Items on eBay

Sunday, February 8, 2009

LIVE BLOGGING - The Wedding University

Here was The Wedding University in progress at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto, CA. It was my first attempt at live blogging. First let me say I'm no Engadget. Their live blogging is awesome with tons of photos and captions posted every minute or so during the Apple keynote presentations. Since I was attending The Wedding University as media to cover the event for my blog I figured I would give live blogging a try... So the day of I posted some photos and the next day I added more images and all of the captions.

You can click on any of the photos to view the enlargements.

The day began bright and early at The Four Seasons in Palo Alto California.

When Wedding Coordinators Jubilee Lau and Jean Marks came up with a great idea they ran with it. Instead of hosting a more typical bridal showcase? They, along with some of the Bay Area's top wedding professionals, used a 5 session seminar format to teach brides and grooms how to most effectively plan their weddings.

Kelly Nelson, director of marketing, at the Four Seasons even arranged for a three night honeymoon stay at a lucky winner's choice at their Whistler, Lanai or Bora Bora resorts.

The tone was set by the 4 GORGEOUS room and table top displays created by TWU Design Team: Enhanced Lighting and Sound, Nancy Liu Chin, Chewing the Cud and Sash and Sugar.

Of note: Enhanced Lighting arrived at 8:00 pm the night before and worked through the night hanging the draping, setting up the chandeliers and the wall wash lights that transformed the room into an amazing showcase of the design team's talents.

Nancy mentioned that the centerpiece in this photo was comprised of twelve dozen roses and 35 stems of hydrangea!

Here seminar coordinators Jean Marks and Jubilee Lau are joined by educator Nancy Liu Chin.

The second of the 4 table tops... Beautiful! Warm and golden lights combined with matching draping, both by Enhanced LIghting and Sound, fresh forsythia branches and gold printed menu and name cards. This table was ultra luxurious.

Name tags for the attendees... At the ready just before the doors opened.

The third of the four table tops... The table linen and chair cover were by Wildflower Linens. I love this applique design. It's one of my favorites. Nancy Liu Chin told me this centerpiece idea required 6 dozen roses, all hand strung to create the pendulums of petals. The pink wash lighting was provided by Enhanced Lighting and Sound.

The guests arrive and the first courses are served.

Oh YUM the Brussels sprouts and potatoes accompanied the carving station...

The food was provided by The Four Seasons. It all looked outrageously wonderful... I didn't sample any until later in the day and was even lightly chastised by Paul Kuhn, their Director of Catering, to try everything! He didn't want me to just say the food looked good.... He wanted me to be able to honestly say it tasted as good as it looked and guess what? It tasted even better! Hmmm a DOC forcing me to sample scrumptious food prepared by Executive Chef Alessandro Cartumini and his staff? LOL Paul may have just become one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world :P

I can't wait to go back to Quattro restaurant sometime just to enjoy dinner. You can even call (650) 470-2868 to place a to-go order from 4:00 to 10:30 pm. Man I wish I lived nearby. I'd be calling at least once a week!

The fourth of the room and table top designs... I really loved this one! Dramatic and intense, the colors of the "Modern Luxe" display were not for the faint of heart. The black chandeliers are available through Enhanced Lighting and Sound and the lucite chairs from Hartman Studios.

The attendees comprised of brides, grooms, family members and friends came for 5 hours of education from the experts.

As you can see it was a full house! After attending the first session as one large group the attendees were then divided into 3 separate smaller groups that then alternated between 3 additional class settings: Photography and videography, music and dancing, and the fourth class focusing on wedding planning, flowers, invitations and event lighting.

Following the initial presentation light Hors de Oeuvres were served. And here's the really cool thing: The food was present outside of each of the three classrooms, not just in one central location.

The second session I attended was the wedding photography and videography presentations. Educators included Kevin Chin, Lara White and Jewel Savadelis.

Jewel shared a particularly insightful presentation with the attendees showing them, rather then simply explaining, why wedding videography matters. How it captures emotions from the nervousness of grooms as they wait to see their bride walking down the aisle towards them to how intensely personal and endearing the moment can be when a groom first glimpses his bride on their wedding day.

