Potluck Hospitality Conference 2018

Photography by Marble Rye Photography

With hospitality standards constantly being raised and creativity reaching new heights in innovation and artistry, now is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the events industry. So when we were invited to speak at this year’s Potluck Hospitality Conference, Jesse jumped at the opportunity to be part of the exciting conversation on what’s coming next and how to make your mark.

This 2-day conference was designed so beautifully, full of inspiring details and gorgeous moments. Held within a hidden gem in DTLA, Valentine is a distinctive space that was the perfect backdrop for this exciting event. Potluck partnered with the best of the best for this one, pulling out all of the stops to provide interesting and interactive moments amongst industry creatives. And let’s not forget the deliciously fresh eats, striking spaces and fabulously fun details!

Luxury spaces and hospitality are all about the fine details and building a strong sense of brand awareness. And after years of working with event spaces and vendors across the country, Jesse had much to share about creating an authentic hospitality experience and what that means when defining one’s brand and establishing lasting relationships.

After full days of fabulous conversations, the fun was just getting started! A Snappy Camper photo booth brought smiles to our faces, while one of Dart Collective’s DJs provided the perfect soundtrack to the evening. We were treated with delicious foods almost too beautiful to eat (almost) and a dessert table that made your mouth water just looking at it. So many awesome ideas to bring home to our couples!

YEAH! Rentals pulled together striking lounge spaces in which to mingle, adding the perfect touch of mid-century sophistication and California-cool styling to accentuate the tone of the space. And the table settings inspired, showing off varied styles and colors. The bright, spring hues of the florals, designed by Twig & Twine, tied it all together beautifully.

Everything was curated thoughtfully to delight all the senses. A huge thanks to Potluck Hospitality for providing us all with such a meaningful and rewarding experience. We had an incredible time collaborating with and inspiring industry creatives!

 

Host: Potluck Hospitality // Venue: Valentine DTLA // Photography: Marble Rye Photo // Graphic Design + Branding: Oh Babushka // Name Tags + Tassels: The Idea Emporium // Rentals: Bright Event Rentals // Florals: Twig & Twine // Lounge Furniture: YEAH! Rentals // DJ: Dart Collective // Photo Booth: A Snappy Camper // Oysters: Oysters XO // Catering: Whoa Nelly Caters, Hungry Bear Catering Co., Taste of Pace // Crudite: Lady and Larder // Dessert Table: Cake Monkey Bakery // Design + Baked Goods: Wilmarose, Scootabaker // Tablescape Design + Goods: Ro & Co Events, Bright Event Rentals, La Tavola Linen, YEAH! Rentals 


Joey and David’s Seaside Wedding in Japan

Photography by Thayer Allyson GowdyPhillip Nondorf

We love any chance we get to travel to Asia, and heading to Japan with Joey and David was no exception. Joey and David wanted to turn their wedding into an adventure, and took the opportunity to bring their family and friends to a place that is truly special to them. They invited their loved ones to Ise-Shima, a peninsula on the southern coast of Japan, to share the coastal region (and its famous fresh seafood!) in celebration of their wedding. The area is also home to Amanemu, a luxury onsen surrounded by thermal springs and some of the world’s most famous pearl diving locations.

The rehearsal dinner took place at the Pearl Museum, where the country’s famed female pearl divers prepared a simple and fresh meal of incredible seafood grilled in front of the guests.

The next day, the bride and groom wed in the hotel’s garden. Vibrant hydrangeas, dahlias and peonies were draped from the branches of a tree, and at the end of the ceremony, David and Joey toasted with sake before being whisked away on a cart adorned with bamboo cans.

Guests enjoyed cocktails as local drummers performed, then the group headed into the hotel for an indulgent four-course Japanese meal. 

The menu ranged from abalone shabu shabu and assorted sashimi to truffle soba, braised octopus, and beef sukiyaki. The tables were draped with pink, champagne, and purple linens, and peonies, roses, and hydrangeas in the same tones floated out of white ceramic vases.

As the night drew to a close, the couple wrapped up their wedding in true Japanese fashion: With hours of karaoke!

Planning & Design: Alison Events // Venue: Amanemu // Photography: Thayer Allyson Gowdy, Phillip Nondorf // Paper Goods: Seesawsed Studios // DJ: DJ Blue //Flowers, Rentals & Lighting: Pacific Diner Service // Favors: Yonder Design


Our 15th Anniversary Holiday Party

Photography by Braedon Photography

Every year, we host a holiday party to thank the vendors who have worked so hard with us all season, as well as to take some time to reflect, unwind, and have a little fun. This year was extra special, as we were celebrating our 15th anniversary! We headed up to a gorgeous estate in Healdsburg, where we filled the space with a colorful Moroccan-inspired design in honor of 15 years of celebrations around the world.





