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March | 2014 | California and International Wedding Planner

First Annual Luxe Hotel Wedding Event

March 26th, 2014

This was such an exciting planning process! Getting to know Renee Strauss was an inspiration. We also loved being fully taken care of by the Luxe Hotel each time we went there for meeting! Luxe_Event_0171 Renee Strauss used to be a retail queen for high-end wedding gown designers. She left the retail business and became the wedding ambassador for Luxe Hotels all over the world. This was her first high-end wedding event with Luxe. She approached us to be part of the host committee, which entailed collaborate design of the event, influence in social media, getting to know the layout of the property, and communication with hotel staff. Luxe_Event_0183 Planning and designing consisted of developing a concept for our 15 x 27 foot space. We decided on an ombre color scheme of radiant orchid pink, the color of the year. Our phenomenal table linens and chair covers were done by Wildflower Linens. Luxe_Event_0118   Luxe_Event_0122 We  really wanted to do something different than the typical floral centerpiece, so we created a tress atop square tables and hung flowers from top and bottom. Eddie from Tic-Tock flowers did an outstanding job. It was whimsical, but sophisticated. The zigzag effect of  the tables gave it a multi-dimensional look. Luxe_Event_0156 Diann Valentine, a co-host and very creative and edgy designer, recently did a wedding at the St. Regis with a hanging cake structure, so we wanted to incorporate that cake and that created a very big WOW factor. Luxe_Event_0112 On the sweetheart table, which was an Exquisite Events design, we used silver from the Exquisite Events line. This included jewelry boxes as favors, large silver bowls for the floral center pieces, and lovely silver chargers. Luxe_Event_0102 Luxe_Event_0149 The backdrop was also unique. Instead of the typical drapery, we wanted to do something a little different to cover up the back wall. We had panels in pinks light to dark accompanying tables of the opposite shade. Luxe_Event_0142 Guests loved our space! We were so happy to hear comments all night with so much positive feedback.


Another highlight of the night was the Sareh Nouri fashion show. The detail on her gowns is extraordinary - the French lace, the roughing, and the embellishments were gorgeous. Her line had old world charm and a Grace Kelly feel. Luxe_Event_0189 About 300 brides and grooms-to-be were in attendance, and everyone enjoyed the fabulous hors devours, desserts, and open bar. Luxe_Event_0137  
The night was a great success, and we are looking forward to future events with Renee and Luxe Hotels.
Have an Exquisite day, and see you next Wednesday!

Travel Blog Part 3: Hong Kong

March 19th, 2014

As I promised, this week we continue Nikki's travel blog, about her trip to Hong Kong! From Nikki's travel journal...   Arrived in Hong Kong at 12 p.m. local time and checked into the hotel. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="542"] Nikki in front of Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong[/caption] We had a spectacular view from the room. We freshened up and got ready for high tea at the Peninsula. What a stunning hotel; truly an institution! [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="542"] High Tea Worth the Wait[/caption] Since they don't take reservations, it took us more than an hour to get a table, but it was all so worth it. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="302"] High Tea[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6678" align="aligncenter" width="302"] Chocolate Confection at Peninsula Hong Kong[/caption] The hotel was built in 1928 and is the oldest hotel in Hong Kong. It is known as the legendary "Grande Dame of the Far East." It was quite an experience. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="302"] Personal highlight for me waiting for High Tea at the famous Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong[/caption]

In the evening, we strolled around the fashionable area with every high-end designer boutique under the sun.

[caption id="attachment_6691" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Hong Kong Shopping District[/caption] On our second day, we ate at a lovely Thai restaurant overlooking the ocean.  We went outside the city to see Great Buddha and spend the afternoon there.  We came back to the city and had a lovely dinner at the financial district at a French restaurant. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Great Buddha[/caption] On the third day, we took the bus, ferry, and tram to to the peak, which has magnificent views of the city and Victoria harbor.  There is a four-mile hiking trail that my husband and I took.  Amidst some of the most wonderful and unique flora and fauna and a cool breeze we enjoyed our hike tremendously. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="542"] Above Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong[/caption]

The "peak" has some of the most spectacular homes that were built in the 1800's and are still inhabited.  There is talk of a few being converted to boutique hotels but the residents are very unhappy.  After our two-hour hike, we had a nice lunch, and shopped for  souvenirs for the grandkids.  We went down the tram, took the ferry, and spent a few hours walking the streets of Hong Kong, where you heard every language under the sun. We experienced all different cuisines and incredible shopping opportunities for diehard shoppers.  Alas, this was our last night and the city had grown on me but I had an early flight to Jeju, Korea and so we went back to the hotel to retire.

