It feels like January in June! What does that mean? Well, in bridal the busy season starts in January, so all the brides-to-be can purchase their gowns for spring, summer and fall weddings. But for me, it means something a little different: My new salon is buzzing with activity, and the excitement is in full swing. So it feels like January in June!
My public speaking program Renée Strauss LIVE!
is also very busy. I recently spoke at Boston University’s Careers in Entertainment class and have to admit I learned a thing or two. So many NYU students studying PR attend these summer classes! I was lucky enough to hire a brilliant intern that attended the class that evening.
This Saturday, I will be overseeing a wedding I have been working on for just about a year. A family I have known for ages who own a highly successful beauty salon on Wilshire Blvd, directly across from the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, told me of their daughter's engagement. When we started chatting about the details, the mother requested that in addition to helping her daughter select her gown, would I be their wedding planner? Would I? I was honored and jumped right in. It has been a joy!
Both bride and groom recently graduated from medical school and are about to start their residency at the same hospital in Texas. The bride stressed to me that upon entering the ballroom the night of the wedding, they wanted to be introduced as Mr. and Mrs. (rather than Doctor and Doctor) as they shall never be introduced like that, ever! That was certainly easy to oblige, although I must admit it has never been asked of me before.
First things first: the bride. While I cannot reveal the specifics prior to the ceremony, this doctor is going to be gorgeous! After considering several options, the bride chose a sleeveless silhouette with Swarovski crystals encrusted on an English net yolk and at the natural self-belted waistline. Made of ivory silk satin duchese, the gown features a modified ballroom skirt billowing into a chapel length train. Her headpiece is a handmade silk flower enveloped in Russian birdcage veiling and a cascading fingertip veil. Her bridal bouquet will be pink roses, cymbidium orchids and orange blossoms. Her toes shall twinkle in Jimmy Choos.
Her seven bridesmaids will wear soft petal pink, tea-length dresses each with a different silhouette, accented with pink and ivory rose bouquets.
The obvious location choice for the ceremony and reception for the 120 guests was at the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Located at the foot of Rodeo Drive, this Italian Renaissance-style gem is a Californian interpretation of Old World elegance. Any couple would feel like royalty in such a setting.
Three distinct elements are planned. The ceremony and cocktails are to take place on the hotel terrace that overlooks Rodeo Drive. Following the cocktail hour, the guests will enter Le Petite Trianon for a traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony. Then, on to Le Grand Trianon ballroom for dinner and the reception. The invitation designer painted a watercolor rendition of the hotel for the couple as a keepsake which I have included for my readers to see!
The bride is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, and, as a result, loves a wide range of music and carnival/Mardi Gras-type parties. She and her fiancé wanted something different and fun, without excessive cost. We agreed to a pink, red and gold color theme, dressing the tables with gold tablecloths, gold-trimmed china and crystal, with pin dot lighting accenting the centerpieces. These will be glass cylinders filled with orchids and topped off with globes bursting with red roses.
Both bride and groom have a sweet tooth, so we will have a candy buffet that reflects our color story of pink, red, white and gold with silver accents. In another fun touch, a gobo of their new monogram will shine onto the dance floor. And, of course, a photo booth will be available for candid shots of the couple and their guests. Confetti was incorporated into the wedding programs so that it can be tossed during the recessional.
Music is such a dynamic force in this couple’s life, I recommended creating a CD of their 12 favorite songs as a party favor that could double as a seating card. They loved the idea and starting compiling songs immediately. With so many music styles to include, a DJ was the best solution for dancing. This would allow for the smoothest transition.
It will be a magical night. And for me, a very long day.
And then 24 hours later, I will start filming episodes 3 & 4 for Brides of Beverly Hills
We will be shooting from June 10 -19 in the salon. In addition to that, I am slated to speak at the Association of Bridal Consultants on June 18. “Do you Have a Theme for Your Business?” is the focus of my presentation to approximately 120 wedding professionals.
Then, it is off to Italy two days later! SposaItalia, the bridal fair I attend annually to see new bridal designs for 2013, is June 21!
The best is yet to come!
For more from Renée, visit her blog, Brides Made.
All photos courtesy Renée Strauss.