Monday, November 30, 2009

The Wedding University Returns to the Four Seasons

That's right Brides and Grooms, the premiere educational experience led by many of the San Francisco Bay Area's top wedding professionals about how to plan your wedding is back! And one lucky couple will win a 3 night Honeymoon stay at one of the fabulous Four Seasons Resorts!

Top and second row right photos provided by:
Janae Shields of Wedding 360

From their website:

"We are very excited to announce that registration for The Wedding University is officially open. If you are a newly engaged couple planning your wedding, and would like to learn from some of the very best experts in the San Francisco Bay Area wedding industry, you definitely don't want to miss this event! The six hours of Elegance and Education will be held on Sunday, January 31st, 2020, again at the fabulous Four Seasons. Silicon Valley."

Photo provided by:
Janae Shields of Wedding 360

Educators at this year's event are:

Nancy Liu Chin - Floral Design
Gloria Wong Tritasavit - Wedding Designer
John Woods - Event Lighting and Draping
Lara White - Photography
Kevin Chin - Photography
Ron Grandia - Professional DJ
Cynthia Glinka - Dance Instruction
Peter Rudolfi - Live Music
Andrew Hsu - Videography
Gabrielle Medrano-Contreras - Wedding Gowns
Armando Sarabia - Beauty
Mary Dann - Wedding Planning and Logistics

Event Producers are:

Jean Marks - Co-founder, Wedding 360 LLC
Jubilee Lau - Co-founder, Wedding 360 LLC
Paul Kuhn - The Four Seasons, Palo Alto
Janece Shellooe - TWU Administrator
The Four Seasons, Silicon Valley, Hartmann Studios, Janae Shields Photography, Wildflower Linens

The cost for The Wedding University is $55 per student or $100 per couple. To keep the event intimate and interactive, the space is limited to 150 participants. Registration will close automatically once capacity has been reached.

Just like last year I will be there to live blog the event. To view last years blog post about The Wedding University CLICK HERE.

This year there will be one change: There will not be a separate tuxedo session for the grooms, instead the brides and grooms will stay together for a presentation that covers how the bridal gown and tuxedo should complement and go together.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Magnolia Jazz Band Supports Bellarmine's Soup Kitchen Dinner Fundraiser

The Mission of Family Supportive Housing Inc. is to provide shelter and supportive services to homeless families with children in Santa Clara County. The second part of their mission is to empower them to move from homelessness back to self sufficiency in our community.

Each year Bellarmine College Preparatory School hosts a "Soup Kitchen Dinner" fundraiser to support Family Supportive Housing Inc. How do they do this? There were 32 sponsors, 16 restaurants that provided soup, appetizers from 4 different restaurants, salads and bread from 3 restaurants and dessert and coffee. Attendees purchased a $125 ticket to attend the event, the proceeds of which are a donation, and a raffle and silent and live auctions all took place after dinner to raise even more funds.

I learned about the Soup Kitchen Dinner from Robbie Schlosser of the Magnolia Jazz Band. In fact I was invited as his guest as the trio has donated their services to the fundraiser ever since it began 23 years ago. If you would like to hear samples of their music you can Click Here.

It was a fun, fairly informal dinner where you can go up and get in line as many times as you want, to try as many soups as you want, from many popular restaurants in the South Bay.

Hundreds of guests attended the dinner. It was heartwarming to see so many people come out and support their local community this way.

I enjoyed the tomato basil soup from La Pastaia.

Yum! I ate the whole bowl.

Then I tried the paella from Parsley Rosemary Sage and Thyme. The pan was HUGE! It was at least 3 feet in diameter, maybe even more!

I'd never had paella before because of my seafood allergies but this paella was seafood free.

Robbie had the gumbo when the trio took a break.

Then it was back to work entertaining the crowd with their music. One of the things I love most about the Magnolia Jazz Band is that their music is perfect for a room of hundreds to a small and intimate gathering. It creates a wonderful party atmosphere without ever being too loud to converse. I don't know about all of you but I hate when I come home from a party that was too loud and have no voice left the next day because I had to strain my vocal cords to be heard the night before.

The trio is so personable. Here a fan came by to compliment and briefly chat with the band.

Radio and Wedding DJ Rich Amooi was there for a bit and shot this video of Robbie and the trio.

