DREAM:: An Intimate Bridal Affair

A San Diego Intimate Bridal Show featuring Modern Luxury Design

A few weeks ago we had the exciting idea to collaborate with our favorite San Diego vendors and create a very un-bridally bridal show! Along with Isari Flower Studio and Luna Photo, we pulled together our favorite San Diego vendors and designed and coordinated this special event just as we would a real wedding. No big tacky signs, no booths, nothing like a traditional bridal show! I really wanted to show a bride ‘this is how we would really all work together!’. From creating a cohesive design plan, site plan and gearing our furniture, flowers, food, music and drinks all towards the same design direction for one cohesive look verses a piecemeal feeling that you walk away from traditional bridal shows with.


Whether you need to fill in a few spots in your vendor list or come and hire the DREAM team as a whole, we were and are very proud to bring you San Diego’s best! Thank you everyone for helping us have had such an amazing turn out of more than 350 brides! With such an amazing success DREAM may be making another appearance later this year.

Pop Art + Modern Glam + Impressionism + Vintage

San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (74) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (72) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (71) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (67) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (66) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (64) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (63) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (62) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (61) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (60) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (59) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (56) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (55) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (54) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (53) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (52) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (50) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (49) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (48) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (43) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (39) San Diego Modern Wedding Planner (38) DREAM TEAM CREDITS:

– Plan, Design, Invite: Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations
– Embellish: Isari Flower Studio
– Capture: Luna Photo
– Dine: Toast Catering
– Stay: Starwood Hotels (The US GrantThe WThe Westin)
– Dance: Elan Artists
– Film: Modern 8
– Nibble: Sweet Cheeks Baking
– Illuminate: AV Event Rentals
– Set the Table: Casa de Perrin
– Furnish & Accessorize: Pow Wow Vintage Rentals
– Beautify: Shampoo Too!
– Dress: M Bride
– Say Cheese: The Foto Box
– Discover: Luxe Finds
– Style: CBS Life Stylist
– Sip: For Real Bartenders
– Pillows: Lounge Appeal
– Register: Bloomingdales


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Art History for Brides: Renaissance Inspired Rustic Vintage Winery Wedding Inspiration

 Rustic Vintage Winery Wedding Inspiration

vintage glamour winery wedding Nothing exudes romance to me more than the ethereal age of the Renaissance. From it’s flowering of literature, science, art, religion and politics, this golden era flourished from every angle. Combining my passion for art, fashion, history and, of course, Italy, this age became proliferate with some of the greatest minds in our history. Starting in the 14th century in Florence, Tuscany, the Renaissance age boasted incredible works of art by Michelangelo, Donatello, Botticelli, da Vinci and great thinkers such as Dante.  With inspirations from this indelible age, the 4th installment of our Art History for Brides series was born.

rustic vintage winery weddingInspiration

For my interpretation of the Renaissance, I wanted to create softer and simpler, pastel version of what we conceive to be the traditional Renaissance palette consisting of darker jewel tones. My vision was to create a pair cherub-esque brides longingly lounging around a beautiful vineyard feast while waiting for their loves to return, as if a scene from a Botticelli masterpiece.

rustic vintage winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding Patterns / Graphics

Florentine patterns featuring intricate floral designs and illustrations were used throughout the shoot including the silverware trays on the table and on the invitations. The ‘Fleur di Lis’, which was a popular symbol of this time, reflected the political and royal. Born in France and then later adopted by Florentine’s as their city’s emblem, this symbol appeared on crowns, clothes and even currency as seen in the fiorini, an early Florentine currency.
vintage glamour winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding Tablescape

To create our lounge worthy dining area we started by layering vintage rugs from Casa de Perrin then brought in a rustic sun bleached table and a soft vanilla hued velvet couch and love seat from Archive Vintage Rentals. Contrasting patterns of china and Florentine trays by Casa de Perrin were used to display the vintage silverware, fresh loaves of bread and rich raspberry hued pomegranates. Soft pink hued glassware offered pomegranate sprinkled bubbles and a romantic balance to our cut crystal decanters.
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Inspired by a Renaissance still life, Isari Flower Studio created a trio of contrasting centerpieces featured in ethereal golden-footed glass. For the berry hued centerpiece, Isari intricately designed a masterpiece brimming with champagne kissed cafe au lait dahlias and stunning merlot hued garden roses boasting ruffled petals, exposing green centers.

For the softer sunset hued centerpieces, sheer pink lilies, Californian oak twigs, fall kissed green hydrangeas, and unexpected Dutch tulips were trailing with bejeweled china berries to make it’s meandering statement amidst sprawling desserts and other vintage dishes unexpectedly featured on this magnificent table scape.

For a tall dramatic statement a taller amber vase boasted simple organic stems of tall camellia branches, with their waxy foliage in hunter green. vintage glamour winery wedding vintage glamour winery wedding Feast

To carry out our Tuscan worthy feast we created a rustic spread of fruits, nuts, breads, meats and cheeses offered upon layers and layers of Florentine, copper and silver trays. Vintage glassware, still life paintings and tapered candlesticks added height and interested for a layered effect.

vintage glamour winery weddingvintage glamour winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding Desserts

For a Renaissance style dessert bar we featured home-style cakes and fruit tarts by Scootabaker in this vineyard setting-boasting vine covered walkways and majestic vineyard and mountain views. Buttercream cakes were displayed on silver cake plates and layered upon mirrored trays atop a vintage French table. Beautiful berries, pomegranates, pears and plums were scattered about to sweeten up this already scrumptious still life inspired presentation.vintage glamour winery wedding vintage glamour winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding vintage glamour winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding Fashion

I wanted to invoke the romance of the Renaissance through the artisanal style of handwork and details seen in the beautifully detailed Allison Simone gowns, jewelry and accessories, which were featured on each of our brides. From the detailed beading on the neckline to the long sleeves with detailed hems, these gowns exude an air of romance from a time long gone.

During the Renaissance the most popular color of bridal gowns were actually blue, which was considered a symbol of purity. If the bride didn’t wear blue she would often still carry something blue, in which the tradition was born “something old, something blue”

rustic vintage winery wedding vintage glamour winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding vintage glamour winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding vintage glamour winery wedding rustic vintage winery wedding Traditions

Some of the most common wedding traditions derived from the Renaissance are still celebrated today. Here are a few of the most popular (and interesting! Hand-fasting?) traditions from that time:
•    Hand-fasting- One of the most common rituals is hand-fasting. Hand-fasting is a joining of hands between the bride and groom. Actually, their hands may be literally tied together with a piece of material or cord. In some ceremonies, hand-fasting is symbolized by cutting a lock of each others hair and placing the locks in a box, or by the bride and groom drinking out of the same cup. However this ritual is performed, the meaning is essentially the same. The couple’s lives are joined together for eternity.
•    Throwing Rice- You may be surprised to discover that one of the most common wedding traditions, the tradition of throwing rice, dates back to Renaissance times. This is an essential part of the wedding, and symbolizes fertility and luck for the couple.
•    Tiered Cakes- The tiered or layered wedding cake also dates back to Renaissance times. The guests would bring small cakes to stack on top of each other. If the couple could kiss over the top of the stack without knocking them down, they would have good luck.
•    Garter- The throwing of the garter dates back to the Renaissance era. It was said that if a male guest at the wedding gave the bride’s garter to his love, he would receive faithfulness.

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•    Event Design & Styling by Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations
•    Invitation Design by Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations
•    Photography by Luna Photo
•    Flowers by Isari Flower Studio
•    Tableware settings & Props by Casa De Perrin 
•    Furniture & Props by Vintage Archive Rentals
•    Cake & Pastries by Scootabaker Bakery 
•    Bridal Gowns & Jewelery by Allyson Simone of Provence Brides
•    Venue Orfila Winery

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Monopoly Korean 1st Birthday Party

Monopoly Korean 1st Birthday Party at the London West Hollywood

Last spring I was fortunate enough to design my first Korean 1st birthday party. In the Korean culture, the 1st birthday is a highly celebrated special time in their babies life that symbolizing great health, luck and also to help forecast their life to come. When Jina Parks of Ultimately Plush  asked me to create this creative and luxurious bash at the London West Holllywood I knew I’d be in for a treat!

Here are some sweet words from Jina herself regarding the special day:

Jina Park, founder and creator of PLUSH, the posh little urbanites show in Los Angeles just celebrated her second son’s 1st birthday this past April.  Always looking for the best and most innovative ideas, Jina wanted Brendan’s 1st birthday party to be an event never seen before, so she decided on a Monopoly-themed party with an elegant twist.

“We knew right away that a Monopoly themed birthday party would be perfect for Brendan for various reasons.  First, he looks just like a baby version of that jolly Monopoly man!  And since Brendan’s dad is a real estate developer, it was perfect!  I also knew immediately who I wanted on my team to make this dream party become reality.

First, I had no doubt that Vanessa of Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations was the perfect person to help me create that elegant Monopoly party.  Vanessa is incredibly creative and is also a very gifted graphic artist, so I knew she could take my ideas and create the most gorgeous party even beyond my wildest imaginations.  Second, I chose Melody of Sweet and Saucy Shop to create the dessert table I envisioned, with the perfect mix of elegance, charm and a delicious combination of goodies that no one else can imitate!  And let me just say, her cakes for SO DELICIOUS, and the beautiful dessert table that Vanessa put together was something I’ve never seen before!  Finally, what’s the point of all this planning if we didn’t have the perfect photographer to put this together?  I’ve been admiring Corbin of Corbin Gurkin Photography for a long time, and just had to have her photograph this party!

From the very beginning, I knew what I wanted in terms of invitation pieces that I created to look just like a Monopoly board but customized to depict Brendan’s first year of his life.  There were also some must-haves like dessert iterations, such as the money bag cake pops, the color theme of pale blue, black & white and gold, and customizing verbiage to go along with the Monopoly theme.  But I must say that all these ideas would not have been possible without the collaboration of Vanessa, Melody and Corbin to make this dream a reality!”

