As we wrap up our very busy wedding season we are excited to reflect on some of our real weddings! Crissandra & Mark started off our season with a fun, yet romantic St. Patricks Day wedding! The rustic, chic design was very fitting for the El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma. The couple wanted their destination to wedding to be getaway from San Diego with their family and friends. The personal touches, like having their dogs photo at their place setting and a good friend playing ‘Blue Moon’ on guitar for their first dance was very fitting for this happy couple. To incorporate the St. Patricks Day holiday, the groomsmen all wore green socks, touches of succulents we in all the floral arrangements, and four leaf clover topped Moscow Mules were the signature drink!

While me and my assistant hid in the trees crying during their first look, I felt like I was watching old friends getting married. Although Crissy & Mark hired us for our wrap up package, things fell into place quickly and we bonded instantly. I am so lucky this couple found us out of all the options they had, Crissandra and Mark are a perfect example of why we love our jobs.

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A Touch of Grace coordinator – Melissa

Photography – Carmen Alvarez Photography

Venue – El Dorado Kitchen

Florist – Vanda Floral Design

DJ – Golden State Production, Wayne

Baker – Branching Out Cake, Jill Branch

Make Up – Kalani Style

Hair – Teana Drury

Take a peak at Selina and James’ short film by Aperina Studios that we had the chance to coordinate last month! Their ceremony and reception took place at the beautiful Blackhawk Country Club. The couple, Selina and James, wanted their wedding to be filled with personal touches and every last detail of the wedding radiated their personalities. Fun, down to earth, romantic and clearly very stylish, with Selina changing dresses multiple times. Enjoy!

 

 

Venue: Blackhawk Country Club

Flowers: Sarah’s Garden 

Photographer: Modern Love

Cake: Carolyn Wong Cakes 

Videographer: Aperina Studios

Coordinator: A Touch of Grace

Deborah and Chris

Heather Farms – Walnut Creek 

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Deborah and Chris have many things in common. One of them is online video games, which is actually the way they met!  Not long after their online connection, Chris decided to come meet Deborah in California all the way from Florida and their romance blossomed!  For their wedding they wanted to focus on each other, family, friends and the things they liked, which included nature, simplicity, and good BBQ! It was a true family affair, literally all of the crafts were done by the bride, her sister, and the help of their family & friends; from the unique wedding dress, to centerpieces, favors, and the personalized wood carved card box.  Their ceremony took place in a full blossomed rose garden where they love to go walk on weekends.  Then the reception was a relaxed BBQ!  The couple didn’t want anything too formal for their big day, so they created a wonderfully relaxed, chilled out day, that was more like a garden party!  From these captured moments, it is so clear that they wanted to focus their big day around love, some good grilling and the people that mean the most. It was fuss free, laid-back, fun. The couple danced the afternoon away before they left their reception to fly to their honeymoon in the Bahamas!  They had a day everyone truly enjoyed, spending time with the people they love.  Congratulations Deborah and Chris, and cheers to you!
Photographer: A Frame of Your Life Photography
Coordination: A Touch of Grace
Caterer: BBQ Boys

 

Sarah and Ari

Camp Newman – Santa Rosa

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This couple was so much fun to work with!  Sarah and Ari are such humble and happy people, and we wanted their wedding to be the absolute best it could be.  They had a unique venue that meant a lot to both of them.  Their wedding was the first to be held at Camp Newman, so we spent a lot of time during our planning meetings discussing the flow of their wedding, and the “paths of egress”.  After several site tours to design the lay out, a vision was in place!  To see the space transform was absolutely magical.  Their wedding day was absolutely perfect, filled with loved ones and very dear friends.

Their pre-ceremony photos were actually on a “safari” we took to get to the top of the mountain for their Ketubah signing.  Along the way we saw baby goats, chickens, and even a teepee!  The ceremony was up on a deck that over looked the camp and the golden Santa Rosa hills.  Their dinner was a delicious meal prepared by the very talented chefs at Roli Roti.  Dancing was kicked off by a surprise flash mob put together by all their guests!  It was quite hilarious when the bride and groom mentioned to me earlier in the wedding weekend that all of their guests were “asking for the wifi password” and asking “why doesn’t You Tube work up here?”  Even with the suspicious questions, the bride and groom were still completely surprised when their entire group of friends and family were dancing in the flash mob.  I have to admit a tear was shed when the wedding was over.  There is something so special that happens on a wedding day, words can’t describe the joy and how much we care for our brides and grooms.  It’s always so sad when it’s over, but thanks to amazing photographers like Sonia Savio, these detailed and beautiful images bring the day back to life.  Cheers to Sarah and Ari!

 

Venue: Camp Newman, Santa Rosa
Photographer: Sonia Savio
Coordination and Design: A Touch of Grace with design help from the bride & groom
Flowers: Flowers by Teresa
Rentals: PTE Rentals
Caterer: Roli Roti
Photo Booth: A Touch of Grace

Greetings from Arizona!! I made it here alive and I’m loving it! I’m getting familiar and acquainted with the area and just starting to realize how beautiful Arizona is! I mean have you ever seen the sunsets here?! If you haven’t, let me tell you…. They’re incredible! The weather isn’t half bad either. 75 degrees in February? I’ll take it! No wonder wedding season is 8 months out of the year!
A few weeks ago, while the weather was especially amazing, Amber and I viewed venue after venue and met with some amazing vendors! Every venue we saw was so different from the next; from Clayton on the Park with its modern and sleek look, beautiful bar and unique details to Hotel Valley Ho withs its retro feel and a rooftop patio with a view of the whole valley.

We were not only impressed at how beautiful everything was but how much diversity Arizona had to offer. We found our way to an old ice house literally named The Ice House which, when Amber and I first pulled up we were confused, then when we walked in and saw all of the ways the space can be transformed, we were almost in shock! It’s a total blank canvas and the possibilities are endless. Oh and then there was The Arizona Biltmore. Being designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, I think it goes without saying the architecture was incredible. From the gold plated ceilings to the beautifully landscaped grounds, The Arizona Biltmore was an amazing venue.

All in all I think my favorite venue was The Royal Palms. Once we caught a glimpse of the palm tree-lined driveway leading to the villa style structure we were in awe. As we walked through the grounds to view all the various wedding and event spaces, we continued to be awestruck. Every turn we took we found ourselves saying “Oh my gosh what an amazing picture opportunity!” Everything about The Royal Palms was beautiful from the tiled floors to the view of camelback mountain in the background.
So to sum it up Amber and I had a fantastic weekend, the sun was shining, the people were so nice and the venues were gorgeous. Aside from getting stuck on the wrong side of the tracks behind a never ending train, we loved every minute of it!

Seeing what Arizona has to offer has made me even more excited and I know I’ve only just scratched the surface! -Kahea :)

                       The Arizona Biltmore                                                  The Royal Palms
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7 a.m. Time to wake up sleeping beauty, your big day is here … no more running around like crazy to find the perfect vendors, the perfect venue, the perfect dress… Everything is done!

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 Finally it hits you, it is your wedding day.  The frustration, craziness, worries, all these feelings should be gone. No more apprehension, no more “If Uncle Vinny says an embarrassing joke” at the toast; if your groom doesn’t show up on time; if cousin Jenny will look like she came back from the land of “wear as little as possible”, or what guest will be annoying enough to wear white …. now you can STOP and BREATH !!!

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So here are some tips to start your day the best way possible:

  • Beauty Sleep: Try to go to bed early the night before and get as much sleep as possible.  Now let’s be real: you are so excited that you barely slept last night. So start your day with a big glass of water and a nice relaxing shower. Once you are out, apply warm green or black tea bags (after they were in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes), over your eyes for 3 to 5 minutes. Or your friend the cucumber will work just as well, slice it up and keep them on your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes, they cause your blood vessels to

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  • Breakfast: Very very very important! I will never repeat it enough to my brides. Not eating the day of your wedding will not make you magically loose the last 3 pounds! You have to think that you are going to be on your feet all day, running around, posing, welcoming, dancing, and you might not have the chance to eat until your reception (if you even find a minute for that!).A touch of Grace always treats her brides to breakfast or lunch to make sure no one will pass out later on… also that prevents the family from running around to find a snack for the bride and from taking away some quality time they can have together! So for my self-conscious brides, have some oatmeal, eggs, fruits, and tea.  Stay away from milk or dairy product if it’s possible (they are known to provoke gas and cause bloating). And for the one who wants to start the day and enjoy a great breakfast, go for it and enjoy every bite of it, just don’t stuff yourself! You need a ton of energy so you will not crash by 6 p.m.!! “Bon Appetit”

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  • Savor getting ready: It is the only moment when you can really share a special time with your bridesmaids and maid of honor! Try to enjoy every minute of it because once you step out in your dress to go to the ceremony, your day is going to fly by without you being able to realize it or make it stop! So be sure to grab that instant to thank all these people that are here to support you.  They must be very special that they are still by your side after all what you made them go through (crying for no reason, phone calls in the middle of the night because you had the worst nightmare, the crazy dress shopping that went on for hours and hours and hours…. and the list can go on and on!).

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  • Being thankful: If you want to give your girls a thank you speech, be sure to do it before you are getting ready… you might get very emotional and the tears are going to ruin your make-up. You can also include a card, with a bridal gift, that lets them know how thankful you are to have them by your side and how each one of them are so important in your life by including a little “anecdote” that you both share! Trust me that will just melt their heart!

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  • Family drama: It always amazes me that family is very often a big problem during wedding preparations (usually and sadly due to jealousy or because they want this day to be as perfect as you wish for)!  The closest people to your heart, that should help you and make things easy for you, often can be VERY not so helpful! Luckily they leave “crazytown” and return to reason for your big moment. So don’t over think it, forgive and forget. It is your time to shine!

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  • Mom time: it is always nice to include your mom in your wedding day. It can be a very emotional day for her too to see her little girl getting married. Reassure her by letting her know what a great mom she is and how proud you are to be the women you are today because of her. Helping you with your dress could be a special moment that she will always cherish in her heart!

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  • Details that go wrong…. well if you have a wedding coordinator like us that will never happen! But if you don’t, just ignore it! Yes everything is not going to be picture perfect but most of the time you are the only one to realize it and your guests have no clue! They are not the ones who spent months planning your event and they are here to celebrate you, your groom and have a good time! Also what is the most important?  The vows and promises to your husband.  So the rest, if it’s not dramatic, should not matter so much after all!

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Try to keep all these tips in mind, kick back and HAVE FUN!

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You’ve finally found the man of your dreams. The date is set, your wedding dress has been altered to perfection and all the arrangements have been made.  But before you cross the finish line, there is one more rite of passage you have to go through: The Bachelorette Party! It’s the one thing that you don’t have to organize, and it’s a chance for you to spend quality time with your girlfriends.

We have some tips to not look like this the next day!

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1. Eating dinner is a must if you are going to party all night! 
You might be watching your figure to fit in your amazingly form fitting and tight mermaid dress, but the last thing you want to do is skip eating and risk getting too drunk to stay out with your girls.  There is always this wonderful thing called Spanx to smooth it all in the last recourse!!

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2. Load up on water. When you’re out having a great time with your best friends it is pretty easy to lose track of how much you’ve had to drink — until it’s too late. Have a glass of water or two between each alcoholic drink. It will save you from having a major headache the next morning.

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3. Party in style but leave the mini skirt and the gorgeous “I can’t walk in them” heels at home! Let’s be honest …. lots of alcohol and itsy-bitsy skirts with towering heals are not a good combination. Plus you never know what your girls might have planned. Who knows? What if they’re taking you to that bar with a mechanical bull?  You’d hate to miss out on the fun just because you wore the wrong outfit. You want to be comfortable on your big night… and you don’t want to end up on YouTube (no explanation needed, right ladies?!)

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4. Cameras allowed only at the beginning of the night! Sure there’s a temptation to capture every moment but do you really want those images splattered across Facebook? Instead, take photos at the start of the night when everyone is cute and in their best behavior.  Then after the first few drinks put it away, at the bottom of your bag, and never look back. You want to remember this:

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not this:

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5: Leave ALL phones in the Limo. In case no one ever told you this, allow me to drop some life-knowledge on you: Alcohol + Cell phones = Disaster. For some reason there is always one friend at the bachelorette party who does a few shots and decides that this is a great time to call and argue with her boo/boyfriend/baby daddy… which leads to DRAMA and the attention off you.                                                       No phoning home! You’re there to spend this night with your girls, so don’t call your fiancé every five minutes to remind him how much you love him. Trust me, he knows! ;)

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6. Don’t invite the “sloppy” friend, yes we all have one! The Sloppy Friend is someone who drinks her weight in tequila, uses all the no-no words and ends up  throwing John Travolta’s moves all night on the dance floor… to resume The Drama Queen. She can stay at her house for one night, tonight it’s your night. No need to have one more horrific story because the Sloppy Friend ensured her drama duty!

