What I’ve Been Up To Lately…

June was an extremely busy month for me (spilling into the first day of July).  I’ve got three more events happening in the next several weeks but I thought that on this beautiful holiday I might share a little taste of what I’ve been involved with over the last month!!!  Three styled shoots (including stationery for two) and two weddings (including programs for one and all the stationery for the other) meant a ton of work and very little time off.  But look at the gorgeous results!!!

I hope you have a fantastic holiday – I’m off to spend the day with friends and my husband.  Be safe!!!

What I've Been Up To!

Photo credits:

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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:

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:

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: