In the Press: Elizabeth and Patrick on Style Me Pretty

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There’s nothing like a wedding at home, especially when your family’s backyard is as gorgeous as Elizabeth’s! She and Patrick pulled out the stops for their elegantly rustic wedding at Elizabeth’s mother’s home in Napa, with stunning mountain views and an intimate garden vibe. From the softly textured invitations to the linen tablecloths and lush blush and white centerpieces, it was everything you’d imagine for a wedding on a September afternoon in California.

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The lace appliqué on Elizabeth’s gown gave the classic silhouette a modern spin, while Patrick was so handsome in a traditional tuxedo. And those kids! From ring bearers in pink suspenders to flower girls (six of them!) in blush dresses in flower crowns, the little ones almost stole the show — almost. Elizabeth came down the aisle carrying a bouquet that included blooms from her mother’s garden, then the couple’s wedding bands were passed amongst the guests before the couple exchanged vows.

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The sweet ceremony was capped off with an indulgent spread from Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, from tuna tartar cones and miniature tacos to a salad of tomatoes and smoked mozzarella and local beef filet with grilled corn ragout. A white dance floor overlooked the valley, full of grape vines, and Project M kept it packed until guests headed to the grotto for the after-party.

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Want more about this fabulous fall celebration? Head over to Style Me Pretty to see the feature!

 

Photography: Jesse Leake // Planning & Design: Alison Events // Venue: Bride’s Family Home // Floral Design: Kathleen Deery Design // Invitations: A Day in May Design // Officiant: Lisa Francesca // Hair & Makeup: SHE Artists // Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen, Urban Parlor, Standard Party Rentals // Draping & Tent: Bright Event Rentals // Lighting: Illusions Lighting Design // Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering // Cake: Perfect Endings // Band: Élan Artists // DJ: Boutique DJs // Photo Booth: Magbooth // Cinematography: Max and Molly Films


In the Press: Katelyn and Anthony on The Southern California Bride

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We had so much fun celebrating Katelyn and Anthony’s wedding at the Parker Palm Springs, and loved getting to see it on Southern California Bride! Desert-inspired hues of berry and ochre, paired with warm wood, gold, and gray, accented the setting while creating a warm and inviting space for the couple and their 140 guests. Katelyn loves the Beverly Hills Hotel’s iconic banana leaf print, so we sprinkled a hand-painted version of it throughout the day, from the invitation belly-bands to the calligraphed dinner menu.

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Anthony and Katelyn wed beneath a creamy draped tent-like structure, with vintage pews and wooden chairs taking the place of traditional seating. Their ceremony was incredibly personal, written and performed by two of the couple’s closest friends. At dinner, we mixed mismatched chairs with bare farm tables, arranging an eclectic collection of vases full of burgundy dahlias, peach peonies, and white ranunculus amongst votive candles and geometric objects. The theme continued overhead, with geometric light fixtures strung above the tables.

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Katelyn and Anthony’s priority was to create an amazing weekend for their friends and family and ensure every guest felt special. They pulled it off with aplomb, and we are so thrilled we could be a part of such a special day!

Photography: Abby Ross for Lauren and Abby // Venue: The Parker Palm Springs // Event Planning & Design: Alison Events // Floral Design, Rentals & Decor: Brown Paper Design // Paper Materials: Paper Plane Paperie // Hair & Makeup: Jessica Belknap & Amanda Chaney // Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Elan Artists // DJ: Dart DJ // Videography: Shark Pig

In the Press: An Interview with Jesse Tombs of Alison Events on Borrowed & Blue

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Photos by Leo Patrone

We recently had the chance to speak with Stephanie, a Napa & Sonoma Market Specialist for Borrowed & Blue, about what we do, why we do it, and what we love most. She spoke with managing partner Jesse Tombs, and we’re so excited to share the interview with you! Here’s a little peek into the world of Alison Events.

If you’ve ever sat down and thought about everything that goes into planning an event—let alone, your wedding day—then you know why it’s sometimes just best to leave it all to the professionals. Enter: your very own wedding planner and designer.

“Trust us when we say that wedding planners and designers will make your life a WHOLE lot easier. That’s why Borrowed & Blue loves Alison Events, who time and time again proves they’ve earned the title of one of the top wedding planners in the world (as instituted by Vogue Magazine). Today we’re doing an exclusive interview with Alison Events and after working closely with Jesse Tombs, Managing Partner of Alison Events, we’re going to give you a peek into the stunning, spectacular world of an event planner.”  – Stephanie, Borrowed & Blue’s Napa & Sonoma Market Specialist

Here’s Borrowed & Blue’s Q&A with Jesse Tombs of Alison Events:  

If you could possibly narrow it down, what is your favorite moment of a wedding day?
I love watching the client as they see the whole picture come to life, seeing the excitement in their eyes and on their faces. We see weddings as a way to tell stories from the beginning of the guest experience (usually a mailed save the date) to the final goodbye at the end of a wedding weekend. I want to help our clients create a vision that gives their guests a glimpse into who they are, both individually and as a couple. It can be a challenge for some of our clients to visualize the concept we’re creating, so the most gratifying moment for me as a wedding planner and event designer is when they see all the details and beauty come together on their wedding day and can truly understand the vision we have brought to life for them.

How’d you get into wedding planning?
I have an extremely mixed professional background. I worked in catering in high school and college, and then after in the fashion industry. I returned from New York to the Bay Area and worked in restaurants and hotels. I have always loved taking care of people and feel like hospitality runs in my veins. I also love to create and make things with my hands. When I was six or seven, I moved all the furniture in my parents house and re-hung all the pictures on the walls. I’ve always had an innate design capacity and enjoy using the skills I have gained over the years to provide unparalleled personalized service to my clients. My background enables me to bring a truly hands-on approach to design and aesthetics. I’m not the type of wedding planner that sits in a corner barking orders. I am a servant leader: In the room, moving furniture, folding napkins, and personally making sure that every detail is seen to so that the client’s vision can be brought to reality.

Describe your event aesthetic in three words.
Effortless, Innovative, Rich.

The first thing you ask when you sit down with a couple?
Who are you? What turns you on? What makes you laugh?

Top three pieces of advice for couples who just got engaged?
Don’t rush into anything. Enjoy the planning process, it should be fun. Spend what feels right to you.

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What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My team and the people I get to work with. I love our vendors and consider many of them dear friends, if not family.

What’s the best thing about having your wedding in Napa?
The weather, the views and the amazing local vendors and venues.

What about Sonoma?
I really enjoy the relaxed, laid back feel of Sonoma, it is less pretentious than Napa, and also provides beautiful backdrops for weddings and events.

Most important detail of wedding decor?
Paper Materials. Guests come in direct contact with these, and they make a huge impact. Paper sets the tone for the whole event so take that into consideration when you’re deciding on the design and materials. The invitation can be simple, with the majority of the information for guests on an inexpensive custom website, but the feel of the piece of paper they do receive is important, and that usually costs a bit more.

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Photos by Christina McNeill

The celebrity wedding you wished you planned?
Carolyn Bessette & John F. Kennedy Jr.

Your thoughts on DIY weddings?
I certainly don’t have anything against clients making things themselves for their wedding. I had a client this year design the invitations and they are stunning, however he is a graphic designer by trade, so that was a project that made sense for him to take on. If you are not a painter or a sculptor, don’t paint a backdrop or create a sculpture for your alter. Hire professionals to do the jobs that aren’t in your wheelhouse. But if there is something that you love doing, like making granola, by all means make granola as the parting gift for each guest. In my opinion, doing it yourself should be a way to to make things more personal, not more affordable.

Your favorite out of all the Napa wedding venues?
Z Modern.

What about Sonoma wedding venues?
Annadel Estate Winery.

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Photos by Elizabeth Messina

Tell the story of the biggest day-of disaster and how you swooped in to save the day.
I worked my first wedding when I was 15 and worked for a caterer, and I dropped the wedding cake. I was able to save the top and ran to the closest store to buy frosting and another cake. I pieced it back together and did the best I could with frosting and flowers. It wasn’t beautiful, but the couple saw the amount of effort (as well as the tears) that I’d put into fixing it. They forgave me and ended up having the best day of their lives! It was a day I’ll never forget. After the wedding, the client sent a thank you note and specifically thanked me for all of my hard work. They said their cake was one of the things they would never forget, which was terrifying but also made me realize that my hard work will be remembered, even in the shadow of an embarrassing error.

Describe your dream wedding.
My dream wedding would be small, with my closest family and friends. It would feel authentic to me and the location, as well as intimate and personal in both size and details. I want all the weddings I plan and design to feel like a dinner party —not overly produced or overthought, but specific and planned with thoughtfulness, clarity and purpose. Design should be a big factor, but practicality is also at the top of my list. I want everything you need, and none of the things you don’t, so everything is just right.


In the Press: Ashley and Nick on Style Me Pretty

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We are so thrilled to see Ashley and Nick’s laid-back vineyard wedding on Style Me Pretty!

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There are so many gorgeously intimate venues nestled around Healdsburg, California, and we think Ashley and Nick might have found one of the best ones. They were on the hunt for a remote, off-the-beaten-path spot for their wedding, and Wallace Creek Vineyards was all that and more. From a ceremony beneath a hundred year old oak tree to dinner at a single table for 75 in the vineyard to a fun and rustic dance party in the barn, we made use of every inch of the property (with a few golf carts making the sprawling space feel a little less… sprawling!).

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The food was spectacular, a five-course feast surrounded by vines and served at a table eclectically set with bowls of nuts, seasonal fruits, and rich earth tones. The watercolor invitations and menus make our hearts flutter!

