Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter who was best known for her self-portraits, and her work which has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form. Considered one of Mexico’s greatest artists, Frida Kahlo began painting after she was severely injured in a bus accident. Kahlo later became politically active and married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera in the 1920’s.
Her artful use of bold, vibrant and festive colors was a true inspiration not just to myself, but to my clients, Kristina Quiñones & Danny Miller, both married recently at Mission Dolores Basilica followed by a grandiose Wedding Reception at The Julia Morgan Ballroom. And from this blossomed a spectacular transformation of the venue bursting with a palate of red, orange, pink, purple, turquoise and gold. These stunning images were captured by the keen eye of Clane Gessel with Clane Gessel Photography. Be on the lookout for my forthcoming blog on KRISTINA & DANNY’s spectacular Wedding, with amazing images from their Wedding Photographers, Amanda Lopez and Trevor Traynor of Amanda Lopez Photography.
Wedding Planning & Event Design: Duncan Reyes, F. Duncan Reyes Events By Design
Event Photography: Clane Gessel, Clane Gessel Photography
Videography: David Ethridge, Billy Kessler, Phil Sheffield & Noah Clark, AVR Films
Floral Design: Jeeryn Dang, Tanjeeryn Designs
Wedding Invitations and “Day Of” Stationeries: Mimi Renfro-Rodriguez, Creative Designs by Mimi
Lighting Design, DJ & Emcee Entertainment: Jason Mitchell, Gatsby Entertainment
Tablescape Rentals & Specialty Linens: Mindy Roark-Aldridge, Classic Party Rentals San Francisco
Specialty Linens: Diana Cardenas, Napa Valley Linens
Wedding Cake: Jasmie DeLung, Jasmine Rae Bakery
Catering & Venue: Lillian Phan & Elexis Feldbrill, The Julia Morgan Ballroom at The Merchants Exchange
JACQUI & KEVIN
Photography by Rainbeau Tharp
HOW THEY MET: Jacqui and Kevin met in Venice, California playing dodgeball. Jacqui signed up to meet some new friends in Venice Beach, and Kevin happened to be her first Team Captain (but no sparks yet!). Fast forward a couple years, to the weekend a few girlfriends took a trip to Ventura to camp in a Teepee, Kevin was somehow the only guy invited. An amazing combination of Whiskey, Tarot Card Reading, and the lack of any sort of camping preparation (no one thought it was going to be very cold) brought Kevin and Jacqui together. The following week, Kevin tricked Jacqui into going out on a date with him. She thought they were just going to a bonfire with some friends, but first he took her to a delicious Dinner. It was probably the Sweet Potato Tots that won her heart!
THE PROPOSAL: In July 2014, Kevin and Jacqui were living in San Francisco. On a beautiful Saturday morning Kevin woke Jacqui up with homemade French Toast for Breakfast. He wanted to go hiking with some friends, but as usual, Jacqui is being incredibly lazy and didn’t want to go. She was also sad that their dog, Maya, couldn’t come with them. Kevin promised that it would be a very easy hike, and that Jacqui can just wear her Pineapple Dress and Keds …. DEAL! They drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, up to Muir Beach, and started hiking, up a very steep gravel-ly hill. Keds had no traction, and Jacqui had no muscle. Kevin found the sweetest little spot nestled in the cliff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He asked their friend, Jarvis, to take their picture. Then Kevin got down on one knee and popped the question. And she cried! And she hyperventilated! And sneaky Jarvis recorded it all! Kevin almost immediately said “Don’t worry, I got the ring insured!” – because Kevin is responsible and Jacqui is clumsy. After a wonderful day of Champagne, Brunch and Dinner at their first San Francisco date spot, Kevin and Jacqui headed home. When they got there, Jacqui noticed their porch light was on. When she opened the door, there was Pizza on the table, and she quickly came to the conclusion that there might have been a homeless man in their house. But all of a sudden, Jacqui’s Family jumped out and scared the beejezus out of her. Kevin, Jacqui’s Brother Ian and his Girlfriend, Tara, had planned the Surprise Party so they could break the news to the Family in person. It was all so amazing and crazy!
The date is set, and they will wed this coming September at one of my favorite venues, at the stunning Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch Winery in St. Helena.
Jacqui & Kevin – While it’s no surprise to those who love you both, may this time in your life be filled with lots of love and joy, as well as many days of unexpected bliss! Looking forward to creating for you a very memorable and special day. Congratulations! xoxo
GAME OF THRONES is an American fantasy drama television series created for HBO. Set in the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the series chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the realm’s noble families for control of the Iron Throne. For this particular Holiday Party, my Clients wanted me to transform The Velvet Room at The Clift Hotel in San Francisco into this periodic medieval fantasy that is complex, multi-layered, surreal, vibrant and imaginative providing an ambiance that will draw your eye in to the surprising level of detail. And that’s exactly what was done – we gave them the “WOW Factor”! Tbanks to my collaboration with Jonathan Gomez of Asiel Design and my incredible “Dream Team”, the Kingdoms of Westeros came to life, right down to hiring Actors (and dogs as Direwolves) who portrayed the key characters of the show such as Jon Snow, Robb Stark and Daenarys Targaryen. The Velvet Room never looked so exquisitely stunning and my Clients were awe-inspired and ecstatic with the results. These fabulous images were all captured on film by the keen eye of Clane Gessel with Clane Gessel Photography.
