Ahhh, what a Summer it has been! I’m just settling back in from a European adventure and reflecting on some of the wedding magic my team created this season. That’s when I realized…Gabriela and Mike’s elegant wedding at The Hyatt Bellevue is a MUST share!
Destination: New Orleans! This past November I, the FairyGodMotherBadAss, headed south for an epic weekend in Louisiana. The rest of the event planning and design team was busy putting the finishing touches on an Indian Wedding in Philadelphia…so, I was solo on this wedding. It was a reminder of my first years in business; 17 years ago, when I was always solo! The weekend of festivities was an incredible way to close out an incredible year.
The magical wedding weekend began with Leila & Rian’s rehearsal dinner held at Tableau in the French Quarter, followed by after-dinner drinks at a local hotel. The bride arranged for a line up of pedicabs to transport the guests to the next destination!
Wedding Day festivities took place in the Garden District of central New Orleans. The small and personal ceremony was held on the patio of the Terrell House, a charming bed and breakfast in the heart of the city. Leila and Rian’s ceremony was extra special with heartfelt, handwritten vows, handcrafted cocktails, and a play on the Princess Bride. The wedding reception began at twilight with family and friends enjoying the outdoor veranda, while Leila, Rian and Love Shack Photo took full advantage of the neighboring Arts District and the gloaming hour!
The bride preferred a look I call the “gilded age”. I used a mix of brass vessels as vases for the floral centerpieces that were filled with ranunculus, roses, berries, feathers, fruits and hints of rich hues of merlot and plum. Guests sipped classic cocktails and danced to a vibrant jazz band. The party continued into the streets with a “second-line”, Mardi Gras style with parasols, handkerchiefs, and masks, all led by the B&G and accompanied by the jazz trio. It didn’t end here! The evening continued into the early morning with an “afterglow” party at The Tasting Room. Love Shack Photo captured the weekend perfectly and we had a hard time choosing our favorites. Take a peek at some of the highlights below!
After a momentous few weeks for the Uncommon Events’ team, I am packing my bags and trading in crisp air and pumpkin spice for white sand and sun. I’m super excited to venture across the border to coordinate and design an epic destination wedding celebration in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
The best part about planning a wedding in Mexico is that we get to start with a slate of clear blue skies, crystal clear water and clean white sand! Our wedding guests will be staying and celebrating in the all inclusive and beautiful Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa. The 60 person wedding ceremony and reception will take place along Maroma Beach, which is directly on site and it is gorgeous. Design elements for the ceremony will include market lighting, tropical flowers and colors, and fire dancers!
I can’t wait to share the images with you. In the meantime, check out some of our favorite images from our most recent beachside event!
English inspired garden and tea parties have made quite the splash in the event world over the last few years and what better place to find or create ‘tea party’ inspiration than in the tea drinking motherland, England! In August 2014, the creative design and planning team at Uncommon Events had the pleasure of planning and designing four incredible days of birthday celebrations in London.
The most important aspect to creating and executing events abroad is finding other designers and artists that share your goals and visions. In my mad search for the BEST in the business, I discovered Simon Lycett. Simon, one of the Queen’s florist’s, is a world-renowned. His over the top floral design and execution exceeded even our highest expectations.
Xander Casey, internationally known, lifestyle photographer and his team captured every moment of the magnificent weekend! Xander’s contemporary approach to photography was the perfect fit.
Philadelphia’s Cinemacake Filmmakers spent the weekend capturing every important moment! They are our usual team in the states so we flew them across the pond for this EPIC adventure.
Guests arrived on Thursday evening and checked into the beautiful Barclay Hotel in the fashionable neighborhood of Knightsbridge. They enjoyed a welcome party hosted at the hotel.
Friday morning we loaded all the guests and their children onto a traditional old Routemaster Double Decker Bus equipped with Blue Badge Guides. They toured the city and saw all the sights en route to The Roof Gardens. The Roof Garden is a 6th floor open oasis, teeming with bird life, plants and foliage. Simply the perfect setting for an outdoor seated lunch. The guests dined on lobster and lamb paired with spectacular wines. The children were greeted by a living topiary and entertained by an iPad Magician. A Punch and Judy puppet show finished the luncheon while the children munched on yummy ice cream cones and cookies. The décor was simply perfect; tons of open garden roses and the linens I chose were the perfect compliment!
On Friday evening, limousines arrived at the Barclay and transported the guests to Hampton Court Palace, 45 minutes outside of central London. This was a SURPRISE to everyone, except the husband of the birthday girl. I knew the weekend needed some kind of surprise and this evening was FULL of them! Limousines circled the world famous entrance with the last car holding the birthday girl. As all the guests exited the limos, Trumpeters and the Queen’s guard greeted them. SURPRISE!
Shortly after guests arrived, King Henry VIII and his last wife Catherine (two extremely well versed and educated actors) arrived to give our guests a tour of the Palace and guide them through the Orangery to the privy garden. Not a small “garden” by any means! Cocktails and canapes were passed as Henry spoke about his “home” outside of London. The string music, provided by Siren, serenaded cocktail hour in the privy garden and Lycett’s team created dramatic floral arrangements that stood on pedestals that towered 15 feet high!
Guests were invited to dine in King Henry’s Dining Room, where robed monks chanted while guests took their seats. The table was 42-foot in length and clothed in one piece of bespoke linen. This dining room is where, back in the day, Shakespeare performed at the Kings request. The enormous centerpieces created a canopy over the table and the table was set with stunning appointments. The dinner menus were designed to match the elegance. Every detail for this EPIC evening was thought through with incredible care and once it was all together, it was simply BRILLIANT!
I partnered with Rhubarb Catering for the Friday and Saturday evening events, a very wise decision. Their culinary creativity shone through every delicious bite. The ‘drinks reception’ (as it is called across the pond) was delightful. The dinner was exquisite and the service impeccable. We mustn’t forget the after dinner “Sweetie Stall”, a sugar lover’s heaven that was artfully presented.
As the guests enjoyed espresso martinis and the outdoor ambiance of the east entrance, another surprise was brewing. The string quartet strolled out to the east entrance and began their stage performance. This group is one of the finest in the UK. To end the evening on another fine note, their last song was choreographed to FIREWORKS!
Saturday morning guests chose a tour of Windsor Castle or a boat ride on the Thames. Both tours ended their journey at Cliveden. Guests were greeted by Alice in Wonderland characters to amuse the children while the mums and dads sipped on the classic summer cocktail, Pimm’s cup. The afternoon was centered on a traditional English luncheon, with poached salmon, scones with clotted cream and many other English delights.
The Saturday evening affair was at Madison in London’s financial district overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral, such a beautiful view. The group wined and dined and danced!
My favorite fashion, floral and shopping images from Paris
During my month long stay in Paris, I took advantage of all that was offered, incredible shopping, beautiful markets, glorious flowers, delicious foods. One focus was planning a wedding in the “city of lights”. I scouted incredible locations for the perfect Parisian wedding. Of course my travels took me to Avenue George V where the incredible Four Seasons “George V” is located steps from the Champs Elysees. Givenchy, Hermes and the prefect church are right down the street! My other “fav” wedding hotel is the Ritz. Located in the old cobblestone Place Vendome, it is truly a perfect location and provides that hint of elegance right at the front door.
Buying your gown in Paris would be ideal. There are many couture boutiques offering the most stunning designs with the right look for anyone to be beautiful. Every time I passed a boutique, I took a look and snapped a shot of the window so when I return I can get right back to that store.
Flowers, flowers, flowers! Even the floral boutique “chains” had incredible store displays and sumptuous flowers and props. It was true eye candy. I visited the floral market on the Isle many times. There was the most beautiful orchid store. Orchids are a bit mysterious to me in their intricate color designs. The Place Maubert and Rue Moufftard markets were in my arrondissment (neighborhood). Twice a week I bought the freshest, prettiest flowers for my apartment.
So, if you are looking to plan a Paris wedding, we are ready to assist!
Just for kicks, look at these wedding festivities held at the Versailles, Four Seasons and several other “posh” Parisian locales. A bit over the top for me but I would have loved to plan that one! Click Here
Uncommon Events is a creative design studio and wedding planning firm. We have an unending passion for design and a desire to bring our clients ideas to life. Our blog is a place for us to share the cool things we see, do and create. Enjoy!