Hope you have enjoyed adventuring with Nikki. Stay tuned for what's to come...

Have an Exquisite day and see you next Wednesday!

Travel Blog Part 2: Shanghai

March 12th, 2014

As I promised, this week we continue Nikki's travel blog, about her trip to Shanghai! From Nikki's travel journal...   We arrived in Shanghai on Sunday at 12:30 pm. We checked into the hotel and were amazed by the spectacular view of the river and high-rise buildings from the 26th floor!


We freshened up and walked to the local square for lunch. Then we took a taxi to Hancity for some gift shopping. We went back to the hotel, and because my husband was craving Indian food, we took a thirty-minute taxi to Bukhara. On the second day of our trip, we went to Suchou, a one-hour train ride from Shanghai and an hour cab ride from the station. We were blown away by the thousand-year-old village built on canals, bridges and waterways! [caption id="attachment_6663" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Tong Li ( called the Venice of the East ), a 2 hour train ride from Shanghai[/caption] No wonder they call it "Venice of the east!" There are several museums and courtyard houses to tour. We spend the entire day sightseeing on a rickshaw and got back to the city late at night. It was a full and exhausting day so we slept right away. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Tong Li[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Traditional Tea House in Tong Li[/caption] On the third day, we woke up at leisure and had a decadent breakfast on 31st floor of the hotel. We went to Hancity to get some more gifts and went back to the hotel to drop off bags. For lunch, we walked to a little hole-in-the-wall Arab joint that we had spotted earlier in the taxi. We had spicy lamb skewers and hot bread on the sidewalk. Yum! We walked to the square and spotted a spa.  Since we had been talking about how our poor feet ached, a foot massage sounded like a great idea.  We took the elevator to 5th floor and found ourselves in a serene heaven.  After checking in, we were both whisked away to a room in the back that had the most comfortable chairs.  Our masseuses were very experienced and had an amazing touch.  We were served flower tea throughout our one hour ginger rub massage.  Our feet thanked us profusely and we left with recharged bodies and light feet.  By now it was 4:30 pm so we decided to head back to the hotel because our tour guide was going to pick us up at 6:30 pm from the hotel to show us Podang and oo hi (which means east of the river and west of the river).  We were also going to take a river cruise that lasted an hour and a half. By now, Shanghai had totally grown on me and I just fell in love with the city.  The financial street, fashion house street old French quarters were all beautiful.  We returned to the hotel at 10:30, went up to the roof top restaurant for late dinner and called it a night as next morn we were keaving for HK early. [caption id="attachment_6664" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Shanghai skyline at night[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6665" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Shanghai skyline at night[/caption] image_5 Stay tuned for Part 3: Hong Kong!   Have an Exquisite day and see you next Wednesday!

Travel Blog Part 1: Beijing

March 5th, 2014

The first day in Beijing, we enjoyed our time at the Peninsula hotel. We had a decadent breakfast at the hotel and met with Lily, our tour guide. image6 We were off to the Great Wall of China, and on the way, we stopped at a village shop that does jade carvings. We learned that jade was discovered 7000 years ago, and when the Olympics began, they used to give jade medals to the winners. There were about 200 village artists working. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="478"] First day in Beijing at Jade Museum[/caption]

I bought a few trinkets and we were on our way to the Great Wall.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Fresh seasonal fruit stands along the way to Great Wall[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Fresh seasonal fruit stands along the way to Great Wall[/caption] We went up to the Great Wall on a ski lift and came down on a luge. The whole thing was a truly awesome experience! [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Great wonder of the world, Great Wall of China[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="478"] On our way back from Great Wall, a yummy local eatery for a relaxing lunch[/caption]

 On our second day, we ate breakfast and headed to the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Forbidden City[/caption]

The Forbidden City has four gates. It took one million workers, one hundred thousand artists, and fourteen yearsto build! All the emperors from the Ming Ching dynasty lived there.

 The Temple of Heaven was built for the emperor. He was the only one allowed there to pray for good harvests. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="448"] Temple of Heaven[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Temple of Heaven[/caption] At the Beijing Silk Factory, we saw the amazing process of making silk. Four women stood around a square table constantly stretching silk padding used to make comforters. Then we went to the beautiful Summer Palace. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Summer Palace[/caption] The next day, we left early for our flight to Shanghai. Stay tuned for the details of the rest of the trip!   Have an Exquisite day and see you next Wednesday!

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