Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel, 03*24*2012 (Part 2 – The Details)

Last time I blogged, I shared Part 1 of Michelle and Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel!  Today I’ve got more photos to share with you… This time of the gorgeous details!  (Yes, even if I do say so myself!)

My favorite ceremony detail was this fun sign that I handcrafted for the event:

On one side it said “Here Comes the Bride,” and on the other, “Happily Ever After.”

Of course Michelle and Dave wanted a candy buffet – so I created this purple and aqua beauty.  The backdrop might be hard to see in this photo (it was on a window, so it was a bit backlit during the day) but I had so much fun creating this multicolored streamer-filled wall, and I think it made the whole thing come together.  It was a total surprise to the bride and groom, who just told me to “run with” the buffet design.

Michelle got Dave an extra-special Groom’s cake with the logo of his favorite baseball team – the St. Louis Cardinals!  San Diego Desserts did an excellent job with the design!

Speaking of the design – Calculated Whisk came through as always with whimsical, beautifully-decorated cake pops!

San Diego Desserts also made a lovely three-tiered wedding cake, decorated by Diane’s Flowers Please.

And since it was a destination wedding, I thought it a totally appropriate use for my vintage aqua suitcase!

Of course…  Let’s not forget a shot of those beautiful rings!

Still more gorgeousness to come!

Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel Wedding Details:

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Nominated for the San Diego A List!

I just need to take a minute to do a happy dance – for the second year in a row I’ve been nominated for the San Diego A List!  It’s completely voter-driven (which means that it can be completely skewed, of course!), but it’s an honor to be on the list!

I know I ask a lot of my clients – a final wrap-up meeting, reviews if you were happy, etc., but if you have a few extra minutes and feel that I did a great job for you, please vote for me!  🙂  Thanks in advance!


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Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel, 03*24*2012 (Part 1 – The Ceremony)

Michelle and Dave were my first clients to hire me sight-unseen.

Usually I meet with potential clients, talk with them in person.

But occasionally, a client lives out of town and isn’t planning to visit any time soon.  So we schedule a phone call or use Skype.

It’s a scary thing, having an initial consultation over the phone.  You can’t see each other.  I mean, it seems obvious.  But as humans we’re so used to paying attention to each other in person that talking on the phone, for something like a “getting to know you” meeting, is just…  Strange.  There’s no way to gauge how you’re doing, no body language to go off of, and no way to recognize that you’re talking too much!

Plus…  Sometimes potential clients ask scary questions.  It happens.

Still, I really felt like we had a great connection, so I was thrilled when Michelle e-mailed me a few hours after our phone call:

“I had a feeling that you were going to be our coordinator, for some reason I can’t explain, but that feeling was right.  We are very ready to move forward if you will have us!”

Well, you can guess my reaction.  I think my return e-mail had lots of exclamation points in it.  (For anyone who wonders, yes, I talk like I write.  Tons of exclamation points!)

Because Michelle and Dave were planning their wedding long distance, they wanted full wedding planning, and they needed to work with someone they could trust to make everything come together.  I was honored to be chosen for the task!

Michelle and Dave had already chosen their location – the gorgeous La Jolla Shores Hotel – but we were able to work together to put together a vendor “dream team” for their wedding.  For each vendor choice, I gave Michelle and Dave the options I felt were best for their style and preferences, and they made the ultimate choice.  I can honestly say that I have never had a wedding where I worried less about how the vendors would do on the day of the event – because I’d done the “matchmaking” myself I could say for certain that each vendor would work well both for the couple and with me.  And I trusted each vendor implicitly.  They did not disappoint!

In fact, the incredible Bryan N. Miller is now the standard to whom my assistant Rachael holds all photographers, for both his talent and charm!  I think his gorgeous images of the day speak for themselves, and it didn’t hurt that he lived in Illinois while growing up (as did I; the couple lives South of Chicago, so it was kismet!).

As full planner, I also helped the couple manage their budget, designed the details for the day, created the Out-of-Town bags (which included San Diego treats like Chuao Chocolates and Stone Beer!), and attended tastings with the couple when they came out to San Diego for a visit in January (oh yes, it’s a hard life!!). By the time that the wedding day rolled around, I felt as much love, responsibility, and care for their wedding as I did for my own.  And seeing the photos of the day that I had intimately planned was as fulfilling as seeing the photos of my own!

Of course Michelle and Dave were not only totally in love, they didn’t only place a ton of faith in someone they’d met only for a few hours on a weekend in person before their wedding week, and they weren’t only totally adorable in their wedding photos.  They were also incredibly sweet and generous (seriously, the entire vendor team was treated like family!) and ridiculously fun.  I have to admit – I’m sad I don’t get to talk to Michelle nearly enough now that the wedding itself is over!

I not only had the chance to do all the planning for their wedding, I also did all the design – including stationery.  From the wedding and even bridal shower invitations to the menus and programs to the place cards and table numbers to the vows and readings, I was able to make sure that every part of their wedding day reflected their style.  I am so proud of the results.

