Thursday, December 23, 2010

Am and Ken's Boston Public Library Wedding

Last Saturday, December 18th, I coordinated Am and Ken's wedding at the Boston Public Library. The day started out with the bride and five bridesmaids getting ready at a suite in the Copley Square Hotel. The bride got her makeup and hair done by one of my favorite stylists, Caitlin Murphy, who created side swept curls, accented with a fresh white gardenia. The bride wore a stunning strapless Vera Wang wedding gown and held an ivory bouquet of peonies, lisianthus, and ranunculus that was wrapped with her grandmother's handkerchief. The bridesmaids wore charcoal chiffon Amsale dresses in varying styles and carried bouquets of soft yellow roses and ranunculus wrapped in satin grey ribbon.

Am and Ken decided to do a first look and have portraits with the bridal party and family done prior to the ceremony. This way, they could join guests at cocktail hour and not have to miss any of it. Lisa Rigby of Lisa Rigby Photography and her second shooter, Li Ward of Fat Orange Cat Studio, documented the entire wedding day and took portraits both inside and outside the Boston Public Library.

The traditional Jewish ceremony for 124 guests was set in the Courtyard Restaurant, with the aisle decorated with yellow roses on the chairs, and a beautiful chuppah at the front draped with organza and fresh flowers. Jennifer Cahill of The Tangled Web created all of the beautiful floral arrangements for the wedding. Classical ceremony music was provided by a violin and cello duo, and the ceremony was performed by a friend of the bride's family, Rabbi James Glazier of Temple Sinai in South Burlington, Vermont.

Cocktail hour was held in the Chavannes Gallery on the second level of the library. A saxophone, bass, and keyboard trio played music while guests were greeted with white and red wine. LED votive candles lined the dramatic staircases, and small yellow floral arrangements adorned each of the cocktail tables. Family photos were displayed on a table along with white phalaenopsis orchids and a library drawer of letterpressed escort cards.

The Popular Reading Room was beautifully decorated for the reception. Tables were topped with LED votive candles, library books as table numbers, and yellow centerpieces of football chrysanthemums, ranunculus, and roses in silver cube vases. Silver Chiavari chairs completed the look of the guest tables and blue uplighting was provided by Ari of Beat Train Productions, who was also the DJ for the night.

Guests enjoyed a three course dinner of a winter greens salad, entrée choice of wood grilled hanger steak, miso roasted black cod, or pumpkin agnolotti, and wedding cake. The exclusive caterer for the Boston Public Library is The Catered Affair, and they did a fabulous job. The wedding cake from The Icing on the Cake was decorated with yellow ranunculus, roses, and cymbidium orchids. When served to guests, the slices of cake were paired with a sprig of mint and berries.

It was a fun night of dancing, especially with the Hora dance starting things off! As a late night snack, freshly baked oatmeal craisin and chocolate chip cookies were passed around to guests. Professional photos from Lisa Rigby will be coming later on, but for now, here are a few photos that I took.

A special thanks to my assistant, Jeff, for helping me set up decor! Am and Ken, it was a pleasure working with you and your families during the planning process, and I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon in Hawaii!!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Featured in Southern New England Weddings 2011 Magazine!

The 2011 annual edition of Southern New England Weddings magazine is out on newsstands now, and a wedding coordinated by Pink Orchid Weddings from this past summer is featured on pages 24-29!

photo from Southern New England Weddings

The magazine featured Liz and Joel's gorgeous wedding at The Stevens Estate. There were so many lovely details for this wedding, including a very unique lantern installation that I coordinated earlier in the day. Some of my favorite vendors worked on this wedding with me, including Lexi Photography, The Tangled Web, Beat Train Productions, Caitlin Murphy for hair and makeup, and I Dream of Jeanne. I did a full recap of the wedding here earlier in the year.

I went to my local bookstore to pick up a copy, and so should you! There is only one 2011 edition of Southern New England Weddings each year, so it will definitely be around for a while.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Our Chocolate Making Class at ChocoLee!

