Where Have I Been and Other Catching Up…

Oof.  It’s been over six moths since my last post.  Yeah, that wasn’t intentional, I swear.

You may have been wondering where I’ve been (although if you follow me on Facebook – and if you don’t, you really should – you probably know).  The short answer is that I’ve been EVERYWHERE.  I’m pulled in about a zillion directions right now.  It’s fantastic, and I’ve never been happier, but it’s definitely left very little time for blogging!

The long answer, of course, is that I had a baby girl in early April.  She was an eagerly-anticipated member of our family, but any new parent will tell you that it’s a big adjustment!  Baby A has grown so much in the last several months; it’s almost impossible for me to imagine that she was ever just 7 lbs!   We used this fantastic photo from Chrystal Cienfuegos Photography for our Christmas photos last year:

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Before she was born, I had some beautiful maternity pictures taken by Melissa McClure Photography, and did a Baby Wishes video with Murasaki Media.  If you or someone you know is expecting a baby, I highly recommend doing both photos and a video before the baby is born; I am so happy we did!

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Once she arrived, we had more photos taken, this time by Gabrielle Fox Photography.  She’s so tiny here!!!

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Most recently we had photos taken of Baby A by TWO fantastic photographers (it just sort of happened that way!), Sarah Layne Photography and flutter glass PHOTOGRAPHY:

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A

Gah, I can hardly stand the cute!!

She sits up consistently now, is eating some solid foods, and is learning to crawl (exciting and scary at the same time) and teething (awful).  She also wants constant attention!  Baby A is quite the demanding boss, so Mommy hasn’t had much time for blogging.

In the mean time, of course, the first anniversaries came and went for Julianna + Kyle, Soila + Steven, Chris + Emma, Stacy + Tyler, Alexis + Chris, and Ana + Gina!  And next week will be the first anniversary for Cindy + Neal, followed by first anniversaries for Diana + Julian and Richelle + Matthew…  It’s hard to believe that a year has flown by!  Unfortunately I am still missing quite a few photos from the weddings above (something about last Spring, especially, and getting pictures from photographers), but here’s one of my favorites, by the lovely Stacy Alberto Photography (formerly Sunday Romance Photography):

rec4cake-062386wRichelle, this is easily one of the best faces I’ve seen in a wedding photo! 😉

Fun fact; I actually had three weddings scheduled this past spring, two for fellow wedding pros.  I was thrilled to find out last summer that I was pregnant with Baby A, but sad to have to miss out on Alia, Jenna, and Liz’ weddings!

Then, of course, I’ve been working on this year’s weddings.

First, we had Megan + Mike at Condor’s Nest Ranch, with a photo by Faithfully Focused Photography:

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I did all their decor/design, and boy was it gorgeous!  It was recently featured on Rustic Wedding Chic, and I love how the feature shows off all the lovely details we came up with!

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Then was Damaris and Omar’s wedding at 94th Aero Squadron, with beautiful photography by Jessica Chavez.

i-WDQpwDG-LYou may recognize Damaris and Omar from their styled wedding shoot that I did back in March (yes, at 9 months pregnant) at Presidio Park with Erica of Les Amis Photography.  It was recently featured on Bisou Bride!

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Unfortunately I haven’t gotten photos back from either September wedding I did, but speaking of features, the shoot I did i February with former clients Stacy + Tyler and the ladies at Chris Wojdak Photography, Penny Blooms Floral Design, Unbridled Beauty, and Mili’s Sweets at Condor’s Nest Ranch got a lot of press this summer!  It was featured on Sweet Violet Bride, Things Festive, Trendy Bride, and Storyboard Wedding!

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Of course I have a busy few months ahead of me; I have two more weddings and a birthday party (or two) left this year.  And next year I’m already quite booked – I don’t have any availability until late April, and even then I’m pretty booked until the Fall!

Oh yes…  And I have not one but two big things in the works.  To be announced soon.  Stay tuned!!! 😉

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Updated Services and Pretty Pictures!

HOORAY!  It’s February first!!!  I’ve been anticipating this day for a while – I decided that the Holidays were far too busy for me to make website updates, so my 2012 services and pricing would stand until February 1st… But today is here and I get to share with you some exciting new service options!

