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January | 2011 | California and International Wedding Planner

All in the details

January 28th, 2011

This was an event we did in northern California. We love to focus on the overall look, but the details are most important. Everything from the chair cover, the centerpiece, and even the napkin fold have to come together in one cohesive look. Enjoy! XO exquisite-signature

Photography by Tara Arrowood Photography

Highlights of ABC Ventura-Santa Barbara talk with Mary Dann-McNamee

January 24th, 2011

Wednesday night at the Santa Barbara-Ventura Chapter of ABC Mary Dann-McNamee's talk explored the dynamics of working with leaders and followers. She provided insights and tools that will serve the Santa Barbara ABC Community as they journey through any type of intimate event planning situation; such as a mother-daughterplanning a wedding, teenager and parents planning a mitzvah or a corporate planner and their team planning a gala or corporate meeting.

The presentation was based on years of experience working with couples in a therapeutic situation combined with her expertise in special events.

The talks’ main objective was to identify the Leadership Personality, Leadership Traits and the ability to motivate and identify traits that make up a good Follower or “Team Member???.  She explored how important it is to recognize the balance intrinsic to creating a positive outcome for the team.

She and her panel of experts, Nikki Khan of Exquisite Events, and Colette and Kaitlin Lopez of La Fete Weddings, identified how good leadership affects followers allowing the team to succeed. They also shared how to recognize specific personalities within a planning environment and to leverage each individual’s unique ability to contribute.

The presentation ended with an insightful discussion on how these personality traits manifest within mother-daughter relationships in a Legacy Business.

The Event was hosted by the Ventura Museum of Art and Ariel Yve who provided introductions and a beautiful setting for the evening.



Under the Tuscan Sun

January 17th, 2011

A few months ago my husband and I took a 2 week trip to Italy. It was the trip of my life! In planning the trip, we were a bit overwhelmed as I had been there with my family when I was very young and he had never been and there is just soo much to see in Italy. After weeks of going back and forth we finally narrowed it down to the northern region deciding to fly into Rome and then take trains to all the other cities. There are so many things that I would love to share about the trip, but one of the most memorable was the cooking class we took on an organic farm in Tuscany. Driving along the Chianti Road, we stopped at a number of vineyards and little towns and as we were driving back to our hotel after a long day, we came across a little sign that said Wine Tasting and Cooking Classes. Absolutely could not pass this up, so we stopped....and it was the best decision! The farm is owned by a couple and the wife teaches the class (not speaking a word of English) while her husband translates. They were the most warm couple and it was amazing to see how  passionate they were about sustainability. They have their own roosters, chickens, pigs, bees for honey and even truffle sniffing dogs! They also make their own wine and the most delicious balsamic vinegar. If you ever make it to Tuscany, I really recommend stopping at this farm. Enjoy the pictures! Madiha ?? [caption id="attachment_2018" align="alignleft" width="540" caption="Geese greeting"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2019" align="alignleft" width="540" caption="Tenuta Casanova Vineyard"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2020" align="alignleft" width="540" caption="Roosters"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2021" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="Gorgeous Views"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2022" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="Picking fresh Grapes"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2023" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Olive trees"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2024" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Making bread"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2025" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Fresh Ingredients!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2026" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Gorgeous Tomatoes"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2027" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Our teacher, Rita"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2028" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Arrabiata and Marinara"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2029" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Roasted peppers anitpasti"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2030" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="The sweetest grapes I've ever had!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2032" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Turning grapes into grape bread"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2033" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Mid day snack "][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2034" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Fried sage and sugar bread"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2035" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Gnocchi"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2036" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Homemade Balsamic Vinegar"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2037" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Picture break"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2039" align="aligncenter" width="303" caption="Making frest tagliatelle"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2040" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Roosters eating the scraps"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_2041" align="aligncenter" width="303" caption="Geese sad we left"][/caption]

Leena and Karan’s Reception- Northern California

January 14th, 2011

2137_img_5404a After photos, Leena and Karan rejoined their guests with a grand entrance at their western-influenced dinner reception, Leena in a gorgeous gown and the groom in a black tuxedo. The bride and groom spent the rest of the night mingling, dancing and dining on delicious food with their guests in a gorgeous ballroom filled with flowers in creams and whites, shimmering gold Chivari chairs and every last beautiful thing Leena and Karan could imagine for the final hours of celebrating this blessed union with their loved ones. 2063_img_0925h 2026_img_2897e 2030_img_0862h 2033_img_0868h 2034_img_0878h 2060_img_5194k 2065_img_0930h 2267_img_5497a img_0878h img_5820a

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Leena and Karan’s Ceremony – Northern California

January 12th, 2011


While Sangeet was setting up and getting into swing, the wedding ceremony and tent structure were being set up at Dolce Hayes Mansion. The Punjabi groom’s family held a traditional Sikh ceremony for the couple at Gurdwara temple on Saturday, rising Sunday for the traditional South Indian ceremony at Dolce Hayes.

