What is The Wedding University?

The inaugural Wedding University took place on Sunday, February 8, 2009. We were filled to capacity with enthusiastic couples eager to learn the many aspects of wedding planning. From 11am-5pm, our students rotated between classes to learn about wedding design, wedding logistics, photography, beauty, and other important topics. In addition, they sampled amazing food from a sushi bar to a prime rib station to an elaborate dessert buffet--all from the creative culinary team at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley. An extraordinary decor room that featured 4 very distinct styles was the perfect inspiration for couples to brainstorm on their own wedding style! There were absolutely no 'selling' going on at our event, as compared to the conventional wedding fairs. It was truly one of a kind, classy, and fun event. At the end of the day, one lucky couple won the grand prize--a 3 night stay at one of 3 Four Seasons Resort, including Lanai and Bora Bora.

Please visit our website and new blog for more information, and for future updates!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Visit our new WEBSITE and BLOG!

We have a brand new website and blog! Please visit both sites for continual updates for our upcoming events. We will no longer be posting on this blog. Thanks so much for your interest and support!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Wedding University 2010

We are excited to announce that the next Wedding University will take place on January 31, 2010. We are also going to have a brand new website and blog by June 2009. We look forward to giving ourselves this 'face lift'! The blog will feature a number of experts who will offer great tips for brides and grooms in all different aspects of the wedding planning. It will also give you updates on the planning progress for TWU, and guess what--we're planning more than one for 2010! Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Inaugural Wedding University--Part II.

At 10am, we (The Deans) were brought upstairs to the suite for an interview with KMTP, a new local 24/7 Wedding Television network airing on Channel 32. I was a bit nervous, but Christina, the host and producer of the show, was extremely easy going as she interviewed us which put us all at ease. I actually enjoyed it!!
After the interview, we went back downstairs and was delightfully surprised to see that a few students had arrived already even though it was not 11am yet. They admitted that they wanted to come early, because they were so excited about the event! We arranged a warm welcoming for all the students, with our modeling brides and grooms as greeters, passed champagne, and the beautiful tune of a harp. Our registration table was ready to go, filled with smiling volunteers to help students find their name tags and student folders.
During the first 40 minutes, students enjoyed sampling fine culinary creations from the Four Seasons, including a prime rib action station that was the most popular. They also relaxed with hand massages from the Four Seasons spa, and got inspired by the different tablescapes in our design and decor room.
At 11:45am, all the students were seated in Ballroom A. Kelly Nelson, Director of Marketing at Four Seasons Silicon Valley (and also one of our Deans for TWU) gave a warm welcoming before Jean and I went into our presentation on Planning + Logistics. Following that was the presentation on Menu Planning by Julie Kiendra, Catering Manager at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley.
After the first hour, students were separated into 3 groups, based on the colors of their name tags and student folders that we had preassigned them. Each group had one of our volunteers as their 'group monitor', to guide them and to answer any questions that they may have throughout the day. There would be 3 different presentations going on at all times:

(Professors: Carl Mindling + Peter Rudolfi + Ron Grandia + Cynthia Glinka)
Cynthia was her usual enthusiastic self, bringing so much laughter and excitement in the room as she taught students how fun dancing can be. At the end of each class, she even asked all the students to get up and do a few moves together. Everybody had a great time.

(Professors: Gloria Wong Tritasavit, Nancy Liu Chin, John Woods, Viola Sutante)

(Professors: Lara White, Kevin Chin, Chuck & Jewel Savadelis)
As students transitioned between each class, they were surprised with new food stations set up for them. These included sushi and a variety of small plates, fruit, candy, and an awesome dessert bar.
For the last hour of the day, all the students joined together in one group again in Ballroom A and listened to the final presentation on beauty and attire by Armando and Gabrielle. The models were asked to do a small fashion show as Gabrielle described the various wedding gowns that they were wearing and Armando picked a student to do a live updo demonstration. During this hour, all the grooms were asked to follow Bennie of Eli Thomas to a separate room to learn about trends in tuxedos and suits.
We ended the day with the much anticipated drawing--first for the 3 night stay at one of 3 Four Seasons Resort including Lanai, Bora Bora, and Whistler. The second prize was a complimentary engagement session from the fabulous Kevin Chin. The two lucky winners sure left with big smiles on their faces, but every student got to leave with a goody bag that included special gifts and never-before discounts from some of the top event professionals in Northern California!
All photos above by Janae Shields

The Inaugural Wedding University--Part I.

Previously on my own blog, I posted some tidbits on the night before our big event--the inaugural Wedding University. Now, I am ready to start blogging a series about the day of, providing you some behind the scenes exclusives!

The morning started off early for many of us--6am! Ofcourse, John Woods and his crew were the exceptions--they were up the entire night installing the drapery and lighting! The whole design team and our volunteers were hard at work at the crack of dawn, setting up the various tables in their different themes.

The Deans--Jean, Julie, Kelly, and myself, took on a role that we were not quite familiar with. Rather than having our sleeves rolled up like we normally do at an event, we were instead taking turns having our makeup and hair professional done by the fabulous Armando of Get Your Do Up and his lovely assistant of the day Joey. I have to admit...I loved every minute of it!

At 9am sharp, all the Deans, Professors, and Volunteers met in the Conference Room for our 'Staff Meeting'. The Four Seasons provided coffee and pastries to bring everyone's energy up as we went over the timing and logistics of the day together. I could sense the excitement, anticipation, and enthusiasm in the room!

Janece was our very competent leader for the registration process, which was crucial to the success of our event. She delegated various tasks to our many volunteers that day, making sure that each of them understood their roles and responsibilities clearly.

My fabulous Production Lead Amanda was our 'day-of coordinator', making sure that we were on schedule, and being the go-to person for questions and support. While she was managing the final set up in the various rooms downstairs, Armando and Joey continued working their magic upstairs in the spacious suite--this time on the models that we had casted for this special event.
Gabrielle of Gabrielle's Bridal Atelier was also there to help style each model, as they got dressed in her beautiful gowns.

With less than one hour before the students were due to arrive, the professors began doing one last 'practice' run with their presentations. We were ready to rock!!

All the above photos by the fabulous Janae Shields, who was present from 8am-6pm to document the entire event for us from beginning to end.

Stay tuned for Part II...for our television interview and the arrival of TWU students!

Friday, February 13, 2009

What a classy event!

We are so proud to share the Wedding University Slide Show, put together by Janae Shields, our "behind the scenes" photographer, who was a part of the action throughout the day. Please click the link below to enjoy the show! Thank you, Janae, for the memories!


Early next week, Jean and I will be sharing the part of our presentation we could not fit into the time allotted for the opening seminar; there was so much to share, and so little time!

We are already in the process of planning next year's Wedding University! We want to incorporat the wonderful feedback from the students' evaluations, our professors' comments, as well as what we learned, and would do differently, next year!

There is no doubt that the concept of offering honest, helpful wedding planning tips, in the context of an elegant and relaxed setting, is a winner! You will be hearing more about our plans in the months ahead!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Full House

What an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. weekend. We had a full house at our inaugural Wedding University at the Four Seasons in Silicon Valley. Excited students arrived well before 11am, excited and eager to learn all about wedding planning. There is so much to blog about I don't even know where to start! I am still sorting through photos, and comments from the student evaluations, and will be blogging all about this fabulous event very soon! Thanks for your patience. For now, enjoy the live blogging post from Stacie Tamaki's The Flirty Guide here!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What's on the Menu?

Tick-tock, tick-tock.....we're counting down now. Just two more days before The Wedding University! We still have a few spots left, so please sign up right away if you haven't done so already by emailing Cassie Conching at cassie.conching@fourseasons.com

I am sure many of you are wondering...what's in store for us this Sunday? LOTS! But let me start with the food. The Four Seasons' culinary team has put together a fabulous menu for TWU students. We ofcourse want to keep it a surprise, but I think it's okay to give you a sneak preview of a few items:

Sushi Station--freshly made sushi including spicy tuna rolls, california rolls, assorted nigiri, ahi tuna, unagi, and kusshi oysters

Slow Roasted Prime Rib

Mini Brioche Buns

AND MUCH MORE...students will be delightfully surprised with a different food set up between the classes and the afternoon will end with an extraordinary dessert buffet and wedding cake! Yum!