f. Duncan Reyes Events by Design bio picture
  • ABOUT DUNCAN

    His successful career all began as a Corporate Event Planner until his tenure as Catering Manager for luxury hotels such as The Portman Hotel and The Pan Pacific Hotel San Francisco, The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco & Chicago, General Manager and Director of Events at The Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange Building, and at the historic Westin St. Francis Hotel San Francisco as their Catering Manager for Weddings and Social Events.

    His impressive accolades have given him credentials to recognize him as an Independent Food Editor, Restaurant Critic and a Contributing Writer for San Francisco, Chicago and New York media publications. Spanning over 30 years in Wedding, Corporate and Social Event Planning, his passion has taken him to new career heights that led him to create F. Duncan Reyes Events By Design and is renowned as the Event Industry’s most Premiere Wedding and Event Planner Extraordinnaire. In January 2009, he was honored by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Top 100 New Businesses for 2009 and as published in their “Book of Lists 2009”. Duncan is a member of the National Association of Catered Events both for the San Francisco and Silicon Valley Chapters, and was voted in April 2010 as NACE’S “Member of the Year”. And just recently in January 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, was recognized by WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards for Wedding Planning. Committed to creating special events that are as distinctive as his clientele, he creates and executes flawless affairs with sophistication and panache yet with a personable approach that represent your own unique style, exceeding expectations for the planning and design experience. The myriad of Weddings, Corporate and Social Events accommodate all requests large and small with a touch of class. With years of experience conceptualizing ideas, themes and budgets for all events, his capabilities and resources are endless in an effort to create memories that will last a lifetime.

    . . . . Hundreds of Dreams . . . Thousands of Details . . . Millions of Memories

    Contact F. Duncan Reyes Events by Design

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DAVID MERKOW + JORDAN SCHER

Photos by Clane Gessel with Clane Gessel Photography

Wedding Highlights Videography by David Ethridge of AVR Films

https://mediazilla.com/cnwbgbaG2?autoplay=1

 

WHEN THEY MET

The couple met in Chicago back in 2010. The groom was a professional golfer at the time and the bride was pursuing medical school. On May 5, 2010, David’s 25th birthday, he convinced Jordan to meet with him on a first “official” date. Although Jordan paid the tab (David always has to point out ‘it was his birthday!’, it was very clearly love at first sight and their relationship blossomed despite career changes, long distance, and attending different medical schools.

THE PROPOSAL

Jordan’s golden birthday was February 27, 2014. David had been planning to propose since October and had ample time to create the perfect engagement. On February 28, 2014, he had arranged for his family from Wisconsin and Baltimore, and her family from the San Francisco Bay Area, to fly out to Chicago where they were living together at the time to celebrate the proposal with them. David proposed by giving Jordan three gifts the day after her birthday – claiming that some gifts were “delayed by the mail.”  The first, a pillowcase with the phrase “Mr.” embroidered on the front, followed by “Mrs.” and then the ring in multiple boxes that Jordan had to unwrap. The ring itself was symbolic – David designed it to sit atop the letter “M,” the first initial of his last name. After the proposal David told Jordan that there were more surprises- family had flown in to celebrate. We all spent the weekend together at some of the couple’s favorite Chicago eateries.

View More: http://emiliajane.pass.us/jordan-david

MAZEL TOV, MR. & MRS. DAVID & JORDAN MERKOW!

