I don't leave home without it.

The best gift I received for Christmas was a huge bottle of Chanel's Gardenia that is now discontinued!!! It looks so pretty in the center of a big tray on my vanity!


April in Paris

My fiance and I have been throwing ideas back and forth for our honeymoon and my dream is a few days in Paris, followed by the Amalfi Coast in Italy. I first visited Paris with my sister a few years ago, and have been longing to return with my love ever since.

I'm thinking we could dine at the Cafe de Flore, since the song is the inspiration for our wedding. I just want to sit at one of the sidewalk tables, sipping fine wine, and smoking cigarettes like the French do. I hear the food is fantastic and it's been a hangout for writer's and intellectuals for years.

Another must do is an Eiffel Tower picnic. There's nothing more magical than taking a basket of meats, cheeses, dark chocolates, and a bottle of champagne to enjoy at sunset, just before the lights flash on the Eiffel Tower like fireworks!!!

....and I want a strong espresso to wash down my Nutella Crepes...

...and we have to hit the Paris Flea Markets to find a chaise inspired by these! The aqua and pinks would work well in any setting with modern accents to create a vintage feel.


Bride's Processional: Cafe de Flore by Matthew Herbert

The first time I heard "Cafe de Flore" it evoked romance, great depths of love and passion, a rose garden, smells of perfume, fine wine, and simply, Paris. This will be the song to carry me down the aisle on my wedding day. Music has always taken me to far away places and has been the soundtrack to my life. For this event, I want to remember the day forever, I want to play this song and know that it's our song. I am not drawn to traditional wedding processionals that I have heard over and over at weddings, it's too generic. It's the little things like music that make the first impression, sets the tone and mood, for what's to come next.


Last fling before the ring!!!

I am off darlings for a fabulous Fall weekend with my dearest girlfriends to celebrate the final months of my single life! My sister and maid-of-honor has planned a crazy, fun-filled weekend in San Francisco! The only thing she is letting me know is we are staying at my favorite hotel, The Clift, we have a private dancer at
Asia SF, and a limo is whisking us away with mimosas in hand en route to Napa. Great City + Best Friends + Wine Tasting = party time!!!


Sweet dreams are made of this...

Nobody can ignore a table of eye-catching candies in bright colors. In lieu of take home gifts, I have decided to have a candy table reminiscent of the old candy parlors I used to visit on family trips and at Disneyland. I also love macarons, especially if they come all the way from Laduree in Paris, the sweetest shop in the world! Ooh la La Dolce Vita!!!


Love this graceful monogrammed invitation!

I found this invitation in Martha Stewart's Weddings and absolutely fell in love with the gold monogram at the crown on top of it! Look at the little crown detail on the menu card!!! I am taking this to my printer right now to see if we can replicate this. The invitation featured in the magazine is by Crane's. My mom found blank white card stock with gold trim at Kelly Paper in Pasadena for half the cost.


A Garden Wedding with a Ballroom Reception

It's officially booked! My dream wedding location at the Huntington Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California. I first toured the glamorous and gorgeous grounds of this historic hotel when I was about 12 years old, and have been in love with it ever since.
Back then it was owned by Ritz- Carlton Hotels and known to locals around Pasadena as simply "The Ritz." When my friends and I went to college, we would meet every year on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve at The Ritz for cocktails, conversation, and to catch up with everyone who attended high school or grew up in that area. My parents, along with my fiance and I, toured the grounds for hours, and finally we all decided a Horseshoe Garden wedding it will be! Cocktails to follow in the Courtyard and dinner and dancing in The Georgian Ballroom!


The Dress

The most exquisite wedding gown I found
by Oscar De La Renta.


Dresses for the Bridesmaids

The bridesmaid dresses have been ordered! I decided long gowns are perfect for a wedding starting at 5 pm on the first day of Spring. A friend of mine referred me to Renee Strauss in Beverly Hills, and the ladies at the shop were most accommodating making the entire experience a pleasure. I chose 6 different styles, 6 different colors, all from designer Jim Hjelm's collection. The colors I chose are rose, raspberry, primrose, berry, burgundy, and bordeaux. I can't wait to see how 6 different styles in 6 colors look on the bridesmaids!


Pretty in Pinks!

The Vogue cover for September 2004, is one of my favorites! It's the inspiration piece for my bridesmaid dresses. The end result is like a bouquet of flowers, all monochromatic, unique, individual, and completely feminine.


A proposal to remember...

On a weekend getaway to my favorite city by the bay, my boyfriend and I checked into The Clift Hotel. I had a feeling what this weekend was all about, but didn't want to get my hopes up just in case it didn't happen. After a day of sipping wine at the Ferry Building with my best friend Laura who lives in the city, my boyfriend said we better get going so we could make our dinner reservation. A town car was waiting for us, with a bottle of Veuve in the ice bucket and some French House music bumpin'! My how my boyfriend has learned quickly of my favorite things! To the Top of the Mark we went, a place that I remember fondly from my childhood Thanksgiving vacations my family spent each year in the city. More bubbly was to follow and the more giggly the 2 of us became. I was in heaven, literally, the heaven that is in the fog, overlooking the city lights and the bay on a summer evening in San Francisco. "Vanessa, will you marry me?" is what he said as he was on one-knee, right there in the middle of the jovial and jazz filled restaurant. "Of course, yes!!!" is all I remember!

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