Thursday, February 25, 2010


I am a fan of making your wedding personal, in your own style and with your own traditions. However, I tend to be a stickler when it comes to invitations. I believe that invitations should carry in its wording the proper respect befitting of the occasion. That said, proper wording can be a dicey situation in today's world of modern families.

Here are some simple guidelines to help you get through it:

Bride's Parents Hosting

Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Doe
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane Marie Doe
Michael Ellis Doebriener

Bride's Divorced Parents Hosting Jointly (with their new spouses)

Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Doe &
Mr. & Mrs. Edward Doughy
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter

Bride & Groom's Parents Hosting Jointly

Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Doe &
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Doebriener
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their children

Bride & Groom Hosting

The pleasure of your company
is requested at the marriage of

From the collection of the fabulous Rachel at Rock Paper Scissors Design

For more detailed guidelines, and additional scenarios, visit The Knot's Invitation Wording Wizard.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Invitations for me, when I was planning my own wedding a few years back, were a huge source of stress. Mainly because I did not feel knowledgeable. The language was completely foreign to me, with words like embossed and letterpress, engraved, deckle edged and flourish. Excuse me? There are so many options, not just for the design and typeface, but the paper and printing styles too.

Having a wedding planner that can translate the terminology is hugely helpful. But having a stationer that is patient and will walk you through your options is gold. Most often, you'll go into the stationer's studio and pick out what you like from their display samples and then they will talk you through what you picked. But it's helpful to do your homework in advance so you have an idea of what style (i.e. price tag) you want. This way, you can pick out styles you like and then know how to talk through changing the format to suit your needs and budget.

Here's a crash course (definitions from The Knot) on printing styles and relative pricing:

Embossing, $$: A printing technique that forms letters and images with a raised "relief" surface, imparting added dimension to the invitation design.

Engraving, $$$: The most formal of printing methods, through which the letters appear slightly raised. A "bruise" typically forms on the back of the paper from the pressure.

Thermography, $: A heat-based process fuses ink and resinous powder to create raised lettering. It's virtually indistinguishable from engraving work. The subtle differences: thermographed text is slightly shiny and the back of the invitation remains smooth (no impression).

Letterpress, $$: A beautiful printing alternative to engraving. The labor-intensive method dates back to the fifteenth century and involves inking an image to produce an impression: the impression is transferred by placing paper against the image and manually applying pressure. The images and typeface appear precise -- individually "stamped into" the paper -- and very rich in color. Letterpress is great if you're using unusual paper, motifs, typeface, or want to play around with pigments. Comparatively, engraving and thermography restrict the possibilities.

Tomorrow we'll talk more about invitation wording and the timing of invitations, and next week I'll share some of my favorite invitation companies. xo!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Mission Canyon Chateau is nestled in the gardens behind the historic Santa Barbara Mission. It is secluded and private and perfect for intimate garden weddings, rehearsal dinners, brunches, holiday parties, corporate dinners, baby and bridal showers.

Gorgeous green lawns in the back are filled with Redwoods and

Gourmet kitchen available for use by Caterer

There are three beautiful stone fireplaces in the home for use

Fifty food wood-beamed Great Room with flanking stone fireplaces. All furniture and carpeting may be removed and stored to make this room available for dining and dancing

Five sets of leaded French doors open onto the patio and gardens outside

The Details:
- Available for events >50-150
- Full gourmet kitchen available for use
- There are two bathrooms available for guest use; additional may be needed
- A Bridal suite is available for getting ready
- Power is available, but might need a generator
- Extra lighting may be necessary
- Venue fee includes a Friday set-up and Sunday removal for rentals
- Parking is available at the house for the wedding party; street parking for guests behind the house or in Rocky Nook Park (one block away)
- Event Insurance and a professional, approved Wedding Coordinator is required

Contact me at (805) 286-6505 or for more information on Mission Canyon Chateau, or about Estate weddings in Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Santa Barbara has so much to offer ... the beach, the mountains, history and culture, wine and shopping. But if you want a truly unique experience, call Graham Goodfield with Los Padres Outfitters.

Graham is an experienced guide who will lead you and your group on 3-day/2 night pack trips through the Los Padres National Forest, or on Day rides on the beaches of Montecito. How fun for a completely different bachelor weekend or family outing before the wedding! The trips are fully catered and full-service.

Los Padres Outfitters also offers the California Mountain Spring Wagon for events.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Perfect, modern cupcakes and cakes straight out of your own kitchen. I love this new product! Ticings offers decorative edible sheets of icing that you peel and stick directly onto your cake or cupcake. How cool is that??? Check out some of these gorgeous designs perfect for baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays, holidays and ... Sundays!

Sheets average $19.95 each and include 12 standard or 35 miniature circles for cupcakes, or one full sheet for cakes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010


I'm all about the X's and O's - both good old-fashioned, real hugs and kisses, as well as the edible kind. These edible ones, available from Williams-Sonoma are so stinkin' cute! Even better ... they are s'mores, one of my guilty pleasure of childhood.

