Thursday, April 30, 2009

wedding movie catch up: Bride Wars & Rachel Getting Married

On Tuesday, I went to visit 7-Degrees and dropped off some samples. The drive out to Laguna Beach was so relaxing, I decided to spend the rest of my Tuesday away from the computer. Instead, I opted to catch up on some wedding entertainment and stopped by redbox's $1 DVD rental machine (love it!)! I picked up "Rachel Getting Married" and "Bride Wars," plopped on the sofa with my two little dogs, and watched two completely different movies. Anne Hathaway plays a main role in both of these movies.

Of the two, I found "Bride Wars" to be more entertaining. "Rachel Getting Married" is a pretty somber movie, and I probably wouldn't watch it again -- no where near a "feel good" movie. Put it this way, Hathaway plays an addict-coming-out-of-rehab who comes home right before her sister's wedding. Hmm. BUT, what I did see was a pretty cool wedding rehearsal and very cultural wedding reception! I wouldn't recommend it to any bride currently planning her wedding -- it'll most likely stress you out. Anyways, I was glad I watched "Bride Wars" afterwards -- Hathaway and Hudson had me laughing! If you haven't seen it, it's pretty funny...(note: refrain from clicking on "CLICK FOR FULL POST" 'if you don't want me to spoil it for you...i'm going to go into some details)

The story: Hathaway and Hudson play best friends who grow up together. They attend a tea party with their mothers at the grand Plaza Hotel in New York, which ends up becoming a venue of high interest for the two girls. As kids, they dream of their fairytale wedding, rehearsing their wedding together, and pretty much planning every detail until adulthood. These were girls who were ready to tie the knot at 16! Anyway, they get engaged within days of one another and the official planning begins. The turning point is when their venue (the Plaza Hotel) screws up on their bookings and one of them has to change their wedding date. A competitive showdown emerges and the "ugly" comes out of both Hathaway and Hudson. It's a hysterical movie that showcases funny scenes relating to common wedding topics.

These girls go to the extreme in sabotaging each other. Personally, I don't know how they managed to terrorize each other to that extent and still remained friends. It didn't seem realistic, but then again, I enjoyed the comical scenes throughout the movie.

Hathaway becomes a victim of one of Hudson's motives. The result: an orange tan.

To get revenge, Hathaway switches out Hudson's hair dye prepared by the stylist.

The stunning brides at the Plaza Hotel on the day of their wedding. . . .(click for full post)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

utterly chic wedding {04.18.09} :: NR3 Video Highlights!

So, last night, before I hit the sack, I decided to make one last stop on my computer...AND I got an email from John and Norma of NR3 Video Productions (San Diego, CA) that they completed the Benitez/Evangelista wedding highlight video! OMG -- thanks, NR3! I've talked so much about this wedding, I figured I'd just let you enjoy the video by such true talents, John and Norma....swwweeeeeet!

Tricia & Ron Same Day Edit Wedding Highlights April 18, 2009 from nr3videoproductions on Vimeo
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wedding forecast by JM :: recessionista

With all recent, drastic economic changes, it was appropriate to make my first “Wedding Forecast” post about the effects of the economy and some ways to facilitate wedding spending. The challenges brought on by these economic changes have struck a sense of nervousness and uncertainty with many couples planning their wedding. Don’t feel discouraged; really, it’s a time to be proactive and be resourceful! We want you to celebrate the happy times and are here to help. For those who have opted to tighten up the wedding budget, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the event you’ve always envisioned. Did you know, with b&w, we can pass along vendor referrals and discounts, possess more leverage in the negotiation process of contracts, and can find creative ways to impress your guests through economical means?

Take a look at the non-traditional centerpiece from one of our events. It had guests talking as this was no faux cake. The resourceful bride fostered the idea of having wedding cakes at each table. It was the centerpiece and additional dessert course, and cake slice boxes placed at each table setting tempted guests to take a piece for the ride home. We’re finding a trend in flowerless centerpieces and a desire for edible table décor that doubles as a wedding favor. That's an easy savings of nearly $2,000 to 3,000!

Individual Kona Cake centerpieces at the Salazar/Delenela Wedding

Individual cake centerpiece with table number tag

Pink Cake Box (2-tiered individual cakes for each guest); nicely stack these cakes in the center of the table

TIP: Next month, there are a couple of bridal events in the Los Angeles area geared toward the budget conscious brides and grooms.

The Recession Bride’s Workshop
Saturday, May 9, 2009
The Gallery at Market Lofts
645 W. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
$20.00 per person or $30.00 per couple
(Includes free tickets to an upcoming bridal show)
Lunch and wedding cake will be served
Contact Liz Coopersmith to make your reservation {}

I highly recommend this next one. Sassy City Chicks hosts various sample sales in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. They will debut the “Bridal Budget Bash” looking over the Marina in Los Angeles.

Bridal Budget Bash
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Marina Del Rey Marriott
4100 Admiralty Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Advanced 2 for 1 VIP Ticket: $10 (Includes early entry, gift bag and complimentary spa services)
General Admission: $3 (Sold at door, cash only, entry begins at 11:00am)

Stayed tuned for my next blog where I list some of my favorite bridal shows. They are always a blast!
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Monday, April 27, 2009

new face to bellz & whistlez :: janissa m.

An addition to the team! Introducing (drum roll)… Janissa Mendoza, Event Coordinator for b&w! Actually, Janissa (Jae) has worked a few events with us, since Dec. 2008, but I thought I'd make a formal (blog) introduction since 1) I didn't have a chance to do one months ago and 2) she will begin posting blogs for you readers to enjoy -- LOOK OUT! We are truly excited, as Janissa comes with tons of event planning experience and has proven great synergy with the team. Just seeing her bio on paper has already motivated me to expose her talents -- this is what she does, who she is, and what she loves.

Janissa Mendoza, b&w Event Coordinator

Did you know:
  • As a teen, Janissa was already coordinating social events, weddings and productions
  • She worked with her dad's company, Forex Cargo of San Diego, coordinating meetings, conferences and concerts
  • In 2005, She graduated from SDSU with a BS in Business Management and a Minor in Dance
  • and then in 2006, earned a Professional Certificate in Meeting and Event Planning from SDSU College of Extended Studies
  • Upon graduation, Janissa worked with some of the largest and most acclaimed companies in the industry: Classic Party Rentals, PRA Destination Management, the IVY Hotel
  • Is currently the Meetings & Events Coordinator for the luxurious, sexy and chic IVY Hotel in San Diego, CA where she has gained experience in show room visual merchandising, planned corporate events, cultivated relationships with vendors, and helped create unique and high-end affairs
B&W strives to understand a couple's needs and see eye-to-eye (and then some) when it comes to planning and designing. And Janissa's ability to do just that, along with her professionalism and positive outlook are what makes her an asset to the team and any couple she works alongside. She even has a great sense for fashion, which is a "plus" to her bio, since b&w spends lots of time spotting excellent design, trends, and new ideas to event planning. If you're interested in custom-designed bridesmaid dresses, ask Janissa!

A quote from JM:
My LOVE for fashion speaks volumes. I've gained experience as an assistant buyer and e-commerce associate, taking note of forecasts and trends relating to events & fashion. I've also designed dresses for years ranging from day/casual, cocktail frocks, to formal wear.
Janissa's goals for b&w:
  • Assist with marketing efforts for business development, increase exposure, and share knowledge of the industry
Look for future "Wedding Forecast" posts! Janissa will be our go-to lady for upcoming bridal events, sample sales, budgeting tips, and everything "in the new."
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Friday, April 24, 2009

INTERIOR DEZIGN: Demel Chocolatiers

Our first Interior Dezign post highlights Demel Chocolatiers, in Salzburg, Austria. This would be considered a higher-end café which serves specialty desserts and chocolates -- a complete YUM! Demel was quite a find, since most of Europe has fascinatingly old architecture and design. Actually, in Salzburg, our accommodations were pretty modern, simple, much like Swedish design. Back to Demel, the interior grabbed me because it was the first posh café we visited, and the only. I loved the color scheme.

Left Top: Two pinspot lights make a heart to frame DEMEL; Right: Stair well wall made of ivory leather

My $6 cappuccino (took me four sips and I was done!)

In the front of the café, several ornately decorated cakes framed the entrance. We entered the café and pushed through a heavy, purple velour drape and stepped onto a dark wooden floor. Ahh..I didn't expect to see the interior designed the way it was -- minimal, posh, and purple & pink. Sitting here made me think about color schemes and all sorts of ideas. It was true interior dezign inspiration.

Left: simple mauve vase on top of fuschia felt; Right: ornate cake in front window

Marble shelves displaying chocolate packaging and a wedding cake!

Camel color leather chair; I was sitting on a brown, velour love seat.

Wedding cake wonder

I'm a sucker for packaging -- had to take a photo of these.

