Last updateWed, 24 Aug 2016 12pm

The making of a dressmaker: Young Los Altos designer crafts custom local gowns

Courtesy of Loic Nicolas Photography
A deep V and a cascading, loose bow add drama to the back of Los Altos native Sarah Blaha’s otherwise traditional gown, designed by Los Altos High grad Taylor Tompane.

Los Altos native Taylor Tompane went abroad to study fashion at London’s Kingston University, one of the world’s top-ranked design schools.

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night

Courtesy of Dick Bright
Dick Bright, a veteran Bay Area musician, manages local bands such as the Dick Bright Orchestra, Club 90 and Encore. His bands ramp up the energy at weddings.

A wedding soundtrack draws nearly everyone to the dance floor. As the band plays a Beatles tune followed by Bruno Mars’ latest single, guests ages 8 to 80 jive, boogie and strut as the night goes on.

How to personalize the wedding bar

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
A seasonal signature cocktail adds interest beyond the standard wedding bar’s spirits and mixers. Focus on one set of fresh ingredients, such as blueberries, blackberries and mint for a dose of budget-friendly mixology.

First something old. Then something new. A borrowed item and a bit of blue. Sounds like all the makings of a great wedding cocktail.

Welcome to the new era of wedding traditions, where signature cocktails have become a must-have at wedding receptions.

Prep your skin for the big day with at-home beauty regimen

Sarah Manning/Special to the Town Crier
Focusing on skin care at home contributes to a bride’s wedding-day glow without breaking the bank.

You’ve said yes to the dress, selected a florist, curated a killer playlist and picked a photographer. You’ve also likely had a few nightmares, tossed and turned over a tiny detail and (try as you might to avoid it) bickered with a family member.

The stress of planning a wedding can take a toll on a bride’s complexion, but one of the most important items to check off your wedding to-do list is self-care. This is the most exciting time of your life – wouldn’t it be nice if your skin showed how blissed out, happy and in love you really are?

The Veils of Time

Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum

For a new spin on the Town Crier’s “Peek into the Past,” the Los Altos History Museum has been gathering historical local wedding photos and the stories behind them.

Frances Elizabeth Shoup, second from left, marries Charles Edward Mack, center, Sept. 11, 1948, in the photo.

Green weddings use succulent decor to live on

Plants such as ferns can live on as replanted memories of the wedding day. Succulents and reusable “floral” arrangements allow for sentimental flourishes in centerpiece terrariums themed on “Star Wars” planets or in traditional bouquets. Photos by Adrian Busse, Kristen Schuster and Kelly Maughan Photography

Green weddings take on a very literal meaning when florists and do-it-yourself crafters use living plants to take the place of yesterday’s roses and baby’s breath.

At The Botanist, 170 State St. in Los Altos, cut flowers completely left the premises as the drought carried on year after year, and orchids, ferns, air plants and succulents offer inspiration for event decor.

Bridal couture arrives on State Street with Jin Wang gowns

Photos courtesy of Jin Wang
Bridal designer Jin Wang is slated to open a Los Altos outpost of her San Francisco boutique in November. She carries gowns from designers such as Michal Medina and J. Mendel, shown above.

San Francisco wedding gown designer Jin Wang is opening a bridal atelier next month at 359 State St. in Los Altos.

Previously home to a bike shop and to one of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s roving art galleries, the angular, high-ceilinged gallery space suited Wang’s aesthetic, she said. Her San Francisco location plays on modern emptiness and light – and she knew she wanted the open space on State Street from the moment she visited it.

Los Altos bride Maggie Weed marries Vince Smith

Maggie Weed and Vince Smith were married July 11 at the Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, Wash.

The bride is the daughter of Patty Hurley and Michael Weed of Los Altos. She is employed as an employment consultant at Puget Sound Personnel Inc.

A tale of two Los Altos love stories: Country club classic

Photos Courtesy of Kelly Boitano Photography
Lindsey Murray and Christof Wessbecher tie the knot in Los Altos.

Lindsey Murray and Christof Wessbecher grew up in parallel Los Altos orbits, never meeting – he went to St. Francis High School, she to Mountain View High. They both swam at Fremont Hills Country Club and attended the same church camp – but they didn’t meet until their parents introduced them at a casual dinner at Fiesta Vallarta on State Street.

“I think it was a quasi-setup, but they were good about it,” Lindsey said of their parents.

A tale of two Los Altos love stories: Backyard bash

courtesy of Kathleen Schwartz Photography
Lydia and Kevin Buurma cycled from venue to pub on a second-generation wedding bicycle, trailed by the traditional tin cans.

Lydia Hug and Kevin Buurma’s courtship reads like a love story to Los Altos – from a wedding proposal at Redwood Grove to a wedding after-party at First and Main Sports Lounge.

They probably first crossed paths at a high school party and never knew it – growing up in south and north Los Altos, respectively, they shared friends but never met until both had grown up, launched their careers and competed on the softball field at Los Altos High School in an adult-league game.

