Media & Mentions about our Wedding Coordination & Planning
written by Amanda Hinnant
So often you hear about shortcuts gone awry - the substituted inferior ingredient, the hasty decision, the dead end. Why is it so uncommon to hear about the shortcuts that work out? Probably because the shortcut-taker doesn't want anybody to know her secrets. It's time to let you in on them. Here, the corners you can confidently cut, shaving time off tasks without skimping on quality results.
Duck out of a Party
Leaving a party is easy if, like Cinderella, you know you need to depart prematurely. "Just tell the hostess as soon as you can," says Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO of the French Culinary Institute, in New York City. But what if you're at a party that makes purgatory feel like Disneyland? There's no polite way to duck out of a dinner party. However, for less intimate affairs, "assume it's going to be boring, and lay your groundwork for escape," says Robert Verdi of the E! Channel's Fashion Police. Talk with the hostess right away, and whether or not you say a proper good-bye, "send flowers with a thank-you note the next day", says Julie Pryor, of Pryor Events, in Los Angeles.
WE NOW PRONOUNCE YOU HUSBAND AND WIFE
by Robin McMacken
Mr. and Mrs. Quinn Moo (Hyemi Pak)
It was love at first sight when Hyemi Pak and Quinn Moo saw the Adamson House in Malibu where the couple married on August 22. The groom, a surfer, was happy to be near the ocean, while the bride loved the garden and historic estate. Organized by Julie Pryor of Pryor Events, the wedding and reception reflected a shabby-chic theme using pale pinks accented by champagne, ivory, green and chocolate brown. The bride's parents are Mun and Kyong Pak of Los Angeles, and the groom's parents are Chuck and Barbara Moo of Torrance. The bride is a program officer at First 5 LA, a grant-making entity. The groom is co-founder and president of Fusionist, an Internet consulting firm in downtown Los Angeles. The couple honeymooned in Bali and live in Los Angeles.
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jeff Weaver and Jillian Malnofski went white for their fairy-tale November Nuptials
by Jennifer Muirhead
1 THE SCENE Good lighting is key for preventing an all-white color scheme from appearing too sterile, says Julie Pryor of Pryor Events, who used soft background lighting to illuminate the Weavers' reception at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey, California. On the tabletops, unconventional details brought interest to the color-free tableaux. "Don't be afraid to add elements that you wouldn't normally use in a centerpiece," says Pryor, who incorporated crystals, beads and miss-matched candles into the composition. Even the dance floor - white varnished wood hand-painted with the couple's monogram - adhered to the color code.
2 THE FLOWERS Less is more when choosing blooms for an all-white affair. Floral designer Amy Marella, owner of Hidden Garden Floral Design in L.A., stuck to only two textually different blooms - white roses and hydrangeas - to create a clean, simple look that provided maximum impact.
3 THE DETAILS Layering cream and ivory tones kept the ambience inviting. Pryor chose subtle gold accents - such as gilded edible chocolate plates and golden silk draped over the chandeliers - for the reception site. The gold "made the whites pop and added depth," Pryor says.
4 THE SURPRISE The Weavers broke from their monochromatic palette at one station, wowing guests with a brightly colored candy bar lined with leonidas, black magic and milva roses. Tasty clusters of pink and white rock candy, English toffee, candy sticks and red licorice sated guests' sweet tooth's.
Julie Pryor of Pryor Events has orchestrated parties and weddings for some of the world's elite including Queen Noor of Jordan, Quincy Jones and, most recently, Marcia Cross's lavish ceremony. Julie's advice when gifting for a wedding? "Buy a unique gift for the couple that they would not buy for themselves. Think about interests that the couple share and go from there."
Leave An Impression Custom Gift Basket
Created with the couple's life-style and interests in mind, these ultra-luxe gift baskets have "thoughtful" written all over them. For the culinary couple with a sophisticated palate, this stunning basket is filled with all the ingredients they'll need to explore new flavors together.
Beringer Wine Clube
Help your wine-loving couple keep a well-stocked cellar with a wine club membership. Like this one from Beringer, the couple will enjoy bimonthly shipments of the finest Reserve and limited-production in their portfolio.
