Monique Lhuillier Bridal Trunk Show

Yay!!!! Monique Lhuillier is having a Bridal Trunk Show!!! Limited appointments available so don’t delay:)






sisters and champagne!!!

Jenny and Laura

We are so thrilled to have the winter wonderland wedding of Jenny  and Hanz featured in Inside Weddings.  We adore Walt and Art and their fabulous team at Inside Weddings and appreciate all their support of our work over the  years.

This particular wedding was most definitely a labor of love… it  was so unique and beautiful  and held at the amazing Stein Ericksen Lodge in Deer Valley Utah, but also because I had the pleasure of  first designing and coordinating her sister Laura’s wedding the previous year at one of  my favorite venues- Bacara Resort. Laura and  Jenny are quite the dynamic duo and are each adored by their new husbands.  The girls are lively and fun and  beautiful and  kind and full of merry mischief!!! Their mother Janet  was a regular at our meetings and experiencing the love between the  three of them is such a joy!

Because the two sisters do everything together I thought it very  appropriate to post Laura and Chris’ wedding here so that it is up  concurrently with Jenny and Hanz’s wedding feature.  Please be sure to pick up a copy of the winter 2014 issue of Inside Weddings so that you too can enjoy these lovely creatures and their very special days. Love and thanks to Dyan and Robert of Handeland Tesoro Photography for capturing both of these magical events!!

Raising my glass to Jenny and Hanz and Laura and Chris because as the girls always say, “oooooh, let’s have champagne!!!”. xxo

p.s. click on photos to see larger image:)

the rings…………..





monique lhuillier’s fancy shoes!

Monique Lhuillier-famous for her breathtaking bridal gowns and amazing red carpet frocks is now offering shoes for our pleasure and wearing!!  The first shipment has arrived at the store off of La Cienega so be sure to make an appointment soon to be one of the first to visit these little beauties:)

Thank you Nicola Glover Horton for alerting us to this fabulous news!!! xxo



marching through the new year!!!

Happy New Year!!

“A new year is unfolding-like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within.” Anonymous

It is the middle of March and I am still in Happy New Year mode:) How quickly are the days flying by already? But with spring beginning to blossom all around us engagements and weddings are already in full bloom.

The Lover’s Bridge in Paris. Lover’s lock their padlocks on this bridge and toss the key into the river Seine-a sign of their eternal love. Thank you Erica and Jesse for sharing your romance with me. I hope to find your padlock the next time I am in Paris xoxo

Most brides wish to have their weddings published so they can share the beauty and joy of their day with the world and also to have something to show their children later on.  Unfortunately the wedding publishing world is very competitive and magazines are overwhelmed with submissions every week from all over the world.  Because only so many weddings are featured in each issue of each magazine many lovely weddings aren’t ever published.  Many periodicals are now featuring weddings on line as well so as to show more of the prettiness that is out there.

Of course I am completely biased when it comes to my brides and grooms and their weddings:)  The clients I work with are the most fabulous and I want to share them with everyone. So, I have decided to randomly feature on my blog many of the weddings I have been privileged to design and plan .  Everyone is so very unique and special and there is a huge variety of budgets for weddings so I am hoping that featuring this work will show future brides and grooms where their budgets fit into the grand scheme of weddings!

To help me catch up with this new year and keep me focused on my favorite part of weddings-the love-I will close with this quote from Harry Burns, “When Harry Met Sally”.  May your new year be filled with all the magical possibilities of love and when you find that love, start living it immediately and vibrantly.

“And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”



monique lhuillier sample sale…………….hooray!!!

Hello and happy December!!!

Tis the season for pretty dresses and delicious cocktails and fancy shoes!!! With impeccable timing, Monique Lhuillier is having a one day sample sale………..just in time to find that perfect holiday frock or wedding gown at an incredible cost!!!  Set a bit of time aside this Sunday and show some love to the ladies at Monique and get yourself or someone you love the perfect little something……………or a lot of somethings!!!



grace’s destination wedding…………


I was interviewed for a wedding magazine once and was asked if I could choose any wedding from history to design and coordinate-whose would I choose.  I immediately enthused that  I would have loved to have done the wedding of  Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier lll of Monaco.  Talk about a destination wedding fantasy…………american actress and beauty and icon meets her prince and then travels to a faraway land to marry him and become his bride…………………and in France-what could be better than that?

Of course we all believe the ones we love and marry are princes and they are…………..and some of us have chosen to have destination weddings.  But for a moment, let’s just think about the enormity of actually marrying a real prince and planning the wedding in Monaco with the whole world watching!!! Then moving your life to another land, taking on the customs and responsibilities of that country and becoming a princess….  A real life princess that lives her life in front of the lenses of millions of cameras……………..while always maintaining a regal manner and without a misstep.

