Monday, June 28, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: Cakework, Wedding Cakes

Cakework has been creating unique and stunning custom cakes in the Bay Area for about 25 years. Cecile Gady, a true artist, has a background in clay sculpture. It was after working as a pastry chef at a popular SF restaurant that she realized she could make sculpture-like desserts that the public loved.

From the start of her business she knew she wanted to make wedding cakes: “I wanted to customize them and make them more personal. I knew I could do it. There were no custom wedding cake makers to my knowledge in SF at that time, and I wanted to try out the idea.”

Cecile keeps staff low so each person can concentrate on the entire process as much as possible. Her enjoyment comes from seeing a cake progress from step one to the beautiful end. The highlight? “When the decorated cake is on the table at the reception and the couple is extremely happy."

Extremely client-centered, almost all of what Cecile does is done with her clients’ desires in mind. “I am able to take off and use free reign when I am creating cakes for magazines, shows or for display. I made a beautiful Indian inspired mehndi cake with great colors and beautiful gold flower accents. I also did a great Louis Vuitton bag that came out perfect.”

There's also something else unique about Cakework: her cakes are wrapped and decorated entirely in chocolate. She doesn’t use fondant. And she’s a stickler for refined follow-through. “Every step of the way to making a finished product is important,” she says. “I watch every detail that goes into the whole process. When the cake is ready for decorating, I focus on every little element. I want to see clean lines, good color matches, and an overall look that is beautiful.” Take a bite of that.

To view more of Cakework’s beautiful cakes, visit:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Spotted: Gallery of Jewels, San Francisco Jeweler

Ring by G. Phil Poirier

For your “all that glitters” needs, consider stopping by Gallery of Jewels for some of the most unique wedding jewelry we’ve ever seen. Starting off on weekends in 1989 selling original jewelry off a card table, Dona and Bill Hoover, along with contributions from their designer friends, brought Gallery of Jewels to life. Eventually they signed a coveted lease on 24th Street in Noe Valley.

Many mall properties have invited them to join their ranks but they've resisted, primarily because they want their customers to enjoy a “boutique experience”. Each Gallery has its own look, feel, and unique collections. And they’ve always had a tremendous selection of jewelry with a range of style and price—something for every occasion and budget.

Rings by Okomido

Ring by Alberto Parada

Rings by Anne Sportun

They began offering off-the rack and custom wedding, engagement and commitment jewelry in 2007. Of the 100+ designers they currently showcase, over 50 of them design wedding jewelry. So, why this addition? “Witnessing two people in love is infectious. Guiding love birds to their special connection is a gratifying experience. Listening and interpreting their wants and needs brings smiles to everyone’s face. This process may take 5 minutes or two months of constant trial and error. Either or, the end result is our mission.”

We love that Gallery of Jewels is a non-traditional jewelry store. They are devoted to supporting the artist community. They simply choose artists who create unusual and out-of-the-ordinary designs. You can bet your engagement or wedding day rings will be that original. After all, so is your love story.
Rings By Sarah Richardson

Stop by Gallery of Jewels at:
2115 Fillmore Street (Pacific Heights)
4089 24th Street (Noe Valley)
2101 Union Street (Cow Hollow)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Planner on Patrol: Bridesmaid Dresses You'll Love

It's time for your wedding and the last thing you want as someone's reminder of your perfect day is a hideous bridesmaid dress hanging forgotten in a closet...never to be worn again. So be a good bride-to-be to your best girlfriends and check out Fashionista's picks for the 8 best dresses this season here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spotted: Great Baubles & Bachelorette Must-Haves

Walking in to Jest Jewels, it’s a treasure trove for the any girl. A jewelry and accessories store, Jest Jewels also happens to have a fantastic collection of goodies for that perfect bachelorette party. Think studded tanks with a variety of jeweled phrases along the chest, sexy lingerie and panties, embroidered bags for the bride and M.O.T.B., and even sexy little g-string panties you can get with the Mister’s name embroidered on them.
You can also get jewelry pieces for your Big Day, from white gold and yellow gold, to antique and modern pieces. They also have an impressive array of hair accessories and take note of the adorable clutch purses- sequined and pearl embroidered and the gold and pewter shaded.

