Off Site

Interior Design Magazine asked me to submit one of my travels for a new feature in the magazine called OffSite. I immediately selected a trip to Papua New Guinea to share. The vibrant colors, the rich history and the incredible design elements that are to be found in unexpected places has stuck with me since. Have a look at the article in the July 08 issue. You can also read it here.

Preston's Wedding

I find it quite apt that the first entry on my new blog should be titled “Preston’s Wedding”! I have just returned from a trip to Kuwait with Preston Bailey – my good friend and event designer to the stars – to help create the setting for a magnificent traditional wedding there. To be able to share in the magnitude of pulling this wedding together qualified Preston to bear the title of my first blog entry.

En route to Kuwait we stopped off in Morocco, one of my favorite destinations, where we stayed at a wonderful medina in Fez. Each of the four times I’ve visited Fez before I’ve really enjoyed the sense of traveling back in time that overwhelms you in Morocco. We used our time in Morocco to scout traditional wedding settings before we set off for Kuwait – the fourth richest country in the world – situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf.

When we arrived at the wedding venue the basic groundwork had been done by Preston’s team and we needed to jump in to add the final touches to elaborate flower arrangements and breathtaking décor scenes. I found it fascinating to see what it takes to produce a wedding of this scale –dealing with the complications of flowers being flown in from all over and having to arrive looking fresh, and crews coming in for assembly from Thailand and the Philippines…and then to experience Preston’s calm demeanor in the midst of all this activity! It was exhilarating.In my career I’ve learned to work with deadlines and to always build a buffer into the completion date. This way I have relative control over deadlines and some breathing room for that supplier that runs late or other unforeseeable situations. Not in Preston’s line of work! It’s like putting a Broadway show together (of which he is the cool, calm and collected Director) and the bride walking down the aisle is like opening night – it happens, whether you’re ready or not.

My impression of Kuwait is one of graciousness, hospitality and plenty that permeates that society. Food? A lot of it. Candy? Trays and trays of it. But always, the intention is hospitability.

Unfortunately in Middle Eastern countries the tradition allows for only women to attend the wedding ceremony. Preston and I watched the procession from the sidelines and marveled at the bride’s Chanel wedding dress (covered in thousands of flower petals) and her 1,000 guests, all shimmering in extravagant jewels, decked out in couture and emanating style and elegance.

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