1774_img_3092b 1152_img_4665 Karan made an awe-inspiring entrance atop a horse, accompanied by his family dancing and jumping to the resonating sounds of drums. Leena’s family stood waiting beneath a beautiful golden custom-made Milni arch gateway where the groom descended from his horse to greet his bride’s mother before the ceremonious familial exchange of colorful garlands of flowers demonstrating the merging of the two families.


Karan was then led to the stage to take his seat with his parents at the beautiful custom designed Mandap with its soft gold drape and lush red roses before a brief prayer ceremony and placing of the curtain before him.img_3089k When Karan was in place, the bridesmaids entered, holding votives and preceding their bride who would come to stand on the opposite side of the curtain with a beautiful garland for her groom. As the curtain dropped, she saw Karan for the first time as her groom and the two exchanged garlands. Then Leena took her seat and the officiant, or Pandit, began the marriage rituals and ceremony.  The South Indian wedding ceremony is typically about one and a half to two hours and the Pandit guided the guests, which included a large number of Americans, through the rituals, explaining the importance of each element and movement of the ceremony and creating an intimacy and understanding between the families and guests. As the ceremony concluded, the family members and guests showered the newlyweds with petals before the guests went for high tea and light snacks in anticipation of the cocktail hour with tray passed h’ors d’oeuvres while the family stayed at the Mandap for photos with the beautiful couple.






Click on the Photos to Enlarge Photo [nggallery id=7] Photography by Tara Arrowood Photography

Leena and Karan’s Sangeet in San Jose, CA

January 10th, 2011

0734_img_2782After a night of rest, Leena and Karan’s guests gathered with them again, this time for the Sangeet. The Sangeet celebration is one that is fun and festive, full of dance and celebration. Perhaps one of the most breathtaking moments of this particular event was Leena’s grand entrance in a traditional and ornately decorated Doli, carried by her male cousins. Upon her graceful exit from the Doli, Leena enchanted her guests with a beautifully choreographed traditional dance, welcoming them all to this celebratory evening.

Adorned in deep blues and shades of turquoise with lush florals in fuschia, the decor was as vibrant as the atmosphere as guests enjoyed a flavorful menu of Mediterranean and Indian/Chinese fusion dishes. Throughout the room traditional low furniture was laid out with rows of benches with cushions and bolsters custom made in India. Traditionally, during the Sangeet, the families of the bride and groom prepare choreographed dances, making grand entrances and entertaining the guests with their performances culminating in the guests joining the families and filling the dance floor for hours. Enjoy exquisite-signature











Click on Thumbnail for larger image slide show.... [nggallery id=3] Photography by Tara Arrowood Photography

Leena and Karan’s Mehndi in Cupertino

January 9th, 2011

0010_img_2603aTraditionally, Mehndi is a simple, casual event; a fun way for close family and friends to come together and bond over the excitement of the festivities’ commencement. In keeping with both the traditional and casual tone of this event, Nikki used a gorgeous tent featuring scalloping and chandeliers with décor from Raj to create a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere filled with bright shades of orange and yellow by using a combination of low and floor seating, ottomans, low tables and ornately woven and richly colored Indian rugs. A semi-circular stage was created as the focal point of the room where the bride and her bridesmaids would receive their henna before the Leena, a classically trained dancer, danced a traditional Bharat Natyam for her guests.














Click on the Thumbnail for large image slide show [nggallery id=2] Photography by Tara Arrowood Photography

Mona and Sanjay at The Ritz Carlton Dana Point

January 5th, 2011


What a beautiful day on the coast in Laguna. Complete with a gorgeous bride, Mona, and her lovely family and friends. The Hindu ceremony took place on the lawn overlooking the beach on a cool sunny day in November. The reception was held in the ballroom later that evening and was complete with custom linens, phenomenal florals, high gloss dancefloor, bedazzled cake, and great music. The guests had a wonderful time and Exquisite Events had so much fun running this event! Enjoy! exquisite-signature

[gallery] Photography by Andrena Photography 2009

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