WITH GRATITUDE

“My husband and I are both medical students across the country, so planning a wedding several time zones away was going to be challenging. Additionally, I am a self-described personality type “AAA” so I knew I wanted to be as involved as I could in the wedding planning process but also have someone on my team that I could entrust with all other details when my wedding could not be prioritized. As a thorough individual, I wanted to do my due diligence in researching a wedding planner who would protect my vision, understand my neuroses, and be flexible with a demanding schedule. In the end I made a spreadsheet of 46 wedding planners – spoke to most of them over the phone and eventually landed on Duncan Reyes. Duncan was truly the brains behind our entire wedding- not to mention a complete genius when it comes to knowing who’s who in the Bay Area wedding scene. In the end Duncan did so much more than plan our wedding; he introduced us to vendors that I never would have found, answered thousands of e-mails (responding to all of them with lightning speed!), and kept meticulous records of budgets, payments, and meetings. To those of you weighing whether or not to have a wedding planner – it was an absolute must for us and really allowed us to enjoy the wedding planning process and most importantly our wedding day. Duncan Reyes truly has our highest recommendation and is a pleasure to work with. He coordinated our wedding, dealt with crazy nuances (and personalities), and handled all stress and anxiety with poise and grace. Several weeks have gone by and we are still getting endless compliments on our wedding and wedding weekend. Duncan absolutely knows how to make YOUR special vision come to life in the most vibrant and fabulous form. Most importantly, my husband and I were beyond floored our wedding day and would not have changed a thing.” – Jordan Scher Merkow

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THE “DREAM TEAM”

“It was crucial to have vendors that I trusted and could be myself with. The wedding planning and photography were two areas that I really cared about – and I am thrilled that throughout the planning and the wedding I really feel like both the photographer and planner are true friends. On the actual wedding it was great to see the dance floor packed and people inhale their appetizers and dinner – so clearly a major applause must go to the entertainment (strings, band and DJ) along with the catering team. What left me the most speechless were our florals, they are absolutely breathtaking and completely magical. David is most excited about seeing our wedding video, and we have loved getting to know our videographer Dave Etheridge throughout the past year as well. We’ve been so lucky with our vendors!” — Jordan Scher Merkow

Wedding Planning & Event Design  |  Duncan Reyes along with his Wedding Associates Halina Brown, Heather Vaughan and Tam Garner – F. Duncan Reyes Events By Design

Bridesmaids’ Dresses  |  Monique Lhuillier

Cake  |  Gabrielle Feuersinger – Cake Coquette

Cake Pops  |  Lauren Martin – Sweet Lauren Cakes

Catering  |  Jane Hammond, Ceanna Stephens, Naomi Ages – Jane Hammond Events

Choreography  |  Cynthia Glinka

Shriver Chair Rentals  |  Beverly Yip – Especially Yours Chair Covers & Rentals

Entertainment (12-Piece Band)  |  Dick Bright – Dick Bright & His Orchestra

Entertainment (DJ)  |  Jason Mitchell – Gatsby Entertainment

Entertainment (String Quartet)  |  Su Buchignani – Golden Gate String Quartet

Floral Design  |  Jeeryn Dang – Tanjeeryn Designs

Hair & Make-Up  |  Sherrie Long

Honeymoon Travel Agency  |  Amy Tam – Planet Hoppers

Hotel Accommodations (Wedding)  |  Stephanie Otter – The Fairmont San Francisco

Hotel Accommodations (Honeymoon)  |  The Resort at Pedregal

Jewelry (Engagement & Wedding)  |  Douglas Jeweler

Jewelry (Bride’s)  |  Family Heirlooms

Ketubah  |  Alexandra Mink

Lighting Design & Drapery  |  Michael Kuhlmann – Got Light?

Men’s Grooming Services  |  Julie Moore

Officiant  |  Carolyn Sorensen Balling (Aunt of the Bride)

Photography  |  Clane Gessel, Alex Lexson, Danielle Barnum and Marie Normandin – Clane Gessel Photography

Post-Wedding Brunch  |  Stephanie Otter – The Fairmont San Francisco

Specialty Linens & Napkins  |  Diana Cardenas – Napa Valley Linens

Tablescape Rentals & Specialty Linens  |  Mindy Roark-Aldridge and Nicole D’Andrea – Classic Party Rentals San Francisco

Transportation (For the Welcome Reception)  |  Jennifer Jaciw and Aisha Best – Lone Star Transportation

Transportation (For the Wedding Party & Families)  |  Jeff Thorpe – Classic Cable Car Charters

