Category Archives: Uncategorized

Celebrate Mom With This Spa-Inspired Giveaway

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How are you celebrating your mom this Mother’s Day? (Psst, it’s this coming Sunday.)
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Are you celebrating with Mom at a brunch, family gathering or other special outing? Or are you shopping for a special gift this year? When we took an informal poll at Pottery Barn HQ, a majority of moms told us that they’d love to spend their days celebrating with their families — but they’d also appreciate an hour or two of relaxation and pampering at the spa.
Keeping that request in mind, here are a few ideas for pampering the special moms in your life this coming Sunday.

  • Book a massage for Mom with a well-reviewed massage therapist in your town. (Check Yelp for reviews, or ask friends for their recommendations.)
  • Curate a special basket of spa products for your mom, including items that you know are her proven favorites, including those that use her favorite scent.
  • Refresh the bathroom with new items that will turn the bath into a more spa-like environment. Think chic storage containers, flowers and luxurious bath products.
  • Present Mom with a package of gift certificates for manicures at her favorite nail salon.

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To encourage a spa-like day for mom, we’re giving away one of our Organic Spa Robes as well as a $100 American Express gift card to a special mom (find the official rules here). To enter, just fill out the form below!

Thank you for reading! This contest is now over.

We’re Giving Away the Perfect Accessory to Your Final Four Game Watching

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Is your team in the Final Four? If you predicted the four teams that actually did make it to end of the conference, you did better than we did. To quote The New York Times, “Congratulations to the four of you who correctly predicted this Final Four in your office pool. Now please go see a mental health professional. Or fly to Las Vegas.”

 

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To celebrate the end of March Madness as well as these four absolutely unpredicted teams that made it to the Final Four, we’re giving away 10 of our Basketball Leather Bottle Coolers. Sheathed in our hand-stitched cooler, drinks keep their cool through every quarter. Want a chance to win? Just fill out the form below. Make sure to also let us know which team you’re rooting for in the comments. (Find the official contest rules here.)

Thank you this contest is now closed!

We’re Wishing You a Happy Easter With Our Easter Basket Giveaway!

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We’re excited to celebrate Easter by giving away a special Easter basket delivered to your door, chock full of yummy San Francisco edibles and beautiful Pottery Barn pieces. Want to win this yummy basket, brimming over with delightful treats? Keep reading to find out what’s in the basket, and to learn how to enter to win it.Easter-Contest-3
Our Easter Basket contains:

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Want to win this fabulous Easter basket? Just fill out the form below (you can click here for the official rules). Make sure to also leave a comment and tell us how you’re celebrating Easter this year!

Thank you for reading! This contest is now closed.

Spring Forward This Weekend — and Spring Out of Bed, Thanks to Our Pocket Watch Clock Giveaway

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Like many of you, we’re eager to for the extra hour of daylight that will begin tomorrow evening, thanks to Daylight Savings Time. Make sure to turn your clocks forward tonight. And while Daylight Savings Time is officially scheduled each year for 2 in the morning on Sunday, we won’t tell anyone if you do it after you wake up tomorrow morning. Check out these fun facts about Daylight Savings Time:

Benjamin Franklin is credited with the idea of Daylight Saving Time, though it wasn’t instituted while he was alive.

 It wasn’t until 1895 that George Vernon Hudson reintroduced the concept. Why’d he do so? He wanted more time for his insect collecting hobby!

 The first official Daylight Savings mandate occurred during World War I.

 The Uniform Time Act of 1966 made Daylight Savings Time a standard practice

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To celebrate the return to a lengthier, more sun-filled late afternoon and evening, we’re giving away 10 of our Small Pocket Watch Clocks. Our handsome timepiece recalls an antique English pocketwatch that one of our designers inherited from his great-grandfather, and features a case crafted in brass as well as subtly stylized black Roman numerals  that stand out against a bright white dial.

For a chance to win one of our Small Pocket Watch Clocks, simply fill out the form below by 11:59 pm PT Sunday night and we’ll pick 10 winners at random.  (You can read the official rules here.)

Thank you for reading! This contest is now closed.

Chris and Alyce’s Rustic Elegant Wedding

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Photographer Julie Christman recently sent us these gorgeous photos of newly wedding couple Alyce and Chris Youngblood. While Alyce and Chris were married at a rural, rustic setting, some of the details of the wedding, including establishing their own hashtag on Twitter, also reflected the couple’s social media-rich background. Keep reading to hear about what Alyce has to say about her rustic elegant wedding day and check out all of the absolutely stunning photos!

Can you tell us about you and your husband? 

“Chris and I met on Twitter in 2010, which seems strange to some, but felt natural to us. At the time, I was an editor and social media manager for a magazine in Orlando, FL, and he was a communications director for a non-profit on the coast. After we met face-to-face, it didn’t take too long for us to begin dating and took even less time for us to begin dreaming about the rest of our lives together. I’ve now joined him on the coast, as well as in his office, where I’m the organization’s new editor.”

 

 

How did you get engaged?

Chris made me wait for a while — after we had already looked at rings! But it was worth it, because it could not have been a more ‘us’ proposal. We both love New York City, and while I was spending a weekend there with my best friends, he flew up to surprise me. He walked up behind me while I was taking a photo in Bryant Park, my favorite spot in the city, and proposed with a gorgeous ring from the 1920s.

 

Where were you married?

“We were married in late October in my small hometown of Ocala, FL, at the private farm residence of a family friend. They have a beautiful home, garden, pond and barn, so we were able to host both the ceremony and reception on the property.”

 

 

What was your inspiration for the feel and look for the wedding?

“Though Chris and I have left our homes and crave skylines more than back roads, our roots are in the South. I grew up in a Florida horse town, and he and his charming accent hail from Georgia. We knew early on we wanted our wedding to reflect that, and we aimed for what we called ‘rustic elegance.’  Barn weddings can easily drift into hoedown territory, so we did our best to add more sophisticated touches with lace, gold accents, market lights and more.”

 

 

What was most important to you when planning the wedding?

“Honestly, the thing I stressed most about was wanting people to just have FUN. We’ve been to weddings with awkward lulls when guests don’t have anything to do or eat, a playlist that’s tough to dance to, a lack of seating arrangements, or details that were more about luxury than the enjoyment of the friends and family. So when it came to planning our wedding, every decision — from the menu to the lighting to the bridesmaids’ shoes — was filtered through a desire for people to be comfortable and happy.”

What details really stood out at the wedding?

“When I was young, the only thing I knew I wanted at my wedding was an abundance of sunflowers. We made that dream become a reality, and I think the hundreds of sunflowers were a stunning backdrop for nearly everything else at the wedding. They tied in well to our navy/gold theme and made the cloudy, windy October day seem bright.

Other details I loved were the ribbon canopy inside the barn and the twinkle light ceiling over our dance floor. They were simple, but required the most construction (many thanks to the friends who put these together for us!), and without them, those settings would have been lacking. Another personal favorite of mine were the miniature pumpkin favors, which I hear came in handy for Halloween just a few days later.”

 

 

How did your personal values or interests as a couple affect the look and feel of your wedding?

“As I mentioned before, both of us knew we wanted to have a laid-back, Southern-inspired celebration. But beyond that, there were a number of subtle ways our personalities, backgrounds, and interests were evident, from the Madeleine L’Engle quote I worked into the program to the classic Georgia peach cobbler Chris wanted for the dessert table. I think our ceremony songs were also a good representation of us as a couple—bluegrass, hymns, The Beatles, the Up soundtrack… It felt special and true to us. We also really value family, and they were very much involved throughout, with my father even officiating the ceremony.”

 

What fun details did your guests really enjoy and respond to?

“Early on in our relationship, Chris and I bonded over the fact that we both could always win the peg game at Cracker Barrel. As a nod to that, we placed one on each table as part of the centerpieces. Chris also customized some corn hole boards for the wedding, and those seemed to go over well with the guests. We bought a ton of bottled sodas, which were pretty much gone by the time dinner started, and for the coffee and cider, we had custom cup sleeves made with our wedding logo on them, which was an easy way to literally put our stamp on things. Also, a wedding trend you absolutely need to incorporate is setting your own hashtag for people to follow and post to. You not only get a great mix of photos to look back on, but it makes for something fun that guests can keep track of and participate in during down time.”

 

 

Did you have a live band or a DJ? How did you make this decision and make the music work at the wedding?

“My brothers are musicians, so they performed a hymn at the ceremony, but for the reception, we skipped having a band or DJ and made our own playlist. Part of our reasoning was that we didn’t plan music until the end and weren’t up for another major expense, but we also wanted some control over the song selection. We hand-picked favorite songs, and a family friend managed the iTunes for us the evening of.”

 

 

What do you think is important to splurge on? What about where you can save money?

“I know there a number of ways to save money on a wedding with DIY projects and thrifted finds — more power to you if you are able to. But personally, I work full-time, live more than two hours away from where the wedding took place and am a horrible crafter, so it was absolutely worth it to me to spend a little more here and there if it meant saving both time and stress. Splurge on dish rentals if you aren’t able to thrift vintage plates for each guest. Spend more on a good florist if you’re not up for the effort it will take to craft bouquets out of fabric and brooches. Be frugal, yes, but don’t feel bad if you’re not a DIY bride!

Another splurge we were comfortable with was food. Feeding more than 200 people was costly — but it was important to us to provide a substantial, delicious meal. A local favorite restaurant called The Ivy House took care of us and catered a gourmet feast of country food that my family and friends are still talking about. Your guests are flying, driving, and spending hours out of their weekend to celebrate with you, so feed them well! Just make sure a coordinator or family member is willing to go fill a plate for you so you don’t miss out.

Some things I thought would have to be incredibly expensive ended up being very affordable. I know letterpress printing and elaborate invitations and programs are very popular — but they’re also really pricey. Instead, we emailed a digital save the date and then relied on my talented brother’s design skills and a cheap online printing service for all of our invitations and programs. What would have been a couple thousand dollars ended up being a couple hundred, and our printed goods still looked awesome. This also ties into my next tip, which is to think of the services and goods your circle might be able to help out with or provide at discounted rates. Don’t take advantage of them, but don’t be afraid to utilize them either. So many people who love and support us were able to contribute something to our big day, from hair and make-up to film and furniture pieces.”

 

What advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding?

“The way I see it, all of the other little, beautiful details won’t matter so much if you don’t have quality photos and video to remember them by! Make photography and videography one of your first decisions, even before you know what the rest may look like.

As far as how you approach planning itself, work together and enjoy the process. For the most part, our engagement was stress-free, and we really tried to treasure that time between the proposal and the altar. Make decisions together, don’t get stuck on trivial stuff, and just keep reminding yourself that when all is said and done, you’re marrying your best friend, and that’s the most important thing. We also went to extensive pre-marital counseling—not just a handful of sessions, but a couple months of consistent visits with a psychologist, and it was one of the most rewarding things we’ve done as a couple, especially during such a significant period of life”

 

What advice do you have for couples that are establishing a registry?

“Take into account your current home—not just your ‘dream home’—when registering (especially for the kitchen!). Looking back, we aimed a bit high with some of our choices and ended up not having enough space for some of the amazing gear we got, which is piled high in our laundry room now so the counters don’t get cluttered. I wish I had registered for more creative storage solutions, like shelves, baskets, and other containers. And don’t worry about feeling pressure to register for and receive all of your main purchases and statement pieces at the start of your marriage. As far as decor goes, Chris and I went very basic and classic, as we know both our living arrangement and our style will change in the coming years, and we wanted some items that would grow with us and work with a number of settings and colors. Finally, give yourself time to register — start early in your engagement and add to your registry, both in-person and online, throughout the process. There are so many things you may change your mind about later or simply forget the first time you register, so it helped to build our registry gradually.”

 

You can also watch a video of the couple’s wedding day here.
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VENDORS:

Photography: Julie Cate Photography http://www.juliecate.com/

Cinematography: Dustin Miller of Flesh Profits Nothing  http://www.fleshprofitsnothing.com/

Flowers: Heritage Flowers http://www.heritage-flowers.com/

Catering: The Ivy House http://www.ivyhousefl.com/TheIvyHouse/Welcome.html

Cake: Ms. Debbie’s Sugar Art

Event rentals: Party Time http://www.partytimerentals.us/

Make-up: Denise Sarko of The Cherished Bride http://www.thecherishedbride.com/

Hair: Katie Gilligan, bride’s sister-in-law

Event design: Heather Sibinski, friend of bride

Event planning: Debbie DeLoach, friend of bride

Location: Private residence

Ceremony musicians: Josh Gilligan, Lee Gilligan, Cody Quistad

Officiants: Tim Gilligan, Jim Hoyle, Sean Forte

Invitations and programs: Lee Gilligan, bride’s brother

Bride’s shoes: Kate Spade

Bride’s dress: WToo from Solutions Bridal, Gainesville http://www.solutionsbridal.com/

Bride’s jewelry: Gold and sapphire family heirlooms

Bride’s hairpiece: Anthropologie

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Their own finds, from thrift stores to Anthropologie!

Bridesmaids’ shoes: DSW

Groom’s suit: J. Crew

Groom’s shoes: Cole Haan

Groomsmen’s clothes: J. Crew

All Photos Courtesy Julie Cate Photography

Happy Valentine’s Day! Win One of the Rio Leather Cosmetic Bags

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To celebrate the holiday, we’re offering 20 Rio Leather Cosmetic Bags to our readers. The Rio Leather Cosmetic Bag is the perfect size to slip in your purse and will hold your favorite lipsticks, brushes, blushes and other daily necessities. The Rio features hand-stitched leather trim and a bright red color — perfect for Valentine’s Day as well as any other day of the year.

 

Want to win one of the Rio Leather Cosmetic Bags? Simply fill out the form below by 11:59 pm PT tonight and we’ll pick 20 winners at random.  (You can read the official rules here.) Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Thank you, this contest is now closed.

MarLa and Sager’s Family Roots-Inspired Southern Wedding

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We”re excited to provide inspiration for our readers and registered couples with our series of wedding posts, and today we’re featuring the beautiful, heartfelt wedding of MarLa and Sager, photographed by White Rabbit Studios. The couple were married in Alabama at a small church, with the reception just a couple blocks away at Limestone Bay Trading Company. After you read our interview with MarLa, be sure to click through the entire slideshow. The photos  of MarLa walking down the aisle may just move you to happy tears — we certainly found ourselves reaching for a hankie.

Can you tell us about you and your husband?

“Sager grew up in New Hope, MS. I grew up in Alexandria, AL. He went to University of Alabama and obtained a BS degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. He was a member of the Blount Scholar program and member of Sigma Pi Fraternity. I went to Jacksonville State University and obtained a BS degree in Computer Information Systems with a minor in Business. I was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and a member of the Marching Ballerinas (the dance team for the Marching Southerners). Sager is a senior developer at IBM. I am a software programmer/analyst as a contractor for the Army. We met in Huntsville, AL at work in January 2009 and we started dating in February 2010.”



How did you get engaged?

“We were celebrating Sager’s birthday in Florence, AL. On our way back home, we stopped at Joe Wheeler State Park to enjoy the scenery. Sager suggested we take a walk on a pier to watch the sunset. As we were taking in the view and each other’s company, Sager asked me if I loved him and would I love him forever. Of course, I said ‘Yes!’ He then, simultaneously, knelt on one knee and reached into his pocket. He was so nervous and I was in shock. I kept asking ‘Is this the moment? Is this our moment of our proposal?’ I was crying happy tears. We both were overwhelmed and sat on the pier with our legs dangling off, just letting the moment soak in. Sager shared his many ideas of how to propose and where. I liked them, so when we got into the Huntsville and Madison area, we drove to our work (where we first met), we drove to the restaurant of our first official date, we drove to his first apartment where we had our first kiss, we drove to Big Spring Park where we had our first unofficial date, we drove by the jewelry store where he purchased the ring (we never looked at rings together and he picked it out all on his own!)…each place Sager asked me to marry him. Each place I said ‘Yes.'”

The church where you were married is absolutely lovely. How did you choose this church?

“We wanted an outdoor wedding originally, but we struggled with the location and having to plan for inclement weather. We had both been to Mooresville several times and loved the quaintness of the historic town. The church was built in 1839. It is a one room building with no a/c or heating, but does have electricity! So we fell in love with the primitive church! It offered so much rustic charm that was befitting our wedding. What we wanted was a place than was natural and simple, and that is where we ended up. It was perfect.”



Where did you hold the reception?

“The reception was held at Limestone Bay Trading Company. It is a restaurant for breakfast and lunch and an event venue in the evenings. It is located in Mooresville, AL, about two blocks from the church. Our guests walked from the church to the reception, sipping from glass coke bottles on their walk. Dee Green is a one shop stop! She owns the venue, does the food, has a lady that does the wedding cake, is the florist, she does it all and she goes over and beyond! Limestone Bay Trading Company is a former General Store. It is so eclectic! Not much decoration is needed!”

 


What was your inspiration for the feel and look for the wedding?

“We wanted the wedding and reception to represent us and who we are. We wanted the reception to be like a family get-together, like those we attended growing up. My family would get together sometimes in the summer, and the men would play horseshoes; we would make homemade ice cream; everybody would bring a dish of southern ‘comfort’ food. We didn’t want it to be too fancy with crystal stemware, hors d’oeuvre, and place settings so involved that most people would have trouble knowing which fork to use! We wanted it to be comfortable, good, Southern food, with natural elements.”

 

What was most important to you when planning the wedding?

“The most important thing to us when planning the wedding was that the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception (all events) reflected us, our love, and our commitment to each other. The church is small so we had only our siblings stand with us (Sager’s two brothers were his best men, my sister was my maid of honor). Since I have so many close girlfriends they were honorary bridesmaids. They walked in with my sister but sat in a pew designated for them. They wore mismatched bridesmaid dresses, all coordinating but not matching in color or style. The dress and color fit each of the girl’s personality. I gave them colors to stay within (grey, brown, and green).”

 

 

What details really stood out at the wedding?

“Our save the dates, wedding invitations and programs were printed on wood from Night Owl Paper Goods in Birmingham, AL and personally designed by Sager’s brother, Jacob! Our unity ceremony was a tree that my mom got from our land in Alexandria. Sager had a mason jar of water from the lake where he grew up and a mason jar of soil from the land upon which he grew up. I had a mason jar of water from the pond where I grew up and a mason jar of soil from the land where I grew up. The music was a solo, acoustic violin played by a close friend of my family. We had hymns, a Scottish waltz, and an English country dance song to list a few. No vocalists were used. The violin sounded so authentic with the time period of when the church was built. The ring bearer, son of the violinist, carried my dad’s Bible. My dad passed away in 2007 and I wanted to honor him. I carried a handkerchief with the type of tobacco he smoked in his pipe to help calm my nerves that day.”