Romance Concierge Package
If you want your gift to take first prize for "most memorable," look no further than the Romance Concierge. Feng shui for couples, romantic date planning (midnight gourmet picnic, anyone?) and pre-scheduled gift delivery for special occasions are just a few of the distinct offerings that the newlyweds can take advantage of with this service romance.
Forward to Fall
Autumn provides bountiful ideas for wedding motifs. The ripe beauty and richness of autumn provides a cornucopia of inspiration for couples who choose to wed during that season. The mood of such harvest holidays as Thanksgiving, and yes, even Halloween, can provide a sumptuous collection of ideas for wedding colors, décor and menus.
Los Angeles wedding coordinator Julie Pryor of Pryor Events said that at her business, weddings during September and October are outpacing the traditional June nuptials. “In Southern California, our weather is typically sunny and warm in the fall,” Pryor said. “Many brides choose this time of year, as fall is their favorite season.”
Landing a location
California’s temperate autumn weather makes it wonderfully suitable for outdoor venues, and Pryor urged couples to be creative in selecting their locations. Think of a winery, a Malibu ranch or an art gallery. Texas-based event designer Tara Wilson’s favorite California locations include Napa Valley’s Auberge du Soleil, known for its breathtaking views, and Clos Pegase, a winery with a gorgeous underground wine cellar that makes an unexpected place for dinner.
Carissa Jones-Jowett, of Irvine-based JL Designs, which provides floral and event styling services, said a barn or an orchard can be dressed to the nines for a wedding ceremony. “Just make sure to always have a backup plan in case of inclement weather” if the celebration is held outdoors, she said.
“One of the easiest ways to inject fall sensibility into a fall wedding is choosing the right location; quaint inns, lodges, wineries, farmhouses are typical favorites,” said Maria McBride, wedding style director for Brides magazine and author of several wedding books. “They naturally exude fall charm all year round, but when these properties are booked during leaf-peeping seasons, it’s a comforting combination of color, harvest flavors and homey details.”
For one magazine photo shoot, McBride went on location to Lake Placid, N.Y. in the Adirondack Mountains. “I wanted to create a fall destination wedding set against the backdrop of vibrant fall foliage,” she said. Using the forest for inspiration, she set tables with candle lamps with birch lampshades, chocolate-velvet tablecloths and faded blue denim napkins. She also dressed a lakeside dock with Oriental rugs and wood chairs as a nuptial ceremony setting.
Whatever the location, the season creates a lofty sense of celebration. “I think people love the fall, and it reminds them of the holidays and family traditions,” Pryor explained.
“I like to approach the design focusing on elements that evoke the feeling of fall,” said Rebecca Stone of L.A.-based Duet Weddings, a wedding planning business. For a fall wedding, she starts with materials like old barn siding to create menu boards and incorporates nubby fabrics such as unbleached muslin, teastained linen, twine and antique lace into the décor. She ties strips of burlap around napkins and the bases of plant pots set on tables.
Feel free to pluck style ideas from fall holidays, but beware of falling into the orange pumpkin cliché. This is the time to pick the best of the gorgeous season and interpret it with grace and restraint.
“You need to be careful not to turn your wedding into a Halloween or Thanksgiving celebration, but you can certainly incorporate touches of the fall holidays,” Pryor said. She suggested embracing deep colors, such as burgundy mixed with golds and deep reds.
“Rather than the typical chocolate, orange and burgundy, why not try using eggplant, rust, bronze and caramel?” suggested Jones- Jowett. Stone loves the idea of muted antique neutral tones paired with a mixture of apricot, champagne and light blush.
To set a fashionable mood at the wedding, borrow from the bounty of the season by letting the fruits, flowers and even vegetables work their way into the décor. “For example, decorative kale is always fun to work with, and there is a variety now that is fluffy and almost ruffled around the edges with specks of white on it. It has such great texture and movement, and it’s large enough to make a great statement in any fall arrangement,” said Megan Fickling of La Partie Events in Santa Monica.