She also included very short clips of a hilarious moment at a wedding reception and a short trailer of a stunning wedding she and Chuck shot at San Francisco's City Hall.

Jewel chatting with an attendee following the session.

When the presentation was over... Oh my gosh! We stepped out of the room to find an amazing sushi bar had suddenly appeared! I did try the sushi, a lot of it, and have to say with the very first bite I noticed the rice was seasoned with vinegar just like how my Auntie makes it. So many restaurants make sushi with plain white rice, but the actual definition of sushi is that it is rice lightly flavored with vinegar. I give their sushi chef very high marks. I'm now a fan of his work for sure!

Sushi = Seasoned rice (usually flavored with vinegar)

Sashimi = Raw Fish

There were also fried wonton humbow, pot stickers and lox. Oh yum how great does all of that look?

I then attended the third session which featured music and dancing. Educators included: Peter Rudolphi, Carl Mindling, Ron Grandia and Cynthia Glinka.

Peter played samples of what different options sound like such as a string and horn trios and quintets, explaining that the size of the venue or formality of the event is what should dictate the number of musicians one hires.

DJ's Ron Grandia and Carl Mindling gave great advice about where to set up your dance floor, where to put your DJ, hopefully not in a corner, and tips about how to get your guests on the dance floor. They also provided a list of questions to ask the DJs or musicians you are considering hiring for your wedding or special event to make sure they will suit your needs.

Cynthia was her fab self as always! She had the audience laughing and up on their feet. She shared many tips with the attendees and made the whole learning experience fun!

Following that presentation the sushi had been replaced with fruit and candy... Guests helped themselves to a quick pick-me-up bite then headed off to their fourth session of the day.

I moved back to the original ballroom. There the topics presented were wedding planning, flowers, lighting and invitations. Educators were Gloria Wong, Nancy Liu Chin, John Woods and Viola Sutanto.

I had to agree as John Woods explained that event lighting used to be reserved for celebrity weddings but now? Anyone and everyone who has ever seen it? Will want it for their own wedding.

I have to say I agree because I hired Enhanced Lighting and Sound to light the ballroom at my own wedding. And to be honest? It was the only thing I didn't run by my fiance. I could already ear his  voice in my head, hear his questions about why did I want to pay for lighting when the room already had lights in it. LOL. So I made my only executive decision and booked them on the sly. Later? My hubby wanted to know why I didn't include more lighting! He wished I had ordered our names in light on the dance floor. Drats. Guess I should have run it by him after all :D

Following the fourth session guests stepped out of their classrooms to find the candy and sweet bars had been replaced with full blown dessert bars! I'll admit I tried 2 desserts... 

This fabulous chocolate creme brulee and piece of chocolate cake. Both were exceptionally delicious!

Following the dessert break, the couples all gathered in the main ballroom once again for the final presentations: Wedding attire and hair and beauty presented by Gabrielle Medrano-Contreras and Armando Sarabia. But before they began the grooms were asked to step out of the room...

Now this was truly impressive... Honestly? I didn't think so many grooms would show up. A decade ago I'd guess about 4 would have. So this picture shows a nice trend that the times they are a changing and that grooms are now much more involved in wedding planning then they used to be.

Here the grooms were given their own presentation regarding men's wedding day attire by Benny Duckett from Eli Thomas for Men. Benny is the guy facing the camera wearing a tie :)

BTW my hubby, his best man and groomsman all rented their wedding day suits from Eli Thomas!

Gabrielle's bridal salon had provided the gowns, and Eli Thomas had provided the tuxedos the models had been wearing throughout the day.

As Gabrielle spoke her models joined her at the front of the room.

Heading into the ballroom for the final presentation.

And that's Armando of get your DO up! who not only spoke and answered a lot of questions brides had about their big day, he even pulled a volunteer from the audience and gave a styling demonstration right on the spot!

Earlier in the day Armando had done the hair for all of the models. And they all looked amazing!

As a wedding day expert I think some of the best advice Armando gave during the Q&A was when asked if he had tips for brides who were planning to do their own hair? His reply was that if you've spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars creating your wedding look on your gown and accessories? Why wouldn't you go all the way and hire a professional to do your hair.

