I’m a day and a half late on this one, but I couldn’t go without wishing Neal and Lynn a very happy one-year anniversary! Last year, on 11-11-11, they tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony on the patio at Hotel De Anza in downtown San Jose, with an elegant dinner reception following at Paolo’s Restaurant, and I was honored that they let me help in the planning.
Lynn is a personal friend of mine from when I lived in Phoenix and Neal has been a friend of my husband’s since grade school. So when they got engaged, we were of course thrilled and Lynn and I met for drinks to celebrate her engagement and begin discussing the big day. At the outset, they were planning a destination wedding somewhere in Southern California for about 75 guests sometime in August 2012.
Fast forward to late September of last year. I had just finished my first marathon (and by just finished, I mean I was passed out in bed after running it that morning!) when David received a text from Neal asking what his schedule looked like for November because they were looking at wedding dates. David mentions this to me and I’m thinking…no way, I’m just in a haze from all the endorphins plus the glass of wine I had with dinner.
The next day I talked with Lynn and they had indeed pushed up the date. Here’s why. Both Lynn and Neal are successful executives and lead extremely busy lives, so when you put the two chaotic schedules together, its just craziness to say the least! On top of their work lives, they are raising their beautiful 6-year-old daughter Natalie AND had just begun a MAJOR reconstruction project on their home. (Side note, I saw their newly renovated home a few weeks back and it’s gorgeous!) Oh, and Lynn had just finished moving her life from Arizona to Northern California too. Needless to say, planning a bigger wedding was just too much, so we began a venue and vendor search immediately and ended up planning the whole darn thing in six weeks time. And it was lovely!
One big plus to planning a wedding on a short timeline is that it forces you to make decisions and move on. Quickly. If you find a vendor who is available and you like them, you can’t interview a few more just to be certain because you don’t have time for that. And even though we were pressed for time, Neal and Lynn hired some GREAT vendors for their wedding.
The event staff at Hotel De Anza were so accommodating and made it possible for me to play both the role of friend and wedding coordinator for Neal and Lynn’s ceremony. And I absolutely can’t say enough great things about Paolo’s Restaurant. Jalil and his staff there are amazing and you really should go for lunch, dinner or even just drinks if you haven’t been! (Side note: If you do make it to Paolo’s and you like champagne cocktails, you must try the Ombretta de Paolo – an internationally award winning cocktail concocted by Jalil himself. Here’s the story behind it, if interested.) Monica at Signature Bloom did the flowers and, even though we didn’t have much time and the wedding wasn’t “huge,” she paid such great attention to detail and her service was outstanding. And finally, photographer Melinda Bunker did a wonderful job capturing the day with some lovely images. In addition to the bride and groom, family and detail shots, she got so many adorable pictures of Natalie, who played such an important role as flower girl.
Lynn and Neal are both “foodies” so the menu was super-important to them. In addition to being their coordinator, I also designed menu cards for each place setting as well as menu cards for the cocktail hour, which we hung on several wine bottles in the bar where that was taking place. The cocktail hour at a wedding is always one of my favorite moments and I think this particular one had more hors d’oeuvres than I’ve ever seen in one sitting! It was fantastic!
Here are a few images from the day, courtesy of Melinda Bunker Photography.
Happy belated anniversary, Neal and Lynn! Cheers to many more!