Category Archives: Pretty Stuff

Spring is (almost) here: A visit to two special gardens

By | Callas, Hidden Chateau, Pretty Stuff, Stress Relief, Succulents | No Comments

I still don’t feel completely like myself, but I think it’s a psychological affect of being sick for so long I don’t know HOW to be well.  Folks, I got a mean case of this flu.  Now, it wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had – not by a long shot – it was rather mild; the problem was, it wouldn’t go away. Thursday afternoon, I was running around the backyard with my toddler; two hours later, I was shivering on the couch, noshing on crackers and anti-nausea meds.  Again, I’ve been way sicker, but what’s up with the off-on thing?

In old movies and romantic novels, when characters ‘take ill’, the doctor sends them to the country to recuperate.  So yesterday, feeling on the mend but spending all day on the couch to recover, I decided to straggle out of bed to make the appointment I made at the Hidden Chateau earlier this week.

Talk about recuperation..this place is absolutely heavenly. I met one of the owners, Jill, and her team, including the charming Carolyn, who is often on site for events draping, decorating, and overall holding down the fort.  Jill kept apologizing for the wintry wind-swept foliage, but I don’t know what the heck she was talking about – it was beautiful.

The ceremony space that later turns over to dining.

The space has a flowing layout and a sense of being in the  middle of nowhere – even though you’re in the West Valley of Los Angeles.  Being in the fresh post-rainfall air, walking around a lush garden and the charming store next door, was as good a cure as chicken soup.

The bride makes her entrance through this little passageway near the old stone building.

I had a little more outdoors therapy today, as well.   My father in law can grow ANYTHING – I’m not kidding. Today in his garden, we saw callas making an appearance for the first time this spring – and his succulents – he has thousands, he even sells them to my clients doing their own flowers! – are thriving.

Callas have such a noble, clean beauty, and as weddings have taken a modern approach, callas have become enormously popular.  They don’t just come in the large white variety – purple/white, deep pink, burnished orange – sky’s the limit. And they’re available nearly year ’round.

I can’t even keep track of the succulents my FIL has. I have three clippings of his that have been sitting in plastic cups for weeks, and I just keep refreshing the water and they keep growing…!  Once I put them in the ground, though, I’m not sure if they’ll flourish like Sergio’s.

After a weekend frolicking in the tulips, I finally feel decent again.  The doctors of yore had it right:  A day in the ‘country’ can cure just about anything.

Succulents are here to stay

By | Flowers, Pretty Stuff, Succulents, Vendors | No Comments

You can’t open a wedding mag or click on a bridal blog, without seeing quirky, cute, fresh and modern succulents.  They come in all shapes and sizes – to the point of being mind boggling:  There are even Flickr groups, forums, and websites devoted to succulent identification.

Succulents from my father in law's garden...set in water, they just keep growing!

Whatever the type or species, they are here to stay – adding texture and style to bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces.  They need to be worked with differently than flowers- wired for bouquets and many centerpieces, and some are fragile and shed ‘fingers’ if you’re not careful.

A client is researching succulents for her Palm Springs wedding; I combined Lisianthus and succulents together for an asymmetrical centerpiece.

On the other hand, they’re super hardy and you can plant them when you bring your bouquet home! They are naturals in our Mediterranean-esque climate and are so drought-tolerant, even little ol’ me can grow them.

Sweet little succulent - with bridal-white blooms - at the London West Hollywood rooftop.

Some vendors who work well with succulents:  Flower Duet, Gilly Flowers, and Tend.

And drool-worthy photos and spectacular inspiration here, here, and here!

Getting Hitched in Palm Springs: Off to the Ace, with a detour at Korakia

By | DIY, Flowers, Hitched, Planning, Pretty Stuff, Succulents | No Comments

Last night, coordinator/bride to be Dani and I headed to Palm Springs for the second bridal bash Hitched, this time in the desert (last year it was at Smog Shoppe).  This is a very fun, hip showcase of the latest and greatest contemporary event professionals in SoCal.

Along the way, we stopped at Korakia Pensione to take some scout pics for our upcoming P.S. wedding in May. I was introduced to Korakia many moons ago by a friend who lives part time in P.S., and fell in love. I’m abosolutely thrilled to be working there this spring.

The entrance to Korakia. Doors close, and it becomes the ceremony setting.

Then we headed to the Ace, another busy spot in Palm Springs with a hipster vibe that is as friendly as it is…well, hipster. (Sometimes the two don’t mix!).  Hitched was at the Commune, the part-desert, part-industrial-esque event space in the center of the hotel complex.  Lit fireplaces and twinkle lights set the mood for a crisp, festive evening.

Cozy outdoor lounges are sprinkled throughout the Ace.

Dani snapped up a hairpiece by Ban Do, a fantastical line of gems, poufs, and clips for hair, shoes, and dresses.  Ban Do featured heavily in the fashion show, and I thought it was clever that their pieces helped individualize the simplest of dresses.

Megan from Mae Mae Paperie (an invitation designer Dani met with for her own wedding) was in attendance, showing off her creative wares.  Save the dates, bridal shower invites, table number cards – nowadays the sky’s the limit for one’s stationary needs. While email has flourished, there’s been a new resurgence of old-fashioned snail-mail communication and elegant hand-crafted paper decor.  I, for one, am happy about this. (As long as recycling is involved, of course!  Yeah, yeah, I’m a hippie.)

I love succulents (and a blog post about them is forthcoming), but a little weary of dry grass, sticks, cacti, and billy buttons festooned about for weddings – if not used wisely, they look like a bunch of detritus and/or weeds.  So it was lovely to see this table, full of color, whimsy, and romance by Carter and Cook.

That said, there was some amazing stuff with cacti, like this table by Sugar and Fluff. The succulent driftwood piece is amazing, and the wood-stemmed silverware works so well with this rustic/modern look.

Setting these rustic elements ontop of a clear tabletop keeps the design organic and fresh.

We drove home in some rain and wind, but made it back to L.A. safe and sound, gossiping about this-and-that while Dani poked through the gift bag.  The fact that I get to go to these kinds of events for work and research?  Gotta love it.

Pretty Stuff: “Still Life”s from Fabulous Photographers

By | Don't Smile Now, Flowers, Karen Leah Photography, Katie Robertson Photography, Pretty Stuff, Rings, Shirvan Design, Stephanie Yantz Photography, Still Life Shots | No Comments

Ah, the ‘ring shot.’ No, it’s not a last-minute 3-pointer from Derek Fisher, but rather, the posing and lighting of the rings that photographers do so well.

I had started to blog about city noise ordinances, and it was so doggone boring that I decided to just put up pictures of pretty stuff. And the stuff I find so pretty are these gorgeous ‘still lives’ of the meaningful symbols of the wedding day.  Enjoy.

Flowers! Rings! Photo by Karen Leah Photography.

Callas by Shirvan Design, photo by Karen Leah Photography.

Close up of the bling by Stephanie Yantz Photography.

Capturing ring, flowers, and stationary design. Stephanie Yantz Photography.

Flowers by Jackie Combs Floral Design, photo by Katie Robertson Photography.

Escort cards look light and pretty. Shani Barel/Don't Smile Now Photography.

A nice spin on the 'shoe shot'. Karen Leah Photography.

I love the texture of the wood. Photo by Shani Barel of Don't Smile Now Photography.