Consider the idea of a Pre~Social… and TWO dresses!!

Jul 18, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments


I often make a suggestion for a Pre-Social… which is anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes prior to the ceremony start time pending the setting, the activities and the length of time the venue allows for the entire gathering.  During the Pre-Social the couple mingles with their guests – which obviously allows you more time to be with your guests (a bonus!) and to extend the social aspect just a bit more.  Another bonus, is getting to wear a wedding “Party Dress” – now that’s fun!  You’ll mix and mingle for a little while, then drift away to slip into your gown and wedding shoes, put on your jewelry, freshen the lipstick, and then walk down the aisle.  The First Look is held while wearing the Party Dress… a great time to get your nervousness out of the way but then the “Second Look” is when you’re wearing your gown and your man sees you for the first time in full wedding attire.  Tears!

Some examples…

Kelly and Lee were married in the rolling foothills and beautiful gardens of Gold Hill Gardens.  They enjoyed their pre-social mingling with their 60 guests getting more time to converse and soak up the love surrounding them.  Kelly and Lee, both blue eyed, played off that color palette with Lee’s suit and blue patterned tie, while Kelly looked terrific in a navy blue short dress with embroidered flowers (she rocked some serious high heels, too!)  Kelly loved her fun and bright tulip wedding bouquet and  wanted to showcase it with her pre-social party dress, as well as with her lacey wedding gown.   Photo Credit:  Sam w/The Red Sneaker Studio   Florals:  Katie w/Ambience Floral Design



Erin & Jason were married at the 1924 Historic Julia Morgan House. Their 140 guests were treated to an elegant dinner party… the entire evening was designed as if the original mansion owners of yester-year were entertaining and providing sumptuous food and drink to their guests.  Erin’s pre-social cocktail dress was light pink, off the shouldar with a flirty angled hemline, and Jason sported a blue suit with lavender tie.  For the wedding, Erin was drop dead gorgeous and Jason also was fetching in a custom made tuxedo suit.   Photo Credit:  Allison Stahl Photography  Florals: DeAnn w/  Rodarte Floral Design


And even my own daughter opted for a Pre-Social prior to her wedding ceremony.  Juliana and Derek were married at The Barn at Second Wind a fantastic wedding venue in the country along the Sacramento Delta.  Juliana’s Pre-Social outfit was a simple white short dress with an eyelet lace detail and cute flat coral colored sandals.   They mixed and mingled with their 130 guests during a time we dubbed “Lemonade on the Lawn.”  Home made jams and jellies were pared with a selection of cheeses, and then off she went to change into a sweet, flowy wedding gown.  Photo Credit:  Sam w/The Red Sneaker Studio   Florals:  Sarah w/Cuttings Floral Design

Happy 1st Anniversary ~ Jessica & Peter

Jun 16, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

A year ago this weekend, I had the honor to work with a great couple, and absolutely LOVED their wedding day!  Bar Area residents, Jess and Peter held their stylish, hip wedding at the 80 acre compound of Field and Pond, in rural Yolo County and enjoyed the combination of country serenity, vintage touches, Heritage oaks trees, an historic barn and a lovely tent for dining, plus a moonlit night!  Pure heaven.  Love Jessica’s gown… that BACK! and the photo talents of the greatest spit-fire, Elisabetta of Lilly Red Photography!  Happy First Anniversary Jess & Peter!!


Happy 1st Anniversary – Jessica & Daniel

May 28, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Happy First Anniversary (entire weekend!) to Jessica and Daniel.  Living in New York, but Jessica wanted her home town of Sacramento to be where her beginnings with Daniel would be – and at the iconic and historic Sutter Club in Downtown Sacramento.  Their black-tie, traditional Jewish wedding was elegant in shades of ivory and gold. Happy Anniversary newlyweds!

Photo Credit: Colleen Riley Photography – Floral Design: Jackie’s Flowers 



Looking forward to Kelly & Lee’s upcoming wedding day

Apr 12, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

This Saturday, with all fingers and toes crossed that it will not rain (we’re rather tired of this wet stuff around here), Kelly and Lee will tie the knot.  Another one of my “encore couples” this beautiful pair will be blending their families in a ceremony designed in the round on the hilltop of Gold Hill Gardens, Newcastle, CA.  Being a tad unconventional, Kelly will wear a party dress and mingle with the guests during a pre-social, then slip away and don her gorgeous wedding gown (I’ve seen it… and it is!) and then she and Lee will walk in together to marry in front of just 65 family members and friends.  Their children will encircle them and become their bridal party.  I’m really looking forward to their wedding day!!