Faux Bois patterns are popular right now, said Jones-Jowett, who proposed many uses for the imitation wood at a wedding. “Use the pattern in all your stationery, line your aisle in tree stumps set with pillar candles and even have your baker create a Faux Bois texture on your cake,” she said.
Wilson suggested picking up on a trend big in fashion and home décor right now. “For a fall wedding, incorporating animal prints into the décor and other elements is very fresh,” she said. Place faux animal skin rugs, for instance, beneath the cake tables to add visual interest.
Jones-Jowett is also a fan of using the fabrics found in fall attire. “Flannel, plaid and cableknit sweater material are huge right now,” she noted. “Use the fabric to make custom napkins, to wrap your floral vases and even have your bridesmaids wear dresses in that style.”
What to Eat
Don’t forget that an autumn-inspired spread of scrumptious food is a sure way to please guests and make a wedding memorable. “I think when the temperatures get a bit cooler, warm, comforting foods are always the way to go, and of course using the best seasonal ingredients,” Stone said. “It could be fun to do a fanciful take on a Thanksgiving feast — comforting food with an elegant twist.”
A “wedding pie,” for instance, could take center stage in place of a traditional wedding cake. “Apple, pumpkin and pecan pies are all wonderful during that time of year, and conjure up such cozy fall memories,” Stone said.
For dinner, Nathaniel Neubauer of Contemporary Catering in L.A. suggested such robust entrees as double-cut pork chops stuffed with dried apricots and crushed pecans topped with blackberry-apple chutney.
How would Jones-Jowett have a fall wedding come to an end?
“Get a fire pit and instead of roasting s’mores, roast fresh apples, and have a station where guests can top their apples with cinnamon, whipped cream, salted caramel, nutmeg, vanilla ice cream, brandy or rum.”
— Robin McMacken, Special Advertising Sections Writer
by Elizabeth Jenkins
It's the prelude to the big day, a chance for families to meet, stories to be told and glasses raised. Traditionally held the night before the wedding - and right after a run-through of the ceremony - the rehearsal dinner was intended as an intimate gathering for the bridal party and the couple's immediate families. But now it often includes all of the out-of-town guests and, for destination weddings, everyone invited to the nuptials. To help you plan this significant and personal celebration, we asked wedding pros from coast to coast for advice on ways to make the night eventful.
Keep it Casual - The trend is to forgo formality in favor of a more low-key, comfortable event. "I planned a rehearsal dinner at a barbecue restaurant with sawdust on the floor," says celebrity wedding planner, Julie Pryor.
Pick the right entertainers and your guests will leave on a high note
by Laura J. Vogel
"Guests always remember a wedding's music," says L.A. event planner Julie Pryor, who has orchestrated fêtes for Quincy Jones, TV Guide Channel host Debbie Matenopoulos, and other celebrities. "If you get up and dance and lose yourself in the music, you have a much better time." So whether your taste runs to sultry tango or nonstop disco, picking a music vendor is key. A stellar band or DJ ensures that you and your guests turn the beat around and get footloose all night long.
Think beyond your own musical tastes. "People won't want to listen to Nine Inch Nails all night," planner Julie Pryor says.
As you begin thinking about reception music, certain songs will no doubt begin flooding back. A smart idea, Julie Pryor says, is for the bride and groom to keep a running list of their favorite songs when they think of them or hear them on the radio.
can you give me 101 ways to party?
Reported by Elizabeth Jenkins and Jennifer Tzeses
Special thanks to our partying pros:
Julie Pryor, L.A. event planner
With a guest list of 450, Lisa and Steve Rottman knew their wedding would be a big-budget production, so the Montecito Calif., pair turned to Julie Pryor of Pryor Events, who has planned other celebrity nuptials. "We were pampered beyond belief - we felt like celebrities," says Lisa, now 32, adding that the star treatment began with the location. "We wanted an 'old Hollywood' feel, so the Beverly Hills Hotel was perfect." The ceremony featured thousands of white roses, while the reception included two bars carved out of ice, a trio of performing waiters and a choreographed dance number by the bride and groom! "It was absolutely over-the-top," says Lisa, admitting that they spent more than they expected. "But it was worth it. Everybody said it was the wedding of the century."
