Richelle + Matthew’s Modern Whimsical Balloon-Filled Wedding (11*18*12)

Yet another 2012 wedding I have yet to share…  But I can’t just skip over it.  It’s so delicious.  So much fun!

I met Richelle for the first time at her venue; she said she was pretty convinced she wanted to hire me, so if it was ok with me we should meet there so we could brainstorm.  I think we talked for three hours (my normal “first meetings” are usually about one)!  She had some big ideas –  I mean, BIG ideas…  Balloons cascading down the side of the wall ideas.  But in the end we created just the wedding to make both Richelle and her husband Matthew smile, while interpreting some of her big ideas in a way that wouldn’t put too big a dent in their new home fund!

Richelle is, probably above everything else, FUN!  She loved the idea of incorporating balloons into her day, in a way that wouldn’t look cheesy, but would make a big impact.  She also insisted on having a cake, a doughnut cake, a chocolate fountain, and a sweets table.  If you follow my Pinterest, you’ll see that she’s my kind of girl. 😉

So we played.  And we played and we played.  I designed a custom stationery suite for her based on a rabbit figurine she loved.  We created an I Spy game.  We made a cocktail area inside the venue with sweets galore, comfy couches, and a photo booth.  Outside in the courtyard we decorated with twinkling lights and hung an installation under the pergola.

I will admit it: balloons are not my favorite wedding accessory.  They can look amazing.  They can also look tacky and strange.  I am pleased to say that despite the wind wrecking our first plan, I felt like the balloons we used at Richelle and Matt’s wedding were elegant, fun pops – get it? – of whimsy, just as they were intended to be. 🙂

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Richelle + Matthew’s Modern Whimsical Balloon-Filled Wedding (11*18*12):

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Ana + Gina’s Colorful Rustic Handcrafted Wedding (07*14*12)

As you can see by the date in the blog title, I’m just slightly behind in sharing the weddings I’ve been working on. 😉  But in truth, I realized that I’d started this blog post a while back.  I was encouraged to publish it finally after last week’s marriage equality ruling.  And see?  I’m trying to keep my promise for moar!blogging!

Ana and Gina are one of my favorite couples.  They have such wonderful energy and chemistry, and I immediately liked them.  Mind you, I have a LOT of incredible couples that I like immediately – it’s something I am proud that I can say about just about everyone – but I still remember our first phone call.  Ana had just e-mailed me and set up a time to talk.  They lived in the Bay Area and couldn’t meet in person.  She hadn’t mentioned anything about Gina at all.  “My fiancé is here and wants to meet you too!” she said, as we were introducing ourselves on the phone.  I heard Gina’s voice, and my heart leapt.  It seems a bit silly now, but in 2011 marriage equality was still such an uphill battle.  I’d always wanted to do weddings for everyone, but you can’t really pick and choose your clients.  So I had to wait for someone to choose me.  I remember getting off that phone call and dancing around.  They liked me!  They really liked me!  And I liked them!  This was happening!

Over the next several months, we worked together on decor plans for their wedding.  We always had the most fun when we were together; it felt comfortable, like we had been friends for a long time.  The venue, Hidden Valley Retreat and Spa (which is no longer), was one where literally everything was do-it-yourself.  It was lovely, but challenging, especially given their tight budget, so we had to get creative!  You can see the results in the photos – lots of paper and streamers…  But it was so very lovely.  I’m so proud of the way their whole day looked!  I loved how colorful it was (they were inspired by a painting they loved), and how many fun details we were able to bring in.

On the wedding day, I had a team of four working from 10 am to 7:30 pm (when the reception was already starting, we were still finishing up the cake table that was, thankfully, in the other room), hanging lights and lanterns, setting up tables and chairs, doing table settings, putting together a DIY Photo Booth, and so much more.  We’d have been there sooner to get started, but we were running last-second errands for the wedding!  It is actually because of this wedding that I require additional assistants for venues that aren’t “set up” for weddings, since simply placing, setting up, and dressing tables for 60 guests took two of my staff several hours to complete!

At any rate, the wedding itself was incredible.  Happy and gorgeous couple, happy friends and family, heartfelt vows, beautiful decor, and a great party!  Kaysha Weiner took the most stunning photographs (more on my website).  It’s no wonder that Ana and Gina were featured on Equally Wed!

