We recently had the pleasure of attending an exclusive wedding planner event hosted by Ra Beauty Bar in West Hollywood in Los Angeles. This impeccable salon is owned by a trio of inspiring and incredibly talented women–Audrey, Whitney and Kennedy–who lead a team of amazing stylists and artists. They had quite the amazing day of beauty planned for us!
The morning started with some delicious cocktails and a yummy selection of bite sized brunch treats, provided by the Scrumptious Cafe Bakery.
In between sips and nibbles, we experienced some pretty stellar treatments! I started off with their exclusive Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment, made with a special blend of oils. It smelled divine! Afterwards, I got a blow out by Audrey–my hair had never felt softer.
Next up, I was treated to a delightful experience with a scent specialist from Jo Malone who blended some amazing oils and creams to create a custom lotion for me. The smell was absolute divine and left my skin so soft and smooth.
For the rest of the morning, we all received a variety of treatments. From makeup touch-ups and table massages, to eyelash extensions and even tanning!
Ra and their incredibly talented stylists offer an unparalleled and luxurious experience for a bride and her bridal party looking for upscale hair and makeup services for her wedding day. If you’re hosting your wedding in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, it is so worth bringing you and your girls to the salon the morning of your wedding for this stellar experience. But if not, for an additional fee, the stylists are happy to travel to your wedding location whenever your wedding may be (whether in Southern California or beyond)!
I am just THRILLED to share the amazing wedding of two of the most fabulous brides, Brooke & Lauren! I knew from the very first consultation via Skype with Lauren and their adorable dog Jelly that these two would be SO much fun to work with. While they both live in NYC, they decided on the beautiful Washington Club in Washington, CT as the perfect location for their September wedding, a venue just minutes from where Brooke’s father lives. In fact, their rehearsal dinner was hosted at Brooke’s dad’s amazing house, and the girls were kind enough to invite me and my husband to join them for the pre-wedding festivities, where we got the chance to meet many of their guests.
The brides had both their ceremony and reception at the Washington Club, which was decked out with beautiful lighting and gorgeous, elegant flowers which gave the venue a rustic and quintessentially New England look and feel. The florist even created a custom floral collar for Jelly, who the girls lovingly included within their ceremony. The love that these two so clearly have for each other and the fact that they were surrounded by the most loving, kind and fun friends and family made their wedding day even more special!
From the couple in regards to working with This Modern Love Events;
“We are so delighted to have found Martine as a month-of coordinator. She’s super organized, very on top of deadlines, friendly, and all of our vendors raved about her. They loved working with her as much as we did. Martine did a lot of research and found the vendor for our rentals (linens, etc.), which was a huge thing off of our plate and so so helpful. There were quite a few times where I’d overlooked something or hadn’t thought it all the way through, and Martine took my idea and made it better and more guest & vendor friendly. It was so helpful and needed.
Plus, we had a last minute crisis with the catering company (they had not hired staff) and Martine graciously negotiated the price and handled the deal with the catering manager, which was something she did not have to do. She put together an incredibly detailed timeline of both the wedding day and the days leading up to it, which was helpful to us, the vendors and the wedding party. If you are looking for someone who is super organized, extremely knowledgeable about weddings, and easy to work with, Martine is your woman! If you want someone who will be a bride or groom-zilla on your behalf, look elsewhere. She’s just too nice! Everything we didn’t know to think of, Martine thought of. We can’t say enough good things about her. We love her so much, that we invited her to our rehearsal dinner!! We highly recommend her and our day was seamless, enjoyable and effortless because she was around.”
Since we are relatively new to the Los Angeles area, we decided to scope out some of the most incredible wedding venues that Los Angeles has to offer. These venues provide a sense of elegance and luxury for your wedding day and while definitely venues for high budget brides, these venues are worth it. From super unique wedding spaces for both ceremonies and receptions to dynamite culinary offerings, your wedding guests will be absolutely blown away every minute of your wedding day. Here are some of our top picks!
The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, CA
This luxurious wedding venue is a historic location, dating back over 100 years to 1907. The Langham Huntington Hotel has been featured on hit television shows and movies, and features a number of Japanese Gardens and elegant ballrooms that you can book for your wedding day. It’s an absolutely stunning wedding venue located in close proximity to the San Gabriel mountains, and is one of Southern California’s premiere wedding venues. Since the venue itself is also a hotel, your guests can stay on location, making your wedding day that much more of a seamless experience for them.
Vibiana in DTLA
Vibiana is a stunning and unique wedding venue in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. An architectural masterpiece, Vibiana was the first Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles, which opened its doors in 1876. Now it is used for weddings and events, with catering provided by Redbird, one of LA’s most popular restaurants (which is right next door to Vibiana!). They also offer an enchanting enclosed garden space where you can host your ceremony and/or cocktail hour outdoors if you so choose–however getting married inside the venue will provide you with some stunning photos as well.
Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica
With stunning views of the ocean and Santa Monica, Casa Del Mar is an amazing wedding venue location for any beach loving couple. They offer six different locations within the hotel where your elegant wedding can be held, including two outdoor terraces that provide stunning ocean-side views. Imagine the amazing photos you’ll be able to take right on the beach!
For those of you who were big fans of the adorable, emotional animated film “Up” by Pixar, I’ve got some photos that will make your hear melt! I worked on this styled shoot with the super creative Marie Canieso of Mary Tony Photography back when I was based in New Haven, Connecticut. We choose Chetstone, a beautiful 19th century Victorian Gothic style home right in New Haven as the perfect location for our real life Ellie & Carl. For this gorgeous shoot, we played with lots of colors, utilized both the beautiful indoor space to create our reception table and dressed the backyard up as a playful take on an English garden. And of course the element that ties the theme together– a HUGE bunch of colorful balloons! Check out our masterpiece below :)
So what is the biggest regret couples have after their wedding day? According to a recent study, a whopping 72% of recently married couples regret not hiring a day of coordinator for their wedding day. 72%!!! Anne, a bride who got married in Connecticut last year, very much regretted not hiring a DOC and had this to say; “Day of coordination is very important. We had some issues with the venue and the buses that were out of my control that day. I realized how frustrated I was that I had to worry about some small details [on my wedding day]…”
For most couples who have never planned a wedding before, it’s hard for them to grasp how insanely busy and hectic things become in the weeks and days leading up to your wedding day. This is where a day of coordinator can save you countless hours of frustration, stress, heartache and worry prior to your wedding and on your wedding day. A DOC works for YOU and knows every single detail of your wedding day both big and small. From the officiant, to the photobooth you rented, to the special table settings from the rental company that you just MUST have on your big day, a day of coordinator makes sure all of your vendors show up on time, set everything up on time and in the case of transportation, ensures that you and your guests actually arrive for the ceremony/reception/other wedding day events on time!
You may have some questions as to why you need a DOC, so I will answer the most frequent questions we hear from engaged couples.
What exactly is a day of coordinator?
Day of coordination is a service that many wedding planners offer and typically includes key coordination between all of your wedding vendors in the month/weeks leading up to your wedding day (this service is often referred to as “Month of Coordination). This service is usually more affordable than hiring a wedding planner to plan your entire event from day one.
But my venue offers a “wedding coordinator” as part of my venue package. Isn’t that basically the same thing?
This is where most couples get confused. Unless your venue offers full wedding planning services as part of your wedding package (which is very, very rare—I only know of one such venue that offers this service), it is not the same thing. Not even a little bit! While the venue provided coordinator is there on the day of your wedding to make sure everything flows—they work for the venue and not for you. So for example, if your photographer becomes MIA four weeks before your wedding and you’ve already paid in full, or the florist you hired all of a sudden has a shortage of the perfect blooms you’ve requested for your big day, this venue coordinator will not be the person to track your vendor down, renegotiate your contracts or find alternate vendors in case you need a plan B (and in some cases, a plan C). This is something that you and your fiance(e) would have to do yourselves and having to deal with any potential last minute changes the month of your wedding is extremely stressful.
A day of coordinator sounds great and all, but I heard that wedding planners are super expensive, so it’s just not in my wedding budget.
This is simply a misconception–most wedding planners offer a number of different services beyond Full Planning (which does tend to be on the pricier side because of how labor intensive it is). Many planners offer Partial Planning, Month-of/Day-of Coordination, and other custom services. We here at This Modern Love Events exclusively offer a 3rd tier of wedding planning called Digital Pre-Planning–learn more about it here; TML Events Digital Pre-Planning. It never hurts to have an initial conversation with a planner, to discuss your wedding planning needs and which service would benefit you the most. We always offer a free consultation if you aren’t sure where to start.
Hindsight is 20/20, which is why again, 72% of couples regret not hiring a day of coordinator. Think ahead—not hiring a day of coordinator is like trying to put on a play without a director. You and your spouse to-be are the actors and stars—it’s not your job to manage lighting, sound, and the rest of your cast!
This blog post has been a long time coming! With the start of 2016, I want to relive some of the wonderful weddings I had the honor of being part of in 2015. And what better way to start it off then with featuring one of my favorite couples to work with! These two were the sweetest, most charming guys with an incredibly fun and warm group of friends and family. Their wedding was SUCH a blast and I’m so excited to finally share the photos of their big day at Lighthouse Point Park!
The wedding ceremony kicked off at Christ Church in New Haven and then guests were transported to the amazing Lighthouse Point Park (also in New Haven) for the wedding reception complete with cocktails, costumes and the infamous historical carousel, which guests enjoyed all night long!
