December! The last month of the year… the beginning of a busy holiday season. Are your calendars filling up with parties and celebrations galore? Are you hosting a chic soiree for friends, family or colleagues? If so, its time to get planning! And we’re here to help with a Classic Black & White Design Inspiration for you!

We teamed up with our fellow San Francisco event professionals to create this sophisticated style at the St. Regis San Francisco. With a beautifully sleek aesthetic, the styled shoot showcased below is perfect for any number of celebratory occasions. From birthdays to fundraisers, a black & white table design is a tried and true classic. Pair the dynamic duo with one other color to change up the mood or add festive flair. We promise, the color combo never goes out of style!

To keep this styled shoot fresh and modern, we put a few twists on the classic. First, we chose white block tables with massive bases that looked similar to concrete sculptures. Then we paired the the tables with clear acrylic chairs evoking a contemporary art vibe. Lush, monochromatic greenery divided the width of the tables by creating a strong line down the center. Using greens in this way kept the design clean and sleek without overpowering the simple styling of the place settings and glassware. Finally, we added simple place settings with circular silver detailing around the dinner plate, black napkins and custom printed menus. The end result was an elegant blend of materials creating a new modern classic design perfect for entertaining in style. We hope you find this design inspiring. Happy Holidays!

Photography: Arrowood Photography | Design & Styling: Morgan Events | Floral Design: Revel Floral
Venue & Cake: St. Regis San Francisco | Tables & Tabletop Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Chairs: Blueprint Studios
Menus: Dependable Lettepress | Calligraphy: Papineau Calligraphy

backlit modern white table designblack & white wedding table design inspirationtall green reception centerpieceblack & white menu place settingblack & white table place settingsblack & white place settingmodern dinner receptionblack & white table designblack & white table decoroverview black & white table designpoppy in vaseblack & white wedding cake detailcake display on black standcustom lighting on table shootmodern white tablegreenery centerpiecesclose up place settings black & whiteblack & white styled tabletable centerpieces verticalwhite poppiesblack & white menu close upclear acrylic chairsside angle table shotplate detailvertical 3 tier cake3 tier black & white cake

This one’s for all the pet lovers out there! For those of you who consider pets your family, here are our Top 5 Tips for including pets in your wedding celebration.

1. Consider Your Pet’s Personality – A pet can be a guest of honor and simply stand with the wedding party during the ceremony, or your pet can have a specific role (ring bearer or flower girl are common roles) in the ceremony. But before giving your pet a starring role, think about whether this will be an enjoyable experience for him or her. Will your pet feel comfortable around your guests? Is he or she obedient and well behaved? There’s no guarantee that your pet will behave exactly how you want them to on the day of the wedding. Even the most outgoing and friendly pet can be overwhelmed by a crowd of guests, so always have treats and water on hand to curb unwanted behaviors. 

2. Confirm That Pets are Allowed in Your Ceremony/Reception Facility – With everything else on your to-do list, it’s easy to forget this simple—yet important—step. You don’t want to show up on the day of your wedding, four-legged ring-bearer in tow, only to be told that pets are not allowed on the property, etc. Can’t bring your pet? You can still include him or her in the wedding! Include your pet in your portrait session before and/ or after the ceremony.

3. Book a Pet Sitter – You have enough to worry about on the day of your wedding—hire a pet sitter to be responsible for bringing your pet to the ceremony, taking them home after, or watching them during the reception. That way, you won’t need to worry about who’s feeding the dog (or keeping him away from the chocolate). Let your pet sitter be your pet’s guide. And if your pet is especially skittish, consider having someone carry him or her or letting them catch a ride in a wagon or stroller. And if your pet is overly affectionate or easily distracted, be sure to use a short leash.

4. Don’t Jeopardize Safety for Style – Make sure your pet’s attire (tux, dress, etc) fits properly and doesn’t create any discomfort. Keep the accessories simple—a bowtie, ribbon and/or flower attached to the collar is a fun way to dress up your pet. Ensure that any accessories won’t come loose and pose a choking hazard. And most importantly, be sure to check if any flowers or plants being used at your wedding are toxic to your animals.