Whatever your needs are, you won’t break the bank. For a sneak-peek check out but it’s best to enjoy all the treasures in person!

Three locations:
1869 Union St. (SF)
3 Embarcadero Ctr. (SF)
1791 4th St. (Berkeley)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: Cake Coquette

Gabrielle Feuersinger of Cake Coquette has always been interested in pastry design but it wasn’t until she began designing cakes for Cake Divas in LA that she knew she should be on her own. A native San Franciscan, she brought her talent back three years ago and Cake Coquette was born; the name a nod to her French mother and her love of Marie Antoinette-era design.

One look at her cakes and its evident she adores weddings. She gets just as excited as the couple to see how the cake will turn out, and she explains that often times the cake turns out even better than what she designs in her head and on paper. Though the rumor around town is that she’s known for her buttercream detail piping work, she’s always experimenting with new techniques, her cakes always have that special touch. Tres bonbon!

And check out this awesome Groom's Cake:

To view more of her deliciously beautiful work, visit:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: Fleurs de France

For almost three decades, Fleurs de France, and owner Jessica Switala, has provided full-service wedding and event floral design studio services exclusively for Sonoma and Napa counties. They are known for their total dedication to giving brides and grooms a completely personalized experience from start-to-finish.

Jessica says: “I love weddings, events, and parties! I feel fortunate and extremely privileged to do what I love, create art and beauty with flowers, and being part of designing a once-in-a-lifetime day.” A true creative spirit, she is constantly searching for new textures, containers, color combinations, elements, fabrics, lace and embellishments to enhance to her work. She also adds, “I personally handpick every bloom, always looking for the extraordinary, the perfect elements to add.”

Whether you are hosting a small and intimate wedding or a large and lavish one, expect Jessica to bring your vision to fruition. Fleurs de France also specializes in destination weddings in the Northern California Wine Country, working with couples worldwide. Having been in business for so long, they work closely with each many wedding venues and all of your other vendors for a seamless execution.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so in addition to these beautiful photos posted here (by photographer Travis Hoehne), visit for a more complete idea of Jessica’s boundless talent.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: Milkfed Press

Victoria of Milkfed Press is a One-Woman Show and she’s got it goin' on. She started Milkfed Press ten years ago after coming to the Bay Area to study bookbinding and book conservation. Victoria was hooked on letterpress; she eventually taught herself the art of design along the way and the two have meshed into a wonderful area of her business serving brides and grooms and designing and printing invitations and leaflets for their weddings.

What does Victoria enjoy about working with brides and grooms? “My husband and I had a fairly fast engagement. I hadn't been planning my wedding day for a long time so perhaps I'm living vicariously through others?” She loves the details and the art of celebration of love and has always considered it beautiful when two people come together. And what an honor it is to have a small hand in helping them celebrate.

Victoria’s inspirations in her work: old books, typography, candy wrappers and even the little pieces of ephemera that many of us just breeze by. So if you choose Victoria to help you design and print the invitations or leaflets of your wedding dreams, you will no doubt get a product that is very unique in style. Traditional and old fashioned, Victoria’s work is also contemporary. She’s a romantic at heart and an old soul; a perfect combination for hiring someone to help you promote your Big Day!

View her beautiful work at:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Julia's Fashion File: A Special Bag for a Special Bride

I've always been a purse fanatic and I think it's relatively safe to assume that I'm not alone in this obsession (right, ladies?). As I casually sifted through the web this morning I unfolded an amazing phenomenon: bridal purses! I'm not sure why it never occurred to me that a bride would carry a purse. Maybe because I always picture them walking down the isle and we know they're not carrying one while saying "I do"!

As a result of this happenstance my obsession has now expanded in to this area, so much that I'm now wondering if I should just buy a couple for my future big day. Check out these beauties from The Louboutin satin clutch with lace and embellished shoe clasp is to-die for. Or this Valentino satin bow clutch? If only I could afford it.

