Posts tagged ‘floral designer keith laverty ‘

Sunset Terrace & Plaza Room, Ritz-Carlton, Laguna

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Cathy’s wedding was my first for 2015 and she got such a beautiful day in January and look at her ceremony backdrop, awesome.  They were planning everything from Washington DC, so you can imagine how happy they and everyone were to leave cold/snowy east coast and enjoy our everyday sunny/warm weather, no matter what time of year, lol.

Cathy had an idea for how she wanted the table setup in Plaza Room, but guest count had to be at a certain level for it to work, she finally got there and we were able to make it work and it turned out great.  We had fun pulling her vendor team together and the vision, and it was a great celebration.  Thanks to my vendor peeps: Father Brian, Design Visage for beautifying the lovely ladies, Keith Lavery/floral designer who got it and made it happen, Naples Strings/cere&cocktails, my fave band who always work with the little space they are sometimes given to setup and play in and in this setup the guests danced on the other side of the table from them, Full Spectrum/Adam, muah!!! Monico Décor for the rentals, Tony Florez for always being so easy to get along with, and to my peeps at the Ritz who have been my work family for the past 15 years and make 5 star events happen easily.

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Till tomorrow


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Add a comment December 8, 2015

Destination wedding to S CA


This is when you really know the world is a small place.

I was booked by the groom who lived in New Zealand with his American bride (her background was Swiss, but she grew up in CA, and her parents live here). Her mom lives in Huntington Beach and choosing the Hyatt HB was logical to them, me being from New Zealand was co-incidence.  They chose January and because they chose that month they got a bigger room to use for the reception which they would not have been given the choice of in the summer, so with a smaller group, we were able to really spread things out and use the whole room in a really unique way.  The ceremony was on the lawn with a great CA backdrop, palm trees and beach, cocktails were held on the balcony with the same view, and then dinner/dancing was in the ballroom, with windows to the beach also.  We reused the arch from the ceremony because it was so unique, in the ballroom as cake backdrop which was nice.  Brian knew they didn’t want rounds or a big table, so he actually came up with the X table design, and then Keith Laverty/florist ran with that thought for the floral design, but we knew because of the table design we wanted to do something different in the center.  Keith came up with this really over the top tall piece, that was awesome and the comments started on how fabulous it was when the guests first came in the room, to even after the event was long past.

Brian loved the idea of a martini luge, so we created a lounge area which was well used once the party started after dinner.

So where is the small world part of this story you ask.  We had a total of 56 guests, a good amount came over from New Zealand, the rest from all over the USA.  So not a lot of opportunity for me to see someone I knew right…. well guess what, I never connected the bride’s last name to someone I worked with many years ago, turned out that her dad worked with me at a hotel many years ago a good 6 years.  I got a tap on my shoulder and I turned around and it was like life went backwards about 20 years, could not believe it.  He said Alexandra kept talking about Lisa her wedding planner, but never heard my last name, so he never connected the dots, plus he had no idea what I was doing now.  Too funny

Thanks as always to my trusting couples that let me lead them and when you don’t get any pre-trips to the actual wedding, you really are trusting me and I appreciate that.  Our vendor team for this wedding was great: Larry Crandall/photographer and thanks for the pics below.  Keith Laverty/floral designer, Design Visage for beautifying everyone beautifully as always.  Carvin Ice for the luge you always create for each of my couples.  Epod for our fun photobooth that talks back to you and I knew the kiwis would appreciate even more later in the night after a few martinis!! Monico Décor for the rentals.  As always to my companions in creating great celebrations, the team at Hyatt HB, love them all







Till tomorrow


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Add a comment December 6, 2015

St Regis Grand Lawn Wedding Celebration

They got married at the MIssion SJC, cocktails were held at the Sunset Terrace at the St Regis looking down over the dining/dancing area which was the Grand Lawn.