5. Prepare Your Photographer- If you already know your pet will be joining your celebration when you’re choosing a photographer, make sure you choose someone who is comfortable around animals. Don’t assume just because you have the sweetest pup that your photographer will love them. Tell your photography team of your intent to include your pet in advance. It’ll help your photographers prep for those unplanned moments, like when your dog leaps up to kiss you during the vows! Your photographer can also help you brainstorm fun photo ideas with your pets for the portraits after the ceremony or during the initial getting ready time of the day.

And now, time for some fun furry friends photos! Thanks to the following photographers for catching our furry friends in action!

Michelle Walker | Gertrude & Mabel | Arrowood Photography

corgi in wedding

shakespeare gardenpet corgi in weddingpoodles in sf weddingpet guest bookmini schnauzerpug in hawaiian shirtpet cat in strollerpet cat in weddingcats in weddings

When planning any event, our goal is to exceed our client’s expectations of their desired outcome for the event. Whether it’s a surprise birthday party, a celebratory bar/bat mitzvah or a destination wedding, we listen to what our clients want and we make it happen. One of the first requirements on our client’s lists is to create a unique and memorable experience for their guests. Before colors or types of flowers, our clients explain that the attendees of the event are first and foremost in their hearts. They want to ensure their guests feel welcomed, loved and most of all, have a fabulous time.

Today’s blog is all about creating a warm welcome for guests. Over the years, we’ve had several destination events that we’ve planned and produced from start to finish. Often, the events take place over several days and we move guests seamlessly from one event to another. Offering warm hospitality is key to making guests feel welcome and appreciated. It’s your way of saying “thank you” to your nearest and dearest who have committed the time and resources to attending the celebration. Here are a few tips that help create a warm welcome:

Reserve a hospitality suite: Similar to an Executive Lounge area in a lux hotel reserved only for members, reserving a suite that all your guests have access to is a thoughtful touch. Have light refreshments on hand at all times, stack the tables with local maps or site-seeing adventures, and even use it as a gathering point for meeting before any scheduled off-site activities.

Greet with Welcome Swag Bags: Gift baskets have come a long way since fruit and wine. From flowers to artisan sodas, healthy snack kits to sweet slumber accessories – so many options are available to fit your event theme. Any guest will feel instantly welcomed by such a token of appreciation greeting them upon arrival.

Host a Mix & Mingle: If you’re asking guests to travel for several days, they’ll be spending time with other guests that they may not know. Hosting a cocktail party, coffee bash, or dessert hour on the arrival day is a great way for guests to mix and mingle in a relaxed setting.

Plan Fun Events: Aside from the formal celebrations, plan a few extra things for guests to do as they choose. These non-obligatory events bring people with similar interests together for shared experiences. For example, if your friends are runners – schedule a group run; or if yoga is your way of starting off an amazing day – schedule a group private yoga session atop a hilltop for anyone wanting to join in.  

Brunch: We love planning farewell brunch for any destination event. While it falls at the end of the trip and wouldn’t be thought of as a “welcome event,” brunch serves the purpose of showering guests with gratitude for their attendance one last time.

Below we’ve chosen some photographs that capture the spirit of our tips above. Being hospitable never goes out of style so however you choose to create a warm welcome, your guests will certainly appreciate your efforts.

Photo Credits: Michelle Walker Photography | Arrowood Photography | Sylvie Gil | Molly Landreth

hospitality suite olivesreserved welcome suitewelcome tote bag monogramwelcome tote bagswelcome mix and minglewelcome partyproteacocktails on trays'more dessert bardessert barwelcome dinnerhawaii run maprunnersbrunch menuwelcome brunch pastriesmimosa toastfour seasons hualalaihawaii farewell brunchbrunch at four seasonsla valencia restaurantbrunch at la medbrunch tableguests at brunch

Today’s blog entry is all about wedding photography. Whether a striking portrait or beautiful emotional catch, we’ve all seen photos that make our hearts skip a beat. The team at Morgan Events has been so fortunate to work with some of the best pros in the industry! So, when writing this blog entry, we asked three San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographers- Tara Arrowood, Kevin Chin and Michelle Walker– what advice they’d give our clients when it comes to wedding photography. Based on their responses, we’ve organized some important information for you below. Here’s what you need to know about hiring your wedding photographer and how choosing the right professionals will impact your wedding day.

Style. Over the years we’ve worked with many amazing photographers. They all have different approaches to the art of photography, different personalities, different styles of shooting and different methods of catching exactly what they wanted in the shot. Notice our trend of using the word “different”? That’s because it’s absolutely true- all photographers are different- which is why photography is such a beautiful, creative and varied form of art. When you interview photographers, they will undoubtedly tell you their style of photography up front, and you’ll notice it while flipping through sample albums. Here’s a breakdown on a few types of photography:

Photojournalism: The style that focuses on storytelling through images. This style captures the moments of the day exactly as they happen- the emotions, the spontaneity, the real story as it unfolds.

Portraiture: A classic style of wedding photography consisting of formal posed portraits, subjects specifically in or out of focus, dramatic composition, creative backdrops and silhouettes.

Fine-Art: This wedding photography style focuses on the photographer’s reality and is very much about the framing of the shot. Photographers often use creative lighting and create images with dramatic flair.

Fashion: This high-society style evokes visions of editorial and magazine glossy pages. Dramatic, bold, edgy and often ideal for cosmopolitan urban weddings.

Hiring Your Photographer. While it seems like a daunting task, there are a few things you can do to narrow your choice of photographers and find the perfect fit for your wedding day.

First, ask you wedding planner for a recommended list. Referrals are everything in the wedding industry. Starting with a tried and true list from your trusted wedding planner takes a lot of the guesswork out of finding your photographer.

Next, start scheduling interviews. During your meeting, scrutinize full wedding albums of the photographer’s previous clients. See if your aesthetic matches the way the wedding was captured. Pay attention to the small details, the framing of shots, the venues and especially the lighting.

Once you’ve conducted your interviews and viewed sample albums, take some time to process your gut feelings and think about which photographer you really connected with. Make sure your personalities mesh and that you won’t mind having them around all day. As Tara Arrowood shared, “Photographers are the only vendor who is with you all day on your wedding day- the most special, well-planned and anxiously awaited day. You want to be comfortable with me, you want to like me, you want to feel like I could be your friend, and honestly, someone you won’t find annoying on this precious day!”

Other vendors that impact your wedding photography. Hiring the right vendors is essential to a seamless event. When we asked our photographers for general advice on what couples should do to make the photographer’s job easier, Photographer Michelle Walker emphasized the importance of hiring a professional wedding planner (she had 2 at her own wedding) and a hair and makeup team. She added, “be the first one to get your hair/makeup done. There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed. Make sure you look like yourself… your most beautiful self.”

Timelines. Let your photographer be involved with the timeline of events. As Tara rightly says, “timelines are in place so that every vendor can do their best job.” While photographers are hired to capture the emotion of the day and candids, they also need time for the details that pull all the elements of the day together. Photographer Kevin Chin advises, “The most common problem I run into is not having enough time to get all of the photos that I want to tell your wedding day story. Hire a great wedding planner and work with your photographer to make sure they have enough time to get all the photos you want.” Michelle suggests a few ideas in terms of managing time on the day-of: “Do a first look and all portraits before the wedding ceremony. That way the rest of the day is just for you.” And at the reception, “Have a cocktail hour and a half. Having time to visit with everyone makes for great candids.”

