Inspiration to Celebration: A Blue, Red & White Wedding and Scandinavian Ceramicware

There is something about weddings in Europe set against old world styles that have a level of charm and class that just doesn’t seem to be reproduced here in the states that often. That is exactly why I adore oohing and ahhing over the beautifully charming weddings shot by one if my favorite European photographers Marianne Taylor. This blue, red and white wedding shot in the UK shows classic British charm, romantic and whimsical fashions and most importantly, a sense of humor, with its strong bold colors and Volkswagen buses.

blue and red wedding

Having a beautiful and elegant space to get ready in sets the perfect tone for your pre-ceremony wedding photos not to mention keep you and your bridesmaids relaxed and ready to enjoy the big day. How amazing are their 50′s inspired bridesmaid dresses?

blue and red wedding

I absolutely love these shots with the foggy coastline! The romantic feel of her lace wedding dress combined with her crystal tiara and her long dramatic veil are perfection.

blue and red wedding

blue and red wedding

Speaking of blue and white weddings with a sense of humor, I love nothing more than combining a witty style with a glamorous edge. This is definitely the case for this Finnish illustrated ceramicware by Iittala that would go perfectly with look of the wedding above. What makes these so unique is the artists magical and mystical creatures he illustrates by creating hybrids of his favorite animals. The collection, Taika, means magic in Finnish and we agree that with these mystical creatures and detailed illustrations a magical world was created in his art and would be more than welcome on my own table or for a clients luxurious intimate wedding.

blue and red wedding

Iittala Taika Handpainted China Collection

With such beautiful colors as blues, reds and white for your wedding day the options endless. From  patriotic  to a look that is anything but, infusing your wedding with bold colors and witty clever style is a definitely a must!

blue and red wedding

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Invitation to Celebration: Dapper Dandy Dinner Party Details

The ‘dapper’ was definitely in the details for this masculine dinner party. Recently featured on Utterly Engaged, our Dapper Dandy Dinner Party was chock full of darling printed details that always make such a difference.

Starting with a rich white and black foiled invitation featuring haberdashery style pinstripes all the way down to the custom illustrated menus and cookies to go labels, not a single detail was left unturned.

We even created a Tie Rack Seating chart to invite their guests to take their seats. Read more about the Tie Rack Seating Chart here!

Custom signs were hung in each cabana reminding the guests of gentleman they were there to celebrate. We took the ‘Hat’s Off’ theme to a whole new level by assigning each table a hat name and even rented authentic vintage hats from movie studio prop houses. For the menus we hand illustrated ‘Hat’s Off To Arlen’ in the shape of a top had and created the menu inside of a gentlemans face.

We of course had to make sure the ‘king of the castle’ was well known by his royal throne.

You MUST check out these cookies!!! 410 Degrees was able to concoct the most delicious and interesting cookie flavors and even deliver them fresh to the party. Sending the guests on their way with a warm batch of cookies and a fresh cup of coffee was a huge hit and definitely a must do for more of our events.

Photography by Jen Lauren Grant

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Inspiration to Celebration to Publication: Dapper Dandy Dinner Party on Utterly Engaged!

What do you get when you mix a grad voted ‘highest maintenance’, vintage day dandys, modern day hipness and a whole lot of cool? One hell of a graduation party!!! Our Dapper Dandy Dinner Party was just featured on the latest issue of Utterly Engaged! Our feature starts on page 39 so make sure to hop on over to this must read online magazine that we’ve become so obsessed with.

We brought the dapper dandy into modern age by updating his look of top hats and canes by mixing in modern lucite, mirrors and turntables. We pulled inspiration from the lucky grad such as his love of chess, hip hop, records, and overall great style to come up with the eclectic event decor. All of this plus a surprise guest performance by international R&B start Iyaz made this one party his friends and family are sure not to forget soon!

Graduation Party Ft. Iyaz from David McAbee on Vimeo.

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Motivation to Celebration: Engage!10 at The Breakers

I recently just got my feet back on the ground after the wondrous event that is Engage! For those of you not in the industry or in the know, Engage! is a luxury wedding seminar featuring the biggest and brightest names in the industry where you have a chance to listen and learn, meet and mingle and get motivated and moved by the people whom you aspire to and appreciate. This years event was featured at the ultra posh hotel The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. As a first timer to the Breakers I must say I was floored, their website does not do it justice. Reminiscent of a bygone era featuring Italian frescoes, gilded ballrooms and elegant parlors, The Breakers would make any bride’s fairy tale wedding come true. Not only did it serve as the backdrop to this glamorous event but showed us just how drool worthy their culinary arts are as well.

The ever so charming Lara Casey of Southern Weddings Magazine helped to welcome the attendees.