Lovely Alexis was a dream to work with.  Great style and taste, as well as lovely inside and out.  And working with Alexis and her mom was just a wonderful experience.  When she came to me she knew she wanted her wedding dinner/dance to be outside and we discussed a few different locations and scenarios, Alexis loved the St Regis Grand Lawn and wanted a September evening, which could have gone either way, good, or cool and uncomfortable.  Good things happen to good people, she had the perfect evening temperature wise and no wind. They got married at the MIssion SJC, cocktails were held at the Sunset Terrace at the St Regis looking down over the dining/dancing area which was the Grand Lawn.

We had a great time creating the vision, finding the right vendors to fit our budget and style, and then pulling it all together.

Thanks to Keith Laverty for bringing the floral vision to life, to Larry Crandall for the lovely photos below and for always being such a gentleman to work with.  And to Kelly and the banquet team at the ST Regis Monarch Beach for always going along for the ride with me with their five star/five diamond service and style.






I would love to help you plan your perfect wedding celebration.

Till next time


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Add a comment July 27, 2014

Balboa Bay Resort lovely celebration

Really enjoyed this bride and her mom. Bride was very busy with schooling on the east coast and mom was bi-coastal ending up in the final months here full time. Just lovely lovely ladies, you can tell by the style of the decor/look how they were, as I do feel all ‘looks’ are always a reflection of a bride or couples style/personalities, which they should be, each wedding should not look like it is one of mine!!

They got married in a church over on Balboa Island and at one point we considered duffy boats to get everyone across the harbor and back, it didn’t end up happening, but I think would have been fun and a cool experience for the guests ………….next time!!

We matched the vendor team to the style/look/personality they had/wanted, and it was fabulous. Thanks to for always being soooo easy to work with and for the pics below. Design Visage for making everyone look fabulous as always, all the way until the end of the event (which is important). Keith Laverty for the floral design and for loving these ladies as I did. Essence for providing the pianist that I have worked with many times in the past and did a great job for dinner music. Dj/Mr Bill (a find from one of my brides years ago and so many of my brides pick him now). Fusion Decor for the chaircovers (looks so rich and elegant/warm/inviting after seeing chivaris so often), table linens, furniture for the balcony, and the white dancefloor (which always pulls a look together/finishes it off). Lake Forest limos for getting everyone from A to B then to C, all without effort and trouble. The team at Balboa Bay Club as it was known then, but now Resort, fabulous job and a beautiful cake designed by the passionate Susanne at Sweet Art. A really lovely celebration.





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Add a comment June 8, 2014

St Regis/Ritz-Carlton Laguna combo celebration

Well as you can probably guess, I hear a lot of really good stories on how couples met/got engaged etc, and I love hearing them. Mine involved meeting in a bar in a country I was not from and him following me back to NZ, and a ring in a box of my fave chocolates which was in the fridge, and 27 years later we are still married!! Exciting, fabulous, not really, but it’s my story so it is endearing.

Well the wedding you see the pics from below, is what I would call a fabulous story, kept me on the edge of my chair, and our planning process was even exciting, as it involved three way calls with me, the bride at the Pentagon and the groom on base in Afganistan!!!! Can’t reference their names or I would have to kill you (lol), but the bride was flown in to a base in the war zone for a meeting and the groom happened to be their consulting for the US government, a friend of the grooms happened to take a pic on his phone of them from a distance as they were meeting which is really cool, because at that time, no one had any idea what was going to happen in the future. The chemistry in this photo is incredible, she looks like Laura/Tomb Warrior (or whatever that Angelina character was) and he is just a really good looking, debonair English gentleman, that all the vendors and hotel staff feel in love with, believe me if this wedding wasn’t going to work out, there was a line of woman ready!!! So a long distance relationship started, with rendevouz in various parts of the world, India, Morocco, Scotland, I mean this is a fabulous story, and it ended up with the three of us coming together (everything is fate) to help plan two very special events to celebrate them finding each other.