Event Planning & Design: Duncan Reyes, F. Duncan Reyes Events By Design
Event Photography: Clane Gessel, Clane Gessel Photography
Floral, Props & Decor, Tablescape & Event Design: Jonathan Gomez & Meg Ethridge, Asiel Design
DJ, Entertainment & Lighting: Jason Mitchell, Adam Gold (as Jon Snow & Emcee) and his dog Belvedere (as Ghost), Billy Gold (as Robb Stark) and his dog, Apollo (as Grey Wind), Shannon Nelson (as Daenarys Targaryen), Shana Goldberg (On-Site Production Manager), DJ Rikki Aldridge & DJ Maxwell Alegria, Gatsby Entertainment Group
Catering, Hotel Accommodations & Venue: Claire Holder, Devin Singer & Steven Hoffman, The Velvet Room at The Clift Hotel San Francisco
Event Rentals & Tablescape Design: Mindy Roark-Aldridge, Classic Party Rentals San Francisco
This photo taken by Duncan Reyes
MICHAEL NELSON & CAMILLE LARRAURI
Photography by Paul Festejo of Paul Festejo Photography
Here’s a beautiful Wedding couple that I am so excited with planning their special day on Saturday, May 9th at The Ranch at Bandy Canyon in Escondido, California (a half hour drive from San Diego). He was a firefighter based in San Luis Obispo, she was a fledgling fitness mogul who also happens to be my Niece! Yes, this will be a Family Affair, and you know that this will be nothing short of fabulous! Meanwhile, here’s their story . . .
It took 6 years for Camille & Michael’s journey, starting with Freshman year in high school (Go Bulldogs!) – they meet. Sparks? None. End of Story? Not by a long shot. Fast forward about 9 years – the scene is a welcome home party at Jon Bauer’s house for bestie Jane (Jane who is now the wedding officiant – so fitting, right?), and they reconnect…… (cue dream sequence music). Michael was definitely smitten. Camille was oblivious. He pursued, she waffled. He persisted, and she caved in. She dropped them other fools with a quickness and decided to go steady. On their first real date to Huntington Library she quickly realized that he was one of the good ones. She couldn’t get enough of this guy – loving, honest, ambitious, intelligent, and thoughtful. She, on the other hand, redefined the term crazy. A country music-loving, washing-dishes hating, fiercely independent dog lover with a penchant for sports bras, Camille wasn’t the typical girlfriend prowling wedding catalogs and plotting out a dress. She didn’t dream about her wedding day as much as brace herself for it. (It just seemed such a big step – very “adult”, you know?)
Michael, meanwhile, in his own quiet romantic way, would make the most of their long distance relationship. He would send her songs that reminded him of her or of them (think God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton) or sometimes, in a burst of inspiration, he would send her songs that he thought she could cool down to after a strenuous workout (gotta love that guy). He adored his “bug” and would call or text when he was on his way home. He took in all the crazy, withstood all the stubbornness, and was dragged to more nights out than he wanted. He marveled at what a great “fur mom” she was to Cheetah (Michael’s Catahoula Leopard dog), and life was good, and he knew he found the one. They moved in together in April of 2012 and shortly after that #dukenelson joined the family. He (Michael, not Duke, Camille’s Boxer dog) agreed to do the dishes while she happily did the laundry. She was amazed at how he balanced her out, kept her grounded, made time to listen to her, missed her while they were apart but didn’t curb her independence when they were together. She would get gushy, make him dinner, rush home to him, let him pick the movie. And slowly, oh so slowly, thought about THE DAY. She wondered when….. They went to the Philippines and came back unbetrothed. Australia was next – no ring. She wasn’t too concerned – ring or no ring, she knew he was the one for her– there was no escape for him! She “wasn’t in a hurry” – coincidentally one of her favorite expressions.
Michael’s shot came when Camille’s mom and sister visited in August from the Philippines, and the family decided to head on over to Santa Catalina Island for some sightseeing. Unbeknownst to her, Michael had already planned out his proposal plot with the help of her mom and siblings. Catalina was the site of their first ever weekend getaway, and held special memories for them (bonus points for this guy), so he was all set. He was sure and certain that this was the moment, and when she finally realized what was happening, he was already down on one knee. She barely survived it in one piece, she was so overwhelmed with happiness, shock and adrenaline! Homegirl could barely stand. Here’s a video link to the proposal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRMLtjJWPUc&feature=youtube.
CONGRATULATIONS, CAMILLE & MICHAEL . . . and WELCOME TO THE FAMILY, MICHAEL!