New Zealander living in S.Ca planning weddings

March 26, 2010 lisasimpsonweddingcelebrations
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Well, life is starting to get crazy again with wedding season getting ready to go into full swing in April and go on through the end of October.  So the tastings/detail meetings and keeping everyone on task has been the main focus for the past couple of months, as well as orchestrating the weddings that are happening in our ‘off’ months.  I have another this weekend at the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, so looking forward to seeing that come together, a lovely couple and the bride’s parents are just the nicest nicest people.

This time of year is also when it seems we have locations showcasing themselves so that we keep them in mind for future weddings, either this year or next year.  So I am going to update you with what is near and dear around here that I have been fortunate to update myself with.

The St Regis Resort & Spa in Monarch Beach put on a lovely event to showcase the property a few Sundays ago.  Many vendors participated, the food & beverage was lovely as always, and it was a gorgeous day to spend close to the coast.  Great job to the team at St Regis who pulled it together, and to some of my pals who were also involved.

Above is a picture of myself with Antonietta, together with her husband, they own Vogue Salon at the St Regis and in Newport Beach, a lovely Italian couple, I have known them from when they opened the salon at the hotel and now they have 2 gorgeous wee young boys who are going to grow up and be heart stealers!!!  We are holding those fabulouse brooch bouquets that Amanda from Fantasy Florals has created and is now selling worldwide, so creative and a wonderful keepsake after the wedding, you can have them made from brooches that mean something to you, or give her your color palette and she will create one for you – it seems English and Australian bride’s are really into them.  Also in the ‘bride’ pic at the top, if you look to the right, you will see Miss Kelly O’Dell who took one for the team when one of the models did not show, you go girl, looking fab by the way!!  Thanks to Bleu and Allison Cotton who were there snapping away.

I went up to Beverly Hills to a dinner at a steakhouse belonging to Wolfgang, now silly me, didn’t think anything of it, and thought it was a new venture of Wolfgang Pucks, but no, it’s another Wolfgang, German also, was a waiter in Germany as a young man and dreamed of owning a steakhouse in America.  Now he is an older man and his dream is a reality.  The food was excellent, especially the steak,mmmm mmmm.  Will go back there again for sure, a great location for rehearsal dinners for anyone having their events up in the Beverly Hills/LA area, two great private rooms.

Now talking of Wolfgang, and I do mean Puck this time.  They had an open house/showcase of a property along the beach Santa Monica/Malibu border area, unique property combining ultra modern/contemporary with historical.  The site used to have an old wooden hotel on it (not that I knew that was what it was the many times over the years I drove by it) which was boarded up and the Northridge Earthquake was the end of it.  So the hotel came down to make way for this new building with great ocean views, all windows and a huge balcony, but they kept the guest house which is a wonderful wooden building which has been restored and has such a great feel to it, a lovely lower/private area for a cere, then cocktails in the home where you can look out over the beach, then back down to the cere area to have dinner/dancing later.  This complex was built by Randolph Hearst for his lady friend Marion Davies, another place for them to entertain and impress their celebrity pals without everyone having to make their way to San Simeon and the Hearst Castle.  What an understanding wife he had!!  Anyway, Wolfgang Puck is one of the preferred caterers for this complex and totally suits them, there is no kitchen, so all food must be room temperature presentable, and it worked.

Took my lovely assistant co-ordinators Teri and Peni to the Tea and Tinis at the St Regis last week. Held in the Motif Restaurant it is a very relaxing way to enjoy the afternoon on a Saturday, or use the experience for a bridal or baby shower.  You get to pick a glass of lovely champagne (of course my pick) or a unique martini, all the tea you can drink/various lovely styles and flavors, and the food is more than just tea sandwiches and cakes as I was expecting, it was a lovely luncheon buffet.  Sandwiches and cakes of course, but salads, grilled vegetables, finger foods, quite savory and very very enjoyable.  You must find the occasion to go and experience it, or don’t wait for an experience, just go do it!!

For those lovers of the 7 Degree style venue for your wedding event, but you can’t quite swing 7 Degrees, a new venue showcased itself last week, in Irvine, it is the Contempo Events Center.  Very unique, lots of cool rooms around with couches/seating areas, and a clear area in the center for the dining tables/dancing.  You could either do a small group say under 100 with the normal dining table/dancing area and use the other areas for cocktails and after dinner movement, or have a larger event where it was cocktail tables and more socialising/dancing feel.  Currently they have offices along one side of the dining area which I thought was a bit odd, so I would probably drape those off, but I was told that once they get a certain amount of event business booking they will take the offices out/away so they won’t be an issue.  Very interesting.  Never know when something is going to work for someone, so if there is something to be seen, I am out there.

Went with a group to Buca di Beppo the other night.  Now if you are looking for a fun, relaxed place to go for a rehearsal dinner or just a group of friends getting together, it’s a winner.  The plates are piled with food, it tastes good, the atmosphere in the restaurant is quirky and very old world Italian feeling, check out the Pope’s room which each restaurant has, I believe you can get up to 18 around that table, I’m just not sure if I want to be the one with the Pope staring at me while I eat.  Make sure you get some of their mashed potato, it is to die for!!  You can be as noisy as you want as they put in your own area, and each area has nooks and crannys everywhere.    For rehearsal dinners they have a great menu with  5 courses and unlimited drinks for 2 hours, which runs $46++ per person, I believe, a great deal for a good time – just provide the transportation to get everyone back to the hotel or wherever they came from, you may even need to wheel them out of the restaurant due to being so full.  It’s funny how anything Italian can make everyone feel good and ready for fun. 

Yesterday on The View on tv, Dame Edna Everage co-hosted with the ladies, most of you probably have no idea who she is, but coming from  downunder we are very familiar with her.  She had a tv show a while ago here that did not last long, she has a very unique sense of humor that cracks most English/Aussie/Kiwis up, but  American’s aren’t so sure.  Well anyway she gave me my smile for the day with everything she said and did, and they just showed an after interview where she said she didn’t have a good time at all and shouldn’t have worn her best as obviously the ladies don’t!!  Gotta love her, gave me another smile for today.

Loving the blossom trees out right now, I love the summer, but spring is so pretty and motivating for me.  My Wisteria is flowering right now in the backyard, I have the purple and the white, gorgeous, such a shame it’s only for a few weeks in a year.  The jasmine is out and in full bloom and smells divine, the lavender plants are flowering, birds are tweeting, love it.

Off to do the rehearsal for tomorrow.

Until next time, live, laugh and love.


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