Not everyone could handle the stress and challenge of this life, however, our Grace not only perfectly managed her life and family and position as princess of Monaco but she also was able to maintain her status as a beloved icon of beauty and yes, grace.


Grace Patricia Kelly, the American actress, was born in 1929 in Philadelphia.  Though faced with her parent’s disapproval, she followed her dreams of working in theater and of being an actress and auditioned for and was accepted into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York for an education in theater. She soon starred in some television programs and films. The most notable films being Mogambo (1953), Dial M for Murder (1954), The Country Girl (1954), and High Society (1956), her last film.












Grace headed the US delegation during the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and that is when she met the sovereign of Monaco. Their year long courtship was short, certainly compared to today, but both Grace and her prince were sure of their feelings for he proposed and she accepted……and the date would be April 19, 1956.











When Grace Kelly married it was with an overwhelming consensus that  her gown was absolute perfection. While being simple and classic in it’s basic design, it was undeniably feminine.  The dress had  a wide, full lace skirt and a simple, fitted lace bodice that went to the base of the neck and covered the arms and it was topped with a crown of flowers and a simple white tulle veil.



MGM designer Helen Rose designed the gown with 25 yards of silk taffeta, 98 yards of silk tulle, and 300 yards of Valenciennes lace. Three dozen  seamstresses worked for six weeks on the now iconic gown that Grace wore.




















As dictated by her future husband’s position and culture, the bride and groom were married in a civil ceremony in front of 80 guests the day prior to the wedding day.










The couple’s religious ceremony took place at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in front of 600 guests and 30 million television viewers. The flowers decorating the church included white lilacs, lilies, hydrangeas and snap dragons.  In addition to the maid of honor there were six bridesmaids all wearing yellow organdy dresses with hats.  Six junior attendants, four girls and two boys were all wearing white.








Rainier and Grace later enjoyed a wedding luncheon at the Palace Court of  Honor and drove around town in a cream and black Rolls Royce offered by the people of Monaco as a wedding gift. The press called it the “wedding of the century” and that title is still used to describe this very real fairy tale wedding.













Upon reading about all the very real pomp and circumstance included in the wedding of Grace Kelly to prince Rainier of Monaco it certainly makes today’s destination weddings seem quite simple in comparison, however, there are a lot of the same things to think about.  Booking hotels for all your guests, arranging for transportation to and from the airport and the wedding itself,  having your dress shipped and then received,  researching out of town/state/country marriage licenses, hiring local vendors and/or flying in your vendors and arranging for their accommodations………etc., etc., etc!!!  It does make your head spin thinking of all of the extra details that must be dealt with but, this is why it is so important to hire someone who can take care of this list of todos……………….planning your wedding, whether it is local or in a far away and exotic land should be fun and as stress free as possible.  Having someone with you who is keeping you on course and remembering all the small and large details will give you the security you need to enjoy the planning process.

Send me pictures of your destination wedding and I will devote a post to your modern day fairy tales……………………xxo

love notes…………….

With all the words at my command I am still unable to adequately and eloquently express the beauty and awe of love.  Love heals, warms, fulfills, inspires, envelopes, and fills hearts, souls, hours, minutes…………….”all you need is love”.

So instead of my filling this page with words and words about love and the deliciousness of giving and receiving love notes, on your wedding day, on special days, every day……………..I will let the romantics in my life fill this post with love notes they have given or received………….old love, new love, forever………………………………………love.


first, a famous love note…………………….

Good morning, on July 7

“Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us – I can live only wholly with you or not at all – Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits – Yes, unhappily it must be so – You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart – never – never – Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life – Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men – At my age I need a steady, quiet life – can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day – therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once – Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – Be calm – love me – today – yesterday – what tearful longings for you – you – you – my life – my all – farewell. Oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

ever thine
ever mine
ever ours “

Ludwig Van Beethoven




pink post-its of love……………



Kyle left me a note after the first time he stayed at my apt. I was already gone and when I came back I found a Toilet Paper note on my bed, he said that it was all he could think of/find. So from then on, all of his notes were written to me on toilet paper, anniversary notes, birthday notes, and everyday notes…. It’s his trademark, and I have three large ziplocks full of toilet paper notes.
We’re special! ;)


thank you jessica my lovely newlywed, for sharing
this…… one of many love notes from eric…………..xoxo!!!









and from david-( i heart you:)

“ I don’t have a favorite love letter or anything like that, but my favorite thing ever written about love comes from the late, great Bob Marley…”

