The Wedding University is this weekend!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This is a very exciting week for us, as The Wedding University is taking place this Sunday, January 31, 2010 at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley. Brides and grooms, we still have a few more spaces left, so you can still register to join us on Sunday!

As we print the final outlines for each class, we are once again reminded of how lucky we are to have such passionate, knowledgeable and seasoned event professionals on our faculty this year to teach the ins and outs of wedding planning.

The topics that will be taught at The Wedding University will include Design & Decor, Planning & Logistics, Photography & Videography, Beauty & Attire. This is a one-of-a kind bridal event that will allow brides and grooms to gain insight into the different components of wedding planning. Couples that attended our inaugural event last year were surprised and delighted at the experience, and we loved the blog post that was from one of our attendees!

Check out the videos, put together by the fabulous Andrew Hsu of Studio MSV, as a preview to what you will be learning at The Wedding University.

I want to take this time to acknowledge the dynamic duo on our Administrative Team for The Wedding University. Without them, this event would not be happening so smoothly!

Janece Shellooe is the owner and lead planner of Every Elegant Detail. She began her career in the wedding industry by managing events for a high-end Bay Area catering company. Soon after, Janece was mentored by another Bay Area wedding coordinator and began planning a few weddings on her own. Friends and family urged her to start her own business, and in 2007 Every Elegant Detail was born! Since then, Janece has had incredible opportunities to work at some of the most luxurious locations with some of the Bay Area’s most talented vendors.

Janece was an integral part of The Wedding University last year, assisting us with registration, logistics, and staffing. She did such a fantastic job that we asked her to take on an even bigger role in the planning for this year's event, as our Administrative Lead. She has been working closely with all of our professors, and the Four Seasons Silicon Valley, to ensure that no stones are left unturned!

Amanda Chan is the Production Lead for my wedding planning company, Jubilee Lau Events. She has been working with me for a year and a half now. Quite honestly, I don't remember what it was like without her because she does so much for me, and for our clients! On wedding days, she practically runs the entire event for me, allowing me to focus on the bride, and on the 'big picture' at all times. Her passion and enthusiasm for the wedding industry is contagious, so ofcourse I had to bring her in on the planning of The Wedding University! She has been the detail-oriented force for us 'behind the scenes', creating meticulous floorplans, timelines, and all sorts of spreadsheets to keep us on track. Amanda is a bride-to-be herself, so whenever we need a 'bride's perspective', she's a valuable resource for us!

If you are engaged, and looking for valuable tips on how to plan your wedding, there is still time to register for The Wedding University. We also have prizes valued at over $6000 for several lucky attendees, including a 3 night honeymoon stay at a tropical Four Seasons resort! Since we are keeping our event small and intimate at a cap of 150 attendees, each person will have a very good chance of winning!

Hope to see you this Sunday!

Photos by Janae Shields

Speaker Bio: Youngsong Martin

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Youngsong Martin, owner of Wildflower Linens, has created a new standard for tabletop and event design. A former fashion designer, Young infuses her linen collections with rich colors, textures and patterns. Ultimately Young and Wildflower linens have made table design haute. Her collections are released several times a year and mirror couture trends from Milan, Paris and New York. Additionally, trips to China, France and Italy clearly keep Young on the cutting edge of today's looks and tomorrow's trends. Young also works with top designers around the country, including Preston Bailey of Preston Bailey Designs.

Her unique and drop dead gorgeous linens and tabletop designs have been featured on ABC's Extreme Weddings and TBS's Movie and a Makeover and WE'S Platinum Weddings. In magazines such as Grace Ormonde Weddings, Bride and Bloom, Today's Bride, Wedding Bells, Special Events Magazine, Your Wedding Day Magazine, and The Orange County Register. Not to mention the wedding blog circuit including Junebug Weddings, The Flirty Guide and WellWed.

We are very excited that Young will be presenting on a panel at The Academy, along with Grace Ormonde, Catherine Hall, and Gene Higa. This powerful team will be discussing the important relationship between a designer, a photographer, and an editor. How can this dynamic team work together effectively to produce images worthy of being published? In addition, they will be sharing insights and tips on creating amazing photoshoots to be published. This is a very unique opportunity to hear such a dynamic team speak together on this topic.

Here is a sample of Young's beautiful work that was recently featured in Grace Ormonde's Wedding Style Magazine:

Sneak Preview of 'Museum of Petals' Dinner by Gloria Wong Design

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Earlier this week, we posted a sneak preview of the gorgeous design in the works for the 'Emerald Underworld' welcome party at The Academy. We got such great responses from it that we are going to post a sneak preview of another beautiful party in the works for The Academy.

Named the 'Museum of Petals', the design is guaranteed to 'WOW' our attendees. Let's get into the head of our amazing designer Gloria Wong to see what she is planning.....

From Gloria Wong:

For the ballroom dinner, I knew I wanted to let the venue itself be the main source of inspiration. The St. Regis San Francisco is one of the most exquisitely designed hotels in the Bay Area. The second floor plays host to the modern Gallery Ballroom. I am particularly fond of the wall of petals by the staircase leading up to the ballroom.

I like how the petals look like they’re in mid-motion. I love the movement. They’re just floating freely and quietly in the wind.

When you walk towards the Gallery Ballroom, you’ll notice that the petal motif continues and is manifested in a textured wall that is composed of a tree with falling petals. Inside the ballroom, you’ll find an aubergine-colored carpet featuring blooming branches and beautiful branch-shaped chandeliers hanging from above. Not your typical ballroom!

When I looked at the floorplans for The St. Regis San Francisco, I noticed that the names of all the event spaces were related to art. Impressionist, Modernist, Collections, Muse, Vitrine, and Gallery! So, there was no question in my mind that we should name this event Museum of Petals and showcase petals in an artful manner.

First up was the color palette. The photo above just spelled it out! Plum, eggplant, aubergine, amethyst, charcoal grey, dove grey, magenta, and a touch of silver. Easy peasy!

Next, I dreamt up this grand focal piece. I wanted a large tree in the center of the room with petals dripping down from the 16ft ceiling and puddling in mass on the floor. So, the strings of petals would start off sparse and get heavier as they approached the floor. It would look like the tree was being showered in petals. I wanted the same feeling that the wall of petals evokes. Movement.
Then, because this was called “Museum of Petals”, I knew I had to display actual art pieces that incorporated petals. I had seen sketches from the amazing Lena Baranova and knew that I wanted her to be my artist. I asked her to sketch out eight different sets of branches embellished with three-dimensional petals. Again, I wanted the petals too look like they were in mid-motion. The pieces would be hung above the food stations in the hallway like so…
In addition to art pieces, I had to think of other elements that would lend themselves to the venue. I had to wrap my head around substrates. I wanted cool modern materials that would balance the delicate nature of petals. To me, the second floor of The St. Regis San Francisco definitely called for acrylic, chrome, and white leather. Sleek surfaces in curvy silhouettes. Thank goodness for Blueprint Studios who will be providing all the furniture and many of the props for our event!!! See some of Blueprint Studio’s goodies below!

Another substrate that I thought would go well with the overall look was… ice! How about freezing branches and falling petals in an ice bar?

Or maybe even mini ice sculptures for all the end tables in the different lounge areas?

I needed something else to really drive home the branch/petal/movement message. I knew I wanted this to be a hanging element of some sort. I have seen hanging branches before. And though hanging branches are lovely, I wanted more drama. I thought that a WALL of hanging branches would be more dramatic than a cluster of branches hanging from above eye-level. Ooh, and what if we put rectangular linen lampshades over each piece to balance the organic silhouette of branches! What if we embellished the lamp shades with falling petals! How cool would this wall be if each branch were a functional chandelier that actually lit! This would look like an art installation.

But oh, how reality bites. I was told that the lampshades would wobble and not lay out as evenly as I would want them to. So, there will be no lampshades. Sorry! But, I’m still pushing for a wall of branches!

See how else The Museum of Petals comes to life on March 15, 2010!

Sponsors to this event include Nicole Ha, Blueprint Studios, Enhanced Lighting, St. Regis San Francisco, Peculiar Pair Press

Sneak Preview of 'Emerald Underworld' Party by Gloria Wong Design

Friday, January 15, 2010

I want to officially introduce the amazing designer behind our two fabulous parties for The Academy!

