Tuscan Inspiration

Posted by on Apr 12, 2013 in Decor & Details, Recent Work | One Comment

TGIF!!! Although I have to say it’s been a pretty great week here at the AaB offices- kicked off with Briana and Jason’s wedding at the St. Regis, rounding out with a design meeting with one of our clients and some time to catch up with friends and family sandwiched in between. One of the most fun parts of working on the Bride’s Live Wedding was that we not only got to design the look of the wedding for Jason and Briana’s guests to enjoy, but we also got to design a dinner celebration for the guests of Bride’s magazine to enjoy. A few weeks ago, when we realized that several of the sponsors, executives and of course performers like Matt Goss and Gloriana were going to be able to stay for dinner after the wedding, we were tasked with designing a separate dinner party for them. Since America had chosen Beach Chic for the actual wedding, we thought we would look to America’s 2nd Choice for decor: Tuscan Elegance.
We thought we would show you the evolution from Mood Board to actual tabletop.
Below, you will is our original mood board that we created for Bride’s when we initially came up with the 4 voting looks:
Tuscan Elegance Round 1
Once we narrowed it down to 4 categories, Bride’s Style Director took our 4 mood boards and styled them for voting purposes. Here is the mood board for Tuscan Elegance V. 2.
Tuscan Elegance 2
When we realized that the “VIP Dinner” was only going to be for about 40 guests and cocktails, we went back and refined our moodboard for actual execution… So version 3!
Tuscan Elegance Part 3
And finally, the delightful Table top! So many more details of this lovely dinner party to share with you in the coming days, but for now, a sneak peak!
AaB Creates/ Tuscan Elegance Tabletop
Lots of thanks to Laura Hooper Calligraphy for the menu cards and a ton of other details we’ll soon share, Nuage for the amazing linens, Luxe Event Rentals for the fabulous chairs and of course Classic Party Rentals. I just loved how this all came together!! it was yummy!!!

WPW: Walking Through Open Doors

Posted by on Apr 10, 2013 in Industry Advice | One Comment

Happy Wedding Pro Wednesday. This is the Sleepy Head edition, as I still am not 100% recovered from the Bride’s Live Wedding, but hopefully I can make some coherent sense. I wanted to write to you all about something that has been brewing in my mind for several months now and, it finally gelled for me while on my red-eye flight back and reading an article on the beautiful and bright Allison Williams in Town and Country. She was speaking about having more opportunities due to her father’s job/status and said, very eloquently “People can open doors for you, but you have to walk through.”

The quote took me back to another quote that I’ve pondered and stewed around for at least two years now… After the Clinton wedding Bryan Rafanelli was speaking at Engage and was asked how he got the Clinton wedding and his answer (and I want to be clear I wasn’t there, so this is all paraphrased from tweets) was that he asked for it. I confess when I first heard that I laughed in my head and thought “Great, but you already knew the right people to ask” and I realize now that in thinking that way, I totally missed the point. We all have our own open doors, it’s just a matter of if you are aware enough to walk through them.

Years ago, when we were really just starting to build our clientele, the ABC hosted a dinner with the editor of New York Weddings and I dragged Mayra to it. When it was time to have dinner, there were no assigned seats or tables, and I noticed that the seat next to the Editor were open. For a split second, I hesitated wondering if there was someone “more established” that I should defer to, and then I booked it to the seat to her right and started making conversation. The planner to her left (who was significantly more senior) gave me a serious case of the side eye, but I didn’t frankly care nor do I care now. Mayra and Denise and I hit it off, had great conversations about the direction of weddings at the time and about what weddings we were working ob, invited Denise to look at our portfolio and, not surprisingly, were included in the editor’s listings in the next issue. Our goal had always been to make the listing and the dinner presented us with our door and I’m always so glad that we walked through when we had the chance.

I think in this industry, be it localized or across the wedding world, there is a lot of chatter and sometimes even (dare I say it) jealousy over who gets what client or piece of press or “is always featured” on x or y blog, etc.. and I would be remiss to say that I sometimes have been guilty of that myself… But, as I reflect back on periods where I was more mired in looking at what other people were doing I’m aware that it distracted me from seeing all the doors I could have walked through. It’s easy to get so wound up in what one thinks the “door to success” is supposed to look like (a celebrity client! an appearance on TV! etc.) that we miss smaller doorways connecting the hallways. Or, worse if we don’t see a Giant doorway illuminated by LEDs with a gobo projection with our name on it, we think everyone else “gets all the breaks”.

