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My morning began in a suite at the iconic Four Seasons Hotel enjoying the Bridal Brunch that preceded the Bridal Fair. It was fantastic with buffet stations of scrumptious bites prepared by the acclaimed Four Seasons kitchen and many choices of beverages to choose from including a bottomless flute of Moët Rosé champagne. Attendees were given early access to the Bridal Fair downstairs before the general public was invited in, received complimentary valet parking and two great goodie bags!
it was the theme for our wedding cake. And crab lovers were not disappointed with the cordial glasses filled with Dungeness Crab and California Citrus Salad.
And Mmmmm-Mmmmmm. The Applewood Smoked Bacon, Swiss Chard and Caramelized Leek Quiche looked delicious.
If you love sumptuous food be sure to attend the brunch next year. And arrive when it begins so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the amenities...
And always a crowd favorite, renowned stylist Jim Avila gave mini hair consults as the brides relaxed, ate, drank and mingled in the suite. A fashion, hair, makeup and image stylist and consultant, Jim has guided over 2000 brides to look their best during his illustrious, 25 year career.
It was an intimate and relaxed affair with hotel staff attending making it a great opportunity for brides and grooms to ask questions about having their weddings at the Four Seasons San Francisco. The hotel offers both wedding packages or the option to custom design your wedding so they are able to make the process as convenient or personal as you would wish.
Gilt City. If you're not familiar with Gilt City I think the best way to describe it is along the lines of the Groupon business model but focusing on special experiences, pampering services and exclusive restaurant menus for style mavens, fashionistas and those seeking culture and luxury experiences above and beyond the norm for a cost far less than one might expect.
Gilt City, Bollare PR and Cinch PR who did their best to make me eat more but I was too busy gathering information and photos :)
And we're in! There were many booths with over 75 companies showcasing their products and services as hundreds of brides and grooms perused the booths collecting brochures and business cards while meeting the exhibitors.
Jacques store is packed with all kinds of invitations, decorations, favor and gift ideas. I always love Jacques' displays when I see him at bridal shows. He really puts a lot of effort into creating a stylish and inviting booth for attendees to enjoy.
Also exhibiting were friends Andrew Hsu from Studio MSV, Megan Woods from Enhanced Lighting and Sound and Ranjan Dey, owner of New Delhi Restaurant. And I met lots of new people including I Do Venues, who maintain a great blog all about Bay Area wedding venues.
And to the right, before and after shots from the moment I arrived to just a couple of hours later. If you build it, they will come...
A Serene and Beautiful Cake by Katrina Rozelle
A very well presented china display by Heritage House bridal registry.
Our grapes from Mendocino County are 100% Chardonnay." It is the first blue sparkling wine to be introduced to the market. It was very pretty! Since I don't drink alcohol I can't say how it tasted but I watched other guests enjoying samples and everyone seemed quite pleased.
the Jin Wang atelier. Jin creates custom couture gowns and offers a collection of made to order gowns by designers like Angel Sanchez, Ann Bowen, Blush by Jim Hjelm, Carmen Marc Valvo, David Meister, Designer Bride, Doma Adami, Enzoani, Model Novias, Pattis, Selia Yang, Tara Keely, Olivia Couture and more. She and her staff are warm and welcoming making gown shopping the pleasurable experience it should be.
Frankenfoot?" The pictures on the right are from when I was wearing the big Frankenfoot boot like Natasha's and a picture from the night we met when I was wearing the much smaller and more elegant "Frankenankle" mini brace with a red dress. LOL
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And a crowd favorite. The Muir Suite had been transformed:
"New to the Fair this year, the “Bachelor Pad” is available as a refuge for grooms-to-be: offering the score of the game and beers. Then head back out to see if anything’s been accomplished in your absence."After he welcomed me into the lounge, I couldn't help but tease Bartender Bein that he had it made. Instead of being stuck in the main ballroom in a sea of estrogen, he got to hang out and watch the game with the grooms. Snacks included gourmet popcorn, chips and nuts. What more could a guy want except maybe to be at the game. But then they wouldn't have the comfy lounge chairs, private bar and Bein serving them beer in high style.
Photo Booth US displayed one of the most beautiful photo booths I've ever seen. A visit to their site revealed they have both modern and vintage styled booths including the one guests enjoyed at the show:
"A stunning beauty! In our opinion, the most beautiful photo booth ever built. With only about a dozen of these booths remaining in the United Stated, we had no choice but to build our own. This photo booth is the replica of the original Auto-Photo Model 11 manufactured in 1958."
You can order a custom Valentine's Day card or a card for any occasion. Turns out Lea has all kinds of projects going. A visit to her website Leafcutter Designs will show you everything she's up to.
My Pad Thai and Duncan and Jason's Soups
After walking, photographing and interviewing exhibitors all afternoon I'd worked up an appetite and needed a late lunch pick-me-up.
I met up with friends (and industry colleagues) Duncan Reyes and Jason Mitchell at the Bridal Fair and we strolled down Market St. a few blocks to Million Thai Restaurant located on 5th Street between Mission and Market on the street level of the Hotel Milano. The service was pleasant but a tad slow, surprising only because we were there well after the lunch rush and before dinner so there were very few patrons. The Pad Thai was yummy, their prices reasonable and the location convenient so I'm sure I'll go back again.
LOL knowing that I love to photograph my food pics on white backgrounds, Duncan did his best to improvise the perfect white backdrop for my Pad Thai. That's what friends are for :) He also found these cute straw wrappers that had been transformed into paper rosebuds that I found so creative. I love little details. After lunch we parted ways and I headed home with my thoughts all abuzz with the beautiful things I'd seen and all of the interesting people I'd met that day.
The next morning I took a peek in the goodie bags I'd received at the brunch. One was from Floramor Studios and contained these super cute, matching items that included a manicure/grooming set, votive, compact, picture frame and picture holder.
I'd highly recommended making the investment in attending both the Brunch and Bridal Fair in 2012. Between the food and pampering at the start of the day and the valet parking and goodie bags at the end, it's a win-win.
Thank you to Director of Catering David Robinson for welcoming me, Executive Chef Mark Richardson and his entire culinary team for the wonderful breakfast buffet, Director of Marketing Kelly Nelson, Assoicate Director of Catering Stacie Hallinan and the entire event staff at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. Your hospitality was very much enjoyed and appreciated.