Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Calgary Zoo Wedding

Disclaimer: No animals were harmed during this wedding. (hee hee)

I met Ngoc Anh about three years ago when she was the maid of honor for one of my brides. She came up to me at the end of the night and gave me the best complement EVER. She said that when she gets engaged, she will definitely call me to decorate her wedding. I’ve never forgotten this comment and it inspired me to do an even better job at all of the weddings I decorate. She truly inspired me to do better at what I love doing.

Fast forward two years, I receive an email from Ngoc Anh on a weekday. (Yeah, I remember the strangest things.) She started the email by telling me how we met a couple of years ago. As I was reading her email, my reaction was: “OMG! This is HER! This is the girl that gave me the wonderful complement years ago.” I was so happy to hear from her and was delighted to meet up with her and her fiancĂ©, Thinh.

Ngoc Anh and Thinh are a really laid back couple. During the initial stages of the design, they both said they don’t have any idea how they would like the venue decorated. So, we brainstormed differently and I asked them what they hate. Turns out they did not want a froofroo, frilly, girly, pink wedding. Enough said! We came up with a fresh, modern, and simplistic wedding with the color palate of apple green, brown, and white.

Their ceremony and reception were both held at the Calgary Zoo, Enmax Conservatory. A couple of months before their wedding, we also decided to incorporate some flowers into the centerpieces. All of the green apples from the centerpieces and decorations were donated to the Calgary Zoo later that night. There were some very lucky elephants because there were a lot of apples left over for them. (Come to think of it now, do elephants eat apples? If so, do they prefer a gala apple over a granny smith apple?)

Here are some pictures of Ngoc Anh and Thinh’s beautiful wedding!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Centerpiece for Cake Lovers!

For Sonia and Andrew’s wedding, we often chatted about other aspects of their wedding. This was mostly because of Sonia and I loved to talk about her wedding and we would often get sidetracked during our discussions. (I don’t think this is a bad thing because often this is when the best ideas come to life!)

The guest table centerpieces were one of the last things that Sonia and Andrew made a decision on. The centerpiece idea came about through our discussion about cake. (I think these two really like cake!) Andrew said softly that they wanted cake as a centerpiece. I was shocked because this idea came to me about the same time. However, I made some additional suggestions. Rather than having them on a cake stand, I suggested a wide mouth vase with flowers inside and a clear plate on top for the cake. When guests arrive they will see a beautiful centerpiece, then as an element of surprise all the cakes will be brought out at the same time and placed on top of the vase. Guests cut their cakes after Sonia and Andrew have cut their wedding cake. After the cake has been eaten, the plate will be taken away and a beautiful centerpiece remains!

This cake centerpiece idea not only serves the purpose of a centerpiece, it also saved Sonia and Andrew a lot of money for cake-cutting costs! (Sorry venues!) I think this centerpiece was a real hit with the guests because I heard one guest say “I can’t believe we get our own cake! This is so cool!”

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dreamy Purple Wedding Reception

In the last blog post, I shared some pictures of Sonia and Andrew’s ceremony. This post is about their wedding reception. I have their wedding split up into a couple of posts to prevent a really long novel-like post! This one is about the wedding reception.

Sonia and Andrew knew they wanted to create an elegant and grand wedding reception at the Sheraton Eau Claire. They felt that their guests will have a certain level of expectations just because of the venue. Sonia and Andrew wanted to exceed their guest’s expectations. I came up with numerous design and decorating ideas which they were very receptive of. As a result, we were able to try out different ideas, different colored chair covers, and lighting around the entire perimeter of the reception hall.

For the head table, we decorated it with lots of silver crystal accents. These accents complemented the clear crystal accent backdrop. Rather than having the usual white chair covers with a colored chair sash, we opted for purple self-tie chair covers. These chair covers were custom ordered and shipped in for Sonia and Andrew’s wedding. Lastly, we added purple up-lighting to give the entire room an unexpected purple glow. All of the uplighting was rented from Dance Shout Productions.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pioneer Hill Outdoor Wedding

Sonia and I hit it off right away when we each pulled out our binder full of wedding ideas. Our first meeting lasted almost three hours. All subsequent meetings usually last about two hours too. During some of these meetings, our conversations would turn to turn to shoes or Chinese tv series. Oops! Andrew was always patient with us during these meetings. He doesn’t say much and usually is staring at something (or secretly hoping the meeting will end soon.) When he does speak up, it is to make an executive decision!

Both Sonia and Andrew were awesome clients to work with. They wanted a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony at Pioneer Hill and a unique and grand wedding reception at the Sheraton Eau Claire. The week before their wedding, Calgary poured rain non-stop. Although, an outdoor wedding was planned, there was a lot of discussion behind the scenes with their wedding planner, Rhoda Wong at Red Button Creations and Tracey Wilkinson at the Sheraton Eau Claire. We were all trying to figure out an alternative plan for their wedding ceremony. On the Thursday before the wedding, Andrew made another executive decision and said the ceremony will be held outdoors regardless of the weather.

On the day of the wedding, it didn’t rain but it still posed its own set of problems. It was incredibly windy during the set up of the wedding. I even had a couple of morning runners come by to help hold things down or provide me with suggestions. Luckily, I had tons of stuff in the car and was able to make some last minute changes. Just before the wedding, the sky managed to clear up and the wind toned down.

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