With time flying faster than ever, Thanksgiving snuck up on us once again. With the cold weather and long nights, my passion for food and wine emerge stronger than ever. What better way to celebrate a day full of feasting than with a super stylish table? Along with Cucina Enoteca at their fabulous new Del Mar location, we wanted to create our version of a modern glam Thanksgiving tablescape + updated gourmet menu showing you how you can ditch the traditional for an even more fabulous affair. Paula Luna of Luna Photo never fails to get the most gorgeous photos and was there to capture all of this sparkle and delicious food beautifully.
We started by layering on gorgeous gold, cobalt and white vintage china by Hostess Haven and served champs, wine and water in her to-die-for amethyst, crystal and gold goblets. In lieu of the more traditional reds/rusts/oranges you tend to see this time of year, we wanted to go plum/purple/raspberry and black for a more updated, striking and savvy style. Isari Flower Studio helped us bring this vision to life with their lush full blooms full of texture and style, including peonies, dahlias, black mini calla lilies and exotic leaves for a super lush and decadent design.
We then layered on white pumpkins, modern gold vases and horns with super sleek lucite to accessorize the ultra long feasting style table scape. For a fun twist and reminder on what the holiday is all about, we even hand-painted eggplants with the words ‘Grateful,’ ‘Thankful’ and ‘Blessed’ to mix into the design. In lieu of traditional place cards, we created custom wire place cards for a modern yet fun twist!
For a super wine-infused modern Thanksgiving dinner, we even created an awesome DIY you can easily re-create at home! We started with a canvas napkin and then splattered on 2 tones of raspberry and plum dye and even stenciled on wine rings for a realistic effect.
With the menu and decor set, the only thing left to decide on is what to wear?! Don’t fret.. Hall & Saks has you covered.. or at least inspired! See this and our Napkin DIY coming soon!
Happy Thanksgiving from Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations!!
gin + cocchi americano + cointreau + pomegranite juice
Formaggi + salumi
Baby chioggia beet + mache
avocado + balsamic reduction + horseradish crema
Butternut squash soup + white truffle oil drizzle
Liberty Farms Duck Conserva
gingerbread polenta + braised chicory + sour cherry sugo
Rosemary + honey pine nut tart
Fig jam + yogurt gelato
And to end off your delicious meal sip on this delicious,
del duomo COCKTAIL - a personal favorite!
Don’t miss part 2 coming next with the DIY wine splattered napkins & What to Wear by our friends and fabulous fashion stylists Hall & Saks!Read More »
Vanessa Van Wieren to speak at the European Wedding Congress in the Netherlands
We are absolutely thrilled and honored to announce that we will be one of the guest speakers at the European Wedding Congress in The Netherlands March 18-19, 2014 at the gorgeous castle Kasteel de Hooge Vuursche. Along with Mike Larson, Vanessa & Rob and Jana Williams, we will be speaking to European wedding professionals looking to improve and grow their skills, communication and relationships in the industry. Whether you are photographer, florist, designer, planner, our panel of speakers will be able to give you valuable advice as a wedding professional.
Day one will consist of lectures given by each of the panel members followed by Day Two which offers full day workshops with your choice of wedding professional.
The beautiful Kasteel…
What Mike Larson will speak about on Day One…
Specializing and finding/succeeding in a niche-As the wedding industry grows there are many talented artists and businesses entering the market. We need to continue to refine ourselves, and be unique. Specializing is hard, yet one incredible way to stand out, and rise above the crowd. We’ll talk about the reality of generalizing, and the reasons to specializing. The direction you choose will determine how you run your business. Either way, being consistent in one or the other will increase your profitability and simplicity. Then we’ll map out the benefits and outcomes of being a specialist in this any part of the wedding industry. (recommended read to prepare for this class is “22 immutable laws of marketing” by Jack Trout)
What Mike will work with students on for Day Two Workshop…
MIKE LARSON, WORKSHOP FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS:
This workshops consists of a morning part and afternoon part. You can either book just the morning (classroom section) or book the full day which will include the shooting section in the afternoon.
Styling your work so it gets into print! Classroom - morning session.
Our work in Print:
We all want our work to get into print, which is the most honor for what we produce. I’ve always printed my work, and created my own printed material from shoots I do. This has changed the way I shoot so that my work fits better into print media. We will talk about the effects of just shooting for digital content vs print content, and how to change how we shoot so that we can get our work in print!
A Stylists Perspective:
The most successful photographers are also stylists in that they see things from an overview & a detailed perspective. We will discuss about how to talk to our clients and the vendors about the important details, the lighting and setup that can make or break the entire shoot getting into print. We need to notice, and gain the experience over time so we become an authority others seek out. We can be more helpful to discuss and bring value to each shoot or wedding from this perspective. I will go over how to get there as a professional and implement all these techniques with our clients planning a wedding so that by the wedding day, we have all the odds in our favor to capture the most beautiful wedding possible!
