Friday, August 1, 2008

Ira and Will - Casa Carol Ann

From the moment I met Ira and Will, it was obvious that they are a fun-loving couple and don’t take themselves too seriously (despite being attorneys)! And as anticipated, they were really fun to plan with!

A whirlwind planning trip to PV in November resulted in a very fun and family-centered February wedding at Casa Carol Ann! This was our first experience working at Carol Ann, and we absolutely fell in love with the house as it offers a couple contrasting elements that make it unique and set it apart from other PV villas:

The entrance to the villa is very reminiscent of San Miguel de Allende or Guanajuato – two of Mexico’s most well-known colonial towns. The carved doors, brick walkway, old stone fountain and lush gardens all make it seem a page out of a colonial tale.

A few steps away, the inner portion of the villa is much more Mediterranean in style! And the lower terrace offers a taste of “beach Mexico” – a beautiful view of the ocean and town, a lovely pool and a large rustic and beautiful palapa! From the terrace, there is an incredible view of the city of PV and yet, the villa is set close enough to the beach that the waves can still be heard!

Ira and Will wanted to create a bright, festive and fun event with deep reds, gold and subtle touches that honored Chinese tradition. We knew, after having met them, that their good-nature and oh-so-obvious carefree, positive outlook on life had to be reflected into the celebration as well!

The entrance to the house was draped in elegant chiffons and hanging rosebuds . . .

. . . and guests stepped through the wrought iron gate and into a colonial-style garden ceremony which we kept pretty traditional at the request of the couple. Thousands of rose petals were used to surround pillar candles and fill the beautiful fountain and a live harpist strummed classical music nearby.

Downstairs in the reception area, an elaborate lounge area invited guests to mingle and enjoy the spectacular view from the terrace, and the personalities of the bride and groom unfolded in a few special details that were incorporated into the décor!

We asked Ira and Will to send us their favorite pictures of themselves together and turned those photos into the focus of their reception décor. We worked tirelessly to convert the photos to black and white, leaving only slight “pops” of color on each one. The beautiful glass appetizer table showed off several of these photos in frames.

Anticipating that their guests wouldn’t sit for long, the couple wanted the bulk of their décor budget to go into the overall reception area, keeping dinner tables fairly simple. Centerpieces were created out of painted PVC piping (!), and each wrapped with one of the couple’s photos printed on clear labels - a budget-friendly and very personal touch! Circus roses, red roses and orange lilies peeked out of the top of the handmade vases!

The biggest challenge of working at Casa Carol Ann was dealing with the extremely low ceilings in the dinner area.We pondered this situation and really tried to come up with an idea that would incorporate the ceiling into the dinner décor in a positive way so that guests didn’t feel claustrophobic and enclosed! What we came up with did the trick . . . and looked beautiful!

Here’s the Before and After shots of the dinner area:

We built hanging candle chandeliers that were suspended from the ceiling above the center of each table, providing an elegant and romantic glow from the low ceiling at dinnertime!

A couple final details made the evening extra special for this couple:

1. We utilized two beautiful stone niches underneath the stairway to honor the groom’s passed mother. Her photo was displayed surrounded by flowers and candles.

2. Dinner seating assignment cards mimicking the tablecloth design were displayed in gold-wrapped chocolate truffles.

3. A beautiful cake added a touch of whimsy to the evening, and the slices were served next to individual chocolates in the shape of the Chinese wedding symbol: “double happiness.”

4. As a favor for guests, we created Ira and Will’s wedding soundtrack – “Will & Ira Take Mexico, the soundtrack” - a compilation of the songs heard throughout the day – from a recording of the harpist’s processional song, to a few numbers performed by the Latin guitarist who wandered among the crowd during cocktail hour to a special (and surprise) song that the bride sang post-dinner for the groom. The cd cover, of course, was one of the very photos displayed on the dinner table centerpieces.

This was truly a fantastic event - from beginning to end – and so very much fun to plan! Congratulations to Ira and Will – we know that they will laugh their way through life together!

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