Rita + Olin Tie The Knot

Just minutes outside of the small town of Glen Ellen, nestled off the Sonoma Highway, you will find Beltane Ranch. A bed and breakfast with some good ole’ country charm that would be the perfect back drop for Rita and Olin’s September wedding. With fifty-five of their closest friends and family the couple was able to share their love of food and wine with a long intimate dinner table. Some of the evenings favorites served by Paula LeDuc Fine Catering included, Crispy Prosciutto Cups, Peppery Greens with Oven Cured Tomatoes, Braised Lamb Shank, Summer Berry Tartlets and Fresh Blueberry Macaroon Sandwiches, oh my! Enjoy!


Wedding Photography: Michelle Walker / Wedding Coordinator: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Venue: Beltane Ranch / Caterer: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering / Flowers: Sharla Flock Designs / Cake: Laurie Lucov Wedding Cakes / Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Rudolfi Artists / Lighting: Got Light / Hair & Make-up: It’s A Date At The Powder Room / Linens & Rentals: Classic Party Rentals /  Transportation: Pure Luxury

The Anti-Guest Book

No, we don’t mean “anti” as in we’re against guest books. Not at all. We just think that the traditional “sign your name in this book, that will sit on our bookshelf to collect dust” is a bit stale. But we still love the idea of your guests leaving you a few words of love or maybe even some marriage advice, during your wedding. We’re seeing some super creative and fun ways to do this and just had to share.

These coasters are super cute! Plus, they can be an extension of your day-of wedding paper goods, carrying the overall look from your save the dates, invitations, programs, etc.

Instead of just writing their name in a random book, why not ask your guests to write their birthdays on a calendar? What a cool and useful idea!

And what about at the wedding? How do you display all those love notes? Add them to your wedding scrapbook by creating small individual envelopes for each note.

We love the idea of adding some fun to your wedding via your guests’ notes. This fun Mad Lib is such a clever idea and will keep your guests entertained during cocktail hour!

For more ideas outside the box (er, book), how about having your guests write mini notes on wooden puzzle pieces?

Keep the games going by using a Jenga pieces for a place guests can leave you and your now hubby little notes. You’ll enjoy playing these games for years to come and will love to reminisce about your wedding day.

These thumb-print trees are becoming popular, especially for earthy and more rustic weddings. What a sweet reminder of your special day that can be hang in your home.

You can always keep it simple and sweet and incorporate your guests’ notes into your wedding decor. Here are more of our favorites…

We love the simple ideas above, but go crazy for unique “anti-guestbook” ideas, like what Bay Area photographer Meg Perotti did at her November wedding. They had guests decorate glass ornaments, including little love notes, and then hung them on their first Christmas tree the next month. Love!!

Check out more unique “guestbook” ideas on our Pinterest…and if you like what you see, please do follow us 🙂

amanda + brett tie the knot: Durham Ranch Style

Amanda and Brett searched up and down Sonoma and Napa Valley for their ideal wedding location. They were looking for a venue that fit with their relaxed and down to earth personalities and Durham Ranch was the perfect solution. With a guest count of 100 of their closest family and friends they wanted to make their wedding a fun party for everyone to enjoy. Music played an important part of the evening and who could leave the dance floor with Edna Love and The Fat Tuesday Band on stage?














Wedding Photography: Kate Webber Photography  / Wedding Coordinator: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Venue & Caterer: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering / Flowers: Atelier Joya / Cake: Sweet On Cake / Music: Edna Love and The Fat Tuesday Band / Lighting & Sound: Got Light / Hair & Make-up: SHE Artists / Linens & Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Transportation: California Wine Tours

with love

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

~ Pablo Neruda

Happy Valentines Day!

(photo by gia canali /  excerpt from sonnet XVII)

natural and romantic: wedding trends of 2012

As wedding season quickly approaches, we thought we’d take advantage of this calm before the storm, and put together a little list of what we think will be the big trends of 2012.

Just because we simply cannot wait until the end, we must start with the gowns. Yes, they’re just that good.


