Thursday, January 29, 2009

Trend Thursday: Celebrity Chefs

Forget the celebrity singer, celebrity planner, and even the celebrity designer! Couples are clamoring for the Celebrity Chef! With the popularity of shows like Top Chef, Iron Chef, and the myriad of other cooking shows, on such networks as Food Network, brides and grooms are looking to have these icons of taste cater their wedding.

One hit show, Top Chef, has been enticing brides and grooms to call on these rising stars. Most likely because to most people, these individuals are more accessible than say Cat Cora, Mario Bartali, Jamie Oliver, and Wolfgang Puck. However, if you have the dough...even you can get the best of the best to cook for your guests.

So if your budget is more shiitake mushroom then white truffle, you might want to consider such reality show chefs as Fabio Viviani from the current season of Top Chef or Lisa Garza from The Next Food Network Star, before they soar to super nova chef status. Individuals like this are known because of their TV appearance and loved because of their their food looks so yummy on the boob-tube. Additionally, their pricing is probably more competitive than say Chef Tom Colicchio when it comes to catering your wedding feast.

The great thing about this trend is couples are FINALLY putting focus on the foods that they are serving to their guests. Like my guest blogger Paul Bott stated last week, this trend of foodies and treating a wedding dinner as a wedding feast is really rising in popularity. But the trend of hiring the celebrity chef is the newest "wow" factor that people are doing, because now everyone at the celebration can taste a piece of this superstar!

Have fun thinking of who should cook your feast. Remember, it never hurts to inquire about their might just be surprised what they comeback with. Now I'm hungry!


P.S. Talking about Top Chef...If you are a fan of the show please don't forget to vote for your favorite chef (Fabio for me), at You can vote up to 20 times a week for the next two weeks. Maybe you will be the lucky winner of the trip to NYC plus $10,000!

Top Chef Logo from Bravo TV's Top Chef

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday: List Making

You think you have it all under control? You know exactly what to focus on? There's no need for a list! Think again. Making lists for any event, especially a wedding is crucial to knowing what you want your outcome to be and the elements that is most important to you.

Here's my tip in making a well focused list for your special day, which I ask all my clients to do:
  • From the the onset both the bride and groom should each make a list of what they want as part of their wedding and want they definitely do not want.
  • Once you have BOTH made your list, combine the two and see where you agree and where you don't.
  • Make an agree list and don't agree list and discuss what from the don't agree list should make it to the agree list.
  • Once you have your agree list, now it's time to do a want and need list that would correspond to the elements of the agree list. This will dictate what you you will focus on that will make the most impact on your day and what elements is a wish list if dollars are still available. (e.g. Agree List: Great Music; Need List: DJ, Guitarist; Want List: Live Band, String Quartet, Soloist).
Not only will these list help you focus on what you want for your special day, it will also help you focus on your budget and think about the importance of such "wanted things" would really mean.
Additionally, if you are working with a planner, it will give your planner a better sense of what the two of you want.

Have fun creating your lists!


Photo form Flickr

Monday, January 26, 2009

Inspiration Mondays: Leather and Lace

This weekend I took it easy. With rain coming down in sunny California, it was a great time to cuddle up in a blanket, stare out of the windows, think, and listen to great music. As I sat here, the song Leather and Lace by Stevie Nicks came on and this is my inspiration for this Monday.

I am inspired by the delicacy of lace and suppleness of leather. I am inspired by Stevie Nick's voice, that raspy tone that so delights. I love the fact that leather and lace reminds me of that raw, hard, heavy metal vibe, think Aerosmith and Van know just a little overdone. But mixing the right pieces can make outrageous look totally fabulous.

If I were planning a wedding on a theme of leather and lace...these are some aspects I would throw into the mix.

Leather Trimmed Tuxedo: Prada
Tiered and beaded wedding gown: Monique Lhuillier
Noah's Heart Cuff: DeAnna Cochran Jewelry
Leather Charger Plates: Sell Glass Plate
Crofton Red Trimmed Leather Shoes: Ryan Rowe
Black Studded Cocktail Dress: Sheri Bodell

I hope this inspires you to think of how you can mix leather and lace for your own wedding. It's a great combination and with the right aspects you can mix two opposing elements together to make it a real knockout.


