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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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Romantic Sonoma Wine Country Wedding

Warm summer day? Check. Tuscan-inspired surroundings? Check. Good food and drinks? With this wine country wedding held at the Ramekins Culinary Institute & Inn, I think we can safely say, “Check!” The stars were aligned on this Bride (flawless thanks to The Makeup Dolls) and Groom’s special day, and luckily Vero Suh Photography was there to capture it all in the full gallery right here.


From the beautiful Bride… Greg and I met in July 2010 at local restaurant and bar. I will admit I was not immediately smitten as I was in business mode – trying to recruit my would-be husband to work for my company. That night, we exchanged contact information and it was shortly thereafter that he recruited me for our first date. Little did I realize, when planning our wedding day, that we would get married on the exact same day, four years later, of our first date. It only came to our attention the week of the wedding, and it was such a serendipitous surprise.

In the months leading up to our wedding, we both were very vocal about what was important to us. For Greg, he wanted a warm summer day and great food and booze. For myself, I wanted a venue that could accommodate all of our wedding events and has a Tuscan feel. When we visited Ramekins, which met all of our criteria for our summer wedding, we knew it was a done deal. The owner of Ramekins also owns a local antique shop and brought wonderful European elements into the venue, such as a rustic gate and a wooden cheeseboard from 18th century France. It was a perfect mix of old and new, just like we wanted our wedding to be.

As for the day of, it was so incredibly hot, my husband definitely had his “warm” weather request met. I was almost a bit too warm to be honest, and it was really hard to get through pictures. However, by the time the ceremony came, we were so incredibly excited we could not let the heat get us down. My favorite moment was pre-ceremony in the grand hall where dancing would later take place, and we gathered with our entire wedding party and parents to have a quick champagne toast.

Our dear friend Kevin officiated our ceremony, which we co-wrote, and I could not have been happier with our choice. He knew both of us well, and he has a marriage we really respect. There was a chance my grandmother was not going to make the wedding due to her health, and we had written in a line acknowledging her presence from afar. Although we told Kevin she was going to be there, he still included the line that spoke to her sending her best wishes from a distance. It was actually a perfect moment–my Grandma, who had to overcome so much to make it, had her own special shout out during our ceremony. I could not have been happier.

Once we were officially husband and wife, sans tears because we were smiling too much, we let the party begin! We had a his and her cocktail, tasty appetizers and a family style menu on the patio, with string lights to set the ambiance. However, my favorite part of the wedding was when the dance party started. Our band was a popular local cover band, and we had kept the inside area off limits until this point. My husband and I insisted we start the party off with a few pop songs before we move into the formal dances, and I am so glad we did. It was such a fun way to transition from dinner to dancing! We then moved into the first dance, and the dance party was started.

The last part of the night I will share is the cake cutting. At this point, I knew it was the end of our scheduled wedding events and all that was left was dancing. We had both made a point to really enjoy each moment, and I will not forget when I leaned over to Greg and told him, “This is our last ‘wedding event’.” We made it really count, and he didn’t even put cake on my face! Once the cake cutting was done and we knew the cameras were going home, a wild dance party ensued and my husband and I officially capped off the best night of our lives.

Photography: Vero Suh Photography | Videography: Tim Fox Weddings | Wedding Dress: Liancarlo | Invitations: Just Ink On Paper | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Hair And Makeup: The Makeup Dolls | Lighting: The Lux | Ties: General Knot | Groom's Attire: Burberry | Venue: Ramekins Culinary Institute & Inn | Event Coordination And Floral Design: WedSpring | Linens: La Tavola | Reception Band: Pop Rocks | Rentals: Wine Country Party | String Trio: Amethyst Trio | Veil: Sara Gabriel

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Glamorous + Romantic Sonoma Summer Wedding

A culinary institute and bouquets of blush and ivory roses? Oh my, this is a goodie. A Savvy Event planned and designed this gorgeous summer celebration, complete with La Tavola’s stunning linens and Vanda Floral Design’s creations that make my inner girly girl giddy. Allyson Wiley – and Magnolia Photo Booth Co. – captured it all and Swoon Films didn’t miss a beat. See it all right here!