Austrian pastries
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

b&w appreciates your company

Thanks, all, for visiting the blog. The "utterly chic wedding" has brought in many visitors, and we appreciate all who've made time to check out our work! Just a note, we are anxiously awaiting the gorgeous photos taken by Ron & Trish's professional photographers, Ben & Kirin of BKM Photography (San Diego, Ca). Won't be for several weeks, so hang in there! ;) If you have any questions for us regarding this wedding, feel free to shoot us an e-mail at: We'd love to hear from you. . . .(click for full post)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

utterly chic wedding {04.18.09} :: details!

All right! We posted some (take note on the word, "some") of the details. (Images of the invitations and the assembly process will be posted later -- that, alone, was a separate challenge.) The Benitez/Evangelista was one of our design+invitation+coordination projects, and because we were chosen to take on this stunning event, we put on our hard hats to produce some of the most custom work just for this special couple. It took so many hours of labor to perfect the smallest of details, sewing, gluing, designing, arranging...the tasks go on. Much of the design/assembly work was done in-house, by b&w, amidst a crazy schedule juggling other wedding projects and corporate design work, though Ron & Trish did get their hands dirty and helped with the programs and favor tags. To do all of this takes time-management, patience, creativity, and an eye for consistency. Coordination was at the other end of the stick, handled by Cyril, who worked with the couple and vendors in mastering all the logistic details for the big day. In any case, enjoy "some" of the details...yes, there were more bellz & whistlez to this affair.

It's all about creating a cohesive vision, and you'll see how the details made such a huge impact on the overall look of the reception. Yes, the details do matter!

View of the sweets station with a gobo wash above and a "low" centerpiece table.

Custom bellz&whistlez overlays (fabric chosen by the bride) on top of silver satin underlays provided by Concepts Party Rentals.

LEFT: Tall centerpiece table with silver chargers, fuschia lamour napkins; RIGHT: table # and program

Here are more photos of the interior of the reception and a board of DETAILS!

With the use of upgraded LED lighting and textured gobos, a dramatic environment was created.

The sweets station, "The Sweetest Way to End the Sweetest Day." (minus decorative votives)

Interactive "The Gutted Picture Frame" Station; set up during cocktail hour; Cyril and I were packing up at the end of the night...had to get a photo!

Below is a collage of all the "bellz & whistlez" that accompanied the event design. You're looking at some photos of details taken at my house before the wedding. The custom ring pillow and pin cushions we sewed are also in this collage!

If you're wondering about the rad cake, b&w designed/sketched the cake to match the overlay material. Trish then added to the design of the cake by requesting me to make a "bling bling" cake topper and cake base sash with glamorous rhinestones, silver trim, and satin. She also had her florist, Laura, dress the cake with flowers.

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utterly chic wedding {04.18.09} :: photos by Elvee & Dustin

Here are some photos, taken by Elvee & Dustin Froehlich, two of Ron's fabulous relatives/guests AND the brilliant pastry chefs behind the yummy cupcakes displayed at the Sweets Station! They were so kind to allow me to post some of their fab photos that they captured on the big day. Thanks, Elvee and Dustin! (Photo credit goes to both Elvee and Dustin)

The happily married bride and groom (Trish and Ron).

Cake baked by Hans & Harry.

The Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá

Elvee's velvet cupcakes
Tall centerpiece by Flowers by Laura

The cute ringbearer, Isaiah Benitez
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

utterly chic wedding {04.18.09} :: SUCCESS!!

Weeks of working till the wee hours of the night perfecting the "bellz and whistlez" for this wedding paid off, as we celebrated the success of an "utterly chic" wedding! Ron Benitez and Tricia Evangelista were hitched at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala and partied with 330 of their family and friends at the gorgeous Omni Hotel in Downtown San Diego. It was a truly remarkable event, as we took on one of the most challenging programs completely customized by the groom himself, and also coordinated with a 9-piece live band! This was no piece of cake. The impeccable detail, motivated bride and groom, 5-star service at the Omni, wonderful vendors, and party-loving guests were several parts to the success of this wedding. In the end, B&W did a swell job with this one-of-a-kind reception, being a key role in managing the program and working diligently with all 11 vendors who dipped their hands into the reception alone. Yes -- 11 just for the reception! We will post some images soon. In the meantime, here's the hotttt couple during their engagement shots taken by BKM Photography and the b&w team, hard at work and having fun!

My right hand women, Janissa and Cyril, b&w coordinators, setting up the escort card table. 330!