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” ? Bob Marley













this ”love note” george sent to me for my post and it made me laugh out loud:

“Dear George,
Thank you for spending just about all of your time with me.
Love always,
(alex’s love note to george……… are wonderfully charming and smart and talented and funny and
warm and caring and sexy and fabulous……kisses all over your face and hugs and love too!!! xo)



my “jessica rabbit” bridey laura, shared these love notes given to her 3 year old niece charlie -they are from charlie’s boyfriend henry:) as laura said, the writing and sending of love notes starts early!!!!! :)


“the lover’s world”  eleanor fortescue-brickdale


dyan handeland sent this amazingly beautiful sonnet to me.  her husband robert wrote it for her on the occasion of their wedding……………….i think this gives us an idea of why their photography is so romantic and beautiful…………………..their hearts……………………thank you my lovelies for sharing your hearts with all of us by shooting weddings from that wildly beating place. xxo

This day presents a moment, few in time

Brought by us or nature’s intervention

Where we shall thereby thus ourselves define

By action took, by living our intention.

Today we find our destiny fulfilled

Make manifest our deepest ideals yearning

What God has blessed and we by choice have willed

What we have for our lives entire been learning.

So now we start our life as one together

The next step one of many we shall take

Thy hand in mine and mine in thine forever

The lifetime of our dreams we go to make.

The purpose in our lives shall always be

For thou wert made for me, and I for thee.

By Robert A. W. Tesoro  written for me when we were married  :)









my  paper guru and dear friend robin (  shared these three love notes and left it to me to choose which one to post, but they are all so beautiful and seem to be one long and ongoing love note so here they are………………..
“This is just for you.My days and nights are full of you (especially my nights)
Even when I am alone (especially when I am alone)
You are on my mind almost constantly
And you know I’d rather be with you than do or be anything else, anywhere else, anyone else
Anytime, every time, all the time


I would not trade this time with you for gold or silver, nor immortality, nor fame
I’d sooner die a poor unknown than lose these feeling—the caring, the sharing, the knockout intensity of your love.
These have made my life rich beyond the treasures of Solomon, the dreams of Midas , for I have in your love something gold or silver has never bought, and never will;
The places your eyes can take me with a glance, no plane or train or trail will ever reach;
The look of love in those eyes when you touch me, no priest, shaman or guru could ever teach
I want to sing a song of living, loving, laughing
I want to sing the songs of earth and sea and sky
I want to show the world what it means to me to be
And I want to tell the world that of all its varied pleasures, of all its hidden treasures, the best of all by far is love, the best of love by far is you.”

“nature’s magic” eleanor fortescue-brickdale

Nancy, my fancy girl adds this love note …………….xxx
“Here is a note  I love from Mark Twain to Olivia Langdon (who  became his wife!) They were married for 34 years !!! It’s old fashioned, lyrical  and lovely………”
1869 Buffalo NY
Livy  dear,     I have already mailed today’s letter, but I am so proud of my privilege of writing the dearest girl in the world whenever I please, that I must add a few lines if only to say I love you, Livy. For I do love you Livy… as the dew loves the flowers; as the birds love the sunshine; as the wavelets love the breeze, as mothers love their first-born; as memory loves old faces, as the yearing tides love the moon; as the angels love the pure in heart…Take my kiss and my benediction and try to be reconciled to the fact that I am     Yours  forever;     Sam


 from our indispensable”trish the dish” …… (trish is our “can do” person at our events-she helps make the magic happen:) xxo

“Most of my love notes are in storage- however, my anniversary was last week and Q. gave me my favorite card of all time “If I was a dog I would lick your face right now… Thank you for saying “I DO” ..   :)




ezra’s love note to sheryl (a.k.a. phoebes!!!) and their monogram from their wedding:)xxo 







thank you lenore for sharing this love note…………….i am so happy love is going strong after 31 years of marriage!!! congratulations……………….xxo

“The sweetest note from my husband was when he wrote…. “You are always about what is right and good.” Of course I know better. But it is a very high compliment that he has actually thought of me that way. We have been married 31 years. Love is still alive and well.



this from robert (rolides lighting), whom i have worked with the longest…………a master of lighting and finding solutions to any problem………………robert who is always gracious, efficient, happy, talented and hard working.  i LOVE that you took the time to respond to my request for love notes……………..and that you wrote this.  erika is a very lucky girl……………………… are all of us who have the privilege of having you in our lives………xxo


“Hello Alex. I am so bad in love thoughts and remembering anything that I have ever said to my wife in a lovely way.. it seems that the present time love notes are not as popular as they were in old times. It seems that we are in love with the stress rather than with people who really take care of us. Perhaps that could be a good note. Making space for love…..”

