Friday, July 30, 2010
The China Cabin was originally the first class social saloon from the top deck of the SS China, a sidewheel steamer that traveled from San Francisco to the Far East for about twenty years in the late 1800s. It served as a private residence in Tiburon for a number of years and was restored to it's original splendor in 1978.
It has decks on three sides with glorious views of the San Francisco skyline. It only holds 55 guests for a seated dinner but can you imagine how stunning and original a wedding reception or rehearsal dinner would be in this space? I'm dying to work here...
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Denice couldn't wait to get into her flip-flops right after the ceremony and boogie down. Gracious and kind couple, hilarious guests and a beautiful venue. Days like these remind me why I love my job...
Beautiful photography by Ken Buck who was an absolute pleasure to work with.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Obviously the wedding ceremony requires a lot of orchestration but let's take something simple like the cake cutting. Here is how the cake cutting went at a recent wedding I produced:
15 minutes to cake cutting
Planner finds caterer manager
PLANNER: "We're going to do the cake cutting in about 15 minutes. Please get the toasting flutes the bride and groom brought in specially for the toast and fill them with the special bottle of champagne we stashed in the back. Can you place these on the cake table with the cake knife and server the couple bought, two plates, two forks and a napkin. Please make sure someone is standing by to remove the cake to take it in the back to cut"
CATERER: "Got it, I'll put my people on task"
10 minutes to cake cutting
Planner finds photographer
PLANNER: "We're going to do the cake cutting in about ten minutes, do you need anything?"
PHOTOGRAPHER: "Actually yes, there is that spotlight shining on the cake, it's going to wash out my pictures. Is there any way we can turn it off so we just have soft candlelight for the cake cutting?"
PLANNER: "Yes, I had the lighting company place that light on a separate switch so that when the cake was removed I could turn it off. Let me get the remote and have it ready for the cutting."
7 minutes to cake cutting
Planner checks in with the Bride and Groom
PLANNER: "We're going to do the cake cutting in about five minutes, are you ready?"
GROOM: "Actually, I have to use the bathroom first"
PLANNER: "Sounds good, when you get back we will do it then"
2 minutes to cake cutting
Planner waits for the Groom to get back... go check-in
PLANNER: "Are you ready? We're going to do the cake cutting after this song"
BRIDE: "All set"
PLANNER: "Great, don't stray too far from the cake table."
1 minute to cake cutting
Planner checks-in with the band.
PLANNER: "When this song is over, we're going to do the cake cutting, can you announce to the guests that we're going to cut the cake and play a fun, upbeat song in the background for the ceremony? I know it's time for you to take a break, so after the cake cutting you can go in the back for a break during dessert"
BAND: "Thanks, that's great. We'll play something fun"
Band announces cake cutting. Planner cuts lights over cake. Caterer in place to remove cake. Photographer in place to shoot action. Planner brings Bride and Groom over to cake
PLANNER: "Just make two even diagonal slices in a pie shape in the bottom layer and remove the piece with the server".
Cake is cut. Band plays "Pour Some Sugar On Me". Photographer captures the couple laughing and singing along. Caterer clears cake to back to cut into slices. Servers pass slices. Planner goes to the back to get the Bride and Groom's cake server and toasting flutes to wash them and pack them up in their original boxes for the end of the night.
Here is what I've seen happen at weddings without a planner:
Band announces cake cutting and takes a break from playing. Groom is in the bathroom, awkward silence while guests look for the Groom. Bride and Groom ready to cut the cake but the server and knife are missing and there are no plates. Caterer rushes around to get a knife for them to use, doesn't realize there was a special serving utensil and champagne flutes. Awkward silence while guests hungrily stare at bride and groom cut the cake without music. Bride and groom not quite sure where or how to cut. Awkward laugh. They attempt a messy cut. Bride and groom make "mmm" noises to fill the silence. Photographer does his best to take photos but they don't come great because there is a glare and the bride and groom are flushed with slight embarrassment. Toasting flutes go missing at the end of the night.
When a wedding goes smoothly no one notices anything happening behind the scenes but without a planner the simplest task can turn into an awkward moment and interrupt the flow of the event.
All cakes from Martha Stewart Weddings
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The issue of design copyright infringement has recently come to my attention. After my client's wedding was published on Snippet and Ink a large invitation company with outlets in over 150 invitations stores around the country got in touch regarding a design knock-off the bride made herself featured in this wedding. They let me know the design was a knock-off and a violation of copyright infringement. As you can see above the save-the-dates are very similar. Graphic designers deal with DIY brides copying their designs all the time. I imagine it must be frustrating to spend time creating original designs only to see them copied elsewhere in a knock-off.
