Bridal Fashion Week 2015: Best of Bridal for 2016 & L'Relyea Event's Favorite Picks

In a sea of white dresses, comes beautiful detailing, unique silhouettes, modern & edgy designs at this years Bridal Fashion Week. From dozens of different embellishments to any length of hemlines, looking at even just a handful of bridal collections from the likes of Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuilllier, and Amsale will make even an absentee groom shocked at the many shapes (and shades) of a wedding dress. To help make sense of the Spring 2016 bridal runways, we've narrowed down all the lust-worthy looks into our top picks for the coming trends. Sultry and provocative and, as often as not, red carpet worthy, the most arresting gowns are fragile nonetheless, rendered in fabrics so weightless as to verge on the ethereal. With over 100 bridal designers featured at this seasons Bridal Fashion Week, the variety of upcoming trends can be overwhelming. Here are a few of our favorite designers and bridal collections that are sure to make any soon to be bride or fashion connoisseur dreaming of couture bridal fashion for months to come.  

Monique Lhullier

Monique Lhuillier designs capture the essence of sophisticated luxury by provoking femininity, allure and glamour that have made her renowned in the world of design. Monique’s innate sense of style is prevalent throughout her bridal and ready-to-wear collections. 

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta has been one of the preeminent fashion design houses in the world for over fourty years. Oscar's bridal collection, first launched in 2006, is designed to reflect the essence of femininity and romance - two qualities that are timeless. Each collection is fashioned to provide gowns that will be appropriate for different settings and different brides.


Marchesa pulled off yet another quintessentially romantic collection filled with beaded lace appliques and delicate floral details. Spring 2016's airy pieces included an array of figure-flattering silhouettes, from column and Grecian draped dresses to ball gowns with cap sleeves. “We wanted to do different silhouettes for each bride out there in order to really answer to all of their needs

Hayley Paige

Ever so eclectic, her designs capture a romantic and charming aesthetic that balances inner ingénue and sophistication. Her interpretation of worldly influences and desire to dress hopeful romantics, have provided a foundation for a fanciful and fresh take on bridal wear. Never taking herself too seriously and fully embracing the adorning history of the bridal industry, Hayley Paige develops her craft from an inspirational place of appreciation and enjoyment.


Lazaro Perez, acclaimed designer of the Lazaro Bridal and Bridesmaid collections, invokes old-Hollywood glamour by combining his signature hand-beading, embroidery, and lace with dramatic silhouettes and impeccable fit. Inspired by real brides, Lazaro personally travels to many of his trunks shows to ensure every bride and bridesmaid finds the gown that best expresses her sense of style.

Reem Acra

The wedding dress collection from Reem Acra is perfect for the bride looking to make a statement as she walks down the aisle. A feminine and sexy wedding gown collection that appeals to woman who appreciates couture at its finest. The Reem Acra bridal gown collection is styled to perfection and appeal to fashion savvy brides worldwide

Wedding Planning Tips & Tricks

TIMELINE: The wedding day timeline is so valuable to your team of vendors creating all of your wedding day magic. We like to streamline the process for our couples and give them a snapshot of what to expect for the wedding day, should they be communicating directly with their vendors. Common questions such as, "what time should our photographer arrive?" will be dictated based on the number of hours your hired your photographer for. More often than not, we find that our couples will hire their photographer 3-4 hours prior to the ceremony {to capture special moments of you getting ready before you walk down the aisle} and 4-5 hours following the ceremony {to capture portraits, candids, toasts, and dances}.  

PHOTOGRAPHY: So much of your wedding day revolves around your flow of photography. We often hear that our couples don't want to miss out on key elements of their wedding because they are off taking photos {and we don't blame you!}. The way we look at it, you are investing a lot of time & effort (and money) into this momentous event, and you should be able to enjoy it! We have a few tricks with timing that we find balance the timing perfectly to capture the images you want, while still enjoying the festivities. We always work with our couples to prioritize a "shot list" with your photographer prior to your wedding day, this should ensure a quick and fluid procession of photos. Another helpful tip is having someone there who is not involved in the majority of photos but wants to be involved (a siblings significant other or a cousin, for example) can be an efficient way to manage the order of the photos and find Uncle Henry if he's 'M.I.A.' for the family portraits. We also suggest minimizing your list of staged photos as much as possible {you know, the photos you fell in love with on Pinterest and have re-create on your wedding day}.This will give your professional photographer the creativity to play. This is, after all, why you hired a professional wedding photographer - trust them, they are masterful behind the lens!