So without further ado…  Part 1 of Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel!

I’m trying not to narrate these fabulous photos too much…  But of course this is the first look.  I love how happy they are!!!

Of course, no First Look in the world can replace the sight of your bride walking down the aisle.  These next two photos blew me away when I saw them.  I was in the back, where I always am, cueing the bride, so I didn’t see this moment in person.  But it makes my heart full to see this love.

Michelle and Dave had a beautiful ceremony by Rev. Christopher Tuttle.  His advice was straightforward and from the heart: Love each other.  A lot.

This was a real treat – toes-in-the-sand beach wedding.  Just what you’d hope for in a Destination affair.

And of course, they shared a tender kiss at the end!

I’ll be sharing more of this beautiful wedding with you soon! 🙂

Michelle + Dave’s Classic Beach Wedding at La Jolla Shores Hotel Wedding Details:

Desmond’s Circus-Themed 1st Birthday Party featured on Kara’s Party Ideas!

I just happened to look at my blog’s stats yesterday…  And noticed a new referrer.  And clicked through.  And realized that Kara’s Party Ideas – one of my favorite party planning blogs – featured Desmond’s Circus-Themed 1st Birthday Party!!!  I just submitted it earlier this month and thought, “Well, it’s worth a shot!”  And they obviously liked it!!!  I.am.so.excited!!!!  Go check it out and leave us some love in the comments!!! 😉

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

Thank you so much, Kara, for the awesome feature!!!

Unbridled Beauty Logo!

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I typically design event stationery, but occasionally I’ll take on a logo design project.  When Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design asked me to create a logo for her friend Ashley’s new makeup and hair design business, Unbridled Beauty, I couldn’t say no.  And of course then I got to meet Ashley, who is not only incredibly talented (check out last week’s Boho Glam Inspiration shoot post if you don’t believe me!), but also one of the nicest people I’ve met (and I work with some ridiculously nice people).  Win-win!

Ashley asked for two elements to her logo: Tiffany Blue and damask.  Only, the idea of being “unbridled” is, to me, a bit wild.  And damask is very structured.

So I reinterpreted the damask completely.  I still brought in the floral swirl elements but I wanted it to feel like the logo was about to start bursting with growth.  I am so pleased with the results:

Boho Glam Shoot Featured on Urban Style: The Wedding Network’s Blog!

I’m not sure if you caught it in the midst of all my posts and tweets about yesterday’s (fabulous!gorgeous!OMGamazing!) shoot, but on Saturday our Boho Glam Inspiration Shoot was featured on the blog for Urban Style: The Wedding Network!!!  This shoot is near and dear to my heart and I amthrilled that other people love it as much as those of us who actually created it!

The hardest part about designing – whether it be a shoot, a wedding, or just a party – is taking that deep breath just beforehand and trusting that everyone involved “gets” it.  It could go sideways – there’s no way I could actually be responsible for everything (I’m not a baker or florist, for example, and I’m a terrible photographer!!!).  So any time that a decent amount of design is involved in any event or photo shoot, trust is a huge factor.  Of course, it’s easy to trust when you have an excellent team – which we did! 🙂

Please head over to Urban Style: The Wedding Network’s blog, and leave us some love!  The owner, Sara, is super duper nice (and asked me to submit more! EEE!!!) and works to connect wedding vendors socially (which sounds a bit weird, but think about how often we’re asked to recommend each other…  Networking = the ability to think “Hey, I have a couple who needs XYZ…  I wonder if Awesome Vendor I Met Last Month would be able to help?”) in addition to showcasing beautiful work!  I’m so happy to have been featured! 🙂

Purple and Gold Boho Glam Inspiration Shoot 01*28*2012 Details:

Ask The Planner: What Do You Wear?

I’m starting yet another series today…  I find that most of the posts that are partially written (often in my head, but I currently have 22 drafts sitting in my WordPress queue) can be categorized into groups.  Today’s series is one I’ve been meaning to create for a while, since I get a lot of questions that seem to be asked over and over – or great questions I think everyone should hear the answer to.  I’ll be taking question submissions via e-mail, too, for future posts…  But for now, I’ll start off with my first “Ask the Planner” post… “What do you wear?”

There are certain questions that always come up, in every consultation.  One of them is “Do you have a little earpiece, like Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner?”  The answer is no – BUT I’m seriously considering getting long-range walkie talkies for my assistant and me after being at a venue where our phones were stuck trying to get service all night long and eventually both died.  A dead phone does not a happy planner make.

Anyway, the other is “What do you wear to our wedding?”

And that’s what I’ll be talking about today.

It’s pretty simple, really.  I am always professionally dressed, generally in black.  I like to wear black slacks and a black jacket, but sometimes will switch it up with a sweater or (on very hot days) just a nice shirt.  On particularly cold wedding days I might wear a sweater and a jacket, or a scarf.  I usually try to match any colors in my outfit with the wedding colors (I love the bridal party’s reaction when I come in wearing the same color as the bridesmaids’ dresses – it also makes me feel more of a part of the celebration!).  I wear flats.  Always.

 

You see, I’m on my feet for anywhere between eight and fourteen hours on a wedding day (my average is ten and a half).  Even if your wedding, from beginning of ceremony to end of reception, is only five hours (a fairly short one), I will have been there for setup several hours beforehand and will be there breaking down/cleaning up for at least an hour afterward.

Back when I was a gala planner for a nonprofit, my required dress was a skirt and heels.  For the first month I worked on staff (during our grueling yearly summer music festival), I worked from 9 am to 11 pm five days a week and 1 pm to midnight one or two additional days, except the day of our gala, when I worked from 8 am to midnight.  In heels and a skirt.

Here’s the thing: on your wedding day, you want me to be able to bend, grab, pull, push, move, twist, crawl, and climb on ladders (and, occasionally, tables and chairs) along with walking an average of five miles per wedding day (yes, I’ve worn a pedometer) and standing for several hours at a time.  I don’t believe I can do the best job possible in any other clothing.

But my assistants and I are always dressed professionally.  The idea is for us to fade into the background (the reason we tend to wear a lot of black) while still looking nice.  The last thing you want is for your wedding planner (or any vendor, really) to stick out like a sore thumb amidst your dressed up guests, drawing a ton of attention to him or herself.  That’s why my staff and I never wear jeans or shorts during your wedding ceremony or reception.

Do you have a question that you’ve always wondered about weddings or wedding planning?  I’d love to answer it!  Send me an e-mail at elisa {at} eventsbyelisa.com with the subject line “Ask the Planner Question!”

Photo credit: Bryan N Miller Photography (from Michelle + Dave’s wedding, which I can’t wait to share with you later this month!!!!)

Aidan’s Teddy Bear First Birthday Party in San Marcos, 02*18*2012

I have been doing a lot of talk about weddings lately, but it’s not all I do!  I also design and plan social events (birthdays, showers, and other parties and galas).  Today’s event is a birthday party!!

Aidan’s mom Jennie e-mailed me in mid-January, asking for planning and design help with his first birthday party.  She had a pretty clear idea of what she wanted, but needed assistance tying everything together and making it happen.  The challenge was getting the sweets buffet to look elegant and beautiful without it looking girly, and to keep Jennie’s fantastic ideas under budget. 🙂

I think that the result was a great balance of whimsy, elegance, and boyish fun, tying together the themes of teddy bears and milk and cookies.  We featured a sweets buffet in the center of the backyard and a build-a-bear vendor on the patio, along with bunting handmade by Aidan’s dad Sal.  Jennie got in on the handcrafting too, making all the tablecloths and runners as well as all the savory items and some of the cookies and cupcakes!

Jennie purchased printables online at Pink Pickle Studios, including hats, water bottle labels, and a banner:

And Jennie used Aidan’s red wagon as a focal point.

The younger guests had so much fun with Fabbiola of My Beary Best Friend, choosing their animals and watching them be stuffed:

Of course we had to have teddy bears (with individual cookie jars at each table, inside and out!).

Aidan’s parents designed an extra special birthday cake for him, which was brought to life by the amazing Stevi at Hey There, Cupcake!

And now…  The showpiece of the party.  The fabulous sweets table!  I had waaaay too much fun styling this, using my pieces and Jennie’s.  And at her request I made the fantastic fabric flowers from some tutorials I pinned on Pinterest (whew!  Try saying that three times fast!).  I LOVE them SO much!

Yes I know.  They’re just fabric flowers.  But I adore them.

Anyway, on to the rest of the sweet table!

And of course you can’t have a first birthday party without a smash cake!

Aidan’s Teddy Bear First Birthday Party in San Marcos, CA 02*18*2012 Details:

Photos AND Video of Marisa + James’ Wedding Day Featured on Sutography’s Website!

I just found out that Marisa + James’ wedding photos and video were blogged this week by Holly and Matt Sutor of Sutography, so I had to post a link!  There are so many joyful images in their blog!

My favorite is this one, a shot from right before Holly and Matt left for the evening, when we slipped the happy couple out the back door for some private photos with the San Diego skyline as a backdrop.  Aren’t they beautiful?

And check out their adorable hilight video for some more smiles from these two (seriously they have the BEST smiles ever  – I can’t help but grin when I see them!):

Excited I get to work with Holly and Matt again this fall!!!

Happy Anniversary E+D!

I can hardly believe that it’s been a year since your wedding day, but today marks the one year point…  I’m so blessed to have been a part of your wedding!  I only wish I could show pictures of your smiling faces that day. 😉

E+D Wedding Program

Bridal bouquet with mixed white flowers and ivy

To see more of E+D’s wedding, check out the following posts: