As originally published on California Wedding Day:
“Brooke and Dana are the brilliant and beautiful ladies behind Love Detailed, a groundbreaking website that literally puts wedding planning at your fingertips. After working side-by-side with top event planner Linda Howard, the girls were inspired to make those breathtaking weddings accessible to brides everywhere. They spent over a year creating products, curating packages, and putting together a website that would take the guesswork out of planning a perfect wedding. What resulted is a virtual wedding planner that will forever change the way brides look at designing their big day.
Using Love Detailed is simple, convenient, and genuinely enjoyable. After setting up an account, brides are taken through the Style Profile Quiz and are immediately presented with a variety of personalized packages based on their results (we’ve shared one of our favorites below). For $49.99 you can purchase your package which includes detailed images of each product, access to purchasing them directly from the website, tips and tricks to help implement your design, and Linda Howard’s exclusive countdown calendar. Brooke and Dana give you everything you would get from a professional event designer at a fraction of the price. What more could a bride-to-be ask for?
Love Detailed is taking wedding planning into the 21st century and quickly becoming the new go-to resource for engaged couples everywhere. We love it and think you will too. Take a peek at their website- your perfect wedding day is only a click away!”
I am thrilled with what you have done to make the “planning process” so much easier for the Brides who are not choosing to hire a wedding planner!! Such an exciting “gift” for everyone that has the talent… and just needs the direction!!! Congratulations Brooke and Dana!!!! xoxoxo
On “Day Two” the celebration continued as Rebecca and Ari’s friends stepped onto the red carpet in front of the iconic Avalon theater lit with broadway lights.
Personalized movie posters were placed in the photo boxes with Rebecca and Ari’s faces superimposed.
As the guests entered into the theatre… they had their photos taken in front of a step and repeat that was adorned with red-lacquered chanel flowers along with their names.
Their first stop was the 16 foot ice bar where they were served champagne. Guests were escorted upstairs where they were entertained with a piano bar, lounge act and incredible cocktails with hors d’oeurves. At the end of the cocktail hour, guests came downstairs to see that the same ice bar was now overflowing with shrimp, crab and oysters for them to enjoy.
Next, their guests were ushered into the main club to find the entire space was transformed into a spectacular night club. The ceiling was lit with red and filled with a gleaming collection of crystal mirror balls along with the crystal studded stage front. It was a setting the Great Gatsby to be proud of! Food stations were adorned with red roses and filled with every type of food imaginable. Drinks were flowing the entire night and everyone felt as though they were part of a once-in-a-lifetime “happening.”
DJ Ant and a team of talented dancers performed throughout the night with a “headliner”, too hot to mention! None of their guests will be able to forget this incredible line-up!
The ice bar was turned into a never-ending candy extravangza of all of their favorite retro candies. The guests enjoyed the sweet treats throughout the night and on their ride home.
This was truly a magical memory for our bride and groom! Every single one of their guests went home with their photo to remind them of their night. From the beginning to end, it was a celebration of their dreams…. and then some.
I was thrilled to be a part of it!!
The Venue: The Avalon, Hollywood
Planner/Designer and Decor Items- Linda Howard Events
A “January Weekend Whirlwind” to bring in the new year!
With 3 months to plan a wedding for 450 guests— we had the best time making wedding dreams come true!!
Saturday was the magnificent wedding ceremony and dinner reception held at Nobu in Malibu. The California weather gods were with us as the sun was brightly shining down on our bride and groom..
With the crystal clear ocean setting and the most incredible clear skies, my bride and groom shared their wedding vows in front of 100 of their nearest and dearest family and friends. The spectacular Chuppah was overflowing with white and ivory flowers. Guests were seated “theatre style” to feel as though they were a part of their breathtaking ceremony.
As the guests were ushered to the front patio for cocktails and hors d’oeurves, we were busy turning over the ceremony space into the most magical dinner reception. We transformed the chuppah into the perfect spot for their beautiful wedding cake and placed dining tables and gold chamelion chairs onto the back patio for the unmatchable 9-course meal that never stopped. The champagne coin table linens were mirrored by the champagne coin curtains that draped the walls of the entire restaurant. The romantic candlelight created an atmosphere that was the perfect blend of sophistication and magic. Hand-painted personalized stones were used as place cards and personalized white chopsticks were tucked into the napkins.
After dinner, the guests were surprised with a 20 minute show stopping performance by an awesome group that replicated the Jersey Boys.” The bride and groom joined them in their performance to make it even more fun for their guests.
The monogramed white gloss dance floor had guests dancing the night away to the music of DJ Ant.
Everyone left thinking, “it was the best wedding and celebration of my life” but, they had no idea what was to come the next night!
Day 2 coming soon…
Day 1 Vendors:
Planner/Designer and Decor Items- Linda Howard Events
Making Your Wedding Your Own [As featured in Elegant Living Magazine]
by Linda Howard
I’ve been helping couples create their dream weddings for 16 years and the most important thing I’ve learned is that even if I produce a wedding that is elegant, sophisticated, tasteful and flawless…who will remember it if it isn’t perfectly tailored to the couple sharing one of the most important days of their lives with their friends and family?