FIRST LOOK: A "first look" refers to a private moment you and your partner share before the ceremony vs. the more traditional route of seeing one another for the first time on your wedding date at the alter. It is no secret that wedding day jitters can be extremely overwhelming, and we have found the trick to nearly curing this anxiety: simply seeing your loved one in private prior to the ceremony. This allows for you both to have some (rare) alone time on your wedding day and exchange some sweet words & possibly tears and/or laughs in private. Most couples say that once they saw their soon-to-be-mister-or-misses, all of their fear and anxiety diminished. It also makes for some incredible photography if you so choose to invite your photographer to capture this moment. By doing a first look, you are able to tackle almost all of your family and bridal party portraits before the ceremony begins, which means you will not miss any of the fun you have spent so much time and energy planning! It also means that you can transport together with your entire wedding party to the venue, where you can jam out to some music, sip on some champagne, and share in the excitement together. If you opt for the traditional route, fear not, we have a few tips for you too! We suggest having a place to retreat directly following your ceremony to have a moment with your new husband/wife relish in the matrimony. Also, if you have a large family and you are nervous about missing your cocktail hour, extend it 30 minutes so you can enjoy the festivities and not feel rushed. 

GUEST ARRIVAL: While we like to believe that an event as monumental and ceremonial as a wedding would be one of few occasions that our closest friends and family would go out of their way to be on time, one thing leads to another and next thing you know you have missed the shuttle and you are risking missing the wedding all together. Things happen, and people run late for one reason or another. With that in mind, we always recommend to our clients is to buffer 30 minutes from guest arrival before you actually start your ceremony. Knowing this, we suggest that your ceremony start time listed on your invitation be the time that you wish your guests to arrive, and prepare to begin the ceremony 30 minutes out from there. In other words, if you wedding invitation states a 4pm start time, you will be walking down the aisle at 4:30pm. Giving your guests that time to enjoy the surroundings, have a refreshing beverage, sets the right tone for the wedding you worked so hard to plan. As your wedding coordinator, we will do routine head counts throughout guest arrival and once we are at 90% of your total guest count, we will begin the procession the aisle. 

FAVORS: Guest favors are always such a sweet & creative way to thank your guests for sharing in your love, however, the unfortunate reality that we often find, is that these lovely items get left behind. However, as your wedding mentor, we recommend you find other ways to treat your guests without spending a large chunk of money that will in the end go unreceived by their prospective owner. Some things to keep in mind while considering favors: 'can my guests fly home with this favor?', ' is this something that I would use?' Some ideas for this might be a fun and interactive Photo Booth or a candy and dessert bar. These are sure to go to use! Edibles are another great option- consider a local confectionery shop where you live or where you are holding your nuptials. 

FAMILY & FRIENDS: We often find that family and friends have many, many varying opinions about how things should look or feel for YOUR wedding. While we understand that everyones intentions are good, we also understand that, as your wedding advocate, many opinions can mean much confusion and frustration. Consider finding creative ways to ask your friends and family to help by giving them a specific project or task that they are in charge of for the wedding. This could be planning the bridal shower or bachelorette, party favor assembly, registry shopping, to name a few. The bigger a task you give them, the more involved they will feel in your special day, which means some space for you to focus on your own desires and wishes for your big day. Ultimately, they mean well and are excited to support you, but may not know how.

WEDDING PLANNING: Okay, okay. I know this is going to sound ridiculous coming from us, but trust us, we have your very best interest at heart! We have no doubt in our minds that many of you can handle wedding planning on your own. What we find, is that even the most organized and resourceful of people need assistance when it comes to planning a wedding: something that realistically is foreign territory for most. A typical rule of thumb is if you don't have 15 hours a week to fully dedicate to planning your wedding, seek help, it's a full time job in itself {we know!}. So enjoy this time and let us help guide you. Almost every couple we have had the pleasure of working with comes back to us and says "I was so stressed out and overwhelmed before we brought you on to handle the coordinating of our wedding. We could not have survived this process without you!". We understand how incredibly time consuming each element of your wedding requires, and we want to ensure that you fully enjoy and look forward to the end result. If you can take a deep breath and relinquish your planning to us, we promise you will not be disappointed. Every bride and groom deserves a break, and at the end of the day you should not be running around worrying about anything that we have listed above! Instead, you should be drinking refreshing cocktails, laughing with your friends and family, having an engagement party, and enjoying this milestone in your life.   

