Kristina + David’s Organic Mexican Wedding

Travel has always been a part of Kristina and David’s love story. After falling in love in the streets of London, becoming engaged amidst the beauty of Big Sur, and traveling around the world for years, a destination wedding was a natural choice for their celebration. And after frequent visits to Cabo, they knew it was the perfect locale to celebrate with family and friends.

With pristine beaches and lush landscapes abound, it was easy to find inspiration for the aesthetic, palette, and design details of Kristina and David’s timelessly chic day. Jesse helped clarify their vision, putting the defining qualities of the destination at the forefront of the organic and natural aesthetic of every special moment.

Photography by Braedon Flynn

The couple welcomed their attendants with personalized weave-totes full of some of their favorite quintessential Mexican items. This included a local Mexican cookbook, personalized bracelets and tasty treats to get them through the packed weekend.

Yonder Design created custom paper stationery for the event, including a personalized monogram with the couple’s initials. These personal touches added clean and modern elements to the overall design.

With a close friend as their officiant, Kristina and David wed in a private beach ceremony outside the One & Only Palmilla. The whole event was personal and touching, a moment to never be forgotten by the couple and guests alike.

Local florist, Pina Cate brought a wild and textured ceremony arch to life with soft garden roses, ferns and local greenery. The result was gorgeous and added a botanic touch to the striking ocean backdrop. The organic and clean look continued in bouquets of white and cream, with locally forged greenery bringing the garden-inspired inspiration together.

Ending the ceremony in style, the couple were serenaded by a traditional mariachi band as they walked back down the aisle. What a bright way to end the ceremony!

The reception was held at Flora Farms, an exclusive organic farm where guests are connected to the lush and unique surroundings. It was the perfect relaxed atmosphere and the brilliance of the natural setting continued to set the tone for the celebration.

Local touches were key to the overall design, including the escort card display. Locally glass-blown hearts hung on a garden-embellished custom ladder that appeared to grow out of the surrounding grass. This beautiful display, along with the florally adorned welcome donkey, added to the traditional elements.

Pulling texture and tone inspiration from the stones and earth within the venue’s landscape, the design was organic and served to highlight the gorgeous setting. The soft floral arrangements of every table coordinated, yet were slightly varied in height and style to add visual interest. Embroidered table linens and ceramic plates brought home the mismatched and organic Mexican vibe.

A farm-to-table menu was served family style and was complimented by local fruits such as mangos, guavas, and papayas, all sourced from the venue’s abundant land.

With spicy margaritas in hand and twinkle lights above, the couple and their guests danced well into the night. The couple knew they wanted to create an epic dance party, so they hired both a local band, the Kilometros, and DJ Jesse Kivel to play out the evening. Late-night bites of pizza and ice cream added to the experience.

Kristina and David’s fabulous event was incredibly inspired. With Mexican sunsets, ocean breezes, lush landscapes and loved ones, it was the perfect day. Every effortlessly romantic moment left us all full of love and fond memories.

 

Ceremony Venue: One & Only Palmilla // Reception Venue: Flora Farms // Wedding Planning: Jesse Tombs of Alison Events // Styling MGK Style // Bride’s Wedding Dress:  Oscar de la Renta // Bride’s Reception Dress: Zimmermann // Bride’s Veil:  Oscar de la Renta // Bride’s Earrings: Simons, Van Cleef & Arpels // Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman // Bride’s Clutch:  Edie Parker // Hair: Mischelle Navar // Makeup: Pircilla Pae // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Zimmermann // Groom’s Attire: DiorChristian Louboutin // Groom’s Cufflinks: MAVA // Engagement Ring & Wedding Band: Simons // Floral Design & Favors: Pina Cate //Invitations & Paper Products:Yonder Design // Ceremony Music: Francisco Alatorre Mariachi Cabo  // Reception Music: Jesse Kivel of Dart Collective, Kilometro Band // Catering & Cake: Flora Farms // Rentals: Marianna Idrin Designs , Del Cabo Event Design , Victor Valdez Productions // Linens: La Tavola Linen // Transportation: Impala Cabo Transportation Services // Security: Pacific Blue // Videography: Elysium Productions // Photography:  Braedon Flynn // Wedding Accommodations & Honeymoon Planning: Ever After Honeymoons


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


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


Love in Color: Our 2016 Workshop in Burgundy Featured in Flutter Magazine

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Workshops and styled shoots are a way for us to flex our creative muscles, to explore new ideas and collaborate with exciting vendors and industry professionals. They’re a joy to be a part of no matter the setting, but when a workshop takes us to a chateau in France? That takes the cake.

Jesse Tombs headed to Chateau de Varennes in Burgundy (one of the top 10 wedding venues in the world!) alongside Sylvie Gil, Yonder Design and Holly Flora, and let the breathtaking venue inspire the fashion-forward shoot, with luxe, fresh details, juicy colors, and couture styling that seemed to be straight Paris. We’re so thrilled to share that the shoot was featured in Flutter Magazine! Peruse the images below and immerse yourself in the elegant drama and one of the most stunning backdrops we’ve had the pleasure of working in, and see even more of the workshop on Sylvie’s blog!

Photography: Sylvie Gil // Venue: Chateau de Varennes // Styling: Jesse Tombs of Alison Events // Floral Design: Holly Flora // Stationery: Yonder Design // Wedding Gown: Vera Wang // Tuxedo: The Black Tux // Jewelry: Claire Pettibone for Trumpet & Horn // Hair & Makeup: Little Miss Makeup // Tabletop: The Tabletop Company // Decor: La Bohème // Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab // Lingerie: Girl With a Serious Dream // Knickers: BHLDN // Veil: Jannie Baltzer // Headpiece: Styled by TC

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An Indian Wedding in New Jersey

From the moment we met Saiba and Blake, we knew their wedding would be filled with unique elements. Both Saiba and Blake wanted their wedding to have a vintage Indian look that also evoked a feeling of warmth with personal touches. It was important to the couple that both of their backgrounds were represented as well.

Since Saiba is Indian, the duo followed the tradition of having a Baraat as well as a traditional Indian ceremony.  The view at Natirar provided the perfect backdrop for their stunning Mandap. Then, before the reception they both changed into the traditional white dress and tuxedo.

Their guests had an amazing time dancing to their DJ (the proof is in the photos below) and then noshing on the delicious cake made by Momofuku Milk Bar cake (a must for the couple).

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Photography: Lev Kuperman // Wedding planning: Alison Events Planning & Design // Location + catering: Natirar // Florals: Ariel Dearie Flowers // Lighting: Ken Lapham // Linens: La Tavola // DJ + audio: DJ Kucha Company // Cocktail hour music: Mike Lukshis of Taalim School of Indian Music // Officiant: Anju Sikka // Photobooth: We Love Photobooths // Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar // Hair + makeup: Shelby George // Invitations + paper goods: Katharine Watson // Hair + makeup: Susmita Patel // TransportationA1 Limousine // Horse: Caliber Farms

 


In the Press: Val and Lee’s Florida Camp Wedding on Green Wedding Shoes

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Last year we announced our involvement in Cupcake Vineyards’ “Love Deliciously Dream Wedding” contest, which took place via Pinterest. Val and Lee—the lucky winners— were gifted with the ultimate wedding package, including photography by Elizabeth Messina and design planning services from us. And now, their romantic, dreamy, laid-back day is now featured in full over on Green Wedding Shoes!

Both the couple are adventurers who love hiking, camping, canoeing, etc. Mixed with their appreciation for design and movies and their overall great taste, the inspiration for the wedding started with Wes Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom. Their venue, a remote private campground in the middle of the Ocala National Forest, was the perfect fit. We incorporated details such as a canvas tent, oil lamps, a custom made flag that said “Camp Waters,” a neutral palette, textural floral elements, and vintage-inspired postcards for guests to fill in with best wishes and funny.

It was so great working with this awesome couple, and we’re so excited to share their wedding!

 

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Photography: Elizabeth Messina // Wedding planning: Alison Events Planning & Design // Location: Lake Doe Campground in Umatilla, Florida // Catering: Green Coat Catering // Florals: Natalie Bowen Designs // Bride’s dress: Chaviano Couture // Bridal headpiece: Twigs and Honey // Bridal jewelry: Free People // Bridesmaids dresses: Katie of Coralie Beatrix // Groom’s attire: J.Crew // Dish rentals: Dishie Rentals // Décor: Wish Vintage Rentals // Linens: La Tavola // DJ + lighting: Jacob // Ceremony + cocktail music: Landon Pontius // Officiant: Keith Kolakowski // Cake + desserts: Michelle Calabro, Owner of Bakers Cottage Cakes // Hair + makeup: Shelby George // Tent: Shelter-co // Invitations + paper goods: Designed by Lee and Val, Owners & Founders of 48 Savvy Sailors and letterpressed by Mama’s Sauce

 


Alex and Tommy’s Bahamas Destination Wedding

Alex and Tommy decided The Bahamas were the best location for their 140-person destination wedding, specifically Harbour Island’s Pink Sands Resort, the land of pink sands and clear blue waters, where their ceremony would take place. Following the service, there was a traditional Junkanoo band that lead guests to cocktail hour and the reception at a private estate, which required taking a short boat ride to get to. After a Bahamian-themed dinner, guests danced under the stars, ate cake shaped like the groom’s home state of Texas, and enjoyed fireworks at the end of the night.