Happy First Anniversary ~ Juliana & Derek

Apr 8, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Just have to re-live a beautiful, fun-filled and loving day one year ago as my daughter, Juliana, married her sweetie, Derek.  It rained and drizzled most of the day, but it did not dampen the mood.  The ceremony was under an oak tree (and inside a clear topped tent) with the dinner reception in the fantastic Barn at Second Wind.  It was pretty darn incredible, if I don’t say so myself!  Happy First Year of Marriage you two, and your dad and I wish you many, many more!!

Our famiglia – older sister Allison married the year prior.  It was a busy 1 1/2 years!




Many grateful thanks to all my wonderful vendors who created this event:  Sam with Red Sneaker Studio for the awesome photos, Annette and Mike with The Barn at Second Wind, Celebrations Party Rentals (so glad we got the tent), Sarah with Cuttings Floral Design (for giving Juliana exactly what she wanted!), Jackson Catering for feeding and making 130 people very happy, Musarrat with Pretty Sweet for the awesome wedding cake, and Steve with Function 45 Event Entertainment for making it the best dance party ever!  And of course, my buddy and pal, Kendra with Pfeiffer Event Planning for being my right arm and most valuable day of planner.

Happy Anniversary to my Kiddo

Mar 14, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Yes, I’m a sap… and a romantic… and a proud Mom.  Just giving a shoutout to my daughter Allison and her hubby Scott, on their 2nd wedding anniversary.  It was a great day, and you two were so darn happy (and still are!)

Photo Credit:  True Love Photo

Excited for Amie & Marc

Feb 22, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Just back from a (yet again) rainy outing to meet my March 12th couple at their wonderful venue, Antiquite Maison Privee, in mid-town Sacramento – thought I’d snap a photo of them within their space. Amie & Marc are one of my “encore couples” and their wedding will be most unique. After 11 years of togetherness, they selected their wedding day to be on the anniversary of their first date… awwwww.  They will marry under a home made chuppa, add Buddist practices in front of an altar laden with symbolic items, followed by a brunch reception that includes a fabulous espresso service coffee cart and with food stations offering carved tri tip and… wait for it –  house made Brioche French Toast baked in spiced custard Vermont maple syrup!!!  I die!  The surprise will be a Contra Dance lesson followed by lots of dancing fun with the Contra caller.  This is going to be soooo cool!


She’s short~He’s tall Throw Back Thursday

Feb 16, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Fond memories of this precious couple – Christine & Jason married at Avio Vineyards a few years ago and were a delight to work with.  It was very evident and joked about that Jason was so much taller than Christine, so I got the brilliant idea at the rehearsal to surprise them the next day.  I brought from home my daughter’s little step stool which I tucked under the alter table.  The minister was in on the surprise and when it came time for “the kiss,” he paused and then pulled out the step stool, Christine laughed and happily stepped up and Jason didn’t need to bend over to kiss his bride.  Very fun!

Photos by Ryan J. Lane Photography.

A very pretty “altar”

Feb 15, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments


Rather than the expected wedding arch to frame the ceremonial altar, consider setting up a simple banquet table (4′ long) and cover it in a beautiful linen, and then add one stunning floral arrangement.  Other items can be added to the table, such as a Unity Candle, vessels for a Sand Ceremony, Honorarium Candle, a Bible, or a challis for a private Wine Ceremony (as we did for this wedding.)  A table like this allows for unobstructed views in the distance.

Venue is Avio Vineyards in Amador County.

Happy 31st Wedding Anniversary {smile}

Jan 13, 2017   //   by Lora   //   Weddings  //  No Comments

Normally, I give a shout out and best wishes to my couples on their First Wedding Anniversary, well, Bill & Ruth Quinn’s anniversary wish is just a bit different.  I wanted to show off these great photos (taken by Wendy Hithe Photography) of last year’s SURPRISE 30th anniversary party that Bill asked me to plan for his “bride.”  It was indeed a surprise to Ruth, and Bill and I pulled off a monumental evening.  Just when Ruth caught her breath from shock, and hugging and being loved, Bill then proposed again to Ruth and we had a renewal of vows ceremony.  It was a wonderful evening.  Happy 31st Anniversary love birds!

The 30th anniversary traditional flower is the lily and the gem is the pearl.

The party was held at mid-town Sacramento’s Antiquite Maison Privee, beautiful florals by Accents by Sage, lighting and DJ/MC by Mr. DJ Event Services, cake by Freeport Bakery. bar and catering by Jackson Catering.