Photos from above mentioned desiners, photo of Kevin Connolly in Prada from OMG

Friday, January 23, 2009

Guest Blogger Fridays: Paul Bott

I met Paul Bott, when we were filming the "Let Them Eat Cake" episode for the premiere season of Peter Perfect, with celebrity stylist Peter Ishkhans. We were two of three event experts that they brought in for show (I think we both had one second of camera time - at least you can clearly see our names on the episode). Since then, the two of us have been emailing and keeping in touch with each other, anticipating the day we will finally work together. I am so excited that he has agreed to guest blog for me on food trends. Enjoy it!

food trends: are you really a foodie????

I hear a lot of “we are both foodies” lately from brides and grooms that I speak with…this makes me very happy. Finally, people can speak my language and know that there is more to a wedding feast then breast of chicken!!! Another great trend is they also want to incorporate their ethnic background or "infuse" the menu with their culture. I LOVE THAT PART TOO!

Notice, I used the word "feast." I use that word because I believe that presented well, delicious, and delightfully appealing, a “feast” has a lot of positive power and will completely change the personality of your event and you guests expectations. I have seen and heard entire ballrooms of guests almost fall silent during the dinner course, why, because they are eating and they are happy. The end result is a shared “comfort” (why do you think they call it comfort food?) and a sense of sharing an experience that was truly generous and a gracious gift to them from their hosts, the bride and groom. I have always felt food, good food, carefully made and graciously presented could change lives forever…if you doubt my words then simply rent that marvelous Dutch film “Babette’s Feast” but I digress…

Why am I so happy about this "real foodie" trend? Because, now couples know more then what specific songs they want to dance to and what important words they will exchange at their ceremony. They also know that they want to wow their guests with delicious food, and give them a the kind shared experience that is important to them too. No longer are they satisfied to have pages or pre-determined menu options flashed before them. I believe that couples think that writing their own menu is right up there with writing their own vows. So like seeking a minister for vow help, they need an expert, like myself, to help them articulate this in a way that expresses who they are while creating one of those unforgettable dining experiences.

Here is how powerful food can be...I love this example. I had a bride and groom, a couple of years ago, that was not getting anywhere with what they were wanting for their "feast." They had been to several “caterers” and knew almost everything there was to know about breast of chicken and roast beef. Finally I asked them how they met. WELL, the future bride almost jumped off her seat, turned and faced me square on and said, “I was at this dinner party and I was sitting with a my friend who invited me. The food was so good I actually turned to her and I said, I am going to marry who ever cooked this meal...I do not care if they are male or female, young or old, married or not, I am going to marry them!" So, her friend gets up, walks to the kitchen, grabs the chef (a single man working as a chef), introduces them, they fall in love, and nine-months later they were married. The most exciting part of this story is that I recreated that meal that he cooked and she ate on the night they met at their wedding feast. The same food that made her vow to marry the cook was now being feasted on by their guests. They were sharing a piece of their "foodie" history.

I rest my case.

Paul Bott

Percy's remarks: As you can see from Paul's guest blog, food can become part of your story. Making it a priority for your wedding will only make the event that more special, plus the feast you give to your guests will always remind them of the two of you. For real foodies, making your "menu" a priority is essential in completing the entire look and feel of your event. You know what they say...the food can make or break anything!

For more information on Paul Bott please contact him at:

Photo credits: Group Photo: Top large by Paul Barnett, next row from left all by Rebecca Seal, all other photos by Jennifer Dery

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Trend Thursdays: Custom Made Gifts

In the world of custom weddings...there are brides and grooms that want everything to reflect them, and why shouldn't it? It is your wedding day right! I realize that your day is something that should focus on you, but when giving gifts to your attendants, maybe the focus should be placed on them. This is where Freddy & Ma can come in.

Freddy & Ma offers the perfect gifts for your attendants. They offer customized handbags, pillows, and melamine plates. You can gift your bridesmaid's purses that either reflects their personality or one that matches their gowns. The possibilities are endless because you can choose from 250 cotton twill purses or several colors of patent-leather all with sateen lining.

The plus is that if you order more than 5 custom pieces, you will receive a 20% discount off the $165 price tag. Check it out...maybe you might even consider doing custom melamine plates for your dinner service or pillows for you lounge. Their interactive site is very user friendly!


