Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Wedding University • 2010 LIVE BLOG

The official start time is 11:00 AM (PST) So I arrived a little early to catch the last minute minute set up! Check back every 15 minutes for an update from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM as dozens of Bay Area brides and grooms arrive to enjoy educational programs, gorgeous decor and the hospitality of the Four Seasons Hotel.

In just a few minutes The Wedding University will be underway!

Here's a few sneak peeks for you to enjoy until we get going...

Name Tags

It's 11:00 and the registration table is now open!

The attendees are filling the reception area...

Guests are greeted upon entry by their choice of libation.

And the food. WOW!

Upper-left: Lamb Polpettine with Romesco Sauce, Upper-right: Hamachi Affumicato on Rye with Saffron Sauce, Bottom: Duck Ham & Galia Melon Spiedino

Upper-left: Chilled Vegetable Spring Rolls, Upper-right: Point Reyes Blue Cheese on Grilled Cranberry Bread, Grape Vanilla Relish, Bottom: Manchego, Quince, Mostarda, Black Olive Crostino

Guitarist Rick Heizman entertained the guests as they enjoyed the many small bites in the ballroom lobby.

Janae Shields hard at work. She's the official photographer for The Wedding University.

Hair and Make Up by Get Your Do Up

Hair and Make Up by Get Your Do Up

Gown can be found at by Gabrielle's Bridal Atelier in downtown Campbell, CA.

The first course we'll be enjoying today focuses on Music and Dancing. Here instructors Ron Grandia, Peter Rudolphi and Cynthia Glinka will teach The Wedding University attendees all they ever wanted to know about Hiring a DJ, live performers and dancing. I'm just sitting here waiting for everyone else to arrive.

While we're waiting I wanted to let you know that the Decor and Design team have created 4 fabulous vignettes here at the Four Seasons Hotel.

All were designed by Gloria Wong Travistat who with the help of florist Nancy Liu Chin, lighting expert John Woods and furnishings provided by Hartmann Studios, put together these four very different design ideas to show us all how the right furnishings, flowers and lighting can create any kind of atmosphere. "The Penthouse" is the first one I want to share with you today.

Hartmann Studios provided the tables, chairs and many of todays decor items. You might recall I just attended a showcase event at their warehouse recently that felt like a trip to Disneyland it was so much fun!

Here the professors line up for their introductions to the brides and grooms... Immediately after this the small group sessions will begin.

DJ Ron Grandia is today's Master of Ceremony

Hair Stylist Armando Sarabia waves to the crowd.

Founders of the Wedding University Jubilee Lau and Jean Marks take the floor and welcome the guests and shared their inspiration for the Wedding University. *ETA* There were two presentations following Jean and Jubilee by Wedding and Party Coordinator Mary Dann and the Four Season's Director of Catering Paul Kuhn. Unfortunately I missed them because I wanted to get set up for the covering the sessions. Live blog fail :(

That's Ron Grandia, Peter Rudolphi and Cynthia Glinka

Peter kicked things off with a fun musical tour about what live classical music sounds like by adding more and more instruments one by one. This allows you to find the right musical sound while working within your budget.

DJ Ron Grandia explained how being a DJ entails more then music. It includes introducing the bride and groom and wedding party and the best way to do it. Trusting your DJ to know what to play and when is crucial to their success and the success of your reception. You may have your favorite songs and groups but that doesn't mean they will translate into a successful party atmosphere. A really good DJ will "read" your crowd and will know what to play and when to get your guests out of their chairs and onto the dance floor.

Cynthia Glinka had the crowd laughing from beginning to end of her presentation. She grabbed grooms left and right out of the audience and taught everyone how to make a grand entrance, where a groom's hands should be when it's time to strike a pose and how to look like you know what you're doing even if you really don't. As she said, with the correct hand and arm placement you can look like you're ball room dancing even when you're standing still. And the crowd agreed. LOL

"The Penthouse" is the second of four vignettes. Gorgeous! And I'm a sucker for chandeliers so I loved everything about this display!

All of today's florals were created by San Francisco Floral Designer Nancy Liu Chin.

I love the colors, the light robin's egg blue wall with the warm peach and coral colored roses.

Between the first and second sessions more bites were offered including soup in demi cups, sushi and cookies. YUM!

Next session: Photography with Kevin Chin and Lara White

Wedding Photographer Kevin Chin walked through all of the different types of of photo styles brides and grooms may be interested in from photo journalistic to fashion styled shoots like from a fashion magazine and the candids that your Uncle Bob might take with his point and shoot camera.

Lara spoke about pricing, packages and composition and framing images. Specifically the difference between how a novice photographer most likely won't have the same level of composing images as a professional who will create a beautiful image by making sure it is well composed.

Following the second session was DESSERT! Yes, in capital letters!

