2010 has been an incredible year! It’s got a few more days left too… I just know it will be magnificent! In a whirlwind, 2011 will be here- I don’t want it to get here without saying a few things to all of you:
Thank you to our amazing family, friends, and supporters for your faith and confidence in Swann Soirées. We are who we are and where we are because of YOU! A very special Thank You & Shout Out to our military & their families; We love, appreciate, and believe in you, not a single day goes by that we aren’t proud of you and your sacrifice.
May the spirit of gratitude and grace of humility find us in good health all through the holidays and new year!
The Swann Squad: Brenda, Megan, Sherry, and Interns Ania & Jess
Although my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has looked over its shoulder and said “I’ll see ya next year,” the images and smells of my sage butter roasted turkey, thyme andouille sausage stuffing, rosemary red potatoes, and lavender pound cake are still lingering in my mind…and definitely on my waist. When you’re a foodie, like me, there was no denying what I’ll be sharing on our Inspire Me Monday blog post: An herb-infused wedding!
There’s so many fun, creative ways to put together a herb themed wedding! The scent of rosemary, sage, basil, mint, thyme, and lavender can invigorate the senses visually and aromatically. As the board suggests, bundles of herbs can serve as a name or place card holder. For favors, the options are limitless! You can concoct a salt and herb rub or seasoning. If you’d like a sweeter approach, get a little gourmet by marinating herbs such as rosemary or thyme in honey and include a food or drink recipe that incorporates your personalized gift. Herbs are a beautiful and surprising addition to floral arrangements as well; centerpieces, boutonnieres, bouquets, and even ceremony decor.
During my wedding planning, at the consultation with the florist, we discussed how I LOVE herbs and wanted a natural look to the arrangements and bouquets. I shared with her how I envisioned the dinner napkins to have fresh sprigs of rosemary tied-on with colorful plaid ribbon….the ribbon complimented the flannel shirts worn by the groomsmen. Our venue was surrounded by pine trees that hovered over a beautifully manicured garden area. I wanted my flowers to embrace the allure of our natural setting; therefore, elaborate floral decor was unnecessary. The florist did an amazing job with my requests! There were sprigs of sage, mint, thyme, and lavender accenting the gorgeous bouquets, and at the ceremony, bundles of herbs wrapped in twine designated family seating.
Foodie or not, flirt with all sorts of herb inspired ideas for your wedding…it can make for a tantalizing experience for your guests!
Happy Wedding Planning and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
P.S. – Remember that these ideas are not only inspiration for your wedding but for your everyday occasions too. At my 30th birthday luncheon, I baked a bag of lavender shortbread cookies for all of the guests to enjoy. They were yum yum!
Last week, I was fortunately able to take a trip back to my amazing hometown… San Francisco! My family lives in the Mission District, just walking distance from awesome vintage stores and to-die-for restaurants. One of my favorite things about home? The food! San Francisco is so culturally diverse… unlike anything I have ever experienced anywhere… aaaand all available at your beck and call too! Mexican, Japanese, Cuban, French, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, American and the list goes on…
(Picture of Oakland Bay Bridge below)
First thing on my agenda was food of course! I found a very small & unassuming restaurant where I ordered fresh ice tea and a goat cheese, roasted-veggie sandwich, with seasoned crispy potatoes and caramelized onions. It was delectably delicious! We all know a meal isn’t complete without dessert, so I headed off to my favorite ice cream shop that specializes in unique flavors where I ordered my favorite flavor…salted caramel! Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!
After my tummy was full with yumminess, I went to the most amazing antique store I’ve been to yet, called “Big Daddy Antiques”. Set in an old warehouse this store was filled with old barn tables, rustic birdcages, large pots filled with succulents, farmhouse candles, and knickknacks galore. There was even a cool vintage bicycle hung high up with succulents adorning it. A stunning high beamed ceiling housed these array of engaging visual displays. It was high style Ralph Lauren meets shabby chic barn. It truly took my breath away and reminded me of what I love…Weddings of course!
Because weddings are always on the brain around these parts, I began to think; “How would I incorporate these organic, one-of-a-kind pieces into a wedding?” I began to envision a lush field turned into an altar, a bride struttin’ her stuff down the aisle in a short dress while carrying a bouquet of succulents, a beautiful old barn transformed into a reception hall glowing with sunlight and a fresh iced-tea welcome for the guests. During our Swann Squad meetings, we often discuss the importance of encouraging all of our clients to seek inspiration for their wedding in the things they enjoy everyday. A wedding is a day not only to rejoice the love they both share for one another, but also allow guests to experience the celebration more intimately by having guests enjoy what the couple loves to do, see, and eat.
For this light, fancy-free, afternoon affair, I’d serve what I had for lunch earlier in the day, that yummilicious goat cheese, roasted veggie sandwich accompanied by roasted potatoes, and of course… salted caramel ice cream for dessert! What better way to personalize your wedding than to use your daily life as inspiration!
Oh how I love visiting home…
Living only four blocks away from Balboa Park, I think I’ve explored every inch of it…and EVERY inch of it offers endless inspiration. During one of my night walks, I found myself staring off into the Sculpture Garden, located in the San Diego Museum of Art. The unrestrained and expressive sculptures reminded me of my childhood and of my attempts at art: crayon doodles that could have been used as inkblot tests, Lego structures that never could stay upright, and Play-Doh moldings that made my parents’ heads tilt in confusion – they didn’t know whether to praise my work or question it.
Peering in through the gates, I was convinced that one day, I’d have a bride and groom who wold want a youthful, playful reception. At this fun and interesting outdoor venue where polka dots, ruffles and colorful candles would adorn the tables, cotton candy would be waiting for you at your seat, an ice cream truck stationed outside would be stocked with ice creams and candies from yesteryear, and midnight snacks of In-N-Out burgers and fries would assure everyone goes home with happy full bellies. I think the kid in everyone would surely come out to play!
Green & white polka dot fabric for napkins | Chloe ruffle linen from Wildflower Linens for tabletop overlay | Paula Rae Florae bouquet wrap | In-n-Out burger image | Wedding Cake | Ruffle Ring for bridesmaids | Vintage tote box for gift cards | Bouquet | Bridesmaid Dress | Boutonniere | Escort Cards | Colorful Candles for centerpiece | Fun encrypted Save-the-Date cards | J. Crew Wedding Dress
October is not only known for the ghosts, goblins, and trick or treaters that come out for Halloween, it has also become a nationally recognized month for the 2.5 million survivors of breast cancer. Today’s “Inspire Me Monday” is dedicated to the tenacious resolve of all those who have courageously fought this disease in one way or another, and supported the seemingly endless battle that has become the second leading cause of cancer death for women. To all of you we say; Thank you for being an inspiration of strength, beauty, and hope.