Sunday, December 22, 2013

Northstar's Zephyr Lodge featured on Style Me Pretty

Hi everyone,

Big news, Lindsey and Nick's Zephyr Lodge Wedding atop Northstar California's slopes was recently featured on one of the most, if not the most, respected and popular wedding blogs in the country! We couldn't be happier for the darling couple.

Check out all the gorgeous details - including the starry night's sky and a fluffy white labradoodle - right here:

Julie Jewels of Northstar Sales Team

Friday, December 20, 2013

Athena + Erik a Real Fall Tahoe Wedding at Northstar California!

Absolutely stunning, congratulations to a beautiful couple both inside and out!

Erik and Athena from The Goodness on Vimeo.

Thank you to The Goodness for the video!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Modern Elegance at Northstar's Overlook Pavillion

Here are a few swoon-worthy Real Northstar Wedding photos from Nancy and Tom’s Overlook Pavilion wedding on 9/15/13 in the Village at Northstar California. The bride was born in Mexico and the groom hailed from Vietnam, so it was truly a melting pot of cultures, music, family, and one of the most elegant events I have ever seen. The couple wed after nearly 20 years as a couple! They chose a glamorous, modern travel theme to honor the many times they have traveled around the globe together. We usually see travel themes paired with vintage, so it was fun to see this fresh approach to the globe-trotting ambiance. The bride included bright, energetic pops of orange on top of the gray and white color scheme. White orchids were placed in huge hurricanes, with bright green vines to set the stage. Not a detail was missed in this brilliant soiree.

Venue: Northstar California
Photographer: Maurice Ramirez
Videographer and Photo Booth: Mike Jensen
Hair &
Make-up: Jill Briggs
Tent/Lighting: Crux Events
Flowers & Design: Hunter &

xoxo, Jewels of Northstar California

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

It's time to invite all of the guests to your big day!  So many decisions to make and you don’t want to insult anyone.  Here are a few etiquette tips on who should be and doesn’t have to be invited.

You casually mention to someone that you were getting married and now they think they are invited to the wedding.  If you didn’t verbally ask them to come to your wedding, you do not have to formally invite them.  It is fine to discuss your wedding plans and excitement with people!  If you feel uncomfortable when they ask if they are invited (and they aren't) you can tell them that you haven’t finalized the guest list.  Watch out though, it is rude to verbally ask them to come and then not send them an invitation.


You already know that someone can’t attend your wedding.  Do you still have to send them an invitation?  Since you don’t want them to think they have to send a gift, you don’t have to send them an invitation.  If it is a close friend or family member that cannot come, you can send an invitation with a note stating that you sent it so that they could have it as a keepsake.

How do you decide who can bring a date?  If a guest is married, engaged, or has a live in partner they should be able to bring a plus one.  You do not however, have to allow every single guest to bring a date.  If a single friend is upset, let them know how many other single friends are coming so that they feel more comfortable.  You do want to be consistent with your rules.


How do you make your ceremony and reception adults only?  Be specific in the way you address the invitation and in the invitation itself (“Adults only reception to follow” for instance).  If your guests RSVP for the children, call them and have an honest conversation with them about wanting an adult only wedding.  If you have a large amount of guests with children, you may want to make arrangements for childcare services off site somewhere.  Again, being consistent is going to be a must.  Keep in mind, your flower girl and ring bearer are exceptions to this rule and are allowed at the reception.
Happy Planning!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Personalizing your Wedding

You want the perfect wedding day and of course you want your wedding to be different than all the others you have attended.  You want your friends and family to talk about the good time they had for years to come!  How do you make it personalized and well…. yours?

The Nuptials

We have all heard those same wedding vows so often you could recite them with the bride and groom.  Try writing you own wedding vows.  Even if you aren’t a great writer, your heart will tell you why you want to spend the rest of your life together, whether it is for the amazing way he keeps you smiling every day or even the incredible cooking he offers when you are stressed and overworked.  Try to put into your own words why you are spending eternity together.

Table Names

Naming your guest tables after places you have traveled together has become a popular choice.  You can use a postcard you picked up there with an explanation of your trip together (when and why you went there) or a beautiful picture of the two of you enjoying that location.  This also is a great way for guests to have to look a little harder for their table and in the meantime, checking out all of the other destinations you have been to along the way.