 


How did your personal values or interests as a couple affect the look and feel of your wedding?

“We both love folksy rock, and we love southern traditions, so we included both in the wedding and reception. We included our favorite foods and drinks and the reception (personally selected all food and drinks); we hand-made a lot of the decorations; Sager worked on the wedding just as much as I did – we wanted every decision and detail to truly reflect us and who we are! We wanted our friends and family to feel special and know how much we appreciate each and everyone and their support as we become husband and wife and the support to come in our relationship.”

 

What fun details did your guests really enjoy and respond to?

“They seemed to enjoy the s’mores pit, the southern food, the historic town, Coca-Colas in glass bottles served leaving the church on their way to the reception, the music in the ceremony, the groom’s table (Sager’s mom made desserts that he grew up eating and they were served in old tin boxes), rocking chairs at the reception, quilt squares for guests to write messages for us to make a quilt. The fresh, green flora throughout our venues and the town of Mooresville really made everything feel natural and looked beautiful.”

 


Did you have a live band or a DJ? How did you make this decision and make the music work at the wedding?

“We had a DJ that played vinyl records. If he didn’t have a song on vinyl, he would play a digital copy. We wanted the music of the reception to fit the venue, so we didn’t pick a DJ with a disco ball or colored lights. We didn’t have any hip hop or typical dance songs played at the reception. We like folksy rock artists like Iron and Wine, The Civil Wars, Band of Horses, Mumford and Sons, The Head and the Heart, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, etc.”


What do you think is important to splurge on? What about where you can save money?

“We think couples should research and pay a little more for the quality of the venue, the photographer/videographer, and/or a graphic designer for custom invitations/paper and website. We think do-it-yourself projects help save money and give the wedding/reception more of the couple’s personality. Have your family and friends use their talents to help with the details. Our violinist was a close friend of the family; one of Sager’s brothers is a graphic designer, so he helped with the website, save the dates, rehearsal dinner invites, wedding invitations, and programs. My mom has a great eye for decorating so she helped tremendously! Sager’s mom is a fantastic baker so her making of the goodies for his groom’s table was delicious and sentimental. My friend coordinates things really well, and she was our day-of wedding coordinator. Of course, we showed our appreciation for all they did for us either with money or a gift.”


What advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding?

“While planning, still take time to reflect on your relationship and why you are planning, planning, planning! We had an 8 month engagement, so it was short and busy! Three months prior to the wedding was my birthday so we took a long weekend trip to New Orleans to get away from wedding-planning. We highly recommend having an engagement session with the same photographer/videographer as the wedding. We learned their shooting style and were way more comfortable on the day of the wedding. We felt somewhat awkward during the engagement shoot at first, but all that awkwardness was gone on the wedding day…we were so comfortable around them!”


What advice do you have for couples that are establishing a registry?

“Take an assessment of what you have and what you need. Add items in different price ranges, for all friends and family to afford.”

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For more information about MarLa and Sager, check out their wedding website. The “Our Story” tab was written by Sager about the couple up until the moment of proposal acceptance!

All photos courtesy White Rabbit Studios

Amanda and Giorgio’s Modern and Romantic Toronto Wedding

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One of the most memorable days in a couple’s life together is their wedding day, which is why we’re excited to provide inspiration for our readers and registered couples with our series of wedding posts. Our first featured wedding is from Giorgio and Amanda. Amanda is the co-founder and owner of The Hot Plate, where she provides food styling, recipe development and other online resources for food lovers. Given Amanda’s profession,  it’s no surprise that food and wine were two major considerations when she and Giorgio married in Toronto at sunset on November 3rd, 2012 at the Berkeley Field House. Let’s take a peek at their gorgeous ceremony and reception and hear what Amanda has to say about her wedding day.

Can you tell us a little about you and your husband?

“Giorgio is one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. When I met Giorgio, I knew that I’d never meet anyone nicer and more sincere than him. I’m very outgoing, definitely a big A-type personality here. Giorgio supports my ambition and entrepreneurial spirit, and helps to keep me grounded and balanced.”

How did you meet?

“Giorgio is from Peru and works as an associate at Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. I’m from Ottawa and I run an online cooking resource for food lovers and professional recipe development and food styling company called The Hot Plate. We met at a Halloween Party in 2010. I was dressed as a zebra and Giorgio was the most interesting man in the world. After walking off the elevator, Giorgio was the first person I met, and we’ve been together since that night.”

 


How did you get engaged?

“A week I’ll never forget . . . Giorgio and I are two peas in a pod so he knew that with my keen sense for surprises, I would probably guess what he was planning. Anticipating this, he sent me a week of calendar invites. Starting on Saturday Giorgio organized full days and nights of events. We visited art galleries, went to incredible restaurants and even revisited the first place we said ‘I love you.’ I started to think that just maybe he would ask. Four days in, I was pretty sure, but night after night no BIG question. Finally, Thursday night I came home to find Giorgio there with a drink in hand. He said he’d booked us a table at SPiN Toronto for a game of ping pong and then a surprise dinner at an intimate restaurant. Giorgio had intended to hide the ring box in the basket of ping pong balls, but when we were assigned a table next to a rowdy office party, Giorgio had to reconsider. Minutes later, Giorgio said that ping pong wasn’t a good idea and rushed us out into the alley. Unable to contain the nerves/excitement, he looked around anxiously in the alley. Although it was raining, Giorgio got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Excited, teary-eyed and all smiles we headed to an intimate French restaurant. On the table was the most impressive bouquet of roses and orchids I’ve ever seen. The husband and wife who owned the restaurant  asked if it was my birthday and when we told them we’d just gotten engaged they brought out champagne for all 25 patrons. It still makes me smile when I think of the care and thought he put into planning the proposal.”

 

 

What was your inspiration for the feel and look for the wedding?

“I’m not a lover of fall foliage. So when we opted for a November wedding we wanted to skew winter. Giorgio and I wanted a downtown wedding with a modern yet rustic twist. We opted for birch bark and pine cones because of their versatility and elegant look.”


What was most important to you when planning the wedding?

“Food! Well, food and culture. Giorgio is from Peru and food is definitely a big part of their culture. Also, my work in the food industry meant that we wanted to impress guests with elegant food that appealed to the season. Our mains included cornish hens with bourbon mash and braised beef short ribs with glazed root vegetables.”

What details really stood out at the wedding?

“I’ll have to thank my mum for this. My mum hacksawed 100 pine cones so that we good use them as place card holders. Everyone loved them, and people even took them home as keepsakes.”

 

 

How did your occupation affect the menu and décor at the wedding?

“My work at The Hot Plate is all about making cooking fun and simple for home cooks. For the wedding, I wanted to keep decor simple and seasonal just like the food. Our menu included phyllo wrapped brie, foie gras with pickled scapes and other tasty bites. Our mains included cornish hens with bourbon mash and braised beef short ribs with glazed root vegetables. We were lucky with decor. The Berkeley Field House is renowned for its seasonal dishes as well as its impeccable service, gorgeous whitewashed walls and vintage looking chandeliers.”

 

 

What fun details did your guests really enjoy and respond to?

“Our guests loved the pine cone place card holders and mercury glass vases. The woodsy touch added warmth to the room. Our guests also loved what is known in Peru as ‘hora loca,’ also called ‘crazy hour.’ Hora Loca starts about an hour into dancing and usually involves costume pieces and the music taking it up a notch. For ours, I’m an experienced sailor and grew up on sailboats so it was only natural that we embraced the pirate spirit. We passed around eye patches, fake parrots, pirate hats, hooks and plastic swords. Guests got really into the party.”

 

Did you have a live band or a DJ?

“Giorgio is the music buff of the couple. He organized a string trio for the ceremony and reception. Instead of classic music we opted for contemporary music like Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and even some Elvis Presley. For dinner and dancing we moved over to a DJ that kept the party going until 2 AM! Giorgio spent months organizing the music. We started by picking favorite Spanish and English songs and then broke it down to dinner and dancing. Every weekend, Giorgio and I would listen to the playlist while cooking for the week. We were able to edit down the list to favorites without any last minute stress.”

 

What do you think is important to splurge on?

“Definitely wine! The food was important, but when it came to wine Giorgio and I knew we wanted to go for quality. My parents, also wine lovers, had no problem indulging us in a number of tastings. We chose bottles that we loved, and would complement the food beautifully.”

What about where you can save money?

“We saved money with DIY invitations. With a little trial and error on Illustrator I was able to craft up a simple and elegant invitation that saved us hundreds of dollars. We also opted not to rent limos for the day.”

 

 

What advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding?

“Book the big stuff early to reduce stress. We booked everything early and enjoyed a stress-free summer. In September, we picked up where we’d left off and finalized last minute details. Also, make couple time. Even though you’ll be planning your wedding it is important that as a couple you carve out non-wedding talk time.”

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Photos by OliveStudio

GAME DAY PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY – Official Rules

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 GAME DAY PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY

 Official Rules

1.              NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2.              SPONSOR:  The sponsor of the Sweepstakes is Williams-Sonoma, Inc., through its brand, Pottery Barn (“Sponsor”), 3250 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109.

3.              PROMOTION PERIOD:  The Sweepstakes begins at 08:00:00 am PST on Jan. 25, 2014 and ends at 12:59 pm PST on Jan. 27, 2014 (“End Date”).

4.              ELIGIBILITY:  The Sweepstakes is open only to residents of the 50 United States of America or the District of Columbia (excluding Rhode Island) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older as of their time of entry.  Employees of Sponsor, its prize providers and licensors, and each of the foregoing entities’ affiliates, authorized designees and other related entities, and any other individual or entity associated with the development, judging or administration of the Sweepstakes (collectively, the “Sweepstakes Entities”), as well as members of such employees’ immediate families (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes.

5.              HOW TO ENTER:  To enter the Sweepstakes, access the Pottery Barn Blog, Inside & Out at http://blog.potterybarn.com/ before the End Date and follow all instructions to fully and accurately complete the entry form and be entered in the Sweepstakes. Limit one (1) entry per person and per e-mail address.

Entries must be received before the End Date.  Sponsor is not responsible for late, incomplete, void, corrupted, garbled, misdirected, or otherwise unintelligible Entries and for any problems, bugs or malfunctions Entrants may encounter when submitting their entry. Incomplete, garbled, corrupted or otherwise illegible entries are void and will not be accepted. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify false entries or entries suspected of being false and to disqualify any Entrant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweeps or violating these Official Rules. Sponsor is the official time keeper for the Sweepstakes.  All entry information and materials become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.  Except as otherwise contemplated in these Official Rules, and to the extent entrants may otherwise elect at the time of entry, personal information collected in connection with the Sweepstakes will be used in accordance with the online privacy policy available at www.potterybarn.com.

6.              PRIZES:  One (1) Grand Prize, consisting of one (1) Great White Chip and Dip, one (1) Leather Bottle Cooler with Opener, one (1) Football Leather Bottle Cooler and Dice Set, four (4) Classic Beer Mugs . Prizes will be delivered only to an address in the United States or Canada.  No cash alternative or substitution of prizes will be allowed, except Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute prizes of comparable value, in whole or in part, for any reason.  THE WINNER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REPORTING AND PAYING ANY AND ALL INCOME, SALES OR EXCISE TAXES THAT MAY APPLY TO ACCEPTING PRIZES; SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR AND WILL NOT PAY ANY SUCH TAXES.

7.              ODDS:  Many will enter, only one (1) will win.  Actual odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

8.              WINNER SELECTION:  The winner will be determined by random selection conducted by Sponsor from among all eligible entries on or around Jan. 29, 2014.  All results of the selection are final and binding, subject to these Official Rules.  In the event of a dispute as to the identity of a winner, the winner will be deemed to be the person in whose name the e-mail account governing the e-mail address was opened. In the event a winning entry is discovered to be invalid for any reason whatsoever or the person who submitted the winning entry fails to comply with these Official Rules prior to delivery of the prize, the prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner.  No more than the advertised number of prizes will be awarded.

9.              NOTICE TO WINNER:  Attempts to notify potential winner will be made using the e-mail address or telephone number provided at entry.  Sponsor is not responsible for e-mail, telephone or other communication problems of any kind.  If, despite reasonable efforts, a potential winner does not respond within fifteen (15) days of the first notification attempt (or such shorter time as exigencies may require), or if the prize or prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to such potential winner, such potential winner will forfeit his or her prize and an alternate winner may be selected.

10.            VERIFICATION OF WINNERS:  Potential winner may be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release, and (where imposing such condition is legal) a Publicity Release (collectively, “Prize Claim Documents”).  If a potential winner is less than the age of majority in his or her jurisdiction of primary residence, a “minor,” at Sponsor’s option, the applicable prize either will be awarded in the name of the parent or legal guardian of winner, or the parent or legal guardian of winner will be required to ratify and sign the Prize Claim Documents.  If any potential winner (or such winner’s parent or legal guardian) fails or refuses to sign and return all Prize Claim Documents within fifteen (15) days of prize notification (or such shorter time as exigencies may require), the winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner may be selected.

