Thursday, April 29, 2010

First Look... Kerry and Andrew

Where we started, First Inspiration/Color Board:

Final Inspiration/Color Board:
Kerry and Andrew are getting married this summer at Saltwater Farm Vineyard and I couldn't be happier for them! When we first started working together we built a design board inspired by the bold colors of the eye of a peacock feather and rich jewel tones. We have since refined the design to be softer, more romantic, incorporating vintage details of lace and ruffles, while still playing off of the exotic texture and design of the peacock feather and palette of colors.

Recently Kerry and Andrew got together with the Marantz's and Jennie Fresa (part of our rockstar team for their wedding) to do their engagement session at Pepe's Pizza, on historic Wooster street in New Haven, which is where they had their very first date! You can see the full collection of images on the Marantz's blog. Congratulations Kerry and Andrew can't wait til the wedding.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesdays are for Mood Boards.....Butterflies..

Valentino Fall 2010 images found via Merci New York

I don't know what the heck I was thinking when I decided to create 3 inspiration boards.. but nonetheless here we go...I was so inspired months ago by this butterfly collection of gowns by Valentino, that I knew I had to do something with them. Then 2 weeks ago, I witnessed the wedding of Karyn and Paul at Saltwater Farm, designed by Miss True of True Event, and immediately went back to the drawing board....So three different color stories and three different boards...Enjoy!!

Note to readers: This however does not mean to completely saturate your wedding in butterflies..I believe a little dash here and a sprinkle there is all you need..

Board 1
Valentino gown, Butterfly cake:, Valentino gown, Umbrella image: ffffound, mens suit image:oncewed
Clutch: J.Crew, Rose image:sarah maingot, Clutch: J Crew, wedding gown:, Couch image:thisisglamorous
Perfume image:flickr, Dress:nordstrom, Teacup image: Martha Stewart
Vintage gown:image, Shoes:boden, Valention dress, shoes: polyvore, Cookies:eatcakebemerry
Flower brooch:flickr, Dress image: Butterfly image:, Butterfly chandelier: pb kids, gown image:weheartit

Board 2
Dress by Valentino, Bouquet, Embroidered Jacket: Etsy, Butterfly image: chocolate creative design
Butterfly clock: genius beauty, Dress image:, Butterfly straws: Martha Stewart, Bouquet, Butterfly cake:image
Fruit desserts: Cannellle et Vanille, Petal makeup:, Butterflies:weheartit, Flower cookie:miette
Yellow chair: absolutely beautiful things, Butterfly hat:Martina Bohn, Plate Image: absolutely beautiful things, wedding gown:. Gown: Valentino
Peony image:whiteflowerfarm, Popsicles, Poster: absolutely beautiful things, Butterfly bouquet: Martha Stewart

Board 3
Butterflies:, Gown:, Shoes:imgfave, Wedding Gown: Douglas Hannant, Butterfly clock image
Butterfly brooch:etsy, Jewelry image: Jose Lasheras,Blue Rose image:weheartit
Shoe image:weheartit, Necklace: Anthropologie, Shoes: Plate:flickr, Hat image:
Valentino Gown, Blue room image:kevin macintosh, Vintage butterfly belt:etsy, Gown: Versace, Glass image
Hat image:, Butterfly chandlier:designwagen, Couch: anthropologie, Lace image:

Boards designed and created by Chocolate Creative Design.


A Break in the Clouds...

On Saturday I was invited to attend a premiere viewing of the documentary, A Break in the Clouds, at the Boston International Film Festival.

A Break in the Clouds is a deeply moving documentary on Project Joy, an amazing non profit that the Life is Good Kids Foundation has been supporting for many years. The film captures Project Joy's extensive work on the Mississippi Gulf Coast helping children traumatized by Hurricane Katrina.

It was incredibly special for me to be able to attend the viewing of the film the day before Team True Event set out to run our first race together, to raise money for Project Joy and the Life is Good Kids Foundation. It made running in the cold rain for over 13 miles extra special knowing that our efforts would be supporting such an incredible organization. I encourage all of you to learn more about the work of Project Joy, they truly are amazing!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Wine Tasting... Destination Sonoma, Viansa Winery

Tasting Room Wine List
Courtyard Fountain
Views from the patio

Outside patio and event tent in the background.

