Colleen & Shane | Tra Vigne & Merryvale | St. Helena, California

Colleen & Shane's love story seems to be straight out of one of our favorite chick flicks. These two met at a baggage claim carousel in Las Vegas while waiting for their luggage. Shane slyly approached Colleen where they sparked a conversation and quickly learned that they were both originally from the same home town of Saskatoon. Even more, both were currently living in Calgary and knew a lot of the same people, and yet they just had never met. Fate played its lovely role in bringing these two together, and we are still in awe of how romantic their love story truly is.  

Intimate weddings always speak to us in an extra special way. There's something to be said about being surrounded by your closest loved ones on your big day and being able to share in all the excitement with all of your guests in such an intimate way. Colleen & Shane chose to go this route, with a cozy guest count of 30. Their romantic dining table set in the cask room at Merryvale was adorned with tall candelabras that created a classic centerpiece of dim candlelight with simple white floral details and glass accents. They wanted to embrace a cozy dinner with their dearest. The intimate dinner setting was the highlight of the entire event with bold rich tones the black chivari chairs and centerpieces  to compliment the dark wood accents throughout the barrel room. 

A huge thanks to all of our wonderful vendors from this event: 

Ceremony Venue: Tra Vigne

Reception Venue: Merryvale

Caterer: Tra Vigne

Photographer: Richard Wood

Ceremony Music: Bella Rosa Strings

Florist: La Fleuriste

Hair & Makeup: Katie Nash

Real LRE Wedding | Julie & Chris | Solage, Calistoga

Julie (better known as Jules to her family and friends) & Chris's Solage, Calistoga wedding was an event fit for a fairytale. These two San Francisco locals met in college and after nearly 10 years apart, they saw each other for the first time since dating in their early 20's, and immediately knew after this time, they were each others soulmates. They rekindled their young love, and for Julie's birthday, Chris swept her away to Argentina, where he popped the question during a romantic horse back ride. They both wanted their wedding to depict their romantic love story, which was implemented through lush, garden florals, flooding of candlelight & cream and ivory tones throughout.

Solage, for those of you who do not know, is a full service luxury resort in Calistoga, California. Nestled among contemporary architecture and the soft ridges of the nearby mountains, Solage offers a Palm Springs meets the Hampton's vibe, which made for a fun yet tasteful event for these two. 

When we came onboard to design Julie & Chris's dream wedding, we wanted to transform the various wedding spaces using romantic, elegant, yet simple elements such as floral chandeliers heavy with greenery, table-scapes of hurricane and votive candles, and natural tones and textures. 

From a popular oyster buffet and fire pit lounge, to the cascading floral ceremony arbor and the all white theme, these exquisite details headlined this event and made it a luxurious yet simple event 

The new Mr. & Mrs. Clayton danced the night away inside the contemporary barn space at Solage amongst family & friends. With flooded candlelight and a ambient glow, the space felt like a romantic garden dinner date. 

It was such a joy working with these two to create such an elegant and classic romantic event. This design is the bread and butter of what we dream of aesthetically, and we are so thrilled that we were able to create a dream come true for these two. 

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

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

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