It all started with the food. We wanted a menu that was fun, fresh, and new, and wanted to be able to seat our guests at two long tables to facilitate laughter, conversation, and connection. Moroccan food is spicy, complex, and colorful — the perfect place to start when it came to design. We turned to the marketplace for floral inspiration, incorporating vibrant colors alongside fresh fruits and seed pods. Linens included a mixture of textiles and fabrics for texture, placed on the tables and even hung from the ceiling.







The meal was full of spice and flavor. Braised chicken tagine was served with cauliflower couscous and pickled raisins, followed by a family-style meal that included winter citrus salad, baharat-spiced braised beef cheeks with laurel leaves, braised halibut with coriander and lemon verbena, and winter squash with ras el hanout. For dessert, we served bergamot orange tea macarons dipped in dark chocolate and itakuja chocolate cremeux with kumquat confit and pomegranate.

Of course, the night ended with dancing! It was so fun to spend a few hours with our incredible creative partners, marking a milestone year and the end of another incredible wedding season.

Photography: Braedon Photography // Venue: Private Estate // Planning & Design: Alison Events // Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering // Floral Design: Loop Flowers + Event Arts // Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen, Found Vintage Rentals, Encore Event Rentals // Paper Goods & Calligraphy: Yonder Design // Entertainment: Dart Collective // Videography: Elysium Productions


An Autumn Launch Party for Norman & Blake

We love working with The Wedding Artists Collective, and when we heard they’d be joining forces with a new photography duo, we jumped at a chance to be a part of the launch.

Shannen Norman and Emily Blake are fantastic photographers in their own right, and have worked around the country and across the globe. Their work has appeared in some of our favorite magazines (think Martha Stewart Weddings, BRIDES, and The Knot). After working together on several events, the two women realized the incredible value of having their unique perspectives combined on a single day — thus their partnership was born. In early 2017, they joined forces and started Norman + Blake, a Los Angeles-based wedding photography studio.



To celebrate their joint venture, Jesse designed a gorgeous party inspired by the colors of fall, hosted at Upstairs at Central Kitchen in San Francisco. He paired orange, rust, pink, and gray for a warm, feminine design that was still fresh and light. “I wanted the event to reflect Shannen and Emily and their modern aesthetic, while also reflecting their artistic approach to fine art photography,” says Jesse. Working with Yonder Design, Jesse added a modern twist to the event with invitations that paired sleek acrylic and woven caning accents.




The acrylic appeared again in the flatware on the table, keeping the design clean and crisp. Each place setting featured a textured white terracotta charger and smoke glass tumblers, sourced from Theoni Collection, for a contemporary mix-and-match vibe. “I used beautiful velvet pillows in steel, pink, and rose to deepen and soften the decor,” Jesse says. The celebration embraced the fall season with a rich, organic ambiance that fit Emily and Shannen’s brand to a T.








In the heart of the Mission district, wedding industry guests came together to celebrate the launch. The sounds of Laura + Anton greeted guests upon their arrival, where they found glasses of Italian wine waiting. The table was laden with handmade bread, cheeses, and antipasti, which set the scene for the farm-to-table menu. Dinner featured a roasted beet and persimmon salad with tahini yogurt, roasted hen roulade with chestnut purée and grilled pears, hen and chestnut agnolotti with salumi and jujube date, and a chocolate custard with candied almonds and coffee ice cream for dessert.






All in all, it was a lovely way to celebrate the launch of Norman + Blake, and we can’t wait to work with this talented duo in the future!

Hosts: Lisa Ashley of The Wedding Artists Collective & Shannen Norman & Emily Blake of Norman & Blake // Planning & Design: Jesse Tombs of Alison Events Planning + Design // Photography: Norman & Blake // Venue & Catering: Upstairs at Central Kitchen // Executive Chef: Ryan Pollnow //  Floral Design: Studio Mondine // Specialty Table Rentals: Theoni Collection // Specialty Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens // Paper Material Design: Yonder Design // Entertainment: Laura + Anton


The Secret to Stunning Flowers: A Workshop with Tulipina

Images by Jose Villa

Nothing brightens a space like breathtaking flowers, and nobody does it better than Kiana Underwood of Tulipina. So when Jesse had the chance to team up with her and Jose Villa for a workshop in Mexico, he jumped at the chance. Jesse spent a few spectacular days with two dozen creative minds in Cabo san Lucas, playing with fresh blooms, striking color, and beautiful models.

Centerpieces and personal flowers have never been more striking or more smile-inducing — we’ll let Jose’s photos speak for themselves!