Guest Book

Just having your guests put their name and address into a book doesn’t seem very personal.  One great idea is getting your photographer to make a photo book from your engagement photo session, and then have your guests sign the different pages with words of love and encouragement to go with the signatures.  Another one, since you are now all family, is having a “Family Tree” created (a cool portrait of a tree with the branches) and having guests put their thumbprint on it.  Avid Skier?  Get a vintage or cool ski and have your guests all sign the ski (or two if it is a large group).   Looking for advice from the guests?  Have each guest fill out their marriage words of wisdom and then put them in a box.  Pull one out each month or year, or even when you just need some good laughs or actual advice.

Signature Drink

Choose a drink for your guests to have for the evening.  Maybe it is the first drink you ever had together.  Maybe it is the type of cocktail that you end every evening with.  Maybe it is the go to drink for all of your good times and memories.  Either way, your friends and family will understand why you chose that drink and it will make them smile every time they take a sip.

Happy Planning!

Friday, August 23, 2013

10 Planning Tips for a Bride on a Budget

Compare Packages - Compare every wedding package detail for the venues of your choice. Some venues may include a dance floor, others may not. It’s important to price these items out to make sure you are getting the best deal.

To Rent or Not to Rent – You may find an affordable location to host your wedding, but it may not equipped to handle events. You may be spending more renting tables, chairs, etc… and could be spending more in the long run. Make sure to crunch the numbers.

All Inclusive – Choose a venue that can accommodate a ceremony and reception in the same place. You will save money on additional site fees and transportation. Not to mention your guests will appreciate driving less.

Networking – Look to friends and family to see if they have managed or have access to a venue location. A family member may have a scenic property you could host a wedding at. You may even belong to an organization that offers a venue at a discounted rate. Explore all possibilities.

Location – Depending on your location you may be able to save a heap of money on decorations thanks to the beauty of the surrounding area. Pick a spot with gorgeous backdrop and your guests will not even be looking at the décor.

Rehearsal Dinner – Save on an expensive rehearsal dinner by hosting a backyard barbecue or picnic at a beach.

Accept Help – Some relatives may want to help with flowers, cake or a post-wedding brunch in lieu of a traditional wedding gift. Bottom line, your friends and family love you and want to help… you should let them.

Budget – Develop a detailed budget and stick to it. Determine what is important and forget the rest. On an average, couples spend half their budget on food and beverage.

Consider the Day, Time and Season – Save some money by hosting your wedding on a Friday or Sunday to avoid those premium prices for Saturdays. By hosting an earlier reception time you can drastically change the price of the meal per person. A luncheon is a nice alternative to a dinner and much more affordable. Season is another item to consider, most venues offer better rates for fall or winter weddings.

Bigger is not always better –Find a venue that is small and intimate and keep the guest list to a minimum. Not only will this save you money but it may eliminate some stress caused by large weddings.

Happy Planning!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lake Tahoe's Newest, Most Unique on Mountain Venue!

This past Saturday, Lindsey and Nick were the FIRST to have their wedding ceremony and reception at the brand new Zephyr Lodge at Northstar California! This guest decided to mountain bike to the event.
Zephyr Lodge is two gondola/chairlift rides up through the beautiful Tahoe mountains and is a new LEED-certified building, hosting weddings for up to 350 guests.
The guests enjoyed cocktail hour from the deck boasting panoramic views of the Pacific Crest.
Brilliant twist on a candy bar for a mountain wedding- a trail mix bar!
This wedding was for 200 guests and as you can see is quite spacious.
Floor to ceiling windows let the guests enjoy the views all night long until the sun set right in front of them.
The ceremony site needed no other decor in the background except the scenery at 8,410 feet!
What a spot for the first kiss as husband and wife- breathtaking!
Congratulations Lindsey, Nick and Maizey (flower girl labradoodle). Best of luck on your future and thank you for such a spectacular wedding debut at the Zephyr Lodge!


Friday, July 5, 2013

The "To Do's" of Wedding Planning

We all see lists of the “Do’s and Don’ts” when it come to planning your wedding. Today we are going to focus on the positive items and stick just with the “Do’s”.

The One

First and foremost – find the right guy! This should go without saying, but this will truly make your planning process, as well as the rest of your life, that much better!

Back Up Plan

As you look at ceremony and reception sites find out if there is a backup plan. Even if the location never has rain, you do want to know what happens if it rains. Mother Nature does what she wants, and the last thing you want to have to do is stress about what will happen if those big black clouds open up.

Be a Guest

Enjoy the moments of your wedding. You shouldn’t try to do everything yourself. You need to trust your vendors and staff. They are experienced at doing weddings and they can take care of things as they come up. You should be having fun and enjoying those special moments with your family and your new spouse.

Remember You Love Your Family

Things can get stressful when you are planning a wedding. And it can get even more stressful as you get closer and the details of being a host to all those folks becomes a reality. Take all advice in stride and remember that they are there to support you. If your mother hates the shoes you picked to wear don’t fight to long, you will be so grateful to have her there the day of the wedding!

Make Things as Stress Free as Possible

If you get all of your big decisions done early you will have less to stress about as you get closer to the big day. If you have a demanding job, look into hiring a wedding coordinator or see if your friend that just got married has some recent vendor information and can save you from doing the time consuming leg work. Try to make the last few weeks more about the small details and enjoying the people around you. Remember, while you are planning a very important day, it is only one day and it should be enjoyed by yourself and everyone around you. 

Happy Planning!

Monday, June 10, 2013

DIY Decor

Tissue Paper Pom-Poms and Flowers

Make these simple tissue pom-poms to dress up a tablescape or hang them from a chandelier for a vibrant look.
Materials Needed:
  • colorful tissue paper
  • scissors 
  • florist wire
  • ribbon

Layer six to 10 sheets of standard-sized tissue paper on a flat surface. Fold width wise in an accordion-fold pattern.
Use sharp scissors to cut both ends of the folded tissue paper into a point. Try different designs by cutting the tissue paper into a half moon or v-shape.
Bind the center of the tissue with florist wire. Tie a ribbon onto the wire so the finished pom-pom can be suspended.

Gently pull apart layers of tissue and fluff them to form a sphere. Alternate between pink, lime green and white tissue to create a striped effect or choose paper in varying shades of the same color for a floral effect.
Create a different effect by tidying the tissue paper with water colors.
Paper Garland

Dress up your space with these simple, relatively quick paper garland decorations.
Materials Needed:
  • Paper, heavy card stock or two sided scrap book paper
  • Large paper punch, I used 2” round
  • Coordinating thread
  • Swing machine
First you will want to cut lots of paper circles! Keep in mind you will be able to see both sides of the paper once the garland is complete so make sure both side of the paper is pretty.
Next decide how close together you want the circles to “hang”. 25 circles, about an inch apart can make around five feet of garland.
Then just sew them together, down the middle, one after another.
Fabric Flag Garland

Materials Needed:

  • Fabric: about one yard of two different fabrics or a bunch of leftover sewing scraps.
  • Something to string flags on (rope, ribbon or cording)
  • Pinking shears
  • Basic sewing supplies (scissors, thread, sewing machine)
  • Large safety pin

Fold your fabric about one foot from the edge. Use pinking shears to cut triangles out of the fold. The amount of triangles you cut will determine the length of your garland.
Use a sewing machine to sew a straight line across the top of each folded triangle, about 1/2 an inch from the folded edge. Reverse to lock the stitch at the beginning and end of your line. For the "leftover" triangles, you'll need to sew two lines to make a pocket for the rope, one as close as possible to the top of the triangle, the second about 1/2 inch underneath.
Attach a safety pin to one end of your string/rope/ribbon, and use it to thread the rope through all of your triangles. Keep going until you have the look and length you want, then cut the rope and tie the ends up wherever you need a little splash of color. Create a banner by ironing on letters to the center of the Triangles.
Directional and Decorative Signs
Make your own rustic looking signs pointing people in the right direction.
Materials Needed:
  • 3 ft pine steaks
  • wood stain
  • white paint
  • Nails or Screws
  • Pine Planks or wood made for fencing (Most places will pre-cut the wood for you, just let them know the dimensions you need)

Nail or screw the Pine steaks to the pine planks or fencing.
Using a small can of wood stain, I applied one coat and let it dry.
When dry, if you only use one coat, the wood stain becomes uneven, perfect for a weathered look.
Then, paint the letters. Use stencils if your freehand lettering is less then wonderful.
Make sure your arrows are pointing the right direction!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Do You Need a Wedding Planner?

Almost every location that couples look at for a wedding and reception has hosted a wedding and reception before.  That being said, can you benefit from hiring someone that has had the pleasure of doing a wedding and reception at that location before?  There is of course an additional cost to having a wedding planner.  But piece of mind on the day of your wedding is priceless.  Here are some things to think about to help you decide if you need a wedding planner for your big day.

Check with your Location First

Some wedding reception locations have an on site coordination.  Find out if there is someone at the location who will answer all of your questions during the planning process, give you tips on making your big day the best day possible, and be there the day of to deal with any issues that may come up.  If they do have an on site coordinator, find out in detail what that person will and will not be responsible for that day or evening.  Bringing in chair sashes the day of the wedding and finding out you are responsible for putting them on can not only be stressful but not fit into your ever shortening timeline.

Destination Weddings

If you are looking to get married in a destination location that you will not be able to visit prior to the wedding day, you may want to look into a wedding planner.  These folks can help find the best vendors, locations, and fill you in on things only locals know.  Yes, you can do your research from home online, but planners have extra knowledge of logistics and if they live in that location, they can find the vendor that is not only great, but fits your personality perfectly and that you may not have come across online.  Also, planning a weekend of activities for your guests is much easier with the help of someone who loves and appreciates the area you are traveling to.  They can find things to do for all of your guests, no matter how fun or sticks in the mud they may be.

How Much Do You Want To Do Yourself?

There are some real DIY ladies out there and more power to you!  You may have a vision of exactly what you want the venue to look like and how the day should go.  You have made the invitations, centerpieces, place cards, and gifts.  Now it may be time to hire a day of coordinator so that you can actually reap the fruit of your labor with your family and friends.  Being able to pass the set up of all of those hand made items and have someone else paying attention to timelines can be the best reward for your hard work.  The same wedding coordinator can help make sure all of these items make it safely back home with you at the end of the night while you enjoy talking with your guests and listening to them talk about the amazing day they just experienced.

How Many Friends and Family Can You Recruit?

There are some very tight families out there that expect to help out when it comes to a family wedding.  Wonderful!  These favorite aunts and cousins may be willing to make centerpieces and decor items for you.  Uncle Al has been a baker for 35 years and would love to make your wedding cake!  If this isn't the family you grew up with, then check with your dear friends.  Some may be very happy to sit and drink wine with you while you all make centerpieces out of wholesale flowers for your tables the day before your wedding. 

What Type of Location Are You Dealing With?

Are you looking at a blank slate of a facility and have to bring everything in?  Or is all of the furniture, flatware, food, and staff included and you just need to bring yourself?  This is a big factor to whether you will need assistance.  It is much more timely to have to look through rental companies and pick out every glass, plate, and chair than to show up to a location that provides everything including the flowers and cake.  Wedding planners have that creative edge and they can give you ideas for a space that you never thought possible for the location.  Look at how much would be on your plate and how much time you have to put into the planning and execution of your special day.  If you decide you can take it all on and get everything organized prior to the big day then that is great.  You may still want a day of coordinator to be the contact person for each vendor on your wedding day so that you can just relax and enjoy. 

Happy Planning!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Posing Tips for Brides

Every bride would love to look like a model in their wedding photos, but this is something that most of us don't have the opportunity to practice many times before The Big Day.  Fear not my friends! These simple pointers can really help you look relaxed and confident. 

1. Laughter. The camera loves it. It's healthy. It's basically the best thing ever. Make your groom laugh. Make your mom laugh. Make your photographer laugh! Find the joy and humor in little things. And laugh at yourself too!

2. Posture. Standing up straight makes you look prouder,  skinnier, and more regal! Do not be the slouching bride. Keep your chin up, chest out, and stand straight. Don't stand square to the camera. Try putting one foot forward and turning your hips to the camera.

3. Keeping it Natural. In order to look natural you must be comfortable. If you are posing in some way that is not comfortable, it will be noticeable in the photos. If your not comfortable just adjust yourself until you are.

4. Be 'In The Moment'. Don't spend the entire time worrying about how the photo's will turn out or the next task at head. Enjoy the moment. Don't kiss for the camera, but kiss like no-one is watching. Let yourself think of a memory that makes you happy. Feel the breeze and sunshine on your skin. Take a moment to appreciate the scents around you. Smile. 

5. Look for more in the photographer than just the photos.  It is necessary to love not only the photographer's style, but also their personality and demeanor. You will spend more time with this person than any other vendor on your wedding day. Carefully pick someone that you (and your groom) enjoy talking to and being around.

Even though most brides have not spent much time behind the lens of a professional photographer, these top tips tips can carry you a long way. The Golden Rule: Be yourself and have fun.

