Planning Guides: The Rendezvous at Olea Hotel, Glen Ellen

This is a special one folks! Over a year ago we were going on a site visit in Glen Ellen and drove past this incredible hotel. It was months away from being completed but we have been waiting with bated breath for it to be ready! Tucked in the hills of Glen Ellen, the newly opened Olea Hotel is an intimate boutique hotel perfect for a romantic getaway with your main squeeze!

A complimentary gourmet breakfast will get you out the door so you can enjoy your time exploring Sonoma and the surrounding areas. After dinner upon your arrival back to Olea, a complimentary dessert wine tasting will greet you before you hit the sheets {or the hot tub}. And who doesn't want to get pampered while on vacation? Be sure to take advantage of their massage services as well. Try to score a room with a balcony. The views of the valley are breathtaking.

For reservations click here.


A Fiesta Bridal Shower!

Here at The Collection, we love a good theme! Something as traditional as a bridal shower can have people a little ho-hum about attending but if you take it to the next level, your ladies {aunts twice removed included!} are bound to have a great time!

In Northern California, you can't go wrong with Mexican food. These are the big three you'll have to have for a rockin' bridal fiesta: grub, drinks, and decor. Book one of the many local taco trucks to cater the party. Our favorite in Sonoma is La Bomba. El Molino Central is a great local restaurant where you can do party pick-up too. Be sure to have the pitchers of margaritas flowing - we love this Mango Jalapeno one. As for decor - nothing but color, color color!!! So bust out those beads, the embroidered skirts and call your chickas to start planning!


Happy Friday!


Wedding Season 2012 Recap with Daisy Rose Floral Design

A few weeks back we asked Collection Member Daisy Rose Floral Design about her thoughts on 2012 floral trends. She gave us some awesome insight on what brides were dying for last year and what we can expect to see more of in 2013!

{Bliss Fotography and Krista Marie Photography}

More and more brides are asking for air plants in their floral decor, which I love! Not only are they unexpected and interesting on table centerpieces, but they can be great in bouquets as well. The smaller ones are fantastic place settings, while bridesmaids can hold the larger types instead of a standard fresh flower bouquet.  The bonus is that these plants require very little effort to maintain and should stay alive for a long time after your wedding.

Another trend I fully endorse is when brides challenge the traditional idea of a round, all flower bouquet and go for a much freer, more natural look with lots of greenery, natural movement and irregular shapes for their flowers.  This look isn't for everyone, but works fabulously in a non-traditional wedding.

{Boro Creative Visions Photography}

Living plant gardens are a fun centerpiece alternative to the traditional cut flower option.   The best type of living centerpiece won't have to be re-potted for months after your event, which makes them perfect favors for your most valued guests.  Or, keep them for yourself for a low maintenance, easily transported garden.

{Diane Askew Photography}

I expect to get a lot of requests for whites and creams.  What surprised me in 2012 was purple and orange.  Fully 25% of brides in 2012 asked me for bouquets that were a combination of purple and orange.  Who'd of thought?

{Michelle Walker Photography}

Requests for bright colors may not be in the overwhelming majority, but the punch that they pack makes them all the more memorable.  I can't get enough of the bold colors (especially when combined with softer greens) we did for this wedding in Bolinas.

What trends are you starting to see for 2013? One trend I'm excited about has been the pairing of silver or gold vases (both vintage and modern) with romantic flowers like peonies, garden roses and ranunculus.  The contrast between an industrial, gritty material like metal, with the soft, natural look of the flowers is striking.

What are brides moving away from the coming season? The rustic, relaxed look of Mason jars had been solidly popular until recently but now I see brides opting for a more eclectic mix of various smaller vessels (milk or mercury glass with ceramic, for example). The result is a similar feel, but with more interest and individuality packed in to each piece.  These mini arrangements are great to send home with guests at the end of the night as well.


Head Over Heels with Melanie: Ombre Wedding Details

By now you have most certainly seen the ombre trend all over retail stores and fashion magazines.  Due to the artistic and whimsical nature of this trend it translates perfectly to weddings!  Whether it’s your gown, your flowers or your cake you can incorporate an ombre detail (or several!) into your wedding with ease and class.  The possibilities are endless!

One of the best and most obvious ways to incorporate ombre into your wedding is in the gown. Gwen Stefani got married in an incredible fuschia ombred gown several years ago, and it STILL has us swooning.  Here are a few new and exciting options for adding a little color to your gown.

{Blush. Gray. White to pink. Teal Zac Posen.}

There are so many different ways to have your bridesmaids sport this trend.  When the dress is as interesting as this Gray tiered one, it’s better to have them all in the same dress.  That way it’s not overwhelming or too busy.  That being said, I love the idea of a statement bridesmaids dress.  It’s also always lovely to have each bridesmaid in a different shade to create an ombre effect when they stand together.  Makes for great pictures!

{Gray layered. Wedding party. Orange.}

This look tends to have an artistic sensibility so paper goods are the perfect ombre addition.  Love the idea of dying or painting them with watercolor.  What an easy way to make a statement on a card table! 