Another cool, funky, fresh bellz&whistlez idea, "The Gutted Picture Frame!!" Myself taking a pic...this photo station was such a success! Thanks to 5&A Dime for the "-staches!!" Can you see the custom bellz&whistlez overlays behind me?! . . .(click for full post)

Friday, April 17, 2009

update :: {4/17 - 4/19}

Just a note that I'll be out today -- traveling to sunny San Diego for another spectacular bellz&whistlez event! Have a great weekend and enjoy the awesome weather! . . .(click for full post)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

wedding day etiquette :: Emily Post

Upon a productive assembling day with the bride and groom (for this Saturday's wedding), a topic came up in our conversation: Wedding-day Etiquette (…or put simply, how to act on the big day). Sounds like a 5-yr-old hand-slapper sort of subject, but it was a valid one. For me, every time I visualize any kind of formal event, especially a wedding, I gravitate towards one word that always seems to sum up how a bride and groom should present themselves, and that word is: "graciously." But, I think it's more than just one word; there are actual ground rules for etiquette that are ideal to follow on a couple's big day. And one person who knew it all was Emily Post -- she revolutionized wedding-day etiquette.

Emily Post (1872–1960)

Today, the word, "etiquette," is still attached to Emily Post's name. Born in 1872, Emily was raised as an only child and attended Miss Graham's finishing school in New York, a private educational facility that trained students in cultural and social activities. By the time she was an adult, she began to write, developing novels, magazines stories, and newspaper articles, but what really stood out was one book in particular, Etiquette (full title Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home), 1922. It was this book that would eventually become a best seller, proving its popularity over decades, and the initiation of The Emily Post Institute, founded in 1946.* Her family took over her business after she passed in 1960. Today, the institute is a renowned etiquette resource for major corporations and publications. They have enlisted in a number of subjects, including everyday etiquette, kids, business, and weddings.**

Her daughter, Peggy Post, is the recent author to the line of wedding related etiquette books. I have browsed through several of these books and found insightful messages. Some may seem a bit strict, but for me, I was able to understand clearly that the bride and groom are the focal point of any wedding, and that all eyes and ears are on them. Their books give insight to things like, properly greeting a guest, how to dine, how to verbally thank people. Awesome info!

"Wedding Etiquette" by Peggy Post, Emily's daughter

I'd like to share some notes:

  • "Gracious" is my key word. IMPORTANT! Be gracious in your tone of voice, what you say, your posture, how you move across the room, how the two of you communicate, how you dine and take a seat, say "hello," acknowledge an issue, etc. On your big day, the two of you are the King and Queen.
  • Greet your guests. IMPORTANT! Your guests saved the entire day for you. They made a decision to become part of your day by bearing witness to a milestone event. Exchanging a few words, or even a hand shake or hug, will be appreciated.
  • Try to stay together. I know, I know. You both have friends you'd like to say, "hi," to, but frankly, guests want to congratulate the both of you, and almost always want to sneak in a candid photo with the two of you. And I'm not being literal, eg, going to the bathroom together, but try to stay together during important parts of your reception events, like dinner, photo montage, toasts, etc. As a coordinator, trying to find the groom who went off to take a peek at his friend's new ride in the parking lot while the video montage is rolling, isn't fun. Another thing, let someone know (either your spouse or coordinator) your whereabouts.
  • Communicate with your coordinator/planner. IMPORTANT! While b&w works so that one coordinator personally helps out the newlyweds, it is still important to voice your needs and ask questions. If you're not happy with the food, are still hungry after dinner, want to take a restroom break, or want to know where your parents are, the coordinator is there to go find the answer. We're your personal concierge.
  • Posture and smile. It can be uncomfortable, but you are the stars of the show after all! You eventually become accustomed to all the camera flashes from the professional photographer and your guests, so a good piece of advice would be to stand tall and poised. Ladies, designate a "beauty" assistant from your bridal party to let you know when you need to touch up makeup, or when bobbi pins are falling out, or even if your dress is not bustled properly. Last thing, smile! Your photos are one of the only physical momentos you'll keep, and you'll def want to look stunning.
  • Try to minimize (or better, control) the alcohol intake on your wedding day. It's easy to become dehydrated simply by the effects of stress and being on your feet all day. (The drunken debauchery/wild night should have already taken place -- at the bachelor/bachelorette parties.) If you can't seem to hold off from your favorite cocktail, visit the bar some time towards the end of the evening, after the dance floor has opened. Ladies, using the restroom is challenging and requires addt'l help.
  • Send out "thank you" cards as soon as you have time. Ahh, the day after: opening the wonderful presents and cards and counting the honeymoon funds. So fun! In reality, some guests can't wait to hear your reaction when opening the gift they spent an afternoon trying to find. Though you may verbally thank them in person, it's still proper to send out a formal, written thank you note. Also, try to do this in a reasonable amount of time; the sooner (days or weeks), the better.
On a fun note, thought I would end with this funny photo I found on the web. This clearly had to be done on purpose.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