From Kelly McLeskey-Dolata, Event Designer at A Savvy EventStephanie and Mark wanted a wedding that was ethereal and romantic. We worked with pale pinks and ivories to create a wedding that felt as light as it did magical, and the end result was nothing short of enchanting.

The couple chose to marry at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Sonoma. We brought in airy white curtains and romantic floral arrangements to add a crisp and light feel to the already heavenly space. Stephanie’s bridesmaids donned striking beaded dresses in ivory, and carried tight, focused bouquets of soft pink roses.

Guests then moved to the outdoor courtyard at Ramekins Inn & Culinary School, where the natural stone feel of the venue joined forces with Stephanie’s romantic palette to create an absolutely alluring aesthetic (that felt oh-so European). We incorporated soft pink in a number of strategic places throughout the event – from glassware to linens to floral arrangements – but worked to ensure the overall look and feel remained sophisticated and elegant. Crystal chandeliers hung from overhead awnings, and stone-inspired chargers peppered family-style tables that were numbered en français.

Guests had their choice of Ramekins delectable favorites – ranging from Butter-Basted Sea Bass to Summer Risotto and menus were hand-embroidered to give the dinner a vintage-inspired, but sophisticated feel. After dinner, guests moved indoors to Ramekin’s Great Room – a space marked by vaulted oak-beam ceilings and a warm fireplace – for dancing and libations (and lots of photo-booth fun). We brought in tufted furniture, soft floral arrangements and tons of candles  ultimately creating a romantic and warm feel with just a touch of grandeur.

Overall, the European-inspired aesthetic we created for Stephanie and Mark communicated airy and light romance, transporting guests and the beautiful couple to another magical world for the evening.

Photography: Allyson Wiley Photography | Videography: Swoon Films | Event Design: Kelly McLeskey-Dolata | Event Planning: Meren Dehaze | Floral Design: Vanda Floral Design | Cake: Pretty Please SF | Invitations: Mira Aster | Ceremony Venue: St. Andrews | Reception Venue: Ramekins | Catering: Ramekins Sonoma | Lighting: Illusions Lighting | Band: Mustache Harbor | Transportation: Pure Luxury | Ceremony & Cocktail Musicians: Laurent Fourgo | Dance Floor: Bickner Dance Floors | Hair & Make Up: Unique Salon | Linen: La Tavola | Photobooth: Magnolia Photo Booth Co. | Rentals: Blue Print Studios | Rentals: Frances Lane | Rentals: Encore Events Rentals | Rentals: Designer8 Furniture Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
DIY Floral Wine Glass Charm

Are you ready for a little DIY that will make your guests squeal with glee? Enter the pretty little floral wine glass charm from Daisy Rose Floral Design snapped up by Megan Clouse Photography. Just when you thought your glass of wine couldn’t get any better, imagine it donning a gorgeous bloom. How fancy would you feel? I’m unapologetically using this for my next little gathering, and looking at the steps below, it seems easy enough for even me.

Daisy Rose Floral Design and Hawthorn Flower Studio are teaming up to bring you a unique Sonoma wine country experience combining wine, flowers, food & fruit this Memorial Day. In preparation, they’ve prepared a quick and easy floral wine glass charm how-to, a perfect addition to your next cocktail of dinner party, bridal shower or girls’ night!


• 26 gauge floral wire, cut into 5” pieces
• Wire cutters
• Floral Tape (we used white)
• Clippers
• Flowers
• Stemmed Glass
• Wine (we chose Hamel Family Wines 2011 Isthmus)



Cut flower stems to approximately ½ inch in length


Wire Stems – For flowers with hollow stems, like ranunculus, anemones and dahlias, push floral wire up the hollow center of the stem, through the flower, and 2 inches past the top of the flower head. Bend the exposed wire into a long, narrow hook, and gently feed back through the flower and out the base, leaving the bend in the hook nestled against the top of the flower, and the end of the hook coming back out the base, along the side of the stem.

