Sunday, March 29, 2009


Kathy and I were extremely lucky to have the opportunity to tour the gorgeous Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes with our friends Leila Khalil of Be Inspired PR and Carissa Jones-Jowett of JL Designs. The property is currently under construction (it's set to open in June 2009) but it's still stunning, and it didn't hurt that the weather was gorgeous the day we were there!

They have a number of areas for weddings and events (check out the floorplan) including three beautiful ballrooms, a number of patios and terraces, plus two stunning ceremony locations with 360 degree ocean views

No detail has been overlooked at Terranea and every event space has a different look and feel - we stopped counting the number of different types of light fixtures after a while because there are just too many!

Guest accomodations are modern and luxurious and range from traditional guest rooms and suites (the majority have ocean views) to private Casitas and Villas. The Villas are absolutely gorgeous feature full kitchens and private jacuzzis.

And of course there will be top notch ammenties - an exclusive spa, three pools (one has a slide and tile designed by Paul Frank!), a private beach, and seven restaurants.

Many thanks to Douglas Hoagland, Director of Catering for giving us the grand tour. Of course we couldn't leave without take a photo of us in our hard hats :)

the Bella Girls

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Samantha & Dave ~ Private Estate

As it took us a while to get into blogging, we thought we would periodically go back in time and show you some of the great images and amazing couples and vendors that we had an opportunity to work with.

Working with Sam & Dave on their wedding was so much fun, and how excited were Susan and I when we found out that Sam was part of our same sorority. Here is a great pic of the happy couple…

We were thrilled with the opportunity to work at one of our favorite venues, the elusive private estate in Silverlake.

Amy & Trisha and the entire team over at Hidden Garden did an amazing job on the florals. Too bad I don't have any pics of the crew taking a dip in the pool to secure the large floral arrangement that we had floating.

And the amazing view from the ceremony, the florals on the chuppah were gorgeous!

A couple of shots from the cocktail reception, and of course a peek at some of the amazing food provided by Rhonda from Dompierre Catering.

Finally, a great pic of Susan and I working. We don't usually get any of these, and none where we look so good. (Thanks to Michael, must have been the lighting!)

Many thanks to the amazing team that made this day such a huge success!

Michael Brannigan with David Michael Photography

Kristine & Amy with Paper Tape Films

Aaron & KC with Vox DJ's

Amy & Trisha with The Hidden Garden

Rhonda with Dompierre Catering

As always,

Love the Bella Girls

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bride & Bloom Magazine Feature

How excited were Susan and I to be invited to be one of the Featured Planners for the Spring 09 edition of Bride & Bloom magazine.....

We were given a spring color palette of blues and greys, and we decided to add a punch of lilac/purple to make everything pop! Hope you loved it as much as we loved putting it all together!

Here is the final spread, and some of the detail shots that went into making it happen.

We couldn't have asked for a better SoCal beach location to shoot our 'Beach Chic' spread than Shutters poolside deck.

Susan and I loved working with our printer La Bonne Vie Studio to create the custom letterpress invitations. The calligraphy on the names and monogram were courtesy of Laura Hooper Calligraphy. Anybody catch the KBS logo (Kathy and Susan with Bella), we got a kick out of that and making up our fake couples names and wedding date. That may have taken longer than the actual printing of the invites.

Of course not every detail was included in the actual published spread, one great element that we just loved were these custom maps from Laura Hooper Calligraphy. We loved it so much we are using them for an upcoming May wedding!

We loved the mint julep cups we picked up, and LOVED the lilac rose arrangement that Hidden Gardens provided for each place setting!

Who ever said that a bridesmaid dress is a one time wear? Here is Susan modeling our fabulous bridal bouquet in her maid of honor gown from a recent wedding. Coincidence that the color is a perfect match?

Another detail that didn't make the magazine, were these custom hankies we had made with our KBS logo. Special thanks to Li'l Inspirations for these beautifully made hankies.

And here is a 'self' portrait of the team (minus Trisha who had to head back to the shop) that was on hand for the shoot. Our dear friends Josh & Michelle Beller with MiBelle, Inc that did such an incredible job photographing the table scape. Our amazing publicist Leila Khalil from BeInspired PR, we can't thank her enough for this opportunity!

A huge thanks to the entire team of amazing vendors that made this spread possible --

Photography - Josh and Michelle with MiBelle, Inc
Location - Shutters on the Beach
Floral - Amy & Trisha with Hidden Garden Floral Designs
Cake - Leslie at Fantasy Frostings
Linens - Wildflower Linen
Chairs - Chameleon Chair
Rentals - Town and Country Rentals
Custom Letterpress Invitations - La Bonne Vie Studio
Calligraphy - Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Hankie Favors - Li'l Inspirations

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Postage Increase Coming...

Susan and I have chatted about this topic on several occasions recently, with our couples invites going out right around the USPS's May 11th rate hike. You need to be aware of how this will affect your reply cards.

We think the blog from the Martha Stewart team does a great job answering all your questions. Check out their story.

