Um, it's not as if it's a small building that's easy to overlook.
I was invited to attend the Omni's annual wedding showcase.
Needless to say I'd never been inside the hotel before and found it to be beautifully appointed. This is the lobby taken from the west staircase that leads to the mezzanine. The light from the chandeliers bouncing off the marble staircase and rich color of the wood walls was really beautiful.
The showcase was advertised as:
"A day filled with advice, fun and fashion with the best and brightest of San Francisco’s bridal community."
Your day will include:
10:00am Registration and Refreshments
10:30am Panel Discussion with three of SF’s top Wedding Planners
12:00pm Mingle with the Experts
1:30pm Beauty Presentation and Bridal Fashion Show
3:00pm Mix with our Presenters and Experts
Tomato and Basil Shots
Ooooooh I took pictures of the Nora's Patisserie booth but didn't sample the dessert before I had lunch. Owner and Chef Nora Tong was there in person and encouraged me to sample some of her creations... I assured her I would be back soon. You know how I love my desserts :P
Right next door is the Union Square Room which is a corner room that's windowed on two sides and can host larger ceremonies of up to 160 guests. I would have photographed it for you but couldn't because it had been booked for a private event that day.
And there was an extensive Fresh Fruit Buffet...
chocolate panna cotta from last month's Daring Bakers Challenge (almost entirely by myself) I was chocolated out. So I chose the white cake with fruit fillings, and ate the whole thing. It was really good. The cake was soft and moist and I loved the lemon flavor.
After the show I hung out for a bit and stayed to chat with my friend and extraordinarily talented Event Designer Duncan Reyes.
tea cookies from Nora's Patisserie. Located in Daly City, I'm going to have to make a point to stop by her retail shop some day soon. Judging by the photos on her website, it's definitely somewhere I could be very happy.
The Omni is a wonderful wedding resource and a great place to recommend to your weddng guests as a centrally located place to stay in the city. It's within easy walking distance of Chinatown, North Beach and the Financial District (aka FiDi). If your guests wear comfortable shoes and they're up for a bit more of a stroll, they can easily walk to Union Square if they head southwest, the Embarcadero Center and Ferry Building if they head east and the Moscone Center if they head south.
They're also just a few blocks from the Bart line that runs down Market Street making it easy to travel around the city and the East Bay without a car or the need for taxis.
My thanks to Wendy Coale for inviting me to attend the Wedding Fair. It was a pleasure and I truly felt as if I'd discovered a hidden gem. The day was fun, informative and the food was really delicious.
Here are a few more tips for brides and grooms to be from the our guest panelists that day: Professional Event Designers Duncan Reyes, Kathryn Kalabokes and Joannie Liss:
- 2011 Wedding Trends: Floral arrangements that incorporate feathers, event lighting and reception snack bars in case guests get hungry again while dancing the night away.
- Random Tip: Don't forget videography!
- Contract Advice: Make sure a complimentary suite is included or if it's not, book a room the day before (not just the day of your wedding if one isn't included) to guarantee you'll have space available to "prep" onsite, on your wedding day.
- 2011 Wedding Trends: Handmade is in! More couples are incorporating elements that reflect their families and/or heritage.
- Random Tip: Make sure your vendors are licensed!
- Contract Advice: Know that you will be taxed on products but you shouldn't be charged sales tax for services.
- 2011 Wedding Trends: Creating a "club lounge" for your guests to relax in, event lighting and the late night snacks for guests.
- Random Tip: Your Event Coordinator can call guests who are late to RSVP to confirm your headcount too your caterer.
- Contract Advice: For a less stressful set up and teardown make sure it's written in your contract that you have your ceremony and reception rooms for the full day and not just an hour before and after your event.