Photos from Freddy & Ma

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just for Fun and In Celebration of President Obama

In celebration of our 44th President, Barack can now recreate the iconic poster, by Shepard Fairey, of our President with your own image. You can also personalize the saying underneath.

For my Obamicon, I PhotoShopped a few together to make one larger image. I was just having way to much and did not know which one I wanted to use. However, the single ones are pretty fun too.

So have fun and Obamicon yourself today at

These Obamicon images are totally appropriate to use for save the date cards, wedding announcements, birthday invitations, or even shirts to announce whatever you want to. Have fun and enjoy.


Photo from

Wacky Wednesdays: Michelle Obama's Couture Hits

I have to give props to First Lady, Michelle Obama. Her inauguration couture were just fabulous. From the yellow (pale green) Isabel Toledo dress topped off with gloves by J. Crew and shoes by Jimmy Choo, to the off-white Jason Wu gown. I just wish that the Jason Wu piece could have been a little more tight fitting, showing off more of her figure, but overall it was still youthful, bold, and fresh. To me they were both hits!

The big plus for me is that she used up and coming designers and not established ones. It makes me think that she could contact me at any moment to plan one of her future parties, or one of Sasha or Malia's birthday parties. Thank you Michelle for revitalizing the fashion world and giving us a new icon for great couture or even off the rack stuff...we know you love that stuff too.

So for you ladies out there looking for the right gown, the high end designers that are household names, may not be your only option. Look into up and coming young designers that is willing to work with you on your scene stealing moment! Like the First Lady, you might just make the right fashion choices!


Pictures from Yahoo! News

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday: Hair Apparent

Brides and grooms need to take this tip seriously. For your special day you really need to make sure that your hair is part of your schedule. Not only will your coif make or break your look, but it's one of those things that people will be looking at...and unfortunately judging on your wedding day. You say no one judges how the brides and groom look? Think again! You don't want to be the topic of a friends or family member's blog.

For grooms, please go see your barber or hairstylist, at the latest, one week prior to your wedding day. This will give you the opportunity to have your hair grow out a bit and now look so "done this morning." The only time it is okay for you to see your stylist the same day is if you are shave your head completely bald.

For brides, make an appointment with your stylist one month prior to your wedding day and do a run through of your wedding hair. This will give you the opportunity to try several different styles before committing to one. It also gives you an opportunity to talk about cut and color should you need it. If you are doing any type of cut and color, make sure to get it done no later than one week prior to your big day. This will give you the opportunity to make any adjustments should you need to.

One piece of advice...PLEASE DO NOT TRY ANYTHING EXTREME for your wedding day. Grooms, if you have never done a certain haircut before, don't test it out for your wedding. I realize that faux hawks are cool for some, but you might end up looking like a chicken yourself. Brides, this goes for you too, especially with your cut and color, updos can be redone and so can curls, but colors, cuts, and God forbid...perms, are harder to repair. So wanting to be adventurous should be reserved for others days, not your wedding day.

Remember your hair is literally the topper to your look. Explore but stay true to yourself at the same time...this will make you look truly fantastic on your special day.


Photo of Phil Spector from and Britney Spears from

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inspiration Mondays: The Obama Familiy

With the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States occurring in less than 24 hours, I am inspired by the Obama's and their sense of style and the message they are sending to the world.

The Obama's are now the image of the American Family and will inspire everything in the next few years. I am inspired by their hopeful and joyous outlook, Michelle's sense of style, their daughters' pride, and Barack's cool demeanor. I am looking forward to this First Family and their effects on the World. Additionally, I am inspired by their ability to mix the new with the old, the refined with the modern, and that unification is truly stylish.

If I were to plan a wedding with the Obama's as the inspiration, this is what it would partially look like.

My inspirations:

Tuxedo: Prada
Wedding Gown: Vera Wang
Tablescape: Your Image Floral, Ojai
Bridesmaids Dress: Maria Pinto
Flower Girl Dress: Un Deux Trois

I hope on this eve of a new America and history, you will also be inspired by what the Obama family will bring to the world. Here's to HOPE!