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Stacy + Tyler’s Handcrafted Rustic Yellow Wedding

I feel a little silly writing this blog post.  You see, in the intervening year and a half since Stacy + Tyler’s wedding, SO MUCH has changed in their lives too (they welcomed a beautiful baby girl to their family!).  But still, I want to share the celebration, even though it’s taken me much too long to do it.  It was a truly beautiful one, and one I loved being a part of.  🙂  And I’m thrilled to say that one of their bridesmaids has just hired me for her wedding later this year!

Stacy + Tyler and I clicked right away.  Sometimes you meet a couple and think “Oh, they were nice, I wonder if they’ll hire me?”  And other times you walk away saying, “If they don’t hire me I’ll be soooo sad!”  Yup, it was the latter. 😉  Luckily they felt the same.  🙂  It helped that their AMAZING wedding photographer (Jenna, from FlutterGlass Photography) referred me to them, of course.  That’s why it’s so nice to have a great network – fantastic referrals! 🙂

I did their wedding Coordination and styling, and designed their program and a few hand-drawn signs.  But really, I just had a heck of a lot of fun with them.  🙂  And these photos?  Well, they really speak for themselves.  Just check them out and watch the story of their wedding day unfold!

Stacy + Tyler, I know this is a bit belated, but I loved being your wedding coordinator and I’m so thrilled you let me into your lives! 😉  Hoping we can get A and F together for a play date some time soon! 🙂

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Stacy + Tyler’s Handcrafted Rustic Yellow Wedding Vendor Credits:

The McAwesome Wedding Featured in The New York Times and on Good Morning America!

Last week The New York Times ran a story about a fun new trend in weddings – ROBOTS! – and I am thrilled to say that the McAwesome Wedding was featured!!

If you remember my original blog post from a couple of years ago, Neva is one of my best friends, and I was a bridesmaid in her unconventional but oh-so-fun wedding in July 2011.  I also got to work with her to design a wedding look that was truly THEM.  From my original post:

Their wedding day was one year to the day after their first date.  Their wedding decor was inspired by the 1960s Peter Sellers classic The Party.  Their colors were “the colors of the sunset.”  The groom wore orange pajamas, a Chinese-patterned smoking jacket, and a fez.  Their wedding feast was cooked entirely by their family and friends.

Oh yes, and they got married by a robot.

Father Emiglio, the Robot Officiant!

Friends, meet Father Emiglio, robot officiant extraordinaire.  He started life as an Italian child’s toy.  Neva found him in a thrift store and brought him home.  Rob made him…

Well, McAwesome of course.

With a fresh coat of paint and an incredibly complex and hilariously funny program, Father Emilgio moved, spoke, lit up, and played “The Final Countdown.”  He interacted with the bride and groom.  There were incredible extras like R2D2′s beeps.  This robot was amazing.

Of course it’s not legal in California to get married by a robot, so he had a little help from a minister friend of the couple’s, minister Eric Sherman.  But really?  They were married by a robot.

And of course, that is what got the attention of The New York Times.  There is footage of Father Emiglio in the video segments for both The Times and Good Morning America, and an interview with the McAwesomes in the written article too.  Hmmm…  I wonder whose traditional wedding Neva could be talking about being “turned off” by? 😉  Probably someone who makes a cameo – cracking up in an orange dress – in the video.  😉

I am just SO thrilled for these two crazy kids.  They run The Octocorn Network (on Facebook and YouTube – named after a mythical unicorn-octopus hybrid – and if you like Father Emiglio you probably will love their other work!) and really ARE this awesome.

I mean, McAwesome. 😉

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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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!!! 😉

Belated Happy Anniversary, Michelle + Dave!

I have been SO busy lately, most notably dealing with an internet outage at home that really knocked me off my game (three weeks without internet = a VERY tough time getting anything done!).  My mobile data is almost used up for the month (I’ve never done that!!) and I’m thisclose to my maternity leave…  But I had to leave a little love note for Michelle + Dave, since it’s been a year since their wedding (their anniversary was Sunday)!

They found me on Yelp and hired me sight-unseen to plan their wedding for them, long distance, from Chicago.  From the minute we had our first phone call, I knew they were going to be the kind of clients planners always wish for; the kind that have their own mind about things (you’d be surprised how difficult it is to plan for someone who has no opinion!) but have lots of trust in the people they hire to do the best job they can.  We had so much fun planning and creating their wedding together, and assembled a dream team of vendors.  And THIS happened.