Transportation (For the Bride & Groom)  |  Carl Payne – Carl Payne Rolls Royces

Tuxedo Rentals & Sales  |  Michael Davenport – Black Tie Tuxedos

Tuxedo (Groom’s)  |  Hugo Boss

Venue (Rehearsal Dinner)  |  Casey Hunt – Waterbar

Venue (Wedding Ceremony, Cocktail Reception and Dinner/Dance)  |  Jim Bruels and Diane Lo – The Bently Reserve

Videography  |  David Ethridge, Jim Snow, Phil Sheffield and Noah Clark – AVR Films

Wedding Invitations  |  Paper on Pine

Wedding “Day Of” Stationeries  |  Mercurio Brothers Printing

Wedding Gown Design & Veil  |  Mark Zunino

Wedding Shoes (Bride)  |  Manolo Blanik

Wedding Website  |  Riley and Grey

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To Jordan & David,

So many paths to choose from — yet a moment here, a different turn there, and you may never have met to experience a love so right!  Isn’t it amazing the way life works?  Here’s wishing each new day finds your hearts closer, your lives fuller, your love deeper.  May your love bloom brighter and your companionship grow sweeter with each passing year.  To a beautiful life together!” — Duncan

PHOTO BY CALLAWAY GABLE STUDIOS

In choosing a style, documentary photography is a series of posed photos that are candid or spontaneous, photojournalistic that captures the moments exactly as they happened and tell the story, while group portraits are traditionally required for weddings for a more formal composition.  But really, every photographer has a great artistic license to infuse their particular point of view and style into their photographs.  So while their shots reflect reality, it’s their reality.  The photos are dramatic and gorgeous, but are shot with a grainier, dreamier, more muted appearance where usually the subject photographed is in focus and the background appears to blur.  They both also take a fine-art approach shoot.

What sets apart one photographer from another is their creativity in editing each photographed image.  Some have a very extensive experience such as use of lighting, colorizing and saturation and exposure whether it be soft natural lighting or vivid clarity.  Whereas others are hazy, light and airy.  Some angle shots can be more theatrical while others shoot straight without any creative thought on angular options to take the picture.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to how they tell the story that matches your idea of how your wedding will be.  You just have to ask if the photo they take has a sense of humor?  or romance?  or softness?  Is it crisp like magazine image?  Each of their stories will be YOUR story through THEIR eyes, so you’ll want to make sure that they match up.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of liking and bonding with your photographer.  For example, were they excited by your vision when you described it?  When they make suggestions, do they present them in a clear and respectful way, or were they timid?  Are their mannerisms off-putting?  In order to get the best photos, go with a Pro who has a firm grasp of social graces but is bold enough to go out hunting for great images and who, above all, puts you at ease and doesn’t irritate you in any way.  Remember, they’ll be shadowing your every move, and the more comfortable both of you are with the photographer, the better the photos will turn out.  Likewise, you don’t want the photographer to offend or annoy any guests, but to shoot them in their best light in an unobtrusive way.  To get the best photos, your photographer needs to be assertive enough to seek out great moments, cajoling enough to coat relaxed smiles and natural stances from guests, and calm enough to be a positive force.  They should ask lots of questions and be a good listener.

PHOTO BY MASTER ENTERTAINMENT

 

The Pros have it, and so here are a few more tips from a few of my favorite Wedding Photographers who have a keen eye for other details you may not think about.

