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Your Winter Wonderland Wedding

Monday, May 28th, 2012

If Snow White were to choose a theme for her wedding, it would surely be winter wonderland. What could be more romantic than a world blanketed by snow that glimmers with silver light? It is as though everything stood still, burrowing one world and revealing another, more mystical one. The sense of awe invoked by silhouettes of barren trees and dangling icicles – not unlike an ice kingdom – can induce white-hot glee in any ice queen.

The Setting

As the underlying mood of winter is sheer fantasy, a winter wonderland-themed wedding asks for a certain dramatic flair in its décor and ambiance. The lighting should be low, adding gentle warmth as if offering a beacon in the cold night. An open fireplace never hurts, especially if couches with snowy pillows are available for guests when the dancing stops.

Draping the hall in tulle and organza can set the tone, opening the way for tree-lined corridors featuring potted barren trees (or inventive topiary) that may be silver-sprayed or white-washed. Crystal candelabras, ice sculptures, branches in urns, silver platters and bells, and white-gloved waitstaff will all infuse a dreamy flair to the event. And, of course, winter wonderland invites doses of snowflake-reminiscent objects – from petals on the floor to party favors.

In addition, the pristine milkiness of winter wonderland delights when dotted with classic, rich jewel tones. The traditional white and silver, and white and blue may be interspersed with ruby, sapphire, or emerald – all of which are richly saturated and hence, stand out all the more against the white glaze.

The Flowers

When it comes to selecting flowers, at first think of white versions of orchids, hydrangeas, garlands, carnations, hellebore, Glory of the Snow, Star of Bethlehem, babies breath for a whimsical touch, and even an everlasting bouquet made entirely of crystal. Moreover, a bouquet of astilbes has a texture comparable to cashmere – a perfect fit for your winter-themed extravaganza. With a pinch of color to enhance the effect, your winter magic pops!

Your Special Winter Wonderland

While there are certain elements that are common to winter wonderland-themed weddings, make sure to contact an expert wedding planner to create a truly unique version of your theme. 1000 Fine Events has the magic wand to enliven your white wedding!

Why has America abandoned the Joys of Community Celebrations?

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

I just read an account of a visit to Europe from my friend Jenny Do. I agree that we here in America really have lost the “Community Spirit” in our holidays and celebrations. Even our Christmas & Thanksgivings are wonderful family celebrations but rarely involve our friends and neighbors. About the only time we gather together as communities is at 4th of July Celebrations where towns and fraternal organizations put on Fireworks shows and everyone picnics and Barbeques.

Why is the loss of Community so prevalent in today’s American Society?

After post-war era of the “Baby Boom’ and population shift to the Suburbs, America wanted to start to “get away from it all” and have uneventful, peaceful lives 30-40 miles out of town and the Commuter Generation took hold. We started to sequester ourselves in our vehicles, go to work in our cubicles, have meetings on the phone and return to our private homes at night, just to get up and do it all over…again and again, day after day! Now with the advent of the technology age, we are designing our own quarantined, shrink-wrapped lifestyles that eliminate our need for any other human contact!

Heck, even our ancestors got on leaky ships by the thousands to come to an unknown new land filled with (then thought to be) “viscous savages” just so they didn’t have to talk, go to church and have brunch with the neighbors they already lived with!

This isolation from the outside world is hopelessly engrained in our DNA!

Even our most precious Governmental Document, “the Bill of Rights” legislates the separation of Church and State to guarantee that the Business of day-to-day community is never blended with our personal religious gatherings and celebrations.
__________

Here in the Bay Area, my little town of Pleasanton, California provides a little ray of hope and truly embraces Community spirit through the production of regular Community Gatherings and events. Pleasanton preserves its turn of the 19th century downtown appearance with a throwback Main Street and many quaint Victorian and early Californian homes in the area.

Virtually one Saturday every month there is a Parade down Main Street celebrating everything from Youth Sports teams to Dog Parades, Classic Cars to Wine & Food Tasting treks. During Summer, First Wednesdays shut down Main Street for a Street Fair where merchants have sidewalk sales and Other Food and Novelty Vendors sell their wares to thousands of gatherers all with no admission, just gathering community. Every Friday in the downtown Parks there are 7:00pm Free Concerts that attract hundreds and hundreds of Pleasantonians who earlier that morning go through the 4:00am early towel placing ritual to race to get the closest staked out position closest to the Bandstand for that night’s show! Its hilarious to drive by at 6:00am Friday morning to witness a sea of beach towels strategically laid out in a park without a single person to be found.
Its almost as if these people genuinely like each other! The Horror!

As a country we seem to forget how much better a movie is with a group of people on a big screen rather than alone streaming on your computer. Why going to a Sporting events is always better than being on your couch. Why Renaissance Fairs used to be really cool places to semi-experience the communities of old. Why Cruising on Wednesday nights was so loved by young people back in the 60’s & 70’s.

It’s the people watching. It’s the new unexpected surprises that a group experience brings. It’s sharing conversation and laughs with people you don’t even know. It’s being amazed by wonders with complete strangers. It’s maybe meeting your future mate or falling in love arm in arm feeling like there’s no one else in the world amongst a crowd of 10,000 people. Community Festivals and Celebrations may be old school but nothing does more for the individual soul that a great gathering of many.