Last weekend, Fiona and I ventured over to Boston's South End to attend a chocolate making class at ChocoLee! The class of 11 was taught by the owner, Lee Napoli, who after many years of working in top restaurants around Boston, achieved her dream of opening up her own chocolate shop in 2007. One of the first things we did for the class was taste some chocolate covered candies from the shop...

They look pretty delicious, right? Well, THOSE are actually some of the chocolates that we made during class!! I know for sure that you'll want to read the whole post now =) We did eat some from her shop at the beginning though, and they looked very similar to the final class product.

The class was taught how to make simple ganache recipes, how to use transfer paper to embed little patterns like hearts onto the tops of the chocolates, how to temper chocolate correctly, how to chop chocolate in a safe way, how to dip and decorate truffles, and how to create chocolate bark with toasted almonds. The class was separated into different stations where you could jump from chopping chocolate, to melting chocolate, to decorating chocolate so you could get some experience with everything.

the start of dipped truffles!

Fiona and I really wanted to see if we could try to work on a particular set of chocolates from start to finish, and I think we succeeded! We started out taking turns chopping huge chunks of milk chocolate, and then tempered the chocolate over the stove. On the other side of the room, some girls were decorating the candy molds with edible dust, so we used one with pink dust (of course!) and then filled the mold with our tempered milk chocolate.

Lee showed us this fantastic technique to do this which involved slamming the mold against the table mulitple times, and flipping the mold upside down and swirling the mold around so chocolate is flying through the air and landing *hopefully* onto a baking sheet. Then, after scraping off the excess chocolate, those went into the refrigerator to set.

Then, there were a few different fillings that we could use, but we picked our favorite: salted caramel! Fiona filled the chocolate shells using a pastry bag, and then I covered the mold with another layer of milk chocolate. After scraping off the excess chocolate, these went into the freezer for 20 minutes. After that, a few big bangs on the table, and the chocolates popped out! They were round and shiny, with bits of pink dust on top, and they were delicious!!

Fiona ready with the thermometer

I just swirled chocolate all over the place, and the shells are ready to go in the refrigerator!

filled with gooey salted caramel

our little pink dusted chocolate candies!

Don't they look like professionally created candies? They were so cute, and tasted amazing. At the end of class, everyone shared their creations and took home a box of over 20 chocolates each, and some pieces of toasted almond + dark chocolate bark.

Overall, the class was a lot of fun, and the three hours flew by! I highly recommend taking the class, and it would be fun for couples as well =) You can get more information about classes here. This brings homemade wedding favors to a whole new level if you really wanted to impress your guests!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Featured in The Knot Boston Spring/Summer 2011 Magazine!

I am soo excited to share the news that Pink Orchid Weddings is featured in the 2011 Spring/Summer issue of The Knot Boston! In the issue, I'm one of three wedding planners who give readers insider advice on our planning secrets in Boston.

In the issue, you'll see a little bio on me and my "secret weapon", my tips on traffic jams, photo ops, as well as where to get goodies for your dessert buffet. I mentioned Flour Bakery, because I absolutely love their desserts, and they have my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies ever! (unfortunately, there is a small typo in the magazine - they said the Flour Bakery quote was by "Alicia" but it was actually me!). I also highlighted stunning floral centerpieces from John LaRoche for blueGuava, and a photo that I took of the amazing cherry blossom branches from Mark and Rhonda's Park Plaza wedding made it into the article!