The Unexpected. Photographers are experienced at managing the unexpected on your wedding day. Even the best timelines can be skewed by unforeseen events. Not to worry though. Tara explains that “being a ‘wedding’ photographer means that I need to be very good at different types of photography (photojournalistic, fashion, food, interior photography) as well as being able to think on my feet…you never know what might come up on your wedding day. Conditions change, nothing is predictable.” And remember, the unexpected is not always a bad thing! For example, a cute flower girl yawning during the ceremony makes for great wedding photography!

Trust your Photographer. Above all, it’s important to trust your photographer. They are masters of their craft and serious professionals. “You are probably not a professional model and don’t know what to do in front of the camera and that is totally OK,” says Tara. “That’s my job… to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, look your best and most importantly have fun!” Leave it to the photographers to direct you as needed and capture all the moments as they happen. “Your wedding day will fly by before you know it and hopefully you have hired a good photographer to help you remember your day. Make a promise with your fiancée that you will take a few minutes out of the wedding day to step back and soak it all in,” suggests Kevin. We completely agree. Your wedding day goes so fast you’ll be glad that someone captured all the things you’ll inevitably miss. And finally, remember: “the best photographs happen when you’re relaxed and happy,” said Michelle. So trust your photographer to capture the memories and you’ll get to enjoy every moment of the day from start to finish. Relax and let go. Let the pros go to work!

In closing, we wanted to send a special thank you to our photographers who contributed to this article. Here are some of our favorite memories they’ve captured for our clients.

Images 1-15: Arrowood Photography | Images 16-24: Kevin Chin Photography + Cinema | Images 24-38: Michelle Walker

st. regis rooftop ceremonystreet crossing    royal colors bouquet

st. regis ballroom wedding reception

st. regis san francisco at night

balcony kiss    place setting

wedding reception tent

outdoor lounge seating

dance floor

first dance black and white

sunset wedding photography

artistic wedding photography cat lighting pattern

sparkler exit

two grooms in white dinner jackets

wedding invitation   heart place cards

bluxome street winery

red flowers

dinner table

ombre wedding cake   wedding cake

wedding reception in barrel room

palm trees   hualalai four seasons

same-sex wedding photography

same-sex wedding ceremony

wedding photography group photo

place setting

bride smiles

wedding invitationwedding rings

wedding photography selfie

ritz carlton half moon bay

confetti dropshakespeare garden san franciscobride and groom and dog

At Morgan Events, we love LOVE! This blog entry is dedicated to our clients, past, present and future, who invite us to be part of their special day. It is because of you, dear clients, that we continually strive for excellence in all aspects of planning, designing and managing your events. We are dedicated to providing you with a completely unique and seamless event from start to finish. Our goal is always to leave you and your guests with the most memorable experience. From the minute of our first meeting to the final moments of your celebration, we’re with you every step of the way. We are honored that you’ve chosen us to be part of your journey. Every day we are grateful for the ability to do what we love: make our clients happy.

In honor of our very special clients, we’ve selected some of our favorite images from their weddings to share in this blog entry. We have to confess, looking through folders of wedding images for this blog entry made us a bit nostalgic! Sometimes it was the little details of planning an event that came back and made us smile. Other times it was seeing the love shared between the couple’s eyes as they waltzed on the dance floor during their first dance. Each event is special to us in its own way.

With many years of events managed by our team, and a transition from film to digital images, we didn’t quite have room to feature all of our clients in this one entry. But, we know you’ll love seeing some familiar faces… So here’s to celebrating many years of love through weddings and other life celebrations! Cheers to creating many more!

Special thanks to the following photographers who beautifully captured so many of our clients’ weddings and events throughout the years.