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Stationery: Olive-Route // Floral Design: Brown Paper Design // Photography: Thayer Allyson Gowdy


Must-Read Destination Wedding Tips

We are thrilled to be featured in Four Seasons Magazine sharing our best destination wedding tips and some of our very favorite far away photos…

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Photos by: top two Jesse Leake Photography  // Thayer Gowdy Photo // Chrisman Studios

Couples planning a destination wedding, whether within a day’s drive or on the other side of the globe, need to add a few more lines to their wedding checklist. Different laws may mean residency requirements and extra paperwork. You may also need an interpreter to help you explain your wedding vision to your vendors. To help you cover the many details, we asked wedding planner Alison Hotchkiss of Alison Events, author of All the Essentials Wedding Planner: The Ultimate Tool for Organizing Your Big Day, to share her advice on planning a wedding from afar. Follow her tips for a destination wedding that goes off without a hitch.

What’s the thing that couples most commonly overlook when planning a destination wedding?
Couples often plan events for every day of their destination wedding weekend, but guests appreciate having a free day to explore the area on their own. To me, Sunday is the best day to leave your guests uncommitted to wedding activities. They can sleep in, take a dip in the ocean or take a couple of ski runs before heading to the airport.

What are the benefits of hiring a wedding planner?
When you add a foreign location into the mix, it’s best to visit your location several times prior to the wedding to meet with vendors, have your tasting and design meetings, and finalize the details. Having a wedding planner lets you sit back and relax instead of coordinating all these logistics. You offer direction on your likes and dislikes so your planner has a sense of your style, and let them do the work for you!

Many people just think of beach destination weddings, but are there other locations well suited to a destination wedding?
I love winter weddings. If you’re a skier, it’s a great opportunity to get everyone to take a holiday, and nothing’s more fun than seeing friends on the slopes, drinking hot toddies and enjoying s’mores, and watching snow fall on the mountains. My favourite places for winter destination weddings are Aspen, St Moritz and Whistler. Wine country can also be a fun spot . . . Santa Barbara, Oregon, Napa, and Tuscany have amazing wine and food.

In addition to the wedding, what are other events that couples should plan?
I think a rehearsal dinner and an informal welcome cocktail party really set the mood for the wedding. Couples should also plan at least one excursion to a local site, such as a snorkelling trip or a whisky tasting.

What are the benefits of having a bound wedding organizer instead of having everything digitally?
Couples love iPhones and iPads, but a wedding planning binder is great for things you can’t get digitally, like contracts that might be handwritten, mood boards created from magazine tear sheets, business cards, hand-drawn floor plans and fabric swatches.

The great thing about my new organizer, All the Essentials Wedding Planner: The Ultimate Tool for Organizing Your Big Day, is that many of the organizational tools are downloadable, so you can edit your documents as needed and then have them accessible in your three-ring binder.

Can you share some of the organization tricks you use when planning a wedding?
• Get everything in writing. You may become best friends with the salesperson at your wedding venue, but if she leaves and your wedding details aren’t in writing, there is no guarantee that her replacement can approve those requests.

• Be sure to visit the wedding venue before signing the contract, to get a feel for the location as well as the surrounding area.

• Schedule a menu and cake tasting. What sounds delicious on paper might taste differently than you expect, or perhaps the presentation is not what you had envisioned.

• Keep all copies of every contract, and don’t throw older versions away in case there’s a discrepancy.

• Keep a copy or write down the check number for every payment made.

Written by: Anne Chertoff


Sneak Peek: Wedding in Knoxville, TN

 

One of the most awesome things about our role as wedding planners is working with people of all different backgrounds.  We recently had the honor of producing a wedding for another event planner based in Knoxville, TN.  Her wedding took place in this incredible old warehouse with amazing brick work.  Can’t show you all the professional pics just yet, but here are a couple of shots we took.  Anyway, we recently caught up with the bride, Laura Sohn of Mockingbird Events, for a little 101 on what it’s like to plan your own wedding (as a pro) and here’s what she had to say…

AE:  Since you’re an event planner, was it easy to plan your own wedding?  Did you find it difficult to “let go” on certain things and let AE take over?