Styling a shoot:
We will talk about how to set up a shoot and discuss the elements needed, as well as how to go about setting these up so that you can have the tools and ability to produce these on your own back home in the most effective and productive way.
What I will speak about on Day One…
The hour and 15 minute lecture will include the below speaking topics as well as photos of her work explaining her speaking points, including success’s and failures of her own work. Whether you are an event designer, planner, photographer or florist, these skills and tips will help improve your level of design and styling as well as the creative process and how you pull inspiration from your clients as well as your surrounding environment. You will be able to improve your clients events and weddings as well as your own portfolio work from a creative or non-creative role..
How to communicate more effectively with your vendors/clients
- Speaking & comprehension skills to make your words more effective, avoid miscommunication and create a more impactful presentation to your potential clients.
Learning how to design & create details that the clients want and the media loves.
- She will demonstrates this through work that she has accomplished as an example of her point of view. Whether you are a designer, photographer, chef, beauty stylist or coordinator, knowing how to create and capture details that set you apart is what will make you special.
How to design luxurious events from an interior design perspective.
- First she will explain the facets of interior design and the definition of luxury to apply towards event design and then she will reveal ideas unique to her style. She will encourage the students to draw from their own style by creating a workshop on day two. Also walking you through the creative process from inspiration to creation.
Working within a budget and utilizing creative resources for upscale designs.
- She will show unlimited budget inspirations and teach the art of drawing back from the expense while continuing to keep the overall vision. Creativity doesn’t have to cost a lot.
How to coordinate the day-of and the months leading to the event.
- She will explain how to prioritize which details need to be addressed first, second and last. How do you get the bride down the aisle and still have the dessert display perfect, while not compromising either. Having the ability to carry out both roles of designer and coordinator can be tricky…but very achievable.
Getting published in print & web media.
- There is an art to getting published: She will explain that building relationships with such print and media modes are critical and how specifically to submit your photos as a package.
How to work well with a photographer to ensure that key shots are taken and style alongside them to ensure picture perfect shots every time.
- The designer needs to know what print and media are looking for, which magazine requires certain shots, and the quality of images that are preferred. Whether you’re a hair stylist or florist, you want to capture the memory of your work or it will be lost in time.
What I will work with students on for Day Two Workshop…
The 8 hour workshop will include walking you through the design and installation process including styling tips and do’s and do’nts including constructive criticism and how to style for the camera followed by a group critique and photo session to capture your work.
You will be asked to bring elements with you to create your own tablescape from a shopping list Vanessa will provide to you after your registration. Fresh flowers will be provided and you will walk through the entire process to create your own tablescape from inspiration to creation.
In this workshop we will cover the following topics with hands on demonstrations and your personal education through the process.
- Creating multi-dimensional tablescapes that photograph well
- Space planning for the tablescape
- Key Elements not to miss• Design=Form + Functionality. Don’t overstyle!
- How to create inexpensive design items that will add to the table and not the budget
What Vanessa & Rob will speak about on Day One…
Learn how to reach potential clients and expand your online presence by using video in your business. From DIY instructional videos to vlogs that recap your work at a recent wedding, creating simple, professional short videos will help you build your brand and connect with your clients and target market on a whole new level. From the type of equipment you need to understanding how to make yourself look good on camera, Vanessa and Rob will show you just how easy it can be to start using video to differentiate yourself and create a fun, new marketing strategy.
What Vanessa & Rob will work with students on for Day Two Workshop…
Mastering the DSLR Short-Form Wedding
This full-day workshop will cover everything from the necessary gear, crew, camera-blocking, audio acquisition, story-telling, music-scoring and constructing the edit for killer short-form wedding films. You will learn Rob’s method for shooting + editing by watching a live demonstration, and touch on color-grading, cleaning-up and sweeting audio. Rob will cover project organization, and even the best methods for storage, delivery, DVD, Blu-ray, and HD streaming delivery and custom branding for your final products. By the end of this workshop you will have all the tools necessary to give you and your wedding cinema an amazing boost of quality and confidence.
What Jana will speak about..
For more information on The European Wedding Congress visit the site here! We look forward to seeing you there!!
Read More »
A Chic Parisian Inspired La Jolla Wedding at Hotel Parisi
I was so honored when my beautiful friend and coordinator extraordinaire Catherine Bachelier Smith of CBS Lifestylist asked me to help bring her vision of a fabulously chic Parisian style La Jolla wedding to life. A wedding planner herself (who comes on board team Alchemy when her seamless skills are required!), Catherine had the vision of a evening cocktail style reception with a candlelit ceremony that immediately flowed into their first dance. Together with Isari Flower Studio, we created this candlelit affair full of rich ruby, gold and jewel toned hues inspired by Catherine’s love of Paris.