Birthday Weekend Getaway to Napa Valley

We love a good party, especially when we can share our love of wine country and all the fun activities there are to explore! This past weekend we had a fun group of 25 fly up from Los Angeles for a weekend of birthday celebration in Napa Valley. Their weekend included private airport shuttles to a resort in Calistoga where they were greeted with welcome bags filled with local goodies, some indulged in spa services and others cruised their bikes around the cute town of Calistoga before heading to dinner at Archetype in Saint Helena. The next morning after gathering for breakfast, they set off for a group bike ride through the vineyards to picnic at Bennett Lane Winery, where they tasted through their wines following a tour through the viticulture process. That evening they celebrated the birthday girl at a beautiful dinner at Rams Gate Winery where they were wined, dined and danced the night away. The weekend was capped off with cabana lounging and a private cooking class at the Culinary Institute at Greystone.

Florals, design and stationary provided by L'Relyea Events. Photos beautifully captured by Megan Holly Clouse

Venue Scouting in Napa & Sonoma Wine Country: How to find the perfect wedding venue

Are you recently engaged and looking to get married in the highly desirable Wine Country? Whether you are local or looking for a destination wedding, we are here to help you find a perfect fit for your wedding venue. With over 60,000 acres of vineyards and more than 600 wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties collectively, there are an immense and diverse range of options to choose from when visiting these popular tourist destinations.

Over the years, Napa and Sonoma have rapidly become two of the top desirable locations in the world for destination weddings due to its rustic charm, upscale wineries, vineyards, restaurants and its vast scenic beauty. With so many options in these two areas for wedding venues, it can be an overwhelming and tedious feat to try to pick and choose where to host your big day. This is where we come in.

We have recently created a special package for this exact reason. With the majority of our team being from the Napa and Sonoma regions, we are highly knowledgable of all that these destinations have to offer, from wineries and vineyards, to hotels and restaurants and beyond. Combined, we take pride in our ability to create an efficient and productive day of venue scouting that will give you a great kickstart to your wedding planning. We believe that the entire wedding planning experience should be fun, inspiring and enjoyable for the couple, and we want to help create this easygoing and memorable experience for our clients.

How It Works: 

We come on board to get to know your visions, dreams and ideas for your wedding and focus those into one cohesive list of qualified venues to suit your style and price point. We put together a lovely day of venue tours, lunch on us, and wine tastings. This is an excellent opportunity for us to get to know you as the couple better and discuss logistics of the venues, paint a picture of how the wedding day/weekend would look and how the style and design could be produced in each space. We really want to make this fun, exciting and inspiring for you, so we follow up with a detailed spreadsheet with information about each venue we visited (inclusions, requirements, suggestions, etc.) so that you can not only make a confident and positive decision, but also not have to worry about retaining all of the information during the day. This will allow you to focus on seeing and visualizing the space without having to take notes or worry about remembering the many logistical details that will be discussed.  

Hopefully, by the end of our day together, we have established trust and a great relationship and you are interested in bringing us on board to be apart of their wedding planning dream team. We know how overwhelming this aspect of planning your wedding can be, and our goal is to provide our clients with valuable information and affordable assistance that will help you moving forward and ease any stress or worry that you may have around planning. While we are focused in Sonoma and Napa, we are always excited to see new venues and locations and the challenge of designing a new space, regionally, domestically or internationally. The sky is the limit, and we look forward to any chance to help you make your dream wedding a reality.

Learn more about our Venue Scouting Package

Danielle + Bryan

How do you take cutest and most creative couple of the year to the next level? Step 1: Design and construct your own kayak – Step 2: Propose in said kayak under Brooklyn Bridge – Step 3:  Somehow top off this heartfelt proposal with a surprise engagement party - complete with friends, flowers and lots of champagne! And to think, that’s before the wedding plans even begin.

I think it’s quite obvious that Danielle and Bryan take the cake for this one! Every ounce of their joint creativity was reflected in their wedding. A playful palette of yellow and ivory, a birch-wood alter strung with antique bottles and gorgeously whimsical floral arrangements are just a few of the lovely details we can’t get enough of. Ah yes, and did we mention she designed all of her own printed materials?


Planner: Julia Evans |  l’Relyea Events
Venue/Caterer: Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch
Photographer: Myrtle & Marjoram
Florist: Shotgun Floral Studio
Hair & Makeup: Wash & Brush Up

Di + Peter

Di and Peter met by happenstance as a friends Christmas party.  They went on their first date the next day and fell into an international romance which had Di in New York City and Peter in Hong Kong.  Peter knew early on that Di was The One and told her so on quiet park bench just a few months into their relationship.  After a few years of dating, Di moved to Hong Kong to be with Peter. He proposed to her on a romantic getaway to the Maldives.  Di and Peter love the Napa Valley lifestyle and wanted their guests to enjoy all that wine country had to offer.  They were married at Calistoga Ranch with a sophisticated color palette of whites, lilac and olive green.  Everything about their day was the perfect representation of classic elegance.


Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea Venue: Calistoga Ranch | Laura Vaughn Ceremony Officiant: Michael LeBlanc Photographer: Sylvie Gil Photography Ceremony Music: Harpist | Jessica Schaffer Reception Music: Boutique Wedding DJ Florist: Valley Flora | Polly Harrington Wedding Cake: Perfect Endings Transportation: Napa Valley Tours & Transportation Hair & Makeup: Betten Chaston Rentals & Lighting: Classic Party Rentals Cinema: Edge Fog Films | Joel Kling Stationary: Minted {Invitations} | Vellum & Vogue {Day Of Materials}

Jules + Chris

This elegant French country inspired wedding had our hearts fluttering from our first design meeting. It certainly doesn’t need to be said that Jules and Chris, above all else, have impeccable taste. From the bubbling champagne tower and artisan cocktails [complete with smokin’ bartenders] to the luscious floral and stunning lighting design – their celebration radiated fun, romance and beauty.

Their love story is similar to their style – simple, classic and beautiful. They met one fall evening at a mutual friends birthday party and no more than a month later Jules knew Chris was “the one”. Fast forward through a few yoga classes, dinner dates and happy years to New Years Eve in Hawaii where Chris got down on one knee and told Jules that she was “the one” – they lived happily ever after!

Planning & Design by L'Relyea

Planner: Julia Evans | l’Relyea Events
Venue/Caterer: Solage Calistoga
Beverage: The Grand Bevy
Ceremony Officiant: Father Jovic
Photographer:Kevin Tachman
Videographer: Cana Family
Reception Music: Pride & Joy
Florist: Studio Choo
Wedding Cake/Sugar Cookies: Susie Cakes
Hair & Makeup: Marisa Perel
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; One True Love Vintage Rentals; Blue Print Studio
Calligraphy: Bernard Maisner
Lighting: Lux Productions


Erin + Victor

We are loving the bold purple hues that were set into this classic white toned wedding!  The lovely couple celebrated their special day at Trentadue Winery in Geyserville, Ca, surrounded by lush vineyards, giant oaks and fresh summer air.  They used rustic wine barrels and iron candelabras to embrace their Spanish-infused Wine Country wedding.


Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue: Trentadue Winery
Caterer: Park Avenue Catering
Ceremony Officiant: Brian Plaugher
Photographer: Jennifer Bagwell
Ceremony/Reception Music: AMS
Cocktail Music: Jay Alverez, Guitarrist
Florist: Fleurs de France
Wedding Cake: Cousteaux
Transportation: California Wine Tours
Rentals: Wine Country Party 
Rentals Video: Uforia Films

Stephanie & Alex

Nothing is more appealing than a fun, relaxed wedding at a family property that holds so many valued memories.  We were thrilled to hear that Stephanie wanted to get married at her parents estate property, and over the several months leading up to her wedding we transformed their family abode to a wedding destination to host 250 of their nearest and dearest. Set in Healdsburg, Ca. this country estate wedding encompasses family, friends and new memories making this day one to remember. Truly a labor of love, everything from the floral design, handmade wooden signage, to the desserts were made by family and friends.  It is easy to see how much thought and love went into each little detail and that is what makes this wedding even more special.                  


Planner: Lindsey l’Relyea Events
Venue/Caterer: Jim, Black Bean BBQ
Ceremony Officiant: Sanhya Jea
Photographer: To Amaze
Ceremony Music: Way Out West Band
Reception Music: Verducci Entertainment
Florist: Darla Fairlee, Aunt | Dragonfly Floral
Wedding Cake: The Flour Girl, Cake | Desserts made by the Bridal Party
Transportation: Family Friends | Avis Rentals
Hair & Makeup:Guys & Dolls Salon
Rentals: Encore Rentals and Wine Country Party
Stationary: Handmade by the bride

Liz + Matt

In these dreary winter months we can use a pick-me-up and nothing does it better than a fresh and beautiful wedding with cheery colors. If this palette doesn't make you smile and swoon for spring, I don't know what will! We had just the right balance of natural-organic simplicity with a backdrop of Saint Helena Mountain and bright pops of color with these coral blooms.


Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue/Caterer: Solage Calistoga
Ceremony Officiant: Father Gerald Caprio
Photographer: Borrowed Blue Old and New | Emily Scannell
Ceremony/Reception Music: SF Conservatory | Addi Liu
Florist: Mother of the Bride
Hair & Makeup:Sarah E Hyde
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals and La Tavola
Lighting: Twilight Design

Tatiana + Sam

"As soon as she walked into the room, stole my cigar and demanded my seat, I put my arm around her, kissed her head, and fell in love."  Sam's description of how he fell in love with Tatiana is the perfect representation of these two as a couple: fun, spontaneous and head over heals in love.  The wedding was a reflection of them which featured bright pink color and edgy yet fun details.


Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue/ Caterer: Farmstead
Ceremony Officiant: Fr. Kenneth J. Babauta  
Photographer: Caitlin O’reilly 
Ceremony/Reception Music: Napa Valley DJs 
Florist: Teresa Stoner Floral Designs
Hair & Makeup: Bella Bridal
Transportation: CWT

Lori + Ryan

What does it take to pull off a wine industry wedding? A stunning venue and award winning wines is certainly a start but throw in mouthwatering food, a crafty bride, amazing friends and family {and a handful of co-works} and there you have it - a Trione wedding is born! Lori and Ryan met as wine industry interns and when planning their wedding couldn’t think of a better place to get married than the one that brought them together.

When we asked Lori what the most important part of her wedding day is for her, she replied “that I’m marrying the love of my life, and I want everyone to have fun and dance a lot!” and it’s safe to say that they did just that. The day itself was so filled with love, laughter and joy - they were both grinning from ear to ear the entire time. We loved being a party of the day of festivities for this heartfelt homemade wedding!


Planner: Julia Evans | l’Relyea Events
Venue: Trione Winery 
Caterer: Peloton Catering 
Ceremony Officiant: Derek Manus (Groomsman)
Photographer: Marc Blondin 
Ceremony/Reception Music: Runaway DJ 
Florist: The Leafy Lady 
Wedding Cake: Costeaux French Bakery
Hair & Makeup: Koree | St. James Salon 
Rentals: Wine Country Party

Karina + Mark

Their love story was like something out of a romantic novel.  They met while studying in Barcelona, Spain. He caught her eye during a romantic walk in Versailles, France.  Six months later after returning from an exchange program in Shanghai he asked Karina on their first date. Three hours, twelve miles, and several villages westward, their connection was forever cemented.  Their wedding was just as whimsical and romantic with a crisp white palette, floating florals and rich golden accents. Get ready to be whisked away.


Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue/Caterer: Solage Calistoga
Ceremony Offiant: Buddhist Weddings| Evan Kavanagh  
Photographer: To Amaze Photography
Videographer: Marmaladesky films
Ceremony/Reception Music: Johan Khiski
Florist: Waterlily Pond
Hair & Makeup: Tamara Brown
Rentals: Hartmann Studios
Lighting: Got Light?
Cake: Marie Betts | Bouchon Bakery

Leah + Rob

Leah and Rob were so adorable together and their details for the day reflected the sweet simplicity of themselves.  Leah had envisioned their wedding to be rustic chic, elegant, fresh, romantic and of course intimate.  We decided on a color palette with lush white flowers with subtle hints of pink and champagne.  She handcrafted her alter, and various details inside the reception including the flower garlands.  It was truly a sweetly romantic day.


Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue/Caterer:Solage Calistoga
Ceremony Officiant: Rev Peader Dalton
Photographer: Matthias Photography
Cinema: Uforia Films 
Ceremony/Reception Music: Verducci Entertainment
Florist: Kate Stanley
Wedding Cake: Forget Me Not Cakes
Makeup: Jenna Dancer |  Hair: Courtney Sweat

Marissa + Kevin

Marissa and Kevin have impeccable taste. We designed a wedding that showcased some soft romance with bold poppy red colors. Beautifully captured by Stacey Pentland.  Marissa and Kevin decided on a summer wedding in wine country and Solage located at the top of Napa Valley held their modern and chic styleMarissa glowed in her two piece Monique Lhullier gown and her satin Badgley Mischka heels.  And Kevin wore a sharp grey Hugo Boss suit and they left no detail unattended right down to the scent of the reception space.  Above all the tiny details it was the love and their chemistry that truly took your breath away.


Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue/Catering:Solage Calistoga
Ceremony Officiant: Fr. Charles Grande  
Cinema:Video BASICO
Photographer:Stacey Pentland
Ceremony Music: Bride’s Sister / Guitarist – Glenn Staller
Reception Music:Spinheads
Florist: Hunt Littlefield
Wedding Cake & Favors: Patisserie Angelica
Hair & Makeup:Katie Nash Beauty
Rentals: Classic Party Rental & La Tavola Linen
Lighting: Got Light
Photo Booth: Snap Fiesta
Stationary: Three Little Words