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Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Big Thank You To...

There were lots of fun gifts but none were for Christmas!

On the morning of the public reveal (2 weeks ago) of who the 5 couples for the San Francisco Dream Wedding finalists were, those who were able to attend were whisked away by limo early in the morning, toured the Hotel Vitale (where the wedding will be), enjoyed lunch at the hotel, toured the Marine's Memorial Club (where the rehearsal dinner will be), then hopped back in the limo for some fun, San Francisco'esque, photo ops.

While they were out and about, with the help from some friends, I spent the day creating gift boxes to give to our finalists upon their return to San Jose. For the two couples who live out of state I shipped them their gift boxes each with an extra contribution by The Flirty Bride because they didn't get to attend the luncheon.

I really wanted to give a special thanks to the following companies who contributed items and their time to make our finalists feel pampered.



Aramando Sarabia of "Get Your Do Up" receives a triple thank you for not only contributing cute spa gift packs to the boxes but also for helping me to gift wrap the items inside then driving the gift boxes, and me, over to the meeting point to give them to the contestants upon their return from their fun day in San Francisco.

Thank you also to Bonnie Harper of "One World Designs" who contributed some beautiful earrings and necklaces for the brides-to-be. They were both created with delicate gold filled chain and semi precious stones. The earrings were comprised with freshwater pearls and the necklaces with white topaz. Definitely something you can wear on your wedding day, save a memento of your Dream Wedding experience or give as a gift to your Maid of Honor.

Monina Wright from "Natural Images" contributed the organza bags filled with make up and skin care products. Thanks so much Monina for not only providing them but delivering them to me.

Natti Pierce-Thomson from even lighting company "North American Theatre Technology" contributed the very cute and stylish pedestal votive holders. I really liked them! You can fill the bottom of each glass bowl with decorative elements like flower petals, candy, colored glass or marbles, anything that will tie into a color or decor theme. You can really get creative decorating with them.

Professional Wedding Coordinator Katherine Noller-Fernandez from "Custom Celebrations" is an example of one of the reasons I really love working in the Bay Area. I've heard that in other parts of the country wedding professionals are seldom friends and often don't know each other on any type of personal level at all. Thursday morning I had a breakfast meeting in my calendar with Katherine who is not officially a Dream Team member. She asked what I was doing that day after breakfast so I told her I was going shopping for more fun items for the gift boxes.

She was so happy and excited for our finalist couples that she immediately wanted to sponsor a gift item for each of them. She suggested a gift card and left it to me to decide what kind. Well, I'm really practical and pragmatic so when I saw that the major credit card company gift cards all charged activation fees that ranged up to $5.95 I thought that was kind of ridiculous so I opted for Target gift cards because there were no additional fees and I figure everyone can find something they need at Target. Plus I've always loved that as a company, Target gives back a percentage of their profits to the local communities where the stores are located.

My own companies made several contributions as well. As The Flirty Bride Custom Accessories I gave the Crystal Flower Earrings and Crystal Branch Hair Pins, both of which I figured our brides could use themselves or use as gifts to their attendants for their own weddings.

Because The Flirty Bride Cake Toppers is sponsoring a Dragonfly Delight Cake Topper to the winning couple on May 14, 2010, I wanted to give each couple a beaded dragonfly ornament as a special keepsake so that the 4 couples who don't win will have a little memento to remember the contest with.

As The Flirty Guide I added some fun items like treats from Satura Cakes, the tiny, miniature origami crane in the silk boxes (which are a hobby of mine), some fun Flirty Guide stationary and a nice Williams Sonoma cake pan with a box of Monkey Bread mix.

LOL I admit that the bread mix might have seemed kind of weird but I chose it for two reasons:

1. It's something easy and fun that the couples can bake together.

2. If they have never had monkey bread before it was about time! Most recipes you'll find online are for sweet types of monkey bread with cinnamon and sugar but my favorite is a savory version. I'll share the recipe here with you because it's so easy to make. All you need is a tube of Pilsbury Crescent rolls, a container of grated parmesan cheese, some garlic salt and a small bowl of melted butter. Though there is a bundt pan styled pan to make Monkey Bread in, I prefer using cake pans so that the dough is laid out in a single layer rather then stacked atop itself.

• Open the tube of dough and roll pieces into balls about the size of a walnut in the shell (1 1/4")
• Dip the balls of dough into the melted butter then roll in the parmesan cheese
• Put the dough balls side by side in the cake pan, sprinkle with garlic salt and bake according to the package instructions

You can always Google to find more recipes of both the sweet and savory types.

And of course something goofy had to happen. I had asked Armando if he could pick up some type of San Francisco memento since he lives in the city. He picked up some SF postcards and a magnet for each couple. I suspect we may have accidently put two magnets in one box because the next day when I went to wrap and ship the two boxes that were to go to our out of state couples, I could only find one magnet.

Hmmm what to do. I went to a mall near my home but nobody sold any type of San Francisco souvenir. So I racked my brain. What could I get that said "San Francisco?" Then it hit me. Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat. So 4 couples got magnets of the Golden Gate Bridge and one couple received two boxes of Rice-A-Roni. LOL

To whoever got the Rice-A-Roni, if you really want a magnet let Liz know and I can pick one up for you the next time I am in the city :P

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