Catherine, also a fashion stylist, had a very specific look in mind. Inspired by her love for Paris, fashion, her favorite color red, and all things fabulous, she brought in touches of each of her passions for these gorgeous photos. For this cocktail style La Jolla wedding reception guests were treated to an elaborate cheese and dessert bar we created with an abundance of fragrant cheeses, nuts, honey and fresh fruits along side sugar sweets and confections. Guests nibbled, sipped and danced into the wee hours celebrating this wonderful couple’s I do’s.
In addition to being a wedding planner and stylist, Catherine is also an author! After experiencing a divorce, Catherine penned an e-book titled Love Never Goes Away with journal entries about how to not give up on love.
Wedding Planning by CBS LifeStylist
Event Design & Invitations by Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations
Flowers by Isari Flower Studio
Photography by Wedding by Kumar
Venue Hotel Parisi
DJ & Lighting by Tim Altbaum Productions
Desserts by Michele Coulon Dessertier
Day of by Weddings by Nahid
Beauty by Team Nicole
Catering & Bar Panache Productions
Officiant Bob Stevens
Videographer Classic Film Works
Read More »
Stone Manor Malibu Wedding with Jill Thomas
Our darling bride Andrea came to us inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Enchanted” perfume ad and our very own Fairytale “Once Upon a Bride” photo shoot we designed for Utterly Engaged. With the stunning Stone Manor as the backdrop for their December Malibu wedding, we were extremely excited to take these inspirations and create a magical evening for her! This property had picturesque cobblestone paths, overgrown ivy walls, an umbrella of trees and a stunning Malibu view overlooking the pacific ocean. We played with these marvelous features and added a few finishing touches to enhance the natural beauty of this location to create an enchanting evening for our lovely couple Andrea & Jeff’s Malibu Wedding.
Andrea donned a simple yet stunning gown by Alina Valenta of ivory silk that fit her body like a glove and carried a wild bouquet of sterling roses, lambs ear, black calas and orchids while the bridesmaids surrounding our stunning bride were dressed in a gowns in a gorgeous array of purples, lavender and steel grey and carried dusty sage toned bouquets of all greenery. The slightly gothic and romantic feeling bouquet was worthy of a dark queen we joked. Her lovely maids wore silk gowns of shades of plum, mauve and steel blue and carried bouquets of silvery greenery, lush and full of texture.
We create a blind embossed letterpress invitation showcasing a lace-like texture as well as Andrea’s favorite plum purple ink. This romantic wedding invitation printed on 100% cotton paper was nestled inside of a plum hued textured envelope with white calligraphy featured on the back flap.
The intimate Malibu wedding ceremony took place in Stone Manor’s outdoor courtyard surrounded by beautiful foliage and a striking view of Malibu’s rolling hills and Pacific Ocean backdrop. We worked with Krista Jon to create a white birch arbor that we accented with a crystal chandelier and sheer draped cheesecloth for a juxtaposition of glam and with an understated organic, garden vibe.
Guests were welcomed into a stunning stone lined room with open beamed rafters from which we hung glass votive candles that glowed over feasting style tablescapes lined w glowing eggplant taper candles in brass candlesticks. Damask silver and sage linens were lined with mossy birch bark boasting sage toned greenery, white lilies and sterling roses along with heart shaped ivy for a romantic, overgrown garden feel.
For a stunning sweetheart table Krista Jon created a stunning floral installation inside of a ironed framed table flowing with a gorgeous array of greenery, vines, black baby calas and more of the brides favorite sterling roses.
Guets dined on a delectable menu by Whoa Nelly catering including arugula salad with persimmon and crushed hazelnuts, braised shirt rib and roasted winter squashes and sweet potato mash while they sipped on rich red wines to warm their hearts and bellies.
THE DESSERT BAR
For this chilly December wedding we wanted to create a cozy and fairytale worthy dessert bar nestled into the tree lined garden. We hung various mirrors and frames behind a grey velvet covered table covered with delectable sweets & treats by Whoa Nelly and Sweet & Saucy shop. Treats such as pomegranate panna cotta, salted caramel puddings with crème fraiche whip, brownie bites & chocolate peppermint cupcakes were offered above risers boating mossy arrangements, wild greenery and loose blooms. To keep guest cozy as they nibbled on these sweet bites in our heated outdoor lounge, we also offered a hot cocoa bar with homemade flavored marshmallows, caramel nibs, candy cane stir sticks and various liquors to spike them with.
With a revived sugar buzz guests continued to dance into the night and join the bride as she shook her newly wed booty to her favorite Taylor Swift songs with her hubby and friends and family in tow.
photography: Jill Thomas
venue: Stone Manor
event design, planning & invitation: Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations
floral design: Krista Jon
rentals: Archive Vintage Rentals
wedding dress: Alvina Valenta from The White Flower
bridesmaid dresses: Swoon
hair + makeup: Bekah and Nina with Brides by Brittany
catering: Whoa Nelly
cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop