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Grace Portraits + A Promotion!

We’ve all been there.  Your nearest and dearest are tying the knot and you want to do something extra special to commemorate the big day.  But finding that perfect wedding gift?  It’s not always easy. Enter Grace Portraits, the fab boutique that creates custom, hand-drawn portraits from your fave pics that are equal parts awesome + unique.  This, loves, is gifting in the most meaningful of ways.

With Grace Portraits, you’ll be presenting your loved ones with one of the most breathtaking gifts they will ever receive.  Think a stunning piece of art commissioned by a local Bay Area artist that can be passed down through generations for a gift they’ll cherish for always.  And with Grace Portraits, you don’t have to wait until there’s a wedding!  Order an amazing drawing for an anniversary gift, engagement present, Father’s Day or even your niece’s first birthday… you can even commission your very own drawing to display on your wedding day.  That, my friends, is beyond amazing.

Contact Grace Portraits TODAY to begin working on your masterpiece.  You’ll be blown away by their awesome customer service as they help you choose the perfect picture, and walk with you step by step throughout the process… you’ll even get a scan of your drawing before final shipment, to make sure it’s everything you ever wanted!  Not to mention that when all is said and done, you’ll receive everything in customized monogrammed packaging, complete with a note from the artist.  We love that.

Visit Grace Portraits on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.


What: Get a 20% discount on all online portrait orders placed by midnight on Monday, May 25, 2015 by using promotion code MEMDAYSALE.

How: Users need to complete their purchase on the Grace Portraits’ website before midnight on 5/25/15 and use promo code MEMDAYSALE to receive the 20% discount.

No occasion? No problem. Order now to take advantage of this deal and you’ll receive a Grace Portrait credit for when you are ready to get started. Shipping preference and delivery date are given in the order in which purchases are received.  Grace Portrait is already taking pre-orders through December 2015, so make sure you place your order now to ensure you can get it by your desired date!


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Hawaiian Garden Party Wedding Inspiration

Get a bunch of creatives together in one space, let them get their hands dirty and you can pretty much guarantee we’re going to get some showstoppers. At a recent mini Oh So Inspired workshop, Nancy Liu Chin shared some of her event and floral design insight as attendees styled away, with Kevin Chin snapping it all up for us to stare at right here. With the help of Mary Phan, Oahu Wedding and Floral Inspiration, colors came to life – read on for info on how you too can get in on these future festivities.


From Nancy Liu Chin… We wanted to share with SMP readers some inspiring images from our mini Oh So Inspired Workshop with a graciously designed shoot by Kevin Chin Photography. From inspiration and collaboration, we turned it into a reality, with styling and floral lessons all in a day. We were lucky to have as hosts, for our mini OSI, Ko Olina’s Ihilani JW Marriot hotel and Oahu Wedding’s Diana Caro-Salvador. Other vendors included Les Saisons who provided the fantastic linens and Set Maui who flew into Oahu the most amazing tabletop accessories. Of course, you can’t design an inspired shoot without flowers. The wonderful Floral Inspiration Hawaii designed the bouquets and the centerpiece.

During our mini OSI workshop, Nancy Liu Chin gave a mini floral class, teaching attendees and hosts how to create a backdrop of flowers. Using bright and colorful flowers, they created a floral backdrop for a wedding cake by A Cake Life.

Oh So Inspired founders Mary Phan, Kelly McLeskey-Dolata and Nancy Liu Chin are excited to share their mission to spread the idea of awakening the inner artist within all of us. One of the key beliefs is that creative learning takes place through collaboration on projects as well as hands-on experiences.

We are thrilled to be returning to such a beautiful place like Ramekins Culinary School, Events & Inn for our 2015 retreat. In addition to Ramekins, OSI15 will also be using it’s sister property, General’s Daughter (GD). Both Ramekins and GD are located in Sonoma, California, an idyllic place for disconnecting after a busy wedding season. Ramekins and GD are both within walking distance from the main square. Stunning in late fall, Sonoma is lovely drive from downtown San Francisco. For more details on this upcoming OSI15, we invite you to our website –

Photography: Kevin Chin Photography + Cinema | Event Design: Mary Phan | Event Design: Nancy Liu Chin | Event Planning: Oahu Wedding | Floral Design: Floral Inspiration | Cake: A Cake Life | Calligraphy: Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls | Venue: JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa | Linens: Les Saisons | Rentals: Set Maui | Rentals: Pacific Party Rental

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Custom Gowns with JINZA Couture Bridal

There are bridal salons, and there are personalized bridal salons like JINZA Couture Bridal.  A place where beautiful collections and breathtaking custom creations join forces with the most amazing customer service you’ll ever experience to create an individually crafted design made just for you.  Think private appointments with top-notch consultants or your very own personal designer, aka, a team of wedding geniuses that know a thing or two about making you look awesome for your special occasion.

Serving Bay Area brides since 2002, JINZA Couture Bridal’s new and exclusive Los Angeles boutique is now open in the heart of West Hollywood (933 N La Cienega Blvd), which means that even more brides get to experience the gorgeous gowns and attention to detail that JINZA Couture Bridal is so well-known for. Imagine a timeless piece created from scratch using only the finest of fabrics with custom tailoring to fit your figure perfectly, alterations included.  Brides can try on a range of gowns or mold a custom creation.

Explore high fashion styles, updated classics, unconventional sheaths, opulent ball gowns, the popular soft mermaid style and JINZA’s own signature couture designs at the new Los Angeles boutique. Each gown is light weight and comfortable (no shape wear or bra needed!), so that you can dance the night away with the one you love.  And you can complete your bridal ensemble with a veil, jewelry and shoes all available at JINZA Couture Bridal.  Amazing.

Classic, elegant and totally sophisticated – contact JINZA Couture Bridal TODAY to begin creating that dress of your dreams.  Take it from someone who knows – it will be the best decision you’ll ever make.


Marmalade Sky Films + A Discount + A Giveaway!

There is something so special about having your wedding day captured on film for you and your honey to relive over and over again. And when the film is done by the insanely creative Northern California boutique cinematography company Marmalade Sky Films, you’ll find any excuse to press play.

Behind the lens is a team of best friends, Eugene + Matt, who worked in the film industry prior to discovering their passion for wedding cinematography. Thanks to this experience, every film they create is based in a deep love for visual storytelling. Their films capture all the special moments of the couple’s big day, from the kisses to the laughter and tears, in a way that is authentic and genuine, to tell each couple’s individual and unique love story.

Are you head-over-heels yet? Well now’s the time to book your big day with Marmalade Sky Films because they’re giving SMP readers who book before September 2015 $200 off a Wedding Cinematography Package of their choice! Simply mention this post when booking to redeem the offer. Check out their packages here.
Oh and there’s more! Marmalade Sky Films is giving one lucky reader a Save the Date film shot on Full HD ($499 value).

To enter:Comment on this post with why you’d love to have Marmalade Sky Films tell the story of you and your honey!

To win: A winner will be randomly chosen and announced in WIUP on Friday, April 24, 2015.

The details: Session must take place in San Francisco or mutually agreed upon location on mutually agreed upon date. The giveaway includes session time and one Engagement Video or Save the Date Invitation video (30 seconds to 1 minute in length).


Rustic meets modern at secluded ranch wedding

Want to party into the wee hours of the night but don’t want to disturb the neighbors? Simple solution: an alluring, secluded ranch. We love what couple Marisa and Luke did, mixing the rustic ranch vibe with a modern orange and gray color palate and fun details — including one rowdy photo booth (see the time-lapse video at the end).  Thanks to Ramin from The Marin Studio you can relive the fun with the full gallery here.