Gloria Wong Tritasavit of Gloria Wong Design is the mastermind behind the creations for our two parties at The Academy--a welcome party inside the terrace tent at The St. Regis and a dinner party inside the gallery ballroom at The St. Regis. She has been working so hard for the past six months with some of the most talented people in the San Francisco Bay Area to create a memorable experience for our attendees. If you want eye-candy, you're going to get it for sure. With Gloria, every detail and element is well thought out. For those of you that follow her, you may remember some incredible photoshoots that she designed last year, like the Spirograph Table on OnceWed and Design*Sponge. My personal favorite was the vintage, shabby chic photoshoot she did with Nancy Liu Chin and Lisa Lefkowitz, featured on Style Me Pretty and Northern California Bride magazine.

I am going to let Gloria describe in her own words her inspirations and visions for our social parties at The Academy, beginning with the Emerald Underworld cocktail party........

From Gloria Wong:

I took this opportunity to do something a bit darker than normal. I don’t have many clients that ask for sultry, moody, sexy weddings. Since this event is not a wedding, I thought I’d go for it! I was rather inspired by this photo of a hotel lounge.

I love the juxtaposition of the branchy organic backdrop on the left coupled with the geometric regency pattern on the right. Similarly, I also like the meeting of ornate frames and tables with more streamlined and modern sofas and chairs. I just love when the mixture of opposites is done well. This hotel lounge, I have to say, is perfection. I was also quite captivated by the illuminating fish tank. In fact, I like that this whole room looks as though it is illuminating. I thought that it would be a great vibe to translate for a cocktail party.

I know that blue is a hot color right now, but I’ve always wanted to create an emerald environment. Emerald is such a beautiful underrated color to me. Also, a blue room would look like a nightclub, and that’s not the look I’m aiming for, folks. So, I changed the blue to emerald! And voila…

Gorg, right? I’m loving emerald. After I changed the color, my eye started zeroing in on the fish tank. I love how the tank just glows. I thought of having moving fish projected onto a frame. The projection of course would have to be tinted emerald. No other color but emerald. I wanted the frames of fish projections to hang above lounge areas like so…

Wouldn’t that have been awesome to see? Alas, it didn’t work out logistically, so we had to scrap that idea. I was given alternative options like renting large plasma screens or inserting photos of fish. None would have yielded that soft diffused glowing projection effect that I so craved.

In any case, I still needed to hone in on the overall design of the tent. I came across this photo from a John Galliano show and fell in love with the styling. This was to be my muse for this event!

But first, I would have to change her to emerald.....

She added an Asian flair to the mix, and I ran with it. After all, emerald is a very Asian color. So, I decided to interpret the graphics for this event with an Asian influence. I asked the talented Amy Hayson of Peculiar Pair Press to come up with a branchy, almost Asian toile type of tree. I also asked her to design a geometric Asian regency pattern. Here are her first drafts!

Next, I knew I wanted to have a center focal point in the room. I wanted a band to play in the center but not on a stage of any sort. I wanted this to be more of a low-key sultry lounge. What’s more sultry than having a band performing under a canopy with a bunch of custom-fabricated pillows lying around?

There are many other ideas that I have developed to drive home this Asian-inspired Emerald Underworld concept. Yes, my team and I have gone through some challenges and have had to go back to the drawing board a bunch of times. But, that’s all a part of the business. You just have to keep chugging, roll with the punches, and be creative with solutions! I’m excited for you to see how this will all come together! See if you notice the details, the shapes, the patterns, the textures, the effects, the props that will convey the message!!! Remember, every piece of d├ęcor in the room should serve a purpose. That purpose is to strengthen the design concept!

Photo of Gloria by Janae Shields

Sponsors of this event includes The St. Regis San Francisco, Hartmann Studios, Asiel Design, Enhanced Lighting, Peculiar Pair Press, Sherry Long Makeup, Hair & Effects, Bella Bridesmaid

You Asked, We Listened

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To our Colleagues,

We are listening, and we want to help!

In the last few weeks we have received calls and emails from many of you, locally and across the country, letting us know how much you want to attend the Academy for Planners + Designers, but do not have the funds in hand right now, to pay the full investment.

To encourage you, we have created a 2 part payment plan to help you work with your cash flow, as you book weddings during the next several weeks.

If you are interested in this option for registration, please email, and we will explain the details.

Again, we are very encouraged by your eagerness to attend, and understand the challenges we all face as business owners. We look for ward to hearing from you soon, and meeting you in March!

Warm regards,

Jubilee Lau
Jean Marks
Partners, Wedding 360

Our Media Liaison and Local Ambassador

We are very honored to introduce Michelle Barrionuevo-Mazzini (aka MB) of MB Wedding Design & Events as Wedding 360's Media Liaison and Local Ambassador. She will be focused mainly on The Academy for Planners + Designers because MB herself is one of the most sought after and highly respected wedding planner and designer in Northern California.