Theme idea & Concept:  Jina Park (PLUSH, LLC)
Event Design, Dessert Tablescape & Graphics:  Alchemy Fine Events and Invitations
Photography:  Corbin Gurkin Photography
Desserts & Cake:  Sweet & Saucy Shop
Invitations:  Jina Park (Ink Monster Invitations)
Florals:  Isari Flower Studio
Rentals:  Elm Concierge
Head Table Rentals:  Kiki Events

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Education to Celebration: You're Engaged! Now What?! Wedding Planning Steps to get you started.

The bauble is on your hand. You’re engaged, Now What?! The top 9 Wedding Planning steps to take once you’re engaged.

Congratulations!!! You’re engaged! You’ve dreamed of this day your entire life and it’s finally here!  You’re ready to say “I do” to the person of your dreams at your ideal wedding, hop on a boat and then sail into the sunset to live happily ever after… but not so fast. There are so many details, to do’s, checklists, contracts and organization that go into each wedding that you may not have a clue about! On average, a wedding can easily take more than 100 hours of design and planning time, and that is from a team of professionals.  Dedicating so much time to your wedding while working and still having a social life can become stressful, which is why we recommend hiring a skilled planner to coordinate… US!

Alchemy Fine Event & Invitations will work with you to take your vision and turn it into reality, so that you don’t have to bother with contracts, hidden fees, late nights and migraines.  We want you to enjoy the excitement and anticipation leading up to one of the most memorable days of your life, so relax and let us do the dirty work.

Below are the top 9 wedding planning steps that we suggest to get your wedding planning off to a great start!

•    Hire a Wedding Planner. With Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations as your wedding planner you know that you are working with a team of professionals that have as much passion for your wedding as you do. From design to planning to invitations, Alchemy will gently guide you through each step of the planning process to ensure that your vision is never lost and you never become stressed.  Make sure to hire Alchemy Fine Events before you start booking any other vendors or venues as this is where we can benefit you the most with our negotiation and money saving skills. After signing with Alchemy we will provide you with a budget breakdown to work from as a guideline to ensure that your wedding stays on track financially from start to finish. We will also provide you with a detailed ‘Bride’s Guide’ timeline showing you what tasks are to be completed each month to keep you on track and stress free. From when to have your dress fittings, to mailing invitations, to obtaining your marriage license and even getting your color touched up, we’ll make sure you never skip a beat.

•    Set a Date. Do you want to have an outdoor summer wedding or do you prefer an indoor autumn celebration?  Do you want to have your wedding on a holiday weekend or do you envision yourself in the snow? Once a date is set then the fun part starts; the vision & location can come to life!

•    Get Inspired.  Alchemy will meet with you and your fiancé to learn about your passions, likes and dislikes from design to food to entertainment.  We’ll then create a cohesive inspiration board with the endless details that will make your wedding extraordinary. From catering ideas, to décor and even fashion styling for you and your wedding party, we will creatively direct the entire vision from start to finish.

•    Find a Dream Venue.  With so many endless options, Alchemy will narrow down several choices that are within your price range that will enhance the theme of your wedding. Whether it be a tropical secluded beach, a lavish ballroom or a beautiful outdoor vineyard, we will find the most unique and special location to suit your needs.

•    Find a Photographer.  One of the most important aspects of your wedding day is your photographer. These are cherished photos that you will hold dearly for the rest of your life and should be a careful decision.  Alchemy Fine Events works with some of the most talented photographers in the industry and will provide you with recommendations to fit your budget and style. Remember to book them fast as most photographers are booked up to a year out!

•    Invitations. You’re in luck!  Alchemy Fine Events creates exquisite, custom invitation suites designed specifically for you and your wedding.  From Save-the-Dates to Invitations to Programs to Dessert Tags, we do it all! And most importantly, we do it with the same cohesive vision as your wedding.

•    Find a Florist.  With thousands upon thousands of different types of flowers, it’s hard to know what you want and the choices can be intimidating! Alchemy will suggest notable florists that fit your style and then work with them to create the perfect table scape designs, vase and décor selections, ceremony backdrops and even the perfect bouquet. After working with the florist of your choice to create the vision, we will create an actual table mock-up of your look to view in person to make sure that you are 100% ecstatic with every petal that will go into your special day.

•    Entertainment.  Whether you want a well-known DJ, acoustic performer or a 20-piece band, we can get it done!  Alchemy uses its connections with top entertainment companies to ensure that you are getting the cream of the crop for the best price possible.  Don’t settle in this area; it’s important to make sure you AND your guests are having a good time and dancing the night away.

•    Food & Drinks.  What will your guests dine on?  From canapés to cocktails, Alchemy loves to work with the best caterers to create scrumptious personalized menus sure to impress your guests. Don’t forget about the cake! The artists here at Alchemy will sketch up a personalized design to present to a cake designer to ensure that your vision is carried through.

So for now relax, breathe, and relish in this moment. And then… let the wedding planning begin!

Credits: Ring photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

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