Knock-offs are something the art and design world have dealt with for centuries. Of course we all know the classic statement from the bible, "There's nothing new under the sun". It was Pablo Picasso who wrote "Good artists copy, great artists steal". The Italian artists during the Renaissance basically ripped off everything the Greeks created.
In the wedding world we see design knock-offs everywhere we turn. Sasha Souza spoke about this in a lecture I attended where she gave specific examples where her ideas were copied including a s'mores station and various color schemes and table settings. She didn't seem that worried about it. She says she stays ahead of the trend. Once she's done a design she's over it and onto the next, copy at will.
Most clients come to their wedding vendors toting inspiration photos torn from magazines saying "I want THAT" and those inspirations are reworked countless times. Martha Stewart and other bridal magazines fully encourage this behavior.
Sometimes designers come up with their own signature styles (likely borrowed from something they saw elsewhere) and then we see these looks copied all over creation. Jeff Leatham is a great example of a specific style copied countless times.
Jeff Leatham even has DIY segments where he shows viewers exactly how to make his arrangements. Does that mean he's okay with people copying his design?
In fashion we see knock-offs all the time. Not just sketchy handbags purchased in dark alleys but right out there in the open. Fashion magazines do entire sections on how to "steal" the look for less. I think Forever 21 basically exists to copy the expensive brands. My favorite shoes are a direct copy of some YSL sandals.
So now back to my client's invitation. She used a different font, different artwork (sourced from a free clip art website online) and different lines/dingbats; none of these were taken from the invitation company. Of course her wording was different. Her colors were her own. Her corners are rounded, but countless invitations have rounded corners (you can even buy a corner rounder that looks like a hole punch at any craft store). When you get right down to it the only thing that is quantifiably the same about these invitations is the order and spacing of the wording. But if we were to ban word order then wouldn't every single invitation be in copyright infringement? There is no question that my client's wedding save-the-date is a copy, but where does the line fall between an OK copy and a copyright infringement?
I'm glad companies are following up on knock-offs and taking ownership of their designs. It's about time someone stood up for the right of the designer. On the other hand, what rights does the designer have exactly? Once you put something out to the public you open yourself up to being copied in this DIY world. And what constitutes copying exactly? If I use someone's hand-drawn image of a beautiful bird in my invitation it seems that would be unfair. If I trace their image and add a sprig of berries in the bird's mouth, does that make it my own?
The important thing to know is that if you find a look you love and decide to copy it for less, you should take a step back and weigh the ethical issues. I think in terms of copyright infringement, this is especially pertinent for new wedding vendors starting their businesses and profiting off of a copy rather than brides small scale, not for profit production, but it's good to know you could have a case on your hands either way.
I'm grateful that this invitation company brought this to my attention and as a planner will help my clients make more informed decisions in the future about their decisions to copy wedding looks and materials.
Do you think this invitation knock-off should legally be considered a copyright infringement?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
It took me forever to figure out how to make the "°" sign (shift, option, 8 on a mac if you're wondering). But it was worth it to tell you about 479° Popcorn. Organic Flavored Popcorn made right here in San Francisco.
Check out these flavors... Black Truffle and White Cheddar; Fleur de Sel Caramel; Vietnamese Cinnamon Sugar; are you hearing these?; Chipolte Caramel & Almonds. Yum!
These would be amazing to set out during cocktail hour or late night at the bar but they would also be great packaged in welcome bags or as the guest gift. I think everyone will be receiving these for Christmas this year...479° Popcorn
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I am looking for an intern a few mornings a week to help out
- Helping with the Blog
- Assisting with the million to-dos in planning a wedding
- Running wedding related errands
- Some on-site help
- Able to drive a car, legally
- Witty, stylish and enthusiastic
This is an unpaid internship but there is so much I can teach you and if you’re looking to get into the events industry this would be a great way to get your start! Please apply to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, July 19, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
1. Map Totes Bag
2. Amoeba Music weekly guide to the best Independent music
3. Hookers Sweet Treats salted caramels
4. 7x7 Magazine for guests to know all the cool local goings-on.
5. Map Totes Welcome Note
6. A few cold brewskies - Anchor Steam
7. San Francisco postcards for guests to write home
8. Blue Bottle Coffee for the room... mmmm
9. Chips and bottled salsa from my favorite burrito joint - Papalote
10. Voucher for a free bike rental at Blazing Saddles. The best way to see the city.