Psychologists say Families that eat dinner together every night have happier marriages and produce happier more successful children as well. Why wouldn’t that same concept work on a Community Scale?

Careful Pleasanton, your backward thinking is really annoying the technologically sequestered societarians that never leave their bubbles because they might miss an instant message! That’s okay…send them a text invitation to your next Main Street Party!

Steve Howard
Bay Area Wedding Fairs

 

Easter (Velikonoce) in Prague

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Despite the wicked wind and biting cold drizzles, Prague is still flooded with tourists from all corners of the world.  They pack like sardines in front of the Prague Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Square to watch it strike at the exact hour and to once more relive the story of the Resurrection.  Why so many people and why Prague?  It’s almost Easter and it’s a great time for this city, the seventh most visited in the world according to the locals, to display its Easter tradition – its eggs (kraslice), whips (pomlázka), and all – although the city itself has been known as one of the least religious in Europe.

As a designer, I can’t help but pay attention to how people express themselves visually, from simple store displays to complex environmental décors.  I find pleasure in all these details, big or small.  For Easter, Prague really goes all out.  The eggs theme is used widely, in so many different designs and shapes.  Many are cracked, most are exquisitely hand painted.  They saturate the Old Town with vibrant colors, lime, orange and yellow.

What I like the most is the way the eggs are suspended in the middle of bamboo-like structures.  This is an unusual way to display eggs – they appear light and fragile, but somehow ready to transform themselves, generating viewers’ expectations. A great source of inspiration for our future Easter wedding designs!

Prague does not favor simplicity.  All designs seem to be intentionally chaotic and unorganized.  Strings and vines are generously used.  Yet, among this anarchic mixture of things, there is a sense of joy, rebirth, and peace radiating everywhere.

People eat, laugh and talk by fire pits where hams are being smoked by dozens.  The icy wind continues to push them closer together in the Old Town Square and carries their singing higher in the air.  Hot wine is served at every corner.  The trees are blooming with multicolored eggs attached to swinging colorful strings.

I feel elevated walking among the eggs, colors, and strangers from different shores.  It would be so nice for the soul to feel this way in one of our Bay Area cities.
–Jenny Do

Planning your Vintage Wedding

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Planning Your Vintage Wedding

 

Credit on design to Amanda Allen with MMD Events and photograph to Gina Leigh

Vintage is all about selecting the few unique items that are symbolic of your personality, sensibility, and taste. With a piece of chintz, a passageway lit by lanterns, a tinkling chandelier,you can imbue the thoughtful grace of the past into the present moment. When placed in a rustic setting, vintage really comes to life.  Think vineyards, farmhouses, quaint inns, schoolhouses, and Spanish colonials; and also of mansions if the splendor of the Great Gatsby is more your style.

And while you may be celebrating simplicity on one hand, you may slip into the glamour of an old-fashioned bride or starlet of the silver screen — regardless if your look to your family album for
inspiration, to Audrey Hepburn’s elegance in the fifties, or to Josephine Baker’s cheekiness in the twenties.

 

Pick an Era…or Mix and Match a Few

When it comes to creating the vintage mood of your wedding, you may either pick a specific era or combine aspects from different ones. If, as a couple, you are both fans of the Mod scene in the sixties, why not stay true to it? Think beehive, an Empire line dress, vintage tea cups, incorporating bingo into the after party, and riding off into your future in a scooter.

photo credit to Renee Brock Photography

 

Now, if the Jazz Age is more your style, why not wear a drop-waist gown with a cap veil, serve Martinis, and bring down the house with your Charleston moves. Of course, you could recreate the splendor of a Scott Fitzgerald novel, hosting a sumptuous banquet with oodles of champagne, pearls, ivory white, and soaking up the sounds of Jazz in the freshly cut grass.

 

However, if you’re less concerned about period authenticity, you may be as tastefully eclectic as you wish. Once you go vintage, you are both embracing the element of serendipity in finding the right item of olde, and putting yourself in every detail you choose – it allows  you to create and innovate!

 

Discover and Reveal

Vintage also invites you to re-discover what may have been overlooked in the generations past. A Mason jar, for example, may have seemed to your grandma like nothing more than a utilitarian container for her apricot jelly, but be elevated to a vase status at your wedding. Milk jugs, tin cans, crochet table cloths…these simple objects can all add beauty and grace.

 

photo credit: sunny + scout photography

Part of the fun and charm of creating a vintage wedding is just that – finding and discovering what you think is wonderful, and inviting everyone to join in.

 

A Wedding Planner

Because of the highly personalized aspect of a vintage wedding, be sure to discuss your present inspirations with a wedding planner.  There are many details to creating the perfect ambience you can envision for your wedding, 1000 Fine Events can source all the hard-to-find items that will make your vision a reality!

Links for photo credits:

Amanda Allen with MMD Events http://mmdevents.com/

Gina Leigh  http://ginaleighphotography.com/

Renee Brock Photography http://reneebrock.com/

Sunny & Scout Photography  http://www.sunnyandscout.com/

 

 


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