My thought has also always been: If you've spent thousands of dollars hiring your photographer and videographer? Why wouldn't you budget and hire a professional hair stylist and make up artist? All of that money on photos is wasted if you hate how your hair and/or make up looks when you look at your photos or watch your video later.

As Armando's presentation was coming to a close the gift bags were being prepared for the attendees to take as they left the hotel...

One moment the hall was empty, the next full of the brides and grooms. All day long I'd heard them making comments that they were so glad they came and that they felt like they'd learned a lot! Not to mention the food... *drool* the food was plentiful and delicious.

At the end of the evening I found four flirty guys all hanging out in the lobby and asked them to pose for me: John Woods of Enhanced Lighting and Sound, DJ Ron Grandia, Carl Mindling of The Only DJ and in the front row Armando Sarabia of get your DO up!

A quick pic of the boys, helping Armando bring his equipment down to the lobby, a little chat with Jubilee and Jean and I was on my way home... 

Congratulations to Jubilee Lau, Jean Marks and the entire Wedding University team! I think they should all be really proud of creating a new event and executing it so flawlessly! I hope all of the attendees had as much fun as I did!


  1. OMG! I so wish I was your assistant today. If it wasn't Aidan's birthday I would have asked to stay. LOL. I got to see Armando and Jubilee and the models (granted I didn't know they were the models, I just thought they were Armando's entourage)! I can't wait to see more photos. Sorry we missed you.

  2. WOW! It looks amazing there! Wish I had gone. :) Could't find my fake engagement ring in time, just kidding. :D

  3. Stacie - what a great recap of the day. Do you have more pictures? I so want to see more pics with the hair flowers. LOL. I know I'm so selfish! :)

  4. I definitely think this should be an event they do on an annual basis even though it's a lot of work for everyone involved, I think all the attendees gained a lot of good knowledge and can now better plan their weddings! :)

  5. Thank you so much for being our media yesterday! It was awesome to see you and thank you for the rockin' post about TWU!

  6. Stacie, what an awesome blogger you are. Besides being a great creative consultant of all things, you are now a great journalist too! What CAN'T you do????? You just amaze me so much. I love you!! I am so, so happy you were there yesterday.

  7. You are such a great blogger Stacie! Besides being a fabulous creative consultant of all things you are now a fabulous journalist too! What CAN'T you do? I am just so amazed by you...and am so, so happy you stayed through our entire event yesterday! THANK YOU!!!!!

  8. Excellent post and I'm so glad the university was a success. :D

  9. WOW!!! Stacie,

    Thank you for being such an encouragement, and moment by moment journalist of the Wedding University, as it unfolded yesterday...having you and so many of our closest friends there was an incredible gift to Jubilee and myself! I am still pinching myself to be sure it was not a dream!

  10. Looks like a very successful event... kudos to all who were involved and thanks for sharing the photos and live update! :)

  11. Thanks for the wonderful post, Stacie.

  12. It was a fabulous turnout! What made it really neat is that many of the couples who attended said they were pleasantly surprised. They expected to feel as if they'd been marketed to by specific companies but instead they felt the program really focused on education, as promised, and that they learned a lot.

  13. You were everywhere. And you captured everything! Wedding University was a great event due to the efforts of many people and the extraordinary efforts of a few - like you. A million thanks for all your behind-the-scenes work. It was noticed - oh yes - it was noticed.


YAY! No Registration Needed to Leave a Comment :)

Just look for the orange "Comment" link after the time stamp at the foot of each post and click on it, or click on the post title and the comment box will appear on the page at the base of the post when it reopens.

Comments that are Spam off topic, contain profanity, lewdness, promote violence, hate speech or any form of discrimination will either be modified or will not be posted. Click Here for a detailed list of this blog's policies.

You are welcome to make a link of your name using the Name/URL option to guide readers to your website.

Please do NOT post a string of keywords as your name. Comments received in this fashion will either not be published or the link will be removed. The Flirty Blog reserves the right to modify, delete or decline to publish comments that are considered to be off topic or SPAM.