Fall Harvest Equestrian Charity Event in Rancho Santa Fe

Feeding America San Diego ‘Friendraiser’ Event

We were so honored to be able to design such an incredible event for a wonderful cause this past fall for Feeding America San Diego. Held at a private equestrian farm in Rancho Santa Fe, we transformed this ‘barn’ into a spectacular event to raise awareness and bring some major VIPS together for a wonderful cause. This fall harvest themed event tied in the seasonal produce, flowers and herbs of the season to remind the guests of this ‘friendraiser’ how important feeding our own is. Food brings together friends and family and nourishes us to live healthier, happier lives. This equestrian event provides wonderful wedding inspiration as well! See the details below of this fall harvest equestrian event.


See this event featured over on Strictly Weddings for even more details!

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We started transforming the equestrian ring by building out a platform for the diners and laying down lush dove gray carpet and draping cream and periwinkle fabric from the rafters. We mixed in various pendent lamps for a romantic lighting option and pin-lighted the centerpieces. Beautiful wood tables and plush linen padded dining chairs were brought in for a comfortable spot for the diners to enjoy the show from.

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Modern lounge furniture with weathered grey wood was mixed with indigo blue velvet ottomans, mirrored coffee tables and eclectic décor to create welcoming spaces for guests to relax in.

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As a fun photo booth backdrop we designed a hedge wall with a lattice design made out of branches and bouquets of flowers, fruits and vegetables. Each guest took a photo as they arrived and when they left they were handed a framed printed photo of themselves to take home.

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Flowers by the talented Krista Jon were over-flowing with fruits and vegetables were presented in silver trophy urns and modern geometrical glassware throughout the event to stay in line with the Fall Harvest and Equestrian theme. We created beautiful vignettes such as a welcome trolly at valet to excite guests for the designs to come.

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For a unique invitation I painted a modern impressionistic horse and landscape painting and paired a laser cut belly band in the shape of the farm’s entry gates. A custom rose gold crest sealed the invite featuring an illustration of a horse which was used throughout the event including napkins and on the menus.
To create a custom feeling for the event stationery I water-colored fruits and vegetables to create a Fall Harvest pattern to print  fabric and to use for the dinner menus, bar signage and stationery.

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Guests were treated to a 5 course pairing dinner with locally grown organic produce and wine pairings. Blood orange intermezzo was a beautiful palate cleanser that was a wonderful idea on a hot fall day!



As guests dined, they were treated to an equestrian show featuring Olympic riders showcasing their dressage skills while an orchestra provided the soundtrack.



After dinner guests retreated to the courtyard where Top Chef star Richard Blais treated guests to a cooking demonstration as his signature dessert was passed around.  We created a whiskey and cordial bar for an after dinner nip and styled it with horse shoes, a leather hide and vintage books, candles and decanters for a masculine library sort of feel.


Event Design, Planning & Stationery: Alchemy Fine Events
Photography: Paula Luna
Flowers: Krista Jon
Furniture: Hire Elegance
Props: Archive Rentals
Catering: Coast Catering
Drapery: Luke Gulley, LG Productions
Lighting: Peterson Event Lighting
Cooking Presentation: Richard Blais
Linen & Napkins: La Tavola
Table Rentals: Casa De Perrin & Classic Party Rentals
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Alchemy Fine Home in the News!

Alchemy Fine Home is the word!

We are so honored and excited with all the love that we got from Modern Luxury San Diego in their September issue! Since we launched Alchemy Fine Home we have had so much fun adding on inspiring new pieces for your home design and entertaining. As a designer our dream is always to design with the most beautiful materials and artistic pieces as possible. With the crossover of focusing on our interior design passion as well as events, you can really do just that and curate collectable pieces to cherish for years to come. Alchemy Fine Home offers a wedding registry filled with luxe little items that you really want, may not need, but truly covet.


Catch the buzz and check out the top picks we chatted about in our ‘Design Spotlight’ feature in Modern Luxury San Diego’s  September 2015 Ladies of Style issue. Called out as a Design Arbiter (we likey), we show off our favorite objet d’art, fashion and travel picks at the moment including some fun pieces we’ve put in our client’s homes that featured on Alchemy Fine Home.

Alchemy Fine Home

Vanessa Van Wieren Alchemy Fine Events Riviera Magazine

Check out these Alchemy Fine Home coveted pieces online for your luxe home accents that we are loving.


Eclipse Agate Chandelier, Brass

Eclipse Agate Chandelier Brass • $3,150

Christian Lacroix Caribe Fruit Bowl

Christian Lacroix Caribe Fruit Bowl • $450

Corona Brass Pillar Candleholder

Corona Brass Spiky Candlestick • $199

Thank you so much Becca Battista for capturing me and my #1 main man Rupert the Regal Cheagle inside of my favorite contemporary art galleries Madison Gallery. This little man of mine is such a show stopper and is looking quite dapper in print if I do say so myself. I love you Ruppie-doo!

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Vanessa Van Wieren & Rupert the regal cheagle


Big love to Dean Hall of Style and Men for primping me and Ruppie up!

Dress by Halston. Shoes Brian Atwood.