We’re eternally in love with super-romantic looks and are excited to see more of these light and airy gowns. While strapless will still be lovely as ever, we’ll be seeing lots of lace and sleeves. Soft, modern, and a bit more coverage, but definitely with a sexy twist. Whether you channel the classic Kate Middleton, or the bombshell Marilyn Monroe, or simply looking for your fairy-tale gown, 2012 is the year for all these. And don’t be surprised if you see something that’s not traditional white. We’re loving Elie Saab’s stunning lace and pastel dresses…

PS be sure to check back later this month for our guide to finding THE dress.


While we adore a pop of bright color, we’re predicting seeing more watercolor designs and soft shades, so pastels won’t just be on dresses.



Going with the glam and romantic vibe, decadent and ethereal are the way to go for flowers. Soft, lush, earthy bouquets filled with flowers like cabbage roses, peonies, and wild roses, Queen Anne’s lace, dahlias, and gardenias.




We’ve been seeing more and more “natural” and traditional photography. We agree: the panoramic wedding portrait of all your guests is a must!



We are so incredibly lucky to live in an area with some of the most beautiful outdoor venues for the most perfect rustic-elegant weddings. Take some notes from the ritzy ranch wedding à la Lauren Bush and David Lauren’s recent nuptials on the famous Double RL Ranch. Check out some of their stunning details, here!



We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we’re foodies. We’re so excited to see (and taste!) some beautiful, innovative meals this year. These farm-fresh, organic options are the way to go, while crafted into photo-album- worthy presentations. A feast for the eyes and palate, check out our post about what’s cooking at Cavallo Point.

Oh, this is going to be a great year!!

What’s Cooking At Cavallo Point?

One of our favorite details to any wedding is choosing the menu, we’re total foodies! Being in the Bay Area we’re so blessed to have local organic farms with the freshest ingredients at our finger tips. We recently had the opportunity to join one of our couples at Cavallo Point for their menu tasting . With so many unique dishes and amazing flavors this is anything but traditional wedding food.

                     Passed Canapes

1. wood grilled skirt steak & horseradish mascarpone 2. lettuce cups, grilled chicken & thai style vinaigrette 3. lobster & mango skewers 4. grilled wolfe ranch quail & romesco glaze 5. wood grilled prawn, white bean puree & rosemary vinaigrette 6. point reyes grass-fed beef skewers & chimichurri marinade

                     To Start

1. local octopus carpaccio, jalapeno-mint mouse, dashi broth & frisee salad 2. organic carrot soup, leek emulsion & tender spinach ravioli 3. little gem salad, lop-chong, humboldt fog dressing & banyuls vinegar


1. rack of sonoma coast lamb, fresh shelling beans & carrot sabayon 2. pan-seared day scallop, soy bean coulis, parsnip mousseline, madiera-mirin sauce & scallop chips

A big thank you to chef John Reyna the wonderful team at Cavallo Point for a delicious lunch. Everything was so good that we’re having a difficult time selecting the final wedding menu. If it were up to you, what would you serve?

rain, rain go away

June 4, 2011 will forever be a date that no one in the event industry will soon forget. The skies above open-up and decided to play tricks on us throughout the day. Heather and Carol with Gertrude and Mabel Photography worked wonders, they were quick to get the shots just before a major downpour. Our amazing team of vendors made it our mission to make this the best and dry as can be day for Kim and Jeff. Rain boots, umbrellas, tent, check!

Wedding Photography: Heather and Carol for Gertrude & Mabel Photography / Wedding Coordinator: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Venue: Annadel Estate Winery / Caterer: Elaine Bell Catering / Flowers: Cherries / Cake: Sweet On Cake / Band: Notorious / Videography: Basico  / Lighting & Sound: Got Light / Hair & Make-up: Wendy Walter / Tent: Zephyr Tents / Linens:La Tavola / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Paper: Union Street Papery / Transportation: Pure Luxury  / Getaway Car: Classic Convertible Wine Tours