Speaking of affordable, there are a lot of options out there that won't cost you half your wedding budget. Check out these bags from (at top of post and below). They're beautiful, delicate, unique, and inexpensive.
You can also go the vintage route like this gorgeous collectors piece from the Titanic era at Hand made in France and covered in beautiful tiny beads, it would surely be a massive hit.

There are few things that generate as much excitement out of me than picking out a new bag and for a bride it's not only exciting but special; a special bag for a special bride.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: California Rose Catering

Dov Sims, Executive Chef and COO of California Rose Catering (CRC) is a great example of a local, family run and generational business. Started in the 80s by Dov’s mother, Rose, he remembers waking up as a kid at 6am and helping to pack trucks with grills, coolers and other kitchen equipment. He joined in 2001 and helped transform the business into a premier events catering company. Their first catered wedding was in 2002 and they haven’t looked back since!

So what makes his company tick? “The staff. They’re the reason we are who we are. All my managers have been with us for more than eight years. The dedication comes through at each event.”

CRC offers more than just food and service. They have gained a great reputation over the past several years, not only for their food, but because they work the pricing around budget-minded couples, which happens to be almost everybody these days. And couples work directly with the owners with no middle men. The attention paid to each couple is direct and prompt. Their attitude is far from corporate because their company is a family company, so couples can feel safe and secure when working with them: “We allow couples to really take part in the creation of their wedding, not just in the menu, but in the entire production.” And 50% of the time, he introduces foods that couples and guests have never eaten, and if they have, not in the form that he presents.

So if you’re not convinced yet, here another reason why CRC is one to beat: they give couples a to-go basket at the end of their wedding, as they’re not always able to eat during the festivities. We love that.

Visit their website at:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Scene & Heard: Everything But The Dress

For all those out there still in the throws of planning and searching for those last couple vendors or creative ideas, head down to Suite Five Salon with your bestie or Mom this Sunday. Meet local vendors and other brides who are going through exactly what you are: the lovely stress of wedding planning! The good news other than the fact that you just might meet your dream cake designer? Champagne and treats will be served to help ease your nerves. To see the lineup, visit:

Everything But The Dress
Sunday, June 13th, 11am-2pm
Suite Five Salon
305 Grant Ave, 5th Fl.
San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415.362.5005
RSVP by June 10

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spotted: Bella Bridesmaid: A Bride's Best Friend

Bridget Brown, founder of the famed Bella Bridesmaid, opened her doors in May 2000 after realizing there wasn't a single store in the US dedicated to chic, modern and wearable bridesmaid dresses.

Now that Bella Bridesmaid is a franchise, they have some incredible exclusive lines available. Meaning, you can only get these designers at Bella Bridesmaid boutiques nationwide.
  • Swoon: based out of LA. Flowy, etherial, destination-inspired dresses in slinky silks and romantic colors.
  • LulaKate: whimsical and fun silk shantung shapes in vibrant hues.
  • Joanna August: former Hollywood film executive turned bridesmaid dress designer, creates silk chiffon gowns that are Oscar-worthy yet versatile.
  • Carol Hannah: Coming this Fall, the Season 6 Project Runway finalist debuts with her new bridesmaid dress collection of flirty jersey frocks and informal bridal gowns .
  • And Saja: based out of NYC, came out of a gap in the market for well-made, silk bridal gowns that don't break the bank more appropriate for low-key brides or low-key weddings.

The lowdown is that Bella Bridesmaid boutiques have a fantastic collection.

What can you expect by booking an appointment with your Mom and your bridesmaids? They'll ensure that you have a personal, one-on-one experience in their cozy boutique and narrow their 350+ selection down to your favorites.

And what is Bridget's professional opinion when it comes to dress shopping: “You don't have to come to us with an exact style or color, but give us some details on what grabs you--what palettes you are drawn to, formal versus casual, clean lines versus flowy. Tell us about your venue and what your gown looks and feels like, what emotions you want to invoke. Bring a few key decision makers but leave the entourage behind for the first appointment.” Well said!