Head over to Style Me Pretty to see more of the berry-hued details, and to hear the story straight from the couple!

Photography: Sally Pinera // Event Planning and Design: Alison Events // Venue: Wallace Creek Vineyards // Floral Design: Natalie Bowen Designs // Stationery: A Fabulous Fete // Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta // Reception Dress: Dolce & Gabbana // Makeup: Bianca Rubi // Hair: Jacqueline Duignan // Groom’s Attire: J.Crew // Rings: Kwiat // Catering: Sage Catering // Ceremony and Cocktail Music: San Francisco Conservatory of Music // DJ: DJ Funklor // Linen Rental: La Tavola Linen // Rentals and Lighting: Bright Event Rentals // Photo Booth: The Bus Booth // Transportation: California Wine Tours


In the Press: Jesse and Matt on Style Me Pretty

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Style Me Pretty has just published a fantastic post about a wedding we did in Northern California last fall!

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Last October, we celebrated Jesse and Matt’s wedding with a stunning celebration at the Burlingame Country Club in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was full of personal touches (like the cocktail hour dim sum from the couple’s favorite local Chinese restaurant!), and the cream and gold color scheme was the perfect complement to the dinner tent we erected around the club’s stone fountain. Head over to Style Me Pretty to see all the amazingly gorgeous photos, taken by Jose Villa!

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Photography: Jose Villa // Cinematography: Elysium Productions // Planning: Alison Events // Venue: Burlingame Country Club // Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Tailor: SewHeidi Wedding De-Tailor // Hair & Makeup: Kate Rodriguez // Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse // Invitations: Olive Route // Custom Signage: Yonder Design // Floral Design: Kathleen Deery Design // Oyster Bar: Hog Island Oyster Company // Entertainment: Elan Artists, The Hudson Project // Cake: Perfect Endings


Ten San Francisco Rehearsal Dinner Spots

If you’re considering a wedding in the San Francisco area, then you should definitely check out our list of great spots to host a rehearsal dinner. So many great options in this city, it’s hard to narrow down, but these are our top 10, in no particular order:

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Central Kitchen (ok, well all of the Flour + Water private dining rooms, really). Great food, lots of different areas for different party sizes, and the pasta tasting menu is amazing. Have more that 25 people? The courtyard fits 40 for a semi-private buyout and boasts a nice layout.

Bar Agricole. The private dining room fits 40, and the patio is ideal for pre-dinner cocktails (which are fabulous).

La Mar. This Peruvian seafood joint has one gorgeous view. And the patio seats 100 guests.

AQ The look and feel of the restaurant changes every season, as does the menu. You can invite two dozen loved ones to join you in their cellar room.

Town Hall. Perfect for about 40 people, and for Southern and comfort-loving foodies.

Tosca. You can fit up to 32 people at this former dive bar. Chef April Bloomfield always serves stellar cocktails and Italian cuisine.

Park Tavern. -The Eden room seats 50 and the burger is simply amazing.

Wayfare Tavern. Chef Tyler Florence’s restaurant that serves upscale bar food done right. Choose from two private rooms—one for 16 and one for 50.

Foreign Cinema. Want a beautiful outdoor setting? Consider buying out the courtyard, where you can even play movies on the large wall. The food is consistently great.

Cotogna. With 50 guests you can buy out the restaurant (which is a sister spot to Quince) and have a rustic Italian feast.


An Exotic and Eccentric California Wedding

We’ve been going through the Alison Events archives lately and couldn’t help but share this oldie by goodie. About five years ago, Jackie and Joby’s wedding at Costanoa, in Pescadero, California, was not only fun and exotic — with a “The Beatles go to India” theme — but it was also eco-friendly. Many of the elements in this tented soiree were reusable, the food was entirely organic and many of the flowers used throughout were locally grown. The 200 guests also enjoyed a trio of Beatles impersonators on stilts at this marigold and paprika-hued party.

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You can read even more about this one right here and here.

Location and Catering: Costanoa // Photography: Jesse Leake // Flowers and Event Design: Sillapere // Tent liners: Raj Tents //


In the Press: Katie and J.D. on Style Me Pretty

Another one of our recent California weddings made its debut today on Style Me Pretty! We’re super excited to share Katie and J.D.’s elegant yet relaxed celebration, which is completely charming. It took place on the bride’s family’s ranch, and unlike most of the times when that happens, the bride’s father actually built the massive tent himself. In addition to some hands-on work by dad, the talented team that worked with the couple on this event crafted loads of loveliness, like the top notch flowers that were present from start to finish.

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Photography: Adriana Klas // Planning: Alison Events // Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering // Floral: Brown Paper Design



50th Anniversary Party

We were lucky enough to work with this amazing couple who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their private estate in Cloverdale, Ca. We were joined by the talents of Atelier Joya and Lisa Lefkowitz to make this event as incredible as the couple’s story!

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