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Mary Jo Bowling

A Casual Ranch Wedding Inspired By 80s Movies

“We’re gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Amanda Margulies and Paul Charney…they’ve learned that falling in love with one another has been like the exploration of a place that is wild, surprising and liberating—like Yosemite National Park or the dollar rack at Target.”

That’s how Paul and Amanda’s irreverent and laughter-filled wedding ceremony began on a sunny day at Tabor Ranch in Esparto, California (about 40 miles from Davis). The officiant, Jon Wolanske, is a Killing My Lobster alum (Paul is a co-founder of the comedy sketch group), and he delivered an unforgettable service.

A Collector's Estate Sale in El Cerrito This Weekend

To some of you El Cerrito might seem like a long haul. Get over it, because El Cer is only 30 minutes from SF and it's the scene of a good estate sale this weekend. Nice tansus for $300, need I say more?

Now, let's be clear: these are not tansus that will end up in a museum; their owner cleaned them up, removing the patina and original finish. Anyone who has ever watched Antiques Roadshow knows that this is a big no-no value wise (and causes poor James Callahan, resident Asian art expert, to sadly shake his head).

The Collection Event Studio: Wine Country Wedding Dreammakers

It’s no wonder wedding planning has a reputation for being stressful—making that many decisions is bound to be a nail-biter.

If you are getting married in the Wine Country, you might want to start your search at The Collection Event Studio, a new business that makes one-stop-shopping easy and thus alleviates some decision drama.

The studio is the brainchild of Emarie Chervinskas and Emily Baker. The duo knew that—in order to find the perfect vendors—brides and grooms spent hours and several weekends visiting sites (both venues and websites), floral designers, caterers, etc. before assembling their dream wedding team.

Estate Sale Report: Oakland Warehouse Sale Perfect for Hippie Art Collectors

When John Favors was a little boy in San Francisco, he started messing around with his grandmother's decorative items and playing in her jewelry box. Later, as a self-described hippie, he became fascinated with everything from rusty cans to antiques while under the influence of mind-altering drugs. I don't know what kind of substance gave him his aesthetic eye, but if it could help me put together a collection like his, I'll have what he's having. He's staging a warehouse sale in Oakland this weekend, and it's the kind of thing scavenging dreams are made of. Read more. . . .

Nordstrom’s Wedding Suite Opens Tomorrow!

The new bridal boutique at Nordstrom, dubbed the Wedding Suite, is all about style, value and meeting the needs of the entire wedding party. It’s officially launching with an event tomorrow night from 6-8 p.m., and you are—as traditional invitations say—cordially invited to check it out yourself.

Massive Estate Sale in Oakland This Weekend

Interior designers have wonderful estate sales. Not only do they have the goods from their households, they likely have more squirreled away in storage—pieces they created, items that didn't work for a client and furniture they were planning to restore. When the organizers of this massive Oakland warehouse estate sale (seven estates under one roof) told me it included fine goods from a long-time San Francisco interior designer, I took notice.

Stuff: Vintage Collective Opens in the Mission

Here's the scoop on Stuff: It's an 8,200 square-foot collective with over 25 dealers peddling very cool items. These are professionals who comb estate sales, flea markets and who-knows-where for real finds. The dealers (the famed Ron Morgan and Christopher Albanese among them) know treasure from trash, and they are selling the good stuff here.

One True Love Vintage Rentals Lends Character to Weddings & Receptions

There’s a new wedding vendor in town and all she has is old stuff—but make no mistake, it’s not the same old stuff. Amanda Reapsummer has just launched One True Love Vintage Rentals, specializing in one-of-a-kind props that lend character to a ceremony or reception.

It all started with Reapsummer’s own nuptials, which are coming up this fall. She wanted to create a handcrafted, patinaed-feeling wedding and started scouring flea markets and antique shops for unique accessories. “Before I knew it, I had built a large collection of items,” she says. “I realized that it was costing a lot of money—and I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if you could rent this stuff?’”

Alessi for Less: Sale Items 70 Percent Off

Alessi, an emporium of modern tabletop design, is staging a sale in its San Francisco store, the only one on the West Coast. Goods will be discounted as much as 70 percent through February 28.

Appetite (And Cash) for Vintage Technology Collecting Soars

When the large aluminum doors of Mountain View’s Computer History Museum reopened in January, senior curator Dag Spicer was easily able to guess the age of all who entered the “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing” exhibition. If visitors headed straight to the Apple II on display, they were likely 34; if the IBM personal computer caught a person’s eye, he could be 30; someone who went over to the Super Nintendo was probably around 25. “People unconsciously date themselves by gravitating to their first computer,” Spicer says.

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