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First of all, you might notice that Coordination no longer is listed on its own page.  In fact, if you have a keen eye you’ll see that Coordination is no longer listed as part of my logo.  While I will continue to do Coordination of weddings, and while I adore my Coordination clients, I have known for a while that my heart is truly most happy when I get to work with clients on their wedding design as well.  If you have ever e-mailed me or taken my business card, you’ll see that I list myself as “Event Designer” (and have from the moment I started Events by Elisa), because I really adore design.

What does this mean for Coordination clients?

I will still be taking Coordination clients, so please don’t stress!  I have put some new notes on my website about when to contact me for Coordination.  At this time I will not be taking on clients for Coordination any farther than 6 months before the wedding date.  This will be a transition for me; I’m not sure how I’ll like it, but as my emphasis will be on Design and Planning services, which are typically booked much farther in advance, I am doing a trial run.

You’ll also see a few brand new services: Concierge, Elopement, and Consulting are the main ones.  I think they’re relatively self-explanatory, but just in case:

  • Concierge is the ultimate in services for couples who want to feel like a guest on their wedding day – I’ll do it all for you!
  • Elopement is meant for weddings with 10 guests or less, including the couple.
  • Consulting does not involve wedding day services, but is a six-hour package of one-on-one time with me, personalized for your needs, including some great planning documents.

In addition, I’ll be offering Bridal Attendants as an add-on to any package (except Concierge, where two are included); a Steward is offered for grooms, and a Lady-in-Waiting for brides (please note: they are priced separately and it’s absolutely possible to have two Stewards or two Ladies-in-Waiting!!!).  The purpose of these additional wedding day assistants is to be with the couple throughout the getting-ready process, photos before and after the ceremony, and the beginning of the reception; they’ll be your right-hand (wo)man throughout the beginning of your day.

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Lastly, you’ll see some beautiful photos from my Unicorn birthday party, Stacy+Tyler’s wedding, and Richelle + Matthew’s wedding…  There are more photos coming from last year’s events, but they’re taking a little longer than expected…  Still, more eye candy is never a bad thing! 😉

I hope to start blogging again on a more regular basis now that this update is complete, so I can bring you up to speed with last year’s events and some of my other tips and observations (being a bridesmaid in a wedding last month really made me think about weddings in a different way!).  In the mean time, I hope you like my updated site! 🙂

Images by flutter glass Photography and Sunday Romance Photography

Ask the Planner: What is “Wedding Hangover”?

If you follow many wedding professionals on Twitter or even Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the phrase “Wedding Hangover.”  And wondered, “Hey, wait a second, were they DRINKING at last night’s wedding???”

Almost across the board (there are the occasional DJs who feel that it’s a totally normal part of their job; I won’t get into my feelings for that here, but let’s assume you’re hiring true professionals, ok?), the answer is a resounding “NO!”

I get asked this question at least once a month by someone who sees one of my posts.  They wonder how I can do my job while drinking.  The answer is that I couldn’t – I am very sensitive to alcohol and tend to fall asleep after more than a single sip!  You would never see me drinking on the job.  But I still suffer from “Wedding Hangover.”  Like, after every wedding.

So what is it?

In short, wedding hangover is the soreness and exhaustion a wedding vendor’s body feels the day after a wedding.  Planners, coordinators, designers, photographers, videographers, DJs, and catering staff are on their feet, running around, for hours and hours on your wedding day.  We often forget to drink water (it’s not uncommon for us to forget to hydrate altogether until dinner and from then until the end of the night), don’t typically eat often enough, and ignore our own bodily needs until it’s convenient for us to address them (I’ve seen pros completely ignore cuts and sunburns for hours, work on sprained ankles, and forget to use the restroom all night….).  It’s just part of our jobs; weddings happen on a certain schedule and we need to be there to do our parts.  So it’s no surprise that we feel the effects afterward.

Do you know how it feels to be hung over?  Whether from alcohol, running a long race, or being a new parent, it’s the same.  Foggy, fuzzy-headed, ready to nap at a moment’s notice, sore and achy, with stiff joints and dry skin.  That is precisely what wedding professionals feel after every wedding.  Many wedding professionals (myself included) try really hard not to schedule meetings the day after a wedding, so that anyone they’re meeting with doesn’t get the wrong impression.  My energy level is usually extremely low the day after a wedding, my throat gravelly, and my eyelids heavy.  Sometimes I’m so hopped up on caffeine that I can’t stop talking at the speed of light.  True story.  It’s no way to really meet me.  Because I don’t do back-to-back weddings, I will not be “hung over” on your wedding day – so I’d rather you meet me when I am more like myself.