LS:  I am an event planner and have never been much of a wedding daydreamer, however as soon as I was engaged I had half the wedding planned in my head. I thought, I run events. I work at the biggest music festival in the country. I got this. Turns out I didn’t. I got through picking my vendors and hit a wall. At the same time, I ran across an article about Alison Events and new my problems were solved. Throughout the whole process I got the question, “Isn’t it hard letting go of things since you’re a planner?” over and over again. While AE might disagree with this, there were a lot of things I had not trouble letting go of. I kept the things I wanted to and AE took the things I didn’t want to deal with. My mantra for my professional life is: if the right person is doing the job, trust them do the job. AE and the rest of my vendors were right and did an amazing job.

 

AE:  What was the most enjoyable part of planning the wedding?  Most stressful?

LS:  Favorite part, was planning the menus. Food and drink are integral to all parts of our lives. I make my living from both and who doesn’t like drinking and eating? That said, I understand the importance of simple menus. For the food menus I dove into both our family history and shared history. That meant Brazilian, German, and Appalachian food. Five whole lambs from my family’s ranch, Brazilian street food for the cocktail hour, Appalachian soup beans and Feijoada at the rehearsal dinner, Stack cakes instead of one big wedding cake. Our caterer was amazing and totally on board. She was able to take some of my rough ideas and put them into menu form and excited to make some of the Brazilian items she hadn’t done before.

For drink, I am a strong believer that no matter how much or what drink you put out people will find something to drink. So, at the rehearsal dinner we had Cava and beer only. At the wedding we had 2 cocktails, 12 bourbons, beer and wine. The cocktails and bourbon were my equivalent of a craft project. I started collecting bourbons, ryes, and whiskeys as soon as we got engaged and one of the cocktails was barrel aged for over a month.

Hands down, most stressful was seating chart. This may be is because I’m an event planner, it may be because I hate people telling me where to sit, or it may be that I worry about people having enough to talk about constantly. I have very recently divorced parents, work people, lots of friend groups, a huge family on my side and a teeny family on my husband’s side, etc., etc., etc. Even though I threw my hands up eventually, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did without the Social Tables program.

AE:  How and where did you pick out that amazing wedding dress?

LS:  My sister-in-law, Lahla, and I flew up to New York for some dress shopping. I was pretty sure I didn’t want a white dress and Lahla who is a staunch wedding traditionalist said there was no way I could have a black dress. After trying on white dresses and feeling a little less than inspired, we started looking at non-traditional dresses. Gold sequins were not on my list and are fairly far from my daily uniform of jeans and a t-shirt or sweater, but I wanted a dress I would never have a chance to wear otherwise. This Diane Von Furstenburg seemed the perfect fit. All in all it was a super fun experience, the girls at the DVF store were pretty excited the gold wrap was going to a wedding dress!

AE:  How did you find the venue and what was your vision for the space?

LS:  We knew we wanted a non-traditional space and that we did not want to be outside. A friend of mine sometimes lets me use some his under-development downtown, historic spaces for events. I begged and sweet-talked and pleaded for him to let us use something awesome. My vision was, for them to not finish the build out in time for the wedding so it would be super rough, chipping paint, dirty floors, and all. Luckily, that is exactly what happened.

 

AE:  How did you start the design process?  Was there a specific look or color scheme that kicked off your inspiration?

LS:  The design process began with the invitations, the dress and the space. The space was raw and fairly neutral but with tons of character. I didn’t want to loose that in our design, but we knew we needed some strong colors, which we pulled from the invites. We were lucky in that we were guinea pigs in a space that wasn’t officially open yet. This did carry some risk, the fire marshal showed up (we didn’t have to shut the party down), but it also allowed us to do things like use big tall taper candles, paint the seating chart wall whatever color we want and generally not worry about messing anything up. The Alison Events team had many amazing ideas that were creative, inspired, and perfect for both the space and Carlos and I as a couple, the design came together really effortlessly.

AE:  What was the most memorable part of your wedding day?

LS:  The whole weekend was pretty perfect and memorable but there are 2 things that stood out on the day of. The first, my office is about 500 feet from the wedding space. I was able to buy a $35 floor length mirror from Target and bring all my getting ready stuff to the space early in the day. I let family and close girlfriends know I’d be there all day getting ready and hanging out. It was an open-ended invitation with no RSVPS, no drinks plans, no real food plans. All in all the least planned part of the weekend. Amazingly, all of my girlfriends ended up getting ready with me. They are definitely my extended family so, having them with me laughing and helping and generally killing it as friends was so special and kind of beyond words.

The second was our ceremony. My uncle Ted officiated. He married my parents 38 years ago and my brother and I grew up traveling with him and his family. He has always been a very large part of my life. He helped us craft a tailor made ceremony, which included a Jewish blessing, his thoughts, and traditional vows. At that moment it was just the three of us up there launching the beginning of Carlos and I’s marriage.