Makeup tips and tricks for women in the spotlight

Photos by Megan V. Winslow
Bliss Beauty Center makeup artists transform a bare-faced model, above, with a natural, event-ready look, right.

Weddings bring on a spate of special circumstances for women who normally wouldn’t look beyond lip balm and moisturizer in their beauty routine. Whether it’s brides preparing for the camera or mothers-of-the-bride aiming to update their looks, artists at Bliss Beauty Center are accustomed to walking newcomers through the basics.

The Town Crier got a crash course in wedding makeup at Bliss, located in Rancho Shopping Center. Sometimes a wedding party shares a professional artist with the bride, other times women prefer the do-it-yourself route – either way, below are some tips and tricks to maintain that look through wedding tears and dancing afterward.

Sneaky shots: A photographers guide to capturing the proposal

Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of you to spend the rest of his or her life with you. Heartbeats begin fluttering. Breaths become irregular. That sparkly object nestled deep in the pocket has been checked a million times to ensure that it hasn’t fled.

Vet, interview, try again  then sit back to let a wedding blossom

Courtesy of Vicki Martin
A candy table makes a beautiful display and fun favors for wedding guests.

Los Altos resident Vicki Martin discovered her love of wedding planning as a mother of the bride and has built her own business, A Day to Remember Wedding, in response. In her first column, she describes what one learns after “going pro,” and how it can be helpful for everyone’s first big day.

Love unleashed: Canine connection leads local police officers to the altar

Above Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Ognoskie
Los Altos Police Officer Julie Tannock and Palo Alto Police Sgt. Duane Tannock deployed their K-9 partners Lucas and Lord, above, to Shoup Park to pose for their Save the Date card. The couple, who met through their dogs, formally wed last month.

It was nearly love at first bark for Los Altos Police Officer Julie Tannock.

Julie’s leading male, Lord – a 7-year-old black German shepherd who serves as a K-9 cop in Los Altos – led her to a second life partner, Sgt. Duane Tannock of the Palo Alto Police Department.

Silk, & lace: Brides resurrect wedding gowns across generations

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Longtime Costume Bank volunteer Mary Kay McCarthy gingerly inspects a vintage bridal gown, part of the shop’s unique collection of dresses dating back to the 1800s.

After the altar, bridal gowns follow an uncertain path into history. Some are carefully cleaned and tucked into keepsake boxes, others set aside in a distracted moment.

Decades later, when a new generation of women assess their options, family gowns offer sentimental appeal but can be encumbered by the stylings of a bygone era and the damage done by time. When a bride-to-be unearths or inherits an antique gown, it doesn’t always come with a user guide – or even a clear date and backstory.

Celebrate it forward Extending wedding-day memories

Courtesy of Christine Moore
Creating a travel bucket list and preserving wine flutes for anniversary toasts are among the ways couples preserve their wedding-day memories.

After years together and months of planning, your wedding day may seem to pass too quickly. I recall seeing my soon-to-be-husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle and thinking that I wanted to run to him. I also wanted to walk as slowly as possible to make that moment – and that day – last.

Later, while leading a conga line on the dance floor, I had a flash of simultaneously thinking, “I never want this night to end” and “I can’t wait to talk about today tomorrow.”

Cheers: Why wedding toasts matter

Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

I’ve been to formal church weddings, sand-beneath-my-feet ceremonies, rainy-afternoon nuptials and dancing-under-the-stars celebrations. But regardless of the style of the union, the toast is always the centerpiece of the reception.

Wedding toasts are a major highlight of the day. Sure, I’ve heard some stinkers. I’ve cringed once or twice and I’ve been bored to yawns, but I always look to the toast portion of the reception with great anticipation. Toasts are an opportunity for a close friend or family member of the bridal couple to express the communal hopes and best wishes of all the guests in attendance.

Finding the One

Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Appily ever after: Tech innovations invited to todays wedding

Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Apps are the newest guests invited to the season’s nuptials.

After all, engaged couples often have to hit the ground running to ensure that everything goes smoothly before the big day. The tab for the average American wedding tops $28,000, according to wedding website The Knot, making it the grandest shindig most people will throw in their lifetimes.

East Meets West in modern wedding gowns

Courtesy of Bel Inizio Photography
Namrita Chettiar, left, created a custom Southeast Asian-inspired wedding dress for Tanya Mulvey. To bring the bride’s vision to life, Chettiar made sketches, above, after introducing Mulvey to her studio collection.

Snow-white gowns with trains running a mile long may be a popular choice for a walk down the wedding aisle in the United States, but some local brides are embracing a new look – the color, vibrancy and allure of ensembles that use the rich silks found in couture fabric shops in India and opulent Bollywood movies.

Simple ways to minimize impact of potential wedding mishaps

Your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, but what happens when the caterer closes, the head count is wrong and the band is a no-show? More than one couple has experienced these types of wedding disasters.

Make sure that your wedding day is filled with blissful memories by taking a few steps to protect yourself from the financial and emotional impact of nuptial dilemmas and put your mind at ease.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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