From the couple in regards to working with This Modern Love Events;
“Martine is the BEST. We really cannot recommend her highly enough. I was initially skeptical of the wedding planner thing, but I have to say that every meeting we had with her she thought of something that we had not or suggested a fix to a problem that we never would have thought of. It was crucial to have her input throughout the process. Also, setting up meetings with her was a great way to keep ourselves on schedule. I almost feel like I need to have two reviews here though because, while her services were valuable during the long-term planning and in the months leading up to the wedding, her help in the last few weeks before the wedding and her day-of services were a whole other level of awesomeness.
She is like a machine! She kept track of so many details and was four steps ahead of everyone and everything. Our actual wedding day went off without any problems, and I really believe it was primarily due to Martine’s help and guidance on the day of. We were able to just sit back and experience the day. It’s like having a genie on hand that you can just ask to go deal with some problem that’s developing or some scheduling issue that has arisen. Really great stuff. I should add in all of this that Martine’s really a pleasure to work with. She’s not overbearing or crazy, even when she’s organizing and directing all this stuff. That being said, she was also willing to play bad cop with vendors when necessary, which I am thankful for because I am not super good at that. But with us, we always felt like she was on our team – or maybe a calm and wise coach for our team. We really highly recommend Martine for whatever wedding or event you need help with. She is the real deal.”
For those of you who may not know, New Haven, CT is a foodie’s paradise. With world-renowned pizza places and an incredible array of ethnic restaurants, the options for a delicious meal are endless! That’s why we were THRILLED to learn that one of our favorite New Haven eateries Barcelona, an amazing wine and tapas restaurant, provides catering for special events and weddings all throughout Connecticut.
Warning–these food images may cause you to drool all over your smartphone or keyboard so proceed with caution!
I was invited by Barcelona New Haven’s event manager Helen to come in for a tasting of some old favorites as well as some new additions to the menu. I was super impressed to learn that they don’t actually have a separate catering menu–any of their dozens of tapas and entrees can be served at events both big and small. Some of my new favorites included the Smoked Trout Pate with pickled onions, the Shrimp Escabeche and the Potato Tortilla served with chive sour cream. Delicis!!
Smoked Trout Pate on the left, Shrimp Escabeche on the right
Potatoes Tortilla w/ chive sour cream
These dishes were incredibly tasty, especially the Potato Tortilla. For as many years as I’ve been dining at Barcelona, I realized that I had never once ordered dessert (and anyone who knows me knows that dessert is my favorite part of any meal!). So we decided on a dessert sampler which included Flan Catalan, Crepas Salguero, Warm Chocolate Hazelnut Cake and of course Churros. Each dessert was spectacular and I can’t believe I had been missing out on them for all of these years!
If you’d like a refreshing and modern break from the chicken/beef/fish entrees that are standard fare at most weddings, I think Barcelona offers fantastic options that will wow your guests–leaving them thoroughly satisfied and super impressed. Not only are they located in New Haven, but they have several locations throughout CT too, from Hartford to Stamford. Barcelona has also expanded to Boston, Atlanta and the DC area.
What I also learned is that they have another restaurant called Bartaco , a taco bar with a laid back beachy theme. Any one of these restaurants can cater your wedding–whether you are looking for tapas style dishes, custom tacos or a giant paella dish that can feed around 80 people each!
Huge paella pan that can feed up to 80 people per dish
Depending on the size of your wedding, you can also choose to have your wedding at their locations as well if you have your heart set on a restaurant reception. In addition to weddings, they of course also cater any type of event, including corporate events, dinner parties, etc. We hope these photos didn’t leave you too hungry and if they did, you now know where you must have your next meal :)
Photographer Credits: Troy Lilly for Barcelona food photos, Manny Vargas for Bartaco food photos, me for Barcelona tasting food photos (aka the ones obviously taken from a cell phone!)
Have you ladies heard of AdoreMe? They’re an online lingerie company that sells super cute matching sets of bras and undies. They just released some items from their sexy lingerie Spring Collection, so we thought it would be fun to create wedding mood boards around the colors of these new sets–check them out below!
The Lace set comes in a gorgeous shade of pink called blush, which has been (and still is) one of the most popular choices in wedding color palettes. We envisioned Lace paired with some really pretty uses of blush–within wedding flowers, an invitation suite and even fabulous wedding shoes!
Next up, we have the Bonnie set! Anyone who knows me knows that blue is my absolute favorite color, so we really had fun with this one. We used turquoise as our color inspiration and paired the set with some bridesmaids’ dresses in various shades of blue, simple but elegant blue hued vases (for more of a rustic or vintage wedding theme) and a gorgeous blue wedding cake.