Photos tuxedo by Erik Swain, tablescape by Gloria Plunkett

Friday, January 16, 2009

Guest Blogger Fridays: Bonnie from Bonita J

Bonnie from Bonita J has been a guest blogger before and she has some great tips for picking the right bridal jewelry. I thought this was such an appropriate topic since most of my blogs this week has been on jewelry. In this blog Bonnie will be discussing choosing the right bridal bracelet. Enjoy!

Finding the Right Bridal Bracelet

A bridal bracelet adds that extra mile of sparkle and glamour to the wrist. Although bridal bracelets are not an essential accessory for a bride, they make a nice final touch, like icing on a cake. There are so many styles and options to choose from that you can’t go wrong with any selection.

A great place to begin your bridal bracelet accessory hunt is to take your gown style into consideration. Are you wearing a simple gown with no beading, or an over the top gushy gown with lace and gorgeous bustling? Additionally, you will need to decide if you want a more subtle and simple look on your wrist or a dramatic and glitzy look to finish off your accessory selections.

Additionally, you need to consider your gown's embellishments. Does your gown have pearls, crystals, rhinestones, bows, or is it simple and plain? When selecting your bridal bracelet choose materials that are found in your gown and incorporate those elements into your bridal bracelet. This will make it look like one cohesive look. If you have a simple gown with no embellishments, you have so many more choices, because you are not restricted in any way. You can not go wrong with going with a simple look or add an over the top, glitzy and glamorous piece to set off your gown.

Grouping several bridal bracelets together is another fashionable and trendy take on accessorizing. Maybe a single strand bracelet isn’t enough. You may want to pair it with a chunkier bracelet that has the same elements or several other bracelets to tie in the piece. Debra Messing at the 2009 Golden Globes did this by combining several gold toned bracelets with the same elemental gems and stones.

After you’ve selected the perfect bridal bracelet to finish off your look, remember that you don’t have to pack away your bridal jewelry after the wedding. Many brides pack away their tiaras, shoes, and gowns but the jewelry is one item from the day of your wedding that can be worn again and again, to keep those special memories close to your heart.

For more information on Bonita J:


Photos provided by Bonita J

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trend Thursday: Something Blue

Last year, I had told one of my brides that turquoise jewelry will be the next big thing and that she should look into getting a piece to wear on her wedding day. She looked at me as if I had three eyes. that Eva Mendes has busted out the bold Turquoise and Diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels with that white Dior dress at the 2009 Golden Globes, you can bet brides will be clamoring for this look and adding that turquoise stone as their something blue for their special day.

What I love and have always loved about Turquoise jewelry is the natural look it has and the instant "BAM" it gives when you are wearing it. Sure, people often think of Turquoise as being too "native" or too "western" but in reality, a lot of jewelers are making this rock look modern, as did Van Cleef & Arpels mixing it up with Diamonds. Additionally, for you green brides...Turquoise is a natural stone/gem and scarcity or mining them has not been an issue.

The other thing I love about Turquoise is the veining of the stone/gem. I love that look and the myriad of different shades of blues and greens it comes in. To me it makes such a statement regardless of how big or small the piece is. I can see grooms donning Turquoise cuff links, while the bride wears it as a necklace or bracelet. It would also make spectacular gifts for the wedding party. Fittingly Turquoise jewelry represents purity and in Europe, it is given as forget-me-nots or as a pledge of adoration.

I am willing to bet Turquoise will be the hottest accessory this season not only for brides but also for women hitting the town. Ditch the Pearls, the Amber, and the Colored Diamonds and opt for the spectacular blue. Get on the Turquoise bandwagon now before the prices of such pieces soar.


Photos: Eva Mendes from WireImage and Turquoise necklace and bracelet from NOVICA

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wacky Wednesdays: I ♥ Hot Cakes Design

I first discovered Hot Cakes Design when a friend of mine wore one of Caramia Coppola's carved resin design necklaces with the image of Frida Kahlo on it. Caramia was commissioned to do a piece of her splendid jewelry for the SFMoMA's (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) Kahlo exhibit last summer. I am really upset I missed the exhibit and even more upset that I was not able to buy one of those "Frida" necklaces for my sister-in-law for Christmas, she {hearts} Frida.