You can read the two-page article below: click on the image to view the full page!

photos from The Knot

This is officially the first time Pink Orchid Weddings has been featured in a magazine, so being able to blog about it is definitely a treat! The Spring/Summer 2011 issue of The Knot Boston should be hitting newsstands next week, and I will definitely be buying a few copies! =P


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Diana and Jae's Boston College Club Wedding

On Saturday, October 23rd, I was the coordinator for Diana and Jae's gorgeous fall wedding. The day started out in a suite at the Langham Hotel, where the entire bridal party got their hair and makeup done by Lypor Leong and her assistant. Lypor is always so much fun to work with and all of the girls looked flawless all day long! The bridesmaids wore short burgundy dresses by Jenny Yoo, and the bride wore a beautiful dress designed by Mark Brower for the Vineyard Collection at Priscilla of Boston. The bride accessorized with silver shoes by Enzo Angiolini and pearls.

The ceremony for 130 guests was held at the Highrock Church in Arlington, MA. The altar was decorated with two huge branches of vibrant fall foilage, along with arrangements of white calla lilies and roses. There were also floral arrangements attached to the pews with long burgundy ribbon bows. The four-layer program included a lovely quote from the musical "Wicked", music and lyrics by Steven Schwartz:

Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a star
Like a stream that meets a boulder half way through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you, I've been changed for good

The first time Jae saw Diana on the wedding day was when she walked down the aisle with her father to "The Swan from Carnival of the Animals". After the ceremony, a white rolls royce and tiffany limousine whisked the newlyweds and bridal party away in style for a portrait session at their alma mater, Tufts University. Later on, they joined their families for portraits at Post Office Square in downtown Boston, and then everyone walked over to the Boston College Club for the start of cocktail hour.

The cocktail hour was held in the Grille Room at the Boston College Club, which provided guests with stunning views of the sunset over Boston. Cocktail tables were decorated with family photos, candles, and flowers. The wedding cake from Konditor Meister was on display as well, decorated with fresh flowers. Before heading into the Harbor Dining Room for dinner, guests picked up their escort cards which stood in little cork stands, and had the meal choices punched through the card with a gold metallic backing.

The reception also had stunning panoramic views of Boston. The tables were set with mahogany chiavari chairs, floor length ivory silk linens, and chocolate napkins. Handmade recipe books favors were set at each place setting and included recipes from the bride and groom's families as well as a special recipe at the end for a happy marriage. The table number and menu cards were designed and created by Pink Orchid Designs, and were made of ivory cardstock and a crimson red metallic backing.

The centerpieces were a mix of large arrangements for some tables, and a set of three smaller arrangements and a pillar candle for other tables. The flowers were beautiful and included things like apples, roses, calla lilies, cymbidium orchids, hydrangea, and berries. Votive candles in mercury glass holders surrounded all of the centerpieces, and all of the flowers for the wedding were provided by Lyh-Rhen Lam.

Guests enjoyed a plated dinner of salad, a main entrée choice of swordfish, chicken, or vegetable risotto, and then wedding cake for dessert: strawberry grand marnier, marbled chocolate, and lemon citron flavors. The cake cutting at this wedding was actually the first time I've ever had a couple try to smash cake into each other's faces! Both succeeded, but the damage was pretty minimal, and was taken care of with a few wipes of a napkin. Another Pink Orchid Weddings first happened right after the parent dances. Jae went up to the microphone, and said that he had a surprise for Diana, and sang "Ain't That Love" by Ray Charles with the band, Soul of Boston. Everyone was so surprised, and absolutely LOVED it. I knew ahead of time that this was going to happen, and since they didn't have a videographer, I made sure to capture the entire song on video on my iphone, and sent it to the Diana and Jae the next morning. It was definitely the highlight of the night!

Brittany Blando of BKB Photography, and Jules Ko of Jules Ko Photography were the professional photographers for the wedding day. I loved working with both of them, and Brittany was actually the photographer for my own wedding back in 2008! Here are some photos that I took of the day.

Diana contacted me back in August of 2009, so not only did we have over a year to work together, she was definitely one of the most organized brides I've ever had. Everything flowed perfectly during the day, and both families were incredible. A big thanks to my assistant, Rachel, for helping me set things up!

Diana and Jae, I hope you had a wonderful and romantic honeymoon in Italy, and I wish you the very best in your marriage!