So to find a location was pretty easy, her parents and some family live in the OC, but there were friends and his family flying in from all around the world, so no brainer, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel it must be with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, but we needed to do a pre-event celebration where everyone would get to meet for the first time, well ……….. I do this quite a bit and it is so fabulous, we have two 5 star/5 diamond hotels within a mile of each other, different ambiances/views etc, so of course the pre-event needed to be at the St Regis, but do we do the wine cellar (which is awesome) or a smaller banquet room that has a balcony that looks out across property, well, as luck will have it, and how often does this happen, Club 19 was available on a Sat night in the middle of the season (great for my couple but not for someone else, if you get my jist) and we got it. So the best venues at both locations were ours for a group of our size, check!

The pre-event was the grooms, he wanted a Raffles/Singapore type feel without going over the top in spending as he did not want to take away from the actual wedding event. Having been to Raffles myself, I knew exactly the feel he was looking for (it’s a very English/downunder thing, the whole Raffles/Singapore thing), so I called in Keith Laverty/floral designer who I knew would get it and could pull it off, and then be able to come up with something that would be fabulous for the Sunday day time wedding at the Ritz. As you can see below, he did a great job, and they were soooo happy. Pulling these two events together with the bride and groom and the three of us in three different parts of the country/world was not a problem, I actually do it a lot with the couple in one part of the country or world and me here, and sometimes we are in different parts of the country and the wedding is in a totally different part of the country, so thanks to technology, email, websites, etc, it’s so much easier now than it ever was years ago, which is why years ago intimate/un local weddings had to have so much time for planning.

For the Sat night pre-event, we had my fave band/Full Spectrum playing, and they danced and danced (Teri oversaw that event as I was doing a wedding elsewhere), for the wedding day we had my fave dj/Peter of Vive Ent, Katie Clark did the photography for both events, Fusion Decor supplied the linens/chairs/furniture etc for both events. We had Naples Chamber Ensemble for the cere/cocktails on the wedding day, we had a Catholic style ceremony with Father Brian, Design Visage had my bride looking fabulous for both events. My teams/family at each hotel from the office to the staff on the day helping us orchestrate both events, as always did a top-notch job, as you would expect, never have to worry about the food or service with both of those hotels.

For the Sat night event, we had everyone at the one table on the outdoor feeling dining patio at Club 19, and on the Sunday lunch wedding, we were inside the more formal/yet not stuffy Plaza room with a chandelier and fireplace and had everyone at rounds and the B&G at a sweetheart table. So between the music, room layouts, floral look/feel, we were able to create two very different events, and everyone loved both of them. Great, great compliments from everyone, including two beautiful letters, one from the bride and one from the groom, afterwards.









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Add a comment April 12, 2014

St Regis Monarch Beach, Mediterranean Room

Mom and bride were a lot of fun in pulling this wedding together, starting from doing our budget and ending up with the result below. Their whole intent from the beginning was to keep it intimate and they chose the Mediterranean Room for that reason, it has a capacity that was not large – this is a great way to keep yourselves on budget.

They were also part of a trend I saw this year, couples picking 5 star hotel to have their wedding reception at, not booking it for the ceremony/view, the ceremonies were being held at churches. So these couples were really booking the hotels for the service/guest experience that they knew their guests were going to receive/enjoy.

I think we created a romantic/elegant/soft experience for all. Keith Laverty/floral designer was back in the OC from Texas and this was the first wedding of the year that we got to work on, always entertaining/giving me a hard time (oh, and me right back at him) my Keith, and the wonderful Larry Crandall wedding photographer who provided me with the photos below, and as always is a pleasure to work with (we did around 6 together this year, so some of my brides appreciated his eye and chose him from the options I suggested would be a good match for their style). And of course the St Regis team, Marissa from the sales/service team, and the banquet team on the floor on the day itself.

The only thing I wish we had of done, and it was not in the budget and was considered seriously in the last two weeks but then decided against, was to drape the whole room, or even along the wall behind where we had the sweetheart & cake tables. Would have just made it seem more romantic, but as you can see below, it looked great as we had it. The white dancefloor makes a difference in any room, gives it a complete/finished look/feel, so that is a component I normally have stick in the budget from beginning to end, even if we overspend in some areas.

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Till next time
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Add a comment November 6, 2013






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