I think that the Forever stamp is the way we will be going over the next couple of months....appropriately named for wedding replies, don't you think? :-)
As always happy to share our 3 cents, or in this case .42 or .44.

Love, the Bella Girls

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Golden State

We are so excited to announce and support the grand opening of The Golden State, co-owned by our past client James Starr. The Golden State is set to officially open for business on Thursday, March 5th. Be sure to check it out!

Golden State is located at - 426 N Fairfax Avenue, LA CA 90036 - 323-782-8331

Here is a little teaser pic from Mollie & Jim's wedding, it was such a great wedding with tons of details so stay tuned for a full blog with all the goodies. Here is one of our fav's by Michael with Evoke Photography.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Special Event - San Diego

There was just so much to see and do while we were down in San Diego for the Special Event conference. This is the last post...and I hope you all find this as interesting as Susan and I did.

The break out sessions encompassed a little bit of everything, from wedding disasters and ideas for our emergency kits, everything about linens, to an etiquette discussion by Peggy Post of the Emily Post institute.

What a way to start the day with Masters of Disasters - Wedding Emergencies Solved. We can only hope that we never have to encounter any of the topics that we discussed! As usual we are always looking for new items to add to our emergency kits and boy did we get some out of the boxes suggestions. It is better to be prepared for the worst, and to never have to encounter it!

Susan and I are always referring to our Emily Post etiquette books, so we were really really looking forward to the session by Peggy Post. One thing I found myself writing over and over, Emily Post created her guide of etiquette as a code of behavior to assist us in social situations, with the hope that no one is embarrassed because of a faux pas. She never started with the idea to create a black and white rules. While we are fans of many of the modifications such as the creation of a RSVP card rather than the original formal reply that was hand written on personal letterhead.....we can only hope and pray that it never becomes acceptable to include gift registry information in your wedding invitations. gasp the horror! Ladies & gentleman, never never do this. (okay, I will get off my personal soap box)

When the Trade Show opened their doors on Wednesday morning, it was like a stampede to get in and check out all the new ideas, vendor exhibits, and of course taste all the fun samples.

One of the booths that Susan and I enjoyed the most, was that of La Tavola Linen, flowers are from Square Root Floral Design. We weren't able to attend the opening of the LA showroom, but hope to work with them in the near future! One thing we always ask clients to keep in mind, that while there is sometimes a shock value with the cost of linen rental, it is such a personal touch that allows you to emphasize the amazing floral display you have spent many months designing. A beautiful linen can take a simple single color flower arrangement and give it that wow factor that your guests will enjoy looking at through your reception. Think about it in terms of the total centerpiece cost, when you are budgeting for linens.

I know that there are many many more things I could write about from the Special Event show, but I must call it an end here.
All I can say is what a wonderful experience, I hope we are able to attend next year as well.

Signing off, The Bella Girls!

The Gallery of Ideas from the Special Event Luncheon

Susan and I are always excited when we get the opportunity to check out innovative and of over the top ideas for event design. The Gallery at the Wedding Luncheon was no exception.
I have to start with our fun pictures with our fabulous PR person Leila Khalil of Be Inspired PR. I don't think we were supposed to use the room designs as a backdrop for our pictures, but we decided to test our luck. (huge thanks to Trisha for her amazing photography)And now one that we could actually use for something besides Facebook :-)
The Gallery was amazing! An entire room dedicated to beautiful cakes...but we couldn't taste any of them. Doesn't everyone know that taste is just as important as the look, maybe even more so if you ask Susan??
The table and room designs were over the top! The attention to every detail created the huge WOW factor that they were striving for. We just wanted to sit down at a place setting and join the fun of the celebrations!
The room set up was jaw dropping, and gave us new ideas at every corner we turned. The focus on lounge ideas and decor outside of the traditional florals was great. (Check out all the custom colored floors by Barker Decor.)
And we had to include one shot of some of the models showcasing the latest in bridal designs! I don't think they ate the 3 course meal we had at the luncheon.
We are always excited when our couples come to us with a color palette or feeling that they are trying to create with their weddings and receptions, and events like this give us a huge mental filing cabinet of great ideas to pull from.
Many thanks to the 100's of people that were required to put together the luncheon and galleries!
Love, the Bella Girls

The Wedding Lunchen - Special Event San Diego

There was just so much that Susan and I were able to check out at the Special Event in San Diego. The amazing trade show, the fabulous break out speakers...and of course the Wedding Luncheon at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. Which is where I am going to start!

The Wedding Luncheon was an over the top display of all things black and white, with the key note speaker of Carley Roney from The Knot. The luncheon was a fabulous 3 course meal complimented with local California wines. Of course Susan and I were more excited about our lunch companions. Check us out with our fabulous PR person - Leila Khalil from Be Inspired PR, one of our favorite floral designers - Trisha from Hidden Gardens, and a well respected colleague - Carolyn Chen from The Special Day.

Check out some of the fabulous table designs, there were 16 completely different table set up's that showcased the beauty of the black and white design.

I could keep posting detail after detail, but I need to move on to the Gallery of ideas, and our fun pics with Leila coming up next.

Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful sunny California weekend

Love, The Bella Girls