Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rhonda's Scouting Trip

Rhonda and Jeff are a delightful couple from the San Francisco Bay Area, whom I just started working with. Their wedding is only a few weeks away at the Plantation House Restaurant, and Rhonda decided to fly out to Mau`i for a few days to meet with me and the rest of the vendors.

We had such a great time discussing flowers, linens and the overall decor for her special day. We even did a quick linen mock-up for her in her colors, which are turquoise blue, apple green and espresso brown. Then later that evening, I accompanied her to the food tasting at the restaurant.

Their wedding is going to be absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to put together all the decor for her with my wonderful team of designers. That's the best part of wedding planning! =)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Haiku Cliffside Estate

Having been to my friend's wedding in Bali just 2 months ago, it's such a treat to visit a Balinese-style estate where one of my October weddings will take place. This bride of mine is originally from Indonesia and when she saw pictures of this estate, she just fell in love with it as it reminds her of home. Hopefully the weather will be nice on her wedding day.

Here are more pictures of the estate. If you are interested in booking this location for your wedding or event, please visit Events by Evonne, LLC or send me an email.

Friday, April 25, 2008

We are also listed on the "Delightful Blogs" site!

I am very delighted to announce that this blog has also made it on the Delightful Blogs directory under the Wedding + Marriage section! The image will be coming soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to add a comment or rate my blog.

As always, thank you all for your continued support and for giving me all these wonderful ideas and inspirations.

Thanks so much for the add, Lynda!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Alisha and Brian's Oahu Scouting Trip

I had such a blast with Alisha and Brian on their scouting trip. They are a very sweet couple and we had so much fun checking out locations and vendors together. We went to see the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, Lanikuhonua and The Kahala Hotel & Resort, all of which have amazing grounds and views of the ocean.

Originally, Alisha and Brian were thinking of having their 60-80 person wedding here on Mau`i, but afterwards they changed their mind and wanted to have it on O`ahu. Now they are kind of thinking about Mau`i again. Oh boy, I am so glad I am not the one making that decision because it's a tough one to make. Both islands are so unique and have so much to offer; you really can't go wrong with either one.

When we were visiting the Kahala, they were actually setting up for a sunset wedding at their Diamond Head Gazebo (photos above). As much as I love floral decor, of course I have to take a few shots of the details. Hopefully they will inspire those brides who are having a pink and green color palette. Aren't those little hanging vases cute? Another idea is to just hang the orchid heads. There are so many creative things you can do... the possibilities are endless!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Inspiration #2

A big part of my job as a wedding/event designer is to work with the floral designer to come up with the flowers and decor that my clients want. There are so many designers here in Hawai`i that I admire, and it almost seems unfair for me to just select one to be featured on my blog under my "Inspiration" post. However, I always find myself looking at mainland designers for the latest trend and ideas.

One of my favorites is San Francisco-based designer, Nancy Liu Chin. She has a great sense of style and all of her designs are whimsical with a blend of modern chic. I can guarantee that you will find something unique and refreshing from her website as well as her blog.

Thanks, Nancy... for giving me my daily dose of inspiration!

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Centerpiece of the Week"

This week I selected this centerpiece which resembles a beautiful candelabra. It has that soft, romantic and elegant feel with the crystals hanging from the top. It also looks nice to have a few small matching floral arrangements right below it with a few votive candles. Ahhh... so romantic!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bridal Sneakers or Flip Flops, anyone?

Recently, a few of my brides asked me what type of shoes they should wear for their wedding. OK, let's be honest... who doesn't like Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik? But trust me, on the day of your wedding, you want to wear something comfortable... something that after an hour or two you won't have a need to take them off because they are hurting your feet already!

Well, for those of you who are not wearing long dresses, it might be a little more challenging since your feet are going to show, so you might have to stick with a pair of nice dressy shoes... but for those who have a long dress, have you thought about bridal sneakers or flip flops? Yes, just like in the 1991 movie "Father of the Bride" when Kimberly Williams wore the pair of sneakers that Steve Martin gave her!

Guess what, for my wedding in June 2005 on O`ahu, I wore my bridal sneakers with matching socks (photos #1 and #2 above)! They were so comfortable that I didn't even want to take them off 10 hours later! My photographers got a kick out of it and took so many pictures of my shoes! =)

One thing I do want to mention about my bridal sneakers besides being cute and all, was that they were made by this wonderful lady in Illinois. Her name is Michelle Lose and her company is Elegant Originals. I came across her company when I was searching online for a pair of bridal sneakers that I wanted.

