Friday, May 29, 2009

INTERIOR DEZIGN: I found bugs in Forever 21!

I went to Brea mall this past weekend to do some window shopping and to find some inspiration. I ended up spotting the topic of my next Interior Dezign post. What did I find? Bugs -- paper bugs! My husband motioned me to enter the hat store next to Forever 21, but couldn't help but notice Forever 21's windows -- I had to stop! I found paper bugs adorned with fascinating neck jewelry/chokers and paper flowers that stood 3 feet tall! From the looks of it, the torso and heads of the 4-legged ants look like they're made out of paper mâché. I commend the designer who put this visual concept together. Love the choice of bright spring colors and materials. And I also liked the swing that one of the little critters sat creative! (Excuse the glare, I was on the other side of the glass taking pics!)

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

BKM Photography :: utterly chic wedding posted

We had the privilege of working with Ben and Kirin Macapugay of BKM Photography based out of sunny San Diego, CA. They do amazing work and have recently updated their blog with none other than Ron & Trish's wedding! BKM put together a pretty cool slideshow that journaled the fabulous wedding, complete with music that brought a smile to my face. They take great photos and most importantly, are super personable. Roman (their cute little one) is in for a treat when he grows up -- lucky boy gets to learn photography from pros -- I'm jealous!

Three teaser shots from the blog. Check them out!

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utterly chic invitations

We hope you enjoyed the post about the printing process. On that note, I've finally posted some pictures of the custom invitations we made for the "utterly chic wedding!" These took on an intense printing and production process. From lining the 175 envelopes with printed vellum to having a custom metal die cut made for the outside jacket, this job was purely one-of-a-kind. The design is original, and we would never duplicate it.

Photo above: Invitation is wrapped with sheer metallic ribbon; (upper left) ceremony program

Photo above: Inside of invitation; lined envelope; belly band to hold response card and tri-fold

Design challenge: Chic+Rad. These invitations incorporated the geometric shapes found in the custom linen that overlaid each table. To combine chic + rad was quite a challenge, but we managed to do it...and we even added a little Sinatra feel (which tied into the groom's attire). It took some time to design and it was our job to ensure we were meeting the bride and groom's vision. We used metallic paper, cotton paper, vellum, sheer metallic ribbon and even adhered custom linen labels to the envelopes -- a complete play on using a variety of cool, modern materials. Feel free to check out our "details" post to see the other details that incorporated the theme.

Invitations make a big difference when they tie into the wedding's theme. This was the first design component of the utterly chic wedding, and one that would eventually become a big part of the paper details.

Photo above: Outside of invitation (jacket) is custom made. We designed the triangle flap and had a custom metal die made to trim the jacket; Frank Sinatra stamps and a custom address label for the outer envelope.

Photo above: Tri-fold with additional information.

Photo above: Response card with metallic envelope and custom wrap around return label. We also designed their monogram.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

operation press check!

At b&w, we design and create custom, one-of-a-kind wedding stationery. They are usually requested by brides & grooms who've planned a cohesive event down to their paper goods, and by those who make it a priority to create a wonderful first impression of things to come. The process from meeting the couple to receiving the invite in the mail is a meticulous one -- it takes almost 5 months to nail a custom invitation job. We pretty much start out with a blank canvas, actually, just ideas. I wanted to share what it's like to peep the printing process and me doing a press check at an actual press -- YES, our invitations are printed at a professional print house like this one.

Photo above: a 6-color commercial press (this thing is HUGE!); wedding invitations that are printed offset are usually done with a 40-inch press

Photo above: two rolls of paper..yes, paper (they were almost as tall as me)

Photo above: Stacks of printed sheets of my project

I've been doing professional graphic design for 8 years now, and continue to do freelance corporate work for a variety of clients, large and small. Keeps me in tune with the industry and allows me to expand my creativity. I'm on a press check (when I go on-site a printer's facility to check the colors, layout, and all the bells and whistles, before the pressmen print 100s of thousands of them!) to oversee two food packaging sleeves that are in your local grocery store. This is very similar to a wedding invitation job. The difference is that the printer used for wedding invites is much smaller and the quantities printed are much less. Nonetheless, it's an important part of the printing process, and one that you'll only get with b&w.

Photo above: The pressman is about to run the second sleeve. He's using a color indicator to check the colors on the sample sheet. If they are too saturated, he'll adjust the 6-color press and reprint until the colors are to my liking.

Photo above: Job running through a UV coating machine. This is what adds the gloss and additional protection.

Photo above: Job about to run through a die cutting machine. This is where the food package will get its shape.

For a wedding job, a similar process takes place. Paper comes to me in huge sizes. I usually hand deliver the specialty paper to my printer, where they will cut it down or have custom die cuts trim the paper. They deliver all the pieces to me shrink wrapped and in boxes. The next step is assembling..and that's a totally different story.
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Monday, May 25, 2009

memorial day

It's Memorial Day and we hope you are enjoying your day off! Just want to say, "thanks," to our brave military men and women, especially those who've fallen during military service. We pay homage to you...

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

get fancy with a bolero

Ever wonder what those mini jackets are called -- the gorgeous furry or lace ones seen in magazines? I have, and I found out that they've been given lots of names! In Edwardian times, people referred to them as "capelets (caplets)." But in Spain, they coined them as "boleros." I've also come across the terms, "cover ups," "wraps," "shrugs," even "shoulderettes." Which ever term is correct, they serve the same purpose(s), and I'm a fan! I'm going to choose the word "bolero" in this post, simply to make it easier on myself in describing these beauties!

For some reason, boleros have always seemed very couture to me. Maybe it's the thick, white fur with the dainty satin ribbons that gave me an extremely formal impression, or the capped-sleeve, lace bolero with the Victorian neckline that made the bride look extremely poised, or the elaborate ruffles and form-fitting sleeves that seemed to frame a bride's face and neck, but with such delicacy. Can't quite seem to formulate the words, but I just know it's an easy way to get fancy.

Boleros have several purposes:
  • To keep warm. For a winter wedding, a chic fur bolero will keep you warm and is definitely fashionable. You don't have to spend an arm and a leg. Many faux fur boleros are for sale.
  • To cover up. Some houses of worship have strict guidelines, which require brides (and any other females in the bridal party) to cover up during the ceremony.
  • To accessorize. Use a bolero to dress up any gown, simple or elaborate. For me, it's very fashionable if the right bolero is worn.
  • To change into a "reception" dress. Changing into a second bridal gown or evening gown for the reception is still popular. One easy way to do this without buying a 2nd dress is to simply put on a bolero. Try using one that is form fitting and complements your dress. Easy way to create a 2nd look for the reception.
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Exquisite Weddings stages photoshoot at Sè San Diego!

JM's previous forecast highlights new gems found in the Southern California area. She also gave me insight into a recent event that took place at one of her finds. Sè San Diego proves to be one of the highlights of the upcoming venues for 2010, as Exquisite Weddings Magazine, one of San Diego's premier, local publications, chose to stage their recent gown photoshoot on site! JM's right on top of her wedding forecast! I swoon at the interior of Sè San Diego, which boasts texture after texture after texture. Check out these pages from the magazine! For additional online previewing, click here.

For the interior design fanatics, you know texture is important. Whether your canvas is contemporary, country, old world, or purely swank, texture will always be an important element. At b&w, we utilize inspiration, esp from wonderful photos like these (taken by Aaron Feldman of True Photography), to create a reception interior with purposeful design.

Texture's not only found in the backdrops, but right in the foreground -- the gowns! If you haven't noticed, texture is what's hot right now. Far from the simple, a-line dresses with minimal beading, 2009s-2010s gowns are going to be loaded with texture: ruffles, feathers, pickups, delicate edging, and tons of lace...i heart LACE!

EW Photo/Crew Credit: Produced and styled by Alyssa McNees. Photography by Aaron Feldman of True Photography, 858.345.1248, Hair and makeup by Manuel Benevides / MAC and Sebastian. Hair and makeup assisted by Jo-Ann Dobson. Jewelry provided by Justine M. Couture, Little Italy, 619.744.9990, Flowers by Kathy Wright & Co., Mission Valley, 619.299.2520, Gowns pressed by Margaret’s Cleaners, La Jolla, 866.454.2375, Models: Lacey James, Jaime Paetz, Kaylee Quilling, Tayler Rose, Nora Salem and Scarlett Vapella; Next Management, LLC, Beverly Hills, 323.782.0010, Shot on location at Sè San Diego, downtown, 619.515.3013,
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

wedding forecast by JM :: untouched territory

At Bellz & Whistlez, we do the discovering, and you do the partying. So check out these three Southern California properties -- LoftSEVEN, Sè San Diego, and Shorebreak Hotel -- all showcasing personalities true to their location. You'll easily "wow" your guests by opening the doors to a completely different environment.

Premiering in Los Angeles is LoftSEVEN. Created with the entertainment industry in mind, this new penthouse is ready to handle any event. Corporate parties, weddings, private screenings, bridal events, photo shoots, filming, you name it. Atop the Haas Building and former Broadway Exchange, you will find this residence decked out with a large marble bar, a ten foot drop down digital HD projector screen and a kitchen for your chef of choice.

Take the stairs or step into the private elevator and ascend to the rooftop, stocked with barbeques, a wraparound sound system, catering kitchen and mounted on a helipad, a glass enclosed Jacuzzi suited for twenty! All while being surrounded by unobstructed views of the city.

Heading south, the historic district of Downtown San Diego has evolved into quite a dynamic playground. The iconic Sè San Diego is the new kid on the block and no detail was overlooked. Experience the ultimate in contemporary chic with an Asian inspired design that blends old world beauty with a modern vibe. The establishment is sheathed in exotic woods, fabrics and textures, complementing the high-touch sensory aesthetic. You will encounter black ebony columns adorned with turquoise patina beads, teardrop crystals, a stingray skin lined bar, cascading shell curtains and a three dimensional gold foil map of San Diego with a small light indicating where Sè San Diego is.

While I have viewed the space, I have yet to try their menu but I cannot fathom the thought of leaving Suite & Tender unmentioned. Suite & Tender is a softer, more sophisticated take on the typical steakhouse designed by renowned interior designer Dodd Mitchell. I was awestruck by the impressive décor. The swanky restaurant is visually stunning combining a liberal use of brown leather and dark wood with glass, concrete and modern lighting.Sè San Diego truly radiates the height of luxury.

In between LA and SD, ride the waves into Shorebreak Hotel which just opened earlier this week. Huntington Beach’s only boutique hotel situated along the waterfront draws its inspiration from the cultivated yet laid-back surf culture while combining upscale and edgy accents. Located on “The Strand”, you are within walking distance of everything that makes for a perfect promenade. The joint aims for certain refinement, but it isn’t afraid of bare feet. Photos of surfers are everywhere, private oceanside balconies keep you in tune with the waves and the main elevator is covered with wetsuit material. The totally tubular second floor is designed to look like you are in the barrel on your board!

Grab your beach gear and jump into a convertible as Shorebreak Hotel is offering $100 rooms for the first 100 days for anyone within 100 miles.

I also invite you to attend:

Shorebreak’s Bridal Showcase
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Shorebreak Hotel in the Epic Ballroom
500 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Admission pricing varies
**Tickets to this event sold out immediately online but you can purchase them at the door, based on availability.
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flower girl Q: How old is too old?

Q: I'm trying to decide if my niece should be a flower girl or jr. bridesmaid. At what age are girls flower girls vs. jr. bridesmaids?

A: According to, flower girls are generally between four and eight, and consider mature two and three-year olds to be acceptable (also goes for boys who are also attendants in the wedding). Jr. bridesmaids are typically between 8+ to young teen years. It's highly recommended to consider the maturity level of a child attendant, determining if he/she can handle the role(s) in the wedding. If you would like to include a young baby as a flower girl, it's ok to include them in the written program and forego the walk down the aisle. Or, you can have an adult in the entourage carry the baby down the aisle, and then leave the baby with a seated immediate family member during the procession. For the ring bearer, I love watching the little ring bearers walk down the aisle and would choose a mature boy who can take on the task. NOTE: It's wise to assign an usher or family member to politely indicate a "break" area (usually outside) to parents w/children who are having a difficult time during the ceremony. . . .(click for full post)

the modern flower girl :: Us Angels

On the subject of little ones, I wanted to share some dress options/ideas for the flower girls. I found these styles to suit the bride who's looking for something different. Take a peek at Us Angel's current collection of flower girl dresses. Most of these fall short of the typical white, overly-tulled flower girl dress design and take on bit of a more modern direction, using color, a play on different necklines, and materials. What's great about using satins and chiffons is that the fabric is smooth to touch and won't cause major itching. Notice how the slightly older girls are wearing more of a straight cut dress. I also love the simple ballerina shoes!

Here are more Us Angel's dresses which can be found at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Von Maur and Priscilla of Boston.

Photo credit:

Us Angels Style #479

Us Angels Style #10501

Us Angels Style #217

Us Angels Style #11102 (with a cover up)
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