Viansa was the first winery we visited in Sonoma. Recommended by family and friends as a must stop it was absolutely gorgeous. With a large tasting room, filled with gourmet olives, artisan cheeses, bread, olive oil and wine accessories, it felt like we were in an Italian market. We had a really great tasting through some of their favorites, in a huge portfolio of wines, and then bought a bottle with some cheese and bread sticks and sat on the patio as the sun set over the vineyard. The views are incredible up there! I didn't want the moment to end as it was the most relaxed I had been in months.
It would be the perfect spot to host a wedding.

The wines:
Viansa is the premiere producer of Italian wine varietals in the United States. Some of our favorites included.

Gionaccia 2009- New proprietary white, a blend of Vernaccia, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Muscat. (this was the bottle we purchased to enjoy on the patio, it is the perfect spring, summer wine. Light, with great fruit, perfect for warmer weather.

"Farneta" Primitivo 2006-
Primitivo is an early-ripening clone of Zinfandel, typically found in the region of Puglia in southern Italy. The grapes in "Farneta" are harvested right there in Carneros.

Cabernet Franc 2004
- Rich and intense aromas and flavors. Firm, integrated tannins with a long satisfying finish. Barbera- Not listed on the wine list, a cellar selection, and an absolute favorite.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let your imagination grow..mine....

There is a quote by John F. Kennedy that goes, "One person can make a difference, and every person should try." These are very powerful words...Yet they are very true and I am very lucky to have met such a person in my life.

New doors open all the time in one's life..some good some bad..But I have learned to always open them no matter what, because you never know what lies on the other side...treasures and gifts may be there waiting for you..

Without knowing it, she has inspired and changed the face of weddings on the Connecticut Shoreline. She inspired me to open Chocolate Creative Design. Without her..there wouldn't be a True and Wesson or a Wedding Row...So This is MY story of how it all happened....

I know exactly when this particular door opened...September 2003. First it was a phone call, then an email, then a phone call...We were renting at the Island as our beloved house was being renovated, the Monster was 3 months old and I was very hard to track....I should have known then that her powers transcend..She finally found me. She wanted to know EVERTHING about the Island..most importantly..the availability. However, she couldn't give me a date or even a year as when this momentous occasion would happen...she hadn't received the ring yet..Then, she left as quickly as she came...3 months later, another email.."Was it rented yet?"...No..but we crossed our fingers and there was hope that she would receive the ring over the holidays...but it didn't happen. Finally, May 24, happened..I think, I was in the top five to get the news....this is how our relationship began..

I had been planning and designing weddings for a few years and then it happened...the Monster came. During my pregnancy and after, I was unable to doing anything mind was in a fog and sadly it was hard to even pick up my beloved camera. I was almost ready to take a break from weddings...until she came. Ours was a creative collaboration from the start. It was a collaboration filled with laughter and imagination. She was as crazy as I. She gave me back my voice, my mind and my creativity. Her energy was infectious. As coordinators/planners/designers, we really are like Mary Poppins...We carry our creative bag of tricks, make everything better with a spoonful of sugar and then we leave with the wind, umbrella in hand...This time..she was my Mary Poppins..but with a pink umbrella. Her bag was a pink and green grosgrain ribbon clutch and her songs of choice were from Neil Diamond. She is the only bride that has ever wanted it to rain the day of her wedding. This is because she had an amazing song she wanted to sing..

It was through her that I met and collaborated for the first time the following ladies: Beth Chapman from the White Dress by the Shore, Christine Toner from Stonington Design and Paperie, Anna Lathrop from Gourmet Galley and Yumiko Fletcher from Hana Floral Design...thus the "team" was born. She challenged us, allowed us to do what we do best and now five years later landed a spread on Style me Pretty. Looking back on it today, I can't believe it was that long has certainly become a timeless wedding..

