As a wedding coordinator and event designer she wanted to design a new kind of bridal event. One that would be intimate, exclusive and would combine the best parts of a bridal showcase with the fun and elegance of a soiree cocktail party. She contacted Beverly Yip from Especially Yours Chair Covers, an industry colleague, who she thought might be interested in collaborating with her to create the first Promises and Pearls Soiree Showcase.
Michelle and Beverly believe that brides should have fun planning their weddings they wanted to make the Soiree just that. A "Get off work on a weeknight and have a glass of champagne, some excellent food and just relax. They wanted their guests to walk in and say to themselves "Wow! This is swanky!" And let me tell you, as an attendee that first year? It worked! That was literally the first thing I said out loud when I walked into the venue.
This was the third annual Promises and Pearls Bridal Soiree held last Wednesday night at the Payne Mansion in San Francisco. The interior of the mansion is really beautiful and would be a perfect venue for an intimate wedding.
The crowd gathered throughout the evening. From where I sat guests had a wonderful time! I wish I could have taken more photos of the entire Soiree for you but unfortunately due to my bum ankle and being in a leg brace up to my knee, getting around was challenging at best.
Beautiful flowers from HUNT littlefield and Table Top Design by MB Wedding Design and Events.
This gorgeous cake by Cake Coquette is a replica of the matching paillette sequin table cover by Wildflower Linens.
Pictured here at a prior event.
Another stunning table top by MB Wedding Design and Events and arrangements by HUNT littlefield Floral Design.
Wasn't this the most perfectly themed wedding cake by Cake Coquette? With strands of faux freshwater and cultured pearls draping and adorning this silver wedding cake it was the perfect complement to the showcase.
Ooooh I loved this table top! More flowers by HUNT littlefield and another beautiful table design by Michelle Barrionuevo-Mazzini.
And no doubt the most special themed room of the evening was the Candyland cupcake, candy and treat buffet. Love the ceiling lighting and wall washes by Enhanced Lighting.
There was candy...
And old fashioned sodas...
Plenty of popcorn...
And super cute, candy covered, mini cupcakes by Cake Coquette.
And I did sample the small passionfruit filled chocolate by Raffine Chocolates in the lower right hand corner. It was so delicious! As soon as my ankle mends and I can start exercising again I'm going to have to treat myself to a box!
And who doesn't just love mochi? Most of my life only people of Japanese descent knew what mochi was. Now, thanks to the frozen yogurt companies including it as a topping selection all of America is pretty aware of mochi. This bowl was to top off the yogurt samples from Jubili Frozen Yogurt located on Filmore St in San Francisco. I wanted to run away with the entire bowl all for me. LOL
And cupcakes galore by Cake Coquette. So cute right?
Yummy fruit tarts...
And these chocolate cups with fresh raspberries were there to tempt the guests. Who could resist them?
I really wanted to highlight a couple of companies who not everyone who attended may have seen that evening as they were tucked away at the top of the staircase.
Golden Gate Group Tickets can provide unique entertainment options for weddings and special events. Based in San Francisco they can set up for groups, including wedding parties, to attend performances at Teatro Zinzanni. They can also bring Tony and Tina's wedding right to your reception. What a fun treat either would be for guests to enjoy.
Also upstairs that evening was One World Designs. Owner Bonnie Harper and I have been friends for years. Her new studio location is on Campell Ave just across the street from the Pruneyard Shopping Center. If you need jewelry or hair ornaments for yourself or your bridesmaids you should set up a consultation with Bonnie to see her collection.
And Gabrielle's Bridal Atelier provided live models in couture gowns that evening.
A gorgeous shot of the Ferry Building that night. I passed it after dropping a friend off down on the Embarcadero on my way to the freeway to head home.
But there's more...
I asked Michelle if she would be willing to share some tips with other wedding professionals in other cities and states who might be interested in producing their own showcases and she generously agreed to allow me to interview her.
Here are some of the tips she gave me when we sat down to chat at her San Francisco office:
Who to showcase:
As the producer of a showcase there are many ways to go about selecting your featured professionals. Some of the different criteria you cold use to select your participants are:
1. The people/companies you've known the longest.
2. The people who are your most trustworthy friends in the industry
3. Companies of recognized stature whose names will become part of the draw of bringing guests in to attend your event
4. Under the radar companies that would benefit from the exposure participating in a showcase would bring them helping to launch their companies within the wedding industry
Michelle and Beverly have chosen to focus on specialty companies who for a variety of reasons were under the industry radar. Whether it was because they were new and up-and-coming or established but perhaps had been too shy over the years to put themselves forth... They knew there were successful companies that had excellent products and/or services that would truly benefit from the exposure they would receive if they were to participate in Promises and Pearls.
Who will your guests be?
Of course real-life brides and grooms are invited to attend the soiree each year. A surprising decision was that Michelle and Beverly chose to also allow other industry professionals to attend as well. Each year they've allowed other industry professionals to network amongst each other and give us the opportunity to meet the participants helping to give them even more exposure within the industry.
If both real life brides and industry professionals are there how do you tell them apart?
One challenge they quickly overcame was how to differentiate between the brides and grooms and the industry professionals who were attendees. The found the solution in the name they had chosen. Michelle really wanted the word "Promises" to be included. But Promises and what? And what? Then they knew... Pearls! So the brides attending the show were given pearl bracelets when they signed in at the registration table. That way the participants would know at a glance if the person they were talking to was an engaged couple with a bracelet or an industry professional without.
For all of the guests their showcase has become an anticipated wedding event that allows brides and grooms to meet and greet some of the Bay Area's most talented professionals. You may not be engaged now but if you are by next year be sure to check out the Promises and Pearls website next spring to register when the event date is announced.
You can learn more about Michelle Barrionuevo-Mazzini: On her Website
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