Caroline + Nicholas’ Artful Japanese Wedding

Caroline + Nicholas, both intensely creative and purpose-driven people, take on the world and its challenges standing side-by-side. Meeting at their first job out of college, the couple has been through it all. From the foundation of companies to the discovering of dreams, their love has continued to thrive.

Photography by Norman & Blake

Every detail of the wedding was custom designed. From the gowns for both the rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony, designed with Alon Livne in his NYC studio, to the stunning living floral sculpture worn by the bride at the ceremony. The draping effect of the greenery and white blossoms left us in awe. Lotus & Ash incorporated concrete, gold and lucite materials within the paper suite, adding to the modern and sophisticated style.  All of these details were inspired works of art.

The Benesse House overlooks the Seto Inland Sea, providing a picturesque and artful experience for Caroline + Nicholas’ wedding. With its multilayered art displays and blending of the natural environment, guests were able to engage with art and nature at every turn.

This coupling of nature, art, and design inspired Caroline and Nicholas, who were the first Western couple honored with the privilege to be married at the Japanese Art Sanctuary of Naoshima, within Tadao Ando’s Benesse House.

 

Caroline + Nicholas were proud to seek out talented vendors for their big day, surrounding themselves with designers and creators who reflected their values and aesthetic. And the result? Every detail was thoughtfully cultivated and reminiscent of their love. It was a romantic and incredibly intimate event, reflecting Benesse’s artful journey towards well-being and the love of the beautiful couple.

Event Planning: Alison Events // Location: Japanese Art Sanctuary of Naoshima – Tadao Ando’s Benesse House // Photography: Norman & Blake // Videography: Max Cutrone // Dresses: Alon Livne // Stylist: Eyob Yohannes // Accessories: Nathalie Trad // Living Floral Sculpture: Akemi Tamaribuchi, Marchesa, Reem Acra // Floral Art: Amanda Luu + Ivanka Matsuba of Studio Mondine // Paper Materials: Ashland Loh Doyle of Lotus & Ash


Emily + Siddhartha’s Abundant Love

For their wedding, Emily and Siddhartha wanted to celebrate not only their love, but the natural bounty and sweet refinement of California’s wine country. With thoughtful design elements, powerful color choices and a gorgeous venue, we were able to highlight the peaceful nature of Napa’s rolling hills and green vineyards.

The invitation suite, created by Yonder Design, was thoughtful and well curated. With a unique horizontal orientation and muted color tones, the cards added style and reflected the understated elegance of the day. It was the perfect way to set the rustic yet modern tone for the wedding.

Photography by Jesse Leake Photography 

Emily’s garden-inspired bouquet was a sight to see, tying in richly colored dahlias, sweet smelling jasmine, and gorgeous greenery. Natalie Bowen Designs tied it all together with a hand-dyed silk ribbon. The bouquet and the bride were stunning. The groom and wedding party added to the vivid color pops, looking dashing in various shades of blue.

In classic Indian tradition, the groom traveled with friends and family to the venue, encircled by loved ones while dancing to hit Bollywood songs and the beats of traditional Indian dhol drums. And when they arrived at the barn, Emily and her side of the party joined in the celebration, a beautiful blending of the joining families.

Guests were then led to the dreamiest of ceremony sites: a large, wooden structure with airy, white drapery. The neutral palettes of white and green florals were highlighted with wooden elements, creating a relaxed and natural atmoshpere for Emily and Siddhartha to begin the rest of their lives. The service was perfectly blended with Hindu, Jewish, and non-denominational elements to create a personal and beautiful moment.

As the celebration continued into cocktail hour, pops of color were introduced through the florals and intimate lounge settings. Soft pinks and bright raspberry tones in the flowers brightened the space, while the vintage rentals from Found grounded the space in luxurious comfort.

Multiple design elements throughout the night gave nods to the couple’s love of fresh food, local markets and the abundance of California’s wine country. The escort card display utilized fruits and veggies, which were nestled in wooden market crates. And all the fine produce served as a delicious parting gift to guests.

Guests were wowed when they finally entered the barn for the reception. They were greeted with abundant greenery, vivid florals, and bountiful produce that added natural warmth and wonder. Organic wood tones and textures paired with linen runners along the farm tables added to the pastoral feel.

Jessica Lasky Catering sourced local cheeses, fruits and vegetables for the most delicious family style meal. Marble platters on each table were engraved with the couple’s monograms, adding to the touches of elegance and personality of the evening. The enjoyment was capped with a smattering of their favorite desserts in leu of traditional cake. Such a sweet way to end the evening.

There was bounty and colorful brilliance in all elements of Emily and Siddhartha’s beautiful celebration. The entire event was a true reflection of the joyful and abundant spirit of their love.

 

Event Planning: Jesse Tombs of Alison Events Planning + Design // Photography: Jesse Leake Photography // Venue: The Barn at Green Valley // Catering: Jessica Lasky Catering // Flowers: Natalie Bowen Design // Videography: Shark Pig Weddings // Stationery: Yonder Design // Calligraphy: Plume // Rentals: Bright Event Rentals, Found Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linens, Standard Party Rentals, Zephyr Tents // Music: Dart Collective, Fusion Roadshow // Bride’s Gown: Mira Zwillinger // Hair + Makeup: Betten Chaston // Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monique Lhuillier // Groom’s Attire: SS Homme, Tom Ford // Groom’s Accessories: Brioni, Mont Blanc // Groomsmen’s Suits + Ties: J. Crew // Lighting: Bright Event Rentals // Transportation: Napa Valley Wine Tours


Caitlin + Michael’s Napa Nuptials

We have a soft spot in our hearts for Napa weddings. There’s just something about the beauty of the natural landscape and the way the area lends itself to events that can be both modern and romantic. Pair lush surroundings and cultivated design, and you’ve got yourself the picture perfect Napa wedding. And that’s just what we did with Caitlin + Michael’s inspired day.

San Francisco natives, Caitlin + Michael knew that Napa would be the perfect destination for their big day. And Meadowood, a luxury resort tucked away in the hills, provided the perfect amount of character and charm for the romantic celebration the couple envisioned.

Photography by Meg Smith Photography

The ceremony was one of warmth and connection, to the couple, their love, and the family and friends they were surrounded by. Light humor and the couple’s loving and deeply personal vows created a sense of intimacy felt by all. It was a truly beautiful ceremony within a beautiful setting.

Cocktail hour took place on Meadowood’s golf course, amidst the picturesque landscape. Vignettes of living room lounge furniture created a casual and welcoming vibe in which guests enjoyed delicious bites and signature cocktails.

The design was all about understated elegance and warm elements to create a serene and rich aesthetic. With personal nods of indigo and deep blues against a neutral palette, it brought Michael’s love of the ocean to life. And with a backdrop of Meadowood’s tranquil and natural atmosphere, these elements completely inspired.

Max Gill Design had free creative rights on the bouquet and floral design throughout, with an inspired result. Caitlin’s bouquet delighted with pale pink and ivory flowers and pops of berries to add natural texture. The same tones were included in the tablescapes, which paired perfectly with the rich indigo elements in the design and the added pops of deep red in some of the blooms, adding to the seasonal warmth.

The cake was a sight to see, incorporating the neutral palette with the deep notes of indigo. The texture and color tones perfectly highlighted the oceanic nod of Caitlin + Michael’s design elements. Not only was it gorgeous, it was absolutely delicious.

The night ended on a high note, with a wild silent disco from Dart Collective. The unique celebration made way for some epic dance moves and enough hilarity to last a lifetime. What better way to celebrate?!

We love everything about this wedding, and are thrilled to see it’s feature on Martha Stewart Weddings! 

Photography: Meg Smith Photography // Event Planning + Design: Alison Events // Location + Catering: Meadowood // Flowers: Max Gill Design // Videography: Elysium Productions // Stationery: Yonder Design // Cake: Jasmine Rae Cakes // Music: Wine Country Entertainment, Dart Collective // Rentals: Casa de Perrin, Found Vintage Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen, Standard Party Rentals, Zephyr Tents // Bride’s Gown: Mira Zwillinger // Bride’s Accessories: Jennifer Behr, Ashley Morgan Designs, Stuart Weitzman // Hair + Makeup: Artists by Sherrie Long // Groom’s Suit + Menswear: J. Hilburn // Groom’s Accessories: Eton, Salvatore Ferragamo


Tiny Atlas Creative Retreat

There is nothing more rejuvenating than time spent in nature, and here in California we are surrounded by such natural beauty that it’s key to take a step outside and use that beauty to creatively recharge from time to time. We recently had the unique opportunity to join Tiny Atlas’ creative community at one of their retreats, and we were beyond inspired.

Nestled in the canyons, surrounded by towering redwoods, coastal terrain, and fresh ocean air, we were led through workshops to flex our creative muscles in writing, photography and drawing. Days were spent in exploration of the natural beauty and our artistic voices. And nights were enjoyed with serenades and stories, building relationships around the fire. It was a true glamping experience that allowed us to fully recharge and reconnect.

 

Retreat: Tiny Atlas Creative Retreat // Photographers: Emily Nathan, Michael O’neil, Daniel Dent // Tent-Cabins: Mendocino Grove // Drawing Workshop: Sharon Matas // Writing Workshop: Laura Rubin of Allswell Creative // Catering: Catering Cousins // Nightly Serenade: Chase McBride


Suzanne + David’s Day of Rustic Elegance

For their wedding day, Suzanne + David wanted a rustic escape that fostered intimate moments and romance. The Peace Barn in Bolinas, California provided all of that and more with its distinctly tranquil and unassuming vibe. It was the most effortlessly romantic and serene day.

