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Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach

Glowing with luxury and a chic SoCal vibe, I can’t really think of a better locale than the ultra-modern Shade Hotel for a contemporary wedding. From ceremony and reception spaces that wow (I mean, imagine walking into this room!) to the anything-but-cookie-cutter offerings, it’s the quaint kind of boutique hotel that was made for saying I do’s.

Did I mention all that goodness is beachside to boot? And, while you soak up the California sun, the event staff at Shade Hotel will have you covered, from every single personalized detail of your day to the incredible culinary experience—perfect for the foodies at heart!

Plus, with the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach, opening spring of 2016, you’ll have even more to choose from. Think beautiful ballroom complemented by a large balcony overlooking unobstructed panoramic views of the ocean and harbor. It also comes complete with rooftop deck and separate culinary building. Sound dreamy? We’d say so! See more here for yourself!


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Sweet One Year Birthday Celebration

Oh to be guest at this birthday. Dessert was most certainly on the menu to celebrate Shiloh’s first year; including the sweetest heart cookies, painted macarons and cakes galore by Sweet And Saucy Shop. Add to that a dazzling floral backdrop, a dash of sparkle and meaningful cultural details tucked inside all crafted by Modern Dame + images by Erin J Saldana. See even more of this beauty in the VAULT.

The best thing about event planning is helping people celebrate the important days in their lives in a unique and meaningful (and, of course, beautiful!) way, so, when Anna contacted me after seeing my French Ladurée themed baby shower to help plan her daughter’s first birthday party — I knew I had to help! Anna came to me knowing that she wanted an ethereal, whimsical party with a few glam touches sprinkled in for her daughter, Shiloh.

It was also important to Anna for us to organically incorporate the Korean tradition of dol or doljabi, which celebrates the first birthday of a baby, while also blessing the baby with a prosperous future. With these goals in mind, I set off to put together the most wonderful day for Anna and her precious baby girl.

The first step to achieving all of our goals for the event was to find the perfect location. Ultimately, we chose Saladang Song, a gorgeous Thai restaurant in South Pasadena. It provided us with not just an large, open space, but beautiful floor to ceiling windows that made it the best spot for a party that was aiming for a light and airy aesthetic. Next, I contacted my go-to vintage rental, Found Rentals, and secured their Boothbay cabinet to act as a display for the photos of Shiloh in shabby chic frames, some of her favorite knitted dolls, the custom heart-shaped ‘Shiloh is One’ cookies, and the traditional Korean rice cakes with heart-shaped details. The most important part of event planning is incorporating meaningful details and adding family photos, treasured mementoes, and items with cultural significance are an amazing way to do just that.

Another important personalization done especially for the birthday girl was the lovely backdrop handmade especially for Shiloh by Helen at Supermamasong. Shiloh’s name, lovingly and meticulously constructed out of paper flowers, and the larger, accompanying arrangements, served as the primary focal point for the party and created a beautiful setting for not just the photos of the family, but all of the delectable sweet treats made by my favorite baker in town, Sweet and Saucy Shop. Simple, yet elegant, a touch of gold glitter was dusted on the cakes and hand-painted macarons.

Each dessert had a floral detail, as well, which tied in with the shabby chic whimsy of the other decor. Finally, my friend Brooke Foley at MTF Studio created the most fantastic floral arrangements. Effortlessly chic and delicate, the flowers dotting the tables around the room in hand-painted bud vases were beautiful and perfectly in-theme. The addition of the garland vines on the photo shelf was an amazing and eye-popping addition and, along with the sequin chevron runner, gave the room a fun, festive look.

My favorite part of the day was the doljabi area, which was a display where guests could guess which item Shiloh would pick up in the doljabi game for a prize. Doljabi is a traditional Korean game played at a baby’s first birthday and is meant to foretell the birthday boy or girl’s future. It is always fun to see which items the baby reaches for first! Because Shiloh’s parents are a doctor and an attorney, her doljabi consisted of a stethoscope and a mallet, as well as the traditional pencil (symbolizing teacher or scholar), money (wealth), basketball (athlete), and microphone (entertainer or performer). As you can see, Shiloh made a grab for three of the four! Afterwards, guests enjoyed entertainers from Bubble Mania and a photo booth as the extremely talented photographer, Erin Saldana, continued to snap the beautiful photos you see here.