Your wedding day needs to be uniquely yours and it’s so important to take the time to really think carefully about all of the things you love and what makes you and your relationship stand out from the crowd in order to make that happen. A major part of my job is to delicately pull that information out of couples and find wonderful ways to incorporate what they love and what they envision. Starting with how they met, and getting to know their likes and dislikes, helps me intertwine their personalities into their wedding day to make this celebration unlike any other.
Your personal touches will not only set your wedding apart, but they will reflect your style and will help to create a warm and wonderful connection with your guests. I call these touches “Talk Abouts.” When your guests leave your wedding, these are the little things they will always remember and talk about!
Our “getting to know you” meetings are the perfect way for me to truly get to know my Bride and Groom. I always want to know how you met and how and where you got engaged; but other personal questions allow me to start personalizing your actual event.
From your favorite colors, flowers, candy, dessert, ice cream flavor, drinks, songs, restaurants, vacation spots, exercise, weekend activities, movies, plays, and books….I am able to zero in on who you both are as people; and then my creative juices can start flowing.
One of my Bride and Groom’s favorite color was purple, and they wanted a candy station as the guests were leaving the wedding. We took her favorite color and created a spectacular “Willy Wonka-like candy station overflowing in all purple candy. With purple and white swirly lollipops, purple gummy bears and m&m’s, grape licorice, purple taffy, jelly beans and purple jordan almonds…everyone was blown away! We had purple candy bags with a cartoon picture of them in a taxi cab saying “Come visit us in NYC”! (They were moving to New York.)
The Groom’s Grandmother was a baker another state and it was always her dream to bake her Grandson’s wedding cake. The wedding was taking place at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. On one of her visits to California, she lovingly baked the six layers, decorated them and froze them. On the night of the wedding, Mark’s Garden took the layers and placed beautiful purple flowers between each layer creating a spectacular wedding cake baked for a queen. We placed the cake at the entrance of the ballroom so that everyone could admire the cake throughout the evening. Personal cameras were going off all night and knowing that their Grandmother had her dream come true was that ”something special” they will never forget.
It is fun to incorporate a Bride or Groom’s career or hobby into making their wedding day come alive. One of my brides was a musical comedy actor and I thought it would be great fun to create their wedding program to look like a Playbill from the theatre. A Groom who was a comedy television writer created a “surprise” sitcom using look-a-like actors to present to his Bride after dinner was served.
A Bride who was in high school Madrigals, surprised her Groom with a song that she prepared for him. A Groom who played the guitar in college prepared a surprise serenade for his Bride. A father of the Bride who played the drums got on stage with his son-in-law who played the guitar to surprise and entertain the Bride. All of these moments became “Talk Abouts!”
For chocolate lovers, we created an amazing, edible menu made out of chocolate with a photo of the bride and groom. We placed in a beautiful satin sleeve and placed it on the charger. Another couple loved eating jelly bellies every night. When he proposed to her, he placed her engagement ring in their dish full of jelly bellies for her to find. At the wedding, they showed a video re-enacting their engagement. On the tables, we placed candy dishes with jelly bellies in them, with a blinking “diamond” ring sticking out.
I like to think of a wedding in Four Parts:
The Ceremony: A meaningful, spiritual, romantic and emotional part of the wedding; the time where you are sharing your vows in front of everyone you chose to witness your commitment to one another.
The Cocktail Hour: A time for your guests to mingle and start the celebration. Music is playing and everyone is chatting and getting ready to celebrate.
The Dinner and Dancing Reception: The Bride and Groom are announced as “Mr. and Mrs.” and everyone in the room is feeling the excitement, the happiness and the love! They are ready and waiting to dance and celebrate!
The After Party: The toasts have been given, the cake has been cut, and some of the guests are saying ‘Goodnight.’ The guests who are nearest and dearest are not ready to call it a night. This is the time where the music turns into the top 40′s, the late-night snacks might be served, the shoes come off and the atmosphere changes. Some people think this is the BEST part of the wedding!
One of my couples met in New York at a coffee restaurant. We re-created the restaurant and that is where we served the coffee at the dessert presentation. Also, we took digital photos at the church wedding ceremony, developed the photos and placed one on the cover of a magazine. As the guests left the wedding, we set up a newsstand and they took the magazine home with them along with donuts, cupcakes and cookies served from a “bakery.” Too much fun!
Remember that your wedding day should truly be YOUR wedding day! Take the time to create your “Talk Abouts,” and you and your guests will NEVER forget your special day!
As originally published in Fall/Winter 2012 Elegant Living Magazine.
Bridal Gown Shopping Tips from Linda Howard…
Here are my top tips when it comes to shopping for the most important dress you will ever wear.
- Shop during the week and by appointment
- Don’t wait until the last minute to receive your dress. Allow yourself 4 weeks in case there are any last minute alterations.
