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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Anika & Ava’s Wonderland – A Big Sister Shower and Baby Shower

It all started with an idea one of my husband’s students had.  Angela and I had a conversation about Anika becoming a big sister to our second girl, who we plan to name Ava and who I will give birth to any day now.  Angela suggested we should throw a Big Sister Shower to prep her for her role and so she won’t feel left out in the all the attention Ava is getting.  My husband and I loved the idea so I immediately started to brainstorm cute party themes.  My daughter is very fond of playing with her tea set at home so I decided on a “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Theme”.  Since I didn’t want the Disney version, I decided it would be a great opportunity for me to design something I have never done before…VINTAGE.  I figured the Lewis Carroll version of Alice in Wonderland (or what I like to call it…the old-school version) was the perfect Wonderland I wanted to create for Anika and Ava.  It was the perfect “vintage” theme!  I incorporated the whimsical, colorful, and vintage feel that Lewis Carroll’s version had.  From the invitations to the milk glass containers everything shouted “vintage-chic”.  We chose a perfect venue to hold a party.  A beautiful park with a pretty lake and where ducks roamed around freely in Chino Hills rightfully called “English Springs Park”.  It can’t get any perfect than that!  Special thanks to my husband, Jessica, Florence, and my sister.  The party wouldn’t be a success without your help!  The most important thing is that our daughter enjoyed herself!  After all…we created this for our daughters!  Enjoy the pictures!

I searched long and hard for the perfect designer for the invitations (please see “TIP” below).  I finally found the designer through my favorite website, Etsy.  Lindsey Ryan Designs had the perfect whimsical and vintage style I was looking for.

TIP:  Whether you’re planning a wedding or shower everything starts with the invitation.  It lets your guests know what to expect and it gives them a sense of what type of party it is.  Make sure that consistency with theme, colors, fonts, and style is carried out throughout the entire event including the details.

The delicious dessert bar!  My husband sewn pink table clothes and white lace runners and made pink/white stripe curtains to frame the gazebo and the view overlooking the lake.

The curtains were made of crepe streamers.  It took countless hours to sew each layer and give a ruffled texture, but the end result was fabulous!  I got the inspiration from here.  The circle banner was a DIY project.  The printable template was from here.

 I was in search of shabby chic-looking chandeliers at a reasonable price.  I found them on Amazon!  Anika was more than pleased!!!

Cheesecake Pops were homemade (and a HUGE HIT!) by intern, Jessica, and I.

Since I never done a vintage-glam party before I knew it was important that every element couldn’t be overlooked.  After all it’s ALL IN THE DETAILS!!!  I scored vintage cake platters from Home Goods.  I also scored some vintage frames and milk glass vases and compotes from an Event Designers Swapmeet. 

Mini red velvet cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes called Cloud 9 from Dolcissimo Cupcakes in Chino Hills.  The "Eat Me" cupcake flags was another DIY project my daughter, Anika, and I did together.  Each flag was topped with a blue crystal.

Cream puffs (to the left) and my ultimate FAVORITE dessert...French Almond Macarons!  We brought Anika with us to Layer Cake Bakery in Irvine for a tasting to see which ones she liked best.  She chose caramel, lemon, and strawberry macarons.  They were a HUGE HIT as well!!!

My intern, Jessica, and I made S'mores Pops for party favors.

I made these DIY pretty favor tags.  Cute huh?

I also made the "Drink Me" straw flags and attached them to each vintage soda pop blue/white striped straws.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ethereal Arabic Platinum Wedding Feature: {Myriam + Ashraf}

When I walked into Myriam’s bridal suite to check up on her I noticed a radiant glow upon her (keep in mind this was before the makeup artist arrived).  To be quite honest, I’ve never seen a bride this radiant in my life.  I knew her wedding day was going to be filled with love and beauty.  I remember taking a look at her right before she walked down the aisle and thinking how unbelievably striking she was.  The ceremony took place at dusk in the grand ballroom of the historic Casa del Mar in Santa Monica.  We had one hour to transform the ballroom into a breathtaking and heavenly reception filled with crystal chandeliers and blush pink orchids with crystals hanging on manzanita branches made to look as if they were floating in air.  A delicious four-course meal consisting of crab cakes, lobster, filet mignon, and two wedding cakes were served.  Guests were entertained by an amazing performance by belly dancers, a live Arabic band, and a fantastic DJ.  Butler-passed snacks of mini cheeseburgers, mini pizzas, French fries served in cones, and chocolate & vanilla milkshake shooters were served at midnight to satisfy the guests’ late night cravings.  One word describes this extraordinary platinum wedding, which is one of the best weddings I’ve ever coordinated and designed to date, ETHEREAL.  A special thanks to Tauran Woo for sharing the amazing photos and Dodie Sy of Brassavolas Floral Couture for the fabulous floral designs.  Scroll down after the pictures for more info on the Dream Team that made this wedding possible.

{All photos by Tauran Woo}

Ceremony and Reception:  Casa del Mar in Santa Monica; Wedding Planner/Coordinator:  Majell del Castillo Events; Hair/Makeup:  Amy Sparks; Bridal Gown Designer:  Stephen Yearick from Mon Amie; Groom's Tux:  Hugo Boss from Nordstrom; Event Lighting/Rentals:  Royal Events Inc; Flowers:  Brassavolas Floral Couture; Photography:  Tauran Woo; Videographer:  Today's the Day; Cake:  Vanilla Bake Shop; Croquembouche:  Caprice Fine French Pasteries; Harpist:  Shawna Lynn Selline; Entertainment:  Layla and the Lotus Dancers; Live Arabic Band:  Shadi Sayegh; DJ:  DJ Samy of Samy's Entertainment; Invitation Ensemble:  Papyrus; Guest Book;