by Angie Bromeland
THE LANGHAM, HUNTINGTON HOTEL & SPA
To describe The Langham in a nutshell, one might call it "breathtaking, romantic, and a classic location." At least, that's what Julie Pryor, owner of Pryor Events, has to say. The Pasadena hotel, which was formerly known as the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel and Spa, has provided bragging risghts for Southern California since it was first built in 1907. But the history of the hotel became even richer when it grew into part of the debonair Langham establishment first built in London, England in 1865. The Langham, which is said to be responsible for many of the five-star amenities so sought after even today, has set many the benchmark for discerning hotel aficionados.
Situated on 23 perfectly landscaped acres, The Langham especially appeals to Pryor because of the unique areas situated throughout the property. "It has an elegant, grand, Old World feeling that is rare in Los Angeles," she says. "And the food and service are top notch." With The Langham's classic pairing of modern convenience and yesteryear's charm, the hotel instantly becomes a perfect place for any event. And with three ballrooms, fifteen meeting rooms and three boardrooms, the hotel is equipped to be everything you need it to be.
LOVE IN BLOOM
by Jennifer Wulr. Ulrica Wihlborg and Michael Fleeman in Los Angeles
Why stop at one flower girl scattering rose petals along your path when you can have seven? From the heart-shaped peony wreath over the church door to the cocktail lounge bursting with white tulips, casablancas and calla lilies to the 5-ft. wedding cake layered with roses and lilacs, flowers were more than just decoration at the June 24 wedding of actress Marcia Cross and money manager Tom Mahoney: They were a tribute to the couple's first encounter. Cross was browsing at a Los Angeles flower shop in 2004 when she spied Mahoney. She inquired about the handsome stranger with an employee, who offered to discreetly pass along her number. "He called me a week later," says Cross. Two years on, one of her few instructions to their wedding planner was that the reception should "look like a flowershop." Yet even cross was amazed at the result. "It was one of the most beautiful events I've ever been to," she says. "I wish I could go back and look at it all again!"
Though she plays consummate hostess Bree on Desperate Housewives, Cross, 44, had little interest in most of the details of her own nuptials. "It's not really my thing," she admits. Instead she left many of the particulars to Mahoney, 48 (he wanted black tie and a Saturday night affair), and event coordinator Julie Pryor of Pryor Events, who calls her "the calmest bride I've ever seen." Even having delegated, says Cross, "you have to answer questions for months. But it was so worth every annoying decision. It was exquisite."
The actress took an equally carefree attitude to getting ready. "My hair and makeup people were teasing me because I hadn't told them what I wanted. I figured it would all work out." And, amazingly, Cross didn't balk when her dressing room at the church lacked a mirror. "I had no idea what I looked like," she says. "I got into my dress, put on my veil and was sent out the door!"
She had nothing to worry about. In a satin reem Acra gown and Neil Lane diamonds, "Marcia looked as beautiful as I've ever seen her," says Desperate Housewives costar Doug Savant, who came with wife Laura Leighton (both were Cross's colleagues on Melrose Place). Also on the guest list of 240 were Housewives pals Marc Cherry, Felicity Huffman (with husband William H. Macy), Eva Longoria (with boyfriend Tony Parker) and Brenda Strong, who called the event "formal but without the formality."
Held at the church of Our Savior Episcopal Parish in San Gabriel, California the ceremony began with a procession of Cross's many flower girls (her niece and her friends' daughters), followed by her sister Susan Hett as maid of honor. The bride entered with mom Janet, 72, and dad Mark, 83, as younger sister Ellen sang Paul McCartney's "Only Love Remains." The couple's vows were traditional, but Cross deviated from the script ever so slightly. "After I said 'I will' about everything, I whispered under my breath, 'As long as I don't have to cook!'" Another moment of levity came when Mahoney's cell phone went off. "Marcia couldn't contain her giggles," says Strong.