In this picture upper left: Double Chocolate Mousse, upper right: Rum Roasted Pineapple Ricotta Strudel, bottom: Fruit Tarts

In this picture left: Citrus Pannacotta, upper right: Creme Brulee, lower right: Praline Silk Tart

Vignette number 3 is a woodland table top with rustic wood walls and cool birch planters as the base for the centerpieces.

Next was the Design and Decor presentation
The Professors for this event were: John Woods, Nancy Liu Chin and Gloria Wong Tritasavit.

Gloria and Nancy shared great information with the brides and grooms about how to create the theme of their weddings, researching vendors, cost saving tips and how to choose their flowers.

John Woods of Enhanced Lighting had a fabulous demonstration about event lighting.... This was how the room was set up for the presentation without any additional lighting.

And this is the same shot with wall wash lighting. What a difference!

Here is a "gobo" monomgram. A gobo is a metal stencil that creates shapes when the gobo is placed on the light source.

Gobos can also be used to create patterns and pictures made of light that cover the walls, floors or ceilings creating drama at any special event.

This was a very fun presentation with the three designers presenting basic design ideas in a very friendly, team, scenario. BTW Nancy in the center is the designer who created the gorgeous floral arrangements in the vignettes I've been posting.

The next food course was sliders, but not just any sliders. Yes, there were the traditional beef burgers but also offered were Portabella n' Tellegio and Lobster "Whaler" sliders!

And to finish off the days food offerings? What else but a slice of wedding cake.

And here was the fourth and final vignette. I'll find out the title of each of the four for you.

Armando Sarabia of Get Your Do Up! and Gabrielle Medrano owner of Gabrielle's Bridal Atelier kicked off the third and final session.

Gabrielle hosted a short runway showcase featuring gowns and giving the brides advice about how to make the most of their bridal gown consultations, alterations and discussed the difference of why some gowns are more expensive then others.

Armando owner of Get Your Do Up! pretty much cracked up the crowd the moment he walked into the ballroom for his introduction that morning. Later, when he asked for volunteers from the audience to have their hair and make up done over he was particularly intrigued by the fiance of the man who offered him $20 to choose her. LOL He did choose her but didn't accept the $20.

Armando shared great advice about choosing your wedding day hairstyle, trends, extensions, consultations and rates. This was followed by an extensive Q&A session with the audience.

The final session of the day was presented by wedding videographer (aka event filmmaker) Andrew Hsu of Studio MSV.

I have a feeling Andrew will kill me for saying this and be embarrassed to death but watching Andrew's presentation made me feel like I was watching the move "A Star is Born" with Andrew playing the part of Esther Hoffman, played by Barbara Streisand in the 70's. LOL

Andrew surprised and delighted the crowd with a same day edit movie of the event they were still attending! They sat and watched how the Wedding University came together when the set up began 25 hours before their arrival that morning, to seeing themselves only minutes before in the video! It showed how hard all of the professionals and volunteers had worked and put their hearts into bringing The Wedding University to an awesome group of Bay Area Brides and Grooms. For me, watching that video was the high point of the day.

I'm just going to say I walked away from the video thinking, Oh my gosh, in that moment, while the video was playing Andrew just became a freaking rock star videographer! And the thing is you have to know Andrew to appreciate the irony of that statement. He is understated and modest and wouldn't ever think of himself or describe himself that way. But there it is just the same: Rock star.

He followed up the same day edit video with great tips about questions you should ask any videographer you are considering hiring. Not just are you available on my date or how much do you cost. Nope, there's a whole list of pertinent questions you should ask. Maybe I can get him to do a guest post here on the blog for you and he can go over the same details for all of you too!

Above is a scene from a highlight movie he recently put together for a client. He literally had the audience in tears. Which didn't surprise me because I teared up the first time I saw the same video. It's the one I posted here on the blog last week at Stonepine in Carmel Valley. You can watch it by CLICKING HERE.

Next Jean Marks and Jubilee Lau took center stage to thank all of the Brides and Grooms for attending and to thank all of the Professors and volunteers for making The Wedding University possible. Their hard work paid off and I felt like the attendees definitely walked away having enjoyed a wonderful day of wedding education and wonderful food, desserts and hospitality courtesy of the Four Seasons Hotels

The final drawing was held to giveaway the Fours Seasons' tropical honeymoon stay at a Four Seasons' resort in Hawaii. Oooooh I was so jealous. Actually probably everyone in the room was jealous. LOL. We all wanted to go to Hawaii and stay at the Four Seasons!

All that was left was for the brides and grooms to receive their take home items on their way out the door.

They each received a plethora of bridal magazines and a copy of Here Comes the Guide!

The organza bags contained the Professor's brochures, postcards and business cards in case they wanted to follow up and meet with any of them.

At the end of the night and I'm about to head home. It was a great event with some of the Bay Area's best event professionals! I hope everyone had as much fun as I did. Jean, Jubilee and the Four Seasons Hotel did a great job offering this wonderful educational opportunity to Bay Area Brides and Grooms.