My Enchanted Unicorn and Rainbow Birthday Party (Featured on Hostess With the Mostess!)

First of all, let me say how much of a thrill it is to be featured on Hostess With the Mostess…  And to see the great responses!  There are certain blogs I’ve been reading since I started my business…  Style Me Pretty, Every Last Detail, Hostess With the Mostess, Kara’s Party Ideas…  And I’ve been featured in them all over the last year.  Oh my, yes, do I feel blessed!  In this new year I look at what I accomplished over the last year and think, “I can hardly believe I did all that!”

This party is very near and dear to my heart.  It’s because it’s mine.  I decided last year that I hadn’t had a proper birthday party in a long time (although I had invited friends over when I first started my business to sort of play at setting up a party) and that it might be my last birthday before having a little one (and I found out a week later that I was, in fact, pregnant with the little one who has been repeatedly kicking my bladder this morning!).  So why not celebrate it with pretty things? 🙂

I also decided that I wanted to celebrate with rainbows and unicorns party because of this post.  An inspiration board I created way back when I officially started Events by Elisa (almost two years ago now!) that, for whatever reason, has been bringing people to my blog consistently every month.  It’s been one of my most popular posts and one of the most pinned photos from my blog on Pinterest (along with some pictures from Natalie’s Under the Sea Baby Shower…  By the way, Natalie is getting married today and I’m a bridesmaid!!!)!  I decided I had to do something with it.  My inner eight-year-old demanded it.

I gathered together a bunch of my favorite people and rolled up my sleeves and went to work.  Like anything else I do, I trusted my vendor friends to come up with the most amazing interpretations of what I wanted – and boy did they!!!  Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design went especially above and beyond, crafting the huge paper flowers, putting together those phenomenal rainbow arrangements, and painting the Pin the Horn on the Unicorn (by hand, in front of me!).  Mark of San Diego Desserts couldn’t possibly give me a plain white frosted cake (especially after I gave him such trouble to tint each layer separately!), so he airbrushed away…  Jenny of JennyWennyCakes did such a beautiful job of making the colors on those macarons pop (even though I know that they spread more than she wanted because of all the color!), and the cake pops by Nicole of Calculated Whisk were gorgeous!!!  Alyssa of Hybrid Photography captured all the elements beautifully!!!  But I think you really just need to see them to get the full effect! 🙂

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A HUGE thank you to everyone who was involved with helping me to make this a fantastic birthday party!!!  I know this is going to be another extraordinary year!!! 🙂

My Enchanted Unicorn and Rainbow Birthday Party Vendor Credits:

Modern Rustic Snow White Shoot Featured on!

You know how it is when you get some momentum?  You work and work and work and suddenly your work starts to sort of take on a life of its own.  I’m not a runner, but I hear it’s tough to get started a first, and eventually just becomes a way of life.  That’s kind of how all the work I put into the first half of this year has gone.  Features just seem to keep rolling in!!  Not that it was easy, mind you.  It was a ton of work (which is why I’m taking it a bit easier until my wedding season re-starts next month).  But I’m loving how the momentum of January through July of this year has started to take on a life of its own.  Seems like every time I turn around I see another fabulous review or feature!  Today is no different.

Yup, this happened this weekend:

Modern Rustic Snow White Feature on!


So excited to be featured on!!!  Check out the whole post!

Inspiration: Vegetables

I love using everyday items in unexpected ways!  Vegetables are so often overlooked as being boring.  But they can be so beautiful and colorful.  They bring a different texture and feel to events than flowers.  I love the idea of using veggies in place of more expected elements – like on the “sweet table”, in the bouquet, and as “bunting”, and I couldn’t resist including my use of them to bring interest to the baby shower table!

Vegetables Wedding Inspiration Board: Events by Elisa

Vegetables Wedding Inspiration Board: Events by Elisa

Photo credits (clockwise from left): Seed Packet Invitations, Boutonniere, BuffetBunting, Escort Cards, Cabbage, Tomato Favors, Artichoke Centerpiece, Garden Box, Bouquet,

Inspiration: Enchanted Unicorn & Rainbow Birthday Party

I have to admit that this board was inspired by all the gorgeous rainbow cakes I’ve been seeing lately!  I thought I’d take a day off of my how-to series and give you some pretty pictures to look at!

This birthday party was designed for a seven-year-old me.  It’s got second grade Elisa all over it!  In fact, at that age I used to use my grandfather’s typewriter and Xerox machine to create “newspapers” for my family, with poems I’d made up or stories I’d written.  At the bottom of each one was a hand-drawn rainbow with fluffy clouds at each end and a big star and the name of my “publishing house” – Elisa Press.  I was obsessed, too, with unicorns (I was for years) and collected a ton of LisaFrank folders!  I dug up this picture from inside one of my old binders (a Lisa Frank one at that!).  I think I was about 9 when I drew it (the paper is so yellow!):


An Events by Elisa original (no idea why the pony's name was "Carol"). :)

An Events by Elisa original (no idea why the pony's name was "Carol").

Anyway, this inspiration board is for you, Little Elisa! 🙂

Enchanted Unicorn & Rainbows Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Enchanted Unicorn & Rainbows Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Photo credits (clockwise, from top left): Broke-Ass Bride, Babble, ArtNectar, Inspired Parties, Juicy Bits, Love to Know, The Wedding Queen, SmugMug, Hostess With the Mostess, The Cake Blog, Creative Genius Printables.

Inspiration: Blush Lace

I never know what will inspire a board.  Sometimes, it’s a photo or movie I see.  Today, it was a wedding dress.  I actually built this whole theme around the wedding dress included in the board!

This is a modern, feminine theme, focusing on lush flowers in rosy hues, with clean lines despite the lace details.

Blush Lace Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Blush Lace Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Photo credits (clockwise, from top left): The Knot, Bari Jay (by way of, Jim Hjelm (from JLM Couture), Oh Sugar Events, Vera Wang (from WeddingBee), Vintage Flower House, Pink Cake Box, Simply By Tamara Nicole.

Inspiration: Rustic Birds

Okay, I promise you I am doing something other than making pretty inspiration boards all the time.  But right now I can’t quite share any of the other projects I’ve been working on.  Plus, I get inspired by the strangest things, so sometimes boards like this can’t help but get made.

I actually was working on a completely different concept when I saw the ring bearer nest and just HAD to work on this.  It’s a board for a rustic, woodsy wedding with bird accents.  In fact, it’s funny – I actually couldn’t find a lot of the photos I wanted, so you’ll just have to imagine  little birds in the bouquet (neither of the bouquets is quite right either but they’re close) and guest tables that have elements of both the guest table and sweet table in the board (but with a large rustic wooden table instead of the moss tablecloth), and a banner that says “love” or the couples’ names on bird shapes in shades of brown and green.  I also was thinking that the wedding party itself would probably be dressed in a rich brown, like (but not exactly) this dress from Nordstrom:

Anyway, I can see this being a very fun, relaxed, outdoor wedding, with fairy lights in the trees, birdseed instead of rice, and lots of pretty natural elements!

Rustic Birds Wedding Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Rustic Birds Wedding Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Photo credits (clockwise from left): Gardensidestudio’s Flickr Stream, Sparkle and Hay, Luvs2Create2’s Etsy Shop, Artfire, Dearjes’ Etsy Shop, House Martin, The KnotGreen Wedding Shoes, The Knot, Once Wed, Nordstrom, Artfire.

Inspiration: Vintage Rosebuds

I love me some vintage!   I was inspired by a bride I’ve been consulting with to create a vintage sweet table inspiration board.  I love the tones of blush and daffodil!  I only wish I’d been able to find some photos of flowers arranged the way I can see them in my head.  I’d love to gather ranunculus, peonies, daffodils, dahlias, gerberas, and freesia together in just the right messy way, and I’d love to see them in the gorgeous pale pink glass vase in my event rental catalog.

I’d also add a bunch of fairy lights and some chinese lanterns in pale pink, yellow, green, and white.

Vintage Sweet Table Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Vintage Sweet Table Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa



To use this inspiration board for a wedding, I’d definitely start with a wedding dress from Fancy New York, like this gorgeous “Maggie Rosebud” design:

Maggie Rosebud by Fancy New York

Maggie Rosebud by Fancy New York


Photo credits (clockwise, from top left): Ruffled Blog, Little Loveables, Country Living, Kate Landers Events, KristopherK’s Flickr Stream, Old Fashioned Lemonade, The Sweetest Occasion, Karen Tran Florals.

Inspiration: The Rocketeer South Seas Club Wedding

From the moment I saw the 1991 Disney movie The Rocketeer, I loved everything about it.  The handsome hero and beautiful heroine, the dashing evildoer, the happy ending…  And the style.  I have to say that this was probably my first taste of Art Deco style.  I wanted to be Jenny; not just because she ended up with the insanely handsome Cliff Secord (and “got to play a scene” with Neville Sinclair, who wasn’t so bad himself), but because she looked so glamorous.

My favorite scene, visually, is the one in the South Seas Club.  Jenny is dressed in the most stunning white satin sweetheart-necked gown, with ruby red lips and hair perfectly coiffed.  Neville, in his tuxedo, leads her down a wide staircase to the dance floor.  The clamshell opens and the sultry singer begins the beguine.  The whole place is gorgeously decorated in the Art Deco style, and is a perfect example of what I wanted a nightclub to be.

When I was planning my own wedding, my first inclination was to look for a dress like Jenny’s in The Rocketeer; I thought we’d have an elegant Art Deco-inspired affair.  And when I found a local hotel with a clamshell band stage in the ballroom, I was over the moon.  We ultimately decided to focus on another location and another design, but if I had my wedding to do over I think I’d have to find a way to make this inspiration board a reality (minus, perhaps, the leather jacket!).  I didn’t like any of the printed materials I found to go with this inspiration board; guess I’ll have to work on some! 🙂

The Rocketeer South Seas Wedding Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

The Rocketeer South Seas Wedding Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Image credits (clockwise, from top left):, Hibiscus Florals, Run Do Not Walk, Unique Vintage, Garethr1’s Flickr Stream, Wedding Things, Your Stupid Minds, SaucefortheGoose’s Etsy Shop, Cake image was not properly credited on any site I found (I think it’s originally from Martha Stewart Weddings but can’t find the original source – there are TONS of secondary sources though), Alfred Angelo (dress #7069 in Celadon).

Inspiration: Born on the Fourth of July

I was at Disneyland on Tuesday (and, um, I’m going back tomorrow for a bachelorette party…  no, I didn’t plan it that way) and walking down Main Street U.S.A. started getting my creative juices going.  I created this inspiration board for an old-fashioned Fourth-of-July party that would also be appropriate for a summer birthday or wedding.  I can imagine serving a beautiful picnic lunch and making homemade ice cream in a vintage hand-crank ice cream maker (ok, actually, that would be really difficult, as cool as it would look!), and listening to a Barbershop Quartet or an old-fashioned band.   The perfect setting for this party would be a pretty green park – especially if there were a gazebo where you could hang the bunting!

Born on the Fourth of July Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Born on the Fourth of July Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Image credits (clockwise, from top left): Bliss Weddings Market, 4 In a Bar, Giggleberry Creations, Bouquet Bridal, Elizabeth Anne Designs, The Darling Bee, Jasperdo’s Flickr Stream, My Finer Consigner, North 60’s Flickr Stream, Events Wholesale, Pool and Patio.

Inspiration: Sunflowers and Lemonade

Maybe it’s the dismal weather we’ve had today: clouds, wind, and rain…  Maybe I’m just really looking forward to summer…  But my latest inspiration board creation is sort of inspired by Tuscany and Provence, and features a gorgeous sunny yellow color contrasted by deep blues.  I’d love to plan this party for a bridal or baby shower, or a birthday party!

Sunflowers and Lemonade Inspiration Board

Sunflowers and Lemonade Inspiration Board

Image credits (clockwise, from top left):  Hostess with the Mostess, Tickled Pink, Kara’s Party Ideas, Recipe Bloom, Country Living, Dit49’s Flickr Photo Stream, Wrapped in Happiness (but the photo was taken by Charlotte Geary), A French Tablecloth, Pink Cake Box, The Sweetest Occasion.