them to tell you what getting married was like for them. You’ll be checking things off your to do list while remembering what the wedding is all about in the first place — and it has a little something to do with love :)

Sweet Spring Elopement

by Jessica on March 25th, 2013 in Design Inspiration | No Comments

This wedding is just so Spring-perfect.  The espadrilles (worn with lovely vintage fur coat, for the chill in the air), the gorgeous white flowers  in vintage vases, the bright green branches accenting the low burning fireplace. I could not love it more.  Kate’s Blossoms really knocked this design out of the park, with low key elegance and spring blooms on full display.  Sarah Peet brings it all to life with her lovely photographs. 

Jean and Tim

by Jessica on March 20th, 2013 in Real Weddings | No Comments

Jean and Tim hosted their destination wedding at Cavallo Point, as an homage to their past life as San Franciscans.  During wedding planning they lived in Georgia, and had busy professional lives.  As such, they kept the wedding planning simple, bringing together many close family friends to offer their talents from florals to photography.  One example of this was their delightful photographer, Hardy Wilson.  Hardy is a newspaper photographer, and his photojournalistic approach yielded possibly my favorite wedding photo of all time (Very last photo posted here).  I hope you love these sweet images of their special day as much as I do!

Cavallo Point Weddings Takes 1st on Bay Area A-List!

by Jessica on March 18th, 2013 in News & Events | No Comments

I am pleased as punch to announce that for the third year in a row, Cavallo Point has taken first place in wedding venues on the Bay Area A-List.  What an honor! Thank you so much to all brides past and present that voted, it makes me feel confident that we are doing something very right!

http://sf.cityvoter.com/cavallo-point-lodge/biz/547797

 

Kate and Raymond’s Murray Circle Reception

by Jessica on March 15th, 2013 in Real Weddings | No Comments

This next wedding, was not actually one that I was in charge of, as it happened in our lovely restaurant’s semi-private rooms.  However, the bride is a dear friend and colleague whose company Kate’s Blossoms  has made dozens of Cavallo Point weddings beautiful.  As such, I could not be more honored that she chose the Lodge to marry her soulmate, and host an intimate family gathering in February.  Her team put together the gorgeous flowers (but, of course!), and ours did our best to show her how much she means to us with a lovely meal.  Another favorite of mine, Sabine Scherer, captured all of the pretty.  I could not be happier to send my fondest thoughts to Kate and Raymond- I just know that they will find so much happiness in this next phase of their lives together.

Cavallo Point Love Tour

by Jessica on March 8th, 2013 in News & Events | No Comments

I am a little late in this post, as the Love Tour was a few weeks ago, but I am delighted to share Janae Shield’s beautiful photos of the day, and thank everyone who participated, donated and attended.  It was such a wonderful event, and a delightful planning experience for me, to work with the amazing group of vendors and the wonderful women of LVL Events.  I hope that our attending brides had a lovely time, won great prizes, and got some wedding planning done!