{Teal. Orange. Pink.}

If I could get married all over again (being in this industry, I say that A LOT) I would have an ombre flower aisle runner.  Such a stunning way to walk down the aisle!  I’ve shown examples of centerpieces, bouquets (adore the idea of each bridesmaid carrying a slightly different shade), and aisle runners.  It’s just THAT verstatile!

{Bouquets. Aisle Runner. Centerpiece. Purple.}

And now for my absolute favorite idea… ombre CAKES!  They look almost too delicious to eat!  I am hard to please when it comes to cake design.  I find that they can be overdone and stuffy.  Which is why I love the ombre look on a cake so much.  The color gradient adds wonderful splash of color without being over the top.  Don’t you agree?

{Teal. Purple Ruffles. Ombre on the inside.}

For more from Head Over Heels with Melanie click here.


Man of The Hour: A Chat with Andrew of General Knot & Co.

What inspired you to open General Knot & Co.? After working practically my whole career in design for large established brands {Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Levi's, to name a few}, I felt it was time to take a leap of faith on my own ideas. I also loved the idea of producing in America.  It only seems right to do so and the people who make these products are craftsmen and craftswomen who stand behind their amazing work. That is a huge component of our company.   I have also been a fabric collector my entire life.  I love not only the art of the fabric, but the history that comes with each piece, so this seemed like the logical move for me.

Who shops at General Knot & Co.? What type of groom? It's interesting.  We get the very preppy, as well as the more progressive urban trendy customer and also international customers. With so many varying tastes, the one thing that stands out about our groom (and usually his bride) is that they have individual style.  They have a sense of their uniqueness and are confident in their approach to dressing and pretty much everything else in their life as well.

How would you describe your clothing? Unique, limited edition, special, curated and lovingly designed.

What is the General Knot & Co. aesthetic? Although we feature vintage and deadstock fabrics from around the world, our designs are fresh and trend right.  We aim to be witty, classic and fashionable, but not too overbearing in our product.  We like to think there is a sophistication to the way we mix color and patterns that our customers appreciates.

What inspires you and gets your design juices flowing? Everything and anything! The outdoors, a walk through a museum, the latest art my sons bring home from school that I can post on the refrigerator!

Are you currently working on developing any other items for your shop? We are currently developing leather and fabric belts.  These will be available in the coming season.  We are always looking for new items to add to the wardrobe of our customer.  Stay tuned!!


Shop General Knot & Co. here.


Real Wedding: Isabelle & Asrar, Lyon, France

When Collection Member Delbarr Moradi shared with us this gorgeous wedding in Lyon, we knew we had to share. We tend to be bombarded with overly designed weddings, making sure every little detail matches the next. This wedding is proof that a beautiful venue, gorgeous flowers, and spot-on photography is really all you need. Thank you to Delbarr for sharing these incredible images and the lovely story behind Isabelle and Asrar.

From Delbarr: When I was a kid, I met Isabelle when she lived next door to me at her uncle's house for many months out of the year. She grew up in France but would come visit her family in the States whenever she could. As time went by, we moved away and we pursued our lives, we grew apart and lost touch. However, many, many years later we found each other on Facebook and she tells me the great news that she is engaged to be married! She had been following my work online and wanted us to come out to Lyon, France to shoot her wedding. We absolutely love to travel so, of course, there was no question about it!

It was so sweet to get to spend some time in a new city with Isabelle and Asrar. We spent alot of time exploring the old city of Lyon together. We shot a little pre-wedding session in the old streets where they first fell in love. Lyon has such beautiful architecture and little secret doorways. Isabelle and Asrar showed us their favorite spots as we photographed and then headed to City Hall for the nuptials.

In France, majority of weddings happen in the couple's neighborhood City Hall first. Often times, the next day, the families throw the big party and formal ceremony at a nearby location. Their immediate families gathered together to meet them at City Hall where they said their "I do's". It was a special ceremony with lots of emotion and complete joy!

The next day we all drove out to Macon, France to the gorgeous Chateau where Isabelle and Asrar would welcome all their guests and family to take part in their Persian ceremony and reception. There was such a beautiful mix of culture at this wedding...together they share Persian, French, and Costa Rican backgrounds and the wedding was a beautiful blend of all three cultures. After the Persian ceremony, it was time to party!

In France weddings don't host a traditional cocktail hour; instead guests enjoy about 3 hours of mingling, drinking, eating and dancing before dinner is served. Once guests are invited inside for the formal reception the second half of the wedding begins. Gotta love the French! The guests enjoyed the most delicious appetizers, drinks and danced for hours in an old abandoned building on the property. Once the reception began there was even more culinary excellence as a 4 course meal, plus a luscious dessert bar framed the evening.

Having photographed and been part of so many weddings here in the US, I can safely say that European weddings are a thing of their own. The majority of the day is centered around family, food and celebration with no time restraints what so ever. Things run much slower and there isn't a set timeline -- it ends when they want it to end and the guests are there to celebrate every step of the way. Isabelle and Asrar definitely soaked in all the celebrating and early the next morning, together with their families they headed to the south of France for more.

Delbarr Moradi is a member of The Collection Event Studio. Say hello here.


Happy Friday!