Floral Styling and Design: Tulipina // Photography: Jose Villa // Event Design: Jesse Tombs for Alison Events, Assisted by By Jason Lloyd // Table Settings: Small Masterpiece // Onsite Coordination: Pina Cate // Paper Goods & Calligraphy: Design House of Moira // Artwork: Claire Tollstrup // Hand-dyed Ribbons: The Poetry of Silk // Painted Backgrounds: Valerie Teele // Gowns: Francesca Miranda // Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen // Event Rentals & Furniture: Event Design by Marianna Idirin // Hair & Makeup: Maripili7 // Venue: Flora Farms // Travel Planning: Ever After Honeymoons // Models: Loreto Ayuso and Jeniffer Hijar // Hotel: The Cape Hotel


Venue Spotlight: Rancho Valencia

All images by Braedon Photography

California is full of totally gorgeous venues for weddings and celebrations. While we wish we could visit them all, sometimes we need a fantastic reason to get in the car and drive. That’s why we were so thrilled when Brooke Keegan invited us to spend the weekend at Rancho Valencia! Located in Rancho Santa Fe, this resort and spa has it all: Hacienda styling, inviting courtyards, cozy suites with in-room fireplaces, and incredible food that will make your guests wish they could stay forever. Take a peek at these incredible photos by Braedon Photography, and you’ll see what we mean!

Thank you so much to Brooke and the Rancho Valencia team for having us as your guests!

Venue: Rancho Valencia // Photography: Braedon Photography // Cinematography: Cloudless Weddings // Welcome Floral & Décor: Blush Botanicals // Monday Breakfast Floral & Décor: Isari Flower Studio // Monday Lunch Floral & Décor: Flowers Annette Gomez // Monday Dinner and Tuesday Breakfast Floral & Décor: Olive Willow Designs // Press: Wedding Chicks // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals San Diego // Paper: Jen Simpson Design // Turndown Gifts: Plum Pretty Sugar, B. toffee


Venue Spotlight: Timber Cove

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All images by Christina McNeil

After an extensive (and totally gorgeous!) renovation, we were so excited to head back to Timber Cove for our end-of-the-year retreat with the Alison Events team. This seaside property, situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is everything a California bride could want: rugged, relaxed, sophisticated, a hippie chic-meets-modern hotel with ‘60s styling, indulgent farm-to-table cuisine, and a plethora of spaces for both indoor and outdoor celebrations.

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Our retreat embraced that casual, woodsy vibe, with invitations that combined raw denim and cork, fresh and textured flowers drawing inspiration from the coastal setting, and a tablescape that mixed Timber Cove’s luxe lodge vibe with the property’s Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture.

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The rooms and suites, with stone and wood accents and a mix of ocean and forest views, are as inviting as they come. There are 46 rooms on-site, plenty of space for an intimate wedding weekend surrounded by your closest friends. Tuck 60 people into the Ansel Adams room, with panoramic views and a redwood deck, to immerse yourselves in the hotel’s history and identity as an artist’s destination.

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Photography: Christina McNeil // Venue: Timber Cove // Planning & Design: Alison Events // Stationery: Yonder Design // Floral Design: Shotgun Floral Studio // Dinnerware, Flatware, and Glassware: Frances Lane // Rentals: Bright Rentals // Linens: La Tavola // Catering: Coast Kitchen // Wine: Jessica Lasky Catering


Venue Spotlight: The Barn at Green Valley

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Images by Sally Pinera

Tucked away in the hills of Napa Valley is a breathtaking barn venue like no other. The Barn at Green Valley is a secluded escape, a relaxed and welcoming property where you won’t know if you’re still in California or if the winding drive somehow transported you to the fields of Provence. Custom-built in 2015 for the owner’s daughter’s wedding, it’s now part of the Event Space Consulting family — and available to rent for your own wedding!

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The centerpiece is the barn itself, with a perfectly pitched roof, stone patio, and massive barn doors just begging to frame your ceremony. The covered veranda oozes refined Southern charm, just the place for cocktails on a warm Napa evening or an open-air dinner for a smaller crowd.

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Inside, the custom bar area is lit with vintage Edison bulbs, and the 8,000 square foot space easily seats 250 guests for a seated dinner or 350 for a standing reception. So whether you’re envisioning an indulgent multi-course meal (prepared in the property’s on-site catering kitchen!) or an evening of mingling and delicious libations, there’s space for everything. Follow the curved staircase up to the open-air loft, where you can sneak away for a moment to toast as newlyweds — or send the kids to play once the party gets underway!

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To really show off what the space can do, Jesse created an incredible shoot and opening party for some of our dearest friends in the industry. Found Vintage Rentals created the most inviting vignettes, Casa de Perrin helped set a stunning table, and Tulipina Design tucked breathtaking blooms on every surface. Élan Artists set the tone for an easy, relaxing afternoon, and Estate Events at Meadowood served an indulgent meal, delicious cocktails, and wine made from grapes grown on the property. And the incredible photography? Sally Pinera really outdid herself!

