What Sets You Apart From Other Planners?

Two weeks ago I had a phone consultation with a potential (now, a new) client.  They live 2,000 miles away, so meeting in person was out of the question.  It’s always nerve-wracking trying to figure out how to ask the right questions of one another so that you feel comfortable with each other (both as potential planner and as potential client).  I asked the couple a bunch of questions (why they were having their wedding here, for example, and what they wanted the day to look like…  My favorite answer was to my question of what they wanted their guests to walk away thinking: “That was the best wedding ever!”  But I digress…).  Then it was their turn to ask me.

The groom had obviously prepared, because his first question was a doozy.  “What sets you apart from other planners?”

I have to admit, I said out loud that he was asking the hard questions!  It’s so difficult to compare one planner to another.  But I really liked my response, and I wanted to share.

There are three things that make me unique among planners in San Diego.  Some planners share one or two of these with me.  But I think the combination of all three is what makes me special.

  1. I believe in exceptional service.  I take on a maximum of two weddings per month, and never schedule two on the same weekend.  This is by design, for a number of different reasons, including that I want to have enough energy to really make your wedding day amazing.  But it also means that you will be my only client for the week of your wedding.  That entire week leading up to your wedding day I’ll be able to focus on your wedding (I may still be talking and meeting with other brides and grooms, but as yours is the only wedding I’ll have for that whole week, you’ll be able to get almost all of my attention!).
  2. I am realistic about costs.  I’d never, never tell a couple that they couldn’t have a wedding for their budget.  It’s all about prioritizing and making alternate arrangements, but I’ve seen beautiful weddings at every price point.  I’d also never tell a couple that they could have a wedding for X amount, while knowing that it will cost them X+.  If I’m given a budget, I’ll do everything in my power to stick to it.  You’ll also be heavily involved in any budget changes, if they do arise.  I will work every bit of magic to get you the best wedding day possible within your means, and I am realistic with my pricing.  I may not be the cheapest wedding planner out there, but I work hard to give all of my brides and grooms the best value, and the benefit of my years as a nonprofit gala planner.
  3. I’m not just a coordinator.  I’m an Event Designer.  This means that I do more than just tell people what to do on your wedding day (seriously!).  I can help you conceptualize your wedding style, find pieces that will fit within your overall look, feel, and budget, and tie it all together.  I also own boxes and boxes of unique and vintage decor (as well as some standard pieces) to help my couples make their vision come to life without breaking the bank.  And don’t forget that I design event-related paper goods, too!
In addition to these traits, I really do care about my brides and grooms, and work as hard as I can to make sure that they have the best wedding day they possibly can.  That is the number one reason why I do this job.  And I love my job!
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The Amazing Desmond’s First Birthday Party!!!

Sometimes you meet people and you just know you’re going to be excellent friends with them.  It was that way the first time I met Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design.  I can hardly believe it was just two months before this incredible party!  This is a very photo-heavy post…  But it’s worth it because these photos by Lindsey Gage of Eyelet Images are totally worth drooling over!!!!

Circus Birthday Party, Photo by Lindsey Gage

Desiree’s son Desmond celebrated his first birthday at the end of August.  When you’re the son of an event professional, your birthday party is sure to be a blast!  Sure enough, Desiree’s amazing creativity shone through each and every bit of this gorgeously styled outdoor event, from the handpainted circus elephant cupcake tower topper to the multicolored fabric streamers decorating the tents to the popcorn box “vases.”  I was honored to be print materials designer and to assist Desiree with setup, coordination, and styling!

The Birthday Boy!

It all started with the circus idea.  When Desiree approached me about doing invitations for the party, I asked her if she’d rather have a cutesy or modern/edgy vibe.  She chose modern/edgy, so I worked on a text-heavy invitation that captured perfectly the whimsy and creativity we were going for (if I do say so myself!).  Designers are always cautioned to stick to no more than 2 to 3 fonts in a single page, but I had far too much fun mixing and matching, and threw caution to the wind.  I love it!

"Come One, Come All, for One Night Only, the Amazing Desmond Will Astound and Mystify You!"

The Amazing Desmond!

Of course the party wouldn’t have been as stunning without thoughtful details provided by Penny Blooms Floral Design!  She even had a ball pit and a mini big top, along with a photo booth area for the grownups!

Handpainted elephant by Penny Blooms Floral Design

Peanut boxes

Popcorn box

Handmade PLAY blanket

"Popcorn" Floral Arrangement by Penny Blooms

Ringmaster Suit in the Ball Pit

Favors in Pop Corn Bags

Photo Booth (can you spot my piece?)

I couldn’t resist bringing along a few of my favorite items too:

Vintage Brass Carousel Music Box (in my inventory at Events by Elisa!)

Handmade Photo Booth Props from Events by Elisa's Etsy Shop!

The food was provided by the incredible Jason.  He’s currently working on his catering business name (I’ll post it when it’s official!) but I’ve got to tell you that this guy is worth checking out.  I can’t wait to share when he’s ready to take on clients, because  in addition to being a really nice guy, his food was fabulous!

Pasta Salad with Printed Materials by Events by Elisa

Cupcakes and cake pops were provided by Nikki at Calculated Whisk.  She even made gluten-free flourless cupcakes (which totally made my day)!  And they were soooo good.

Cupcakes by Calculated Whisk

Cupcakes by Calculated Whisk

Lion and Popcorn Cake Pops by Calculated Whisk

Nicki also made a spectacular smash cake just for Desmond!

Elephant Smash Cake by Calculated Whisk

In addition to designing the invitations, I designed a bunch of additional signage for the party.  Like these:

The Amazing Desmond sign for his high chair

High Chair sign by Events by Elisa

Soda Sign by Events by Elisa

And this was probably my favorite sign to design:

Thank You Sign by Events by Elisa

Of course I can’t have a first birthday post without some cake smashing photos!

Cake Smashing Begins!

This is FUN!

Tasting the Fondant Elephant

Tiny Fingers!

YUM!

THANK YOU Desiree for letting me be a part of your handsome son’s special day, and thank you to all the amazing vendors we worked with!

Thank You!

Get This Hat Offa Me! :)

Vendors:

E+D’s Wedding Featured on Engaged and Inspired!

I am SO excited to share that E+D’s wedding was featured last week on Engaged and Inspired!  As photographer Heidi Ryder said to E and myself in an e-mail, it’s a “delightful surprise since most blogs prefer to have at least a few people in the photos” but it’s a great testament to the gorgeousness of this wedding, and the sweetness of this couple!  I can’t help but smile when I see it, all over again.  <3!

Check out the feature at http://www.engagedandinspired.com/2011/08/26/real-wedding-food-trucks-ice-cream-sandwiches!!!

I’m a Featured Vendor on Rogue Bride! :)

I’m super excited to announce that I’m a featured vendor on Rogue Bride! 🙂

The best part of the whole thing?  Lauren (aka Rogue Bride) makes that list totally on her own.  No money exchanged hands.  So it’s not an ad.  It’s really how she feels about me. <3.

She was referred to me by her incredible photographer (and my incredible friend, since before either one of us were in the industry!) Jenna of Flutterglass Photography.  We haven’t yet met in person (we will, very soon!), but we’ve exchanged e-mails.  A lot of them.  About wedding planning/coordination, budget, invitation design, etc.  And one thing is clear: she’s awesome.  I’m super excited that she feels the same way about me! 🙂