But any time anyone says, “Oh wow, what a fun job!!!” (or the downright silly of this statement, “Oh, wow, what an easy job!”) I laugh.  To clarify, I love, loveLOVE what I do.  I adore being a wedding and event planner, working with amazing brides and vendors, and making beautiful and happy things happen for my clients.  But it’s not always fun (see above, sunburns, cuts, and sprained ankles, all of which happened to me in the last two weeks) and it’s definitely not easy.  It’s a ton of work, ten to fourteen hours at a time (next weekend I’ll be working or driving to my wedding from 9:30 am until 11:00 pm; the longest day I’ve had was at a gala when I worked for the nonprofit, it started before 8 am and wasn’t over until after 1 am the next day).  It’s exhausting.

Today is the day after a wedding.  Alexis + Chris got married yesterday in Coronado.  I woke up on Wednesday with a sore back (I still can’t quite figure out exactly what I did) and have been dealing with it on and off ever since.  Yesterday I wore a brace all day (it was 80 degrees and that thing was HOT!).  While looking for my assistant (who, thanks to summer beach traffic, had to park three or four blocks away and couldn’t find the reception room), I rolled my ankle.  I somehow managed to cut my finger (luckily not enough for it to bleed, just enough to sting).  I got home around midnight and had to wake up at six for my day job.  I’m hobbling and every muscle in my body aches.  I am desperately in need of more coffee but I don’t know if I can make it to the cart a block away!

Why do I tell you all this?

Because I had the most amazing time yesterday.  My bride was stunning, my groom handsome.  The vendor team was incredible.  The details were fabulous.  I woke up this morning sore and tired and didn’t really want to move.  But I woke up smiling.  I am so proud of yesterday’s wedding.  Wedding hangover is no match for wedding high.  No drugs or alcohol needed.

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!!!!)

Can You Send Me a Price List? Why I don’t like standard pricing

As you probably know, I completely redid my website in early April.  I had been meaning to do so for a very long time.  I realized that so much of it was out of date, and so much had changed within my business, that it really needed a facelift.  One of the many, many changes I made was to move to simpler packaging for weddings.

Just design, planning, or coordination.  Well, and Design with Coordination, or Design+.  I decided that having Day-of and Month-of services was just too confusing.  That, and I kept finding that my Day-of Coordination package was actually equivalent to most other Month-of Packages.

For the last few months before the big change, I had been explaining this change in e-mails to prospective clients.  I wished so badly that I could snap my fingers and make it all happen on my website too, but these things take time to get right, and this change actually took longer than I had originally intended because my first design simply wasn’t very functional.  So I had to keep explaining that what I do hasn’t changed – just how I talk about it.

With that move toward simplification, I also decided to publish my adjusted pricing for the first time.  I talked about this briefly in my announcement of the new site, but I wanted to get into it a little more here.  There are several schools of thought for wedding professionals as to whether prices should be published online, and originally (before my first site went live to the world, when I was asking for feedback from friends and mentors) I’d published mine.  I wanted transparency.  I remembered planning my own wedding, and how helpful it was to have prices published.  I was counseled to have them by request only, at first, and I’m glad I was, because the more weddings and events I did, the more I learned about how long each process takes and what is involved.

But now I am pretty confident in my pricing structure.  And I still think it’s important (in fact I heard feedback once from a friend who had referred someone to me; that someone had taken one look at my services page and said “She doesn’t publish her prices, so she has to be too expensive for me!”).  So I’m feeling pretty good about service structure and price publishing.  But it also is tough.

I often get e-mails that say simply, “My fiancé and I are getting married [on a certain date, in a certain month, or sometimes even in a certain year].  Can you send me your pricing sheet?”  It’s hard, really.  Because I don’t like standard pricing, and I have never had a pricing sheet.  Even now, my website reads “starting at…” for a reason.  Because each wedding is different.

Wedding Design, Planning, and Coordination are all best when they’re personal to you.  Just like your house, your phone, your wardrobe…  You are an individual.  Your wedding is not the same as anyone else’s.  In fact, I relish weddings that are personalized, handmade, and quirky.  It’s my favorite thing to do, planning a wedding with a couple who wants their personalities to shine.

Married by a Robot. Oh yes.

Standard pricing assumes that you have a “standard” wedding.  And what does that mean?  That you’re just the same as the next couple?  That you have the same needs? That your planner or coordinator just charges everyone the same price without putting any thought into it?  That you’re getting charged for services you might not need, or maybe that you’re not getting enough service for your wedding because it’s not in the package?

For a while I was actually putting together a full quote for every couple who contacted me, adding up all my costs each time (which is why I was glad that I was counseled to not post standard pricing, because it did fluctuate).  As I said before, I have decided to streamline my packages, based on what normally happens at a wedding and what I’ve learned is necessary (all my weddings now happen with at least one assistant, for example).  This will help give my potential clients a ballpark figure for the service they want before they ever contact me, and I think that’s important.

But I’m leery of standard pricing.  It’s like going to buy your first house without any inkling of the market around you.  You know you want three bedrooms and two baths, but you’ve never bought a house before and have no clue if you’ll need to plan on $20,000 or $200,000 or $2,000,000 to purchase it (and have apparently been living under a rock, but bear with me on the analogy).  You contact a real estate agent who says to you that all of their three-bedroom, two-bath homes cost $400,000, regardless of neighborhood, lot size, or condition of the home.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense in real estate, and I don’t think it makes a lot of sense in wedding planning either.

Every wedding has it’s own personality – the unique number of guests and attendants, location, and setup details.  An outdoor wedding under the stars will require far more complicated a setup (tables, chairs, dance floor, lighting, heaters, restrooms, cooking equipment, etc.) than a ballroom wedding.  Especially an outdoor wedding with tons of DIY details (or one without professional vendors for things like floral design and music).  Hanging hundreds of ribbons in a tree for your ceremony or a backdrop to your sweets table looks amazing (and I love, love, love doing it – I’m so looking forward to sharing my next post with you where I can show you what it looks like!), but it can take hours.  Hours of painstaking detail work.   On a ladder.  So can arranging the perfect combination of wildflowers in jars.  Or creating that tower of favors, or that escort card puzzle.  The Chinese lantern sculpture I created last year for Emily + Jeremy  was insanely gorgeous and a breathtaking piece to decorate the entry to their wedding reception.  But it took three people four hours to complete.  No joke.

One of the biggest factors in my pricing is making sure that I have enough hands to complete heavy setup jobs like these.  But the number of guests is also a factor, since setting up place settings and favors for 300 guests is a far different story than setting up for 50 (to say nothing of guest management during the wedding or cleanup afterwards, or all the other things we do and decor we set up).  Based on the whole picture of the wedding day, I’ll hire either my regular assistant or a combination of full- and half-day assistants to help make it all happen.  And of course, I have to charge for travel outside of San Diego County, in order to make sure I don’t lose money on events in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or Santa Barbara Counties.

The thing is, I suppose that if I charged an extreme amount for my services, I could absorb things like extra assistants and mileage into my bottom line.  But I don’t – I try to provide the best value cost possible for my services while still offering excellent service and quality.  And I hate charging people for things they don’t need.  So I always will need more specifics before confirming a price for a potential client.  Which is part of the reason I’m excited that I built my new website with an inquiry page that asks for more information than would be included in the e-mail I mentioned above.

And I’m happy about that.  I’d much rather review all the details of a wedding day before giving my potential couples a final price.  It takes a little longer, and is more work intensive.  And there’s the dreaded “starting at…” listed on my site.  But I’m truly happy.  Because I don’t want to do cookie cutter weddings, and I don’t want to overcharge any of my clients.  I’m proud to say that my weddings are anything but “standard,” and that’s just the way I want them to be!

Photo from the McAwesome Wedding, by Events by Elisa

What Wedding Planners REALLY Do: Mover

Have you ever wondered HOW all the bits and pieces, the decorations and menus and favors and special details, get to a wedding?  The answer is simple: The planner.

The Wedding Planner as Mover

Venues and vendors who know me know that when I first arrive on-site for a wedding or event I “move in.”  Typically my car is completely full of wedding supplies – both from the couple and from my personal stash – and it takes my assistant and I a decent amount of time to truly unpack.  This is because part of my final pre-rehearsal meeting with my couples is to get all their wedding supplies from them.

What does this mean for you?

No worrying about whether escort cards or guestbooks will get to the wedding, or sending your third cousin to your apartment an hour before the ceremony starts to pick up the programs.  We go through an inventory of all the pieces needed for your big day and where they should be at what time, and then I take them off your hands.  Then on your wedding day I stuff everything into my car and “move in” to your venue.