Anna Kuperberg | Arrowood Photography | Geoff White Photographers | Gertrude & Mabel Photography | Heather Scharf Photography | Jasmine Lee Photography | Kevin Chin Photography + Cinema | Kopol Bonick Photography | Lisa Lefkowitz
Meg Smith Photography | Mel Barlow & Co. | Melissa BagleyMichelle Walker Photography | Molly Landreth | Sylvie Gill

 

love kristin and zach

love ashley and philiplove karen and petelove maggie and kylelove tiffany and mychaellove ching and andre love tom and axellove couple's grand exitlove neen and jeremylove couple at dinnerwedding portrait lovelove lily and ianlove leslie and joshlove kristin and ricklove lindsey and jakechinese dragonlove mandy and craiglove darren and brianlove nancy and dustinlove warren and scotthunter pence and alexislori and james love love kisslove marguerite and michaellove ava and fredlove april and aleclove laurinda and albert love jian and stevenlove jessica and roblove megan and kenlove thom and gabriellove rebekkah and isaacemily and forrestlove kim and brianlove half moon baylove caitlin and michaellove gina and vittoriolove jen and fredlove couple dancing

Since June 21st is the official start of the summer season, consider this blog our Ode to Summer. Sunshine all day; the powdery softness after a day spent in the sand, when sand is all over your feet, legs and car; afternoons spent lazing on a blanket or hammock and nights when there’s nothing to do and you just go get ice cream at your local shop – for some reason ice cream just tastes better on summer nights.  Summer is one of those seasons that reminds us of fun memories of childhood and a feeling of excitement. As American author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees just as things grow fast in the movies, I had the familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” We feel the same way, Mr. Fitzgerald, and today we’re sharing one of our favorite ways to kick off the summer season: a lobster boil on the beach. Cue DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s ‘Summertime’ and get inspired to create your own beachside bash for friends and family this summer season.

When planning a wedding, there are so many details to consider – the guest list, venue, invitations, menu, music – the list goes on! But perhaps one of the most fun elements of planning is choosing your wedding cake. We suggest you always leave this element to the professionals! Experienced pastry chefs and bakers are masters of their craft. With so many creative pastry chefs and artisan bakers out there, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for in a wedding cake. From simple to ornate, sugar art and fondant to edible flowers; fruits and fillings and drip cake toppings, there’s no limit to the creativity and design available for your wedding cake.

Below, we’ve complied some of our client’s wedding cakes throughout the years. We’ve included short captions to describe the style of each cake and any special features that pulled the cake into the overall design of the wedding events.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 1: 3 tier cake with hand-piping detail and cascading passion vines. Cake designed by Sweet on Cake | Photo: Kopol Bonick Photography.

Image 2-3: Square fondant covered cake topped with orchids for destination wedding in Hawaii. Cake designed by Four Seasons Hualalai | Photo: Michelle Walker Photography.

Image 4: A naked chocolate cake, dripping in white chocolate icing, topped with seasonal fruit. Cake designed by St. Regis San Francisco | Photo by Arrowood Photography.

Image 5: Floating cake illusion with silver strands. Cake designed by Flours SF | Photo by Anna Kuperbergg.

Image 6: Hexagon shaped cake with ribbon trim and piping detail. Cake designed by Inticing Creations | Photo by Gertrude & Mabel Photography.

Image 7: 5 tier fondant covered cake with sugar flower cascade. Cake designed by Carolyn Wong Cakes | Photo by Geoff White Photographers.

Image 8: Mardi Gras inspired button and paisley cake. Cake designed by The Whole Cake | Photo by Molly Landreth Photography.

Image 9: Fondant covered cake with ombre ruffles. Cake designed by Sweet on Cake | Photo by Kevin Chin Photography.

Image 10-12: Lace patterned cake with sugar flowers and custom monogram. Cake designed by Sweet on Cake | Photo by Arrowood Photography.

Image 13: Multi-sized 5 tier cake with lace cascade detail and blooming sugar flowers. Cake designed by Jasmine Rae Cakes | Photo by Michelle Walker Photography.

Image 14-15: Gold leaf cornered square cake with custom monogram. Cake designed by Sweet on Cake | Photo by Arrowood Photography.

Image 16: Hand-painted architectural cake in black and white. Cake designed by Flours SF | Photo by Dane Sanders.

