Here are Day One and Day Two, if you’re looking for them. Spoiler alert: Today’s post is sponsor heavy, as our partners made the weekend far cooler than it would have been without them. Thanks, sponsors. You are nice.
Our last day at Broad Summit was a spa day, so we started things off with a yoga session led by Gwen Bell.
Gwen was an attendee who also happens to own a yoga studio in Japan. She said this was the only yoga session she’d ever led where she received applause afterward.
Zicam sponsored our yoga, and their representative Kelly has quite an eye. She knew it was a designy crowd, so she brought the yoga mats, set up the towels and pre-filled water bottles, and made everything look so pretty. I brought the Buddha head from home, and Kelly found a cute place for him. (More about the pretty yoga session over on Design Mom, by the way.)
Throughout the weekend, DDF Skincare asked if they could set up personalized facial consultations for everyone.
They had us fill out forms in advance so they could bring specialized products, and then had an aesthetician go through a skincare regimen for each woman. DDF’s products are really high end, so we all tended to gather around when each girl came back with her bag.
My sister Raina is a masseuse at the Fairmont Mission Sonoma Inn & Day Spa, so she brought along a few co-workers to give massages in the Boon Hotel spa rooms. Lots of the guests had never had massages before. As you might imagine, they were a hit.
Boon catered our breakfasts and lunches for the weekend, and everything was as tasty as it was attractive. They made things really easy for us.
We asked Boon to set out a lunch buffet just before everyone left so girls could enjoy lunch outside or take a boxed lunch along for the drive to the airport.
(Photo by Jenny Lawson.)
With Toyota’s help, all the attendees had access to cars all weekend, so we were able to set up carpools on the way to and from the airport instead of having a million separate vehicles.
(Photo by Jenny Lawson.)
I like to think that everyone felt so pampered that by the time they left, they had more energy than when they arrived. I love these girls. They deserve good stuff.
A few months after posting her Red Dahlia Earrings, I ran into Leslie at the Renegade Craft Fair and told her I was planning the Broad Summit. I asked if she’d like to include her work in the gift bags, and gave her my mailing address. A few months later a gorgeous package showed up at the office.
Leslie had made wooden, laser-cut versions of her earrings, painted them gold, and used thin black elastic to secure them to craft paper boxes. The result was so chic, don’t you think? I think they’d make great packages for wedding favors, and I’ve had mine propped up on my desk since it arrived.
The packaging was so cool, we used them as turn-down favors at the retreat, and several of the girls even wore their earrings the next day, which is the ultimate endorsement.
Go Leslie! Thanks so much for the lovelies.
If you’re looking for it, Day 1 is here.
The afternoon before everyone arrived, we arranged posies of Dahlias, orange tea roses, and green hypericum berries. We used pint-sized Mason jars as vases, and made a few dozen small arrangements so we could move them around to decorate various event spaces.
I love working with Dahlias because they’re pretty tough, easy to arrange, and stay fresh for quite awhile — even if you’re transporting them from place to place. We had a full day of wine tasting planned on Saturday, so we kicked off right after breakfast with a tasting class at 10:30 a.m., which was… ambitious.
Our team rose to the challenge.
The Wine Sisterhood brought in Leslie Sbrocco, author of The Simple and Savvy Wine Guide to walk us through some food pairings and offer some wine education. My favorite tip was to freeze leftover sparkling wine to use as ice cubes in orange juice. Insta-mimosa.
Moshin Vineyards helped us set up lunch and a tasting in the cask room, which was the most romantic lunch I’ve ever had with thirty other women.
Boon’s restaurant catered our lunch, including their signature homemade parmesan potato chips, which haunt my dreams.
At Arista Winery, we tasted outside with a view of the vineyards.
We wanted to leave the Broad Summit prints on the ladies pillows, but realized belatedly that guests would need a way to get them home safely. Guerneville doesn’t exactly have an Office Max, so we clipped some prints to boards and left others in pretty office folders on guests pillows. I especially loved how the clipboards looked.
Eric made us these lovely limited edition linocut prints to commemorate the weekend, and took a few photos of the process for me.
California iconography is a running theme for 3 Fish Studios:
(Update: Oops. My original upload contained some similar work by Annie, these are Eric’s prints.)
When I told Eric we were staying in a redwood forest, he already had a few photos of redwoods he’d taken as inspiration. He even surprised us by hand coloring the prints.
They were so lovely, we decided to use them as favors instead of adding them to the gift bag. If you’d like to learn to make your own and you’re near the Bay Area, 3 Fish Studios offers linocut printmaking classes pretty regularly, so drop them a note and they’ll notify you when space opens up. Thanks again, Eric!
All right, I’ve been asleep since last Sunday.
The retreat was amazing, and exhausting, but worth every minute of planning over the last eight months. All the Broad Summit organizers love to entertain, so we incorporated lots of details.
We met up in Guerneville, CA, which is near our cabin, so I brought over my collection of vintage wool blankets. We use them at the cabin all the time, and we had a bonfire planned for the retreat, so I knew we’d need them. Bryan mocks me whenever I come home from the flea market with yet another blanket, but seeing them all stuffed into our laundry basket on the lawn was profoundly satisfying.
We got use out of them all weekend, and they smelled amazing because we store them in a cedar chest to protect against moths. When I was passing them out, I swear I heard Martha Stewart howling at the moon.
It was a small enough group that we could really personalize everything. We wanted to make sure the gift bags really felt like gifts, so before we decided how to fill them, I told Laura that my dream was to get monogrammed totes from Land’s End. She just called and Land’s End and figured out how to make it happen, then collected guests’ initials via email. Then I proposed to her.
We spent Friday afternoon stuffing the bags (more on the gifts inside later), and when they were all set up, they looked zowie — though they do sort of evoke the image of having thirty bridesmaids. I feel slightly faint at the thought of getting that many girls to wear the same ugly dress.
Instead of hiring a caterer, we arranged for a taco truck to arrive before cocktails. For a large group, it’s a surprisingly economical.
Plus, there’s something so decadent about walking up to a window and ordering whatever you want without having to dig out your wallet.
If you’re planning a casual, fun wedding, taco trucks are the way to go. Delicious, and they make for great photos.
After tacos, we headed over to the sangria and soda pop bar. There were lots of non-drinkers and pregnant ladies in attendance, so we took inspiration from Jordan Ferney’s adorable soda bar. BevMo had a huge selection of cute pop in bottles. I called Jordan last-minute to ask where we could get striped paper straws in San Francisco, she offered to tap into her extensive personal collection. Score.
After cocktails, we all changed into our pajamas for a Milk and Cookies PJ Party by the bonfire.
A few days earlier, we found this milk-carton vase at CB2. Perfect.
Cookies were from Annie the Baker, who makes cookies for folks who would prefer to eat straight cookie dough. (Peanut butter. Order the peanut butter.) We also had a selection from Bountiful Vegan, because we were hosting women with all kinds of food preferences and allergies.
We pulled over the chaise loungers from the pool area, wrapped up in blankets, and used the milk to mix White Russian nightcaps in our coffee mugs. It was very Prohibition.
If you’d like to see more, Jean Aw took some gorgeous photos of the bonfire and hotel over on NOTCOT. More details from me Monday, have a good weekend.