With church bells chiming, the guests headed for Pasadena's Ritz Carlton, where they dined on sea bass and filet mignon at tables filled with vibrant hydrangeas and roses. "It was rich and warm and passionate," says Cross. "I was overwhelmed."
Even more so during her first dance with Mahoney, "I'm floating just thinking about it," says Cross. The song? "At Last," by Etta James. "You had to pick that one if you're our age!" she says. Soon, the whole party was on the floor, and only when her "feet were killing me" did Cross sit down.
Days later, she still hasn't quite recovered. "I'm exhausted, but the most happy exhausted," says Cross, who was spotted shopping for groceries with Mahoney the next day. They were hand in hand, still obviously under the spell of their big day. It was "magical, filled with love and beyond my wildest imagination."
When modern men prepare to wed, many wax, tan and help plan. Here come the "groomzillas"
by Jeremy Caplan
BY THE TIME PASQUALE PIGNATELLI visited luxury clothier Hickey Freeman for the final fitting of an $1,800 custom-made worsted-wool suit, he had devoted as much time perfecting his wedding outfit as his fiancee; had spent selecting her bridal gown.
The "bridezillas" who pay assiduous attention to nuptial details haven't disappeared. But increasingly they're joined at the altar by "groomzillas," who care just as much about the particulars of the big day.
The fact that couples are marrying later means that more brides are in established careers that leave less time for wedding planning. Not only are many women too busy to manage all the details themselves, but as cultural expectations about gender roles have shifted, ubiquitous TV images of chivalrous would-be grooms - on shows like The Bachelor, A Wedding Story and Perfect Proposal - have helped redefine the groom's tasks. According to NPD Research, a New York-based marketing firm, 80% of men are now active co-partners in the wedding-planning process. "I've had grooms call me five or six times a day about details months before their wedding," says Los Angeles wedding planner Julie Pryor. "I'm finding that grooms are hiring me more often too."
by Jennifer Belli
As they say, "April showers bring May flowers for June Brides," and this summer was no exception. Here, the highlights of the season.
Corey Evans and Jim Bouvet
Adamson House, Malibu
The wedding planner was Julie Pryor at Pryor Events (310-478-1767), they served matching bride's and groom's cakes - one a vanilla cake with mixed berries and cream and the other, a chocolate cake with strawberries and cream - were baked by Cake Divas.
Weddings already cost a fortune, but celebrities always go above and beyond regular folks. Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman shelled out $2 million to tie the knot in 2005 - more than 70 times the price of an average American wedding!
"Celebrities are willing to spend so much on weddings because they need to outdo all of the lavish parties and events they are invited to," David Tutera, who planned Star Jones' $2 million nuptials to Al Reynolds in 2004 and now hosts We TV's My Fair Wedding, tells In Touch. "Most couples will spend however much they can to make it perfect. Celebrities just have a bigger budget."
Where the money goes
To outshine everyone else, stars have made some very extravagant requests. Jo Gartin, whose clients include Tori Spelling and Elizabeth Banks, once sent out $200 invitations that included a GPS system and also flew a musician first-class from London to perform two songs at a reception. Basically, if the celeb can dream it, it can be done.
"The sky's the limit," Julie Pryor, of Pryor Events, tells In Touch. "I had one client whose dog had liposuction before the wedding!" But even brides on a budget can learn something from celebrity weddings. "For Kate Walsh's wedding, I had velvet slippers by the dance floor, with a sign that said, 'For your tired toes,'" says Gartin, while Pryor adds that a stress-free bride is priceless. "It would be too bad to go to all that expense and not have the time of your life," she says.
As spring brides and their grooms prepare to head to the altar, some recent celebrations provide inspiration for making the day perfect.
by Jennifer Bell
YASMIN ANWAR AND ROBERT KAMINS
ADAMSON HOUSE, MALIBU
Yasmin Anwar, an intellectual-property attorney, met Robert Kamins, a manager for an industrial-supply company, at a New Year's Eve party at a mutual friend's house in New York City. They recently tied the knot at the Adamson House in Malibu in front of 160 friends and relatives. Pryor Events (310-478-1767, pryorevents.com) coordinated the festivities.
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