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The shoot itself captured the intimate, isolated nature of the property. Icy blue and misty lavender hues popped against the dark wood and warm leather of the space. Rich velvets and soft linen added a lush feel to the furnishings, and garden-inspired centerpieces dripped over the tables.

Looking to escape for your wedding (while still celebrating just 20 minutes from Napa Valley and 40 minutes from San Francisco)? Look no further than the Barn at Green Valley. We can’t wait to see what sort of stunning celebration takes over the space next.

Photography: Sally Pinera Photography // Venue: The Barn at Green Valley // Planning & Design: Jesse Tombs of Event Space Consulting / Alison Events // Floral Design: Tulipina Design // Rental Furniture: Found Vintage Rentals // Tabletop: Casa de Perrin // Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens, Silk and Willow // Paper Design: Yonder Design, Broadsheet Design // Calligraphy: Little Miss Press // Catering: Estate Events by Meadowood // Entertainment: Elan Artists


In the Press: Kim’s Bachelorette Party at Viansa Sonoma

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We never pass up a chance to get creative with Sylvie Gil and the Flutter Magazine team! Jesse jumped at the chance to head to Napa, along with Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Kathleen Deery Design, and Sylvie to create an incredible Tuscan-inspired bachelorette bash like no other for Kim Wiseley, set at Paula LeDuc’s newest exclusive venue, Viansa Sonoma.

We created a fall-hued table that was every bit as indulgent as the pairing menu. Instead of the dining room, the table was set al fresco, with the building’s rustic shutters and sprawling ivy in the background. Stoneware chargers were set on warm woven linens, then topped with terracotta-hued napkins and die cut place cards shaped like grape leaves. Organic materials, like ceramic, wood, and marble, let the delicious food and soft florals really shine.

Speaking of food, the offerings were absolutely mouthwatering. Cocktails combined sparkling wine with pineapple syrup, then the girls dined on an elegantly casual menu of parmesan cones filled with Mt. Tam cheese and apricot jam, duck confit and roasted corn fritters, oven-roasted B.L.T. salad with pork belly and grilled romaine lettuce, and almond torte with figs and Grand Marnier sabayon — each expertly paired with Viansa Sonoma wines, of course!

If your mouth isn’t watering yet, it will be when you’re done taking a look at the feature, in the latest issue of Flutter!

Photography: Sylvie Gil // Venue: Viansa Sonoma // Design & Styling: Jesse Tombs for Alison Events // Floral, Décor, Design & Linens:Kathleen Deery Design // Catering & Paper Materials:Paula LeDuc Fine Catering // Furniture Rentals: Urban Parlour // Tabletop Rentals: March // Hair & Makeup: Gabriel Perez for Katie Nash Beauty

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Want to be the Best Dressed Guest? Here’s How.

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Photo by Elizabeth Messina

The second you get engaged, you’re inundated with questions from your friends and family. How did he ask? When’s the wedding? Where will it be? While most of the questions are easy to answer (especially once you’ve set out invitations!) there’s one that takes a little more guidance: What should I wear?

We always try to keep the dress code clear so everyone arrives appropriately dressed and looking — and feeling — their best, but even something as simple as “Cocktail Attire” or “Black Tie” can still be met with confusion. Enter The Black Tux. This suit and tuxedo rental company was founded to help dress the groom and wedding party, but has expanded to helping dress male guests, too. After all, not many people have a tuxedo in their closet these days, but you can’t just add a bowtie to a black suit and call it a day! We love this service (in fact, Alison’s husband and his groomsmen rented suits from The Black Tux for their wedding, above!) and how easy it makes it for men to arrive at a wedding, dressed to the nines and ready to celebrate. Not only do they offer a wide variety of suits for every dress code, they’ve made it even easier: Check out The Black Tux’s Wedding Guest Style Guide, check out the stylish options available to rent for your next jaunt as a wedding guest, then keep reading for our tips on making sure you’re the best dressed man at the reception — after the groom, of course!

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When in Doubt, Ask.
Did your friends decide to get creative with their dress code? If “Mountain Chic” just isn’t ringing a bell for you, send an email or make a phone call to get a little more information. You could ask the best man or maid of honor or, if that’s not helping, go straight to the source. Just make sure it’s more than a week before the wedding — any sooner than that and your friends will be busy with wedding prep and may not appreciate the extra questions.

Stay True to Your Style.
Is your closet full of color or prints? A black tie wedding doesn’t mean you’ve got to go strictly black-and-white. Rent a tux and invest in a beautiful patterned bowtie and cummerbund set, which will keep your look formal while still letting your personality shine through.

Overdressed is Best.
While “Black Tie Optional” does mean you can wear a black suit without offending anyone, we always say it’s better to be the most formally-dressed person in a room instead of the one who showed up in a sports coat in a sea of tuxedos. Go for a less traditional option (like the Midnight Blue Tuxedo) to expertly embody the dress code.