There were baskets guests could win by purchasing a raffle ticket. I didn't get a good photo of the silent auction items because there was always too many people in front of the displays. Which was great! I think every item met its minimum bid.

The live auction was particularly fun, and funny, when one lady accidently bid against her own last bid, raising the price of her vacation package by an extra $250. She was a great sport though and probably laughed at herself even harder then the rest of the crowd. All of the money went to help Family Supportive Housing Inc.

If you would like to understand more about the families who end up at the shelter and how it works the following information is from their Website:

Quick Facts:

In Santa Clara County, an estimated 20,000 people experience homelessness each year. Of these people, at least 25 percent are under the age of 18.

Families with children represent the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, constituting approximately 40% of people who become homeless.

Over 70 percent of the residents at the Shelter are children and most are under the age of ten.

One-fourth of all homeless people work, but their wages are too low for them to afford permanent housing.

Family Supportive Housing is the only shelter in Santa Clara County that exclusively services families – intact families and single parents with children.

If you want to help the families in need at the community shelter I found the following "Wish List" on their website:

Shelter Wish List

Bed Linens:

Comforters and blankets

Pillows (standard)


Full and twin sheet sets

2x3 throw rugs to place next to the beds

Kitchen Needs:

Fresh Vegetables

Lunch meats

Fresh fruits

Bread products

Herbs and Spices

Family Needs:

children's clothing (for 9-12 year olds)

Diapers!!! Size 4, 5 and 6


Shelter Needs:

6ft folding tables

mops and brooms

1 inch soft binders and dockets

Donations are accepted Monday through Friday between 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.
Family Supportive Housing, Inc.
1590 Las Plumas Avenue
San Jose, CA 95133-1667
(408) 926-8885
(408) 254-2056 FAX

Saturday, November 28, 2009

JSP Treasure Island Location

Recently Philippe Lee, co-founder, owner and lead photographer of Jade Studio Productions, hosted "An Evening of Glamour" at his new Treasure Island warehouse location. From the outside it looks like an ordinary warehouse... But on the inside, it's something very special. It was designed to be a unique photo and video shoot location to be used by the JSP team. But now it's also available to be rented for weddings, parties and special events.

That night Natti Pearce-Thomson, from North American Theatre Technology, created this amazing gobo light display on the front of the warehouse. I wish I had a video to show you because the pattern of light moved and swirled softly and gracefully as guests arrived.

The 8000 square foot space has been transformed into many vignettes, some rooms are intimate and cozy while others are large and expansive. Natti also provided many of the colored wall washes and chandeliers that evening.

Beneath the LED chandeliers by North American Theatre Technology a slideshow of images by Jade Studio Productions played on the wall all evening. Love the colors right?

This red room is an attic nook with an alcove bed. It's perfect for boudoir photography sessions.

This was one of two white rooms. This one had a beautiful shabby chic feeling to it with relief work on the walls and the cozy fireplace.

On the top floor is an enchanted garden complete with a tree and swing.

LOL Kevin Chin made me pose for this shot he took of me. It's funny how sitting on a swing can always make you feel like a little kid again.

Downstairs is this urban backdrop complete with a graffiti covered wall.

The other white room. Normally only the ceiling is draped. North American Theatre Technology draped the walls just for this special evening.

The lingerie show organized by Charleston Pierce was followed by...

A fashion show by Caliber 54...

Cool clothes and hair!

Followed by a very cool, or should I say hot, fire dancing performance by Enfuente Fire Performance.

Yes, hot for sure!

There were several performers using everything from flaming poles to an umbrella frame, balls on chains and a flaming hula hoop. And when the dancers got close you could feel the heat.

I loved the color of the flames with the colored light wall washes and LED chandeliers behind the performers.

What a fantastic performance!

Owner Phillipe Lee and guest

Kevin Chin and Patty Lee

I carpooled over with Kevin which was pretty funny because I was looking for someone to carpool with for the hour drive up to SF from the South Bay. But nobody I knew was driving up that night. As it turned out Kevin offered to drive with me from his place in the city. So we carpooled for about 10 minutes each way. LOL :D I was happy for the company though and had a great time chatting with Kevin on the way to Treasure Island and back.

Linda Hylen, Karen Baba and a friend

As soon as I saw this floral display I just knew that the submerged underwater light beneath the floating orchids was from North American Theatre Technology.