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Yup.  Pure bliss.  Nothing makes a planner happier than to see her couple so happy that they don’t care who else sees them nuzzling. 🙂

This is another one of my favorite photos from their wedding:

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Seriously?  When the groom tears up seeing his bride coming down the aisle?  This planner melts.  I was behind the bride, way in the background, and didn’t see this happening.  When I saw the photos later on, it took my breath away.  It’s also a great reminder that the First Look (which they had) does not spoil the Coming Down the Aisle.

You can see more photos and videos on my blog:

And on my website Gallery.  You can also read what Michelle had to say about my services in my Happy Clients section!

I’m lucky enough to have been able to stay in their lives this year and I’m thrilled to say that things are going well for them – and I hope that next year we can celebrate their anniversary together, with our daughters! 😉

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

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:

Happy Anniversary Alex + Allen!

Oh my goodness, this is EXTREMELY belated!!!  I thought I’d hit “schedule” on my post (to post on November 19th) but apparently I didn’t…  So this is a month and a half belated!  Alex + Allen, I still wish you both a lifetime of happiness and love!

It’s yet another anniversary around here… Last fall I was SO BUSY…  The week before this gorgeous wedding I had a baby shower and a 1st birthday party; the day after, I participated in a bridal show! 🙂

I met Alex + Allen through a referral; a friend of mine worked with Alex across campus from my day job.  We joked it was the official University wedding, since both Alex + Allen work on campus, as does Jason Almazan, their photographer.  The music at the ceremony was provided by one of the campus’ a capella groups, and the sound equipment was provided by another one of the couple’s coworkers.

Alex + Allen are SUCH a joyful, loving couple.  They’re both very reserved and quiet, although I wouldn’t say “shy” is the right word to describe them.  Both were extremely open, warm, and caring.  I’d never done a wedding without dancing before, but none of their guests missed it – they were having too much fun in the photo booth area and giggling and telling stories!

You’ll definitely recognize some of their photos from my website too…  Love the energy these two had and this picture of them giggling at their ceremony is still one of my top photos I’ve ever seen of one of my couples.  SO much love!!!

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Check out more photos from Alex + Allen’s wedding on my blog and website, and while you’re there, look at the amazing review Alex wrote!

Alex + Allen’s Modern Rustic Wedding at Olivenhain Meeting Hall, 11*19*2011 Vendor Details:

Happy Anniversary Emily + Jeremy!

I can hardly believe it’s time for another anniversary post (one day late)…  It seems like such a short time ago that we were hanging the lanterns in the pool house at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe!  Emily + Jeremy’s day was chic, whimsical, and romantic, and the photos are to die for!  You might recognize these two as being all over my website, blog, and Facebook page…  I can’t help it – they’re just so gorgeous!

Wishing you two the sweetest of anniversaries and another year of happy marriage! 🙂

See the full gallery of photos from Emily + Jeremy’s wedding on my website!  And read the blogs about their ceremony and reception!

Emily + Jeremy’s Modern Handcrafted Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Wedding Details:

Happy Belated Anniversary, Marisa + James!

It hit me at this weekend’s wedding that it was already the end of October…  Which meant I had been so busy last week that I totally missed wishing Marisa + James a happy anniversary!!!  Of course I was at a wedding and without my laptop, so this post had to wait until after my wedding “hangover” passed yesterday in order to wish these two lovebirds a belated happy anniversary…  I can hardly believe it’s been a whole year since their Harbor Island wedding.  Marisa was so lovely and they were both so full of happiness on that day…  I just can’t help but grin when I see the photos!  And when I remember James’ dad’s speech: “You’re flying out to Hawaii tomorrow… Tomorrow night you’d best get to workin’ hard! We’re behind the curve on gettin’ grandchildren!”

Of course if you visit my site or my blog regularly you might recognize this photo, but I can’t help it… It’s one of my favorites from the day.

Happy Anniversary Marisa + James!!!  Wishing you another happy love-filled year!

See Marisa + James’ wedding blog post, gallery, and review!

Marisa+James’ Harbor Island San Diego 10*22*2011 Wedding Details:

I got to work with Diane’s Flowers this past Saturday and back in March for Michelle + Dave’s wedding and am looking forward to working again with Sutography in just two weeks! 🙂