 

Vicens Forns, Vicens Forns Photography:

o  As you are looking through different photographers’ portfolios, find the ones that make your heart beat a little faster and cause a reaction deep down inside.  If you are not well versed in photography style terminology (photojournalism, fine art, editorial, artistic, etc) it will probably mean nothing to you so search for the images that move you and tell a story.  Request real wedding samples so you can see variety and make sure the photographer is able to cover all aspects of a wedding such as getting ready, details, ceremony, posed group shots, reception and party time.  Look at the different lighting as the day progresses.  Look at color, and composition.  Are the images focused?  Are they clear and crisp regardless of the style?
o  Trust your wedding planner’s suggestions.  They have worked with the individual before and are familiar with the photographer’s professionalism, technical expertise, personality and trustworthiness.
o  Meet with the photographer and see what his personality is like.  Do you feel a connection or does it feel awkward?  Does he inspire confidence in his abilities?  Does he show the personality traits that you are looking for?  Ask lots of questions.
o  Check online reviews.  If there are negative reviews, take the time to see if the photographer has answered and if so, if they give their side of the story in a calm and professional manner while stating the facts.  It is not always the photographer’s fault and weddings are fast-paced events where complications can arise.
o  Check if the photographer has reputable photography awards because this usually further proof that they are technically good.

 

Brian MacStay, Brian MacStay Photography:

o  Can your photographer shoot in the dark?  Literally half of your day will take place at night.  Ask to see low light, night time photos.

o  Don’t just look at their posed portraits.  Ask to see “real moments”.  Their ability to tell stories with emotional impact.

o  Ask to see a “full gallery” of images (meaning all the photos they delivered to you!).  So for example, I show my new clients, and give the password to past clients’ galleries, so they can see exactly what they will get.  The overall quality of the photos from the start of the day, to the end.  Not just seeing the photographers “best” photos that they put on their website or blog.

PHOTOS BY BRIAN MACSTAY PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Clane Gessel, Clane Gessel Photography:

o  Ask the photographer who’s editing their photos.  Talk about the images and use of them.  For example, does the photographer edit their own images or do they outsource it to companies who edit them for him/her?

o  Ask if you get a full resolution disc.  What’s the point of having great photos if you’re not allowed to print them?  Sometimes, they’ll have to pay more for the usage rights.

PHOTOS BY CLANE GESSEL PHOTOGRAPHY

So there . . . now, who will you choose?  Good Luck!

ANALYNN MANDANI AND ARNEL YABUT

Each and every time I plan a Wedding, I always remind all my Brides and Grooms that the only way we can make a success of your special day is to take care of it as though it was for my best friend’s wedding . . . and simply have fun with it!  Trust me … trust you … trust your Vendors.  And that’s exactly what happened with ANALYNN MANDANI and ARNEL YABUT.  Not only were they the most remarkable couple I have ever met, they too have become very good friends.  In fact, all the Wedding Vendors will agree with me when I say they are ‘Friends for Life’!  Surely enough, their Wedding was as fabulous as they were (and still are!).

Huge kudos goes to my A-MAYYYY-ZING “Wedding Dream Team” for executing yet another flawless Wedding Extravaganza.  You guys rocked it!

Wedding Planning & Event Design  |  Duncan Reyes and Alex Barranco – F. Duncan Reyes Events By Design

Photography  |  Vicens Forns and John Wright – Vicens Forns Photography

Cake  |  Chef Bala Subrahmayam – The Cakemaker

Catering, Hotel Accommodations and Reception Venue  |  Vicki Idzal – The Westin San Francisco Airport

Entertainment (5-Piece Jazz Band)  |  Charito Angeles – New Jazz Review

Entertainment (DJ)  |  Alexson Lim and Dino Rivera – Spintronix Entertainment

Floral Design  |  Jeeryn Dang – Petite Petal Company

Hair and Make-Up  |  Angelie Herrera

Hotel Accommodations (Overflow)  |  Monica Le – Crowne Plaza San Francisco Airport

Lighting Design  |  Jason Mitchell – Gatsby Entertainment

Linen and Napkin Rentals  |  Diana Cardenas – Napa Valley Linens

Rentals (Tablescape)  |  Dani Fandino – Flowers and Events By Dani

Rolls Royce  |  Carl Payne

Transportation  |  Shielah Ramo – SFMinibus

Venue (Ceremony)  |  St. Elizabeth’s Church

Venue (Rehearsal Dinner)  |  Grand Palace Seafood Restaurant

Videography  |  Sydney, Daniel Pryde and John Frothingham – ByDesign Films

MARC AARON GOULD AND REBECCA BLAIRE HORTON

MAZEL TOV to the new “Mr. & Mrs. Marc & Rebecca Gould” who tied the knot in the Imperial Floor of the historic Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

