Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ashley & Dave {Wedding Film} Vintage Estates, Yountville

Our sweet couple, Ashley and Dave, got married last September (I can't believe it's almost been a year) at the gorgeous Vintage Estates at The Villagio Inn and Spa in Yountville

Alex Keyes from Thomas Hughes Films did an amazing job capturing the gorgeous summer day, the stunning site of both Mount La Salle & Vintage Estates, as well as our couple and their amazing families. 

If you missed Ashley and Dave's wedding gallery, click here

Their wedding was also featured on here by


~ simone

Monday, September 24, 2012

Engagement Shoot {Aubrey & Matthew} Cavallo Point, Sausalito, CA

Photo by Delbarr Moradi

{We are excited to share that this engagement shoot was featured earlier this year in Style Me Pretty. To view the feature, click here}

As a wedding planner, it’s easy to say that I fall in love with all my clients, but this especially rings true for this drop dead gorgeous couple. Upon meeting Matthew and Aubrey, I instantly felt I had a set of the most amazing clients on my hands for 2012.

I first met Matthew and Aubrey in Carmel, California at my most favorite jewelry store in the entire world, Fourtane Estate Jewelers. Being good friends with the owners, they told this gorgeous couple about me when Matthew purchased Aubrey’s insanely gorgeous engagement (see photo gallery). I was lucky enough to meet them face-to-face during their next visit to the store and I was completely blown away by how physically gorgeous and sweet these two were. 

The story of how they met and their sweet courtship gets me so inspired for their wedding day every time I hear them tell it.  My favorite version is Matthew’s (hear it from his perspective in the passage below) as it’s so evident that he’s head over heels in love and beaming to make her his wife. His version of their story is seriously swoon-worthy for all single women out there.

Matthew and Aubrey are medical students at Loma Linda University in Southern California, and according to Matthew, he first laid eyes on her in the gym on campus.  For him, totally love at first sight.

Passage according to Matt...

“There she was, working out at the Drayson Center. This was the first time I had seen her outside of the Anatomy lab, where I was currently teaching first year medical students the intricacies of the human form and where I first noticed her beautiful blue eyes and flowing red hair. For several months now, I had wanted to know her name, knowing full well I really had no shot- she was way out of my league. But, I decided to wander over to some weights near where she was instructing a few other med students (didn't know she was also a fitness instructor!). Luckily for me, I knew one of the other students she was working out with. I caught Stacy's eye and said hi- she proceeded to introduce me to the ladies...

"Hi, I'm Aubrey," my future fiancée said.
"Hi. I'm Matthew. Wow..." I said.

And then I blurted out the words that would stick in both of our heads forever and for that moment, would be, what I thought, the stupidest thing I could have ever said, “…my name would have been Aubrey if I was a girl- my mom was going to name me that…” (As Aubrey nods her head in bemusement) “…yah Aubrey Elizabeth would have been my name.”

Oh my god. I can’t believe I just said that. I mean, my name really would have been Aubrey Elizabeth Zabel, had I been born a girl… Ask my mom. But what the heck was I thinking- now I definitely have no shot… idiot. “Oh wow,” she exclaimed, as the others looked at each other with awkward smiles. “That is MY name.” After exchanging surprised looks and several laughs, I walked away thinking I must have sounded like an tool… or a creep.”

“A few weeks later I found myself being asked by her and a classmate to do a tutoring session in the Anatomy lab. From there we would see each other in the gym and by no coincidence either. We were both showing up to work out at the time we knew the other would also be there. One day, I asked her to do sushi with some friends and me… And that set in motion our relationship. After enjoying sushi where I got to show off some of my neuroscience geekyness and found out that she was a Brain Camp attendee (love it), she invited me to a med student get together that night. After talking and getting to know each other, it had come up that I was going to Malibu the next morning for a friend’s birthday- a place she said she had never been before. So again, in my predictable blurting nature, I asked if she wanted to come with me. Excitedly, she said yes and the next morning we drove up to Malibu together and hung out for the entire day with my friends… and where I preceded to get us lost in the coastal mountains and kept her out way too late walking around Beverly Hills before finally getting her home around 1 am- apologizing persistently. Yet none of this was enough to keep her away and we started to talk more and more. “

“A few weeks after we started seeing each other, in February, our parents joined us in Loma Linda for family weekend. On that Friday, our parents met on the fourth floor of the Centennial Medical building, just outside the medical simulation center. The chemistry of our families melded in seconds and immediately after introductions the conversation turned to poodles. Both families are obsessed with this beautiful and intelligent breed of dog and the poodles Sandie (maltipoo), Kirrah, Jasper and Rocky are no exception. So for a good half hour, Aubrey chatted with Leesa, Steve with Ken and I with Ellen... about poodles!

Speaking of poodles, since Aubrey and I found out we had another big thing in common (and our families as well), we decided to take advantage of that and take our poodles for a walk the next morning. So we walked and talked with our poodles striding- ever so elegantly- ahead of us for about an hour...

The next morning I had the chance to really get to know Aubrey's family. We started around 11 am where I showed the family around my research facilities and continued into the afternoon with lunch and a stroll around Mission Inn in Riverside, followed by intriguing conversation at a Coffee Bean down the street. On our way home, we took a detour to find See's Candy, but instead found ourselves in a Barnes and Noble (where I bought Aubrey the book The Watchers by Dean Koontz and where I believe we found Monterey- the MOH- an anatomy coloring book). From there we headed back to Loma Linda to watch the movie The King's Speech and had dinner at BJ's... at 11 pm. At the end of the night, when they dropped me off at my apartment, Aubrey accompanied me to the door. We smiled and exchanged expecting looks. I had to say it... "Yah, so, I like you," i said. Aubrey smiled up at me... "I am glad to know we are on the same page," she said back to me. I kissed her on the cheek and couldn't wait to see her again. We OFFICIALLY started dating that night.”

The Engagement Shoot
When we first talked about their engagement pictures, they had discussed the importance of having a California style setting as a backdrop so their out-of-town wedding guests could get excited about their travel to Carmel Valley for their wedding day. They also had wanted to somehow incorporate a nautical feel while still staying true to their lifestyle and how they met. I immediately I suggested Cavallo Point as their engagement location as it’s backdrop boasts the most incredible view of the Golden Gate Bridge (can’t get any more Cali than that), features a sailing harbor, is surrounded by a forest and has some seriously gorgeous historical buildings.

Also, since I originally met both Matthew and Aubrey at Fourtane Jewelers, I asked the owners if they would be willing to lend some of their amazing pieces for the shoot since this couple absolutely loves vintage jewelry. They did more than that, they actually came to the shoot and styled each photo session with a complete look using some of their signature pieces. It was truly a swoon-worthy moment.

It was important to me that they not only had a beautiful backdrop and jewelry for their photos, but equally I wanted the shoot to reflect them as a couple. Since they met in medical school and studying is a big part of their lifestyle, I decided to create their first look as a study session in the center of the property nestled in the gorgeous tall grass (one of Cavallo’s signature characteristics). We brought in coffee cups, vintage books, blankets and some other cute props for them to play with.  Needless to say, it was a very natural atmosphere for them and they got really playful.

We moved down to the pier for their second shoot which took on a more nautical feel. We staged them on a dock overlooking the entire San Francisco Bay using the Golden Gate Bridge as the backdrop, a simple arrangement of blue Hydrangea, a box of the famous Teuscher chocolates, a bottle of champagne and a pair of crystal flutes. It was so clear and gorgeous that day and Aubrey and Matthew looked amazing in almost every shot. This was an especially fun look since we got to play dress up and put Aubrey in a flowing blue maxi dress and diamond jewelry and watched her gorgeous red hair blow in the wind. 

Aubrey and Matthew were such a pleasure to work with, and with Delbarr Moradi behind the lens, of course the photos came out simply stunning.

Aubrey and Mathew were married at Holman Ranch on June 3rd this year! Congratulations Aubrey and Matthew!

Vendor Credits:
Photography: Delbarr Moradi, Delbarr Moradi Photography
Photo Shoot Design & Styling: Simone Lennon, Soiree by Simone Lennon
Vintage Jewelery & Vintage Rolex Watches: Kris Bonifas, Fourtane Jewelers

Yaxi & Kai {Wedding Film} Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley, CA

Marty from Blu Couture came all the way from Chicago to capture Yaxi and Kai's wedding day at Holman Ranch and we loved what he did.

Enjoy seeing all the special details of their big day while watching the day unfold.

Happy planning!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Real Wedding {Yaxi & Kai} Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley

Photo by Delbarr Moradi

I began working with Yaxi and Kai in December 2010. I received a phone call from Yaxi after she came across my BLOG on a wedding related search. She was calling from Houston and was looking for a wedding planner in the Bay Area to help her plan a summer wedding. She had stumbled upon my BLOG and loved and connected with a lot of what I wrote about and thought I could be a good fit for her. 