- Bring someone with you: Take your nearest and dearest, and someone who you can really trust when you go to select and try on wedding gowns. You need an honest opinion before you make a huge purchase. Before you shop the stores, shop the magazines: Inside Weddings is one of my favorites. They always have the latest and greatest.
- Select your wedding gown and revisit it several times before you make the final purchase: Keep an open mind. If it still speaks to you after some time you know that you will have made the right decision. It is a fun process. Do not rush it so that you won’t have any regrets.
Ask Questions: The more questions, the better!
Who’s the manufacturer?
What is the structure for deposit, billing, and final payment?
How early do I have to order the dress? How long will it take to receive it?
Is there a refund or cancellation policy? Require this in writing
Are alterations fees included? If so, how many alt. visits are offered? If not, what are the estimates? Get in writing!
Are there shipping fees?
Are there rush fees?
- Offer your future mother-in-law the opportunity to see your gown once you have made a decision on the gown.
- Have hair and make-up done with proper undergarments when trying on dresses.
- Use a vinyl tape measure to take measurements: BEWARE of the CLOTH TAPE MEASURE!!! They can give inaccurate measurements (larger than expected), resulting in necessary alterations. It is a good idea to bring your own vinyl tape measure to ensure proper measurements of your bust, waist, hips, and the length from the hollow of your throat to the hemline
- Order a dress that FITS, not necessarily your SIZE: Although you may wear a size 6 every time you buy something new, wedding dress sizes vary drastically from designer to designer. It is easier to take a gown in than out, don’t be upset if you have a size up. Some designers offer a size conversion chart that offer a more realistic view of the size that you should order based on your measurements.
- Make sure that you’re COMFORTABLE in your gown: Make sure that you are wearing the gown and the gown is not wearing you. Try sitting down to make certain you can breathe comfortably. You will be wearing this gown for 12 hours straight. You will want to feel comfortable and beautiful. You are going to be in your dress all day… taking pictures, through the ceremony, greeting gifts, at the reception, dancing, etc. It is important that you feel beautiful and comfortable in your gown. This comes from selecting the right gown for you and making proper alterations. Alterations should alleviate or eliminate all bunches, tugs, puckers, or pulls in the fabric.
More about shoes later..
The 2014 Bridal Market was full of the world’s top bridal designers showcasing some of the most glamorous dresses you will find at your favorite bridal salon next season. From short dress and long sleeves to coverups and illusion necklines, here are some of the trends and designers that we loved most.
Kenneth Pool, Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang
Anna Maier, Ines di Santo and Monique Lhuillier
Alternatives to the Candy Bar
In addition to the cake, couples also like to have a dessert bar presentation. This could be anywhere ranging from a selection of cupcakes (a hot trend), mini desserts, cookies, candy, candy apples, donuts, etc. While many guests will indulge in desserts at the reception, this can also serve as the take home favor if you provide glassine bags or cake boxes. A coffee/cappuccino bar is also a great addition to go along with the sweets.
Another option would be to replace the wedding cake with multiple mini cakes for each guest. These can either be used as a centerpiece or individually packaged as a take home. But keep in mind that the cost might add up since each one needs to be decorated.
One of our favorite alternatives to the candy bar are Porch Pies. Porch Pies’ are Southern Delicacies. Baked fresh and hand delivered to your event – each pie is a taste of the deep south and is made from our family’s heirloom recipes passed down from generations of grandmothers and great aunts.
Choosing a Wedding Color Scheme
Once you have your theme decided upon, it is a good idea to decide on a color scheme that you will be working with. What are your favorite colors that you envision at your wedding? Using color swatches can help you come up with different wedding color scheme combinations.
Two shades on the same paint swatch will work nicely. A rich chocolate brown and ivory work beautifully together. A dark royal blue and a nice periwinkle are lovely compliments. You will want to remember to choose colors that go with the season for which your wedding is planned. For instance dark colors like wine and emerald green are nice for autumn. Pastels and light colors like the bouquets featured above are great for the spring. Darker colors are perfect for Autumn weddings like the bouquets below.
Is it time for him to “pop the question”? Have you both gone “fantasy shopping” for the perfect ring? Is your “soon-to-be- fiancee” planning to surprise you?? Shopping for rings is a HUGE step!! You will be wearing his sign of love and commitment for a lifetime and this is an investment that you will both want to be happy and proud about.
Take the time to look at photos together… discuss the shape you most love. Do some “window shopping” together. Engagement rings come in all shapes and sizes and it is important to take your time in making this decision of what reflects you and your personality…. as well as budget.
One of my favorite jewelers in the Westside is Peter Norman Jewelers. His Brentwood shop is located on San Vicente Blvd. Peter prides himself in personal attention to what Bride and Grooms are wanting to spend on the ring…. and he will do his very best to offer them wonderful design, as well as very fair pricing. Peter and his staff are very professional and knowledgeable in the world of diamonds and gemology. They are so very willing to assist the customer in a very warm and welcoming manner.
Have fun “dreaming”… and then go shopping to make your wedding ring dream a reality!!!