BIG day approaching :: "utterly chic wedding"

I mentioned in my previous post that I was making a custom ring pillow (I will show you later, I promise!). I may as well add that the B&W team has been working full speed while counting down to one of our much anticipated weddings of the year -- and hand-made nearly EVERYTHING! From the exquisite invitation ensemble, to utterly chic table numbers, to a personalized guest book, to a custom card box…rad programs…custom table overlays…table design…charming pin cushions…oh, my..the list goes on…this utterly chic wedding is far from the traditional white wedding and screams "style." It's "much anticipated" for bellz&whistlez because the groom is also in the wedding industry -- a face quite often seen at receptions. He has worked many weddings, so the pressure to "spectacularize" his and his fiancé's big day was (is!) on! We've been extremely busy these last few weeks…and now onto the final days. B&W is just about finished with the details and master itinerary -- just have to pack the boxes, and the bride and groom will have several days to unwind with family and friends. Yes…with B&W, having a few days to yourselves during the final week is possible!
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

project ring pillow

I decided I needed to permanently set up my sewing machine, partly after blogging about Etsy! Another reason: it was time to tackle the custom ring pillow for the wedding that we've been working so hard on all year! (BTW, it's next Saturday...and I can't wait to share this stunning event!) I was actually scheduled to sew all the custom overlays for the wedding, but because of my trip to Europe, I outsourced the labor, which saved me lots of time. Anyhow, I sat in front of my machine, which had been sitting in my office for a while, and it was no surprise that DIY projects began to pop up left and right -- I got so excited, imagining things I could make and sell on Etsy. Reality was, I had to focus on what I was going to accomplish: making a ring pillow. I started my sewing adventure by making a "practice" pillow to get me back in sewing mode.

A little note, I'm only going to show photos of my "practice pillow" and refrain from showing the real pillow since I'd like to share the details for our upcoming event after it takes place. Bummer!

I finished the first part, the pillow, which was rectangular shaped. Size=10x5.5; Fabric: Polysatin (I didn't iron it flat before I stuffed it, so the edging isn't quite square). Read more to see the final product!

NOTE: It is very challenging to work with satins or any slippery fabric, and I think my attempt turned out to be all right...thank goodness for my satin footer.

I added satin ribbon and lace trim and offset its placement.

Voila! I added a cool button I found in my button collection and it was done! Again, I didn't iron it before I stuffed it, so the edges aren't nice and flat -- it was just a practice pillow.
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happy easter!

Remember egg hunting with all the neighbors? . . .(click for full post)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

the clutch :: bridal accessories from Etsy

Today, I'm writing about an important bridal accessory: the bridal clutch. What I love about clutches is that they're relatively small, easy to hold, and definitely do not take away from the bride's overall look. They're used to carry small wedding day necessities: lip/chap stick, powder, oil blotters, gum or mints, license/credit card(s), bobbi pins, some money, etc. For the modern bride who is always looking to either personalize or glam up elements of the wedding, finding a vintage, textured, and even colored bridal clutch is a great way to do it. Check out these fabulous finds on (Notice most of these aren't white!)

If you haven't visited, you're missing out. Etsy's tag line speaks for itself: "Your Place to Buy and Sell All Things Handmade." I regularly visit the site to check out hand made art, whether it be engraved materials, paper, pillows, totes, jewelry…you name it. The site showcases the works of many talented artists around the world. One day, just one day, I'll find time to use my sewing machine to make some hand made goodies to sell…and I'll definitely be utilizing Etsy!

These hand sewn clutches are fab finds and don't cost an arm and a leg. If you're planning on buying a clutch for your big day, consider a hand made, one-of-a-kind accessory…and check out Etsy's site. You'll be supporting our small businesses, the self-employed, and the hard-working artist community! One last tid bit, these clutches double their purpose, as they can easily be worn again…on a night out!

Above: Viabella "Spa Blue" | $49

Above: La Vita Lola "Hollywood Regency" | $55

Above: Percy Handmade "Kiki" | $30

Above: Fiazco "Jill Collection Lined w/ Robbins Egg Silk" | $65 . . .(click for full post)