So if you're looking for a very unique venue to rent for your special event be sure to check out JSP Treasure Island. Parking is plentiful and during hot summer months you're pretty much guaranteed a cool ocean breeze coming in off of the bay.

If you are interested in special event lighting like you see here you can visit North American Theatre Technology's website by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2 Easy Ways You can Help Janet Find Her Cure for Cancer!

1. Business Cards
These are Janet's new business cards. You can order some from me (for free) to hand out to friends, leave a pile on your desk at work for colleagues or customers or keep a few in your wallet or purse to hand out to people you meet. CLICK HERE to place an order online.

This is the front of Janet's business cards

And this is the back

2. Flyers
If you have a computer and a printer and somewhere to hang or hand out a flyer (i.e. your office at work, a community bulletin board, your church, a club or group, etc.) you can help me to help Janet. There are two parts to this flyer, the information sheet that you can print and hand out and the tear away tabs that can be added to the flyer for bulletin boards so that readers can take one with them to remember the website url when they go back to their computer.

(These links will open in new browser windows and may take up to 1 minute to load as they are high resolution, printable flyers.)

CLICK HERE to download the PDF of this flyer.

CLICK HERE to download the tear away tabs that can be attached to the bottom of the flyer.

And this is Janet. You can visit her WEBSITE by CLICKING HERE. There you can learn more about her, how to join the National Marrow Donor Program and leukemia. For current updates visit her BLOG by CLICKING HERE.

Will you help her by joining the registry or by spreading the word that she needs more help and more people to register?

On August 24, 2009, 22 year old Janet was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a form of blood cancer. Janet is currently living in the Bay Area and is undergoing chemotherapy in the hopes that she can attain a successful remission. If the chemo fails she will need a stem cell transplant. She will then be faced with the daunting task of locating a marrow match from the national or international registries after tests revealed that her only sibling is not a match. Processing new donor samples can takeup to 2 months or more so it is crucial for people to be tested asap before her need becomes critical.

Already in the registry? No matter how long ago you signed up you will remain in the National Registry until you turn 61 years old. If you move or change your phone number you can update your contact information by CLICKING HERE.

Last year more then 4,400 people missed their opportunity to save a life when Be The Match was unable to locate them after they were a preliminary match for a patient in need.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How to Decorate a Gingerbread House

My friend and colleague Gabrielle Feuersinger, the owner and creative force behind "Cake Coquette" in San Francisco, was recently on the tv show "The View from the Bay" showing the hosts Spencer Christian and Janelle Wang. She taught them how to decorate a gingerbread house! I've always wanted to decorate a gingerbread house. Maybe this will be the year I finally do it! Watching Gabby's video has definitely inspired me. Enjoy :D

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Enhanced Lighting Takes Plain Walls from Drab to Fab!

What was once a plain white wall in the background becomes a beautiful palette of color with a lit pink flower and stem pattern over a wash of lavender blue light designed by Enhanced Lighting. This is what special event lighting companies can do to transform an ordinary room into an extraordinary space.

Last week I attended a baby shower that had the most fun and flirty color scheme! I loved this centerpiece! Nicold Ha did an outstanding job, as usual, in creating this very unique carousel inspired arrangement.

Nicole used: Nerines (pink flowers at the top), folded ty leaves, yellow billy balls, green dendrobium and pink gerber daisies to create this whimsical centerpiece.

The ribbons were anchored in the gerber daisies and the shorter and longer lengths symbolized the up and down position of the carousel horses with a small orchid or yellow billy ball attached to the bottom of each ribbon.

With just a couple of decorative picture frames, colored ribbons, printed name dessert tags and strategically color coordinated treats, a whimsical and stylish display awaited the guests as they entered the party.
How cute was this tiered cake by Jen's Cakes?

Even the gumballs had a custom sign created by Marizette Paperie. It's little details like the treat name cards that can take any display up another level.

Mini Cheesecakes

White Chocolate Raspberry Bars

The mini Cream Puffs were my favorites!

Another gorgeous centerpiece by Nicole Ha.

And Claudia Akers was there to photograph the event from beginning to end. Notice the splash of fuchsia on the floor and the patterns of color on the ceiling and wall? That's more event lighting by Enhanced Lighting. See what a difference it makes? I can't stress enough that lighting is a key element in creating a designer event. I hope it's an option you are able to have at your next party or wedding.