It’s not glamorous, it means a lot of sweat, and it can mean that my home office is stuffed full of your wedding supplies for a few days or weeks.  But it translates to less stress on the wedding day itself for both the couple (no last-second forgotten items) and my staff (everything is centralized and organized, and the function for each piece is known).

I often joke that 90% of my job is schlepping things from one place to another.  But when those “things” are details crucial to your wedding day, it’s one of the most important parts of my job!

Happy Birthday Noni!

It would have been my grandmother’s 90th birthday today.

This photo was taken on my grandparents’ wedding day, in her dress that I’d have loved to wear.  My grandfather didn’t know where to look to find it, so I couldn’t, for my wedding a few years ago.  But I love that dress.

I miss her all the time, but especially right now, with my business.  She would have loved to see my work.

She was an entertainer herself – always throwing beautiful holiday parties, decorating the tree just so, and creating artful meals in her tiny (no counter space whatsoever!) kitchen.  It was in that kitchen that I learned to make bread and fold pasta and roll out cookies and snap crisp green beans straight from the garden.  When my parents decided to get married in my mom’s hometown (rather than here in San Diego, where they both lived), her inner wedding planner kicked in.  She planned my parents’ entire wedding for them, in a few months, including a beautiful cocktail reception in her backyard.  All without having a drivers’ license.  I look at the photos of that day and I know that if she were alive she’d want to be on the phone every night talking about the weddings I’m planning.

My mom says she doesn’t have a planning bone in her body (although she loves throwing parties) – when it came to planning my wedding in 2008 she only relaxed when she realized that because I planned galas professionally I had it handled.  My grandmother on the other hand?  A list maker.  Like me.  When we go to visit my grandpa we still find lists she made, hidden around the house.  Groceries, or packing, or Christmas presents.  She was a planner.

She also loved to decorate.  Her dining room was perfectly coordinated, always ready for a family dinner.  Her living room was set just so, ready for guests at any second.  And when I was visiting my grandfather last week I went down to the basement and happened to look up. And see five peach and pink crepe paper poufs.  Guess my love of them is deeper than I thought.

When I got my new headshots a few months ago, I was struck by two things – 1) I look a lot like my four-year-old self (the one on my website’s About page) and 2) I look a lot like my grandmother.  It’s in the smile.  I was almost in tears.  When I finished my website last month I had the sudden urge to show it to her.  She’s been gone for almost twenty years and yet I wanted so badly to call her up on the phone.

I miss her terribly, especially now that I’m an adult.  I wish I’d had the opportunity to know her in this capacity.  I wish she knew my husband, my future kids, the woman I’ve become, the fact that we used some of her jewelry in our Boho Glam shoot.  I know she’s proud of me, but I wish I could just give her a hug and tell her how much I love her.  Today on her birthday I just had to share.

Obviously all the photos are family photos.  The top one is my grandparents on their wedding day, taken by a professional photographer in the 1940s.  And my parents on their wedding day, taken by our family friend (and professional photographer) George.  The other two are strictly non-professional photos, and, I think, speak for themselves. 🙂

What Wedding Planners REALLY Do (a new series): Editor

Today I’m starting a new feature series here on my blog.  I’ve got so many post ideas that end up being so extremely long that I’m trying very hard to break them into smaller, more digestible bites.  This one came out of a discussion I had earlier this month with my newest couple (Diana + Julian).  Julian was skeptical that they really needed a coordinator to help with their wedding day preparation, and it got me thinking about all the different “hats” I wear in my function as planner (or designer or coordinator, but for this particular series I’ll be using the term “planner” to encompass all parts of the design, planning, and coordination process).

There are a lot.

So I decided to write them out.  Give a little explanation.  To give you some insight into just what your wedding planner does, on and before your wedding day.  You might just be surprised.

The first of my functions?  Editor.

The Wedding Planner as Editor

Do you remember playing as a kid?  Imagination abounded, you could be and do anything you wanted.  Possibilities were endless.  One day you had your heart set on being a rock star when you grew up.  The next it was a doctor.  The next an astronaut, or a paleontologist, or a baker who made cakes 100 layers high.  Do you remember that feeling?  That there were so many amazing opportunities for you?

That’s kind of how it feels when you’re first planning a wedding.

Actually, I know that it’s not the case for everyone (some people flat out hate wedding planning, and that’s where another of my roles as planner comes in, but we’ll get to that in a future post).  But for so many of my couples, their wedding is this fantastic opportunity to do whatever they want!!!!  Bubbles, rice, confetti, streamers, sparklers…  The possibilities are astounding.  And those are just for the end of the ceremony!