Photography: Erin J Saldana Photography | Event Design: Modern Dame | Floral Design: Meet The Foley Event + Design | Stationery: Love Mercat | Cake & Dessert: Sweet And Saucy Shop | Custom Backdrop: Super Mama Song | Event Space: Saladong Song | Rentals: Shiraz Party Rental | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Table Linen: La Tavola

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Intimate Al Fresco Napa Wedding

This Bride’s “something old” is giving us all the feels. To honor her deceased grandmothers, she had her florist incorporate their broaches and hair pins in her bouquet so she knew they’d be with her as she walked down the aisle. And that’s not the only special detail from this Napa wedding photographed by onelove photography. See all of them (including the glassine bag menus from Coral Pheasant Stationery + Design) in THE VAULT!

Al Fresco

From The Bride… For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted a romantic and intimate al fresco style wedding. When I closed my eyes and envisioned our wedding, I saw rolling hills, a lake, and cool night temperatures that left everyone enjoying a cozy fire.

Since my (now) husband and I live in Texas, Austin seemed liked the obvious choice. A few years prior to becoming a Mrs., my husband and I took our first big trip together to Europe. We spent 2 weeks exploring France and Italy. We fell in love with the charming countryside and the Tuscan Villas. The wine wasn’t so bad either ;) So when it came time to planning, we knew we wanted to bring back that romantic Tuscan feeling and share it with our closest friends and family. We said goodbye to our state capital, hopped on a plane to Napa; and a year later celebrated our marriage at a Tuscan inspired private estate overlooking vineyards.

We wanted the beauty of the estate and it’s breath taking views to speak for itself. I chose an earth tone pallet that included navy, gray, pistachio, and ivory. Our goal was to create something simple yet elegant.

I spent hours on wedding blogs and websites searching for the perfect details to include in our wedding. For me, this was the most important part. I wanted each detail to be original and fun. We printed our pre selected dinner and desert menu on glassine bags, and used them to hold dinner rolls! Both of my grandmother’s have passed away, and I wanted to include them in our special day. I asked my florist to incorporate both of my grandmothers’ broaches and hair pins in my bouquet. It was a special moment walking down the aisle knowing they were right there with me.

My favorite moment of our wedding was walking down the aisle and seeing that familiar smile. It was the most amazing feeling knowing I was about to embark on a journey of a lifetime with the man of dreams.

My favorite crafted detail was definitely the 40×40 heart shaped display made of 1,409 wine corks! My family (dad included!) and I spent several hours arranging and gluing the corks to make the perfect ombre heart. We were pretty proud of the end result and couldn’t wait to show it off at the wedding!

For flowers, I wanted vibrant shades of green, various textures, and unique shapes. I am a lover of eucalyptus, ferns, succulents, and air plants, and wanted an abundance of all! Our wedding planner and florist both understood our vision and it was amazing to see it come to life! The eucalyptus table runners with accents of white blooms and succulents were a dream come true!

I wore an off the shoulder trellised lace gown by Anna Maier- Ulla-Maija- “Gabrielle” Collection. I also wore a lace bolero jacket during the ceremony-my favorite accessory!

As a wedding goodie for our guests, we bottled olive oil from the olive trees surrounding the estate. We used them as place cards as well. Each bottle had a custom label and a calligraphy name tag that was hand painted in water colors to help indicate each guest’s meal choice.

We’ve always been huge fans of frozen yogurt and thought it would be a fun idea to serve froyo during the reception. The yogurt station offered several of our favorite toppings- definitely a crowd favorite! We also offered bite-size cupcakes from our favorite local bakery. Each cupcake was topped with a pink cowboy hat or a blue cowboy boot; a small homage to our hometown state!

Don’t forget to breathe, enjoy a few cocktails, and take a few minutes to soak it all in. During my father’s speech at the reception, I remember looking around the room thinking how amazing it was that our family and friends traveled to Napa to share this special day with us. It was a humbling moment for me, and one that I will certainly never forget. And last but not least, don’t forget to wear your veil! Amidst the roller coaster of emotions, my bridesmaids and I forgot to add the veil! In the end, it all worked out, and we could not have asked for a more perfect day!

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Photography: onelove photography | Event Planning: Napa Valley Custom Events | Floral Design: Julie Stevens Design | Wedding Dress: Anna Maier- Ulla-Maija | Cupcakes: Kara's Cupcakes | Invitations: Papellerie | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J. Crew | Catering: Elaine Bell Catering | DJ: Boutique DJs | Ceremony Music: Garden Strings | Venue: Napa Valley Custom Events | Glassine Bag: Coral Pheasant Stationery + Design

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