Modern Mary Poppin's clutch...It was the color inspiration for the entire wedding.

A little something Blue...Fabulous Louboutains'..I think she even wears them to bed..

Peonies...That's all she ever wanted..even to this day..

Before the wedding, we sent this crazy homemade book and an invitation to Martha Stewart in hopes that they would come...At MSW, is was known as the "Green Book".

After the ceremony, people arrived slowly over the causeway and were greeted by these handsome gentlemen underneath the apple trees.

She was the perfect mother of the bride...full of grace, a sense of humor and pure love for her daughter..

Top image: Corinna Raznikov, Bottom image: Sarah Crawford

It is a tradition in the "Island Family" to have a flag made for the couple getting married. It was the first time that I had ever been invited as a guest to a rehearsal dinner...I was to present it to them then..Unfortunately I was so choked up that my husband had to do it...Months later I received this image from them on their was certainly well loved..

Top image found on

She was obsessed with adirondack chairs, so she decided to make them their guest book.
Pans filled with grass and miniature chairs held beautiful escort cards designed by Christine Toner of Stonington Design and Paperie.

She wanted everyone to be included in the event. Her Sister and Brother-in-Law own Zavalas Restaurant in New London and Milagro in Stonington. Both restaurants have the best margaritas EVER...Hibiscus Margaritas..Yum!!

With those tasty margaritas and a honeymoon set for Cabo San Lucas,,,how could you not have a mariachi band?
The paper was delicious...Christine Toner of Stonington Design and Paperie certainly out-did herself!!

Peonies fillled vintage milk glass compotes and vases that she feverishly collected and borrowed from family. Flowers were by Zuzu's Petals.
No cake for this couple..just miniature fondue pots at every setting filled with chocolate and adorned with fruits and pound cake..

It was the most inspiring, fun wedding weekend ever!!

So the pink umbrella was here to stay....I took a break in 2007 and she designed, produced and coordinated 2 of the most beautiful weddings ever on Island Farm.
This is when Chocolate Creative Design opened (inspired by her) and then Ms. True walked into our lives..Shortly thereafter True and Wesson began..
It was at these weddings that Sarah True and I met the super talented Miss Jennie Fresa...who has forever changed my life with false eyelashes..

Images by Craig Paulson & Sarah Crawford

Ashley & Elliott

Images by Jamie Collins

Alice & Brennan

So she had to leave as quickly as she came...her job was done for now...she had a new one that involved 8 paws, 4 hands and 4 feet...

And the pink continues....

I miss her every day and I am eternally grateful for her gifts...
And who knows, maybe the pink umbrella might just make another appearance again...and if it does, I will surely let you it always brings laughter, song, creativity , inspiration and imagination...

Love to the Crawfords..Sarah, Chris, Phoebe, Charlotte, George and Loo-Loo.


Monday, April 19, 2010

A Romantic Vineyard Wedding... Congratulations Karyn and Paul

Mood/Inspiration Board: Romantic, casual elegance, vintage, whimsical, and fun.

This past weekend launched wedding season for us with Karyn and Paul's wedding at Saltwater Farm Vineyard. And while the weather didn't completely cooperate it really was the perfect day. Karyn and I had so much fun in designing her wedding and weaving all of the details into the design, which really set the tone for the event as guests walked into the reception.

Event Coordination: True Event
Floral Design: Hana Floral Design
Hair/Makeup: Jennie Fresa Beauty Library
Gourmet Galley Catering
Photography: Joshua Behan
Buzz Media Company
Brick Park Entertainment
Lighting: Power Posse Productions
Venue: Saltwater Farm Vineyard
Transportation: MDT Transportation and Joshua's Limousine

Rentals: Rentals Unlimited

I have heard so many fabulous things about Joshua Behan and finally had the opportunity to work with him this past weekend. He did such an amazing job capturing all of the details, and emotion throughout the day. For more images from Karyn and Paul's wedding check out his blog.

Miss Wesson (Chocolate Creative Design) also came to shoot some of the details for the blog pre-wedding.