11.            SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ENTRIES THAT ARE ENTERED BY OTHER THAN HUMAN MEANS (SUCH AS BY AN AUTOMATED COMPUTER PROGRAM OR ANY NON-HUMAN MECHANISM, ENTITY, OR DEVICE), IN EXCESS OF THE STATED LIMIT, OR FOR ENTRIES THAT ARE LATE, FORGED, DESTROYED, LOST, MISPLACED, STOLEN, MISDIRECTED, TAMPERED WITH, INCOMPLETE, DELETED, DAMAGED, GARBLED, OR OTHERWISE NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THESE OFFICIAL RULES, AND ALL SUCH ENTRIES WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.  BY ENTERING THE SWEEPSTAKES, EACH ENTRANT AGREES:  (A) TO BE BOUND BY THESE OFFICIAL RULES AND BY ALL APPLICABLE LAWS AND ALL DECISIONS OF SPONSOR WHICH SHALL BE BINDING AND FINAL; (B) TO WAIVE ANY RIGHTS TO CLAIM AMBIGUITY WITH RESPECT TO THE OFFICIAL RULES; (C) TO WAIVE ALL OF HIS OR HER RIGHTS TO BRING ANY CLAIM, ACTION, OR PROCEEDING AGAINST ANY OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES; AND (D) TO RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS EACH OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES AND EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES, FROM ANY LIABILITY (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LIABILITY FOR ANY PROPERTY LOSS, DAMAGE, PERSONAL INJURY, BODILY INJURY, DEATH, LOSS, EXPENSE, ACCIDENT, DELAY, INCONVENIENCE OR IRREGULARITY), COSTS AND EXPENSES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, REASONABLE OUTSIDE ATTORNEY’S FEES) THAT MAY ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH:  (I) THE ENTRANT’S PARTICIPATION OR INABILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SWEEPSTAKES, (II) TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS IN THE OFFICIAL RULES OR ANY SWEEPSTAKES PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS, (III) ACCEPTANCE OR POSSESSION, DEFECTS IN, USE, MISUSE OR INABILITY TO USE ANY PRIZE (OR ANY COMPONENT THEREOF), (IV) ANY CHANGE BY ANY COMPANY OR ANY OTHER PERSON PROVIDING ANY OF THE COMPONENTS OF A PRIZE DUE TO REASONS BEYOND ANY OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES’ CONTROL OR AS OTHERWISE PERMITTED HEREUNDER, (V) ANY INTERRUPTIONS IN OR POSTPONEMENT, CANCELLATION, OR MODIFICATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES, (VI) HUMAN ERROR, (VII) INCORRECT OR INACCURATE TRANSCRIPTION, RECEIPT OR TRANSMISSION OF ANY PART OF THE ENTRY (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE ENTRY INFORMATION OR ANY PARTS THEREOF), (VIII) ANY TECHNICAL MALFUNCTIONS OR UNAVAILABILITY OF ANY WEBSITE OR ANY TELEPHONE NETWORK, COMPUTER ONLINE SYSTEM, COMPUTER DATING MECHANISM, COMPUTER EQUIPMENT, SOFTWARE, OR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER UTILIZED BY ANY OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES OR BY AN ENTRANT, (IX) INTERRUPTION OR INABILITY TO ACCESS THE SWEEPSTAKES, ANY SWEEPSTAKES-RELATED WEB PAGES, OR ANY ONLINE SERVICE VIA THE INTERNET DUE TO HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY PROBLEMS, (X) ANY DAMAGE TO ENTRANT’S (OR ANY THIRD PERSON’S) COMPUTER OR ITS CONTENTS RELATED TO OR RESULTING FROM ANY PART OF THE SWEEPSTAKES, (XI) ANY LOST OR DELAYED DATA TRANSMISSIONS, OMISSIONS, INTERRUPTIONS, DEFECTS, OR ANY OTHER ERRORS OR MALFUNCTIONS, (XII) ANY WRONGFUL, NEGLIGENT, OR UNAUTHORIZED ACT OR OMISSIONS ON THE PART OF ANY OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES, OR ANY OF THEIR AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES, OR (XIII) ANY OTHER CAUSE, CONDITION OR EVENT WHATSOEVER BEYOND THE CONTROL OF ANY ONE OR MORE OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES.  EACH WINNER HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES HAVE NEITHER MADE NOR ARE IN ANY MANNER RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY WARRANTY, REPRESENTATION OR GUARANTEE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN FACT OR IN LAW, RELATIVE TO ANY PRIZE OR COMPONENT THEREOF, INCLUDING ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES PROVIDED BY ANY OF THE PRIZE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SWEEPSTAKES.

12.            Acceptance of a prize constitutes winner’s permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name, photograph, likeness, voice, biographical information, statements and address (city and state) for advertising or publicity purposes, worldwide, and in all forms of media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity, without further compensation.

13.            Sponsor reserves the right to suspend or cancel the Sweepstakes or modify these Official Rules as necessary for any reason or as required by applicable law.  Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify from the Sweepstakes, and ban from any future promotions, any person it believes to have intentionally violated these Official Rules, or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or to have tampered with any element of the Sweepstakes without notice to the disqualified or banned person.

14.            All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules or the rights and obligations of entrants and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of laws rules or provisions.  Any legal claims arising out of or relating to the Sweepstakes or these Official Rules must be brought in the federal or state courts located in Los Angeles, California.

15.            To obtain any legally-required winners list (after the conclusion of the Sweepstakes) or a copy of these Official Rules, send a self-addressed envelope with the proper postage affixed to:  Pottery Barn, 3250 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109.  Please specify “winners list” or “Official Rules” and the name of the Sweepstakes in your request.