From the bride… Above all we wanted to throw an awesome party at which our family and friends would have an amazing time — which of course entailed the ability to dance into the wee hours – so we were in search a venue that didn’t have a noise curfew and also fit with our desire to be married outside. We found our perfect match in Diablo Ranch, which is not only located in the stunning hills of Mt. Diablo State Park in Walnut Creek, CA but is also literally in the middle of nowhere, meaning we could keep the music going all night long. The fact that the venue was a working ranch was also a nice tribute to Luke’s upbringing on a farm in Texas.
We undertook the décor and planning ourselves, both because we were on a strict budget and because we wanted our personal touch on all the details. Luke is happiest when creating excel spreadsheets, so it was an obvious strategy to divide the tasks with the groom handling logistics and the bride in charge of creative. Our venue and the views it offered were so breathtaking that we didn’t have to add much in terms of embellishment.  We picked a modern color palette, orange and gray, that would be an interesting complement to the rustic elements of the venue.  We were fortunate to be able to borrow beautiful peach linen napkins and vintage silverware from a friend, and combined these with mix-and-match plates and glassware from from the venue, handmade gray burlap table runners, rustic mason jar floral arrangements and plenty of tea lights to create our table top.  We collected Bulleit whisky bottles over the months to use as water carafes and also hand-painted directional signs and spray-painted table numbers using pieces of reclaimed wood procured for us by friend. Chalkboard menu signs and succulent favors that did double duty as escort cards rounded out our DYI contributions. Lastly but not least, with help from another handy friend, Luke constructed the centerpiece of our décor — an orange marquee light inspired L+M sign that hung over the dance floor!

From the groom… To me, besides getting to work in excel spreadsheets and helping with the logistical and financial planning, simply working with Marisa throughout the process was pretty awesome.  What made it even more special was the planning of the actual ceremony.  Here we again used the talents of several friends and family members to create some personal touches as we also wanted the ceremony to be a little less traditional. Because the ceremony site was about 100 yards from the reception area and entrance to the ranch, we thought that it would be nice for all of the guests to walk down together, to meet and greet each other.  After I gave a brief speech that basically stated “we’d like all of you, friends and family members, to take this journey of marriage together with us”, my mom and I led a processional of all of the guests down the hill to the ceremony site, accompanied by the musical talents of some of my closest friends covering The Cars song “Just What I Needed”.  After the guests were seated, the band played a cover of Iron & Wine’s “Naked As We Came” as the bridesmaids came down the dusty aisle, and a cover of The Decemberists’ “June Hymn” while Marisa and her father made the long dramatic 100 yard walk down the hill from the stables to the ceremony site.  One of Marisa’s close friends, a Hollywood writer, officiated the wedding, adding lots of personal stories and quips. Our mothers read some of our favorite passages from children’s literature, and our dog Stella ran down the aisle with our rings tied to her collar when we called. At the end, the band kicked off the celebration with a fun cover of Ryan Adam’s “Dance All Night” while the guests returned back up the hill for the cocktail hour, dinner and dancing.  After an amazing dinner by Michael Woodword Catering and his team, our DJ – Julian Mocine-McQueen AKA DJ Such n’ Such – kept the dance floor going till nearly 2am.  Our friends from True Photobooth allowed the guests to capture the party in film strips, and later compiled a pretty sweet time lapse video of all of the craziness that went on in that photobooth.

Photography: The Marin Studio | Floral Design: Michael Daigian Design | Invitations: Hien Hoang | Bridesmaids Dresses: Thread | Bridesmaids Dresses: Maggy London | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bhldn | Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew | Bridesmaids Dresses: All Saints | Bridesmaids Dresses: BCBG | Catering: M Woodward Catering | Groom's Attire: J Crew | Transportation: Black Tie Limo | Bride's Dress: Jenny Packham "Laurel" | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Diablo Ranch | Desserts: Pacific Puffs | Hair And Markup: Marine Vaisset | Photo Booth: True Photo Booth | Rentals: Elegance Party Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here