Julie "Jewels" Morell

Friday, April 19, 2013

This Summer's Hottest Wedding Trends

mod wedding
  Mod Accents

-Playful, bright colors and graphic shapes

-1st seen in fashion and accessories

-Play up texture

homestead elegance wedding
Homestead Elegance

-Ranch wedding: Elegance in a rustic atmosphere is how it will be fresh this year

-Leather, feathers, bark patterns, combined with lace and ornate patterns

-Combining natural elements with opulent elegance

emerald wedding


-Color of the year

-Glass and translucent textures make it shine

-Black and white are strong colors to play off emerald

-Will see in fashion, even men, a bold emerald dinner jacket, color not just for bridesmaids anymore

- DO NOT use emerald in food, ie. Cake

-Use in fashion, furniture, and paperwares

hashtag wedding

The #Hashtag

-Twitter, Instagram

-Guests tagging photos from their smart phones with the bride and groom’s names has replaced the disposable camera on the table

couture cocktail

Couture Cocktails

-Refreshing and elegant

-Sugar rimmed glasses

-Example- white cosmo with a gold sugar rim

seafood bar wedding

Farm to Fork

-Local foods

-Simple, high quality

-Splurge on presentation: hanging skewers, mini paninis

-Play up the area: i.e. a seafood bar at a coastal wedding

wedding reception lounge

Reception Lounges

-Right mix of seating arrangements and furniture is key

-Green lawn receptions with formal furniture

-Monogrammed pillows, homey

-Draping and tenting create intimate gathering areas

DJ bride

Guest Entertainment

-Brides taking DJ lesson to surprise guests with a set at the reception

-Madlibs- fun advice replaces guestbook

-Creative props for photo booth

-Personal entertainment for cocktail hour

-Add fun to every area

Happy Wedding Planning! - Bxo

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

DIY Table Numbers

Picture Frames:

These are an easy option for table numbers. Purchase frames from a discount store or get creative and pick up some different sizes and shapes from the thrift shop. Re-paint if necessary. There are a couple ways you can do this and save money:

1. Choose your background paper and glue to the inside of the frame. Go to the hardware store and pick up mail box numbers. You can paint these numbers any color you like and attach to the inside the frame.

2. Print your own at home. Choose a background and font that goes with your wedding theme, print, cut and place inside the frame. You can even personalize the background with pictures of you and yours.

Wine Bottles:

Give your guests something to open and drink during dinner or take home when they depart. Wine bottles can also serve as the main centerpiece if done right. You can print your own labels at home, paint onto the bottles directly, insert a number in the cork or make your own bags to place them in.

Planter Boxes:

This is a great way to combine your table numbers with your centerpieces. Simply purchase planter boxes from your local craft or hardware store, stencil the table number on the box and bring to your florist to fill with flowers. Check with your florist to see if they already have these boxes or can purchase them wholesale.

Message Book:

I absolutely love this idea. Pick up some journals and attach numbers to the books. Leave a note for the guests to inscribe a message, story or advice for you to read on the anniversary year associated with the table number. “Please leave a message in the enclosed book for Ben and Emily to open on their… 12th anniversary"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake… Or Not?

You have picked out the perfect wedding reception location, the best band in town, and the most beautiful flowers. Now you must pick the delicious dessert to cap the meal. A wedding cake is obviously the most traditional of desserts for a wedding. But maybe you and your fiancé don’t really love cake? Then feel free to get creative! Here are a few tips on how to make your dessert stand out and hopefully save a little money.

Pick Your Favorite Dessert

Your favorite dessert is ice cream, so give your guests an ice cream sundae bar! Caramel, hot fudge, sprinkles, candy, nuts, cherries, and whipped cream! Your guests can design their own bowl of goodness or go simple with just some chocolate ice cream.

Pick Something Seasonal

Strawberries are huge in June! Why not offer your guests Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. You can even get the ceremonial cutting of the “cake” and let your guests eat a delicious summer treat. If you are lucky, maybe one of your favorite aunts can make it and save you some money.

Get a Variety of Treats

Most bakeries, along with beautiful cakes, make delicious bite size desserts. These can range from the simple brownies, smore’s brownies, mini pies, mini cookies, chocolate mousse cups, fruit tarts, mini bread puddings, chocolate covered strawberries, cup cake, cake pops, and the list goes on and on. The variety makes sure everyone gets something they love!

Make Your Own Candy or Trail Mix Bar

This one is fun for everyone. You can buy 8-12 different types of candy, nuts, and dried fruits and buy some cute bags and allow your guests to create their own dessert. For candy you can do M&Ms, Reece’s Pieces, Chocolate Drops, or you can go old school and do Now and Laters, Jujyfruits, and Good and Plenties. Guests get to pick whatever they want and mix and match the different salty/sweet combinations. You can also make this the favor if you wanted to have cake as well.