Michelle is a 4th grade elementary school teacher. About 8 years ago, her 3-year-old daughter Stephanie was diagnosed with Leukemia. In order for her to deal with Stephanie's illness, she decided to find a way to channel her energies by making arts and crafts. That's when she started Elegant Originals to provide wedding accessories to brides-to-be. She named one of her most popular bridal sneakers - "Princess Stephanie" (the one that I bought), after her daughter. And she donates a portion of every sale to the Leukemia Research Foundation. Today, Stephanie is cancer-free and she is just a beautiful little girl.

I am very glad that I got the bridal sneakers that I wanted and most importantly, it was for a great cause as well. Michelle no longer carries the bridal sneakers anymore, but she still offers the flip flops and ballerina slippers too. So if you are looking for a pair of comfortable shoes for your wedding, and are thinking about some cute flip flops, please visit Michelle's company website - Elegant Originals.

* Please note that I am not a spokesperson or an employee of Elegant Originals. This post is purely for me to share a wonderful product with my audience.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

We are listed on the "Best Wedding Blogs" site!

I am very excited to announce that this blog has made it to the Best Wedding Blogs under the National Wedding Blogs section! I feel honored to be listed amongst the talented wedding professionals in all of the Northern California region as well as the National region.

Thanks so much for the add, Stacie!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Unique Lanterns

Photo Credit: Matt Alvarado

The other day, I had a "play date" with my floral designer friend Della, and my wonderful linen buddy Debbie. We got together for the first time to do a few linen/floral mock ups for my upcoming brides. We had such a blast!

Debbie showed us some very unique lanterns from India in assorted colors, and I thought they would look really nice for any outdoor reception. If you are interested in these lanterns and speciality linens, please visit Events by Evonne, LLC or send us an email.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Haiku Lani Estate

Haiku Lani Estate sits on the slopes of Mount Haleakala overlooking the dramatic coastal view of Maui’s north shore. Panoramic views of rolling pineapple fields, with a backdrop of the West Maui mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

As your guests descend the gracefully curving stairs to the pool terrace, they are greeted with stunning views of turquoise water flowing from the infinity pool. Surrounded by 3,500 square feet of Turkish travertine, a flowering vine covered arbor and a resort style cabana sit at opposing ends of the oversized pool. This Hawaiian paradise is casual luxury at its finest.

This gorgeous estate is an exclusive and romantic venue for your event of up to 75 people. If you are interested in having your special day at the Haiku Lani Estate and creating an exquisite event that will be forever treasured by all those who attend, please visit Events by Evonne, LLC or send us an email.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Inspiration #1

Photo Credit: Jessica Claire

When I have some down time from wedding planning, you will either find me sitting on the couch reading wedding magazines or at my desk looking through all these amazing wedding-related websites. I am constantly getting inspired by all the talented florists, photographers, event designers from all over the country.

Apart from those who are here in Hawai`i, one of my many favorite wedding photographers is Jessica Claire, who is based out of Southern California. What I like about Jessica is her work (obviously), her personality, her sense of style and how she likes to keep everything real and use Photoshop to a minimum. I have been enjoying her photographs and her blog for a little while now, and she just never ceases to amaze me every time!

Thanks, Jess... for giving me my daily dose of inspiration!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Karen and Sanjay's Hindu Wedding (3/6 and 3/7)

Karen's beautiful bridal mehndi tattoo

Karen's sari


The happy couple

The happy couple walked around the fire

Photo Credit: Darryl Chan

My friend Karen and her new hubby Sanjay had 2 more wedding receptions back in their home town of Singapore after their official wedding in Bali on March 1st. They had a Hindu ceremony on March 6th at the Swiss Club residence where she had her bridal mehndi tattoo done and the main day of the celebration includes different rituals and customs.

For a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony, here are the various steps:


The groom arrives for the wedding along with his family and friends in a procession. They are received by the bride's family and friends.


The priest normally commences the marriage under the mandap (canopy) that is specially decorated for the ceremony. The priest invokes blessings of God for the couple to be married.

The bride offers yogurt and honey to the groom as a token of purity and sweetness. The bride greets the groom by placing a garland around his neck and the groom reciprocates.
Both are congratulated by guests. The priest invokes the memory and blessings of forefathers of the bride and the groom for this auspicious occasion.