Most wedding planning journeys take a lot of twists and turns.  You might choose a theme but be completely stuck on colors, or decide on one look and then suddenly realize it’s wrong for you.  One of my former clients looked into three separate “feels” for her day.  Sometimes remnants of one theme stick around after that theme is long gone.  Sometimes there are just too many ideas to decide.  Sometimes there isn’t much clarity at all.

In my role as wedding planner, I help you to pare down all those ideas and unify all those themes.  Part of my job in the planner/designer capacity is to make sure that your ideas all tie together on your wedding day.  I try to look at your overall plans and tweak them so that they make sense.

For example, when designing the details for Emily + Jeremy’s Wedding, we knew that the very!bright! color of the pool house wasn’t going to tie in with her wedding day style.  So we created a showpiece using Chinese lanterns, and brought them into the other spaces in the wedding.

For The McAwesome Wedding, Neva came to me with a few ideas – elephants! birdcages! The Party! lanterns! peacock feathers! daisies! – and her wedding invitation (which featured a round cutout piece of patterned rice paper) and we sketched out a basic plan for her table runners and reception decor, bringing them all together.

Handcrafted rice paper centerpiece for the family's round table by Events by Elisa

For E+D’s Wedding, I remember when the bride first sent me the link to her inspiration photos in Google Docs.  There were over 40 different photographs there!  Together, we went through, prioritizing, discussing options, working to unify her disparate ideas.  In the end, we pared things down to just what was really important to her, carried the bird theme loosely throughout the day, and I threw in a couple of fun surprises.

Welcome Chalkboard

Your planner will ideally be able to help you create an overall vision for the day, cut out the pieces that simply don’t fit, and put a pretty little bow on top.  Because your planner has seen how all the elements of a wedding interact with each other on many occasions, she can tell you what will make the greatest impact or how best to make all your ideas work in concert.  But only if you share your vision with her and listen to her input – otherwise, she’s got nothing but a blank page!

Photo credits:

My New Website!

Yesterday the Easter Bunny brought me a fantastic present – my brand new website is finished! 🙂

I’m SO proud to show you all the beautiful things I’ve been doing, and to bring you my new pricing structure.  Of course every event and stationery client will receive a custom quote – the prices listed are for basic services (and don’t include extra assistants, hours, services, or mileage).  But I’m extremely proud to publish prices on my site.  It’s been something I’ve wanted to do from the beginning (and I had detractors on both sides, telling me not to publish them because I wouldn’t get clients to pay them/I was worth more than my prices).  I think it’s just an important thing for me to do, since integrity is a crucial tenet of my business.

I’ve also got lots of gorgeous photos.  My old site was severely lacking in photography, mostly because I was afraid of overloading the server.  I bit the bullet and bought an upgrade, and I loaded my site with galleries and pretty pictures.  In addition to photographs of my work, I love my new headshots from Melissa McClure Photography and I get to show them off!

There’s a great “About Me” section, including bios for myself and my wonderful Assistant Rachael.  I’ll be adding new Galleries all the time (starting, hopefully, with Michelle and Dave’s wedding this week!), and new testimonials from Happy Clients, as well as new Links to features and some of my favorite vendors.  I’ve got all my Contact information available as well as a fantastic Inquiry form to help new clients tell me exactly what they need.

I’m ridiculously excited about this huge website upgrade, and I hope you enjoy the new features as much as I do!

My Pinterest Obsession

Do you pin?

I do…  Pretty much constantly.

If you haven’t used Pinterest yet, and you’re planning a wedding or party, decorating a home or a kid’s room, or just plain like pretty things (and who am I kidding?  Of course you do!)… You need to check this out!

Events by Elisa on Pinterest!

I have boards for design ideas, crafting projects, and past and upcoming events, home design, future kids, and cooking.  Business and personal boards, all organized and pretty.  All my favorite things in one place.  I add my favorite photos from each of my real parties too.  Oh yes, I love Pinterest.  It’s free to use, easy, and super addictive.  Oh, and if you need an invitation, I can send one along!

If you are already using Pinterest…  Why haven’t we connected yet?

Check me out at http://pinterest.com/eventsbyelisa/

By the way this was a completely unsponsored post.  I just really *really* like Pinterest!