Image 17: 4 layer bamboo shoot cake topped with love birds. Cake designed by Carolyn Wong Cakes | Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz.

One of the best wedding traditions that has carried on throughout centuries is sending a formal printed invitation to wedding guests. There is something special and nostalgic about receiving an invitation by post. Invitations are your guests first peek into your wedding style – whether it be formal or informal, classic or themed, it sets the tone for your wedding. And that chosen style of the invitation will then be carried throughout the wedding day events. Ceremony programs, escort cards, table numbers and dinner menus should all reflect the style and design of your wedding invitation. All of these paper elements are considered part of the wedding stationery suite.

In today’s blog entry, we’re sharing a few of our favorite stationery pieces from previous weddings and events. We love working with couples and watching as they make decisions together to determine their personal style. Whether the stationery reflects a shared passion, a special interest that brought the couple together or something simple like the couple’s favorite colors, elements of the stationery suite can be customized beyond imagination. Gone are the days of just ink on a piece of paper. In today’s stationery, anything is possible from blind embossing to foil; etched glass/lucite to edging. If you can imagine it, chances are, it can be done. We hope you will enjoy browsing the images below and that they will inspire you to discover your own personal style for your wedding stationery suite.

Images 1-2: Jade Studios Productions / Alia Designs | Image 3: Lisa Lefkowitz / Hello!Lucky
Images 4/12: Anna Kuperberg / Aerialist Press | Images 5-9: Michelle Walker / Twig & Fig / Papineau Calligraphy / Yonder Design
Images 10-11/15-16: Larissa Cleveland / Yonder Design | Image 13-14: Kopol Bonick / Three Little Words
Images 17-20: Arrowood Photography / Hello!Lucky | Images 21-25: Gertrude & Mabel / Twig & Fig / Papineau Calligraphy
Images 26-27: Kevin Chin / Hello!Lucky / Papineau Calligraphy

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Award-winning Chef Thomas Keller is famous for what he calls “the law of diminishing returns” when it comes to bites of food. At the French Laundry, a tasting menu is served with each course consisting of just a few perfect bites of food. Why? Because according to Keller and other famous chefs, during the first few bites of food, flavors are heightened and shortly thereafter, flavor saturation and palette fatigue set in. This means that a served portion of food should leave diners wanting just one more bite. By doing so, you guard against complacency with a dish or flavors, leaving your palette alive to once again absorb new flavors with each new dish.

When it comes to creating an unforgettable dining experience for our event guests, we’ve learned there’s a lot of truth to Chef Keller’s idea. More and more, our clients want to impress their guests with a variety of food options – cuisines from other cultures, delights sourced by local purveyors, chilled ceviches or tartars, and of course, the ever-so-popular request, upscale comfort food. The best way to satisfy this request is to offer guests small bites of savory and sweet treats with lots of variety. Our stellar catering partners focus on the guests’ dining experience and create dishes that are perfectly suited to an entertaining atmosphere. Not to mention they invent innovative ways to showcase these delectable works of art and know just how to make each dish take its turn in the spotlight.

We hope you enjoy this blog entry as it is sure to be a feast for the eyes.

Delectable bites were created by the following catering companies:
Componere Fine Catering | Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | St. Regis San Francisco
Photography by Arrowood Photography | Kevin Chin | Lisa Lefkowitz

food2food7food3food6food5

One of our favorite parts of each wedding that we plan and design is the Grand Entrance, the moment when the Bride is revealed to her family, friends, and most importantly to her groom. To add to the already exciting moment we love to create a unique entrance that creates a lasting memory. From a silhouette kabuki screen drop to emerging from the vines, we have orchestrated some of the most unforgettable entrances for our brides.

Grand Entrance

TIPS

Be sure that your entrance reflects your style. If you don’t mind the spotlight go for something dramatic like entering at the top of a staircase or from behind a private drape. If you are more of a classic bride, find a place where your entrance will be just your own. The most important tip, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.

Happy Planning!