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French Riviera Luxury Wedding Design

Cap Estel Luxury Wedding Design

So we’ve showed you what an incredible wedding venue Cap Estel would make but what could I create here? This is the fun part; “Dreaming in design” as I like to refer to it. Since this would be MY top choice, I decided to create what I would consider to be my own dream wedding. It would go something like this:

Wedding guests would enter the villa through its white marble lobby and walk out onto the expansive terrace overlooking the lawn. A classical string quartet would be playing remixed classics while guests sipped on bubbly rosé from gold-rimmed crystal goblets and nibbled on caviar canapés before being escorted down to their seats for the ceremony.

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Soft white suede and rose gold chairs would be lining the aisle on the lawn that led up to the altar. The altar would would be fluttering with lush white peonies and an abundance of white butterflies and oversized paper flowers. These bright whites would contrast perfectly with the azure sea in the background.


The bride clad in a lace Yolan Cris gown would float down the aisle and be set against the magical setting of fluttering white and aqua sea background.

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After the ceremony, guest would explore the rose garden during the cocktail hour. Beautiful performers with theatrical butterfly headpieces would play stringed instruments while walking between the guests. An impressive cheese table and gourmet appetizers from Cap Estel’s Michelin-starred chef would serve as a preview of the amazing meal yet to come!

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After cocktail hour, guests would take their seats in a black-and-white-striped tent dripping with an eclectic display of chandeliers and pendant lights. A palette of blush and salmon centerpieces would be offset by the bold canopy, striped linens and blue-and-white place settings.

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The guests would eat off beautiful gold flatware, sip wine out of crystal goblets, and savor course after course of delicious food.

During the reception, the guests would dance under the stars to a combination of live musicians playing over deep house electric tunes. When the party ended, the guests could retire to their 800-thread-count sheets. A frisky few could take a midnight dip before turning in if they wanted.

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So there you have it! That’s my ultimate wedding vision for what I consider to be the French Rivera’s best events venue. What would yours be? Stay tuned for more incredible venues and our wedding visions. 


1st Page Credits

Venue Photos: Tony Gigov http://tonygigov.com/

2nd Page Credits

Fine Jewelry by Leviev Jewelry  http://www.leviev.com/

Shoes by Oscar de la Renta http://www.oscardelarenta.com

Dress by Yolan Cris  http://www.yolancris.com/

3nd Page Credits

Tent & Lighting by @Revelry Event Designers  http://www.revelryeventdesigners.com/

Cake by  Hey There Cupcake  http://www.heythere-cupcake.com/#!cakes/c1tuc 

Dish by L’0bjet – http://l-objet.com/

Sea Bass by Chef James Montejano of La Valencia Hotel.    http://www.lavalencia.com/

ass=”p1″>4th Page Credits

Tablescape by Alchemy Fine Home http://alchemyfinehome.com/


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Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue

Ultimate Wedding Collection French Riviera Wedding Venue

If you have been following us on social media you have noticed that we spent a good amount of time in the south of France last summer and can’t stop talking about it since. Well, that’s correct and for very good reason.  It’s incredible!  We were on a mission to find the next locations for the Ultimate Wedding Collection, the ultra luxe wedding packages we offer at select properties with a dream team of vendors already on board. And as we’ve admitted, we tend to not keep up with blogging when we get uber busy but we are finally sharing these jaw-dropping venue photos with you taken by the talented Tony Gigov of Austria who I met last spring when I taught a design workshop in Amsterdam.


Our friends over at Venuelust helped put a fire under our butt to show off these Cote d’Azur Wedding Venue gems that we’ve been holding onto a bit too tight so starting with Cap Estel, let me help you dream! Starting with our favorite luxury French Riviera wedding venue, let’s begin!

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Cap Estel, located at Eze Bord de Mer (just minutes from Monaco), is an ultra posh 5 star hotel offering unparalleled location, scenery and service. Having hosted guests from Madonna to JFK to Bono, this exclusive property has seen many a fabulous fête. With offerings including a 180-degree view of the Mediterranean, 28 luxurious villas and suites, a Michelin-starred chef and its own private beach, it’s easy to see why Cap Estel has become such a sought after destination for jetsetters and trendsetters alike.

The hotel itself was transformed from a Russian prince’s private villa into a luxurious hotel in the 1950s. Estel has an expansive yet secluded lawn, infinity pool, full service spa, gym, outdoor grill lounge and private beach. The amazing attractiveness doesn’t stop with these features. The clean, crisp and luxurious interior design or the decadent Michelin star meals add to the allure of Cap Estel. The location, near Nice and Monaco, will make is easy for your esteemed guests to get to this luxurious Mediterranean paradise quickly and easily.

Did we mention Madonna’s manager wed there last summer? With Madonna, Bono and Elton John as guests, we think this villa fits the premier standing.

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The crisp, clean white on white decor is perfect for a French Riviera wedding venue and just our style. Turning this villa into your and your guests private abode. Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (6)Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (7) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (8) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (9) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (10) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (11) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (12) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (13)


Find an open, expansive lawn with 28* unobstructed ocean views in the South of France is like finding a lottery ticket, so you can imagine how valuable this location is! Not to mention, a dream to design upon.

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From your private indoor dining hall, theater and wine cellar, you truly never have to leave. Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (21) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (22) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (23)

A full service underground spa, pool and fitness room lies below the villa at sea level to relax and revive in. Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (24) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (25) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (26) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (27) Luxury French Riviera Wedding Venue Cap Estel (28)



Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll be showing, and describing in detail, exactly what our dream vision would be for ourselves, or our clients here at Cap Estel.


Photos Tony Gigov

See Ultimate Wedding Collection for details on this location.

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