The bride accepts her change of status from an unmarried woman to a wife by spreading turmeric powder on her hands.

Kanya Danam is performed by the father (or uncle of guardian) of the bride in presence of a large gathering that is invited to witness the wedding.

The father pours out a libation of sacred water symbolizing the giving away of the daughter to the bride groom. The groom recites Vedic hymns to Kama, the God of love, for pure love and blessings.
As a condition for offering his daughter for marriage, the father of the bride requests a promise from the groom for assisting the bride in realizing the three ends : dharma, artha, and kama. The groom makes the promise by repeating three times that he will not fail the bride in realizing dharma, artha and kama.


The bride and the groom face each other, and the priest ties their garments (the bride's sari to the groom's shirt) in a knot, symbolizing the sacred union.

The bride and the groom garland each other and exchange the rings.

Next the nuptial fire, symbolizing the divine witness, and the sanctifier of the sacrament, is installed and worshipped.

Both the bride and the groom grasp their hands together and pray to God for His blessings.
Samagree, consisting of crushed sandalwood, herbs, sugar, rice, ghee (clarified butter), and twigs is offered into the sacred fire to seek God's blessings for the couple.


The groom stands facing west and the bride sits in front of him facing east.

He seizes her hand and recites Vedic hymns for happiness, long life, and a lifelong relationship.

When the groom takes the bride's hand he says :

"O Sarasvati, gracious one, rich in off spring, you whom we hymm first of all the Gods, may you prosper this marriage."
"I seize your hand."


Here the bride offers sacrifice of food (poured into her hands by her brother or someone acting in her brother's behalf) to the Gods for their blessings.

"This grain I spill. May it bring to me well-being and unite you to me. May Agni hear us."

He then causes the bride to spill the grain into the fire, saying:

"This woman scattering grain into the fire, prays: Blessings on my husband. May my relatives be prosperous.
'Svaha!' "


The groom holds the bride by the hand and both walk three times around the nuptial fire.

Both offer oblations and recite appropriate Vedic hymns to Gods for prosperity, good fortune, and conjugal fidelity.

They touch each others heart and pray for union of their hearts and minds.

While walking around the groom repeats:

"First now they bring to you in bridal procession this Surya, guiding her steps in circular motion. Return her now, O Agni, to her husband as rightful wife, with hope of children to come."

Then the entire rite is repeated twice more, beginning with the rite of the fried grain.

At the fourth round she pours into the re all the fried grain from the mouth of the winnowing basket saying:
"To Bhaga svaha!"


At the end of each round of nuptial fire, both the bride and the groom step on a stone and offer a prayer for their mutual love to be firm and steadfast like the stone.

The groom says the words while the bride stands up:

"Come, beautiful one."

And lets her put the tip of the right foot on the stone, saying:

"Come, step on the stone; be strong like a stone. Resist the enemies;
overcome those who attack you."


This is the most important rite of the entire ceremony. Here the bride and the groom take seven steps together around the nuptial fire (Agni) and make the following seven promises to each other :

As per the Vedic rituals, the groom sings the following :

With God as our guide, let us take :

the first step to nourish each other

the second step to grow together in strength

the third step to preserve our wealth

the fourth step to share our joys and sorrows

the fifth step to care for our children

the sixth step to be together forever

the seventh step to remain lifelong friends,

the perfect halves to make a perfect whole.

After the seventh step he makes her remain where she is and says:

"With seven steps we become friends. Let me reach your friendship. Let me not be severed from your friendship. Let your friendship not be severed from me."

The Spatapadi ceremony ceremony concludes with a prayer that the union is indissoluble. At the end of this ceremony, the groom and bride become husband and wife.
In some communities such as Gujarati, instead of seven, only four steps, signifying Artha, Dharma, Kama and Moksha are taken.


The groom then comes over bride's right shoulder touches her heart saying:

"I hold your heart in serving fellowship, your mind follows my mind. In my word you rejoice with all your heart. You are joined to me by the Lord of all creatures."


The Mangal suthra Dharana is the tying of the thread containing the marks of the Vishnu or Shiva in the neck of the bride by the groom.


The groom places sindhoor (red powder) on the bride's hair symbolizing her as a married woman.


The groom's parents bless the couple and offer cloth or flower to the bride (now their daugher-in-law), symbolizing her joining of the groom's family.
All those assembled shower flowers on the couple and bless them completing the marriage.