She and Kai had JUST gotten engaged over the Thanksgiving holiday and she was excited to start planning her wedding. Though she and Kai lived in Houston, they both attended the University of California at Berkley and had roots in the Bay Area. After speaking with her for about an hour, the one thing they knew for certain was they definitely wanted to be married in California's wine country. She had a set vision of a warm summer outdoor wedding with a soft color palette, organic elements and the vineyards. She also wanted a venue that was private and naturally beautiful in a location so all her guests could feel like they were experiencing a weekend get-away. 

A big challenge for Yaxi was that she was in her final year of medical school in Houston and wanted to get married before she started her residency. Being that she only had one month in 2012 to get married and enjoy her honeymoon, in true Yaxi fashion (as I would come to know - thoughtful, strategic and very detail-oriented), she started planning her wedding sixteen months in advance so she made sure she got the wedding date of her choice.

One of the biggest concerns for Yaxi was the fact that she was in Houston and planning a wedding in California. It was of the utmost importance that she really liked and trusted her wedding planner to be her eyes and ears, and most of all, allow her to be as hands-on as possible and feel very connected to the entire process.

After signing on as their wedding planner, within the month she and Kai traveled to California for site tours. I took them to four different venues but I already knew in my heart-of-hearts which venue she would settle on, and of course, I saved the best for last. Holman Ranch. Everything that she had envisioned and wanted during our prep calls already indicated that Holman was the perfect fit for her - elegant, yet rustic, private and naturally beautiful, in the wine country and a destination.

As soon as Yaxi and Kai walked the property after I helped them dream of the possibilities, I had them stand on the ceremony veranda overlook together. It was that moment when I saw that they had found "the perfect place". It was one of the sweetest moments for me to see as they both stood there in awe and excitement. Within the week, we booked their wedding date for May 2012 and it was all down hill from there. 

After securing our wonderful team of amazing vendors, we got down to business on creating her event design and color palette. She wanted her wedding to feel elegant yet relaxed, seasonal and understated. She loved neutral tones with pops of pastels and anything soft and feminine. For Kai, it was simple, he wanted to eat really good food and have really good music.

We decided on a color palette of ivory, blush pink, cantaloup orange and lemon yellow. Yaxi really wanted everything to feel cheerful but clean so we only used the floral to lead with pops of color while everything else stayed very soft and neutral. We selected a refined rustic linen in a beautiful eggshell color, used craft paper with whimsical script in white ink for her paper goods, and a mixture of milk glass, silvery metallic mercury glass and birch for her tablescape vessels.

We also started pulling in components of things they loved the most, like dessert! Both Kai and Yaxi LOVE sweets so it was only necessary to do a custom dessert table of all their favorite goodies. When it came down to the design, Yaxi, Kai and I talked about all their favorite things. We all laughed during the design call because we came up with such a large list of items. With an array of this size, it can be tricky to layout a display with balance and a beautiful aesthetic, so it was only fitting to call on one person, my good friend and amazingly talented event stylist, Allison Silber. After our initial design call, she nailed our vision, was super excited about the project and I knew she was going to execute something amazing that Kai and Yaxi were going to love. Not only do I love working with Allison, but she always exceeds my expectations (see photos of our dessert table below), after all, I call her "The Crafty Goodness Goddess".

When the wedding came, it was the most perfect day any one could of asked for - 78 degrees, sunny,  relaxed and full of love and laughter. As I do with each of my couples, I stood and watched their ceremony from beginning to end and thought to myself, "I am really lucky to be part of this amazing experience with two exceptional people."

Congrats Yaxi and Kai. 

Vendor Credits:
Wedding Planning & Event Design: Simone Lennon, Soiree by Simone Lennon
Photography: Delbarr Moradi, Delbarr Moradi Photography
Venue: Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley
Floral: Christine Cater, Christine Cater Floral Design
Wedding Cake: Patisserie Bechler
Confection: Batter Bakery, San Francisco
Dessert Table Design: Allison Silber, Engaged & Inspired
Escort and Placement Cards: Allison Silber, Engaged & Inspired
Chalkboards & Signage: Allison Silber, Engaged & Inspired
DJ & A/V: Marty Satow, Good Vibrations
Invitation Suite: Union Street Papery, San Francisco

Wedding Attire:
Bride's Jewelry: Fourtane Estates Jewelers, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Ca
Bride's Dress & Shoes: Amsale & Kate Spade
Groom's Attire: J. Crew