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.”

“Love Actually”













fancy shoes









Remember Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz”? She clicked those sparkly, red shoes and repeated “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” and she was suddenly and magically transported to her aunt and uncle’s comfortable farmhouse in Kansas……………………..all because of those fancy shoes.

We of the feminine variety do love ourselves some fancy shoes!! We also experience our own magic when wearing said shoes. We are taller. prettier. thinner. sexier. more glamorous. When all else fails us….bad hair day, wardrobe malfunction/disaster, blotchy skin,  a bit of bloat, whatever our self criticism is, we can always wear a pretty pair of shoes and feel instantly better.  Those magic shoes with a pair of sunglasses and some lipstick and we are off and running into a romantic adventure.  Maybe it is because we can see them, admire them, watch our slender ankles turn this way and that to best show off our fancy footwear. Whatever it is about them, they provide magic for us just like those red shoes did for Dorothy.  Men don’t always seem to understand this. Perhaps this is because we women are the ones who know how to work the magic;)

Take your time finding the perfect pair of special shoes for your wedding day. Be traditional and get ivory or white shoes but with an added sparkly bit or bow, be bold and purchase daring red shoes like Dorothy wore or if you need your “something blue” let your shoes be the blue.

The romance is already provided. The adventure is already there. The pretty, sexy, glamorous beauty is always there in a bride.  Buy those shoes just so you know you have that extra bit of magic……….just a heel click away.  It will add a twinkle to those already sparkling eyes………..

While shopping for those special shoes, treat yourself and buy a few more pairs. Wear them today.  Pull out that deep cherry red lipstick and dark shades and run into your life with all the power you possess. Work your magic as often and as much as you can….and if you find yourself wanting to rest those flying feet for a bit,  remember “there’s no place like home”;)


p.s. send me pictures of your fancy shoes and if you all agree to allow me to show them i will post all of your magic!!!
















the kiss………………


Having found the one you want to spend your days and nights with………hopes, plans, dreams with………and deciding to tie the knot………to take the plunge……….do the deed…with all the commitment such an act warrants and yet, what is that tiny little nagging feeling you have? There is a faint melancholy that is just one of the many feelings flitting in and out of you as the big day draws near.

“I won’t ever have a first date again. I won’t ever have a first kiss again. I am so in love and am SO excited we are getting married, and yet I know as our life begins together a chapter of my life is ending.” So many of my girls, my brides have had this conversation with me. There isn’t any doubt whatsoever about marrying the one they love, merely a whisper of a loss.

I try to allow them the freedom to express these feelings and acknowlege them fully so that they can come to understand that there are always endings that come with beginnings but life is full of “firsts”. Though there will not be first dates nor first kisses with different people, they can experience so many new firsts with the person they are marrying…….that  part of the work in relationships is to make things new………….to keep them fresh and exciting. For themselves, for their partner, and for the relationship.

I have hundreds and thousands of images of my brides and grooms kissing after being pronounced married.

This is a first kiss……….

This is a new kiss………..

This is the first of thousands of kisses in a lifetime of kissing…………………..joyfully, romantically, in grief, in disbelief, in love, in lust……………..kissing the same person day after day and month after month until years of kissing has become a wonderful and unique love story.

A love story that began with “you may now kiss your bride.”

Old fashioned perhaps, but oh that kiss………………………………………….








thank you dyan and robert of handeland tesoro for “kapturing” so many kisses!!!



Old love. New love. Romantic love. Lasting love. Forever love. Inspirational love………………………………..

Winston Howes Heart

(from huffington post)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many love letters is that, especially if the picture in question is made up of 6,000 oak trees?  We haven’t the slightest idea, but as this touching memorial to love is visible even by satellite, we’d say “to the moon and back.”

After the sudden death of Janet, his beloved wife of 33 years, Winston Howes, a British farmer, wanted a space to remember her. So in a flash of inspiration, he planted 6,000 oak trees in a nearby field, carefully planting them in the shape of a heart.

That was 17 years ago, and though Howes never intended to publicize his secret garden, the Telegraph reports a hot-air balloonist chanced upon the arboreal delight last week and took a couple of pictures.

“I have my own balloon and am quite a regular flyer — but this was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky,” said Andy Collett, the pilot, of his discovery to the paper. “It was a perfect heart hidden away from view – you would not know it was there… You can just imagine the love story.”

The base of the heart points to Wotton Hill, Winston’s wife’s hometown.  Reached for comment by the Daily Mail, he said, “I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things. It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years.”

His tribute also features a tall hedge around the heart’s perimeter and daffodils in the middle which bloom each spring, adds the Sun.




winston and janet howes 1960