Last October, we traveled to Las Vegas together for the Engage!09 The Encore and really made a strong connection even though we've known one another for years. MB understands the importance of continual education, and the need to raise the bar in the industry. She is always traveling to attend the best conferences and workshops around the country, so that she can improve her skill sets and grow her business wisely.

We sometimes reach a certain point in our businesses where we think we've 'seen it all', and so there is no motivation to learn. Instead, we'd like to be called the experts and the teachers instead. The reality is, the world is changing everyday and in order to stay competitive, we need to have that thirst for knowledge. We created The Academy for Planners + Designers because we are wedding planners and wedding designers ourselves, and we have such a passion for learning! Yet, there is no conference out there that is so specifically geared towards us. We love the connections that we make at all the wonderful conferences out there, but we want some hard core content that teaches established wedding planners/designers how we can continue to grow our businesses and improve our crafts.

We're really fortunate to have MB be a part of our team, and she is looking forward to greeting you at The Academy in March!

Mary Dann will teach at The Wedding University!

Monday, January 11, 2010

This year, we are thrilled to have Mary Dann-McNamee (wedding planner extraordinaire) participate in The Wedding University!

Mary Dann will be teaching newly engaged couples the logistical aspect of wedding planning, including timelines, budget, and working effectively with your vendors.

As one of the most sought-after event coordinators in Southern California, Mary Dann-McNamee and her team of wedding and party coordinators have been responsible for detailed event planning and creative party consultation to many corporations and families throughout the country since 1991. They are known for their commitment to surpass their clients' expectations and have created intimate weddings and extravagant upscale. Mary's passion for the industry has led her down many paths, including becoming a contributing writer for "Inside Weddings" magazine, “Ceremony” magazine and an on-air talent for many nationally syndicated television shows. These shows are Style Network’s " Whose Wedding Is It Anyway," and “Married Away”, and WE Network’s “Platinum Wedding” and a special segments of “Top Ten Wedding Destinations”.

Mary believes that it is her job to make her client's dreams come true, so more than just finding the perfect location for a wedding, she makes it a priority to get to know who she is working with so she can instantly relieve the stress and confusion of the process. Mary attributes her calming nature to her other passion -- she holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and was a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. Her work with individuals and couples strengthens her listening skills, mediation ability and creative vision planning ability. Mary has planned weddings for designers, writers, catering managers and for corporations like O'Melveny & Myers, Sony Music, Vogue Magazine, IMG, Nautica and Cloudbreak Entertainment. In addition she has worked on nuptials for clients from Pro Athletic Teams, such as Kobe Bryant, Austin Croshere and Malcolm Johnson.

The Wedding University will take place on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley. If you are engaged and interested in learning the ins and outs of wedding planning from top industry experts, you definitely do not want to miss this opportunity! We will also have fabulous prizes, including a honeymoon stay at a luxurious Four Seasons resort, an ipod filled with wedding tunes, a tea for two at Crown and Crumpet Tea Salon, and discount coupons for luxurious wedding services!

Our AMAZING speaker line up for TAPD!

We are so excited to present the following speakers who will be teaching at The Academy for Planners + Designers:

Grace Ormonde of Wedding Style Magazine
Abby and Tait of Style Me Pretty
Sean Low of The Business of Being Creative
Rebecca Grinnals of Engaging Concepts
Nancy Liu Chin of Nancy Liu Chin Designs
Youngsong Martin of Wildflower Linens
Todd Fiscus of Todd Events
David Beahm of David Beahm Design
Tara Guerard of Soiree by Tara Guerard
Jon and Linnae of Asiel Designs
Grant Rector of Grant & Co.
Gene Higa of Gene Higa Photography
Catherine Hall of Catherine Hall Photography
Siri and Rosalind of Two Bright Lights
Ethan Mantle of Componere Fine Catering

To view our complete agenda, click here.

In addition, come meet our Very Inspirational Bloggers (VIBs) who will be attending this event:

Maria Cooke of Ritzy Bee
Leila Khalil of Inspired By This
Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty

Be prepared to be wow'd by the dazzling designs of Gloria Wong at the new St. Regis San Francisco!

We have special rates for rooms at The St. Regis and The Palace Hotel, both Starwood Properties.