Yellow has always been a popular spring and summer wedding color, so the Sharieta set really caught our eye. We were inspired by lemons (mostly because we recently planned a wedding that used lemons as centerpieces!) so chose images that best reflected that! If having a yellow themed wedding, a candy bar with lemon shaped candies work well, as does a macaron tower for a wedding dessert twist and a beautiful bouquet with succulents and yellow craspedia (also known as billy balls).
And last but not least, we’ve got the Kacie set in a fiery (and sexy) shade of red! Most people think you can only use red for fall and winter weddings, but we were inspired by the idea of pairing red with some lighter shades which can easily work for a summer wedding. Pair it with pink or blush in a bouquet, white on a cake or with black(berries) for a fun signature drink.
Wedding season has begun! In the midst of coordinating a wedding with over 200 guests for this coming weekend and coordinating a 2-day corporate event a few days later, we thought we’d throw yet another project in to the mix (because we’re clearly not busy enough as it is!!) We are thrilled to reveal that we are working on a complete branding and website redesign for This Modern Love Events!! We are so excited to be working with the super talented GoldenFox Design :) Here is a teaser of our new company logos–we are seriously in love with them all!
We just love how the colors pop and how my favorite colors (teal and gold) are so beautifully integrated. Goldenfox also created a custom brand board for us which will be used to design our marketing materials and new website. We LOVE it!
There will be more reveals in the weeks to come so stay tuned!! What do you think of our new logos and colors?
When bride Liz reached out to me for day-of coordination services four weeks before her October nautical-themed wedding at the Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club in Branford, CT, I knew we’d have our work cut out for us! But nonetheless, we were very excited to help her and fiance Ed have a beautiful and flawless wedding day.
We got to work right away and ironed out all of the details (both big and small) that always seem to materialize in the few weeks leading up to the big day. We introduced ourselves to each vendor they had booked, reviewed and confirmed the details of each signed contract, established set-up/delivery times, created a budget sheet to keep track of final payments and created a meticulously detailed itinerary (seven pages long!) for the wedding weekend. We also accompanied the mother of the bride on a final meeting with the florist and helped the couple book last minute limo transportation for the bridal party and coach buses for the hotel guests.
Ed and Liz were a joy to work with–they were such a sweet, easygoing couple with a loving and supportive group of family and friends to help them celebrate their big day. We also got the chance to work with some fantastic local vendors who helped execute a beautiful wedding day for the happy couple–we had such a blast working with them all!
Liz and her bridal partywere primped and pampered at JoBella Salon at the Omni Hotel in downtown New Haven, while the guys got ready in the best man’s room at the hotel. My fabulous assistant Katie held down the fort at the Omni, making sure the hair and makeup team got the girls done on time, while I was over at Pine Orchard Union Chapel and the Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club to start setting up for the big day.
The entire bridal party was then transported to the Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club for Liz and Ed’s romantic first look as well as photos with the bridal party.
Guests then started to arrive at the historic Pine Orchard Union Chapel where the ceremony was to be held. The bride’s uncle officiated the wedding which put such a heartfelt and personal touch to the ceremony.
The Chapel was a five minute walk from the Country Club, so while Liz and Ed took off towards the reception venue in a golf cart (how cute is that!?), the bridesmaids led guests in a procession towards the venue. In the meantime, Kati and I collected all of the floral arrangements in the Chapel to bring them over to the Country Club, adding some additional decor to the space while guests mingled during cocktail hour.
By the evening, the reception was in full swing with dinner, drinks, heartfelt speeches from Liz’s mother, sister/MOH and Ed’s brother/best man. The band kept the dance floor hopping all night and provided the perfect backup when one of Ed’s groomsmen did an impromptu performance!
We wish Liz & Ed a lifetime of happiness and were honored to have been a part of their special day!
“Choosing to work with Martine at This Modern Love Events was one of the best decisions that we made during the whole wedding planning process! From the very first consultation meeting we could tell that she was the right planner for us, and so we hired her on the spot. We chose the “Month Of / Day Of” planning services, which was so helpful as we came down to the most stressful part of the planning process – trying to pull all the final pieces together….
We really cannot say enough about Martine. She is very professional while still keeping it all fun, and she is extremely patient! No matter how many times I changed my mind or put off a decision until the last minute she was always calm and supportive, which helped me to keep my anxiety in check. Her expert advice along the way helped us to make some of the most difficult last minute decisions. She definitely went above and beyond our expectations a number of times.
Most importantly, working with This Modern Love allowed my husband and me to feel confident before our wedding weekend and to enjoy a stress-free wedding day. TML was crucial in the days before our wedding coordinating the vendor services. The help that Martine and her assistant offered during the set-up, the rehearsal, and the day-of was invaluable.
We had initially been on the fence about whether or not we needed to use a coordinator or if we could just handle things ourselves, and after my experience I cannot imagine any other way. Choosing to work with This Modern Love was a great investment and we wholeheartedly recommend their services!”