Photography by Braedon Photography

The couple kickstarted their day with a distinct ceremony overlooking the grounds. A moss-covered tree was further adorned with florals and greens to provide a beautiful backdrop for their words of forever. After the intimate and heartfelt ceremony, guests then strolled to the charming barn, where they were met with fresh oysters and bubbly champagne.

After a fun group photo, the evening continued within. Amidst the organic setting of the barn, elegant chandeliers provided the perfect touch of sophistication. And Loop Flowers wowed with seasonal blooms that added a wild and organic feel to the day. The flowers paired with the locally sourced family style dinner resulted in a warm and inspired ambiance for all to enjoy.

A blue-grass band serenaded the guests into the night, where dancing and lots of laughter filled every moment. Sometimes you have to escape to reach those places of purest romance. And Suzanne and David’s beautiful day provided an intimacy that will not be forgotten, with laughter and love abound.

Coordinator + Stylist: Alison Events // Photographer: Braedon Photography // Flowers: Loop Flowers // Venue: Mint Locations – Peace Barn // Cakes + Catering: Jasmine Rae Cakes, Paula De Luc // Rentals: La Tavola Linens, Theoni Collection // Paper: Yonder Design // Entertainment: Dart Collective


Heather + Crain’s Distinct Wedding in the Heart of San Francisco

Love and life is about working through the unexpected twists and turns, and Heather and Crain’s big day was no exception. Jesse spent 10 months working with the fabulous couple to plan a beautiful wedding at Durham Ranch in St. Helena, California, but mother nature had other plans. With the spread of wildfires in Napa Valley just a few days ahead of the wedding, it became very clear that their big plans had to change.

The couple kept their cool and Jesse jumped into action, working his magic to create a new plan. By happy chance and everyone’s willingness to be flexible, we were able to move the wedding to San Francisco. Everything came together so beautifully and despite the last minute changes, all the special details of the event remained intact and as special as ever.

Photography by Sylvie Gil 

It was really important to the couple that their personalities shine on their big day. The couple knew they wanted to work with Happy Menocal, and they took Heather + Crain’s inspiration to the next level. After all, no invitation suite is complete without a personalized crest and caricature of the couple. Heather blossoms and cranes were represented in their crest as a nod to their names, and the likeness of their portrait captured their loving spirit.

The bridesmaids dressed in a soft palette of pinks, mixing blushes, champagnes, and other muted tones for a perfectly casual yet elegant style. Heather was radiant in her grecian style Vera Wang gown and crown of white flowers. And Crain kept the vibe cool and personal by wearing the same white Levi’s he was wearing the day the couple met. That paired with a navy blue blazer and custom tie added such a fun and stylish touch.

We were thrilled to be able to secure the Sculpture Garden at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for the ceremony. The art installations and skyline views wowed. The couple’s “I’Do’s” were shared beneath a simple chuppah, adorned with greenery and classic hydrangeas. They wanted to keep the flowers simple in order to allow the sculptures of the garden to shine. And as a very special touch, the bride’s brother officiated the ceremony.

Following the charming rooftop ceremony, guests traveled to the historic Ferry Building for an unforgettable reception. Within the Ferry Building’s vaulted ceiling, soft lighting and lounge vignettes transformed the space. Found Rentals provided cozy sofas and love seats in classic blues and whites for a special touch of intimacy.

Charlotte & Daughters perfected the summer vibe with their floral design. Greenery in ornate ceramic vases lined the tables and complimented the decorative plates, while smaller bud vases with neutral florals provided another subtle yet sweet element. Live trees throughout the space created a natural, forest feel that drove home the natural components of the design.

Vintage plates in mixed designs added a touch of blue and white that is so quintessential of New England design. And wooden flatware paired with sleek table numbers added a modern touch to the classic ambiance.

The toasts were heartfelt, the food delicious, and the dance party lasted well into the night. It was a magically beautiful night, full of Cape Cod vibes in the heart of San Francisco. We absolutely adored all the distinctive details and loved sharing in Heather and Crain’s special day.

Planning & Design: Jesse Tombs for Alison Events // Photography: Sylvie Gil // Ceremony Venue: SFMOMA Sculpture Garden // Reception Venue: San Francisco Ferry Building // Floral Design: Charlotte & Daughters // Paper Suite: Happy MenocalUnion Street Papery // Rentals + Decor: Found Rentals, Frances Lane, La Tavola Fine Linens, Hensley Event Resources, Got Light // Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering // Cupcakes: Susie Cakes // Music: Élan Artists 


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