I called Caramia to see if I could order it directly from her and she said no, it was an exclusive piece for SFMoMA. Oh well. But she did have other designs in carved resin that was just as beautiful. Caramia's designs are definite statement piece of jewelry. They are bold. Though she does have more daintier designs for those looking to make a not so strong statement. Either way you go, your recipient will not be disappointed.

After looking into her art jewelry more, it was mentioned that she can customize her jewelry to fit a certain theme, wedding, event. I thought, wait a minute, did she just say "customize?" You mean I can choose anything to go into that clear acrylic center of your jewelry? SCORE!

Caramia's Hot Cakes Design make the perfect gifts for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, or any other special person in your life. You can customize the pics to suit the person you are gifting or choose from one of the stock images. How cool would it be to give cuff links to your best man with pics of his kids or even his beloved car? How about a ring or necklace with your maid-of-honors favorite pet? Talk about custom gifts. It is suggested for customized pieces to order 6-8 weeks ahead.

If you can't wait...check out her stock graphics at Hot Cakes Design. I am sure you will think they are spectacular too. Her stock carved resin necklaces retail for a mere $98 with $5 shipping or you can pick up a few of her pieces at her store Favor, located at 2420 Polk Street (at Union Street) in San Francisco. Trust me a close up look of these pieces will get you gals drooling. They are absolutely out of this world.


Photos from Hot Cakes Design

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday: Tipping Your Vendors

Tipping is one of the most frequent etiquette questions that I get asked by my clients...and it is such a hard question to answer. There is no right and wrong answer to this question.

I do believe that you should always tip your vendors, especially if they have done a superb job for you. It does not necessarily have to be a monetary tip, though it is nice to receive it, but you can send a gift of some sort later. Most service vendors will talk gratuities up front, but more and more, vendors are leaving that call to the client. It's about the level of service that you received and what they contributed to making your event spectacular.

You also have to look at your contracts and see if gratuities have already been written into them, but adding to that is, again, the client's call. Generally, the vendors who do not write gratuities into their contracts are planners, florists, bakers, photographers, rental companies, and videographers. While caterers, bar service, limo and car services, musicians and DJs do. But you have to read your contracts to make sure.

My suggestion is to bring some cash with you the night of the event. If you think you have gotten superb service from certain vendors or a certain person, I think it is appropriate for you to give them a tip. I would suggest anywhere between $50-$100 per person, or what you can afford, or what your budget will allow. You can give this to your planner to give out or you can hand them out personally before you leave your event. For your caterer, if they have not written a gratuity into your contract, you should consider a tip of 15-20%, just as if you were at a restaurant. This tip is usually divvied up and given to the waitstaff and shows your appreciation for the service they have provided to all your guests.

No matter if you tip or not, I think it is always a good thing to THANK your vendors by writing them a thank you card or even calling them and verbally thanking them after your event. The latter gives your vendors the ability to get your input on their product and talk about how they can better their service in the future. There is nothing better than hearing the words "Thank You for everything you've done" from your client. The ultimate "thank you" is a glowing referral for your vendors to share with future clients!


Photo from Stock

Monday, January 12, 2009

Inspiration Mondays: The 1980's

It's a new year and 2009 has so much to offer. But for some reason I am starting my first blog of the year, inspired by the 1980s. I am not sure if it's because I am turning 40 this year or because the 1980s brings back so much happy memories for me. I am even groovin' to 80s music as I write this blog.

At any rate I am inspired by "Like A Virgin" Madonna, Dynasty, New Wave Music, and the excess that the 80s offered. But I also appreciate the creativity of the 80s and the boldness that people had. People weren't afraid to step away from the norm.

So my old school inspiration includes pillared cakes or satellite cakes, classic stretch limos, lace, taffeta, bold design, cascading bouquets, gold gold gold, and of course the music of the era.

My inspirations:

Wedding Gown: Badgley Mischka
Bouquet: KS Flowers, Japan
Bridesmaids Gown: Michael De Paulo
China: The Tent Merchant
Cake: Cake Divas
Limo: Zeus Limos

I hope this helps you in designing your own 1980s inspired wedding. One thing to remember is that in the can do anything and everything was possible. So don't limit yourself. Watch some episodes of Dynasty, or put on some Duran Duran, or Bananarama to inspire you.


Photos from above mentioned sites

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