May your Valentine's be full of love and laughter, hugs and kisses and chocolate. Have a wonderful weekend! xo!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Okay, this is the big enchilada I've been hinting at for the last week ... This Estate is so new to the market as an event venue (it just got approval to do weddings last week), that it doesn't even have an official name. So for now, I'll call it Vista Linda.

Vista Linda is situated on the tippy-top of Toro Canyon in Montecito. With panoramic views of the mountains and Pacific Ocean, the views absolutely take your breath away.

The front lawn is only one of three massive green spaces that would be gorgeous for a welcome reception or as a Ceremony site. Killer mountain views!

The front lawn opens into the pool area which could be a fabulous site for cocktails. Tremendous ocean and mountain views flank the space.

Yes, that's the Santa Barbara harbor way down there. (It was slightly overcast on the day I toured the property, so the photos are a little hazy.)

The pool house has a full kitchen available for the caterers to use, a working fireplace, as well as His and Hers bathrooms on either side that would be available for guests.

I think I counted at least four outdoor fireplaces that would make gorgeous nooks for guests to gather.

Here is the second of the three laws. Easily room for 400 to have a sit down dinner reception, with plenty of room to spare for a dance floor, band and lots more. This lawn has spectacular ocean (see below) and mountain views, a koy "pond" and dynamite wrap-around stairs at one end that would make for a jaw-dropping Grand Entrance.

At the top of those wrap-around stairs is the rose garden. All trimmed right now, can you picture it when they are in season? OMG! The photos would be something.
And here is the third of the three lawns. Again, this one has majestic mountain views. This lawn could also easily seat 400 for dinner. This lawn would make another gorgeous Ceremony site ... or I love it as the after-dinner space for dancing, lounges, etc.

Okay, here is the 411:
* The pool house has a kitchen that is available for caterers to use, but they would likely need to bring in their own if you guest list exceeds 50
* The pool house has two bathrooms available for use, but more would need to be brought in if your guest list exceeds 50
* Maximum capacity is 400
* Amplified music would need to be shut off by 10pm
* Fee includes Friday set-up and Sunday removal of rentals
* Parking is available for the wedding party; Valet and/or shuttles would be recommended for guests
*Power is available, but a generator would also need to be brought in for evening events

Contact me at (805) 286-6505 or for more information on Vista Linda, or about Estate weddings in Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I recently had the opportunity to tour two estate properties in Santa Barbara for weddings and corporate or private parties. The first I'm sharing with you is a home in Hope Ranch called Casa Esplendido - and Splendid it is! Hope Ranch gives you the feeling of a tropical oasis ... lush green lawns and big swaying palm trees.

This secluded lawn would be beautiful for an intimate ceremony!

Beautiful patio is perfect for cocktails and hors d'ouevres

Great cabana for a feasting table or to display the cake!

The skinny on Casa Esplendido:
- Available for events >50-150 (events 100-150 would need to consider covering the pool)
- Full Catering Kitchens need to be brought in (>50 MAY be able to use the house kitchen, TBD)
- Bathrooms need be brought in
- A Bridal suite is available for getting ready
- Power is available, but might need a generator
- Extra lighting is necessary
- Venue fee includes a Friday set-up and Sunday removal for rentals
- Parking is available for the wedding party; street parking for guests (shuttles are advised)

Contact me at (805) 286-6505 or for more information on Casa Esplendido, or about Estate weddings in Santa Barbara.

Later this week I'll be sharing a second Estate property with you that just last week became available as a venue. Sweeping lawns and panoramic views of the mountains and harbor below. It is stunning, and you won't want to miss it. Check back!

Friday, February 5, 2010


My husband forwarded me this link yesterday and I just love it. It's a project called Love Letter by Stephen Powers with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. The murals are painted on walls visible from all parts of the city. They're beautiful and the messages are simple.

Here's a takeaway: When it comes to love and marriage - go big. You'll never go wrong for loving big. Visit the project's site to view lots more larger than life love letters.

Monday, February 1, 2010


For anyone that has been following this blog, you all know that I love brunch. I love brunch! So when I got an invitation from two of my favorite people - Nico Cervantes and Lani Ballonoff - for brunch ... Uh - yeah!

Nico is one of my favorite florists - an amazing talent and a truly wonderful human being. Lani does things with draping and lighting that makes my jaw drop and eyes go big like saucers; he's also a total sweetheart. The brunch was held at their shared warehouse space, which was totally transformed into a swanky and intimate room.

I wish I had better photos to share; these just do not do justice ... they were snagged off my iPhone. I heard Tim Halberg got some good shots, though, so we'll keep an eye out for them and share when we can.

Meanwhile, you can see more of Nico's work at Kristina and Brandon's Real Wedding at Firestone and more of Lani's work at Kim and Stan's Real Wedding at Roblar. Also ... brunch was amazing - thank you, guys!!!
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