When renowned design and wedding mastermind Sasha Souza of Sasha Souza Events offered to share her day of days with us we were SO excited! Not only is Sasha Souza Events among the top event design and coordination companies in the US, Sasha is considered among the top 25 trendsetters in the wedding industry. We love Sasha's philosophy - approaching each wedding as a broadway producer approaches a play, she makes sure the stars shine and the audience/guests go home wanting more! With a background like that it's no wonder her sunny wedding day in Napa Valley, California was by no means safe, with a colour palette of copper, teal, peach and raspberry - this wedding had serious bang!
The wedding journey for Sasha started when she met, now husband, Joel at church. They built a solid foundation as friends first. 'We would talk at church from time to time and sit within a few rows of each other. We would chat on Facebook or via text message and he helped me out at my house. He has two daughters who were 9 & 10 and my youngest son was 3 at the time. We would get together and the girls would come over and bake, play in my backyard, etc. but we didn't have a romantic relationship at that time,' says Sasha. Several months later (June 2011) Joel suggested they go bowling and see a movie together - as they say the rest is history! A proposal ensued, the details of which Sasha's lips are sealed!
So how does a wedding and events extraordinaire approach planning their own wedding? Scroll on because Sasha shared her wedding planning journey with us below!
F R O M T H E B R I D E.... (AKA SASHA SOUZA!)
I was in a bit of a predicament because I plan events and all of my vendors were going to be providing services for the wedding, they had seen everything that I already do. I needed something that was beautiful and personal but on a smaller scale - I didn't want to take advantage of the generosity of my friends in the industry.
I decided to take the things that I loved so much about all the weddings I had created over the past year and add some additional things that made them a bit more "us" -but there were so many great events it became hard to narrow it down, so I picked from about 4 weddings and made them into our own wedding.
The ceremony & reception were held at a restaurant with a large garden in Napa Valley. The venue is called Brix Restaurant.
My gown was a Tadashi Shoji. I went shopping with my assistant, Mellysa in San Francisco. I didn't want a traditional wedding gown for a summer wedding, outdoors in the wine country. It can be hot during the day and cool at night, plus I wanted something more fitting for a bride who had been married before. I selected six dresses and brought them all home. Not keeping with tradition, I tried all of them on for Joel. He gave his opinion on the two he liked best, which was a white off the shoulder short satin dress or a short green stretch lace Tadashi. From then on, he didn't want to know which one I would select. I found a blush gown of the same design as the green short lace Tadashi but in a longer length. I bought it, tried it on at home and he saw me in it. He knew there were three dresses now that I was choosing from.
I kept the long blush gown because it gave a bit of "bridal" to the wedding, which Joel liked. I ordered a shawl length of the stretch overlay fabric from the company and had alterations made and added a short sleeve, moved some of the applique, shortened the front hem and added a low bustle.
Since he didn't know what I was choosing, he was surprised when he saw a newly redesigned gown.
I actually didn't choose my own flowers for the bouquets. I had two very talented designers work on the flowers for the wedding. My floral designer, Leah Lowery, who does all of our events designed the girls bouquets & the ceremony/reception flowers. Nico Cervantes from NLC Productions designed my personal bouquet. I gave them inspiration from Pinterest and a color palette I chose on Colourlovers.com along with a list of flowers I did not like and I let them do all the designing. My bouquet was out of this world with a vintage brooch chosen by Nico. It's one of my most prized keepsakes of the wedding.
We had a small get together the night before for close friends and out of town family at a food truck called Dim Sum Charlies. It was completely informal.
The ceremony & reception were on the same site so we used the same colors throughout just in different shades. We chose a palette of copper, teal, peach and raspberry. The ceremony seating was mostly tones of blue and we had an ombre of tones to the chair caps. The ceremony itself was washed grapevine and we accented that in blushy tones with pops of raspberry & green.
The cocktail party was tones of blue & cream with pops of pink and orange. The centrepiece of the reception was overhead. We built a structure and strung ribbons from it in tones of raspberry, teal, cream, peach, sage and violet. This was over two long tables that were draped in seafoam tone linen and topped with a peach fabric with tulle rosettes. The chairs had copper sequin chair backs and sunrise toned chair pads. The flower vessels on the table were all tones of teal, blue & cream with the exception of the candle & flower stands which were covered in gold glitter.
The placesetting had gold toned flower shaped glass charger plates topped with a sunrise napkin, laser cut wood name tag & dye cut menu which wrapped around the napkin. The glassware is a peachstone color with a green stem and we used pearlized handle flatware.
The flowers on the table were a mix of ferns in wood boxes, cupcake cloches with ranunculus, bottle brush and astilbe, plus large centrepieces containing roses, ranunculus, dahlia, calla lily, berries, mint and sweet pea. We also featured hand ribboned & dyed plum peacock feathers for a hint of something whimsical.
On the Menu...
Mushroom vol au vent
Smoked ham & gruyere croquettes
Garlic shrimp in cast iron with ginger aioli
Sun gold tomato gazpacho
Fried chicken jambonette
For the Table
Pork Rillette (in jar) with sourdough crostini and red onion marmalade
Marinated baby beets
Housemade breads, butters with assorted salts
Compressed watermelon and tomato caviar with balsamic vinegar and lemon zest
Heirloom Tomato Panzanella Lemon cucumbers, sweet onions, black olives, torn garlic croutons,tomato vinaigrette and garden basil
Brioche Crusted Alaskan Halibut yellow corn, baby leeks, tokyo turnips, new crop shelling beans and piquillo pepper vinaigrette
Veg Option-sub for Halibut - Brown Butter Caramelized Cauliflower Steak
Entrees (choice of)
Duck Confit with orange apricot jam
Grilled Beef Short Ribs (not glazed, something lighter such as salsa verde)
Veg option: Vegetable Wellington- rice, garden vegetables, etc.
Crispy polenta cakes with tomato jam
Smashed marble potatoes
Carrot Stew (carrots cooked in their own juice)
Snap Peas, radish and cucumber salad with sesame vinaigrette
Late Night Snack
Sliders & mini basket of fries (if we don't serve as sides)
The only favor they received was their place card which was a dye cut wood name tag. Many were wearing them around their necks as jewellery and if I go to their homes, they are featured in their houses.
I can't think of a single thing that isn't memorable. It's great to be in an industry that parties for a living and see so many hard working people get a chance to celebrate at an event for one of their own. They were able to let their hair down, have a little wine, eat a delicious menu and dance/chat/enjoy the night.
Damion Hamilton is not only a fantastic photographer, he's also a great friend and was integral in us meeting. We love his décor images as much as those he takes of people. He has shot my company headshots, personal family photos, photo shoots & stylized shoots for many years. We trust him completely. The photos show so much personality and also the beauty of the day.
There were so many [songs]. My daughter has a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater and she sang for the guest arrival and ceremony. We had a DJ for the cocktail party & dinner and enjoyed dualing pianos for the dancing - guests could choose songs they wanted to hear. Rather than tell people what we wanted them to hear, we let them guide the music.
We honeymooned in the Caribbean on Anguilla at the Ani Villas. We left about 2 weeks after the wedding and spent 5 days there.
The People That Made This Wedding Amazing...
Photographer Damion Hamilton Ceremony + Reception Venue Brix Restaurant Bride's Dress Tadashi Shoji Bride's Bouquet Nico Cervantes of NLC Productions Wedding Flowers & Décor Leah Lowery of Sasha Souza Events Rentals Hartmann Studios Lighting Got Light Linens La Tavola Linen Rentals Catering Brix Restaurant Cake Fleur de Lisa Ice Cream Station Three Twins Ice Cream Sound & Music AEC Entertainment Video Lovespun Handmade Films
Special thanks to Sasha Souza for sharing her special day with us, we hope you have enjoyed this little snapshot as much as we have!