Flowers with thick, solid stems like roses, almonds or lisianthus may be wired by piercing perpendicularly through the stem just below the base of the flower and folding the ends of the wire down the length of the stem.

Wrap wired stems with floral tape, starting at the top. Pull gently on the tape (to release the self-adhesive properties) as you twist the stem, covering the length of the wire.

Gently wrap the artificial stem around the base of your wine glass, cutting off any excess with wire cutters. Cover any sharp ends with a touch of floral tape!

Pour a glass of your favorite wine and enjoy!

Interested in celebrating summer’s upcoming harvest of local fruit and flowers? Join Melanie and Daisy for the Rose & Thorn Workshop, May 23rd at Hamel Family Wines in Sonoma. Spend Memorial Day weekend, with a half-day of fruit and floral arranging, wine tasting & lunch. We’ll be joined by Megan Clouse Photography, who will document the day.

Photography: Megan Clouse Photography | Floral Design: Daisy Rose Floral Design | Floral Design: Hawthorn Flower Studio | Wine: Hamel Family Wines 2011 Isthmus | Workshop: Rose & Thorn Workshop

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Elegant Modern Romance at Cornerstone Sonoma

Take a seat SMP’ers, this wedding is one for the books. Every detail of this elegant Sonoma wedding was planned to perfection with the help of A Savvy Event. From the gorgeous blooms from Vanda Floral Design, textured, lush linens from La Tavola and white modern chairs under a rustic tent, we can’t wait for you to see even more of this romantic day captured by Allyson Wiley Photography here!


From Kelly McLeskey-Dolata at A Savvy EventWorking with Jessica and Kevin was such a great experience in that we really got to help the couple discover their style. Jessica wasn’t someone who had envisioned and planned her wedding throughout life, so we really got to open her eyes to a range of aesthetic options. From fabric swatches to Pinterest boards, we worked with Jessica to nail down the look and feel she and Kevin wanted for their big day. Jessica’s eye was drawn to natural landscapes and warm woods, but also crisp whites and saturated gem tones (think modern-rustic).

Jessica and Kevin traveled to Sonoma from their home in Los Angeles several times to shop for a venue, and ended up falling in love with Cornerstone Gardens when they stopped for a tour of the property on a whim, in between other venue appointments. It had everything the couple wanted–including an inviting open-air feel and rolling-hill views that were hard to take your eyes off of.

The ceremony took place on the Vineyard Lawn, a lush grassy area bordered by Pinot Noir vineyards, with the garden’s reflecting pond as a captivating and serene backdrop. Jessica was inspired by the venue’s natural beauty and chose a palette that played perfectly with the big blue sky and never-ending greenery. From dusty lavender to deep amethyst, purples were incorporated throughout and–alongside crisp white and pops of magenta–made for a clean and natural palette that boasted a touch of glamour.

Guests dined on the lawn under a tent, where wooden family-style tables coupled with streamlined (and oh-so chic) white chairs brought Jessica’s modern-rustic vision to life. The guests then moved to the barn for dancing, where we brought in white leather furnishings, airy white curtains and (pretty unforgettable) sequined linens.

Overall, we worked to marry the warmth and natural beauty of the venue with touches of purposeful and distinct glamour to create a balanced and playful aesthetic, and a relaxing (and charming) night.

Photography: Allyson Wiley Photography | Event Design: A Savvy Event- Kelly McLeskey-Dolata | Florist: Vanda Floral Design | Catering: Sage | Lighting: Twilight Design | DJ: Boutique DJs - Josh Dukes | Venue: Cornerstone Sonoma | Cake & Desserts: Crisp Bakeshop | Linen: La Tavola | Photobooth: Night Owl Photography | Rentals: Designer 8 Furniture Rental | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Video: Wine Country Videographers | Wedding Planning: A Savvy Event- Meren Dehaze

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

Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties
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.