7. Stick together, ALWAYS. The last thing that needs to happen is to lose one of the bachelorette crew members. T-shirts can make everything easier and helps to spot the bride’s team from afar and can make everyone feel special. The most important rule is to never leave anyone behind, you come together, you leave together.  The cute guy hitting on your maid of honor can wait until tomorrow if he likes her so much. There is nothing more vulnerable than a group of “happy” beautiful girls who are in the party mood!

8. Be Good! You don’t want to wake up and regret what happened the night before. You are getting married!  Enjoy your night as some fun girl time, but trust us, you still get to have girl time even after you’re married.

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So have fun, forget all the craziness of the last months, and slow down on the drinks! You want to remember your night because it was unforgettable in a good way!

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You usually spend the last month arranging your seating plan to avoid conflicts, keep family members together and make everyone as happy as they can be! Now it is time for you to have fun with your escort cards! They are the first impression that guests will have when they walk into your reception, so spice it up a bit! You also want your guests to feel special and not like herded sheep! Direct the flow of wedding-party traffic with elegant, thoughtful and personal escort cards.

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Their utility is endless: they harmonize your wedding theme, can commemorate your wedding date, be of use to guests even after the wedding, and can be ate or drank! Always remember they should be an extension of the mood!

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A keepsake for your guests: Double the task and have something that can be used as a favor too for them to take home!

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A more organic look… Borrow the beauty from nature, these holder trees add a touch of whimsy to your reception and they are especially perfect for a romantic wedding in the fall. le-chic-escort-card-wooden-stand

No need to be pricey, keep your eyes on the ground to find distinctive and beautiful rocks. Clean them and adorn each of them with the name of your guests, using a permanent marker.

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You could even use miniature plants. Consider doing one per couple to control costs.

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Edible Escort cart! People love to eat. Treat them with sweet or savory escort card! Giant lollipops in an empty water glass with the guests’ names written on the outside of the plastic wrapping. To satisfy salt cravings, mix your favorite cocktail nut into small jars, label them with the guests’ names and that will give them something to snack on while they await your entrance! Dried fruit also works well for health-conscious couples.

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Guests love to eat …. but to drink too! One great idea is to have a small champagne bottle labeled for each guest, with their name and table number.  Or you can have drinks welcoming them to enjoy while getting to their tables. This is a perfect touch to add to your cocktail hour and a super cute option for a summer wedding.

 

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Incorporate color into your display! Colorful soda, mini umbrellas, any fruits of your choice, keep it fun and interesting for your guests, make them want to see what is next! Make your day unforgettable by all the great details you incorporate in it!

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Hanging escort cards….  it can be fabulous and give a magical feeling. Just go with the flow!

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So have fun, be creative, add something fantastic and show your guests a hint of your personality!  Like I always say: “Tout est dans le detail! ” (Everything is in the detail!)

–Cinthy

Happy New Year!

Congratulations to all the couples who got engaged over the holiday season! This is one of the most exciting times for you and is going to fly by so try to enjoy every minute of it. Don’t stress yourself out too much and get lost in the planning details.

It’s now 2013 and with new times come new adventures!  I think I can speak for all of us at A Touch of Grace when I say we are sooooo excited to be EXPANDING to Arizona.  I’ve been fortunate to experience so many beautiful and incredible weddings and events in the Bay Area and cannot wait to see what the brides of Arizona have in store for me.

Change and adventure is so thrilling. Just as the bride and groom are excited for the change and new adventure happening in their lives, I will be too! As I am getting to know the Arizona area I feel like I will get to share in the excitement with the bride and groom that much more.  I know A Touch of Grace is going to do amazing in Arizona and I am so happy to be a part of the amazing team.

-Kahea

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR & GIVEBACK!

With all of the things adding up on your to do list, ordering, making or buying favors might be one of them.  If you want to try something new or give something more meaningful a great idea for a favor is to donate to a charity of your choice and write a little note for your guests to thank them and let them know how you acknowledges them for coming!

This donation is a special gesture and will help make a difference to a great cause!  Think of things that matter to you or have touched your life then once you research charity options you will find one that is close to your heart.  At your wedding you can add a frame on each table, a card at each setting or a tag added to a small favor that guests could grab on the way home.  This is a simple, a meaningful way you can thank your guests, give back and complete this important task on your to do list!