Similarly, there have been times when we’ve worried what people would think if we asked for X amount of money or for Y piece of press… the answer was that we don’t know what they would think because we didn’t ask… There may have been doors open there for us to walk through but we were too afraid to see if they were open.

As a small business owner we aren’t hampered by waiting for our annual evaluation to ask our supervisors for a promotion, raise or a title change. We are blessed with the ability to create our own growth… but sometimes we need to give ourselves the room to see the open doors and the permission to go through them.

Behind the Scenes: Brides Live Wedding

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Decor & Details, Recent Work | One Comment

I’m back at my desk…. exhausted and invigorated by the weekend at the St. Regis in Monarch Bay and the marriage of Briana and Jason at the Bride’s Live Wedding.  The show (and it was truly a show- an entertaining hour of programming directed and produced by Zuckerberg Media- was one hour and included the ceremony and the couples first dance, BUT beyond the programming was an entire wedding for the lucky couple… all centered around the decor theme: Beach Chic.

Below, some of our favorite shots captured on Instagram by our team and the Brides team.

Prepping the archway of the St. Regis for the ceremony
We hired Revelry to build this shell encrusted archway and drape the massive pergola on the St. Regis grand lawn. A mix of natural and spray painted sea shells from California Sea Shell Co. lined the aisle.
Confetti cannons after the ceremony ended
Guests fired off sparkling confetti Cannons after the ceremony. Ghost chairs from Luxe Event Rentals added a some chic to the “Beach” look.
Lounge furniture decorated cocktail hour
Cocktail hour was a shabby-glam lounge in tones of beige and blush with decor sourced from Nuage, Luxe and even Target!
Compass Escort Cards for Bride's Live Wedding/ AaB Creates
We loved these mini compasses from Laura Hooper Calligraphy and thought they made the perfect escort card fitting in with the nautical “beach chic” look. We chose a “web-y” golden overlay from Nuage to offset these cute details.
Beach Chic centerpieces/ AaB Creates/ Brides Live WeddingCake!/ AaB Creates
The most adorable ring bearer tries to get a taste of the stunning cake by the Cake Boss.

We are so thrilled for Briana and Jason: not only did they get to have a dream wedding at a fabulous property, but they were lovely, lovely people AND the team from Bride’s donated $10,000 to the American Cancer Society in their name. A fabulous cause!  Congratulations again!  If you missed the broadcast, you can watch it here.


Greetings from The St. Regis Monarch Bay

Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 in Blog | No Comments

The blog has been silent this week, but mainly because The Blogsmaid has just been very, very busy as this Sunday is the Brides Live Wedding.  Though I’ve written about it before, I will offer you up a recap: Brides ran a contest where one lucky couple won an amazing wedding planned and designed by US at the St. Regis Monarch Bay.  The entire thing has been crowdsourced on Facebook – the decor scheme, her gown, the cake.  And now it’s finally happening!  The theme has been Beach Chic and it’s coming along FABULOUSLY.  We have been spray painting, napkin folding and…. pre-taping… because the whole thing will run live (with some behind the scenes elements) on on Sunday (April 7th) at 4PM PST/ 7PM EST.  There will be live musical performances, inspiring decor and, of course, true love!  Of course, we’ll be tweeting and instagraming behind the scenes pics under the hash tag #brideslivewedding and I’ll be recaping all of our amazing vendor partners like Nuage, Luxe Event Rentals, Laura Hooper Calligraphy and Classic Party Rentals. xoxox

Picture 5

Lord have Mercy!

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Practical Planning | No Comments

Mercy Hangover Prevention DrinkI shouldn’t really take the Lord’s name in vain like that, but honestly, there is nothing worse than stumbling into a big day with a hangover.   Especially on your BIG day.  And while most brides and grooms exhibit a bit of restraint during their Rehearsal dinners, the same can’t be said about the wedding party or even an overly enthusiastic Mother of the Bride or two.

So, I was delighted when, yesterday in a mild Easter Hangover myself, I read about Mercy:  “a caffeine-free and non-alcoholic drink that is backed with over eight years of research and development with Gwyneth Paltrow as an investor and Dr. Steven Lamm backing the drink.”  OF COURSE Gwyneth Paltrow is involved!  Gwyneth lives in a world without hangovers. It’s only fair that she develop a product that gives that gift to the rest of us.

Essentially if after our Boozy Easter Brunch we would have each had a Mercy as the last thing we drank for the night before bed… well, I probably would have managed to put up a blog post yesterday….   And, at basically $3 a can, it seems like a no-brainer Hotel Room drop/ welcome bag inclusion for your guests.  Buy online now (ground ship only.. so plan ahead!)