One of the best parts of my job is being able to witness fantastic life moments through my clients, Marc Gould and Rebecca Horton.  It sure makes me feel pretty blessed to be able to do this!  They are so sweet together, unmatched and they speak love to each other without saying anything.  I absolutely love how they love.  They are the kind of couple who always brings a smile to your face when you think of them.  The kind of people who hugs everyone repeatedly.  The fact that they have been together for over 13 years since grade school is a testimony in itself of their love and devotion for each other.  And like them, their friends & families were just as charming, beautiful and gracious.

My sincerest gratitude to an amazing group of talented wedding professionals who helped me create for them their dream wedding.  Because I am only as good as the People I work with.  BRAVO!!!

MY DREAM TEAM

Wedding Planning & Event Design  |  Duncan Reyes and Amanda Peralta – F. Duncan Reyes Events By Design

Photography  |  Clane Gessel and Linda Tran – Clane Gessel Photography

Cake  |  Susan Morgan – Elegant Cheesecakes

Catering, Hotel Accommodations, Ceremony and Reception Venues  |  Selma Santoyo – The Westin St. Francis

Chuppah  |  Carol Attia – Under The Chuppah

Choregoraphy (First Dance)  |  Cynthia Glinka – Dance With Glinka

Entertainment (Engagement Party)  |  Mike McCall – Montara Music

Entertainment (Ceremony Music & Sound, DJ & Lighting)  |  Jason Mitchell – Gatsby Entertainment

Entertainment (7-piece Band)  |  Green Light Band c/o Jason Mitchell – Gatsby Entertainment

Floral Design  |  Katharina Stuart – Katharina Stuart Floral Art and Design

Hair and Make-Up  |  Jira – Jira Couture Salon

Hotel Accommodations (Overflow)  |  Lauren Vojvoda – Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Officiant  |  Cantor Linda Hirschhorn

Printing & Stationeries  |  Jacques Oskanian and Munnie Tran – Hyegraph

Rentals (Specialty Linens)  |  Diana Cardenas – Napa Valley Linens

Tuxedo Rentals & Sales  |  Michael Davenport – Black Tie Tuxedos

Venue (Engagement Party)  |  Alexis Garhammer – Claremont Club and Spa – A Fairmont Hotel

Venue (Rehearsal Dinner)  |  Michelle Cheng – Le Colonial

Videography  |  Dakota Baylacq – Thomas Hughes Films

ADAM RAMIREZ AND CYNDI HICKS

WHEN ADAM MET CYNDI

Cyndi and Adam met almost 4 years ago while giving a popular dating app (Tinder!) a try. After talking and realizing they had many friends in common, they went on what would be their last, first date. Cyndi and Adam hit it off so well, they both took a day off of work later that very week to spend a day together exploring San Francisco. Fast forward a few years later and the two are happily living together and are proud puppy parents to their beloved Zoey.

THE PROPOSAL

Adam made Cyndi the happiest girl on earth when he proposed to Cyndi at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay in July 2016.  Zoey was in attendance and was so excited for her parents!