Simon Bailey kicking your mind and spirit into shape with his motivational pep rally teaching you to ‘Shift’ your focus and life. I got a chance to speak to Simon one-on-one the night before and can honestly say what an amazing and inspiring person he really is. Consider him your own personal cheerleader who truly wants you to succeed.

The Palm Beach inspired cocktail lounge that served as a platform for the welcome reception. And of course… the gorgeous food that I was drawn to. Gorgeous chilled soup shots and prosciutto wrapped buffalo mozzarella served with sliced tart apricots.

Me and some of the Engage! attendees sipping frozen mojitos. What’s so great about Engage! is how friendly and helpful each person was, they truly wanted to help everyone to succeed with their own tips and advice. Competition was never present, only consideration. Here I am amidst some of the mid-westerners of the group including Amy Zaroff, Amy Rubins, Me, Lindsey Piram and more.

A gorgeous courtyard at The Breakers served as the location for the kick off breakfast after a long night of mingling. Mel Barlow and her team didn’t miss a single delicious detail such as these grilled banana parfait bites, piping hot sugared donuts, lox bagel bites and breakfast brulees.

The Breakers ballroom was transformed into our classroom where we awaited the words of talented industry leaders we came to see and hear.

Never shy on beauty or food, our first break welcomed us into a berry parfait and macaron filled parlor.

Southern charm was never short on hand, especially when we were treated to a discussion featuring the ultra talented trio of Todd Fiscus, Tara Guerard and David Beahm.

Listening and learning intently to our speakers. From right to left: Vanessa Van Wieren (me!), Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar, Lara Casey and Emily Ayer of Southern Weddings Magazine.

The hilarious and witty Mindy Weiss who braved many a celebrity weddings and even shared her own wedding photos!! Hat’s were very en vogue in the 80′s don’t you know…

For our lunch we were brought into a gorgeous rotund ballroom featuring opulent chandeliers and more delicate Italian painted frescoes. Adorable boxes branded with my all time favorite food adjective, YUMMY!, held a Lobster Roll, Gazpacho, Deviled Eggs and Crudites. The refreshing watermelon juice was a beautiful way to add color to any table!

During lunch we were treated to a demonstration by the iconic cake designer Sylvia Weinstock.

Not only did we receive decorating tips but life and marriage advice as well. One of the most important to her longevity… VODKA! Randy Fenoli didn’t miss a beat and jumped to serve Sylvia her well deserved afternoon nip.

A panel of wonderful women including Darcy Miller of Martha Stewart Weddings, Abby Larsen of Style Me Pretty, Amy Atlas Dessert Bar Designer Extraordinaire and Donna Newman photographer.

The hilariously fashionable Randy Fenoli of Say Yes to the Dress and luxury stationer Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York.

An afternoon Citrus Break featuring a whole new look to the parlor including orange Crush sodas and orange mini cheesecakes.

Engage! veteran Marcy Blum was so refreshingly direct and honest about business tactics in the industry including her do’s and don’ts.

One of the most jaw dropping designers Bryan Rafanelli, known for his celebrity clientele such as Chelsea Clinton, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, showing us how he transforms open spaces into gorgeous city sized tents with his team.

That evening we were treated to a ‘Dine Around’ where we broken into smaller groups and went to dinner with an industry leader. I was lucky enough to get Lara Casey! After the Dine Around were were treated to another fantastic cocktail party where I mingled with the beautiful Daniella Ferdico Faget of Bella Signature Design.  Also on hand were the adorable New Yorkers Michelle Spezia of Fims by Francscso, Chelsea Clinton’s photographer, and Jacqueline Elfe of Stellar Style Events.

The following evening after a day of smaller broken up classes we were treated to an elegant and luxurious farewell fete. When you walked into the room you were awe struck by the hundreds of glittering champagne glasses hung with ribbon and the stilted bride and groom who cut down a glass for each guest as they approached.

The neo-baroque style room was transformed into a pink fantasy for our delectable dinner of individual raw bars on plated ice sculptures, seared lamb and gallon sized make-your-own-sundae martini glasses with every possible topping. During dinner were were treated to talented jazz singers, dueling violinists and a hilarious show of bucket beating waiters. After dinner we were treated to even more fantastic entertainment including break dancers, musicians and beat pumping dj’s. All entertainment was provided by Elan Artists.

A lovely end to the evening as I say farewell to the super sweet (non pun intended) and charming Amy Atlas.

What more can I say except WOW! After forging some fantastic friendships and getting so much inspiration and a newly refreshed drive, I’m ready as ever to push myself and my designs even further for my wonderful clientele.

Photography by Mel Barlow

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