WITH GRATITUDE

“There aren’t enough great things to say about Duncan Reyes and the work he does. I found Duncan right after we got engaged by endlessly stalking San Francisco weddings on every website I could find. His weddings were featured many times and I instantly fell in love with his work. I knew I had to have him as our planner! We reached out and set up a meeting shortly after. Duncan met with myself, my fiancè and my Mom. We all fell in love with his warm personality, his organization and his ideas right off the bat for making my wedding spectacular.  After hiring Duncan, we went to our top two venues with him. We walked in to each venue and EVERYONE we encountered at the venues excitedly screamed “DUNCAN!!” and ran over to talk to us. It was clear Duncan was good at what he does and more importantly, that people genuinely enjoyed working with him. After deciding on our venue, Duncan immediately saved us a ton of money negotiating with our venue for us. After that, he used his (many) connections and saved us even more money on almost all of our vendors. Besides the financial aspect, Duncan truly made our wedding planning easy and stress free. He handled everything leading up to the wedding, and seamlessly handled our wedding day craziness. Somehow mine and my now husbands wedding bands were left at the hotel while we headed to the church for our ceremony. Duncan somehow got our bands from the hotel to the church in time for the ring exchange. I don’t know how in the world he did it, but he of course handled it with a smile on his face. I can’t thank Duncan enough for everything he did for us during our wedding planning and wedding, and I can’t recommend him enough!” — Cyndi Hicks Ramirez

THE WEDDING DREAM MAKERS

Wedding Planning  |  Duncan Reyes, Amanda Peralta and Alex Barranco – F. Duncan Reyes Events By Design

Photography  |  Clane Gessel and Cari Courtright – Clane Gessel Photography

Bridal Gown  |  Allure Bridals (Wedding Gown Designer) at Trudy’s

Bridal Shoes  |  Jimmy Choo

Cake  |  Chef Bala Subrahmanyam – The Cakemaker

Candy Bar  |  Tamar Kodbachian – Sweets and Treats by Tamar

Catering, Hotel Accommodations, Post-Wedding Brunch (Laurel Court) and Reception Venue (Pavilion, Rooftop Garden and The Gold Room)  |  Jennifer Rowe – The Fairmont San Francisco

Ceremony Venue  |  Virginia Dilim and Victoria Wicklund – St. Patrick Church

Dessert (Specialty)  |  Berna Almero – It’s It Ice Cream Sandwiches

Engagement and Wedding Rings  |  Yadegar Diamonds

Entertainment  |  Mike McCall – Montara Music

Entertainment  |  Preston J. Turner – Pure Ecstasy (8-Piece Band)

Floral Design  |  Jeeryn Dang – Petite Floral Company

Flower Girl Dresses  |  Olivia Kate Couture

Gift Registries  |  Honeyfund, Macy’s and Pottery Barn

Golf Outing  |  Jeanne White – TPC Harding Park

Guest Officiant  |  Fr. Flavian Welstead – Our Lady Of Angels

Hair  |  Julie Eager – Le Reve Salon

Hotel Accommodations (Honeymoon)  |  Le Méridien Bora Bora and Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa

Hotel Accommodations (Overflow)  |  Mark Saladino – Intercontinenal Mark Hopkins

Ice Carving  |  Jeff Foley – Clear Memories

Lighting & Photo Booth  |  Jason Mitchell – Gatsby Entertainment

Make-Up  |  Martha Tafoya – My Beauty Innovations

Printing and Stationeries  |  Paper Caper

Rehearsal Dinner  |  Susan Richardson – McCormick and Kuleto’s

Rentals (Chirvari Chairs)  |  Frederick Sullivan and Jaime Botello – SnB Party Rentals

Rentals & Drapery  |  Pleasanton Event Rentals

Transportation (Motorized Cable Car)  |  Jonathan Adams – Hornblower Classic Cable Cars

Transportation (1947 Silver Wraith Rolls Royce)  |  Carl Payne – Carl Payne Rolls Royces

Travel Agency  |  Travel Leaders/Atlantic Pacific Travel

Tuxedo Rentals and Sales  |  Michael Davenport – Black Tie Tuxedos

Videography  |  Gusto Lopez – The Life In Digital Films

Wedding Favors (Chocolate Cable Cars)  |  Aida Opera Candies

Wedding Favors (Mini Champagne Bottles)  |  Korbel

Mini Highlight Video by Gusto Lopez of The Life In Digital Films 

Moments | Cyndi & Adam from Life in Digital Films on Vimeo.